Issue 25
(OBP-241)

Sunday 30th March 2003

next update during week commencing 7th April 2003

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news please
let me know on
malcolmhc@aol.com

Well, sadly due to the pressures of work, I was unable to make last week's update and so this week the update contains two week's worth of news. Thanks to all of you who wrote expressing concern at the lack of a page and also sending welcome news. Indeed last week I was in Dublin and Brussels as well as my normal week in Amsterdam hence the lack of time.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of news from the last two weeks is the rerouting of the Airlinks/National Express 757 service to delete Stokenchurch from its schedule from Monday April 7th. This has brought many protests from the local residents as there is only a rather limited service from Arriva and Carousel serving the village and it now means there will be no Sunday service at all. A spokeswoman for National Express said that the service only picked an average of one passenger per journey in Stokenchurch which did make it viable to maintain the routing. In future coaches will run via the M40 between Oxford and High Wycombe. Whilst one cannot but sympathise with operators, who have a profit to make, it does seem to fly in the face of Government policy in trying to woo the car user out of their cars and on to public transport. Maybe Bucks County Council can help provide an alternative?

Another interesting development, this time in Oxford , is the introduction of flat fares on various services with Oxford Bus introducing a 1 fare on the 15 route to Wood Farm from this coming week and Stagecoach introducing a flat fare on their night city services. Details are that Stagecoach services after Midnight will be N1, N7 and N7A. The price will be a standard 1 fare if normally less than 1, or 2 for all other fares.

Recent troubles with demonstrations in Oxford against the war in Iraq have led to various service problems and one operator faced criticism when a driver refused to carry a passenger wearing a badge against the war. Whilst it is difficult to condone such an action, it was only a week before that drivers on many services in Oxford had to put up with abuse and crowd violence against buses during a demonstration by mainly schoolchildren. Buses were kicked and generally subjected to some vandalism including efforts to remove windscreen wipers and the opening of emergency doors, causing major disruption to services. Maybe one can understand the frustration of a driver upon seeing such a badge as worn by an intending passenger. I will however not dwell upon the rights or wrongs of either side, safe to say, it is an altogether unhappy state of affairs.

Work continued in and around Newlands Bus Station at high Wycombe a week ago today and resurfacing started, seemingly with only minimal warning. notices were posted and everyone had to board their buses outside th station.


The notice which was hastily prepared to advise intending passengers.


Work goes on with resurfacing at Newlands Bus Station a week ago.

On my travels I saw several interesting buses including the selection posted below taken at Dublin Airport.


A Caetano bodied Air coach loading through its emergency door at Dublin Airport.


Another Aircoach, this time a Jonckheere loads alongside one of the Citaro bendi buses on the car park service.


Servisair is one of the Ground Handlers at Dublin Airport and runs this Paladin on airside services.


Aviance, which handles bmi amongst other airlines now runs two ex London GLS Greenway Nationals

Heathrow is presently most interesting with a number of new vehicles being added to the fleet to be seen. Perhaps the smartest are the new Scanias with Menzies for Car Park services. This style of Scania is soon to be seen in other fleets in the U.K.


One of the new Scanias. YN03UVP works a staff car park shuttle and is seen approaching Heathrow T4.

Rail replacement services continue at Wycombe and the shot below was taken this morning, Sunday, showing several coaches on this work.

Well, again apologies for the missing update for last week but do please keep the news coming in. Next weekend I have to visit Kendal in the Lakes and so I apologise in advance that the news update will not be on Sunday evening.

Malcolm Crowe, March 30th 2003.

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News of the local companies - 30th March 2003

Airlinks - National Express

Ralph Adams writes to say "From the County website, I note that the 757 to Cambridge is being revised. It will now operate only to Stansted, calling at High Wycombe, Hemel Hempstead and Hatfield only on a 2 hourly basis for 8 journeys daily.

I notice that 2 coaches appear to stay in Oxford overnight. Where are the coaches going to stay, plus where do the drivers sleep?

Arrive Oxford 1825, 2025 2325 and 0125
Depart Oxford after 1800, next is 0140, 0435, then 0720 and 0920 "

Thus as noted in the Editorial Stokenchurch loses its 757 service.

Arriva serving The Shires

Ralph Adams writes "On Monday, I passed the 280 from Aylesbury at Green Road at 1605. Instead of the usual Olympian, the ex Oxford Dart M503VJO was in use with a full standing load. "  (This was Monday a week ago Ed.)



Arriva ex Oxford Volvos wait their next duties during a Sunday rest.


Arriva 3815 works, well is the 364 or the 365 today, Sunday, high above Wycombe Station.


Arriva 5099 enters New Road from Park End Street a week or so ago.

Steve Warwick continues to provide a lot of information and writes "

Monday 17th March

Olympian 5101 has been operating Red Route 9 service for most of the day.

Optare Solo has been on route 4

Olympian 5114 operating 500 Watford-Aylesbury.

Tue 25th March

Volvo Olympian 5159 on 54 Halton Camp all day. 

Fri 28th March

Greenway 3050 and Volvo/Derwent 3080 both on 500 route.

Ben Wilson writes again saying "I was in Hemel again today and saw 5092 (F642 LMJ) still in Gade Valley colours and still in the garage were
5152 (S152KNK), 5127(H197GRO), 5128(HI98GRO). I don't know if they have switched from Watford and the driver trainers were 3325(E565BNK), 4036(L500BUS), 4038(ADZ4731) and 2236(N936ETU)"  


An Arriva Dart SLF works a Sunday 304 a week ago. It is 3827.

Ben Wilson writes with news from Hemel. This is nice because we don't hear much from that garage.

He says "Hi my name is Ben I was in Hemel Hempstead's garage today and saw and interesting buses in there were 5127 and 5128 (H197GRO) (H128GRO), 5152(S152KNK) and 3414 (P334HVX).  5127, 5128,  5152 are normally at Watford.  5127 had a Watford blind 5128 had school bus sign on it. I don't if 5128 has been transferred for school contracts because it had a school contract blind but I saw 5127 on the 6 to Maple Cross on Saturday and 3414 had a Hemel blind. It had been on 352 to Hemel with 3413 (P833HVX) next to it.

Nice to hear from a new correspondent, please keep the news coming from Hemel,  Ben.

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.


Dual door Volvo 632 pauses at St Clements on its way from Barton to the city.


Olympian 222, looking very spruce, works a Saturday 602 football special from Kidlington.


A front and rear comparison as 813, station bound passes 812 on its way to Blackbird Leys.

Nothing much to report this week excepting the introduction of a flat fare on route 15 to Wood Farm.

The new Scania coaches should be here by the end of the coming week. They are now in the UK but receiving livery and other fitments at the dealers.

First, Berkshire

Steve Warwick sent a picture of one the new Citaros leaving Newlands Bus Station. Indeed this week I include a number of photos of these fine new buses.

From the photos above a good impression may be gained of these buses which differ in many ways from the Oxford Park & Ride versions.

Heyfordian

Roland Cox writes "Haven't seen much to report of late ,but here are a couple of sightings. At Bicester yard Thursday were Van Hool coaches M639KVU off white (ready for vinyls ?) and M634KVU in coach livery. Came past Yarnton depot today and in there was a later model coach possibly Jonckheere in coach livery?"

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford

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

getacro.gif (712 bytes)

I am advised by the company that the wrongly numbered ex London Olympians will be renumbered during the coming week.


16072 now correctly numbered and seen last Monday at Gloucester Green.


Seen last Monday in Gloucester Green 16524 still carries the old number on the roof 524 and 16078 is void of any fleet numbers!


The Merc, 40653, used as a crew shuttle has had its destination screens panelled over.


Even though it has an Oxfordshire registration, I don't think 32085 ever worked for SCiO.
It is now based at Swindon and is seen here on a 63 service in Gloucester Green

Keith Wood writes "I've just been through the Oxford Bus Page (the old one) to the Stagecoach official Oxford site and downloaded the official allocations
dated 3/3/03. Despite the national site being up and running this seems to be still going strong ! The list makes interesting reading and answers quite a few questions !

As reported last week this vehicle (Rugby's 20813) has been repainted into new livery and was back in service last night on Service 86.

Reported on UK Bus Fleetnews. Thought this had gone for repaint as I haven't seen it this week. This leaves just 20201 at Leamington seen by me last Saturday as the last Stripey PS.

John L. Hammond writes "Volvo B10M / Alexander PS - N813DNE repainted in new livery : Native repaint spotted is 40338 - done in the last three days because it was at Biggleswade in old livery on Sunday.
 
40351 has not been delicenced as intended on 24/2/03 and remains at use at
Bedford. 40350 was the same but I believe it has been put in reserve this week and withdrawn.

Ralph Adams reports "Dart 32164 has gone to Stagecoach Devon on Saturday B6BLE 31330 has gone to Wakefield for refurbishment and then return to Oxford. I do not know what needs doing. Oxford has already spent money converting to take wheelchairs after it arrived from Manchester. and then
I reported late on Sunday at 31330 had gone to Wakefield. It actually left to go to WARE - bit of a difference. Ware is of course Plaxton (Transbus). However it reached Wycombe, and failed. Do not know where it is now - your back garden possibly? (No Ralph, it is not!!!!)

Today (Wednesday) Stagecoach garage was empty of buses. The top layer of concrete has been taken off most of the surface. The buses are at Excel (60 buses) or BMW (40 buses)

Stagecoach Hospital Park & Ride 600.

2 Mercedes 709 minibuses have been painted dark blue (Stagecoach) skirt with light blue above for the above service starting 31st March. They are 40108 (L308YDU) and 40110 (L310YDU), both of which used to be Oxford buses but have been in reserve for some while. They have been re upholstered with blue patterned material and give the impression of new buses (except registration numbers). The wording is in the style of COMS with route details Churchill & Nuffield hospital park & ride.

Ralph advises that the launch is tomorrow Monday, March 30th .

Swanbrook, Cheltenham


Brian Matthews sent this picture of UJI1761 about to leave Cheltenham, Oxford bound.

Tappins

Richard Sharman advises that ex Dublin bus RH12 is almost ready for delivery to Tappins from Ensignbus.

Woottens

Michael Wootten writes "Former Oxford Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R \ ECW  BBW214Y is now in service. 

A further Iveco Eurorider 35 \ Beulas Stergo in use here is T285CGU C53F.  This coach was new to Redwing, London.  

A new Volvo B12B \ Plaxton Panther demonstrator has been on loan from Transbus for evaluation"

Leyland Olympian Coach ONTL11/2RSp/ECW B782FOG (B111WAT, B107LPH) is now in service.  The attached photograph was taken before the Leyland wheel trims were fitted (I know you like wheel trims!).  (This coach is pictured below and yes I do especially like Leyland wheel trims. Ed)

Further information and photographs available at http://www.woottens.co.uk/fleet.htm 

PHOTO CORNER
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at 
malcolmhc@aol.com

?

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at
malcolmhc@aol.com

This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

For the national renumbering of The Stagecoach Fleet, I have been speaking to Bill Potter of British Bus Publishing. This company has produced a handbook with the full listing and details.

A special offer has been negotiated with Bill and he is prepared to let my readers have a copy of the new handbook for a reduced price of 15.25 (1 less than the cover price) if you call him on 01952 255669 or visit the web site mentioning:

The Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.

The main site address is http://www.britishbuspublishing.co.uk/index.html  I am sure many of you will want to take advantage of this offer.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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