Issue 50

Monday 13th October 2003

next update week ending 25th October 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.

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Oxford hit the headlines last week with coverage in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph on a special coach service connected to The Freshers event at the University when newcomers to the city were to have their event in two locations. In order that new students would not lose their way it was intended to run a coach from one location to the other, a walking distance of 500 metres. The coach to be used was one of the Megabus Olympians which would also provide a choir during the short journey. Whilst the idea was undoubtedly a great one for those who might not wish to take a short walk, it was also a great idea for Megabus to introduce the new students to a cheap way of getting to London.

In the end due to rules on the use of Queen St by buses, which must be on a registered local service, Megabus were obliged to withdraw the service. The route was to be up High St to Carfax, then down St Aldates, through to Castle Street and back by way of Queen Street. Ah well, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men.

Friday was a difficult day for bus services in the east side of Oxford. There was a very nasty accident involving a motor cyclist at about noon in Cowley Road and the road was closed just beyond the bus garage. All buses of both companies went from the Plain to Cowley Centre via Iffley Road. The buses stuck in the road closure were later guided through by the police. Reduced frequencies had to be imposed therefore for a period and both companies operated short services from City to Bus Garage, with other buses to Blackbird Leys Estate.

Then at about 1500, a house caught fire at St Clements and 2 fire engines were called, and had difficulty getting down the High Street due to traffic congestion. So more problems to try to overcome. The City Controllers of both companies certainly earn their money on some days. Indeed services from the east were so delayed that Oxford Bus ran a shuttle service with Volvo B10BLE 818 between Castle Street and the Station to maintain service.

New bus route opposed (courtesy The Oxford Mail.)

A petition signed by more than 100 people objecting to Osler Road in Headington becoming a bus route has been handed to traffic officials.

The petition was handed to the the Headington and Marston Area Transport Strategy (Hamats) at a meeting last week.

The scheme is part of Hamats -- a five year plan to tackle parking and congestion problems -- but residents fear narrow Osler Road will not be able to take buses due to parked cars. They also fear large vehicles will ruin the character of the street, which is part of the Old Headington conservation area.

In August, Oxford City Council Headington ward councillors Stephen Tall and David Rundle launched a Keep Osler Road Special campaign to stop the bus route going ahead. Hospital managers have applied for planning permission for the route and its fate will be decided by the city council this month. Planning officers said they were aware of residents' opposition to the route, which was part of plans to improve bus routes to and from the hospital. They said it was part of the conditions of outline planning permission for the 20m Children's Hospital and relocation of services from the Radcliffe Infirmary to the John Radcliffe. Mr Tall said: "We've handed in a petition with 100 names on to Hamats but we are expecting to collect 500 or 600 signatures."

David Edwards, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Trust technical services manager, said: "It is not an ideal road for buses because it is narrow, but the county council is confident that buses can be operated along it."

A break at St Giles gave me the opportunity to look over ths Optare Alero demonstrator.
It was working for a Gloucester based coach company though the driver was not very impressed by the gearbox.
He did say that the 16 passengers were quite enthusiastic from a customer viewpoint.

Water Eaton new Park & Ride has now been fully opened.
Here we see Oxford's 825 in front of the new passenger facilities.

Amersham 2003, provided more photographs and I include one below which was not to hand when I published last week's page.

Colin Cooke sent this lovely picture of an RF highlighting the use of a side light as a flasher.

On a historic note Barry Coward sent me a note of his web site containing some interesting pictures on of which is produced below as an appetite wetter to explore further.

Barry says "You may be interested in the archive of bus photos we are currently putting up on the web. I lived in  Lacey Green in the late 50s and for much of the 60s  and although I did not start taking photos until 1966

I often visited my old stamping grounds around Wycombe, Aylesbury, Oxford and Amersham/Chesham through to the mid seventies. visits became infrequent thereafter.

The main page for bus pictures is

What a delightful gathering of Bristols feature in this November 1969 of Frogmoor Bus Station, High Wycombe

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. My thanks to everyone who sent information some of which will be used next week.

Malcolm Crowe, October 13th 2003.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies 13th October 2003

Arriva's Dart 3815 pauses in West Wycombe Road, on its way to High Wycombe, despite what the blind say.

Correspondents advise the following with Nigel Peach writing "Thanks for the continued good work, particularly the bit about the Amersham day which I wasn't able to attend as we were in Cornwall last weekend.

Friday 10th
Olympian 5130 F747 XCS is still parked "up the side" near the exit of the bus station, still showing 74 Castlefield on its blinds. Unlike the other recent imports, this is Alexander bodied. Behind it is ex Arriva London L166, now 5853 D166FYM. This is an ECW bodied example. No doubt these two are shortly to enter service in Wycombe.

Steve Warwick writes "The unidentified Olympian in H/W spotted by Michael Chadwick last week is D166FYM ex Arriva London South. It has been converted from dual entrance to front entrance and has been numbered 5853.  It is, apparently in need of a weeks work before can go on the road.

Not much happening at Aylesbury worthy of note, the two Dennis Lance's from Luton (3376 & 3377) are still in the workshops awaiting parts, they have spent more time off the road than on."

Finally a only briefly seen by myself on Sunday Volvo B10B was seen, seemingly freshly repainted and bearing 328/329 route branding. Are there anymore of these fine buses so adorned?


The first Citaro is expected in about 10 days time. These buses will feature Hannover displays, a first for Carousel.




Last day for 223 on 35 road with a picture by Steve Annells taken at Saxton Way, Abingdon..

Crossing the main railway to the west, 223 heads towards Abingdon and Oxford..
Picture by Steve Annells.

Delivery of the new Citaros is imminent and these will make a fine sight on the A34 as they speed Abingdon bound. Whilst the deliveries are awaited and following the withdrawal of the Olympians there have been a number of unusual workings. This has included 5xx Darts on X3.

Recent changes to workings have seen a Trident rostered daily on 4 road, a low floor Dart on 16 road plus Darts on 2 road.

Dart 512 is seen here on 2A at Oxford Rail Station. Normally this route would be the preserve
of 64x/65x series Volvos.

Now that the X13 goes through to the JR, it is normal to have 6xx series Volvos on this route.

This Park & Trident is the only one with Dennis style wheel trims in Oxford.
It is followed by reinstated Volvo coach nr 3 both seen here in Worcester Street.

This general shot of St Aldates shows the new bus livery on Volvo 606 as it heads up towards Carfax.

The setting of destination blinds can seemingly change the appearance of a bus.
Here 634 has an unusual setting on a 2 road working.

Another more general shot of St Giles catches trainer Lynx T1 turning off St Giles.

My final Oxford shot this week catches a reflected Citaro 827 on the 500 at Water Eaton.


Oxford Tubes have one working on the X31 each morning and here 50042 unloads in Castle Street
on its arrival in Oxford.  Photo by Rob Williams.

Another one of those Stagecoach NW Volvo PS buses from Lancaster works a 7A service
last Friday near The Randolph Hotel.

On a dark evening in Magdalen Street East SC Banbury 42624, an unusual Mercedes minibus waits time on an X59 working.

32611 and 32058 have both been taken out of revenue service with their ticket machine plates removed, but still at BRS.  32609 and 32610 were on Routes 1 and 3 respectively on Monday 32612 was in the City centre but out of service

The Harwell outstation operates 7 buses on Routes 31 and 32 all day. Apparently X-Ray (Bicester) buses cover for refuelling Echo buses at Horspath in the
midday period.

Six Transbus Pointer Darts are expected towards the end of the year.

16615 which was expected to go back to Leamington yesterday, will now stay until Tuesday

As to the fate of the current Brookes Bus vehicles:

16030-1 will go to disposal

16616 will go back home to Leamington

16439 will transfer to Leamington, along with as many exLondon R-reg examples as are left available

31330/3 to Nuneaton in exchange for two more B10Ms.

20417/23 will probably go (though you never know).

At Leamington

16027-9/32-4 go to disposal, replaced by Oxford Volvos and the previously delicensed ECWs

20423 was on 1 to Blackbird Leys by 18.00 tonight  7/10/03

Rob Williams writes that on Wednesday 8th: East London Coaches 52023 visited
Horspath Road, original registration is L158 LBW - an exTube?

Yes Rob , I think it was.


20205 in service, all traces of Warwickshire removed.

Ralph Adams writes "9th. New route for Blackbird leys. Well, at least 22942 thought so today at 1330 when at The Plain, it went into St Clements instead of Cowley Road. Unfortunately the bus has no radio, although everyone who did heard the messages being broadcast, so they could not contact the driver. Unfortunately I could not hear the end result of the customer reaction and how it regained its normal route as I needed to go back to work. There are various ways of regaining the correct route but with a full size MAN it night be difficult doing some of them."

"40107 (L307SKV) sold outside the group in period 28 April /  26 May 2003. - Purchaser not known by me"

Keith Wood writes "20210 has had a brand new new paint job. It was previously in New Livery but this second coat is superior to it's first."

Neil Gow wrote "I can confirm 18054-6 and the latest MAN were at BRS on Friday. 18053 was being prepared for service - it arrived from somewhere (presumably Horspath Road) between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and an engineer was working on the destination display.

Note Robert's registrations for 18052/3 differ from mine, and I also though 18054-6 were VND-F, so better wait for confirmation.  None out on the road Saturday - U1 had 16031/72/6/9 and U2 had a 2220x MAN.

Rob Williams writes "The last of the new vehicles for Oxford arrived today. The full batch is as follows.

Dennis Trident / Plaxton President, Brookes Bus livery:
18051  KX53VNB
18052  KX53VNC
18053  KX53VND
18054  KX53VNE
18055  KX53VNF
18056  KX53VNG

MAN / Alexander ALX 300:
22052  KX53VNH  Stagecoach in Oxfordshire livery
22053  KX53VNJ  Black BMW livery
22054  KX53VNK  Brookes Bus livery

Phil Stockley writes "Volvo Olympians 16401 and 16402 (M301/2 DGP) have today transferred to Stagecoach Oxford to provide additional capacity on Brookes University contracts there. 16403 may follow during the week - I'll let you know.

Not sure if this is permanent or temporary at this stage but as there are no plans currently in place to get them back and we have a surplus of deckers from 26/10, please assume they are a transfer rather than a loan."

At 14ft 9 in they will obviously not be used between City Centre and Harcourt Hill unless Devon wants to replace their Scania open toppers.

Trident 18052 shows off the Brookes Bus branding.  Photo Rob Williams

An interior lower deck photo looking forward. Photo Rob Williams.

Adrian writes "13604 has had the name "Balliol" added to the front (on the right under the windscreen as you look at the bus)"

I have also seen one "Magdalen" but did not catch the registration.

BIW4977 arrives in Oxford but lacks any name on the nearside front panel when pictured last Friday

Worth's of Enstone

Berkhof P7WMS works a stage carriage service into Oxford.

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

Pictured in High Wycombe I came across this Plaxton owned by Sodexho which appears to be something to do with the MOD?

A very smart DAF Van Hool WE52BUS seen here in St Giles last Friday
The livery on these coaches is quite impressive.

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