Issue 36

Sunday 22nd June 2003

next update week ending 5th July 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.

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This week's News Page will, needs must, be short and sweet. In fact for the next few weeks I am much involved in the London General Wimbledon special services and as such time will be very limited. I am having a true "busman's holiday" driving buses, probably an LG Olympian NV.

I received a clarification from Dave Stewart regarding the 74 service and must apologise to Dave for getting "the wrong end of the stick" in last week's report. Dave says "Ref. the withdrawal of the 74 on your News Page-  I think that a little "wrong end of stick" for the second (27th July) entry has been promoted there.  Remember that the entry you refer to comes from the TfL LSP Bulletin.  As far as TfL is concerned the 74 does come off, as it no longer enters Greater London.  That is all they are concerned with, and you must read the TfL info with that in mind.   Yes First are withdrawing from 74 from 27/7, but the comment you put implying full service withdrawal is not correct.   There is still the two-hourly Arriva service (allegedly starting on 6/7), which is the same as it is now, but to Slough only of course."

Dave, thanks for that and further news from Dave is included under the Carousel heading which makes very interesting reading.

Geoff Cunliffe, a friend and correspondent from the Fylde Coast visits Oxford from time to time and this week sent a report of his latest visit. I am including this here for clarity as it contains some interesting comments and pictures.

"No sooner do I write to you bemoaning the fact I haven’t been to Oxford for ages and we manage to arrange a flying visit! Hope there is something of interest here for you. 

First, something a little different, Geoff Amos’s 108, YC51 HAE, an Optare Solo on his hourly service from Banbury to Rugby pictured turning in Banbury’s curious traffic management scheme last Wednesday (11th). Do any vehicles use their elaborate bus station with the passenger portcullis-type doors? I think I have only ever seen one.


Called in at Water Eaton on the way towards Oxford. You can tell everything is new as the pavements are not covered in chewing gum yet! Found it strange that there are still the signs on the Banbury Road directing you to Pear Tree from north of Kidlington. Either it’s to keep excess traffic out of Kidlington – or nobody has remembered them! Like the new Citaros except for the cheap plastic covers over the emergency door buttons which look to be rather out of character.  

Thursday saw us in Oxford itself – a day which saw Olympians 221, 223 and 224 in service, a day when the 5s were in trouble with road works by The Swan, Stagecoach 31333, P677NOJ, only had one leaf of its front door working, and there was at least one red Trident on P&R duty – doesn’t that negate the logic of painting some red? (As you will see under the Oxford Bus heading Tridents are still returning to Transbus for warranty work and so when routine maintenance and other requirements occur it is possible for a red Trident to appear on P&R workings. Ed.) 

809 T809CBW, Wright-bodied Volvo helping out on the 400 (pictured Queen Street;). Have I just been lucky with the destination displays or is that one which is photographable usually? (Yes, you were lucky, I still get blanks from time to time. Ed)


London loadings seemed to be very light that day; I see the hump as you turn into Queen Street at Bonn Square has been addressed yet again; have Stagecoach given up on wheel discs on leading rear axles of Tubes? – have all their Accutraks been removed?  (Can't answer that one. Ed)

I thought some of the Guide Friday fleet should be giving cause for concern. Atlantean OTO549M looked quite appalling with STK129T not much better. At least those on the Oxford Full Circle Tour have been repainted!  (Not in defence or anything - but Tappins, who run the Guide Friday/City Sightseeing services are in the process of receiving four Olympians - now all in service - and have started a repaint of the old Guide Friday buses. Ed) 

I am sorry to see that the Tridents seem to be being progressively, and randomly, debadged, although 116 & 117 are still fully badged  and repainted 107 retains a full set of rear badges. The rear of red 102 still has Dennis, Alexander & ALX400 but has lost its Trident II badge whereas 101 is bare at the back. (Oxford Bus are not on their own in removing badges, indeed some companies specifically do not have badges on new vehicles anymore. Certainly the general public seem not to notice such things and it is only we enthusiasts who bemoan such things. Ed)  

Friday 13th. saw us in Cheltenham, investigating the Brian Matthews puzzle from last week about a non-standard Stagecoach livery. The only clue I can offer is on the side, as it carries a recruitment advertisement – though why is the email address westwales.recruitment?


Thanks for all that Geoff. It is interesting to read of other peoples thoughts on the local buses and also to hear of visits such as yours.

On the subject of Stokenchurch and its reducing bus services, I was interested to read some leaflets on The Red Kite in the Chilterns produced for those interested in these wonderful birds. Indeed they are often over our back garden looking for tit bits. The dogs go mad and bark loudly seemingly defending my grandchildren. Anyway to get back to the point, the leaflets offer "how to get to Stokenchurch to see the birds and mention a good service including Sundays. Well, of course, now that the 757 no longer calls at Stokenchurch this is not correct but of more interest is the number of National Express/Airlinks drivers who still use the A40 between Stokenchurch and High Wycombe rather than the M40 which is often slow and congested. As an old fool I still don't see why the service could not call at Stokenchurch, especially when it does not really gain anything by not stopping. But.................

Well on to the operators news and do keep the news coming in. your contributions have been rather sparse of late.

Malcolm Crowe, June 22nd 2003.

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News of the local companies – 22nd June 2003

Recently arrived 5132 already has a large hole in its nearside roof panel but it is now in service.

Steve Warwick writes

Tues 17th June
Volvo/Plaxton Derwent 3079 is on loan from Watford garage for a while arrived today and was on 54 Halton Camp's.
Olympian 5100 was on 500 Watford-Aylesbury.
Dennis Dart 3833 has been on X15 Milton Keynes.
MPD 3485 expired at Gyratory system this morning and had to be towed back to the garage.

When I went into Newlands this morning there were no changes in the allocations mentioned by Steve last week. All the Olympians were still there and Bouncy Castles were on the Readings as usual for a Sunday.


Dave Stewart writes "A new development, which is even more interesting, is that Carousel Buses are to run a new service (route A40) from Mon.28th July,  on Mon-Sat hourly (approx 0700-1800-ish)  between High Wycombe and Heathrow Central,  running all-stops along the old A40 to Uxbridge Station, then with just one stop at RAF Uxbridge and non-stop via Hillingdon Hill, Harlington Road, Stockley Road, M4 spur to LHR.   As I say, it's an hourly service, and with one SDO journey into Wycombe am (and one pm return) extending to Marlow Hill Schools.    This covers - in a quicker journey without going all through Slough and Langley, the through Wycombe - Heathrow facility lost by the 74."

I am most interested, as I am sure we all are, as to what buses will be forthcoming for this route?

Trident 101, pictured last Friday on a 2 road duty leaving Queen's Lane.

Spot the difference ? - there are four differences between these two "identical" buses.

Friday last saw coach 1 back in service on some London workings. A serious bout of traffic congestion in London on Friday afternoon delayed many services and coaches were arriving back in Oxford up to one hour late.

Trident 115 is presently at Transbus Anston for rectification work.

Trathens LSK512 loads at VCS last Friday evening for the 2345 departure to Blackpool - service 421.
This service also calls at Oxford en route and is modern day equivalent of the old Standerwick "Gay Hostess"
service operated with 50 seat Leyland Atlanteans over 40 years ago. (Is it really that long ago?)



One of the other ex North East/Manchester  MA N s 22209 recently arrived in Oxford and seen here on route 1

Another M A N , this time 22926 with full route 7 A/B branding passes Queen's Lane last Friday.

Repainted 40653, the Oxford staff shuttle.

Tappins - City Sightseeing

Ageing ex Nottingham Atlantean, UTV217S had gained a red front in the last week or so. Otherwise the
paint job is almost original from a long time ago.

Thames Travel

The late afternoon sun casts shadows on Thames Travel's 651, on an inbound 1206 working last Friday.

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This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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