Issue 17

Wednesday 22nd January 2003

next update week commencing 27th January 2003

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 on

My apologies for the delay in posting this week's News Page. This has been due to unexpected business commitments and of course we must answer to those who pay the bills. This coming weekend's update will also be delayed until mid week due to my annual outing to a function in London on Saturday evening and the subsequent need for rest on Sunday. I know you will all understand!

Probably the major news of the week is the renumbering of the Stagecoach fleet with a number of buses and coaches in our area appearing with new fleet numbers. My personal first for Oxford was Olympian 16519 on the 100 from Witney. It appears that Witney is being completed before Oxford and I have not seen any Oxford based buses with the new fleet numbers. However the Tubes ARE appearing with new fleet numbers but seemingly still retain the large white fleet numbers on the upper deck offside front window. More information on the whole matter appears under the Stagecoach heading. Also I would remind my readers of the BBF offer.

For the national renumbering of the Stagecoach fleet, I have been speaking to Bill Potter of British Bus Publishing. This company will be producing a handbook of the full listing very shortly. A special offer has been negotiated with Bill and he is prepared to let my readers have a copy of the new handbook for a reduced price of £15.25 (£1 less than the cover price) if you call him on 01952 255669 or visit the web site mentioning the Oxford Chiltern Bus Page. The main site address is  I am sure many of you will want to take advantage of this offer.

Flooding had subsided after the previous week's problems and services in our area were seemingly back to normal. However the past few days constant rain may have caused a resurgence of those problems.

The centre of Oxford was rather quiet last weekend and on Friday evening most services were running to time. The Abingdon Road continues to be very busy and it often results in delays to services, hence the split of the 300 Park & Ride service in peak times. Additionally services coming through from Botley suffer delays mainly due to the bottleneck under the station bridge. Another item of traffic concern is the abuse of Frideswide Square bus/taxi only are where cars very often use the through road as a DUAL CARRIAGEWAY heading in the Botley direction. This only adds to the confusion and congestion and needs attention from the highways department before someone gets hurt or worse in a head on.

On a different subject Paul Coley writes "I bought a fantastic computer game over Christmas called 'Traffic Giant'. For all you budding bus operators, this may be the closest you'll ever get to the real thing!! You have to manage an entire fleet of buses and their routes - this includes maintenance, purchase, drivers wages, ticket prices, route planning etc. The aim of the game is to plan and operate routes to cut traffic congestion in various fictional towns and cities by operating an attractive bus network. You start with cheap vehicles and end up running modern vehicles, if you make enough money!

For the really adventurous, you can also operate trams, monorails etc. The graphics are very good, and the game is extremely addictive, so beware!! There is a website - where you can get a link to the Traffic Giant website. I purchased mine from 'Game' in Aylesbury, but Dream software also sell it online at or by phone on 0870 7447400.

Another batch opf historic photos have been received and some are included in this issue. John Law runs a site and has given his permission for me to use thse photos. Please take a look at John's site.

John Law kindly let me use this photo from his British Vintage Bus Photos site.
Coach 57 appears to be in trouble.

The coaches used on Railway replacement work come from far and wide. Frazer Eagle arrange everything but coaches come from many companies. High Wycombe Station was the scene last Sunday for a number of services. My picture below shows a late model Van Hool working back to Birmingham.

Although the name reads Dragon, the coach is in fact owned by Leon of Stafford.

I look forward to your continued support with news and photos for this page.

Malcolm Crowe, January 22nd 2003.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies - 19th January 2003


A strange policy has emerged for which I do have any answers. A quite new coach, one of the batch of three ex Stort Valley Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B10Ms (Y823-5HHE) has now appeared in an all white livery with green Jetlink fleet names. The current, or seemingly current Jetlink livery of blue and yellow has been replaced. Rather sad, I think, since the blue livery was very attractive, striking and easily recognisable. Now you can have coaches operating a service like the 757 Oxford-Cambridge in four different liveries. Hardly the recipe for success. ll the Airlinks coaches have acquired National Express stickers in their front near and offside windows.

V825 at Gloucester Green, (this is what happens when you don't have a tripod to hand!!)

The livery I personally like very much on D317 at Stokenchurch last Sunday.
Notice the addition of National Express stickers in the front offside window.

Can anyone explain what Airlinks are up to?.

Arriva serving The Shires

Graeme writes "I was in Chesham town today (Wednesday 15th) and saw 500-branded Scania N707EUR in Chesham, about to depart on the 52 to Hemel Hempstead! I believe this bus is based in Aylesbury, as it operates route 500. This is extremely unusual- I'd not heard of any vehicle 'swaps' between Aylesbury and Hemel depots!

 And news to report, regarding Saturday 18th.

1. At one point, ALL of the 323/4 workings were National Greenways (and 3044 has returned to service).
2. Olympian 5097 later operated the 324.

Also, black Olympian 5071 (A151FPG) made an increasingly unusual appearance in service today, on route 16. At one point it was being driven by Jim O'Connor, who regularly drives this vehicle on the 947 school contract into Wycombe.

Matt Wheeler writes "Was interested by the news on Arriva route 9 in Aylesbury in last weeks update. It likely explains the work taking place at a number of stops along route 9. As can be seen in the attached photos, new raised curbs are being installed. So far stops along Churchill Avenue, Southcourt Church Square and Hannon Road are being treated. Once these are done I assume they'll move onto stops in Ellen Road and in Hawkslade.

On a related note, Dart 3487 was still wearing its "Red Route" branding on Monday and Wednesday of this week (including the "every 10 minutes" frequency info).

Further to the e-mail I sent earlier this week....  Aylesbury Dart 2487 was on Route 9 again yesterday (Friday) and this morning (Saturday) was on route 2. Still wearing the full branding for "Red Route".

Went down to High Wycombe this morning, and spotted one of the ex-Watford Olympians formerly used on route 142/340. (See Attached). It was parked by the bus station exit, and is 5114 (G284UMJ), which was the same one I reported a couple of weeks ago as appearing on Route 61 from Aylesbury - Luton. Also saw a newly transferred (or is it a loan) Mercedes Vario, 2171 (R171VBM) on route 339."

Also Ed Maun writes "
Ref issue 16; Dart MPD 3487 still had its “Red Route 9” branding intact today (Monday) and was in service on route 9 in Aylesbury." 

Matt Wheeler sent this picture of 5114 at High Wycombe

Another High Wycombe shot, this time of Volvo 3843 off a 372 working.
The 372 of course came from London Country.

Carousel Buses, High Wycombe.

The third ex Armchair Olympian, H556GKX has arrived and is in service but awaiting repaint into livery of Carousel.

The latest Olympian arrival, H556GKX.

H563GKX works a 400 service last Saturday.

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.

Several interesting vehicle workings have taken place this week. Volvo coach 12 spent most of the 20th on route X3. Anyone get a pciture? Yesterday, once again a coach made a few trips on X3.

A 6xx spent time on the 13 road earlier in the week.

Trident 102 works a 5 road service a week or so ago. The unhappy problem with
photographing the new blinds  appeared with a blank display. It said 5 , honest Guv'nor.


This Olympian has been re-registered FIL8441. It was JTY398X.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford 

Renumbering is now in full swing. If you click on the link below you will be taken to the list kindly provided by David Whitley, Marketing Manager of Stagecoach South Midlands.

Jan 2003

This is an Excel file .xls

My first sighting of a Stagecoach renumbered bus.
16519 (519) on the 100 to Witney.

Sighting number 2 was this Dart, once 629.

And finally Tube number 39 at Gloucester Green.

Keith Wood says "Re-numbering at Nuneaton is continuing. So far I've seen

150-155 Now 33650-33655
157 Now 33821
205-211 Now 20205-20211
226 Now 20226
239 Now 20809

Rugby & Leamington have yet to start."

Keith then wrote "Rugby has commenced re-numbering with 221 now 20221. Others from Saturday were


"Today's new arrivals at Exeter were two of the expected Darts from
Oxford, namely 32079 (779) M79VJO, and 32163 (793) R63VFC, both Plaxton B37D's. Both arrived in their two door form to be modified at Exeter

Neil Gow writes "Saw reported on UK Bus Fleetnews yesterday that R179VPU has been converted to single door and is at Bedford for repainting."

Indeed 16179, as it will be, has gone off to Bedford. It arrived from Mainline, Rotherham, after conversion but unpainted with a number of bare panels last week. It then left on Friday for Bedford. It is expected to enter service on the Bicester route.

General information.

Paul Coley writes "Don't know whether this has been previously reported, but Robinsons Coaches (previously of Stewkley, but latterly Leighton Buzzard) has their licence revolked with effect from 20th November 2002, according to the Eastern Area Notices and Proceedings on the website. Indeed, I haven't seen any of their 'collection' of Metrobuses, Titans and Olympians for about a month or so, so this would seem to tie in.


Brian Matthews writes "After covering the 'rail replacement' scene at Oxford Station last Tuesday I thought that a visit to the southern end of the link at Didcot would be appropriate on the following day.  However that was too late as all was back to normal by the time I arrived  - not a coach in sight !

Brian then sent the photo below.

20 years before, in 1983, Daimler Fleetline UFC428K stands outside Didcot Station,
with screen paper notice for 'RAF Abingdon'

Another john Law picture sent in by Trevor Wilson.

Any info would be very much appreciated, John Walker ( "

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

This ex Ribble Leyland Leopard now resides at Binders Yard.
I wonder who owns it?

Another gem at Binders Yard, High Wycombe is this ex RTW,

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