Sunday 27th April 2003
week ending 4th May 2003
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The last week has seen the end of the recent hot weather and a few rain showers. however still decent weather for photography and so I made a tour of the area last Saturday. Leaving Marlow, I ran along the Thames to Henley little appreciating that I was in for a nice surprise, a recently introduced route- the Borough Bus 239 - Henley Link. This service is operated by Courtney Coaches of Bracknell using a recently delivered Optare Solo. Fares on this service are very reasonable for a 45 min run, being £2 from Henley to Maidenhead. Whilst in Henley I saw that the council had completed the part pedestrianisation of part of the main street which leads up to Henley town Hall. This is where the Thames Travel starts their town services, now renumbered 151-154. This group of routes was formerly operated by Chiltern Queens. I was able to see a 153 departing.
The tour then took me onwards to Wallingford where the town square was host to three Thames Travel buses on various services. Not far from the centre is the depot in Hithercroft Road Industrial Estate. One passes the Cholesey and Wallingford Railway en route and TT have now moved into new premises which enables them to enjoy a large yard plus maintenance facilities. Only half a dozen or so buses were in that morning but on a Sunday morning one can see the whole fleet with two exceptions.
After Wallingford came Didcot, though the station forecourt was empty. So a chance was taken to visit Tappins new premises where a large selection of the fleet was waiting to be snapped. This included the major part of the older open top Oxford tour fleet. I was told that the remaining two of the four ex Dublin open tops were now being prepared for service.
A fast run up the A34 put me into Bicester in good time and a chance to viti the model shop in Bure Place. This was host to the usual collection of local Optare solos, Stagecoach Olympians and an ex Oxford Tube on the X5 to Cambridge. A short drive onwards and you come to the depot of Heyfordian where there were six Olympians plus a varied selection of coaches including two ex COMS Citylink Leyland Tigers, still giving good service.
Just near the level crossing on the Aylesbury road on can visit the Grayline depot which houses a nice and varied fleet of coaches and midi buses. Another fast run to Aylesbury followed and a visit to the Arriva depot was made. Unusually this seemed rather more empty than I remember in the past but I was looking for the Easy Bus Solos which had been fitted with LED displays. The controller was very helpful and arranged one, 0449, with a 160 display. As so many of you have discovered, getting a shot with the destination showing is far from easy and it took 12 attempts to get the shot below and even that is not perfect.
Now recently fitted with an LED display. This one seems to have a very fast refresh rate
and I needed 12 tries to get this nearly complete shot of the 160 setting.
Strangely it is Aylesbury depot who work the 160 service and not Wycombe depot.
from Arriva it is a short drive to the premises of Z&S where there were a number of Titans parked. This was followed by a call at Motts where I was shown the latest Leyland Tiger to join this fleet. This bus had been converted to3+2 seating and now offered 70 seats for school work. I was also given a copy of their latest fleet list by a very helpful young man.
After some 5 hours I arrived back at Marlow with over 90 shots in my camera, all in all an interesting and productive day.
My next shot I have chosen to call colourful Oxford. although blue does seem to predominate.
I entitled this picture "Colourful Oxford". Well at least from a bus and coach point of view!!!
In fact Oxford Bus company coaches predominate.
Arriva's 3833 smokes away passing an inbound Carousel Olympian near to Newlands Bus Station.
One of the characters associated with Victoria Coach Station.
This gentleman always seems to be around with his clip board.
He always knows what has been in, what is new and what is going on generally.
Sadly I don't know his name but he is always ready for a chat on coaches.
This photo gives a current view of types to be seen at VCS. The Speedlink coach, third from the left
is M718KPD which for long time readers of my page was used by me on a trip to Belgium in the 90s
and pictured under the Menin Gate.
The Oxford Times reports in its April 25th issue that Oxfordshire's bus routes could soon be tackled by civilian officers with powers to detain suspects and issue fixed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour. Thames Valley police and Oxfordshire County Council have submitted a bid to the Home Office to employ six community support officers (CSOs) to work across the county plus two supervisors. It will be most interesting to see developments in this matter.
The Transport Group in high Wycombe are pressing the potential for eight seater shuttle buses. These buses could follow a flexible route and be shared by several passengers. This is an interesting project but one wonders how the residents of Wycombe would react to lots of "flexi-taxis" adding to the already congested roads in the area. It also follows that the bus routes of the present operators might face competition which would further reduce services leaving the way open to more "flexi-taxis".
It will be most interesting to watch developments and to see what happens in these two local items.
Finally Bernard Lewendon mentions an item which may be of interest to readers who can get to High Wycombe on a week day evening.
Bernard says "may I recommend the High Wycombe Film Society annual presentation entitled "History of High Wycombe" which takes place at the British Legion Hall (near of The Swan theatre), High Wycombe at 7.30pm on 7th May. Tickets can be bought at the door.
This annual show is well worth attending and usually includes some pictures from the past which include the local transport scene, including BUSES! "
Ralph Adams notes the following
Oxfordshire County Council
Purchase of small buses.
Is inviting tenders for the supply of 2 small buses for use on a new rural bus service in the Cherwell valley area. Tenders to be received by 6 May 2003.
Buses must meet the following requirements Min 12 seats + wheelchair space wheelchair ramp at nearside entrance max length 8 metres - DiPTAC compliance
Malcolm Crowe, April 27th 2003.
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News of the local companies - 27th April 2003
Airlinks - National Express
An interesting observation this morning, Sunday 27th, was that of D302 operating a 757 service to Oxford, coming through the village of Stokenchurch. One hopes there no intending passengers who would have felt aggrieved at a service passing by non-stop.
Arriva serving The Shires
Steve Warwick writes
Tue 22 April
Volvo Olympian 5158 was working the 54 Halton Camp's all day. -
X15 Scania 3203 was working the 16 Quainton am.
Olympian 5101 (G651 UPP) has returned from Wellingborough after having a new engine fitted.
Fri 25th Apr
Ex Oxford Dennis Dart 3833 worked the 11.30, 280 to Oxford. 'Bouncy Castle' on the 2 Bedgrove's this afternoon.
The Optare Solo's owned by BCC are being fitted with new Bri-Tec destinations blinds (same as OBC) 0447 & 0449 have already been fitted and are looking very bright. (see above in Editorial Ed)
Dennis Dart SLF 3229 has returned to HH to be replaced by a Dart SLF from Garston Number 3178.
We will be operating the 61 service to Luton again at Aylesbury Depot from the 28th July 2003.
Mention was made in recent issues that the electronic displays on NBS buses were being repaired.
Here 3138 shows off its display on a 353 working.
The Scanias are still giving good service at Wycombe. Here 3145 works a 326 service.
Dart SLF 3229 turned up at Wycombe a week ago but stayed on a few days before being replaced by 3178..
Dart SLF 3178 soon found employment on a 328 service but lacked any destination blinds.
Dart 3354, based at Aylesbury is seen here between workings on service 5 at the depot..
Dart 3833 worked out of Wycombe last week on a 324 service. It lacks proper destination blinds however
Olympian 5834 works a Friday morning service from Wycombe to Radnage, which requires two runs to Stokenchurch
during the run. It is seen here on its way to Radnage by The Kings Arms.
Ed Maun writes "Ref Issue 26 and Graeme Wilson’s comments about Greenways coming to an end in Wycombe; Greenway 3053 was observed in Princes Risborough working a 323 service to High Wycombe today Tuesday 22 April! This is the vehicle in Hazlemere Windows all over advertisement livery"
Michael Chadwick wrote "Seen at Wycombe on the 326 at lunchtime on Saturday 26th April: Arriva P178SRO [or possibly SRD?] (route-branded for Aylesbury?? routes 4/5)!"
Carousel of High Wycombe
Ex Armchair Olympian 556 is now the only one left in orange - the other one is now being repainted.
Lynx LX558 is seen working a 334 Speen service from NBS
City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.
Coaches 1, 2 and 5 have now been withdrawn and this leaves 2,3,4 6 and 7 about to follow the same fate.
2 shares the line with 1, both reregistered.
Excalibur nr 5 now reregistered and withdrawn
One of the older Oxford Volvo/Excaliburs, nr 12, waits for the lights alongside a T reg DAF with
Plaxton Prima bodywork owned by Wilts & Dorset and working a Salisbury departure from VCS.
The new Scania coaches have enabled newer coaches to be cascaded on to the London X90 service.
Here Y registered nr 24 works an Oxford bound departure from bay 10 at VCS on Easter Monday 2003.
Two Tridents, one overtaking the other in New Road, gives an opportunity to compare liveries.
The new registrations of the withdrawn Volvo coaches are set out below.
|1||R807NUD||Volvo B10M||Plaxton Premiere C53F|
|5||R810NUD||"||Plaxton Excalibur C53F|
Courtney of Bracknell
This company works the 239 service to Henley. The service now has a fine timetable dated 31st March 2003 and I had not seen this operation before.
Bernard Lewendon wrote of this company "Routes 53/53A which runs from Bracknell to Wexham Park Hospital, Slough via Maidenhead and which also serves Waltham St. Lawrence and the Holyport route was transferred from Courtney Coaches to First in Berkshire on Monday 31st March 2003.
The Courtney service was sponsored by The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead but on the new First timetable leaflet this sponsorship is not mentioned but probably the sponsorship continues. A completely revised timetable is in use.
The First service is operated by Bracknell Garage using Dart/Wright Handybus vehicles (London DW class). Having only recently lost these buses in Maidenhead on services provided by Slough garage the Handybus is back again!
These routes are the only ones in Maidenhead to be provided by Bracknell garage.
Solo CL52CCL leaves its loading point in Hart Street, Henley.
The destination on the front appears faulty.
A classic shot evoking memories of Thames Valley buses taken at the same spot.
Heyfordian of Bicester
A visit to Heyfordian on Saturday last revealed a number of interesting vehicles. Ex Shearings M634KVR is in full fleet livery and one coach I had not seen before was M993HHS, a Jonckheere Volvo.
M993HHS in a line up at the Bicester Depot
A military Dennis Javelin with UVG bodywork - P927CCF.
I am not sure if this is owned by Heyfordian?
Motts of Stoke Mandeville
The latest fleet list is included below correct as at May 15th 2003. The new Panthers are expected on that date.
Motts Fleet – February 2003
5705MT 1995 Volvo B12R/Jonckheere Monaco 71 seater
B12RMT 1995 Volvo B12R/Jonckheere Monaco 71 seater
MT51MTT 2001 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 49 seater
W200MTT 2000 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 49 seater
T100MTT 1999 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 49 seater
S5MTT 1999 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 49 seater
90WFC 1998 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 28 Exec WFC Team Coach
R50MTT 1998 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 49 seater
R968RCH 1998 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Mistral 49 seater
M616ORJ 1995 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 53 seater
6247 MT 1995 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 53 seater (ex M617ORJ)
4442MT 1995 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 49 seater
6787MT 1994 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 49 seater
5812MT 1993 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 49 seater (ex Oxford Tube)
B10MMT 1993 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 49 seater
9920MT 1992 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 53 seater
1746MT 1991 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 51 seater
5874MT 1990 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 53 seater
6957MT 1988 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere P599 53 seater
6601MT 1983 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere P50 51 seater
T7MTT 1999 Volvo B7/Plaxton Prima 51/33 & 5 wheelchairs
T9MTT 1999 Volvo B7/Plaxton Prima 53 seater
S20MTT 1998 Volvo B7/Plaxton Prima 55 seater
5814MT 1987 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere P50 53 seater
9975MT 1987 Volvo B10M/Jonckheere P50 53 seater
S300MTT 1999 Volvo B9M/Jonckheere Mistral 36 seater
5723MT 1996 Volvo B9M/Van Hool 36 seater
E25UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger/Alexander N 57 seater (Ex Arriva Midlands North)
E26UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger/Alexander N 57 seater (Ex Arriva Midlands North)
E27UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger/Alexander N 70 seater (3+2 coach seating - entering service 28/4/03)
E28UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger/Alexander N 57 seater (not yet in service)
F763EKM 1989 MCW Metrobus Mk2 70 seater (Ex East Kent)
F766EKM 1989 MCW Metrobus Mk2 70 seater (Ex East Kent)
E153OMD 1988 Leyland Olympian/ECW 76 seater
CUB539Y 1983 MCW Metrobus 76 seater
CUB540Y 1983 MCW Metrobus 76 seater
LIL7230 1985 Leyland Olympian/ECW 73 seater
MT02MTT 2002 Mercedes 815D 29 seater
MT03MTT 2003 Mercedes 0815 Sitcar Beluga C29F
S490UAK 1998 Mercedes 814D/Plaxton 29 seater
P373XGG 1997 Mercedes 711D/Plaxton 25 seater
M971CVG 1995 Mercedes 711D/Plaxton 25 seater
T39MLL 1999 Volkswagen Caravelle 8 seater
total 44 vehicles.
Forthcoming Vehicles due delivery 15/5/03
BT03MTT 2003 Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther C49FT
GB03MTT 2003 Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther C49FT
Also E29UNE & E30UNE 1988 Leyland Tiger/Alexander N (when Arriva Midlands North releases them).
Two of motts buses, E27UNE due to enter service on Monday next alongside Metrobus F763EKM
seen here at the depot at Stoke Mandeville on Saturday last.
E27UNE has received a new set of coach seats in a 3+2 configuration and now carries 70 passengers.
Olympian E153OMD not required this week for service on Wycombe Wanders specials.
Pete's Travel still operate the Sunday X50, a week ago operated by R87XNE
Red Rose, Aylesbury
Red Rose still operate this D303PEV with Plaxton Bustler bodywork.
The chassis is a Volvo B9R- Does anyone know the history.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford
Last week I mentioned the N3 to Rose Hill. This was a mistake on my part as the 3 does not have a night operation to the best of my knowledge.
Ex Oxford tube L156LBW now numbered 52021 and on service on the X5, seen here at Bure Place, Bicester.
Keith Wood writes "The last Warwickshire Volvo B10M/Alexander PS 20201 has been repainted and was back in service from Leamington on Saturday (19/4/03). Only P types 20401/20402 remain in stripes"
George Candelin writes "Noted at Brize Norton 23 April 2003 40126 bearing ‘Not in Service’ Display."
Ralph Adams writes "Apparently 2 Lynx buses have come from Busways (Newcastle) for training duties. They are 29108 (F108HVK) and 29127 (H127ACU) but have already left for repainting - but they were already in new livery at Newcastle before transfer. This information originated from Newcastle and has been confirmed by a local source, but I have not yet seen myself
At Oxford - BRS - today (Sunday) was Lynx 29108. It had about 16 seats only and no table. I could not see an instructors seat at the front (but I was looking from a distance). The livery was normal new corporate livery with no fleetname visible. The other Lynx is not in Oxford at present. The garage staff today were not aware of its location at present or reason for absence
Christopher Strong from Tyne and Wear writes "Something for you to look out for in Oxford. I am told that 2 Stagecaoch North East Leyland Lynx have been dispatched to Stagecoach Oxford for use as Driver Trainers. The buses in question are 29108 F108HVK and 29127 H127ACU. 29108 has bus seats and 29127 has DP seats and was the last Mk1 Lynx built."
Tappins of Didcot
Flags are now flying at the new Headquarters of Tappins in Didcot.
With the introduction of the ex Dublin Olympians to the open top fleet older buses
are now held in reserve, probably waiting the outcome of the new operators competition in Oxford.
The second of the two ex Dublin olympians so far in service, G919FVX, and ex RH13. I understand that
all four ex Dublin buses are to gain "Irish plates" in the near future.
Another fine line up with 73, 653 and 417 basking in the late April afternoon sunshine.
Thames Travel's 152 alongside 151 with 208 visible in the background, share the yard at the recently occupied
premises giving a facility capable of housing 34 buses with workshop facilities at Wallingford.
Ed Maun writes "J 159 GAT; the ex London Dart/Reeve Burgess Pointer was working service 321 today (22 April). It appears to have been repainted; still London red but with a blue skirt.
Z&S were today, Friday 25 April, running one of their ex London double deck Titans on service 321 High Wycombe to Princes Risborough and Risborough Town service. I wasn’t able to get its registration number as I was too busy threading the car along P. Risborough High Street. Can’t help but wonder how the driver managed to pilot this beast around the Risborough estates!"
This company now appears to have SEVEN Titans in service one of which was seen on the 321 to
Wycombe by ED Maun last week. Anyone know which one it was?.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
The 403 service to Bath is now fully operated by these special long versions of the Volvo B12M.
A driver told me that he had been on the service from day 1 and had only once used the facility for the wheelchair.
First Somerset run this Volvo B10M/Plaxton Expressliner on National Express routes
including the 420 Birmingham service. It carries a special British Legion livery.
I welcome your photos for
inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at
This is a most interesting site which I do recommend
For the national renumbering of The Stagecoach Fleet, I have been speaking to Bill Potter of British Bus Publishing. This company has produced a handbook with the full listing and details.
A special offer has been negotiated with Bill and he is prepared to let my readers have a copy of the new handbook for a reduced price of £15.25 (£1 less than the cover price) if you call him on 01952 255669 or visit the web site mentioning:
The Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.
The main site address is http://www.britishbuspublishing.co.uk/index.html I am sure many of you will want to take advantage of this offer.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
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