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 130
(OBP-345)

Sunday 29th May 2005
next update week ending 10th June 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
malcolmhc@aol.com

The week finished with some superb weather and the temperature in Stokenchurch reached 27C on Friday, a pleasant end to May.

Last week's page generated a record number of emails from readers who said things like "the best yet" and " an excellent page". It seems you do like historical reference and pictures. Well I am in the process of sorting my older pictures out and I will be bringing you more pictures from the '80s and '90s in the coming weeks. Indeed as you will see from the correspondence etc. below it also brought back many memories to many of you.

More than 10 years ago in and around Oxford.

Just as a foretaste of things to come I hope everyone enjoys this DMS which ran for South Midland on a city tour of Oxford. It was pictured at Wantage garage and I wonder if anyone would like to hazard a guess as to the date and anymore details would be welcome? How smart it looks, just out of the paintshop.

M40 accident caused major delays last Thursday.

Thursday marked the day when the M40 came to a standstill Oxford bound after a car transporter, with 9 cars on board, caught fire between High Wycombe and Stokenchurch and the westbound carriageway was closed for several hours. This of course played havoc with traffic and coach services between London and Oxford, causing delays to services and a shortage of vehicles for London bound services. The Oxford Bus Company does not have a stop at Lewknor and as such routings via Aylesbury or the M4/A34 were possible to avoid the congestion and delays. however Stagecoach - Oxford Tube does have a stop a Lewknor and so problems were somewhat increased in order that the service could be maintained. Indeed in order that London bound services could be maintained it was necessary to substitute Tridents from The Brookes Bus fleet and two buses made the journey to London. 18051 operated the 1930 London and 2135 Oxford service and 18195 also went to London as well. I was told that traffic from London was still very bad late in the evening and the aforesaid 2135 only arrived in Oxford at 0100 the following morning!! Other services used some interesting routings to avoid the delays with the 1812 from London routing via the A40 to Loudwater and then via Bourne End and Marlow to regain the M40 at Stokenchurch, with an arrival in Oxford of 2100hrs somewhat ahead of several earlier services which had been caught on the M40 at various points. London bound services operated with minimal delays.

The Bucks Free Press reported that a car transporter carrying nine cars caught fire on the M40 causing chaos for rush hour drivers. Four fire engines rushed to the scene between junctions four and five on the northbound carriageway at 4pm. Drivers were stuck in tailbacks as the motorway had been closed.

Graham Mildenhall wrote on the matter saying "Guess there may be a few odd workings tonight due I understand to an accident on the M40 but thought I would share this one with you.

Flew into Heathrow tonight from Istanbul and caught what appeared to be the 2100 Airline service from Central Bus Station at LHR back to Oxford, although another passenger advised that the 2030 service had not turned up.

Firstly the vehicle was Espress No. 24 and we then took a most unusual route to Oxford to avoid the M40 problems. We left LHR and joined the M4 but then travelled all the way to the A34 junction (Newbury) where we turned North. We left the A34 at Hinksey Hill and then proceeded via Abingdon Road and Westgate directly to Gloucester Green where I got off. I understand that passengers for Headington and the Park & Ride stops remained on board and were presumably taken to their stops afterwards."

On the same subject Ricahrd Griffin writes "I was actually on an Oxford Tube when, as no doubt you were aware, the M40 was closed all afternoon from J4-J5, following a car-transporter fire.

I boarded the Oxford Tube at Hillingdon at 1720, on my way home from work.  We reached the rear of the queue at the on-ramp after J2, after which we moved at no greater than walking-pace.  We eventually came off at 3 (not everyone did), and crawled all the way into, through, and out the other side of Wycombe.

The traffic eventually stopped running in a slow-moving queue between West Wycombe and up the hill to Studley Green. It took another 20 minutes or so to get through Studley Green and Stokenchurch. By the time we rejoined the M40, one lane had been re-opened.  Thornhill was finally reached at 2045 -- making it nearly four hours' journey for those travelling from Victoria to Gloucester Green."

Nigel Peach from High Wycombe writes "I'd arranged to meet my wife in Tesco Loudwater at 6.30. She called me to tell of the problems. However, the A40 in a London bound direction was not too bad, so rather than queue along the London Road, I was able to help with the shopping. (Which would I have preferred to do - queue or shop??!!) 

I did see two Oxford Espress coaches (a London one and an airport one) in the queues on the A40 Wycombe bound. 

I guess you had quite a while in traffic on the M40 to work out your diversion. As I'm sure you know, the slightest problem and Wycombe comes to a standstill. It's notoriously difficult to work out alternative routes - and that's just for us car drivers!"

The locals around Stokenchurch are still talking about the accident and traffic problems which were quite the worst many can remember for some years now.

Buccaneer Europe Coach Company, Aylesbury.

Whilst getting fuel for my car I found a coach company which I did not know existed under the title of this piece. This very splendid Scania Irizar Executive coach was waiting to refuel and I had the chance to look at the interior. Once the Wolves team coach it now does a variety of work from its base at Aylesbury. Indeed it had been just involved in some Frazer Eagle work for Virgin Trains. It is a 36 seater full executive coach with tables, video, DVD, catering and Sky TV facilities. The quality of the coach may be judged from the interior photos which the driver kindly let me take. The select registration belies its origins D7WFC.

   

The interior really does look superb and the coach is very well cared for.

Arriva's new depot in High Wycombe - progress on 27th May


The picture above shows the progress on the construction of the new depot for Arriva at Lincoln Road, High Wycombe on 27th May.
The concrete hard standing is now being laid and what appears to be the office area on the side of the
building in this view is also taking shape.


Nigel Peach advises that the decker in this picture has now been removed but as to where this is not known.

Nigel Peach writes "Interesting that you should show a photo on this week's page of Olympian 5129 at the back of the bus station, because last Friday (20th) I noticed that it has gone! It had been there for about six months, under cannibalisation."

Oxford Bus has a new Citaro demonstrator in service

On Tuesday afternoon I noticed a white Citaro working on the 15 road service. The bus in question was a single door variant with blue and yellow floral moquette seating registered BX05UWG and it did not have a digital destination display. It has been given the fleet number 800 which has been used before. The fleet number only appears on the hear side front window as seen in the picture below. I think I may have taken the picture on one of its first runs for Oxford Bus. The second picture shows the offside taken later at Queens Lane.

 

The model has proved very popular with Oxford Bus and one wonders how long it will be before a further batch enters service? Certainly some of the Paladins are looking rather care worn these days.

George Street roadworks continue.

The roadworks in George Street reached a peak last Monday and Tuesday when the road and the entrance thereby to Gloucester Green Coach Station were closed overnight. In fact tuesday evening's closure came as a surprise to operators who had seemingly been told the coach station would only be closed on Monday night. As a result coaches and buses of various operators had to use New road and The Oxpens to turn vehicles around and take layovers.

 
The two pictures above show the diverted vehicles as a result of the George St closure on Monday evening.
Oxford 56 is loading for Heathrow and several coaches are seen laying over in Oxpens.


Work in George Street means that the bus stops for Gloucester Green are closed in BOTH directions at this time.
Oxford bus 6309 is seen on a 2 road service on 24th May 2005.

Gloucester Green Coach Station update from Ralph Adams.

Following on from last week's pictures and comments from Gloucester Green, Ralph Adams writes "I started my job in Oxford on 18th June 1990. To the best of my memory, the bus station was fully operational by that date, so the completion of the building was at some date before then ( probably late 1989). Certainly the Wednesday open market was in its present form and location as my staff went round every Wednesday collecting the site rents. Not done now partly on security basis but collected by normal invoicing. 

The flats at the Hayes (around the bus station) were still being sold at that time."

Readers letters

A letter from Geoff Cunliffe with some thoughts on the News Page and other matters.

Geoff writes "I have not been in touch for a few weeks so thought I would make contact with a few comments. 

First, what a fantastic job you are doing in producing a web page which gets some 1,000 hits a day. You are clearly doing something right or that level of readership would not be sustained. For my money, if you wish to wander out of the area which the page's name defines, that is fine by me. If it looks interesting, I will read it; if not I won't. After all, you have mentioned Blackpool trams before on the page which is hardly what your readers may expect, but why not? Anyway, how can I complain after you printed my picture of a Megabus on Cheltenham Promenade recently? Keep it up (if you can find the time) - you really are doing us enthusiasts a superb service. The only thing I would say in all seriousness is don't allow the project to become so large that it becomes a chore. Do it because you enjoy it. 

I liked the archive photographs of the building of Gloucester Green. I began to realise that Oxford bus operations were exceptionally interesting about that time, but could never understand why an apparently ample bus station was replaced by one which was too small! It seemed to me as if either an architect or Town Planner had been let loose on the project - and I speak as someone with two cousins both of whom are architects! Never let an architect design a building for you! 

I also liked the recent references to Gerrards Cross and the LT turning circle. I was in digs on the A40 there for six months in the summer of 1964. Express RFs came through on their way to Amersham, turning off the A40 at the traffic lights, and there was always a lazy, green RT about. I took a cine film through the car windscreen as I drove through the town centre, passing a green RT coming in the opposite direction. Still have it but it's on video now. 

In a way, I am so pleased that some of the MANs have returned to Oxford for temporary use on the Tube. As a passenger, I always thought they were splendid vehicles, and magnificent as the Neoplans are, I mourn their passing. Incidentally, I regularly see one on the M6 between Preston and Lancaster heading south in the late morning. They are one of those vehicles I wish I could have a drive in; although I still have my licence, I know that will be most unlikely - but I still fancy them."

Thanks to Geoff for those interesting thoughts and comments.

Banbury and the web page contents from Peter Hale.

Peter Hale wrote with some interesting points on Banbury saying "...I see in the latest issue that there is a mention in the Oxford & Chiltern Bus Page about Banbury's bus services.  I'm interested as I'm researching the history of bus services in the Banbury area. 

I can understand Andy Gilmour's comment that Banbury seems an enigma to him, but then it is an isolated town.  The nearest towns of a similar size or larger - Oxford, Bicester, Stratford and Leamington - are all around 20 miles away, and the countryside in between is very rural.  As a result, Banbury has always been fairly self-sufficient: when it was Midland Red territory, that company provided good town services and reasonable services as far as Brackley, Chipping Norton and Deddington, but demand beyond these places was always poor.  Links with the rest of the Midland Red network were also sparse, and it was never an easy place to reach by bus from the Midlands.  Banbury also has an unusually large hinterland - "Banburyshire", as it is called - spreading well into Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.  Traditionally, market day bus services run by Independents and, before them, village carriers provided numerous links with Banbury.  In fact, in Victorian days it was served by more carriers than any other town in this country. 

The Stagecoach town network nowadays is small, but it's not doing badly.  The commercial element of the two trunk routes - B5 and B8 - will increase as part of the June changes. 

I agree that you've got the balance of content right!"

Banbury and the revised services
in a letter from Ian Connick, Public Transport Information Manager - Oxfordshire County Council

Ian says "...you might like to mention on your web-site that the timetables for the new Banbury services (all of them, not just Stagecoach) have been on the County Council web-site for a couple of weeks. Also, the 488 is not Kick-start funded it is funded out of the "normal" County Council budget.

Sorry to pick holes - keep up the good work! "

Link : http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/index/travel/publictransport/news-3.htm

Historical reference in our area

The Oxford Tube and last week's picture plus Gloria Glide.

Andrew Dyer remember AOD648Y and writes saying "As ever, thanks for an excellent news page this week, although I'm afraid I do have to make an official complaint ......you're making me feel old!! 

My first management job with NBC was as Coaching Manager for Devon General which meant running the "Greenslades" coach unit. When I got there they had just had two brand new Leyland Tigers delivered a few months before...AOD 648 & 649Y. 

NBC had just given its subsidiaries permission to reintroduce local coaching identities and these two coaches were painted in white with two shades of green stripes. They were the front line private hire vehicles and also used on National Express "Rapide" service 501 from Paignton to London quite often as the Dennis Falcons officially allocated could only do about three round trips at a time before they broke down!! 

It was also good to see dear old Gloria Glide again. Although I no longer worked for him at the time, I can remember Harry Blundred being delighted that the Oxford University Students Union made a huge fuss about how sexist it was to use women for advertising in this way....it was the best free publicity that the new Park & Glide could have had!

Another reader's memories of AOD648Y

Fred Spresser writes "Just seen photo of AOD648Y on this weeks web page  -  interesting for two reasons.

First - shown on route 390 which subsequently became Thames Travel X99 (Oxford - Henley) only, who are now my present employers.

Second - 648 and sister vehicle AOD649Y moved north to Scotland around 1993/94 to Pegasus Travel of Errol (Perthshire), one of the partners being Robin Gloag (former husband of Anne Gloag), and one of the original partners in Gloag-Trotter, subsequently Stage-Coach.

I drove both these vehicles on many occasions, on School Contracts, occasionally Private Hires, but mainly on Scottish City-Link services on the Glasgow-Perth-Aberdeen and Edinburgh-Perth-Inverness corridors, and occasionally south of the border to Blackpool and Newcastle on joint National Express workings.  I remember one Bank Holiday week-end being given a Fuel card on the Thursday morning, and told to report to Perth Bus Station, with one of the above vehicles then "as required" until the following Tuesday evening.

Things went well until the Sunday evening, when operating a Glasgow - Dundee duplicate journey, on approaching the Bullionfield roundabout on the outskirts of Dundee, when accelerating away from the roundabout the engine went "Phutt", and power almost totally disappeared.  I managed to limp the remaining two mile or so to the Seagate Bus Station.  After my passengers had disembarked, I reported to the duty controller and advised her that I had a disabled vehicle, and would be unavailable for the rest of the evening, this being 20.20 hours.  She advised me I would not be required anyway.  I returned to my vehicle, and lifted the side panel, and when putting my hand behind the panel, felt a wet sticky liquid, and suspected a fractured Injector Pipe.  I went across to the Strathtay Scottish depot, and asked the duty mechanic if he could confirm my suspicions, which he duly did.  I then limped the vehicle back to the Errol Depot (about nine miles), which was then unattended, swapped it for its sister and reported to Perth Bus Station on the Monday morning, after having rang the Depot and explained what had happened"

Memories of COMS, competition with Thames Transit and the 109 vs the 100.

Neil Gow has come up with a couple of most interesting pictures reflecting on days now gone. Neil says "Here it is then.  230 at Eynsham in July 1996 during the last week of operation of Oxford-Witney service 109 in competition with Thames Transit 100.

 

Since you're doing historical photos at the moment, I've sent a scan of a rather nice shot of ex Southend Fleetline 368 on the 20 (Rail Station-Risinghurst) in June 1987.  This was the same year the 90 service Oxford-Witney-Carterton (later 109)was started in competition with South Midland after the latter company climbed into bed with Thames Transit (to be subsequently absorbed by them).

Alder Valley in Stokenchurch and another Thames Valley picture.

Malcolm Hyland has come up with a lovely shot of an Alder Valley Bristol FLF6G posed outside Stokenchurch depot in the '70s. Malcolm says "I have attached photo of Thames Valley FLF 629 at Stokenchurch shed. It's scanned from a slide which as you will see is beginning to deteriorate - dated June 1970. Taken by Terry Blois - associate in cliix - you are welcome to use this on the website."

Martin Layton has also sent an excellent picture of a Thames Valley Bristol K on the 58 in Bracknell. He writes "At Bristol Harbourside Rally this weekend I bought a black and white print to add to my photo collection, unfortunately I can find no information in the public domain to caption it with a few details. I am appealing to people who might be able shed some light on the subject to help me.

As we can see from the print

o        Thames Valley Bristol (K type with ECW low bridge body ?)

o        Registration No. JRX819, Fleet No. 744

o        Route 57 to Bracknell

o        Painted out via points blind box suggests late 40s early 50s

Oxford & Chiltern Bus Page - Weekly News update, Issue 123, Sunday 10th April 2005 implies that Thames Valley 748 (JRX823) a Bristol KSW6B with ECW body which was new in 1955 may be a survivor!

Any information on Thames Valley 744 or Route 57 to Bracknell would be very much appreciated. As always, should the picture and data be published my sources would be fully acknowledged in the Copyright notice. If anybody wants a larger copy of the scan for their own archives just let me know."

Rally on 30th May 2005 at Quainton Road. 

Peter Cartwright advises "....on Monday 30 May there is the 21st Bus Rally at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton so should be a good day out for avid readers of your website."

I do hope one of my readers attends this event and sends some pictures and a report which will add to the following week's News Page?

Developments in Wycombe.

Peter Cartwright reports "...the new Park and Ride service is due to start at Wycombe on Monday 5 September and will be operated by Arriva the Shires and Essex with 4 new single deckers NOT 12 metre vehicles as are on Route 31. This operation will require a pvr of 3 plus a spare and all will be low floor but not Volvo. Further details will follow. The new shopping centre at Wycombe will be called Eden by the developers which will mean that the Octagon Centre (not Newlands) will also take that name. 

Route 300 is scheduled for withdrawal between Beaconsfield and Uxbridge after Sat 9 July but the  journeys will still operate between HW & Beaconsfield. Carousel A40 will still provide a daily service between HW and Uxbridge but without the deviations at Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross.

Route 704 was introduced about 15 years ago to replace route 441 journeys between HW and Slough and then to continue via Langley to Heathrow replacing Green Line 737 between HW and Heathrow. Route 705 was introduced to run to Uxbridge from HW - this subsequently became 300 and at one time operated Oxford - HW - Uxbridge. 

When First took over they renumbered their 704 journeys as 74 and it was a while before HW operated journeys were also renumbered 74. HW Garage operated 1 vehicle to SL Garage's 2. In 2003 when the route was curtailed at Slough it was expected that SL garage and HW garage would operate alternate journeys but Arriva decided to register an hourly service and First registered a 2 hourly service so every 2 hours there are 2 buses running within literally a few minutes of each other if not together. A timetable change for Arriva is due on 11 July so watch this space!"

More reports and photographs please.

Those MB pictures.

A few weeks ago I posted a number of MB pictures which were submitted by Peter Edgar.

London Country

The three picture of LT MBs working in the High Wycombe area.

   

Peter Cartwright has sent this response saying "I was interested to see the photos of the red MBs at Wycombe. The first photograph shows MB 131? turning left from Totteridge Road into Amersham Hill above the station on route 326. I assume this was a Sunday working as RML vehicles - including RML2440! - worked  the 326 on weekdays. 

I am not sure of the second location - Beaconsfield or Chalfont St Giles? and the third is of some interest as it shows MB145? having passed under a railway bridge in Gordon Road, High Wycombe. This was the former branch line via Bourne End to Maidenhead which closed in 1970 and this bridge has long since been removed."

Answers from Ian Kirby to some points raised in last week's page

Ian Kirby writes "The Pamray coach in the mid 90s line up at Gloucester Green could well be on the 75 from Cambridge - Cambridge Coach Services often used to resort to other local operators to help out if they were short of vehicles - I remember coming back from Little Chalfont to Oxford on Pamrays's ex Shearings Van Hool Volvo one Sunday night back in September 1995.

In answer to Vikki Lee's question about K323YKG, it was new to Red & White - I will try and dig out a photograph of it in South Wales if I can find it."


N
ow on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 29th May 2005

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies 29th May 2005

Nigel Peach writes "Interesting that you should show a photo on this week's page of Olympian 5129 at the back of the bus station, because last Friday (20th) I noticed that it has gone! It had been there for about six months, under cannibalisation."

See the item above regarding services changes in High Wycombe from 9th July and other matters.

I noticed today when passing through Penn that a lot of new bus stops are appearing on the roads around.

Nigel Peach writes with following observations saying "A third Metrobus has been repainted into the new livery. Following M1432 and M1272, now M524 (GYE 524W). I was particularly surprised at this, as the last time I saw this bus it was looking very poorly after accident damage. I was sure that it had ended its days! By my calculations this bus must be 24/25 years old. Not bad!

A great deal more news this week about this operator. I have made special reference above to the arrival of a white Citaro which is being used on the 15 road service.


Gavin Francis took this picture of Citaro 800 in St Aldates on Friday 27th May.

Ralph Adams writes "Seen today (Tuesday) at about 2.30 on route 15 is a Mercedes Citaro, presumably on loan. The driver had just had a vehicle change to put the bus on service. 

BX 05 UWG  B42F with fleet number 800       Legal lettering shows Evobus."

Company news.

More coaches to Heathrow
 
Getting to and from Heathrow airport will be even easier from Sunday 22nd May

Services will be every 20 minutes at busy times of the day as the summer timetable comes into force. 

Back to the station for X3 services!

From Sunday 29th May the X3 Abingdon to Oxford service will once again run to and from Oxford Railway station.

Revisions to services between the city and Barton, Risinghurst.

The web site for VOSA carries the following item in this weeks Notices & Proceedings.

THE CITY OF OXFORD MOTOR SERVICES LTD T/A THE OXFORD BUS COMPANY, OXFORD BUS COMPANY,
COWLEY HOUSE, WATLINGTON ROAD OXFORD, OXON, OX46GA

From: OXFORD (QUEEN STREET)  To: BARTON & RISINGHURST Via: HEADINGTON

Name or No: 8/8A

Service Type: Normal Stopping

Effective Date: 03-Jul-2005

Other Details: Mondays to Saturdays

Journeys every 6/10 minutes

Saturdays - journeys every 12/15 minutes

I presume from this that the 2 will no longer run to Barton etc and developments are awaited with interest. There are a number of other changes to timetables and routes and 3rd July 2005 will see an interesting development of routes by this long established company. The revival of the route number 8 is interesting.

Bus Monkey sent in his usual report.

Mon 16th
-------------
631 on 15
646 on 400

Thu 19th
-------------
654 on 13 (or possibly X13 as it was coming from Abingdon Road with people on board)

Chris Maxfield writes re Bus Monkeys report

Thu 19th
-------------
654 on 13 (or possibly X13 as it was coming from Abingdon Road with people on board)

Yes it was on an X13, I saw this bus on St Clements Abingdon bound displaying X3

Curly writes to note quite a few espress coaches have been working the airline services.

Now this may be due to the increased frequency on the X70 as mentioned above Ed.

Pictureview


A nice picture from Gavin Francis of one of the ex London General Darts, 412.


Lynx trainer 971, this fleet number was last used by an ex London Titan, taken by Gavin Francis on 27th May.

The June edition of buses reports that Mass, North Anston has reverted the registration of ex Oxford 57 to N157BFC from N1MAS - fleet number 5001. Does anyone have a picture of this coach with MASS ?

First in Berkshire

The growth of first and the increase in vehicles have produced some unusual arrivals in our area.


This ex Airbus Olympian, now First 34194 has taken up workings on the X7 from London to Bracknell in the last week or so.
It is reregistered 481FPO and I do not know what it previous registration was.
Pictured by Gavin Francis on 24th May 2005 at Buckingham Palace Road.

Jeffs of Helmdon

Mike Penn sent this excellent picture of ex OBC 517 saying "I'm afraid I don't have anything to report from Luton this week.  However you might like this photo of former Oxford Dart M517 VJO with Jeffs of Helmdon.  It is seen in Bletchley earlier this month on the Buckingham to Milton Keynes service

Magpie Travel, High Wycombe

Following my publication of a picture of M634UCT last week I received the following from Graham Nunn whop says "Since finding your web site a while ago now I am hooked on hearing the latest news from the Oxford and surrounding area. I particularly like the pictures with very good backgrounds that you show. I keep promising myself to go to Victoria and getting a coach up to Oxford, I must do it this year as Oxford seems to be a very good place to take photos.

I am writing though to comment on the Magpie Travel Mercedes mini coach M634UCT. You were wondering where the body is from. I think I can help. It looks to me like this bodywork is a Crystals body. Crystals of Dartford (I live just down the road from the old depot) used to body their own Mercedes as well as a few for other operators. They ran services in the Bexleyheath and Orpington area before being taken over by Tellings Golden Miller, then a couple of months ago Metrobus of Orpington took over as TGM could not expand sufficiently as it wanted."


A Mercedes mini coach, M634UCT,  with a body described above by Graham Nunn.


Ben Morroll took this excellent picture of 16523 working the U1 last week. A surprise when they now have spare Brookes Buses which are
working other routes , see below.


A nice shot of 22947 taken on 27th May by Gavin Francis. This bus is loading at Carfax.

Chris Lowe writes to advise that after many years at Hyde road two ex Oxford Olympians have now been transferred to Princess Road in Manchester. Chris says "...today 16509 was operating the 250 to the Trafford Centre and 16513 (with correct fleet no.) was on the 111 to Southern Cemetery." Today was during last week. Ed.

22207 and 22941 are the most recent M A N  Loliners to be repainted. They have also received refurbished interiors with new style seating moquette.

See the Editorial above regarding changes in Banbury. I will be preparing a photo feature on the changes.

Some interesting developments are reported from various sources regarding the Brookes fleet here in Oxford.

Chris Hilditch, Managing Director of Stagecoach Devon advises "We are collecting two Tridents from Oxford to come on loan for the summer, sadly they will return to Oxford in September but they are a welcome boost to our operation for the busy summer period, I expect they will be found along with the

 new buses in the Bay. I expect these to be Brookesbus liveried buses of the Trident/ALX variety".

Ralph Adams writes "With the vacations, the PVR has now reduced to 6 Tridents daily. With 11 in the fleet, some are now spare on a daily basis. 

I was informed by a controller in the City that the spare buses can only be used on routes which are not covered by the U routes, so cannot be used on Botley Road, Cowley Road or London Road. 

On Friday, 18195 and 18196 were both on the Rose Hill (3) service."

 
Gavin Francis provides the photographic evidence of Ralph's observations above.

The accident on the M40 on Thursday produced some unusual working by Brookes Tridents to London. 18051 and 18195 were the buses involved.

50110 has returned from modification and now has a bar, in the same style as the new Megabus Neoplans, on the front passenger table.


Ben Morroll sent this nice picture of 50046 heading down St Aldates last week ready to take up a London service from Gloucester Green.

I was waiting to operate the 1115 departure and so followed 50046 to London where I was able to get a picture of it leaving on its first return journey to Oxford.


Citybus Dave sent me this picture of the Tube departure bays at Gloucester Green taken Saturday a week ago.


Gavin Francis got this great picture of one of our Tubes, 50115 next to the last of the Megabus batch,
recently delivered 50150 based on Chesterfield. 24th May 2005.

Megabus  M A N 50047 has now also entered service on London-Oxford workings.

Chris Lowe writes "I have attached a photo of one of the Stagecoach Manchester Neoplans for you, 50148 (MX05BWN) which is seen on Whitworth Street leaving Manchester on the 10:45 journey to London today (Saturday 28th May). I also saw Neoplan 50149 (MX05BWO) in Princess Road garage last Wednesday, but haven't managed to photograph it yet."


Chris Lowe provided this shot of recently delivered Manchester based 50148, seen here leaving Manchester
bound for London. Note the further spot for positioning the fleet number.


Gavin Francis took this picture of a London based Neoplan, 50136, in Bullied Way, Victoria.
Note the much larger fleet numbers and different position to the Manchester one above.
The T behind the drivers window is the Leyton code for their base.


An unusual substitution occurred last when a coach I had last seen on the X5 appeared in London
on a Liverpool Megabus working. 52124 in Sammys on Tuesday 24th May 2005.

It now appears that the total of 25 new Neoplans for Megabus have all entered service.

During the closure of the M40 last Thursday some northbound Birmingham services were routed via the M1 and M6 to avoid delay.

Rob Williams kindly mentioned his web page for this story of the entry into service of the new M A N s. My thanks to him and the two photographers credited.

RBH Park & Ride

29-05-05

Reading's third dedicated park and ride service, route H1 commenced operations on Monday 16th May. The service connects the existing Madejski Stadium park & ride site with the Royal Berkshire Hospital every 15 minutes Monday to Friday.

The service is operated by Thames Travel using two brand new dedicated MAN 14.220 / MCV Evolution single deckers.

105 on 16 May 2005 (56399 bytes)

105 at the RBH on it's first day in service. Thanks to Stephen Wise for this photo.

105 on 27 May 2005 (50181 bytes)

105 again, but at the other terminus on 27th May. Thanks to Mac Head for this photo.

With the H1, Reading now has three different park & ride services operated by three different companies, plus the DayTrack combined commuter / park & ride service:

Centre FastTrack 500 Reading Centre - Loddon Bridge Reading Transport
Centre FastTrack 501 Reading Centre - Madejski Stadium First
H1 RBH - Madejski Stadium Thames Travel
DayTrack 51/52 Reading Centre - Madejski Stadium - Green Park Reading Transport

Rob's link is http://www.buszone.co.uk/News0505.html

Fred Spresser wrote to advise that the long awaited Mercedes Benz sprinter was due to arrive late last week.


Dave Rogers sent this picture of three of the Weavaway Volvos at the depot in Newbury.

 

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PHOTO CORNER
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A Bus Eireann Sunsundegai lays over in Sammys on the 24th May with Cwmbran based Megabus 50138

 

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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

Links

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