Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
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.
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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 and political correctness which must be considered.
This week's page has been held over for two reasons. One, is that I was working on Saturday and Sunday - good enough reason !!! - and two, that Oxfordshire County Council promised me a press release on the latest round of tendering for services which were rumoured to have quite a few changes of interest.
I have just received the press releases from OCC and these make the lead feature on the page today. Further down the page you will find more details on the specific services including who is to operate each route.
PRESS RELEASE from Oxfordshire County Council
All change for some South Oxfordshire bus routes
Changes will be made to some bus services in and around Wheatley, Thame and Watlington from 3 June 2007.
The alterations follow an extensive Oxfordshire County Council review of those bus routes that it supports financially. The council’s decision making Cabinet recently decided on the award of new four-year contracts for a number of bus routes in South Oxfordshire.
These were the subject of a consultation exercise in the latter part of 2006 and were considered following the re-tendering of these routes undertaken earlier this year.
Oxford, Chalgrove, Watlington, Wheatley, The Miltons
It has been possible to maintain or improve a number of inter-urban routes such as X39 (Oxford - Chalgrove- Watlington) (to be re-numbered back to 101) - including later, evening journeys on Fridays and Saturdays and routes 103/104 (Oxford - Wheatley - The Miltons) - where the current need to change buses to reach the furthermost villages has been dropped; buses will in future, run all the way through.
The Thame area
In the Thame area, the current shuttle to/from Chinnor is replaced by a new through route "LINE 40" (Thame - Chinnor - Aston Rowant - Stokenchurch - High Wycombe), contracted jointly with Buckinghamshire County Council.
LINE 40 will operate every hour Mondays to Saturdays and partly replaces route 275 (Oxford - High Wycombe) which is withdrawn. Intermediate villages on the present 275 route (Postcombe, Tetsworth and Milton Common) will get a replacement connection to/from Thame on five days per week by an enhanced service on route 124 (Watlington - Thame), which currently only operates on Tuesday and Saturday.
Services to the South Otmoor villages will also be re-organised, with the current service 14 (Brill - Horton-cum-Studley - Oxford) and 108 (Oxford - Forest Hill) merged into one operation. Some villages will reduce from a six day per week shopping service at present to a three day per week facility in the future".
Councillor David Robertson, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport Policy said: "A number of very difficult decisions had to be made as to the direction of the available funding. An effort was made to retain those services that were more extensively used at the expense of some of the lesser used routes.
"A number of parishes will therefore see a reduction in service or in one or two instances lose their services completely. In such cases community transport alternatives may have to be investigated as an option.
"I am pleased to announce that most of the services will receive brand new low-floor accessible buses as a result of these awards."
The revised services will be introduced on 3 June 2007 and passengers are advised to check nearer the date to see if their services will change.
Oxfordshire County Council - rated a four-star 'Excellent' council by the Audit Commission
Wheatley, Thame and Watlington area review
Summary of service changes to be introduced from 3 June 2007
Service 14 (Thame – Horton-cum-Studley – Beckley - Oxford)
This service is renumbered 118 and the journeys are incorporated within the 108 timetable (see below).
Curtailed to operate one return ‘shopping’ journey between Oxford and Brill only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Elsfield will be served by service 108 with one return shopping journey (as now) but on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays only.
Operated by Motts Coaches with new low floor single deck bus replacing Heyfordian Travel.
New “line 40” (Thame – Chinnor – High Wycombe)
See Routes 231/232 below.
Service 101 (Oxford – Chalgrove – Watlington) - (Currently X39)
The current hourly daytime service continues, but service is renumbered back from X39 to the former 101 route number shown previously.
Re-awarded to Thames Travel.
Additional Late night journeys added on Fri/Sat evenings on a commercial basis by the operator at 20.10, 22.10 and 00.10 from Watlington and 21.15, 01.15 from Oxford (also see route 102 below).
Service 102 (Oxford – Horspath – Chalgrove – Watlington)
Continues on Friday/Saturday evenings as now and at same times (19.15 from Watlington, 23.15 from Oxford). Retained by Thames Travel. Note that with the extra 101 evening journeys above, this gives a regular two-hourly service each way Watlington – Oxford on Friday / Saturday nights. However only the one 102 journey in each direction serves Horspath.
Service 103, TB103 and 104 (Oxford – Wheatley – The Miltons)
Services103 and 104 are revised and extended through to The Miltons, The Haseleys, Cuddesdon and Garsington replacing the TB 103/104 taxibus. Buses will work through to these villages without the need to change buses in Wheatley.
Revised network will be:-
103 Oxford – Horspath – Wheatley – Greet Milton – The Haseleys – Little Milton.
The link between Little Milton and Stadhampton is withdrawn.
104 Oxford – Horspath – Wheatley – Great Milton – Cuddesdon – Garsington.
The peak hour journeys from Cuddesdon and Denton to via Garsington to/from Oxford are revised.
Broadly same level of service as now (hourly Oxford – Great Milton, then two hourly to either Little Milton or Cuddesdon). New contract awarded to Heyfordian Travel (currently Thames Travel).
Service 108 (Oxford – Forest Hill – Wheatley)
The 108 timetable is completely revised with a new route pattern and will include journeys operating on the former 14 service to/from Hornton-cum-Studley (re-numbered 118). Buses generally operate outwards via the A40 returning anti-clockwise through the villages of Forest Hill and Stanton St John back to Oxford. Headington Quarry (Weyland Road) is still served by off-peak journeys with no change to the current routing. Service 108 will however no longer serve Wheatley, Holton village or Waterperry although one shopping journey each way from Stanton St John and Forest Hill will be provided to/from Wheatley on new route 103A, Monday to Saturday mornings. New contract awarded to Motts Travel with low floor single deck buses (currently White’s Coaches).
The east end of Holton village and Waterperry will continue to be served by Arriva the Shires route 261 (Mon-Sat) whilst a very regular service (up to 6 buses per hour each way), seven days per week is provided from the west end of Holton to Wheatley by routes 280, and U1.
Service 111 (Chalgrove – Milton’s – Haseleys – Moreton – Thame)
This Tuesday only market day service continues but is retimed 20mins later from Chalgrove (at 10.50) and 30 mins later from Thame (at 13.50). Re-awarded to Red Rose Travel.
Service 118 (Oxford – Horton-cum-Studley – Brill)
See service 108 above.
Service 122 (Watlington – Stoke Talmage – Postcombe – Thame
This variation of the Watlington - Thame Tuesday only shopping service is withdrawn. Pyrton Village and Stoke Talmage will be unserved.
There will however still be a bus at 13.05 (the 122 currently departs at 12.45) from Watlington to Thame but via the 124 route and this will run every day Monday to Friday (see below)
Service 124 (Thame – Watlington – Henley on Thames).
Service 124 will now operate every day Monday to Friday (but not Saturday) between Watlington and Thame with four journeys in each direction (but only two each way on Tuesdays when the bus also works route 111). One journey each way will operate via South Weston – as now - (every day) whilst the remainder will serve Lewknor Interchange, Aston Rowant (Lambert Arms), Postcombe, Tetsworth and Milton Common (Three Pigeons), replacing route 275 over this section. Re-awarded to Red Rose Travel.
Between Watlington and Henley the current 124 services on Thursday and Saturday will be withdrawn completely. Christmas Common becomes unserved but The Swyncombe Lifeline community bus service will be expanded to also operate in the parishes of Stonor and the Assendons.
Services 231/232 (Thame – Chinnor – Princes Risborough)
NEW Line 40 Thame – Chinnor – Stokenchurch - High Wycombe
Services 231/232 are withdrawn and replaced by new regular hourly “Line 40” service between High Wycombe and Thame via Stokenchurch, Aston Rowant, Kingston Blount, Chinnor and Towersey. (Mondays to Saturdays)
The present off-peak link from Chinnor to/from Princes Risborough will be severed but the peak hour rail-link service 320 operated by Carousel Buses on behalf of Chiltern Railways will continue unchanged. The loop via Kingston Stert and Sydenham Village will also become unserved (although there will still be an hourly service to/from the “Inn at Emmington” stop). Buses will be hourly throughout the day meaning a reduction on the present peak frequency (Mon-Fri) between Chinnor and Thame and buses will no longer serve Estover Way, Chinnor (except on route 320). Towersey, Kingston Blount and Aston Rowant have a significantly improved service.
To cover for the 232 journeys in Thame that operate via Cotmore Gardens and Towersey Drive a local service within Thame will be provided by two round trip journeys on service 124. “Line 40” will continue to operate via Queens Road and Kings Road as the present 231/2.
Contract awarded jointly with Buckinghamshire County Council to Arriva the Shires with new low floor single deck buses.
Service 275 (Oxford – Postcombe – Stokenchurch – High Wycombe)
This service is completely withdrawn.
There are regular services (daily) from Oxford to Wheatley and the Waterstock Turn by Arriva the Shires route 280.
See service 124 (above) for alternative services Mondays to Fridays from Postcombe, Milton Common and Tetsworth to/from Thame for connections with Arriva routes 280 and “line 40”
Aston Rowant will have an hourly service to Chinnor, Thame, Stokenchurch and High Wycombe (Mon-Sat) by new route “Line 40”
The Oxford Tube stops at Lewknor Interchange and provides a 24hr service every day of the year (including Christmas Day) to/from Oxford
National Express route 737 runs about every two hours (daily) direct from Oxford to High Wycombe (thence on to Luton and Stansted Airports).
There will also be an hourly connection from Oxford to High Wycombe via Thame by Arriva routes 280 and the new “line 40” – through fares will be available.
Service M1 (Watlington – Nettlebed – Reading)
Re-awarded to Motts Travel, but reduced to one journey in each direction (Mon-Sat), still serving Kidmore End. Southbound journey runs on the existing timetable with return from Reading at 12.45 from St Mary’s Butts. Still projected commercially to start and terminate at Stokenchurch via Lewknor Interchange.
Service TB1 (Lewknor Taxibus) (Watlington – Lewknor – Chinnor)
Is withdrawn but replaced between Aston Rowant (A40/B4009 junction) and Chinnor by new hourly “Line 40” service (Mon-Sat) (see under 231/232 above)
Additional journeys between Watlington and Lewknor Interchange are provided (Off – peaks) by route M1 (Mon-Sat) and the enhanced 124 service (Mon-Fri) – see above. A possible Community Bus service replacement is also being investigated in respect of the peak hour facility.
TB103 (Wheatley – Stadhampton), 104 (Wheatley – Garsington)
These taxibus services are withdrawn. Journeys on service 103 and 104 between Oxford and Wheatley will now operate through to The Miltons, The Haseleys, Cuddesdon and Garsington without the need to change.
X32 (Thame – High Wycombe)
This Saturday shopping bus is withdrawn, and replaced by a regular hourly service Mon-Sats Thame – Chinnor – High Wycombe on new “Line 40”
X39 (Watlington – Oxford section)
Re-awarded to Thames Travel on similar timetable but reverts to former 101 route number (see above). Certain X39 journeys will still be extended from Oxford City to/from Unipart House, Cowley.
CHANGES ELSEWHERE IN OXFORDSHIRE
Kidlington Lynx and Cherwell Villager bus services
The scheduled bus services around Kidlington and Banbury provided by this community transport operator are all discontinued and converted into wholly Dial-a-Ride operations. This will be effective from 1 July 2007. Neil Timberlake will write to those Parishes affected to give more details regarding this change.
B10/B11 (Banbury – Hanwell Fields Estate)
(Grayline – Local Lynx)
Revised timetable with last journey at 18.15 from Banbury withdrawn Mon-Sat. It is hoped to serve the full length of Winter Gardens Way, Hanwell Fields from 3 June 2007 subject to completion of building works. Existing contract with current operator extended to June 2009.
Service X15 (Witney – Abingdon – Berinsfield – Wallingford)
Withdrawn. Replacement bus services being currently investigated between Witney and Standlake and Wallingford to Abingdon (Fairacres).
Further details to be announced.
Service X39 (Oxford – Wallingford)
Service X40 (Wallingford – Reading)
Thames Travel has advised that they will be making timetable changes (including enhancements) to these services on all days of the week from 4 June 2007. Service X40 is increased from hourly to half-hourly during most of the daytime period Mon-Sat; these additional journeys do not however divert into Woodcote village (which retains the hourly frequency).
This includes a new two-hourly Sunday 139 service (Wallingford – Henley) replacing service X39 over this section on this day and new 2-hourly 132 (Wallingford – RAF Benson) replacing route X40 on Sundays. The Sunday changes will be effective from 10 June 2007.
List correct as at 10 April 2007
Well, a great deal to absorb and a lot of opportunity in the coming weeks to put a picture or pictures on the changes. Quite a challenge.
More on the problem of drivers who do not like having their picture taken
From various comments heard or received this is still a contentious issue. Kevin Smith writes below with his views on this matter.
I was somewhat surprised to read your comments about blanking out drivers faces.
I don't understand why you would entertain such a request. If the photo has been taken on the public highway there is no problem and no offence. The driver has no or more less rights than anyone else.
If I ever received a similar request from a driver about any photos on my own site I would just politely ignore them (a good ploy because they could not be sure whether or not you have either received or read their ridiculous request).
Or perhaps you could ask this prat how many times he/she has been recorded on CCTV during the course of the day. Does he/she contact all the camera owners with a similar request. I suspect not. The only reason some drivers have "issues" is probably because they have something to hide - moonlighting or claiming benefits maybe.
If a driver oversteps the mark they should be reported to their employers as they are bringing disrepute upon their employer and they would hopefully take the appropriate action. I suspect that if you said that you would refer any such requests to their employer they would probably back off anyway.
If you do indeed follow through with your decision it will unfortunately devalue an otherwise excellent site. If you do give in and do this, I hope you would first of all ask the photographer if they are prepared to have their photo altered in this way.
Time to ring the changes at Gloucester Green - new coaches for the operators
It is noticeable that with new deliveries taking to the roads in recent weeks that the face of Gloucester Green Coach Station in Oxford has changed. The two pictures below record the changing times.
The first picture shows a new Volvo Airline coach with two much older Volvos 68 and 26
But the second picture is more interesting showing as it does the ringing of the changes on three route, the 737, X70 and X90.
Operating the National Express 737 service
Readers will be aware that Stagecoach in Oxfordshire took over the operation of the 737 from National Express's own operating unit. This change took place on Monday 5th March 2007 and from then onwards five brand new Scania K340/Caetano Levantes have provided the service requirements for the route. Normally four coaches are required to maintain the service with the fifth coach acting as an engineering spare. This does help when a coach coming into Oxford is late arriving, then the spare could be used.
There are some interesting facets to operating this service which has eight round trips per day plus a single one-way journey from High Wycombe to Oxford. A dedicated team of drivers has been selected by Stagecoach and the team generally provides the required crewing of each departure. Additionally some further drivers have been trained and fill in as required to ensure continuity and reliability of the service. A few drivers fulfil a dual role in being capable to operate both the 737 and Oxford Tube services and as such have both uniforms to ensure the correct image is presented to the passengers.
One of busiest departures of the day is the 01:00 from Oxford to Stansted due into Stansted at 04:10. This provides travellers with an early arrival in Stansted for the first flight departures of the day. The routing takes each service via High Wycombe, Hemel Hempstead, Luton Airport and The University of Hertfordshire at Hatfield. Thus there can be quite an amount of intermediate traffic and care must be taken to ensure there are seats available for joining passengers en route.
The 07:00 (Sats and Suns only) departure from Oxford waits time at Luton for an on time 09:00 departure last Sunday, 8th April.
The coach involved is Scania 59212 - FJ56 OBZ.
National Express have a dedicated team of control staff at Birmingham who monitor the progress of each journey and are on hand to resolve local problems which may arise. There is also a 24hr team at Stansted which is an extremely busy terminal for National Express services. To assist passengers at /Stansted there are "Care Bears" on duty who are normally drivers seconded to this duty to help arriving and departing passengers. Altogether the National Express operation is like a well oiled machine with back up plans in place to cover nearly every eventuality.
The new bus station at Stansted Airport is very near to completion, indeed some local services are already using the new station.
Presently National Express arriving services sometimes use the new stands.
In respect to the operation of the 737, the routing can vary quite considerably according to the time of day and prevailing traffic conditions. Every coach is equipped with a hands free telephone and drivers can thus be alerted to upcoming problems. Whilst it is a golden rule at Stagecoach that the use of mobile phones by drivers is not allowed when on the move, one way messages to the coach can be passed to help progress of the journey. The driver is then able to make further contact where required at each stop en route.
Roadworks on the M1 near Luton cause major delays on a quite regular basis and the A1M , M25, M11 and M40 can also cause their own problems. For example Holmeswood Tunnel between the A1M and M11 is currently being refurbished and this can bring long tailbacks at certain times, making the use of the alternative routing via the A414 - Hertford - A10 and A120 advisable.
The overall journey time on the service is normally three hours and ten minutes which requires continuous effort on the part of the crews to ensure an on time arrival. Sometimes, as with a closure of the M40 last week, the journey times can extend to around four hours and diversions via Chinnor and Thame or maybe Watlington and Stadhampton.
As to the coaches involved there are five Scania K340/Caetano Levantes at Oxford 59211-59215 which are part of a batch of 15 operated by Stagecoach on various National Express routes. They feature 49 leather seats and toilets with a NEx Magic Floor lift for wheelchair passengers. When such passengers are carried capacity is reduced by two to 47 but nominally National Express sell the coach as a 46 seater. The Scania is a very nice coach to drive with a lot of power. These coaches feature digital tachographs which were new to drivers at Oxford and required some getting used to. They are good when you do get used to them and one feature is that they warn you when you are getting close to the 4.5 hours maximum single driving time. The coaches also feature mechanically raised luggage lockers which additionally feature a warning voice when they are rising or lowering.
Working on the National Express service is a challenge and a good knowledge of alternative routes is required. One often does not have too much time to start studying the map as a decision maybe required at a moments notice. It is possible to drive the route for a whole week and never quite go the same way twice.
Finally one interesting journey, as mentioned above, is the one-way from High Wycombe to Oxford. This runs at 07:15 on weekdays and 07:45 at weekends and serves a small commuter group whilst also offering a connecting service for National Express departures from Oxford to various destinations. Indeed there is quite a lot of traffic between High Wycombe and Oxford as many people use the service to visit family and friends at each point.
It will be interesting to see how the service develops as it does seem very popular. There are quite large ethnic populations in towns en route and many of these people use the 737 to get to flights which take them back home for holidays and family occasions.
A clue to future developments was on hand to be caught on camera last week when I had to go to the National Express depot at Start Hill, Stansted. The Scania facility is opposite and a surprise was parked in their yard as seen below.
This unregistered long version of the Scania/Levante was parked up. It lacked full seating and any
visible NEx marking and was probably there for training/evaluation purposes.
Six wheel coaches are seen daily at Stansted as Terravision use 6 wheel Scanias on their London services,
additionally other operators also bring such coaches as seen in the picture above of a Richmond's Van Hool coach last week.
Gavin Francis visits Lincolnshire and caught Stagecoach on camera
Gavin writes "Had a nice couple of days in Lincolnshire. Grimsby and Cleethorpes area was just standard SC Tridents and Darts but Skegness was a lot more interesting and I have attached some pictures."
As Gavin's pictures show, Stagecoach has yet to make a visual impact in Skegness.
If you look at the info bar at the bottom of your screen you will see the caption for each picture.
Thornhill Park & Ride - the new facilities take shape - pictures by Gavin Francis
Gavin Francis visited Thornhill yesterday, Wednesday, taking a number of pictures of the new facilities which are rising from the old.
When completed Thornhill should be the very model of a good Park & Ride.
On the matter of Park & Ride facilities in Oxford, Redbridge seems still to open and I am told there are problems with the building but this is not confirmed.
3rd Slough Running Day - Sunday 13 May 2007
Please note that the programmes for the above Running Day are now available at £5 each by post from:
54 Guinions Road
Tel: 01494 437750
Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motorbus Society
or IN PERSON from next week from
Slough Bus Station Enquiry Office
Tourist Information Office
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.
Another good week for news although the picture stakes have been a little less than usual.
Malcolm Crowe - Thursday 12th April 2007
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 12th April 2007
Gavin Francis has been busy with his camera in High Wycombe and Hemel Hempstead and I also took a picture or two.
Interesting pictures from Gavin Francis.
3806 at Hemel, 3181 at Wycombe - note the offside advert, 3136 which is a recent arrival at Wycombe and 3823 once a Wycombe bus but now based at Aylesbury.
3502 at Hemel, 5421 at Hemel and 5145 at Beaconsfield. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
News above records a new route for Arriva, Line 40 from Wycombe to Thame. I am also told that Bucks County Council are using the 000s for inter urban routes, hence the 300 from Aylesbury to High Wycombe. More local services will get "line" branding.
Gavin Francis was busy with his camera in High Wycombe this week and sent two shot of the fleet at work.
The use of Line route numbers is prominent in these pictures as is the use of Crosstown on the blind of DAF988.
Glenn Knight is becoming a regular with his pictures of buses in his area which include those from Centrebus.
Dennis Dart Y451 TBF on 10s in Limbury Mead to Marsh Farm. Glenn says this vehicle has been off the road for a little while due to a accident.
Centrebus W922 JNF 522 Dennis Dart in the new livery with re-fit.
Photos Copyright © Glenn Knight 2007
Motts of Aylesbury
This company has gained a number of routes in the Oxfordshire County Council re-tendering process. See details above.
Oxford Bus now confirm that all three Volvo coaches are in use by GWM. These can be seen on National Express routes. The picture below was taken by Derek Dawson of R257DWL on a National Express service.
Picture by Derek Dawson on the 777 on the M1 on Good Friday.
The coaches with GWM are recorded as:
R257 DWL Volvo B10M 48676
Plaxton Excalibur 9812VUS7797 C45Ft
ex10 R259 DWL Volvo B10M 48677 Plaxton Excalibur 9812VUS7798 C45Ft
ex12 R258 DWL Volvo B10M 48679 Plaxton Excalibur 9812VUS7800 C45Ft
This week sees a great6 deal of information released by the company. I am grateful to Managing Director, Philip Kirk, for his communications.
Details of the new coaches are given below and it is of especial note that due to a mix up with the DVLA the new coaches have be reregistered **07OCS but that it is hoped that the OXF registrations will be restored shortly.
AB, BB, CB, DB, EB, FB, GB, HB, JB, KB07 OXS
Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther C48Ft (46 when carrying a wheelchair)
81 AB07 OXS Volvo B12B
YV3R8L2287A118396 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7046
82 BB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118398 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7048
83 CB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118397 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7047
84 DB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118381 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7049
85 EB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118485 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7050
86 FB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118486 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7051
87 GB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118668 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7052
88 HB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118670 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7053
89 JB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118831 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7054
90 KB07 OXS Volvo B12B YV3R8L2287A118832 - Plaxton Panther 0712.3TMR7055
Note: These vehicles have been issued with the incorrect documentation and they are required to run with “OXS” rather than “OXF” registrations until this is corrected.
Vehicles reliveried and renumbered (4/07):
51-56 to 29-34 and to oxford espress livery
8, 11, 14-17, 69-71 (4/04) thus these coaches regain their original fleet numbers as delivered.
8, 11, 69, 70: Wilts & Dorset, Poole
9, 12: Go West Midlands, Birmingham (ex store at GWM)
17: OBC training vehicle 961
619: written off
971: Woottens Coaches, Chesham, 2/07 (corrected disposal)
Note: 17 has become a training vehicle in advance of new legislation on PCV driving tests.
No disposals yet given for coaches 14-16
A number of pictures were taken over the past week and yesterday Gavin Francis went to Thornhill to record some of the new coaches with OXS plates.
The driver is Guy Powell, the gentleman in the wheelchair is Prof. Peter Cooke mentioned in the press release below.
Photo Copyright © Phil Ashworth/Oxford Bus Company 2007.
Britain’s greenest coaches go into service. Wheelchair travel to Heathrow for the first time.
Wednesday 4th April 2007 at 11a.m..
Britain’s greenest coaches are being launched on the Oxford Bus Company’s flagship service to Heathrow. And, for the first time, wheelchair users will be able to travel with ease to the airport.
The fleet of ten Volvo/Plaxton coaches, costing over a million and a half pounds, are the first in the country to enter service fitted with environmentally friendly EuroV engines. Three months ago the company became the first to introduce buses fitted with EuroV engines.
The Oxford Bus Company’s Director and General Manager, Louisa Weeks said, “We’re proud to be the first operator in the country to be using EuroV buses and coaches, at a time when others are still thinking about EuroIV. Cutting through the technical talk, it means the vehicles are as green as they can possibly be and have the best emissions profile in the country. They are particularly good at cutting Nox emissions, an important consideration in Oxford.”
The new coaches will be officially launched into service by Prof. Peter Cooke, who lives in Abingdon. He is a professor in Automotive Industries Management and a wheelchair user.
Louisa added, “Peter describes himself as a gentle activist on behalf of people with disability and we are delighted he has agreed to perform the ceremony and give his critical appraisal of the new coaches. Using our online service wheelchair users will be able to book their place on the scheduled services for journeys to and from Heathrow airport. The coaches are fitted with a special “Magic Floor” lift to raise users from the kerb level to the coach. The Airline service is extremely popular with people from all walks of life, from holidaymakers to captains of industry and leading politicians. Now the service is accessible to all.”
The new Panthers are nominally 48 seaters with a "magic floor" lift for wheel chairs which when carried reduce the seating to 46.
The door width is much greater to accommodate the wheelchair lift.
The coaches above all carried OXS registrations when caught in the lens of Gavin Francis on 11th April.
A new slogan is introduced with the fleet, "the journey begins" and this also appears on the destination screen.
Three of the ten brand new rear vinyls, produced by Best Impressions and not shown or poorly shown last week are included above.
Another interesting developments is the retention of the six Jonckheere Volvo B12Bs which it had been thought might leave the fleet. These are being transferred to the X90 fleet and the first one completed and returned to service nr 31 is pictured below.
Nr 31 on its first and second days in service on the X90.
Whilst the Volvos are away being painted and having power points added a varied selection of coaches can be seen on the X90.
Picture by Gavin Francis 10th April 2007.
I am told that the R*OXF registrations on the Darts at GWM will be returned to Oxford shortly.
Volvo B10B 631 has now reappeared in the new livery scheme. It joins 629 and 641 in the same livery. I think therefore that 640 was the last bus to receive the old livery.
Anthony Poulton writes "Thought you may be interested in these pics of former Oxford B10B's that have changed their appearance slightly with Solent Blue Line; formerly Solent Shuttle branded K122 BUD now has a rather hideous allover advert for Cadnam Garden Centre, whilst K126 BUD now has a Hanover destination display fitted; apparently one of three fitted thus far but no-one seems to know which other ones have been done!! Certainly haven't seen any of them myself!! All ten are to be fitted soon as the electric winders in them are prone to either failure or destroying the blinds, or in some cases both!!"
Dave Rogers writes "I was driving past the old Motts yard on the Aylesbury-Thame road today, and noticed two 07 reg Enviro200 Darts. They were in plain white. there were some Red Rover buses there so I assume that they now occupy the site."
Yes Dave, Red Rose now occupy that site. I look forward to pictures and details from readers of these new buses.
Less than usual but some interesting pictures and reports.
Looking just like a brand new bus, 22053 is just back from repaint. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Volvo/Alexander PS 20542 is presently under going overhaul prior to a repaint at Banbury.
Richard Sharman writes
Richard adds "Whilst it was here I thought it would be a tad nostalgic to set the blinds to X38, the route that saw this batch in Oxford daily back in the mid 90's."
Alexander notes :
Do you know why the driver of the 7C said we couldn't go round to Queen's St even though it says so in timetable?
Most unusually MAN on 14/A
Most unusually 10 branded bus on 12
Do you know why it says 17 on A bus stop it doesn't serve?
The 7B has had it's display amended and 7C now shows Barton and the 7A has A different display for Kidlington to the 1 it had years ago.
Now with Green Bus this was once a regular with Stagecoach in Oxford.
An Oxford Tube climbs out of the setting sun over the Oxfordshire plain on its way to London.
It will reach 800ft above sea level at the top of the hill at Stokenchurch on its way to the Capital
Derek Dawson caught this ex Tube nr 46 on the motorway on its way to London on the M1 on Good Friday.
Derek comments that he wishes he had a £ for every mile this coach has done.
Peter Edgar writes"Kinch Coaches of Minety, Wiltshire have acquired ex. Tube T39 BBW."
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Seen in Binders Yard last week in the lens of Gavin Francis is this ex Merseyside Olympian.
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
Gavin Francis took this picture in Stokenchurch a few years ago when there was a Wycombe running day.
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 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 :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
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.
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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 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.
Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
The latest handbooks are now
on sale, the ever
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