Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr. 32 - August 24th 2010

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current archives from October 2002

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

Oxford sees the delivery of more Hybrids with the final few now having arrived to complete the Stagecoach order for twenty-six of these very green buses. All of the Oxford Bus Scanias are also in service and double deckers seem now the order of the day. with 10 plates for other local operators including Thames Travel and visiting coaches the city is alive with up to date buses and coaches. We now await the first sightings of 60 plate vehicles. I wonder whose will be the first to be sighted?

Changes are recorded, under the Arriva heading below, of changes to the 280 Aylesbury-Oxford service with increased frequencies and some express journeys.

The demise of Buckinghamshire coach operator "On A Mission" drew on the library of Gavin Francis with several pictures of vehicles from this now defunct operator and these are shown under the heading of this operator in the section lower down this page. Included is one of their last and latest deliveries, a 10 plate Scania Irizar.

Details are also included in this issue of Stagecoach orders for 2010-2011 showing a total investment of some £65 million in the period mentioned.

First sighting of one of the replaced M A N single decks of Oxford has appeared at work in Sheffield and one of the Oxford bus Tridents from Park & ride was seen heading north out of Oxford for an unknown destination, maybe for a repaint.

I have, as always, received a great number of contributions for then page, including reports on running days and events such as Hemel Hempstead, Bristol and the reappearance of London's RT8 which has been extensively restored by  Ensign Bus. Also some evocative pictures of Malta in days gone by from Marcus Lapthorn. Gavin Francis also attended Kemble and we have some interesting pictures from that event.

Tiger Line of course introduced their latest service, the T5, briefly mentioned in the last issue of OCBP and we have a number of pictures from various readers.

One of the Leyland tigers, acquired from ULSTERBUS for use n the T5 seen on the first day in service leaving Amersham. Picture by Andrew Morgan (Herts).

A night drivers thoughts on traffic lights

I was thinking the other night, on my way from London, as I waited for a change in the traffic lights at the bottom of Headington Hill, those for my direction having changed as I approached them and yet nothing was coming from any other direction for the whole time I waited, how much additional pollution might be added by these hold ups rather than lights being phased to change when required. One would then pass through junctions without stopping. Indeed would it not make sense to follow European practice where such lights are changed to a flashing amber during the night hours making traffic flows much better. One could be forgiven for thinking that there is someone sitting in a control room somewhere turning the lights to red as vehicles approach just to slow or stop the minimal traffic for some Machiavellian reason!! Anyway the lights at the junctions mentioned at the bottom of Headington Hill are the worst, especially when having waited for seemingly ages for the first set to change, the next set for Morrell Avenue then change to red having been green until one approaches them. I wonder why, especially when there is no other traffic around?

I would add that this not only happens in Oxford but London traffic does seem to flow much more easily at these quiet times.

Oxford play Wycombe - Gavin Francis records coaches used.

Gavin, as expected, attended the local Derby and found that Oxford no longer use McLeans for their team coach.

Reptons now appear to be the choice and their Van Hool is seen at Adams Park on August 21st.

Motts were used to bring Oxford supporters and three of their coaches are also seen at Adams Park.

Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society

Last month the second meeting of the Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society took place and was well attended. plans are in place for future meetings to have contributions from members and I will be including details in forthcoming issues of this page.

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 per person per meeting depending on numbers.

Next meeting: 21st September 2010. tbcf

19.00 - 21.30pm

Meetings are held at:


Upstairs Function Room

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road


A detailed programme can be found at the following look and we hope more of you will attend future meetings.

Finally and as always, my thanks to all who have contributed to this issue.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - August 24th 2010.

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.

Some bus drivers do object to their pictures being taken, even though the photographer is taking the bus and not the driver.
So I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
Now that we live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.
It is interesting to note that a change in official attitudes to pictures is changing and even companies will not support bus drivers who are abusive or threatening!


Readers varied contributions

Graham writes "I have just (3 August) seen OBC Trident/President 908 freshly painted in Park and Ride livery and Stagecoach E400H 12019 in Oxford on the 7A to Kidlington. Other hybrids are on this route today. This view shows that Citaros still appear on the 2: I saw two of them within five minutes. Also I saw a Stagecoach M A N 18.240 on the 31 on last Saturday for the first time but I missed its number."

Colin Richardson writes "Yesterday (Monday 9th August) I had the opportunity to travel on both operators, Stagecoach and Oxford Bus Company E400's.  I made a quick change Speedwell Street.  The comparisons between the hybrid version was notable.  The E400 of Stagecoach on route 1 was well filled, but was quieter and carried many people.  When new timetables for the new and revised services are introduced  I think most users will be pleased with the new vehicles."

Stephen Le Bras writes "Noted at Victoria Coach Station were the first three new Stagecoach Viscount B9R/Plaxton Elites- 53706-708 reg AE10 JSZ,JTO and JTU- for routes 447 and 448. These follow on from the Oxford examples.

Still no sign of the B9R/Caetano coaches-17 are said to be in the process of being certified.

Two Scottish Citylink coaches on the Edinburgh Megabus service and two NEx coaches around 9am-9,30am.

A smoking coach and a diesel spill added to the interest of the day. The smoke was so thick as the coach exited Sammys and headed up the road that the fire alarms went off in VCS!. As the driver gingerly drove off, a fire engine came into view with its blue lights flashing. They called in to VCS but were told that everything was OK .

Otherwise a crane and all the associated equipment with it blocked Buckingham Palace Road all day. This made for traffic jams back into Victoria and delayed emergency vehicles. Not a good day-even the 52s were following the 16s and 82s around the loop past the Arrivals section rather than trying their luck in Bulleid Way.

Steve Gee writes "May I firstly say thanks for your website, which I find extremely interesting and useful. I pass through the area as a truck driver several times a week, and have friends in Abingdon too. 

I have a couple of observations from the last week or so and a query too. 

Further to your recent comments about Stagecoach Oxford's 22xxx series MAN saloons, I noted 22938 & 22207 heading north together along the A34 towards the M40 on the 12th. Both were showing Out Of Service on their blinds... Are the S & T reg'd vehicles you mentioned going to dealers or are they being transferred to other fleets to replace say the remaining 20xxx Volvo B10 saloons? 

Last Friday evening decker 18398 was seen in Banbury, in service, still wearing S5 markings. 

Yesterday, the 17th August, whilst en route to deliver stuff for the Headington Lane/ London Rd remodelling I noted Go Ahead Oxford Trident 116 making its way north on the M40. 

A little out of your area, but I passed ex Stagecoach Newcastle Walkergate based  Volvo ON 16729 N729LTN in service between Leamington & Southam this evening. Destination blind appeared to be blank but was carrying pax. School or College contract possibly.

Finally, parked on the roadside near to Southam, north of Banbury, E812EBW a Bedford with I think Plaxton bodywork, now serving as a mobile home. It carries the remnants of what appears to be Walters of Oxford logo's on it's boot.

Last Thursday, ex Oxford Tube MAN 50043 T43BBW, seen in Sandwell, West Midlands, in a bright yellow livery. Regret I can't provide operator details.
Last Friday evening MAN saloon 22209 T209TND on the hard shoulder of the M1 near J27 (Mansfield area) with another similar vehicle which was on the back of a recovery motor and looked to be the subject of a front end lift recovery. I couldn't read a fleet no or reg for this one but was possibly 22936. A little difficult when moving at 55mph!

Thanks once again for your webpage. Hope some of the above is of interest."

Paul Davis writes "On the edge of the Oxford area, there's due to be a major re-modelling of Reading station over Xmas New Year (27Dec-04Jan?) 

Buses will be replacing trains at a rate of AT LEAST 17bph* between Reading and the likes of Maidenhead, Didcot, Basingstoke etc, where trains will be reversed. 

*It's looking like some departures will need 2 or 3 vehicles at certain times but I've no idea of which bus operators are involved yet."

JJ was visiting Bath recently and writes "Just thought these photos may be of interest to the O&CB Page.

Once in the Oxford Tube fleet as 50121 - T40UBE and now thought to be with Omega. Picture by JJ.

Richard Sharman writes "I've just purchased a new Camera in the form of a Casio H5, 12mp compact but with a Wide Angle Lens/10x zoom! It really is a quality bit of kit and keenly priced too, I'm very pleased with the results and the fact that I can stand half way down Park End Street and be able to pick up stuff leaving the station stop, as was the case with the COMS E400 picture below."

From James May – A nice picture site.

Stokenchurch Interlude by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.

Bringing back memories of days gone by when COMS deckers worked the 75 between Oxford and High Wycombe.
Red Rose's Olympian, now a regular on the 275, seen at Stokenchurch on August 19th.

London Interlude by Gavin Francis

Well, not quite "London" rather Croydon and trams with a bus or two!!!


And so on to fleet news with individual company happenings.

Changes to various services from Aylesbury

Service 100 & 150
On Monday-Saturday the 150 service will no longer serve Fenny Stratford, Bletchley, the OU or MK Hospital and will instead operate via the A5 trunk roads to improve journey times to MK.  Between the 100 & 150 a bus will depart Aylesbury every 30 minutes in the morning peak and Milton Keynes in the evening peak.  We have also coordinated the departure times from Leighton Buzzard with the 70 service to offer a departure every 30 minutes from LB in the morning peak and from MK in the evening peak.  A new timetable for services 69/70 starts on 23rd August.

There is no change to the 150 service on Sundays and it will therefore continue to serve Bletchley and MK Hospital on these days.

The morning OU journey ceases on the 150 service but the 70 service will still stop there so passengers from Aylesbury can exchange buses in Leighton Buzzard.

Service 280
The service is improved and buses will now operate every 20 minutes from 09.00 to 16.00, Mon-Fri during the day and there are earlier departures from Aylesbury and Oxford, Mon-Sat.  There is also an express peak service 200 from Aylesbury in the morning and from Oxford in the afternoon.

The service will no longer serve Haddenham, Church End but will serve the Health Centre and Fort End in Haddenham.

From Glenn Knight

3386 P526FPK  Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer in St. Albans on 304 to Hitchin

5454 SN58EOA  Enviro 400 on the 758, Is this a first for this type in London on Green Line? ED.

4074 YJ04BKF  on National Express 707 at Luton Airport. This coach is one transferred to AtS from Arriva Midlands.
It is interesting to note that it still carries the large recognition number on the offside which was put on when these coaches ran the London services.


Martin White writes "Whilst having a trip around London on Saturday 14th I came across Arriva Shires on Rail replacement services for London Underground between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Uxbridge covering for the Metropolitan Line & Piccadilly line along with Arriva London & Uno Bus."

"Uno Bus were also covering Harrow-on-the-Hill - Wembley Park with First London, Transdev London, Metroline, & TGM. 

I attach a few pictures of the Arriva Shires Vehicles in action."

5454 certainly had some trips in the past week or so! Ed. 

James Allum writes with more More Hemel news. 
In the past week:
3175 was seen on the 301
3173 has been seen on the 550
2461 has been on the Tesco Hemel bus and looks likely to stay after 2179 was withdrawn and sold off i believe. 2461 has been rumoured to to the bus to stay on the Tesco and could be getting a repaint into the Tesco livery.
Arriva DAF 3448 is now a Hemel based bus, it still has its former route 100 express vinyls from the Aylesbury to Milton Keynes route.

Watford news:
Ex Garston and Hemel now back at Garston 3502 was spotted on the Route 2 to South Oxhey. (19/08/10)
3404 displayed a few LED destinations on its way into Clarendon Road too, inc Private Hire and route 3.

News from Hemel 23rd Aug

Mostly double deckers on H4 and H5 today
A very nice surprise was a repainted 3236 (V236HBH) looking very smart with black bits between the windows.


Roland Clausen-Thue writes to say "I was passing through High Wycombe yesterday (Wed 18th) and noticed that four of the six workings on the local 32 service were double-deck operated (5147/8/51/62) according to the allocation board in the bus station - I saw the first three but was not able to confirm 5162.  I've often seen an odd one on the 32, but never four!  I've no idea of the reason, i.e. whether the normally allocated buses were away for some sort of attention." 

"One DD (5141) was on the 800 (Reading), which often seems to be the case, 5153 was on 800 Marlow shorts (generally DD), and 5150 on the 306 to Totteridge Drive."

5151 on the 32 on August 13th - picture by M Crowe. 

Pete Cabin writes "Noticed to today 3213 R213.GMJ. is back in service after its recent rear engine fire according to lots it was taken to Aylesbury for repair."

He adds "also according to lots 3144 N694.EUR.and 4491 T494.KGB are to be sent to Aylesbury to be cannibalised 3144 finished her days in the MK fleet and 4491 had been dumped for several months noted also was 3854 N414.NRG. is to have the same treatment. 3482 W482.YGS. was working on the park & ride today Friday 20/08/10. I also noticed yet again route branded buses on alternative routes blues on 52s reds on 37s with normal livered buses on 33s"

From Graham Low.

Seen in Oxford on 12th August was Arriva The Shires Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian; 5160 (S160 KNK) seen here on St. Aldates heading for Oxford Station on the 280 amongst the other branded Enviro 400's seen on the day.

A nice picture in which the destination blind has come out clearly, not always the case. Picture by Chris Lowe.

As there is to be an increase in frequency on the 280 - see above - may we expect to see these older Olympians back on 280, even with branding again - I wonder?

Arriva 3152 r 61 Luton Airport 170810 G Francis

Arriva 3223 r 321 Luton Airport 170810 G Francis.
Gavin found it unusual to see Darts and even a Palatine on the 321 in recent days. We wonder what has happened to the Citaros?

Noel Clark Operations Manager - Carousel Buses Limited writes "Further to the observations of several contributors to S&J 31 I can confirm the bus driven through by a VW Toureg and pictured in the Daily Star was M1312, a bus purchased specifically for this role and converted for the stunt. M1386 was required as a “body double” so was painted identically. Both vehicles carried fictitious Citystop fleetnames and LT9810 fleet numbers. M1386 has definitely not been driven through despite reports to the contrary and remains in perfect health. It is an active member of the fleet and hopefully will continue to be for some time to come. The film is correctly reported as RA. One – more details here:

The three Irisbus Agoraline vehicles are now allocated to Line 336 to upgrade the service after a successful trial with positive feedback received from both drivers and passengers. From time to time they may appear on the 740/A30/A40 as they are LEZ compliant if needed.

STL11 has had the remainder of the NCP blue vinyl removed and is now at London Bus & Truck being repainted into standard fleet two-tone red livery.

Noel follows on 24th saying "STL11 is now back from paint and looks 100% better than it did before I’m sure you’ll agree!"

Andrew Morgan writes "Just to correct the bit about carousel buses used in filming on the Bollywood film Ra.One. It was not carousels M1386 that was used in the stunt but M1312 that the film company brought but no longer want, which is the on in their yard with a hole in each side of it and M1386 was used as its double for the of bits of filming."

A couple of pictures taken recently.

Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.


Martin White writes " I was browsing through the latest issue of Bus Fayre in W H Smiths the other day and it contains a profile article on Centrebus from its Origins as Anstey Busline through to its expansion up to date. There is also a small paragraph that following the forthcoming sale of Arriva to DB is that Julian Peddle as purchased the 40% share holding that Arriva had in Centrebus Holdings in order to keep the company British and that further expansion could be forthcoming in the acquisition of a West Yorkshire operator."

A contribution from Gavin Francis. Solo 365 seen at Stansted on august 17th.


Colchester based 66810 is seen on a relatively new route, the 42A, at Stansted airport by Gavin Francis on August 17th.

Gavin sent two nice pictures of the First Volvo adorned in Green Line colours at Bulleid Way.
Note the route boards, a true Green Line tradition.

Grant Palmer

Glenn Knight sent pictures of Grant Palmer's E216 WBG, a Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH  ex-In Motion, Dunstable.



Nick Eustace writes "I have attached a couple of pictures of the Tappins decker in Heyfordian's paint shop, sadly I was unable to get a shot out in the open but saw it driving out of town later in the day looking rather impressive. You will note in the back of the shed is one of Heyfordian's Jonckherres, also now painted in Tappins livery, this is the second to be painted, registrations as yet unknown although many of Heyfordian's coaches now have HTL registrations."

A Dart, sometimes seen in Oxford, is seen above working the 81 in the Banbury area on August 22nd. Picture by Richard Sharman.


One of the deckers seen in Oxford on August 12th. This is quite unusual . Picture by Gavin Francis.


Andrew Morgan sent a picture of Stagecoach Oxford 53701 Volvo/Plaxton Elite taken in Hemel on the 737 to Oxford, taken on August 4th.



Glenn Knight sent pictures of new National Express/SC Volvo/Plaxton Elites at various locations.

53704 OU10GYN Volvo B9R Plaxton Elite seen on Aug 10th by Glenn Knight.

Stagecoach Viscount 53707 AE10JTO VolvoB9R Plaxton Elite seen in Bulleid Way, London. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Richard Sharman, as mentioned above, has a new camera and is sending in some interesting views of vehicles taken around our area.

Here he captures on of the new Elite coaches heading to Gloucester Green on an inbound 737 service.
This service is currently routed via the Banbury road to Thornhill and does not serve the stops through Headington.
Picture by Richard Sharman.

Stephen Le Bras reports "More crane operation in BP Road this Saturday. Still no sign of the Volvo B9R/Caetano coaches so I asked one of the 403 drivers what had happened. He told me that the coaches have had to be returned to the manufacturers. The Van Hool coaches are really getting tired- one just about made it through the road congestion in BP Road.

Ex Oxford 59212 made an appearance on the 007 at VCS - the first transfer from Oxford I've seen."


Stephen also sent a picture of this coach working the 007 last Saturday. It is seen "running round" at VCS.


A striking livery now applied to one of Luckett's Scania-Levantes and seen in Victoria. Picture by Gavin Francis.


Gavin has been working on the 737 recently and took this picture of 53702 in the coach layover park at that location.
Picture by Gavin Francis.


Silverdale now provide coaches for the 767 service from Nottingham to Stansted. One of their Levantes is seen at Stansted.
Picture by Gavin Francis.


On a Mission 

Chris Lowe writes " I note from Route One that 'On a Mission' might  re-emerge as Total Travel Solutions UK with thirty buses/coaches? 

Since the collapse of On A Mission coaches, two of their former coaches have now appeared in Manchester, with a Plaxton Premiere which I wasn't able to identify, but had a tiger on the side as well as their fleet name. The other vehicle being Ayats Bravo (MK56 DON) which was the former MK Dons team coach, these vehicles now look as though they are up for disposal as they are parked in the yard of Santander Used Vehicle Sales in Trafford Park, Manchester. 

I have attached a photo of some of the stock taken through the fence there, visible is the rear of the former MK Dons team coach just to the right of the centre of the picture."

A Buckinghamshire correspondent writes "Just some further pictures of some of the buses, taken a week or so after the company ceased trading.



Seen in the staff car park, 8 days after the company ceased trading, both buses had had their blind glass removed


Various buses parked up in the main yard. The condition of the coaches is in stark contrast to the of the bus fleet


Ex Lothian 417 and 427, along with ex Reading 72 and the rear of 423, all parked up in the overspill yard, awaiting disposal


Gavin Francis contributed a picture of one the most recent deliveries to this company.


Seen in London when quite new on July 6th 2010, YT10WLJ was one of the coaches which returned to Scania following the collapse of the company.



30 June 2010

We think it unusual to find one of the ex Brighton Volvos on 4 road. 797 is seen at Frideswide Sq on august 10th.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Something of Oxford past for this issue. Pictures sent in by various contributors.

Russell Young writes "Ex City of Oxford Motor Services Bristol VR AUD 460R worked a full day on Emblings of Guyhirn Route 701 (Peterborough to Coates) on Saturday 14 August."

Picture taken in Bellmans Road, Whittlesey by Russell Young.

Carl Berry writes "He's one of R10OXF at the Bristol rally last Sunday now working with Damory and running as it was at the end in Oxford as R259DWL."

Seen at the Bristol Rally which is covered in greater detail by Marcus Lapthorn further down this issue.
Picture by Carl Berry.

Richard Morgan writes "I am spending a week in S Wales with daughter Caz and thought you might like this shot of former Oxford Bus 509 now with John's, Merthyr.  It was taken on 19th August in Merthyr bus station"

It is interesting to note that it has lost its centre door. Picture from Richard Morgan.

On the modern front not much to report in this issue but it is the quiet before the storm as there will be much activity when Brookes comes back again with additional buses being prepared for the U services in the Autumn semester.

On several occasions recently Airline coaches have been seen working the X90 and most surprisingly the other morning an X90 Scania was seen on an early morning X70 working to Heathrow.

Red Rose

From Chris Lowe who writes "Red Rose Travel's ex Dublin Bus Volvo Olympian (T309ORP) was seen and photographed in Oxford on the 275 by myself on the 12th August as seen in the attached picture on St. Aldates."

Following the arrival of the new Hybrid fleet the following changes to the Oxfordshire fleet may be recorded. This shows the balance of the Hybrids joining the fleet in recent weeks.

Oxfordshire fleet movements last period
12001 OU10 GGA ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12006 OU10 GGO ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12015 OU10 GHF ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12016 OU10 GHG ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12017 OU10 GHH ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12018 OU10 GHJ ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12019 OU10 GHK ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12020 OU10 GFJ ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12021 OU10 GFK ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12022 OU10 GFO ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12023 OU10 GFV ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12024 OU10 GFX ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12025 OU10 GFY ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
12026 OU10 GFZ ADL Hybrid E400H - new to Oxford
22203 T203 TND MAN 18.220 ALX300 - Oxford to Yorkshire
22205 T205 TND MAN 18.220 ALX300 - Oxford to Yorkshire
22207 T207 TND MAN 18.220 ALX300 - Oxford to Yorkshire
22927 S927 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300 - Oxford to Yorkshire
22938 S938 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300 - Oxford to Yorkshire
59212 FJ56 OBZ Scania Caetano - to East Kent
59213 FJ56 OCA Scania Caetano - to East Kent
59214 FJ56 OCB Scania Caetano - to East Kent
59215 FJ56 OCC Scania Caetano - to East Kent
Held at Oxford pending disposal
22209 T209 TND MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22913 S913 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22914 S914 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22915 S915 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22916 S916 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22917 S917 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22918 S918 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22919 S919 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22922 S922 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22923 S923 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22924 S924 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22928 S928 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22930 S930 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22931 S931 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22932 S932 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
22937 S937 CFC MAN 18.220 - ALX 300 - disposal to tba
31320 P320 EFL Volvo B6LE -  ALX200 - disposal to tba
31362 P362 DSA Volvo B6LE -  ALX200 - disposal to tba
31365 P365 DSA Volvo B6LE -  ALX200 - disposal to tba
vehicles in reserve
47315 KX06 AZB Optare Solo
47316 KX06 AZC Optare Solo
33821 R821 YUD Dennis Dart SLF
33822 R822 YUD Dennis Dart SLF

The last two 33821 and 33822 were new to Oxford in the very early days of Stagecoach involvement and had left the fleet for some years before returning a few years ago.

The following M A N 14.220 /ALX300s Saloons remain on the fleet

22052 22925
22053T 22926
22054 22933
22057 22934
22279 22935
22942 22936
22943 22940
22944 22941

The 2294x M A N s are currently going through repaint with 22942 now completed.

The Oxfordshire fleet now has a total 60 double deck buses allocated. These comprise 4 Tridents, 26 Hybrids and 30 Scanias.

Graham Low reports "The Stagecoach MAN 18.240/AD E300s are now on new routes for them such as the X30 and 31, and today 22767/8 were on the 3, as this view shows."

Fanofmetros reports that Stagecoach operations in Sheffield now have M A N s 22205, 22207, 22927 and 22938 from Oxford. He has kindly allowed me to use his picture of 22938 on its first day in service in that northern city.

His website giving many interesting pictures is at the following link:-

Richard Sharman sent several interesting pictures of Stagecoach buses in Oxford.

The new Scanias from Stratford are regular performers on the Sunday S3 services and in these pictures two are seen in Oxford.
15671 is seen passing Enviro 300 22768 on its way to the rail station, also on the S3 but is an Oxford depot working.
Pictures by Richard Sharman.

A very recent delivery, new Hybrid 12024 seen on layover in Gloucester Green on Sunday 15th August.
Picture by Richard Sharman.

Showing the use of Enviro 300s on routes formerly served by older M A N s, this picture of 22764 depicts one running down St Aldates on the 31.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Hybrids resting up at horspath depot. On a quiet night one can see almost all 26 parked up for the next duties on August 15th. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Variety at Horspath shows the last Levante, 59213, being made ready for departure to SC East Kent with M A N s also being readied for new homes on August 15th.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

The Volvo coaches used on the X5 have gained recognition for the recent awards made to SC for this service.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

The Witney Scanias come to Oxford on Sunday for wash as their home depot is so congested.
15613 is seen on August 15th by Malcolm Crowe.

One of the benefits of being a night driver is that there is hardly any traffic and it is very quiet.
Here we see three locations on the London route, Thornhill, Hillingdon and Grosvenor Gardens, London.
Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Oxford really can be called Enviro 400 city, here three different liveries and two companies can be seen in a short space in Oxford. Picture by David Benyon.

One for the record is this picture by Carl Berry of Cheltenham and Gloucester 18088 (VX04GHU) which has moved from the Cheltenham-Gloucester service to the Forest of Dean services. It is seen in Gloucester bus station on 14th August 2010.

18088 showing its new vinyls in this picture by Carl Berry.

Carl says "Several of these deckers now feature impressive side vinyls of the view from Symonds Yat which appear to be sponsored by Stagecoach and Gloucestershire County Council despite Stagecoach not running services near there and the view being of Herefordshire!"

Martin White writes "I was down in Exeter at the beginning of the summer and remembered that I got a picture of an former Oxford Tube Coach now based with Stagecoach Devon as a Training Vehicle, to which I attach and also part of the last batch of coaches purchased new by Thames Transit before sale to Stagecoach."

52029 seen in Exeter earlier this year, 27th April, by Martin White.

"Quite ironic really as Exeter was the original home for the first fleet of coaches that gave the berth of the tube back in the eighties; Leyland Tiger Plaxton Paramount 3200 AOD648/9Y / Duple Laser 2 B410-16UOD former Devon General / Greenslades 2200/01/2210-16."

Seen in Oxpens recently was this ex Oxford Tube. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Gavin Francis visited Stockport when Wycombe played this team and he caught up with a few local Stagecoach buses whilst he was there.

Pictures by Gavin Francis.


Chris Lowe writes "the first Manchester Hybrid (12028) has turned up this morning (25TH AUGUST) at Stagecoach Manchester's Princess Road garage for driver training. Although at least eight of them have been delivered with the other seven (12027/9-34) at Hyde Road garage."


Richard Sharman writes "Although a number of Stagecoach South's Mistrals have recently been painted out of Megabus livery, they are still seeing some use on the latter's M34 South Coast-Oxford-Birmingham-Bradford Service."

Wearing a former Queen Mary registration, 52618, 411DCD is seen leaving Oxford for Bradford with Water Eaton Park & Ride site in the background.
Picture by Richard Sharman.

It is quite normal now to see local Scottish liveried Volvo tri-axles on the Megabus London service.
Here 54076 is seen heading for the departure bays in VCS on August 10th.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Astromega 50231 is seen leaving VCS on a Manchester service. Picture by Gavin Francis.


Chris Lowe responds to an earlier request saying "I notice you had a note on one of the older spotting and jottings asking for pictures of the Terravision tri-axles now operating on Terravision Service A40 between Manchester and Liverpool Airport, I have attached two pictures for you."


Stuart Curwen writes "A picture of the new Optare Versa's for Thamesdown Transport with the more due imminently."


Glenn Knight sent this picture of UNŌ DP575 - W575XRO, a Dennis Dart/Plaxton on H2 in Hemel.

DP575 - W575XRO, a Dennis Dart/Plaxton on H2 in Hemel.


Tiger Line of course introduced their latest service, the T5, briefly mentioned in the last issue of OCBP and we have a number of pictures from various readers.

Andrew Morgan sent two pictures taken on August 4th

Tigerline tiger W65 in St Albans for pre-launch of T5 which starts on the 9th August showing the new livery and route branding for the T5 which tigers W65-W68 carry.

Andrew also sent four pictures taken on August 9th, the first day of Tigerline T5 .

Tigerline tiger W62 at Hatfield on layover till it starts the first service on T5 from Hatfield rail station.

Tigerline tiger W65 waiting in Amersham to work the T5 to Hatfield (the bus in the background is Carousel EVL7 on the A30 to Chesham).

Tigerline tigers W69 and W67 in Hemel, W69 on the T2 to Watford and W67 on the T5 to Amersham.

Glenn Knight writes "W58 - A12WTN (A127ESG) Leyland Tiger / (Rebody) East Lancs Myllennium has been repainted with an unusual paint scheme with the front only being done."

Picture by
Glenn Knight

Glenn also adds a couple of shots of the Leyland tigers on the T5. 

WXI 4384 at Hemel Hempstead on T2 Watford

Michael Wootten writes "Latest news from Woottens / Tiger Line below:

The front of Leyland Tiger / East Lancs Myllennium W58 A12 WTN is now orange. 

The following Volvo B10M / Plaxton Premiere coaches have been re-registered:

W4 - B9 WTN to N289 OYE
W37 - B12 WTN to R186 TKU

Leyland Titan W53 A869SUL has been withdrawn.

The latest Leyland Tigers are regular performers on T5.  I've attached a photograph of all five parked at Lye Green.

Mike Penn says "I thought you might like some photos from yesterday's first day of Wootten's Tigerline service T5, taken in Hemel Hempstead.  UXI 1376/7 are on that route while WXI 4384, which doesn't have route branding, was on the T2."

Also on the T2 was former COMS Olympian CUD 222Y.


Mike Penn writes "The photo below  is of former RH Buses Optare Solo W251 DWT, now with Z & S Buses of Aylesbury and seen on a Sunday service in Milton Keynes.  This is the second Optare Solo from RH Buses with an Aylesbury operator, both of which can be seen in Milton Keynes.




Major news


·         Transport group buys around 340 state-of-the-art buses and coaches

·         Orders follow Britain’s biggest single investment in green hybrid buses

·         Passengers across the UK to benefit from latest cleaner vehicles

·         More than £260m invested in new vehicles in past four years 

Stagecoach Group today (Monday 9 August) confirmed details of orders for around 340 buses and coaches worth nearly £50million. 

The latest orders by the Perth-based transport group take its total investment in new vehicles for the UK for the 2010-11 financial year to around £65 million. 

It follows the launch by Stagecoach of Britain’s biggest single investment in green hybrid bus technology with 30% less carbon emissions than standard vehicles. The first of the £16m investment in 56 state-of-the-art electric-hybrid buses for Oxford and Manchester went into service last month, part-funded by a £5million support package from the Department for Transport's Green Bus Fund. 

The latest orders announced today will go into operation on Stagecoach’s provincial bus routes across the UK, further improving the standard of travel for passengers in Scotland, England and Wales. The new buses and coaches, which will be introduced throughout 2010-11, meet Euro 5 emissions standards introduced last year.  

It takes Stagecoach’s investment in new vehicles to more than £260million over the past four years, providing passengers with higher quality travel and better accessibility. Stagecoach is also officially Britain’s best value major bus operator, with fares up to 30% cheaper than the UK’s other major transport groups. 

Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “Not only does Stagecoach offer the best value bus fares in Britain, we are also committed to driving up the quality of travel for our passengers by investing millions of pounds each year in greener vehicles, better facilities and improved services. 

“This latest investment is a sign of our confidence in future demand for bus travel. We believe continued investment is vital to attract even more people on to our greener, smarter bus services.” 

Vehicle manufacturers Alexander Dennis, Scania, Plaxton, Optare and Volvo will supply a total of 163 double-deckers, 70 single-deckers, 79 midi-buses, 17 coaches and 9 mini-buses.

Details of the new orders are: 

·         100 Scania Enviro 400 double-deckers

·         63 Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 double-deckers

·         70 Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 single-deckers

         76 Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 midi-buses

·         16 Volvo Plaxton Elite coaches (already in the process of delivery)

·         3 Optare Versa midi-buses

·         9 Optare Solo mini-buses

·         1 Volvo Plaxton Panther coach

Other items

Intalink – Hertfordshire 

The Intalink Bus attended Hemel Hempstead recently at the Marlowes, a shopping centre, promoting bus travel in Hertfordshire.

Several local bus operators representatives were in attendance and Glenn Knight sent a few nice pictures.

MAN Optare Vectra B9F Ex-Reading Buses, K802 DCF, made a focal point for the promotion and the bus also visited or will visit Hitchin and Stevenage 

The picture shows the bus in Hemel. Pictures by
Glenn Knight.


History & Discussion


RT Chassis in the Chilterns by Ed Maun

I still follow your page although I don’t find much to comment on as my main interest is historical.

Reading the piece in S & J 31 (History) reminded me that London Transport RT chassis were tested in the Chilterns area before being bodied. They followed the A40 from Southall and used the Old Dashwood Hill at Piddington and  Kingston Hill at Kingston Blount as test hills.       If my memory serves me correctly, this would have been in the late 1940’s and early 50’s and the drivers wore goggles and what looked like flying suits as they were quite exposed with very little protection.

RT8 by Bob Stanger 

Many of your readers will be aware that Ensignbus brought post war RT8 back from America four years ago and began an extensive renovation project. This has now been completed and the vehicle was officially launched at the Tower of London on Friday 30th July.

I was fortunate to be a member of the party and the attached photos show RT8 in all her glory.

The following Tuesday, The Classic London Bus Society hired RT8 to retrace the original Route 30 - one of the former routes from Putney garage RT8 and others of the class traversed seventy years ago! -starting at Hackney Wick and finishing at Putney Heath.

We did not quite complete the original routing to Roehampton as the traffic in Putney High Street during the evening rush hour was heavy and slow and by this time the engine was beginning to get very hot.

Unbeknown to our members until we reached the Heath was a surprise in the shape of RT1 where our friends at Cobham Bus Museum had agreed to meet us.

Here again some of the attached photos capture the event.

On both occasions I had the pleasure and honour of driving this beautifully restored  bus.

These lovely pictures of RT8 day out are seen and provided by Bob Stanger.

Malta in the past by Marcus Lapthorn

Marcus sent some lovely pictures of buses in Malta nearly 20 years ago.

With the announcement that Arriva have won the contract to renew and run the Malta bus fleet, I thought that your readers might like to see some of my 35mm slides of Malta buses taken in 1982, 1984 and 1990.

Maltese buses - a look back in time

Taken at St. Paul's Bay on 5th October 1982 and shows Y1405.

Taken at Mosta on 14th October 1982 and shows Y1029 and Y1211.

Taken at Marfa Point on 6th May 1984 and shows Y1116.

Taken at St. Paul's Bay on 9th May 1984 and shows Y1228 and Y1891.

Taken at Ggantija Temples, Gozo 10th May 1984 and shows Y1512.

Taken at Ggantija Temples, Gozo on 10th May 1984 and shows Y1513.

aken at Valetta on 28th September 1990 and shows Y0802.

Taken at Valetta on 28th September 1990.

Taken at Melleiha Bay terminus on 28th September 1990 and shows Y0382.

Taken at Melleiha Bay terminus on 28th September 1990 and shows Y0433.

Taken at Melleiha Village on 11th September 1990 and is a typical Maltese scene of that period, with a local priest, an old bus and some commercial vehicles.

Photo no. 22 was taken at Mdina on 21st September 1990 and shows Y0699 and Y0735.

Trips & Running Days 

Trips & Rallies

In the Lake District by Marcus Lapthorn

I thought that you might like to consider publishing this photograph taken by Lynne Quayle on 19 June 2010. 

"Waiting for the Cumbrian Railways Association's "Lakeland Middle Circular Tour" party at Ambleside pier head were a pair of the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust's beautifully restored vehicles. Leading the duo was a 1960 ex-North Western Road Car Leyland Tiger Cub (registration number LDB796), with Willowbrook coachwork and seating 43 people: this brought back memories of the use of these short-wheelbase vehicles on the Foxfield- Coniston service after withdrawal of the branch trains in 1968. LDB796 pulled off to take the Coniston road, and the remaining passengers were treated to the luxury of UTF732M - a 49-seat Ribble Leyland Leopard coach, bodied by Duple in 1974, and initially used on express services operating from Kendal".

Hemel Running Day from Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas writes "I have put together an album on my fotopic site."

Oxford Car Show draws old Oxford buses and good crowds.

Ray Marshall sent some very nice pictures of two of COMS fleet preserved at The Oxford Bus Museum which attended this event.

The Bristol Bus Rally from Marcus Lapthorn

Photos taken at the Bristol Bus rally on Sunday 15th August 2010 by Marcus Lapthorn who writes "I attended the Brislington, Bristol bus rally on Sunday 15 August and found it to be an extremely well organised rally with lots of buses attending and many operating free services. I attach a selection of photographs for the page."

The variety was worth the visit.

A nice group of models evoking many memories for visitors.

"One day in the future, maybe!"
(Marcus's Grandson.)

The Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza

The event made a welcome return to Cotswold Airport (previously known as Kemble Airfield) this year on Friday 6th - Sunday 8th August 2010, taking the show in to its 36th year. Gavin Francis visited the show and sent a number of interesting pictures.

Pictures provided by Gavin Francis.


Buses in the Landscape 

From John Young

Stagecoach North West OT Trident arrives at Bowness-on-Windermere.

A Stagecoach B10M skirts Lake Windermere, bound for Coniston via Ambleside.


Swiss Interlude by Paul Dudfield

As requested, here a few pictures of bus trains in Zug. The buses are NAWs with trailers by Hess. Picture 26 shows the difficulties in photographing 23m bus trains in congested old cities. I have included it as it gives a flavour of the original town of Zug which my wife and I found was well worth visiting.

If you are interested there is a short video clip of these bus trains on the Hess website 

I somehow don't think we shall be seeing any of these on the Cowley Road. However, I understand that in Germany bus trains are being used to cover peak school loads. Says much about social conditions there (and here).

Pictures by Paul Dudfield


A few pictures of interesting coaches passing through the region


A recent selection of double deck coaches seen in Oxpens by Gavin Francis.

A little out of area but interesting nevertheless, one of six Irizar tri-axles operated by Stobart and seen at Stansted by Gavin Francis.

Golden tours Bicester Village service shows their coach parked at Bicester. Picture by Richard Sharman.

Richard caught up with this nice Routemaster on a day out near Middleton Stoney on August 22nd. Pictures by Richard Sharman.

Shearings variety seen at Oxpens by Richard Sharman on August 15th.

Pictured in a revised livery by Richard Sharman on August 21st this Geoff Amos bus is seen in Banbury.

Upcoming Events

Showbus 2010 at Duxford - September 26th