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Editorial

The weeks roll by and we are now over half way through 2018. The children are on school holidays now and parents are doubtless wondering how to occupy the little dears! This last weekend Oxford station was once again closed for completion of the recent and significant rail works. This meant that the Oxford tube and the X90 services were completely full for much of Saturday and Sunday. To this end and to meet demand two Stagecoach Gold buses (15964 and 15966) were in use on the tube services on Saturday, July 28th providing much needed extra capacity.




Seen picking up at the Notting Hill Gate stop, 15966 appears to have a reasonable load, the time was 1409 on July 28th. Picture by Gavin Francis.
It occurred to me that maybe, knowing the expertise of the person who prepares the destination displays at Oxford, that maybe they could put:



on the screens for use when these buses are on the tube service?

Tony Bungay contributes with history of Arriva route 61 which finished last weekend.

For this issue and now that some changes have happened to Arriva services in Aylesbury, we have pictures of buses past from Tony Bungay.

Arriva has announced changes to some of its bus services around Aylesbury.

The changes take effect from Monday July 29 and see the withdrawal of one service, a revamp of a further service and minor timetable changes to some other services.

The service that is being withdrawn is the 61 from Dunstable to Aylesbury with Arriva saying it is ‘no longer commercially viable.’

A replacement service is being provided by another operator - Red Eagle.

Arriva is also withdrawing the 50 (Aylesbury - RAF Halton camp) and replacing it with what it calls an ‘improved service’ - the number 8.

The 8 was previously a direct route between Aylesbury and Bedgrove but it is being extended to serve Weston Turville, Wendover and RAF Halton camp.

In other changes, Arriva has announced that it will no longer be providing the 650 school service which runs from Aylesbury to Cottesloe School in Wing.

A replacement operator Red Rose Travel will be taking on the service in time for the new school year in September.

I enjoyed a very pleasant lunch with Clive King of Green Line last Wednesday and on my way took the opportunity to take pictures of the 50 service at Halton (Main Point) with the RAF maintained bus shelter in the background. One wonders how many Apprentices from RAF Halton will have travelled by bus from this stop over the years since the camp opened. (I think it was 1918 ?)

 
Arriva's Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 4024 (UUI 2948) is seen with the two destinations displays at Main Point, Halton on July 25th by Malcolm Crowe.

Much more about the routes which are changing has been provided by Tony Bungay with some very interesting pictures and history of route 61.

Tony writes:

Although not service 61 the 505 was an express service that operated between Oxford-Bicester-Aylesbury-Tring-Dunstable-Luton-Luton Airport, operated by COMS, Aylesbury Bus and Luton Bus all contributing one vehicle each. The service lasted from October 1987 to October 1988 approx, and on Aylesbury-Luton section replaced the X61.

The X61 was introduced on Deregulation day 26th October 1986 and provided a faster journey between Aylesbury and Luton omitting a number of villages, it lasted until service 505 was introduced.

With the impending changes to services coming up including notably the cessation of the 61 route by Arriva direct successor to its previous operators.

On Friday 20th July the East Lancs vehicle Aylesbury bound at Ivinghoe Church, on opposite side of road at “the Green” Ivinghoe original livery Dart going the other way.

 
6062 heads for Aylesbury and 2297 is bound for Dunstable.

What almost echo's what happened in London Transport days, a central area vehicle appearing on a country area route, I guess this could be the 21st century version, this vehicle has appeared on the 500 route this week as shown by the paper sticker on windscreen, photo taken in Aylesbury today 25th July, the vehicle has Arriva the Shires legal lettering. ( I wonder if it will appear in High Wycombe on the 300 or X30? Ed )


Arriva VLA8 LJ03MXY working on the 500 heading for Aylesbury - Tony Bungay.
This has to be a real classic!!!! Ed.

Apologies for last shot as a bit less than perfect, but shows Solo working the last 61 journey of the day on a short working to Ivinghoe.


Solo 2495 YJ57XWH with the last 61 on July 24th taken by Tony Bungay.

On a different note Malcolm, do you buy or read the Bucks Herald paper, the reason for asking is todays issue has a feature plus readers letters expressing disquiet at the changes to routes 8 and 50, some what amusingly a photo of an original liveried Citaro at High Wycombe bus station is shown ! In an article Arriva have said they will review change in the Autumn. 

A few shots of which some may be of use to mark passing of service 61 from United Counties—Luton & District- Arriva operation, Bristol VR formerly United Counties 934 with then new Luton Bus fleet name Aylesbury March 1986.

Originally UC 925 now 5035 on short working to Edelsborough then boarding in Luton 1997,

UC Leyland Olympian 616 Aylesbury summer 1984,

934 again but in United Counties times Aylesbury early 1985 note early electronic destination display, another UC VR 955 in Aylesbury winter 1985 in United Counties 1921 type scheme.


Luton & District Bristol VR formerly United Counties 934 with then new Luton Bus fleet name in Aylesbury during March 1986.


United Counties Bristol VR 955 with the 61 in Aylesbury during the winter of 1985. It carried the United Counties 1921 livery.

Further “vintage 61” shots with the then newish Luton livery former UC 893 Aylesbury Nov 1986,

Rarer appearance Bristol RE/Plaxton ex UC 220 in the summer of 1987 at Aylesbury.

Seen here in Aylesbury opposite the now demolished Bus Garage former UC 241 Leopard/Willowbrook of Milton Keynes Citybus! Working an eastwards service October 1987, the vehicle had either been hired or acquired?

In last type of Luton & District Leyland Olympian 640 in Aylesbury early 1991.

Leyland National former UC 533 in Aylesbury Feb 87, the destination says express service!

Greenaway National 3049 in Luton Nov 1995, buses now sporting a new livery introduced after acquisition by British Bus group.

A rather poor shot im afraid near Aylesbury rail station due to speed of vehicle and poor daylight in winter of 1987/88, unidentified Leopard/Duple on service 505.

Former UC 550 Leyland National Aylesbury early 1987.

A stranger to appear on the 61 a Lincolnshire Road Car Bristol VR in Aylesbury Luton bound late 1986. This bus had started life with Yorkshire Traction as shown below (courtesy Bus Fleets on the Web)

 

KKY838P 

Bristol VRT/SL3/501 VRT/SL3/215 

ECW 21183 

H43/34F 

1/1976 

Yorkshire Traction 

838 

 

As you will have seen from the vintage 61 photos, it is a route of variety so here are four diverse types taken in Aylesbury between October 2017 and March this year.


E400 5463 branded 280 working the 61 en route to Dunstable on October 20th 2017 by Tony Bungay.


Solo 2451 YJ08XDK working the 61 en route to Dunstable on January 19th by Tony Bungay.


Citaro 3019 with the 61 en route to Dunstable on February 20th by Tony Bungay.


Branded for the X8/280 3797 with a 61 working en route to Aylesbury on March 10th by Tony Bungay.

Well, the foregoing is with the courtesy of tony Bungay and he has spent quite sometime to get this together. I hope readers enjoy this and please remember copyright © is with Tony and the OCBP.

Yutong Electric Bus heads from Reading to Oxford plus a Wrights StreetDeck Hybrid Electric demonstrator is at Cowley House, Watlington Road, Cowley,

Of interest yesterday was the appearance of the Yutong demonstrator at Oxford Buses' depot, around lunchtime. Will it work with all three companies? The Yutong has been with Reading on the Green Line 703 for the past few weeks.

James Freeman was on hand to get pictures of the Yutong plus a double deck demonstrator, this being a Wright Gemini 4 StreetDeck Hybrid Electric Demonstrator SK18TKX. This bus has been with Arriva and Brighton & Hove previously and first licence in May this year. His pictures are shown below.

 
When writing this part of the page I did not have further information on upcoming plans for this bus, Yutong demo YK66CBC.
Ironically fleet number 900 at Reading was used for a Micro Hybrid double deck.


Wright Gemini 4 StreetDeck Hybrid Electric Demonstrator SK18TKX.

SK18TKX 

Wt StreetDeck SA9DDRSXX17141331 

Wt AQ079 

H76F 

5/2018 

Wright ,Ballymena 

http://www.buslistsontheweb.co.uk/icons/red.png http://www.buslistsontheweb.co.uk/icons/aqua.png 

Click on the red or blue button to see this bus with other operators.

Check under Oxford for the latest information from Phil Southall.

Yutong E12LF 12-metre all-electric bus

 

It is increasingly evident that bus operators want to explore their options when it comes to cleaner and greener buses. One option from China is the 12.1-metre Yutong E12LF all-electric single deck bus.

In China, Yutong produces electric vehicles across the range from 6m to 12m length, and is initially targeting Europe with the 12m version for the UK and also in France where it is supplying three two-door versions for Paris and is also considering an electric intercity coach.

The E12LF was unveiled at Euro Bus Expo 2016, it was a prominent attraction at importer Pelican Bus and Coach’s stand. It certainly stood out wrapped in Arriva’s livery, sparking a much speculation in the enthusiast community.

Electric buses from the Chinese market are all heavy-weight so far, the E12LF is no exception. Weighing 13.4t unladen, it isn’t exactly lightweight, that said, I feel the additional weight adds to the smoothness of the ride quality.

It can seat 37 passengers, with Yutong’s own seating specified. They look quite cheap, but actually are quite padded and really comfortable for the 50-minute journey on the 263 service between Manchester Piccadilly and Altrincham Interchange. Interestingly, there are 5v 3.0 amp USB ports situated adjacent most seats.

Interestingly, the demonstrator bus has tinted double glazed windows and air conditioning. Although the air conditioning was not in use on a dreary Manchester day in June, I can certainly see the advantages of having it for our rare sunny days.

The build quality of the vehicle isn’t too bad, most fixtures and fittings have been designed to a high standard. There are quite a few annoying rattles and squeaks that are amplified particularly when traversing some of Manchester’s less maintained roads.

I think the Yutong E12LF can certainly become a contender in the UK’s EV bus market, it gives variety over lightweight solutions from the likes of Optare and Wrightbus. With a little bit of refinement and tailoring to the UK market, it could become a strong contender – particularly if it was matched to a quality maintenance and warranty package.

Oxford Rail works and replacement bus & coach services

The works are almost complete now and during the past weekend some further closure were required to finalise works at Oxford Station. I include a link below which shows much of the works which have taken place.

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/western/great-western-mainline/oxford/

Bus and Coach replacement services were run and I include pictures from readers recording vehicles involved.

On the A34

     
Angel Exec HW L16AET, John Dix Travel BX06DLV, Pewsey Vale R913ULA and Ridgeways Coaches of Wantage YN05VRR all captured on the A34 near Didcot
with Rail Replacement work on the morning of July 25th by Derek Dawson.

At Oxford

On the weekend of July 28/29 Oxford was closed for the two days to allow completion of the previous works over 14 days.


Gavin Francis captured the holding area near to the station following a heavy rain shower on July 28th.


Here rail passengers board Angel Executive's L16AET during a rain shower, the process not being easy for passengers, especially those with luggage!

 
Johnsons YJ12KGA and Pulhams VDF365, new to Ellis of London as FJ04ERU, seen on July 29th these and the above two by Gavin Francis.

From Dylan Jones in Oxford


This tells you it was a bad day with storms forecast when Stagecoach 10067 and Courtney SN63VTY
are seen in the holding area on July 28th.


Courtney's Milton Park E400, unusually on non Milton Park duties in Didcot, is seen arriving in Oxford on Rail work - July 28th.


First 33496 seen in the holding area on July 28th.

and from Dylan in Didcot

   
Stagecoach's 10067, 10069 and 10668 seen in Didcot on Rail Replacement duties.

Marcus Lapthorn visits Slovenia

Marcus has been on a recent holiday to Slovenia and writes "Had a week at Lake Bled and then the 2nd week at Lake Bohinjska where we saw these two school buses. They are used to transport students who are on mountaineering and extreme sports around the area."

 
The buses have a distinct American look about them.

Alton 2018 by Tony Bungay
 http://www.altonbusrally2015.com/

Tony Bungay visited the Alton event on July 15th and sent an interesting selection of pictures.

         

   
A good selection which gives an excellent idea of what there was to see.
Many thanks to Tony.

When people park I wonder if they think "am I in the way" ?

I spent a few minutes at High Wycombe Eden Bus Station the other day and saw a silver BMW parked near the exit from the bus station. Soon afterwards a Carousel decker had great difficulty getting out, a car at the lights coming the other appeared to refuse to reverse and the silver car was blocking the way for the bus to exit. Now I wonder why those responsible for the roads don't mark more clearly that that particular area is not for parking? Equally having driven the National Express 737 some years ago, I also got stuck coming out of this bus station and although some CPSO's were on hand but said they could not do anything, they were not allowed to do so. What a bizarre world we live in!


The incident I am talking about.

Your Editors memories of 60 years ago in RAF Germany.

During my three years in the Royal Air Force from 1958 to 1961, I spent two years in Germany. My first station was RAF Borgentreich and I thought readers might find some interest in pictures I took of our coach transport during those times.

The coaches were used, in the main, to transport personnel to the active site from the domestic site, a distance of maybe 15 kilometres. The coaches used were German made Ford Köln 33 seaters. They were quite comfortable and the seats, whilst bus type, were well upholstered for longer rides.

There were two trips we used to have them for. Every two weeks we had a trip to Kassel, south of Borgentreich, for shopping and again about once a fortnight to Paderborn, where the 17/21st Lancers were stationed at Barker Barracks, to see a film at the cinema there. We were told to keep quiet about being from the RAF as the 17/21st were said "to eat RAF airmen"!!! Oh happy days. After 12 months I was posted to RAF Brüggen on the Dutch border of which there may be more anon. Borgentreich was handed over to the Luftwaffe and I remember being right marker for the RAF Contingent on the handover parade.

 
07AC32 and 31AC58 of 210 SU (Signals Unit) at RAF Borgentreich in late 1958 or early 1959 by Malcolm Crowe.
I wonder if one of these survived? I think they were produced in the early '50s.

Strange how things stick in ones memory from years ago, before Germany I was stationed at RAF Bassingbourn, near Royston and remember that the coach used for swimming trips to Saffron Walden Baths was in a Bedford 29AC50, a picture of which appears in the Transport Library. Seems this Bedford was a 1953 model. Ironically I knew the photographer, John CockShott quite well.

The Transport Library

When time permits I'll go back into the past again if readers would find it interesting?

 

Well, at last MMC 3108 has left High Wycombe and was seen by Gavin Francis heading north on the M40 last Sunday, July 29th. What is, as yet unknown, is the replacement for this one year old bus?


MMC 3108 seen working the 32 on July 27th, maybe the last time anyone recorded this us before it left for Wigston on July 29th - by Gavin Francis.

Below are two pictures of MMC's once the pride of Arriva Wycombe now in the new home area.
They are courtesy The Leicester & Midlands Bus & Rail Page (which is on Facebook.)


MMC 3105 is seen coming down Charles Street while working the X3 Market Harborough to Leicester Service on June 21st courtesy L&M Page.


MMC 3106 is seen on the X3 by Byron Hancock Lawes on June 18th courtesy L&M Page & B H Lawes.

We now have pictures from readers and myself of Arriva in our area.


One of the replacement buses for the MMCs is 2704 seen working the 33 on July 27th by Gavin Francis.


Citaro 3008 with an 800 service in the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.


Citaro comparison, Arriva's 3016 with Carousel's 878 in the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.


 3700 which according to the "buses.co.uk" fleet list is 3718, in the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.
This one came from Arriva Midlands sometime ago.


Citaro 3921 with an X30 working to Aylesbury in the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.


A DAF/Wright Cadet, 4517 with a 48 service to "LANE END" in the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.
This service is due to become the 41 split from the 48. - Poor 4517 was still in low floor boarding position which remained as it left the bus station!!


Now 4017 leaves with a 300 working to Aylesbury from the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.

More on route 61 by Nick Ross.

From Nick Ross

"Attached is a picture of Arriva DART BF52 NZP fleet no 2297 picking up a passenger in Castlemead, Pitstone on the 1200 Dunstable - Aylesbury 61 on July 23rd, 2018. The Bucks CC bus stops stand out proud too. Arriva are deregistering the 61 from July 28th so Arriva buses will no longer serve Pitstone, Red Eagle being the new operator." 


Dart 2297 BF52NZP with a 61 working through Pitstone on July 23rd by Nick Ross. Another point on the 61 saga!


Again with a 61 working, an unidentified DAF heads for Aylesbury near Ivinghoe on July 26th by Nick Ross.

Looking forward to pictures of the new extended nr 8 service to RAF Halton and more pictures from the Midlands on the fate of the MMCs from High Wycombe.


   Southern Counties  


One of the irregular appearance of the Van Hool coaches based at Hemel specifically for use on the 758. This is 9002 on July 26th by Gavin Francis.

Vehicles from afar continue to appear on the X74 along with branded buses for other routes radiating from Slough.


Volvo 7900H VSH69925 with an X74 working loads in High Wycombe on its way to Slough on July 27th by Gavin Francis.

A different mini bus has arrived replacing the one previously shown on these pages.

 
Mercedes 970 on Staff Bus duty in the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe. This time the vehicle is clearly branded Carousel.


Citaro 878 arrives to load for a 101 departure to Uxbridge from the Eden Bus Station on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.
I find it strange that these buses have not received any kind of branding and wonder if they are staying at Wycombe?


It is often difficult to get a clear destination display on StreetLites but here 404 loading a 101 service
 in High Wycombe shows a better picture on July 27th by Gavin Francis.


Nicely branded Solo 712 is seen boarding at 39 service  in High Wycombe on July 27th by Gavin Francis. 

A noted above in the Editorial two interesting buses have arrived here and Phil Southall (MD of OBC) has advised as follows.

Yutong Bus YK66CBC is on hire to us for three weeks and will be numbered 899 for its stay. We plan to use it on Services 3A and 6 for the duration of its stay.

   
The Yutong Electric bus being prepared for service in Oxford, today July 31st, still with the Reading fleet number soon to be removed and 899 applied in place.

 

We also have a Wright StreetDeck HEV Demonstrator on hire numbered 932. This is unlikely to be used in Service but is for type training in advance of our 6 new Brookes Bus vehicles of the same type arriving for Service from 1 September 2018.


Now showing the favourite demonstrator fleet number - 932.

With many thanks to Phil Southall for the notes and pictures as above.

A few interesting pictures make up this week's report.

   
Gavin Francis took some nice pictures of 838 branded for the new PICKMEUP services in Oxford. It's July 26th. 

Extracts from Notices & Proceedings

THAMES TRAVEL (WALLINGFORD) LTD, C/O COWLEY HOUSE, WATLINGTON ROAD, COWLEY, OXFORD, OX4 6GA

Operating between Berinsfield and Didcot Schools given service number BB2 effective from 02 September 2018.

Operating between DIDCOT, ST BIRINUS SCHOOL and MILTON, HEATHER ROAD given service number BB7 effective from 02 September 2018.

From Simon Caygill

"Citaro 881 with River Rapids branding was seen on route 94 Blewbury - Upton south of Didcot the other day. It seems that the move of four Citaros to Wycombe has left the company short of unbranded buses for such routes."

Josh Stone provided a welcome contribution on July 30th when a new Scania/Levante arrived in Oxford on the 302 service.

 
Edwards are running the 302 service, here bound for Bristol entering Gloucester Green, and were using a brand new Scania BU18OTF on July 30th - Pictures by Josh Stone.
It is noteworthy that 'OTF' is the only Scania in the batch, the others being Volvo tri-axles. 

Readers will notice the attendance of various Reading buses at Alton reported in the Editorial section.

Yutong 900 has now left Reading after its trial on the Green line 703 service.

During the past few days a Levante has been seen on the 702 service in London.


1402 in Bulleid Way on July 26th by Gavin Francis.

 

 

in Oxfordshire

As recorded under Oxford tube two Gold Scanias were in use on the London service on Saturday 28th as noted by Gavin Francis.

Of interest is the record I noted relating to the Golf event at Carnoustie. Two ex Oxford buses were in use as shown below and Gavin Francis has provided pictures of these Tridents in service in Oxford some 10 years ago.


Witney based Trident 18131 in Oxford's George Street with a 100 working on May 31st 2008.


The same bus seen at the Carnoustie now with East Scotland at Perth on July 19th taken by Donald Stirling.


Witney based Trident 18132 in Oxford's George Street with a 100 working on August 4th 2008.


East Scotland - Rennies fleet 18132 at Carnoustie Golf on July 19th taken by Donald Stirling.

East

On a number of occasions recently the X5 service has used the Botley Road to get to the coach station in Oxford and last Saturday was no exception.


Volvo tri-axle 54316 YX64WDA with an X5 inbound at Oxford Train Station junction on July 28th by Dylan Jones.

West

I am advised that the first two Euro 6 E400s have arrived at Gloucester which are intended for the 66.

These are indicated below:

10982 

SN18KUO 

AD E40D  

AD J404/1 

H??/??F 

8/2018 

Cheltenham & Gloucester 

10983 

SN18KUP 

AD E40D  

AD J404/2 

H??/??F 

8/2018 

Cheltenham & Gloucester 

Although not noted these buses are to Gold specification. Hopefully this may reduce the occasions when non Gold or Golds branded for the 55 are used on the 66.

I am including the following two areas as the pictures from Gary Seamarks are of interest to a number of readers. Gary took a Virgin train from Milton Keynes to Glasgow.

East Scotland


Low floor coach 54505 YX18LHP works an X27 from Glasgow Bus Station on July 24th.


Another low floor coach 54514 YX18LKY works an X51 from Glasgow Bus Station on July 24th.

These coaches present a much better way of carrying wheelchair using passengers.

West Scotland

 
The ex Oxford tube coaches used on the X76 until now are being replaced by ex Megabus coaches such as 50240 and 50242 above.
These are seen entering Glasgow Bus Station on July 24th.

Yorkshire

MAN/Enviro 300 22768 has returned to service at Rawmarsh, displacing MAN/ALX300 to the Reserve Fleet there. Readers may remember that 22768 was new to Oxford.  

Yorkshire

Van Hool Astromegas 50210/06/25, once with the Oxford tube, are on loan from West Scotland for Rail Replacement work.

Latest news regarding 50285 and 50286 is that they are going directly to Scotland from Yorkshire and 50285 is already at Grangemouth for repainting !

 

As mentioned above 15964 and 15966 were used on tube services on Saturday, July 28th to provide extra capacity resulting from the Oxford train station closure.


Ready to return to London on a second trip, 15966 is seen at Gloucester Green on July 28th by Gavin Francis.

 


Much to my surprise James Freeman caught South Gloucester's 55022 (SG41) YX16NWV on a private hire unloading in St Giles.
Notably a Parking Warden is in attendance to ensure the coach does not overstay its welcome on July 25th!


Surprise visitor to Oxford was London United's VA9 W139YRW, a well kept Olympian seen here in St Giles on July 25th by James Freeman.


Seen in Carousel's overflow yard last week, W7OOH ex WA54LVN Warpaint London - W7 Cosmetics - Bloomsbury on July 27th by Malcolm Crowe.