Sunday 10th December 2006
next update week ending 23rd December 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
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This has been a week which has seen new buses, new routes and lots of revisions. Today, 10th December, saw the launch of a new fleet of top level environmentally friendly buses here in Oxford. Complying to Euro 5 legislation, not due for another two years, Oxford Bus have certainly set a new standard for others to follow. Their press release says "Britain’s greenest and most environmentally friendly buses were introduced in Oxford and Abingdon this weekend.
“We already have the country’s greenest bus fleet, “explained the Oxford Bus Company’s managing director, Philip Kirk. “We could have rested on our laurels and bought buses that complied with the current emissions standards but these new buses take our green credentials to an even higher level. The standards are set by the EU and while most fleet operators are only just buying Euro 4 vehicles, the Oxford Bus Company has decided to go one better, and jump straight from the existing Euro 3 limits to Euro 5, nearly two year ahead of the deadline. The buses will also be the first in Oxford to significantly remove NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) from the exhaust emissions. The buses are the latest generation of Mercedes Citaro buses and the eleven new vehicles have cost nearly £1.5 million, it shows how serious we are about our green responsibilities.”
“The environment is an important issue in Oxford and we are proud of our green credentials,” Philip continued, “We recently won an environment award for the “star system” on our buses, which shows how “green” each individual bus is”.
Britain’s greenest, most environmentally friendly buses launched on new service
The new vehicles will join the existing fleet of state-of-the-art Citaro buses on a new service from Abingdon to the JR Hospital which started on Sunday 10th December. At the start of the New Year extra hospital facilities will be opening at the JR and we expect that even more people will need to travel there. In addition extra peak time buses are being introduced on the Abingdon to Didcot route. Philip Kirk said, “The new services are being introduced to meet demand from our passengers and an increase in bus use in the area. There’ll be a bus every 20 minutes on a new “X13” service from Abingdon to the JR via the city centre and Marston Road. The new journeys will dovetail with the existing service from Abingdon to Oxford City Centre and the railway station to provide a bus every ten minutes from Abingdon to Oxford via the A34. At peak times those buses will run even more frequently.”
“There’ll also be extra peak time buses on the 35A route from Oxford to Abingdon and Didcot with extra buses on the route to cope with an upturn in passenger numbers. The Milton Estate seems to be thriving and there’s been an increase in the number of school children using the route.”
For more information on the OBC’s star system please go to http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/air/index.html
Vehicles designed to meet Euro 4 limits see reductions in a range of emissions – carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter – while Euro 5 brings even greater reductions in NOx, down from current limits of 5.0g/kWh to just 2.0g/kWh.
To meet both the Euro 4 and the Euro 5 limits, Mercedes-Benz is using SCR technology – selective catalytic reduction – which requires the addition of urea to the diesel fuel to contribute to the clean running of the engine.
More details and pictures of the new buses and services may be found under the company heading below.
A web link with sounds and videos
I found a nice site with some interesting items including sounds of buses.
Public Transport 'Improvements' in Faringdon
Marcus Lapthorn wrote regarding a matter in Faringdon saying "....on Coxwell Road, Faringdon a bus shelter has been erected at a position that is about 30 yards or more away from where the Oxford bound buses have traditionally stopped. There is no bus stop provided and the shelter is completely out of the view of bus drivers, as a very large bush completely obstructs the view of the shelter from the road. The intending passengers have no view of the bus because off the bush!
IF the bus does stop at the new shelter then the tail of the bus now is parallel with traffic bollards in the centre of the road. There is no opportunity for anyone to overtake unless they go on the wrong side of the bollards! However there is a busy road junction at this point which is therefore likely to result in a traffic accident sooner or later.
The attached two pics show the problems created by this 'improvement'. I would have thought the Highway authority should have assessed this before such a crazy scenario was allowed to proceed!
Marcus sent me a reply from Lewis Ward, Public Transport Development Assistant who wrote "Thank you for your patience, I have raised your concerns with Faringdon Town Council and our Highways Office who have provided me with the information about this particular shelter installation.
The Town Council made an application to Oxfordshire County Council for a grant towards this shelter, this forms part of their ongoing program to improve shelter provision in Faringdon.
The location for the shelter was constrained by available space and the location they identified was considered most suitable. Before the grant application was approved, the proposed location was checked by a senior traffic technician at Oxfordshire Highways to establish whether there would be any road safety or technical problems which could arise. None were noted. Your concern that traffic would be required to wait behind the bus due to the central crossing refuge is correct. However, in some areas there is a definite policy to locate bus stops in this way so as to avoid the conflict caused when buses need to pull away from the stop and rejoin the flow of traffic. Although this was not the specific objective here, the principle is used successfully elsewhere and can be applied if the site constraints dictate.
Because the stop is served an a request basis, and because the period of time the bus spends at the stop is not excessive, the only concern could be the inconvenience that this may cause to waiting traffic which is not necessarily a direct safety concern.
The foliage at the stop is being addressed by the Town Council who will arrange for it to be trimmed to improve visibility. If this continues to be a problem we may be able to make the stop more prominent through the use of a new pole and bus stop sign.
I hope that I have managed to explain the decision making process for new shelters, and how this had to be applied at this particular location."
There is no doubt that the Council responded in a constructive manner about this matter and one hopes that the matter will now be resolved quite quickly.
Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book
In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.
The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.
The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.
Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours.
Those elusive Routemaster tour buses in Oxford
Ken MacKenzie of the PSV Circle writes "It appears that the proposed start of The Oxford Tour never got of the ground and I believe at least three of the Routemaster have now been sold from the six and the rest of these could also be gone by now. I have sightings in Somerset and Nottinghamshire, so any other sighting would be grateful. On a visit to Oxford during the week, no sign of the vehicles existed."
We've had one sighting through these pages mentioned in a recent edition, so anyone who has further sightings do please let us know.
If you are wondering about the PSV Circle here is their link : http://www.psv-circle.org.uk/
Green Road roundabout roadworks completed
I rather liked the notice erected at the roundabout which is certainly a change in achievement to many of the roadworks we have these days.
Progress at Redbridge
Some months ago it was suggested that work at Redbridge on the new facilities would be completed for the first shopping Saturday in December. Sadly, as my picture shows, this is not the case. Temporary facilities are still in use.
A free bus service in Leighton Buzzard and Linslade
Glenn Knight sent this note regarding services in the above towns saying "I have attached a notice that has been put up in Arriva & Grant Palmer Buses of Free Bus Travel 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd December in Leighton Buzzard on most services Excluding 31 & 15."
Ensign Bus running day
Mark Lyons writes to say "I
attach a few photographs taken at the Ensignbus X80 running day on 2/12.
Although Gravesend was not in the Chilterns when I last looked the buses do have
local connections - TD895 started its life at Amersham garage and both Watford
and Windsor garages had allocations of Cravens bodied RTs. Indeed RT1499 ended
its LT career at Watford High Street Garage. Saturday marked the RTs first day
in service with Ensignbus."
Wouldn't they look great at the Amersham running day?
Sorry that this week's edition is a day late but it was a rather large issue to complete. Thanks again to everyone who contributed.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 10th December 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 10th December 2006
Glenn Knight writes "I have attached a photo of a Dennis Dart on the X66 one of two Darts buses on the route due to high winds meaning that the Leyland Olympians cannot be used.
3290 - V290 HBH Dennis Dart Plaxton 3290. seen at MK on Tuesday the 7th at 12.27.
A T9 on Green Line service
Harvey Cullimore writes "Please find attached picture taken by myself close to stand 9 Green line on the date shown of a Green Line T9. May be of some interest to you as it clearly shows the wheelchair access door behind the main entrance door."
Steve Bunce put me in touch with Bryan Larkins who
reports that "......noted
today at Garston garage were two new Darts in red colour scheme for use on
London routes. They are registered SN56AXG and SN56AXH. No titles, fleet
numbers or legal lettering yet.
An engineer told me that one if for a H route (based at Garston) and the other a U route (based at High Wycombe). They were only delivered on Friday 08.12."
A number of correspondents mention the arrival of some newer coaches for the Green Line 702 service to Windsor. Stephen Le Bras writes "...all 4 Volvo B7R/Plaxton coaches (borrowed from First Cymru) are in service today on route 702 (Monday 4th December). They have Greenline badging on the front and details of places served at the top of windows. I only discovered that they were in use at around 2.20pm so photos were rather difficult in the gathering gloom."
Gavin Francis went one better and sent pictures of these coaches, one of which I include below.
First Cymru (on loan to First Berkshire) nr 20367 at the Green Line coach station in Victoria last Wednesday.
Gavin also says that after he had taken the picture the sightings of these coaches were very scant during the remaining part of the week. One even wonders if they had returned to darkest Wales again?
Stephen Le Bras also reports that "Scania/Wright saloons 60756/58 were operating the 41/43 today alongside the regular Darts. Wednesday last having seen the introduction of the Scania/Wright saloons on routes 41/43 from Slough garage. At 07.25 (in Windsor) I noted 60756 in use and by 2.35pm 60758 had joined it."
Ken MacKenzie, Oxfordshire Other Operators Sub Editor for the PSV Circle writes saying "As expected, HDZ 250 was at their operating centre being worked on behalf of Blowfield, Bicester and not owned by Hartwool. On my visited this week there was two in the yard from Blowfield and one from Hitchings, Wantage. The Plaxton Dart P512RYM is in fact Hartwools and acquired via Ensign (Q) from Stansted Transit and this is a low floor to comply with the terms of the commercial route they operate. Thanks to Paul from Hartwool who was very accommodating on my visit."
Readers may remember that a picture of HDZ250 appeared on these pages a few weeks ago taken at the Grayline premises.
Still a regular performer on the 14 service, this ex Stagecoach Volvo is seen in St Aldates last week. Picture by Chris Maxfield.
McLeans Coaches, Witney
Ken MacKenzie, Oxfordshire Other Operators Sub Editor for the PSV Circle writes saying "The second new Setra arrived this week - I only know one reg which is BX 56 VTG. In the next few days another six (or maybe eight) second-hand vehicles are due to arrive for use on school contracts that have been won and start on December 11th - I believe they are all from the same operator in Yorkshire who ceased operation recently?"
Ken goes on to report that "..six second hand coaches have arrived - four from the demised Wainfleet operation in Nuneaton and two from A & J Coaches in York.
I've no details of registrations, so any sightings would be welcome."
This Volvo was once R967RCH and joined the Motts fleet from Park's of Hamilton in 1997. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Robert Janko sent a night picture of a new coach saying "...saw this at 7:15 in Gloucester Green, not sure who is running this bus."
Robert I think this is run by Arriva Fox and appeared at the NEC show last month.
FJ56 PCZ - picture by Robert Janko.
This has been quite a week for Oxford Bus following the 125 anniversary celebrations. Eleven new Citaros have entered service, the first of the Tridents from the north East has taken to the road on the 35, two Volvo B10BLEs have appeared in commemorative liveries and now I can reveal that ten new Volvo/Plaxton coaches have been ordered for spring delivery.
Eleven new Citaros to Euro 5 specification take the road.
Sunday 10th December saw eight out of eleven new Citaro buses take to the road on a revised group of services running between Abingdon, The City, Rail Station and the J R Hospital. Details of the buses in question are:
849 LF56 OXF
850 MF56 OXF
851 OF56 OXF
852 PF56 OXF
853 RF56 OXF
854 SF56 OXF
855 TF56 OXF
856 UF56 OXF
857 VF56 OXF
858 WF56 OXF
859 YF56 OXF
They are to Euro 5 specification and seat 42 passengers in air conditioned comfort. The body styling is of the very latest type and you will see several differences to earlier models.
Breathe easy message
The timetable produced for the route is one of the most attractive I have seen and gives good information and maps.
The buses in service
Gavin Francis, Chris Maxfield and myself all took the opportunity on Sunday to record the entry into service of the Citaros and the results are shown below. Noteworthy are the variety of rear adverts, all of which seem to be different.
photo by Gavin Francis
849 - photos by Malcolm Crowe & Gavin Francis
851 on Marston Road bound for Abingdon - photo by Chris Maxfield
852 on Marston Road - photo by Malcolm Crowe
854 overtakes coach 58 outside the Thai Orchid in St Clements - photo by Malcolm Crowe
855 crosses the Magdalen Bridge - photo by Malcolm Crowe
855 passing The Plain and then on the new route at the JR - photos by Malcolm Crowe
856 - photos by Malcolm Crowe, Gavin Francis & Chris Maxfield
858 - photo by Gavin Francis
859 - photo by Malcolm Crowe
I was told that there were to be eight in service on the first day and I think we got them all. 849, 851, 852, 854, 855, 856, 858 and 859.
During the preceding week Gain Francis caught up with two of the earlier Citaros, one of which had the new branding and the other still waiting same to be applied.
832 and 833 in St Aldates - photos by Gavin Francis
*36 was spotted on the 500 on 4th December and Chris Maxfield was on hand to record the event
Not being a regular visitor to Oxford on a Sunday I had not had the opportunity to take pictures of unusual workings. Below we see one of the last batch of Citaros for City 2 working up High Street on its way to Kidlington last Sunday.
842 - photo by Malcolm Crowe
Sunday also gave me the opportunity to take my own pictures of 817 in service on the 15.
817 was operating on the 15 - photos by Malcolm Crowe
Chris Maxfield took this very nice picture of 816 in Queen St with the Christmas lights as a backdrop.
Trident 101 was caught by Gavin Francis on the 35 last week on a very wet day.
Trident 107 is seen last Sunday on the 300 service from Redbridge to Pear Tree. Another Trident is seen in the background heading towards Redbridge. - Photo by Malcolm Crowe
Chris Maxfield sent a picture of 609 which he thinks has had a replacement front end, also the fleet number is far from regular.
Ten new coaches for the X70
Spring 2007 will see the arrival of ten new coaches for the X70 which will become fully DDA compliant from the date of introduction. The coaches are to be Volvo B12Bs with Plaxton Panther bodywork and will be 12.24 metres long, the extra length allowing for the wheelchair access point.
As a foretaste of things to come this Panther was on display at the recent NEC show in Birmingham during November 2006.
For those interest in more information on the new type of coach please refer to the link to the Plaxton site.
Further details of the new coaches will be published on these pages as they become available.
Pearces Coaches of Oxford
One of the more cent additions to the Pearces fleet caught on camera by Chris Maxfield.
Red Rose, Aylesbury
An unusual performer on the 275 last week was this ex Eastbourne Dennis Lance. Photo by Chris Maxfield.
Steve Bunce writes to ask a question and I wonder if any reader can clarify the situation?
Steve writes "Something
that has been bugging me about the R21 route run by Red Rose is that it seems to
be classified as a London route. If this is the case, should it not be run with
with predominantly red painted vehicles, with adequate destination displays and
low floor buses? The regular runner on this route is FJ06 URR which is still in
white with various bits of paper stuck in its windscreen for route information.
On various days D303 PEV a far from low floor Volvo has deputised (although it
does carry a red livery). If it is a London route, should it not be treated
similarly to the U9 run by Arriva out of High
Wycombe? I stand up in order to be shot down!"
This week has been a quiet one for Stagecoach but I received several very nice pictures of the company's vehicles.
22924 at Magdalen St East at 0545 on Wednesday morning, 6th December 2006. Picture by Chris Maxfield.
Banbury based Dart 32626, which along with 32625 were based at Witney and were withdrawn to storage at Banbury.
Chris Maxfield who took the picture assumes a vehicle shortage caused the use of these two as both are in service from Banbury.
22279 at Carfax on Bravo route - picture by Chris Maxfield.
Witney has one unbranded Trident, 18137, which is shown here on the 20A route at Oxford Rail Stn - photo by Chris Maxfield.
34471 at the Rail Stn early in the morning on the 14 to The JR. Photo by Chris Maxfield
Gavin Francis caught 20009 at Carfax on the 10. This route normally sees Darts but the branded buses, Darts, are being refurbished.
Fresh out of workshops, 33651 looks resplendent in the late afternoon autumn sunshine as it waits its return to service.
Photo by Malcolm Crowe.
M A N 22946 heads down St Aldates on a Sunday morning 1 working. The Christmas decorations are of appropriate colour. Photo by Malcolm Crowe.
On a quiet Sunday morning Brookes 18197 heads towards Harcourt Hill. Photo by Malcolm Crowe.
Some new Darts on delivery to Worthing stopped off at Horspath depot last week for refuelling.
GX56 OGA-D passed by in two days.
Once a member of the Oxford Tube fleet this Volvo/Jonckheere visited Oxford last week from Corby.
It is soon to be replaced by a Volvo/Plaxton auto but made a brave site next to a current Tube fleet member. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
Another Sunday morning shot in the quiet by Queens College, 50113 loads for Victoria. Photo by Malcolm Crowe.
Inbound services stop in St Aldates giving good connections to Abingdon road services. 50114 pauses on its return from London last Sunday morning.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
Neoplan 50121 is caught London bound at the Plain last Sunday morning. Photo by Malcolm Crowe.
Tappins still run a sizeable fleet of early Volvos all of which are kept in immaculate condition. G419YAY is a 1990 model with a cherished registration.
Picture by Chris Maxfield.
Sunday morning provides the opportunity to ride through from Oxford to Henley as seen in this picture of TTs latest Dart. Photo by Malcolm Crowe.
Ken MacKenzie says "...regarding Bland & Bainbridge, Culham - the press release issued by Optare is incorrect as this week at there OC R946 AMB was still in use with destinations displayed - this being a Mercedes-Benz O814D - which is not a low floor vehicle - the intention could be to dispose of this but as of Wednesday was still in use."
Woottens are offering some rather nice coach tour holidays and have produced a really good brochure. Prices seem very reasonable.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Enthusiasts in the South West arranged a final VR day to Penzance last weekend and above we can see a First Vre climbing out of Sennen Cove.
Picture by Terry Partridge.
A WA-Shearings Volvo heads into Oxford on Sunday morning in the smart new livery. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
Touring in a grand style, Silver Star from Caernarfon use this very nice Setra on the holiday programme.
Seen here on the M40 last Sunday heading for Dover and then Brugge. - Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
Andy Churchill thought we might like this evocative shot of NCME Fleetline 379 outside the old COMS depot on Cowley Road taken in 1973.
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming events & models
King Alfred, Winchester Running Day - Monday 1st January 2007
Always a great event and well worth a visit.
DVD s by Robin Clare
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
A local model worth adding to your collection
Malcolm Hyland writes "This
mail comes to you in my capacity as Treasurer of The Amersham & District Motor
We have a very limited stock of the 10T10 EFE model T596 on route 458 to Uxbridge. This model was commissioned through London Bus Repaints for the Slough & Windsor Running Day on 14th May 2006 and was a limited edition of 150 models.
Price is £27-50 plus £2-50 for postage and packaging. It is available through Malcolm Hyland at 41, Clare Road, Prestwood, Bucks HP16 0NU. Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motor Bus Society. E-mail queries to email@example.com
Latest Citaro models revealed
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester - ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus
Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads.
ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks.
Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre.
ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions.
ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.
The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively.
Model Buses for Sale
prices revised with immediate effect
I have a revised deal on Models for your readers...
Each of the following models are available for the following price :
Each Model = £10.00
Postage is £4.00 regardless of the number of models.
UKBUS 1014 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R TRIDENT
UKBUS 5002 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R CITARO
UKBUS 2012 - CREATIVE MASTER BROOKES BUS TRIDENT
CORGI ORIGINAL OMNIBUS OXFORD ESPRESS EXCALIBUR
Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
More models are for sale on my eBay store, http://www.modelsmk.co.uk/shop
Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where
I will advise of any mid week news & when
each News Page is posted
please let me know on email@example.com
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
The latest handbook from BBF was
on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th
As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002