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 142

Monday 22nd August 2005
next update week ending 9th September 2005
note: there will be no update on Sunday 28th August 2005 due holidays

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.

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This week's mail bag has been very heavy indeed and there is a lot to report. The weather has broken today and the weather forecaster who said that Sunday was to be the last day of summer this year proved correct.

Follow up on my visit to Poole

Following my visit to Poole the week before last I received an e-mail from Nigel Barnes-Evans who with his wife Samantha edits both the Wilts & Dorset and Metrobus house magazines. Nigel writes " an regular reader of your excellent news pages, I have just seen that you popped down to Poole the other day. It does get busy, as the other day (Wed 10th), VR 4419 had to go out from the bus station on a relief 152 as around 100 foreign students overwhelmed the open top Volvo ! In efficient W&D fashion , the rank Inspector called the VR off the rank and sent her out with smiling faces all round !  

We produce the staff magazine, and some other publicity material for W&D. Whilst you are based in Oxford, you may like to see a copy for background information. (Nigel kindly sent me copies of this excellent publication. Ed) Fleet news is not included as such, because the magazine is more 'people' focussed, although we do still slip in the odd bus photo, and did a super feature on the Damory VRs which perform the Park and Ride shuttles for Southampton FC home games!  Some lovely night shots if I may blow our own trumpet, and something the enthusiast magazines seem to be unaware of, it seems. 

The VRs still get plenty of use, although this is intended to be their last year of front line duties. There are 30 further Volvo single decks on order for expansion of the 'more' services, and the intention is to gradually remove VRs and Metroriders from the fleet. They will not get the new livery, but hopefully many will find new homes as they have been refurbished only a few years ago, and are very well maintained. 

Re the ex Oxford bus with Damory, next time I am out in the wilds of Dorset, I'll keep my eyes peeled. I know the first one you sent is not too popular, as it is rather long for most of the rural lanes and tight turns, as you might expect. Shame the little Marshall Darts have been sent abroad...they would have been like a modern LH, which were ideal for out in the sticks ! Country folk don't mind steps, and they cleared the deep puddles rather well. 

Speaking of which, have you featured any shots of the ones which Metrobus have converted to trainers...I have a few nice shots. Proper conversions too, with a large foot brake pedal in the middle of the aisle for the trainer to use when needed ! (Nigel kindly sent me this picture of an ex Oxford Dart now a trainer with Metrobus. Ed.)

The ex-Oxford Citylink coaches that came to "Wiltsy" a while back, the RxxxNUD trio, are being de-branded and have been taken off the X33 Bournemouth-Southampton route, and now are allocated to Salisbury, where in usual Sarum-style, they get put out on literally anything !  As blinds are non-existent, apart from those tiny nearside single line boxes on the dash, they go out with some rather low budget temporary ones at times !!! It's pot luck if they get put on , say, an X7, when at least we do have Southampton in that little box  !

Your website is excellent for content and accuracy, and I mention it to my friends regularly. You do a superb job with it. Well done indeed. (Thank you kind Sir. Ed.)

Thanks to Nigel for those snippets of interest. I am sure we will look forward to him keeping us in  touch with what is happening in his area, especially to ex Oxford area vehicles.

Those motorway dot matrix signs

Chris Maxfield noticed the following message on his travels last night which was a new matrix sign saying "Bikers-think keep racing to the track" which he thought this was a good one!!!!!! 

Oxfordshire County Council

The following items of interest were gleaned from their web site.

The web site is now working well and needs only a few points to be resolved. I am told the full launch is hoped for in September/October. 

The delay to the launch has been due to the Oxfordshire County Council wanting to have the system working correctly and without problems.

For further information see

Bicester bus service review by Oxfordshire County Council

OCC are reviewing their subsidised services in the Bicester and Kidlington areas, along with certain other routes serving Woodstock and the taxibus 'Connection' service linking villages with the X59 Banbury-Oxford service.

Affected parishes have already been contacted to request their comments.

The services under review are as follows:






 Kidlington town service
 Kidlington - Begbroke and Yarnton



 Wootton and Glympton diversion



 Bicester town services



 Oxford - Bicester via villages



 Bicester – Brackley



 Bicester – Banbury



 Duns Tew - Bicester (Friday)



 Duns Tew - Oxford (Wednesday)



 Bicester - Oxford via Otmoor villages



 'The Connection'


 RH Transport

 'Woodstock Wanderer'

The deadline for comments has now passed, but to make your views known, please contact your parish or town council as soon as possible.


High Wycombe and district timetable links

I found the following links very interesting and useful.  

Also details of the local transport strategy from 2006 until 2011 

Chiltern Railways 

After several weeks of problems on Chiltern Railways at Gerrards Cross, reported on these pages, good news emerged last week. The full story may be found on the following link. 

Trevor Wilson has been keeping us up to date as has The Bucks Free Press and local television news. 

Date: 16 Aug 2005 19:19

We’re delighted to inform you that it has now been declared safe to run trains through the tunnel at Gerrards Cross. Network Rail are currently replacing the track and signalling that was damaged when the tunnel collapsed. Once this work has been completed and all equipment has been tested, we’ll be able to operate our normal timetabled service again.

We’re hoping that the first trains will run through Gerrards Cross on Saturday 20 August.

Please keep a lookout for further updates later this week to find out how work is progressing. We'll be producing separate information about exactly what caused the tunnel to collapse, what has been done to make it safe again, and what is planned for the future.

Sentinel Steam Bus 

A reader advises that at Fairford Steam Rally on Saturday there was a Sentinel steam driven single decker bus. The chassis seemed to be a regular lorry type. It said it came from Hutton Le Hole, unfortunately no one was around to ask and I had no camera, just a chance encounter. Can you shed any light on it, I have never seen any reference to Sentinel building buses at that time. 

It disappeared from the event full of passengers in the Oxford direction.

Nostalgia Bus  Kevin Stevens 

Attached is a photo I took this week in Oxford.  The is Nostalgia Bus's Bristol which I saw at Trinity College gates doing a wedding, unfortunately it had a puncture and was waiting for a relief bus to arrive from Kingston Bagpuise.


Another photo is the bus Stratford Blue had on service today replacing the normal Enviro (?) of which they apparently have three and all had developed mechanical or electrical problems.  Later in the day I saw they had replaced the double decker with the spare dart.

Stratford Blue Enviro 403 taken by Gavin Francis on 14th August 2005.

Location Facilities

Stuart Turner writes following the picture on the last page of a Titan belonging to Location Facilities "as well as Titan OHV756Y[on website] they have ex Manchester Titan GVF8V (pink instead of Green/White livery), A47TYG Leyland Royal Tiger (Green/White) [on website], plus 2 more older DDs (Atlantean/Dominator?), a Plaxton Paramount coach, Dennis Falcon SD [on website].

They have a web site @ 

Leighton Buzzard

Colin Cooke visited Leighton buzzard last Sunday and writes "..there was a lovely selection of ex LT buses could be found in the centre of Leighton Buzzard on Sunday. Rather like the recent Slough bus day and soon to come Amersham running day, the formula of static, and running buses works well for all, especially in the sun that shone all day.......Coupled with a select number of enthusiast stalls, these events seem to be gathering more support and the buses seem to be receiving more TLC !" 


Amersham Running Day - Sunday 2nd October 2005

Peter Cartwright has written to advise details of the upcoming Amersham running Day for 2005. 

The timetable booklets for the Amersham Running Day are now available price £5 available from the Tourist Information Centre @ High Wycombe or myself @ 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX. Postage is included in the £5.

There are some 106 scheduled departures from Amersham on a wide variety of routes from 10.15 to 17.50. 

A 790 feeder will operate from Wallingford via Watlington, Stokenchurch, High Wycombe & Hazlemere. 

A 359 feeder will operate from Aylesbury, Wendover, Great Missenden.

There are many more feeder services from a number of locations.  

The 44 page booklet is ideal to plan your day beforehand and cover some of the rarer routes operated. A number of lowbridge RLH buses will be operating an enhanced service 336 - a history of which is included in the timetable booklet.

Comments from Steve Bunce on News Page 141 

Steve Bunce writes "I have some additional info. and photos concerning three features of this weeks newsletter." (141)

Firstly, if you will excuse the pun, the Volvo tri-axle coaches used by First. I saw T705JLD and one other at the English Heritage "Festival of History" this weekend in Northants on private hire work.  

Secondly the Zebra painted Metrobus at Whipsnade is partnered (on good days) by an open-top DMS-class Daimler. I believe it is OJD127R judging by the cab stickers in the photo but I am open to correction. Unfortunately it doesn't carry registration plates in the park, only WWAP2.


Finally I can attach another picture of the QPR football coach owned by MCH of Uxbridge, taken at their OC on Uxbridge Trading Estate.


Diversions due to St Giles Fayre and Abingdon Fayre

Curly wrote to remind us of the various diversions caused by these two annual events. 

The St Giles Fayre diversions are as follows

Routes X1/X2/X3 to/from Oxford with buses turning from Woodstock Rd into St Margaret's Rd or Canterbury Rd then along Banbury Rd onto Parks Rd then into Broad St then straight into George St

Buses will stop at all stops on diversion 

Routes 2/A/D/C/B, 500 will run to/from Broad St via Parks Rd then onto  Banbury Rd

Routes 2/A/D/C/B will stop at all Stops on diversion 

Routes X5/X6 to/from Oxford will operate from George St into Broad St turning into Parks Rd then using the link into Banbury Rd

Buses will stop at all stops on diversion

Routes 6/300 will be diverted from George St straight into Broad St then left into Parks Rd then onto Banbury Rd then onto St Margaret's Rd or Canterbury Rd then onto Woodstock Rd

Route 6 will stop at all diversionary stops 

Route 6A will not operate 

Routes N7, 7/A/B/D,59/A/B to/from Barton/City will be diverted off Banbury Rd onto Parks Rd then left into Broad St where buses will terminate. 7s will continue straight into George St 

The 10C/D and 14/A to/from Oxford Rail Stn will be diverted straight into Broad St from George St then left into Parks Rd then onto Banbury Rd 

The 17 to/from Oxford will be diverted straight into Worcester St from Walton St then along a loop via Hythe Bridge St and Park End St 

The 18/A and 20/A  To/from Oxford will operate from Woodstock Rd-George St via St Margaret's Rd or Canterbury Rd, Banbury Rd, Parks Rd and Broad Std St

Buses will stop at all stops on diversion. The same diversion applies to X20/X50 

25/A, N27, 27/A, X27, 28/A, 29/A/B will be diverted to/from Broad St via Parks Rd then onto Banbury Rd as normal 

The 100/11 will be diverted to operate to/from New Rd, Buses will use the 7's stop 

The 2E to Kidlington will be diverted straight into Broad St from George St then into Parks Rd then onto Banbury Rd

The Abingdon Fayre diversions are as follows

The X3/X4 to/from Abingdon will operate straight along the Vineyard then along Stratton Way and buses will buses will terminate at Bath St

Buses will stop at the 4's stop in Bath St  

The 4 will operate to/from Abingdon via Bath St, Stratton Way, Vineyard and terminate at Our Lady's convent  

Buses will stop at the X3/35's stop at Vineyard and terminate at the 35's stop at Our Lady's convent  

Route 31/34/35A/35B/35C will run via Vineyard and Stratton Way in both directions

Route 32 will operate to/from Our Lady's convent via Stratton Way and Vineyard in both directions  

The 35 to Oxford will depart from Our Lady's Convent with Abingdon bound journeys operating via Redbridge, By-pass, Bagley Wood and Oxford Rd

The 44 will operate via Stratton Way in both directions and Oxford Bound journeys will only go up Stratton Way.

(Any pictures of buses on diversion would be much appreciated. Ed.)

That ex Portsmouth PD2 again by Marcus Lapthorn  

David Whitley has remembered correctly for ex CPPTD no. 100 did indeed use to ferry me to and from school for a couple of years. 

When this batch of Leyland PD2/12's were delivered to Portsmouth no,s 87/99/100 and 103 were allocated to Eastney depot for use on the G/H and C/D routes. All of the other 21 in this batch were allocated to North End depot.


ow on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week. please note that the next News Page will be on Sunday 4th September as I am away on holiday next weekend.

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 22nd August 2005

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies – 22nd August 2005

Oxford County council are publishing the fact of changes to the 260/280 services. This is on the OCC Web Site.

Week commencing 4th September 2005

Three injured in bus bridge crash 

Three people were taken to hospital after a bus carrying parents and children on a day out to Thorpe Park crashed into a railway bridge.

Three adults were treated for shock and minor injuries at St Peter's Hospital after the accident in Chertsey Lane, Staines, west London, on Sunday.

The roof of the double-decker bus was damaged and the road was closed for a few hours after the crash.

After an inspection engineers declared the bridge to be structurally safe.

The bus involved was Olympian 5153 S153KNK from Watford. The blinds were set to display 5 - Watford Town Hall.

Ed Maun writes "Further to my note in Issue 141, Dart KE53NFG was back on service 232 by Tuesday 16th August."

Mike Penn writes "A few comments on this week's news page.

Firstly regarding the list of former Oxford Olympians with their new owners it is incorrect to attribute 225/8/9 to Arriva the Shires Southend-on-Sea depot.  They are with Arriva Southend which is managed by Arriva Southern Counties from Maidstone.  There is now no connection with Arriva the Shires other than through the parent Arriva Group plc.  Also I believe 234 is now at Aylesbury as I saw it on the X15 this week.

Arriva Olympian 5830, once COMS 230, leaves Oxford Station at the start of its journey to Aylesbury photo by Chris Maxfield.

Mike goes on to say "Regarding the photograph of the Wright bodied Volvo on the 797 Green Line route I noted one of the 797 branded coaches at Arriva the Shires Luton garage last weekend although I didn't see which one it was.  There seems to be one at Luton quite frequently lately although the actual vehicle varies. On a couple of visits to Stevenage in the last two weeks I have noted Dennis Javelin 701 (M101CCD) on the 797.  This is in Green Line livery and branded for the 797 and I assume it is the normal spare vehicle for the service.

M101CCD pictured by Mike Penn

The history of M101CCD is somewhat complex as the type seemed very unpopular in the Stagecoach group.  It was new to South Coast Buses in December 1994 and in the following two years it went to East Kent, Sussex Coastline, Devon General and Red & White.  It settled there for a while before being transferred to Burnley & Pendle immediately before the sale of that operation (and some of the Ribble operations in the area) to Blazefield in April 2001.  From there it went to Sovereign, originally being painted in yellow school bus livery, and then last year it was repainted into Green Line livery as the spare vehicle for the 797 service.  Of course it then transferred to Arriva The Shires in January this year along with all the remaining Sovereign vehicles.  The photograph was taken on Wednesday of this week.

Your photograph of Arriva The Shires Olympians 5110/34 reminds me that these were two of  four vehicles which were new to Ensign for use on London sightseeing duties, mainly in inclement weather.  Three of these were sold to London Country North West when less than a year old, the fourth joining Luton & District direct shortly after their takeover of London Country North West.  I am attaching photographs of G130 YEV and G131 YWC, later to become the said 5110/34, while in service with Ensign outside the Tower of London.

photos by Mike Penn

Park & Ride buses for High Wycombe

Peter Cartwright sent me these pictures of a further DAF/Cadet for the new 100 Park & Ride service which is due to start early in September.

Arriva VDL SB120/Wright Cadet YJ05PXU displaying the new livery for the 100 service.

Carousel's RM2198 on a Wedding job in Oxford passing Carfax Tower. Photo by Chris Maxfield.

Jim Lowe writes "Going through some older pics, I came across this gem. It was taking part in one of the earliest Trans-Pennine runs from Manchester to Harrogate. The start was from Manchester City FC's car park, and it is seen exiting Kippax Street onto Claremont Road. The event was 35 years ago this month on the 9th August 1970, and it was for all sorts of commercial vehicles, including steam powered. The steam powered exhibits  started elsewhere further along the route due to their bulk and slower speed. 

I thought an older specimen from Oxford would make a change from the Olympian's and Trident's that our Chris has been sending to you. Sorry that the quality of scan is poor, but the picture is one of my smaller prints."

(For some 17 years I was the Commentator at Harrogate for The Trans Pennine. Ed.)

Jim Lowe's picture of AEC 952AJO attending a Trans Pennine Run.

This week in pictures by Chris Maxfield.

Trident 116 passes Citaro 837 in Castle Street. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Coach number 11 turns into Castle Street at the start of its journey to London. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Volvo B10B - Plaxton Verde 620 pauses in Speedwell Street prior to returning to Barton. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Another B10B, also on the 8 group of routes, turns into St Aldates with its blinds already set for its return to Barton.
It should however be showing 8 and not 8A which is the Risinghurst route., Photo by Chris Maxfield

A Metrorider in our where are they now portfolio by Chris Dunscombe.

Chris writes "I hope the following photo may be of use to you for the OCBP. It shows former COMS 778 (G778WFC) at Gravesend Railway Station on 16th August, now with Redroute Buses of Northfleet, Kent. It is operating on route 416, a rural service between Gravesend and Meopham, which was recently won on KCC Tender (along with 1 return journey on Monday to Friday and the entire Saturday service on associated service 417 to Cliffe) from Arriva Kent Thameside (who retain the rest of the Mon-Fri 417 service)."

Readers report

Bus Monkey reports

Tue 16th
102 on 8
838 on 16B

Thu 18th
404 on 4A
629 on 15

Ross reports

Sat 20th
101 - 15  >>>>As noted by Monkey on Tuesday at one of 101/2 has been on the 8 most days this week (the other was usually on the 4 services).  603 was on the 13/13B earlier this week, but can't remember which day.

Curly reports

The Citaro on the 5 was a first.

Stephen Le Bras writes "First DMM 43834 has been repainted in b1 livery. It has small blue letters and figures, like DMA 40721.

McLeans of Witney

Chris Maxfield sent a picture of this Dart working the 212/213 services last week.



Chris Maxfield caught this ex Cambridge Coach Services Volvo back on its old haunt of the 75 last week.

Trident 18053 on the X4 in St Aldates by Gavin Francis

Taken at Charlbury by Chris Maxfield a Trident on the 20A and a Dart from Worth's on the 69

Two Tridents in Oxford, a Brookes and a Park & Ride both in Castle Street.

Ex SC Manchester 20820 waits time on a 31 working from St Aldates. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Unbranded Dart 34466 takes a break in Speedwell Street between 10 route workings. Picture by Chris Maxfield

The classic shot of Witney depot by Chris Maxfield.

Now where was this shot taken by Chris Maxfield?

Rob Williams advises re changes 

Road Closure - Oxford - Magdalen Street East

18 August 2005

Magdalen Street East will be closed to all traffic from 0500 to 1800 on Tuesday 23rd August 2005 so that a tree can be cut down.

Buses on routes 7, 7A, 7B, 7D, 18, 18A, 20, 20A, 25, 25A, 27, 27A, 28, 28A, 29, 29A, 59, 59A, 59B, X1, X2, X3 will be unable to drop off in the usual location during this time, and will instead be diverted to a temporary stop in Beaumont Street.

Buses will be able to pick up in Magdalen Street as usual.

Route 7 to Barton, and routes 11 and 100 to Witney will be unable to pick up in George Street, with the 11 and 100 being diverted to the stops in New Road instead.


40150 returned home to Nuneaton today 19th following the early finish of the Grove Bridge Closure on Tuesday 16th.

Bus monkey writes

Wed 17th
18051 on X4
20006 on 1, then 3 later
34466 on 1

Fri 19th
42372 on 5A

Ross adds 

Thu 18th
20822 - 7 or 7C - only had Stagecoach in Oxfordshire in the blinds, but was picking up passengers for the city centre in Headington.

18054 - 31/X31

Chris Maxfield sent this picture of a Swindon depot Volvo in the Horspath yard last week. 

Tim Moss sent this picture of Olympian 16515 which has appeared in a new all-over branding livery.

Latest fleet news received today from Angela Leeson.

Period five


from 22nd August 2005


Fleet movement - last period



J166 UNH

Ley Olympian 3 Axle - Transfer Leamington to Manchester


G278 YRJ

Ley Olympian 3 Axle - Transfer Manchester to Leamington


H606 LNA

Ley Olympian 3 Axle - Transfer Manchester to Leamington


H627 LNA

Ley Olympian 3 Axle - Transfer Manchester to Leamington


H603 LNA

Ley Olympian 3 Axle - Transfer Manchester to Leamington


F515 NJE

Leyland Olympian - Transfer Leamington to Nuneaton


C964 XVC

Leyland Olympian - Transfer Northampton to Rugby



Volvo B10M - Transfer Reserve to Cheltenham


P677 NOJ

Volvo B6LE - Transfer Leamington to Nuneaton


N347 AVV

Mercedes 709 - Transfer Nuneaton to Leamington


N350 AVV

Mercedes 709 - On Loan Oxford to Nuneaton

vehicles in reserve



P821 FVU

Volvo B10M - Refurbishment



H495 MRW

Mercedes 811D


Volvo 52157 on the 66 taken by Chris Maxfield

Dart 33943 on the 66 taken by Gavin Francis

Neoplan 50104 works a night service to Oxford from London early this morning. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

The latest issue of Buses Focus has two articles, one on The Oxford Tube and one on Megabus services. This publication is a recommended read.


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please let me know on

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

The really superb model of RMC1453 by Sunstar. At £99.99 its expensive but must be one of THE best models on the market.
Photo by Gavin Francis

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

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


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