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 150

Sunday 23rd October 2005
next update week ending 4th November 2005

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.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

Winter draws closer and the sun, when shining, is lower in the sky. This makes photography difficult especially in the built up areas where shadows cast across part of vehicles but I am pleased to say that this week we still have an excellent selection of pictures for all those who enjoy my weekly offerings. Contributors have also added their efforts to those featured this week.

A very useful site which often gives interesting stories and letters is

This week was no exception and I fully acknowledge the above site which is well worth a visit from my readers. 

Caught on camera

Oxford Bus Company has installed CCTV cameras in all its vehicles and this is advertised on the front near side panel of each bus and coach.

Dramatic pictures showing why Oxford Bus Company has installed CCTV cameras in all its vehicles appeared in this week's Oxford Times. The films show a man pointing a gun at a bus driver and a passenger pleading with a group of yobs as a fracas breaks out. The gunman is caught on camera holding up the driver of a bus on the Blackbird Leys estate. But the Oxford Bus Company driver laughed off the attack and pulled away, before the attacker could board the bus last January.

The company passed the footage to the police, and the offender was arrested and prosecuted. The attacker, who was using a replica pistol, was jailed for seven years for the attempted armed robbery and other gun-related offences, according to the bus company.

Nigel Eggleton, Commercial Director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: "When the gunman approached the driver, remarkably the driver just laughed, told the man to get off the bus and shut the doors before continuing his journey. I think he must have thought that it was a joke, but to have a gun pointed in your face is terrifying for anyone."

The gun attack is one of a number of incidents caught by CCTV cameras which have been fitted to the company's buses during the past few years.

The firm has now fitted CCTV equipment to all 160 vehicles in its fleet, at a cost of £500,000.

Mr Eggleton added: "We have made our buses and coaches safer for both passengers and drivers. Quite often, it's enough for a driver to point to one of the cameras to calm down aggressive passengers. It's amazing what the cameras pick up. One cyclist in George Street took exception to one of our buses, blocked the way with his bike and then bent the windscreen wipers off the bus."

There are now nine individual cameras on board each bus to record incidents. In the past eight months, CCTV has been used to help in 500 incidents, including 64 where the police have used the footage to help in their inquiries or in prosecutions.

Chris Child, a spokesman for Stagecoach buses in Oxfordshire, said: "We have invested some £163,000 in CCTV over the past two years, installing them on 63 buses operating the Oxford Tube, the Brookes Bus and Route 1, which runs from the city centre via Templar Square shopping centre, to Pegasus Road, Blackbird Leys. We are planning to invest more in CCTV technology throughout 2006."

Bid to save bus route

Bus passengers in north Oxford have launched a major drive to save a popular city route which could be axed following a review of subsidised services in the county. Jericho residents fear the number 17 City-Jericho-Cutteslowe bus could be withdrawn because Oxfordshire County Council is revising the routes it supports financially.

Contracts for such services in the county, normally awarded every four years, are due for renewal in June 2006.

Only routes supported by the council will be in the review, last carried out in 2002, and public consultation is under way.

Campaigners in Jericho have put the wheels in motion for a petition, and they also want transport chiefs to reintroduce a bus which used to go to Wheatley via Templars Square Shopping Centre in Cowley.

There is no direct route to the precinct and passengers have to take two buses to get there.

Susanna Pressel, Labour City Councillor for Jericho, who is organising the petition, said: "People are very worried that their service might be cut so it is vital the subsidised bus service continue. It may be a case of use it or lose it."

Allan Field, the Council's Bus Services Manager, said: "If, following the consultation process, we receive requests for a through service to be reinstated then we will be happy to include this as one of our options when we invite tenders for a new contract."

More routes under threat.

Routes included in the review of services supported by the councils are;

Oxford - 5A/%b Greater Leys, 5C Evening service to Greater Leys, 6A Evening service from the Rail Station to Wolvercote, 7D Kidlington airport, 10C/10D Evening City Circle. 14/14A Churchill Hospital, 16 Florence Park - Minchery Farm to mention the more important route. Some local services in Abingdon are also under review.

The 16 Florence Park - Minchery Farm route is to be reviewed where services are supported by the County.
Seen above last Saturday afternoon are Oxford Bus's 406 and 407 originally introduced on the 13 route.

Thoughts on bus stops in Oxford from your Editor

I have been somewhat surprised by the location of a number of bus stops in Oxford. A classic is that one at St Clements where the Oxford Tube, X90, 7, 8 and U1 load when outbound from Oxford. The location is such that it is inevitable that loading buses and coaches will often block Pensons Gardens located just before the stop. If the stop was moved forward to allow two buses to load at once this would be resolved. Then there is the Green road stop at the end of the new outbound bus lane. Here again vehicles boarding passengers so often  end up with their rears protruding into the bus lane and even covering the pedestrian crossing. Again the stop could be moved forward to help this problem. I think a real cracker is the stop at Church Way on Henley Avenue, pictured below, where the stop is clearly still designed for back loading double deckers gone from our city for some 20 or more years. Why not change the stop around and have buses pull past the shelter and load passengers from a rear way queue? Well that is if passengers queue at any stops anymore !! Maybe my readers can highlight some more examples of this matter? Also maybe new bus stops, already seen along the Botley Road could address this problem?

Oxford's 656 loads a passenger at the Henley Way stop mentioned above.
Look at the bus stop markings compared to the position of the bus.

The Oxford Bus Museum holds an open day - 16th October 2005

Last Sunday an open day was held at Long Hanborough where the Bus Museum is located. A service was provided between there and Water Eaton Car Park which is not used on Sundays. I have recvied two sets of pictures of this event.

Mike Bennett writes "I have been watching your Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page for some months now and as I was in the territory last weekend taking photos I thought I might contribute a few to your page.  All were taken by me on my Nikon D70 during the rally at Water Eaton P+R and at the Oxford Bus Museum.  I have sized them to 800 x 600 pixels maximum as I see that this is what you do on your website - and it works very well too. The photos were taken between 13:58 and 16:24 - the last one being of PWL 413 at Oxford Airport.

A selection of pictures from Mike Bennett.

Alan Gelson also attended the event, taking along Oxford Bus Citaro 827 with a colleague. His photos prove also very interesting. He says "The first one is of Citaro 827 which Loretta and I took, waiting to leave the museum a return working to Water Eaton Park and ride. The Nipper bus is on the shuttle run to the Hanborough Car park. The Driver stood next to it is Ken Merry who used to be an Oxford Express driver. 

The picture are first of Lowbridge 166 waiting to leave Water Eaton then a Bristol Lo-decker from Lincolnshire, Roadcar at Water Eaton. The third one is again at Water Eaton. The fourth one is of a London Transport GS at Water Eaton. The fifth one is of Eastern National Bristol Coach at Water Eaton. The sixth one is a Bristol and AEC, also at Water Eaton. The seventh is of an ACE Regent, this belongs to Vic and Sylvy Priest who were doing the marshalling at Water Eaton, and kindly used it as a hospitality vehicle for the entrants."

When you pass your cursor over each thumbnail, look at the bottom of your screen to see the title of the photo.

Indiscriminate parking by cars

Graham Gough writes following comments last week from Fred Spresser saying "I'm afraid I have no knowledge of the official police view, but earlier this year, on a journey from Oxford to Watlington, the bus stop/layover point at Watlington Library was filled with cars, something which isn't entirely unknown. The Thames Travel driver was forced to block a nearby entrance, and went off in search of a police officer whom he'd seen standing at Watlington Town Hall, conversing with market stall holders there.

I was not witness to their conversation, but the officer's only action was to continue his conversation. He didn't move. Draw your own conclusions."

Report from Luton by Mike Penn.

Further news from Luton is that "One further Scania for Arriva noted this week is 3609 (KE 55 GVZ).  On Monday it was working the 38 while on Wednesday it was on the 27. Appearances on the 38 have been sporadic so far with the main allocation still being Tridents.

Meanwhile LQT have acquired a relatively elderly Mercedes 811D registered G690 OHE.  It was working the X31 on Thursday."

Comments from Ed Maun on matters around Bucks.

Ed writes "I note from the October issue of LOTS magazine The London Bus that the 340/342 Stokenchurch group of services has a revised timetable from 30th October including the introduction of an evening and Sunday service.   I believe the evening and Sunday service is linked to a similar service on the 345 to Great Missenden due for introduction on the same date. 

With reference to the picture in issue 149 showing the two Olympians still in AERE blue and grey; if you look closely through the partly open doors to their right, you can see the front of what looks like a COMS AEC Regal single decker showing route 14 blinds.    Any idea of its identity?     As the picture was taken in 1991, it must be one of the preserved Regal IIIs with Willowbrook bodies.  My guess is it is 727 (OJO 727), as 703 is in cream livery and has been at the Oxford Bus Museum for a long time – unless anyone knows better! (Yes it was Ed.) 

An item in this week’s Midweek Free Press reports that “a public bus” caught fire on the Oxford Road between Thame and Aylesbury last Saturday.  Does any one know if this was an Arriva vehicle and if so which one?     There is also a report of the official opening of the Arriva depot at Cressex." 

Historical pictures by Ian White

This week we have four very nice pictures relating to the Oxford Tube sent to me by Ian White. They were taken at the end of the '80s when Gloucester Green was being rebuilt.

I am in the process of writing up the history of the Oxford Tube and if anyone has any interesting pictures or stories to relate I would be most grateful to hear from you.

The first coaches used on the Oxford Tube included these Duple Laser bodied Tigers from Devon General
Here nr 7 waits its next duty from Oxford.

One of the Tiger coaches, PYV277, which had been registered from South Midland Oxfordshire registered coaches.
These were I believe ordered by City of Oxford - Oxford South Midland.

During the rebuilding of Gloucester Green things were rather makeshift.

A request for historical information from Paul Goodwin.

We have had a request for information from Beaconsfield and District Historical Society, for bus services in the Beaconsfield/Penn areas when the Railway came to Beaconsfield in 1906. Could you put the following request from the society for information on the Bus Page.

" I would like to know when a bus service started to run from Beaconsfield Station to Penn and Back, and when it ceased to run. If it started in 1906 were the buses horse drawn? Did they run from Beaconsfield old town and how often? Whereabouts in Penn did they stop? -Perhaps the Crown Inn. One of our photographs shows our station with the name "Beaconsfield for Penn" "

I believe that the society are trying to get a book together to celebrate the centenary of the railway, so any information or even photos would be appreciated

If you would not like to receive hundreds of e-mails in reply ...............!! I am happy for you to use my e-mail address on the site


I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this page and look forward to your continued support in the future.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 23rd October 2005

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

News of the local companies – 23rd October 2005

Gavin Francis writes "I got better pics of 5094 and 5422. 3138 was just showing route 4 on the front. At the garage Merc 2141 was there. They have moved the burnt out one right to the edge by the main road so no problem anybody seeing it."

The two pictures mentioned by Gavin above.

The Volvo showing nr 4 instead of 74 on the destination.

Merc 2141 in from Hitchin and a view of the depot.

Recently acquired Olympian L530 G530VBB is now resplendent in full company livery. Photo by Gavin Francis.

Apart from the news above in the Editorial further information has been sent to me by the company regarding sales and winter storage vehciles.

The current situation is as follows.

Under preparation for sale to Solent Blue Line are NCME Paladins 651-656. They are presently being converted to single door in Oxford Bus's own workshops and 656 is back on the road until sale to SBL. 655 is now receiving attention.

Four views of 656 showing the removal of the centre door.
It is interesting to note that alighting passengers are still directed to the now non-existent centre door.

Coaches to be stored for the winter following the introduction of winter schedules are Volvos 9, 10, 12, 70 and 71. I understand they will go to Stansted where there is available space with fellow Go-Ahead company Meteor Parking.

Someone mentioned to me last week that several OBC buses had been seen without destinations, a most unusual occurrence, except for the 14 road for which a number of buses do not have the correct blinds. I was looking through my recent photos and lo and behold they are right. I append two pictures below which are indeed most surprising for OBC.

Park & Ride Trident 109 is seen above in George Street last week.

A rear view of refurbished Dart 412 which must have one of the largest rear destination screens on its type.

When a driver is changing blinds it is always possible to select the wrong route. Here Citaro 830 shows route 4 instead of X3.
This was quickly corrected by a City Centre Controller.

Not seen too often is an 8xx Volvo on the 14. This happened last week. Photo by Gavin Francis.

Reference the departure last Sunday of 606 and 628 to Wilts and Dorset Alan Simpkins writes "Both the Volvos 606 and 628 were operating with Damory this week. Both retain OBC livery with fleet names and numbers removed, neither has a Damory fleet number yet. 628 was on the 307 Sturminster Newton to Dorchester on 19/10 and 606 on the 310 Sturminster Newton to Blandford on 20/10. 

602 in full Damory livery was alongside 628 in Dorchester Trinity Street car park on 19th."

Lynx trainers have now reduced to one remaining, 971 (C63 HOM) is the remaining Lynx at Oxford. The other two have gone to Woottens.

National Express have introduced further Scania/Irizar PBs and these are working on the 757 route from Oxford. John Marsh writes that he saw and photographed YN55NDO at Gloucester Green on Thurs 20th October in the afternoon.

Another new one was seen by me coming through Queen St last Monday, YN55NDZ.
The destination screen was not in operation.

It is noted that Stagecoach will not be operating the 25/25A in the future as the County contract has been awarded to R&H.

Unusually this Dart, 34467 was operating the 25A last week rather than the normal Vario.

On the same day 16523 was on the X4, seen here at Carfax.

22934 has just received a hand re-paint at Banbury and looks very smart here when pictured last Saturday at Rose Hill on a 3 working.

22207 works a nr 1 service last Saturday and is seen here at The Swan stop in Cowley.

20006 waiting time in Magdalen Street East last week.

The rebuilt depot at Horspath caught in the lens of Gavin Francis

Thames Travel Solo 153 works a 101 service last Tuesday in Oxford.


If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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


If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
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

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