Issue 3

Sunday 13th October 2002

next update week commencing 21st October 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.

Following my remarks about the new page and the use of the St. Georges flag, I quote one correspondent and would note that I have not had any other negative responses to the flag, only positive. One regular writes "I think we have far to little on "ENGLISH"  We have to accept Welsh, Scottish, Irish but us poor Englishmen feel we should not exist. So my comment is, KEEP THOSE FLAGS". So for the time being the flags will stay and I hope any readers who have a strong feeling will accept the majority verdict.

On a local note down in High Wycombe, there is a road closure in the centre of town resulting in all bus services being diverted away from Church Street by Mark & Spencer. Buses cannot serve high Street at present and are diverted outbound via Queen Victoria Road.

Church Street, High Wycombe - 13/10/02

High Street, High Wycombe - 13/10/02

Queen Victoria Road, High Wycombe 13/10/02 with Arriva Volvo B6 on a route heading towards the Rail Station.

Last week I reported on the The Amersham & District 14th Annual Running Day and one of the photos aroused suspicion of my caption on the location. Vic Gackowski wrote "Are U sure RT KYY957 is at Gerrards Cross ? Those masts in front and glimpsed behind look very much like 25kv Overheads . Also Gerrards Cross Station Approach is is much different."  In further reponse the person who took the photo writes "Just a note to correct the caption to the Green Line RT picture   -   it was at Berkhampsted ** Station, not Gerrards Cross     Also I am one of the plural Matthews, as opposed to the singular Radio 2 DJ  !"

A delicious Green Line RT at Berkhampsted. Photo by Brian Matthews.

Sorry Brian, apologies on both counts.

Neil Gow writes "Somehow managed to miss you at Amersham.  We travelled on an RF and RLH32 on the Rickmansworth run, and fitted a short run up to Chesham and back in between (RLH48 up, RF back).  Unfortunately due to late arrival didn't have time to do anything else on Wycombe and Beaconsfield runs. "

Recent developments have seen one of the main operators in Oxford make a fare increase to recover costs of higher insurance and a wage agreement. Other operators have not so far increased their fares and one "wag" put a notice in one of the other company's buses as seen below. When one remembers the very professional notice in Carousel's buses in High Wycombe shown on this page a few weeks ago, this notice in a bus in Oxford rather lets the side down. One wonders what the travelling public must have thought.

I look forward to your continued support and contribution and welcome your comments.

Malcolm Crowe, October 13th 2002.

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The operator news from our area follows.................

News of the local companies - 13th October 2002

Arriva serving The Shires

Neil Gow wrote "Bristol VR 5049 was on the M40 east of Wycombe today around 1600, claiming to be going to Markyate.  Not sure if out on a school run or possibly returning to Luton? "

Arriva's Dart 5822 takes the town by-pass on its way to Bourne End, today Sunday.

Arriva's Mercedes-Vario 2248 of Aylesbury Depot. This bus was at Hitchin and was new to Arriva Yorkshire.

Still going strong - Arriva's 3048, a National Greenway still in old colours on the 262.

A surprise at Heathrow Central Bus Station was this Volvo B6, 3252, like the Wycombe based batch,
working the 724 and old Green Line service.

Reports this week come from Ed Maun who says "Arriva workings. - I am aware that services 323/324 workings have been transferred to Aylesbury depot; however, from observations on the vehicles used I believe that Wycombe depot still operates the Sunday journeys – can this be confirmed, and does it also apply to the evening weekday journeys. " and Nigel Peach who writes "Great page this week - lovely pictures. I must have been the other side of that Aldershot & District Reliance when you took the picture! I travelled on that journey & it performed very well. 

Observations this week:

Tues 8th  Branded Volvo 3260 (V260 HBH) was working the 345. I've not seen any of that batch on route before. It had the now obligatory piece of paper with the route number on. I do think there has been an improvement with the destination displays recently. Apart from those with electronic displays, all of which seem to be up the spout, most buses now seem to show number and destination.

Thurs 10th:

Branded Merc Mini 2196 (R196 DNM) was working the 303.
Lynx 3068 has been involved in an accident. Its front is all smashed in.
Didn't see the VR at all - maybe it's gone.
(I wonder if the report from Neil Gow was indeed the VR on its way home?)
3826, 3844, 5829, 3115 all still out of service, in the same places as they've been for some time. Ex Playbus Olympian 5108 also seems to be parked up every time I wander through the bus station.

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.

Locals to Oxford will have doubtless seen Trident 106 in its new livery.
For specific reasons I am holding publication of the pictures of the full livery until next Thursday.
These will be sent to my mailing list and next weekend's page will carry the full livery details.
Everyone who has seen the new livery with the vinyls applied seems to like it very much.
Please send me your comments.

The red liveried Tridents have moved from the X3 to 15 road. 103 is seen here in Speedwell St.
awaiting its new foray to Wood Farm.

At present two Olympians are on 35 road, returning to this route on a regular basis after an absence of
over two years. Not in the spring of their lives they can still give a spirited performance on the run to Didcot.
Here 222 heads up St Aldates at the end of its run in from Abingdon.

Work has started on fitting the 8xx batch of buses with electronic blinds. 802 shows off the display
for 15 road to Wood Farm as it loads at the St Aldates stop.

803 shows the setting for 16 road from Minchery Farm at it heads towards Castle Street, its terminus.
These blinds are frankly a dramatic improvement on those fitted from new.

Karl sent this fine shot of what might have been 657 if London General had taken delivery of the full batch
of Volvo B10B/NCME Paladins. As it was one escaped to Ireland and is seen here in Bus Eireann livery.
note the single door conversion. Oh dear!

Paul sent this delightful shot of Oxford's 224 working for Metrobus near Horsham.

Talking of Metrobus here is ex Oxford 520 now with Metrobus at Crawley and seen here at Gatwick north Terminal.

Coach 27, with its new livery and vinyls still eludes me but I again hope to catch it during the coming week with my camera.

Some changes to allocations are taking place and I think it worthwhile recording the current situation


Type Remarks
2 group 601-615, 629-643, 644-656 if needed Darts do sometimes appear
X3 616-619, 657, 658 657 and 658 replace the two Tridents previously allocated
4 group 629-643, 644-656  
5 801-821  
5A-5B 5xx series Darts  
6 group 401-410  
13 group 401-410 low floor Volvos can be used in the evenings.
15 group 101-103, 801-821  
16 group 801-821  
18 no specific type but not deckers  
22 644-656 in the evenings it should be 657, 658, 802 or 803
35 221, 222, 610-615, 620, 628  
Due to operational reasons types can change and it is possible to see almost anything on any route from time to time. Reports of unusual working are always of interest.
Park & Ride services are operated by Tridents 104-120










Jeffs , Helmdon

Jeffs have this 1983 Leyland Olympian from Burnley & Pendle arriving in 2001.
It started out its life as Ribble 2137 in Lancashire. I must say it looks very smart as it crosses Magdalen Bridge.

Stagecoach in South Midlands & in Oxford

Neil Gow wrote "shame you got no news for Stagecoach Oxford last week.  I can report that the Brookes University contract is running again to a similar timetable with peak time extras as last academic year, and the 0915 untimetabled 10A extra from Crescent Hall to Gipsy Lane is also running again (had an ECW bodied Olympian on Friday).  It would be good to check the Saturday times on the Wheatley route.  Last term there were two buses out on a number of occasions (one on 77, one on 77A) but the public timetable at the office (September 2001 version) still showed only an hourly 77 service becoming a 77A in the evening."

Keith Wood writes "Not much happening at the moment. Rugby B10M's 221/223/224/225 have received Upper/Lower case Destination displays and this has spread to Nuneaton with 226 and a 15X Dart receiving the same treatment. Nuneaton Merc 347 in New Livery has received a Mega Rear Advert."

Ex London Volvo olympian, now converted to single door works a 77 service near Headington.

Looking very smart, this ex London Dart with Alexander Sprint bodywork, 730 is one the allocation
at Witney and is leaving Gloucester Green for Carterton the X1 last week.

One of the few Volvo B6s now left at Oxford, 839 started life as a demonstrator and came to
Oxford from Manchester. It had a serious front end accident and during rebuild gained an electronic display.
From a distance it is difficult to tell it apart from an M A N .

Volvo B10M, 910 leaves Gloucester Green on a working to Chipping Norton via Woodstock.
The building with the tower in the background was the enquiry office in days gone by before the
new bus and coach station was completed.

An M A N advertises Volvo!!!! Indeed 946, for this is the bus, was on the stand at the 2001 show.


Swanbrook, Cheltenham

Ex C.O.M.S Leyland Tiger B120UUD is still giving service to Swanbrook, having gained the latest
livery. It is seen here leaving Gloucester Green last Saturday on its way to Gloucester.

Tappins of Didcot

Tappins 175 (N175LHU) rounds the corner at Carfax last Thursday.

Thames Travel

Loaned Olympian (Oxford's 223) heads "homeward" on the late afternoon X39 which it normally operates.

An earlier X39 last Thursday, saw Solo X383VVY unloading off an 18 service prior to working
a late morning X39 to Wallingford and its home base.

Last week Jon Hunt asked " I was hoping you might be able to help me with some simple information I am trying to gather. I need vehicle types for each service. If you are able to provide me with any information on these I would be extremely grateful.

Two of you responded as follows.

"Thames Travel vehicle allocation policy seems quite simple. If the bus works, stick it on any duty. To be fair, the 103 is normally Solo. The early 107 with a 5 hour lay over and then X39 at 1640 is normally not one of the low floors. At present this is normally worked by Olympian decker 223. I have seen twice that a long SLF Dart has been on the 107 daytime services."

And from my second correspondent 

"Just a quick note about Thames Travel vehicle types.

In general I agree with your observations. However I understand that the normal (or as often as possible) vehicle type for the 103 is the Optare Solo. This is because the route encounters road cushions (like road humps but narrower to allow buses, ambulances fire engines etc. to straddle them) and the Solo has the widest space between the wheels in the fleet and so is best placed to straddle the cushions and so give driver and passengers a more comfortable ride."

18   Solo
19 (+taxibus)
101  Solo , short or long SLF Dart.
103 (+taxibus)  short Dart or Solo
107  Any one of the fleet
109  Solo
130  Solo
132  Solo
134  Solo or Dart
139  Solo or Dart
X39  Anything in the fleet.


Brian Matthews wrote regarding the ticket pictured above. He says"A bus tour around the city today no doubt costs at least a fiver   -   the ticket, issued in conjunction with a rail travel ticket shows that some 60 or more years ago it would have cost you the equivalent of 10p in today's money ! (The ticket was issued by the Southern Railway, at Worcester Park Station, Surrey  -   probably in the period 1935-1947).

Ed Maun writes "I have been away for a week and have just caught up with the new site and latest news page (issue 1) – all looks good.

Further thoughts on services 280/260, one time COMS 82/81

Andrew Dyer’s reference to Thame depot brought back memories. I can still picture it in my mind in Bell Lane – it has long since been demolished and replaced by an office block.   I believe Motts Coaches used it after COMS vacated it – can any one confirm this?   The PSV Circle history of COMS states that in November 1968 the 82 (Aylesbury to Oxford via Haddenham)  was operated by Oxford and Thame depots whereas the 81 (Aylesbury to Thame via Chearsley) was operated by Aylesbury and Thame depots"

Other operators.

Stephen le Bras writes "Just in case you are not aware, Thames Bus began running Sunday route 442 (Windsor- Staines- Heathrow Airport) wef 29th September 2002. They are using former Reading Titan 68 in a bright livery of mainly blue (the current Stagecoach shade) and proper blinds. They are based at Chobham."



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

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

Remembering my correspondent from Hong Kong who likes National Express here is a regular visitor
to Oxford, X20NAT one of two Bovas used by Bruce's of Salsburgh on the 539 Bournemouth-Edinburgh service.

I must mention the excellent new National Express Handbook from British Bus Publishing which now includes Eurolines.

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

This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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