Sunday 20th August 2006
next update week ending 2nd September 2006
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Having focused on Wycombe for the past couple of weeks and the new bus station, this week we return to Oxford and a look at current happenings.
The roadworks at Thornhill have now almost been completed and work is now progressing on the Green Road roundabout and the approach roads. This has caused some delays but nothing as significant as those associated with the Thornhill set.
Another set of roadworks causing quite some delays are those in the High Street where work has now switched to the northbound side of the High Street. Delays of up to 10 minutes can be experienced at busy times and this has done little to help to reliability of local and long distance bus and coach services using this busy thoroughfare. To give due credit to the contractors and the council there have been efforts made to minimise delays by having several men controlling the traffic flows using two-way radio communication. In the main this has worked quite well.
What I did notice, when taking pictures last Tuesday, was the lack of understanding from cyclists about cycling through the roadworks in the High Street. There are numerous and adequate signs about alternative routes and dismounting but young and old seemed to ignore these signs.
The signs clearly ask cyclists not to cycle through the roadworks but they do !!!
Not only is the traffic slowed but the dangers appear all to clear in these pictures.
The "piece de resistance" had to be these two chaps heading against the traffic in a lane totally inadequate for such behaviour.
The cyclists in the picture continued to ride through as other pictures I took could show.
What is so annoying is the fact that should a bus or car - and what are they doing there anyway - that is the cars, hit or cause the aforementioned cyclists any problems it would of course be the drivers of those vehicles which would be to blame. It seems the police are powerless to act or at best have no resources to tackle such matters. That is until an accident happens and then protests etc will echo from the world at large. By then of course it is often too late.
Newlands Bus Station bows out after 36 years service
One final picture from the old bus station was taken last Thursday and shows how the south end wall has now been taken out and work is progressing on removing all traces of the old facility.
The new bus station was busy on the same day and a selection of operators vehicles can be seen in the picture below.
writes re the new bus station saying "Re
the new bus station, the developer is quoted in the Bucks Free Press as saying
that it "sets a new standard in public transport facilities within the region",
rather reminiscent of the slightly OTT statements about Newlands when it opened!
I don't want to appear grudging, because it IS very nice, but its location so far from the main shopping area is a major drawback and will remain so for some time. I understand Peter Cartwright is sympathetic to this view, but so far has been unable to secure any mitigating solution.
And of course, to truly be a facility that the town can be proud of also requires high standards from the operators - wouldn't it be nice to have restored a proper Arriva enquiry booth? And isn't it ironic that Arriva's slow, but very welcome efforts to address the appalling standard of destination displays by fitting electronic ones, is rendered useless by the new rule about starting engines, since they seem only to come on when the engine is on! Perhaps some relaxation of this rule would be sensible!"
Now Mike does have a point and I wonder what other readers feel about this matter?
World Rowing Championships - report by Stephen Le Bras
Stephen wrote regarding local
operator participation in this event saying "The
World Rowing Championships are being held in nearby Dorney. Carousel are
running a shuttle service for £3 return from Eton bridge (over the bridge from
Windsor and Eton Riverside). This morning they were using all 3 Agoralines and a
In addition, Ensign is running from Windsor to Dorney using an Alexander bodied Olympian.
Plenty of interest at Victoria Coach Station yesterday as I logged my first two National Express Levantes on route 025 to Brighton. Noted were :NXVC7 and 10- FJ06URG and FN06FLH."
Leighton Buzzard running day 2006 - report from Colin Cooke
Colin Cooke attended the Leighton Buzzard day and sent a report saying "A good selection of predominately RM's could be found for the second year at Leighton Buzzard. When coupled with enthusiast stalls this event is a welcome to the ex LT bus circuit.
Amersham Tube work 20th June
Colin Cooke also sent a couple of rail related pictures but I would also note that Arriva London provided four replacement buses for the shuttle service required. These were on hire to Arriva The Shires.
Colin writes "Whilst not photos of buses, I would imagine a fair amount of your readers have a passing interest in railways. London Underground had bus replacement in action between Amersham and Moor Park this weekend as major track replacement took place at Amersham. On show for the first time was the new class 66 locos acquired by Metronet to improve the engineering trains. These units should become come place in the Underground 'above ground' track areas."
Amersham Running Day 2006
Peter Cartwright writes "Time is passing very quickly and the Amersham Running Day is now less than 2 months away. I know a number of you wish to participate but please can you confirm your attendance please as schedules will need to be compiled this coming week. They are already in draft form.
Please reply to my new e-mail address:- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 20th August 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 20th August 2006
Whilst watching movements in the new bus station in High Wycombe I chanced to notice a "new" arrival on the scene in the shape of a DAF/Plaxton Prestige which started life in North Wales.
I was only able to catch a quick picture as 4429 left and I think it was on a 315 working. This started life with the fleet number SDG429
being based at Chester. It came south in 2003 and was previously allocated to Watford for the 321. I think it was LPG powered originally?
Poor old Dart 3825 seems to have lost its ability to show a route number and is seen here entering the new bus station on a 33 working.
Olympian 5106 is seen passing through Stokenchurch last week on a 342 working.
Looking very smart indeed, Olympian/NCME Palatine II 5157 is seen loading a 280 service to Aylesbury in Oxford - St Aldates last week.
I wonder if these buses will gain digital displays?
Mike Chadwick writes about a
most interesting working a week ago saying "As
you know, the mid morning 342 service was operated by an Arriva Countyrider
vehicle during layover from X32 Chinnor-HW service. Today (Saturday 12th August)
was the first time I have observed it since Arriva lost the Countyrider
contracts and vehicles. So I expected to see an "ordinary" Aylesbury vehicle,
but was surprised to see a SilverRider Alero. Electronic side indicator still
showing Fairford Leys, not even a piece of paper showing 342 - I hope the driver
is punctilious at stopping at all stops and "introducing himself"! [Do you know
if this is a weekly occurrence?; is there perhaps a low-floor requirement on the
I was unable to see the departure yesterday and wonder if any reader can answer Mike's questions?
Mike wrote further about this week's operation saying "Thank you for your continued excellent coverage of all things Wycombeish. Today (Sat. 19th) on Aylesbury-operated 1030 Stokenchurch-HW 342 was Mercedes 2416, rather more conventional than last week's Alero (which DEFINITELY was on the 342, I was by the King's Arm stop watching people get on).
Richard Sharman writes concerning the picture below saying "I understand that most summer's they run Special "stage" Services in the school holiday period with service numbers in the 900 series.
Like in Chiltern Rover days they did Blenheim Palace, HW and surrounding area-M40-off at Bicester then down to Pear Tree, mainly with the E323 OMG(?) Tiger but at times with deckers, they also did one from Watford at one stage."
Arriva 4037 from Garston depot seen at Stratford-upon-Avon last week.
It is 11metre Dennis Javelin with UVG Unistar bodywork in a chair life, new in 1996 to Lucky Bus of Watford.
I wanted to catch up on Oxford Bus developments last week and spent a pleasant hour in the city centre. The results can be seen below.
Last week I mentioned that Dart 412 has gone north to Diamond Bus but sister 411 is still at work in Oxford.
It is seen in St Giles awaiting its next trip on 6 road to Wolvercote.
The next picture shows the fast disappearing 6xx class of Volvo/Plaxton Verde single door models. 602, 603, 606, 612 and 613 having now left the fleet.
605 shows off the super side ad for the Oxford Castle.
621-627 were of course transferred to Wycombe Bus and they are still fully active in that town with Arriva.
Whilst mentioning 602, Peter Edgar caught this bus last week in Poole with new owners Damory as their 6090.
An unexpected repaint into the latest livery was bus nr 620 which carries a special advertising livery.
It was seen in High Street last Tuesday.
Another Plaxton Verde, this time a dual door version is seen in High Street, notice the differing style of fleet numbers on this particular bus.
This time its the last Verde new to Oxford, nr 643, which may well be due for a repaint along with 641 and 642,
since 639 and 640 have recently been repainted and look very smart.
Refurbishment work continues on the Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown fleet and so far 801-806 and 818-821 have been completed. I think 807 is now way at Plaxtons. The later refurbs have a metal trim strip across the front and look very smart. 818 has gained such a trim and the rest will surely follow.
Latest back from Plaxtons is 806 and it is seen in these two pictures on its normal 5 road working last Tuesday.
Earlier refurb 805 makes for a fine shot leaving Carfax last Tuesday. It is a pity these many of these buses have such dull wheel trims which detracts from the overall finish.
The pictures show red Trident 105 during one day, last Tuesday, first on 13 road and then later in the evening on 6 road.
I did not know this route was rostered for a decker?
Another useful link for fleet news is :- http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/cgi-bin/cms-pull.cgi?/oasis-ims/img/oxfordbus/live/20060726%20Enthusiast%20Update.pdf
Gavin Francis snapped this Hellyers coach on National Express work in Gloucester Green last week.
Red Rose, Aylesbury
The 275 now has more workings and sees a variety of buses as well as the rostered Solo.
Not the usual driver and not the usual bus but this Optare, T341FWr makes a welcome change.
An "02" Dart also appeared on this route last week.
During University out of term times Brookes Tridents can be seen on various routes. Here 18196 is operating a 20 working to Charlbury on 15th August.
Last week we saw 22931 on a U1 working and this week I caught it on a 33 working from Wantage and Didcot.
The older M A N fleet is now receiving digital displays when being overhauled and repainted.
22913 is one of those so far treated. It does look very smart indeed.
The nearside rear view of 22940 makes a colourful picture when the bus was seen at Carfax last Tuesday.
Another bus of interest is 33821 which returned from Warwickshire and is now seen working a 16 service to Minchery Farm.
An old stager is this L reg Volvo still hard at work daily on the X6 into Oxford.
Dave Rogers sent these three pictures showing the branding being applied to the new buses in the Swindon fleet.
Finally this week Derek Doling sent a picture of one of the new Enviro 300s in service in Winchester.
The bus is now in full livery and in service on the second day.
Two ex Hong Kong Olympians from Stagecoach South Winchester depot are expected on short term loan over next weekend to provide extra capacity for the Notting Hill Carnival weekend.
Scania 206 shows off its new livery on an X39 working last Tuesday.
Whites Coaches of Abingdon
Gavin Francis took this picture of the new Solo working the 108 from Oxford. As yet it lacks the ability to show a destination.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
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
Trevor Wilson sent this comment and picture about an interesting trans-Atlantic survival.
I Bob Martin writes via Trevor Wilson saying "it would be a shame if the yard at Ormond Beach was cleared the owner has some very interesting old buses.
I saw CFC357C some years ago and I believe an approach was made unsuccessfully to repatriate it.
Some of the American coaches are monsters and I am surprised none of them have found new owners to restore them.
I loved looking around until poking about in one I came across a snake, luckily he moved fast away from me before I could move."
Coming events & models
Duxford - Showbus - 24th September 2006. http://www.showbus.co.uk/
Running Day as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.
As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.
This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.
It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?
Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - Peter_Cartwright@wycombe.gov.uk - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX.
Latest Citaro models revealed
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.
Model Buses for Sale
prices revised with immediate effect
I have a revised deal on Models for your readers...
Each of the following models are available for the following price :
Each Model = £10.00
Postage is £4.00 regardless of the number of models.
UKBUS 1014 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R TRIDENT
UKBUS 5002 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R CITARO
UKBUS 2012 - CREATIVE MASTER BROOKES BUS TRIDENT
CORGI ORIGINAL OMNIBUS OXFORD ESPRESS EXCALIBUR
Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at email@example.com
More models are for sale on my eBay store, http://www.modelsmk.co.uk/shop
Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where
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please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three 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
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
The latest handbook from BBF was
on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th
As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
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