Welcome to the fourth Weekly Briefing, for which I have received some very kind comments. also a number of you are providing news and pictures which all go to making the end result.

Leyland Olympians Running Days - Saturday, May 5th.

A reminder that a group (the Leyland Olympians yahoo group) has organised a trip which will feature seven of the assorted, interesting and rarely reported Olympians from the fleet of Walters Limos, Forest Hill on Saturday 5th May. Our format takes each bus out in turn for a 45-70 min run around the area allowing fans of the type to enjoy rides and photograph as many vehicles as possible during the day and anyone else is welcome to come along on the day and join us.

Full details can be found from this link http://leylandolympians.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/0505.html

This is a private hire and if anyone wants to ask anything they must e-mail me at:

chrismartin13601@hotmail.co.uk

Help requested by the Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society

Can you help? Well-know author and historian Paul Lacey (who is coming to speak to us in September) is after some information regarding COMS operating to Henley-on-Thames. I attach his question below.

"I would appreciate it if someone with a knowledge of COMS operations could give me a brief history of COMS operating stage carriage to Henley-on-Thames, starting with the origins but only needed up to 1946. It will be referred to when I sort out the other operator histories for the town."

If anyone can help, please get in touch with me and I will forward your contact details to Paul. Please fee free to circulate this request to anyone you know who may be able to help.

Matt  theoxforddrinker@yahoo.co.uk

Operator news:

Oxford's buses will see modified timetable changes because of serious traffic congestion.

Buses will have reduced frequencies to cope with the serious traffic congestion in the city. This has been announced by the city's bus company bosses and they say timetables for key co-ordinated bus routes will be revised on Sunday, April 8th to 'improve reliability'. This is to cope with worsening traffic congestion in Oxford.

Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach have worked together to adjust timetables and they called on local authorities for more support 'to keep Oxford moving'.

Road works have caused major delays in Frideswide Square and during the Access to Headington project.

Minor adjustments will be made to service frequencies at the busiest times of day to 'provide improved reliability', according to the bus companies. Timetables adjustments will be introduced on services 1, 3A, 5, 8 and 9 from April 8. The 3A service will be re-timed and operate via the Sadler Building in the Oxford Science Park. During the afternoon and early evening, the frequency will be reduced to allow an increase in running time and improved reliability.

On Saturday late afternoons and early evenings, the Kassam Stadium service will also be adjusted to improve reliability.

Running time for the city5 and Stagecoach 1 service will be adjusted to provide more boarding time at the busy St Aldate’s stop. Journeys will also depart earlier from Oxford rail station during off-peak hours between Monday and Friday to ease bus congestion on the station forecourt.

Increased running time will be introduced to the City8 and city9 services to improve reliability.

Minor adjustments to improve punctuality are also being made to Stagecoach’s service 10 during the busy afternoon period.

Let us hope this resolve these problems which are making life for the public transport users in Oxford a nightmare.

A proposal is made that cyclists should be able to go through red lights

A proposal has been made, in Oxford, that to ease traffic congestion, cyclists should be able to carefully ride through traffic lights on red. As a PCV driver, now retired, I can confirm that already many cyclists ignore red traffic lights and cheerfully ride roughshod over rules of the road. I also note that mention has been made recently of cyclists being prosecuted for riding on footpaths.

In addition to this, proposals from "the other side" are hoping to get laws passed to prosecute cyclists for dangerous riding following the sad case in London where a lady was killed by a cyclist.

Whilst many cyclists obey the law and ride safely and with consideration, I am afraid that many more show total disregard for any rules or consideration, a far cry from the days of my youth! Then one had a minior panick if stopped by a policeman for some infringement!

I am sure this will bring howls of anguish from the cycling fraternity but surely we all have to live together in harmony?

Stagecoach London


Some readers may be aware that the company is having open top conversions to older Tridents. East London Bus & Coach, which trades as Stagecoach London has applied for a TfL tourist service permit under the megasightseeing.com name. Services would operate hourly from Tower Hill, Park Lane and Belvedere Road. Expect further Tridents here to become open top.

Reports advise that Tridents 18467/71/73/74/75/77/82/96/97 are at ADL for refurbishment. It is expected that these vehicles, along with 18468 will be converted to open top.


megasightseeing.com 18475 LX55ERY "King Henry VIII" caught in Green Line by an eagle eyed enthusiast.

More information can be found at the following links:

http://www.opentopbus.net/w-England---London.pdf

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/lsp-bulletin.pdf

Intended start dates for three tours is April 7th 2018

Further information and pictures will be most welcome.

Arriva did not have much to show in the way of differences this week but maybe the picture below is nearing the end of service for 6004.


Seen in the Eden Bus Station in company with MMC E20D 3107 both laying over between duties. Malcolm Crowe on March 22nd.


MMC 3105 works the 32 approaching Wycombe Marsh on March 22nd by Malcolm Crowe.

A late entry for this week's news is from Tony Bungay who writes "Managed to get some pictures of Aylesbury’s other new logo solo 2495, both taken in Aylesbury, one on March 14th on town service 9, the other on town service 8 on March 23rd, amazingly destination has come out on both. Wright Volvo 3773 in the snow on March 1st on service 500 to Watford. Citaro 3909 also on 500 on 14 March, this appears to be a Hemel vehicle, note the different Arriva www site on side of vehicle."

 
Solo 2495 in Aylesbury on March 14th by Tony Bungay.


Arriva Southern Counties 3773 in the snow with route branding works the 500 in Aylesbury on March 1st by Tony Bungay.
I'm sure I've taken pictures of this bus working the Green Line 758 in London. Well travelled for a branded bus for the 2 in Hemel !


Arriva Southern Counties Citaro 3909 works the 500 on March 14th by Tony Bungay.
This bus is recorded as being from Stevenage depot, now I wonder?

A quiet week for this company but one of interest for me as I had to go to Flackwell Heath and was able to get some nice pictures of Carousel's services.


Scania 219 working the 36 through Flackwell Heath towards Bourne End on March 22nd by Malcolm Crowe.


Later in the morning I pulled over to get this picture of E200 422 on the 35 to Flackwell Heath as it passed through Wycombe Marsh.


419, fully branded for the One  sits outside the depot in company with E200 420 both between duties.


I rather liked this shot of 423 on the Link 40 heading for High Wycombe, sadly the clock in the background it wrong as it was 1307 not 1807.

 

Adam Green has sent a picture of buses recently introduced into service in Hemel saying "Centre bus have some ex Tower Transit E200 Both Buses will be used on the 46 from Hemel Hempstead to Luton"


562-YX12ASZ with 563-YX12AGZ seen above taken by Adam Green.


Looking very smart, First Berkshire's Citaro 64039 on the Blue 8 - February 24th by Richard Sharman.

Grant Palmer
http://www.grantpalmer.com

This company is reported to have taken delivery of two new ADL E20D's. Has anybody got any pictures?

YX18KND 

AD E20D SFD8S1AR6HGY16517 

AD H253/04 

B33F 

3/2018 

Palmer,Flitwick 

YX18KNE 

AD E20D SFD8S1AR6HGY16518 

AD H253/05 

B33F 

3/2018 

Palmer,Flitwick 

New developments

On the website, the company is advertising for minibus drivers. They will be required to work covering a 7 day roster 07:00-23:00 on a demand responsive operation according to the application form. This may be similar to the old fashioned Dial a Ride style of operation.

No cash will be taken, as all booking will be made by an app, which would also collect the money similar to Arriva at Sittingbourne with the business park there.

Further news of this will prove interesting. 

Jim Wright advises he has seen Citaro 837 now back in Oxford from Carousel. When seen this bus was working 6 road.

Giles Woodforde writes "I can confirm that 838 was running on the 2 route this afternoon. It looks really scruffy and unloved, a strong contrast to the 66 reg Stagecoach sitting behind at Magdalen Street. You may recall that I wrote  a while back re COMS’s apparent current policy of allocating the “less desirables of the fleet” to the 2 service. 838 looks like a new low!


 Diversions (February - May 2018)

Interesting if anyone can provide pictures of X90's on this diversion.

Please be aware that with immediate effect until the end of May 2018, Phase 2 of the Baker Street two-way project will be in place with temporary traffic signals and lane closures at the junction of Marylebone Road and Baker Street. We will endeavour to serve Baker Street at all times but in peak times, our London bound X90 services may need to use a dedicated diversion route which does not serve Baker Street to avoid any serious congestion. However, they will observe the bus stop at Sale Place on Praed Street, very close to Edgware Road Station. Oxford bound coaches will not be affected.

Click here for more information on the Baker Street Two Way works. 

Ian Rivett reports that three new ADL/E200 classics have arrived in dealer white. They are as detailed hereunder.

  YX18KOU  AD E20D SFD7S1AR6HGY16443  AD   B39F 
  YX18KOV  AD E20D SFD7S1AR6HGY16444  AD   B39F 
  YX18KOW  AD E20D SFD7S1AR6HGY16445  AD   B39F 

It is not known what their use will be and we await details with interest.

Unusual buses in use on the 275 recently are recorded below.


W408UGM seen in Oxford on the 275 in High Street on March 20th by Nick Cherry.


On the same day Red Eagle's W403UGM was pressed into service on the 275 as seen here in Wycombe by Nick Cherry.

 

 

Martin Sutton writes to advise "As you know the four vehicles delivered to Oxford have been transferred to West for the Arle Court Park and Ride service from a date towards the end of April.  One of them, 10905, has arrived back in Oxford on loan until the end of April to cover for the Scania (14836, which was seriously damaged in an accident on the A44 whilst on S3 last week."

My good friend Jim Wright has provided some pictures of 10905 in service on Saturday, March 24th.

     
10905 working the 7 on Saturday March 24th taken by Jim Wright. The provision of full rear destination screens is noteworthy, as is the use of silver displays.

Steve Gee writes "I was on the M1 earlier today and took a break at Newport Pagnell services. On exiting the services northbound, I noticed Stagecoach MAN saloon 22945. OV51KAE on the back of a recovery wagon.

I believe it is one the batch allocated to Oxford originally, so thought this may be of interest to you. I have a 2018 fleet list which shows it based at Eastbourne, and earmarked for disposal. It was looking somewhat sorry for itself, missing a front wheel at least, so assume it was going for scrap.

 

It was in the company of another Kent based vehicle, 34399, WA03WWZ, also on tow, which I have listed based at Herne Bay on the reserve list. I don't think this vehicle operated with Oxford though."

Indeed it was new to Oxford and spent many years working the local routes.

 

Many thanks to Ralph Adams for an  update on this fleet including the recently acquired Volvos from Arriva.

Acquired vehicles

CW51TOP Volvo B7TL  Tbs H49/24D ex Arriva VLA 41 LJ53BCO

CW52TOP Volvo B7TL  Tbs H49/24D ex Arriva VLA 42 LJ53BCU

CW53TOP Volvo B7TL  Tbs  H49/24D ex Arriva VLA 73 LJ04YWE

Modifications include three additional tip up seats in the disabled bay and still keeping centre door. Painted bright green with black roof and looking very smart today. No fleet name applied yet but they will by Countywide (hence CW in registration).

Re-registered coaches

BKZ70 is now RA15OBR

NBZ70 is now RA15OBV

NDZ70 is now RA15OBW

Disposal

V11OCL Van Hool TDX25 now left the fleet.

Fleet renamed

YX63ZVR is now Kennetbus ex South Midland. This means all AD Enviro 200 have the Kennetbus branding although I often see them in use near Abingdon.

Reseated

BK15AJX upseated from C46FT to C48FT

Olympians

Three Olympians are still operated. They have no allocated duties after Easter and the planned sale has fallen through. It is possible they will go for scrap.

Many thanks to Ralph for those comprehensive notes. Now lets see who provides pictures of the above.

 

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