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 228
Monday 28th May 2007
next update week ending 2nd June 2007

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

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

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.

Paul Tappin 1947-2007

It is with sadness that we record the passing on of Paul Tappin, well known in both coaching and local circles where he ran the coach company bearing the family name and was also much involved in Rotary in the district.

He died on Friday morning, the 18th May, at the Manor Hospital, in Oxford, after a long illness, leaving his wife, Liz. Mr Tappin was born in Manor Road in Didcot in 1947 and lived in the town throughout his life.

He took over the family business, Tappins Coaches, one of Didcot's oldest companies, when he was in his thirties.

Friends recalled that Paul and his wife put an enormous effort into Tappins Coaches, often working nearly 24 hours a day. Paul will be remembered as a very good employer - many working for him for 30 or 40 years or more.

Mr Tappin sold the coach company in March to Oxfordshire rival Heyfordian to make sure it stayed a family business. He still owned the Guide Friday sightseeing bus company in Oxford.

At the time of the sale, he told The Herald: "Although we have a large family, I have no direct descendants. I am the only member of the family who works in the business, so there would have been a succession issue. It would have been easy to walk away, but we didn't want to do that."

Tappins Coaches was set up by his grandfather, Tom Tappin, in 1900 in St John's Road, Wallingford. It moved to Didcot in 1935. Indeed my own wife travelled to school on Tappins between Didcot and Wallingford and she also remembers the company fondly, saying "they never let us down"

On a further side of his interests, he was a founding member of Didcot Rotary Club, acting as president in 1983 and for a second time this year. Didcot Rotary Club secretary Brian Key said: "He was a very committed Rotarian."

The OCBP wishes to record that this company was a model for many other such companies and one was always made welcome when visiting their premises. Indeed their facility at Didcot is an excellent example of how an operator should strive to be.


As I mentioned in an e-mail this last week proved difficult to publish a news page as I had to unexpectedly work night shifts which didn't help me to sit at my keyboard to prepare the OCBP.

Today, Monday, I am off and so able to catch up on all your mail, contributions and photographs. The weather has been appalling overnight and our garden is now covered in leaves making it more like the onset of autumn.

DipTAC displays for destinations and their application - readers responses

Readers will remember that in the last issue I wondered what the rulings were pertaining to bus and coach destination displays as there does seem to be a wide interpretation of how a display should look.

I was pleased to receive a number of replies giving web site links which clearly state how this matter should be treated.

Some of the replies are published below.

Vernon Dyer writes "First of all, congratulations on producing an excellent website so consistently – as an Oxonian who doesn’t get to visit the area nearly often enough it’s great to be able to keep in touch with the Oxfordshire scene via your news and pictures.

Just a thought prompted by your piece on electronic destination displays and how they should be laid out – for those of us not professionally involved in the bus industry, could you perhaps one day do an article on who actually designs and “writes” the displays and how they are stored and called up by the driver.   I’m of an age that remembers crimson, maroon and duck-egg green and the words “TO” and “VIA” as part of the display!

Best wishes, and long may you continue to keep up the good work  …..  Vernon Dyer."

Pete Thomas writes "Hi Malcolm, hope you're well. Enjoyed the page again this week as always.

With reference to your destination display question, take a look at the following link, you will find the relevant section towards the bottom of the page.

Matt W writes "I found your comment on the destination displays interesting, so did a bit of hunting on Google, and found some interesting links... 

First up was this link which is a research document, but includes a section recommending use of "Title Case" for displays, i.e. not all upper case. An good example being Chesham, a bad example being GREAT MISSENDEN. I've seen Stagecoach, Arriva and Carousel all using the latter, which is considered harder to read. 

I then found the link below which has recommendations on the size of numbers and letters on destination displays. 

Then, after a bit more search, I hit what I believe is the "holy grail" as it were.

This links to the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 - Guidance.

Most notably, in this case, is "Schedule 2", which includes the destination display requirements, which does confirm your belief that the number should be on the Right. It also has a regulation stating that destinations should not be in all upper case.

Clearly, on older buses where blinds are used, it may not be possible to move the number from left to right, but there is no excuse for electronic displays... and perhaps whilst Arriva (and others) are reprogramming, they can sort out the destinations to be not all upper case at the same time....

I have one other bug-bear on bus destination displays, which so far is only specific to the Bucks CC owned Solos used by Arriva in Aylesbury... as well as all upper-case destinations, they seem badly programmed for cycling destinations... for example, for Route 4, they will show "COPPICE   4", then cycle to "ELMHURST      ", i.e. no number when showing the supplementary information."

Matt adds "On a totally separate note... I found out recently that Creative Master Northcord are, later this year, to release a model of Oxford's Plaxton President bodied Trident 904 later this year, which reminded me that, 6 months ago, it was understood that a further 6 or 7 were to follow to allow Route 35/35A to be converted to low-floor double-deck, yet, so far Oxford still only have 904. Do you, or any other contributors have any information on when others may be arriving ? Or have the plans been shelved to allow the buses to be used on the continued route-branding exercise in the North East."

Thanks to everyone who contributed. From what I read it would appear that capitals are out if used to display a whole destination and route numbers should be on the right hand side when looking at the front of the bus.

This pictures, taken at Wycombe, shows an old display in the correct way compared to the new display which seems not to be in line with DipTAC guidelines.

It will be interesting to see how operators move forward now.

Potters Bar - May 2007

Sunday 20th May dawned fine and sunny and as such heralded a great day ahead for all attending the Potters Bar event. My own involvement was limited and in fact I have to admit not knowing anything about the event. However as I drove down the A1M on the 737 service from Hatfield to Stansted I noted an immaculate and fully loaded green RT passing over the A1M in the St. Albans direction, complete with white hatted conductor taking the fares.. Imagine my surprise when reading my mail that evening to hear from Colin Cooke who had attended the event and who had sent me several superb pictures. These even included the very bus I saw passing over the A1M. This bus is seen below and is RT3496 - gorgeous!! Several more pictures from Colin are included below.

Colin writes "Country Bus Rallies ( ) recreated the Post war London Transport feel to Potters bar, with almost a non stop parade of classic LT buses on Sunday 20th. They even erected some LT bus stops for the occasion as the attached photo shows..........

It was also nice to see a preserved Merlin running in it's old territory.........and I have also included a RT emerging from the now iconic Potters Bar railway bridge............"

Picture by Colin Cooke.

Pictures by Colin Cooke.

I do have to record that I never liked these buses, which I travelled on when similar buses operated the A1
from Hounslow West to Heathrow in the days before the Piccadilly line ran to Heathrow.
Picture by Colin Cooke.

Peter Edgar also sent a selection of pictures taken on the day, so different from this weekend's weather.

This was obviously an event not to be missed. Make a date for next year !
Pictures by Peter Edgar.

Railair celebrates 40 years  and a country bus ride from Bill J

Bill J writes "Thanks for all your work, Malcolm. I have not checked your site for some weeks as I've been very busy, so I have some catching up to do. In the meantime I have to get to Heathrow for a flight tomorrow, and on checking the RailAir website I found this, which may be of interest to your readers if you have not already included it: 

Also I attach a picture I took a few weeks ago when I used Tuesday-only market day service 971, run by N N Cresswell of Evesham, to go from Bidford-on-Avon to Chipping Campden (sadly in thick mist throughout) before walking back again on the Heart of England Way (the mist cleared by lunchtime). The picture is taken at Chipping Campden. It takes a winding route through parts of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and is the only service bus to go past Long Lartin prison! I think it is funded by Worcestershire, and Warwickshire seem unaware of its existence (it is not shown on their bus map or mentioned at the bus stops in Bidford). However, it obviously has several regular passengers. I don't know the history of the bus in the picture, I'm afraid, but it ran well enough and is fitted with seatbelts. I realise this is outside your usual area, but thought it might be of some interest. Obviously a lot of different buses converge on Moreton-in-the-Marsh on market day (Tuesday), many run by smaller companies, which could be of interest to photographers."

Picture by Bill J.

Letter from Lincolnshire

John Marsh has been a reader and contributor for some years now and writes "Hi Malcolm and "Hello" from Lincolnshire! 

Thought you might like these shots of Wycombe Bus Co STK125T which took part in the parade at this year's annual Flower Festival in Spalding last Saturday - 5th May 07."

The open top bus mentioned by John which seemingly ran in Oxford.

Hope all is going well in Oxford.  I am envious of all the changes there that I could be photographing if we hadn't moved!

Regards and keep up with the good work."

That Mercedes N201CUD - once working the 390 from Oxford to Heathrow

Back in Thames Transit days they ran what was left of the 390 route, once the COMS 390 and earlier still the South Midland 30 service through to London.

When I visited Devon in 1999 and 2000 I saw the batch of coach seated mini-coaches working hard for Stagecoach an d before them Bayline. I saw N201CUD in Hemel Hempstead a week or so ago and asked readers for pictures. Mike Penn and Roger Spence obliged and the results are published below. The vehicle in question works a new service, the 502, and is owned by Little Jims.

Mike Penn sent a picture of sister bus 202 for reference.

This picture was taken in Hemel by Roger Spence.

I have to say that the web never ceases to amaze me, especially with the speed in which questions and requests get answered. Thank you all.

A day out in Oxfordshire by Colin Grafham

Colin Grafham writes "Last Thursday (24th May), in company with some friends, we had a 'day out in the country' photographing not just buses but trains too!

Our journey took us to Wantage & Faringdon, which although both are in Oxfordshire, not sure whether they come within the scope of your pages. However, in the hope that it does, I've attached a small selection of photos from the day which you may wish to use in your next update.

Pictures by Colin Grafham 

The Wantage photos, all taken in and around the Market Place, with this message, the Faringdon photos on a second message. The details of respective vehicles, fleet number & registration, are contained within the file name."

I'm rather pleased to see these pictures as the only time I ever get to Wantage is at 07:20 in the morning, if I'm working the X30 Tube operated service.

Wembley by Derek Dawson

Derek sent this picture of the Sunday 20th May with a large assembly of buses and coaches outside the new Wembley Stadium

Buses in cityscape and landscape

This section is seemingly very popular with readers and I am really delighted with that.

Derek Dawson writes "I was just looking through my collection of photos and I found another one that could qualify. I submitted the one of the fountains in High Wycombe but this time photo was taken in Newbury over the Kennet & Avon Canal, I just waited for the right moment when a Metrorider was crossing the bridge. Your readers might like to know of my photo gallery, I have a few Stagecoach, City of Oxford and Arriva including Southend plus a few trams (Sheffield and Croydon} for anyone interested in those areas. My website is "

Keith Wood writes "I read your sight regularly and have seen the feature on buses in the landscape and wondered if the two attached pictures might qualify (!)

The first is of RM713 climbing the hill near Highbury Barn taken in the last week or so of RM’s on the 19’s.

The other is of two buses crossing on Waterloo Bridge; one is a Volvo/Gemini (VWL) of East Thames Buses whilst the other is a London Central Volvo/Plaxton (PVL).
Now I think that has to be classic. Ed.

Mike Bennett from Swindon writes "Attached are two recent photos taken in Bampton of the new Solos that might be suitable for your "Buses in the Landscape" feature - a feature that I am enjoying a lot."


Although not submitted for this section I could not resist this great picture from Roger Spence showing SC 59213 on a 737 working at Hemel.

From the Potters Bar running day comes this delightful shot of an RF and a telephone box. Picture by Peter Edgar.

Chelsea Flower Show - LG buses by Gavin Francis

Gosh, its that time of year again. Is it really nearly June? Gavin as ever has provided some pictures of the buses involved on the London General special service including my old favourite NV185, this being one of the few NVs left. It appears that LG is replacing the Olympians with PVLs which as seen in Gavin's picture appear to have gained coach seating

A happy memories, I've done a few miles in this old girl

Are those coach seats I spy?

Two Routemasters were involved and doubtless Frank was on RM9. 

ADL buys out Plaxton

It is reported that ADL has purchased Plaxton. This is surprising at a time when Plaxtons, bought out by its management a few years ago, has been celebrating its 100 years.

Accident befalls a National Express working near Redbourn

Redbourn man killed in crash

A Redbourn man was killed when his car collided head-on with a coach near Hemel Hempstead last night.
The 32-year-old motorist was driving a purple BMW 3 Series convertible on Hemel Hempstead Road at around 11.45pm when it collided with the National Express bus.

The car driver suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the coach, a 44-year-old man from Northamptonshire, was trapped for around 30 minutes while firemen worked to cut him free. He suffered a fractured ankle and was taken to Hemel Hempstead Hospital by ambulance. One passenger onboard the bus suffered minor injuries.

Police investigating the crash, which happened near to the junction with Holtsmere End Lane, closed the road after the accident.

I rather think the coach involved may have been one of these First Bus Irizar PBs which operate the 707 service on behalf of National Express.

Once with Arriva in our area

Simon Oliver sent this picture saying "Not sure if this is of any interest, but I was in Blackburn a couple of weeks ago and managed to take a few pics, one is of a ex Arriva Herts and Essex Leyland Olympian bought by Blackburn Transport in 2003. Its a member of the same batch of which some went to Arrive Shires and Essex."

Arriva/Easybus by Nathan Phillips

Nathan writes following my comments about easybus and orange 757s. He says "Further to your most recent bus page, and speculations about Arriva and Easybus. The Easybus operations are actually run by MKMetro  (

My supposition is that since Arriva bought MK Metro in 2006, it's probably not been too keen on competing with itself.  It's probably taken the first opportunity to change this.

It can be seen from the above press release that easybus's future hasn't gone entirely according to the original plan."

A second Arriva Green Line DAF has appeared in "easybus" livery. This time it is 54 - alias 4054.

Amersham & District Running days 2007 - dates for your diary 

Amersham & District Running Days for 2007 are as follows: 

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.

This week there are over 100 pictures

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 28th May 2007

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

News of the local companies – 28th May 2007

This week's report from Matt Robinson says "Further to the Hitchin Road bridge incident with Olympian 5086, A Luton-based driver has been in touch with me, to say "5086 was on 9's heading for Luton Town Centre, I can only imagine that the driver was trying to do a cheeky shortcut that went wrong! not too much damage considering, not as bad as 5095 at all. I would of thought a couple of months, depends if the structure has been affected."

Mercedes 2131 N911ETM has just been repainted and is almost ready to re-enter service at Luton. Work continues under the bonnet of sister 2132.

2131 mentioned above and photographed by Glenn Knight.

Olympian 5135 was on 12s on Tuesday morning, due to a shortage of R-reg Scanias serviceable at Luton. I've not seen, or been told of it appearing on any other regular route, it's spent most of its time on schools since arriving here.

I grabbed a couple of pictures on my lunch break today, which I've attached to this email (just caught the reflection of the NatEx 737 in the side windows of 4426 on stand at the airport).

I got caught up in the usual gridlock in Dunstable during Saturday lunchtime. I came into town on a 38, which was queued all the way along High Street North, and became bunched behind two other 38s at Dunstable Square which were also affected. I then caught the 12.30 X66 to Milton Keynes from Dunstable which was delayed for about 20 minutes on the incoming journey. Both the driver and Olympian 5084 worked very well and as a result we only arrived in MK around 5 minutes late.

The traffic congestion in Dunstable is a common problem. As a result the 24 and 31 journeys which terminate in the Town Centre were re-routed along a link road from the Woodside Estate some time ago. However it's impossible for any other services to avoid it along the four main arteries into the town and delays do commonly result.

The only notable 'unusual' workings from Arriva which I noted were Dart MPD 3484 spending the day on the 61, and Dart 3215 and DAF 4523 working the 500 (the latter normally works the 52 while 3215 is branded for Hemel town routes). I would have thought that Scanias would be the first back-up for the 500 so either these are late unplanned changes during the day or Hemel are short of buses?

I also noticed Olympian 5135 working Luton route 8 on Saturday afternoon. 5835 was on crew shuttle duties on both occasions when I saw it around Luton.

Roger Spence sent a few nice pictures some of which are included below. They were taken at Aylesbury depot.

Do we know what is under the sheeting?

Darts galore

Nigel Peach writes to advise that Dart MPD 3482 is back at Wycombe and I have noticed that Dart "Bouncy Castle" 3818 has appeared at Hemel. I wonder if it is in place.

In a few weeks time the new services in Bucks start and one is the introduction of the Line 40 between High Wycombe and Thame. Thereafter the 340 and 342 services will cease. Full details of the new service can be found at this link : -

This includes maps and of course times.

The bus stops along the route have been updated to show Line 40.
This one is at Piddington.

Seen running through Piddington a week or so ago is Olympian 5145 on its way to Wycombe.
The road is the old A40 with the current one running behind the bus shelter.

First Berkshire

Stephen Le Bras writes "It has been reported to me that the first 07 Citaro went into service around lunchtime on Wednesday (yesterday.) The earlier batch are to be repainted blue to match the current delivery, it seems."

The new buses are : 64030-9  LK07 CCA/D/E/F/J/N/O/U/V/X  for Slough depot.

Malcolm Hyland writes "Went to Slough this afternoon. Very fortunate as First Beeline had just (this afternoon) put the first of their new batch of Citaros into service. LK07 CCN is pictured leaving the Bus Station. No fleet numbers yet applied. I noticed two others at the depot."


Nick A writes "Here's three pictures of one of First in Berkshire's brand new Citaros, LK07 CCA, at Slough's Brunel Bus Station.
These are for the Maidenhead / Cippenham - Slough  - Heathrow routes, Apparently the older Citaros are being transferred to various Slough town services and the 77,  Windsor - Slough - Heathrow route. Who knows, they could even become regulars on the 74 High Wycombe route, and raise the competition level with Arriva!
They haven't seem to have received any fleet numbers yet, but I'm sure it won't be long till they do."

I wondered if the older Citaros might well cascade to the 74 route to Wycombe. Also one wondered about the operating company and Nathan Phillips writes "So far as I know there was no change of ownership on this route.  First in Slough is managed as part of First London - it's true that in 2003 the part of the route that ran Slough-Heathrow was replaced by an improved 75/76 service (I lived on the 76 route at the time) but all were run out of Slough before and after that date by First.  The route had been jointly operated by First and Arriva before this change, but were competitively operated afterwards."

From the First website: "First in Berkshire operates as a business unit under the overall management of First in London" - so if a route moved there, it wouldn't have left First London anyway!"

Nick A sent these pictures of the new Citaros showing details of their livery.

Hedley Shanks writes to advise of a new arrival saying "The first Solo turned up last Thursday, Reg MA07 BUS. This one is for the 108/118 service, it is a M710 model, B23F (two tip up seats). The second Solo will be a larger version registered MB07 BUS and will be fitted with seat belts and a tachograph. This bus is for the M1 service from Stokenchurch to Reading added to which it does some local schools runs in Stokenchurch."

Pictures courtesy Motts Travel

Derek Dawson also reported that "...another new one noted in London yesterday was Motts GT07MTT a MB O816D ? Plaxton Cheetah but unable to get picture."


Arriva operate a late model Scania/Levante on their 320 service from Oxford to Bradford.
It is almost identical to the SC Oxford ones.

Take a look at the destination display on NXSC1 at Stansted - someone at NEx has been working overtime on design.

Last week saw the reintroduction of the NEx Skyliners, seen on the 421, 570 and 592 services.
One passes through Oxford at 0115 and 0430 approx. LSK821 was the first one last Tuesday at 04:30.

Suzy Scott reports on Skyliner happenings saying "I was down south for the weekend, and ... Last night's 592 from London to Aberdeen was being worked by a Vo/Je of Parks/Trathens (HSK 656), with V20 NAT doing a duplicate to Glasgow.

Having said that, when I got to Glasgow, we were all bus changed off, to be replaced by... Neoplan Skyliner LSK 821!

When we left Glasgow, the driver did a bit more than usual, by advising us words to the effect of (and remember it was 0715 on a Monday morning...) "This coach meets all U.K. and international safety standards, and is fitted with a strict speed limiter, at 100kmph."

He then explained seatbelts, emergency exits etc. Of course, it was this service where the coach crashed several months ago.

I then got a text from the West End Poet  (Bobby was working in Hamilton today), and he said that the 538 northbound towards Aberdeen got changed from a single decker to a Neoplan Skyliner today at Hamilton Bus Station... that, and the 537 heading south to Corby had to go via Parks garage for a problem (which I can't recall now as I had to switch my phone off at the
end of my lunch break to come back into work)."

Interesting to see Volvo B10BLE 815 operating on 8 road this last week. Gavin Francis reports that today, Bank Holiday Monday the 400 service is being operated by Citaros 822 and 824 plus Trident 102. I wonder why they are not using normal P&R Tridents?

All the Jonckheere coaches with one exception are now in X90 livery. Coach 21, which was involved in the Risinghurst accident is now back in service repaired.

Trident 102 works an X3 duty last week, most unusual for this type now on the X3. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Citaro 851 on an 13 road working last week - picture by Chris Maxfield.

Where are they now?

As expected the Darts transferred to Birmingham have received their old registrations and the R-OXF plates returned to Oxford.

I was surprised to find this DAF coach on a job at Luton. Once 141 in the Citylink fleet.
There was no legal lettering to indicate the current owner.
It still carries Oxford Bus Company no smoking notices !!!

Red Rose

Gavin Francis caught this fairly new Dart on the 275 last week - 24th May.

R H Transport 

A nice colour co-ordinated super rear on this Solo.

Hemel Hempstead - 59213 again but this time of more interest as the roof detail can be seen. Photo by roger Spence.

Chris Lowe writes "How is it going down there for you, not doing too badly up here. Thought I would update you a little on some of the former Stagecoach Oxford vehicles that are here in Manchester. 

Volvo Olympians 16501-13 (R501-13 UWL);- most of this batch have now been transferred officially (at least) to Manchester Hyde Road garage which has 16501-11, while Stockport has 16512 and Manchester Princess Road has 16513. 

Dennis Tridents 18309-15 (KX05 TWE/G/J/K/L/M/N);- Of these 18309 (KX05 TWE) left Manchester's Princess Road garage on 11th March 2007 an went to Stagecoach in Hull. Meanwhile the five Tridents which bore the offside "AIG - Manchester United FC" adverts have now all had them removed and are back in full fleet livery, with 18310-5 all still remaining at Manchester's Princess Road garage."

Christopher Lowe.

Some service buses have gained Oxford Tube advertising super rears. They are 16520 and 16522 plus Tridents 18053 and 18393. I believe that there is one more at Witney, a Trident possibly 18137?

First picture is mine, the other two by Chris Maxfield.

Loaned Volvo B10M 20009 has also been returned from Oxford, allowing the final Dart from 32627/8 to go into reserve. However, like 32625/6 they are both likely to remain licensed for occasional use until they are transferred elsewhere. 

Normal allocations at Oxford will see the remaining unbranded Pointer Darts appearing on the 12/16 more frequently, with 53-reg MANs appearing on the 14 (or others on the 10) when required. 

Loaned 52211 from Merseyside has been made a permanent transfer to allow the remaining two Lynxes to be withdrawn. Both B10Ms are scheduled to be repainted into training livery before the Lynxes go. 

As planned, 42383 has transferred from Witney to Banbury and 42624 from Banbury to Oxford. 42624 will replace the last 709D 40653 on staff transport duties in the next day or two. 40653 and stored 40172 will now be sold."

Chris Maxfield caught up with 189055 working a service 3. This is because Brookes have gone down and there is less demand on their routes.

Chris caught up with branded buses on the wrong routes. It seems bound to happen from time to time.

Witney Trident 18128 turns into the main street in the town to load for Oxford. Chris Maxfield.

Revised destination displays mean there are changes for you to look out for.
Spot the difference on this Dart?

Solo 47452 showing off its revised display. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Richard Sharman sent this picture of their first newly converted Olympians for City Sightseeing work in Stratford upon Avon..

Already replaced on Megabus work, this Neoplan is now hard at work on the X77. Others are to follow.
Picture by Viohead.

The depot at Horspath last week. Another 53 reg Dart is ready for a fresh coat of paint.

Picture by Gavin Francis. A very nice shot.

Seemingly a new timetable advises as follows "Oxford - Wallingford - Reading, effective 4th June. The X39 and X40 are now both through services and the time is now 60 minutes for the full distance. 2 buses per hour, although only one per hour through service.

A note of interest - all buses will offer full air conditioning by the spring of 2008. Quite a few vehicles to be replaced."

Two of the current fleet. First picture by Gain Francis.

The company confirms that ex Oxford Olympian 208 has been withdrawn and was replaced by the newer Trident from Metrobus.

The company was busy on Sunday 20th with Rail Replacement work at Stansted.

Z & S Aylesbury

The company has a recently arrived Sunsundegi as seen above.

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

Although the Levante is only supplied to National Express in the U.K. it is supplied in Portugal to operators as the Transfer.
Picture by Gavin Francis when on holiday in Lagos, Algarve last week.

They don't come much bigger than this! Chris Maxfield visited McLeans where they had this recent Setra.


A photo disc for your collection.

This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site

Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.

The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.

If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

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 :-

Latest Citaro models revealed

Dave Rogers sent the following 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

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

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

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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