Wednesday 29th October 2003
next update week ending 7th November 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.
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Last Friday was perhaps one of the saddest days for one very special reason. Concord is now no more. Whatever one may think about the vast money expended on this "project" over the years, one cannot but help admit it was one very special aeroplane. The travel mode of the wealthy, the dreams of lesser mortals but nevertheless a very special aeroplane. I had thought about going to Heathrow to see the final flights coming in but preferred to remember Concord in normal service, sleek, fast and very very noisy. One of my readers however captured one of the last takeoffs from Heathrow and just happened to frame it with one The Airline Jonckheeres as she, Concord, lifted off from Heathrow's 09Right.
The Airline coach 32 passes Concord lifting off from 09R at Hatton Cross last Friday morning.
Picture by Richard Griffin.
On a more mundane subject, The Bucks Free Press carries an article regarding the new development of the Phoenix major multi store complex in High Wycombe. The interesting point is that there are said to be some 750 less parking spaces in the new development which leads one to wonder if we may see a Park & Ride service created when the new development finally opens.
New buses are appearing or due for Oxfordshire roads in the coming weeks. Oxford Bus have Citaros due for the X3/X13, Stagecoach have Dart SLFs due for the X4 and currently arriving are three Solos for Thames Travel. This added to the recent Brookes arrivals have or will add to the interesting scene in our area.
Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. However due to afore mentioned time constraints these will be held over until next week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.
Malcolm Crowe, October 19th 2003.
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News of the local companies – 29th October 2003
Arriva's Volvo 3844 shows off its route branding for routes 328 and 329.
I have only seen this one Wycombe based Volvo which such route branding.
Edmund Tresham sent a picture of interest saying "I though you would like the attached picture of G232VWL, working for Arriva The Shires on a Leighton Buzzard town service a couple of weeks ago. The lower deck had four different seat moquettes (I did not see the upper deck). The bus also displayed clues to its past with the Oxford Bus Company in the 'no smoking' and 'priority seat' notices."
Graeme Wilson sent a couple of interesting pictures featured below.
The first is of Leyland Olympian/ECW 5164 (EWW550Y) which was part of the Luton depot allocation until recently.
I took this picture in September 2002, when it was on crew bus duty.
The second is of Bristol VR 5033 (SNV 933W).
This was on hire to Wycombe depot in November 2002, but this picture was taken October 2002 in Luton, again on crew bus duty.
Steve Warwick sent a few snippets on developments in Aylesbury.
Wed 22nd Oct
Leyland Olympian 5830 (G230VWL) has arrived at Aylesbury from High Wycombe to replace 5071.
Fri 24th Oct
5071 was collected by Ensign's of Purfleet at about 5.15pm this afternoon.
Trident 105 is presently in the paint shop receiving a coat of red and white in place of its green mantle. I think this finalises repaints of the Trident fleet as 120 has appeared in the revised Park & Ride livery. It was one of the first to go to Alexander (TransBus) for rectification work. This will give 5 Tridents for inclusion in the low floor bus fleet. Tridents now have regular workings on the 4, 5 and 35 roads.
The red Tridents are not often seen altogether. Last Saturday morning all four examples were
caught awaiting football duties in the afternoon. Even the photographer got them all in numerical order.
Friday gave the same photographer the chance to catch this colourful line up at Cowley Road.
One wonders if any other Citaro has lost its badge like 824 seen here.
Haven't quite worked out what the Arriva Vario was doing "in house".
Friday saw Volvo B10BLE 801 in the revised livery appear with full branding. Brian Matthews caught 801 later on route 5 in Queen Street. Prior to this I had been on hand to take official photos of the finished bus at Cowley Road Garage.
801 is seen loading on 5 road in Queen Street last Friday afternoon.
801 poses for the camera just after leaving the paint shop with its new coat.
The detail at the rear of 801 is caught by the camera in this shot.
Another rather nice location for a good photograph presented itself last Saturday.
Here coach 38 passes Christ Church, on St Aldates.
Steve Annells writes
views of vehicles coping
with the diversion for Abingdon's Runaway Fair, which closes High Street for the
Monday after the main Michaelmas Fair.
I took some interesting photographs of the Abingdon diversion via East and West St Helen during the recent High Street closure for the Runaway Fair.
The shots show the diversion behind the County Hall into East St Helen, the sharp turn by St Helen's Church into West St Helen,and the right angle turn back into High Street. This last is a little hazardous - I was almost wiped out by an Oxford Volvo standing on the pavement opposite the turn - although I was standing next to the Stagecoach controller at the time! "
The Stagecoach pictures appear under that operators heading.
N617FJO – Oxford 617 makes the hairpin turn by St Helen’s Church on X3 - photo Steve Annells
N612FJO – Oxford 612 picks up at the old Regal Cinema bus stop on X3.
The new West Central development will retain a bus stop here.photo Steve Annells.
The A6 Stansted service has received new coaches. Their are Plaxton Panther bodied
Volvo B12Bs and LK53KXB is seen here in Victoria Coach Station.
Note the rather flashy wheel trims not seen before by me.
David Whitley, until recently Marketing Manager of the company sent the latest attached fleet list (period 7 - October 2003) to be published in this week's page. you will need Adobe Acrobat to view this file. Click here to view. (you will need to rotate one of the pages to view)
Relating to the comments under the Oxford Bus heading about Abingdon here are further pictures by Steve Annells.
R904XFC – Stagecoach 20004 turns from Bridge Street behind the County Hall on the cut back 32.
R911XFC – Stagecoach 20011 turns sharply from West St Helen into High Street
I asked Rob Williams if he had any pictures of the "BMW" M A N in full livery. He advised that it was still in plain black and sent a couple of pictures to show this.
Rob Williams picture of 22053 at Horspath depot on Monday last.
A rear view, again taken at Horspath depot last Monday.
Rob wrote again this morning, Wednesday to advise that 22053 had entered service on the U2
yesterday and he got this night shot of it in service.
Not perfect but worth the record.
Ralph Adams wrote a week ago saying "Cambus Bristol FLF JAH553D was towed into BRS on Sunday night after suffering mechanical problems whilst on the M40. The comment made to me was the big end had gone, but I have no mechanical knowledge so make no further comment. I do not know the destination at the time."
This was followed by a
comment from Neil Gow saying "Stagecoach East Bristol Lodekka 19953 (JAH
553D) has turned up at the BRS depot. Does anyone know why it's here?"
From my side is this bus still around Oxford or has it gone somewhere else?.
Rob Williams wrote on an interesting matter, i.e. the scheduling of a particular bus saying "I have tried to work out what seems to be the schedule for the Witney Vario that does a stint on the U1 each morning."
Witney - Oxford
0825 (I think) U1 Gipsy Lane - Wheatley (duplicate)
0850 BREAK & Driver change
0950 19 Broadshires Health Centre - Bampton
1007 18 Bampton - Oxford
1105 18 Oxford - Bampton
1207 18 Bampton - Oxford
1305 18A Oxford - Witney
1513 Bampton - Oxford
1610 18 Oxford - Aston
1721 18 Aston - Oxford
1800 18 Oxford - Clanfield
I find such detail of interest since in many cases a bus from a company goes out on a certain route in the morning and stays on that route all day.
With the demise of works services and part day workings variety is often less than in days gone by.
Darts seem to regularly appear on the 100 during the evening peak.
Richard Sharman writes "....was in Oxford on Sunday, managed to get a few body/chassis details off SinOX new vehicles-
18056 " " 33058 " "8385
22052 Chassis-A69ZZZ3H002884 Body-2107/42
22053 ? " " 43
Withdrawn at Excel are- 32058, 32611,16031 AND 16079.
Rob Williams writes "...made an interesting discovery today - there is a regular U1 duplicate operated by a Witney based Vario! All together there are now two Olympians (one for service and one spare???) plus a Vario hired each day in addition to the original contract. The arrangement will be reviewed at the end of the autumn term.
The Vario working appears to start at roughly 8.15, and is just for one journey in the morning, I will endeavour to find out where it starts and perhaps more on the Olympian workings too if I can. I think the Vario run started on 6th October, with the following vehicles that week:
Tue 7th: 42380
Wed 8th: 42382
Thu 9th: 42382
Fri 10th: 42374
Trevor Wilson writes "Oxford<>London Megabus featured for about 2 minutes on BBC Top gear on Sunday 26th October. The wide screen TV in the Top Gear 'studio' showed a static full length side view. About half the time was spent discussing the removal of the toilet as a cost saving feature!"
Richard Sharman writes "still have Atlanteans-
GSC664X, MAU 614P, JPE236V, KPJ258W in store at Didcot.
Osney Mead is now the operating centre for all open top operations.
I was told today that Tappins fleet numbers correspond with each vehicles original digits in there number plates, as most are now rereged. The private plate also carries those digits some where in the plate.
Rob Williams writes "Noted a new Solo for Thames Travel in service on the 103 this morning. The reg was I think KX53SNZ, but I could be wrong about the last letters. It features high visibility LED displays."
I am awaiting advice from TT regarding the new Solos , a total of three are expected.
Whites of Abingdon
forgetting to mention to you that Whites have a new minibus, this been a
Mercedes Benz Vario / Plaxton Beaver 2 R946AMB. Not sure where its come from or
Its been repainted into the same shade of yellow as the Solo and looks very good with full fleetnames the only thing spoiling it is lack of destination blinds."
Then Chris wrote "I saw this yesterday afternoon with full blinds in and looks very nice indeed, though the rear blind had a computer printed piece of paper with route number on this is probably the same for the side."
R946AMB in St Aldates a week or so ago. I think it came from Mistral but had
worked for British Airways at Heathrow on the Waterside-Staines service a couple of years ago.
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Colin Cooke sent this lovely shot of Chesham Broadway a few weeks ago
during the Amersham Running Day.
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
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002