Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
News Archive Pages from the "Oxford Bus Page"
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Your contributions over the past 10 days has been significant which when ones adds the new deliveries appearing all over our area makes the task of getting the news page put to bed rather daunting. Added to this I have been working a rather odd work pattern on the NEx 737 service which has reduced my time at the keyboard.
It has therefore not come as too much of a surprise to hear that some readers comment that the page is not updated "very often" these days! I guess this is because it has tended to become fortnightly rather than every Monday. I am really sorry about this but two things must come before the page, one is work (no money - no page) and second sleep (no sleep - no page). So there it is, I do try to provide a good read each week and am sorry if some of my readers miss the weekly updates. My especial apologies to a reader from Glossop.
This week we have pictures of the new Scania/Enviro 400s in service at Chipping Norton depot of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. Indeed the first one for Bicester entered service on Tuesday 18th March being 15439 which had been used at Chippy for several days. There are still several buses to enter service including three as yet to be delivered.
News from Oxford Bus is that several of the latest batch of Volvo B12B coaches are awaiting delivery to Oxford from Volvo Didcot. Those so far seen include 93, 94 and 95. Full details of the current fleet including the new coaches can be found at the following link - Oxford Bus Fleet List - updated 14th March 2008
Heathrow Terminal 5 is due to open shortly for business and these new coaches will be some of the first 08 plates to serve the new terminal. The latest timetable effective 23rd March is now available and the latest deliveries mean that all service to Heathrow and Gatwick will now have wheelchair access.
Thames Travel have received another M A N / Evolution and this is also on an 08 plate, their first.
Plastows have taken delivery of an 08 plate coach, the first for an Oxfordshire operator with the latest style Jonckheere bodywork.
Arriva's latest acquisitions make for interesting reading as two Temsas have joined the fleet for easyBus operations and evaluation. It seems their Stansted operation is gaining in popularity. These are also on 08 plates.
Vic Gackowski has sent some interesting pictures of the School Bus fleet with some useful notes.
The Eden Centre opened in High Wycombe last Thursday and it is said that 10,000 people were there to see the new centre and enjoy a Ferris wheel which had been erected for the event. Arriva produced some special leaflets with special offers to encourage shoppers to use the bus. They also targeted people who work at "eden - High Wycombe" with some very good offers with an outer zone taking in places as far out as Chinnor, Henley, Slough, Gerrards Cross and Chesham.
I hope everyone enjoys this latest edition and that it has been worth waiting for?
The Eden Centre opens in High Wycombe
From Paul Davis
I'm not sure if this counts as news or buses in the landscape (townscape)?
The Eden Centre at Wycombe opened this morning with lots of associated marketing, MixFM broadcasts, and Latin American bands and dancers etc.
In Frogmore we had the 'Wycombe Eye' allowing this shot of local buses with a backdrop which is far from normal.
Picture by Paul Davis
Addition al pictures were provided by Gavin Francis and Nigel Peach.
Pictures by Gavin Francis 13th March 2008
A bit of history from Paul Davis showing an LC AEC RB24 near the old chocolate factory and not that far from the picture location above
Paul Davis writes "Green Line Reliance RB24 turns out on a Saturday working of route 364, stuck in traffic alongside the Stewart and Arnold chocolate factory which once occupied a large part of what is now the Eden site. Feb 1979."
Rainbow routes in High Wycombe
There was quite an effort put into promoting the bus services for the High Wycombe area and more details can be found at the following link. This gives details of the routes and colour schemes. Carousel was hot off the mark with their purple liveried Dart.
A Rainbow route 5 branded Dart of Carousel by Gavin Francis
Vic Gackowski writes re The School Bus Company
Vic writes to say "I know its been a long time since I have made contact but I am always out and about for a photograph or two in the South and West Oxfordshire Areas. I now concentrate on smaller ops .I do need to correct News Page 258 with reference to -
Glenn Knight visits Honeybourne
The photograph of Tourex Leylands LWL743W and LWL744W was not taken at Honeybourne. The photograph is actually taken at the School Bus Company yard in Kingston Bagpuize. I can confirm this as I did a complete photo shoot of the fleet as each returned to the yard off morning school runs (with permission as its a busy area with movements parking up). This was just a couple of weeks ago and I took the exact same shot as that published by Glenn Knight.
For info the vehicles were 786AFC (LWL743W) and VWL96 (LWL744W) when they operated for Percivals and subsequently Tourex.
I hope you can use these taken a couple of weeks ago at the School Bus Company yard in Kingston Bagpuize. The fleet is quite sizeable as readers will see."
The line of 4 ex MOD vehicles are Leyland/Marshall YJN166, A355YOX, A734YOX and Leyland/Plaxton D527DPW.
ex Mod A788YOX Leyland Tiger/Marshall
G844VAY is ex Worths - with Duple bodywork and which is withdrawn.
JWL322W a Volvo/Plaxton again ex Worths
RM KGJ117A & C454GKE Olympian.
L800PUL is Volvo /Van Hool (anyone advise who its ex?) and M 39 HSU another Volvo/Van Hool (from ?)
PIL6578 Volvo/Plaxton ex Chiltern Queens.
PIL6579 Volvo/Plaxton ex Chiltern Queens.
All photos by Vic Gackowski.
London developments by Terry Wong Min
London, like your area, is due some new vehicles and Transdev have more on the way. Beaten to the post by Arriva The Shire's 08 Enviro 400 for the 642 a school route in the Hendon area, London United are due to take on more SP's for the 267 (top up/increase of frequency) and for new route 482 which serves the new terminus of Heathrow Terminal 5.
At Fulwell on a Sunday as I was kindly invited on my merry travels to have a look at one of the examples delivered for driver training. A bit of moving around from my kind friend lining it up against a couple of the deckers (a TA and an SLE) that Fulwell use on day to day services.
The one illustrated is earmarked for Hounslow Heath where the 482 will operate when they take over the route from First London as 435 which as you can tell will be renumbered in due course. Along with other TFL routes to serve will be the H23 renumbered to 423, H50 to be renumbered 350 and the 490 extends from Hatton Cross there along with Night route N9. Other operators such as First Berkshire and Arriva's 723 are due to serve Heathrow Terminal 5 as well.
A question concerning Milton Keynes from Harold Aitkins
I find your web site very interesting, although I am not a “usual” bus enthusiast, and I thank you for producing such an informative site. I am the clerk/manager of one of the north Milton Keynes parish councils, which gives out bus route and timetable details amongst other community information, and frequently get asked questions about buses, and this is one.
In your February 11 news you reported that Arriva/MK Metro bus HX51LSO (formerly MK Metro fleet number 51) had been repainted in a green route branding livery, as shown on the left, but that no route branding had yet been applied. A month later it still hasn’t. I presume this colour comes from the same source as the MK Metro website www.mkmetro.co.uk/ which states that there are five main routes and numerous “other” routes in Milton Keynes. The main routes are given colours:
23. Light green, as shown in the picture mentioned above.
Buses on most of the 5s and 8s and about half the 4s are carrying those coloured route branded liveries.
There was no doubt that service 23 used to be a principal service from Bletchley to Stony Stratford, but, last year, when the 4 / 4A was upgraded to every 10 minutes (Mon-Fri daytimes), the 23 was cut back first to operate Wolverton – Woughton Campus, and from January to Wolverton – Milton Keynes Central rail station only, except for a couple of school/college journeys to the Campus.
Now, services 23 and 3 (which is regarded as an “other” route) interwork through Wolverton, so that a bus that arrives at Wolverton Agora as a 23 normally leaves as a 3 and vice versa. When it was truncated, the frequency of the 23 was reduced to half-hourly like the 3 is. The two services operate the same route from Wolverton to Stantonbury (Marlborough Street) where they take different roads to the City Centre shops. The 3 continues beyond the rail station to Shenley Church End (the 3E on to Westcroft Centre on evenings and Sundays, when the 23 does not operate at all). Just how the 23 can be designated as a principle route and the 3 not - I cannot understand.
The rather long-winded point is “How can this bus possibly be route branded unless it covers both the 3 and 23?” I would appreciate an answer from one of your readers as my contacts seem only able to give route and timetable information and not information like this.
Can anyone be so kind as to answer Harold's question please?
A photographic report from Roger Spence
Firstly, the red Dart at Hemel is 3175 (P175SRO). I've seen it go by several times, but never when I've had my camera - hopefully somebody else managed to catch it! It now carries major advertising for the Green Line 758 service from Hemel to London. I have often thought that rather than branding vehicles for their own intended route, only for them to appear on other duties causing confusion, it would be better to advertise services in this way. If done properly. passengers hopefully won't then confuse the advert to the service being operated by the vehicle carrying it.
Your Editor did manage this quick picture.
Having said that, I was still surprised that they chose to paint a bus red in order to advertise a service called 'Green Line'.
2 February - Centro bodied SB220 3404 (YJ57BWD) at Watford.
Volvo Olympian 5154 (S154KNK) at Watford
3 February, Sister 5159 (S159KNK) at Aylesbury. De-roofed 5113 (G283UMJ) is in the background.
14 February. Trainer 3321 (B861XYR), an East Lancs-bodied Volvo B10 at Hemel. It looks rather like an armoured vehicle to me!
26 February, Dart 3836 (KE53NFF) at Hemel Hempstead.
Hemel still operate two of the older M-reg DAF/Van Hool coaches alongside their R-reg Plaxton Primas.
4063 (M943LYR) is passed by Scania 3154 (N704EUR) leaving Hemel bus station on the 46 to Luton.
8 March. A line-up of four MK Metro double deckers at the Wolverton depot. All saw service in London previously:-
Also at Wolverton; Dart 3537 (HDZ2606) - another ex-London vehicle - and VDL 3733 (YJ07JVV).
MK Metro does National Express. Levante FJ07TKA parked in the washer at Wolverton.
12 March, Luton. MB709D 2128 (N908ETM) pulls out in Church Street.
Sister 2131 (N911ETM).
Watford's SB220 4428 (S428MCC), on the 321 at Luton.
Hemel's SB120 4524 (KE03OUL) at Luton on the 46.
Finally, a view of Church Street showing a long line of eight Arriva buses.
Many thanks to Rob for those interesting pictures.
Glenn Knight reports on a few interesting items
Glenn has sent some interesting pictures and information and part of his report is given below.
Glenn also asks a question which a reader may be able to assist with "Could you find out for me what they use on services from: Birmingham - Glasgow, Milton Keynes - Aberdeen, Milton Keynes - Glasgow, Glasgow - Inverness & Milton Keynes - Inverness. Meaning Neoplans, Scanias, Volvo's etc?"
Centrebus 582 - KC03PGK taken 8th March in St Albans Peters Street, it had just been resprayed into Centrebus livery
from Sovereign days before the takeover of UNO Bus.
Arriva 2494 YJ57EJE on route 55, taken at Stevenage on 10th March.
Grant Palmer P220LKK on 36C Leighton Buzzard 12.03.2008 - Grant is expecting 2 new Plaxton Primos for 36C & 27 in L/Buzzard
Z&S YJ06YPY on route 65 at Leighton Buzzard on 12th March.
Centrebus – UNO
Solo FJ08MBO is off the road after only 4 days in service. It seems it has water & hydraulic leaks.
A question with a picture for readers to answer?
The latest Walkers Crisps ad is about to hit our screens, featuring Gary Lineker again, driving a Routemaster bus in a spoof of Cliff Richard's 'Summer Holiday' Only this one gets deroofed under a low bridge!
You can watch or choose to download the clip here:
Aylesbury Transport Hub - an update from Colin Richardson
As promised, I set out below known details the Bus Station and Great Western Street.
The following routes will be transferred from the Bus Station to Great Western Street westbound. The changes are now to be effective from Monday 17 March 2008 and last for around eight months.
These are blue routes 2 to Bedgrove, green route 4 to Southcourt and red route 9 to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Blue route 2 to Hayden Hill and Green route 4 to the coppice WILL still operate from within the bus station, but possibly from different stops.
I would remind people that the bus station is private property, so photography is NOT allowed at any time. However, Great Western Street is a public right of way.
During the spring the buses and real time information should use all stops around the hub, except the stop opposite the train station, which should be added later this year.
Star Travel 36 - Has one Optare Solo with a further one sometime in the future.
From Monday 17th March
Routes 2 to Hayden Hill, 4 to the Coppice, 8 to the depot and 9 to Stoke Mandeville Hospital from until further notice. These changes provide spaces for improvement works to start and will last fro several months.
From John Marsh
Thought you might like a bit of spring blossom.
From Chris Dunscombe
Please find attached three submissions for the "Buses in the Land/Cityscape" section of the page, if they can be of any use to you.
The first shows a Stagecoach Enviro 400 on service 17 to Folkestone, followed by a Northern Counties bodied Olympian running light to pick up school service 911 to Herne Bay. It will return to the bus station (a bit fuller) 10-15 minutes later. This picture was taken from the City Wall at the southern end of the bus station about 15:20 on January 16th, 2008, and shows a pretty typical Canterbury traffic jam at this time of the day!
The remaining two show general views of Canterbury Bus station from the same place, (although facing the other way) this time on February 27th, 2008. The pair could be labelled "the difference of 5 minutes", as it shows a relatively classic "all, little or nothing" view of Canterbury Bus station in the space of a few minutes.
The full view shows three Enviro 300's on the 13, 15 and 89 routes, marketed as the "Dover and Deal Diamond". These used to stop further up in the bus station but were moved down to Bays D2-4 because their overhang was too long for the bus station - hence the Yellow hatching which used to be layover bays. An Enviro 400 on the 16/17 group of routes to Folkestone, various Olympians of NC and Alexander bodywork, a Vario Minibus (ex Oxford 42375), a Volvo/Plaxton coach on National Express work, operated by the East Kent depot at Dover, and an ex-Nottingham Strider bodied Volvo of Poynters coaches, who, if my memory serves me correctly, are the only non Stagecoach operator to serve the bus station with their KCC tendered routes in the area south of Canterbury. All other "other operator" services use St Georges Lane, the road which runs between the Bus station and shops.
Although labelled Empty, it is more of the "half and half" view. You can see St Georges Lane a lot clearer, but points to mention here are the Yellow and Black Olympians on the UniBus service, linking the city centre with the University of Kent up to every 7 minutes Mon-Sat (as far as Keynes College, then every half hour to Darwin College, with all residual buses going to Parkwood, the "self-catered student village"), and in the background an ALX400 bodied Trident on the "Canterbury Triangle". The original of the "shaped" routes, it consists of a group of routes, 4/4A/4X/6/6A/6X running around a triangle of Canterbury-University-Whitstable-Herne Bay-Sturry-Canterbury and vice-versa. The 4 runs this way, the 6 Sturry first.
Now this looks like an interesting place to visit. Many thanks to Chris for this most interesting piece. Ed.
From Russell Young
You may like this 'Spring' picture for the "in landscape" section.
Route 730 is a Suffolk CC contract service linking Mannigtree, East Bergholt, Hadleigh and Bildeston. Picture taken in East Bergholt on 15 March 2008.
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at email@example.com
Let me have your contributions
Follow up on Reading
From Robert Williams
Ref Report from Julian Walker. There are examples of most types of former Reading vehicle in preservation, including a Loline:www.buszone.co.uk/News0707.html
Ref Report from Frank Brown. Only five Metrobuses were in operation on the last day (the five noted later on in the report) not six. His list of current step Spectras includes 703 which left the fleet in July 2005 and went to City Sightseeing, and omits 712/3. From 25/2 the step entrance Spectras will only temporarily be confined to schools services until the remaining Scanias arrive and the generic Tridents and Spectras can be freed up to take on these duties as well. Only 708/9 are going to Newbury (indeed they went some months ago), not 710/11. Low floor 721 went to Newbury a month or two back, and another low floor will follow, again once the rest of the Scanias have arrived.
From Andy Millwood
Julian Walker was asking if any Reading Lolines have been preserved and the answer is yes.
576 has been preserved, I’m not sure who owns it ,but I did see it at Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum on an open day.
I also had chance to go the Aldershot& District 50th anniversary and it was very good, Perhaps lacking in publicity but I thought they did well alongside King Alfred buses,
Well done to all concerned.
The Loline is 76 (registered GRD 576D),it can be viewed on my websitehttp://www.andrew46.fotopic.net
Look under Reading Buses. Photo taken at Sandtoft on a Reading Open Day.
From Marcus Lapthorn
More on Aldershot & District's first Lolines
From Lenny Howard
I have got a bunch of photos of the A&D Dennis Loline 50th anniversary running day located at
should you want to look at them, I hope you enjoy them.
Gavin Francis finds an Olympian double deck coach still around
From Gavin Francis
Found parked in the lay-by approaching Oxford a few days ago was this Olympian double deck coach in use as a mobile home. Unfortunately I do not have an early picture of it, as it was one of the first batch LRC 1 -5 which entered service from Northfleet in 1984 on Green Line Route 720. Most of my pictures are of the St. Albans ones.
By May 1987 it had become Kentish Bus 304 and the at the end of 1988 it moved to the Blyth depot of Northumbria in exchange for a Metrorider!
In May 1993 it joined The Jesus Fellowship fleet and finally went to a private buyer in Enfield on January 2006.
24yrs old and a real survivor of a small batch of a type of which not many were built.
Question about a 1936 picture by Ed Maun
From Ed Maun
In today’s (Tuesday 11 April) edition of the Mid Week Free Press there is a pullout supplement to detail the opening of the new Eden shopping centre in High Wycombe. On page 2 there is a series of photos taken 1890 and 2008. One photo taken in 1936 in Oxford Road shows the back view of a bus squeezing past a lorry. The question is who owns the bus and what make is it? The rear destination says it is travelling to West Wycombe. I don’t think it is one of the Wycombe area independents as by 1936 most had been absorbed into either Thames Valley or London Transport. It could be an ex independent vehicle still operating for the absorbing company. I think it is either Thames Valley working route 32 to West Wycombe which had been taken over from Penn Bus Company in 1935 or London Transport working a service 455 or 455A (I am not sure when in the mid 1930’s the 455 from Uxbridge was truncated to terminate in High Wycombe, the High Wycombe to West Wycombe leg becoming the 455A. I couldn’t even hazard a guess at the make of the bus!
I have scanned the picture but it’s quite fuzzy as it is only a small in the paper.
Can anyone shed any light on this picture?
Routes in COMS days?
From Aaron Borbora
As an avid reader of the OCBP and someone with an interest in the history of Oxford’s buses I’m looking for some information about routes that were operated by the company but are no more. I understand that following a bus price war in the 1990s with Thames Transit/ Stagecoach, that the COMS/OBC abandoned some (unprofitable) routes. While I’ve tried to get information on what numbers these routes were and where they ran I have had no luck on the internet. I was wondering if you might be so kind as to point me the right direction? I’d also be interested in any resources about re-numbering of routes (e.g. I understand that at one time the route to Wood Farm was the number 7!).
You may know that there are some alterations planned for 10 March with Carousel becoming the operator serving Flackwell Heath. I am still waiting for all the details.
Amersham & District Running Days for 2008 are:
4th Slough/Windsor Running Day Sunday 11 May based on Slough Bus Station with a number of alterations this year.
Uxbridge/Northwood Running Day Sunday 1 June which, it is intended, will cover routes 309 309A 347 158 220 223 & 225. Details are still to be finalised.
3rd Hemel Hempstead Running Day Sunday 22 June based on Hemel Bus Station. Marking 60 years since the first Country RTs came into service. These were allocated to Tring and Hemel Hempstead (Two Waters) garages for the 301 and 302 routes. It is hoped that a number of RTs will be operating on these routes on 22 June.
20th Amersham Running Day Sunday 5 October based on car park adjoining Amersham MET Station. This has become a very popular event and no doubt it will still attract many after 20 years when again there will be some alteration to routes operated.
Thanks to all my contributors who help to make this page what it is.
Malcolm Crowe - Thursday 20th March 2008
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 20th March 2008
One of the passengers on the 737 from Wycombe to Oxford told me that he had seen an Arriva 08 registered decker in the town. So far I have been unable to find out more. Any reader help?
Saturday last seemed to be the first time Wycombe depot had got both the new Solos (2496 and 2497) on to the Line 40. Again on Tuesday I saw 2492 on the route. Gavin Francis travelled on both types last Thursday when he went into town to see the opening of the Eden shopping centre. He remarked on the improved performance of the newer bus with 6 cylinder engine.
Your reports follow.
London Bus Magazine
Arriva The Shires have ordered 13 VDL SB4000 tri-axle/Van Hool 63 seat coaches which should start delivery in September to further upgrade route 757.
Further details are awaited but this may see some newer coaches cascaded to the other Green Line routes in the area such as the 758.
One items of interest is that on Tuesday 11th March ARRIVA (Luton Depot) had on trial for one day an EAVESWAY Van Hool Astron T917 14.4 metre coach registered YJ07JJV. It was tested within the depot/workshops in the morning and then on the London to Luton route in the afternoon. It was run empty to London just as a trial.
I bet no one got a picture of that???
Arriva bus stolen from Cressex depot
From Peter Cabin
11th March 2008
Today on the Bucks Free Press web site that at about 6am this morning 11/03/08 3205 R205.RBM had been stolen from the Cressex depot and been found dumped in a road off Hatters Lane with bodywork damage to bus and a house owners’ car was damaged joy riders it would seem.
From Nigel Peach
I was surprised to see that the High Wycombe Park and Ride route today (Sat 15th) is being worked by two "Green Route 31" Volvos 3864 and 3866. And... one of the Park and Ride VDLs is on "Green Route 31"!
Another surprise was to see two yellow buses in the workshops at the Cressex depot. I couldn't make out identities, but one is one of the Merc Varios, possibly 2197, which was based at Wycombe until recently. The other vehicle looked like a Dart. Picture attached of the Vario.
The Eden Shopping Centre opened on Thursday and I attach a photo taken from upstairs in M & S. The Park and Ride bus is on "Green Route 31"! A Ferris wheel can be seen in the background. A free ride on this offers views of the new development but unfortunately I didn't have time to try it out!
The remodelled roundabout in the centre of High Wycombe by The Eden Centre - Nigel Peach.
While I was standing at the upstairs window in M & S, I was suddenly aware of a "Purple Route" bus on the roundabout. It was Carousel's R706 MEW, newly repainted and now bearing fleet number DMS6. (I always thought DMSs were Daimler Fleetlines!). We had a booklet through the door this week from Bucks CC promoting the "Rainbow Routes Network". Purple Route 35/36 is the new name for the new route to and from Flackwell Heath. The booklet also tells me that Micklefield - Booker route 32 will be known as Blue Route, but to date I've not seen any buses so adorned.
Whilst at Stansted I noticed a coach with the mark Temsa on it. There were in fact two such coaches and I show pictures of both below. They are Temsa Oplina's 35 seat coaches and are being trialled by easyBus on the Stansted-London route. It seems that the route is growing in popularity and increased capacity is needed.
The two coaches are 0321 and 0322 registered YJ08 EBA and EAY.
Temsa has a very good web site worth a look.
To further assist with capacity at least two white mini buses have been in use at Stansted as seen above.
A "scoop" shot and not easy !!!! Three of the new mini coaches pose for the lens at Stansted.
Indeed I have never seen this happen before.
Pictures from your Editor
The 38 branded Wrights do get around, being seen on the 757 and here on the 70 at Luton Airport on 8th March.
I liked this picture of ex COMS ex Wycombe Bus 5830 on a 61 working at Luton Airport on 10th March.
Gavin Francis sent this superb shot of 5144 which now carries a super side for the eden Centre in High Wycombe.
Duncan Fitzwarren sent this picture of Arriva's 3172 unusually working the 280 from Oxford to Aylesbury on 13th March.
John Marsh caught up with another ex COMS, ex Wycombe Bus Olympian,
this time in Southend which is now home to the once 229/5829 and now 5829 based in Southend.
As mentioned elsewhere this operator has repainted a Dart in a purple livery for routes 35 and 36, part of the new Rainbow route concept in the Wycombe area.
From Paul Davis
Carousel's new routes to Flackwell Heath (35 and 36) started this week, though as of 12Feb they still weren't shown on Carousel's website.
R706MEW has received purple route branding, and I guess is to be the first of several buses to be so treated.
From Peter Cabin
Marshal Dart R706.MEW has been treated to a respray in all over purple for the new Flackwell Heath route.
The advent of the new routes, colour co-ordinated, seemed to launch with the 35/36 Purple route. Gavin Francis took a picture which is shown below.
Paul Davis also got some pictures and one of the rear is shown below.
Not all the buses on the 35/36 routes are in purple as can be seen by DAF981 by Gavin Francis.
From Stephen Le Bras
64019 repainted blue- seen today on the 77. That makes 4 done so far out of the original 10.
This morning ( Thurs 13th) blue First Citaro 64014 appeared "not in service" with the new 7 series decals. These refer to 8 buses an hour between Slough and Heathrow and do not mention routes 75,76 77 specifically.
Next Saturday, the 22nd March, there are major changes to the routes in and around Slough/Windsor.
Route 1 is split into 1a,1b and 2 and changed to a red, instead of purple
Route 41/43 become 7 series route 71 Slough-Windsor-Staines- T5.
Route 77 goes to T5 instead of Central bus station.
New route 78 is also introduced between T5, Slough and Britwell.
Route 64 is replaced by an extended 60/61 which also is extended to T5.
Seven Citaros are on order to cover additional needs, the first one of which has arrived today (Friday 14th) with the rest to follow later.
Gavin Francis caught up with Olympian VDA34274 in Wycombe on the day the Eden opened - 13th March. It was on route 74.
This Dart appeared at Wycombe this morning (19th March) on a school working. Picture from the last issue by Gavin Francis.
Also working from the Wycombe depot on 20th March was Tappins 73 TIL5973 (D73HUR) a Volvo B10M-61/Plaxton Paramount 3500 III. This is the first time I've seen a Tappins coach in the yard at West Wycombe. The Dart was also still there as were three Olympians and the Metrorider 943YKN (K434HWY).
From Stephen Le Bras
I know that you are interested in NX Levantes so:
Tri-axle SC46 (FJ57KGG) on the 07.00 420 departure to Birmingham from VCS- It was all white and came up the road like a rocket! I wonder what the first 08 reg will be on these?
Your Editor noted SC44 FJ57KGH on 727 on 16th March at Stansted. Gavin Francis reported another tri-axle on the 727 on 19th March.
Veolia Birmingham must have had problems as this older Irizar turned up on a 777 working last week. M Crowe.
Two-axle Levante SC42 from Sibson road is seen on a 717 working on 13th March at Stansted. M Crowe.
First Parks coach in the new livery seen at VCS last week by Gavin Francis.
Gavin managed a shot of Oxford's 87 alongside SC30 in from Stansted on the A6 at VCS last week.
Dunn Line 39 (ex T38CNN Durham Travel) is seen on a 767 working at Stansted on 16th March - M Crowe.
One of the 15 Stagecoach Levantes, 59201 seen in Oxford last Saturday in the lens of Chris Maxfield.
It was operating a Bradford-Poole diagram on National Express.
I am pleased to advise readers that you can update your records on the latest happenings at Oxford Bus by following the links below. The latest coach details are revealed and it now seems that all the Volvo B10Bs between 601 and 633 have left the fleet. This makes 634 the oldest bus on fleet and the last in the old white top livery.
Oxford Bus fleet list
Now the only single decker in the old livery, 634 is seen on the 19th March in the lay-by in Speedwell Street.
Contrary to the fleet list 640 and 643 now sport the latest livery.
Looking very smart, 814 is seen rounding the junction at Carfax in this picture by Chris Maxfield.
From a different angle, Chris Maxfield caught up with 864 at the Rail Station last weekend.
Plastows Coaches, Wheatley
A brand new Volvo/Jonckheere coach has entered service with this operator and I am indebted to Richard Sharman for this first picture. The coach carries the very latest body style and is now the flagship of the Plastows fleet.
The new Scanias entered service on Monday 10th March and several contributors covered the launch in the following days.
Paul Weston sent this really nice shot of 15439 on the first service out of Chipping Norton on 10th March.
15439 again prior to working the 0930 from Charlbury to Oxford on 10th March. Picture by Paul Weston.
Gavin Francis took this picture of 15435 on 12th March on a working to Charlbury seen at Gloucester Green.
Now several pictures from Chris Maxfield in varying places.
15433 at Charlbury, 15439 at Chipping Norton, 15439 at Begbroke and 15439 passes 15435 at Yarnton.
15433 and 15434 at Horspath prior to entering service but with registration changes. M Crowe.
First service on the 27 by a Scania was caught by Richard Sharman on 19th March when 15439 was on the route.
Scania 15441 - KX08KZB is seen ready for service in this picture taken inside Horspath depot on 19th March 2008.
Trident 18393 has been transferred to Witney and already 18394 and 18395 have lost their 27 route branding. See the pictures below.
A changeover took place on 19th March when newly unbranded 18394 took over on route 3 from 18395 which was then taken to Horspath for de-branding.
By Thursday morning 20th March, 18395 had been transferred to Witney. Pictures from Chris Maxfield
18397 is seen in the wash at Horspath on 19th March. I am not yet certain which Tridents are leaving Bicester. M Crowe.
Witney based Trident 18136 carries a super rear for The Oxford Tube. Picture by Chris Maxfield.
Richard Morgan noticed this B10M on the X5, a most unusual rostering. 20206 at GG.
Gavin Francis caught up with these SC North West Volvo B10M coaches on Megabus service in London last Sunday.
Fleet number 52613 and 52614 both around VCS.
Several Darts at Oxford have received modified branding for The Vale services as shown in Chris Maxfield's picture above.
I understand regarding the disposal of older buses now that new buses have arrived, maybe as follows.
On the B10M front, 20007-11 and 20812, 20542 will be departing to save shifting buses between depots when all of them have a limited shelf life in Oxfordshire.
Six Olympians are going to one of the Scotland companies. These include 16518-22 and probably 16526 which is presently at Witney. 16523, 16524 and 16525 will remain at Oxford as outstation buses at Harwell. (2) and one in reserve.
20007-11 are going to East Kent
20542/812 may go north to another SC operation.
"Viohead" sent this picture of an old Thames Travel Dart now hard at work with Stagecoach Western, Scotland.
It still looks very smart indeed.
The Oxford Tube fleet continues to provide an excellent service between Oxford and London. The breakfast menu has been upgraded and now offers bottles of water as well as fruit juice on commuter services between 0540 and 0700 each morning en route to London.
Gavin Francis caught up with an old friend in London last week when he came across coach 47, now with a private operator.
The coach is seen first in my picture taken way back in 1999 and then in three pictures from Gavin, one when we were using this coach whilst Neoplans were having modification work two years ago and then in two pictures taken last week in London with its new owner, Wiltax.
Seen in Oxford service alongside 41 with a coach being replaced in 1999 by the new fleet of M A N s.
47 seen, now in Megabus livery, in Oxpens in June 2005.
Now registered CSU908 and in service with Wiltax in London in March 2008.
Chris Maxfield caught Gavin Francis at the wheel of Neoplan 50102 last Saturday in Oxford.
From Stuart Curwen
We have an Optare Versa Demonstrator (803 temp fleet number) at Thamesdown Transport for 2 weeks it is being trialled on our country & park & ride routes attached is a photo of the demo at the Copse Park & Ride Site on driver training duties.
Also attached is an ex-Megabus Tri-axle Olympian on loan to Stagecoach In Swindon from Stagecoach Devon the photo was taken at Fleming Way in Swindon with the bus on route 49.
Both Chris Maxfield and Gavin Francis visited Wallingford and between them came away with a selection of interesting pictures.
Two pictures from Chris Maxfield, one of a loan DAF and one of their latest 08 plate M A N, which I expect will be 108.
The old, the not so old, the newer and the very new all seen in Wallingford by Gavin Francis.
Glenn Knight kindly provided me with a picture of the recently acquired ex Dublin Bus Olympians.
uno ex Dublin Bus N431LKK at Welwyn Garden City on 17th March (they also have N430LKK) - Picture by Glenn Knight
Chris Maxfield caught up with this one time COMS airport coach, nr 150 - L150HUD - which has been with
Worth's for many years now. It was on service 69 in Charlbury on 15th March.
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.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Gavin Francis has seen this bus now on several occasions working a school service near Green Road and wonders who it now belongs to?
This little USAF Ford bus was dropping of American service personnel at Stansted last week.
Coming events, models and useful links
New Trident model with an Oxford flavour
ukbus 1036 Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire
Creative Master Northcord is proud to release a brand new livery on its well-known casting – the Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident. This is ukbus 1036 carrying standard Stagecoach livery but with special route branding livery.
This model represents Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 (KX55 TLN). This is the second Stagecoach in Oxfordshire ADL ALX400-bodied Trident model that CMNL produced. The previous one is ukbus 1026 with Brookes bus colours.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 is one of a fleet of seven Tridents introduced onto route 27 in March 2006 to replace Volvo B10M single deckers. Route 27 operates between Oxford and Bicester up to every 15 minutes at busy times with three main route variants around Bicester – 27A to Glory Farm and Launton, 27B to Glory Farm and Langford and 27C to Ambrosden and Arncott.
18394 is one of three vehicles which carry supplementary branding for the Bicester Duo ticket which was introduced during 2007. The ticket allows two people to travel from Bicester to Oxford for the price of one.
The replica features excellent detailing, inside and out, including an opening engine door, engine detail and the representation of LED lights at the rear. This is a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the windows and livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. The model has no unnecessary metal poles to hold it together.
It will be a good opportunity to make a twin Stagecoach in Oxfordshire bus model set with ukbus 1036 and ukbus 1025 representing the common street scene in Oxford.
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.
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 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.
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 nine 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
Bus services in Hertfordshire
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