Friday 20th June 2008
(next update week ending 29th June 2008)
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
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To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail
Well, I am pleased to have another bumper page for readers with some 130 pictures in this issue. I have been busy working and so there has been a longer gap than I would have wished since the last issue.
Contributions from readers have been significant and I am delighted by the input from so many of you. These have included many pictures of interest, including coverage of The Isle of Wight Festival requiring many additional buses on the island.
Comments from several readers cover the apparent lack of capacity in Gloucester Green with delays to departing services, whilst incoming buses and coaches struggle to get on to their loading bays. With the advent of longer buses and coaches, your comments suggest that an alternative is required or some action taken to improve movements. Certainly the general abuse of safety, with passengers walking across the operating area is surely of concern to the operators and local authorities which needs addressing at an early opportunity.
The introduction of many new buses in the area covered by these pages is fully shown in this issue. 08 plates are appearing all over the country and our area is no exception.
My report of Day 1 on my trip from Stokenchurch to Land's End was very well received by many readers and I am presently working to produce Day 2 in the next week or so. however a further six day stint on the 737 will mean publication is not before next Friday. However very many thanks to the many readers who sent nice comments, it does make it worthwhile.
A word on contributor's pictures if I may? I use a format on the page of 1000 x **** pixels and sometimes your pictures are as small as 640x480 pixels, a format now most used by mobile phones. Whilst I do not want, in any way, to discourage contributions, the larger size makes for better viewing on the finished page. A further item is that it is always helpful if the date is available. Many cameras when one looks at the "properties" of a picture show the date and time taken which helps with the captions I use. Not vital but helpful. I hope readers do not mind my mentioning these two items.
Under Coming Events we cover the special day at Kemble in early August.
I hope you all enjoy this issue.
Arise Sir Moir…
First Group Chief Executive Moir Lockhead, 63, became a Knight in last Saturday's Queen’s birthday honours.
Mr Lockhead - who left school at 15 to become an apprentice mechanic - and is already an OBE, is awarded a knighthood for “services to transport.”
One of only 17 men to be knighted in today’s honours list, ‘Sir Moir’ as he has become, said: “I am on a little bit of a high right now – I can’t believe it really.”
“It has been a massive 12 months for the company and I am very lucky to have so many good people around me - people who have done very well for the business.
“We have high expectations and these people really have exceeded those.
“I am delighted to receive this award for myself and my family, but this is also a great tribute to the people who work for First Group both here and in North America.”
Ensign orders 10 new ‘deckers
Passenger growth on its commercial routes in Essex - which is seeing existing single deckers running full - has prompted Ensignbus to place a £1.7m order with Darwen group for 10 Olympus 10.9m 82-seater double deckers, for delivery in September/October.
In the two years since Ensign, best known as a dealer and City Sightseeing owner, has been running Essex commercial services (centred on routes connecting Lakeside, Grays and Tilbury) it has grown from two routes to the present eight.
The new buses will be direct replacements for 10 Darts on two 20-minute interval services, that combine to provide a 10-minute frequency on the core of the route.
ADL wins big share of £63million Arriva order
ARRIVA has announced orders for over 460 new buses worth
over £63million. Confirmed suppliers ADL and Optare are between them supplying
287 complete buses, with ADL’s share amounting to almost half of the total order
by value. It is understood that most of the remaining vehicles will be sourced
from Volvo and Wrightbus.
Arriva’s group technical services director, Mark Bowd, says: “We have continued to work with a range of suppliers to ensure our businesses have the flexibility to provide the best local service for customers, with vehicles which are suited to the needs of the passengers and the local operating conditions.
“We welcome the developments the bus manufacturers have delivered to improve comfort for passengers, further enhance safety standards and reduce harmful particulate emissions. People considering using the bus may not appreciate the enormous progress made in the latest generation of vehicles – particularly if it’s some time since they travelled by bus.”
Arriva highlights the joint imperative faced by bus operators and manufacturers to improve the fuel economy of vehicles against a background of rapidly rising fuel prices – and thus meet the commercial and environmental challenges faced in providing value-for-money services.
Orders confirmed from Alexander Dennis are for 202 complete buses – 125 Enviro400 double-deckers, 67 Enviro200 midis and 10 Enviro300 full-size single-deckers. Worth about £30million, these vehicles will be shared between London, Southern Counties, The Shires and North West operations of Arriva. Optare is supplying 85 buses – 77 Solos and eight Versas.
The other main supplier to Arriva, Wrightbus, has yet to confirm its share of the group’s business.
Darwen to become Optare
Darwen Holdings plc is to change its name to Optare plc
This follows conditional agreement to acquire Jamesstan Investments, the holding company of Leeds-based Optare Group, which is valued by the deal at £15.95m.
In conjunction with the acquisition, the company has also announced that it intends to raise approximately £16m through the issue of 40m placing shares at 40p.
Darwen Chief Executive Andrew Brian said: "We are excited about building a
stronger and more competitive business, to capitalise on the opportunity to
deliver market-leading hybrid public transport solutions and to deliver great
results for our customers, business partners and employees."
Southern Vectis call in a large number of vehicles to cover the festival and several readers have sent some nice pictures of the buses involved.
Steve Bunce writes "I shot this pair of Oxford Old Boys in Ryde Bus Station on Friday and hope they are of interest."
"This couple of ex-London types on loan to Southern Vectis from Greene Lane were on the Downs Tour this weekend. Snapped at Ryde bus station."
Steve Warwick writes "Went to the Isle of Wight Saturday (not for the Festival) with a Bowls Club stopped in Ryde for an hour and saw the buses pictured below."
Alex Hornby, Operations Manager of Bluestar writes "Thank you, as ever, for the hard work you put into the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page… It’s one of the best bus ‘gricer’ sites out there – good reporting, great reading!
I am sure many people will have sent photos of the former Oxford buses used by Go South Coast at this year’s IOW Festival, but here’s some more of a selection of particularly interesting vehicles that I managed to get a drive and a ‘piccie’ of. Hope you and the readers find these of interest."
Former Stagecoach Yorkshire 28968 East Lancs-bodied Scania saw only one day’s operation on the Festival
and is seen here en route from Yarmouth to Poole depot, where it was to be collected by current owners Ensign.
Also on loan from Ensign was ex Stagecoach Scotland West 28953, another Scania, this time with Alexander Strider bodywork,
was used on Thursday but soon found itself over the pits at Newport depot following an alternator problem.
I did like the appropriate blind of what I presumed was its former owner – shame about the colour of the star though!
It is seen here in Wootton Village whilst on its way to pick up festival goers from Ryde.
Another Ensign vehicle was ex Cambridge Blue Metrobus A441 UUV, which remained a spare for much of the weekend
but was used on Friday and the early hours of Monday at least.
It is seen here being fuelled at Newport depot on Saturday morning where it remained until very early on Monday morning.
A gathering of interesting London Central/General vehicles is seen at the Wellow outstation, a farmer’s yard in West Wight,
where myself and a number of my colleagues were also staying.
Thanks to all of you for those interesting pictures and notes. It proved to be quite a Mecca for the enthusiast.
Pictures from Peter Cartwright of recent vintage days
Peter sent some excellent pictures of recent vintage days.
Slough - more of STL 441
Ruislip 1st June
High Wycombe and the closure of Bridge St
Last Sunday Bridge Street, which is the road running past the Eden Bus Station, was closed to allow the removal of Portakabins, until recently used by constructions workers involved in the Eden project.
Frazer Peddle took a couple of interesting pictures showing the removal and he writes "Please find attached pictures of that I took this morning on Bridge Street. They were removing the prefab cabins at the Desborough Road end where Multiplex stored their equipment and had offices etc.
I believe the low loader artic trucks arrived last night after Bridge Street was closed from the exit of the bus station to Desborough Road. Some wagons were parked along the far side of the bus station awaiting cabinets to be lifted."
By Saturday evening the road was closed and on my way from Stansted to Oxford on the 737, due Wycombe at 21:20, I found my way blocked and had to take some tight turns to gain the bus station. This was much to the surprise of some drinkers at a local pub who I am sure had never seen a bus passing by their watering hole.
Uni-link, Southampton by Nigel Barnes-Evans and that Thames Travel Scania decker
As a semi-regular reader of you excellent weekly news pages, can I just comment on the feature regarding Scania Omnidekka YN55NDY (Noddy).
This bus left the fleet of uni-link some weeks ago, at the same time as an Enviro 300 single decker.
The new contract to operate the Southampton uni-link network later this year has been awarded by the University of Southampton to the Go-Ahead group's 'Go South Coast' operation. It will not be merged with any existing subsidiary of GSC, and remain a separate entity, although naturally some close working arrangements may be developed in the future. The Go South Coast companies have already assisted uni-link prior to the winning of the contract, especially for events such as university open-days when vehicles have been hired to help meet demand. Noddy's departure is nothing to do with the forthcoming change of operator however, just to set the record straight !
A new fleet of Polish-built Scania Omnicity single, and double, deckers, both featuring dual-door bodies, is on order for the new contract. It is very likely some of the existing fleet may carry on until the new deliveries arrive, sometime in the early autumn.
More on Virgin Trains connecting coach services VT98 and Vt99 by Mick Payne
Mick writes "Your bus pages get better and better. Brilliant article on your trip to Land's End. Sure will inspire more of us "oldies" to get out and about more.
In the last issue a reader asked about VT98. A Virgin acquaintance tells me VT98 was withdrawn at the end of May and travellers are now directed to Greenline 724 for Heathrow. Seems Virgin services at Watford Junction will be reduced this coming December to one an hour to Birmingham and a few odd journeys to other destinations at business hours so the VT98 link can no longer be justified.
By contrast whenever I visit Milton Keynes VT99 seems to be doing better business these days, possibly due to the withdrawal of Arriva X66 (the substitute 70 to Luton Airport is now no competition). New Virgin timetable in December sees hourly services from MK to Birmingham, Manchester, Crewe, Chester etc so future of VT99 looks more assured.
All the best and look forward to reading part 2 of your trip."
Well known photographer, Terry Wong Min, visits our area
Terry writes "I thought I would enclose these pictures which are newsworthy of your area. Back home briefly before some more trips elsewhere. The sun has been so great to us it's where you can really test your photo skills and bring the best out of the digital.
I visited Oxford (not visited for over the last two years), caught up with a couple of the smaller operators with one of the four mentioned 08 plates that have arrived. Also include a Brookes Trident not sure this is odd but I am sure your Oxford regulars would verify."
Heyfordian's new 08 plate
Oxford Bus's first Trident looking resplendent in the June sunshine.
During the long vac, Brookes Tridents can work on almost any routes under Oxford's control
Terry's pictures shows one on the 20A in Magdalen Street East.
"So moving on to Reading I took a picture of the new Ethanol buses on the 17. I noted around 5 in service so here is one in Norcot."
The livery is most interesting and also striking.
"The previous day I also caught up with the new Enviro 200 with Stagecoach Hants and Surrey taken at Ash en route to Aldershot on route 20."
"Over the weekend I caught up with some North London action at catch up to photo the 231 (Turnpike Lane Station-Enfield Chase Station) which First have taken over from Metroline. Taken at Enfield is DN33508."
Terry advises that more of his Oxford pictures can be found at the following link:
Huntingdon & District becomes Stagecoach in the Fens visited by Glenn Knight
Glenn visited this company and took a lot of pictures of their buses where the original fleet is gaining Stagecoach national fleet numbers. also a number of older Olympians have been drafted in by the parent company.
A selection of older deckers from this fleet including some second hand ones from London
A "51" registered Dart showing its new fleet number, 33307.
Other single deckers are somewhat non-standard for Stagecoach.
One of the ex London origin deckers drafted in, 16135.
Two other examples of drafted in Olympians from the main fleet.
Matt Cooper recounts some of his travels around our area with pictures
its been some time since I last was in contact, I hope all is well with you. A
significant change in my work situation has lead me to be touring the area
recently to 'pass the time' and I have really enjoyed my recent outings. I feel
like an honorary 'silver tripper' and on many of the 'off peak' journeys I am
considerably the most youthful passenger!
In answer to a few of the pics/points raised in last weeks page United Counties 648 (G648EVV) latterly 14048 spent the majority of its life at Bedford Depot. It was one of five coach seated vehicles new in 1989 and were split amongst the depots for the majority of their lives thus, 645 Kettering, 646 & 647 at Northampton 648 & 649 at Bedford. I had the pleasure of driving 647 (now 14047) around the track at Silverstone.
The Virgin Trains VT99 service runs hourly from MK Rail Station & Shopping Centre to Luton Town Centre & Airport hourly. Having previously been operated with 6 vehicles every 30 mins this was cut back to hourly in September last year and using 4 vehicles in the Virgin silver and red livery. Using the M1, this is a useful fast link between the two towns. Centrebus operate a X66 service regularly using ex Thames Transit Dart L710 JUD if you fancy a more scenic and 'bouncy' trip to Luton!
Here are some pictures from my recent travels. I enjoyed a few trips on some 'old faithfuls', be they ex Oxford Bus or Luton & District vehicles.
I was also very impressed with the Oxford Tube. After many years and indeed
some time spent working in Oxford I finally had a trip to London and back on
'The Tube' For 4 year old vehicles the are in fine condition, drivers smart and
attentive and announcing all relevant information as the journey continued. I
jumped off 50120 in Gloucester Green and onto the X5, a slight difference.....!
The pictures include an unbranded DAF on 'Line 100' the fast link to Aylesbury from MK, I was most impressed by how quickly one can now get to Aylesbury. My lunchtime pint with suitable timetable for my day!
Now that should make those lovers of beer thirsty!
I enjoyed, indeed waited for 5834 (G234 VWL) and travelled from Aylesbury to Thame on the 260 route via some wonderful villages. Apart from the damp smell this old girl ran extremely well. Jumping off in Thame I was most impressed that 5101 arrived on route 280 (or is that two eighty) Once again this bus ran very well although I didn't fancy saying otherwise to the rather large Polish driver who filled the cab!
Also included 50118 my steed to London, taken at Notting Hill, the X5 'experimental' Volvo Olympian 16209 leaving Gloucester Green.
Travelling to Swindon I was amazed by the large fleet of Thamesdown Transport's ex Lothian Leyland Olympians parked at the bus station. Also good to see a well turned out H-reg Dennis Dominator on a lunchtime shuttle and another of the R-YUD batch 33808 based in the town.
Following Steve Loveridge's comment on the new buses due for the 9/9A Northampton-Duston services here is a picture of 33813 in the Drapery the day that the contents of the staff toilets in Greyfriars Bus Station decided to see what the bus station platform looked like and was subsequently closed to the public for the remainder of the day! The Drapery was one of 3 town centre terminus points used and I hope that Stagecoach management trainee Richard Hands pictured to the side of the bus doesn't mind me including this shot! It was a pleasure to work with Richard and I hope he is getting on well with his courses.
I forgot to mention the following, MK Metro 'green' Dart HX51LSO (formally 51) now with driver training vinyls.
The ex Reading Buses Metrobus (173) was seen on High Wycombe High Street letting the helping the good people of Wycombe to stop smoking!
The Arriva Midlands Scania is on the now cancelled X6 (Leicester-Coventry) service that Travel De Courcey has began operating with the ex OBC coaches. Old timer 14026 (F626MSL) was seen in use on a Rugby town service.
Many thanks to Matt for a most interesting piece and some nice pictures.
Adam Floyd visits Banbury
Adam writes "Here are a few photos from Banbury town centre taken late morning on Thursday 28th May."
Ex Arriva London Olympian G550 VBB, now with the Active Ten 20 youth project based at Upper Heyford, offering half-term activities to Banbury's teenagers.
Johnsons of Henley-in-Arden operate into Banbury from Warwickshire. Their Excelbus fleet includes Optare Tempos
such as YJ07 EHH seen leaving the bus station for Stratford-upon-Avon.
Some of the ex-Oxford Varios with the uncommon Alexander ALX100 bodywork migrated to Banbury. 42383 is seen among typical town centre traffic.
Chipping Norton 488 service branded Solo 47237 was working Banbury town service B2.
Grayline of Bicester have a couple of elderly Plaxton Darts used on town services.
K623PGO is a 9m version which originated on the Isle of Man.
Geoff Amos's bright yellow buses are a common sight in Banbury. This ex de Courcey Marshall Dart is the company's spare low-floor bus.
Thanks to Adam for a most informative report.
Chiltern road run from Dave Stewart
I was unable to get to this run and missed out on some excellent vehicles. The HCVS Chiltern Road Run took place on Sunday 15th June and, as before, started at Henley Station yard, via Marlow, Lane End, Stokenchurch, old A40 (down the winding hill), Chinnor, Princes Risborough,. Aylesbury to Quainton Road Station. There were about 15 to 20 or so buses and rather more commercials (vans/ lorries/ medical/ military etc).
If anyone has any pictures to contribute I would be pleased to include them in the next issue?
New buses for the TfL route 84 by Glenn Knight
Glenn Knight sent some information and pictures of the new fleet placed in service by Metroline for the 84 route from New Barnett to St Albans.
Dennis / Enviro 200s used on service 84 St Albans to New Barnet with a picture taken of DEL856 - LK08DWL
LK08 DVZ DEL848
LK08 DWA DEL849
LK08 DWC DEL850
LK08 DWD DEL851
LK08 DWE DEL852
LK08 DWF DEL853
LK08 DWG DEL854
LK08 DWJ DEL855
LK08 DWL DEL856
Off to St Albans and beyond! June 7th 2008 by Stephen Le Bras
Saturday dawned bright and clear so it was off on the bus to Terminal 5.
06.47 from Windsor- First Scania/Wright 60754 on route 71.
On the way we passed Royal Holloway College, where the students in formal attire were much in evidence, even at that time of the morning! Come to think about it, I wonder if they had been up all night as several needed help in walking but none of them needed to catch our bus so on we travelled to the airport.
07.48 T5 to Central Bus Station- Travel Surrey Dennis Dart 8003 on route 441.
After an abortive attempt to read the 724 timetable on stop 9 (the Oxford one is fine but the 724 is far too small), I caught the 441 out of T5 passing the inbound 724 which actually starts from T5 at 07.52.
08.15 CBS to St Albans- Arriva the Shires Mercedes Citaro 3903 on route 724.
I took the opportunity to obtain a new 724 timetable before the Citaro turned up as I didn’t want to miss it. I have not travelled on the 724 since the 06 reg Citaros were allocated and it was a smooth ride through Uxbridge and Watford, taking 90 minutes.
The place to visit in St Albans is the Abbey and the 724 passes nearby stopping at the Abbey station at the bottom of the hill. It used to run down St Peters Street but is now diverted around the back because of the long traffic delays caused by traffic light phasing.
11.20 St Albans to Barnet – Metroline Enviro 200 DEL858 on route 84. (see picture above for this type of bus. Ed.)
After seeing the first 84 which was a brand new DEL, I had a long wait for the next one to appear. Delays became the order of the day as our bus took 10 minutes just to travel the 200 yards to its turning point away from the town. Then there were some roadworks and the driver advised his colleagues that he was 20-25 minutes down at Potters Bar. He was told to disgorge his passengers at the next available stop and the next bus would be along to collect us in 2 minutes. After having disembarked everybody, we were told to climb on board again and it would be just our driver who would take the other bus back to the depot and the other driver would take our bus to its destination but it was another delay.
13.00 Barnet to Enfield- Arriva Daf /Plaxton DLP110 on route 307.
This is another route which I have not tried for several years but I remembered that it was a reasonably quick route to my next objective. This time I sat in the back of the lower deck where there are seats facing one another.
13.35 Enfield to Turnpike Lane station- First Enviro 400 DN33507 on route 231. (Again see picture above for this type of bus. Ed.)
Another well used route which has just changed operator and the new Enviro 400s are very comfortable. Leaving another location where the road at a major junction has been dug up and just left, we made good progress to our destination.
I have made the journey back into central London many times from here on the bus as, even on the occasions when I used to buy a daily travelcard, I prefer to use the bus which is the 141 to Moorgate, 271 around the corner to Liverpool Street and then the 23 to Charing Cross and 11 to Victoria.
By the time that I had made my way home on the 17.30 702 from Victoria, I had been on the road for over 12 hours.
Concessions I didn't even know existed.
Les Smart writes "I have followed your bus page for some time, but have not sent you anything. I have come across an interesting extra benefit to the national bus pass.
Concessionary admission to events, shows, cinemas, etc used to be for "Senior Citizens" over retirement age (65 for men), but showing my bus pass has inevitably given me concessionary admission and this from the age of 60!"
Peter Horrex writes "Just to say a very interesting article on Day 1 of your trip to Land's End, I'm looking forward to part 2. Maybe I should also be looking forward to when I get my free bus pass in 14 years time?? LOL.
The term 'Twirly' seems to have died a natural death here in London. When I first started on the buses back in 86, people with their OAP passes were indeed known as 'Twirlies' or 'Coffin Dodgers'. Both these terms have faded away here in London over the years and such passengers are now referred to as 'Wombles'!!!
Keep up the good work on the 'Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page', I look forward to
Visit my web sites:
Pensioners on board for a further stage in life
So-called silver riders are taking full advantage of the extension of free bus travel. Go-Ahead reported early benefits from the nationwide extension of free bus-travel passes to the over-60s and Stagecoach is expected to report similar increases next week.
“We are seeing lots of pensioners using buses for days out to places like Bournemouth, Poole and Oxford,” Keith Ludeman, chief executive of Go-Ahead, said. “In Brighton, we have seen an 11 per cent increase in pensioners using the bus.” Bus companies are reimbursed for the extra passengers they carry by local authorities, which pay a percentage of the full adult single fare for each person carried.
The £1 billion scheme does not include long-distance coach services or train fares. In London over-60s are entitled to free Tube travel, alongside free bus travel.
Buses in the Landscape
I liked the picture submitted by David Percy and seen below. It is really full of activity and colour. It is Frideswide Square in Oxford, seen from the Rail overbridge.
A Derwent Travel coach taken by James Trow.
Stroud Running Day from Marcus Lapthorn
Hopefully someone will cover Stroud Running Day on Sunday 29 June, if you could publicise it please? I cannot attend that day.
Record buses and coaches display at south-west's largest festival of steam and
petrol at Kemble airfield, near Cirencester,
from Friday 1st August to Sunday 3rd August 2008.
The 34th Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza (often referred to as the Kemble Show, because of its location) will be the largest ever, with a record entry of over 800 vintage and classic cars.
Originally conceived for steam enthusiasts, the show has grown to include a huge array of buses, coaches, motorcycles, military vehicles, classic cars, tractors, aircraft, commercial vehicles, traction engines and historic caravans. It is an air show, country fayre and transport rally all rolled into one superb extravaganza. With non-stop live action for three days and special attractions for children, the Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza is one of the UK's best family shows. It takes place at Kemble airfield, near Cirencester, from Friday 1st August to Sunday 3rd August 2008.
Widely regarded as a show within a show, the bus section has grown from humble beginnings to one of the biggest Bus & Coach Gatherings in the UK. Attracting exhibits from the length of the land as well as from foreign climes, the line up of vehicles is as colourful as it is impressive.
There will be buses and coaches from 1938 to the present day on display, including the world’s largest gathering of Bedford OB coaches. At the 2007 event the World Record for the number of these remarkable vehicles gathered in preservation in one place was set, and is planned that 2008 will see this record being smashed.
The Bedford OB bus were introduced in 1939 and production resumed after World War II until 1950. More than 12,000 were built and Bedford OB buses were a common sight on Britain's roads in the 1950s and '60s. The company's advertising slogan was: 'You see them everywhere!'
Buses and coaches from many manufacturers will be displayed, with the vast majority built in Bristol. 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of when the first Bristol bus entered service and there will be special displays to mark this event.
John Hitchings of the bus and coach section of Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza says: "Everybody enjoys seeing old buses and coaches because we each remember special journeys made on them. A ride on a vintage bus is a trip heavy with nostalgia."
There will be a vintage bus service to and from Kemble railway station operating during the show and buses will be available across the showground to the Bristol Aero collection. For the bus schedule, please refer to the websitewww.steamextravaganza.com
Adult: Friday £5, Saturday or Sunday £8, Weekender: £12
Children Friday £3, Saturday or Sunday £4, Weekender: £6 (aged 6 – 16years)
Concessions: Friday: £4, Saturday or Sunday: £6, Weekender: £8
(Inc: OAP’s, Disabled, NUS, unemployed)
Family Day Ticket: £20 (2 x adults, 2 x children)
Family Weekender Ticket: £30 (2 x adults, 2 x children)
Under 5’s free of charge
Advance tickets available from Local Tourist Information Centres including: Stroud, Cirencester, Chippenham, Swindon, Malmesbury, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tetbury.
Gates open at 10am everyday
All profits donated to the Cobalt Appeal Fund, Diabetes UK & The County Air Ambulance.
Amersham & District Running Days for 2008 are:
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.
Just to let you know that the programmes for the Hemel Running Day are now available from me by post (54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX) or in person from the enquiry office at Hemel bus station. They are £5 before the day and £6 on the day.
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.
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
LT Bus Shelter by Peter Edgar
Peter writes "Thought you may be interested in the attached picture."
One of the few remaining ex London Transport Q Shelters still in use, and in our area at Hedgerley Corner, Farnham Common.
The photograph's show Timebus RF 491 on its return from Cobham Bus Museum's Rear Engine Day last Sunday, June 15th
"These were the standard style bus shelters used throughout the LT Central, and Country area's in the 1950's and 60's. This stop is used by the Slough to High Wycombe services, but offers little protection compared to today's shelters."
Aldenham Works by Marcus Lapthorn
London Transport's Aldenham Works ran a special Works service bus each weekday from Aylesbury to Aldenham. The bus stopped at certain points en route to collect Aldenham employees and this ensured they all got to work on time! The bus was maintained, of course, by Aldenham and in 1977 a red RT no. 1130 was the regular performer on this special LT employees only route. The return trip gave entry back to Aylesbury by about 5.30-6 p.m. I believe. The bus was stabled overnight at the United Counties yard in Aylesbury where this photograph was taken on 27 September 1977. In latter years an RM was used instead of the RT and when the United Counties garage was closed, the bus was then stored at the Red Rover garage in Buckingham Road, Aylesbury.
Aylesbury recollections by Tony Newman
In case it is of interest, and in case it is not generally known: re Issue 216 (Monday 16 September 2002) which I have just found . . . I see the comment
'The Aylesbury terminus was, like United Counties and Thames Valley in those days, Kingsbury Square.'
The following bus services worked out of Kingsbury Square concurrently during the 1950s/1960s:
City of Oxford to Oxford & Kidlington
Green Line (services to Westerham and Oxted)
United Counties (to Northampton and probably elsewhere)
I believe the Keith's Coaches and Red Rover bus lines later merged.
Reading Bus Station memories by Paul Dudfield
interested to read the first part of your report on your Lands End trip. I look
forward to hearing how you got on with your trip across to Exeter from Lyme
Regis as I think this must one of the country's top double deck bus routes:
especially the bit through Beer. I had thought of ambushing you in Exeter bus
station but you chose to travel on the one day I could not be there.
Seeing your photos of buses in Reading reminded me of the enclosed picture which I found whilst sorting out my slides the other day. It neatly links together two of the outposts of the OCBP area by showing a Thamesdown bus leaving Reading Bus Station whilst working for Alder Valley. Note the barely visible destination at the base of the driver's windscreen. The photo was taken in September 1974.
The Thamesdown bus was only one of several hired buses that Alder Valley were using that day.
Thanks to all my contributors who help to make this page what it is.
Malcolm Crowe - Friday 20th June 2008
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 20th June 2008
Glenn Knight, I guess like many of us in younger days, enjoys seeing what various destinations, not normally seen, look like on the bus.
Arriva Leyland Olympian 5093 - F643LMJ pictured on Kirkwood Road in the nice afternoon sun with a most unlikely display - 757 London Victoria & City.
Pictures from various readers
This week's local paper carries correspondence about the very difficult problems of parking on the 39 route. This makes it sometimes very difficult for drivers to maintain their schedule and also results in them having to mount the pavement to get by.
I noticed that yesterday a CSO was busy booking cars in Downley where they were parked on the pavement or grass verge.
Weekday use of a Plaxton Centro on a 321 working at Luton Airport this week. M Crowe
Andrew Webb responds to the question by Glenn Knight last week about the Optare branding saying "IIRC these buses were built by Renault but then "fitted out" by Optare in Leeds. Presumably this included fitting glass in the windows and all of the interior."
We seem to have pictures of Carousel in Wycombe but not so often en route.
Gavin Francis caught up with Renault AL1 in Uxbridge.
Stephen Le Bras writes"I was amazed to see 64043 this evening on the 77 leaving Windsor for Heathrow at 17.18. This is the bus that doesn't reappear in Windsor and presumably goes back into the garage or something. And so it was 60757 which turned up at 18.46 on 77 "Short Journey"- wonder what 64043ld have shown on its display? 64043 LK 08 FMC The rear caption is "frequent flyer? so are we."
"64045 on route 77 this morning 190608 LK08FME and noted after lunch were 64044 on the 75 and 64045 which has moved from the 77 this am on to the 78."
"Solo 53052 repainted red in the depot yard."
Correct bus for the 58 is this ALX200 Dart 42656. Gavin Francis.
Working on the highly competitive route 74 is Dart 42338 passing through Beaconsfield. M Crowe.
Once the pride of the Rail Air fleet this Volvo is now on training duties, 64798 by Gavin Francis.
Grayline's latest bus is this Optare Excel pictured by James Trow.
More pictures of the new buses are to hand.
Rebranding of the coach fleet is taking place and the engineers working on this project are now getting round to the older coaches. SC Oxford's Levantes are due to be completed in early July.
Richard Sharman caught up with this Levante on the 310 operated by Arriva's Classic subsidiary.
The new livery is appearing on older coaches now and here NXL32, based at Heathrow is working the 787 in place of the now more usual Levante tri-axle.
An even older Scania is this one from Nottingham's Dunn Line-Veolia operation YN03DFZ on the 767 service at Luton.
Ant writes "Thought you would be interested in these pics of eight Oxford B10B/Verde's that are currently sat in Solent Blue Lines Eastleigh Barton Park compound, believed to be on loan for the IOW Festival although it is unclear if they will be used on the actual Festival services or whether they'll go on normal service work to release GSC deckers for the work instead. Fifteen were mentioned but definitely only eight were present as of half seven this evening; either not yet delivered or possibly already taken over to the Island.
Just to further update, there are seven already on the Island - N605/8/16-18FJO, N813/5WGR and N613FJO turned up at BP as well today and N617FJO has been reported already on the IOW.
Citaro 832 is seen on an 8 road working in this picture by Gavin Francis.
Seems there is an ex Oxford Tiger for sale on e-bay. It was ex Heyfordian Tiger being TJI6304.
A surprise visitor to Oxpens last Sunday was this Goldline coach caught in the lens of Gavin Francis. Buses Magazine for July reveals that this will be the last season for Goldline coaches.
An MPD Dart works a 459 service from Slough. This is an ex Dawson Rentals bus. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Red Rose have this ex Stagecoach Alexander PS in service in full livery. Seen in Oxford on Driver training duties by Gavin Francis.
R H Services
Mike Bennett took this picture of Solo 404 leaving Gloucester Green earlier this week.
New deliveries to various operators claim our attention this issue.
Pete Cooke writes of a photo he took last Sunday, showing one of the new buses for route 66.
Marcus Lapthorn wrote that the new buses will enter service from Monday 23 June 2008. EVERY Swindon based driver will have been trained on these vehicles.
I have recently been informed that the fleet numbers and registrations of the 7x MAN / Enviro 300s for Stagecoach in Swindon are as follows:-
22620 VX08 FSZ
22621 VX08 FTA
22622 VX08 FTC
22623 VX08 FTD
22624 VX08 FTE
22625 VX08 FTF
22626 VX08 FTJ
Mike Bennett also writes saying"Following my wife's patchwork class today (Thursday 19th), we had intended to catch the 1238 route 66 service from Watchfield into Oxford to visit the Ashmolean Museum for the first time in 15 years. However, the class finished late so we missed that bus. We had time for a leisurely lunch and then waited for the 1338 bus. Imagine my surprise when Stagecoach Swindon MAN / Enviro300 number 22625 came into view - especially after Malcolm had been assured that the type would not be entering service until Monday 23rd. We got on, and enjoyed a pleasant ride into Gloucester Green - with me riding at the back to get the full benefit of the engine noises. Faringdon Market Square was negotiated quite easily, one of the possible source of problems for a 12.8m vehicle, but on arrival at Gloucester Green the bus had to insinuate itself between an X5 coach and a National Express Levante. This was eventually accomplished, with some reversing, with just inches to spare. Having arrived safely, I waited for the bus to leave the bus station so that I could get a decent photograph of it in service - its first day as far as I know. The other two buses on route 66 for both the above journey, and our return journey at 1715 were the standard B10M / Alexander PS - in fact we were on one of them, but we passed 22625 at Botley Road P+R coming into Oxford for the 1815 return service."
Graham Mildenhall adds"Looks like at least one couldn't wait until Monday! Seen at 1830 Thursday 19 June heading towards Swindon on the A420 operating a 66 service was 22625 (VX08FTF)."
Gez of Stagecoach Lancaster writes "Here is an exclusive preview for you of a livery on the way. In the style of the Lakes buses we are having a Trident vinyl wrapped as attached these are the preliminary art work. The bus should be done in the next month or so hopefully in time for Tram Sunday"
Steve Loveridge writes"....Arrived here this week KX08HRA/C/D/E/F fleet numbers 39694 to 39698. Hopefully they will be on service 9/9A in Northampton on Monday next. 39699 will be here by the end of the week but 39700 has been delayed.
Steve goes on to add later that".....The first two MANs have arrived at Northampton they are KX08 HRA/HRC today."
Fleet numbers, registrations and allocations are:-
39694 KX08 HRA Northampton
39695 KX08 HRC Northampton
39696 KX08 HRD Northampton
39697 KX08 HRE Northampton
39698 KX08 HRF Bedford
39699 KX08 HRG Bedford
39700 KX08 HRJ Bedford
Stagecoach in Warwickshire
New buses for the Matrix services are:-
Fleet No. Reg. No.
39680 KX08 KZO
39681 KX08 KYT
39682 KX08 KYU
39683 KX08 KYV
39684 KX08 KYW
39685 KX08 KYY
39686 KX08 KYZ
39687 KX08 LVH
39688 KX08 LVJ
39689 KX08 LVK
39690 KX08 LVL
39691 KX08 LVM
39692 KX08 LVN
39693 KX08 LVO
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire
16524 has gained a new super rear ad as seen in the picture by Gavin Francis above.
Enviro 200 457 is also in the all over livery for the Science Park. Picture by Gavin Francis.
It has been rumoured that two new Polish built Scania deckers are in the Scania dealership at Hull awaiting delivery to Thames Travel.
Mike Bennett sent the three pictures above, two of the new Scania saloons and one of the school buses which originated in Dublin.
uno Bus Hatfield
Trevor Mulally sent this picture of an unbranded Scania on the 634.
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.
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 2007-2008
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