Issue 82
(OBP 298)

Sunday 13th June 2004
next update week ending 26th June 2004

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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Well I expect many of you will be watching England play France in The European Cup tonight and I am working hard to finish this page in time to join you.

This week has been an interesting one with an Eminox Dart working on OBC's 5 road and the appearance of the first of the new Oxford Tubes. I also visited Stuttgart and Munich in my work in Germany and secured a few interesting photos. One of these should have a warning about being over 18 to view as you will see below.

The driver of this new model Neoplan told me he gets a lot of people taking pictures.
I think we can all guess why. Seen here in Frankfurt last Thursday.

During a car journey from Stuttgart to Munich we kept company with this Wallace Arnold Sunsudegai for a short while and I was able to get this rather nice picture - from the passenger seat I hasten to add.

My final contribution from Stuttgart is of another X3 in another country far from England. Quite a livery too, this one would make the residents of Abingdon sit up and look!!!!

M F H Jones wrote an interesting e-mail regarding services in High Wycombe. He says "I note in your issue 60 (6.June.2004) that Thames Valley service 26 and LCBS326 were described as a joint service. Was this actually the case or did the two services simply share a large common section of route?

My feeling is that for services to be joint they must satisfy most of the following criteria:-

    a) cover exactly the same route including start and end points.
    b) have some sort of revenue sharing agreement.
    c) use the same service number (optional).
    d) they would then be covered in common timetables and be described as joint by the companies themselves.

According to my 1972 Alder Valley High Wycombe area timetable the 326 is described as being INCLUDED rather than as joint. (Perhaps implying a summary timetable?).

The services seem to be:-

    TV 26  -- Oxford Street(Hearn's Corner) - Wycombe Marsh (Post Office)
    TV 26A -- Mill End Road(Dashwood Ave) - Bowerdean Road(Hill View Road)
    LB 326 -- Mill End Road(Dashwood Avenue) - Micklefield Estate(Woodside Road) but also
    LB 326 -- Queen Victoria Road - Bowerdean Road (Hill View Road)
    Additionally some journeys on all services start at Sands(Roundwood Road).

My 1954 Thames Valley timetable does not state joint or included but still shows the 326 (London Transport Executive). (Interestingly some of the 326 journeys seem to terminate at the Thames Valley garage; perhaps that tells us something or perhaps a coincidence).

    TV 26   -- Mill End Road(Dashwood Avenue) - Wycombe Marsh(Post Office)
    TV 26A  -- Mill End Road(Dashwood Avenue) - New Bowerdean Road
    LT 326  -- Mill End Road(Dashwood Avenue) - Micklefield Estate(Herbert Road)
    LT 326A -- Mill End Road(Dashwood Avenue) - New Bowerdean Road
    Additionally a few journeys on all of these service start at Sands(Sherwoods Corner)

It now looks as though the only difference is at the Wycombe Marsh end of the route where the 326 turns roughly North.

However, the 1954 timetable shows several services described as joint with other operators:

    TV 5 OX 34  -- Reading - Oxford (Joint service by Thames Valley and City of Oxford Company's Buses)
    TV 50 OX 40 -- Reading to Abingdon (Joint service by Thames Valley and City of Oxford Companies)
    TV 12       -- Reading - Aldershot (Joint service by Thames Valley and Aldershot and District Traction Company)
    TV 75       -- Reading - Guildford (Joint service by Thames Valley and Aldershot and District Traction Companies' Buses)
    ND 112      -- Newbury - Oxford (Joint service by Newbury & District and City of Oxford Motor Services)
    ND 122      -- Newbury - Basingstoke (Operated jointly with Wilts and Dorset Motor Services Ltd.)

  1) The phraseology in brackets is taken from the timetable header.
  2) It seems that the only operator not wanting to use a common service number for a joint service is City of Oxford!
  3) Newbury & District was a subsidiary of Thames Valley at this time and so counts as Thames Valley.

It looks therefore as though Thames Valley has deliberately not described the 26/326 as a joint service. Does anyone know the answer? "

I will be interested to publish any responses to Mr Jones's comments.

Peter Cartwright then writes "Just a few comments re: new low floor Volvo single deckers for High Wycombe -  these are indeed for High Wycombe Town Service Blue Route 32 which is to replace Route 326 later this year.

LPTB numbered the High Wycombe Town Service 326 on 3 October 1934 which then ran Wycombe Marsh (King George V) - Bowerdean - Town Centre - Mill End Road and the leg from New Bowerdean was numbered 326a. These routes were formerly Amersham & District Route 11. So the 326 number will be 70 years old this year and in the mid 30s hourly journeys were diverted away from Wycombe Marsh (King George V) to terminate at Micklefield (Herbert Road) instead. 

Blue Route 32 will ultimately serve the new development currently under construction at Wycombe Marsh and the demise of route 326 later this year will be marked. 

Before then, however, three other routes will disappear - the 310,363 and 365 to be replaced by route 31 green route??  from about 19 July this year when further revisions take place. I would advise photographers to get clicking before it's too late. 

I have given all the necessary details re route 326 to Arriva the Shires & Essex and have suggested that one vehicle should be painted in Lincoln Green to commemorate the 35 years plus that London Transport Country Buses worked the route. (Nice one, I do hope they consider this Ed.)

Amersham & District Motorbus Society will be celebrating the 70th anniversary on their Running Day - Sunday 3 October 2004. The 3 October 1934 was when LPTB renumbered all routes in the Amersham/High Wycombe areas in the 300 series plus Route 441 - the 455 & 455a following later on 1 December 1934. 

I shall be pleased to hear from anyone who can run a vintage bus on the Running Day - ex LT/LCBS vehicles if possible - and a fuel allowance depending on the time in service will be paid. The schedules are virtually complete and there is a pvr of 22 excluding duplicates and unscheduled extras. Timetables will be on general sale from late July/August.

The rally site will be, as usual, the surface car park adjoining the multi-storey car park at Amersham. Sales stands can be accommodated on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park so are protected from the elements.

I hope to have further details in the near future but will be pleased to hear from anyone.

Peter Cartwright's contact is 

Next Niz from the Oxfordshire Playbus wrote to say "As part of our celebrations we're holding a treasure hunt on Sunday 12th September in Oxfordshire.  Entrants follow the clues by car and at the end there will be refreshments, prizes and the bus!  Entry is £25 per care based on 2 people (£6 per additional person, children free though we need numbers for catering).  Booking forms available from the office:

Oxfordshire Playbus
c/o Thames Business Advice Centre
Osney Mead
Oxford   OX2 0DR
01865 256809

e-mail is:

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. However due to afore mentioned time constraints these will be held over until next week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.

Malcolm Crowe, 13th June 2004

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News of the local companies – 13th June 2004

Peter Cartwright adds to the notes in the editorial above saying "Further to my e-mail earlier this week Route 31 will NOT now start on 19 July 2004.Routes 310,363. & 365 will continue to operate for the time being. 

However there will still be other changes effective 18/19 July including a change of operator on service 74(Suns),323(Suns),372(evenings & Sundays).An enhanced service looks likely on service 372 on Sundays with a new timetable for all.Other service developments are also to take place and there is to be a press announcement shortly to summarise changes. 

Route 326 is still expected to change circa 3 October 2004 - the date of the Amersham Running Day. 

Arriva have also announced yet another fares increase effective 13 June - today!!

An Aylesbury based Olmpian 5156 waiting time at Oxford Rail Stn, terminus of the 280 from Aylesbury

Paul from Cannock who has been keeping us posted on developments regarding the refurbishment of the 280 route Olympians says "...last Friday I had to visit our Thurmaston office. Whilst there, I could see an Aylesbury Olympian in the Pickerings workshop, rubbed down ready for repaint. No seats inside. There were no exterior markings so I couldn't id it. Seems to be taking an age to get these things done !  No more have visited Cannock yet !

Finally on the Arriva front Trevor Wilson writes "Arriva Alexander bodied Olympian G231VWL seen on 305 Beaconsfield <> Uxbridge at 18.20 Friday 11 June 2004 in Chalfont St Peter.  This is usually a single deck route and very rarely sees double deckers."

I also noticed G230VWL on the 280 in Oxford last Friday.



Clean air break through for Oxford?

Dart 414 (YU02TTZ) loads in Queen Street last Monday, 7th June.

Other pictures of 414 in service on 5 road last Monday

The photos above have been supplied by Chris Maxfield 

Earlier last week a pioneering system that could cut Nox gas emissions (Nitrogen oxide) in Oxford City Centre was piloted by the Oxford Bus Company. If the trial is a success it could answer many of the immediate concerns about the air quality in central Oxford. Last week (7th and 8th June) a Dennis Dart SLF fitted with a catalytic filter that removes Nox gases was trialled on 5 road linking Blackbird Leys and Oxford Railway station. The bus is equipped with monitoring equipment to check its performance in real time. Early results are extremely encouraging.

The Oxford Bus Company has been at the forefront in preventing pollution over the last few years. It has already drastically reduced particulate emissions, most of it’s 160 strong fleet of buses and coaches are already fitted with “scrubbers” which trap the particulates and the programme to fit all the fleet will be completed in the next few weeks.

The Oxford Bus Company’s Managing Director, Philip Kirk, said. “ It is early days yet but the first signs suggest the filter could dramatically reduce Nox emissions and make a big contribution to clean-air in the city centre. Once the experimental programme has been completed the data will be evaluated.”

The special bus is fitted with an SCR, a selective catalytic reducer, which injects a catalyst, urea, into the exhaust gasses. Initial findings suggest it could cut Nox emissions by between 50 and 75%.

This was published in a special News Page last Thursday but I have included it again for those who are not on my mid week mail list.

First of the three reseated and toilet converted Volvo B10Ms 69-71 to receive full livery vinyls on the rear
is nr 71 which is seen here in Cowley Road garage earlier this weekend.
They look very smart indeed.

Several Tridents have received tree protection bars to their near side front domes.
Above are 110 and 103 and there is at least one other red trident so fitted.
All are to be done in  due course. 110 has also received Park & ride lettering on the front dash panel.
This was missing for a few days following an accident damage repair.

Trident 102 was working 2 road last Saturday and thus appeared on the 2A Risinghurst service.
This route does not see deckers on a regular basis.

The changes to route 13 have necessitated the use of Dart SLF s on these workings
as buses rotate through Marston village. Large buses cannot traverse the roads in the village
and thus unusually a Volvo  B10BLE, 802, was working 6 road last Friday.
802 is seen outside the Randolph Hotel picking up.

Freidsweide Square seen from the top deck of 103 shows how busy this square
can become during the busy parts of the day, especially on Saturday.

My friend Bus Monkey apologises for missing last week's deadline and sends this report.

Tue 1st
642 on 5

Wed 2nd
655 on 5
Red Rose MetroRider V108 LVH on 275

Fri 4th
RMA65 at Station (as others have noted)
647 on 5

Mon 7th - very strange day
604 on 5B
811 on 5A
835 on 5 (X3 branded)
414 on 5 (very Thames Travel looking)

Wed 9th
638, 641, 643 on 5
107 on 4A
813 on 5A

Guide Friday - Tappins

Not re registered so far and surely one of the oldest Fleetlines still in regular service
ex Nottingham OTO549M enjoys a new lease of life with its recent repaint .


Keith Wood writes "Ex Oxford 20417 was in Coventry today working the X17. It still has Stagecoach Oxford fleet names."

My friend Bus Monkey apologises for missing last week's deadline and sends this report.

Tue 1st
20006 on 1

Wed 2nd
20008 on 1

Mon 7th

33822 on X4

Wed 9th
22932 on 10

A re registered Tub (nr 40 - T614DWL) passes an X4 Dart 34467 in St Aldates.

Olympian 16522 is out stationed at Chippy and has had its centre door removed.

Still in the old corporate colours this Olympian (16679) was working the X6 last Saturday.
I must say that it looked very smart indeed. The lack of coach seats for such a long
route seems however poor for the passengers.


New of the week has to be the appearance of a Neoplan on driver training between Oxford and London. So far vinyls have not been applied and the identity of the vehicle pictured is not certain. It did have a 4 somewhere and could be 50104 but this is not confirmed.

The destination screens were cleverly used with messages saying The New Oxford Tube,
coming soon and every 10 minutes.

The upper deck interior shows the colour scheme on this 81 seater dual entrance door coach.
A wheel chair is also carried, loaded by the centre door and there is a toilet on the offside and
the stairs are on the nearside behind the centre entrance door.

Tuesday should be an interesting day as I am led to understand that two of the new coaches will be trialled in Gloucester Green and photos of this momentous event would be appreciated.

The U2 now starts from this stop near Tesco's and runs to Morrell Hall during the daytime.
22057 is the bus working this duty last Friday.

I saw another Megabus on the M40 service yesterday, Saturday. It was I think H522??? or similar but did not appear to be pulling a trailer. Does anyone have anymore information?

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