Sunday 26th February 2006
next update week ending 10th March 2006
Over 90 pictures this week !
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.
you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week
news please let me know
Last week was pleasant in the fact that I had a week's holiday and as such travelled around quite a lot. Enstone, Bicester, Aylesbury, Wheatley plus Manchester all feature on this week's page with something for everyone.
Oxford and High Wycombe are not forgotten and I am particularly pleased to have a new contributor in Derek Dawson whose contribution features coaches on rail replacement at Didcot.
I very much enjoyed visiting Heyfordian at Bicester and Motts in Aylesbury. It was the first time I had seen their new depot and was much impressed. One thing led to another and I found that a visit to Plastow's was called for as they had received a coach from Park's of Hamilton and as a result would sell one of their coaches to Motts. Heyfordian also have two coaches from Park's.
Passing through Downley earlier in the week, one could be forgiven for thinking that time had somehow reversed to Bee Line days as a bright yellow Lynx was spotted way out in front. It turned out to be an ex West Midlands Lynx 2 now owned by Magpie Travel. But, just for a few minutes I wondered .........
The Bucks Free Press have a front page story commenting on the unlikelihood of any delays to the development in High Wycombe in spite of the problems with the same developer on the Wembley Complex work. So that means that the new Bus Station WILL open in July this year.
Oxford Westgate Development
Ed Maun wrote saying "The headline “Traffic blow to Westgate development” caught my eye on the front page of The Oxford Times for Friday 17th February. Apparently, as part of the planned Westgate development there is a proposal to use part of the Worcester Street car park as a bus turning area to allow pedestrianisation of Queen Street. However, Nuffield College as owners of the land have said that they will not agree to this – not even for temporary use. It looks as though the transport planners may have to return to the drawing board!"
More on the Routemasters in High Wycombe last Sunday
Wongers also attended the RM running day last Sunday and sent his contributions featured below.
Wongers sent the pictures above of RML2412 heading up Amersham Hill and then both buses in Newlands Bus Station
with the final picture including Peter Cartwright with RML2440.
Where not to park ? On a bus stop !
I have had a go, I know, about poor parking on bus stops and can only submit the picture below to show how a car driver totally ignored the jam caused by parking on the bus stop outside Newlands Bus Station last Monday.
Why are people so inconsiderate these days? Do driving schools not teach new drivers about such matters anymore?
Didcot - Rail replacement services 19th February 2006
Derek Dawson produced the following array of snapshots to record the significant number of coaches providing rail replacement services last Sunday at Didcot.
Derek Dawson has a great interest in coaches and took these pictures last Sunday at Didcot of coaches involved in rail replacement services.
Derek says "All were taken at Didcot on 19-02-06 on Rail replacement duties between Didcot Parkway and Banbury / Leamington only exception was Solus SN51GBO which although there on Sunday is now devoid of Tamworth Football Club decal on the front Picture was taken a couple of weeks ago still on rail replacement duties.
This is Hitchings from Wantage not sure where he keeps his vehicles as the Operating centre is his house in Wantage. This is the only one in a livery as others are all white with the exception of the Toyotas all have been on recent rail replacement duties but usually used on school contracts.
From my records fleet consists of":
G152ELJ Toyota Coaster / Co C21F
G276BEL Toyota Coaster / Co C21F
B906DHB Leyland Tiger / Duple C51FT
G 95RGG Volvo B10M / Plaxton C53F
MJI1676 Bova Futura C49F
(Think that G152ELJ is ex Heyfordian and was 2622NU ?? Ed.)
Quarterly Video Newsletter
I am in the process of working on a quarterly video newsletter which will be available on DVD, probably in the middle of March. Please let me know those of you are interested in receiving a copy. There will be a charge of £10 plus postage and packing, about £2. The content will reflect what is going on in the area covered by this page with the chance to really get the feel of how the area is developing. I would also appreciate receiving your thoughts on what you would like to be included? E-mail me at email@example.com
I am pleased to say that response has been quite good and work is in had with an issue date of end March.
Don't forget to look further down this page for Coming Events.
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new. Keep the historical info and older pictures coming but don't forget the modern stuff.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 26th February 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 26th February 2006
A number of reports have landed on my desk relating to the appearance of the one and only Trident currently based at Aylesbury. In the few days that I spent around the area this week I have seen it on school services and the 261 and Allan Field sent the middle picture below of it working the 280. The 261 working was amazing as the bus carried not one passenger between Wheatley and Thame.
One of Wycombe's Tridents, 5432 was caught working a 345 service last Monday, taken in the pouring rain, the destination blind certainly stood out. These Tridents have still not left Wycombe.
Indeed the plan for Scanias to operate the 362 seems to be on hold at present and below we see 5122 operating the route last Monday.
Ex Wycombe Bus/Oxford Bus 5826, the only such example left At Wycombe, now sports a destination blind and looks much better for it.
The 309 is a lightly trafficked service and here Scania 3158 waits departure from Newlands Bus Station last Monday lunchtime.
As a blast from the past this is what the Olympians for the 280 looked like when new. They even sported wheel trims and looked much better for it. How is it some companies can retain wheel trims and yet others do not?
An Agoraline in service last Monday, AL2 on a 4 working to Amersham.
Coach nr 5 runs in from London on Saturday afternoon, caught in the late winter sunshine.
I notice that the Park & Ride Tridents have gained 4 star branding on the offside lower rear panels.
Here 118 is on a 300 short working from St Aldates to Redbridge on Saturday lunchtime.
Dart 402 stands out against a backdrop of Oxford City centre building by Carfax last Saturday.
One of the oldest buses in the Oxford fleet now is Volvo B10B 603 seen here in St Aldates on an inbound 8 road working
Coach 54 nears the end of its journey from Gatwick Airport last Saturday lunchtime.
Citaro 846 looks very smart as it basks in the midday sun in Magdalen Street East last Saturday
Tridents 104 and 105 work the 400 and 500 Park & ride services last Saturday suggesting a shortage of green Tridents and Citaros for service?
Blast from the past!
I have been looking through my old pictures of buses and coaches in Oxford and thought readers might like to share some old ones with me.
Here we see one of the ECW bodied Leopards purchased for the 190 London service in the mid 80s.
It is working the 595 Park & Ride service and is seen in Cornmarket on 25th November 1989.
This is a bit like using a Volvo B10M coach on the 300 or 400 today !!!
Now here's one to get the head scratching going. Tiger 103 is seen leaving Gloucester Green for a Fast London.
The route number is the X60 and Bicester is mentioned??? The date 18th May 1991.
Answers on an email please.
For Bristol VR lovers. 505 is seen on 27th July 1991 seemingly fresh out of the paint shop.
This bus was sol and exported to Homegrown in Nairobi, Kenya in June 1996.
I next saw this and other ex Oxford VRs in Nairobi two years later, the only give away being the OB No Smoking signs in the windows.
The fuelling bay at Cowley Road depot with rebodied Leopard 31 now 631 (see first picture above) and Dennis Javelin 53.
The date 29th August 1992.
On the 300 Park & Ride service, Olympian 205 comes out of Cornmarket on the 19th September 1998.
Volvo B10B 634 works a late service to Cumnor and is seen in Cornmarket on 31st May 1999.
Richard Sharman wrote regarding one of the open top Atlanteans which for many years plied its trade on the streets of Oxford noting that BFS 48L is for sale from www.stratfordblue.co.uk
Winter sunshine draws custom
Open top nr 55 is seen showing the sites to customers during the lunch hour on Saturday last.
I had not visited Grayline for over 6 months and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a different coach on hand for pictures. The Mercedes Touro had come from Redwing and is to be joined shortly by an Irisbus model from the same operator where it was their number 294. As a result the M A N 11.220 R524EUD will leave the fleet.
BJ03JHY joined the fleet in December last having spent three seasons with Redwings.
The ex London General Plaxton Pointer Dart was on the 21 service when seen in Bure Place last Saturday.
The first of the three Solos delivered in 2001 carries a nice advert for a local supplier.
Again this was my first visit for some months to the headquarters of this operator. Some newly acquired coaches have joined the fleet since my last visit and bring a touch of modernity to this large fleet.
Both coaches originated with Parks' of Hamilton and Ken MacKenzie writes "I knew about the two new (second-hand) ones with Heyfordian. Both are ex Parks of Hamilton (SW) originally but the latest came from Ellaway & Bjelobaba, Soulbury (BD).One arrived in November and the latest SN02 NGL arrived in February. SA02 UCE was at Yarnton over the weekend."
SN02 NGL is seen under preparation in the centre of this picture.
Ken goes on to comment regarding two elderly mini coaches that "the Toyota's have been traced: 2622NU is now G152ELJ and is now with Hitchings, Wantage (OX) - this change happened in October 2005. 1435 VZ is now re-reg to an L reg plate (can't remember the full plate, will let you know) [think it maybe L535XUT Ed.] and went in part exchange for the latest Volvo and is now at Volvo, Loughborough (Q).
More members of the current fleet.
Ken has promised a current fleet list in the near future.
Marlow Coaches of Booker
Gavin Francis writes to advise of a new acquisition used on the football run from Stokenchurch to Wycombe Wanderers today.
Magpie of High Wycombe
As mentioned in the Editorial above I was momentarily taken back 10 years or more when I saw the Lynx pictured below from a distance.
G310EOG is seen first working a school service nr 621 and then on a 333 working which I think should have shown 334?
Motts of Aylesbury
I was passing through Aylesbury last Tuesday and thought I must track down the new Motts depot. I found this quite easily and was made very welcome. A fleet list was provided and I was shown around the yard which is spacious and well laid out.
Most of the ex Shearings Tigers are now 70 seaters and perform very well on schools work being fitted with three and two seating with seat belts. There are now seven Mistral 50 Volvos plus four Panther Volvos. An additional Mistral 50 is due from the fleet of Plastow's being T910UCS pictured elsewhere in this news page. A new Volvo B12B/Plaxton Panther is due plus a new mini coach and a further 52 plate Mistral from Woottens.
The 737 service is now almost an exclusive operation by Scania Irizar PB coaches.
Some still however carry destination displays which show 757 !!!!!
Pearces Coaches of Berinsfield
This operator has two new 55 plate coaches which are Irisbus EuroRiders with Plaxton Paragon bodywork. They seat 53 and have ZF gearboxes and full aircon. Registrations are OU55 GUJ and GUK.
Plastow's of Wheatley
Barbara Plastow is always very welcoming and was pleased to show me her latest acquisition, a Volvo B12M/Jonckheere Mistral 50 from Park's of Hamilton. This is registered SG03 ZEU and will replace T910UCS which as noted above will move to Motts.
R H Transport
Yet another Solo, this one being MX55 WDK, Are there more to come?
Picture by Gavin Francis
The new Tridents have not yet entered service and so far no firm date has been announced.
M A N 22922 is seen on St Giles on Saturday working a 7 to Kidlington.
M A N 22920 is seen in Summertown heading towards the city on Saturday on a through working to Barton.
Dart 34466 is seen at the J R Hospital on the 10 service. The hospital is being extended and one may expect an increase in traffic.
Whilst in Manchester earlier in the week I saw this ex Oxford bus in Altrincham. It is on a 245 service and looks well kept.
History from Thames Transit.
Working route 10, then the City Circle, Mercedes 329 is seen turning out of George St on 7th November 1989.
Here a Mercedes,355 works the 7 which only ran as far as Cutteslowe in those days.
The place, Cornmarket, the date 19th May 1990.
Although then part of Stagecoach, it was early days and many buses no clue as to their new owners.
Here Dart 3051 is seen near Keeble Road on a 27 working. The date 28th March 1998.
Tube 50110 is seen approaching Green Road roundabout which is due to see major roadworks very soon.
A road somewhat clear of traffic will then be a thing of the past !!!
Coach nr 40 (50040) left Oxford last November and is now in Perth.
It is seen here when brand new having the livery applied. The date 1st May 1999.
megabus.com launched its first service on 11th August 2003, between London and Oxford, using Olympian's 14239 WLT727 F201FHH and 14240 WLT794 F202FHH. 14239 operated the first journey and it was some weeks before the regular ex Hong Kong Olympians would be ready for service.
The ex HK Olympians entered service in the week ending 25th August 2003 and were as follows:
The "permanent" fleet is as follows, all in Magic Blue with bold advertising vinyl's
13601 BIW4977 Previously Citybus 135 ER9371 Body RH82/1390/6
13604 331HWD previously Citybus 138 ER8635 RH82/1390/9
13605 SJI4558 previously Citybus 139 ES2467 RH82/1390/10
Whilst in Manchester I was surprised to see 13605 now working Magic Bus services along the Wilmslow Road. It is pictured below with the megabus livery still in place on the rear of the bus.
13605 front and back on route 143 to West Didsbury which runs along Wilmslow Road via the University.
Swanbrook Cheltenham http://www.swanbrook.co.uk/
Still hard at work on the 53 from Oxford to Cheltenham, UJI1761, recently refurbished makes an early afternoon departure from Oxford 250206.
Tim Hall has sent two pictures of new 06 plate Scanias waiting to take to the road. I am really pleased as these are the first 06 plate pictures on this page.
Dart 451 is seen turning into St Aldates by Carfax on its way to Wallingford on an X39 working last Saturday.
Whites Coaches of Culham
Last week I quoted that Whites acquired Optare Solo M850 B29F FE52 FGZ from us (Paul @ Eastbourne Buses).
Ken MacKenzie now advises that the Solo that arrived with White, Culham is YE 52 FGZ and not as stated.
Worths of Enstone
I went to look for Worth's new VOLVO B12B/CAETANO ENIGMA WM55 BUS with LED destination equipment and 53 Seats last Tuesday. Sadly it was out in London so I was unable to secure a picture. However whilst I was there I was sad to find Olympian 220 out of service and was able to get a picture of P455 KFC which had been reregistered a year ago from P7WMS.
Z & S Aylesbury
Z&S have a number of ex London titans, one of which will not see use again as far as I could see.
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
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at
From my picture library
London Country North West used to run Green Line services from High Wycombe, especially the 290 Oxford-London service.
Here we see Tiger TP68 resting in the spring sunshine on 27th May 1991. The location the then HW depot at West Wycombe.
This yard is now the home of Heyfordian.
Luton & District took over some of the LCNW operations which included the 755 service to London, seen here operated by
one the splendid ex Green Line low driving position Tigers, one of which ended up with Stagecoach in Oxford.
Now why was this London General Volvo/NCME coach seated decker in Gloucester Green.
Sadly I have no record of the date and wonder if it was involved in an X90 relief.
Anyone have the answer?
A day celebrating Thames Valley times in High Wycombe
Sunday the 1st August 1999 dawned bright and sunny with warm temperatures. This was to be a Thames Valley day of memories and TV buses worked a number of services in and around High Wycombe.
Oxford Bus had worked hard on newly transferred Olympian 229 for their Wycombe Bus subsidiary.
It was resplendent in Thames Valley livery and as can be seen from the photo looked superb.
It is seen here on a 39 working at West Wycombe having come from Stokenchurch.
A nice surprise was this Bristol LL6B, 556 new in 1950 and looking just as it always had done when pictured here in Newlands Bus Station.
Compare this to the black and white pictures of this class published in these pages recently.
Nothing but Bristols anywhere in sight and it is August 1999.
A historical picture from Ed Maun
Reading Broad Street 35 years ago
Still on the subject of pedestrianisation, Broad Street in Reading has been totally pedestrianised for years. However the first stage of change resulted in buses only. I have attached a press cutting from Motor Transport dated August 1971 which shows Broad Street in its buses only state. The lead bus is Thames Valley D5 (ABL 117B) a Bristol FLF on service 44A to Woodley. It is followed by Reading Transport 279, a Bristol RELL on service 26. There appears to be two more RELLs and a Dennis Loline in view.
The date for this year's Spring event is April 2nd.
Wycombe - Other events in 2006:
over route 347 from Hemel Hempstead to Uxbridge on 19 March marking the 40th
anniversary of RML type vehicles starting on that route from Garston & Hemel
Bus Running Days as follows:
Sunday 14 May - Slough/Windsor
Sunday 25 June - Hemel Hempstead
Sunday 1 October – Amersham organised by Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Running Day in Aldershot with details from Andrew Dyer.
I wonder if you could put a piece in your "forthcoming events" section about all the excitement that will be in Aldershot (not often you see the words "excitement" and "Aldershot" in the same sentence!!) over the weekend of 3 & 4 June this year.
Stagecoach is organising an event jointly with the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group to celebrate 100 years since the first bus service operated from Aldershot to Farnborough in June 1906. There will be a running day and on Sunday 4 June we will be holding an Open Day at our depot in Halimote Road, Aldershot. As with the Portsmouth event last year, we hope to attract local families as well as enthusiasts and all proceeds raised will go to local charities.
As Aldershot has such a strong history of Dennis operation, we are hoping to get as many different types of Dennis bus on site as we can. Do you have a contact at the Oxford Bus Museum who might be persuaded to bring a KFC Loline 2? Sadly, I don't think any of the Loline 1's or 3's that were on loan from A&D to COMS in 1969/70 have survived to enable them to make an appearance, although there will certainly be sister vehicles in the SOU xxx and AAA xxxC batches there.
Running Days as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser Amersham & District Motorbus Society
At last I'm able to officially notify everyone of the Running Days for 2006.
Sunday 14 May 2006 is the date for the second Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station. Since last year a huge new Tesco store has been built adjacent and is now fully operational. Due to traffic delays experienced last year in Windsor an extra 5 minutes each way is being added to running times between Slough and Windsor.
There is no St George's Day parade to hold us up this year and the Queen's official birthday is 2 weeks plus later when her 80th birthday is marked. I know of no Royal Wedding planned for Windsor this year and, hopefully, timekeeping will be better on the Windsor routes.
An enhancement to the Burnham Beeches service is envisaged with the opposite way round the loop. There is also the chance to have double deck workings but terminating on the eastern fringe of the Beeches.
Another new route for this year will be a service through Windsor Great Park. Crown Estates are happy with this and I have a meeting arranged with them on Tuesday 10 January. White Bus Services currently operate a restricted service here but not on Sundays & on only certain days of the week. Operation is likely to be by non-LT single-deck vehicles. A large number of vehicles is required including at least 16 double-deckers.
Some 40 years earlier on 15 May 1966 RMLs were allocated to Windsor Garage to work several routes in the area. RMC coaches had already been there for some time.
WR Garage operated many other types of vehicle including RT,RF,RC,RCL,RB,RS,GS,SMA,SNB,STL, T and of course some of these only operated in the London Country period. Additionally in the summer months Central area red vehicles were commonplace as green vehicles were reassigned to Green Line relief duties so any red-liveried vehicle would be welcome. At least 30 vehicles (including 5 non-LT/LCBS vehicles will be needed to maintain the schedules.
As 1966 is the 40th anniversary of route 724 it is hoped to have a feeder to/from the Northern areas and to run the route from Slough through Windsor, Old Windsor, Runnymede to Staines. Via Runnymede, by the river Thames was the original routeing when it was extended from Staines to Windsor Castle. It did not serve Windsor Garage nor will it in 2006. The coach link to Staines will therefore be 724 this year in place of 718.
Anyone offering to operate a 725 from at least Kingston will be welcomed. Please let me know.
At the moment there is not an area for display vehicles but every effort will be made to find one. Can I please ask anyone who came last year and was allocated blinds and who will/cannot come this year, to contact me urgently so I can collect them for re-issue to others. These are expensive and will be needed on the day.
Sunday 25 June 2006
This date in mid-Summer is for the first Hemel Hempstead Running Day to be based on the Bus Station. Arriva the Shires and Essex have given permission for us to use the bus station that day but like Slough this is an operational bus station and we will not interfere with their operations which are anyway much reduced on Sundays.
This is the normal date for North Weald which will not take place this year and the NLTS have no plans for a replacement event that day.
Discussions have also taken place with Dacorum Borough Council, Herts County Council and the police who have all been most helpful. I have also spoken to the Market Superintendent and am able to book and pay for stall space on the day. For those who don't know Hemel, the covered market is situated behind the bus station - an excellent location.
The market will have a hot food stall that day and another stallholder sells confectionery, soft drinks, ice cream etc. Ample toilet facilities are at the bus station.
Peter Gomm and I visited Hemel on Fri 6 January and, with advice from the police, have identified an area nearby for display vehicles in Dacorum Way and vehicles on long breaks can park in Queensway (formerly Bury Road) between Leighton Buzzard Road and Marlow's, the railway station on one unused bay on Sundays and the bus station itself can be used for shorter breaks without disturbing its smooth operation. Health & Safety issues have to be borne in mind. A requirement of at least 10 double decks and 11 single decks are needed. This excludes any duplication which will be needed.
A number of rural and inter-urban routes have been chosen for operation - 302, 307 ,312.316. 317.317a,318,319 ,320,330, 337 ,347,706,708, 724. The 724 is for a feeder service to/from Watford from the North and then a 708 to/from Hemel. At the moment I have nothing from the South - any suggestions/offers? (THOSE IN BOLD HAVE TO BE SINGLE-DECK OPERATED).
Certain places such as Berkhamsted Station provide good interchanges with rtes 317/a and 312 connecting there and also in central Watford with the 302 and 347 connecting.
The biggest interchange of all, of course, is the bus station.
Again in Hemel a wide range of vehicles have been operated e.g. GS,RF, T, RB,RT,RMC, RML,SNB,SNC plus several others. Like Windsor, Central Area used to loan their vehicles for weekend and bank holiday duplication.
If anyone has blinds for any or part of these areas please let me know urgently.
Please respond as quickly as you can as I want to finalise timetables/duties etc asap.
I am paying a visit to Hemel this morning to see what it's like between 11.00 and 12.00
Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.
As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.
This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.
It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?
Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - Peter_Cartwright@wycombe.gov.uk - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Ray Jackson Art
A web site which has paintings of buses.
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