Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 62 - October 5th 2012

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

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A great deal has been happening since the last issue. The Olympics, both events, have come and gone and are now but a memory. The buses used have almost all returned to their operating companies.

We have a treat in store as Gavin Francis has prepared a special Olympic issue for the OCBP. I hope to publish this in the next two weeks.

The cruise ship used for accommodation moored alongside Bus Depot Athletes (BDA).

Of other interest perhaps the most significant is that Weavaway have taken over Tappins from Heyfordian and we await full details. Suffice to say one of Tappins Van Hool coaches has appeared in white with Heyfordian at High Wycombe bearing Heyfordian legals and one of the double deck coaches was seen heading north out of Oxford with all Tappins branding removed except Oxford.

Another surprise is the closure of R H with effect midnight on October 4th. The company had grown from small beginnings and had some interesting stage routes, including the 700 J R service and many schools contracts. They had an interesting fleet and the local scene will be less colourful as a result. Further details are shown under their section in the operators area.

Another item of interest in the past few days was the cancellation by the government of the award to First Group of the West coast main line rail franchise. This will now remain with Virgin pending re-tendering. It seems that mistakes were made by civil servants, three of whom have been suspended.

The Award's season is upon us and we should have reports on the winners by the next issue.

Also in early November Eurobus 2012 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham. Dates for the event are:

Tuesday 6th November: 09:30 – 16:30hrs

Wednesday 7th November: 09:30 – 17:00hrs

Thursday 8th November : 09:30 – 17:00hrs

If you are there, on Wednesday 7th, I may see you.

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

Nearly nine years ago and on 5 October 2003, RLH48 takes a happy group of enthusiasts on a run to Berkhamsted - Malcolm Crowe.

Dates for your diary

Other Running Days in 2012

Sunday 7 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station 


Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in  Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture  show with local and guest speakers.  A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually around £1 for members per meeting depending on numbers.  For non-members a charge of £2 per head is made.

Next Meeting:

The next society meeting is on the Tuesday, 16th October and will feature: 

Howard Butler & Steve Loveridge giving a slide presentation
featuring "South Coast buses and East Anglian operators from the past."

 The meeting commences at 7.15pm

 Non members are always welcome to join us at our meetings for a fee of £2 per meeting.

 Membership of the society allows free entry into all meetings for free, and costs just £16 for a year. 

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.



When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site 


Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.


Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!


I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.


May I please ask readers to do two things?


1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.


2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.


The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.


Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.


The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all. 

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - October 5th 2012


Observations and pictures

Mark Turner writes "I enclose thirteen pictures that I took during the Hemel Bus Rally on 19th Aug 2012."

Jamie Dyke writes "Herewith some pictures of interest for the next page"

Dart Y846 TGH working for Reading Buses.

Thames Travel's R981FNW still in full Carousel livery on the X39.

SN11BMO on the 1, not the -1 as it is showing!

Bernard Lewendon has been busy in the Wycombe area and says "Since writing I have seen another DAF double decker, so you can add:- 6303  Y503 UGC.

At the Lincoln Road garage of Arriva I have seen T58 AUA in all over aquamarine. It was a large coach and that was all I was able to see.

It is not listed in the Arriva Handbook and without trespassing I could not see any more details or if had a legal owner detailed.

Where are they now?

There are several local buses not seen around for a month or more so where are they?

Arriva: 3457, and 3865.

Carousel: 472, 481,753, and 872.

I also attach some pictures, all taken on 21 August at the Eden Bus Station.

Carousel 805.  

Carousel 423 in new livery. Orange Route 39.  

Vale Travel Enviro 200 DK57 OPY. 

Carousel 416 now with no names or other lettering.  

Arriva driver trainer 4367 SAF/Plaxton Prima.  

Arriva staff transport FX4 taxi P564 SYF.  

Close up of fleet number on Carousel 806. Perhaps one day they will all be that clear and easy to read.

Route 377, Holtspur to Hazlemere run under contract  to Transport for Buckinghamshire changed operators recently. On Tuesdays and Fridays a couple of trips take the bus into Tesco car park at Loudwater.

The previous operator was Z & S International and LT02 ZDA a Dennis Dart SLF with Marshall body in Purple Route colours was pictured at Tesco towards the end of August, whilst an anonymous white Mercedes Benz FX54 WFR bearing the fleet number 450 provided their last service on 7 September.


The service was taken over by Red Eagle and Y332 FJN was used on the first day, 11 September."


Richard Morgan was in Oxford recently to photograph the last day of non-gold buses on the S3, since he was reliably informed that the change was effective from Monday, September 10th.  Richard writes "I gathered that four entered service on Sunday September 9th, with one already VOR having lost a window on its first day in service!  I managed to travel on one and photograph two.  Attached are a few pix of 15834 at Woodstock and Charlbury."


"I have also attached a photo of Tom Tappin Ltd.'s latest bus, which I believe has been in use now for about two weeks.  57(PJ53 NKC) Vo B7TL Transbus O41/25F new to London Central (PVL538) 10/2003 as H41/23D.  The conversion to open top was done in-house by Tom Tappin Ltd."


Gavin Francis writes to send two pictures of interest.

National Express/Stagecoach 53701 passing The Best Kept Village sign, in Stokenchurch, which I have never noticed before.

Arriva Olympian 5162 in Lane End.

Luke Braham writes "Today (18th September) I spotted Arriva Dennis Trident Y526 UGC going around the Tring Road Roundabout in Aylesbury showing Not in Service on it's destination."

This afternoon I saw Y509 UGC on a School Service in Aylesbury at Schweppes (just inside Aylesbury from Bierton)."

I understand that ten of these DAF double decks have been received from London with six based at Wycombe (6300-5) and four at Aylesbury (6306-9). Ed.

Weavaway have brought Tappins Coaches, which was owned by Heyfordian, on Thursday 30th September. The sale includes 33 vehicles, with Weavaway's coaching fleet expected to move to Tappins' Didcot site, and Heyfordian's West Berkshire local bus contracts which were operated by Tappins transferring to Weavaway at their Greenham site.

Now that this has happened Heyfordian are now running ex-Tappins Neoplan Skyliner B20 TCL in plain orange and was on a school service today (Thursday 4th October) in Aylesbury. 

John Marsh sent some pictures of the Borismaster


Alex Horwood writes "I've been busy with college which has given me time to see what RH are doing on the X15 however commuting from Didcot to Witney is a tall order. 

I have seen that 850 has transferred to Thames Travel along with the other four Citaros and in return 900 is to transfer to COMS.

Strangely only three (852 - 854) of the Citaros have been treated to X2 branding however this isn't fully adhered to as I had a trip on 854 to Wantage on the 36 and return on the X36, I noted the same bus on the X32 a number of times, on the 106C earlier this month of which I have a photo also a friend of mine noted it on the X40.. I noted 853 on the 36 today and on the X32 last week. 851 has also had a trip to Wantage. 852 is the only Citaro so far I have noted as always being on the X2.

Onto RH Buses.   I now use the X15 to get to college in the mornings I have noted their ex Go North East Pointer Darts on the X15 as well as two of their Wright's Darts.

Otherwise it is generally Optare Solos, although there is quite a variety in RH's fleet.

However there are no deckers used on the route because of an 18 tonne weight limit on a bridge outside Longworth." 

Richard Sharman has sent some nice pictures of interest.


Former Tube Jonckheere now with Girlings, Plymouth


One of the remaining COMS Dart SLF's with PCB is now a Trainer


Former Witney Trident passing a First Trident on its last day in service in Barnstaple


One of the former Bicester allocated Tridents


Former Oxford Scania having just worked into Exeter on Stagecoach's very first trip on the X9 from Bude

I am told that the Scanias will be out-stationed at Bude for the X9. Ed.


Former COMS Verde at Damory


Former X90 Coach at Pool Depot


Former SC Oxford ALX200 now withdrawn at Exeter after being on loan to South(see legals pic)



Former Oxford ALX200 still in use in Torquay

Last Issue

Trevor Wilson writes "Lot of info in issue 61.

Re Megabus picture with X27 branding - photo shows X74 branding Dumfries & Moffat, Hamilton and Glasgow

Re 141st Open Golf and Stagecoach.  There is reference to a coach seated Scania - and included is a picture of 15729 PX61CVK named Blencathra - one of a batch of 9 (I think) all named after Lake District peaks and based at Kendal in the a Lakeland green and white livery and used on the 555 Lancaster-Kendal-Windermere-Ambleside-Keswick.

The part open top Trident S812BWC is one of 5 S-BWC and 1 V-MEV open top Tridents based at Kendal for the 599 Grasmere-Ambleside-Windermere-Bowness. Stagecoach Carlisle depot also have 2 open top Tridents (ex London) for the 78 Keswick-Seatoller

Arriva logo and TGM

Adam Green writes "Hemel has a New 12 plate Enviro 300, 3579, which arrived a few weeks ago

I was at Heathrow last Monday and there were four Citaros for Luton and the Busway on Olympic duty around the airport.

Hemel was host to Solo 2494 which used to be at Stevenage.

Trident 5456 was on the 4&5 and New Enviro 300 3579 was on the 4&5 yesterday.

Here is a photo of 3579 with its new branding. 

Gavin Francis writes "Arriva Darts 4530 and 4531 have arrived at Wycombe. They were previously DWL 18 and 19 in London and photos of them in those days are shown below."



Luke Braham writes "Today (11th September) Arriva 0441, YJ10 LZV, was operating the Green Route 4 service, which is usually operated by Green Route branded Solo's.

Arriva's 0441, YJ10 LZV, was operating the Green Route 4 service on the 11th September it was also operating it today (13th September)."

Bernard Lewendon writes "You might find these pictures of some interest.

Taken at Aston Rowant on A40 inviting us to travel on Wycombe Bus.

Not a bus picture but perhaps of interest.
Taken at Wycombe railway station 35 years after the train service to Bourne End ended
hence making it not possible to travel by train Wycombe to Maidenhead.

From the top of the multi-storey (55 steps!) car park at the Wycombe railway station showing a Red Route 33 Arriva bus.

In Paul Lacey's recent and excellent book "Thames Valley, the Final Decade"
there is a picture on page 168 on the Wycombe Marsh garage of Thames Valley taken in 1970 when it was under offer for sale.
This is the present condition of that garage.

Also seen on October 2nd at Wycombe was 4531. A new arrival.

Pictured at Wycombe Marsh on 2nd. October and got this picture. You will see that the registration IS LJ51 DFD.

According to the Arriva Handbook it was last with London as their DWL 19. It is a DAF SB120 with Wrightbus Cadet body.

Also pictured the unceremonious removal of 3827 from the bus station.

With the arrival of 6300 - 6304 the DAF / Alexander double deckers, it was inevitable that there would be the removal of some of the elders at Wycombe.

Still in service is 5141 of 1996, also still working are 5150, 5151, and 5162. but it looks as though 5147, 5148, and 5153 are out of service and have gone or are going soon.


Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Two of the Volvo Wrights from Harlow now at Wycombe. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

A quartet of MPDs seen around High Wycombe, pictures by Gavin Francis.

Ex Wycombe Bus Dart 3827 on a 40 turn with picture by Gavin Francis.

Another Dart on the 40, this time 3181 at Stokenchurch with picture from Gavin Francis.

The two Solos which when new were used on the 40 to Thame now appear on other routes as the 40 required more capacity.
2497 is seen on a 74 working by Gavin Francis. 

New bus ‘will help cut delays’ on busy route

A new bus that has been added to a route through Hemel Hempstead is expected to reduce the number of delays for people using it.

It was bought by Herts County Council for the 300 and 301 service and will be funded by the group for a year as part of a drive to cut CO2 emissions and boost growth.

Paul Adcock, managing director of Arriva, said “The new bus has been added to the schedule to offer improved reliability and punctuality for this service.

“In the past the service has suffered from delays as it passes through many of the county’s busy town centres.”

He hopes the new timetable and bus will improve the service and encourage more people to travel by bus instead of car.

The 300 and 301 route passes through Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and St Albans – with buses stopping at up to once every 15 minutes.

Wireless-charge battery buses for MK

Article Image

An Arriva service in Milton Keynes is to be converted to battery-electric operation next summer using a fleet of eight Wrightbus StreetLites which will incorporate wireless recharging, a technology not previously seen in Britain. It means they should be able to cover comparable schedules to diesel buses. A five-year collaboration agreement has been signed by the eight organisations involved, including Arriva, Wrightbus, Milton Keynes council and Mitsui. The scheme was planned and will be managed by Mitsui-Arup joint venture MBK Arup Sustainable Projects. Its aim is to demonstrate the economic viability of low-carbon public transport.

The partners are not putting a cost on the project, but Milton Keynes council was awarded £640,000 of support in the most recent round of Green Bus Fund awards. They say it could reduce annual running costs per bus by between £12,000 and £15,000.

The buses will charge when power transmitted from a primary coil buried in the road is picked up by a secondary coil on the bus. Ten minutes parked over a coil will replenish two thirds of the energy consumed by the bus. The primary coils will be placed at three points on the route, which runs between Wolverton, central Milton Keynes and Bletchley, and the buses will charge in scheduled layover the time.

John Miles from Arup, who initiated the trial, says: “What makes the Milton Keynes project different to other electric bus schemes is the wireless charging system. The Milton Keynes buses will be able to cover a heavily-used urban route because they are able to charge for ten minutes at the beginning and end of each cycle without interrupting the timetable. This means that for the first time, an electric bus will effectively be able to do everything a diesel bus can do, which is a significant step forwards to a cleaner, quieter, public transport system.”

These will be the first battery-electric buses from Wrightbus since some experimental vehicles in the 1990s.

521 (DAF 54), CB54 BUS a DAF SB120/Wright Cadet has moved to Thames Travel and is painted all white.

Recent additions to the Carousel fleet. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Carousel now operate a new service, the 28, which serves Stokenchurch on an irregular basis. Picture by M. Crowe.

Carousel's new Mercedes 875 is seen on the 740 by Gavin Francis.

923-924 (L 530,534), G530 & G534 VBB Leyland Olympian/Northern Counties deckers have appeared in all over blue school livery. 

Picture by Gavin Francis.

The two Olympians join those from Go-Ahead London via Go North East also in blue. Picture by Gavin Francis.

City Sightseeing Oxford incorporating Guide Friday

Jonathan Harwood writes "I attach a photo of GJZ9571 which I recently purchased from xelabus of Eastleigh although it has spent time with city sightseeing Oxford.


The bus will be attending the Oxford Bus museum event on 21 October and will be used on the shuttle service throughout the day- so here's hoping for a dry day."


Dart 42338 loads at Wycombe with picture by Gavin Francis.

8 buses and hour to Heathrow gives example of the problems of branding - Citaro 64044 at Wycombe on the X74. Picture by Gavin Francis. 

News was received as this page was being prepared that subsidiary Tappins has been sold to Weavaway. This was effective from September 30th but it is not known what vehicles are involved or if the Didcot depot will be used by Waevaway.

Steve Warwick wrote on October 1st that a Heyfordian Visitor at Wycombe was Van Hool B13TCL. This, as seen below is all white and bear legals for Heyfordian.

Heyfordian Visitor at Wycombe 011012 - S. Warwick.

Ensign Bus dealers have taken Enviro 200's OU08 AYF and OU08 AYG.

Luke Braham writes "On Sunday 9th September Halton House was open to the public and Motts Travel, 6247 MT, were operating a shuttle service between Halton House and Trenchard Museum.

Today (260912) I saw Motts Travel CT10 MTT in Aylesbury in plain white with no Motts Travel livery, you could just see where it had been."


New vehicles

FJ12 FXZ            Volvo B9R      Caetano Levante II            C48FLT        Edwards Coaches

FJ12 FYA            Volvo B9R      Caetano Levante II            C48FLT        Edwards Coaches

FJ12 FYB            Volvo B9R      Caetano Levante II            C48FLT        Edwards Coaches

FJ12 FYE            Volvo B9R      Caetano Levante II            C48FLT        Edwards Coaches

FJ12 FYF            Volvo B9R      Caetano Levante II            C48FLT        Edwards Coaches

FJ12 FYG            Volvo B9R      Caetano Levante II            C48FLT        Edwards Coaches

A further Volvo B9R Caetano Levante is FJ 12 FYL which arrived in July.

The two vehicles operating non-National Express duties, FJ 12 FXR and FXS have both now received full branding by mid-July and are employed on the latest transferred contracts

HSK 651              Volvo B9R      Plaxton Elite                                            Parks

HSK 653              Volvo B9R      Plaxton Elite                                            Parks

HSK 656              Volvo B9R      Plaxton Elite                                            Parks

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire - NEx 737

Due to engineering reasons three Levantes have, at various times in the past months, been hired from South Gloucester for use on the 737 service.

They are or were Volvo B9Rs FJ12FXG (around 18Aug), FJ12 FXK (returned by 31 Aug) and FJ61 GZE (current).

Picture by Paul Montague.

Scania/Levante 59211 - FJ56OBY has at last been moved to Stagecoach East Kent at Dover. It can be seen working the 007 from Dover to London.

Picture by M Crowe.

A Bruce owned Scania tri-axle has been working on loan to Stansted. Picture by Paul Montague.

Two new Caetano Levantes now based at Start Hill. Picture by Paul Montague. 

A strange thing, most unlike OBC is the use of rear displays on the X90 with the X90 variously on the right or the left of the box!! However it does make for interest.


Iwan Jones writes "Here is a link to my flickr with pictures of the two Volvo/Wrights in driver training livery"



At very short notice OBC took over the 700 RH hospital service after that company ceased trading at midnight on 4th October. Matt Bullock sent the picture below.

A photo for your OCBP - City of Oxford Enviro 400 308 (HH11 OXF) operates an emergency working of Park & Ride service 700 on Friday 5 October,
replacing at short notice the service operated by RH Buses. It is seen in Summertown on the 0710 from Water Eaton to the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Matt Bullock.

The latest information is that Stagecoach have been awarded the 700 from next Monday.

Red Rose

The 275, operated by Red Rose now has several journeys each day via Chinnor instead of Stokenchurch.
Here an Enviro 200 leaves Wycombe pictured by Gavin Francis.

R H Buses

The following announcement appeared on the company web site on the day in question.

"From the end of Service today, Thursday the 4th of October 2012, RH Transport Services will cease to operate All Oxfordshire County Council Bus Services and School Contracts.

Any one who has booked Private Hire's with us should make other arrangements.

Oxfordshire County Council are currently working on finding replacement Bus Operators.

For further information please contact the County Council's Transport Department 01865 816000

We would like to thank all our Passengers for there Custom over the years."

It is always sad to see the demise of a local company.

Alex Rose sent a list of their routes and further information.

As I'm sure you are already aware, RH Transport have gone into administration and have ceased operating.

I found some lists of operators who will takeover RH's contracts, and thought this might be of interest for your readers:


Area served

Replacement operator


Clanfield – Bampton – Oxford

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Carterton – Bampton – Witney

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Longworth – Eaton – Oxford

Heyfordian Travel


Carterton- Lechlade – Swindon

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Wantage - Stanford – Faringdon

Heyfordian Travel


Great Western Park – Didcot

Thames Travel


Combe – Leafield – Witney

Pulhams Coaches


Oxford Hospitals service

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Charlbury Rail bus






Wychwoods – Kingham – Chipping Norton

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Witney – Charlbury - Chipping Norton

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Witney – Southmoor- Abingdon

Stagecoach Oxfordshire


Wantage – Swindon (Saturday shopping bus)

Ridgeways Coaches



Area served

Replacement operator


Burford School


Pulham & Sons (Coaches) Ltd


Burford School


Pulham & Sons (Coaches) Ltd


Burford School

Minster Lovell-Worsham

Henshaws Executive Travel Ltd


Burford School

Brize Norton-Carterton-Langford

Blunsdon's Coach Travel


Burford School


Heyfordian Travel Ltd


Chipping Norton School


Worths Motor Services Ltd


Chipping Norton School


Worths Motor Services Ltd


Chipping Norton School


Worths Motor Services Ltd


Chipping Norton School


Tex Cars & Tex Coaches Ltd


Chipping Norton School

Middle Barton

Heyfordian Travel Ltd


Kingham CP School


Bakers Commercial Services Ltd


Holy Trinity RC School


Charlbury Travel


Charlbury CP School

Finstock-Cornbury Park

Cherwell Cars


Charlbury CP School

Ditchley Park

Charlbury Travel


Matthew Arnold School


The School Bus Company


Matthew Arnold School


Tappins Coaches Ltd


Matthew Arnold School


Tappins Coaches Ltd


King Alfred's

Rowstock-East and West Hendred

Heyfordian Travel Ltd


Wheatley Park School


Walters (Didcot) Ltd


Wheatley Park School


Walters (Didcot) Ltd


The Henry Box School


Angela's Travel


The Henry Box School


Heyfordian Travel Ltd


Wood Green School


Heyfordian Travel Ltd


Wood Green School

East End-North Leigh

Heyfordian Travel Ltd


Wood Green School


Corder Cabs


Burford School


Kinch Coaches Ltd


Burford School

Bampton-Brize Norton

Ridgeways Coaches Ltd


Burford School

Bampton-Brize Norton

Barnes Coaches Ltd


Chipping Norton School


Henshaws Executive Travel Ltd


Bartholomew School


Grayline Coaches



A  change to some of the registrations on the new Scanias occurred before three entered service. The revised list is shown below:

15830 - OU12 FFT 
15831 - OU12 FFV
15832 - OU62 CHO
15833 - OU62 CJO
15834 - OU12 FFY
15835 - OU12 FFZ
15836 - OU12 FGA
15837 - OU12 FGC
15838 - OU62 CJX (unbranded for any specific route.)

15838 was used to represent the company at this year's Showbus event at Duxford on September 16th.

David Percy pictured 15838 arriving at Duxford.

Fleet changes advised for September show some inter company transfers.

22944 OU51 WLN       MAN A69 - Oxford to Eastbourne
22945 OV51 KAE         MAN A69 - Oxford to Eastbourne
22946 OV51 KAJ       MAN A69 - Oxford to Eastbourne
22947 OV51 KAK         MAN A69 - Oxford to Eastbourne
22948 OV51 KAO       MAN A69 - Oxford to Eastbourne

The following are still extant at Oxford:

22925 S925 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX
22926 S926 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX
22934 S934 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX
22935 S935 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX
22940 S940 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX
33822 R822 YUD Dennis Dart SLF  OX
22936 S936 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX
22941 S941 CFC MAN 18.220 ALX300  OX

The National Express fleet is now complete with 53701 back in service. However South Glos FJ61GZE is on short term loan to cover for a problem with one of the Elites. 59211 has left for Dover and work on the 007.

Scanias 15431-3 have now left for Exeter where they are employed on the X9 from Barnstaple to Exeter being out-stationed at Bude.

Stagecoach 47455 working the 1405 departure on the RH 18 from George Street. Mat Bullock.

15832 is seen leaving Gloucester Green by Gavin Francis. 


Gary Seamarks reports that Stagecoach Northampton are extending the X7 Northampton - Leicester back to MK soon, its hourly via X4 route so provides a 30 minute headway. 


Good day out from Oxford via X5 on an explorer ??, could a return via Coventry be made also ?? 


Dave advises that the last 4 Skyliners at Dawson Rentals have been sold to the operator in Ireland. He says "We only have OX04 BZU, left in our yard, though KP04 GKE, is it ?, is at a paint shop, possibly being re-painted green."

In the early hours of September 10th Dave Allen took this picture of the coach ready to operate the 0440 to London.

The closure of Eliabeth Street, Victoria for three days resulted in the "park up" coaches being taken to West Ham for their layover.
The two are seen here on September 17th by M. Crowe. 


The first of a batch of TX bodied Van Hool Astromegas was on display at Duxford and won "Best Stagecoach vehicle in show".

It was 50245 which I am advised is presently at Cwmbran and another 50246 is at Rugby. none have as yet entered service.

your Editor is seen in front of the new coach taken by S. Lowe.

The new Plaxton Inter-decker ordered by Megabus will enter service in the new year and some chassis (Volvo B11RT) have arrived at Scarborough for bodying.

The Megabus sleeper coach is serviced at West Ham during its daytime layover. The coach seen is 51097.
Pictured by M. Crowe.

CB54 is now white and at Thames Travel.

TT have Citaros 850-854 inclusive with 852-4 branded for the X2. however all five appear on any and all services.

Hybrid 900 has been transferred to Oxford with 850 replacing it at Wallingford.

DAF976 and 481 are withdrawn from both fleets (Carousel & TT) for disposal.


This company has taken over the Sunday workings to Stokenchurch on the 48.

As it is and as it was by Gavin Francis.

As mentioned under Heyfordian Weavaway have purchased Tappins with effect September 30th.


TfL orders 600 Borismasters

Description: Article Image

Transport for London is to buy 600 Borismasters from Wrightbus for delivery over four years from 2013 to 2016. It is the biggest single hybrid bus order ever placed in Europe, and marks a change from TfL's normal policy where the buses operated in the capital are sourced by the individual operators. The first 30 Borismasters will be delivered by April. When the last of the 600 are delivered there will be over 1,000 hybrid buses in operation in London, making up around 13 per cent of the fleet.

London mayor Boris Johnson says: “These magnificent vehicles not only ooze London style but are a testament to British design, engineering and above all innovation. Not only do they deliver significant environmental benefits, they also reinstate the traditional hop-on, hop-off rear platform and passengers love them. By ordering large numbers of these fantastic machines we are also creating UK jobs.”

Almost 200 Borismasters will be delivered to TfL in 2013, followed by 200 vehicles in 2014, 250 in 2015 and the remainder in 2016. The buses will be used on central London routes, but particular routes have not yet been identified.

TfL says that its decision to purchase the buses will mean lower prices thanks to bulk ordering, while ignoring any reluctance on the part of operators to invest in a bus which is unlikely to have a second life outside London. TfL also says, rather curiously, that contract costs will be reduced “as the operator will simply quote for staffing, fuel and maintenance costs” - as if the capital investment, as yet unquantified, was of no relevance. TfL will also pay the added cost of employing conductors.

And it notes: “The new ownership model will enable us to more easily move the buses between operators when route contracts change and significantly extend the operational life of the vehicle.” TfL says the Borismasters will run in London for 14 years.

The decision has been attacked by Green Party London assembly member Darren Johnson:  “The mayor intends to force operators to use this bus, making the contracts more expensive.
"They won’t be given an option to choose the best bus from the best manufacturer and the best price. So these extra costs will be carried by Transport for London and that means higher fares. He is having to buy these buses from a monopoly supplier, rather than at a competitive market rate and unlike all the other buses in London we won’t be able to get money back by selling them on to operators in the rest of the country.”

Government sets out BSOG changes

Plans to change the way BSOG is paid in England have been set out this morning by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.

Announcing an eight-week consultation, the government proposes that the BSOG changes will start from October 2013, when BSOG payments for London operators and tendered services outside London will be made to local transport authorities (LTAs), instead of operators.

From April 2014, BSOG payments in Better Bus Areas (currently 24) will be devolved to LTAs.

Mr Baker also proposes that BSOG will be devolved to PTEs that implement a Quality Contract Scheme (franchising).

Mr Baker says that the consultation will ensure that changes to BSOG funding are “fair and fit for the future.”

Read/download the 30-page PDF at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations

Arriva supports five-point plan to generate economic growth through bus travel

17 September 2012

Leading transport provider Arriva is championing the important role bus travel has in reinvigorating and connecting local communities and supporting the UK economy.

The group, which operates around 6,000 buses in the UK, is backing a new five-point plan for growth(1) launched by Greener Journeys which calls for measures to help bus travel boost long-term economic growth by link communities to give people greater mobility and access to employment.

Greener Journeys(3), the campaign to promote sustainable travel funded by organisations including Arriva, launched Bus Policy: a five-point plan for growthwhich calls for:

  • more co-ordinated pro-bus policy and funding arrangements at central and local government level
  • good value, multi-operator ticketing, in particular to help low-income groups and young people
  • taxation incentives for travelling by bus and more focus on travel planning support
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships, businesses and town centres to help fund bus improvements to boost local economies, and
  • closer partnership working between bus operators, business and local government.

The five-point plan draws from the results of an authoritative new report ‘Buses and Economic Growth’,(2) by the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, which revealed that:

  • more people commute to work by bus than all other public transport combined,
  • bus commuters generate over £64 billion of economic output, and
  • 400,000 people are in better more productive jobs as a result of the bus.

Transport minister Norman Baker said: "Buses are the mainstay of the public transport sector, carrying millions of passengers every day for business and leisure as well as helping to cut carbon by reducing congestion and replacing car journeys. And crucially, as this report highlights, buses are a keystone to the economy.

"The coalition Government strongly supports bus travel. We spent£1.77 billion last year supporting passengers travelling by bus in England, including financing for local government major projects and our Better Bus Area Fund. This was in addition to our£600 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund which is helping to finance projects improving provision of bus services and facilities for passengers.”

Claire Haigh, Greener Journeys chief executive, said: "In these difficult times we need to exploit the potential of the bus to stimulate jobs and growth.

“We need to match up unemployed people with jobs. For too many cars are a luxury they can’t afford, buses provide essential access. This is why we are calling for fairer tax treatment for bus passengers, and measures like tax incentives for bus commuting."

David Martin, Arriva chief executive, said: "The bus is the unsung hero of public transport delivering three times more people to and from work than the UK’s rail network. Its contribution to the UK economy is significant and, supported by the right infrastructure, policy and industry partnerships, it can contribute even more towards achieving the vital economic growth this country needs.

“To support economic development and regenerate the economy, it's essential to ensure the UK’s planning system delivers the right incentives for local authorities and developers to provide the right transport infrastructure and environment to support bus services.

“Ensuring employers have access to a wider pool of labour and people have more opportunities to use public transport to get to work or make a new job possible has never been more important. The bus provides lower cost transport options which have less impact on the environment and can help mitigate the environmental and economic impacts of congestion on our roads.

“The bus industry has a significant role to play. If the industry and our stakeholders work in partnership to achieve this five-point plan we will be able to deliver even better value bus services that benefit our passengers, the taxpayer and the UK economy."


1. Greener Journeys presented its five-point plan for growth to MPs at the House of Commons on Monday 17 September. Transport Minister Norman Baker MP gave the keynote address.

Copies of the report, Bus Policy: a five-point plan for growth by Greener Journeys on the Greener Journeys website:www.greenerjourneys.com.

2. The Buses and Economic Growth report, conducted by the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds has quantified an assessment of the economic contribution of the bus in growing the economy, connecting people with jobs, helping businesses and supporting the vitality of city centres. It also highlights the significant direct contribution of the bus industry itself in creating employment and investment.

To download the report, visit http://www.greenerjourneys.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/BusesEconomicGrowth_FINAL-REPORT.pdf

Key findings include:

  • More people commute to work by bus than all other public transport combined
  • Bus commuters generate £64 billion in economic output
  • 1 in 10 bus commuters would be forced to look for another job or give up work if they could no longer commute by bus
  • 400,000 people in better more productive jobs as a direct result of the bus
  • More than 50 per cent of students rely on the bus to get to their education or training
  • Young people are more dependent on buses than any other demographic group
  • People use the bus to make shopping and leisure trips to the value of £27 billion

3. Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make sustainable transport choices. It is a coalition of Britain's leading bus companies and other public transport supporters, including the Confederation for Passenger Transport, PTEG, the RAC Foundation and Transport for London. Its primary funders are bus companies (Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead and Stagecoach).


1. Creating the right public policy framework
1.1 The wider economic impacts of the bus system need to be captured in to the appraisal and allocation of funds for bus infrastructure projects and consideration of the case for Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG)
1.2 To provide adequate revenue funding in addition to capital funding streams to enable the ‘full bus package’ to be implemented.

1.3 To conduct joined-up thinking across different government departments on the role of the bus in helping the economy (e.g. DfT, HM Treasury, BIS, DWP, DfE, DCLG and DoH).

1.4 Planning decisions on new developments to consider fully the critical role of public transport in giving employers access to a wide and diverse labour market and giving people access to jobs.

2. Meeting the needs of bus passengers
2.1 Good value fares to be maintained to ensure accessibility of bus services to low-income commuters and young people in particular
2.2 Where feasible, smart attractively priced multi-operator ticketing should be introduced
2.3 Local implementation of pro-bus policies

3. Supporting the bus in its vital role in the labour market
3.1 Taxation incentives for travelling by bus
3.2 Increased take-up of workplace travel plans and for the bus to be considered and promoted as a core option within them
3.3 Travel planning assistance and fares offers for school leavers and unemployed people to help connect them to education, training and the job market

4. Enabling businesses and local retail economies to benefit from bus services
4.1 LEPs to prioritise funding for bus infrastructure projects to optimise the role of the bus in helping to create the right environment for business growth in their areas
4.2 Business Improvement Districts to use part of their levies to help fund bus improvements
4.3 Town Centre Management Groups to include the bus as part of their town centre transport access strategies

5. Building strong alliances across bus operators, businesses and local government
5.1 An effective and locally appropriate framework for closer working between local business community, local bus operators and local authorities
5.2 Stronger corporate ownership of responsibilities for sustainable transport policies
5.3 Better monitoring of bus users by employers and retail/town centre management groups

Blackpool by Geoff Cunliffe

22nd. August, 2012:-

Brush car 627, painted up by the residents of nearby Kirkham Prison, which is to form a static exhibit art this year’s illuminations, arrived on site at the Pleasure Beach today. It waited until the evening and the more intensive tram service had finished before being manoeuvred into position. It has been painted in a gold and white colour scheme to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee, with several enlarged sketches in the windows.


Picture by Jonathan Niblock and reproduced by courtesy of the Buses Trains Traction Engine and Tram Blog at http://busestractionengines.blogspot.co.uk/ to whom we extend our thanks. 

24th. August, 2012:-

A rare sight today for photographers as one of the two trams selected to operate the Heritage service was 147 (the other was 717). Not only that, but 147 went as far as Thornton Gate (usually they turn on the loop at Little Bispham). It is seen here just leaving Thornton Gate and returning towards Cleveleys, showing an appropriate heritage destination on its blind - Central Station. The journey was not without incident because the tram decided to dewire its trolley at Cleveleys just south of the tram station platform. Woe betide anyone who suggests replacing the trolley with a pantograph!


Once again, the picture is by Jonathan Niblock and reproduced by courtesy of the Buses Trains Traction Engine and Tram Blog at http://busestractionengines.blogspot.co.uk/ to whom we extend our thanks. 

Also today, the Blackpool wrecker, 929, was required to tow a defective Optare Solo back to base. 929 retains its green and cream livery it received on its purchase from Johnny Marsh’s Blackpool Van Transport in the 1990s. This lovely ERF has avoided Metro Coastline colours although it might yet succumb to black & yellow! 


Picture by Paul Turner from the Fylde Bus Blog at http://fyldebus.blogspot.co.uk/ to whom acknowledgement is made.

28th. August, 2012:-

More disruption for the new trams, still really struggling with their credibility. Tonight saw the annual “Ride the Lights” where families and cyclists get to see a preview of the illuminations without the Promenade being open to normal traffic.

This event affected the tramway big time with the heritage service not even running this day. It's questionable why the service didn't run as the Ride the Lights event started after the heritage tours normally finish. The biggest effect the event had is the mainline service was split from late afternoon until 22:30pm with no direct transport to Fleetwood. However this isn't a one off as the service will be split whilst the illuminations are switched on Friday 31st. August. The heritage service will also be suspended due to the switch on taking up the track outside the tower.

31st. August, 2012:-

Yesterday saw the last day of the heritage service for this year. Fittingly, Bolton 66, built at Preston in 1901 and the oldest operational tram in Blackpool, was first out, later joined by Balloon 717.The trams now operate during the evenings when the illuminations are switched providing tours, where you can only get on and off at the Pleasure Beach. There will be 3 trams in use on the service whereas the original figure was 6 but has been reduced.

August, 2012:-

On the day of the Blackpool Air Show, there was yet more criticism in the paper of queues and overloading on the trams. Local resident Larry Peake said he and his family waited for more than ninety minutes as full trams went past them and about forty other people. His frustration was compounded by the fact it took Blackpool Transport more than a month to respond to his complaint.

BTS acknowledged that they had struggled to cope with demand on the day of the Air Show,- as if they hadn’t expected many people to attend. Meanwhile, many trams languished unused in both depots. They really have not been able to get it right this year. I know it is the first year of operation of the new, light rail type trams, but we have had trams in Blackpool for 126 years and coping with crowds was something which the old system did exceptionally well, with spare cars at various parts of the system to cope with demands. It really has not been good enough this year.

4th. September, 2012:-

The Lancastrian Transport Trust which had been storing some of its trams in Blackpool Transport’s depot moved at least three of them to alternative accommodation. They were 624, a former Brush car used to tow an open trailer containing lengths of track and “proper” Brush car 632. OMO car 8 was then shunted in to the Electrical Shop to have its pantograph removed prior to its departure also. The haulier responsible for transporting most trams away from Blundell Street has been Scotts; instead, Allelys were used, the company which brought the Salvage Squad Vambac Coronation car from the St. Helens museum in 2002.

6th. September, 2012:-

More of the LTT trams have been on the move from the BTS depot. Today, Balloons 704, 715 and OMO car 8. Storage is outside and one hopes security is good; some cars are in very good condition and to see them rotting away and having windows broken would be heartbreaking.

7th. September, 2012:-

Today saw the last LTT tram removed from the depot of Blackpool Transport Services. The precious cargo was the magnificent Coronation class 304, the Salvage Squad tram, which, like the others, has been moved to storage on the site of the old Duple (formerly Burlingham) coach factory at Marton. The future prospects of the LTT tram fleet look a lot more secure now, and it is to be hoped that most if not all of the trams that have been moved to outside storage can at some point find a more permanent home, preferably under cover, as some of them, notably 624 and 704, will deteriorate very rapidly if the exposed woodwork is subjected to prolonged exposure to damp conditions.

Two other bits of good news from today - Unimog 938 moved Balloon 719 from the fitting shop to the paint shop. It has now been fitted with the wider, plug-type doors to enable it to be used in service, loading at the new platforms used by the Bombardiers. It last carried a rather dismal black & gold advertising livery for the Pleasure Beach, and it is hoped it will now receive a somewhat brighter one! The other good news is that an original twin-car set looks likely to join the heritage fleet. Both cars of set 672/682 have been repainted, magnificently, in the early albeit short-lived all cream livery with green lining and Blackpool Corporation crests. It is understood the two cars have been united on the same depot road and it is hoped this superb looking twin car set will see use again in the not too distant future. It would be interesting to see how it compares with the Bombardier multi-car sets!


Both of my pictures show the trams last year in original liveries. 

This event affected the tramway big time with the heritage service not even running this day. It's questionable why the service didn't run as the Ride the Lights event started after the heritage tours normally finish. The biggest effect the event had is the mainline service was split from late afternoon until 22:30pm with no direct transport to Fleetwood. However this isn't a one off as the service will be split whilst the illuminations are switched on Friday 31st. August. The heritage service will also be suspended due to the switch on taking up the track outside the tower.

Two other bits of news from today - Unimog 938 moved Balloon 719 from the fitting shop to the paint shop. It has now been fitted with the wider, plug-type doors to enable it to be used in service, loading at the new platforms used by the Bombardiers. It first carried a rather dismal black & gold advertising livery for the Pleasure Beach, and it is hoped it will now receive a somewhat brighter one! The other good news is that an original twin-car set looks likely to join the heritage fleet. Both cars of set 672/682 have been repainted, magnificently, in the early albeit short-lived all cream livery with green lining and Blackpool Corporation crests. It is understood the two cars have been united on the same depot road and it is hoped this superb looking twin car set will see use again in the not too distant future. It would be interesting to see how it compares with the Bombardier multi-car sets!

14th. September, 2012:-

Following weeks of work, the twin car set, 672/682 has entered service. The cars have regained their original fleet numbers and now show T2 and 272, although in the first photograph as the pair left the depot, their fleet numbers were masked. They performed a one-off tour from the Pleasure Beach before operating the evening Illuminations Tours, although the one-off tour was slightly delayed as the unit had to run to Little Bispham to turn round due to problems with the points at Foxhall Square. The set now joins the Heritage fleet.

15th. September, 2012:-

After 8 days of moving out of Rigby Road 304 is now set to move to Beamish open air museum. The tram is expected to operate during an event on the 6th and 7th of October. Before then a driver training course will start, the course will enable crews to familiarise themselves with the tram and see if the tram can complete the clockwise circuit without any gauging issues. The last time 304 ran was on the 6th November 2010 when it operated a tour with OMO 8, and the pair are seen in the accompanying photo at Bispham.

The last two pieces of information are from from the Buses Trains Traction Engines and Tram blog at http://busestractionengines.blogspot.co.uk/; they are reproduced with their permission and our thanks.

19th. September:-

An update on tram 002, which was returned to Bombardier in Germany for warranty work, shows that it is currently being exhibited outside at the Messe Berlin until 23rd September. When it returns, it will be only the second unit to be supplied with its adorning vinyls applied,- the other being the last set, 016. The show in Berlin is in its sixteenth year with all sorts of traction attending. It is expected back in Blackpool soon.

21st. September:-

Yet another accident on the tram tracks, but not involving trams this time. In Cleveleys, near to the emotive Lauderdale Road crossing, a car managed to turn on to the tracks at one of the open crossings and became well and truly wedged on the ballast and sleepers about 9pm. It took about two hours for it to be removed and the tram service to be restored. Photo from the local Blackpool Gazette newspaper.

The paper said it was the first time such an accident had happened, although in August, two motorists close together turned through the concrete fencing on to the tracks in a similar location assuming that an old crossing was still open. 

On the same night, there was a collision between a tram and a cyclist towing a carriage with a child in the back near to the former Miners’ Home near Bispham. Fortunately both people only suffered what were described as superficial injuries

24th. September:-

With the Tramnik One sputnik tram sat on Gynn Square roundabout, many are now saying it looks considerably more impressive than was expected. One of the first, postwar illuminated trams, it is now a static exhibition but cleverly positioned images of passengers and the driver are displayed at the windows giving a most pleasant effect.

25th. September:-

This one will not go away - another couple of letters have been published in the Blackpool local paper saying how disappointingly poor several residents have found the timekeeping of the new trams. Time and again this issue has been raised. Given they have fifteen new trams plus a number of updated 1930s deckers adapted for current service, why don’t they run a sufficient number to cope with the crowds?

27th. September:

In a euphoric article in the paper, it was announced that 1.4 million people have ridden on the new trams between the service starting at Easter and the middle of August. This was about one fifth more journeys than were anticipated and more than a million more than the same period last year, although the comparison is unfair because a much reduced service was operated over only part of the system in 2011. The last time a full service was operated, it carried 2.3 million passengers in a twelve month period in 2008/9.

Managing Director of Blackpool Transport Services, Trevor Roberts, has said that passenger numbers were exceptional for the first few months of a new system.

Wet blanket and cynic that I am, I wonder how many more passengers would have been carried had the right number of trams been operated! It is admitted that they have a lot to learn about operating this new system along with addressing the delays caused by passengers getting used to boarding the new cars(!!!)  As many of us have said many times, they have had 126 years worth of experience at operating trams in Blackpool, albeit with traditional units. But given a bit of imagination and foresight, just how much is there to learn? And why have so many trams languished, empty, in the depots whilst passengers become disenchanted with the service?

Nonetheless, we must express our pleasure that the new trams are a success. Let us hope next season, with the benefit of this year’s experience, they will be able to run a service more capable of meeting intending passenger numbers. 

Paralympics rowing at Eton Dorney from Trevor Wilson

We went to the Paralympics rowing at Eton Dorney.


First buses, Alexander Dennis Enviro 400, all brand new, at least 40, in use on all services.  Reading buses (about 18) or so I believe from info

elsewhere) in use on the Maidenhead Park and Ride.


See http://www.buszone.co.uk/News0712.html and http://www.flickr.com/photos/wirewiping/7604293534/


Service numbers


?? Eton Dorney - Windsor and Eton Rail Station

32 Eton Dorney - Slough Rail Station

34 Eton Dorney - Maidenhead Park and Ride

35 Eton Dorney - Slough Upton Park


All well organised.  No delays.       


These photos taken 11.45 Saturday 1st September 2012.  We left early hence few passengers.  These photos all from the far end of the bus park.  You had to walk past the Slough rail station bus stops then round the end for the other stops.  These 4 photos are a panorama from left to right.



Then a drive through lane.  Then 3 rows of parked up buses, rear ends nearest the camera - 4 buses in each row. A gap in front of the front bus and then 3 rows of buses facing towards the camera - you can only see one such row.  Then a drive through lane.  Then the bus stops lane for Slough Upton Park Park an Ride - 3 buses waiting.



P1060801 Centre of picture is the bus stops lane for Slough Upton Park Park and Ride.  Then the passenger circulating area.  Then the bus stops lane for Maidenhead Park and Ride - one First bus waiting furthest from camera.  Then a drive through lane.  Then parked up Reading buses which were only used on the Maidenhead Park and Ride.



P1060802 Another photo of the Maidenhead Park and Ride - a First bus at the farthest bus stop and a Reading bus passing the bus stop nearest the camera.


P1060803 To the left of the photo, Reading buses parked up.  On the right, the bus stops lane for Windsor and Eton Riverside Station.



Upton Park Slough was in use as a Park and Ride for the Paralympics.  First buses queuing - 3 or 4 stands spread out along the road across the park.  A very frequent service. 


Several hundred if not thousand  cars parked here.


Photo taken at 07.23 Friday 31st August 2012 when there about 50 cars parked.  A bus every few minutes and the first event at Eton Dorney was at 09.30.


A few more Paralympics Eton Dorney photos.



Most taken leaving the Eton Dorney ticket exit and heading for the bus park.


These photos taken about 13.00 Friday 31st August when the general exodus was in progress and thus many buses had already left.

Trips & Events

Duxford 2012 

Arriva the Shires 3952, KX12 GZO, which say it will be on the busway soon

Arriva the Shires 3752, KX12 HAA

Cozy's KP04 GJX (ex-Oxford Tube)

Grant Palmer YX12 DHG

Motts Travel 90 WFC and R50 MTT

Motts Travel N590 BRH (ex- East Yorkshire)

All above pictures by Luke Braham

Carousel 801 by Gavin Francis.

New Megabus 50245 by Gavin Francis.

Thames Travel 852 by Gavin Francis.

The famous SUPERCAR at Duxford by Gavin Francis.

Old timer TV Bristol LL5G at Duxford by Gavin Francis.

Red Rose special at Duxford by Gavin Francis.

Bristol VRs by Frazer Peddle.

A Hong Kong Olympian by Frazer Peddle.

Istanbul by Marcus Lapthorn 

Istanbul is an extremely busy City with over 15 million inhabitants, making getting around quite difficult at times.


Photo 738 shows the raised metal hoops that are set into the road surface to delineate the part of the road that is presumably supposed to be just for trams to use. In reality taxis, some coaches and other vehicles still drive down the tram tracks area.


Photo 769 is of a 'heritage' tram that is in regular use by tourists and travels along a short stretch of track down a principal shopping street. No other public transport uses this particular street. 


Photo 777 shows prospective passengers queuing for tickets.


Tram route T1 took me out to the suburbs at Zeytinburnu, where there is an interchange between trams, metro and buses of various shapes and sizes.

Photo 782 shows one of the numerous 'feeder' buses that ferry people into these public transport interchanges. This works well in that it reduces significantly the number of buses that penetrate the busiest city centre streets and trams take the heavier loads. On T1 route the trams were packed most of the time even with the frequency being a tram every 3 minutes or so. 


Photos 785 and 786 show very clearly the very detailed destination boards carried by these little buses.


Photos 764 and 765 capture the sheer bedlam that is central Istanbul! It took our taxi 2 hours 20 minutes to travel from the airport to our hotel. The journey time is normally about 30 minutes we were told, but the weight of traffic was so bad that our driver sometimes just turned his engine off and we sat there until something moved. The driving style is very aggressive.


Various other buses in Istanbul by Marcus Lapthorn.





Lewis Nagle visits Mallorca

I have recently arrived home from Mallorca and as I saw on your last S&J that you placed some photos of Malta buses in I was wondering if you would like me to email you some of my photos from the bus scene in Mallorca. If yes, please tell me how many you like, I think I have about 30-40 photos but that would be a bit much for your S&J.

The buses consist of mostly Sunsundegai Astrals and Hispano Habits where I stayed. I can also provide a little info on the services if you wish.

I'm given to understand that TIB is a subsidiary of Arriva!

We await more from Lewis.

Torquay by Luke Braham 

Heyfordian B11 HTL on Torquay seafront straight out of use at the Olympics

Stagecoach South West Olympian at the Strand taken from across the Harbour

Sightseeing bus BYX 304V park up at Torquay Rail Station 

Stagecoach South West 17053 / T653 KPU on its way to Brixham on route 12a

First Devon 32717 / W717 RHT on the X80 to Paignton  

Stagecoach South West 18305 / WA05 ??? on it's way to Brixham on the 12

Stagecoach South West 15785 / WA61 KLK on its way to Brixham on route 12

Stagecoach South West 15786 / WA61 KLL on its way to the town to take up route 12

Stagecoach South West 15787 / WA61 KLM on route 12 to Brixham

Marcus Lapthorn takes the bus south of Swindon

I recently decided to take two trips out to Stagecoach West's (Swindon) more southerly destinations. First stopping point on Friday was at Marlborough where a vividly coloured Line 4 bus was to be seen (pic 717). Next to arrive was Stagecoach West's 16110 on route 70 (pic 719).


Stagecoach West's route 80 runs only about 5 times a day between Swindon & Ludgershall via the army town of Tidworth. Often to be seen on this route are older members of the fleet and I was particularly keen to photograph one of the former 66 route Volvo B10M's at Ludgershall. Imagine my disappointment when one of the newer members of the fleet turned up instead on the following Monday! This was in the shape of another former 66 route bus - MAN 22621 (pic 724), which was apparently deputising for 16110 which had failed that morning in the garage. The loadings on this route were very light, with just one passenger joining the bus for the trip to Marlborough. 


I was determined to try and obtain a shot of a B10M on the 80 route and I was successful later at Collingbourne, when 20683 was captured cornering at speed on its way south to Tidworth. Two passengers on this bus, but unfortunately the destination blind did not come out in pic 727.


It is at Ludgershall that three bus companies operate, these being Stagecoach West, Stagecoach Hants and Wilts & Dorset. The latter two companies operate route 8 jointly between Andover and Salisbury. Pic 721 shows Stagecoach Hampshire's 15806.


Weston super Mare Running Day, sponsored by Crosville Motor Services reported by Mark E. Lyons

August 26th saw the first Weston-super Mare Running Day, sponsored by Crosville Motor Services (the newly reincarnated operator of local services in Weston not the original Chester based one!)
In addition to a number of services using (mainly) Bristols from both Crosville's heritage fleet and that of the Bristol Omnibus Vehicle Collection there was a static display at the company's depot.


RFO361 at Falmouth 8th May 2006 - new as 241AJB to AWRE, Harwell by Dave


An interesting Bristol visited  Oxford's Bonn Sq recently. Gavin Francis.

Abba of High Wycombe use this Mercedes BU05VFL. Gavin Francis.

Once a stalwart of the 757 service 4049 is now with Fowlers of Holbeach.

BM Coaches own a number of Van Hools one of which is seen here in Stokenchurch by Gavin Francis.

easyJet are replacing their fleet of Mercedes and these are turning up with other operators.
One is seen near kings Cross (300) whilst 313 is in a yard in West Wycombe. Pictures by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.

Evan Evans are operating a Wartime tour of London using Ensign's old London RT/RTL fleet.
First we see RT8 in Victoria Coach Station and thereafter leaving. Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Another shot of RT8 by Dave Allen.

Second is the use of RTL453 seen heading down BPR.

A Virgin Stars coach visited Oxford last month and is seen here in New Road. M Crowe.

iD BUS are operating to London in competition with Eurolines and Megabus.
Pictures by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.

US Interlude by Gavin Francis.

Gavin is on holiday in Florida and has sent us some pictures.


Hungary by Robert Kalman.


Links & Publications

Thames Valley history final part

The latest book on Thames Valley is now available from Paul Lacey at a special price to readers of £20.00 + £3 post and packing. Just quote the OCBP when ordering. More details at the bottom of this page.

A new book on Go Ahead by Mark E. Lyons


Mark has written a new book as outlined below. I am sure it will be a great book.

"Over the last quarter century the Go-Ahead Group has become one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport.
Its origins lie in the purchase of the National Bus Company's Northern General subsidiary by a management team in 1987
with the newly formed company branding itself as Go-Ahead Northern.
Initial growth in the north-east saw it expand into taxi and pub operations before adoption of the now familiar Go-Ahead name and stock market
floatation saw it expand into Oxford, Brighton and London in the mid-1990's setting the pattern for a focus on urban bus markets that has been
a key feature since.  
The privatisation of British Rail saw Go-Ahead establish itself as a major player in rail franchising, establishing Govia,
a joint venture with French owned Via-GTI (now Keolis), for the purpose.  Today Govia is the UK's busiest rail operator and is well placed
to play its part in delivering a more affordable railway.
During the last quarter century the Group has also diversified into aviation handling and car park management, although it has since
re-focussed on its core activities of local bus and rail provision.  It has also successfully fought of a hostile take-over bid from
the French state-owned C3D.
Unlike other UK transport groups Go-Ahead has a devolved structure with all of its bus and rail companies are locally managed and branded.
This has allowed its subsidiaries to respond to local market conditions whilst retaining the benefits of being part of a larger Group.
The Group is committed to delivering quality services in an environmentally sensitive way, investing in energy saving technology for both
its bus and rail operations, and is the first major UK bus operator to commission a regular, independent customer satisfaction survey of 
its customers.
Packed with informative text and copiously illustrated  this book charts the development of the companies that now form part of 
the Go-Ahead Group from their inception to the present day and shows how the Group is helping to deliver a strong and growing public transport
network as the key to the sustainable future of the UK" 

Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures

You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000

One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.

The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.

Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.

Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.

Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

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

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

Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.


Thames Valley - final part now available




ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p

This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.

All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.

Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so

order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close

Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT

If you are local and wish to collect please call me on 0118 979 4097 and arrange a suitable time, but no casual callers please!


Newbury & District History now available

Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.

The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.

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

Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.

The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.

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

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.

The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.