Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
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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A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a driver of a bus in Oxford but considering the fact that the photographs are taken of the vehicle not any person,
I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
I am sorry to have to mention such a matter but we now live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.
The good weather continues and it is also good photography weather. Gavin Francis has been busy as usual and your Editor even got in an hour or so in Wycombe this week. I am also pleased to receive some pictures from Marcus Lapthorn, Terry Wong Min and Mike Penn.
The new Wycombe Bus Station - some thoughts on its operation
Having had the opportunity to watch goings on for an hour or so yesterday I do wonder about the operation in this fine new bus station. It is often very busy indeed and the bays can become congested. There are sometimes two departures from the same bay at the same time and one wonders quite how the planners expect this to work? For example the National Express services normally carry a lot of passengers with luggage, boarding or alighting and need the use of bay 18 to avoid the danger of passengers being between buses when collecting their luggage. This is often not possible as other local services also use bay 18 and the Park & Ride 100 uses bay 17 on its frequent service. One notices that drivers entering the bus station are very observant if the coaches are reversing off bay 18 and there is now two added services per day with the new National Express 370 between Southall and Birmingham.
The new service is operated by Bharat Coaches and their regular coach has modified National Express branding.
Bharat also operated a Wolverhampton - Southall service which may or may not still operate.
Another annoying feature is the cars which totally ignore the "bus only" signs and use the bus station to go through. The one pictured above even shows the driver using his mobile phone I this action. Another car was dodging reversing buses and it seems like an accident waiting to happen.
The car was approaching the traffic lights at the time, still moving !!!!
Another problem is the parked cars, on double yellow lines, which block the exit of the bus station to vehicles turning right towards the Oxford-London road. Sometimes buses have to reverse and during the time I was around I did not see one warden and two buses had to reverse to get out as seen by one in the picture below. As people seem to ignore double yellow lines, I think that a "sin bin" is a possible solution. It could need to be large enough to let the larger buses pull out safely. It would also stop cars blocking the exit at busy times. Again I noticed how car driver especially seem intent in getting in front of the bus.
I was impressed by the emergence of digital destination displays on many older Arriva buses and the absence, except for one of the new Volvos, of any paper stickers.
Finally I wonder why it is that the lights on the town bound bus lane at Wycombe Marsh lights take so long to give priority to the bus?
The Wasps play away from home
Derek Dawson writes "No suitable pics this week but thought I would send this snippet. Spent a few hours on the M40 Sunday 22/4, when the biggest convoy of a single coach operator that I have seen came through, 13 Motts of Aylesbury were transporting fans for a London Wasps match somewhere. Only one that maybe suspect was all white Scania/Bf YN55PXV but as this was on the same contract suspect its a new addition to Motts?"
2007 Visitor Guide to the Chilterns and Thames Valley
remember if this surfaced before, but I've attached a scanned copy of the cover
of the current 2007 Visitor Guide to the Chilterns and Thames Valley. It
features nice picture of GS13 posed in old Amersham, I think. Unless I've missed
it, there's nothing anywhere inside the guide that mentions that this is not a
type of bus that one can find on regular daily services!"
A visit to Swindon and two interesting finds by Marcus Lapthorn
Marcus writes " I visited Swindon on Tuesday 24 April and attach photographs of two ex COMS vehicles. The first is of cafe coach YFC 14R which the current owner bought 16 months ago from a guy near Alton Towers in Staffordshire. This coach now only covers about 9 miles a day, but is giving the owner a lot of mechanical problems and has proved expensive to rectify faults. Wednesday 25th April could determine the coaches future as it is up for its MOT. (now we can't be more topical than that can we? Ed.)
Bristol VR HUD497W has been in Coachman ownership for a number of years now and is still a runner. Fellow ex COMS VR, KJO504W, which was converted to open-top a few years ago, has now moved to Newbury and is in use as a control vehicle at a go-kart track.
Thames Travel web site updated
TT have updated their web site and it is now a very good site for information. I hope to visit their operation soon as there are doubtless changes ahead with the retendering of some county bus services. They will no longer operate the X15 as this has changed as reported on this page some weeks ago. I am told that with new bridge weight limits the double deckers, The Pink Lady" would have no longer been able to operate this route. Indeed one wonders if this bus will now gain the new fleet livery. It will look most impressive if it does.
Buses in the landscape
A number of you seem to like pictures which gives more the surrounding area than just a traditional three quarter view of a bus. I hope you like this one?
Lewknor to London in style
3rd Slough Running Day - Sunday 13 May 2007
Please note that the programmes for the above Running Day are now available at £5 each by post from:
54 Guinions Road
Tel: 01494 437750
Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motorbus Society
or IN PERSON from
Slough Bus Station Enquiry Office
Tourist Information Office
Amersham & District Running days 2007 - dates for your diary
Amersham & District Running Days for 2007 are as follows:
Sun 13 May 2007 - 3rd Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station
Sun 24 June 2007 - 2nd Hemel Hempstead Running Day based on Hemel Hempstead Bus Station
Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.
Another good week for news although the picture stakes have been a little less than usual.
Malcolm Crowe - Wednesday 25th April 2007
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 25th April 2007
As mentioned above I spent an interesting hour in Wycombe yesterday and took quite a number of pictures, some of which are included below.
Scania 3151 shows off the revised branding for Line 300 between Wycombe and Aylesbury.
This service is normally operated by Aylesbury depot.
Volvo B6, 3138, one of the ex Motts pair, is still giving good service at Wycombe. It has now gained a digital display.
Ex Wycombe Bus 3825 has also gained a digital display and is seen here on Red Route 33 leaving the bus station.
I also passed by the Cressex depot of Arriva and came upon two recent additions to the training fleet. One is an LDV Convoy which came from MK Metro and the other is Volvo B6 3342 which came from Southend. Also in the picture of the rear of the fire damaged Scania.
Another interesting bus at Cressex was this Olympian, 5113, with a super rear for Duxford.
Terry Wong Min and Mike Penn both visited Watford within 24 hours of each other and sent some interesting pictures. It seems that the Bouncy Castles, at least those remaining, have all migrated to Watford.
Luckily Terry took the nearside and Mike the offside of 3820, seen on route 5.
Terry sent this picture of 3834, ex COMS and Wycombe Bus operating route 9 in Watford.
Terry Wong Min writes"Chris Maxfield advised me these Watford bits may be of interest for you. I had an early finish for a Friday and Watford was on the cards with what is going on up there. So here are a couple of pictures with some focus to your site. H370XGC is local to me when it was at London General on the 393 (not the current TFL one) Also enclose RML2440 from my local rally at Carshalton last week. Taken at Carshalton Ponds. Both collections can be found on http://londonbuspics.fotopic.net and http://ukbusrallies.fotopic.net"
Mike Penn writes"Arriva The Shires "bouncy castle" 3820 (H370 XGC) at Watford - all the remaining buses of this type (ex Wycombe Bus) have now gravitated to Watford."
I was wondering, can anyone supply me with a
current fleet list for Wycombe depot? Please !
Sister bus to our trainer is 3351 seen in Stevenage on the 19th April in this picture. Copyright © Glenn Knight 2007.
Any time spent in Wycombe Bus Station must bring forth shots of Carousel busy about their business.
The Citaros were much in evidence on the A40, this one appearing from the Cressex direction with schoolchildren on, who were going forward towards Heathrow.
Whilst filling up my car at the Shell garage at Cressex, this Optare appeared also to take on fuel.
A correspondent wrote "I thought this may be of interest to you while driving to work today down the M6 going southbound I saw somewhat of a surprise while going past Stafford going I saw a Carousel Agoraline going in the opposite direction and saw presumably the same one on the way back home at around the same place."
I can add that I also saw an Agoraline heading towards Stansted last Sunday. I wonder if it was the same one?
One of the two Metroriders was seen in West Wycombe earlier this week. It was not K428HWY now stored at Bicester and sold to dealer.
Many thanks to Hedley Shanks of Motts for the current fleet list, just received in time for publication.
FLEET LIST as at 1st March 2007
2 X 71DD COACH (EXEC) 5 X 70 DD BUSES 2 X 70 SCHOOL COACH (STD)
4 X 70 SD BUS 2 X 57 SD BUS 9 X 53 SD COACH (STD)
1 X 51 SD COACH (wheelchair) 13 X 49 SD COACH (EXEC) 2 X 36 SD COACH (EXEC)
1 X 28 SD COACH (WFC) 5 X 29 MC COACH 1 X 25 MB BUS
TOTAL VEHICLES: 47
REG NO YEAR MAKE & MODEL SEATS
MT 1999 Neoplan
2) 5705 MT 2003 Neoplan Skyliner 71
3) MT 07 MTT 2007 Volvo B7 Profile 70
4) MT 56 MTT 2006 Scania Irizar Inter Century SKool 70
5) UK 06 MTT 2006 Scania PB 49
6) GB 06 MTT 2006 Scania PB 49
7) MT06 MTT 2006 Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther 49
8) MT05 MTT 2005 Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther 49
9) MT04 MTT 2004 Volvo B12B Transbus Panther 49
10) GB03 MTT 2003 Volvo B12B Transbus Panther 49
11) GT03 MTT 2003 Volvo B12B Transbus Panther 49
12) MT51 MTT 2001 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 53
13) X400 MTT 2000 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Paragon 53
14) W200 MTT 2000 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 49
15) T100 MTT 1999 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 49
16) 5814 MT 1999 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 49
17) S 5 MTT 1999 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 49
18) 90 WFC 1998 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 28 Ex
19) R 50 MTT 1998 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 49
20) 6957 MT 1998 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Mistral 53
21) 6601 MT 1995 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville 53
22) 6247 MT 1995 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville 53
23) 4442 MT 1995 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville 53
24) 6787 MT 1994 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville 53
25) B10M MT 1993 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville 49
26) 5874 MT 1990 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville 53
27) T 7 MTT 1999 Volvo B7 Prima 51/33 & 5 chairs
28) T 9 MTT 1999 Volvo B7 Prima 53
29) S 300 MTT 1999 Volvo B9M Jonckheere Mistral 36
30) 5723 MT 1996 Volvo B9M Van Hool 36
31) E 25 UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger 57
32) E 26 UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger (out of service 31/10/06) 57
33) E 27 UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger 70
34) E 28 UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger 70
35) E 29 UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger 70
36) E 30 UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger 70
37) F 763 EKM 1989 MCW Metrobus 70
38) F 766 EKM 1989 MCW Metrobus (out of service 11/04/07) 70
39) F991 XOE 1988 MCW Metrobus 73
40) E153 OMD 1988 Leyland Olympian 76
41) LIL 7230 1985 Leyland Olympian (out of service 11/04/07) 73
42) GT 07 MTT 2007 Mercedes 816 D Plaxton Cheetah 29
43) GT06 MTT 2006 Mercedes 815 D Esker Riada 29
44) GT 05 MTT 2005 Mercedes 815 D Sitcar Beluga 29
45) MT 03 MTT 2003 Mercedes 815 D Sitcar Beluga 29
46) MT 02 MTT 2002 Mercedes 815 D Sitcar Beluga 29
47) M 971 CVG 1995 Mercedes 711 D Reebur Beaver 25
SC Oxford depot's Scania 59212 storms up the M40 gradient towards Stokenchurch and High Wycombe on the 1830 service from Oxford to Stansted.
The coach would have been maintaining 100 kph at this point and speed would only drop to 90-95 kph at the top of the climb.
The Rapeseed crop looks good this year with many fields in the area a sea of yellow.
Time and date :19:05 Tuesday 24th April 2007.
Tellings Golden Miller now operate the 310 and one of their Volvos is seen leaving Gloucester Green on 20th April.
A nice little story came through various hands to me last week. The story tells of a Vario on a National Express service, so why would this be of interest to us. Read on.
A Michel Crisp writes "I was told yesterday that Thanet's flagship's Scania 59208 (FJ56 OBT) failed at Herne Bay around 12:30 due to water cooling system defective. Herne Bay depot put out a minibus "Vario" 42377 (S377 DFC) on the 022 to Ramsgate must be a first for a Vario to venture into Thanet !!!!"
They can't get away from Oxford can they?
Various correspondents have noted the use of Tridents on City 6. I am assured by the company that this is not as a result of a policy change in allocation but merely cover for Darts being maintained.
Gavin Francis caught up with Trident 101 on the 6 on 23rd April.
Stephen Le Bras reports that "Oxford coaches, blue 55,68 plus X90 liveried 8,11 were around Victoria Coach Station on Saturday 21 April 07."
Gavin Francis reports that coach nr 30 has now re-entered service in X90 livery as seen in his pictures above.
Some of the now elderly Volvo B10Bs are still giving yeoman service on the 8 and 9 roads. 605 is seen here in Headington on 20th April.
I am always looking for good spots to take pictures and I've located a nice position by the M40 at Lewknor.
Here coach nr 1 heads towards London, starting to tackle the long gradient through the cutting below Stokenchurch on the M40.
The light was failing when I took this picture at 1910 on Tuesday 24th April.
I am delighted to receive two picture of the new Enviro 200s which have entered service on routes in Watford. These have been provided by readers, Mike Penn and Terry Wong Min. There are seemingly two such buses but I do not have any details other than the pictures of the one below.
Mike Penn sent this picture of the offside of OV07 FKH
Terry Wong Min caught OV07 FKH on the W9, this time from the nearside.
The 275 service is drawing near to its close. Red Rose roster a variety of buses for this route and it is always interesting to see what is on today. the 02 registered Dart was on the route the other morning.
This Dart was on the afternoon duty yesterday, not sure about the HC1?
Normally a Trident operated service, 22941 was deputising for one such bus on 24th April in this picture by Gavin Francis.
The other end of the route
Simon Oliver caught up with test bus 16209 in Cambridge awaiting its return to Oxford on 21st April.
The new location for pictures and this time "show bus" 50124 joins the M40 out of Lewknor
and tackles the long climb to 8700 ft above sea level at Stokenchurch.
This is an early evening service to London and it will be approaching
the end of Tuesday before this coach gets back to base.
Gavin Francis sent this picture of "an old friend" taken in Bullied Way last Sunday.
This must be almost its swan song as these bus are close to withdrawal now..
Once the pride of Manchester's Princess Road fleet this Neoplan is seen on a Welsh working yesterday, Tuesday.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
Looking for a wedding bus in the Oxford area
Then Nostalgia Travel have the answer
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at email@example.com
Coming events, models and useful links
New casting from Britbus
A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.
Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book
In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.
The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.
The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.
Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours.
DVD s by Robin Clare
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
Latest Citaro models revealed
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester - ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus
Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads.
ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks.
Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre.
ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions.
ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.
The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively.
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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
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
A web site which has paintings of buses.
Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
The latest handbooks are now
on sale, the ever
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002