Sunday 23rd May 2004
next update week ending 5th June 2004
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.
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There is quite a bit of news this week about various services in south Oxfordshire. Several correspondents have mentioned individual changes and questions have been asked about other services. I think the under mentioned clears up any confusion or misunderstanding.
An extract from the County web site states:
Week commencing 30th May 2004
Week commencing 6 June 2004
Week commencing 27 June 2004
Week commencing 4 July 2004
Major alterations to many services, including almost all services in the Didcot, Henley, Wallingford and Woodcote areas. Click for further information. Timetable links will provided when available. The following services are affected:
Week commencing 11 July 2004
Week commencing 18th July 2004
Alterations to many services in the Chinnor area. Click for further information. Timetable links will be provided when available. The following services are affected:
Further details of changes are:
HENLEY, WALLINGFORD & DIDCOT AREA SERVICE REVIEW
SERVICE CHANGES EFFECTIVE FROM SUNDAY 4th JULY 2004
(Oxford City - North Oxford (Templar Road)) (3 jnys e.w. M-F)
Service replaced by hourly extension of route 103 (Itself renumbered 17) Mon-Sat giving a substantially improved service.
(Bladon - Wytham - Five Mile Drive (Lakeside) - Oxford City) (Mon -Fri)
Existing service continued but extra journeys added from City (Magdalen Street) to the new Waterways development (Numbered 8A), outward via Woodstock Rd returning via Frenchay Road to City (2 jnys e.w.). Operated by R H Transport Ltd.
(Newbury - Harwell - Didcot) (Mon-Sat)
One jny each way on this West Berkshire contracted operation is currently diverted to serve West Hagbourne and Coscote. These villages will, in future have an improved service provided as part of modified route 134 (renumbered 94) and therefore this 9 diversion is discontinued. Instead nearly all 9 jnys will be diverted to loop round Chilton village giving broadly a two-hourly link to both Didcot and Newbury. There will be a new jny at 06.50 Chilton - Didcot on service 9. Certain peak jnys will continue to be provided on route 134(94) to/from Chilton. Service 6 (Didcot - Newbury on the alternate hour to service 9) is unchanged and will continue to stop just outside Chilton on the A34 slip road. This meets the request by Chilton parish for a more direct route to/from Didcot and restores the Newbury link from the centre of the village, lost in October 2003 when service N1 was withdrawn.
Services 6 and 9 are operated Newbury Buses, new service 94 by Abingdon Taxis.
17 (City Centre - Jericho - Cutteslowe, Templar Rd/Wren Rd)
New number for former service 103 (North City end). The Oxford - Wheatley service retains the 103 number. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd with a new small 20 seat vehicle.
(Wallingford - Woodcote)
The current level of service (every two hours Mon-Sat off-peak) is maintained, but is assimilated within new route X40 (RAF Benson - Wallingford - Woodcote - Reading). Additional peak journeys are provided as part of through route.
(Wallingford - Watlington)
Reduced from four jnys e.w. (mainly off-peak Mon-Fri) and three e.w. on Sats to two jnys e.w. (Mon-Sats) suitable for shopping trips. Although this is the only route serving the centre of Ewelme village (an hourly service is maintained from the ‘Shepherd’s Hut’ on 132/X40), current usage is very low.
Service renumbered 125. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Wallingford - Benson - Upperton - Chalgrove - Roke - Benson - Wallingford
This Fridays only market bus comprising two circular trips is poorly used. A new route, combining this service with Friday only route TB103 (Wallingford - Stadhampton) has been devised. In future route will run Wallingford - Benson - Upperton - Chalgrove - Stadhampton - Warborough - Wallingford, returning in the reverse direction. Britwell Salome and Roke will lose their bus service. Service numbered 126. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd. The school buses that ran to/from Chalgrove were provided commercially by Thames Travel and these are withdrawn.
Service 31 (Wantage
- Marcham - Abingdon - Oxford)
Nearly all this service is provided commercially by Stagecoach Oxford on a daily basis. The County Council do however support some trips on Sunday daytime (when the service shows X4) and Sunday evenings. The Sunday evening service is continued on an hourly basis as now but will become part of the X4 and buses will operate to/from Oxford as daytime (presently they are a separate operation on Sunday evenings at these times, numbered 31, and a change in Abingdon is required - which does not always work conveniently). Operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire (Thames Transit Ltd).
All 31s will be diverted via Bagley Wood (between Hinksey Hill and Abingdon) instead of the A34 and replacing route X30. This will give a broadly hourly service Mon-Sat (two hourly at present M-F but hourly Sats).
Service 32 (Wantage
- Didcot - Sutton Courtenay - Culham - Abingdon) (Mon-Sat daytime)
Retained as same route and at same frequency as now. Additional early evening jnys from Wantage to Harwell replacing the present Weavaway journeys. Operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire (Thames Transit Ltd).
32A/B Wantage - Didcot - Steventon (35A) or Sutton Courtenay (35B) - Drayton -
Abingdon (Mon-Sat eves and all day Sundays)
Revised as follows: -
Between Abingdon and Didcot evenings and all day Sundays (inc Sunday eves) will be replaced by routes 35A and 35B. 35A operates via Drayton and Steventon, 35B via Drayton and Sutton Courtenay with four trips in the evenings (daily) giving an hourly service Abingdon-Didcot (alternately two -hourly via each route in each direction). There are only two jnys e.w. at present.
Similarly there will be the same pattern of service on Sundays, only this will operate throughout the day, which is broadly similar to the current level of service. In all times (evenings and Sundays) buses will operate to/from Oxford via Kennington and Radley restoring a through service at these times (previously a change in Abingdon was required). The Oxford Bus Company (City of Oxford Motor Services Ltd) will operate services 35A and 35B.
The through service between Didcot and Wantage both on Mon-Sat eves after approx 20.00 hrs and all day on Sunday is however withdrawn leaving East/West Hendred without a service at these times (the daytime service on 32 continues - see above). Ardington will lose one late evening jny in each direction (presently already not served on Sundays). Wantage has an hourly evening and Sunday service to/from Abingdon and Oxford (via Marcham) on mainly commercial route 31/X31.
(Wallingford - Moulsford - Goring Station)
Retained broadly as now (2-hourly Mon-Sat) but renumbered 135 (see below). Note; Thames Travel also provide commercial journeys approx. every hour on a circular route between Wallingford and Cholsey (Mon-Sat) on route 105.
(South Leigh - Standlake - Witney (Thurs only market bus))
Service continued but revised to take into account the introduction of service X15, (see below) which will provide a regular Standlake - Witney link. Revised route to start in Standlake and operate via South Leigh to Witney. Operated by R H Transport Ltd.
Service 91 -
93 (Didcot Town services)
New numbers for the Didcot town routes (currently 107 or 109) which will be one combined service with an hourly service, off-peaks (08.30 to 15.30). The South Didcot loop is numbered 92, West Didcot is numbered 93, and Oval Road and Ladygrove numbered 91. Additional journeys to Ladygrove are provided by route X42 (see below) but the limited peak jnys on the other town routes at present are discontinued. First and last jny on 91 to start from or continue to Berinsfield via Long Wittenham on Mondays to Fridays. To be operated by Whites Coaches Ltd with a low floor bus.
Service 94 -
95 (Didcot - Blewbury then Upton/Chilton (94) OR Aston’s /Moreton’s (95))
New services replacing former 134 and 141 routes. Both serve Sandringham Road (Didcot), East Hagbourne and Blewbury (generally every hour) but 94 then serves Upton, and either Chilton (Peaks) or West Hagbourne and Coscote (off-peak) or route 95 loops through the Aston’s and Moreton’s to Didcot direct (approx. every two hours). Newbury Buses route 9 serves Chilton off-peaks (but no longer serves West Hagbourne - although the new 94 service to this village is more frequent). New services to be operated by Abingdon Taxis.
(Oxford City - Watlington)
20.15 (M-F) Oxford (St Aldates) to Watlington is withdrawn. Last bus ex Oxford will therefore be 19.15 (M-Thurs) and 23.15 on Fridays. However Saturday evening journey (on route 102 via Horspath) provided commercially by Thames Travel are discontinued (20.15, 22.15 ex Watlington and 21.15 ex Oxford). No other changes to the daytime service of this route. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Oxford City - Jericho - Cutteslowe)
Service maintained at current hourly frequency (although the present last peak jny to/from Cutteslowe (Wren Road) are withdrawn - the evening & Sunday service to Jericho is provided by Oxford Bus Company route 6A). City terminus to be Castle St (Westgate Centre). Renumbered service 17. Extended in North Oxford to provide an hourly service to both Templar Road (replacing Oxford Bus route 2C) as well as serving the existing Wren Road loop. The Oxford City - Wheatley section retains the 103 number but buses will terminate in the City Centre.
TB103 (Fridays) (Stadhampton - Newington - Warborough - Wallingford)
The Friday only market bus comprising I jny e.w. has been retained but merged with the existing TB31 route as new service 126 (see above). Users will still have a direct bus to/from Wallingford. The main part of the TB 103 route, which runs Mon-Sat between Stadhampton and Wheatley, is not affected by this review.
& 106 (Oxford - Science Park - Berinsfield - Benson - Wallingford - Cholsey)
These services are mostly provided commercially by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd. I am advised that the company propose to extend the present 106 jnys from the Oxford Science Park to Berinsfield (Fane Drive) giving an increase in frequency during the daytime period (Mon-Sat) between Berinsfield and Oxford from hourly to half-hourly. At Berinsfield roundabout off-peak, one bus per hour will link onto new route X15 to/from Abingdon and Witney (and route 138 to Wallingford - see below). At peak times buses will continue to Cholsey via Dorchester, Benson and Wallingford as at present, but the off-peak link from Berinsfield via Dorchester and Shillingford to Wallingford will be provided by route 138 (see below). The separate local Wallingford - Cholsey commercial daytime service is also numbered 105.
(Didcot Towns - Long Wittenham - Berinsfield - Oxford - Headington Quarry)
This currently complex, part commercial, part supported service is revised as follows: -
New commercial service X42 will operate every two hours Didcot - Ladygrove - Long Wittenham - Berinsfield - Oxford City. In Didcot will operate in clockwise loop inward direct and outward via Ladygrove. Service X42 will be operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
In respect of the current 107 service:-
a)The West Didcot Town service and Ladygrove Estate will in future be served by the Town bus route (See 91-93 above) anticlockwise whilst new route X42 (see above) (formerly 107) will operate clockwise through the Ladygrove Estate towards Oxford (i.e. in the opposite direction to route 91).
b)The section Didcot - Long Wittenham - Berinsfield will be renumbered X42 (Didcot - Berinsfield - Oxford) every two-hours (currently hourly) (Mon-Sat). One jny e.w. (M-F) on route 91will also start and finish at Berinsfield (Fane Drive)
c) The service between Oxford City and Headington Quarry via the J. R. and Churchill Hospitals is also withdrawn due to poor usage. A limited shopping facility from Headington Quarry to/from Headington shops and the City will be provided by diversion of off-peak journeys on route 108 (see below). Services 108 (and 91) are operated by Whites Coaches Ltd.
(Oxford City - Headington - Forest Hill)
Off peak journeys diverted between Headington shops and Green Rd Roundabout to serve the Headington Quarry area instead of route 107. Also possible extension (TBC) from Holton to Waterperry to replace withdrawn jnys on Bucks CC route 260. Service 108 is operated by Whites Coaches Ltd
(Didcot Town services)
Currently this number applies to just the South Didcot service (West Didcot and Ladygrove are route 107, Oval Road is route 130). In future all the town routes will be part of one combined service with an hourly service, off-peaks (08.30 to 15.30) to South Didcot (numbered 92), West Didcot (numbered 93), Oval Road and Ladygrove (numbered 91). Additional journeys to Ladygrove (only) are provided by route X42 (see below) otherwise the occasional peak jnys provided currently on the town routes are withdrawn.
(Chalgrove - Haddenham & Thame Parkway Station Commuter service)
This service consisting of two jnys e.w. Mon-Fri AM/PM peaks timed to connect with trains will be withdrawn due to low usage.
(Wallingford - Watlington)
New number for former route TB30, which is reduced from 4 jnys e.w. M0n-Sat to two e.w. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Wallingford - Chalgrove - Wallingford (Circular))
Former Friday market day routes TB31 and TB 103 combined and renumbered (see above). This service will be operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Wallingford - Didcot, Mon-Sat)
This service will continue at the same frequency as present but there will be some timing alterations to school journeys. Journeys to and from Didcot Oval will transferred to town route 91 (see above). Service 130 is operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd. In Brightwell Village, the section via the Street will only be served by the Friday market bus on route 131(has one Mon-Fri jny e.w. at present).
(Benson - Wallingford - Goring Station)
Operation reduced from generally hourly to two-hourly off-peak (Mon-Sat). The current hourly frequency between Wallingford, Benson and RAF Benson is however maintained by the introduction of the new two-hourly X40 (RAF Benson - Wallingford - Woodcote - Reading), which will provide alternate journeys between route 132. Buses will run from Crowmarsh to Benson and RAF Benson, returning via the same route (currently 132 runs in an anticlockwise loop via Clacks Lane) - this meets request received during consultation. Service 132 will be operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
The current hourly frequency between Wallingford and Goring Station is also maintained off-peak (Mon-Sat) but will comprise alternate route 132 buses (Wallingford - Stokes - Goring) and route 135 (Wallingford - Moulsford - Streatley - Goring). The service through the Stokes is therefore reduced from hourly to two-hourly whilst the Moulsford service is maintained broadly as now.
The peak hour commuter service linking into trains at Goring Station on route 132 is however reduced in both the AM and PM peak (Mon-Fri). Alternative links are provided for commuters to either Cholsey Station (which is closer to Wallingford) (by route’s 105/135) or direct to Reading on the new X40 route (see 140). Rail-link times will be altered again from 12 December 2004 when a new First Great Western Link timetable is introduced.
The very late evening service from Goring to Wallingford, connecting with trains at 22,10 and 23.10 (OCC supported (Mon-Sat) and 00.10 (Fri, Sat provided commercially) are withdrawn due to low usage. Also see 137 regarding Sundays.
(West Hagbourne - Blewbury - Aston’s - Moreton’s - Brightwell - Wallingford)
This Fridays only market bus comprising one jny e.w. is retained (at the same times) as now. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Wallingford - Ipsden Village)
This Fridays only market bus comprising one jny e.w. is retained (at the same times) as now. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd. The village also has an enhanced service along the main A4074 as the Ipsden Turn is on the new X40 route (see 140) (including a new Sunday service) providing a direct link to/from Reading (daily) and replacing route TB29
(Didcot - Blewbury - Chilton, Mon-Sat)
Service continues but is modified to also cover the route of the former Aston’s and Moreton’s taxibus. Blewbury and East Hagbourne retain an hourly service to/from Didcot but buses to Upton and beyond are reduced to two-hourly. Only peak buses serve Chilton (new daytime jnys to Chilton are provided by diversion of Newbury Buses route 9). Off-peak Upton jnys serve West Hagbourne and Coscote giving an improved service to these villages. On alternate hours buses follow a circular route via the Aston’s and Moreton’s. Last jny is at 18.50 ex Didcot; the current 19.40 departure is discontinued. Renumbered 94 if serving the former 134 route or 95 if serving the Moreton’s, & Astons. Both routes serve East Hagbourne and Blewbury. Operated by Abingdon Taxis using 29 seat bus.
(Wallingford - Moulsford - Goring Station)
The existing 2-hourly OCC supported service is broadly maintained (Mon-Sat). Becomes (with route 132) part of the hourly Rail-link service between Wallingford and Goring. Late evening jnys at 21.40, 22.40 and 23.40 (Mon-Sat) from Wallingford are withdrawn due to low usage. The Thames Travel commercial service between Wallingford and Cholsey (The Forty) continues as now (as route 105). Service 135 is operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Sundays) (Abingdon - Wallingford - Goring Station)
This Sunday service comprising 5 jnys e.w. during the daytime period only is withdrawn. New service X40 will continue to link RAF Benson, Benson and Wallingford with the railhead at Reading every two hours during the daytime. Wallingford also has a two-hourly service to Oxford (commercial route X39) and two-hourly to Henley. The section of road from Abingdon to Berinsfield (via Culham village, Clifton Hampden and Burcott) will lose a Sunday bus service as will Dorchester-on-Thames and the section of road from Wallingford to Goring (via North and South Stoke).
(Berinsfield - Dorchester - Wallingford)
New service every hour off-peak Mon-Sat, replacing service 139 over this section. In many cases buses will continue through to Cholsey via commercial route 105. This replaces the present hourly service through Dorchester Town provided by route 139 and buses will offer guaranteed connections at Berinsfield roundabout with buses to/from Oxford (routes 105/6) and Abingdon/Witney (new route X15). Service 138 will be operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Abingdon - Berinsfield - Wallingford)
The western part of this service is modified as a result of the introduction of new service X15 (Wallingford - Berinsfield - Abingdon - Witney, every hour Mon-Sat). X15 will only operate over the Wallingford - Dorchester - Berinsfield section during peak times (Mon-Sat). An off-peak hourly shuttle service Wallingford - Berinsfield roundabout will be provided by new route numbered 138 (see above) which offers connections at Berinsfield with other services to Berinsfield village, Oxford and Abingdon/Witney. The 139 number remains in use for services just between Wallingford and Henley.
(Wallingford - Nettlebed - Henley)
This service remains at the same frequency and timetable as now (hourly Mon-Sat apart from one two-hour gap on M-F School-day afternoons) including one mid-evening journey e.w. The 08.10 jny from Henley to Wallingford (M-F) is however withdrawn. The Sunday service also continues as now (5 jnys at 2-hrly intervals daytime only) and most jnys run through as service X39 to/from Oxford. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Woodcote - Reading, direct)
Combined into new X40 service: - RAF Benson - Benson - Wallingford - Woodcote - Reading (every two hours Mon-Sat). Gives hourly service (combined with 142) Woodcote - Reading as now. The RAF Benson - Wallingford section is also served by route 132 as now, whilst the Wallingford - Woodcote section replaces route TB 29 at broadly the existing frequency. The current late journeys on Saturdays, to/from Reading, provided commercially by the operator are withdrawn.
The operator will also run the full X40 route (RAF Benson - Reading) every two hours during Sunday daytime (5 jnys e.w.) on a commercial basis. This will restore a Wallingford - Woodcote - Reading link and give a new service to Woodcote, Cane End and Mapledurham on Sundays.
(Didcot - Aston’s & Moreton’s Taxibus) (Mon-Sat)
Service merged in revised 134 operations. Generally circular route from Didcot via Moreton’s and Aston’s then Blewbury back to Didcot every two hours off-peak. Some reduction in peak services and no evening jnys after 18.50. Journeys serving the Moreton’s and Aston’s loop numbered 95. The new 95 will be operated by Abingdon Taxis (who run the present 141 service).
(Woodcote - Whitchurch Hill - Pangbourne)
Maintained Mon-Sat at broadly the current 2-hourly frequency. Route continues (commercially) from Pangbourne to Reading thereby giving an hourly service Woodcote - Reading interworked with route 140 (see above). Route extended to include Checkendon (currently served by 145), including extra Sat afternoon bus from Reading as requested during consultation. This route continues to have a loop working off-peak serving Woodcote - Goring Heath - Exlade Street - Checkendon - Woodcote and offering these points a direct service to/from Reading. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(Woodcote - Henley)
Significantly reduced to two journeys towards Henley at approx 07.45 (M-Sat) and 10.00 (M-F) from Woodcote, returning from Henley at approx 14.00 (M-Th), 14.30 (Fri), 15.00 (Sats), 15.30 (M-Th) and 17.40 (M-F). (Exact times still to be finalised).
151-154 (Henley Town routes)
Remain broadly as now M-F (hourly on Greys Rd (151), Waterman’s Rd (152) and Blandy Rd (154) routes) but Abraham’s Estate (153) is increased from 2 to 4 journeys within the existing schedule. On Saturdays services broadly same as M-F from 09.00 but they will finish at 15.00 hrs due to low usage after this time (continues until 17.30 at present). Operated by White’s Coaches Ltd with a new low floor bus.
(High Wycombe - Marlow - Henley - Reading) (Sundays)
Current hourly service maintained but one additional trip to/from Reading in the evening giving a 19.00 departure from Reading. Later weekday evening buses to/from Reading have been provided commercially by the operator (Arriva the Shires Ltd) as part of a re-marketing exercise for this route.
This change is effective from Sunday 6 June 2004.
(Chipping Norton - Banbury) (M-F early AM jny)
The 06.25 Banbury - Chipping Norton and 07.00 Chipping Norton - Banbury jnys (Mon-Fri) will be retained but advanced to run up to 5 minutes earlier. There are no other changes to the 488 times. Operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire (Midland Red South Ltd).
Service X4 (Wantage
- Abingdon - Oxford) (Sundays)
Please see service 31.
(Wallingford - Berinsfield - Abingdon - Witney) (Hourly Mon-Sat)
New service hourly Mon-Sats providing new link from Witney to Abingdon via Standlake, Newbridge, and Marcham. Also serves Millets Farm Centre (off-peaks). Between Abingdon and Berinsfield replaces service 139 and peak hour journeys continue to Wallingford via Dorchester (also see route X42 above). Off-peak, from Berinsfield, buses will continue through to Oxford via routes 105/6. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd. This service is wholly funded for three years under a special Government grant as part of the Rural Bus Challenge competition.
(Oxford - Abingdon - Milton Heights - Harwell) (Mon-Sat)
This service is withdrawn, as the number of users did not justify separate operation. There are frequent commercial services between Oxford and Abingdon on routes X3 and X4 plus routes 35/A at the east side of the Peachcroft Estate. Service 44 (Oxford - Boars Hill - Abingdon) serves all of Wootton Rd every 90 minutes (Mon-Sat). Additionally on Mondays to Fridays town service A1 also serves Peachcroft, Dunmore Rd and Wootton Rd every hour. Stagecoach Oxford service 31 will operate every hour via Bagley Wood (instead of the A34 as at present), offering an improved service on Mondays to Fridays, although Hinksey Hill is also served by route 44.
The current service has three off-peak jnys Mon-Fri that continue south from Abingdon to Steventon (St Michael’s Way), Milton Heights, Milton Hill and Harwell IBC. Of these Steventon has a regular commercial service (although St Michaels Way becomes unserved daytime). Milton Heights will just have one AM/PM peak bus on route 44 (Mon-Fri) although it is near the 35A service. Milton Hill also becomes unserved apart from one peak commercial jny each way on Stagecoach route 34 (Oxford - Harwell IBC). Usage of this section was very low.
(Wallingford - Oxford express) (Daily)
Hourly commercial service continues Mon-Sat with one mid-evening (providing a bus at 22.10 from Oxford) still supported by OCC on Mon-Thurs (runs on a commercial basis on Fridays and Saturdays).
A request for a later evening bus on the otherwise commercial Sunday service has been agreed with new journeys at 20.45 Wallingford - Oxford, 21.15 Oxford - Wallingford. These two trips will operate for at least one year on a trial basis and usage will then be reviewed. Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd.
(RAF Benson - Wallingford - Woodcote - Reading)
New service every two hours, daily. Replaces half the frequency of the existing 132 route between RAF Benson and Wallingford, and all of route TB 29 (Wallingford - Woodcote) and route 140 (Woodcote - Reading). Operated by Thames Travel (Wallingford) Ltd. The new Sunday service is being provided on a commercial basis.
(Didcot - Long Wittenham - Berinsfield - Oxford)
New commercial service provided by Thames Travel replacing most of former service 107. Every two hours Mondays to Saturdays.
SERVICE CHANGES EFFECTIVE FROM SUNDAY 18th JULY 2004
(Thame – Chinnor – Princes Risborough – High Wycombe)
Revised to run up to half-hourly M-F peaks Thame – Chinnor direct (connecting with 320, 321 and 331 –see below). Off-peak and Sats runs hourly alternately as 231 and 232: -
Will offer timed connections in Chinnor (M-F) with remaining Bucks C. C. supported jnys on 331 (1 AM, 2 PM jnys) and the Rail –link service 320. Connects at Princes Risborough with either trains or bus 321, 323 or 324 to High Wycombe. The Princes Risborough to High Wycombe part of the existing 232 is also withdrawn. Only direct bus Thame – High Wycombe is a Saturday ‘shoppers’ service – see X32 below. Operated By Arriva the Shires Ltd using a dedicated low floor single-decker.
(Thame – Worminghall – Oxford)
Buckinghamshire County Council contracted service. Liable to be reduced to two off-peak jnys only into Oxford or withdrawn in Oxon completely (currently out to tender). Additional jnys to Waterperry being considered on route 108 to provide service to Oxon residents (see above).
(Aylesbury – Thame – Chinnor)
Service withdrawn. Bucks will provide a new link between Aylesbury, Long Crendon and Thame approx. every two hours. School jnys from Lord Williams to be replaced by new 661 service. Thame – Chinnor replaced by 231/232.
(Thame – Chinnor – Bledlow Ridge – High Wycombe)
Mainly Bucks C.C. contracted service. Withdrawn except for one jny AM peak and two PM peak M_F, approx. 07.40 from Chinnor returning at 16.15, 17.15 from High Wycombe. Runs all weekdays not just SDO. Bledlow Ridge is also serve by a Bucks C.C. partially DAR service (Bledlow Rider) operated by Walters Limo’s.
(Thame – Chinnor – M40 – High Wycombe)
One Saturday morning shoppers bus at 08.55 ex Thame, returning at 12.30 from High Wycombe. Operates direct from Thame to Chinnor thence Kingston Blount, Aston Rowant. M40 to Handy Cross Interchange. Replaces 331. Operated by Arriva the Shires.
This service covering the Watlington – Lewknor – Chinnor corridor with peak jnys to Thame (M-F) is now scheduled to start on 26 September 2004.
With many thanks to Oxford County Council web site for this extract which does cover some very interesting developments in our area.
Interesting models from Germany.
During my week in Frankfurt I took the opportunity look at te model scene in Germany and quote a few interesting web sites from that country. The two main manufacturers are now Reitze, pronounced Ritzer, and AWM. Both companies produce some really nice models and one which took my eye was a model of the Mercedes Benz midi bus 030xx examples of which operate in Kronberg, Hesse, near Frankfurt and also in Copenhagen on a service at the airport. It occurs to me that these would present an interesting option for routes such as the 5A/5B routes in Blackbird Leys as well as other similar routes with limited access. I m unaware if they are available in right hand drive format but the commonality with other Mercedes buses used by operators might prove useful.
The Reitze Mercedes Cito model. Seating is around 20 passengers.
The real bus is run by Arriva on services at Copenhagen Airport.
The two Web Sites are : http://www.reitze.de and http://www.automodellen.de
Prices of the model are not cheap but the quality is excellent, albeit entirely in plastic.
Gloucester Green developments.
The council in Oxford have been taking stringent measures to police the use of Gloucester Green Coach Station in recent weeks. Operators are being controlled according the letter of rule in the use of layover facilities. Only the three centre bays may be used for layovers and these layovers are restricted to 30 minutes. On Friday on hapless Stagecoach X5 driver received a ticket for using one of the end bays. I understand discussions are still taking place regarding the use of GG by the expected Stagecoach Neoplan Tubes which are going to be difficult to accommodate without some changes being made to the current layout.
The Bucks Free Press this weekend covers a story about angry villages losing their bus service in the changes mentioned above. Changes affect the villages of Bradenham and West Wycombe. I would refer back to commnets on this pages some months ago, made by Steve Burns of Carousel Bus. He said how difficult it was to make the 400 Stokenchurch service wrok when they keep losing passengers to car transport. On another note villagers in Radnage were caused much inconvenience the other morning when Arriva failed to run a morning commuter service.
The Oxford Times covers a story this week about further attacks by vandals on buses using Field Avenue in Blackbird Leys. Youths threw three bricks at a bus in that road though fortunately the driver and three passengers were unhurt. Nigel Eggleton, Commercial Director of Oxford Bus, hopes that an initiative of talking to school pupils may have a positive affect on this type of vandalism.
Last week I visited Switzerland in the course of my work and I hope no one minds me showing a few interesting pictures of buses I saw on my travels.
The first picture is of an old Berna coach owned by a private company east of Zurich in company with the second of a more modern MAN coach belonging to the same company. We then have another style of Air Line bus used on the airport connection between Basel SBB Station and Basel-Mulhouse Airport. This airport is served by Easyjet. The weather was beautiful and the seenery in the second shot wonderful.
The Berna, MAN and Citaro. Note the trailer pulled by the Citaro.
Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. However due to afore mentioned time constraints these will be held over until next week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.
Malcolm Crowe, 23rd May 2004
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News of the local companies – 23rd May 2004
Arriva's Dart MPD 3485 displaying a side super ad.
The newer Olympians away for refurbishment have not yet returned and so older ones
are maintaining the service. Seen above is 5101 at Risinghurst Turn last Friday.
Nigel Peach wrote reminding me that he had sent some news contrary to my comments last week. Sorry Nigel who notes "Further to recent comments about the Lynxes (or should that be Lynx?), there are now just three based in Wycombe. They are 3069 3070 and 3345. In addition 3068 is parked up at the back of the depot, but it has been there for many months now, so I think it must be withdrawn.
I have produced a list of what I think is the current depot allocation at Wycombe. It is by no means official, so I'm not guaranteeing 100% accuracy! It's just based on my observations:
Optare Solo 0442
Mercedes 2171, 2196, 2197, 2198, 2410 (also 2112 parked in the depot, but not being used?)
Lynx 3069, 3070, 3345 (also 3068 withdrawn?)
Volvo B6 3110, 3115, 3116, 3126, 3127, 3138, 3139, 3242, 3243, 3244
Scania 3144, 3145, 3146, 3158, 3163, 3169
Dart (Wright)3365, 3811, 3813, 3814, 3815 (also 3816 being cannibalised)
Dart (SLF) 3821, 3822, 3824, 3825, 3826, 3827, 3482
Dart (red for route U9) 3837, 3838, 3839
Volvo B10B 3841, 3842, 3843, 3844, 3853, 3854, 3855
Olympian 5109, 5110, 5120, 5122, 5124, 5129, 5130, 5132, 5133, 5134, 5135, (also 5108 being cannibalised)
Olympian (ex Oxford) 5825, 5826, 5831, 5834
Olympian (ex Arriva London) 5853, 5854, 5855, 5856
writes "the Oxford County Council web site has, amongst other changes,
details of service changes in the Chinnor area commencing in July. The 261
between Aylesbury, Thame and Chinnor is being withdrawn. The Thame to Chinnor
service will be provided by services 231 (via Towersey and Kingston Blount) and
a modified 232 (direct to Chinnor and on to Princes Risborough where it will
terminate ( that means the PR to High Wycombe link is severed again – there is a
news item in this week’s Bucks Free Press bemoaning the loss of this "
An interesting working occurred on Sunday 23rd May, when one of the new London espress Scanias, nr 4, worked a private hire from a London hotel to The Oxford playhouse. This was on behalf of The Helen House Charity and 40 passengers were carried in "espress style". A feature of such workings is the ability to show an appropriate display on the destination equipment and when I saw nr 4 heading towards Oxford on the M40 the two names - The Helen house Charity" and " The Oxford playhouse" were clearly displayed. Nr 4 was also the coach used in the filming earlier in the year for the upcoming video announcements to be used on the "espress" fleet.
Coach nr 71 has returned from rebranding work for The Airline services and now joins its two fellows nrs 69 and 70 on regular airport workings.
Coach nr 70 shows off its new destination equipment as Gloucester Green
Unusally Dart 510 worked a number of round trips on 400s last Friday and Dart T5 has also seen service again on 5As and 13s.
An intending passenger ensures she does not miss her bus to Risinghurst at Queen's Lane.
The bus is 630 on the revised 2 group services.
Once again during last week 8xx Volvo B10BLEs have been sighted on X3/X13 duties and a shortage of Airline liveried coaches has resulted in London "espress" coaches visiting both Heathrow and Gatwick.
Bus Monkey sent the following observations.
632, 639, 642 on 5
609, 633 on 5
642 on 5
819 on 300
604 on 400
638 on 5
618 on 5
647 on 5
637 on 5
21 on X70
Finally Tim Hall from Swindon writes "I have just put a collection of oxford bus photos on my fotopic if you are interested, the only trouble is most are slides and wont blow up too well" The site is http://www.timbus.fotopic.net/c180723.html
Bus Monkey sent the following observations
16519 on 100 (ie not in Banbury as someone suggested)
16523 on 1
16144 on 3
22203 on 10
34466 on 10
I am told that there is now one Olympian based at Chipping Norton.
Seemingly some of the workings on the 20 overload at peak hours.
Here 16144 works a 20 duty last week
Several Tubes have received new rear end super ads.
50058 and 50059 are pictured above.
When is MAN not a MAN?
A strange logo has appeared on 50042 as seen here in Gloucester Green.
Finally a nice picture of 42380 on the 18 at the terminus in Castle Street.
Keith Wood writes "Visited
Rugby on Saturday - Thornfield Bowling Club - to be precise! Witney Trident
18135 departed at lunchtime presumably back to Witney. Ex Oxford B6 31330 was in
service on Route 4. I knew this was going but I hadn't seen a report indicating
it had left Oxford yet ?????
Ex Witney 16516 is presumably staying at least untuil the school holidays start. This was in the depot. Also Olympian 14930 is back at Rugby ex Leamington. This one seems to be floating around between the two.
Oh, and withdrawn 40157/40654 were both in service !"
I noticed some very heavy loadings on Megabus services last week.
Bus Monkey wrote "13604 was apparently on the Birmingham megabus yesterday. Wonder if it was covering for a failure at Leamington?"
A reply from Rob Williams noted "Conversely Leamington's 13614 is at Oxford receiving engineering attention, along with Rugby's 52439 which must have failed whilst staying over one night on one of their Nat Ex diagrams.
13618 has arrived at Oxford from Hong Kong in full Megabus livery, but still bearing Hong Kong registration plates ER 9169 it has yet to enter service. Its arrival is to allow 13601/4/5 to go away one by one for extra upgrades - the rest of the Megabuses across the country having had enlarged fuel tanks and a Hanover destination display fitted before entering service. Notably 13618 is one of the first Megabuses to have a toilet fitted, and 13601/4/5 are going to be modified to match when it comes to their turn to go away."
Finally someone commented that Megabus maybe going to use trailers on the deckers for luggage, a sure sign of success.
Quite a lot of news this week is provided by Kevin who writes regarding the reregistration of certain buses.
124 becomes GJZ9574
129 becomes GJZ9576
217 becomes GJZ9575
The remainder of the reregistrations are due shortly.
I asked David Strainge whether we would get new fleet numbers but he was unsure. Logically there is no point referring to buses as 928 or 217 or whatever if that number is not reflected in the registration plate, it will just lead to confusion. Today in the yard the daily inspection sheets were having reg no's instead of fleet numbers written on them. I expect shortly to see the fleet numbers changing to 73 - 75 but I will let you know as soon as something is announced.
I was able to get a number of pictures this last week of the end results.
928 with its new registration number seen here at Gloucester Green
217 shows off its new plate in the same location
39-BFS39L has as yet not been reregistered but was fresh out of paint shop when caught here last Saturday
Keep your eyes peeled for any further changes.
Z&S of Aylesbury.
Ed Maun writes "A double deck ex London Leyland Titan A963SYE was operating service 321 between High Wycombe and Princes Risborough (and presumably the Risborough Town service) on Thursday 13 May instead of the usual ex London Dart or ex West Midlands Mercedes mini! This also occurred on Friday 7 May, but I didn’t get the registration number.
Z&S were providing a rail replacement service between P.Risborough and Aylesbury today (Sat 22 May). One vehicle seen was their ex London Carlyle ? bodied Dennis Dart.
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