Issue 30
(OBP-246)

Sunday 11th May 2003

next update week ending 24th May 2003

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 on
malcolmhc@aol.com

Well a surprise was in store for me on Friday afternoon when travelling along The High in Oxford I espied a police presence at the "gate" where only buses and taxis are supposed to pass by. The police were pulling over motorists and there were quite a few red faces. Maybe we can now expect some action in Speedwell Street and other areas abused by motorists?


The police presence in The High last Friday afternoon.

Another story of bus interest is that of the traders and residents of Princes Risborough who are upset that buses using Duke Street in the centre of the town have caused damage to flower beds. Claims are also made that this is jeopardising the chances of the town winning "The Best Kept Village" competition. It seems that the bus drivers are claiming that there is too little room to get through without some buses clipping the beds. Arriva claim that the siting of flower pots are causing buses to clip them.

A number of changes have taken place today or are imminent from bus companies serving Oxford. Competition is hotting up on the London corridor with Oxford Bus increasing X90 departures on a Saturday to every 12 minutes at many times during the day. This means 10 services an hour between Oxford and London and return giving a seat offer of some 595 seats per hour. This must make this service the most intensive express route in the world. Furthermore it seems likely that easyJet as easyCoach may attack this market with mini coaches at sometime in the future. They have already indicated their intention to start with London-Birmingham offering some seats for as low as 1.

From now departures from Oxford means, with the inclusion of the airport services, of 13 services per hour and to ease some congestion and often confusion to intending passengers, Gatwick X80 services are now retimed to depart on the 15 past each hour during the day and evenings. Certainly the coach users in Oxford must enjoy one of the best services for travel to London, Heathrow and Gatwick. There is further news under the company headings but we will also see the arrival of more M A N s to service the Kidlington area by Stagecoach.

We will await with interest for further developments in this area, where with Oxford local services some routes are now entering a competitive phase approaching that seen on the Wilmslow road in Manchester. I wonder if we may see Magic Bus coming to Oxford.

Thanks to everyone who continues to send me information for this page which adds to the value of the site.

Malcolm Crowe, May 11th 2003.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies - 11th May 2003

Airlinks - National Express

From this issue any reports in this area will be found under The National Express heading further down the page.

Armchair - Brentford


A Volvo/Van Hool of Armchair entering Oxford. Y22APT

Arriva serving The Shires

Wycombe continues to give interest with a further double deck imminent. An ex Watford based Leyland Olympian with Leyland bodywork, H202GRO, is currently being prepared for service and 5132 is expected shortly. It was new in 1990. Nigel Peach reported seeing this bus last week.

Steve Warwick writes

Tues 6th May

Scania 3166 working the 261 Aylesbury-Chinnor service, with ex WBC Dart 3823 working

the 500 Aylesbury-Watford.

Olympian 5088 worked the 10.30,  280 Oxford.


Coach seated Lynx 3068 continues to give service at Wycombe.

Graeme Wilson writes "In Aylesbury, Greenway 3044 working route 16 to Quainton until 12.15pm. This route is rarely operated by a Greenway. Also, 5071 has been at work on 66s, while Dart 3374 was on route 261 but had to be replaced by B10M 3080 as it had a floor problem.

Meanwhile, at Wycombe ex-Watford Dart P178SRO was outside the workshop, out of service. Olympian 5108 was in the workshop, and B6 3242 still seems to be operating 303s."


Carousel of High Wycombe


A Sunday morning line up at the yard with one of the Metrobus showing full blind displays for the 321.
This is a feature of Carousel who make every effort to run a professional operation..


Ex Reading Bus Metrobus 183 only spent one day in service with Carousel and was then converted
for use by a private company with the upper deck partially removed.

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.

A number of changes to services took place today, Sunday 11th May and these may be found on the company web site at http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk

The most significant is the increase in Saturday services on the X90 to every 12 minutes for much of the day.

Volvo/Plaxton Excalibur coaches 21, 22 and 24 now carry X90 route branding following the arrival of the new Scanias for the airport services. Due to traffic delays on Friday nr 24 found itself on an X80 service to Gatwick when the rostered coach was late into Oxford.

Coach nr 8 has returned from warranty work at Plaxton/Transbus still in VCS livery.

Trident 104 will shortly receive fleet livery ex golden Jubilee livery.

The 10 City Circle route has some daytime changes shortly. COMS will operate from Station via Marston Ferry Road to JR Hospital. Stagecoach will operate from City - Cowley - JR every 15 minutes. Full details have yet to be confirmed.


A Gatwick duty with coach 32 gave me the chance to get this shot of 32 with a new Scania, 36
and an arriving Britannia Boeing 757. This picture was taken in the coach park at LGW.


Likely buses for the increased OBC participation in the 10 are these SLF Darts.
406 is seen turning into speedwell Street last Friday..


Coach 6 showing off its new registration R809NUD on an X90 Oxford bound working.
This coach will shortly leave the Oxford fleet.


Another Volvo on the X90 climbing the Stokenchurch hill on the M40 on its way to London.
I think it was 19.


The new and the nearly new, Scania 38 with a most attractive rear panel for v nice shares the fuelling
alley at Cowley Road with newly repainted Trident 929.

I include the Oxford fleet list for those who missed it last week which can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Oxford Bus Company FLEET LIST 29th April 2003

Heyfordian Coaches, Bicester


Heyfordian have a depot at West Wycombe in what was the station yard years ago.
This shot includes an ex Oxford Citylink Tiger, TJI6302 on the left of this picture.

Not in the new livery but adding to the variety of livery on National Express coaches is this recent Plaxton Volvo in VCS.


 


Now that Heathrow depot is running the 757 variety is the spice of life.
Here DAF D23 approaches Oxford near the end of its run from Cambridge.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford

News of the week is of a new service, the 7B which will run from Kidlington (Evans Lane) to Oxford St Giles. This service will require 4 low floor buses and I understand that M A N s are to be transferred from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Christopher Strong writes "I am told that 4 Busways MAN/ALX300 are due to be dispatched to Oxford soon. They will be ex Manchester examples.  2 are under preparation at Busways Walkergate depot in Newcastle at present and these are 22203  T203TND  and 22205  T205TND.  These have already been replaced at Byker by 2 Alexander Dash Darts from Stagecoach Darlington.


M A N 22946 works a 1 service through Oxford last Friday.


Layover time for Oxford Tubes seems now to be taken in a side street near VCS in London..


An M A N branded for the route 1 pauses outside OBC's office in Cowley Road..

PHOTO CORNER
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at 
malcolmhc@aol.com


Photo courtesy Paul Green
Well, I asked the question and several of you wrote to me.
Douglas Scott writes "
In the item about Red Rose in your current News Page, you ask about the
history of Volvo B9R D303PEV. According to my very limited research in the
LOTS London Bus Fleetbook for years 1992-1997, the bus was new to Harris Bus
in 1986, the Chelmsford LVLO registration giving a clue, and stayed with that
fleet until 1997. It does not appear in 1998 book and I haven't had time to
look into what happened to it between Harris and Red Rose.
I hope this is useful. I always enjoy your page and its mix of business and
enthusiast items.

My apologies to Paul for omitting his name from the report last week

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at
malcolmhc@aol.com

EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS

11th to 15th June 2003


Ray Jackson's painting of COMS 703 at Great Tew, Oxon.

An exhibition of paintings is to be held at

Witney & District Museum
Gloucester Court Mews
High Street, Witney
01993 775915

This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

For the national renumbering of The Stagecoach Fleet, I have been speaking to Bill Potter of British Bus Publishing. This company has produced a handbook with the full listing and details.

A special offer has been negotiated with Bill and he is prepared to let my readers have a copy of the new handbook for a reduced price of 15.25 (1 less than the cover price) if you call him on 01952 255669 or visit the web site mentioning:

The Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.

The main site address is http://www.britishbuspublishing.co.uk/index.html  I am sure many of you will want to take advantage of this offer.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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