Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 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.
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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.
Once again various commitments prevented from producing this News Letter earlier this week. Sunday of course saw ones annual pilgrimage to Duxford and the taking of several hundred pictures on what turned out to be an excellent day. I met a number of readers at the event and I will be producing a special issue for "Duxford 2007 - entrants relative to the OCBP area".
However before that it was decided to produce this News Page as quite a lot has been happening in our area on the bus and coach scene.
Arriva seem to have a problem with the Eden Bus Station in High Wycombe resulting in the Solos not appearing on Line 40 for the time being. RH Transport have been applying fleet names to their fleet. The opening of a new road near Milton Keynes saw the launch of a revitalised Line 100 between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes. A regular correspondent, Ben Morroll, visited Cambridge and I can bring you a glimpse into the much improved Park & Ride services in that "other University City" now operated by a brand new fleet of Enviro 400s. Oxford Bus have launched WiFi on their X90 service with new adverts for same appearing on the backs of the Jonckheere coaches. Thames Travel have had an Enviro 300 on test and Carousel Buses have acquired further second hand buses, both double and single deck. Finally Stagecoach have launched a revised service to Northampton, being the X88, operated by Solo single deck low floor buses.
So, all in all, a very interesting period in our area.
I must compliment all those who have contributed to the page, especially for the very photographs received.
Ben took some excellent pictures and I am publishing a number to give a flavour of the new image. I must say I do think that a good job has been done by Stagecoach. I think the colours are very eye catching and seem inviting to a car using public. There are four distinct liveries on a fleet of around 20 ADL Trident/ADL Enviro 400 double deckers.
This represents a significant investment and certainly must make Cambridge in the forefront of Park & Ride providers.
Examples of these buses appeared at Duxford last Sunday and will be included in my special page due shortly.
Ben also took some other pictures which I include for interest.
Further investment by Stagecoach has been in a fleet of Enviro 200s for local services of which 36013 is seen above.
One picture sent by Ben Morroll shows a sister bus to the two Volvo B10Bs purchased by Oxford - L52/53 UNS - now transferred to Damory.
L51 UNS is presently with Whippet of Huntingdon.
The forerunners of the Enviro 400s have now appeared in Devon and the pictures of the red version are by Ken Baker
whilst the sand coloured one was provided by Richard Sharman.
Cambridge is, I would suggest, an interesting place for the enthusiast to visit. The pictures from Ben Morroll are only a small selection of those he sent. Operators such a The Delaine, National Express, Whippet and Stagecoach are only some of the operators to be seen in this other University City!
Colourful variety in the North East by Terry Wong Min
Terry is a well travelled man and one wonders when he has time to work. He has been to many places in the last few months but the north East must be one of the most colourful. Go North East seem to have spent a great deal of money on branding as the following pictures show. Terry comments " I enclose a selection of the brandings to your audience out there. As ever the full collection (of the brandings) can be found here: http://londonbuspics.fotopic.net/c1369761.html
Oxford now seems rather dull compared to these bright new liveries.
Robin sent me a copy of his latest DVD to review. "Today's buses - Oxfordshire" is the compelling title which includes Henley, Wallingford and Didcot before the viewer is taken onto Wantage, Witney, Banbury and finally Bicester. Each of these locations is covered in2 to 5 minutes and each shows the current selection of buses and coaches to be found. Finally over 37 minutes is devoted to Oxford with filming in a variety of locations in the city.
On another subject the road sense and behaviour of cyclists in Oxford has to be seen to be believed!!!!
The quality of the DVD is excellent and one can really see clearly the details of each vehicle, something which older video always seemed unable to do. All the latest developments are shown in this September 2007 DVD, including workings from Broad Street during the St Giles Fair weekend.
The DVD provides a unique record of events in Oxfordshire during this period and at £10 is not a very large outlay.
PSV Circle publishes latest issue of the fleet list for Berkshire and Oxfordshire
Ken MacKenzie writes to note that the new PSV Circle fleet list for Berkshire/Oxfordshire (G432) is now available.
Those readers wishing to buy a copy should write to: PSV Circle, 59 Palmer Avenue, Cheam SM3 8EF - Cost id £7.00 plus 50p P & P and it will also be available at the PSV Circle sales stand at Showbus 2007.
This will be a most useful reference for all those interested in the local scene.
Editors review - I have now had chance to review this book and it is indeed very useful, giving details of all known fleets in Berks and Oxon. Whilst some information is not totally up to date it allows the readers to have a comprehensive view of the local fleets and up dates can be gained by joining the PSV Circle. At £7.00 this represents value for money as it also includes a number of good photographs.
Buses in cityscape and landscape
Roger Spence sent in a number of pictures taken in and around Hemel Hempstead. I selected the one below to qualify for Buses in the Landscape.
Picture by Roger Spence.
Kevin J Smith sent some nice pictures from north Wales and I chose the one below of the Llanberis Pass which brought happy memories for me of holidays past.
The grandeur of North Wales and its mountain passes by Kevin J Smith.
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.
Timetables are now on sale at the Tourist Information Office in High Wycombe.
Malcolm Crowe - Wednesday 19th September 2007
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 19th September 2007
Several readers have asked why the two new Solos have seemingly hardly been used in service on their intended route, Line 40, between Wycombe and Thame. In fact on only one or two days has one appeared and then only 2491. I don't think 2492 has ever been used in service. Sources close to matters in the town tell me that the buses have a door set back from those found on Darts and Olympians and so the Solos have a problem when a wheelchair wishes to board or alight. There is a post in the way making it virtually impossible except on stand 18. This is where the only other Solos used into the bus station load - i.e. Red Rose on the 275.
As such the solution would appear to be to remove the offending posts but this is a very costly exercise. One does wonder how on earth a buys can be planned on a route some months in advance and such a problem never be identified?
The two new Solos meanwhile languish around the place and are seen in two locations below.
Roger Spence caught up with 2491 at Aylesbury on Tuesday 18th September.
My picture shows 2492 last Thursday, at Cressex depot at the height of the peak period.
2491 was also present at the depot at the same time.
Meanwhile the Line 40 is handled by a variety of buses including red Dart 3838, off its normal U9 routing
and on its way to Thame last week. It of course is unable to display a correct route number, the paper variety sufficing.
I am told that it the intention that the coach seated double decks, 5150, 5151 and 5153 will be used on Line 800 to Reading with coach seated saloons on Line 850. At present this service is normally in the hands of elderly Scanias or ex OBC Volvos as seen in my picture below.
£843 is seen arriving at Wycombe from Reading, looking quite smart despite the incorrect route branding.
The opening of the Stoke Hammond Bypass by James Smith
James writes " I went to the opening of the Stoke Hammond Bypass today and managed to get a few pictures and we can see the refurbished Scanias provided by Arriva the Shires for Line 100 between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.
Pictures by James Smith
It would be nice to have some more pictures of the refurbished buses including rear views and also interior shots.
Other interesting links on this story can be found at:
This means that we now have the 100, 300, 500 and 800. Interestingly the 400 is a local service operated by Carousel, wonder if they will have to give up that number. I am told that the 10s, 100s and 50s will be for Line services , the cream of the crop in the county.
Glenn Knight writes to note an unusual working saying"Arriva 4350 - R450 SKX - Greenline coach was on the 46 Hemel Hempsted - Redbourne 14/07/2007". He sent a picture of the event.
Absent for a few weeks Roger Spence writes "Hello. I'm back from my holidays, so here's another selection for you. It's mainly Hemel this time...
29 August: Dart SLF 3171 in the Marlowes
Sister 3173 has lost the green 'Herts Smart Scheme' advert livery, and now carries inter-urban livery.
Rest all 7 September.
View from the high walkway in Hemel - Dart on the Magic Roundabout - Dart 3237 turns into the Debenhams bus lane
New liveried Green Line DAF 4052. (I wonder why the GL vehicles carry the last two digits of their fleet number above the driver's side window?):-
Hemel has also received a Solo, 2482 (YJ07VRF). It is a short version, and it is fairly elusive - it seems to be used mainly on the irregular routes, such as the 31.
Unlike the Wycombe pair, 2482 carries the old? version of the Arriva livery, like those at Watford.
3156 recreates the pre-'line five-hundred' era on the 500.
Luton Depot visit by your Editor.
On my way back from Duxford, I called in to Arriva's Luton depot and was allowed to take some pictures, a few of which I include below. It is quite a large depot with lots of nooks and crannies which hide way some interesting members of the fleet. I'll publish a few pictures in each of the coming weeks. I found no VRs on site but lots of N registered Olympians.
An interesting selection of buses based at this depot.
I had not seen this destination display before and thought it most useful.
Hitchin depot is no more.
The continuing use of older style depots is now drawing to a close. Hitchin closed sometime ago and doubtless housing will be built on the site.
This fleet is being enlarged and I was surprised to find quite a number of buses at the Cressex depot in what is normally a peak period. One was a recently acquired Dart and another a further Olympian from Stagecoach F511NJE.
The depot nearer the town centre had an unusual selection of buses on hand last week.
Roger Spence, back from holiday sent this picture
of a Dart on the 46 saying "Finally,
Centrebus Dart M829RCP. As route branding goes, this must be a very subtle form
- one could be forgiven for thinking that X31 was the operator's name,
especially as the destination blind shows route 46"
This week saw some interesting changes to the Heyfordian fleet with coaches appearing in the latest livery. Gavin Francis caught up with an 02 registered Volvo on a 10 coach job in Oxford last Monday.
The service buses are now becoming familiar in Oxford and below we have two examples of these service buses on the job.
Pictures by Ben Morroll
Picture by Gavin Francis.
Finally Ben Morroll got this shot of an unusual bus on route 85 to Cowley. I had not seen this bus before on service in Oxford.
The first of the new Solos is used on the 108 service to Stanton St John and is seen here in the city centre in Ben Morroll's picture.
Ben Morroll has been busy catching up with OBC developments. These include further arrivals of ex GNE Tridents, 903 and 909. This leave 908 not yet pictured on this site.
Pictures by Ben Morroll
Dart 408 has reverted to its as new registration, with R8 OXF being made ready for decker 9008
Tridents of the red variety appear on a variety of routes but are now more often seen on 15 road.
Ben Morroll sent another picture of Volvo B10Bs now in Birmingham. This time 607.
Coaches are always interesting in the Oxford fleet and the present days are no exception. Coach 17, one expected to become a trainer has remained in the X90 fleet.
The ex Airline Jonckheeres have for a number of weeks not carried any branding on their rear panels. This has just been rectified and WiFi is now the order of the day.
Picture by Ben Morroll taken on 7th September.
Picture by Gavin Francis taken on Monday last. The visual has good impact.
Picture by Simon Hussey.
The Airline fleet continues about its business and also looks smart.
Picture by Ben Morroll
Contributor NDL642M provided this picture and he also has an interesting web site. http://www.geocities.com/ndl642m This site is mainly devoted to the Bristol VR.
Ex OBC R811NUD now with Damory and reregistered.
Alexander writes "817, A generic city liveried bus seen on the 500. This must be a first?"
R H Transport Services
RH Transport Services are now applying fleet names to all the fleet and the photos below show this work.
The only coach looking very smart - picture by Richard Sharman
A Solo in Gloucester Green by Gavin Francis.
One of the deckers by Richard Sharman
Richard Sharman has provided pictures of the Solo used on the X88 which recently replaced the X6.
Comments from a user seem not too favourable about the change from full sized buses. Gary Robinson writes"As a semi interested bus user from Leicester (but commuting daily to Towcester) I note with interest that the Stagecoach x6 and 88 service is going to be combined.
The Leicester route drivers (x7) are to be split up and deployed on the new x88 service and general consensus was that Optare Solos will be used on this run (Three drivers asked!)
I find this hard to believe for two reasons, firstly capacity – one driver commented the 09.00 x6 from Northampton is often nearly full so a 24 seater Optare will appear to be totally unsuitable, also I’m pretty sure the Optares are nor fitted with tachographs which will be required. (The buses used have been fitted with Tachographs. Ed.)
One point of interest though is that at least 3 88/89 turns this morning were in the hands of spare/school run double deckers – maybe the Optares are in for modification??"
Well time will tell. Lets see how the service develops.
A selection of Oxford pictures from Ben Morroll.
The pink flowers are very nice in this shot of Witney based Volvo 20008.
18394 is based at the outstation at Bicester and is seen in Oxford after a run on the 27C.
Ben commented that the Staff Bus seemed large for the job. Of more interest is the continuance of the Alexander design
which has become a classic of its type.
The Brookes deckers have been receiving a tidy up prior to the new semester. 18056 looks very smart when working a 3 service.
M A N 22942 has recently had a body overhaul and looks very smart indeed.
Once the pride of Witney depot and a regular performer on the 100, this single door Olympian has been in Manchester for many years how.
Chris Lowe reports that it has just received Magic Bus livery and is now based at Princess Road depot, Manchester
Neoplans meet in London - one wonders if the Megabus variety have a Scots accent? Picture by Simon Hussey.
It was questioned as to where the Citaro was and I was told last Sunday that it only just returned from body repairs.
It is now back in service on the 69 to Witney. Picture by Steven Lowe.
Another regular performer on the 69 is this Dart MPD - picture by Ben Morroll.
Finally Ben came across this ex Worths Dart now up in the Potteries.
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HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
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Coming events, models and useful links
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.
Model News of an Oxford bus
Guy writes to send a picture of the latest offering on the model front related to Oxford.
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 http://www.cliix.co.uk.
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:
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - 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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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
John Marsh's pictures with a difference
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
The latest handbooks are now
on sale, the ever
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002