Monday 18th November 2002
week commencing 24th November 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
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This last weekend has seen considerable traffic delays on services from Oxford into London. On Friday evening all services were running with significant delays and on Saturday the situation worsened with the closure down to one lane at Gypsy Corner on the A40 in both directions. This resulted in delays on inbound services of over 30 minutes. Loadings on both operators on the London's was heavy and Christmas shopping was undoubtedly one cause of this demand.
The Oxford County Council web site proves an interesting source of information and I do recommend this site to interested readers. http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/index/environment_and_travel/travel/publictransport/news-3.htm is a link to this site and use the menus. Steve Hayes from OCC says "I update this page weekly with the changes to bus services in Oxfordshire. I give a brief outline as to what the changes are and sometimes why they have been made. The page is always up to date up to the current week but obviously the further ahead one looks the less complete the data is.
Another site that you may find interesting is the new Traveline Southeast website: http://www.southeast.traveline.org.uk This is a new site that provides a public transport journey planner similar to the railtrack one but using buses and coaches as well. There is also a timetable section that includes bus timetables for all services in the South East. The data for Oxfordshire is generally very accurate, however if you find any flaws please let me know. Currently the Oxfordshire data is only to timing point level but this will hopefully be improved next year so that a time is shown for every stop along a route, which will make the journey planner more reliable.
Steve says that I may include details from the OCC site with the usual acknowledgements.
Current information is as quoted with thanks to Oxfordshire County Council
Week commencing 3rd November 2002
Service 3a (Stagecoach Oxford): The five journeys between Rose Hill and Cowley are withdrawn. No changes to service 3.
Service 7a (Stagecoach Oxford): Slight frequency reduction on Sunday mornings before 9am. Frequency increase on Sunday evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm from every 15 mins to every 12 mins.
Service 300 - Park and Ride (Oxford Bus Company): Extra Monday to Friday journeys from Radcliffe Infirmary to Pear Tree will run at 1710 and 1745 to alleviate capacity problems.
Week commencing 10th November 2002
No changes currently registered for this week.
Week commencing 17th November 2002
Service 6 (Whites): Existing Abingdon Town service 6 is replaced by three new routes A1, A2 and A3 (see below).
New Abingdon Town Service! (Whites): An improved Abingdon Town service commences with three routes. A1 runs between the town centre, Dunmore Rd, Peachcroft and Audlett Drive Leisure Centre. A2 serves Northcourt Road and Appleford Drive and A3 serves the Marcham Road Hospital, Preston Road and Cotman Close. All run hourly between 0740 and 1840, Monday to Friday
Service 300 - Park and Ride (Oxford Bus Company): Increase in Sunday frequency to every 7 or 8 minutes throughout much of the day to cater for Christmas Shoppers.
Week commencing 24th November 2002
Service 2, 2a, 2b and 2c (Oxford Bus Co.): Section of route via Templar Road withdrawn so all 2c buses become 2a buses. Other slight timetable amendments by no more than five minutes.
Service 4, 4a, 4b and 4c (Oxford Bus Co.): Slight timetable amendments after 1830 Monday to Saturday evenings and on Sundays.
Service 5 (Oxford Bus Co.): Improved frequency means this service now runs at least every 10 minutes between 0500 and 2300 Monday to Saturday and also frequency increases on Sunday mornings.
Service 53 (Swanbrook): Number of journeys reduced from four to three on Mondays to Saturdays (five to four on Fridays). Journeys depart Oxford 0900, 1300 and 1800 (plus 1945 on Fridays), and depart Cheltenham 0655, 1100 and 1600 (plus 1800 on Fridays). Only the first bus to and last bus from Oxford now go as far as Gloucester, all others, including Sunday services, terminate/commence at Cheltenham. On Sundays from December 1st buses depart Oxford at 1100 and 1900 and depart Cheltenham at 0900 and 1700.
Following last weeks
comments on cyclists and the picture included of a highly visible cyclist, Al
Partington wrote "very
pretty .... but think i'd be 'seeing stars' and worryingly not much else if my
eyes strayed across that cyclist in the dark!"
Whilst I can see where Al is coming from, I do feel that this lack of visibility calls for drastic measures. I don't think that many cyclists realise just how "invisible" they are to drivers of heavy vehicles, especially in poor weather conditions.
Paul Dudfield wrote "My
comments about Arriva are my personal views. It is clear that many of your
readers are interested in them and as you say, you can't cover the Chilterns
I am a native of Oxford so my first interest is in Oxford Bus Company. However Stagecoach cannot be ignored. My mother still lives in Headington and I visit her about once a month on day trips from Exeter but do not have much time to look at buses.
I am interested in the routes as much as the buses so news of other operators around Oxford is of great interest.
Having spent several years commuting between Witney & Oxford I was interested to read of the proposed busway between the two towns. Any more information you can publish on that would be of great interest.
Well if anyone can add to the busway developments I will publish that information for general interest.
High Wycombe town centre has reopened to through bus services after some weeks of closure. The corner by Marks & Spencer provides an ideal vantage site to watch the town's services.
Buses go through the centre of Wycombe again after many weeks of diversion.
The children's roundabout offers a service from Penn to Wycombe !
The trafficrising bollards on High Wycombe have been plated over. One wonders if this has something
to do with the fact that a bus got one caught under its engine some months ago?
A picturesque view of the village pond at Lane End catches the reflection of Arriva Dart 3365 on a 339 working.
I look forward to your continued support and contribution and welcome your comments.
Malcolm Crowe, November 18th 2002.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
The operator news from our area follows.................
News of the local companies - 10th November 2002
Volvo M727KPD pauses to pick up passengers at Stokenchurch last Saturday whilst working a 757 service.
Late night (2320hrs) on Saturday saw two ex Cambridge Coach Services Volvos, 307 and 301
sharing bays 10 at VCs with Oxford nr 12 on the X90.
Arriva serving The Shires
Graeme writes "I do visit Wycombe every few weeks and you may be interested to hear that National Greenway 3053 is still hard at work
Yes, Graeme and here it is last Saturday on an inbound 323 working from Aylesbury.
Steve Warwick writes
Monday 11th Nov
3166 has been on 280 Oxford's all day starting with the 0550 280 this morning.
Olympians 5071 and 5097 worked the 4 & 5 town service for most part of the day until relieved by Dart 3485 and a minibus.
Trevor Wilson wrote "Arriva Alexander Olympian 5834-G234VWL seen in Denham westbound working the 17.30 300 Uxbridge -> Wycombe. on Wednesday 13th November 2002.
First Uxbridge 335 Chalfont St Peter<>Slough via Fulmer has again seen Metrobuses and 607 branded NC Olympians working this single bus service - obviously the regular Wright Dennis SLF Lancet(?) MnnnEAF is out of service again. DD's are substituted on school days as a SLF Dart lacks the necessary capacity. The normal week-end vehicle is Marshall SLF Dart.
(Sorry - but I have forgotten the name of the 36ft heavy low floor Dennis - but it is not a Dart - can you substitute the correct name?)
Nigel Peach wrote "Wed
13th : Olympian 5829 is back at long last. It was in the bus station at
The centre of Wycombe has reopened to through bus services and 3827 is seen here on a 3030 service last Saturday.
Olympian 5825 works a 310 service last the defunct fountain in Wycombe centre.
Finally Neil Roughton wrote a very newsy email regarding several items of Arriva interest.
He says "Have
just visited your web site for the first time in several weeks [due to work
pressures including many Rail Replacement services to organise, supervise and
drive!] and am most impressed by the new format, including the St.George's flags
- well done.
To answer Ed Maun's enquiries, the 323/324 is all Aylesbury operated on Monday to Saturday, including evenings, whilst is all Newlands operated all day on Sunday. 3048, the Greenway showing 262 Thame, was in St Clements heading for Oxford Rail Station. It was running out of service as when it finishes the 262 at Worminghall it runs dead to Oxford to perform the 1740 service 261 which does not have a corresponding inbound journey. The 262 was Dart MPD until the start of the new school year in September when we had to put a 40 seater on the service due to heavy loadings of school children.
Heavy loadings are also the reason you were able to take a picture of a double decker on the X15 in Wing. The 3 bus service is normally operated by the route branded Scanias 3203/4/5 but is so busy on Saturdays on the run up to Christmas going to MK that it is now double decked on this day with the Scanias on other services such as the 54 or on rail replacement work. In fact even the deckers cannot cope on some journeys and dupes are run when staff are available - I'm duping the 1015 ex Aylesbury tomorrow morning!
5829 and 5106 have now been swapped between Wycombe and Luton to improve the hill climbing abilities of Wycombe's deckers and more may follow. The VR 5049 went back to Luton but has now been sold, for preservation I believe, as it is surplus to requirements at Luton following the withdrawal of a school bus. (this is the first confirmation of the departure of 5829 which Nigel Peach says has returned, to Wycombe, so now I await further comment Ed.)
The 38 route in Luton you referred to is a 12 minute frequency operated by Tridents - however the PVR is 12 and only 12 Tridents are in stock so inevitably Olympians appear to cover maintenance on the tridents. Dart MPDs are used on the route in evenings and on Sundays. Glad you enjoyed Luton garage and found the place a well organised unit and the staff friendly and helpful.
The 61 is hardly worked by Aylesbury these days just the 0630 Aylesbury to Ivinghoe [where passengers change onto a Luton garage bus to continue on to Luton] and the Aylesbury vehicle turns round and works the 0705 Ivinghoe to Aylesbury. This is on Monday to Saturday and all other journeys are operated by Luton Garage with Dennis Lances 3376/7/8 and Olympians. The 61 was nearly all Aylesbury worked but when Cressex merged with Newlands and the 323 and 331 etc moved to Aylesbury, the 61 moved to Luton to balance out the work as Luton had withdrawn the 4 bus 30/231 and 202 routes."
Many thanks to Neil for these
comprehensive notes which are most useful. I am especially pleased to have
caught the Olympian on X15 as I was unaware of the allocations on that service.
City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.
A surprise arrival at Oxford Bus on Monday of last week was a Mercedes Touro demonstrator. After some work fitting a ticket machine and vinyls for the X70 service , the coach had a day on driver familiarisation. On Friday it entered revenue service on the 1500 X70 service to Heathrow.
Mercedes Benz Touro, with fleet number 40 (BF52SYO) leaves Oxford on the 1500hrs X70 last Friday.
Seen here in Gloucester Green , the rear of nr 40 is impressive.
As mentioned last week 223 is back at Oxford Bus and will return to service with the main fleet. Meanwhile 208 has replaced this bus at Thames Travel on loan wef 11/11/02.
Olympians entered services on the 22 last week, with 214 and 224 being the normal allocation. however red Tridents (101-103) have also been seen on this service.
Trevor Wilson writes "This web site page lists current status of all COMS VRs - http://web.ukonline.co.uk/robsly/comsl.html.
It also includes the Museum VR in the old Oxford colours. Part of a web site listing the status of all VRs - and other Bristols"
Trevor also sent the photo below with the note
(1) Yahoo group as listed - British Vintage Bus Photos
(2) Peter Relf copyright
AEC Bridgemaster 327 - 327NJO on route 7 to Wood Farm several years ago. Peter Relf.
Paul Dudfield wrote "Please thank Grahame Wareham for
posting the picture of TCP 899. The only other picture I have of it is in the
TPC book about Alexander's. It appears to be an manufacturers official photo and
the door does not have a low level window. I did think one would have been
installed at some time but I never thought it would be that shape."
Brian Matthews sent the photo below of AEC Swift, 623 - DFC 623D on the 135 near Adderbury in July 1976
An end piece to this week's Oxford Bus report shows the new MB Touro
in company with 29 and 21 at Gloucester Green last Friday.
A decent picture of the new arrival in the Oxford Tour fleet , BFS39L.
The note of a LIVE GUIDE in the front nearside window seems to ask the question are there
any dead guides around!!! (Sorry - I just had to ask. Ed.)
Motts of Aylesbury.
Neil Roughton writes "The second white Motts double decker you saw heading for Football specials in Wycombe was probably there latest bus acquisition E153OMD an ECW bodied Olympian ex Arriva Kent & Sussex and now the regular performer on ex Shires route 655 from Aylesbury Bus Station to John Colet School in Wendover."
details of Motts new arrivals are that they are actually both Volvo B7R-63 with
Plaxton Prima coachwork. They are confirmed as:
T9HCT (C53F) - ex. Harding, Betchworth
S333SJH (C55F) - ex. Head, Lutton
Neil Roughton writes "The double decker in the Red Rose yard does not belong to them but parks there sometimes at weekends whilst on rail work. It is owned by a firm called "Redline" and is an ex Arriva North West Olympian/Alexander F101FMT, based in Leighton Buzzard. Red Rose K26WND is ex sister company The Lutonian and ex Shires.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford
News of the week has to be of the forthcoming renumbering of the whole UK Stagecoach fleet in January 2003. Details are as follows.
Titans 10000 11999
Routemasters 12000 12999
Manchester Olympians 13000 13999
Dominator 15000 15199
Dennis Dragon 15100 15199
Volvo Citybus 15200 15299
Scania 15300 15399
Fleetline 15500 15599
VRT 15700 15799
Atlantean 15800 15899
Metrobus 15900 15999
Volvo Olympian 16000 16999
Dennis Trident 17000 17999
Preserved DD 19900 19999
Volvo B10M buses 20000 20999
Volvo B10B 21000 21199
Volvo B10BLE 21200 21999
MAN Saloons 22000 22999
Mercede Citro 23000 23899
Mercedes 405 23900 23999
National 25400 25499
Leopard buses 25700 25799
Tiger Buses 25800 25899
Misc single deck 25900 25999
DAF Optare 26000 26999
Dennis Javelin/Lance 27000 27999
Scanis buses 28000 28999
Lynx 29000 29999
Volvo B6 30000 30999
Volvo B6LE 31000 31999
Dart 32000 32999
Dart SLF 33000 34999
Optare Excel 35000 35999
Preserved Single Deck 39900 39999
Mercedes 709 40000 40999
Mercedes 811/711 41000 41999
Mercedes 814 42000 42999
Iveco 46000 46999
Solo 47000 47899
Optare Metrorider 47900 47999
Dodge Training buses 48000 48999
MAN DD 50000 50999
Artic 51000 51999
B10M 52000 52999
Tiger 58000 58999
Javelin 59000 59899
Preserved coaches 59900 59999
Cars and Light vans 90000 94999
Transit vans 95000 95999
Recovery & Lorries 97000 97999
Other plant on FACT 99000 99999
With thanks to Gez of Stagecoach Lancaster and Andy Gilmour for those useful notes. This may mean that the Oxford Tubes will be 50034-50060 and 50066 from January. I wonder?
..........and South Midland days in 1985, the architecture of Gloucester Green
perhaps more interesting than the mundane fleet member. Brian Matthews.
There are still quite a few buses in the old livery. Here 758 works a 10 service.
The three Dennis Lances from Chipping Norton are rumoured to have limited life in this area..
This Olympian is leaving Gloucester Green on the long run to Northampton. It is number 664.
Stageocahc Swindon and District 409 leaves Gloucester Green on the 66 to Swindon..
With the FA Cup next round announced this service could see heavy loadings on the 7th December
when Oxford United play Swindon Town at home.
Keith Wood wrote "426
visited Rugby between Nuneaton and Witney presumably for work to be undertaken.
Olympian 501 B961ODU has been sold to GHA Coaches Wrexham. This has been
reported on UK Bus Fleetnews. I'm surveying
tomorrow. At least two new Optare Solos in WCC Green are reported due so I'll be
hoping to catch them.
Just posted on the WCC website are details of the new services for Camp Hill Estate in Nuneaton to be operated by the new WCC Liveried Solos.
The tender results for these services are also on the website. Known as Camp Hill Accessible Transport CHAT various services will be run including work, evening taxibus and Sunday services. The Urban Bus Challange Scheme has stumped up the necessary £550,000 to run the scheme.
I see Stagecoach are initiating a national renumbering scheme in January ! Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh !
Nuneaton Dart 109 has recived new livery whilst Merc 372 was stripped down and on it's way to Banbury yesterday morning so it will be next. Merc 346 was having a vinyl Mega Rear advert applied but I couldn't see who for. National 702 is still in service.
Rugby now has re-instated Olympian 831 in service whilst Leyland Nationals 705/710/722(re-appeared !) & 772 were in the depot but not in service. Most 63/63A Rugby - Leamingtons are in the hands of Olympians so Volvo B10M's now control former National duties.
Still no sign of 842 P332JND or the new WCC Solos."
Rob Williams writes "Leamington's 341 is in new livery, ex Volkswagen Colourbus.
A bit of info regarding
vehicles at Nuneaton
109/10 are now in new livery -- Former Oxford B6 842 P332JND has
been repainted and is now fleet no.475
Former Oxford Tube B10M 4828 VC has been rubbed down in preparation for its new role as a trainer as the Virgin contract has now finished
Also the three Optare Solos have arrived this week for the former flexibus routes to Grove Farm and Camp Hill, they are owned by Warwickshire County Council and are in their colours (green/yellow)
Simon Langley wrote "I
forgot to add that the three Solos have now been numbered as follows:
Also Dart 104 is being prepared for repaint."
Another source writes "C Reg Olympian 504 has gone today to Bedford for repaint. It is obviously planned to stay in the group for some while if worth repainting.
According to LOTS, FIVE R Reg Olympians are on their way to Oxford, having already left London operations. They are low height, dual door like the Witney buses, but with 4 less seats downstairs. They are probably being refurbished before arrival here as they are painted red, and almost certainly have all windows etched as they come from South East London, None have arrived yet."
Thames Travel, Wallingford.
Oxford Bus Olympian 208 has now replaced 223 on loan, effective 11/11/02.
992, one of the ex Chiltern Queens Volvos was on the 101 to Watlington last Saturday afternoon.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
T174AUA leaves Gloucester Green last Friday afternoon on a 303 working.
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