The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  


Issue 256
Monday 11th February 2008

next update week ending 29th February 2008


Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

News Archive Pages from the "Oxford Bus Page"
I regret that the server used to store the pictures for many of these pages is no longer available.
I hope to restore the pictures at some time in the future.

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail


The past week saw the formal launch of the new National Express identity which is to be applied to buses, coaches and trains. There is a short report of this below with additionally some interesting links.

I am also pleased to be able to publish a number of pictures from Marcus Lapthorn relating to COMS (City of Oxford Motor Services). These should bring back some memories.

Also Nigel Peach has sent pictures and a report on revised bus services in Flackwell Heath, soon to be served with improvements from Carousel Buses.

Thornhill Park & Ride finally opened the new facilities to users on Wednesday 30th January although there is still some work to do. The temporary bus station disappeared really quickly and that area will provide additional car parking spaces.

The Oxford Times published some comments on the free bus travel available to qualifying users from April 1st 2008. They did make a rather poor mistake in saying free travel was also available in Wales. I am sure this is wrong and the attached web link seems to support my thoughts. Today there is a full page advert in the Daily Express from The Department for Transport. However I am unable to find a list of qualifying services so wonder as a potential use if services such as Wilts & Dorset X3 through Bournemouth or the X53 Jurassic Coast Express by First from Bournemouth to Exeter are usable by concession holders?

Free Bus Travel in England

Anyway it does seem like a dream come true for elderly bus nuts who can now spend their retirement seeing ENGLAND for free. Roll on April 1st. (I do hope its not the most grand April Fools joke ever?

Thornhill Park & Ride

Work is just about completed on then exciting new terminal building at the Thornhill Park & Ride car park in Oxford and services started using the station from Wednesday 30th January 2008.

Drawing on the experience of the widely acclaimed facility at the Water Eaton site, Oxfordshire County Council awarded a £1.9m contract to local firm Kingerlee to construct the new terminal building and interchange now being used by passengers and services.

Work began on November 20 2006 and the completed scheme provides four large bus stops providing ample space for the Park & Ride services to the city centre and Headington hospitals and the London and Airport coach services. It is said that there will also be room to accommodate other local bus services in the future if required. 

The bus stops are grouped around an exciting new building which provides a heated waiting room, toilets, extensive canopies and an elevated office for the customer care staff giving them excellent views of the car park to supplement the extensive CCTV facilities. 

Real-time displays will give passengers up to date information on the arrival time of services, and the original bus shelter has been removed and a covered cycle parking facility has been constructed in its place.

Work has taken just over a year.  The temporary stopping area for buses and coaches created near the entrance to the site, has now been removed and additional car parking spaces provided.

The new terminal building and bus loop are tastefully constructed and provide a significant improvement for travellers and operators alike.

In the first day or so it appears some services ran clockwise round the loop instead of the planned anti-clockwise flow. This must have caused some red faces for the drivers involved.

Currently the only services not using the facility are the Arriva 261 and 280, Stagecoach U1 and U5 and the National Express 737 Luton & Stansted service.

Readers can judge for themselves what the new terminal is like from the pictures below. Certainly this facility must be at the forefront of Park & Ride development in the U.K.

Some general views of the new terminal station

Stop A for London, stop B for Park & Ride, stop C for setting down only and stop D for Airport services

The passenger facilities including the indoor waiting area and the cycle shelter.

Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

On a historical note Paul Davis sent a couple of pictures of Park & Ride buses from when services first started, including one of Thornhill in 1980.

Thornhill Park & Ride in May 1980 (28 years ago !!!!) with an ex LT DMS working for COMS.

Another COMS Park & Ride Daimler, this time ex Midland Red in "Starsky & Hutch" livery seen in Cornmarket in Aug 1978 (nearly thirty years ago)

Above two pictures by Paul Davis.

Those Reading pictures

Julian Walker from London writes "I very much enjoyed seeing Marcus Lapthorn's Reading pictures from 1975 (Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page, Weekly News, 1st March, Issue 225). He did very well to capture typical sights that were just on the verge of disappearing. My first visit to Reading was just two years later, in July 1977, and by then the half-cabs had been swept away and only a handful of conductors remained - presumably the few who had not taken redundancy and were not suitable for retraining as drivers. The Metropolitan no. 1 gives a foretaste of what was to come - at the time it was unique but was to be joined by many others, both new to Reading and second hand from London, over the following years. The contrast between the new Metropolitan and the half-cab lowheight Regent still in service in the background is quite striking."

Just to get everyone's little grey cells going (Poirot) I am posting a picture which should bring back some memories. Didn't these coaches look smart?

Reading depot with E452 and 453CGM laying over between trips on 27th May 1992. Picture M Crowe.

Oxford Bus launch a revamped Rose Hill – Abingdon service 

Monday 4th Feb 2008 10.30am at The Oval, Rose Hill. 

A People’s launch for new look Rose Hill bus service.

A new look service for the City4 route from Rose Hill to Oxford gets  a real people’s launch on Monday. A community celebration will mark the newly branded buses with the latest in passenger comfort. The event will be lead by “Mr Rose Hill” Bill Buckingham, secretary of the Rose Hill Community Association, who was a local councillor for 50 years and a former Lord Mayor of Oxford. 

The Oxford Bus Company’s Director and General Manager, Louisa Weeks said, “We’ve been listening to people in the Rose Hill area and have paid special attention to their needs. We are delighted we’ve been able to revamp the City4 service and give the people in the area the best buses available.” 

The state of the art Mercedes Citaro buses offer low floor access making it easier for everyone to board especially wheelchair users and those with buggies. It may be a few months before it’s needed but all the buses are fitted with air-conditioning to provide passengers with relief in the summer months. The buses have been given special liveries promoting the route. 

After the ribbon is cut the community representatives will be taken on the bus to celebrate with a cup of tea in Oxford Town Hall where they will be welcomed by the Sheriff of Oxford Councillor Mary Clarkson.

Bill Buckingham said, “The improved services and low floor buses are a real boost for Rose Hill. There’s so much going on in the area at the moment, the Orlit houses being replaced and 200 new homes are being built. The Oxford Bus Company’s faith in the area is extremely welcome. Rose Hill people are big bus users and being able to get into the city centre in comfort with buggies or wheelchairs will mean a lot to so many people.” 

Councillor Ed Turner, who represents Rose Hill on Oxford City Council said, “I'm really pleased that the Bus Company are putting these vehicles on the route,  it's something I've been lobbying for and it’s nice to know the Oxford Bus Company has listened to its passengers. They will certainly help older people, of whom there are many in the area, and those with children or disabilities get into town." 

The City4 service links Rose Hill with the city centre and Botley where journeys continue either to Dean Court, Elms Rise or Abingdon.

I hope to bring you further pictures of the buses in use on the service, especially the rears of the buses which enjoy state of the art branding, differing on each bus. 

Watford and Luton in pictures by Simon Hussey 

Simon writes "I spent a couple of hours in both Watford and Luton on Tuesday afternoon and took about 35 pics." 

Here's a link to the pictures:-

Buses in Flackwell Heath by Nigel Peach

Nigel Peach wrote regarding bus services in the Flackwell Heath area. 

You may remember that when Arriva revised their services a few months ago, they scrapped the route to Flackwell Heath via London Road and Loudwater, replacing it with a far less frequent service as an add-on to the Great Missenden route 45, operating via Daws Hill Lane (and therefore part duplicating Carousel's 400 route).

This caused an outcry locally, particularly as many people used the old route to get from Flackwell to the doctors' surgery in Loudwater.

A public meeting was held in the village on 11th December at which Mr John Hodgkins, Transport and Accessibility Manager for Bucks County Council heard people's views.

The following email from Mr Hodgkins is quoted in Flackwell Heath's village Newsletter, The Grapevine: 

"Carousel Buses will be operating the new 35 and 36 services between Flackwell Heath and High Wycombe with effect from 10th March. Each service will run hourly, with the 35 operating via Loudwater, Kingsmead Road and London Road, and the 36 along the existing 400 route via Daws Hill Lane and continuing to Bourne End. They will be programmed to operate so that services leave Flackwell for High Wycombe every half an hour during the daytime Monday - Saturday. 

These services will be operated by low-floor fully accessible buses and as both routes will be run by the same operator, return tickets will be accepted on both services."

The Grapevine goes on to say that Arriva will be relinquishing its route and that Bucks CC will provide Carousel with "a small subsidy". 

It's good to see that democracy has worked on this occasion. 

The current situation is that Carousel run two buses an hour on route 400. One of these goes via the Sports Centre at Handy Cross, thereby also serving the two schools at the top of Marlow Hill. This bus then goes all the way through to Bourne End. The other bus does not take this detour and only goes as far as Flackwell Heath.

Arriva run one bus an hour on route 45 (I believe I referred to it erroneously as 46 in my previous email). This bus has come from Great Missenden via the bus station in High Wycombe. This therefore follows the same road to FH as Carousel and is timetabled to run from the bus station just four minutes after the 400! It is quite common to see one bus following the other along the journey. Ridiculous, isn't it?! Bus companies shoot themselves in the foot with this sort of behaviour!

I took some photos - sorry they're not that good. I looked up the timetables and realised I needed to get going very speedily to capture buses at the FH terminus. I got there just in time to get a pic from a distance. (I was actually waiting at the next stop which I'd always thought was the end of the route - it certainly used to be, but because nobody was waiting there, neither bus stopped there! I therefore missed photoing the VDL coming past but did get the Oly.) The next two photos were taken on Heath End Road - neither are very good, so you won't want to use, as both buses were at speed and I ended up taking into the sun! Fifth photo is better - from the other side of the road!

The photo shows Carousel's smart VDL CB54 BUS on the 400 in front of Arriva's Leyland Olympian 5109 (G129 YEV) on the 45 at the Flackwell Heath terminus (the Green Dragon).

The Olympian at the start of its return to High Wycombe.

Carousel Dart L109 HHV, looking good for its age, approaching Flackwell Heath. It has ascended the "dip" in Heath End Road and has just passed Abbey Barn Lane.

Pictures by Nigel Peach 

The above routes are the daytime routes. In the evenings and at weekends, Arriva run one bus an hour (route 35), usually one of the "Green Route 31" branded Volvos, along the old route - ie via Loudwater. I imagine that Arriva will continue to do this when Carousel take over the daytime workings.

Coachman demise by Marcus Lapthorn 

The Faringdon bus scene is all the poorer for the changes that took effect from December 2007, with regard to school bus provision. Previously Coachman of Swindon provided double deck buses but lost the contract to The School Bus Company of Oxford. The net result of this that most of Coachman's work was lost and all of the double deckers are now being sold for scrap. The fleet included buses from London (1), Edinburgh (1), Oxford (1) & Reading (4). 

The attached photographs show a very sorry scene at the depot on Tuesday 29 January with the following vehicles (from left to right) being:

RMO70Y; GSC644X; HUD497; RMO73Y; RMO74Y; RMO72Y. Not shown but also present was B108WUV.

So for Oxford fans of the VR this may be the last sighting of HUD497.

Those Arriva B6s by Roger Spence 

You've probably already had loads of people answering Bob Stanger's question about the current whereabouts of those Volvo B6s, but just in case:-

Having searched my records and the Arriva Bus Handbook...

L309HPP is still with Arriva Midlands, number 2116, based at Cannock
L310HPP was with Arriva The Shires, number 3110, based at Wycombe, but was destroyed by fire in 2006.
M726OMJ was with Arriva The Shires, number 3126, based at Wycombe, but was withdrawn in 2005 following a fire.
L206YCU is still with Arriva Southern Counties, albeit as a training vehicle - number T206, based at Gillingham.
L212YCU is still with Arriva Southern Counties, albeit as a training vehicle - number T212, based at Gillingham.
L513CPJ is still with Arriva Southern Counties, number 3605, based at Maidstone.

You also mentioned seeing DAF 3449 at the Eden with 'line 100' branding.  Are you sure, as I thought 3449 was at Hemel with 'line 500' branding?!! 
(You may be correct - not sure. Ed.)

Along the same lines, I've seen one of Aylesbury's 'line 300' Scanias on the 500 this week.

The Red Darts at Aylesbury now seem to have gained 'route 9' branding , though that hasn't stopped the odd one appearing on 'blue' route 2.

Future dates for your diary from Peter Cartwright 

You may know that there are some alterations planned for 10 March with Carousel becoming the operator serving Flackwell Heath. I am still waiting for all the details.

Amersham & District Running Days for 2008 are:

4th Slough/Windsor Running Day Sunday 11 May based on Slough Bus Station with a number of alterations this year.

Uxbridge/Northwood Running Day Sunday 1 June which, it is intended, will cover routes 309 309A 347 158 220 223 & 225. Details are still to be finalised.

3rd Hemel Hempstead Running Day Sunday 22 June based on Hemel Bus Station. Marking 60 years since the first Country RTs came into service. These were allocated to Tring and Hemel Hempstead (Two Waters) garages for the 301 and 302 routes. It is hoped that a number of RTs will be operating on these routes on 22 June.

20th Amersham Running Day Sunday 5 October based on car park adjoining Amersham MET Station. This has become a very popular event and no doubt it will still attract many after 20 years when again there will be some alteration to routes operated.

Buses in the Landscape



If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

The COMS fleet is the subject of a number of pictures received from Marcus Lapthorn who writes "Isn't it amazing to think that HFC 413, an AEC Regal 1/Weymann B32F, that was running around Oxford between 1939 and 1957, is still running around almost 70 years later! Rebodied in 1960, it was still carrying its Barbara B40F body around the streets of Malta in 2007 re-registered as DBY 349."

Dave Farrier took this photo' of rebodied ex COMS HFC 413 on 21st October 1991 in Valetta, Malta.

304 KFC & 305 KFC at Enstone on 5th November 1978. Ex COMS.

JGU 267K (992) at Aldenham LTB Works on 18th August 1979. This was ex London Transport.

CFC 358C - Southsea on 10th June 1978. This was ex COMS.

403 - Thame on 8th June 1978

JDB 248F (216) - Thame on 3rd September 1977. This was ex North Western Road Car Co of Stockport.
Disposal was to Ensign, Grays (dlr) 10/79 then to Redfern,Mansfield ????,. Lamcote, Radcliffe 3/81 and finally for scrap to W. North, Sherburn  8/92

Here is a picture of ex South Midland SFC566 taken in Arbroath on 24th July 1966, when it was in service with Greyhound.

All pictures above except where stated by Marcus Lapthorn.

Edward Neal wrote sending some interesting pictures of the Classic Coaches fleet which operated in the Chilterns in the 1990s. Edward says "From memory I was doing "Private Hires" and the  Heritage Sunday Services around Bucks, Oxon, Beds and Herts.  Woburn Abbey, Claydon House and Stowe are all featured.   Forest of Dean, Weymouth sea front (Did you see the Royal Blue next to a Royal Blue?) - Pictures of Binders Yard and the other yard (was Motts) between Princes Risborough and Thame - Many wonderful venues and very upmarket Weddings - even took the open topper to Oxford from Watlington once.   I will try and go through the pictures for you and put place names underneath - if I can remember them."

I have taken a selection of the very large number of pictures Edward sent and from time to time will use more.

Peter writes to say "Seeing you latest update tonight reminded me that I had meant to let you know about a publication on the Red Rover Bus Company that I saw in the LTM last weekend. Its not a book I would buy as I don't really follow independents, but I'm sure many of your readers may be interested."

Academic, Education and Business Books - Blackwell Online

Midland Red Ford’s 

Mike Penn writes to note that "I think you may have given the wrong impression that the Ford in my photograph that you published (PHA 371M) ran for City of Oxford.  I think it is one that Midland Red retained for its own use and that YHA393J was the only one that City of Oxford had.  I know that Western National had YHA359/62J for use in Exeter but I can't recall any more that Midland Red prepared for other operators."

My apologies to anyone who was confused by my error.

This week's tailpiece

We are reading a great deal about Polish people and the influx of migrants to the UK in recent years. This photo taken in a London bus shelter perhaps belies the size of the influx compared to many other nationalities.

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 11th February 2008

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date

 News of the local companies – 11th February 2008

Arriva takes over the Tellings Golden Miller Group

As many of you will be aware the TGM Group was acquired by Arriva recently and as such a number of interesting vehicles have joined the Arriva family. Burton's of Haverhill operate a number of National Express services and also have a bus and coach fleet.

A recent acquisition was this ex Stagecoach Oxford Tube, latterly operated in Scotland by SC, M A N 24-220 - Jonckheere Monaco coach.
It has been repainted in full Burton's livery and was recently seen at Stansted on a private school hire.
It was interesting to see that a drinks machine had been fitted, something which the Tube never quite seemed to manage.

Glenn Knight writes to send some pictures and advise of changes to the Green Line 757 service.

Olympian 5381 - now quite elderly - new in 1982 and came from The Rhondda in 1992 - so 26 years young, has just been repainted.

Arriva 3186  P186SRO, one of Garston's fleet of Darts. 2nd February 2008.

Glenn also sent these scans of the latest Green Line 757 timetable. 

Neil Williams wrote following last week's issue saying "In response to your correspondent's question as to why MK Metro has not been "Arriva-ised", I hear (though it may be wrong) that it's because MK Metro's pay structure is rather poorer than Arriva's, and they don't want to have to deal with that issue for now, so it is kept as an arms-length subsidiary rather than being subsumed (and branded) into Arriva the Shires."

Sounds logical.

Following the MK Metro theme Mike Penn writes "Here is a photo of MK Metro HX 51 LSO in the latest livery variant taken yesterday (Friday).  I assume it is for a route branding exercise but it doesn't yet carry any route information and as far as I know it is the only one in this livery.  It carries fleet number 3256 but I think it should be 3526.  As far as fleet numbers are concerned, up to about April last year newcomers (other than those retaining Arriva livery) were given numbers in the MK Metro series while since then new arrivals and existing vehicles which were repainted have been given numbers in the Arriva the Shires series.  This is why, for example, L118 YVK is numbered 40 while L124 YVK is numbered 3334.

There is an excellent article in this month's Buses magazine which explains, amongst other things, why buses are not being repainted into Arriva livery at present, although it doesn't rule this out for the future."

Another bus fire

Chris writes "A bit of news that I picked up from the Bucks Fire Service Log this morning." 

Tuesday 5 February, 7.04am: Bus fire, High Street, Whitchurch. One appliance and crew from Aylesbury (call sign AYL1) attended. Fire-fighters used one hose reel and one set of breathing apparatus. There were no passengers on the bus. More details here

Bus fire in Whitchurch

5 February 2008

A bus caught fire this morning on the A413 in Whitchurch. The driver managed to steer the bus into a lay-by after losing power.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service received the call at 7.04am.  Fire-fighters from Aylesbury attended and found the Arriva bus already well alight. They used hose reels and breathing apparatus to put out the fire.

The fire is believed to have started in the engine compartment.

Fortunately there were no passengers on board.

Roger Spence also wrote "You may already be aware, but there was a bus fire in Whitchurch, just north of Aylesbury, this morning.  There is a small piece in the Bucks Herald.

It's a really small picture, but it looks to me like it was 3103 (L300BUS), the ex-Lucketts, Marshall-bodied Dart." 
(Yes, it was 3103 ex Lucky Bus)

Matt Robinson also writes saying "In case you haven't been made aware, Arriva suffered yet another vehicle fire yesterday, at Whitchurch. This time the bus lost was 9m Marshall bodied Dennis Dart 3103 (L300BUS). An Aylesbury based bus which was new to Luckett's of Watford."
Not much left of this one - photo at

I've also attached a picture of 3103 taken last summer at Luton Rail Station.

Peter Cabin wrote "Well I was surprised today coming out of the doctors when coming up Desborough avenue was MK based Vario 2182 R182.DNM. What is was doing in High Wycombe is a mystery, its yellow paintwork stands out well though -  MOT maybe ?

Arriva operate buses into Bicester from Aylesbury depot. Chris Maxfield sent these two taken in late January.

Matt Robinson sent this picture of 5104 which I think was taken in Leighton Buzzard?

Harlow depot operates the 510 to Stansted Airport and normally uses new Volvo low floors.
Last Saturday however they were using  much older buses, o0ne not low floor. Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Bucks County Council

Edward Neal sent a nice picture of a BCC Plaxton Primo which he drives on a route from Banbury.

A nicely posed shot taken by Mrs Robinson.

First Berkshire 

Repainted Citaro 64017 seen on the 77 last week by Stephen Le Bras.

Geoff Amos


Chris Maxfield took this picture of a GA bus in Banbury last month.

Grayline Bicester

Chris Maxfield took this picture of a Grayline Dart in Bicester last month.


Steve Warwick writes "Hope all is well with you, once again such a interesting news page, just one little bit of info for Heyfordian  Volvo B10M 8252 MX is now back as L743 YGE, MX plate been sold."

Johnson of Henley in Arden

Gavin Francis was on hand to catch a long line of Johnson's coaches coming through Oxford last weekend.

Motts of Aylesbury

As an avid supporter of Wycombe Wanderers, my reporter Gavin Francis was in Accrington a week ago and sent me this picture of a Motts Irizar PB.

Do look at the new corporate web site which is most interesting and which has been updated to incorporate the new logos.

The new livery was launched on Monday 4th March and by Tuesday the 5th SC36 had appeared in service at Stansted. Also in service very shortly thereafter was rebranded NXSC1, one of the first Levantes for National Express and based also at Stansted. This coach has been seen working the 717 service which runs from Cambridge to Gatwick and v.v. This service is more often worked by the now rather elderly DAF-Van Hool coaches.

Above are pictures of SC36, the first tri-axle with the new branding and shorter NXSC1, the first of this type in the revised branding.

Currently the more regular offering on the 717 is the DAF as mentioned above.

Now appearing on the 797 quite often are the Volvos once the mainstay of the A6 services. V32 is in white and having been repainted is awaiting revised branding.

The picture above makes an interesting comparison since not everyone seems to like the revised branding.
What do readers think? It has been suggested that the revision is less striking than the old.

Another part of National Express now is Kings Ferry which is accessed from the main web site linked above.
Here one of their VIP coaches arrives at Stansted last week to pick up a group.

Burton's (Tellings Golden Miller - now Arriva) operate a number of National Express services
including the 787 (Haverhill Depot) which runs from Cambridge to Heathrow.
YN54 ZHM is seen on this service at Luton Airport last week.

Pictures by Malcolm Crowe

News from OBC is limited this week and is mainly covered by the Editorial report above on the City4 launch.

Citaro 835 on the 13 road service from Oxford Rail Stn. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Percy's Travel

Chris Maxfield caught up with this apparently one coach operators who keeps his coach at Yarnton.

R H Services

Dave Rogers writes "seen in Swindon bus station yesterday (2.2.08) and I hadn't seen one of these here before!"

Chris Maxfield visited Kettering and sent some interesting pictures of buses in that town. The Solos have some nice super rear branding.

Still a lot of elderly deckers around though Tridents normally operate the X4.

The standard single deck livery is apparent on number of buses including this rather long in the tooth Mercedes.

A move away from the corporate livery can be seen on these Solos operated in Kettering.

Chris also sent pictures from other closer areas shown below.

All taken in Bicester in late January. The use of Olympian 16523 on a 27 service is now unusual.

All taken in Banbury when Chris was working duties in that town in late January. Vario 42383 is the only one left in the Oxfordshire allocation.

Taken at the Easington terminus.

Chris operated a 500 service and most unusually had Volvo/PS 20822 seen above in Brackley.

Due to engine work on Oxford's usual staff bus Volvo 20220 has been loaned from Leamington.

Andrew Dyer writes saying "Hello Malcolm and is it too late to wish you a happy new year? Unfortunately I didn't make it to the King Alfred day at Winchester, but glad that you had a good day there. 

My purpose in writing is to say that I assume that Volvo B10M L159 LBW is an ex-Oxford Tube coach? 

Until recently we have been using it at Stagecoach South's Chichester depot as a training vehicle. This is to let you know that last weekend (26 January) it was sold to Go West Travel Ltd (trading as Norfolk Green) and I understand that they too intend to use it as a training vehicle. 

The MD of Norfolk Green is a friend of mine and so I was persuaded to drive it the 200 miles from Chichester to Kings Lynn as a free delivery service ..............what else are friends for?!!! I have to say that it performed faultlessly and except for very worn synchromesh on 3rd and 4th gears (not surprising on a training bus I suppose!) was very nice to drive."

I hope someone may be able to send me pictures of this coach in its new home?

Dart-Evolution PL06TFZ
now with Thames Travel pictured a few days ago by Chris Maxfield.

uno bus Hatfield

Surprisingly one does get used to what at first seems a rather garish livery.

Normally the haunt of newer Scania deckers, the 614 runs to Queensbury LT Station from Hatfield.

Woottens Coaches

I enjoyed a short visit to the garage in Lye Green Chesham last week and was taken round the yard by Michael. He tells me that the two Lynxs 63 and 64 are going and also that ex-Brighton & Hove Bristol VRT \ ECW JWV 273W left Woottens for a new home in preservation last week. The vehicle had been in service with Woottens since 2000 as was the last example of its type in the fleet. 

On a more positive note Bristol RELL6L / ECW SWC 24K is still in use here. Further details and photographs can be found at

An  interesting selection of buses and coaches were on hand to photograph and Michael also noted that the Volvo/Plaxton Panthers were going one by one for body modifications. Hence the prescience of an R registered Plaxton on loan.

The use of fleet number is nice and I had not noticed until it was pointed out by Michael that inside the fleet numbers are on a white background whereas outside they are white on blue.

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a bus driver in Oxford but considering the fact that the photographs are taken of the vehicle not any person,
I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
I am sorry to have to mention such a matter but we now live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

I saw this Bova at Stansted and was struck by the livery.

Coming events, models and useful links

New Trident model with an Oxford flavour

Date: 21st December 2007. 

ukbus 1036 Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident

 Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

Creative Master Northcord is proud to release a brand new livery on its well-known casting – the Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident. This is ukbus 1036 carrying standard Stagecoach livery but with special route branding livery.

This model represents Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 (KX55 TLN). This is the second Stagecoach in Oxfordshire ADL ALX400-bodied Trident model that CMNL produced. The previous one is ukbus 1026 with Brookes bus colours. 

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 is one of a fleet of seven Tridents introduced onto route 27 in March 2006 to replace Volvo B10M single deckers. Route 27 operates between Oxford and Bicester up to every 15 minutes at busy times with three main route variants around Bicester – 27A to Glory Farm and Launton, 27B to Glory Farm and Langford and 27C to Ambrosden and Arncott. 

18394 is one of three vehicles which carry supplementary branding for the Bicester Duo ticket which was introduced during 2007. The ticket allows two people to travel from Bicester to Oxford for the price of one.


The replica features excellent detailing, inside and out, including an opening engine door, engine detail and the representation of LED lights at the rear. This is a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the windows and livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. The model has no unnecessary metal poles to hold it together.  

It will be a good opportunity to make a twin Stagecoach in Oxfordshire bus model set with ukbus 1036 and ukbus 1025 representing the common street scene in Oxford.


PSV Circle publishes latest issue of the fleet list for Berkshire and Oxfordshire

Ken MacKenzie writes to note that the new PSV Circle fleet list for Berkshire/Oxfordshire (G432) is now available.

Those readers wishing to buy a copy should write to: PSV Circle, 59 Palmer Avenue, Cheam SM3 8EF - Cost id £7.00 plus 50p P & P and it will also be available at the PSV Circle sales stand at Showbus 2007.

This will be a most useful reference for all those interested in the local scene.

Editors review - I have now had chance to review this book and it is indeed very useful, giving details of all known fleets in Berks and Oxon. Whilst some information is not totally up to date it allows the readers to have a comprehensive view of the local fleets and up dates can be gained by joining the PSV Circle. At £7.00 this represents value for money as it also includes a number of good photographs.


A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.

Model News of an Oxford bus

Guy writes to send a picture of the latest offering on the model front related to Oxford.


A photo disc for your collection

This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site

Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.

The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.

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. 

New DVD by Robin Clare -

Robin sent me a copy of his latest DVD to review. "Today's buses - Oxfordshire" is the compelling title which includes Henley, Wallingford and Didcot before the viewer is taken onto Wantage, Witney, Banbury and finally Bicester. Each of these locations is covered in2 to 5 minutes and each shows the current selection of buses and coaches to be found. Finally over 37 minutes is devoted to Oxford with filming in a variety of locations in the city.

On another subject the road sense and behaviour of cyclists in Oxford has to be seen to be believed!!!!

The quality of the DVD is excellent and one can really see clearly the details of each vehicle, something which older video always seemed unable to do. All the latest developments are shown in this September 2007 DVD, including workings from Broad Street during the St Giles Fair weekend.

The DVD provides a unique record of events in Oxfordshire during this period and at £10 is not a very large outlay.

Robin Clare Transport Video
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA

The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :-

Citaro models

Dave Rogers sent the following 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. 


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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date


These are nine most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire

Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK

John Marsh's pictures with a difference

The Oxford Bus Museum

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Bus services in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Logo/link

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002