The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

Issue 154
(OBP-369)

Sunday 20th November 2005
next update week ending 2nd December 2005

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 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.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know
malcolmhc@aol.com

An event of some significance took place in London last Monday when the two heritage routes,. the 9 and 15, started operation. Gavin Francis was on hand to record pictures of the buses used on the first day and this is covered in a special supplement since maybe some of you are not so interested in London buses. Following my  comments on Swindon I received a report from Mike Bennett with pictures of a rally and buses from that area which is also the subject of a special supplement.

In our area I understand that the first of the wheel chair accessible coaches for the Green Line 757 service from Luton Airport to London have arrived. Their entry into service must be just around the corner.

Oxford Bus has reintroduced some football services to the Kassam Stadium in Oxford. more details are covered under that operators heading.

This coming week will see the launch of new low floor Solos in Banbury when Stagecoach puts their 4 Optare Solos into service on a town route.

Responses to my article on Virgin Trains

After saying that I would not include anymore on this matter I received one e-mail putting the rail side of matters. I am unable to quote the e-mail in full but suffice to say there are always two sides to every story.

I would just like to say that the problems of delays to virgin Cross Country services are perhaps more indicative of a problem in the way such services are handled due to conflict6ing priorities as each operating company strives to keep to time, especially when facing fines for late running from the regulator.

The comments made were not an attack on signalmen or any other specific party but rather more the overall frustration in late running which seems to be a feature of such operations.

Regarding the general comfort of the stock mentioned is however supported by a number of my readers.

And... here we shall let matters rest.

Wycombe Park & Ride

The Bucks Free Press this last week was full of tales of woe relating to gridlock conditions in High Wycombe, especially last Monday. If anyone is going into Wycombe let me strongly suggest using the excellent Park & Ride facility.

First day of the London Heritage Routes

Last Monday Gavin Francis went to London and sampled the First Bus 9 and the Stagecoach 15. you can access his report and pictures at the link below.

london_buses-heritage-routes-141105

Report of Running Days in Swindon by Mike Bennett

Mike writes "I did not see last Sunday's Bus Page until Wednesday and the question as to whether Swindon should be included in your area.  I think it would make a nice addition, partly for the same reason as your other correspondent, but also because I live near the town.  As you can see I do not live in Swindon, and the Bus Running Day was only the 3rd time I had been in central Swindon this year - we tend do our shopping on the outskirts these days.  For these reasons I am not volunteering to be a regular correspondent - but I can contribute the occasional piece.

I have attached a Word file covering the Bus Running Day, together with 12 photos - with more to follow in another email. 

I have almost finished another piece on the Thamesdown Transport Open Day and I will send that in yet another email, together with a few photos from that day."

Mikes reports can be viewed at the link below.

Swindon reports by Mike Bennett 151005

Trans Pennine Run 1970

For those of you who like interesting pictures Jim Lowe has advised me that has put pictures up on his site of The 1970 Trans Pennine Run.

http://jim-lowe-rally-pics.fotopic.net/c765835.html

Thames Valley Historical report by Ed Maun

I acquired a few pictures of Thames Valley vehicles taken in the one time Frogmoor parking area in High Wycombe at the recent LOTS Autumn Transport Bazaar. They have the Dovecote Car Park and the Railway as a backdrop and were probably taken in late 1968 or early 1969. I have attached one that you may find of particular interest as the double decker has route 40 (Radnage to High Wycombe) blinds showing.     The photo shows Bristol MW6G 856 VJB 947 with blinds set for service 35 to Downley. This bus was new in 1960 as part of the batch 852 to 857, none of which were initially allocated to High Wycombe 856 came to High Wycombe later in life and was renumbered 183 in 1969. Note also that 856 has the small fleet name above the front wheel arch to leave plenty of room for large body side advertisement panels. 798 OCY 953 is a Bristol LD6G which came from United Welsh in 1968 and is still in their version of Tilling red livery upper cream band as well between decks cream band and bands lined out in black. Thames Valley had long since phased out this livery with no lining out as shown on 856, and double deckers with no upper cream band.    798 does however, have the via blind box painted out in the then current TV style.


Photo by Photobus of Northleach

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I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this page and look forward to your continued support in the future.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 20th November 2005

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

News of the local companies 20th November 2005

The main item of interest this week is that the first of the new DAF/VDL SB4000 - Van Hool T9 Alizee wheel chair accessible coaches, having been reviewed in the latest issue of BUSES has now arrived at Luton depot. Fleet numbers 4001 to 4006 have been allocated to these coaches but no registration details are to hand as I write this report.

James Smith writes "I've attached a picture of a Route Branded Aylesbury Dart for Route 2.  NOt the best picture i'm afraid as it's from my camera phone and it does not like taking photos in night conditions. 

Also, Just so you are aware, one of the Route 38 Tridents has arrived at Aylesbury from Luton."


A route branded Aylesbury Dart for Route 2 from the phone camera of James Smith. why the conversion stopped there suddenly many months ago!

Ed Maun writes "Further to my recent note that you reported in Issue 152 regarding Blue Route 2 in Aylesbury; LOTS magazine TLB 495 reports that Dennis Darts 3294/5/6/7 have been repainted and are to be given Aylesbury Blue Route 2 branding. "


West Wycombe is a very narrow road on the A40 and above we see an Arriva service from Stokenchurch negotiating the village.


Olympian 5145, once at Luton works a 342 service through West Wycombe last week.

The 342 service today, Sunday, loaded 9 passengers from Stokenchurch which bodes well for the service as last week it was 4 and the first week of operation 2 passengers.

Carousel seem to be fitting more buses with electronic blinds. Stuart Turner writes "Have seen the white low floor dart in service with Carousel saw in Amersham Thursday 17th (route 4?), now with electronic screen fitted and red fleet name on front."


Is this the bus mentioned above and has it gained the blind mentioned. I took this picture earlier last week.


L563 has also been fitted with an electronic blind which can be seen if you look very carefully.
There is a real problem with this type of blind in strong sunlight.

Rogan writes "I noticed digital destination blinds on Carousel DAF R988FNW on route 4 on Monday. At last the digital revolution is rolling, one day I will walk round Wycombe and every bus will have a correct route and destination displayed! Now there is a challenge to your readers - when did that last happen - if ever! Carousel also appear to have scrapped route 2 High Wycombe to Great Missenden."

Coachman of Swindon

Marcus Lapthorn writes "Coachman are aiming to move toward daily us of a standardised fleet of Leyland Titans only on school runs and this may be achieved by the New Year. The ex Lothian Leyland Atlantean has had its centre exit blocked up and this bus is currently being used as the regular performer on the 67A route from Faringdon to Wantage. It is temporarily replacing an ex Reading Titan, (Coachman 37) on this route , which has had a water pump failure. 

Ex Reading Titan no. 70 is currently being prepared for repainting in the newly standardised Coachman livery and the ex London Titan will be similarly repainted during December hopefully. 

Following these two final repaints the ex Lothian Atlantean and the ex COMS VR (HUD) will be retained, but only as 'Reserve' vehicles for use when Titans may not be available.

This is the plan but things do not always happen as Coachman plan!"

I asked how Coachman and Heyfordian work the 67/67A and Marcus replied "There is a special timetable which kicks in when school holidays operate. There is obviously no need for a double deck 67A service and Heyfordian provide the small Flying Horse bus for the route 67. I have got a copy of the special timetable and it is really complicated with numerous exceptions;. For example: school days only; school holidays only; Tuesday only; Wednesday only; Friday only; Mon/Wed/Th only; Tu/Fri only; Mon/Thurs /Fri only; Tu/Wed only; A or B - see overleaf and so it goes on & on! An average member of the public would be unlikely to understand it, which is why so few people use services round here! The 66 is straightforward and gets good patronage between Oxford & Swindon by contrast. 

Best wishes and many thanks for your interest in this area!"

Regarding the re-registrations which have take place during the past weeks the buses, coaches and van involved are elusive to my camera and I would appreciate pictures of each vehcile if anyone has them. These are Darts 408, 409 and 410 , Publicity van V261CVV now R12OXF and of course coaches 8, 9 and 10. Seemingly 11 still retains its old registration?

Matt Cooper writes "Just to note that R12OXF now adorns LDV Convoy van 983 (ex-V261CVV)"

The company is to reinstate the football services and their web site states the following.

Football Special Bus Services

We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Oxford United Football club to operate football special bus services to the Kassam Stadium from the New Year.

The football special bus services will resume from the home game against Shrewsbury Town on 7th January, or a possible home game in the Third Round of the FA Cup should the U's reach that far.

We will be operating the services on behalf of the football club, with the 601 service operating between Oxford Rail Station, Oxford City Centre and the Kassam Stadium. There will also be a slightly revised 602 service that will commence from the junction of Marston Road/Headley Way and will run via Headington and The Slade to the Kassam stadium.

The old 603 and 604 services will not be returning.

Full timetables will be announced nearer the time. Single fares will be 2 adults, 1 under 16's and 30p seniors (Oxford City pass holders). Return fares are not available and Oxford Bus Company Freedom and Plus Passes will not be valid on either the 601 or 602 services.

Their current fleet list may also be viewed at the following link

http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/cgi-bin/cms-pull.cgi?/oasis-ims/img/oxfordbus/live/20051107_OBC%20fleetlist.pdf

I would note that this is from 7th November and does not acknowledge all the re-registrations.

David Oakley writes "Photographed this earlier in the year, just thought it could of use to your site !!"

 

"South Gloucestershire Bus & Coach don't have this vehicle anymore it was donated to a local preservationist who swapped rear axles with the VR he already owned. The company which undertook the swap were given the rest of the vehicle as it was of no use to the preservationist, and this is where it now stands on a run down business park near Stroud, Gloucestershire."

Marcus Lapthorn writes "Brian Matthews & I went to Coachman today as well as Stagecoach depot. We intended to get a pic of the ex Oxford coach (YFC 14R) which is still in the lay-by on the Swindon to Highworth road, but due to extensive roadworks we were not able to get near it!Brian may try again and send you a pic but in the meantime will you be publishing the original pic (attached) he sent you of the coach when it was still in COMS service? "

Graeme Selway writes "One of two Volvo coaches borrowed by SBL from City of Oxford for use on the Solent Shuttle.  Luckily, the blue and yellow livery together with removal of the Oxford vinyls and the addition of Solent Shuttle ones gives a perfectly acceptable representation of the new Solent Shuttle livery."


Portsmouth, 5 Nov 2005.    Graeme Selway

Adrian Tupper writes "Please find attached 2 of my photos of R808 NUD, currently Solent Blue Line 108 on the Solent Shuttle service between Portsmouth and Southampton."


Shows 108 at the Hard Interchange Portsmouth


Shows 109 at Commercial Road South bus stop in Portsmouth
- both above pictures by Adrian Tupper


Out of interest the buses the Oxford coaches replace are a pair of which one is pictured above by Graeme Selway

City Sightseeing 

Richard Sharman writes "herewith pictures of Stratford 275 in "artic" conditions to day."

 

Next Wednesday sees the launch of the new Optare Solos in Banbury.

Marcus Lapthorn writes "Another Volvo is fresh from refurbishment - 402 joining 401, 406 & 407, which leaves 5 to go! A double deck 'Stagecoach in Cymru' was in the yard at their Swindon depot today!"

Bruce Billingham writes "Observations are that B10Ms 20681,20686 and 20687 are now refurbished. 20683/4/5/9 have recently been seen still un-refurbished. 52157/8 are still regulars on the 66."

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If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
please let me know on malcolmhc@aol.com

PHOTO CORNER
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at 
malcolmhc@aol.com

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

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These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

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

Links

Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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