Issue 67

Sunday 15th February 2004
next update week ending 28th February 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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The Oxford local papers were full this week of matters affecting buses in Oxford. A headline story was that bus drivers could face fines for leaving their engines running whilst stopping in the city centre. Whilst the authorities admit this could be difficult to administer it was noted that levels of nitrogen dioxide were almost twice the Government limit in Queen Street. Many other parts of the city centre record higher than the 2005 objectives in the National Air Quality Management Strategy. Both major bus  companies say that they support these objectives and drivers are instructed to turn off their engines whilst waiting at stops in the city centre. However when is a stop for loading/unloading or waiting. This is of course open to individual interpretation and this is where the difficulties in policing matters occur. It will be interesting to see how this subject develops. Certainly many buses in use in Oxford feature CRT traps to reduce emissions and the bus companies are working hard to help matters.

The weather has been better in the last week and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the blossom was out on the trees in some parts of the city.

I was minded of the rhyme "the spwing is spwung, the gwass is ris, I wonder where dem birdies is?" when I took the picture of High Street last Friday afternoon.

I wonder where dem birdies is?

Much has been made of vandals targeting buses in the city in recent weeks. This last week The Oxford Times reports thjat four children were arrested for throwing stones at a Stagecoach bus after the driver flagged down a passing police car. The rear window of the bus was broken around 4pm on Thursday, a week ago, in Barns Road, Cowley. The bus was on route 1 heading towards Blackbird Leys and three 10 years olds and one 11 year old were questioned at St Aldates police station. This highlights this worrying problem and suggestions have been made that if young offenders are identified then the city council may take action to evict their parents from their homes if they live in council property. I wonder how far this matter will go.

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. Also only a short page this week as I have to be off to Frankfurt early in the morning and need an early night.

Malcolm Crowe, 15th February 2004.

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News of the local companies 15th February 2004

The late afternoon sun places Dart 3822 in the shadows of the buildings in central Wycombe last Saturday.

I was surprised to find this brand new Dart MPD at work in Wycombe on Saturday last.
3829 is KE53NFG on the 331 laying over.

Bucks County Council 

Ed Maun writes "...on Tuesday 10th Feb the Bledlow Rider service was being operated by a gold coloured Alero without out any route branding.   However, the usual route branded Alero was back in use by Friday."



Probably the first time the all red livery has been seen outside the Oxford area was today, Sunday,
when 602 worked a Private Hire for The Oxford Bowls Club to Rugby.
It is seen ere in Rugby with the destination  suitably set.

I noticed that 631 has a camera on the rear and am advised that this is a one off experiment.
The rear lights have also been modified.

One of the Volvo B12Bs which have been renumbered is 56, originally 34.

This Trident went down to the Station and then reappeared as a 500 some while later.
I wonder if this was due to congestion in Magdalen Street East?.

More of the old Premier Volvos have left for Wilts and Dorset but 99(4) was still present on Sunday.

All the P&R Citaros have now received rear adverts about their credentials.
This makes an interesting answer to the comments in the Editorial above.

Ralph Adams writes "From 1st March all Jetlink and Airbus services (including 757) will have operating names changed to National Express, with new timetables. Does anyone know if the Airport part of the new branding will therefore be removed?"  (I cannot imagine that the AIRPORT branding will be removed as this is part of the new image for NEx. Ed.)

Dennis Plaxton D25 makes it way to Oxpens for its layover.

I was told by a NEx driver at VCS that at the end of February the 757 will be operated by Stansted depot instead of Heathrow. This will reduce the enormous amount of dead mileage presently incurred. It is also suggested that the route may be put out to tender.


Ralph Adams writes regarding the latest allocation lists:

New to Oxford 34466-72
Oxford to Reserve 20541/42/417/423/704
Oxford to Reserve 31330
Oxford to Banbury 31331
Banbury to Oxford 40172
Oxford to Disposal 41510
Reserve to Disposal 41504

Whilst this is on the list dated 01/02/04, the movements do not appear to have all become effective yet.
41510 is the last Oxford bus in old livery
Banbury now has no manual buses (40162 is now auto after gear box problems last year)
Oxford has lost its last B6BLE

I would note that 31330 was working on Friday last and was seen in the City Centre.

There has been some correspondence regarding the apparent removal of branding on 22913. This is seen in this picture.

Another picture of the new Darts, this time 34470 at Carfax a week ago.

A lot of correspondence is being generated by the revised timetables for the 7 routes.
This is a recent shot of the 7A through service picking up at Debenhams.

Vikki Lee writes "I rode home on 20012 on the 7A tonight. Not unusual nowadays I know, but it is the first time I have actually ridden on one of these machines. Nippy on acceleration for a large(ish) bus aren't they? Driver was certainly throwing it around a bit, breaking heavily, then flooring it to get back up to speed - trying, fruitlessly as usual, to make up lost time. More haste - less speed was evident I'm afraid."

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