Issue 35

Tuesday 17th June 2003

next update week ending 28th June 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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A busy weekend and other commitments results in this week's page been a few days late. Sunday saw me in Cardiff on the annual trip for Oxford Bus Company Bowls Club and Monday a visit to Windsor Races. Altogether with my Amsterdam job little time was left for me to finalise the News Page.

A lot has happened over the past week and many of you have made excellent contributions. Probably the most significant event of this weekend was the introduction of route 7B by Stagecoach from Monday 16th June. This route serves Evans Lane and brings competition for Oxford Bus who had sole operation of the route along Evans Road until now. Full details are given under the Stagecoach heading but Monday saw Management and Staff out in force a Exeter Hall, Kidlington, to promote the new route.

M A N 22929, freshly repainted and decked out in route branding for the 7B, awaits potential customers.

Another item of note is the wanton vandalism of bus shelters in High Wycombe noted on my travels today. I found it hard to believe the way someone or some persons had smashed up two or more shelters in the Lincoln Road area which will cost quite an amount of money to repair. The results may be seen in the picture below.

The new waiting room, terminal building, at Water Eaton Park & Ride.

A visit yesterday to Water Eaton revealed the now completed "terminal building" which has seating, toilers and baby changing facilties on the ground floor and a observation tower provides accommodation for the security staff. I have to say I was most impressed by what I saw however the facility will not open until nearer the month end.

The buses will enjoy a proper bus station facility and one of the new Park & Ride Citaros can be seen above where passengers will be picked up.  Altogether a most impressive facility and a leader in all that is good in design and providing public facilities.

I mentioned above a visit to Cardiff with the Bowls. I was fortunate to have coach 1 from OBC which provided an excellent ride for the 26 passengers on the 3hr journey to Cardiff from Oxford.

Couldn't resist the opportunity for this unique photograph. It must be a first with any OBC coach even nr 1.

Another excursion for me was last weekend on Saturday (7th June) when OBC loaned a Trident to London General for service to Epsom Downs. 101 was the bus in question and it must a few years since a company bus was seen in this location.

101 is seen in the company of a number of NV Olympians and two Routemaster RMLs at Epsom Downs

I now have more details on developments in High Wycombe, thanks to reader Dave Stewart. Dave writes :-

Now received from Arriva are the following service change proposals.  I do not yet know what (if any) effects there are on any other operators, other than the 275.   As to the 74, a bit of a problem in that First Berkshire are changing the 74 on 27th July, but Arriva want to do their part of it on 6th.  In theory, I suppose that both of them will run both sets of journeys, but how it will pan out or who will back off I do not know. In any case the 74 will no longer run beyond Slough to Heathrow after 27th, and will revert to being a local Wycombe- Slough service.  The doubt at present is who will run what journeys and how often.  Arriva seem to want to run hourly (which might preclude First), but First may have to carry on running at least till 26th !   

Sunday 6th July
In principle, most Arriva services in the Wycombe area will be re-timed for reliability and/or running time reasons, and with a general "thinning out" of early morning and early/mid- evening services.  Also some reductions here and there on Saturdays outside shopping hours (regarded as 1000 - 1600).  However, there are some re-timings to provide more even headways on common sections such as in the London Road and Amersham Hill directions.

74 - (Arriva journeys) withdrawn Slough-Heathrow, and revised to be hourly Wycombe-Slough.   Evening journeys ex-Slough diverted via Hedgerley.   Effect on First Berkshire not yet clear.   Unconfirmed that the Arriva jnys will become 374.

231/232/331 - Bucks CC contract jnys renewed.  Oxford CC service added on 232 two-hourly  Mon-Fri Thame- Chinnor- Risborough- Saunderton- Wycombe  (effects on Z&S 321 ??), and to interwork with existing 231 journeys.

261, 300, 301, 307, 308, 309, 317, 328, 339, 345, 348, 362, 363, 365, 372  - Timing changes only.

275 - withdrawn.   What's left passes to Red Rose, one am peak jny Wycombe-Oxford, one pm return, plus a couple of return daytime jnys Stokenchurch- Oxford only on certain days.    See also 340/1/2 below. (service 275 will be operated by Red Rose from Monday, July 7th.

303 - Evening and Sunday x30min service added.  Renumbered 33 (shades of old Thames Valley 33 to Desborough area) and becomes a Bucks CC QBP (Quality Bus Partnership) service.

304 - (evg/Sun only route)  Withdrawn (covered by 303(33) and 326 introduction)
310/311 - The 311 number withdrawn.  Reduced early/late and Sats.   Introduced evgs & Suns on existing  329 timings.
326 - Introduced evgs & Suns x30mins between Wycombe & Micklefield replacing part of 304.   Still to be confirmed, and may possibly be covered in a different way.

 329 - Evgs & Suns bit between Wycombe and Downley renumbered 310.

 340/341/342 - The 341 number withdrawn,  a couple of extra 340s (via Wheeler End) but more 342s (via A40) to replace 275.

 Sunday 20th July

Arriva - Aylesbury 2/54/57 and 61/63/64 revisions coming up.    The 57 to be withdrawn, and additional jnys on 54 and 63/64 to cover, as well as a new 2A number of one jny in each M-F peak between Bedgrove and Oxford Road College.  This of course coincides with the end of the school term, but the schedules go into place then.   More major changes to the 63/64 with certain jnys diverted via Halton and Weston Turville area.

 Sunday 27th July

500/1/2  Arriva Football services for Wycombe Wanderers de-registered.

74 - First Berkshire journeys de-registered, and First then concentrate on 75/76 Maidenhead- Slough- Hearthrow with their Citaros, and allegedly will continue to run a separate Slough- Wycombe service.   All most confusing at present, and a resolution of the conflict of dates is still awaited.

Thanks to Dave for that information which I am sure many will appreciate. The use of route 33 is most interesting as it brings back a long time gone route number to Wycombe.

On the subject of the 74/5/6 of First Matt Wheeler sent some useful information saying :-

The latest London Service Permits Bulletin (LSP) available from here:

Has an entry for First Beeline covering routes 74,75 & 76 (ie the routes the Citaros were purchased for).

It reports that as of 27 July Route 74 is withdrawn completely, and routes 75 and 76 (currently running 2 per hour) will run at a combined 15 minute frequency.

It also has the report I mentioned previously for Arriva withdrawing only between Slough and Heathrow.

Given that the Slough - Wycombe part of 74 seems well used (at least it was a few weeks ago when I used it), I can't believe it's being withdrawn completly, and would hope that some sort of service will remain between the two towns come July when the various service changes are scheduled to take place.

An interesting situation and one which be expected to runble on for some weeks yet.

David Morphew writes "Ive found your website invaluable of the past few months helping me track down unidentified vehicles. Here is some news you may not be aware of, seen in the yard at Jeffs Coaches (Helmdon) this week W606FUM and W633FUM both in cream, presumably ex Wallace Arnold"

Picture copyright David Morphew

Thanks to David for that. I've seen those coaches in Oxford but did not realise they are from Jeffs.

John Wood, Public Transport Officer for Oxfordshire writes to say "I have been made aware of items in your newsletter regarding changes to service 275 (Oxford - High Wycombe) from 6 July 2003

The proposed timetable as registered was attached to your bulletin fro week commencing 3 June 2003. I regret to have to advise you however that a further late change has had to be made to the timetable. Unfortunately the Integration Manager at Thames Trains (who manage Oxford Rail Station on behalf of Network Rail) has refused permission for this particular service to access the Station forecourt at Oxford.  Only the two off-peak journeys on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays were proposed to be extended to the station with a layover of about 12 minutes on each occasion. 

The route will therefore end in the City Centre as now with the last set down at the Carfax inbound and pick up at St Aldate's stop G4 outbound. A copy of the revised times is attached below"

275 tt 070703.doc 

In recent weeks I advised of an exhibition of painting at Witney. A report has been sent by Brian Matthews which I am sure will interest many readers. Brian says :-

As promised here is the "roving report" from my visit this morning to the museum........
The technical quality of the original art displays of buses by Ray Jackson in the Witney Museum display was excellent  -  the pen and ink mode being well suited to the subject matter, with the style of emphasising the bus or coach in perfectly accurate vibrant colours on a quieter background lending an almost 3D effect to the scene.
The subjects included some half a dozen LT offerings, including most of the RT lineage and four of local interest, including COMS, Olivers and a 1930's GWR Gilford coach.    On a purely personal note I was so pleased to see that the attention to fleet number, destination locations etc., cannot be faulted.    (I find that many transport art works fail miserably in this aspect, with out of size and incorrect numbering etc.)  
There were 11 originals and 1 limited edition print and they were all laid on double mats and well framed in plain beech.  They all had price labels and I'm sure that some will soon be well displayed in some enthusiast's homes. 
The exhibition was only on for a short time  - closing on Sunday.    It cost 1 entry to the Museum to view the art collection and the Museum itself  (which currently is showing a special feature on the old aerodrome at Witney, used by De Havilland's as a repair centre in WW2   -   the blanket mills and the railway at Witney being well covered also) 

I am sure those who missed this exhibition will be sad they did not have the opportunity.

Well a very large editorial this week and many thanks for all your contributions. In fact there were so many that I have held some over for next week and my request for your understanding if your contribution is missing.

Well on to the operators news which I hope is interesting to readers.

Malcolm Crowe, June 17th 2003.

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News of the local companies 17th June 2003

The Greenway lives on as 3305 (new as a National in 1975, rounds St Clements inbound on that 260.

A Vario works a 260 service past Sandhills.

Olympian 5101, with an overall advert, works an inbound 280 to Oxford Rail Station.

Graeme Wilson writes "I had a chance to visit Aylesbury today and noted the following things:

1. The 11:40 and 16:00 departures on route 61 were operated by an ECW-bodied Olympian, this time 5165 (EWW 544Y) also based at Luton. It now seems that the use of and ECW Olympian on this route is commonplace, as only a fortnight ago similar 5170 worked this route. Incidentally, 5165 was one of three allocated to Cressex from Yorkshire; the others were 5166/7.
2. Olympian 5099 X15 Milton Keynes all day, and Dart 3823 also operated this route.
3. Volvo Olympian 5160 seemed to have operated 16 to Quainton.
4. Easybus Solo 049 on route 5 all day.
5. Greenway 3057 has been working route 54.

Steve Warwick writes

Wed 11th June
New developments today are that Greenway 3044 has been sold, 3053 has been scrapped.

It appears that 5071, 5083, 5085 & 5088 have also been sold. It looks (at the moment) that eight Leyland Olympians are coming from H/W, and three Volvo B6's from Luton.

Thur 12th June

Transfer of the following vehicles are to take place sometime in June:From H/W to AY, Leyland Olympians, 5825,5828,5829,5830,5831,5832,5833,5834. From LU to AY, Volvo B6 3137.

From HW to LU Olympian 5835.

To HW from WARE, Olympians 5124,5132,5120,5122,5129,5133 + 5 Olympians from London TBA.

Following vehicles have been sold: Olympians 5826,5827,5071,5083, 5085,5088. Greenways 3044,3050,3305,3057. Greenway 3053 has offically been scrapped.  3044 & 5071 passed their MOT's today.

Optare Solo has been on the 5 route all day.

This probably means that the old Oxford buses will run more often into Oxford on the 280. The flat roads will certainly be easier for them than the hills in Wycombe.


Noel Clark, Operation Manager for this company wrote re the 69 "I note that a contributor to your website has queried the purpose of our service 69. This is a service we have registered that runs between High Wycombe (Lilys Walk) and Newland Park Campus (Chalfont St Peter) for Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College to service their special events such as the May Ball. As this is a registered service it serves all bus stops on the route between High Wycombe and Newland Park and is available to the general public."

Trident 104, pictured a few weeks ago with temporary route displays has now received a new electronic
display and looks very smart in this picture as it passes "head office".

Unusually rostered to 2 road, Dart SLF 409 rounds the corner into New Road on its way to Barton last Saturday.

New Scania number 35 waits its next trip to Gatwick in Gloucester Green (J1OXF)

With seven new Scanias added to the fleet of 6 Volvo B12Bs on The Airline duties, finding different
pictures for the rear branding proved to be not so easy and so coaches 32 and 40 have the same picture
albeit in a differing style.. They are seen alongside Volvo B109M 25 now working a London X90 duty.

Tuesday 11th June saw all three serviceable Olympians on 22 road and only one non low floor on 5 road, this being 635. It seems that Dart 5165 may have put in a trip on X3s at sometime during the day. Volvo B10BLE 810 put in an appearance on 4 road and for the record I note that last Sunday, for the first time ever, the 4 road was totally worked by these 8XX series buses. This it seems was a trial and if successful will be a regular feature of Sunday workings.

Olympian 222 still remains off the road in the depot.

Some of the VolvoB12Bs are receiving white fleet numbers both front and rear.

D28 shows off the new National Express Airport branded livery on a 757 working at Gloucester Green.


David Whitley, Marketing Manager of the company has asked for the latest attached fleet list (period 2 - 26th May 2003) to be published in this week's page. you will need Adobe Acrobat to view this file. Click on the Stagecoach logo to view. (you will need to rotate one of the pages to view)

getacro.gif (712 bytes)

David has also updated me on the branding for the M A N fleet at Oxford. Details are:

Unbranded.  - 22930-4, 22940-1 and recently received from Newcastle 22203 and 5 fitted with assault screens.

Route 1 - 22279, 22942-8, and recently received from Newcastle 22207 and 9.

Route 3 - 22935-8

Route 7A - 22913-25

Route 7B - 22926-9

As yet not route branded  M A N 22207 works a route 1 service past Oxford Bus Headquarters last Friday.

Another M A N , this time 22925 with full route 7A branding turns into New Road last Saturday.
This was its first day in service as a newly 7A branded bus.

Details of the 7B route branding can be seen on the back of 22927.

I loved these posters and immediately asked for a big black shopping bag give away.
This can be seen on the left hand poster.

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This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

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