Spottings & Jottings nr. 72 - 8th November 2013
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will
advise of any mid-week news please let me know
Quite a gap between pages! Sorry, a mixture of problems, such a tired after long days at work, a wife who needed various things done etc etc.
Anyway here is S&J 72 and I hope everyone enjoys it.
A correction to the last issue (S&J71) was that Gavin Francis visited Maidenhead not Bracknell as indicated. Apologies to all concerned.
I am working on changing the format to try to get a more regular flow back into the job. Fingers crossed it should be with us by 2014.
A question from a reader
writes "I am owner of 6 historical Iveco buses, and as we never had such double deck Iveco Turbocity in Italy, I think that it would be an extraordinary opportunity to save a meaningful vehicle from the "old" Italian Iveco production.
I really hope that it has not been really scrapped right now... :-)
If you could help me, it would be really appreciated!
Thank you so much."
Dates for your diary
Dates for your diary
Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society
The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture show with local and guest speakers. A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually around £1 for members per meeting depending on numbers. For non-members a charge of £2 per head is made.
A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.
When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site
Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.
Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!
I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.
May I please ask readers to do two things?
1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.
2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.
The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.
Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.
The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all.
Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 8th November 2013
Observations and pictures
Bob Morley writes
writes "Attached is a picture of one of the new Vodafone bus service ADL Enviro 200s which entered service last week.. There are four 131-4.
I presume they will receive some kind of livery later?
Peter Edgar writes
Peter Edgar writes "I have written a brief report together with pictures taken last Saturday when route 11 was partly converted to LT class vehicles."
Route 11receives NBfL ‘s
Saturday September 21st 2013 saw the introduction of LT class vehicles onto TFL route 11,Liverpool Street Station to Fulham Broadway.
Unfortunately owing to a delay in delivery of the new vehicles only seven were put into service on Saturday and one of these had to be withdrawn by about 9.30am from what I understand to have been a problem with one of the headlights.
From what I observed during the day there were operational problems cause by road works ,a demonstration march and general traffic delays .
Below is a selection of photographs taken on the first day.
LT 62 in Lower Slone Street on one of the many short working of the day due to traffic delays.
(This picture is of special interest since this bus was involved in a five vehicle pile up the following day and has not been seen in service since!! Ed.)
Marcus Lapthorn writes "
Lapthorn writes"I managed to snatch a not very good shot of the strange looking d/d in Faringdon on Tues 24 Sept. The bus may previously have been registered G959 FVX?
Mark Turner writes
"I Saw a Boris Bus (the new bus for London) in Watford Near the Town Hall
Roundabout In Watford on 30th Sept around 11:35am. I'm not sure if it was
the same bus that
broke down earlier in Watford. The bus I saw had Metroline on the side. I couldn't get a picture as I was on Mullany's Buses 318 at the time I saw it. Did anyone else see the bus in Watford and maybe get a picture of it?"
Luke Braham writes
writes"At the beginning of September, Uno entered service in Milton Keynes with services C1 and C10 which took over from Souls Coaches route 62."
The C1 operates between Milton Keynes - Moulsoe - Cranfield - Wootton - Kempston - Bedford on an hourly time table Monday to Saturday and every hour and a half on Sundays.
There is also a C2 which does not serve Milton Keynes but serves Cranfield - Marston Moretaine - Lidlington - Ampthill – Flitwick three times a day.
Arriva the Shires have started to repaint the Optare Solo’s previously in Green Route 4 livery in Arriva fleet livery. The first to be completed is 0447 Y47 HBT, it is believed 0442/6 Y42/6 HBT will be done shortly.
Alexander Dennis Enviro400’s 5456/7 SN58 EOC/D are due to come to Aylesbury from Hemel Hempstead.
Hemel’s 5421 W421 XKX and Aylesbury’s 5431 W431 XKX are due to go to Luton.
5920 M920 MKM was in service at Hemel for a few weeks after the Sapphire launch but has now towed away from the depot.
Adrian Hartless visits Manchester
I attach pic from last Weds when I visited Manchester Metrolink’s new Ashton line. This is Edge Lane, Droylsden, with tram 3036 arriving from Ashton, bound for Bury. On Ashton New Road, Stagecoach 36427 on the 218 Micklehurst - Manchester Shudehill is overtaking E400 19271 on a 216 Ashton - Manchester.
Gavin Francis, ever vigilant, writes to report with photographs.
Following the entry into service of NBfL's the WVLs from the 11 are starting to appear on the 185 to replace the VWLs and VPs inherited when they took over East Thames Buses.
What a mixture!
Five new Volvo B7RLE / Wrightbus Eclipse Urban single decks were delivered to Luton garage in early October for services on the new Luton to Dunstable Busway.
A second batch of the type have been delivered to Hemel Hempstead for use on route 2
2600 & 2601 Luton to Stevenage
3171 Hemel Hempstead (w) to Aylesbury (w)
3208 Milton Keynes to Aylesbury (u)
3214 withdrawn at Wycombe
3281 Ware to Stevenage
3520 scrapped at Wycombe
3908 Luton to Garston
4384 Luton to Hemel Hempstead
4427 Garston to Aylesbury (u)
5107 withdrawn at Luton
5425 Ware to Luton
6031 Garston to Milton Keynes (u)
DAF 4051 along with Olympians 5145 & 5153 have been sold to ASM, Aylesbury.
From Bryan Larkins
A small update regarding the shuttle bus ferrying
Green Line passengers from
Over the past few days I have seen several times
the following vehicle in use on this shuttle:
Livery still the same as in the following photo:
From Gary Seamarks
Luton Busway opened this morning, will visit in next couple of weeks, little puzzled as to why the first bus from the Dunstable end does not reach the airport until after 6.00, would assume this to be key shift time?
From Bernard Lewendon
At Arriva the buses I noted and you published seem to have been just for maintenance. It seems that Wycombe has spare workshop capacity and helps other garages out. They were 3282 and 4368. Also seen this week, again in the workshops, was 6006.
Withdrawn buses 3520 and Southern Counties 3431 have gone. 3520 was the last Wycombe single decker with step entrance.
I have not seen 4532, a DAF / Wright Cadet for at least two months so perhaps it has been transferred.
In S&J 71 Gavin mentioned that Arriva Wycombe have a service to Bracknell. I
don't know of that. (Sorry that was my mistake - this should have read
(Sorry that was my mistake - this should have read Maidnehead!! Ed.)
Just a few recent pictures of buses in or around this area.
1. Arriva 2496 in Wycombe High Street. Earlier livery.
2. Arriva 3457 at Henley.
3. Arriva 3216 in the garage yard, Lincoln Road. Earlier livery.
4.Arriva Engineering Ford Transit Connect NC55 YBY.
I mentioned above not having seen 4532 for some time. I don't know where it has been but it is back in service today.
The three Volvo Olympians with Palatine bodies are due to be removed. I was at the bus station today for some time and did not see any of them. One, 5162, was listed as being in service. It should be easy to recognize with its earlier "more white" livery.
At the garage 5147 was in the front row, unlicensed. This is usually the row for withdrawn vehicles.
It was accompanied by 3214 and 3822. Also withdrawn, and parked to the left of the garage was 3821.
3181 previously withdrawn was not to be seen and has probably been removed.
Still inside the garage was 6006. We wait and see if it is just having a lot of work done on it for another garage or if it is a new arrival.
From Luke Braham
Three Arriva the Shires Wright Eclipse 2's have been seen on delivery at Heysham Docks, they are 3962-4 LT63 UNF-H. Ten more are due to join these.
I took picture of 3444 on the 300 yesterday behind another 300. This was because Arriva runs a duplicate of the 300 at 0725 ex Walters Ash & 1551 ex Aylesbury Bus Stat to provide extra room on schooldays. The duplicate bus is operated by High Wycombe depot for the 0725 ex Walters Ash which arrives at Aylesbury at 8:25, hence 3444 being in Aylesbury yesterday. I don't’ see why Arriva don't operate a double decker on these workings.
From Pete Cabin
Noted not on the running boards in Arriva's high Wycombe office was 5147 - S147SNK. I imagine she has finally been withdrawn. 5151 S151KNK and 5162 S651KJU were still in service on the 24.09.13.
Something we haven't seen in Wycombe for a while was an Aylesbury Red route bus, 3497 - W497YGS working the 12.10pm 300 back to Aylesbury.
Arriva High Wycombe have put nearly all their ex
Green route Volvo B7's on routes 800 and 850. This has been at least since
last weekend .
On a same note Blue route 32 is now virtually a
single deck route now .
From Bernard Lewendon
Carousel Buses. 101 that you have illustrated seems to have disappeared and has probably returned to Oxford after a short trial at Wycombe.
Previously 105 was at Wycombe for short time. It was in all blue livery unlettered and, interestingly, you pictured it in number 70 back in Oxford with "The Blue Bus" lettering added.
I attach a couple of pictures of Routemaster RML 896. These pictures was taken whilst it was working a private hire service, a wedding special, at Beaconsfield at the beginning of September. It had previously been with Carousel Buses in High Wycombe.
You might find these recent pictures of interest.
Carousel have recently increased the frequency on the 36 service to Bourne End and the two in route livery needed to be increased so it is no surprise to see 416 appear in purple livery today.
The colour is very much lighter than the other two
Stirlings. It is almost pink!
From Pete Cabin
Carousel have a third bus now in purple the remaining M A N Stirling AF53GCY working on service 35 this afternoon 24.09.13.
AF53GCY has been repainted in two shades of purple for some unknown reason and was working the route 336 today 25.09.2013.
writes"I thought you may be interested to hear that my bus GJZ9571, the open top Atlantean which spent many years on Oxford tours, today passed its MOT and will be leaving the area in the next few weeks.
I've moved back to Scotland and the bus is moving with me once I have made the appropriate arrangements
GJZ9571 made it safely to Scotland, hitch free! I drove from Bicester to Lancaster services in about 6 and a half hours, and the next day went from Lancaster to its new home in Beith, Ayrshire in just over 6 hours.
The bus averaged about 16mpg at a steady 32mph ."
First Berkshire's new buses are eleven brand new Alexander Dennis
Enviro200's operating from their depot in Slough and seating 36. 44560-7
are registered YX63LLC/D/E/F, LKV/Y/Z.
Stephen Le Bras
Their arrival has hastened the withdrawal of most
of the ex-London and ex-York Darts, leaving the X-reg Darts which were new
to Beeline and the Solos as the oldest buses at Slough. "
From Bernard Lewendon
Of special note is the new Dart from First, Slough seen today at The Eden Bus Station.
sent pictures of the n
sent pictures of the new Alexander Dennis E400s for First's X1 Peterborough - Lowestoft service.
Your Editor was able to see some of these buses in build and awaiting delivery on a recent visit to Plaxton's at Scarborough.
Hedley Shanks, Commercial Manager, Motts Travel has kindly supplied some pictures and interesting information.
Some info on Motts, enclosed are some pictures of MT09MTT which has set off on the TV show Coach Trip again after a two year break.
We thought the show had been shelved but the phone went in late August and ITV want it up and away by mid October.
Seen below are a couple of shots of the mixing studio at the rear of the coach, but I know there not very good, it was in such an enclosed space.
On order for 2014
2 x Setra S416GT HD C49Ft (some of the last new Setras to be sold in the UK)
1 x Scania Omni Express C63Ft
1 x Mercedes 0816 Plaxton Cheetah C29F
These four coaches are definite orders, but we are also making our minds up about a new 38 seater 10 metre coach, it will either be another B7R Sunsundequi, the same as CT10MTT or a short Scania i6 like that City Circle have just introduced to their fleet. The Panther Cub has not been dismissed either.
Also enclosed is a few shots of a refurbished ex Dublin B7TL AV54 of Westway Coaches, Raynes Park which is spending a couple of days with us having a digital tacho fitted.
As the pictures show it is quite special inside & out.
Go North East (Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)
7105 BF63 ZPV
7106 BF63 ZPW
7107 BF63 ZPY
7108 BF63 ZPZ
7109 BF63 ZRA
7110 BF63 ZRC
East Yorkshire (Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)
78 YY63 OEJ
79 YY63 OEK
80 YY63 OEL
81 YY63 OEM
82 YY63 OEN
83 YY63 OEO
(Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)
53731 BF63 ZRN
53732 BF63 ZRO
53733 BF63 ZRP
53734 BF63 ZRR
53735 BF63 ZRT
53736 BF63 ZRU
53737 BF63 ZRV
53738 BF63 ZRX
From Yourbus (Durham) to Go North East (Chester le Street)
Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante
From Gary Seamarks
The A1 is being extended from late October to Luton Station, more competition for Arriva. Was in last weeks eastern N&P. Think the whole thing shows the Airports attitude to its customers !.
From Bernard Lewendon
A recent picture of a coach in this area.
From Gavin Francis on 27/10/13
10.10 this morning in Stokenchurch and a poppy National. Their time keeping is worse than that achieved when Stagecoach ran the service. It should have been in Wycombe at 10.05!
Last night I passed the 01.00 coming through the cutting at 01.45, again it should have been in Wycombe by then. Although they have changed the timetable the make-up of it is still completely wrong.
Other National Express picturesFor some reason Arriva were not operating the 302 service through Oxford during October.
October 27th was a red letter day for the
company when, after very many years, the London Terminus of the X90
service was moved from Victoria Coach Station to an on street stand on
Buckingham Palace Road.
The service and its predecessors had terminated in VCS since the earliest days and it seems strange not to see the Oxford service as part of the fixtures in the coach station.
Below are some pictures of the last days in VCS and then pictures of its new home on BPR at stop 7.
~~~~~~~~~~~A recent surprise was the appearance of coach 84 devoid of any branding or fleet number on the X90 service.
Ensign Dealershave taken the five Scanias, 1-5, which were new for the London X90 route in 2003.
Adrian Hartlesswrites "Oxford Bus is gradually retiring its once 20 strong fleet of Tridents, now 14 years old. But it is still theoretically possible to see 17 of them in Oxford. On Thurs 26 Sept at 18.15 in St Aldates were the former 110, now a City Sightseer, and 101 now of Thames Travel and working the X39 to Wallingford, which has been a regular duty in recent weeks.
There is a lot of talk of new coaches to replace the 07 batch of Volvos. Some of these could be Plaxton Interdeckers and a date of December 1st seems likely.
One is most interested to see developments and readers are encouraged to report any sightings of new vehicles.
Three ex City of Oxford Dennis Trident / Alexander ALX400 H47/26Fs are now in use.
From Edward Neal
Four further new E20Ds for services 12, 14 and 16 are shown below.
36981 SN63VVS ADL Enviro 20D B38F
ADL Enviro 20D
36983 SN63YPF ADL Enviro 20D B38F
36984 SN63YPG ADL Enviro 20D B38F
They arrived in the week ending October 26th and will probably entered service on the first week in November.
Below are some pictures of various new buses in service.
The two Gold buses noted last month, and above, 15933 and 15934, are in temporary use on the new 700 service until the arrival in December of four ADL E40D / Enviro 400s (10067 to 10071).
It is reported that four more Enviro 200s are due for delivery early in 2014 (37069 to 37072).
Current fleet changes.
22926 Oxford to reserve
22935 Oxford to S/C Midlands (loan)
22936, 22941 Oxford to S/C West (loan)
33650, 33652-4 Oxford to S/C Midlands (loan)
33821 disposal to sold
47433 disposal to sold
47454 Banbury to Witney
47455 Witney to Oxford (mainly for use on Bicester service 26)
From Adrian Hartless
You’ll be aware of the changes to the 700 from Sept 23. On the final Friday, Sep 20, of the old route and buses, MAN 22926 heads west along Marston Ferry Road. This wasn’t the end for this old favourite as I saw it on a 10 the following week. Is it still in traffic?
(Yes, it is as recently as last Friday. Ed )
(Yes, it is as recently as last Friday. Ed )
From Andrew Churchill
Here is a photo of new E200 36930 taken on 15/09/2013 from the window of the Oxford town hall in St. Aldates on the open door weekend , A bit different as you do not always have access to the front rooms .
News from Yorkshire on our old M A N s
22915 S915 CFC reserve to Holbrook
22916 S916 CFC Chesterfield to Barnsley
22924 S924 CFC Barnsley to disposal
22929 S929 CFC Chesterfield to Barnsley
Vehicles listed as being for disposal are:
Various pictures of SC Oxford's buses.
From Marcus Lapthorn
Stagecoach Swindon’s last high floor Volvo B10M was sold to Ensign Bus last month, as I suspected. So that is the end of the former 66 route Volvos with 20683 being the last in service in Swindon.
East vehicles now show the legal owner as Cambus based in Cambridge. This includes the X5 coaches, based at Bedford. Richard Sharman records this change. These coaches were shown as being owned b y United Counties!!
SC Swindon 55 Branded 15734 on the 66 next to X5 branded 53602. Picture by Richard Sharman
South and others
From Bob Morley - Newbury & District Transport Group
Thought the attached picture was worth sending in.
The train now standing in the bay at Fareham Bus Station is the 12.37hrs service 69 to Winchester (running over 30 minutes late) on Wednesday, September 11.
The service operated by Olympian 16787.
Several of these Stagecoach buses have been seen in the South West Trains livery presumably for use on rail replacement work?
Following on from your recent news item of the Stagecoach introduction of the Gold services in Torbay, I have attached a picture of the First Group route X80 bus arriving in the newly rebuilt Paignton Bus Station on Thursday, October 10 on its way to Plymouth.
The introduction of the Stagecoach “Gold” services on the identical First
routes X80 and X81 on September 30 has now resulted in X80 and X81 being
withdrawn from October 27.
It is seen leaving the soon to be replaced (demolished hopefully) Greyfriars
Bus Station, recently listed in the top ten most hated buildings in the UK.
I just had to see the building before it goes !
The replacement bus station is taking shape, but seems to have fewer bays than the current building – we shall see.
Several of the Stagecoach services in the Torbay have again had their service names changed. Amongst the services are the Exeter to Newton Abbot “Go 2” has become “Hop 2” (picture in Teignmouth also last Thursday, attached) and service 12 Newton Abbot to Brixham, at one time “Bayline” now becomes “Hop 12” and service 11 (recently extended from Teignmouth) Dawlish to Torquay has become “Hop 11”
From Carl Berry
I assume Megabus's vehicle diagrams are based more on efficiency than practicality as I cant think of any other reason why the Cheltenham-London service needs to be worked by one of the left hand drive vehicles!
From Robert HallAbout 10 people got off here about four boarded the ferry (through ticket).
Isle of Inishmore's Bus - October 10th is ex Hardings Coaches - Redditch B4HCR ex MOD 03-KJ-32 by Robert Hall.
Citylink has received a batch of Volvo B11T tri-axles for the 900 Glasgow-Edinburgh service and some pictures were sent to me by Paul Hawkins. These have reference to us as they are often to be seen working Megabus services into London, including the S11 Sleeper service!!!!!
From Graham Low
Thames Travel Dart/MCV 553 recently lost its white livery for this overall advertisement for the Oxford Science Park with the periodic table.
Vehicle re-registrations :
C1 OXF Optare Solo to YJ59 GHN
C2 OXF Optare Solo to YJ59 GHO
C3 OXF Optare Solo to YJ59 GHU
C4 OXF AD Enviro SFD to RX54 KHF
C5 OXF AD Enviro SFD to RX58 KHG
C6 OXF AD Enviro SFD to RX58 KHH
C7 OXF MAN 14.220 MCV to AE57 FBA
C8 OXF MAN 14.220 MCV to AE57 FBB
N172 LHU Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C2 OXF
N175 LHU Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C5 OXF
N177 LHU Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C7 OXF
V111 DCF Optare Solo to V946 DCF
C16 TCL (ex N173 LHU) Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C3 OXF
C17 TCL (ex N171 LHU) Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C1 OXF
C18 TCL (ex N174 LHU) Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C4 OXF
C19 TCL (ex N176 LHU) Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool C6 OXF
C20 TCL (ex N178 LHU) Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool to C8 OXF
Of the above, V946 DCF passed to Plaxton, Anston in August and is now with Logan, Dunloy.
Further vehicles with new owners include TIL 1184
(ex K101 XPA) Volvo B10M / Plaxton is now with S Doel, Calne;
K301GDT Volvo B10M / Van Hool is with Just Travel, Copmanthorpe, via Plaxton, Anston;
K302GDT Volvo B10M / Van Hool is with Dix, Gloucester, via Plaxton, Anston;
N731 UVR Volvo B10M /Jonckheere is also with Dix, Gloucester via Plaxton, Anston;
P414/15 HRB Toyota / Caetano Optimo are with Vale, Thruxton, via Plaxton, Anston;
V115 DCF Optare Solo is with Logan, Dunloy also via Plaxton, Anston.
From Luke Braham.
This morning I was in Milton Keynes doing a bit of bus spotting when I saw that Z&S Transport have another Streetlite demonstrator. This time they have Door Forward SK63 GAA on loan from Wrightbus.
Z&S Buses has been renamed as Z&S Transport.
Blackpool update by Geoff Cunliffe
by Geoff Cunliffe
Blackpool tram extension to be funded
It was been announced on 19th. September, that Transport for Lancashire has allocated £16·4m towards the estimated £18·2m total cost of extending Blackpool’s new tramway from the Promenade at Talbot Square up Talbot Road to the Blackpool North Railway Station.
Blackpool Council will have to find the remaining £1·8m needed to fully fund the scheme, work on which could begin in 2015.
No news has been released if a further order for more Bombardier Flexity2 trams will be needed but rumours suggest four more may be added to the fleet. Cynics will say that if they ran the proper number on busy days, they could do with another four now as there are still constant complaints about long waits and overcrowding.
However, let’s not be negative - this is excellent news. The points for the extension up Talbot Road were installed when the track was replaced during the upgrade – a rare but commendable piece of foresight.
Trams last ran up Talbot Road in the mid 1930s.
Nowan account of my visit to the new Starr Gate tram depot. On the other hand, it could be too specialised for your web page although I suspect you will be interested yourself.
Pictures attached are as follows:-
I felt readers might be interested in this piece by Geoff.
Aylesbury bus route changes by Colin Richardson
Bus route changes in Aylesbury, which place on 1 or 2 September 2013
These are on the following routes
now operates between Fairford Leys and
Buckingham Park, with
Route operated by Z & S Transport -
now reduced from every 15 mins to every 30
mins - Monday to Saturday
continues unchanged - Operated by
The section of route from Stoke Mandeville
Hospital has been
from Great Western Street stops to Berryfields, a very large new housing development at the
Operated by Redline.
5 continues unchanged - operated by Star Travel.
6. route unchanged, but increased to 15 minutes from 20 minuets,
serving Watermead. Operated by Redline.
This new route number is used for journeys
former served by route 9
Now operates Bus Station to Hospital only,
Timings very similar as
Saturday daytime. and operated by Arriva. The Sunday service is unchanged.
New route from Great Western Street to the Willows - route 7 -
New route, serving Prebendal Farm Estate part of route 11, as route
New Route schooldays only from Whitchurch via Buckingham Park
Aylesbury - High Wycombe via Butlers Cross, Princes Risborough and
No other route changes, however, there are numerous roadworks in the area, mostly operating off peak times on Monday to Friday only. and as I understand should be completed by Christmas 2013.
Preston Bus Station saved
by Geoff Cunliffe
Another good bit of news from round here is that the Preston Bus Station has just been granted Grade II listed status by the Government. Preston City Council says the listing was “not the outcome we were hoping for”.
To some extent, this will safeguard the iconic bus station. It does not mean changes cannot be made but its architectural significance must be protected. Naturally, campaigners say that the decision by the Minister Culture was “brilliant news”.
Luton Busway by Mike Penn
Here are some photographs taken today, the second day of operational running on the busway. Three of them were taken on the busway on the bridge across Telford Way, close to Luton town centre, and the remainder at the newly opened Luton station interchange.
Various newspaper articles
I often receive interesting
mails with links to stories in the press. I am including them hereunder for
readers to see.
at Thornhill or Water Eaton
FREE parking for hospital staff at two of Oxford’s park and ride sites has been scrapped.
YesterdayOxfordshire County Council agreed to get rid of the exemption which would have seen key staff at Oxford University Hospitals Trust continue having free parking.
Long-stay charges were introduced at Thornhill and Water Eaton back in April but some hospital employees were exempt.
The council passed plans to bring in short-term charges but didn’t agree to exclude the same staff from the costs.
Doctors are concerned at the impact the new charges will have with one even claiming “people could die”.
Jersey by Colin Garnier
As requested previously, some shots of the Libertybus depot, I will send some more over the next couple of days.
Visit was undertaken on 23/10/13, hope the pictures are of interest.
You may like to take a look at my pictures on Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cicoach/
Malta by Ian Brown
From: Ian Brown, Hemel Hempstead.
Fun and games continue with Arriva`s Malta activities. Actually, Malta is a first class place for bus and coach enthusiasts. Hundreds of Arriva vehicles, a tiny handful of the old buses and a few tourist coaches are very much in evidence there. Buy an English language newspaper in Malta and you`re assured of at least one bus story every day.
So the latest is that all 68 bendies has been ordered off the road. Three of them caught fire in as many days. Malta`s roads are narrow, the traffic heavy and there`s little respect for parking regulations and there`s contempt for the driving rules which we take for granted in the UK. Add to that temperatures in the 90`s during the summer months. One incident – bus fire, breakdown or accident brings the traffic to a rapid stop. During my regular visits to Malta I did notice the congestion caused by bendies. Sometimes two or three would be at one bus stop and another couple at a stop in the opposite direction. In seconds there`s gridlock. I noticed a lot of bendies in trouble, broken down in town centres or being towed on the back of a giant recovery truck.
According to `Malta Today`, Arriva have lost 35million euros (£29.5m approx) since they started in 2011. Added to that they are already on their fourth Chief Executive and apparently Tumas Group, the locally owned company has withdrawn its 33% share in the operation.
Then earlier this year since the bendies were ordered off the road, Arriva are paying 30,000 euros (£25,200 approx) per day to hire private coaches as replacements.
I asked a Maltese Arriva driver where the distressed bendies were being stored. He replied “they are all in the ditch”. In the ditch? I couldn`t believe his words. Had they all crashed into a ditch, one by one, in some country road? No. They had been parked in what`s known as the `Hornworks ditch` at Floriana, just outside Valletta where Arriva use a park and ride car park as a base. Go there and you get a good of them all.
So what`s the truth behind all this? Arriva have clearly had one heck of a job implementing the new service. The Maltese cannot absorb change easily. The discipline involved in travelling and cooperating with a professional bus service is accepted in the UK. In Malta the travelling public are reluctant accept Arriva mainly, I suspect, because of the mammoth change from the old bus days to today`s way of doing things.
I regularly use the buses there. Their timekeeping isn`t too bad. Many of the vehicles are showing signs of bodywork damage. They are usually full or near to full. Bus driving there must rate as quite a stressful occupation. Imagine driving a bendy around the narrow, crowded streets of, say, Oxford or St Albans. Add to those high temperatures, endless foreign tourists asking for guidance. I reckon Arriva people deserve a word of praise. That doesn`t happen, though. Relentless criticism from the public, politicians, civil servants, motorists make life difficult for staff.
See the enclosed photograph of them tucked in nose to tail.
The announcement of new bus routes is on hold after the Government and Arriva disagreed over costs.
Transport Minister Joe Mizzi said his intention to publish the revamped routes this week was thwarted after the bus operator failed to give the go-ahead.
Two weeks ago Mr Mizzi had said on Dissett that the new routes would be announced the following week and introduced early next year.
“I have always made it clear that I first needed to hand over the plans to Arriva for their feedback in order to see how we can proceed,” he said.
“It appears that we have a problem. Actually, there are a number of problems.”
He explained that the point of contention was over the costs to be incurred by the increased mileage. The distance to be covered by buses will go up by one million kilometres.
More vehicles need to be brought over to Malta to cater for the new routes.
“Obviously, we’re not agreeing. Arriva said there will be changes, so I’m waiting for them to give me their proposals for changes which would retain the efficiency of the proposed routes. I await their reaction, after which I will review matters. Discussions had stopped but will resume in the coming days.”
The new routes are meant to ensure better punctuality, with more buses added to areas where they are needed and reduced where patronage is low.
Mr Mizzi had said the route changes would entail more Government cash for Arriva but he was non-committal as to the level of subsidy – known as public service obligation – the company would receive.
When the 10-year contract with Arriva was signed in November 2010 the bus company was to receive an average of €6.2 million per year in subsidies.
TripsEx SC minibus in Poland on October 15th by Clive King.
John Marsh sent a number of pictures from around the U.K. which I found most interesting.
Lake District - Cumbria
Events - Running Days
From Gary Seamarks
One for your Album !, good use of telephoto, off the grandstand at Showbus. Not impressed with the site it was so good the rain kept off the little cafe would never have coped !.
Heard we are Duxford bound next September. Won't send anymore Showbus shots as I would assume you are flooded with them at present.
Luton Busway opened this morning, will visit in next couple of weeks, little puzzled as to why the first bus from the Dunstable end does not reach the airport until after 6.00, would assume this to be key shift time ?.
NX A1 is being extended from late Oct to Luton Station, more competition for Arriva. Was in last weeks eastern N&P. Think the whole thing shows the Airports attitude to its customers !.
Other picturesShowbus 2013 - RT1396 220913 D Allen Amersham Running Day by Bob Stanger
Coach & Bus at the NEC 2013Coach and Bus 2013 - Optare Solo SR for 2014 031013 M Crowe
From Chris Jenkinson who writes"attached are some photos from my collection of coaches in Oxford in the early 1990's, which you may use on your bus page if you want.
"133 -E133 YUD at Gloucester Green 108 - EBW 108Y at Gloucester Green on 29/10/94 This coach had a number of accidents and had its body rebuilt. 155 - L155 HUD at Gloucester Green on 7/4/94 157 - N157 BFC seen having left Gloucester Green bound for Heathrow on the X70 on morning of 1/8/95, its first day in service
I have been re-reading Paul Lacey's South Midland history and find myself admiring the development of a small private company in 1921 to a pseudo big company in latter days, always providing the latest designs of coaches in a livery which approximated to the very large operators.
Buses in the Landscape
Buses in the Landscape
John Marshwrites "Here is the first batch of Lake District pix I promised. Includes the new Gold ones for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire you mentioned in the current page. Hope you like them!" Stagecoach 15922 (PX13DMO) arrives Workington on service 300 Whitehaven - Carlisle Sept 2013 (John Marsh)
Links & Publications
Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures
You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000
One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.
The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.
Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.
Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.
Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.
independents are also represented.
New source of fleet books for the enthusiast
New source of fleet books for the enthusiast
A copy of the latest book from Steven Knight has landed on my desk for review. The book contains full details of the Stagecoach Midlands fleet and is well worth the modest price of £5.50, especially since an update of the fleet can be downloaded at the web site. Allocation details are given plus details of liveries carried by buses and the associated branding where applicable.
This takes me back to the early days of Ian Allan when such books were available and as pocket books were so useful. Also each edition represents a record of the fleets which in the future can be so useful.
Specialist booklets for the bus enthusiast and historian
Check out the link below for copies of these books
This review covers a 53 minute video of Oxfordshire and includes Abingdon, Oxford City Centre, Bicester and Banbury. It features buses from Thames Travel, Stagecoach, OxfordBus, Heyfordian and Tappins.
For those who haven't the time to assemble video, many of us are taking still pictures!!, this provides a current record of the local scene and at £10 represents good value for money.
Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the
OCBP when doing so.
Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.
Thames Valley - final part now available
Thames Valley - final part now available
RETAIL PRICE £25
ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p
This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.
All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.
Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so
order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close
Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT
If you are local and wish to
collect please call me on 0118 979 4097
Newbury & District History
Newbury & District History now available
Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury &
Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.
The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which
although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding
The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.
Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford &
London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when
both owned by Red & White.
Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.
The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within
Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.
The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs
plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.
Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.
The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special
price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.
The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.