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  

Issue 155

Sunday 27th November 2005
next update week ending 2nd December 2005

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

Visit 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.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

New vehicle launches top the bill this week. Stagecoach have launched four new Optare Solos on services in and around Banbury whilst Green Line gave a sneak preview of their new coaches for the 757 service to Luton from London Victoria.

My post bag was full this week and included a nice report from Reading by James Cusworth.

The weather, suggested by some to be very bad at the end of the week rather failed to show or snow as the case may be.

Stagecoach make an investment in Banbury

On Wednesday last Stagecoach in Oxfordshire launched four new Optare Solos on Banbury services B1 and B2 plus the 488 to Chipping Norton. This low floor introduction represents an investment of around £300,000 and shows Stagecoaches' commitment to the area.

County Councillor David Robertson cut the ribbon on one of the new buses and commented how much the county was committed to low floor buses and welcomed the initiative from Stagecoach.

Councillor David Robertson and Stagecoach in Oxfordshire Managing Director Martin Sutton launch the new fleet of buses.

Two of the new Solos are prepared for the launch last Wednesday morning.

Full details and more pictures of the buses are included under the Stagecoach heading below.

Report from Reading by James Cusworth

James writes "An Optare Tempo demonstrator was here recently, in the week commencing the 7th November and was tried on the Thames Valley Business Park Shuttle, although unfortunately I missed it. Omnidekka 818 has yet to enter service. 

A few photos from the past few weeks in the Reading area are given below.

Reading Buses no longer has any vehicles in allover ad liveries (although there is one at Newbury).
However, First Berkshire has a few as typified by VDA34276, displaying an incorrect fleet number. 

There’s just one Enviro 300 at Reading- numbered 974, an ex Transbus demonstrator.

Another ex-demonstrator is this Autobus Nouvelle bodied Vario, number 201.

On Tuesday, a large number of Horseman Coaches are off to Highbury for the Carling Cup game against Arsenal.
This is Plaxton Premiere RX51EXP- anyone know what the badges(?) are in the window?

The Loddon Bridge Park & Ride has six branded Excels to operate it, like 931 in Minster Street.

The H1 operates between the Royal Berks Hospital and the Madejski Stadium every 15 minutes as a park and ride service
using two branded MAN/MCV Evolutions. 205 was off-route at Reading Station on Tuesday 15th.

This is Weavaway OO02TEN, which unusually carries an older looking plate as it is actually an 05 vehicle.
The local radio station is 2-TEN FM, so the registration must be more than a co-incidence.

In addition to the report from James, Ken MacKenzie, Oxfordshire Small Operators Sub Editor for the PSV Circle has just returned from New Zealand and writes to enclose a picture saying "I've attached a picture of an ex Reading Excel in Auckland NZ taken on my recent visit."

Things London

Marcus Lapthorn writes "Last week's web page features by Gavin Francis re' the 2 new RM routes and Mike Bennett on the Swindon special running days, are superb! Many thanks to both gentlemen. I live near Swindon, in Faringdon, but saw no publicity about their running day which was a great shame as it clearly looked to be a great occasion."

Peter Edgar from Chinnor writes "Having just read this weeks newsletter, and Gavin's report on the Heritage RM's I thought the attached may be of interest. RML 2760 was allowed to run on the 15 yesterday, I understand it will possibly not happen again as it does not meet Tfl's requirements.

Thanks again for all your hard work."


Thames Valley Historical report by Ed Maun

Ed Maun writes further to his report last week "I have attached the other Thames Valley pictures from 1968/1969 taken in the High Wycombe Frogmoor bus park, which I acquired recently – copyright Photobus of Northleach

719 HMO 865 is a Bristol LS6B new in 1955 with ECW B45F body. It was re-seated to B41F for OMO duties in 1961. In this photo the 3-piece blind display has been rebuilt to “T” style, the fog light has been  repositioned from centre to the offside, fleet numbers are in white instead of black and the fleet name is smaller and unshaded. Note also the black on yellow “pay as you enter sign” – not all services were one person operated in those days! This vehicle was renumbered 123 in 1969. In those days service 32 operated High Wycombe to Chinnor via west Wycombe and Bledlow Ridge.

205 RRX 996G is a Bristol LH6L new in 1968 with ECW B45F which was modified to B41F for OMO duties before entering service. This is one of the first batch of LH’s delivered to TV which were characterised by the shallow windscreens. The LH’s had “T” style destination indicators from new. Cast metal fleet number plates had also been introduced for new deliveries. Service 31 ran from High Wycombe to Lacey Green (Whip) via Naphill.  Alongside is 621 GJB 259 a Bristol LWL6B with ECW B39R body new in 1952. It has white fleet numbers and the blind via box has been over-painted red. This bus was renumbered 259 in 1970, being one of only 5 LWL6B’s to survive into 1970 that were all retained at High Wycombe for use on service 33 to Desborough Castle where there was a problem with LS’s making the turn into Dashwood Avenue by the Half Moon pub. Service 36 operated from High Wycombe to Cadmore End via Lane End.


787 NBL 744 is a Bristol LD6G new in 1958 with ECW H33/27R body. It was rebuilt with platform doors in 1967. It has lost the upper cream band, acquired white fleet numbers and the small unshaded fleet name but has retained a full 3-piece destination blind display. Service 21A operated from High Wycombe to Aylesbury via Princes Risborough and Little Kimble using the A4010 between West Wycombe Pedestal and Princes Risborough. Today’s equivalent route is the 324 which leaves High Wycombe via Hughenden Road instead of the West Wycombe Road and goes via Naphill and Lacey Green to Princes Risborough.

Photos by Photobus of Northleach

To add to this historical item David Hillas writes "Way back in the early 1960s, Thames Valley Traction Co.Ltd had some Bristol Lodekka FLFs that were fitted with illuminated advertisements on their offside. Three of them were 844(WJB 228), 868(536BBL) and D1(839CRX). Do you know if there were any other vehicles fitted with those advertisements and, if so, which ones?  PS I enjoy seeing your Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page each week." Thanks for that David. Ed.


I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this page and look forward to your continued support in the future.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 27th November 2005

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

News of the local companies – 27th November 2005

As reported in the editorial above the first of the new DAF/VDL SB4000 - Van Hool T9 Alizee wheel chair accessible coaches, has now arrived at Luton and was joined by several more during last week. On Thursday a trial run was made into London and Hugh was on hand to catch the coach in daylight.

Photo by Armstrong Galley.

I arrived in London around 1630 and was only able to get a few rather poor photos on my mobile phone but which hopefully give some idea of how the new coach looks.

The extra overhang at the front is apparent as is the wheel chair access door on the nearside.

The front two rows of seats are on a lower level than the remainder of this 55 seater coach.

Nigel Peach writes "On a visit to the Arriva Lincoln Road depot today (Sunday 27th) I took two photos. Neither are that good and the weather was very overcast. Don't feel you have to use either of them!

I've mentioned before that the two Tridents have different destination displays. So I took this photo as they were almost next to one another. But in fact 5422 is showing nothing and 5432's is switched off so it doesn't really prove anything, but at least I've got em in the same line! 5432 says Arriva on the front but 5422 is anonymous!


There are 19 double deckers based at Wycombe by my reckoning with five different types. This photo taken Sunday 27th, shows one of each in a row of five!

5853 is an ex London ECW Olympian, then 5113 is an all Leyland example, 5432 represents the Dennis Trident (its sister 5422 is beyond 5853),
5106 has Alexander bodywork, then 5145 has a Northern Counties Palatine body.

Also at the depot I noticed Plaxton Beaver Mercedes 2141 N371JGS, latterly based at Hitchin. I have a feeling this originated in Wycombe some years ago - was this the one that had a Sainsbury's all-over advert?

Curly writes that he saw a 38 route branded bus on the 280 in Oxford. This is supported by another correspondent who notes that a Trident from Luton has arrived at Aylesbury depot.

Nigel Peach writes "I noticed white Dart P423MLE (I think it was??) at the depot today and P479MLE the other day. 

I was premature the other week in suggesting that Lynx F558 NJM had gone. It was at the Desborough Rd depot today (Sunday 27th)."

Phil Stockley from Solent Blue Line writes to say "I don't know whether this is of any great interest, but the first of the B10Bs - which will be our 520 - has now emerged from repaint but has not yet been vinyled and is therefore enjoying a very brief period in unrelieved allover blue.  While the signs in the windscreen reveal what it did on its first day in use yesterday, it is still B43F and is not intended to enter service on normal scheduled duties until it is upseated, receives 'bluestar' vinyls and carries destination and number blinds which are currently on order."

Terry Partridge writes saying "An import ! Showing the red of its origin. (COMS) then to Cornwall Fairways, Newquay"

Once with COMS

An atmospheric shot by Richard Griffin

Stephen Le Bras writes "I hear that Stagecoach has lost several of its diagrams within the last week or so and it could be the coach which you saw came from one of the new operators.

Certainly, last Saturday at Victoria I noted two Plaxton 55 regs, both on the 570- one from Dunn Line (FJ55XBB) and one from John Shaw of Carnforth  (PO55OWY). The latter had natty wheel embellishers. YN sounds like a Yorkshire registration. I shall have to pop over to Oxford sometime and see for myself- what time did the 310 appear?

As for the 757 coaches, I shall keep a lookout as indeed for the  E400 18500 in service with Stagecoach!

Hereabouts, there has been a red DM on route 41/43 and 50A/B this week as 41267 has appeared in service with full blinds, borrowed I expect from UX."


This company operates services out of Banbury. John Marsh and I both took photos last Wednesday, fortunately of two different buses.


I attended the launch of the new Optare Solos in Banbury last Wednesday and append some pictures below taken by myself and John Marsh.


Following the arrival of these new buses three Varios will be transferred to Oxford from Banbury.

Ralph Adams writes "With the Solos now at Banbury, 42586 / 88 Plaxton Varios are now at Oxford for the route 600. However on Saturday 28th, 42586 was on 5A (there is no 600 on Saturdays of course)"

42586 / 88 Plaxton Varios are now at Oxford

The all black BMW M A N bus 22053 has now been repainted in fleet livery.

Richard Sharman wrote regarding one of the old Tube Volvos and sent a picture saying "Taken today (Saturday) at Worcester Christmas Fayre. The Seats on this one have been refurbished in Corporate moquette trim."

Armstrong Galley also sent an interesting "Tube" picture which is published below.

I am told that 50040 is now at Inverness. Anyone got any pictures yet?


Kevin Stevens writes " You haven't mentioned it so you may be unaware of the fact that Weaveway have at least one new coach in service.  It is on a 55 reg and in their new metallic pastel blue colour with a rather eye catching logo down the side.  The coach itself is a tr-axle model of the same design as that of the National Express you reported on a couple of weeks ago. 

Although I have seen it several times this week already it has never been in a position whereby I could get a picture though I shall keep trying."


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

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

Terry Partridge writes "this as I believe this could be Exmouth? 403 CSU 678  Ld PD2/40 breakdown tender originally ORV 991 from Southdown 403 1/91 in Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department livery.

To Red Admiral 5/91 carries fleet number 999 but official fleet records show it as 9901 allover livery of orangey red with Thames Transit fleetnames.

[CSU 678?] has been located at Sidmouth with Devon General 5/93 Devon General (DNa) at Exmouth by 2/97 (It had been kept at Sidmouth in the underground part of the garage for some time"

Dave Godley writes "It was stored at Exmouth for several years, and the long chain on it was because it often suffered from vandalism whilst there. It now resides - in the same state - outside the depot at Quantock Motor Services, Norton Fitzwarren."

So here is one for all you who know about things Oxford. Lets have your comments please.

Spencers Coaches, High Wycombe by Gavin Francis.

Gavin writes "Thanks for the e-mail. It's nice to know at least 1 of your readers looked at my article. If I get any requests for more articles from anybody I expect you will want a commission for acting as my agent. 

It was nice to see the B & W pic of the Thames Valley buses in Frogmoor. I well remember when that area was awash with TV buses.  

Had a quick look at some old pics today and I wonder if any of your readers remember Spencers Coaches of High Wycombe. They operated a "mixed" fleet of buses and coaches. Any kind any livery. Amongst them was this RT, one of two they were operating at the time. The picture is taken outside their yard in West End Street."

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

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

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


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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