Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings nr. 73 - December 5th 2013

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Interdecker 64 awaits departure on its first service from London on Thursday morning December 5th 2013 - Malcolm Crowe.

This month sees many new vehicles introduced in or area. Perhaps the most significant are the five Volvo/Plaxton Interdeckers for Oxford Bus. These coaches are intended to resolve capacity problems at peak times and one waits with interest how this plan evolves.

New Interdeckers are also in service with Megabus Rugby, appearing on many services through London.

London has seen further “Borismasters” introduced on the 9 and more to enter service on the 390 during December.

The Oxford Tube is experimenting with revised style destination screens of which more hereunder.

Astromega 50213 backs off stand at Gloucester Green showing the new display - Richard Sharman

Problems on the M40 have caused service delays to coaches thereon with journey times of up to three hours between London and Oxford. This resulted from a continuing spate of accidents. 

Question from the last issue re Iveco double decker.

I have received numerous replies to the question raised in the last issue. Many thanks to everyone who responded. One is included below.

Matt Bullock writes “J227 OKX, the Iveco double decker, and later J80 BUS, was scrapped I believe by Witte, Calne, Wiltshire after an accident, and also after endless reliability issues!”

Dates for your diary

Oxford Bus Enthusiasts Society

Next Meeting


December's meeting is on Tuesday 17th December and commences at 19.15.

The meeting is the Christmas Social and is split into two halves.

The 1st half features the return of the quiz open to members and non-members alike and which offers a transport related DVD as a prize this year.

The 2nd half is open to members to bring along photos or other items to give short presentations to the group. Ideally photos should be on a CD or memory stick so they can be plugged into the laptop and projector.

We are pleased to announce the 2014 line up of speakers is planned to be as below:


o    21st January - Interesting independent operators from the 1960's onwards - by Clive King

o    18th February - An evening with Roger Davies - by Roger Davies

o    18th March - Subject TBC - by Shayne Howarth

o    15th April - Society AGM & photo presentation

o    20th May - Pictures from the John Law collection - by John Law

o    17th June - Buses of Vancouver and Seattle - by Richard Steddall

o    16th September - A history of Cambridge Coach Services - by Jim Neale

o    21st October - Malta, from Green to Aquamarine - by T.W.W. Knowles

o    18th November - Buses in Portsmouth in the 1960's - Marcus Lapthorn.

o    16th December - Christmas Social & Quiz 


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 - December 5th 2013


Observations and pictures

Steve Gee writes “I was passing Catteralls' depot at Long Itchington this morning and noted Scania/ Irizar Century OW03 LFP, which I think has come from Go Ahead Oxford, and is I'm guessing a new addition to Catteralls fleet."  (It was 35 in Oxford Airline fleet, Ed)

Steve continues “I visited Paignton & Torquay with the girlfriend recently and have a handful of photo's of some of the newer Stagecoach deckers in service down there, and also I think of the new 369xx saloons running out of Leamington if you'd like them.”

Steve adds re his visit to Torquay “. I attach some pics from my recent trip to the South- West."

Picture details are as follows:

Stagecoach 15783, WA61KLJ picking up in Cary Parade, Torquay on 4/10/13

Stagecoach 15925, YN63BWV arriving at Paignton Bus Station on 4/10/13.

Stagecoach 19658, WA60FHP in Torwood St, Torquay on 4/10/13.

Stagecoach Devon 19107, MX07HMG- ex Stagecoach Manchester in Teignmouth town centre on 5/10/13.

Rail River Link Dennis Dart L115VOD ex Plymouth Citybus in The Strand, Torquay 4/10/13

Dartline Optare Solo YJ58VCK, seen in Teignmouth town centre 5/10/13

Adam Green writes “I was in London on Saturday 9th November where I found RML2464 on the Lord Mayors Show advertising Nat West also a few other photos as well HV115 at Trafalgar Square on the 29 showing Wood Green on the front”


Bernard Lewendon writes “Earlier this week I sent to you and others (by cc) a picture of Peter Cartwright's RML 2440 at Cressex school."

New bus for London at Bus Driver of the Year in Blackpool

Richard writes “I thought you might be interested in the identity of the NBFL Gordon drove at Blackpool. 

At long last it has been possible to identify and track the vehicle. 

It was first registered (LTZ 1069) and entered service with London United as fleet LT69 in October.

Full details are: 

LTZ 1069  Wright NBFL  SA9DDRXXX13141064 (Boy no. AH806)  H40/22T  New 10/13 to London United as LT69.

Glenn Knight writes “I visited Luton Airport and enclose a number of pictures taken of Arriva Volvos on the A service.”

KX12 GZP 3953 Arriva Shires at Luton Airport

Richard Sharman has sent a number of interesting pictures.


Service 806 links Bourton/Wychwoods and Chipping Norton with Banbury on Thursday's.


Banbury Depot operate the 488 into Chipping Norton using Pointer's, former Bedford 34437 is seen having just worked in from Banbury.

Heyfordian operates the 23A to Chipping Norton from Middle Barton on Wednesday's

Stagecoach in Warwickshire operate service 50 to Stratford with vehicles from Leamington and Stratford Depots.

Bakers operate a Tuesday only Service to Moreton Market from Chipping Norton


The Villager operate a number of Services to Chipping Norton that serve Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire Villages. Bluebird bodied Fiat YX12 CJV is the newest vehicle in the fleet.


Service X8 Chipping Norton to Kingham Station, now operated by Pulhams.


Derek Wiggins writes “Missed off the last report was the fire on a Stagecoach M A N 22624 on September 4th 2013. (Further report under SC Swindon below)

Since then a number of Darts have been on loan to cover.

THAMES TRAVEL route X47 has been a Solo duty except on September 14th 502 OU57FGV and then on September 21st when 506 SN10CCX was rostered, On November 9th 508 SN10CCZ  an Enviro 200 was used and on November 16th 717 YJ13HNX turned up.

Patient transport to the Great Western Hospital is from December 1st performed by Arriva with up to 24 new non PCVs.

I do not know if any other hospitals are involved with the transfer from the SOUTH WEST AMBULANCE SERVICE. 

Arriva logo and TGM

Luke Braham has sent a significant amount of news and pictures from Aylesbury.

He writes “Wright Renown 3262 V262 HBH has transferred into Aylesbury.

Leighton Buzzard outstation based Optare Solo 0441 YJ10 LZV has had a repaint into

an orange version of Arriva fleet livery with Dash Direct branding.

0442 Y42 HBT has been repainted into Arriva fleet livery. 

6009 KL52 CXA left Aylesbury depot in September and went to Ware.

On Sunday (10/11/13) I visited the Arriva Aylesbury depot and was invited on site to take some photos.

Ex-Hemel 3239 V239 HBH has arrived at Aylesbury with it’s route 2 and 3 branding removed.
Others are thought to go to Milton Keynes.

Arriva London DLA155 V355 DGT has arrived to be used as spares. 

The final Optare Solo at Aylesbury to be repainted is 0446 Y46 HBT. 0442/7 Y42/7 HBT
 have also been reported as repainted into Arriva fleet livery. 

3179 P179 SRO has been withdrawn from service at Aylesbury. This doesn’t help as Aylesbury are now a bus down with the fire of 3269 so unusual appearances are appearing on route 150 with 3497 W497YGS operating it yesterday (11/11/13)

In the early morning of Tuesday 5th November Arriva the Shires 3269 T493 KGB caught fire whilst operating route 150 in Heath and Reach near Leighton Buzzard. 3269 was towed back to the Aylesbury depot once the fire was put out. It has no been withdrawn due to the state of the damage. It look like the fire started on the driver side rear tyre but this may not of been the source of the fire as no one at Arriva would tell me anything about it. This means the Aylesbury depot is now a bus down with a number of recent withdrawals and there has been some interesting appearances on the 150 since the fire.


3931 BD12 DHJ was operating the 150 on 7th November and Red Route 9 branded 3497 W497 YGS operated the 150 on the 11th November. 

17th November

I forgot to mention yesterday that I had 5437 come into Aylesbury one minute behind 5452 on the 280 at 8:53 for the 9:00 departure. 5437 took this departure and 5452 stayed in the bus station. I don't know what happened but the 8:30 departure left on time with 5435 and 5440 came into Aylesbury at 9:23 for the 9:30 departure. Arriva seemed to have ran a duplicate for some reason. 

3262 V262 HBH arrived at Aylesbury a few weeks ago from Luton. 

3909 BU06 HSO has gone back to Garston.   

Red Route 9 branded 3497 W497 YGS was operating the 16 this morning (23/11/13). 

5158 S158 KNK has had it’s adverts removed, so is this a sign that it will be withdrawn soon. 

Bernard Lewendon writes “Also two new arrivals at Arriva Wycombe.  6280 and 6283 are both in service ex Arriva London, so the end of the Olympians must be very, very close. However 5162 was working yesterday. That and 5147 that is withdrawn and at the garage and 5151 are those still around.”

Glenn Knight writes “I'm back taking pictures and I've attached a picture of KX12 GZN Volvo Wright seen in Luton on the 7th Nov on service A to Parkside, seen here in the 2-tone livery. I will try and get a better picture over the next few days!

I managed to catch KX12 GZN again today much better pic attached..  also YJ58 FHZ 4383 see at St. Georges Sq, Luton during a greenline/Arriva promotional day.

Arriva 3952 KX12GZO Luton Airport route A 071113 G Knight

Arriva Green Line 4383 on display in Luton 251013 G Knight

A second Volvo has now been repainted into the Greenline/Arriva livery, please find photo attached of KX12 GZO 3952, taken at Luton Airport on 12th November

Mark Turner writes ”Under Arriva Shires Section on S & J 72 the following was recorded:”.

Allocation changes
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.

Can anyone advise if 6031 has gone from Garston to Milton Keynes (u) It has been withdrawn as it was being used on TFL Routes 142/258/340 & other TFL Routes that Garston run?

A branded bus strays from its route, Arriva 3745 on the 40 at Stokenchurch - 301013 G Francis

Mention has been made of a livery change for buses working the 35/36.

Carousel 416 works route 336 - new purple livery - WYC 131113 G Francis

Carousel 417 r 36 - WYC 131113 G Francis


Lewis Nagle writes "I wasn't sure if you're publishing this month's updates very soon or not, but nonetheless I've attached a few pictures of First's new Enviro200s, seen in Slough including a couple on route X74! They are very nicely equipped, with leather seating and the typical pink poles, although the powerless Cummins engine leaves a little to be desired (come on ADL, start bodying MAN again please!)."


New Wrights double deck coach seated vehicles have been delivered to First for Green Line 701 and 702 services.

First 37997 new coach for route 701 121113 G Francis


National Express operators have received a number of new Caetanos which have been entering service over the past few months. Many are shown below.

NEx East Yorkshire 78 YY63 OEJ VIC 151113 G Francis

Another new coach
NEx EYMS 81 YY63 OEM r 562 Bulleid Way 121113 G Francis

NEx EYMS 83 YY63 OEO VIC 151113 G Francis

NEx Go NE 7107 BF63 ZPY r 426 VIC 21113 G Francis

NEx SC Yorkshire 53737 BF63ZRV r 564 VIC 271113 G Francis

NEx East Yorkshire 131 FJ11GKX - new to Flights Hallmark Rotala now on loan to East Yorkshire in GG Oxford 181113 G Francis

NEx SGCB FJ61GZF r 302 GG Oxford 271113 G Francis

A surprise recent delivery is this Scania-Caetano from NEx Bruce's FN63PWL on route 539 GG Oxford - 241113 M Crowe

NEx SC Yorkshire 53735 BF63ZRT r 564 Victoria  - 281113 M Crowe

For many years the mainstay of the Stansted services, this Volvo is now with SGCB LK53KWD working route 403 near VCS -  281113 M Crowe

A recent delivery (Ireland is now using 132) Eurolines Kavanagh Urlingford 131D19439 in Sammy's on 281113 M Crowe

Two ex Oxford Elites, now with SC East Kent, 53702 and 53705 in VCS on 101113 G Francis. 

After much speculation, including actual denials that new coaches were on order, five Interdeckers have arrived to be mainly used on the X90 service to London.

The new Interdecker coaches carry fleet numbers 61-5.

61 is GB63OXF
62 is GO63OXF
63 is TO63OXF

64 is UK63OXF
65 is XS63OXF

They entered service on Thursday 5th December 2013.

Coach 61 ready for departure on the 0650 to London on Thursday 5th December 2013 - Malcolm Crowe.

Four of the five were in service on the first day including 61, 64 and 65.

A number of pictures have been received and are included below.

61 - Exterior pictures giving details of the branding.

61 - Interior pictures of the entrance area and the upper deck.

64 - driver familiarisation.

Pre arrival advertising for the new coaches.

I am still awaiting pictures of the old Scanias with new operators and even walked by this one when I visited Coach & Bus at the NEC. Gavin's pictures show it at the Olympics and earlier on the X90.


Branded for the 3/X3/13/X13 227 is seen on the 4C in New Rd - 211113 G Francis

OX 353 r 3 New Rd OX 21113 G Francis

Unusually 366 works the 300 service on 211113 G Francis

Another unusual performer on the 400 was 840 at Thornhill - 271113 M Crowe

Red Rose

Lewis Nagle writes “I have attached a couple more pictures for your pages, this time in the form of MX61BAO on route 275 in Oxford.

Due to the upcoming Oxford LEZ, Red Rose have had to allocate this Euro V Enviro200 to the route, so it is a permanent change. The bus gives a very nice ride, and the small four-pot engine in this one is very free indeed, giving speeds up to 59mph!”



fleet movements last period
36981 SN63 VVS ADL E200 - new to Oxford
36982 SN63 VVT ADL E200 - new to Oxford
36983 SN63 YPF ADL E200 - new to Oxford
36984 SN63 YPG ADL E200 - new to Oxford
33763 R463 LSO Dennis Dart SLF - Oxford to disposal
33822 R822 YUD Dennis Dart SLF - Oxford to disposal
vehicles in reserve
22926 S926 CFC MAN ALX300 OX
22940 S940 CFC MAN ALX300 OX
22933 S933 CFC MAN ALX300 OX
22934 S934 CFC MAN ALX300 OX
22935 S935 CFC MAN ALX300 NO
22925 S925 CFC MAN ALX300 OX
22053 KX53 VNJ MAN ALX300 OX
33650 R150 CRW Dennis Dart SLF OX
33652 R152 CRW Dennis Dart SLF NO
33653 R153 CRW Dennis Dart SLF OX
33654 R154 CRW Dennis Dart SLF NO
vehicles on loan
22936 S936 CFC MAN ALX300 - Oxford to Swindon   
22941 S941 CFC MAN ALX300 - Oxford to Swindon   

Matt Bullock writes “On Friday 22 November, the Oxford Christmas Lights Event meant St Giles and Magdalen Street were shut, so buses terminated in Broad Street but were unable to run through to George Street. Attached is a picture of Stagecoach 12014 on the 2A in Broad Street.” 

New super rears at Oxford

SCO 36761 super rear for OCC Adoption 291113 G Francis

SCO 36771 super rear for SJE 291113 G Francis


Stagecoach West 33506 X506ADF Cheltenham 050713 D Ballantyne


051113 from Marcus Lapthorn

Stagecoach in the Cotswold on our local 65 route to Swindon! It was d/d 16099 which has been around a bit. Ex London and Cwmbran.

Subject: Bus fire


MAN 22624 came into Swindon from Cirencester and the driver reported an oil leak. On its way to the garage, having not gone very far the bus burst into flames and was destroyed. It was only 5 years old.


Richard Morgan sent some nice pictures of the new Gold buses for the X46/X47 routes which are included with the main article under Jottings.

He writes "The introduction of the Northampton Gold Scania's will lead to an reshuffle of Deckers from Northampton to other depots,

With 16693, 18105 & 18406 moving to Kettering to replace Northern Counties bodied Olympians 16113, 16167 & 16174 which are moving to Reserve/Disposal.

Today saw all Three of these vehicles in use on the Northampton Routes with 16167 & 16174 both on the 39 along with Dart 34098, whilst 16113 was employed on the 38 along with Northampton's 16698 & 16757

16695 & 16757 are to move to Corby to replace 16018 & 16162 which will also be withdrawn to Reserve/Disposal

Whilst 17054, 18102-4 will be moving from Northampton to Stratford, where they will replace 16072/78 to Reserve and 16614/7 which will return back to Leamington to replace 16516/729 to Reserve/Disposal

One Surprise with all these Olympian Movements is that Kettering's 16683 & Corby's 16684 are not down for withdrawal yet, and are to remain in service a bit longer yet.


Luke Braham writes “At least three Oxford Tube coaches have been given colour destination displays. I noticed one had a white destination, another had a Blue one and 50213 OU09FNG had a red one. I was unable to identify the other two as we were on the M40 towards Oxford and it was dark.”  

SCO 59213 new display OX 291113 by Gavin Francis.

59211 has a "silver" screen pictured by Richard Sharman on the 30th November

Still carrying the old style blind 50215 leaves Gloucester Green looking very well for its over 4 years in service - by M Crowe.



Megabus has taken delivery of a further ten Interdeckers which are based at Rugby depot.

SC Megabus 54218 r M11 to Holyhead, a new destination. Seen in Bulleid Way 271113 G Francis.

The only B13BT in the fleet is 54101 seen in Bulleid Way by Gavin Francis.

One of the Van Hool Interdeckers, SC Megabus 55004 on route ME2 to Amsterdam 221113 G Francis.

One of the 15 metre Gold double deckers, SC Megabus 50308 on route G7 281113 M Crowe.

One of the 62 plate Interdeckers, SC Megabus 54207 on route M11 to Manchester in Buckingham Palace Road 121113 M Crowe

SC Megabus 54215 waits time foir departure to Plymouth off the old X90 stop 10 in VCS - 091113 G Francis

Stagecoach Bluebird 50248 SV62 BCZ rM11 301013 L Braham

Megabus Cross-Country service through Oxford no longer picks up at Water EAton.
SC Megabus 54059 at the new pick up in Oxford on Beaumont Street nr The Randolph Hotel Oxford 301113 R Sharman


First breaks up Region

First UK Bus has restructured its South East and Midlands Regional business into “three smaller, stronger units.”

Adrian Jones will be MD of the Essex business, based in Chelmsford.  Previously MD for First London & Berkshire, he was most recently Transition Director for Tower Transit, as part of its purchase of First London.

Joining from Arriva Yorkshire, David Squire will be the Interim MD of Eastern Counties, based in Norwich.

Nigel Eggleton joins from Transdev Blazefield, and becomes MD Midlands, based in Leicester.


Stagecoach launches £1.8m investment in nine new 'Gold' buses

Stagecoach today launched a £1.8 million investment in 9 new low emission ‘Gold’ buses for its’ route, X46/X47 which runs between Thrapston, Raunds, Higham Ferrers, Rushden, Wellingborough, Earls Barton and Northampton.

Passengers using bus route X46/X47 will be travelling in style from now on, as the buses have environmentally sourced Italian leather seats; free Wi-Fi for passengers to stay connected on the move; an environmentally friendly engine designed to help cut exhaust emissions; specially trained drivers in a new uniform and a striking metallic paint livery.

The upgrade to route X46/X47 follows the introduction of Stagecoach Gold buses to route X4 in 2011 which have been a great success and have been exceptionally well received by passengers.

The new buses were jointly launched by Peter Bone, Member of Parliament for Wellingborough and Rushden & Andy Sawford, Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire at Stanwick Lakes, as the service runs through both their constituencies.

Wellingborough MP Peter Bone said “I am delighted that Stagecoach has made this investment to improve the quality of bus travel for passengers in Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire. I am sure that the new buses will be well used and will benefit many people.

Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford said “Route X46/X47 provides a vital link between communities in East Northamptonshire.

“Adding refinements such as Wi-Fi to buses gives people an opportunity to do more with their journey. You can’t use your phone, tablet or laptop while driving but can do so while travelling on the X46/X47. The new vehicles will encourage more people to choose to travel by bus”.

Steve Burd, Managing Director for Stagecoach Midlands said: “Route X46/X47 has continued to develop over the last few years with passenger numbers continuing to grow. One of the major developments was in 2011 when we introduced newer, better quality buses onto the route and now we are upgrading the service again with brand new eco-friendly ‘Gold’ spec buses.

“It is Stagecoach’s goal to continually invest in routes which are well used and popular, and we aim to give all of our valued customers the very best level of affordable, reliable, environmentally friendly, safe bus travel”.

Pictures by Richard Morgan.

Read more: http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/News/Northampton-News/Stagecoach-launches-18m-investment-in-nine-new-Gold-buses-20131101163000.htm#ixzz2jbPReycj 

Bus service changes in Aylesbury by Colin Richardson

The latest bus service changes are:


Route 11/11A - Bus Station - Prebendal Farm - Larvic Road - Taylor Road - Bus Station Following the withdrawal of service 4 from Taylor Road and replaced by 3 journeys on route 321 - Aylesbury - High Wycombe  on Monday - Friday only The new service operates in one direction only, hourly from 09.17 hrs to

18.17 hrs on Mondays to Saturdays.  Route 321 via Taylor Road is now withdrawn.


Routes 300 & 321 - Aylesbury - High Wycombe now diverts off Lower Road, Stoke Mandeville at now kweon as Main  Entrance to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.  Following the building of a small ASDA Store - mainly food - ASDA have paid for a new bus shelter for town route 9 by ASDA main entrance and a new additional shelter for routes 9 bus station, 55 both ways - Aylesbury to/ from Chesham, 165 to Leighton Buzzzard, 300 both ways  - Aylesbury - High Wycombe and 321 both ways - Aylesbury - High Wycombe.  Car parking at the hospital is always in short supply.  There are currently ten buses per hour from Aylesbury Bus to the hospital and return daytime Mondays - Fridays.   

From Adrian Hartless re Water Eaton Grain Silo.

I read today that the Water Eaton grain silo has been demolished. It was still standing on 5 September when I photographed 22053 on the 700 at the P&R.

Jersey Liberty Bus by Colin Garnier

As promised some more shots of the Libertybus depot.


New operation in Bristol by Mark Purchase

I don’t know if you or your readers might be interested, but I have attached a couple of pictures of one of our new vehicles that have been bought for our new commuter services that we are operating around the Bristol area. The pictures were taken at Rolls Royce in Filton at a pre-launch roadshow in October. 

The routes are operated with kick-start funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund under contract with North Somerset Council for 2 years, with a commitment from the Kings Ferry to continue operation for a minimum of a further 2 years after that. 

We started operating on 4th November with 4 services daily from Weston super Mare, and 4 services daily from Portishead, into the Ministry of Defence site at Abbeywood, via Aztec West, Rolls Royce, Airbus, Filton College and Filton. 

The 4 new vehicles purchased are Caetano CTNO65d bodied Volvo B9R in the usual Kings Ferry Executive spec of 49 seats with sunken middle toilet, Wi-Fi, Fridge, Boiler etc. They also have Vix RTI equipment installed, and a brand new ticketing system developed in association with Cobham Systems using a Casio handheld device which offers real time information into the back office system. In fact it updates location faster than the Traffilog tracking system we and NatEx operate.

Pictures by Mark Purchase

The fleet numbers are: 

451  BF63ZSW

452  BF63ZSX

453  BF63ZSY

454  BF63ZSZ 

We also have an ex NatEx Caetano Levante B12B (formerly operated by Silverdale) which has been refurbished and will be utilised as a spare vehicle. 

450  FH06 EBN 

Currently we also have a vehicle from the Kings Ferry Gillingham fleet based here, which is fleet number 410 FJ12 GBE 

The vehicles operate out of an operating centre based at the Wales&West Volvo dealership in Avonmouth.

I am the Operations/Transport Manager, and have been employed by KF since the summer. I was formerly working for Oxford Bus Company on the Express Roster X90 until July this year. 

I have one Duty Controller, and five drivers currently.

We are not undertaking much private hire work out of this depot at the moment, although we are covering a number of NatEx duplicate services on the 040, 509 and 444 at weekends. Plans are that we will begin taking on more private hire and other work in the new year once the commuter service is fully established.

VOSA to be axed

A new agency with responsibility for maintaining vehicle standards has been launched today as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has announced.

From 1 April 2014, the new agency employing 4,600 people throughout the UK, will replace the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) with responsibilities for setting, testing and enforcing driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain.

Robert Goodwill says: “In June the department announced that DSA and VOSA would merge to form a new agency. This decision was made following the motoring services strategy consultation, and is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to put customers and businesses at the heart of its services.”

The CEO of both agencies is Alastair Peoples, who will become the CEO of the single agency.

Isles of Scilly by Al Partington

Congratulations to many years and the many to come! Anyone interested in Isles of Scilly buses may find this of interest http://www.beggarsroost-scilly.com/scilly-bus-pics/ a photo log taken during visits to the Isles of Scilly from 1978 to the present day.

Blackpool by Geoff Cunliffe

Blackpool 327, the last of the three remaining stunningly attractive Roberts-bodied Coronation class 4-motor trams of 1952/3, which originally had VAMBAC controllers, is to be restored – cosmetically at first. Blackpool Transport retained one, originally 324 but now renumbered to 660, although that was converted to conventional English Electric Z-type controllers when still in service originally. The television programme Salvage Squad paid (£50,000?) for the renovation of the second one, 304, the first of the 25, which included fabricating a brand new original type of controller which must have cost a fortune. The third one, 327 is quite rough and it difficult to see how the cost of a full rebuild can be justified. No other members of the original fleet survive. 

Attached is a rare photograph showing both currently preserved Coronation class trams in Blundell Street alongside the Blackpool Transport Engineering shed. It is copyright Alan Robson and reproduced with thanks to the Buses Train Traction Engines & Tram Blog at http://busestractionengines.blogspot.co.uk

Picture by Alan Robson

Trips & Events

Gavin Francis visits Bracknell

Courtney YJ62FMD on Route 171 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

Courtney,Coaches YJ09OTV r 172 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

First 33182 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

First 65624 r 191 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

First Bee Line 64013 -LT52WXB Bracknell r X94 141113 G Francis

First Beeline - EC64016 - LT52WXO - Route 171 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

First OOO 53065 YJ58CEV Bracknell -was red Slough Trading Estate Hoppa - 141113 G Francis

First TN33147 r 190 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

Thames Travel 452 r 53 Bracknell 141113 G Francis

Luke Braham visits the Luton Busway

Today I travelled along the Luton Busway from Luton to Dunstable and stopped at the Clifton Road stop. The Luton Busway is said to be the second longest in the world with the Cambridge busway being the longest and the Luton Busway claims to be the longest in an urban environment. Travel time between Luton and Dunstable is approximately 15 minutes compared to the 45 minutes journey along the roads.  

Arriva the Shires operate route A between Luton Airport, Luton, Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Parkside. The service operates every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday and half hourly on Sunday.  The buses Arriva use have free Wi-FI. 

Centrebus operate route B between Luton, Dunstable and the Downside estate. This route operates every half an hour every day except Public Holidays.  

Grant Palmer operate route C between Luton, Dunstable and Weatherby. This route operates half hourly Monday to Saturday and there is no Sunday service. 

Centrebus also operate route E between Luton, Houghton Regis and Toddington. This service operates half hourly Monday to Saturday and has no Sunday service.  

I took route A provided by Arriva the Shires from Luton Interchange to the Clifton Road stop where I took a few pictures and then took the next route A bus to Dunstable. Whilst on the busway the bus was making a noise like a train and it was a comfortable ride.  Before coming off and going on to the guided section of the busway the bus had to slow down from 50 mph to 30 mph. Some of the Arriva the Shires buses had luggage racks for people’s luggage, I don’t know if the Grant Palmer and Centrebus buses did too.  

What happens when a bus breaks down along the busway though?


Arriva the Shires 3956 KX12 GZT is seen operating route A along the Luton Busway.

Centrebus 702 K7 YCL is seen operating route E along the Luton Busway.

Centrebus 705 K2 YCL is seen operating route B along the Luton Busway.

Grant Palmer BU52 WAY is seen operating route C along the Luton Busway.


Frazer Peddle writes to provide pictures of buses he took in London recently.

Elizabeth the River bus near the London Eye

Borismaster  LT78 near Trafalgar Square

Stagecoach 12153 on route 15. 


Another spate of overall branding has been taking place and examples from Gavin Francis are shown below.

Abellio 9516 overall for Diabetes VIC osr 111113 G Francis

Abellio 9519 overall for Lycamobile VIC nsr 111113 G Francis

Abellio 9545 overall for Malaysia VIC 221113 G Francis

Abellio 9554 overall for VIC 111113 G Francis

Abellio 9554 overall for Mexico VIC 151113 G Francis

LUL ADH19 Asus overall r 94 21113 G Francis

Metroline VP542 Mexico Vallarta-Nayarit overall r 98 211113 G Francis

Metroline VW1407 r 52 overall for Saxony 271113 G Francis

Other interesting pictures are now shown.

Still going strong after 24 years! Dennis Condor G34FWC for Big Bus Company new as EG2166 in 1989 with China Motor Bus VIC 271113 G Francis.

Premium RML2729 VCS 221113 G Francis

Pullmanor, Herne Hill BN12CMZ Bicester Village special updated branding VCS 151113 G Francis

Coach Services CS63BUS r 84 161113 C King

Epsom Coaches OP34 r 404 231113 C King

New and not quite so new in Buckingham Palace Road. D Allen

The ill fated LT62 on its first day in service. September 21st by Peter Edgar

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.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

This review covers the September 2010 video by Robin Clare Transport. The issue costs £10 and is well worth this small cost for over one hour of buses and coaches in our area.

The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over 18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back memories.

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




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 and arrange a suitable time, but no casual callers please!


Newbury & District History now available

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 areas.

A Guy Arab on the Oxford service and seen at Gloucester Green.

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 book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

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.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.