Spottings & Jottings
nr. 10 - 25th October 2009
"OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current archives from October 2002
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issue number 10 which has some nice items of interest included news from OBC on
the disposal of some Tridents, pictures of the ex Oxford Tube Neoplan fleet at
Plaxtons, Anston and various other items of interest.
One of these are some
pictures from Malta. It seems that many people are interested in Malta and there
is quite a tourist trade in bus enthusiasts.
A word on the lack of
full News Page issues. At present I am much involved in work and seem to have
little time for web page work. This means that the Spottings & Jottings cover
more than originally intended but I do hope to get back to normal in the coming
months. I am sure readers will appreciate this matter. It does mean that some of
your contributions have not been used and I must apologise for this.
One of the ex Oxford Tubes being worked on at the Anston premises of Plaxton.
Happy memories of this particular coach as it was 50124 and winner of the
best new coach at the 2004 Showbus event.
Picture by Clive Middleton.
Express saga seems to have gone
quiet in the last few days and it seems that we are now waiting for the outcome
of the rights issue.
Again many thanks to all
those who have contributed to this week's S&J issue.
As mentioned in a previous
addition one of the Enviro 400s has had its destination display changed
to show the route number nearest the pavement. This is I now realise
quite important for intending passengers as when buses are in a queue
approaching a stop it is difficult for intending passengers to see a
route number when it is on the "offside".
Arriva 5435 showing the
route number change. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Leather seated Line 100 dedicated DAF 3447 was on the 280 last week as
pictured by Gavin Francis.
Mark Turner asked
what has happened to the following buses that were all allocated to
3152 N702 EUR
3155 N705 EUR (intalink bus)
3156 N706 EUR
3441 R201 VPU (ex 500 bus)
3442 R202 VPU (ex 500 bus)
3443 R203 VPU (ex 500 bus)
Adam Green replied during last week as follows:-
is at Aylesbury with 3444 and 3152.
was at Aylesbury is in Hemel garage and 3442 is parked up in the
middle of Hemel garage. Adam adds that he will continue to follow up on
the remaining buses."
Glenn Knight said
"3441 was at Luton"
Nigel Peach notes that
B10BLE 3452 (W452 XKX) has joined 3453 and 3454 at Wycombe (from
Stevenage). I saw it today (Wed 21st) on route 32 - but without
destination display (just the paper in the windscreen!)."
Mark Turner sent a few
pictures taken in Watford, one of which is of an unusual working on Line
Pictures by Mark Turner
The continuing news on Carousel regarding their newly
introduced Circle Line, covering Stokenchurch and Lane End, comes from
Mike Chadwick who has reported on sightings of buses covering
these services during the past week.
"During last week one of the H-reg Olympians, L554, has put in several
appearances and on 23rd October the 2A/2C were covered by Olympian
L554, H554GXX and Agoraline AL2 C2WYC."
As so often happens
Gavin Francis was on hand to record the appearance of the Olympian
Olympians in Stokenchurch by Gavin Francis.
I am told that
Tridents 904-7 have been sol to Western Greyhound. 908 and 909
are it seems for sale but 902 and 903 are to continue in service on the
500 Park & Ride.
I hope someone
can provide pictures of 904-7 in the new home.
Dave Godley advises that
reverted to their original registrations of NK51UCL/M/V/W.
I also notice that Volvos 798
and 799 lack the chrome strip on the front, making them obvious from a
distance when compared to 792-797 and 801-821.
Gavin Francis took these pictures of the remaining Trident/Presidents
with 903 on the 500 and 909 on 8 road.
Mark Lyons writes
"There has been much coverage in the local press recently about the future of
Reading Buses' ethanol powered Scania Omnicitys. Although the operator's
web-site has had all reference to the vehicles removed there has been no
official announcement from the company. Reading Borough Council however has
issued the following press release"
Knight writes "Friday
23rd Oct I was asked to do 335 from Slough to Chalfont Common on the condition I
could take my own bus. I left the two Ex-London ALX 400's at the depot and took
H643PTW (90 D 1057) Leyland Olympian Alexander. Picture attached."
at Chalfont Common. Picture by Glenn Knight.
Service X88 ceases to run after today, Sunday, being split at Brackley or
Silverstone with the Stagecoach part being from those points to Northampton and
Walters Limousines to do the Oxford-Brackley portion.
Richard Sharman kindly provided some
pictures of the service as it was, X6, and it became X88.
Originally worked by Plaxton coaches, one
often saw Olympians of Volvo buses.
Stagecoach made quite an effort, applying
branding for the service and offering a highly reliable service.
Volvo buses and even Enviro 300s appeared
on the X88 from time to time.
Gavin Francis took this picture of Solo 47123 last week. Note it has already
lost its X88 branding.
Finally this one from Richard Sharman showing one of the last through
services leaving Brackley on 24th October.
Stephen Le Bras
Tube observations - Saturday 24th October:
50229 without a trailer on the Manchester run.
50216 seen in service.
With a major demonstration in Park Lane/Piccadilly, the Oxford Espress was not
serving the Victoria station stop between 12.0 and 3.0pm. Traffic was badly
delayed around the central area."
For a major part of the day
the Oxford Tube services were routed from Shepherds Bush via the Embankment
to avoid the demonstrations. As such they did not service Notting Hill Gate
or Marble Arch during that diversion.
I notice that a few
unusual workings have taken place in the last week or so. I see that a
Stagecoach Gold Enviro 400 has worked the S1 service from Witney in the morning
peak. Also I saw and Gavin Francis took a picture of Enviro 15435 on the Rose
Hill 3 last week.
15435 is seen working the 3 in Bonn Square last week. Picture by Gavin
Route branding is
being applied to M A N s 22913-22917 which are nominally based at Harwell
outstation. The branding is for the "Wantage Duo"
Branding being applied to 22914 last Friday evening. Pictures by M Crowe.
The final delivery of the last new Van Hool coach, 50219, took place on Thursday
This coach is currently obvious as it is the only one lacking wheel trims. These
will be supplied later as they are on back order by the manufacturer.
Pictures by M Crowe.
The final two Neoplans, 50114
and 50122 left Oxford on 21st and 22nd respectively for the journey to Plaxtons
and Anston where all 25 are being repainted and returned to the lessor. I am
grateful to Clive Middleton who has provided some excellent pictures of
the various coaches now at Anston.
Clive Middleton provided some excellent pictures of the Neoplans now at
Plaxtons for preparation for return o the lessor. All taken on 21st October
50108, 50109 and 50110
50113 and 50115
My thanks to Clive Middleton for
these excellent pictures.
Now we have covered the return
of Neoplan 50133 to Stagecoach Western and I am delighted to have some pictures
from David J W following its return to service on the X76C Kilmarnock-Glasgow
Various pictures of 50133 taken on 19th October by David J W.
Eastbourne merger is cleared
The Competition Commission (CC) has changed its mind and cleared
Stagecoach’s November 2008 purchase of Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish Motor
The CC has changed its provisional decision, issued in August, that the
acquisitions - which Stagecoach merged into one operation - “substantially
It says that following consultation on its provisional decision, “further
evidence and analysis” revealed that Cavendish was operating loss-making
routes throughout 2008, and its financial position had “substantially
deteriorated” following expansions of its operations.
As a result, the CC thought it “unlikely” that Cavendish would have chosen
to continue to run its business in the same way and would instead have been
likely to withdraw relatively quickly from a large number of routes, or
close its operations altogether.
After its provisional decision, the CC proposed a series of potential
competition remedies, including divestment of part of the merged business to
create a new competitor (which would then be protected by the OFT),
Stagecoach allowing a competing operator to use its Eastbourne garage
facilities, changes to services and price restrictions
The merger clearance means that none of the remedies will be implemented.
on the Preston situation is still awaited.
Cyclists - a question?
When commenting on cyclists
failing to use the cycle tracks provided by Oxford's Council, I seem to
remember being told that this was because the surface was so uneven as to be
Can our cyclist friends
therefore please tell us why, when beautiful new surfaces have been
provided, STILL cyclists use the road going to and from Headington near
Oxford? With a 20mph speed limit now in force these cyclists now overtake
those road users who obey the law. Is this also another law which cyclists
are not obliged to abide by? Certainly for a vast majority they do not "see"
red traffic lights, ride on pavements when it suits and generally behave as
though they own the roads they neither pay for or contribute to.
It is interesting to note that
when a bus is in their way in the bus lane (London road, Headington), they
then can use the cycle track and then the pavements!!!!
I suppose I should clarify
that there are still some cyclists who do abide by the law but sadly they do
seem in a minority.
Birds eye view
of George Street corner, Oxford
Robin sent three nice
pictures of various bus movements at George St, Oxford taken in September
2009, two showing the Neoplans in the latter days.
recently very privileged to visit Paramount Buses in Malta where I met with
the owner of that company - Leo Grech. He very kindly opened up his reserve
collection of buses for me to photograph. The vehicles were difficult to
photograph as they are all packed tightly together."
Photo 890: Leo's Office clock
Photo 892: Fleet no 159, plus 2151
Photo 895: Interior of fleet no 731
Photo 897: Fleet no 382
Photo 903: Ex London Transport
Photo 904: FBY 742
Photo 907: DBY 462
Photo 909: Interior rear view of FBY 742
The registration numbers formerly carried by these old 'uns' are now carried
by modern buses!
In the same vein Jeff Lloyd has provided this nice picture of another UK
bus still operating in Malta.
MALTA ROUTE BUS - DBY 470 - VALLETTA. 20.10.2009.
ex WESTERN NATIONAL (1609), GDV458N.
A request for
Kevin Barlow asks does anyone have any pictures of Hearns or Venture Coaches
which they could let him have. If so please forward them to me and I will
see Kevin gets them.
"This may be of interest - RM1 about to make a trip around Acton and one of
the new Mercedes Citaro Fuel Cell buses. The photo was taken at The Depot at
Acton - the London Transport Museum's exhibit store. It is occasionally
open at week-ends and it was open for the 10th and 11th October for a family
RT1 by Martin Beckett as mentioned above.
Stagecoach set to run a
local bus service in Oxford on Christmas Day
Services will run to revised timetables over the
Christmas and New Year period.
For the first time ever Stagecoach will be
running a service on route 1 on Christmas Day in
addition to the now traditional service on the
Oxford Tube. Banbury will get its first ever
service on Boxing Day with a service on route
B5. There will also be improved Boxing Day
frequencies on routes 1 and S5 compared to last
year, plus a new service on route 10 between the
JR and Cowley Centre.
More details of these services and other holiday
changes can be found at the link below.