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  

Centenary Issue
Sunday 24th October 2004
next update week ending 6th November 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. 
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

Well here we are. Issue 100 at last for the OCBP. So many of you have written your congratulations on the big 100. I am especially indebted to Gavin Francis who came up with the picture and the idea of the 100 route blind above. I have made many friends and acquaintances over the past few years and your continuing contributions are most warmly welcomed.

I have been wondering what to include in this page as space is not unlimited and I decided to choose a few pictures to begin which give an insight into buses in our area over the past 10 or more years.

A favourite shot

In a period of over 7 years of taking photos on a digital camera I looked through a great number of shots to see what was one of the most memorable pictures I have taken. The choice was very wide but in the end I chose the one below. Why? Because the chances of getting one of the Oxford coaches in VCS livery and on a day when London would be quiet enough to take a picture by Victoria Coach Station entrance without great difficulty was significant.

Sunday morning, 2nd January 2000, just one day into the new millennium, dawned dry and clear and I was to operate the second service of the morning on  the X90. When allocating the coaches it is obviously not easy to select a particular coach and quite by chance I was allocated one of Volvo/Plaxton Premiere 350s then in service, nr 50. This coach was at the time the VCS liveried coach on the X90 and so the chance was there for a good picture. On arrival in London traffic was quiet and during the layover I was able, again quite fortuitously, to get the spot seen in the picture, right outside VCS main entrance.

Oxford Citylink coach 50 posed outside VCS on Sunday 2nd January 2000. A favoruite picture for me.

Before digital

I remember when I heard that the 290 would not longer have an Oxford participation back in the late 80s. I took my camera and recorded the 290 at various places. One picture captured my imagination and this is shown below. I think the caption is apt.

A spirited departure

Leyland Leopard nr 20 leaves Newlands Bus Station on the last 290 working by Oxford (COMS)
heading towards Oxford with the mid afternoon sun catching the front

Little did I realise then that one day I would be training on sister coach nr 21 and even driving the said coach through Newlands Bus Station, where we took a tea break.

Another picture which captured my imagination was the one below of Gloucester Green bus Station shortly after completion with a variety of vehicles no longer to be seen.

The line up includes a second hand Volvo-Ikarus on the Oxford Tube, an ex Tiger from Bayline in Devon on the 27
and Oxford Citylink Plaxtons. The date November 1993.

It is appropriate to mention that back in 1993 both competing companies operated 50+ seater coaches and the services were not nearly so frequent as they are today.

It says something for the marketing efforts of the two rivals plus an added awareness to the benefits of coach travel on a busy corridor such as Oxford-London and the increasing volume of traffic on the M40 and A40 into London from a car divers point of view that today in October 2004 there is a much more intensive service.

On a rough calculation, following the revised service levels recently introduced by Oxford espress and the increase in seating capacity on the new Tubes, there is now a seat offer on a peak Friday schedule of over 20,000 seats per day. Each company operates about 80 return trips to London including an hourly service in the quiet hours overnight. Both operators have improved the specification of their coaches and all services now have air conditioning, charging points for mobile telephones or laptops and toilet facilities.

Indeed the provision of the charging points was an innovation on the rebranded Oxford espress which has been also taken up by the New Oxford Tube.

Fares have risen, often on an annual basis but still represent a very reasonably priced way to reach London. More recently Stagecoach introduced the Megabus, indeed launching this product on the Oxford-London corridor. Loadings on this service vary according to the time of day but with four trips daily this means over 160 single journeys per day on this route counting the three operators.

All the operators are strongly selling to the student market and a £5 over night return available on the two main operators, sold after 3pm in the afternoon, means one could say its never been so good to travel by coach.

All this has happened since the late 1980s when Thames Transit first launched the Tube with some second hand Leyland Tigers brought up from Devon.

The only downside has been the introduction of the 100 kph speed limit for coaches and the ever increasing traffic on the M40 and into London on the A40 from Hillingdon. Serious traffic delays are a feature of the operation and it says much to the credit of both company's that they generally maintain a reliable service with a transit time of around 2 hours. In the quiet hours 1hr 30 mins is achievable but one hears often of 3 hour transit times during the peak hours.

An interesting benefit offered to Tube passengers on the new coaches is pastries, juice and newspapers offered on departures from Oxford between 0600 and 0800 Mondays to Fridays and the continuing Capital Select service which has departures from Oxford and 0600 and 0630 M-F running non-stop from Thornhill to Baker Street and then Victoria.

In the case of Oxford Bus (COMS) they withdrew from the old road services as long a go as the late 1980s and concentrated on the Motorway services instead. Indeed the picture higher up this page reflects that decision.

However The Oxford Tube tried to maintain the 390 service via Henley. however this was not very successful and was withdrawn after have been truncated to Heathrow as the X39.

In 1993 The Tube was still operating the 390 as seen by this ex Devon Tiger alongside the then popular Ikarus bodied
Volvo B10Ms. All coaches had toilets and it was to be another 10 years before Oxford Bus got around to toilet provision.

It will indeed be interesting to see what the next 10 years brings. By then all coaches will have to be wheelchair accessible and doubtless we may see other features such as internet access, on board TV and things we may not even realise at this time.

Wycombe Bus Station - 1970

On a theme of the past Ed Maun came across an old copy of Motor Transport showing Newlands Bus Station in 1970. The then Minister of Transport, Fred Mulley, opened the new bus station on March 20th 1970 which was built at a cost £175,000. The article was headed by the comment "putting bus stations where people want to go". Oh dear, have we progressed 34 years later?

The "new" bus station is for the chop and another less palatial alternative is proposed. (See these pages some months ago Ed.) It will not have a roof and doubtless will cost considerably more. Still that's progress.

Stepping back into the past.

Last week I included a picture from john Bristow of COMS AEC Regal 607 and wondered if it was in service. john confirms it was and 608 was even going through works and below is pictured in the paintshop at Cowley Road garage. We can still see the real thing at The Oxford Bus Museum at Long Hanborough and I was kindly sent the first picture below to illustrate its presentation at the museum

A picture of 610 taken just over a week ago in 2004 at The Oxford Bus Museum.

Coach 608 in the paintshop at Cowley Road snapped by John Bristow on September 25th 1966.

Continuing travels on the continent.

Last week I mentioned the special Citaros used in Hannover. I had a most interesting e-mail from a German reader who says :-
"I am Hermann from Germany. When I am surfing  in the internet I like it to click to on your bus page. To me your web site is one of the most entertaining concerning the bus and coach business. Today I saw your pictures and comments concerning the Hannover Citaros.  Maybe You are interested in some more facts about these very special buses: When the city of Hannover prepared itself for the 2000 World Expo the local bus & tram company “UESTRA” wanted to transport the Expo visitor crowds by  a spectacular and unique kind of bus. They asked the famous designer James Irvine to develop his vision of the “bus of the future”. This he did and UESTRA asked Mercedes-Benz/Evobus to build about a hundred of those Irvine buses. Evobus agreed and used the Citaro platform and engine to make them. There are as well articulated as solo versions running in Hannover since Expo in 2000. The only other Irvine Citaro client became the East German city of Leipzig that has a special partnership with Hannover. They ordered about 30 more of them and lent the buses during EXPO to their friends in Hannover. Since then no other city or bus company ever took an interest in the Irvine bus vision. They prefer obviously the real thing as the original Citaros are running all over Europe. Kindest regards, Hermann Stümpert-Stein."

Thank you to Hermann for that, I must say I was somewhat puzzled by the design but all is now answered. It is also mosty interesting to see where my readers are from.

The two types of Citaro buses which run on CNG and are to be found in the German city of Hanover.

Memories of over the 90s

I have taken the opportunity to include a few pictures below of buses by now in different guise or location but still remembered by many of my readers.

Obviously brand new when I caught this Dart leaving Horspath depot in Thames Transit days.

The red and grey Mercs when new carried Oxford Tube logos and the use of Carousel branding on the 10 is interesting.

An ex London Olympian, L125 shares the picture with an ex Manchester Metrobus at Horspath.

Days of Cityline at Cowley Road. One of the shunters who worked there in those days liked to get buses
in as near numerical order as possible, so 641, 639 and 640.

More days of Cityline, this time outside Queens College in September 1999 with almost new Volvo B10BLE 812 on the 52 !!!

Route news in and around Oxford

The rumours mentioned last week are now confirmed and clearly outlined in the message sent by Ralph Adams who reports:

Revisions to Oxford City servicesService 2D (Oxford City – Kidlington, Oxford Airport (M-F off peak, Sat & Sun) Service awarded to Stagecoach Oxford, replacing the Oxford Bus Company. To be renumbered 7D (see below). Oxford Bus Company will continue to run their commercial 2B service to Kidlington Airport via Lyne Mead during Mon-Fri peak hours (approx frequency every 20-30 mins) at which times route 7D will not operate (tickets are inter-available).
Service 5A/5B (Oxford, Queen Street) – Greater Leys – (Kassam Stadium). New contract awarded to Stagecoach Oxford (replacing the Oxford Bus Company). Reverts to a of circular service via Watlington Road, the whole of Greater Leys Estate, Blackbird Leys and Cowley Centre with buses operating alternately round this loop. Half –hourly daytime frequency retained (hourly each way round the loop with 5A operating anti-clockwise, 5B clockwise). The section of the current route from the western end of the Greater Leys Estate to/from the Kassam Stadium Complex is withdrawn.The evening 5C service (Oxford City – Sandford – Greater Leys – Oxford City) (Daily) already run by Stagecoach is unchanged and will continue to display this number.
Service 7D (Oxford City – Kidlington, Oxford Airport (M-F off peak, Sat & Sun) New number for service between Oxford City Centre (Magdalen Street, Debenhams) and Oxford Airport, Kidlington via Lyne Mead operated by Stagecoach Oxford. Hourly Frequency on Mondays to Fridays off peak and evenings, all day Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.  Awarded until Oxford area review (June 2006).
Service 14 (Oxford Rail Stn – J.R. Hospital via Marston Ferry Rd) (Saturdays) Financial support for the Saturday service and JR Hospital to Churchill Hospital Monday to Friday service of this route has been continued until June 2006 (next review of contracted services in the Oxford City area). Existing half-hourly service continues, to the current timetable. Operated by the Oxford Bus Company.
Service 16 (Oxford St Aldate’s – Minchery Farm) (Mon-Sat) New contract for this service awarded to the current operator (Oxford Bus Company) until Oxford City area review (June 2006).Half-hourly service is maintained (including one bus per hour off-peak serving Herschel Crescent) but (following requests) inbound buses are diverted to serve Donnington Bridge and Abingdon Road – the reverse of the outbound route - instead of Iffley Road.
Service 85 (Greater Leys – Cowley Centre) (Mon, Tues Thurs)   This short-term contract, providing three off-peak journeys each way on three days per week between Greater Leys and Cowley Centre, was introduced following changes to routes 5A and 5B during 2003. Restoration of the original routing of the 5A/5B means that this route (operated by Heyfordian Travel) is rendered unnecessary and it is therefore withdrawn.
Service 106
(Oxford – Science Park – Berinsfield)The County Council funding for the section of route through Littlemore and Sandford has been agreed until June 2006. The route is also funded by the Science Park whilst the Berinsfield extension is provided commercially by the operator, Thames Travel.   
Service 108 (Oxford – Forest Hill – Waterperry)The Last journey at 1810 from Oxford is extended beyond Wheatley to Waterperry ‘on request’ (replacing a journey formerly provided on route 260), officially introduced from 27.9.04. Operated by Whites Coaches
Park & Ride service 300
The 0530 bus from Redbridge to Peartree and the 05.30 from Peartree to Redbridge (Mon-Sat), financially supported by the County Council since July 2004 are withdrawn after 11/12/2004 due to low levels of usage. The first journey from either terminal will be at 0600.
Park & Ride service 400The 0530 bus from Thornhill to Seacourt (Mon-Sat), financially supported by the County Council since July 2004 is withdrawn after 11/12/2004 due to low levels of usage. The first journey from Thornhill on 400 will be 0600 although a 24hour service is provided from this point to the city centre on Oxford Bus routes X70, X80 and X90 and the Oxford Tube (local fares are charged).
Park & Ride service
500The County Council has agreed to continue financial support this service so as to maintain a 15 minute frequency throughout the day until at least June 2005.
Revisions to Chipping Norton and Woodstock Area Services
Service 20
(Diversion of journeys via Wootton & Glympton) (Mon-Sat) The four off-peak journeys on Stagecoach service 20 that divert via the villages of Wootton and Glympton (two in each direction), will continue as at present. They will however be reviewed again in one year’s time as part of the Kidlington area review to ascertain levels ‘of usage’. The southbound peak bus to Oxford and the return peak bus from Oxford via this route are not supported by the County Council, as they are provided commercially by Stagecoach Oxford.Service 20A (Oxford – Charlbury) (Mon-Sat) Replacement for existing service 70 formed by the extension of the existing Oxford – Old Woodstock Stagecoach service 20 journeys, via Combe, Stonesfield and Fawler to Charlbury. Operates every hour Mon-Sat, increasing to half-hourly, Mon-Fri Peaks. Buses connect in Charlbury with Worth’s service 69 (through fares available), although the first southbound 20A and last northbound start from or continue to Chipping Norton via Chadlington.
Service 23 (Middle Barton – The Tews – Swerford – Chipping Norton) (Wednesdays only)The contract for this market day service has been awarded to Bakers Coaches, who will replace Heyfordian Travel. Morning journey advanced to 0940 from Middle Barton, Return from Chipping Norton at 1230 as now.       
Service 34 (Idbury – Wychwoods - Chipping Norton)(Wednesdays only)The contract for this market day service,has been retained by Bakers Coaches. It has however been re-timed from an afternoon return service to run instead on Wednesday mornings, departing Idbury at 11.05. Return journey from Chipping Norton will be at 13.40.The route will no longer serve Kingham village (which has the regular X8 service instead).
Service 42 (Woodstock – Hanborough – Witney) Minor timing changes to peak hour journeys to maintain connections at Hanborough Station.
Service 69 (Witney – Charlbury – Chipping Norton) (Mon-Sat)Service continues broadly as now, operated by Worth’s Motor Services. Generally hourly service over most of the route, with connections in Charlbury with Stagecoach service 20A (see above). Extension of certain journeys from Chipping Norton to/from Banbury (on Thurs/Sat) are continued by Worth’s on a commercial basis but the second return journey at 14.40 from Banbury on Thursdays is withdrawn (but continues to run on Saturdays).
Service 70 (Charlbury – Oxford) (Mon-Sat)Service replaced by new 20A route operated by Stagecoach Oxford – see above
Services 72, 73 (Charlbury Taxibus, Town & Country routes) (Mondays to Fridays)Service altered and re-numbered C1 – see below
Service 74
(Leafield – Witney) (Saturdays) The possibility of providing a limited Saturday service over this route (via Crawley) is being investigated. Further announcements will be made shortly and the parishes affected advised. New off-peak facilities on Mondays to Fridays will be provided by the revised C1 in connection with Worth’s route 69 by changing at Finstock.
Service 242 (Woodstock – Bladon – Hanborough)The afternoon journey from Hanborough Station to Bladon and Woodstock, which currently departs at 17.35, is retarded to 17.40 so as to maintain connections with the revised Cotswold Line service (from 12.12.04). Operated by RH Transport.
Service 811 (Salford – Chipping Norton – Milton under Wychwood – Cheltenham (Saturdays) Contract retained by Pulham’s Coaches (Bourton-on-the-Water). No change to times. There is no alteration to the Thursday only service from Oddington to Cheltenham via Idbury, which is not supported financially by Oxfordshire County Council.
Service C1 – Charlbury Rail-Link (Mon-Sats) New time-tabled service Charlbury Station – Charlbury Town – Finstock – Leafield – Ascott – Shipton under Wychwood, running Mondays to Fridays AM peak period and mornings plus PM peak until 1940. Buses will follow the above route in both directions, offering connections at Finstock with Worth’s route 69 to/from Witney. Connections also available with the main AM and PM commuter trains at Charlbury Station (under the revised Cotswold Line train timetable). The new operator of this route, R H Transport (replacing Worth’s Motor Services), will also offer an on-demand “rail-car” responsive service at times when the C1 does not operate (i.e. Mon-Fri off-peak, and all day Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays).
Service X8 (Chipping Norton – Kingham Station) (Mon-Sat)Contract awarded to R H Transport, replacing Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. Broadly the same number of journeys will be provided as now, but some times are amended by up to 30 minutes so as to maintain connections at Kingham with the new Cotswold Line timetable. Some journeys are extended from Kingham Station to/from Bledington as now.
Revisions to Wallingford Area Services
Service 132
(RAF Benson –Wallingford – Goring Station) (Thames Travel)Revisions to times of certain peak journeys so as to maintain connections with the revised First Great Western Link services from Goring Station. Last evening bus from Goring to meet the 18.58 train arrival. Current connections at 19.32 and 20.44 are withdrawn (but later journeys are being provided on the Reading – Wallingford service X40 (see below)
Service X40 (RAF Benson –Wallingford – Reading, Express) (Daily) (Thames Travel)Daytime service on Mondays to Saturdays increased from every two-hours to hourly (the additional journeys being provided by the operator on a commercial basis). Evening service to/from Reading regularised on an hourly frequency with additional new departure from Reading Stations at 20.35.
Other Service Changes
Lewknor Taxibus This service covering the Watlington – Lewknor – Chinnor corridor with peak jnys to Thame (M-F),  scheduled to start on 26 September 2004, has been deferred pending completion of works at the interchange – new date to be announced.
Service 35A (Oxford – Abingdon – Didcot)On Saturdays, the County Council has financially supported the 05.30 bus from Oxford to Didcot and the 06.27 Didcot-Abingdon journeys as from 4 July 2004. These journeys will be withdrawn after 11.12.04 due to low levels of usage. Operated by the Oxford bus Company.
Service 63 (Oxford – Southmoor) Diversion of certain journeys via Frilford Heath and Garford are withdrawn due to lack of use.

I believe the information comes from the County web site. The operator changes are most interesting and will present man y with photo opportunities in the coming weeks.

Now on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 24th October 2004

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies – 24th October 2004

Arriva in Wycombe 6 years ago. The livery of three buses now but a memory.

Another nostalgic shot, this time of ex Oxford 235 then with the Wycombe Bus subsidiary. The date 31 July 1999.

Nigel Peach writes "Ex London Olympian 5851 (C36 CHM) was there freshly repainted and without blinds. According to the Arriva 2004 handbook this bus was based at Ware. If it is a transfer in it will become the oldest bus at the depot I think! (But it did look smart). I thought these ex London buses were not performing well on the hills! 

SLF Dart 3181 (P181 SRO) was also there. This bus is listed in the book as allocated to Garston depot. 

I was premature about ex London Dart 3814. It has regained its blinds and is back on the road!"

Mike Penn writes re last week's page "You mentioned this week the vehicle swaps to and from Arriva Southend.  As far as I know the current position is as follows:

Arriva The Shires 5825/8 (E225/8 CFC) have gone to Arriva Southend as fleet numbers 5881/2 - this is to fit in with the scheme of Arriva Southern Counties who now control Arriva Southend.  They have replaced  two Volvo Olympians which have gone to Arriva Merseyside.  There don't appear to be any replacements for these in the Shires fleet.

I don't believe any more former Oxford vehicles are going to Southend.  As you rightly point out 5827 has already been sold.

The six Southend Dennis Tridents which were supposed to be going to Arriva The Shires at Luton have now gone/are going to Arriva East Herts & Essex at
Ware.  I saw two of them at Waltham Cross last Saturday.  Arriva Southend appear to be expecting six Alexander bodied Leyland Olympians from Arriva The Shires in return.  However I doubt whether that will happen as that would leave Luton and Aylesbury garages short of low height double deckers. In fact I have seen two of them in service at Luton in the last two days."

Dave Stewart adds "One other oddment is that Olympian 5144 (N35 JPP) which had been on loan from Luton to Arriva Yorkshire came back to the Shires last Friday and is now working at Wycombe.  It was on the 362 today, minus destination blinds.    the two Darts 3812/4 you noted out of use are indeed due to revert to service.  Basically, they will be two of the three extra buses (the other is 5144) needed on the overall allocation at Wycombe to cover the pvr increase (+3) when the 31 route starts on 31st October.  So, the 31 looks like being covered by a load of oddments from the total allocation, until its new buses come next Spring - orders for which are pending."

Dave Stewart writes "From Monday 18th October, Carousel Buses began a new service (4) between High Wycombe and Chesham Pond Park in direct competition with Arriva 372.  It is advertised as every half-hour Mon-Sat daytime, approx hourly peaks, with the Bucks CC tendered evening and Sunday journeys on 372 incorporated (now as route 4).  Four buses are needed during the day, two at other times.   I had a look today (Thurs 21st) and just two buses were running during the daytime, the other two never appearing.   One was DAF/Prestige R988 FNW, one of two in the fleet (the other is R981) in the new multi-tone red livery,  and the other was red Olympian H554 GKX.  Neither were carrying any passengers when they passed me in Amersham this morning, although I saw just one passenger alight just up the road.  Indeed one didn't even stop at the Amersham Tesco stop where four people were waiting.  They no doubt thought that they wanted a 362 (which they later boarded) but surely a commercial service bus ought to stop anyway, if only just to accept a few casual passengers !.  

They are expecting some more DAF/Prestiges,. to be in a green livery for route 336.   Don't seem to have arrived yet, as today's offering on the 336 were the usual two red Metrobuses.  And Arriva again:  the two Darts 3812/4 you noted out of use are indeed due to revert to service.  Basically, they will be two of the three extra buses (the other is 5144) needed on the overall allocation at Wycombe to cover the pvr increase (+3) when the 31 route starts on 31st October.  So, the 31 looks like being covered by a load of oddments from the total allocation, until its new buses come next Spring - orders for which are pending.

Sunday morning at Carousel with two buses having unexpected fleet numbers following the recent fleet renumbering.
L554 regains its old fleet number and DAF 988 is now just that !
It would appear the new numbering system is very short lived and buses are reverting to the old system?

Comments from readers feature this week with sightings from Bus Monkey after a break.

Mike Wootten send a picture of ex 214 BBW214Y seen resting outside her former home in Cowley Road during October 2004.

Joshua writes "There seems to be unusual activity on the 2 road recently, with buses that usually work on a 5 road, either working 2, 2a, 2d, 2c or 2b. There are about 3 different buses, and about 1 or 2 oxford bus company double deckers working the same routes. Sorry i did not catch there numbers, will see if i can see over the weekend, but if not I wonder if anybody else has got there numbers." 

Ian Pinnell writes "Hi there, great work on getting to news page 100! 

644 (Oxford Bus) Was I think being used for driver transport duties taking them back to the Watlington Road depot on Thursday... and Oxford Espress coach nr 24 the front display is not working properly but just shows an orange rectangle.

2 road: 611/609/819/603/633/608/103
5 road: 861?/811/804

400 road:
X3/X13: 836
300 road: 113/116
35 road: 101/612
5A: 510 (Displaying 05A)
Airline: 51
13 road: 410/405
15 road: 833/806
4 road: 638/635

Finally Bus Monkey writes with sightings as follows.

Mon 4th
613 on 5
821 on 400

Tue 5th
813 on 2
104 on 4A

Wed 6th
102 on 2
407 on 5
604 on 14

Fri 8th
805 on 13
406 on 14

Wed 13th
606 on 5
807 on 14

Thu 14th
959 (staff MetroRider) displaying "Sorry I'm Late" !!

Fri 15th
632 on 14

Mon 18th
818 on 14

Wed 20th
819 on 2C
837 on 4A/C
406, 636 on 5

Friday isa a good day for catching buses just returned from paint.

20011 still awaiting application of its vinyls fresh from repaint as Bedford last Friday.

No more we will see  a M A N in Brookes livery as 22054 has now returned in fleet  livery for the 1s

Sightings received are

Martyn Banham writes "More unusual findings - I imagine this has already been reported however. In a brief moment of sunshine on Thursday 21st 22203 (T203TND) MAN18.220/Alexander ALX300) was spotted at Pullens Lane on the U1, presumably covering for 22054 whilst is has its livery removed. It is difficult to see the full-load of passengers, with the U1 regularly greeting 70 people at this stop.

Ian Pinnell observes 

7: 22914/22919/22941
1: 22943/22947/22942/22299

3: 33763/22938/22937

X4: 34467
44: 40653
10: 33654

U1: 16251?/18056

Bus Monkey reports as follows 

Wed 6th
34466 on 10

Thu 7th
20008 on 7/7C

Mon 18th
20694 on 1 in am peak
22053 on U1

Wed 20th
33822 on 7
34466 on 1

On the theme of days gone I include a picture of one the fleet of 28 M A N s now dispersed to other homes following delivery of the latest Neoplans.

Looking resplendent in the "rainbow" Tube livery, coach 44 seen in 1999 at Queens College when almost new

Stratford Blue

Gavin Francis sent this shot of the operation of the route from Birmingham at weekends.


Thames Travel, Wallingford.

James Cusworth sent this picture of the latest addition to the Thames Travel fleet, seen at Reading. V67SVY.

Fred Spresser kindly wrote to advise the daily working of the latest Volvo addition pictured above.

Volvo B10BLE (V67SVY) included in Fleet List dated 01-10-04.            Exchanged for W992BDP (for extra capacity) 

            Works following diagram:- 

            O.C.C. Contract 2804 - Ewelme – RAF Benson – Benson Village - Wallingford High School

-  X40  -  Wallingford  -  Reading

09.20  -  X40  -  Reading  -  RAF Benson

10.40  -  X40  -  RAF Benson  -  Reading

11.20  -  X40  -  Reading  -  RAF Benson

12.18  -  X40  -  RAF Benson  -  Wallingford

15.30  -  -  Contract No. 2804  -  Wallingford High School  - Benson Village – Ewelme – RAF Benson

16.18  -  X40  -  RAF Benson  -  Reading

17.20  -  X40  -  Reading  -  RAF Benson

18.18  -  X40  -  RAF Benson  -  Wallingford

18.38  -  132  -  Wallingford  -  Goring Station

19.01  -  132  -  Goring Station  -  Wallingford


Ralph Adams writes "Another Optare has arrived KB51CGU  B29F chassis no 716. Probably just arrived as still white, but due to be yellow shortly"

Solo YK04KWE pictured last Saturday on the 108 passing down High Street.


The mention of Worth's in Issue 99 prompts me to send this picture of a Leyland (ex-North Western Road Car)
which I took in Oxford in September, 1966. writes John Bristow.

Coincidentally I used to drive 566 regularly when working part time for Melba motors of Reddish back in the early 60s.Ed.


Ed Maun writes "You may recall that there was speculation in Issue 94 as to when Thames Valley service 80 had ceased after the route had been recreated in the Wycombe Running Day schedules.    You may remember that I e-mailed you on 14th September that it appeared in the TV timetable dated 19th September 1970, but not in the Alder Valley timetable dated 4th January 1976.    I have now acquired a copy of the Alder Valley High Wycombe area timetable dated 10th December 1972.    Service 80 does not appear in this timetable.    Service 80 appears to have been replaced, in part,  by variations to other services,   viz. Bryants Bottom is served by a 34A via Bryants Bottom to Speen;   Longwick is served by extending some 31 service journeys from Lacey Green to Longwick on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.   The question is; is this the date the 80 ceased or did it cease before Alder Valley took over from Thames Valley on 1st January 1972 or earlier in 1972 after the take-over?

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