Sunday 20th June 2004
next update week ending 2nd August 2004
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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Good luck to England in their next game.
This has been a good week for contributions and I am very pleased to have so much support. This is what makes the page interesting for all readers. I noticed the truck pictured below and thought what a good sign was used warning other road users how much a long vehicle can cut in when turning. I also thought how so many motorists seem to think a coach bends in the middle and wonder why they seem to get "cut up" and this is so often accompanied by much horn blowing and general road rage.
The notice mentioned is on the left side of the tank.
for the next two weeks I will involved, as last year, with Wimbledon for London General and my steed as before is Olympian NV185. If anyone is travelling from Heathrow to Wimbledon on the 0900 from Terminal 2 or back at 2000, that will be me!!
your contributions in our area would be much appreciated in the coming two weeks as I will not be in Oxford during that period.
Some items of news relating to buses in our area are included below under the respective operators headings. These include the first Arriva Olympians for the 280 to return from refurbishment, more news on the new Oxford Tubes and trials in Gloucester Green and finally the news that the Oxford Park & Ride Tridents are now receiving Super rear ads for local stores.
A quote from Rob Williams advises that "...According to the Oxfordshire County Council website, 27th June will see a new operator in Oxford. Stratford Blue are taking over the Sunday X50 from Pete's Travel between Stratford upon Avon, Chipping Norton and Oxford. http://www.stratfordblue.co.uk reveals that they have in fact won the daily X20 Stratford to Birmingham contract from them as well, so presumably the through Sunday service is being maintained. It sounds like the vehicles will be the other set of Transbus Enviros that were originally destined for Pete's Travel (Stagecoach in Warwickshire are operating the other four between Rugby and Leamington), but perhaps if we're lucky one of SB's two Citaros might appear as well!"
Andrew Dyer writes "...I was interested to see the list of Thames Valley joint services in 1954. I think I'm right in saying that we (Stagecoach South) are part of the only one of those that's still operating with direct successor companies and that is the former TV122.
32/32A between Newbury & Basingstoke is jointly operated between Newbury Buses
and Stagecoach in Hampshire. All the others have gone or changed hands haven't
they?" (I hope someone
can respond to Andrew's questions. Ed.)
Now I know I've mentioned it before but why oh why do taxis insist on entering Gloucester Green and dropping off their passengers in dangerous locations in the coach station. the picture below highlights this and the drop off bay behind the taxi, where passengers can be safely left was completely clear. Maybe its me and taxis should be able to do whatever they want?
Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. However due to afore mentioned time constraints these will be held over until next week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.
Malcolm Crowe, 20th June 2004
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News of the local companies – 20th June 2004
Steve Warwick has been very busy this week. He sent several very interesting photos and a weighty report on route changes. Steve says "...on the Arriva front Leyland Olympian 5108 (F506 OYW) has arrived at Aylesbury from High Wycombe.
Thur. 17th June
The first of the refurbished Volvo Olympians has finally arrived back (5161) and very nice it looks too, I have attached a photo but it is not brilliant as it was taken in the workshop. It is now due an MOT. 5160 & 5159 are due back next week. Also it appears that Dennis Dart/East Lancs Flyte 3172 (P672 OPP) is going to transferred from Hemel to Aylesbury next week.
Fri. 18th June
Dennis Dart/East Lancs Flyte 3172 (P672 OPP) arrived from Hemel Hempstead. It worked the 0945, X15 today and promptly broke down with gearbox problems at Milton Keynes.
Service Changes from 18th July 2004
Route 3 is withdrawn, replaced by route 4
Route 4 Revised to run every 30mins from The Coppice to Bus Station. including peaks. extended from bus station every 30mins from 0830 to 1600 via old route 3 to Oxford Road then via Hartwell Estate & Prebendal Farm, then Churchill Avenue and Route 3 back to bus station.
Route 5 - Withdrawn
Route 9 - Revised on Monday to Saturday daytime with increased running time and peak service increased to every 10 mins
Route 16 - Withdrawn on Saturdays
Route 54 - 18.09 ex Halton Camp on Mon to Fri now a 54 rather than a 64
Route 61 - Revised timetable with adjustments to departure and running times
Route 63 & 64 - revised with 64 withdrawn from Halton Camp & Village - now via Aston Clinton & Weston Road to Weston Turville.
Route 65 - Afternoon peak now via normal routeing (previously via The Coppice)
Route 66 - Afternoon peak timing changes
Route 74 - revised evening timetable
Route 231 & 232 - Revised timetable - withdrawn between Princes Risborough and High Wycombe. To run in Risborough in a loop via rail station and town centre. Midday journeys to run via Kingston Blount and a general increase to hourly and half hourly peaks with a Saturday service added.
Route 331 - Withdrawn except for a morning peak journey from Chinnor to Wycombe (Marlow Hill Schs on school days) plus two return afternoon peak journeys from Marlow Hill/Wycombe to Chinnor. Schooldays operation from Wycombe depot (I think with 3080 which is rumoured to be on it's way to Wycombe). School holidays to be County Rider from Aylesbury.
New X32 route - One Saturday return journey from Thame-Chinnor-Aston Rowant-M40-to High Wycombe to be operated by County Rider from Aylesbury.
Route 260 - Withdrawn
Route 261 - Withdrawn between Chinnor & Thame but diverted to serve Shabbington & Worminghall. No loners serves Lord Williams Schools and frequency reduced. This route is being re-tendered and operator not yet known.
Route 280 - 2245 Aylesbury to Thame added Mon to Sat
Route 323 - Sunday service lost by Arriva, to be operated by Carousel buses.
Route 326 - Evening & Sunday times changed but to same frequency.
Route 342 - Additional return journey on Saturday mornings to be operated by County Rider, Aylesbury.
Route 363 - Hourly evening and Sunday service introduced.
Route 365 - Withdrawn
Route 372 - Evening and Sunday service lost by Arriva, to be operated by Carousel Buses.
Route 500 - Revised timetable with adjustments to running times. Now certain double deck journeys.
Steve Warwick sent these excellent pictures of Olympians 5159 and 5161 which have just returned from refurbishment
In the left hand picture ex Oxford 230 can just be seen, a regular performer on the 280 in recent weeks.
Also the rear view of one of the refurbs can also be glimpsed.
The interiors have received attention at well and look very smart.
Brian Matthews sent this nice shot of 5099 heading down St Aldates last week
Thanks to Steve for that significant contribution.
Super Rear ads appear on the Park & ride Tridents.
Several Tridents have received Super Rear ads last week. This had been in the planning stage for sometime now and they are rather striking.
112 was awaiting steam cleaning when this picture was taken last Friday evening.
The Citaros however proclaim their clean performance as shown here by 826.
The Thornhill Interchange is working very well indeed and one looks forward to
the proposed improved facilities similar to those at Water Eaton.
Here Scania Irizar coaches 61 and 60 pause on their journeys from and to Heathrow.
Red Trident 103 puts in time on a 400 road duty last Saturday, seen here at Thornhill.
It appears that Volvo coach 12 is now the only coach left in the old livery and still in service. It looks rather dated in amongst the new and refurbished coaches but somehow still seems to be flying the flag for the old days and the rather National Bus image. One wonders just how long it will remain in service.
The Eminox Dart (414) remained at Cowley Road for around a week after its trial in service but has now gone.
Volvo- NCME Paladin 644 is now under preparation as a training vehicle and is having modifications made to suit it for its new role.
Coach 63 is now back on road after some repairs following accident damage.
It is noted that Citaros 837 and 838 have tachographs fitted enabling these buses to be used on Private Hire and Rail Replacement work.
Gavin Francis visited the yard at Cryers Hill, high Wycombe this morning and found ex OBC Leyland Tiger coach 122 in for attention at Binders Yard. It is pictured below.
Tiger 122, with an unknown operator at Binders Yard.
My friend Bus Monkey sent this short report from a week ago
818 on 400
603, 620, 643 on 5
630 on 15
I also noted 617 on 5 road last Saturday and a Volvo B10BLE 8xx on 10 City Circle last Friday evening.
A general view of Horspath Depot last Saturday morning. Unusually all three "types" of Brookes Bus were present.
When I visited the Pickfords relief storage area on Saturday I noticed that 22927 now has a
revised vinyl on the near side for "PLUS Evans Lane etc."
The two Lynx trainers were present and I took a photo reminiscent of the days when we were
young enthusiasts and somewhat shorter than now. Buses somehow seemed much bigger then, didn't they?
Stuck in a traffic jam at the top end of Cowley road, I was able to get this picture of
M A N 22203 picking up on its way into town on Bravos.
I learned on Friday that at least four new Tubes were around and to be used on driver training next week. My visit to Pickfords on Saturday morning revelaed not four but five had arrived. Three carried temporary branding to proclaim the new order. They lacked fleet numbers but were registered as follows and in order as per the photo below. KP04GJK, KP04GJF, KP04GJE, KP04GJJ and KP04GJG. If they are registered in build order we have, presuming there will be an H, build nrs 01, 02 ,03, 05 and 06. Maybe the chassis numbers will give a clue. I can however admit now having visited Neoplan in Stuttgart several weeks ago and seen the batch in build and caught on camera build nr 3 outside the factory. Unladen weight of these new Behemoths is 17780 kgs.
Rob Williams says "The first two Neoplans are registered KP04 GJG/J. I don't yet know how these tally up with fleet numbers, but GJJ had/has a big fluorescent 4 in the window - I think a build number applied by Neoplan, but I don't know if this will match it's body number, let alone it's fleet number.
A trial took place in Gloucester Green last Tuesday morning when one of the two pictured below
is seen turning onto stands 12, 13, 14 for manoeuvrability tests.
This photo was kindly supplied by Martin Sutton, Managing Director of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.
David Taylor kindly provided this further picture of the tests with GJG and GJJ on the top end bays.
Several well known industry figures are present.
GJJ seen with the temporary vinyls in a photo from Martin Sutton.
A nearside view of GJG with the two entrances clearly visible. I do however wonder about the window
behind the middle door where ladies with skirts might have a modesty problem.
Adrian Lancer writes "Just picked up a copy of the Brookesbus Summer Timetable and noticed a couple of surprising things! The 0800 departure ex Wheatley will run via Thornhill Park & Ride on schooldays only, is this for parents to drop off children at the Park & ride so they can catch the bus to school??? The NU1 will run on Friday and Saturday nights only, hourly from wheatley to Harcourt in that direction, but in the other direction there will be two sections, each running hourly - from Harcourt to Green Road and from City Centre to Wheatley!! Also, when the U3 is axed next year, will the NU3 continue for Rose Hill residents or will it also disappear and be replaced by more N3 journeys?"
Rob Williams answered my question last week about a further Olympian saying "The Megabus question-marked on the OCBP is most likely the previously mentioned 13618 (H522FRP) in service, which incidentally since the last report on OCBP has been named Trinity.
Thames Travel, Wallingford.
Solo 353 declares revised timetables from July 5th when seen in George Street on Saturday.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Chris Maxfield writes with most interesting news of events at Blenheim Palace last night, 19th June and the appearance of nearly 200 coaches in connection with the event. Chris says "...Last night turned out to be an eventful night at Blenheim Place with Vodafone taking over the grounds for a lavish summer ball for all its staff. This years even entailed The Razzle Dazzle Ball. Around ten thousand people attended this amazing ball, which included an amazingly spectacular space age marquee bigger than any marquee I have ever seen before. a huge fun fare greeted all the guests with rides to rival Alton Towers. The food must have been spectacular as even in the coach area it smelt fantastic.
Guests arrived by coaches and in cars. Around 200 coaches were in attendance at this event, and I was there to witness this event. Not having a ticket and on our way to Oxford for dinner me and my girlfriend decided to have a drive to Blenheim to see the coaches arrive. Coaches arrived via Bladon and entered the grounds of Blenheim Palace at the entrance nest to the pub.
After taking a few photos
there we decided to try out luck at entering the premises in order to visit the
coach park which I had already been tipped of about and told how grand the
affair was. We arrived at the gate and was told we could not enter the premises
but as we could not turn back that we should proceed out of the ground via the
main entrance. We had made it past security post number one. We drove towards
the main entrance but oh dear we got lost and ended up following a great line of
coaches when we arrived at security post number 2. Again we got stopped and
asked what our business was, the better half fluttered her eyelashes and instead
of going though a car search was told to follow the coaches and wow that was it
past security we was away towards the coach park.
The site of me in a pair of shorts mingling my way through thousands of people is tuxedos and ball gowns was a sight and I did get a few chuckles from guests. But I was in at my prime photographing some magnificent coaches. Coaches arrived from all over the our area and included those of Greyline Bicester, Heyfordian, Motts Travel, GW's of Bicester, Bakers of Enstone, Blunsdon's of Oxford.
Many more coaches were provided by operators from all over England and included Yardley Travel of Birmingham, Corbel of London, MCH of Uxbridge, Leons of Birmingham, Pulhams, First group provided 5 tri Axle B12M's recently displaced from the Reading-Heathrow rail air service.
Mass Transport the ever expanding company based in Anston near Sheffield supplied 3 coaches and the star of the whole evening for me had to be the return to Oxford of N1 MAS better known to us all as N157BFC ex Oxford Bus Company 57. although this coach is now overall white and has lost front fog lights it is still equipped with its Oxford destination blind. I was hoping to get a picture of it with an Oxford destination on the screen but unfortunately the driver had disappeared when I found the coach.
All the coach drivers
were fully catered for. Vodafone hired out both the Little Chefs on the A34 by
Weston On The Green and drivers were treated to a free meal on Vodafone's
All in all it seems a great evening was had by all both guests and coach drivers alike, even myself been able to grab so many great photos in this one place."
Many thanks to Chris for the report and the many photos of which I have used as many as practical. I will include a few more next week.
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