Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
News Archive Pages from the "Oxford Bus Page"
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As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.
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Flooding has returned to Oxford in the last few days although there are no road closures as yet.
Sports of one sort or another in grounds along the Abingdon Road have seen flooding in the last few days.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.
Rule 223 of the new Highway Code
Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. Look out for people getting off a bus or tram and crossing the road.
I think this a very good piece of advice to other road users but sadly and only too often drivers have not fully read the highway code and are thus only going to drive with less consideration to other road users.
Imagine my surprise when operating a departing coach service from Oxford last week, I was pulling out of the Headington stop. There were a couple of vans coming up behind me and I let the closer of the two go by, fully expecting the second, which was some distance away to let me pull out.
"Whata mistaka to maka".
The second van came by with scant regard for the above Rule 223.
Imagine my further surprise when the second van turned out to be an Thames Valley mobile speed van which then proceeded to pull onto the pavement at the reserved space used by such vehciles only some one quarter of mile beyond. I thus had to virtually stop to let this performance take place.
Now, you may well ask, who am I to question the driving of this van and the seeming ignorance of rule 223?
I would only make the comment that surely the police have to above criticism of their driving and surely, unless attending an emergency, use the rules of road in an appropriate fashion.
Ah well, indeed who am I to criticise.
Magdalen St East closure on 22nd Jan from 18:30-20:00
Alexander advises that"Routes 7A/B, 14/A, 27A/B/C, 59 will divert to/from Broad St via Parks Rd.
Route 17A will divert via Worcester St and Hythe Bridge St.
Routes 20/A will divert via St Margaret's Rd, Banbury Rd, Parks Rd and Broad St with return via Canterbury Rd."
New FTR buses enter service on the train station shuttle at Luton Airport by Dave Stewart
Today Sunday 20th Jan, the shuttle service up from Luton Parkway Rail Station to Luton Airport, operated by NCP Darts until Saturday 19th, is taken over by First's Wrightbus Streetcars (i.e. the so-called 'FTR' vehicles as used by First in York and Leeds).
Marcus Lapthorn has a few comments on last week's page
Marcus writes"You really are such a star! You mange to turn each week what, to some people, could be a bit boring into a jolly good read! This week's examples include your delightful story of your day off trip to Thame and back - all for 50p! I agree with you that the old gentleman also reminds me of the late 97 year old tap dancer from Oxford."
Red Rose N802GRV Mercedes
Visited Barker Bus of Roydon today photos attached and list below also AUJ 733T Bedford YMT Duple C53F ex-M&M, Kidderminster 33 now with Freeway coaches of Stondon Massey.
BHZ 9550 ex-G917 GRN Leyland Swift Elme C35F, F666 JNA Mercedes, HKZ 352 ex-G132 RYC Volvo B10M, Niw 4748 Neoplan, NIW 8795 Volvo, NUI 9050 ex-E454 CGM Duple 425 C55F, PIL 3718 ex-C207 CES, RJI 6569 ex-A409 JPE, SIB 3276, SIB 3277, SKZ 6990, VJI 1985 ex- H178 RHE & WIW 4749 ex-XIL 5455 & ARP 606X Ex-United Counties Leyland Olympians all taken today 19.01.2008.
This company must operate one of the largest fleets of Duple 425 now remaining.
You may recall I introduced myself as a self confessed addict some months ago.
I greatly enjoyed your article about your recent experience and hope that they didn't delay you too long at Customs. My memory was stirred because I attended the Grammar School there from 1959 until 65ish.Despite emanating from Sandhills, Oxford, the City boundary fell short of that place then so I was posted at 11 to Thame, so with Saturday morning school then in force had to enjoy/endure 120 miles worth of Charlton on Otmoor Services travel per week. (First morning’s trip courtesy of BBE946 a one time though not new to Lincolnshire Road Car
In those days, Lord Bills school had victims from a wide area, so I have memories of the Surmans vehicles for those pupils from the Chinnor end, Houses of Watlington with their pristine ancient Bedfords, and sometimes, know doubt due to Operator arrangements the vehicles
By showing a little interest in those vehicles I was lucky enough to get to know some of the drivers. A great gentleman was Mr Holder (Gordon) senior whose method of driving I am sure was unique in ensuring the longevity of his vehicles. I also knew Larry Holder quite well, even after school years. One Saturday he collected us in 'his' new VHA325 , a Tiger Cub new to Gliderways. He was like a dog with two tails. Many years later he dropped by at my drinking hole, the Shotover Arms by Headington roundabout, dragged from my barstool, and proudly showed me all around and to an extent under HIS brand new Leopard.. GUD, not just once he was so chuffed. I was glad that a ladder wasn't handy
So your trip to Thame brought a few of those days back. Perhaps in private, I could expand on a few of the mishaps, accidental or otherwise that occurred around then.
Keep up the sterling work Malcolm, it's much appreciated.
Your latest web page contains a photograph by Paul Davis of former Midland Red YHA393J. I wonder how many of your followers realise that there is quite a lot of interest attached to this batch of vehicles.
The R-series Ford chassis was one of the best-selling coach and bus chassis of the 1960s and 1970s. It was a lightweight model derived from the Ford Thames Trader truck chassis, with a set-back front axle and a vertical engine on the front overhang between the driver and the front entrance. To reach the controls, the driver either had to clamber over the engine or approach it from behind. It first appeared in 1965/6 and it is believed that it was the cheapest full-size PSV chassis available in Britain.
It became more popular with the addition of Ford's turbocharged engine in 1968 (it was the first British PSV chassis to be fitted with a turbocharged engine as standard), and this model won itself some high profile bus orders, the most surprising of which was from Midland Red making it one of the first NBC Companies to try these lightweight chassis. They took 100 in 1970-71 followed by 20 in 1972 and a further 20 in 1974. All had 45-seat Plaxton Derwent bodies.
By the end of the decade, half had been sold but a few of the survivors were drastically shortened, as Oxford South Midlands 674 illustrates, to create 27-seater midibuses. This was because Midland Red wanted a small vehicle which retained many of the characteristics of a full-sized bus. None were readily available to buy and the Company had extensive engineering facilities of its own in those days. I have come across a reference to the fact that a chassis shortening service was offered by Chassis Developments, and the resulting model was known as the T152, but I believe Midland Red converted their own.
There were 32 vehicles delivered new to Luton & District in all, with Northern Counties Paladin bodies, numbered 305-336. Those delivered to ex-LCNW garages had the green and grey livery and VN prefixes before their fleet numbers. The interior seating was either red or green depending on the original livery the vehicle carried. (In March 1997 the batch was renumbered 3105-3136).
A further batch of 20 B6s was on order for delivery during 1995 but was
cancelled when British Bus took over (the British Bus standard single decker at
the time was the larger Scania L113). However three more B6s were acquired
later, one from Stevenson's of Uttoxeter (with a Plaxton body) and two Northern
Counties bodied examples from the Motts Travel sale.
The first batch was delivered in January/February 1994, of 12 vehicles:
305-9 (L305-9HPP) delivered in red/cream livery to Hitchin depot.
VN310-6 (L310-6HPP) delivered in green/grey to Hemel Hempstead depot.
The next delivery of 20 vehicles arrived in September 1994:
VN317-25 (M717-25OMJ) in green/grey to Watford.
VN326-7 (M726/7OMJ) in green/grey to High Wycombe.
328/9 (M728/9OMJ) in red/cream to Aylesbury.
330-6 (M710-6OMJ) in red/cream to Luton.
337 (L43MEH) was acquired at this time and was allocated to Aylesbury.
338/9 (L922/3LJO) joined High Wycombe depot after the sale of Motts Travel.
The above two pictures were taken by me in September 2007. M Crowe
Seen in its earlier days when new to Motts and working the M1 from Wycombe to Aylesbury, is M923LJO now 3139 in the Arriva fleet.
New to Stevensons 3137 - L43MEH came very early on in its life to Aylesbury and is now often to be seen on the 353 from Chesham to Slough.
Most B6s in the fleet have worked for more than one depot during their time (the
only ones that haven't were 3126/7/34-6/8/9). Vehicle switching between Hitchin
and Stevenage was very prevalent and sometimes unnoticeable.
Hemel's batch of seven lasted barely 18 months at the depot before the delivery of 12 Scania L113s in Autumn 1995. They were transferred to Watford depot to speed up the replacement of the large fleet of B-series Leyland Nationals at Garston which had been inherited from LCNW. 328 and 329 were also rapidly transferred from Aylesbury to Hitchin, with 337 joining Luton.
In 1996 further cascading of the B6s for Leyland National replacement took place, first 310/5/6 left Watford for High Wycombe. Watford also received a batch of 12 P-registered low floor Dennis Darts for local routes, which in turn cascaded 311-4/20 to Hitchin/Stevenage, and 317-9/21-5 to Luton. 313/19/20 still carried Watford area overall advertisements while 323 operated in Luton for some time with Watford route 373 branding on it.
I never worked out if it was a type that was unloved or transferred about because they were fairly useful buses in terms of size and being fairly economical to run.
There has been far more transferring between depots within the fleet of the B6s since then, but the fleet overall is now in decline. Four have been lost in fires, two more scrapped and seven have joined other Arriva fleets. Luton and Wycombe are now the best places to find one.
I found the pictures below really amusing. Wonder if we could see such adverts in Oxford?
Bob Stanger writes"I was looking at some of my older photos and came across three which might be suitable for inclusion for buses on the landscape."
On a lovely summers day without a cloud in the sky, A London General Millennium DAF appropriately resting between trips at the now famous London Dome
Bob Stanger was on hand to take this shot of open top Bristol VR 937 'Invincible' also taken in Torquay on the 120 some 10 years ago
At the time owned by Stagecoach - Citybus 1539 with the exotic trees and the glass and concrete/metal jungle! - Hong Kong of course.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Davis sent these two delightful pictures of Bristol FLF buses in green working at Wycombe in October 1979
Malcolm Crowe - Monday 21st January 2008
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 21st January 2008
Bus smashes into Cookham Bridge
4:59pm Wed 16th January
Passengers were lucky to escape with their lives when the bus they were
travelling on ploughed into a low bridge - ripping the top deck from the
Shards of glass and metal were sent flying when the Arriva vehicle tried to squeeze through the Cannondown Bridge in Cookham Rise shortly after 9.30am this morning.
Three passengers had boarded the Maidenhead-bound service in Cookham and only escaped serious injury by sitting on the lower deck.
Police shut the area to all traffic while the road, littered with debris from the mangled bus, was cleared.
* The 41-year-old bus driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and taken to Maidenhead police station for questioning.
Police are appealing for anyone who was on the bus at the time and anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them on 0845 8 505 505.
The bus was nr 5113 from Wycombe depot.
Nigel adds "These all Leyland Olympians have had unfortunate experiences at Wycombe. 5129 and 5133 (H199/203 GRO) were both written off after accidents and 5132 was repaired following accident damage. (Indeed I think 5113 was a replacement for 5129.)
I wonder how the accident occurred. This batch is slightly higher than the other Olympians and I remember that we only got sister 5118 because it had been transferred to Luton (from Watford) and then deemed unsuitable because it was too tall, and so swapped with Wycombe's 5135 (G132 YWC)."
Glenn Knight writes to enclose some pictures.
Dart 3172, Aylesbury based, is seen on a 150 working in Leighton Buzzard 14.01.2008- photo by Glenn Knight
Dennis Dart 3292 - V292HBH has been resprayed and is seen on the 1s 18.01.2008
Scania R196 RBM 3196 broke down Church Street 18.01.2008
Glenn adds that 5381 - MUH281X a very elderly Olympian/ECW has gone to Garston today 19.01.2008 for respray.
Here we see Olympian 5123 at Wycombe, also with an Eden super rear like 5113 above.
This Olympian, 5120, is seen heading for Watlington, to take up a school run from the senior school there. Picture by M Crowe.
Gavin Francis caught up with Aylesbury based Olympian 5161 passing through Queen St.
The normal stop for service 280 has moved from St Aldates for the duration of the roadworks hence this location for the picture.
Gavin Francis caught up with the loaned white Versa operating the 32 route at Lane End last week.
I note that the latest Volvo low floors, delivered for use on Harlow's 510 service to Stansted Airport
feature a roof pod, seen at the offside rear, and the destination blinds are correctly laid out.
(Number on the right !!! )
Gavin Francis caught up with this elderly Dart now with Carousel and seen in Wycombe.
Tappins 161 was on loan for a day to Yarnton depot last week. Richard Sharman
Another Tappins coach was this one, 173, at Bicester following a repaint. Richard Sharman
Roger Spence sent a couple of interesting National Express pictures.
One older Levante has lost its branding, as seen at Stansted - NXSC 2 , last Friday. I note there are now two un branded tri-axles in service.
Once the pride of the fleet, DAF 302 is now a training vehicle seen last Friday at Stansted where it is based.
This is the first picture I have taken of an Irizar PB where the destination screen has "come out". C001 from Veolia - WM.
Stand changes have occurred due to the roadworks in St. Aldates.
Volvo B10B 620 on the 35A at a stand lower down than usual by Gavin Francis
Red Kite Aylesbury
Red Kite C808BYY on 52 to Stewkley 14.01.2008 - picture by Glenn Knight
R H Transport
A couple of interesting pictures from Richard Sharman.
The Primo in use on the X15 or 700 - this is a loan vehicle.
A one time Stagecoach Lincolnshire bus which has now fully joined the RH fleet.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire consultation on route 20
Further information has been received from Noam Bleicher, Bus Users UK, Oxford Branch who says"Well done for keeping OCBP going, I always look forward to a new page, and 15 Jan's bumper edition did not disappoint!
Another picture by Gavin Francis showing 20228 on the 31 at its temporary stop lower down St Aldates.
Gavin Francis caught up with 22923 at a changed stop in Bonn Square last Saturday.
Gavin sent this nice picture of the latest addition to the training fleet.
Marcus Lapthorn writes"When the new low floor single deckers come onto the Oxford to Swindon route 66 next March/April, the existing single deckers will be transferred to Gloucester and will be allocated to the 97/98 route (Cheltenham, Churchdown, Gloucester)."
Solo PL06TFY is still with Thames Travel and I saw it on the 106 last Friday.
Richard Sharman sent this picture of what he advises is the latest addition to the fleet.
Uno Buses - Hatfield
A nice picture of one of the Scanias used on route 614 to Queensbury - M Crowe.
It was even sunny last week when this picture was taken.
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.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Coming events, models and useful links
New Trident model with an Oxford flavour
Date: 21st December 2007.
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 2006-2007
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