Issue 40

Sunday 27th July 2003

next update week ending 16th August 2003

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 on

This week's page will be shorter than usual due to work commitments. I also would note that the next page will not be posted until the week commencing 11th August as I am off to Scotland for 9 days with the Bowls Club leaving next Saturday morning.

The major news item this week was the act of vandalism in Aylesbury when someone or somebody broke into premises of Red rover and did a lot of damage. reports were sent by a number of you and Trevor Wilson wrote with two reports saying :-

"Buses vandalised - Yobs who broke into a bus depot smashed every single window of nine buses, causing 50,000 worth of damage. Police are appealing for witnesses to the overnight attack at the Red Rose depot in Aylesbury."

This was on BBC Three Counties Radio during this week.

"Vandals broke into a bus depot in Aylesbury at 3am and drove buses into each other.  Probably broke windows as well.  Consequential reduction in services to be expected."

Another correspondent wrote "Driving past Red Rose yard over past couple of days, it looks like they have been "hit".  Two noticeables including D303 PEV (B9 Plaxton Bustler), which has green sheet covering all windows down left side. Similary, one of their Optare Solos looks like the front window behind doors had been damaged too. I'm guessing its stone/brick throwing, as there doesn't appear to be any fire damage.

Red Rose yard with three of the operators buses taken in April of this year.

Today it looks like they've parked one of their older Mercedes minis down the side against the fence, perhaps as some form of "protection" of the more valuable vehicles.

No idea if Arriva have been hit, or anyone else, so it may just have been Red Rose. Problem with their yard is its down the side of the railway line, not easily visible from the main road, so at night the lighting will be poor, and i'd be surprised if they've got CCTV. .Wouldn't be surprised if its kids who, now on school holidays, have nothing to do for most of the day."

Finally Steve Warwick writes "Don't know if you got my text earlier, but it was in fact Red Rose which suffered vandalism at their yard off the Oxford Road Saturday night. Six buses in all including their new Dennis Dart."

As an aside Trevor Wilson also sent a photo of a notice referring to problems on Chiltern Trains whose depot is by red Rose. I wonder if there is any connection.

Altogether an unhappy situation for both operators and one which I am sure caused much inconvenience.

Talking of  Chiltern Trains, services were once again suspended between High Wycombe and a northern point today sunday and coaches were used to provide a replacement service. One of the operators was from Aylesbury and their coach is pictured in the car park at High Wycombe.

Fosters DAF - Van Hool YXI5860 waits for a next train at High Wycombe this Sunday.

I think it is now known that Stagecoach in Oxfordshire have been successful in their tender for the Brookes Contract in Oxford. This Sunday a Cambridge based Trident was loaned for height tests under Oxford Station bridge. An industry friend kindly sent me some pictures of the trial and low height Plaxton President 17695, X705JVV is seen here under the station bridge. It seems that the test was satisfactory.

It appears that in addition to three new M A N 's from the 2003 order, three low height Tridents, presumably with Plaxton President bodies are to be provided for the new contract. They are to be in special livery and will make a colourful addition to the local scene.

Ralph Adams writes to mention road problems relating to the Abingdon Road. "The Abingdon Road has been a problem all day, including the rush hours, from the step bridge and south. Then a burst water pipe in Kennington Road under the ring road. Route 35 was past Redbridge onto ring road, then the slip road into Kennington, omitting Templeton College, with similar return except had to proceed up to A34 roundabout."

Last week I said "I have been thinking for sometime about a series of photographs depicting the streets and roads in our area with buses more in the background. This would give a better idea of the scene today and maybe of yesteryear for our area. What do you think?"

I had an interesting reply which gives food for thought. "I very much like the "then and now" idea of using photographs to illustrate the changing transport scene  -  it has been used quite frequently in the Railway arena, even to the extent of complete books devoted solely to that subject   -   so why not apply it to the Bus scene.  The "now" part would be straightforward  -  today's photographers would just need to expand their scenic coverage (many of your own bus photos already include a substantial background of interesting architecture etc.)  but I wonder whether many "then" bus images would be available with sufficient background interest.      Perhaps a solution would be to invite submissions of "then" scenes of 'bus and background' and then photograph the current scene for comparison  -  maybe garages/depots would be a good starting point. 

I hope there is support for development of this idea  -  will be interested to see other readers views.   I suppose there will be some with the thinking that a smaller bus/coach in the picture will dilute the pure bus interest or even suggest that if you want pretty pictures then you join a camera or photography club ! "

I think we could start from old photos of the area wit buses and then take the newer one Ed.

In a differing vein another reader wrote "As you know I think you would be better off having a fortnightly page which has real substance to it rather than running out of time on a weekly page. You have to bear in mind over commitments you have.

I am sure that like all the other readers I make it part of my routine to check out the page first thing Monday over a coffee and am disappointed when it isn't there. I wouldn't mind missing every other week if I know the pattern of publications and the content was quality rather than quantity.

On the question of mini company pages I kind of like scrolling through, as you know I am not an Arriva fan but would look at an article or picture of interest. If all companies had a mini page I would only open two and you know what they would be."

It is an interesting comment re a bi-weekly page but some news would be a little out of date. Easier on your editor though !! 

I have been asked to mention the Amersham Running Day which this year will be on Sunday 5th October 2003. It is always a good day with a lot of variety and an event not be missed.

Finally I received the following from ... regarding the painting show in Witney recently.

Many thanks for sending your roving reporter Brian Matthews to visit my exhibition of bus and coach illustrations at Witney Museum last month.  I was extremely encouraged by his review of the work on show and unfortunately missed him by minutes to talk to. He obviously knows his stuff and observed the presentation aspect of the work as well the subject material meticulously. It makes presenting an exhibition of this type all the more worth while when people notice the detail and effort that go into it.

May I draw your attention to the fact that my work will be on show again for the whole of August at Oxford Bus Museum. The museum have kindly allowed me to hold an exhibition of my paintings of Oxfordshire related subjects in the museum cafe. It will enable those who missed the Witney showing to at least see some of the subjects that were featured there. I will also be offering for sale a selection of signed limited edition prints of the work on show.

The museum is open from Saturday 2nd to the 31st  August continuously but opening times may vary. The museum can be contacted by telephoning 01993 883617 for details. 

And so on to the local operator news. Regarding my question about the layout comments received from a number of you suggest that you would prefer the page to retain the current layout. Thanks for the feedback.

Malcolm Crowe, July 27th 2003.

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News of the local companies 27th July 2003

          the Arriva Bus Running Day         
Sunday 21st September 2003 
- there will be visiting Routemasters as in previous years
and the event is organised by Richard Bond.
venue - Newlands Bus Station

I was in time this morning to catch this Dart MPD, 3485, working a 323 service into Wycombe.

Dave Stewart writes to say "Ref 340./1/2 I have checked with Arriva's Registration Officer this morning and: The 1740 M-F is a 340 and the 1110 Sat is a 342.  Therefore the 341 number has been discontinued, the Bucks CC t/t and the Arriva leaflet are both wrong in these respects."

Steve Warwick writes with a lot of news as usual saying "My colleague at Aylesbury who was at Harlow today says he saw ex COMS Olympian 5827 on route 3 at Harlow, must have been transferred from HW

Tues 22nd July
Leyland Olympian 5083 (F633LMJ) and Greenway 3044 (IIL4821) have both been withdrawn today.

3050 is to be withdrawn tomorrow (Wed)

and then 

Greenway's 3044, 3050 and Olympian 5083 were collected today from Aylesbury yard by Ensign's.

Nigel Peach writes "I've noticed this week that some of the bus stops have been updated. Those along the London Road state their location eg Hatters Lane and also say either "towards Wycombe" or "towards Loudwater". These stops do not show any route numbers at all. I've noticed a few others where only one side of the road has been done, and whilst out this afternoon I've noticed near Marlow some old style "Wycombe Bus" stops (as opposed to the newer style for which many still exist) and in Booker I notice that on one side of the road is an Arriva stop whereas immediately opposite is a Chiltern Rover!!"


I suppose it was inevitable that Red Route branded buses would venture further afield and this Sunday
was no exception when at least 3826 and 3178 were on the Reading services. 3826 is seen entering Marlow.

Now that Stagecoach have won the Brookes contract the sight of Tridents going to Harcourt Hill will be short-lived.
Here 102 makes it way along London Road towards Headington and the City.

An usual working last Saturday was Dart SLF 407 on 2 road, seen here at Queens Lane

Now a memory at Oxford are the four Volvo/Plaxton Premieres 1-4. Last Thursday they left for storage
somewhere near Stansted. I believe they are at Meteor Parking - any photos welcome !
3 and 4 are pictured above last week at Cowley Road with Paladin 651.

Steve Annells wrote regarding problems on the A34, resulting in running problems for the X3. He says "Given the traffic conditions down our way, we thought we'd got off last week, when there WASN'T a blockage on the A34 on Friday - lo and behold it happened on Monday instead......

Incidentally the 'All Points South' newsletter distributed in South Abingdon quarterly by the Church in Abingdon has been 'promoting' Freedom Cards as a means of getting into Oxford more quickly - buy on the 35A and switch to an X3 in Abingdon!" Seems inventive Ed.

Rob Williams says regarding one day last week "I noted Trident 102 on X3"  Then another correspondent reported that a Mercedes Benz Citaro also worked the morning extra on the X3. Is this a first?

Dave Stewart says  "I am not sure if you have recorded these, but four Metrobus Dart/Marshalls were transferred back from Crawley to Oxford at the beginning of July, nominally for the advent of COMS route 14 (I think that's the one - JR  via Banbury Road)  Buses are 502, 506, 508, 511   Metrobus still have the other four of the batch in use at Crawley (507,516,518,520)."

The weekend saw very heavy loadings on the X90 not helped by various traffic problems on the M40.

The Leyland Olympians were much in evidence on football specials last Saturday. Remember if you are a lover of these vehicles time is running out for a ride. They will most probably be withdrawn when the 11 new Citaros arrive.

Ralph Adams writes "Just checked up on the Companies House records. Airlinks the Airport Coach Co Ltd is now legally known as National Express Operations Ltd. This is the company that has the operation of Oxford - Stansted.

Cambridge Coach Services Ltd is now National Express Operations (Stansted) Ltd. This company no longer operates in Oxford."

Heathrow based DAF-Van Hool D309 pauses at Sandhills to set down on an inbound journey to Oxford.


David Whitley, Marketing Manager of the company has asked for the latest attached fleet list (period 4 - July 2003) to be published in this week's page. you will need Adobe Acrobat to view this file. Click on the Stagecoach logo to view. (you will need to rotate one of the pages to view)

getacro.gif (712 bytes)

Unusual working on Saturday featured Volvo/Alexander PS 20822 on a route 1 working.

Loaned Cambridge 17695 pauses in Speedwell Street last Sunday.

Is it a Mercedes, the advert would lead one to think so. M A N 50052 in Gloucester Green.

Branded buses off route again. The rear of 22929 promotes the 7B to Evans Lane, a route which goes
nowhere near Headington where this bus was pictured working a 7A service to Barton.

Stagecoach, awarded the new Brookes University contract, will gain several new buses as a result. It is understood that three of these new buses will be from the latest batch of 60 new  M A N s currently under build by Transbus. I understand they feature revised front end. The deckers are also new buses but I do not have any details as yet.

Ralph Adams notes "16439 has moved to Banbury. 16438 /16440 are also leaving very shortly.

The vehicle for demo was Cambus Trident / Alexander 17695 (X705JVV). It is 13ft 10 in high according to the cab notes. It had about 4 inches to spare under the Railway Bridge, although the bridge has a sign noting as a maximum height of 13ft 6 in.

Didcot services. It appears that the main service on the 32 will be Stagecoach operated from Abingdon via Didcot and Wantage to Grove. Certain journeys will be provided by Weavaway, and the extension to Grove looks like the previous Heyfordian service."

Steve Annells writes regarding the Abingdon area saying "I note your comment on Stagecoach X4 - have any details been released about this service yet?  There is concern of course here in South Abingdon (which will get the benefit of the revised 35A but not the X3/X13) about the fate of the 32 family, which Stagecoach had threatened to withdraw altogether."

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

Martyn Pearce writes re the photo above "On the most recent edition you asked for info about a red coach that was getting a parking ticket in Westbourne St, High Wycombe. It is a Plaxton Supreme VI bodied Volvo B10M belonging to Simmonds of Hayes. It is used on a school contract to Wycombe High School and used to belong to Lianne Coaches in Berkshire. As Simmond is owned by a chap called Ian, he simply removed the rest of the LIANNE lettering! They also run several double deckers (Olympians - I think they have just withdrawn their ex OK Travel Atlantean?) in Arriva livery, which they have adopted as their own with a red stripe added and have, I've been told, repainted a Leyland Tiger/Paramount into that livery although I haven't seen it."

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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