Issue 4

Sunday 20th October 2002

next update week commencing 28th October 2002

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.

This last week has seen a number of interesting news stories emerging especially one about the proposed guided bus ways planned for Oxford. The first phase of transport improvements will be in the west with a link road between Wolvercote roundabout and the Pear Tree interchange. Certainly traffic was severely restricted last Wednesday when a lorry over turned in the Pear Tree area causing major delays to many services. Indeed the 1730 X1 Carterton service only left Gloucester Green at 1810 as a result of the traffic congestion. The final phase of a three year programme is a guided express bus way running on a concrete track through Oxford by 2007. It will seemingly run from the Pear Tree Park & Ride along the A40 to Witney and Carterton. One thing is certain , and that is that traffic must somehow be reduced coming into Oxford as if growth continues at the present rate the city could become gridlocked in the coming years. Bus use will have to increase across the whole of the area covered by this news page otherwise life will be unbearable. however this will mean government investment in a whole new way with a coordinated use of resources.

Newman Morgan wrote an interesting mail following my comments to him last week. Newman comments on several points but I fully repeat them here for clarity. He says "SiO drivers trying to keep to a timetable on Friday afternoons on the A34 and through Bicester town centre must be a nightmare.

I felt sorry for the passengers on a London bound National Express this morning. They were caught in the traffic about half a mile behind the truck that burnt out and closed the southbound carriageway. By 8am the southbound M40 was at a standstill from 3 miles past J10 to J12.
(This can be a further problem - when such accidents happen people are quite literally trapped on the Motorway, sometimes for many hours Ed.)

I was in Oxford on Saturday morning and saw Trident 106 wearing its new livery, which includes mention of the new Water Eaton P&R. I thought it was very smart.

I can't help but think that the 2 P&R routes would work better if they swopped terminii, 300 from Redbridge to Thornhill and 400 from Seacourt to Pear Tree. This would mean that neither route need navigate the circuit around Oxford City Centre as the 300 could turn to and from St Aldates into High Street and the 400 could use George Street into Magdalen Street. I can't think there is a particular need for these two routes to meet for passenger transfer, etc., but if there was then the Water Eaton P&R could complete the city circuit and run down High Street as far as the roundabout just over Magdalen Bridge. I am of course assuming the Water Eaton P&R is planned to run to and from City only
. (I think there maybe some very reasons for running the services in the way that they are but I am interested if anyone else has any views. Ed.)

This week I thought that I would include some street scenes of Oxford in 2002, especially for those who live along way off, I know I have some readers in the USA and Australia. I think they capture the Oxford scene quite well.

Cowley Road, Oxford with a Stagecoach M A N - 19/10/02

Magdalen Bridge, Oxford, with the Magdalen Tower as a backdrop. - 19/10/02

George Street with several Stagecoach buses including an Olympian heading towards the Rail Station.
This bus is on service 100 to Witney.

Newman mentions the new Park & Ride livery which is shown below in full. My apologies for the delay, I had promised these for last Thursday. What do others fell about this new livery?

It seems that it is planned to have a different picture of Oxford on the back of all 17 Tridents. One presumes that the forthcoming Mercedes Benz Citaros will have a single deck form of this livery.

The rear of 106 showing the graphic rear end.

The Oxford Bus museum visited Cowley Road garage on Saturday, arriving in ex C.O.M.S. AEC Regal 703. It is seen here parked next the Museums Leyland Leopard, ex C.O.M.S. 21 in full City Link NBC livery. They were hosted by Commercial Director, Nigel Eggleton.

Leyland Leopard 21 poses next to AEC Regal 703.

I look forward to your continued support and contribution and welcome your comments.

Malcolm Crowe, October 20th 2002.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

The operator news from our area follows.................

News of the local companies - 20th October 2002


Once regular performers on the Cambridge-Oxford run these M reg Volvo B10Ms are now appearing in
National Express livery. N305BAV poses next to N308BAV still in the old livery. 302 is also in NEx livery.

The rear of 308 shows the latest airport super rear advert, this time Heathrow and BMI, seemingly
giving competition to Easy Jet and Ryanair.

Arriva serving The Shires

Arriva's Dart 3365 still at Wycombe and here seen on a Sunday working of the 315.

Arriva's Olympian 5106 has arrived from Dunstable depot and is now allocated to High Wycombe.
It is refurbished internally but is lacking destination equipment.

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.

Coach 27, with its new livery and vinyls caught at last on camera.

New Road is the setting for this Volvo, 651 on its normal haunt of 4 road.

5 road normally sees a full allocation of the low floor Volvo B10Bs like 814 pictured here on Cowley Road last Saturday.

Now with Irvin of Law, Jim Wright took this picture outside Buchanan Street Bus Station, Glasgow.
He remembers that as COMS Citylink 52, it was the fastest of the Javelins at that time, romping up
Stokenchurch hill on the M40. Irvin's also have nr 50, K750UJO.

Neil Gow writes "A couple of comments on your OBC vehicle to route allocations. You don't mention 10C/D evening/Sunday services, which are allocated 401-410 Darts, or 601/2.

Also, I would take issue with what you say for the 18.  The Oxford - Herschel Crescent
section requires a short bus, usually a 5xx Dart but as we noted in the summer, Olympians (i.e. deckers) are next in line. Just to prove the point, one of 221 or 222 was on the 18 today (Friday). "

So please bear these comments in mind when referring to my notes. Ed.

Most unusually last Friday saw loan Dennis Trident 929 on 5 road during the rush hour following traffic delays in the city.

First Bus - Slough

Sunday offering on the 74 today, was this Dart 213 from Slough. Now in Barbie 2 livery.
It did not have a five figure fleet number as yet.


Brian Matthews writes this week with two photographs. He says "A reminder from the late 1970's of the Heyfordian fleet   -    the view of the two Bedford coaches, RFC 279M and FTC 330J, was at the Kidlington 'out-station' yard in Lyne Road (just off the main road behind the Motorworld garage but swallowed up by the 'Grovelands' development in the early 1980's).    The yard, without any buildings, had space for around half a dozen coaches. 

The main 'depot' of Heyfordian, situated in the village of Upper Heyford, was always a pleasant spot to visit, for as well as the variety of buses and coaches on site there was the added attraction of the F-111's at the adjacent USAF base, the runway threshold being quite close to the depot. 

Two coaches bear a "Cherwell Valley" fleetname   -   I remember the colours as being Heyfordian (with the ex-Southdown still resplendant in its two-tone green livery)  -  perhaps someone can confirm this to have been a trading name / subsiduary of Heyfordian  -  or did they just share garaging ? 

Also any feedback on the questions in the identities in the pictures would be appreciated.

Two Bedford coaches, RFC 279M and FTC 330J, was at the Kidlington 'out-station' yard in Lyne Road.

From left to right  -  Daimler Fleetline KXS 715K;    AEC   Swift? /  Reliance?  NAL 545F;
Leyland Tiger Cub XUF 142  (ex-Southdown 1142    -   Weymann body of 1960);
Leyland Marathon recovery truck;  a 1965 registered (Duple Commander ?) coach.

Stagecoach in South Midlands & in Oxford

Keith Wood writes "Nuneaton B10M 208 is the latest to be repainted into new livery. Rugby still has a requirement for 1 Leyland National on a Monday - Saturday basis. On 11/10/02 705 was out on the X40 to Leicester. 710 and 772 are still in stock. Also on the 11/10/02 ex Oxford / Midland Red Merc 426
L326 YKV was at
Rugby for mechanical work. This may be on the move to a new operator.

Now that all the ex London Olympians have arrived at Leamington the Leyland Nationals should all be withdrawn. I imagine another vehicle will be transfered to
Rugby shortly to replace the last Nationals there.

All eight of Stagecoach in Warwickshire's ex London Northern Counties Palatine I bodied Volvo Olympians have now arrived and are in service. Earlier arrivals have been renumbered so that fleet and registration numbers do now match where possible. The dates in brackets are my rough estimate of when the vehicles entered service):

928 P528HMP (05/02)
929 P529HMP (10/02)
930 P530HMP (05/02)
931 P531HMP (02/02)
932 P532HMP (02/02)
933 P533HMP (08/02)
934 P534HMP (01/02, originally 929)
935 P527HMP (01/02, originally 928)

All are allocated to Leamington depot, frequently appearing on University services X12/14. They are currently adorned with a 'UniRider available here' sticker across the top of the front window, and 'Happy as Larry' UniRider adverts over the non functional side and rear numeral displays (although some have had the rear numeral displays removed).

Ex London Volvo Olympian, works a 1 to blackbird Leys last Saturday.

Looking very smart, this Vario, 379 has just had its repaint.

Who remembers these little Bristol LHs of the early '90s on Thames Transit routes?
I had a trip into Oxford on the blue one during that period when it was the Blackbird Leys route.

In the competitive world of the 2002, it is sometimes hard to remember that the tube started as long ago as 1987.
I do not remember these ex long tigers from COMS working the 100 to London and 102 pictured here
was on a 20 to Chipping Norton. I am sure it will evoke many memories of my readers.
Gloucester Green coach Station was newly reopened when this picture was taken.

Thames Bus

Thames Bus operate this ex National Express Leyland Tiger AKG214A. It came to Thames from
School Transport in Liverpool and carries the latest livery. Seen in Staines last week.

Stephen le Bras wrotes "Just in case you are not aware, Thames Bus began running Sunday route 442 (Windsor- Staines- Heathrow Airport) wef 29th September 2002. They are using former Reading Titan 68 in a bright livery of mainly blue (the current Stagecoach shade) and proper blinds. They are based at Chobham."  (Seems they are also using this Tiger pictured above. Ed.)

Worths of Enstone

Shelley Vaisey sent this picture of ex Oxford Bus 220 now with Worth's of Enstone. It is presently being repainted into Worth's livery of blue and silver.

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Look carefully, I know its small but this is a Flight's Sunsundegai coach heading for Heathrow.
I was forceably made aware of the very poor forward view for passengers on this design of coach.

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

This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002