Sunday 20th April 2003
week ending 21st April 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.
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Well, at long last the new Airline coaches for Oxford have arrived. This year's order is for Scania with Irizar Century bodywork. The first one for public view appeared in Brighton at last weekend's Coach Rally.
A surprise was the registration, returning to a more classic format with this example being L1OXF.
The rear has a very distinctive appearance and vinyls continue the theming of each rear, this one
entitled "cheap flights" with a hang glider. A full rear destination screen is also included in the "spec".
Stagecoach 16425 shares Gloucester Green with brand new Oxford Airline 37 and older Jonckheere 31.
This photo gives a comparison between the older and new coaches in style
rear destination screen is also included in the "spec".
Full details and more pictures can be found under the company heading below.
This last week has seen weather more expected in summer time with temperatures on Thursday reaching 26c. As the weather forecasters said, wall to wall sunshine and no clouds. I had been fortunate to take a few days leave and was able to spend sometime on photography. The cutting near Stokenchurch always provides an excellent backdrop to passing coaches.
A London bound Tube climbs off the Oxfordshire plane, mid morning, on Wednesday last.
With Easter weekend in full swing more people than ever take to the roads and bus and coach services enjoy heavy loadings in many cases.
The Oxford Star reports in its April 17th issue that the council is backing moves to ban tour coaches from parking in St Giles. this is said to be to protect the Oxford University Taylor Institute from the effects of pollution. County councillors are bringing in a clearway order covering the layby outside the Taylorian. This seems a significant change of heart remembering the coach parking bays tried out a year ago in St Giles.
The same issue of this paper also discussed getting over the humps. Whilst mentioning reduction to the flow and reduced noise, both items being argued against, the article also mention humps on bus routes presenting a serious danger to bus passengers, particularly the elderly. Jolting caused by humps whilst walking along the aisle or going up stairs on a double decker often causes falls and can lead to injury. Altogether a most interesting subject and I personally wonder why we can't have mini centre humps which buses can negotiate without discomfort to the passengers and potential reduced chassis wear to the bus?
A further item of interest is an extract from Notices and Proceedings sent in by Rob Williams. It seems to ex guide Friday people are setting up a new operation in Oxford.
FULL CIRCLE TOURS LTD T/A FULL CIRCLE TOURS, 3 MEON CLOSE, UPPER QUINTON , STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, WARWICKSHIRE, CV378SX
From: BROAD ST TRINITY (OXFORD)
To: BROAD ST TRINITY (OXFORD)
Name or No: FULL CIRCLE TOUR
Service Type: Excursion or Tour, Circular
Effective Date: 21-May-2003
It will be most interesting to watch developments and especially to see what vehicles are used and where they are garaged.
Finally news of an event in London this coming Saturday.
Remembering the 192
April 2003 marks 25 years since
the opening of Lewisham Bus Station - and the removal of
the Routemaster buses and bus conductors from route 192 (Lewisham-Plumstead)
To commemorate the day two special buses will run a journey each, there and back
via route 192 on Saturday April 26th 2003.
RT1702 from Catford Garage, now preserved, will leave Lewisham at 1100hrs.
RM9, still working with London Central, will leave Lewisham at 1120hrs.
No fares will be charged, but donations received will go to St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham.
A chance to ride on an RT for all who can get along to Lewisham.
Malcolm Crowe, April 13th 2003.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
News of the local companies - 20th April 2003
Airlinks - National Express
I picked up a new timetable for the 757 today from the National Express office at Gloucester Green. services on the 757 have been cut to a shadow of its former self. There are now just 8 services a day with departures from Oxford at 0140, 0435, 0655, 0910, 1120, 1320, 1520 and 1800. So, no regular interval service by which I always thought a good bus service was run. One wonders if this is not a step towards finally being able to withdraw the service due to lack of patronage. Perhaps I'm just being a pessimist. Coaches now seen on this route are all from Heathrow depot and as such D308, D309 and D311 have all put in a turn along with several P & W reg Volvos.
Arriva serving The Shires
Steve Warwick writes
Tue 15th Apr
Ex Arriva South London Olympian C38 CHM (L38) made a brief appearance at Newlands this morning. It was apparently destined for H/W but it had only a three gear, Voith g/box fitted and could not manage the hills and is therefore going to Harlow Garage. It did look rather nice in it's new Arriva corporate livery.
I was on 331 Thame-Wycombe this morning with Greenway 3305 but it expired outside Tesco's in Wycombe and remained there for about 3 hrs. Subsequently the 09.00, 11.00 and 13.00 departures was worked by Newlands 'bouncy castle' DW 3812.
Dennis Dart SLF 3229 (T829 NMJ) has been transfered from H/Hempstead to H/W to replace 3823 which went to Aylesbury. It was on 326 service at lunchtime when I saw it.
Ben Wilson writes "I went on an explorer today to High Wycombe and Aylesbury and saw some unusual workings 0n 500 was 5103 (G653UPP) to Watford, 2114 (N918ETM) on the 5 to Coppice Estate and in Hemel was 5127 (H197GRO) on the 2 to Gadebridge with full blind and plus a repaint.
In Luton there was a London MCW Metrobus driver trainer (A700THV) and in Newlands was ex Selkent Leyland Olympian (C88CHM) in Arriva colours with no destination blind"
interesting buses in Wycombe today (Wed 16th). At the back of the bus station
was freshly painted WLT916. According to the Arriva 2002 handbook, it was Arriva
London L16, a dual door 1986 ECW bodied Olympian.
On route 339 was SLF Dart 3229 (T829NMJ) which according to the same book has come from Hemel. Presumably this has displaced Dart 3101 which was reported by Steve Warwick last week as having gone to Aylesbury. (3101 always seemed to be out of service during its stay in Wycombe!)"
Graeme Wilson writes of notes for Wednesday 16th:
Dart 3823 on route 500 in Watford. I happened to have my camera with me- so I got a picture!
Thursday 17th: X15 Scania 3204 on 66s to Buckingham, running along side Roe- bodied Olympian 5071 (which operated this route all day). Also, Olympians 5103 and 5104 have been at work on the X15 route, and I think 5099 was on 500 Watford runs today.
Meanwhile down at Wycombe Olympians 5108 and 5830 were on 326s, and I saw B6 3242 on 303s again."
City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.
The delivery and entry into service of the seven new Scania K114s has now commenced. All seven were received by Thursday evening last. 41 was the last to arrive and entry into to service is split by a few days. Friday, 18th saw 36, 37, 38 and 39 enter service. Early next week the final three, 35, 40 and 41 will enter service. This now means that all airport services to Heathrow and Gatwick should have toilet fitted coaches on each duty. Relief/back up coaches in the Airline livery are 26 without toilet for Heathrow and 27 and 28 for either Heathrow or Gatwick, retro-fitted with toilets last year.
Registrations are a pleasant surprise and can be seen further down this page. Also I have been able to secure photos of the rear of each coach and a number of new designs are introduced with this batch giving the Airline services a really bright and eye catching flavour.
A photo opportunity presented itself on Thursday and 36 was taken to The Kassam Stadium for a photo call.
The new coaches are rear engined and have electrically operated luggage locker doors.
36, K1OXF shows off the revised positioning of the nearside destination display.
The interior is made very airy and light by the use of a dove grey ceiling covering completed by the use of
the seat cover fabric first used in last year's Jonckheeres. The toilet on this 46 seater batch
is located on the offside rather the nearside featured on last year's batch, 29-34.
This offside shot shows nr 38 on its first service to Heathrow taken by my roving night reporter on 18/4/03.
38 was operating the 0530 X70 service and is seen at the stop outside the Thai Orchid in St Clements.
Saturday afternoon saw nr 36 operating an X70 departure at 1530 from Gloucester Green.
36 is seen coming up St Aldates on its way to Heathrow.
A night shot at Terminal 4 Heathrow of 38-L1OXF.
35-J1OXF with 36-K1OXF showing their rear displays
37-L1OXF with 38-M1OXF showing their rear displays
39-N1OXF with 40-P1OXF showing their rear displays
...and finally the new R1OXF (41) pictured with the old R1OXF now R807NUD (1)
In order to get distinctive registrations whilst maintaining the "OXF" theme, COMS have chosen to register this years batch with "1" registrations and Lady Luck smiled when they could obtain J, K, L, M, N and P to fall in line with R1 already held by the company. This however meant that the old coach 1 had to reregistered and Volvo nr 1 had become R807NUD from midday on Thursday. As can be seen above the new R1OXF retains an association with 1 by being fleet number 41, yet to be applied when this photo was taken. Nr 1 operated its apparent final X90 service returning to Oxford around midday on Thursday, 17th April after nearly 6 years with the company. Indeed 1-4 were dealer stock coaches when purchased.
|35||J1OXF||Scania K114||Irizar Century C46FT||tanline|
This now means that the X90 fleet will comprise Volvo B10M/Plaxton Excalibur C53F, 8 (in VCS livery), 9-12, 14-18, 19-22 and 23-25. Coaches 1-7 are being sold and already it is expected that 4 will be withdrawn on Tuesday, followed by 6 the next day and it is unlikely that 1 will run again with Oxford. Almost certainly by May 1 coaches 1-7 will be history with Oxford. I will give details of their new owners as soon as these are known.
Volvo 628, once in X90 livery, and the last of NRG batch remaining with Oxford has just been repainted.
I was delighted to have a duty to VCs on the X90 using the re-registered nr 1 last Friday night.
A less than usual bus on the X3 was this Paladin, 6523, seen at Bond Square on Saturday afternoon.
Crew changes on this service take place at this point.
Neil Gow wrote last week "... progress is being made with then news COMS dept on the old Dyer site. Demolition is complete and rubble has been cleared so building should start soon."
The new depot site as mentioned by Neil Gow. The footings are going in.
Last week I included a picture of ex COMS Metrorider 763. This bus has an interesting history. It was delivered to COMS in 1989.
MCW Metrorider MF150/114
Go-Ahead North East, Wear Buses 443 5/97
763 was delivered in allover white with red interior seat trim as a dealer stock vehicle and was repainted into Oxford City Nipper livery before entry in service. It was repainted during 1995 into Cityline red livery, being sold to Go-Ahead, North East in May 1997.
Trevor Wilson writes with a couple of most interesting points.
1) Saw two ex-Oxford M-VJO dual door Marshall bodied Darts with RDH Services in their Newhaven yard (on A26 next to A26/A259 junction) on Sunday. http://www.rdhservices.co.uk/
(2) Metrobus fleetlist showing ex Oxford M-VJO dual door Marshall bodied Darts - http://www.metrobus.co.uk/fleet.html
Heyfordian of Bicester
Andy Gilmour also noted the following from official sources.
Inquiry (26698) to be held at The Western Traffic Area Office, 2, Rivergate,
Temple Quay, Bristol, on 07 May 2003 commencing at 14:30
HEYFORDIAN TRAVEL LTD
DIRECTOR(s): ANDREW M SMITH , JEREMY J SMITH , GRAHAM H SMITH ,
JAMES T SMITH , ROLAND D SMITH ,
MURDOCK ROAD BICESTER, OXFORDSHIRE, OX67PN
|PSV - S26 - Consideration of disciplicary action under Section 26 (The Transport Act 1985)|
Plastow's of Wheatley
Brand new Volvo B12M/Jonckheere FJ03ABZ has joined this fleet and is seen here at the depot.
Another ex Wallace Arnold Volvo, this time a Plaxton Premiere 350, R440FWT has also joined the fleet.
It was retrimmed before entering service and the old seat covering returned to WA as it is their house
material with the WA logo in the weave, no longer available.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford
David Whitley, Marketing Manager of the company has asked for the attached fleet list 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)
I have already mentioned the revision of the night services of Stagecoach in Oxford. I am now delighted to include a couple of shots of two of the three services operating, N1 to blackbird Leys, N3 to rose Hill and N7 Kidlington-City-Barton.
22945 loads at Carfax for a night run to Blackbird Leys in the early hours of Sunday morning.
22928 loads outside Debenham's for its service to Kidlington, again on Sunday morning.
Keith Wood writes "Sorry,
I forgot to mention this with my report last week. Also Banbury is operating the
488 again with the UVG Citistar Merc crammed to the rafters ! I'm not sure
whether Witney (Chipping Norton) is also involved but all the vehicles I saw on
my two days (except one) were Banbury's.
Rugby provided Volvo B10M 20202 this morning on the X86 so it has at last been transferred ! I'll check on 32003's movements later this week to see if it has gone to Nuneaton as planned.
A bit of coach news from me for a change ! Stagecoach
52298 N448XVA recently transferred from West & Wales to Warwickshire is now in
service. It is in "Shuttle" Livery. This has replaced fire damaged 52302
(The coaches mentioned above used to work the VCS-Cambridge services now taken over by National Express. Ed.)
40108, the other bus for the 600 service seen at Headington.
Dart 32625, with the last fleet digit missing , on the 18 service in Castle Street, Oxford.
Ex London Olympian 16072 waiting time before working back to Bicester from Gloucester Green..
One of the ex Volvo B10Ms, 20543, first used in Scotland and now working west Oxfordshire services for SCiO.
Sister bus 20822, first used in Manchester, turns into St Aldates for a 32 service.
A nice find in London today, Easter Monday was this ex Oxford Tube M106XBW now based in Aberdeen
and up to town for the holidays!! It is seen here in Buckingham Palace Rd.
George Candelin writes "Ref 13/4/2003 Weekly News - Merc 40163 is at Witney"
notice that you corrected my spelling on Churchill and nuffield hospital
park & ride. Much against my upbringing (and obviously yours as well), the
Nuffield is spelt with a small "n" on the buses.
Two Darts have left Oxford this week. Alexander body 32613 has gone to Witney and Plaxton 32056 has gone to Exeter"
Sorry about the spelling correction Ralph. Ed.
Tappins of Didcot
With Easter here the recently delivered ex Dublin Olympians have now entered service in Oxford.
Visitors to Oxford were lucky to have this newly delivered Olympians 907 for their trip around Oxford last Thursday.
Ex Dublin Olympian 919 passes Nuffield College in New Road last Saturday..
Thames Travel's 501, ex OBC Dart with rebuilt front end, its second one during its lifetime.
It is on the 105 and loading in St Aldates.
Whites of Abingdon.
Pausing for a moment, Whites Merc H947JPA will carry on to its loading stop in St Aldates.
Ed Maun writes "You may be interested to know that Paul Lacey is about to publish the next volume in his Thames Valley history series; this one covering the years 1931 to 1945. He can be contacted at 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, RG41 3HT."
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
This Wallace Arnold coach was waiting for passengers on the 300 stop in New road last Saturday.
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
For the national renumbering of The Stagecoach Fleet, I have been speaking to Bill Potter of British Bus Publishing. This company has produced a handbook with the full listing and details.
A special offer has been negotiated with Bill and he is prepared to let my readers have a copy of the new handbook for a reduced price of £15.25 (£1 less than the cover price) if you call him on 01952 255669 or visit the web site mentioning:
The Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.
The main site address is http://www.britishbuspublishing.co.uk/index.html I am sure many of you will want to take advantage of this offer.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002