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 234
Saturday 14th July 2007
next update week ending 27th July 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 bus driver 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.


Another busy week resulting in too little time to spend on the page.

Referring to contributions, some of my correspondents become, understandably, annoyed if I fail to use their contributions and in a few cases have expressed their displeasure.

First may I apologise to all and anyone who has cause to feel upset or annoyed but I must emphasise that this page is a voluntary effort and it is free. I do try to make the content interesting and often thought provoking and from so very many comments the majority of my readers do enjoy the weekly offering. I also have a fairly heavy commitment to my current employer and find I am often quite tired to sit at the keyboard to produce what all of you read. Sometimes I have human failing and forget items. So do please try to be patient and accept that there is only limited time in each day. Your contribution may get missed but it is not with any malice of forethought.

Newman Morgan on sightings and thoughts - the new Enviro 200 buses for Stagecoach

Newman writes "I hope you are keeping well and thank you as always for the OCBP. I haven’t written for ages, largely due to work pressures and dwindling free time.

Picking up on the theme of Stagecoach South’s new Enviro 200 bodied mentioned in the OCBP of 5th July, three more of these vehicles were seen on the 5th July heading south on the M40 at around 8.30am. I travel the M40/M42 from Bicester to Birmingham International most mornings and sightings of new vehicles on delivery is quite common, usually Alexander Dennis or Volvo products.

A very nice picture of one of these buses on its first day in service came from
 Steve Hooper.
They call the route BA BA s

A couple of miles behind, also travelling south, was an Enviro 500 double decker assumedly destined for Las Vegas, Nevada, USA as its LED display was showing THE DEUCE. The Deuce is a very busy route from downtown Las Vegas along the Strip to a transit terminal in Southern Las Vegas. Citizens Area Transit (CAT), the Vegas operator, already has a fleet of 40 Enviro 500’s with a 40 more due for delivery in 2007 and a further 40 ordered for 2008. CAT has also ordered 50 diesel hybrid Wright Streetcars for 2008/9 delivery that will be very similar to the StreetCars currently used by First in York and Leeds and recently tested by Go-Ahead in Gateshead. Interestingly, CAT has since 2004 operated 10 Irisbus Civis diesel electric vehicles, a type which has a striking similarity to the Wright StreetCar. There used to be a photo of one of these on Wikipedia under Citizens Area Transit, not sure if it still there.

The 2007 delivery of Enviro 500s to Las Vegas feature two staircases and having recently spent some time in Copenhagen using Arriva and French owned CityTrafik’s triple doored dual staircased East Lancashire Nordic bodied Volvo double deckers, the concept of two staircases is something that would benefit London. The Copenhagen vehicles eat up rush hours city centre queues with passengers boarding through the front door and ascending by the front staircase whilst descending by the rear staircase and exiting through the rear (3rd) door. All too frequently in London these days, drivers are compelled to keep the front door closed for boarding passengers to allow those leaving a bus to exit through the centre door, which does seem to defeat the object of two doors, especially as the majority of seats on a double decker are on the upper deck. The Copenhagen double deckers still manage around 70 seats and 40 standees."

Ian White, a picture and a question

Ian White writes "I wonder if it would be possible to put the attached picture on your site so that some kind person could identify the type of vehicle.

The picture was taken about 1907 in the village of Coggeshall, Essex. The man standing on the running board in the bowler hat is the land lord of the pub they are outside of. He was my great grandmothers brother. Could it have been a pub outing to Southend do you think?"

The bus that Ian White would like to know more about?

Premiere Connections Travel Ltd., 123 Percival Way, Luton, LU2 9PA by Matt Robinson

Matt writes "I caught sight of these four Berkhof-bodied Scania coaches being delivered to Premiere Connections this afternoon, 5th July (their yard is situated across the road from my office), so I grabbed a couple of quick photos as I left work. They are registered YN07LCW/X/Y/Z. They differ from the rest of the fleet in appearance by having silver fronts. They appeared to be undergoing pre-service inspections by staff when I wandered over with my camera."

A line up of the new coaches by Matt Robinson.

One of the new coaches in more detail.

The web search gives the company name being spelt with an "e" on the end - - I wonder which is correct?

New photopic web site by Robert Janko

Robert writes "I have stated a new site based upon the past and present Thames Transit with ideas to move onto COMS in the near future. I would like to ask your readers to help me build a historic profile of the past and present by photographs as well as text for the future."

Silverstone 2007 and Stagecoach by Matt Cooper

Matt writes "I'm sorry its been a while since my last contact, work stuff, courses, you know how it goes!  I was interested to see that the work if the late Vic Zealy is now published.  I used to chat to him regularly when I lived in High Wycombe, during by 'youth bus nut era'!  He was a nice chap who always had time to chat, He must have thousands of pics, I know my collection is now getting our of control, although neater now keeping albums on cds!

My main reason for writing is to send you an update from Northampton & send you some Silverstone pics.  I was with the supervisory team at the Rail Station in Northampton running the 'F1' service to the 'wood yard' in Silverstone village (the wood yard is now a housing area, but still well known by this title)  Quite a day too, 3am start quite something!  On the Friday and Saturday I was involved in the marshall transportation on the track itself, taking their crews to and from their posts.  A wicked experience, and plenty of photo opportunities!"

All pictures by Matt Cooper

14047 enjoys 'pole position', I wonder how Lewis would get on with a Leyland!

The other Leyland Olympian used on marshal's duty was 14033 seen here 'on the grid'

Picking up the crew on the grid

Now that the Bedford paint shop is open again the 'stripey' Volvo Olympians are finally soon to be treated to the 'new' livery!
At the helm of 16695 is no less that Stagecoach East Managing Director James Freeman loading passengers at Northampton Rail Station for Silverstone.

Being by the grid with a double decker gave the opportunity to see straight into the pit straight.
Above we can see Lewis Hamilton's car.

Buses parked up at Silverstone, these from both Stagecoach East depots and Cambridge/Peterborough

Silverstone village with resting F1 service shuttle buses awaiting the rush home. 
Many B10M/Alexander PS buses had to be used this year as many of the double deck fleet of East has now moved on to pastures new.

My steed, 20202 parked at Silverstone village 

Cryers Hill and those very interesting yards by Steve Bunce

Sometime ago now Steve Bunce visited Cryers Hill and sent some very interesting pictures saying "A visit this morning (May 2007) showed ex-Derby City Transport / Northern Counties MTV 311W and Routemaster JJD 457D both to be in storage at the Ward Jones yard.

Also in attendance were privately preserved RM2213, AEC Reliance UWO240S, new to Henley of Abertillery, now in Leisure Link colours and a rare non-London Leyland Titan, this one being ex-Greater Manchester 4010 GNF10V with Simmonds of Hayes, Middlesex.

In the Wiltax yard next door was another London type, this time in the shape of D164 FYM previously LTs L164 - an ECW bodied Olympian. 

On the Wiltax premises, adjacent to Ward Jones at Cryers Hill, was RML2566 (ex.JJD 566D) which now carries Guernsey registration number 53948."  

Wonder if this bus has now gone to Guernsey?

Colin Grafham visits the Vale of the White Horse and Wantage

Last Thursday (24th May), in company with some friends, we had a 'day out in the country' photographing not just buses but trains too! 

Our journey took us to Wantage & Faringdon, which although both are in Oxfordshire, not sure whether they come within the scope of your pages. However, in the hope that it does, I've attached a small selection of photos from the day which you may wish to use in your next update. (My apologies for the delay in including some very nice pictures from Colin. Ed.)

A Heyfordian Solo taken at Baulking (near Uffington), on their service 67 between Wantage & Faringdon.

A refurbished Alexander PS on the 66 seen in Faringdon.

A Whites Solo on the local Wantage town service.

Gavin Francis visits Northampton and sees First at first hand

Northampton pictureview

Gavin's comment on what he saw was that the fleet was rather elderly.

Also working in the area is Stagecoach and Gavin included some pictures from their fleet. The "stripey" Olympian would seem to have a limited life in this livery - see Matt Cooper's notes above.

More on House of Watlington

Peter Wilkes wrote with great news about a preserved ex Bedford OWB from this fleet saying "this bus lives in Blackburn, Lancashire, where I work. She was the first of Mr House's four OWBs, new in 1942 and withdrawn in 1965 (an exceptionally long service life for an OWB). A group of us bought her then (I lived in Buckinghamshire at the time). We later bought the second OWB, BBW659, which had been converted to a towing wagon and broke this one up for spares. The third OWB, BUD181, also went into preservation initially, I believe (it was parked in a yard at Caversham for some time I remember), but I have not heard of it for many years.  Mr House's fourth OWB, HBH690, bought from Crook's of Booker in 1951, ended up in Passey's scrap yard at Benson I think. BBW291 has been in under cover accommodation since 1983; I'm hoping to get down to some serious restoration work in retirement! This will include refitting wooden slatted seats - I need a few more to complete a set, so if anyone knows of any ....... ???"

There was an old slatted seat in the cabin which stood in the fuelling alley at the old COMS garage at Cowley Road. I wonder what happened to that?

Readers will find a picture of the above bus on the News Page for 15th May 2005 which is linked below.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear the note of a Bedford engine and this bus back in Watlington on a summer's afternoon?

Coaches in Israel by Elad

A fellow enthusiast from Israel has sent some picture of their local offerings. I hope everyone finds these interesting.

Israeli Irizars

M40 interlude by your Editor

Last Sunday morning, I spent a pleasant half hour on the junction 5 overbridge on the M40 and took a number of pictures which include some the latest coaches on our roads.

This Irizar PB is a recent addition to the Happy Days fleet based in Staffordshire.

Various Oxford Bus coaches were seen passing by including some of the Volvos.
As can be seen in the picture above these are now regaining their OXF registrations.

The Oxford Tube was doing brisk business and most coaches were very fully loaded.

In spite of the number of services by The Oxford Tube it is not easy to catch two passing.
Maybe one for "Buses in the Landscape"

The recently retired Trathens Neoplans are now appearing with other operators. Here YN51XNZ is now with Jan's of Soham

It did seem to be a Neoplan half hour as this latest Trathens National Express coach was working a 540 service from the north west to London.

Tappins always look smart and this now elderly Volvo is still immaculate for customers.

Another very well known local operator whose coaches are regularly seen on the M40 is Worths of Enstone.

The last week has seen some very bad delays on the route to London as a result of a multitude of accidents on the M40. At one point there was a stand off between two trucks in West Wycombe resulting in some very lengthy tailbacks of traffic which had left the M40 to avoid delays on the Motorway.

Recently repainted Oxford espress Volvo B12B nr 32 is seen heading a line of traffic through Stokenchurch.

Buses in cityscape and landscape

John Marsh writes "Another excellent page last week!  Herewith 4 more pictures in the landscape, all taken in Hastings last week.


Now that you have broadened the horizons of the page, I wonder if you might like to add a link to my site to those of Mike Penn and Chris Lowe. (With pleasure - see Links at the bottom of the page Ed.)

If you would like to read comment 15 on my site you will see that I have tried to show "buses and coaches in their work-a-day lives including both the environment in which they operate and the people who run them and those they serve - a contribution to social history with a bit of fun on the way"

"I guess that is what your buses in the landscape also aims to achieve?"

Well john an interesting thought. I found that many readers enjoyed the pictures, just as you do but as it has grown I suppose one has to put a reason to the matter and your idea is as good as any I can think of. I certainly like to see pictures which give a flavour of where, how, why and when. In these days of digital displays, some of which defy photography, a wider angle on the picture gives a better idea of the subject. Maybe I prefer to leave the close ups to the rivet counters. I'll give it some more thought.

Another seaside shot was received from John Bristow who sent the picture below taken at Brighton in June 2007.

Colin Grafham, who has two sites  and writes to say "One you might consider for your 'Buses in Cityscape' section ... Oxford Bus 116 (T116DBW) on Park & Ride service 400 to Thornhill passing over the river at The Plain, Oxford with Magdalen College in the background - 2 June 2007."

This probably has to be THE picture possibility in Oxford.

Buses in the landscape -
another picture taken by Colin Grafham is this lovely shot of Rydal Water in the Lakes.
Is that a Stagecoach open topper I spy?

Amersham & District Running day September 30th 2007 - a date for your diary 

The final Amersham & District Running Day for 2007 is as follows: 

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.

Malcolm Crowe - Saturday 14th July 2007

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

News of the local companies – 14th July 2007

Major changes to services in Luton make headlines this week. Matt Robinson has the details. However first Matt says "Arriva appears to be quiet this week, Dart 3488 was on route 25 all day on Tuesday. This is the time of year that the college loadings begin to quieten down, so the smaller buses won't pose as big a problem on the route over August time.

I took this photo of ex-COMS Olympian 5831 resting at the airport today. There has been an Olympian parked there (with a school route on the blinds) every day this week but it was one of the ECW ones until today. Interestingly I was told the other day the two former COMS Olympians at Luton still have their driver assault alarms fitted from their time in Oxford.


Just a couple of quick news items from today (Friday):Scania 3170 (N32KGS) broke down at the French's Avenue bus stop in Dunstable (top of Chalk Hill) this afternoon on a Leighton Buzzard bound 31 (via Stanbridge). Passengers were transferred on to the duty behind (via Hockliffe), worked by Volvo 3261 (V261HBH). Passengers for Tilsworth/Stanbridge (on the original bus) were advised to stay on the bus and alight on the return journey.

I saw DAF 3272 (V272HBH) working route 321, still in traditional style Arriva livery with branding. It has a new LED destination display fitted, replacing the power blind this bus previously had. Some weeks ago I
commented that the power blinds on all of the V-reg batch were very grubby when set to route 321, difficult to read on some of the buses. 3272 was actually one of the worst examples."

Matt now goes on to report on changes expected in September saying "
I have details of some route changes which will be taking place in September by Arriva from Luton garage:

Route 5 (Luton - Beechwood Road - Hockwell Ring - Leagrave - Luton)
The inbound section of the route via Marsh Road/Leagrave will be removed. Buses will instead terminate at Hockwell Ring shops and return via the outward journey. Route 5 will operate every 10 minutes. Route 15 (Reverse circular of route 5) This route will be withdrawn and replaced by the modified 5 and new route 9A.

Route 9 (Luton - Biscot Road - Runfold).
The frequency on this route will be reduced from every 10 minutes to every 12, Biscot frequency will be enhanced due to additional buses from new route 9A (up to 7 buses per hour). Route 9A (Luton - Biscot Road - Limbury Road - Leagrave - Hockwell Ring) This is a new service covering the Biscot Mill area of route 9, then operating into Leagrave via Limbury Road, and continuing into Hockwell Ring via Toddington Road/Hasketon Drive/Butely Road. 9A will operate every 30 minutes.

Route 8 (Luton - Ravenhill Way via Poynters Road/Lewsey Farm)
The circular loop at the Lewsey Park/Lewsey Farm end of the 8 will be reversed and buses will now run in an anti-clockwise direction. After the L&D Hospital buses will operate via Lewsey Road and serve Ravenhill Way first, returning via Wheatfield Road and Poynters Road. In addition the 8 will no longer serve Dominic Square, instead it will operate the full length of Poynters Road.

Route 31 (Luton Airport - Luton - Dunstable - Leighton Buzzard).
The 31 will be cut back to a Luton - Dunstable service only. All journeys serving the Airport, Leighton Buzzard and Langdale Road are to be replaced with new services (detailed below).

Route X66 (Dunstable - Milton Keynes)
This route is to be withdrawn.

Routes 69 & 70 (Luton Airport - Luton - Dunstable - Leighton Buzzard - Milton Keynes)
These services replace the extended 31 journeys and the X66. (69 & 70 were the previous numbers for the Luton - Leighton Buzzard route until it was given Sapphire status and renumbered 31/X31 in 1995). Service between Luton and Dunstable will be limited stop - operating via Hatters Way and Chaul End Lane instead of Bury Park and Beech Hill. Route 70 will continue to Milton Keynes from Leighton Buzzard (hourly), replacing the X66 between Dunstable and MK.

Routes 50/51/51A and Langdale Road 31s
These routes will be replaced by new Dunstable local services DB1 and DB2. DB1 replaces the 51/51A from Dunstable Town Centre to Weatherby (operating via Worthington Road). In addition all of these buses will call at the stop adjacent to Dunstable Leisure Centre/ASDA. Daytime buses will operate every 30 minutes, evening buses to Weatherby will continue to be covered by route 24.

DB2 replaces the 50 and Langdale Road 31, serving Langdale Road and Downside. These buses will also call at the Leisure Centre/ASDA stop. Route DB2 will run every 20 minutes.

A decision is still to be made whether DB1/DB2 will continue to serve Sainsbury's/White Lion Retail Park. In their current form the 50/51 call there at certain times of the day only.

B6s 3130/3135, which have the new LED displays fitted, already have this information programmed into them.

Following the withdrawal from Leagrave Road/Marsh Road of routes 5 & 15, these areas will continue to be served every 10 minutes by route 27.

Further news regarding routes in Luton, taken from an article which appeared in Wednesday's Luton News.

In April 2006 the vast majority of Luton's council-funded Sunday service network was withdrawn as the local council at the time withdrew the subsidies. Areas such as Warden Hill (route 24), Bramingham Park (24), Hockwell Ring (5 & 24), Farley Hill (1 & 4) and Runfold (9 & 29) were left without any bus service at all on a Sunday.

Sunday services to Farley Hill are to be restored (every 30 minutes), together with an altered 24 service, using route number 21 (every 60 minutes). The only difference I could see between the 24 and the Sunday 21 was that the 21 will operate via Luton Road Tesco's instead of Katherine Drive. The route will not serve Weatherby as the previous Sunday 24 used to either.

Many thanks to Matt for those comprehensive notes. A lot of photo opportunities will present themselves in the coming months.

Peter Cabin sent this picture of 3202 R202.RBM in Cressex depot, High Wycombe.
This bus appears to have been transferred from Stevenage.

James Smith writes saying "attached are a few pictures taken when I was on shift Monday afternoon/evening." 

Note the long dart on the Green Route 4, That was a fun few hours taking that round the estates!!

The Silver Rider picture is of the last bus of the evening, Sadly they didn't come out that well.
I think it has quite some atmosphere. Ed.

Roger Spence writes "Firstly just to comment that on last week's page the pictures of 3602 and 3734 at Milton Keynes weren't mine, although the comments were - I think you substituted two better pictures by Ben Morroll! (Sorry but yes I did - Editorial licence )

I can also advise that the reported rumours of the imminent demise of bouncy castles 3819 and 3820 hadn't come true by 3 July, when both were back in service at Hemel.  I didn't get a picture of 3819, but 3820 was at the bus station."


Roger adds "Other news - the headline of this week's Bucks Herald was, "Pupils' lucky escape in school bus crash".  A Z&S school coach collided with Arriva Olympian 5121 (G291UMJ) on route 66, and ended up down the verge on the side of Granborough Road, near Winslow.  Luckily, it seems there were only minor injuries.  There are a few pictures here:"

This item was also reported by Martyn who sent a small picture from the paper which I will not use as it will infringe copyright but thanks to Martyn anyway.

Roger sent some nice pictures which are included below.

One f the new Solos caught in Watford.

An elderly Dart 3834, once with Oxford Bus, then Wycombe Bus now sees service in Watford.
Its sister, 3833, is now back at High Wycombe.

Mark Munday, who drives on the U9 service and is based at High Wycombe writes to say "please find attached a picture of Watford garage’s 3706 which we at Wycombe borrowed for are U9 route for a couple of days in June. The picture was taken in Uxbridge on the 14th on its second day with us. This bus went back to Watford on the Friday and 3838 was returned to Wycombe. All four TFL red buses now have white roofs with large black fleet numbers applied by transfers across the top towards the rear.

Olympian 5153 has been at Wycombe inside the garage for a while awaiting parts to finish off its rebuild. When it arrived the only thing that was finished was the new roof. Lighting seating and other items will have to be fitted at Wycombe."

I am rather pleased to hear about 5153 as this has been the subject of questions and comment on this page for many months now.

Colin Grafham sent some nice pictures taken when services changed in late May.

I really liked this one taken as the Olympian nears the end of its journey from High Wycombe at Ibstone school.
Alas this route is now history.

Last Sunday Vario 2197 was the bus rostered for the 1017 to Wycombe from Stokenchurch.

Gavin Francis also took some pictures in Wycombe last week which are shown below.


Gavin also sent a picture of one of the latest Olympus open tops now working in London for Arriva.

and a report from Wycombe saying "I attach another photo of Olympian 5130 showing more clearly the roof damage it incurred. This was taken at the Cressex depot - I notice that fire damaged Scania 3169 has at last gone from there.

Richard Sharman's picture taken in Stratford shows this Green Line liveried coach on a Private Hire

No news this week.

First Berkshire

Gavin Francis
took this picture of a Volvo in London which is more at home on a local Bracknell service than Green Line 702.

Better late than never, Mark Lyons sent some very nice pictures of the new Citaros on their first day in service.


See the piece above from Colin Grafham

Motts of Aylesbury

Steven Lowe sent this excellent shot of a DMS on the M1 taken in the '90s

Some interesting developments in National Express are mentioned here with pictures to compliment same.

Gavin Francis caught up with this Irizar PB carrying new branding concerning Carbon Footprints.

The first of the new 14m+ Levantes for NEx are starting to arrive. You have to be quick to catch one and I nearly missed this one at Stansted last week.

Also working out of Stansted are two 12.5 metre Levantes NXSC 1 and 2. Nr 2 is seen above.

Veoila Dunnline have taken over operation of the 777 from Birmingham to Stansted.
They are working the route with Irizar PBS sold or transferred from National Express's own fleet.

The older Excalibur coaches are now turning up in a variety of liveries and places. The latest picture to land on my desk is the one below. Maybe the green seats and orange livery somehow coordinate.

If a coach could speak I wonder what this one would be saying?

Anthony Persona writes "Just a quick email to inform you of what is happening to one of the ex-Oxford Plaxton Excaliburs. R810NUD has been transferred to Solent Blue Line, it is to be used for training purposes and has been painted in an orange livery as Go-Southcoast appear to have adopted this colour for their training fleet. You may have already been mailed this by Anthony Poulton but a picture of the re-painted vehicle can be found here I have observed that the electronic destination display has been removed from this vehicles, one assumes this is because it is not necessary on a training vehicle."

Anthony Poulton writes "Re R810NUD, this has not been allocated a fleet number yet that I'm aware of although sister R809NUD which is now the trainer with Southern Vectis is 597 and reregistered as ODL447 - although I've not actually seen it carrying this and it is not confirmed yet."

I'm hoping to get a picture of the sister coach with Southern Vectis next week. Ed.

Mike Bennett wrote re a trip he had taken saying "A ride by bus from Salisbury on Saturday 7th yielded this photo of ex Oxford Bus Company  K128 BUD, seen as it was entering the bus station in Eastleigh.  This is not an easy town in which to take nicely lit photographs on a sunny day, as the buses run through the bus station in a northerly direction - and I chose to visit on the first really sunny day for weeks." 

The ex OBC Volvo mentioned by Mike Bennett above.

I think it had lost its way ????????

Pearce of Oxford

Following last week's piece on the new coach Richard Sharman kindly provided a picture of the coach now suitably registered.

Plastows of Oxford

This operator never lets a year go by without something new or nearly new appearing in the fleet. Again Richard Sharman sent a picture of their latest acquisition.

The latest arrival is another Jonckheere Mistral with a Scottish registration. It is seen in Stratford upon Avon.

Reading Buses 

Stuart Curwen wrote to advise that "Reading Buses division Goldline put 2 of the new East Lancs Olympus bodied Scanias into service on the 500 Loddon Bridge Park & Ride attached are pictures of the front of 835 YN07LFA and the rear of 838 YN07LFE both taken at the Loddon Bridge Park & Ride."

Alistair Liddle writes "was in Blackburn this afternoon and took the chance to nip round to East Lancs, Reading 501 is still in the yard along with new Scania Olympus's for Reading Buses and various others. 

I've posted them on to fotopic at:"

Red Rose of Aylesbury

Roger Spence sent this nice picture of a Dart which I think has more recently joined the Red Rose fleet.
It is seen here in Watford.

An unexpected coach has arrived in Swindon and was caught working the 66 by two correspondents.

Marcus Lapthorn found it out in the countryside and managed a picture as the coach passed through Croxwell.

In the mail on the same day I received a picture of the same coach, this time in Oxford on the day before, 11th July and submitted by Gavin Francis.

Gavin also sent me a picture of "an old friend" when he snapped 52461 working an X6 service out of Gloucester Green. This coach had come to Oxford some months ago, possibly as a spare for the then new National Express 737 service. However it was not used and left Oxford several months ago.

Also sent in by Gavin is this picture of 52033 seen by him during his visit to Northampton.

Now doesn't that registration look familiar?

Richard Sharman sent this picture of the open top fleet now based at Stratford.

As mentioned before some local deckers are carrying advertising for The Tube as Gavin's picture shows.

Dave Rogers very kindly sent this picture of ex Tube and Megabus 50039 which is now with Kinch.


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

Another old friend

Picture by Terry Wong Min taken at Wimbledon last Saturday.
Sadly I'm not driving it, I did like this bus.

I've also driven this one too on an excursion to the Derby. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Finally a picture which must have taken some achieving, all London Central buses.


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.

A photo disc for your collection

This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site

Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.

The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.

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. 

Robin Clare publishes Volume 15 DVD

Many of you will be aware of the various volumes on DVD of buses in the U.K. from Robin Clare.

His latest offering gives a glimpse in some locations in this area, such as Oxford, Reading and High Wycombe. I think it is well worth the £10 and it can be obtained from:

Robin Clare Transport Video
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA

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

Citaro models

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. 


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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

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