Issue 31

Tuesday 20th May 2003
(delayed from 18th May 2003)

next update week ending 31st May 2003

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news please
let me know on

I have been travelling during the last week and Cardiff, Dublin and Frankfurt have been on my itinerary. Actually in reverse order with a trip to Frankfurt last Monday and Tuesday. Here many flights have coach transfers and I was able to sample a Citaro artic on my return flight to Heathrow, the connection from the gate to the aircraft that is! Whilst in Dublin on Wednesday I had chance to visit Carlow where there are a large number of derelict buses and coach in a local operators yard. The most interesting of these for me is in the picture section below. The week ended with a trip to the Cup Final in Cardiff where sadly the match itself was a rather tame and sometimes a quite boring game of football. Anyway I am sure all Arsenal fans were delighted and sympathy must go to Southampton who were sad losers.

The Southampton fans really did put the heart into supporting their side.
Arsenal by contrast seemed very quiet in the opening stages of the event.

The journey down to Cardiff on the M4 was, as expected, slow and busy. Many coaches from the London and Southampton areas were seen on the M4 and I diverted via Newport to try and get some respite. Actually this proved interesting as Newport now also have some Scania buses, just like the ones with Menzies at Heathrow. i also saw and ex Stagecoach Manchester Volvo/Paladin, 22896, now with SC in Wales. On arrival in Cardiff i managed to find parking, quite easily as it happened and walked to the ground.

The Millennium Stadium is close to the Castle where this ex London Titan was operation.

Of more interest from a local point of view is the proposal by Babtie for a bus interchange facility at Lewknor, to be discussed next Wednesday at a public meeting in the village. Basic proposals are for a minibus service to connect Watlington and Chinnor with Lewknor and the Oxford Tube. Extensions are proposed at peak times to Chalgrove and Thame and normal service levels are proposed to be every 20 minutes. The stops at Lewknor are to be on either side of the road opposite or next to the London and Oxford Tube stops. Crossings are proposed but having some experience of that part of the road, I think people may take their life in their hands crossing an often busy and always very fast road. Whilst the initiative is applauded I wonder why some funding cannot be made available to provide a proper Park & Ride site, since Watlington and Chinnor hardly have large enough populations to make a 20 minute service a success throughout the day.  Only a personal observation but time will tell.

More news from the Stokenchurch area but concerning both Oxford and High Wycombe is suggestions that the 275 service is due to undergo some major changes. Also some further changes are on the cards for Arriva services in High Wycombe and we will bring you news as it becomes available.

Residents in the village of Radnage are complaining about the speed of local buses in the village on the 340 route from High Wycombe. There is a school on the route and the buses are coming by far too fast. Local motorists also say that from time to time they have nearly to drive onto the verges to get out of the way of the buses. Indeed the roads around the area are very narrow and one hopes that there is no accident in the future.

In the Oxford area more cases of vandalism are being reported and local operator Worth's of Enstone complain that teenagers in Yarnton are attacking their coaches operating through the village. Worth's recently had a brick thrown through a coach window and the company suggests it may have to look seriously at continuing services or not through Yarnton. For my own experience, when operating a private hire through the village earlier this year, youths threw a rubbish bin into the road in front my vehicle and ran off laughing as though this was a great joke. I thus have some sympathy with operators on regular services.

Thanks to everyone who continues to send me information for this page which adds to the value of the site.

Malcolm Crowe, May 18th 2003.

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News of the local companies - 18th May 2003

Arriva serving The Shires

News is emerging of further cuts to Arriva services in the Wycombe area including the 275 service to Oxford. Detasils are not yet clear and I will update you all as soon as possible.

Dart 3822 leaves Newlands Bus Station on a Sunday working of the 304 to Desborough.

Steve Warwick writes

Mon 12th May
A shortage of MPD's today, saw a variety of buses on the 2 service Bedgrove-Haydon Hill Merc 2114 and SDL Dart 3099 were on 2's when the remaining MPD 3485 broke down was replaced by Olympian 5104 pm.

I have on good authority that Aylesbury Depot are to receive five Leyland Olympian's from Arriva London South, the C xx CHM, H42/26D batch which were at Croydon and Thornton Hth. They are currently being refurbished. Will let you know fleet nos in due course. Going to be used for the 323/24 service apparently, that'll be interesting on hills and with dual doors!.

Volvo B6 3126 still in the old airport livery and seemingly still without destination blinds in good order.

Olympian 5159 seen in Speedwell Street, Oxford with a yellow near side mirror. Is this a new Arriva colour?

 At Newlands Bus Station last Sunday, the colours have changed but Wycombe Bus lives on in memory.

The May issue of Bus Fayre reports on page 310 under Arriva that Arriva the Shires is now operating service 290 between Stokenchurch and London as part of the Green Line network. I believe this is not true, or do you know something I don’t know?. It was axed by Beckwith just before Xmas.   

Reference your comment in issue 30 re “easyCoach”.  Transit for May 9  includes London to Oxford as one of the proposed routes (page 3).    Incidentally, the technical press keeps referring to these proposals as “Easybus”. This is of course the name used by Bucks County Council for the network of rural bus routes operated by Arriva the Shires using the orange and blue Optare Solos owned by BCC, and was the result of BCC being awarded funding under the Rural Challenge scheme.

Regards Ed Maun

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.

The company has published details of its Stakeholder Board's first AGM. Details and be found on the News Page on the company web site at

The Golden Jubilee Trident, 104, is presently under repaint at Cowley Road and will emerge as red city bus, thereby carrying its third livery since new. It is also receiving a digital destination display in like manner to a number of other Tridents.

Coach nr 9 has returned from warranty work at Plaxton/Transbus and nr 10 has now gone for similar work.

The coach pictured last week climbing Stokenchurch cutting on the M40 is confirmed as nr 18 and not 19. There is a variation to the logo on the front dash between the two coaches giving this confirmation.

A Gatwick 15 minutes past departure, the new timings since last Sunday
with nr 37 heading out of Oxford along Speedwell Street at 1618hrs last Friday.
The driver looked very proud of his new steed!!!!

Repainted Trident 107 passes 644 on rush hour relief duty in Speedwell Street.

Dart 519 has returned to service after a period in store.

644 again this time at the Elms Rise terminus of route 4.

Thought you might be interested in this view of former coach 130, seen a few days ago at its new base alongside the A1in Lincolnshire. It was one of five mid-engined DAFs delivered in 1988, these being the first departure from Leyland for the Citylink fleet (excluding the eight Metroliner double deckers) and they were also the first new coaches after COMS was purchased by its management team. Five further DAFs were added in 1989, this time rear-engined models, and for several years these were the regular performers on the X70 Airport service. Two further DAFs were obtained in 1991 but these carried the lower Plaxton Paramount 3200 body style. All twelve left the fleet in 1997/1998. Regards, Paul Green.
(Some of this batch are still with Heyfordian at Bicester. Ed.)

I include the Oxford fleet list for those who missed it last week which can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Oxford Bus Company FLEET LIST 29th April 2003 .

First in Berkshire

I think this Dart SLF must have been transferred from Yorkshire, V154LUA, but I can't find it listed
in the First fleet book. It is operating a Sunday 74 departure from Wycombe.

Full Circle Tours.


Ralph Adams writes "Today, Monday, the new open top bus started occasional trips in the City, presumably on crew training. Each time I saw it, it came up High Street and into St Aldates (i.e. opposite way to existing open toppers.) Advertised on the bus is "frequent service"

Vehicle noted was
WTS272T, a Volvo (tax disc), but probably Alisa, in dark blue and white livery. Fleet name is Oxford Full Circle Tour. Vehicle named Broughty Castle. Whenever I managed to get close to it, it drove of so full details not yet noted.

Operator is Full Circle Tours Ltd, 3 Meon Close, Upper Quinton, STRATFORD. A long way to come in, so must have a local O.C. but do not know where at present


Thanks for that info Ralph. Hope someone can get some pictures of this new operator and I look forward to further reports.

I have mistakenly reported the 757 as a service between Cambridge and Oxford. It is in fact only between Stansted and Oxford. I you wish to travel from Cambridge it would need a change at Stansted, a wait of sometimes nearly one hour and an overall journey time of over four and half hours. So it seems that the Stagecoach X5 has won the day for travellers between the two university cities.

Thanks to Keith Hemmings for drawing my attention  to the error.

Heathrow depot variety on the 757, DAF D303 near the end of its run from Stansted.
This coach will shortly receive the white NEx livery. I wonder if NEx will continue with such advertising?

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford

David Whitley, Marketing Manager of the company has asked for the latest attached fleet list (period 1 - 28th April 2003) to be published in this week's page. you will need Adobe Acrobat to view this file. Click on the Stagecoach logo to view. (you will need to rotate one of the pages to view)

getacro.gif (712 bytes)

The latest fleet list makes interesting reading. Apart from a number of changes and reappearance of the old B registered Olympians in full Stagecoach livery (latest version), two Lynxs have indeed arrived from the North East. They are 29108 - F108HVK and 29127 - H127ACU bringing new registration combinations to Oxford. CU graced old Northern buses and coaches, including some side engined look alike AEC Q coaches and I think HVK graced some AEC Regents of Newcastle Corporation years ago. It is interesting that SCiO often use  M A N s for training and even have a blind display, DRiVER TRAINING" when so used.

Keith Wood reports "Dart 32001 has been repainted into new livery." Indeed this is new as in the attached fleet list it is still recorded as in old livery.

George Candelin reports that
32613 & 32614 are regularly operating to Witney & Carterton on 100 road

Mike Taylor writes "Just to let you know that the above coach featured in last weeks page is in fact Perth based not Aberdeen. as is sister 52038 {N48MJO} All Bluebird buses carry Aberdeen legal lettering as this is the head office for Perth depot despite Perth being the group headquarters.

The two coaches were with Stagecoach Fife until April 2001 in Scottish Citylink livery then transfer to Perth for use as touring and private hire work and find themselves straying onto National Express work.

52029 LSK545 was on Glasgow to London Nat Ex when photographed in London

Keep up the good work "

M A N 22927 works a 7A service through Oxford last Friday. It is probably the most recent repaint
and lacks full vinyls.

M A N 22929, one of the last few Oxford M A N s to retain original livery.

Taken in Speedwell Street from the cab of OBC644 this shot actually has some character.
16144 hurries off to its next duty. (I was stationary - parked up - at the time before anyone asks.)

Currently Tube 38 is shown as delicenced leaving a total of 27 Tubes in service.
Here 54 heads off to Notting Hill on its way to London

Stratford Blue

Richard Sharman writes to tell us of his new web page at

Tappins of Didcot

Ralph Adams writes "The ex Dublin Olympians have now been given fleet numbers. G907FVX is 51 whilst G919FVX is 52. Normal policy is for the fleet number to match the registration number. At present the buses have not been reregistered.

Then Ralph wrote "
No 51 is actually MUI7851 but No 52 is still unchanged as at 9.00 today (Sunday) "

The old...........................................

....................and the new. 51 seen as MUI7851 in Speedwell Street last Friday. The punters were rained off.

Whites of Abingdon

The Whytes buses seem camera shy quite often but this little beast was caught in Speedwell Street.

Woottens of Chesham

Michael Wootten writes "Attached is a photograph of BBW 214Y with Woottens.  Those interested in Oxford Olympians will like this link -

Oxford Willowbrook Warrior fans (am I the only one?) should take a quick look at

Z&S International

Z&S Travel are using former London Buses/Stagecoach Selkent Titan T818, still retaining Catford Garage (TL) plates, on route 321 today.
I hope this is of interest.

David Ive
Princes Risborough

(I had a picture of T818 on this page a few weeks ago in the depot at Aylesbury Ed.)

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

Well, what can I say. Found in Ireland on the main road through Carlow, this is a 1953 Leyland Royal Tiger
with Weymann B44F bodywork formerly with North Western Road Car Co. Ltd.
I was fascinated to find one still in existence and well remember driving 540 of the same batch
on a Blackpool Illumination PH in 1963-4 time. This one was 538 - FDB538.
My memory reminds me that they we very heavy on the steering, the brakes were just about right for
their top speed of about 38 MPH but they did sound lovely and smooth to ride on.

As Coach & Bus Week recorded in last weeks issue, Aircoach of Dublin have taken delivery of a fleet
of these lovely Setra coaches for the Airport service. Must take a ride on one when I'm next in Dublin.

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at


11th to 15th June 2003

Ray Jackson's painting of COMS 703 at Great Tew, Oxon.

An exhibition of paintings is to be held at

Witney & District Museum
Gloucester Court Mews
High Street, Witney
01993 775915

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  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