Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 43 - April 10th 2011

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

Many of you will have been wondering what has happened to the OCBP. The last update was in late February and unless you were included in my mid-week update list the ether would have been silent.

Well, it has been a chapter of accidents, starting with a rewiring of our house, which was forecast to take a week but actually took two and half weeks, followed by a total crash of my computer which required starting from scratch. Don't programmes take a long time to load. My pictures were safely back-up but it took another week to get back to normal.

Finally I caught a lousy cold which laid me low for several days and it has only been this week when I felt like getting back to the page.

So much has been happening and many of you have kept me up to speed with news and pictures. Indeed there is so much to include in this issue that I may publish it in parts to give readers something to get on with.

One thing which has amazed me is the number of you who have been to Malta. I have been overwhelmed with reports and pictures and I will be using as much as possible.

National Express celebrate the Royal Wedding

Hot of the press! Gavin Francis, my ace reporter caught this coach leaving Victoria on Saturday afternoon. He tells me that NEx also have super rears as well so more pictures to come in the next few weeks.

Oxford's QBP is resulting in some changes in preparation for Quality bus partnerships

 which is ensuring that the council works with local bus companies to offer the best possible bus services.

What are quality bus partnerships for?

Under the Transport Act 2000 and Local Transport Act 2008, such partnerships can be arranged to ensure that our role as the provider of high quality infrastructure, and the bus operators' role of providing high quality bus services, is combined in the most effective way possible to achieve this goal, without the need for public subsidy for bus services.

The council shares a common goal with bus operators of increasing the number of passengers, improving public transport punctuality and minimising the environmental impact of bus services.

Quality bus partnership agreement in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire County Council has worked in partnership with bus operators for many years. There have been regular partnership meetings at a senior level for over 15 years, and two previous quality partnership agreements, in 1998 and 2006 respectively. As part of Transform Oxford, we are now working with the principal bus companies to develop a new Quality Partnership to ensure that high quality bus services can be provided whilst minimising the impact on the environment of central Oxford.

As a first step we can record changes to Oxford Bus's 4 and 15 services.

Repairing the large hole at Thornhill Park & Ride is now completed and users are ensured of a smooth ride on buses leaving station there.

Mike Bennett was on hand to record works as they were in and and the temporary closure of the bus station with alternative facilities near the main entrance.


For those interested in all things London, I can recommend the link below. The monthly magazine is of particular interest.


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: 19th April 2011.

Showman's & Fairground buses by Andy Baker

19.30pm - 21.30pm

Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road



Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)

or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE 


All meetings start at 19.30pm although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.

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



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

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - April 8th 2011.


Ian Brown, Hemel.

Some of the bus services in Herts see a change of times this weekend 26th-27th March. I called into the Tourist Office in St Albans and asked if a free area timetable (usually 250 pages plus) was available. Apparently no longer. Cost is the reason. Check on INTALINK on the net !
One new service is 712 (and 714) London commuter service operated by UNO between Hatfield Galleria and Buckingham Palace Road, London. First one leaves the Jersey Farm estate in St Albans at 0618 and arrives at 0813. It calls at various locations in central and outer St Albans.

I called yesterday to the new Milton Keynes Coachway, just yard from J14 M1. It is very impressive. Plenty of space for coaches, cars, passengers and people collecting and delivering there. A vast improvement from the old one. An NX person told me that it is a joint venture between NX and MK Council. There is no doubt whatsoever that this is very much `National Express` - large signs everywhere.

Pictures by Ian Brown

In this week`s Hemel Gazette there is a report on the inquest of the car driver who died when he drove along the wrong carriageway of the A41 and collided with your NX vehicle. The driver`s name is mentioned, but not NX or Stagecoach. My scanner is df at the moment. I can e-mail you with a summary or send cutting to you at Stagecoach or home, if required.

Here are several news items.

1) The waiting room at Hemel Hempstead`s bus station has been closed to the public.

They now have to wait outside or under the bus shelters.

The former waiting room has been refurbished and  now marked on the door in handwriting  is `Arriva Control Office`. It has a coded entry keypad on the door. Until now, drivers needing to deal with any problem have had to go into the ticket office next door and telephone Arriva`s depot at Two Waters, on the outskirts of Hemel, alongside the A41.

2) The last paper edition of Hertfordshire INTALINK was published in February.

Intalink was a folded newssheet updating members of the public on transport matters.

In reality the brochure, which was freely available in libraries and other public sites,  was of more interest to bus enthusiasts ! From May it will only be published on line   http://www.intalink.org.uk

It is well worth a look-at, especially to see the changes to operators and times of Hertfordshire routes. Started in 1999, it is officially described as a unique collaboration between local authorities and bus and train operators in Herts`
3) The Herts INTALINK mentioned the start of new service M1, London Haymarket-Luton-Milton Keynes circular.

However, the service does not appear to have materialised. INTALINK reports that the planned introduction didn`t take place`. The operator, Slingshot Travel says  on its website " Slingshot Travel is currently undergoing business and marketing activity  and will announce a date when the service will resume in 2011`.

Stephen LB

I must really compile a report from last Saturday as it was quite a fascinating day, one way and another, with a trip on one of new hydrogen buses in company with some very exuberant young enthusiasts who had travelled down from Leeds to ride on that bus and its sister in service. They proceeded to snap the bus, the driver, his cab and then put the snaps on Facebook!

One unusual coach seen last Saturday was a B Kavanagh 2 axle Eurolines 9700 for Ireland. reg 11-D-6248.

John Hammond

A selection of pictures from mid Feb of Arriva vehicles on rail replacement on the Harrow-Wembley Park section. 

Hemel E400 SN58 EOA at Harrow on the Hill

Aylesbury E400 SN58 ENX at Harrow on the Hill

Arriva London VDL / Wright at Harrow on the Hill

Luton's N42 JPP in 'back the bid' overall advertisement. Also at Harrow on the Hill.

All above pictures from John Hammond.

Andrew Morgan

Two pictures taken today (25/02/11) in High Wycombe (only second time there spotting after first in September 2009) first of the bus in Carousel Buses yard, which is a post war AEC RT painted in war time livery. It was done for use in a film or TV series some years ago I believe?

The others are of Wootten's coaches W49 on the T3 which was a big surprise. Normally it is run by an Olympian decker.

Two pictures taken today (07/03/11) both in Welwyn garden city first of Centrebus alexander ALX200 Dennis Dart SLF 554 (Y302 FJN) on the 366 and the other of newly repainted Arriva DAF 3831 (KE04 CZG). UNO solos 406-411 are said to be going into service on St Albans S routes when they change on 28th march and have been down seated to N33F from N25F with luggage racks.


All above pictures from Andrew Morgan

Glenn Knight

The pictures were all taken on 12th March, the first one of Centrebus Plaxton pointer Dennis Dart SLF 595 (T165 RMR) and the other four of the Arriva bus of the future 3890 (LF02 PVA) which is now allocated to Stevenage garage.

Stagecoach: P853 GND 20583 on the 899 at Luton Airport 6-Feb.


Nat Ex:        Stagecoach Oxford's 53703, OU10 GYK rear advertising at Luton Airport


Arriva/ TGM:           

 3253 in Harlow

0403 in Harlow

Centrebus:      M267 VPU 267 ex-Arriva AY seen in it's first home town of Harlow

National Express:

Surprise spot at Luton Airport (21/03) FJ60 HYV on the 737 to Stansted Airport had South Gloucestershire Bus Co legals. (This coach is on long term hire to Stagecoach in Oxfordshire Ed.)


S158 KNK 5158 seen at Luton airport on service 61


Seen on the 17:10 S1 Luton to Bedford on Tuesday 29th March was Dennis Trident AE06 GZH 18411 ex-Stagecoach Cambridge. 

All above pictures from Glenn Knight

John Marsh.

A brand spanking new Stagecoach Enviro 400, 19703 (AE60JSX), on its first week in service on Stagecoach Peterborough Service 22 (Peterborough - The Deepings).


This service is reportedly (Peterborough Telegraph 22/2/11) due to be axed in the very near future as part of the Government's spending cuts thus leaving the central core of my village, Deeping St James, devoid of its direct link to Peterborough! 

Is it not just possible that the good people of the Deepings might prefer a continuing service using older buses rather than being tantalised with new buses for a few weeks and then no buses at all? !  I know I would!

Above picture from John Marsh

Luke (Brown Monkey)

On my way home from school this afternoon, I was rather surprised to find Ex East-London Olympian 16135 (R135EVX) subbing for a Low Floor Dennis Dart on the 16:18 54 Service into Swindon. I attach two pictures, both caught (just!) on a mobile phone – so quality may not be great!

Maybe a contender to Buses in the Landscape? (Note: Pictures should be at least 1000 x 1000 pixels for inclusion on the page. Ed.)

Once again, Many thanks for all the effort you put into the OCBP, It is a great site which I love to read each week (or so!)

Mark Dutton.

I was at Birmingham Digbeth 8/3/11, and saw one of Selwyn’s new Elites on the 10.30 418 to London.  Hope you like the shot and what our new Nat Ex station looks like from the outside.

Saturday 12th March 2011.

FJ60EFV Haytons (England Flag) working the 419 to London 09.30.

KSK953 Parks of Hamilton working the 09.30 538 Inverness. 

YN11AYB Selwyn’s (New Elite) working the 10.30  418 London.

FH05URN(C049) Nat Ex working the 10.40  410 Wolverhampton.
(These were the coaches originally in Virgin livery. Ed.)

LSK831 Parks of Hamilton working the 11.20  570 Blackpool.

Monday 21st March 2011

FJ60EFU Haytons 419 London 09.30, behind is YN0GPJ(NXL10) Veolia Birmingham 777 Stansted 09.30 Nice and sunny at 09.30 in the morning 21st March.

This is HSK642 Parks of Hamilton, 538 Inverness 09.30 21/3/2011.

This is CN54HFE(76008) Veolia Cymru 320 Cardiff 11.15 21/3/2011. I have included this, as they will not be doing anymore Nat Ex work from May 2011.

This is YP52KRZ Haytons (All white) 325 Manchester 11.15 21/3/2011. (This is the remnants of the 825 London-Manchester service from Rapide days. Ed.)

Above pictures from Mark Dutton

Richard Sharman

Grayline Coaches commenced Wright Streetlite operation on the Bicester Village Shuttle from 01/03/11. Three Streetlites are in service, these being MX11 CZG/H/J. The interiors feature leather seats and the floor is carpeted. The service operates frequently seven days a week.

The interior of one of the StreetLites.

On Saturday the 19th of March the M40 was closed London bound for most of the day, the X90 was operating via Aylesbury and Beaconsfield. Two X90's are seen trying to get back on time leaving London.


Reading Buses-

Ex TGM Pointers now in use as Driver Trainers.

Arriva- An Arriva MPD awaits departure on a late afternoon service from Reading to High Wycombe.

Above pictures from Richard Sharman


Gavin Francis

Former Tube 50125 is now owned by BM Coaches who must operate some of the newest and most immaculate coaches around (until now!).

BM Coaches Neoplan Skyliner ex Oxford Tube 50125.

They have three of these coaches as listed below.

KP04GKA (ex 50111)
KP04GKC (ex 50112)
OU04BZR (ex 50125 T60UBE)

Noted as I was getting on the bus at Grosvenor Gardens yesterday RML 2621 went by. It has been repainted in the Harrods green and gold livery. I also see from The London Bus, Premium Tours are to start 2 more Round London Tours from 1st April, one of them starting on the Brompton Road near Harrods. If it had come by a few minutes earlier would have got a picture.


22057 has a new super rear ad. 22053 also carries the same one.


New 11 reg Selwyn’s coach.

Dons on A6. Must be short of coaches as the NatEx driver is also on the coach.

50214 now seems to back in regular use. It was behind me on the 07.00 express yesterday.
(This was the coach damaged in the overturning incident last year on the M40 near Beaconsfield. Ed.)


Taken in the village this morning.

This shows the problems of adorning buses with route branding, which as these pages show
often results in buses appearing a long way from their intended routes! Ed.

Went past Binders Yard this morning. This RM was in there. Any idea which one it is? Had a quick look at the web but could not find anything.


Wycombe Red Dart 3824 in Hemel presumably on the 52.

Tappins and R. W. Chenery at Stansted. Shows that it is possible to get decent night pictures given the time. Chenery was operating the 429 service because lots of coaches were delayed due to the all day closure of the M11 north of Stansted.

Above pictures from Gavin Francis

Mike Bennett

I was in Oxford on Tuesday 15th taking photos around the junction of St Aldates and Speedwell St when the new ADL Enviro400 19659 appeared before me.  As with several of the Scania/E400s it was "Not in Service".  Do you know what was going on - several yellow-jacketed staff seemed to be on most of the Scanias.

A little later I was around Magdalen St East wondering whether I would see Stagecoach 80016, the loan ADL E400 that was number 900 with OBC until recently.  Moments later it pulled in so I took some photos, but waited until it moved around to the Magdalen St stop C4 to photograph it before leaving on its next trip to Langford on service S5.  It is not of the best quality as the time was already 1700 and getting quite dull.

Picture from Mike Bennett

I went to the OBES AGM that same evening, and the talk by John Hammond was very interesting, even though I only new Cooks of Biggleswade by name.

Marcus Lapthorn

Former Wycombe Dial a Ride bus in Oxford now. S104 VKE is often parked up near The Plough Inn at Wolvercote, North Oxford, where it was photographed by Marcus Lapthorn on Friday 1 April 2011.

Whilst in Swindon on Sunday 3 April I spotted a double decker at the Mercedes Benz depot. The registration number is FC 3781 and the bus appears to be in RH Transport livery.

Philip Gates

Taken on 05.04.2011 from the visitor observation point, Stratford. 

Not sure if these vehicles are former red bendis, that have been replaced on LT routes, (could not get near enough to read registration numbers). 

Thanks for your email magazine 

Fleet News 

Arriva logo

Adam Green

There are 3 DLA Tridents in Hemel garage one of them is DLA91 will give you more updates when I get them.

I have the DLA's Numbers for you they are:


6/4 - Plus from Aylesbury 5421 and 4367 are back in Hemel

4367 was on the 500

Photo of 4367 on 500 to Watford on Monday 21st February

5421 was on the Ramp in the Bus Garage

2461 is also in Inter Urban Livery Now and looks very smart and also the 3 DLA's which are going to Garston for Repaint and Revamp inside them.



Noted today the first of Wycombe’s green route buses has had a repaint its 3862 KE05FMV. It must have only just returned today 03/03/11 and is currently unbranded.


18/03/11. in Eden bus station carousels C2WYC backed of its stand outbound for Heathrow into the back of an unidentified 737 which was waiting for the lights to change to green hardly any damage to the coach was as the rear lights and back panelling of C2.WYC. was severely damaged. (now known to be 53703)

Reported yesterday 24/03/11 3202 R202RBM is indeed in service at High Wycombe, she was on service 74 on the return journey to High Wycombe from Slough.


3201 R201RBM ran short of water this afternoon and was taken out of service as was 3827 P527YJO but this bus was quickly refilled and carried on working the 33s

At High Wycombe depot I saw the following buses parked up:

3217, 3826 and 3452, these were in the workshops and now moved from the back row to outside the garage was 3202 R202RBM. with her rear lights re-installed looks like she is being prepared for a stint in High Wycombe.

Parked up at Cressex was National Express coach YJ05PVT

In the back row, nominally reserved for withdrawn buses were:

3151, 3853, 3240, 4491 and 4426. There were two Darts parked up by the back row being 3210 and 3824. This had no ticket machine installed and several seats were piled up at the back of the bus, surely not to be scrapped, I hope, after that recent repaint?


Pete Cabin.

Volvo B7RLE 3862 (KE05FMV) has been repainted into the new standard livery and looks smart. At the moment it has lost its branding for Green Route 31, but I guess that may be re-applied in due course.

Above picture from Gavin Francis

3824 N524MJO is now back in service and she was working on the 37's today 06/04/2011, High Wycombe to Maidenhead. Also back in service is 3863 KE05GOH working the short run to Marlow on the 800's. Regarding 3862 KE05FMP the electronic blinds are partly working, only on the side and back of the bus. The main front blind is still u/s and a paper sticker is attached. (see above photo. Ed.) 5141 N41JPP currently also has a faulty destination display.


Nigel Peach

Latest repaint at Arriva (Hemel Hempstead) is Optare Solo KE55 FDF 2462. (see picture above Ed.)

Solos 2475, 2476 & 2477 are at Hemel from Watford.


Glenn Knight 


March 27th- Dash D1 – revised timetable Mon to Sat for better train connections.

Service 69 – withdrawn

Service 70 – frequency doubled between LB Rail Station and Luton to

compensate for 69 withdrawal – still hourly from LB to Milton Keynes

May 27th : large number of changes

Service 2 – withdrawn via Edison Road in morning peak and journeys in afternoon peak that operate from Edison Road to Bus Station withdrawn. Peaks and evening timetable changes on Monday to Saturday. Sunday service withdrawn

Service 4 - no change

Service 9 – no change on Monday to Saturday before about 19:00. Bedgrove evening service withdrawn on Monday to Saturday [replaced by one diverted 61 journey]. On Monday to Saturday a half hourly service from 1940 until 2310 FROM the Bus Station only to SM Hospital, buses returning via Mandeville Road to the Bus Station. On Sunday a 30 minute service will run between about 1000 and 1730 from the Bus Station via normal route to Church Square then via Churchill Avenue to Mandeville School, returning via normal service 9 route to Bus Station.

Services 16/17/18 – no change [planned for re-tender in late July]

LB Town Services – no change

Service 50 – timing changes throughout; officially re-routed away from “the Hub” via Station Boulevard; last journey from Halton Camp to Aylesbury withdrawn on Monday to Saturday; and first Saturday journey withdrawn Aylesbury to Halton Camp. 1810 ex Aylesbury on Monday to Friday extended from Halton Camp via Upper Icknield Way, Stablebridge Road and the 61 route to Ivinghoe. First Saturday journey from Halton Camp back-extended to commence at Ivinghoe and run via 61 route to Aston Clinton and then via Stablebridge Road and Upper Icknield Way to Halton Camp.

Service 60 – timing changes throughout. Apart from Monday to Friday “school journeys” [0730 ex Aylesbury & 1524 ex Buckingham School] and first Saturday journey towards Aylesbury, withdrawn from Watermead to run direct along A413.

Service 61 – evening contract journey ex Aylesbury on Monday to Saturday to run via Bedgrove, Cam Mead, Longmeadow, Bedgrove and as now. Monday to Friday 0623 ex Aylesbury to be worked by Aylesbury garage as far as Ivinghoe, where Luton operated bus will continue journey to Luton. The 1815 Aylesbury to Ivinghoe withdrawn but replaced by an extended 50 journey. 1900 from LLA to omit Eaton Bray and Edlesborough. On Saturday mornings reduced service with first two buses omitting Edlesborough and Eaton Bray; first two “short workings” into Aylesbury withdrawn and replaced by an extended 50 journey and the 0655 ex Aylesbury that meets a Luton bus at Edlesborough withdrawn, as is the Luton operated journey. The 1750 & 1910 ex LLA to omit Eaton Bray & Edlesborough.

Services 100 and 150 – All journeys ex Aylesbury to omit the High Street and Cambridge Street and run from Exchange Street via Vale Park Drive and Park Street, returning to the existing routing at the Weavers. Timing changes throughout; The Monday to Friday 1910 Aylesbury to Leighton Buzzard journey is withdrawn. On Sunday the routing via Little Brickhill and Bletchley is withdrawn and the routing will be as on Monday to Saturday. Journeys will run every 2 hours from 1000 until 1800 off of Aylesbury [so now an extra return journey] and from MK at approximately 1100 until 1900. The service will be linked with the 300 to provide a two hourly Sunday service from High Wycombe to Milton Keynes.

Service 110 – no changes

Service 160 – withdrawn on Saturday and thus service no longer runs.

Service 280 – On Monday to Saturday the 2245 from Aylesbury to Thame is withdrawn.

Service 300 – timing changes throughout. One early evening Monday to Friday return trip withdrawn. On Saturday the first journey from Princes Risborough into Aylesbury is withdrawn. On Monday to Saturday last bus arriving at High Wycombe now runs back at 2330 in service to Aylesbury via Saunderton, Princes Risborough and Little Kimble. On Sundays last two return trips withdrawn. Still hourly for the rest of Sunday but every other journey extends from Aylesbury to Milton Keynes and vice-versa as a 150, creating a two-hourly through service from High Wycombe to Milton Keynes where through fares will be available.

Service 500 – no change.

Scania 3202 (R202 RBM) moved to Wycombe towards the end of last year, but it has been parked in the line-up of withdrawn vehicles since then. However, today (Sat 26th March), I saw it on the 800 to Marlow - the first time I've seen it in service. It doesn't have an electronic destination display.

Step entrance Dart 3413 (P833 HVX) withdrawn a month or two ago is no longer in the yard at Cressex, so that would appear to have gone - unless it's been returned to service!
(It has reappeared in the yard looking very forlorn. I think it is on its way out. Ed.)

Volvo B7RLE 3863 (KE05 GOH) has been missing since before Christmas I would think. This is the one bus from that batch of seven not branded for Green Route 31 (though recently repainted 3862 has returned without branding).

A number of interesting pictures are included below.

Various High Wycombe based buses in and around the area by Gavin Francis.

It is interesting to see the branding on the MPD from Hemel on the 52, nowhere near Hemel!!
Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.


A number of interesting pictures are to hand for this issue as shown below.

Above pictures from Gavin Francis

Above picture from Malcolm Crowe

The variety on the Stokenchurch route is exceptional and most of the fleet types are seen in the village including the latest buses branded for the 4!


A picture of Centrebus Alexander ALX200 Dennis dart 564 (Y261 FJN) taken in Stevenage on the 18th March by Andrew Morgan

Above picture from Andrew Morgan

Charlton Services

Alex writes "Got another update for Charlton Services for the bus page ... 

They now have J61 NLM, A Volvo B10M with a Plaxton Paramount body. She now has Charlton Services decals on too, so is looking smart.

The breakdown picture of First 20514 is allocated with 20515 at Worcester & were transferred to Worcester from Bath at the time the National Express 402/403 were taken over by South Gloucestershire Coaches from First. Here it was doing the stations to Gloucester from Bristol Parkway by Worcester http://jevonsjourneys.fotopic.net/p65742340.html

This must have been working along the Worcestershire line stations to Oxford in Chris's breakdown one.

An update on my fotopic will be soon as well including a few from Cheltenham on Monday 21st.


An ex London Trident now in service between Reading and Bracknell. Note the London style blinds! Picture by Gavin Francis.

Grayline (Hartwool) Bicester

David Beynon.

Attached picture shows the first of three Wright Streetcars for Grayline which will go into service as MX11 CZG / H / J on the shuttle between Bicester North Station and Bicester Village.

Thanks to Grayline staff for the info.

Above picture from David Benyon

Ken MacKenzie

Hartwool put three Streetlites on the road last Tuesday on the Bicester Village to Bicester North Station shuttle. Details and picture attached.

Hartwool, Bicester

        MX 11 CZG    Wright StreetLite  SA9DSRXXX10141021             AE230 B37F   3/11

        MX 11 CZH     Wright StreetLite  SA9DSRXXX10141022            AE231 B37F   3/11

        MX 11 CZJ     Wright StreetLite  SA9DSRXXX10141028             AE469 B37F  3/11

Above picture from Ken MacKenzie

They also have a daily coach from London operated by Golden Tours of London (BM Coaches, Hayes) you can see the vehicle has the same livery as the Streetlites.

New Wrightbus Streetlites for the Bicester Village to Bicester North Station Shuttle Service - by Mike Bennett

When I looked through my April copy of Buses magazine last Friday I found a photo by Ken MacKenzie taken at Bicester North railway station. It showed a bus of which I was not aware, namely one of the new Wrightbus Wheel Forward Streetlites. The details in the adjacent Fleet News item said that three such vehicles had just been delivered to Grayline of Bicester for the Shuttle Service from the station to the Bicester Village Outlet Shopping Centre. They are registered MX11 CZG/H/J.

So my outing on Tuesday March 22nd was to photograph and ride on these buses. Following my arrival on the route 66 from Swindon, (on a MAN/E300 this time), I quickly transferred to an X5 and got off near the Bicester Village. The Village is definitely a destination for those arriving by car, not very friendly for those on foot. I soon saw one of the Streetlites leaving for the short journey to the station, but I had to wait only a few minutes for the next one to appear. After a few photos I rode on this one, MX11 CZG, to Bicester North, taking only 5 minutes. After more or less emulating Ken's photo, I took some time out to photograph some Class 165 DMUs at the station. Bicester North is a very smart station and was busier than I thought it would be for mid-afternoon.

I heard the next Streetlite arrive, so I was quickly back out to the forecourt to get some more photos, this time of MX11 CZJ, followed soon by MX11 CZH, on which I rode back to Bicester Village. It stayed long enough for me to get a rear view before it left for its next trip to the station.

I walked back to the main road and just missed an S5 Scania decker, but an X5 coach soon came along. I was in Gloucester Green within 24 minutes - in plenty of time to catch my route 66, (again a MAN), at 17:15, arriving in Watchfield in daylight for the first time this year.

R Sharman

Two Irizar PB's have been acquired for touring work.
Above picture from Richard Sharman

Ken MacKenzie writes "These are ex Buzzlines, Hythe (KT)."

Matthew Searle
writes "Heyfordian Optare Solo YJ59 NNO working the 17.35 service no. 25 from Oxford to Bicester on Thursday 31 March was apparently involved with two cars in an accident in Banbury Road, Oxford, which led to it demolishing a bus shelter and mounting a garden wall. All the emergency services attended, and the road was very briefly closed, but fortunately only slight injuries were sustained by four of the seven passengers on-board, and no-one was waiting at the stop. The bus was removed later in the evening. The attached photographs were taken by me about half an hour after the incident."

Above pictures from Matthew Searle 

Hedley Shanks, Motts Travel writes "Just thought I'd show you T200's progress". (This relates to the bus damaged under a low bridge. Ed.)


Take your pick on what photos to use, T200 is back, we have got two more Irish Olympians to be put in service, one is in our yard and that is RV 502 and we will be getting RV580 in the summer and this will be V600 MTT. I am picking up from Volvo Coach Sales the first of two Volvo B9R Jonckheere SHV’s C53Ft on Thursday evening, getting liveried up on Friday, for myself to take to the British Coach Rally at Peterborough. I will send you a photo or two of this event. This will be MT11 MTT & the other one will be GT11 MTT.

Above pictures from Hedley Shanks of Motts.


From Ian Brown, Hemel: 


Overall performance

After a record profit in 2009, the UK Coach business consolidated its position this year. Although greater investment in marketing, new facilities and services reduced operating
margin by just over one percentage point, the business continues to lead its market and has, under new management, completed a review to identify future opportunities to build this
exciting network and brand.
Overall revenue grew 3% in 2010 to £250.3 million (2009:£242.9m), with underlying revenue in the Express coach business also up 3%. Despite the highly competitive pricing environment, as many rail companies continue to heavily discount fares, yields in Express coaches improved by 1% and underlying volume increased by 2%. The division also saw good growth in The Kings Ferry commuter-hire operation and from Eurolines.

Normalised operating profit decreased slightly during the year, from £34.3 million in 2009 to £32.0 million in 2010. The operating margin was 12.8% (2009: 14.1%). This reflected an
increase in scheduled operating costs, including fuel costs for third party operators. However, the key drivers were an increase in marketing expenditure, investment in new facilities (including the state-of-the-art Birmingham Coach Station, which opened in December 2009) and tactical campaigns to defend aggressive competition and successfully retain our leading market share.

Driving revenue

The National Express scheduled business enjoyed a strong recovery in airport traffic during 2010, offsetting some cross-country weakness. Customer access continued to improve in 2010 – the website, which now accounts for over 50% of passenger revenue booking, was  re-launched in September.
Customers tell us that coach station facilities are important to them; in addition to Birmingham, new stations were opened at Milton Keynes, Swansea, Derby and Blackpool, all significantly improving passenger experience. In addition, station facilities at Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool were all refurbished. The Hotel Hoppa service and The Kings Ferry also saw growth, the latter including high profile executive contracts for football clubs and politicians. Eurolines had a strong 2010; following the Icelandic volcano eruption in April, 28,000 people were repatriated to the UK from continental Europe during the affected period. The value offered and ease of use demonstrated by Eurolines during this period have helped it gain many new customers and this business will provide a platform to support the Group’s planned expansion as continental European countries liberalise their domestic markets. The UK Coach division benefited from a number of contract based projects during the year. At Gatwick Airport, National Express provided the inter-terminal monorail replacement service through most of 2010. Our co-ordination of pilgrim transport for the papal visit to Birmingham, as well as the on-going partnership with a number of music festivals, contributed to overall performance. Offsetting this, the impact of Network Rail’s reduced engineering programme during the year was seen in lower activity in our Rail Replacement business.

Managing costs

The division’s flexible cost base structure continued to benefit cost management. With around 80% of services run by third party operators under long-term contracts, capacity was successfully flexed to meet changing customer requirements, and under-performing operators were replaced without interruption to service. The bus-based, real-time information system called Traffilog has been extended to UK Coach and is already improving fuel efficiency, providing improved route planning and helping to assess driving standards. The fitting of automatic alcohol testing to all express coaches provides a further safety feature.

Photos from various readers.

The pictures above show a line up in Gloucester Green, one of the latest deliveries to the NEx fleet at Gatwick and Motts on hire working the 737 from Oxford.
Above pictures from Gavin Francis

 From Jay Holden

"On 21/02/11 red Enviro 400 225 paid a visit to Route U1 and was seen operating the 16:10 from Wheatley Campus."

"On 23/02/11, yet another red e400 turned up on the U1, the honours was done by 228. Also an unidentified red E400 was on the U5."

"Today (25/02/11) i noticed Red Trident 102 working a normal City Centre journey on Route U1, also Enviro 400 204 was on Route U5X which I have only ever seen Tridents and E400 900 operate."


"Renown 794 paid a visit to Route U1 today, operating the 15:10 from Wheatley Campus to Gypsy Lane. I could not take a picture as i saw it from the top deck of Enviro 400, 211 which has gained some over-revving problems."

from Andrew HA 

Ex City of Oxford Coach , was providing a Crew Restroom at Bishop's Stortford Bus Station today 240211.

Dave writes "You/your readers may be interested to know that in the latest edition of Notices & Proceedings, City of Oxford Motor Services have registered two services to start 8 May 2011:

3 between Rose Hill and Oxford, Speedwell Street; and 4/4A/4B/4C, between Wood Farm and Ock Street, Abingdon.

They have also cancelled the registration for service 15 between Oxford and Wood Farm, effective from the same date.

So they are taking the Stagecoach number for the Iffley Road services in preparation for the QBP (which may or may not have started by then!) and linking the Abingdon/Botley side to the Wood Farm buses instead.

Tim Hall Swindon writes "I attach two photos of ex City of Oxford VRTs with Potteries Motor Traction. 1st photo of ex COMS 488 then PMT 772 at Crewe in 1995 and the 2nd of ex COMS 491 in Wolverhampton in 1990."

A number of interesting pictures are to hand by various contributors.

OX218 road works New Rd 040311 - OX 900 Pegasus Rd BLACKBIRD LEYS 040211 - OX 859 and 225 St Aldates 070411

OX 227 r 2C Magdalen St East 070411 - OX 112 r 500 Magdalen St East 070411 - OX 1 M40 to Oxford 190311 
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

OX 103 r U5X on the A40 290311 - Picture by Richard Sharman.

R H Buses

From R Sharman

Further expansion of the Coaching side of RH Transport Services, RH Coaches.com has seen new vehicle types entering service alongside the large fleet of MAN/EOS 90's.

School Contract gains in Oxfordshire have increased the Coach Unit  fleet in size, and added variety, bringing Van Hool Alizee's, Berkhof Excellence, Jonckheere Deauville and additional EOS's into fleet, indeed RH must now operate the largest fleet of MAN/EOS 90's in the United Kingdom.

Two recent immaculate additions to the fleet are Wright bodied Dart SLF's 603 and 604.

These will see service on Routes X9 and X15, increasing capacity for these busy rural services.

The two Darts where new to Fishwick’s, Leyland who had a tradition of buying Leyland vehicles and thus fitted Leyland steering wheels to these vehicles!

The Tridents have now gained adverts for the Oxford Journal, which also has a helpline number for former Soldiers to ring if they are finding life outside the Army hard, RH Buses supports the promotion of this cause.

New buses for RH Transport - by Mike Bennett

Seen in Witney at 15:45 on Thursday March 24th was this Dennis Dart SLF with Wright B41F body. It is number 603 in the RH Buses fleet. Also seen a few minutes later was 605 - R848 VEC. Both are freshly painted and bring a larger bus than the usual Solo to the X15, Witney - Abingdon route. They were both new to Fishwick of Leyland, near Preston, in August 1997. Is there a number 604, and is it another bus from this same batch ? Fishwick also had R845 and 847 VEC.



Jay Houlden writes 22925 was on Route 600 on March 21st with a blank destination. The driver was stopping at each stop to make sure no one wanted it.

Various interesting pictures are shown below.

Astromega 50223 is seen at DAF Kidlington awaiting a replacement engine. Picture by Richard Sharman.

SCO 80016 r S5 Magdalen St East 070411 - SCO 50214 Express at Victoria 010411 - SCO 15613 r S1 Magdalen St East 070411 - SCO 12009 nis GG 070411
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

These pictures are from David Allen and show Stagecoach vehicles on diversion in Wantage.

David has also produced two excellent models of the Oxford tube coaches.

Another nice picture of Tube 50202 seen outside Queens College, Oxford.

And do you remember the snow in late December? Gloucester Green is seen devoid of any buses except for the Oxford tube on December 18th in this picture by David Allen.
Shortly after this picture was taken all services had to be suspended.


Jamie Vendy writes, Noticed SC 16496 (P145KWJ) on the Oxford stand. Much to my surprise as I thought it had gone there on town work but to find it was on the X5 to Oxford came as a surprise!!

So I’ve attached the photos for what I would suggest has been a working of the year so far for Bedford on the X5.

All I ask (if you don't mind) is to link my site in so others can view the photos I have there. The address is www.jimbosbus.fpic.co.uk  

Photo by Jamie Vendy.

OLYMPIAN 16209 has reappeared on the X5, no doubt due to a shortage of coaches.  Photo by Gavin Francis.


Stagecoach West provided transport for nearly 70,000 people back and forth from the town centre and railway station to the racecourse during the festival.

Director of Operations Sholto Thomas said: "We are under starters orders and we hope the going is going to be good.

"We are bringing in resources from pretty well all over England so we expect to have between 65 and 70 extra buses running.


Marcus Lapthorn

Yet another excellent page!!!!!!!

Would it be possible please for you to add the photos referred to with this caption? As the route D is the local service to my home in Bishops Cleeve I've attached a couple of photos showing the buses in Service in Cheltenham. One taken on 18 December 2010 during heavy snow and another in better summer weather."

I like the comparison that you showed us of coaches in their 'before & after' liveries.

The Stagecoach West 66 route from Swindon to Oxford seems to increasingly be short of the allocated vehicles for this route - the 2008 registered MAN's. On recent days there have been as many as 4 Darts on the route and on other days 3 d/d's and one Dart! I have heard an unconfirmed rumour that new d/d's are to be purchased for this route during 2011.

Stagecoach West have withdrawn all the MAN's from the 66 route! There are two theories doing the rounds about this: (10 March)

      They are so unreliable that Swindon have to keep them on Swindon local routes. This way if they still break down hopefully another bus will not be far behind and the engineers can reach the failed bus reasonably quickly.

      They have been taken off the 66 route temporarily due to the road works at the bottom of George St, Oxford as the drivers are finding it difficult to get these long vehicles round the corner.

The 66 route is now operated entirely by Darts including the 54 route branded Darts that used to operate from Swindon to Wooton Basset. Occasionally a double decker may also be on the route. So quite a change around for the Swindon to Oxford route.

Since this was written the M A N's seem to have returned to the 66.

Jay Houlden

Something that might be of interest to yourself and your readers, Just a Spotting in my Local Town of Wootton Bassett...

An unfamiliar bus (Certainly not of Stagecoach Swindon) was operating the 16:15 Wootton Bassett – Swindon Service 54 Route.

It was a Branded bus ‘Route D’ orange colours.

I could not catch any number plate or fleet number – due to the fact it was rather dirty!

Maybe someone could shed some light on why it is here?

I really think someone was playing games at Stagecoach in Swindon today cause:

"No less then 5 ALX400s were present on the 66 today (05/03/11) including: 18177 , 18445, 18183, 18179 and 18183. As you might have guessed the normal E300s were elsewhere including: 22621 on the 55,  22622 on the 7 and one unidentified e300 on the 70."

Please find some attached pictures of the ALX400 on the 66 (at Swindon Bus Station) and 22622 on the 7.


Tim Hall Swindon 

I dread to think how 18183 made it round Appleton, Eaton and Cumnor as it was on that journey this morning on the 66.

Something is going on with the MANs 22620-26 of Stagecoach Swindon!

They have not been seen on route 66 since last Saturday March 5th, so I presume there is yet another problem with them.

On Sunday March 6th Trident 18177 was on the route ,and yesterday, March 8th, 34883/4/5 plus two Tridents were on it and so far today, March 9th , 18444 and 33916 are doing the honours.

Mike Bennett  

Here are two photos of the interlopers on route 66 from Swindon.  On Thursday March 10th at least 5 out of the six buses required for the route were not MAN/E300s.  As we were waiting for the bus at Watchfield, Stagecoach Swindon

Dart 33926 was seen heading for Swindon.  We caught 34885 at 13:10 to Oxford.  Between then and 13:52, Dart 33928, a Trident, and 34886 passed heading west.  I got off in Frideswide Square and waited for 34885 to come back out from Gloucester Green to photograph it.  When I asked the driver of our bus home at 17:15, he said that the road works in Worcester St made it rather tight for the 12.8 metre MANs to negotiate the corner, so they had all been replaced by shorter vehicles for the week. 



On Saturday 19th I did a six hour walk around the south suburbs of Manchester getting pictures of as many Stagecoach's (including half of the Hybrids) from the Hebden Bridge station area all the way to Princess Road Depot including Didsbury & Rusholme.

Man 22100, Enviro 300 27501 & Fiesta 92928 were used by drivers for reliefs between Princess Road depot to Palatine Road terminus.

Palatine2 bodied-Volvo Olympian 16189 S959URJ was at Princess Road still in MagicBus blue.

An update on my fotopic will be soon as well including a few from Cheltenham on Monday 21st. http://jevonsjourneys.fotopic.net/p65742340.html



Terry Partridge

Ten new Enviro 200s entered service today in Exeter working D/H and K/T route intermixed with the previous batch of 10 WA60 Enviro 200s.

36231 WA11 BXW

36232 WA11 BXX

36233 WA11 BXY

36234 WA11 BXZ

36235 WA11 BYB

36236 WA11 BYC

36237 WA11 CGF

36238 WA11 CGG

36239 WA11 CGK

36240 WA11 CGO 


Sullivan buses

Pictures taken on March 28th by Andrew Morgan show Sullivan Buses new route 330, once an LT route! Also pictured is one of four new E200s for route B1.


uno bus reaches London and Stansted with new services from Hertfordshire on 27th March 2011 

Pictures have been provided by Andrew Morgan (Herts), Gavin Francis and other readers which are most interesting.

For new timetables please visit www.intalink.org.uk

St Albans Pink
A new bus for St Albans, with a new name, new buses, and a new look. We've also made the timetables a whole lot simpler:
Pink 1 Milehouse to City Centre
Pink 2 New Greens to City Centre
Pink 3 Jersey Farm to City Centre
Pink 4/5 Cottonmill to City Centre

The branding is "pure" Stenning - Pictures by Andrew Morgan (Herts)

101 Hatfield – Stevenage – Hitchin - Luton
Provides evening buses from the University and Business Park in Hatfield to Stevenage and Luton, leaving the Forum at 1915 & 2115 and Luton at 2040 & 2240.

Stansted Airport – Buntingford – Baldock – Letchworth – Hitchin – Stevenage – Hatfield

Uno are taking over this bus, and most journeys will be extended to and from Hatfield to serve the business park, Galleria and University. This will provide new links from the Hatfield area to the North Hertfordshire towns of Letchworth and Baldock as well as further afield to Bishops Stortford and Stansted Airport.

Picture by Gavin Francis

712 714 St Albans/Hatfield – London Victoria
In response to passenger demand following the withdrawal of the Green Line 712 service,
Uno are pleased to announce the introduction of a replacement service between St Albans and London Victoria. Passengers will get free travel on connecting journeys on the St Albans local bus network. Bus 714 will provide a direct link from London Victoria to the Forum - ideal for students travelling from Central and South London.

Pictures by Gavin Francis

Pictures by Andrew Morgan (Herts) 

HA1 HA2 Harpenden Local Service
Uno will take over these routes, serving the town centre and Cross Lane Estate.

One wonders how these services will affect the National Express services which offer similar routing concerning Luton and Stansted Airports and the 797 Green Line service from Hatfield to London.


The Beds, Herts and Bucks newsgroup on Yahoo is reporting that Woottens Tiger T5 Amersham-Hemel-St Albans-Hatfield has finished.

Ian Brown, Hemel.

Their web site shows:

Service T5 Amersham - Chesham - Lye Green - Bovingdon - Hemel Hempstead - Adeyfield - Leverstock Green - St Albans Hospital - St Albans, St Peters Street - St Albans City Station - Fleetville - Oaklands - Hatfield Galleria - Hatfield Town Centre - Hatfield Railway Station.
valid from Monday 9th August 2010 (Please Note - Service to be withdrawn from 15th May 2011).

We regret to inform customers that service T5 is to be withdrawn. The last day of service will be Saturday 14th May 2011.

We have all worked very hard to build this service and it is unfortunate that developments beyond our control have made the route uneconomical to run.

Other Tiger Line services will not be affected by this withdrawal.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their support. 

An unfortunate development and one to regret, when an operator tries to provide a service which does not succeed.