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 215
Monday 12th February 2007
next update week ending 24th February 2007

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a driver of a bus 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 which must be considered.

Sorry I am one day later than normal but I was working on Saturday and could not complete the page yesterday.

This week we have some interesting items both modern and historical. The newspapers for Oxford are full of the news on the introduction of camera control in Oxford City Centre which comes into force from February 19th. Drivers will incur a fine of £60 for breaching the rules and official comment is that it will become self policing once a few people have been fined.

Cameras will finally enforce city car ban

You can read more about this matter at the following link :

Buses could be taken off a road in Oxford which is crumbling

One of the city's busiest bus routes could find the way barred in Blackbirds Leys. This is because Field Avenue, served by Stagecoach nr 1 and Oxford Bus nr 5 routes amounting to around twelve buses per hour and the road has reached such a state of disrepair that all buses could be diverted from using Field Avenue to prevent further damage.

More information can be found at the following link :

Stratford Blue under Stagecoach

News continues to reach me about Stratford Blue. Richard Sharman who works at Stratford upon Avon depot writes "The SB Website is now updated and revised to reflect Stagecoach ownership and includes pictures of the current fleet plus route and other details."

Richard Sharman's picture of 402 shows that the Stratford Blue names have now been removed by 11th February.

Not unexpectedly Stagecoach have moved some SC liveried buses in to replace the old fleet.
Here an Olympian which started life in Cambridge is seen last weekend from the reserve fleet.

John Podgorski sends us details of disposals from the SB fleet.

Atlantean CWG 744V: Ensign, Purfleet (storage).

Fleetline UKV 470R: Ensign, Purfleet (storage).

Dart K134 XND: Pennine Motor Services, Skipton (via Ensign dealership).

Dart ANZ 8797: Ensign, Purfleet (for cannibalisation and eventual scrapping).

Dart ANZ 8798: Ensign, Purfleet 10/06, for use on ex Town & Country services. To Ensign sales stock 1/07; resold to Renown, Bexhill.

Dart ANZ 8799: Ensign, Purfleet 10/06, for use on ex Town & Country services. To Ensign sales stock 1/07.

Snow hits the area

The first heavy falls of snow in the Chilterns and surrounding counties was recorded last week on Thursday morning just as dawn was breaking. The forecast was for prolonged heavy snow falls and the north of Oxfordshire in the Banbury area was very hard hit. Bus services in Banbury and to and from Chipping Norton were suspended for much of the day and I was delighted to receive a number of pictures from readers recording the snow in Oxford.

Ian Pinnell wrote "I haven't sent you any photographs in a while, however, I've gone digital! I've attached a few snaps of busses in the snow, and I hope it's ok, I've sent one which isn't related to busses.... 

Anyhow, one of the photographs is of Stagecoach Bus 22925 in 7 branding heading up Headington Hill on it's way towards Barton, loadings for both companies were packed throughout the morning due to the snow causing delays.


Another Photograph is of Brookes Bus 18056 at the bottom of Headington Hill on it's way to Marston. A few school kids who were in South Park tried to throw snowballs at the bus, but they failed.


There's also a photograph attached of the bus stop signs in Headington towards Barton, with snow covering the top 2 signs (The bottom two were covered, they fell off just as I took it)... it just goes to show how 'Real time' bus information screens are useful!!"


The odd one out is of a biker speeding down Headington Hill while it was snowing.

Huw Stockwell sent some nice pictures of operations at Thornhill Park & Ride which emphasise the difficult conditions.


Amersham & District Running days 2007 - dates for your diary 

Amersham & District Running Days for 2007 are as follows: 

Sun 13 May 2007 - 3rd Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station 

Sun 24 June 2007 - 2nd Hemel Hempstead Running Day based on Hemel Hempstead Bus Station                        

Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.

There has been a great deal of information and photographs to include this week and I do wish to sincerely thank all my contributors.

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 12th February 2007

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

News of the local companies – 12th February 2007

Neil Gow writes regarding a picture of an Olympian taken in Cannock and used a few weeks ago. He says "Here it is… The partner picture to go with the Cannock picture earlier this year.  This is what is now Arriva The Shires 5172 (ex Arriva Midlands North 4569), in service at Wendover on 29th December last year."

Picture by Neil Gow.

Gavin Francis writes "Took a couple of pics in Wycombe today (6th February). A 31 branded Scania on the 32 and 3482 on the 100."


Mark writes to ask "....can u find out what has happen to Arriva the Shires buses 3509 - KE51 PTX & also 3278 T492 KGB as they both not been seen on the road for a while. They were both based at Watford. I wonder if they left Watford 4 a anther depot?"

Barry Woods writes "You asked and used one of my photos the other week, of the ex Arriva Merc with Shaftesbury and District.  I thought that I would let you have another in case you fancied putting it on your site, suitably attributed."

A Merc which I think was former with the Shires at Aylesbury but is still with Faresaver, Chippenham and was seen outside their depot.
Photo by Barry Woods

Chris Maxfield visited Reading on the 6th February and took the pictures below which represented a proportion of what was operating the High Wycombe services on that day.


The first Scania/Caetano Levante for the 737 would appear to be build nr 57 registered FJ56 OBY (Scania 57). The first coach should be already with Stagecoach in Oxford as you read these notes.

The Levante nr 57 being demonstrated to visiting Stagecoach staff last week.

As a point to note, Caetano appear to be putting a small transfer on the front nearside with the build nr i.e. Scania 57. in one case the operator is leaving this marking on its coaches and I saw Scania 39 in VCS last Saturday.

Indeed Stephen Le Bras writes "On the subject of Scania/Levantes for the 737, I have noted that the coaches with S/C Yorkshire Traction have "Scania nn" on the nearside of the windscreen. Now that I have found out where the fleet numbers are located, I can say that 59205 is Scania 39 and 59206 is Scania 51. I believe that there are only 51 Scanias on order, so 59206 is the last built. Presumably the Oxford ones will follow on from the Yorkshire ones in the 592xx series." (I would note that there was a Scania 40 with S-YT so wonder what its fleet number is? Ed)

Gavin Francis came upon an interesting visitor to Oxpens on 4th February. It was a coach which was once a regular performer on the X90. It appears that it now used by one Patrick J. Thomson. Can anyone shed any light on the current owners etc?

Red Rose - Aylesbury

Checking on a daily basis over the past week it seems that the Solo is no longer used on the 275.

Stagecoach Bus Depot website

Route 10 gets new branding

Seven Darts have received new branding for the route 10 and there are seven different rear advertising slogans. Pictures of some of the buses can be seen below.



Further revised branding is now appearing on the 27 routes Tridents as seen in the picture from Richard Sharman below.

Nice lady !!!!

A question about the new Solos and a web link of interest

Glen writes "I've just been looking through your Oxford & Chilterns webpage looking for info about the new Solos at Witney and enjoyed the content you had on there.  I produce the Stagecoach Bus Depot website ( and in an attempt to update the "deliveries" section of the UK Bus part of the website I'm trying to find out which order these Solos came from.  The 2006-07 order for 95 has been fulfilled and the 2007 order for 75 should not yet have commenced delivery (due for May 07) - Do you know whether these Solos were a separate order or if the 2007 order has started delivery early?  Also are these Solos owned by Stagecoach or the County Council etc?"


Mike Penn writes re change in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. He says "I now have details of the new services being introduced on February 19th to replace those axed by Stagecoach United Counties in South Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.  They are as follows:


79    Luton - Barton - Meppershall  (approximately every two hours Monday to Saturday).

171  Hitchin - Henlow Camp - Biggleswade  (hourly Monday to Saturday).

X31  Some journeys on existing route extended from Dunstable to Toddington.

Grant Palmer

X42  Toddington - Flitwick - Ampthill - Bedford  (approximately hourly Monday to Saturday).  Also one early morning journey starts at Dunstable and two late afternoon journeys are extended to Dunstable from Toddington.  This service connects with the Centrebus X31 at Toddington with through ticketing available.

200  Flitwick - Ampthill - Maulden - Shefford - Biggleswade  (6 per day Monday to Saturday with intervals varying between 2 and 3 hours).

There are other changes in East Bedfordshire for which I don't have details but these are outside your area."


Now, who is going to be first with a picture of a Dart with the new branding in service?

Vikki Lee poses a question about livery seen above on 33653 saying
"Now then
 - I want points here for pointing this out and a bonus for being the 1st to spot or mention this to date
 (correct me if I'm wrong). We have here, photographic evidence of a Stagecoach livery change (alright, 'tweak').
Can you spot that to which I refer?"
Answers on a postcard please ED !!!!

Another picture from Vikki Lee, this time of 20822 on the route 1 at Carfax last week.

United Counties 

Dave  Harrison writes "Hope you are feeling better.  I have noticed in the last 2 weeks or so a bright orange coach that Stagecoach in Northants are using on the X6.  I saw it this morning at Oxford station (9 Feb) and earlier in the week in George Street.  It is brand new and looks like it might have some form of wheelchair access at the front, and electronic destination blinds.  Reg no KX56 JZK.

Just struck me as strange that Stagecoach have a brand new bright orange vehicle... Wonder if any of your correspondents have any info on its origins and whether it is going to be a permanent fixture?"

The coach mentioned above. Picture by Gavin Francis.

The X5 continues with older Volvos as seen here at the same time as the picture above.

The Darts above started life in Oxford and now reside in Gloucestershire.
Thanks to Barry Woods for the pictures.

Another bus which started its UK career in Oxford, ex Hong Kong Megabus 13601 now transferred
to Exeter for the X38 route but it will be repainted in SC colours before entering service.
Pictures by Brian George and Dave Godley.


Chris Maxfield went to Reading on 6th February and took a number of Thames Travel buses including some not seen on these pages before.


Vikki Lee sent in this picture of Thames Travel's newest bus seen on the X39 last week. It is a M A N/MCV Evolution, one of two recently delivered.


Weavaway have several operating names one of which is seen on the Bova above. Picture by Chris Maxfield.


Jonathan Boswell writes "Worths of Enstone have sold P455 KFC Berkhof Volvo B10M to Stewarts Coaches of Leamington Spa."

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



Ex COMS Bristol VRs in the West Country

Three ex COMS Bristol VR's which ended their days with Western National deep in the South West. Pictures by Terry Stapley taken in 1988


A correction to an item last week on Wycombe Bus

Ben Carter writes "...just thought I'd write to inform that the picture of the Wycombe Olympian in the historical section this week, is actually shown on a 332 route not a 322 as David suggests. the 332 ran between high Wycombe and Thame the variation between this and the 331 was that it went via Princes Risborough and not Bledlow Ridge, although since Arriva takeover in Wycombe both of these previously hourly services have been merged, cut and reduced into about 2 journeys a day each way!"

London Country question answered

Mick Payne writes "I was browsing your most excellent archives and came across the question from Ed Maun. Don't know if Ed got a definitive reply from anyone but I have in my possession London Country Aylesbury and Amersham local road and rail timetables for 20 February and & August 1971. Thames Valley route 80 appears in February 1971 but in August 1971 has been replaced by a weekdays only Aylesbury - Princes Risborough service operated by United Counties (route 365). Interestingly the 365 operated 6 return journeys rather than the 3 provided by route 80 over this section but my recollection is that the 365 didn't last that long. Anyway the question was did route 80 survive until Alder Valley and the answer to that is no."

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

Coming events, models and useful links

New casting from Britbus

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.

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. 

DVD s by Robin Clare

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

Latest Citaro models revealed

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. 


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

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

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

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

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