The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

 News Page

Issue 271
Monday 4th August 2008

(next update week ending 23rd August 2008)

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

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

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

Editorial & Features - plus Picture Corner with a few surprises

I wondered what would feature most in this current news page and concluded from the contributions received it would have to be the various rallies. I have included a picture from the Peterborough Rally which I rather liked as surely the Roe Dalesman body on an AEC Reliance is some kind of classic. The couple in the picture somehow add a bit of class as well.

AEC Reliance Roe Dalesman in the livery of A E Brown of Caister seen on 13th July 2008 in this picture by John Marsh.

There have been several changes to National Express services and one of note is that it would appear that the 455 service now terminates at Victoria coach Station and does not run through to Canary Wharf. Also the High Wycombe-Oxford 737 service, a hang over from  the days when NEx Sibson road provided the coach, ceased running after 3rd August. One has to admit that the service never carried many passengers. All the remaining services on 737 continue, despite indications on the Hertfordshire Travel web site that the 0100 from Oxford and 0045 from Stansted no longer run.

It appears that the 370 Southall-High Wycombe-Birmingham service will also cease from mid September, this service being run by Dhillon coaches, once Bharat Coaches, details of whom can be found at the following link.  This is a strange service as it appears that when required, they have the use of a National Express coach from Sibson Road. This is seen in the picture below.

Dhillons are seen here using an "LK" NEx coach, V37 from Sibson road, on the 370 evening service from Birmingham to Southall.
The coach is seen serving High Wycombe on 24th July 2008.

easyBus correction

I quote an e-mail from easyBus regarding comments in the last issue.

The statement attributed to Glenn Knight is incorrect.

From early August 2008 the EB2 service will be operated from Stansted (depot) and not Luton (depot).

Space has been taken at the Excel premises at Stansted.

The white Mercedes referred to is one of the original Sprinters which has been de-liveried and is being used as a crew shuttle and driver trainer.

KE04WBT (0299).

David A Rawsthorn
Director of Operations
easyBus Ltd.

Many thanks to David for that update. Indeed a large number of staff were being trained during late July for this revised operation as my picture below shows.

Comments on the last issue from Marcus Lapthorn 

Another great edition - well done and thank you. It must take you so long to put this together and we readers are very fortunate that you are prepared to give us this free service. 

I especially liked the many photographs of 'baby' buses that appeared in this edition! One at Silverstone and one at Prestwood for example. 

The Prestwood photographs were great and those heavy tractors look superb. 

The Glastonbury piece was also good and I saw the rolling stock at Swindon Station that formed the shuttle service to Castle Cary for Glastonbury revellers. It was a former Virgin West Coast set of seven

markIII coaches with an EWS locomotive at each end of the rake! 

Glastonbury 2008 Ė a correction from Marc Morgan

Hope you don't mind me emailing you a couple of additional notes to your Glastonbury feature. 

The West Wight liveried Van Hool 5184MM is actually Southern Vectis 511 on Glastonbury shuttle work, not National Express. 

ODL447 in Fountain livery is Southern Vectis 597 which is also ex Oxford, being R809 NUD.  The UEL registered Damory coach is another of the batch of Oxford coaches.

W&D Open topper in an accident

A reader writes to advise of a most unusual accident when an open top bus turned over following a collision with some cars whilst operating the Bournemouth-Sandbanks service. Having followed buses all my life, I cannot ever remember a similar accident in all those years. Seemingly the passengers were decanted on to soft heather and thereby escaped serious injury. 

A Wilts & Dorset open top double decker on service 150 has been involved in at accident near the Sandbanks Ferry at Studland. See link for full story 

Unusual bus from Tracey Wright

I saw a very rare bus at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim last Friday, it was an ex London Transport Daimler Fleetline DMS Reg Nr KUC943P, rebuilt as a coach by Ensignbus.

Jim thinks it is the last survivor on the road.

Rail replacement between Peterborough and Stevenage by John Marsh

A few of the many coaches involved in a massive rail replacement between Peterborough & Stevenage on the East Coast Main Line Sunday 13 July 2008.

Copyright:- John Marsh

From Geoff Cunliffe who visited Oxford on Monday 28th July

We went in from Water Eaton (because itís free to park there, (as it is at Thornhill) on the 500. The 500 runs every fifteen minutes but we were lucky on both inward and outward journeys and had only a few minutes to wait. Whatever was that virtually derelict-looking factory alongside the Water Eaton car park?


Went in at 11.15am on 107 with its green livery, red rear and no front wheel discs (nut rings). As the day progressed, I became obsessed by this original Trident wheel disc question. I know they are a wretched nuisance for fitters but they do complete the appearance of a vehicle. During my stay, I noted they had been removed from 103 (despite its new-style livery), 104, 105, 106, 108, 116, 117, 119 and 120 but remained on 101, 102, 110, 111, 113, 114 (on red wheels) and 115. (This is a question which has been puzzling me? - Ed)

Are there an increasing number of delivery vehicles using Queen Street? Is it because their "Sat Navs" direct them through there? One delivery van parked for several minutes opposite the Clarendon Centre entrance causing quite an obstruction.

Similarly a Police car went wrong way up Queen Street to collect some people from the Centre which again seemed a curious thing to do. 

Two Oxford Tubes, 107 & 110, ran in together about 12.30pm suggesting that at least one had been delayed. 

It was a very hot day and the tour buses were doing good business.

The once-reported blitz on cyclists going the wrong way down Queen Street in the middle of the day seems to have had little lasting effect.

Brookes Bus liveried 18199 appeared to undertake a journey on the 3 to Rose Hill but I didnít see it again. 

I see the latest repaints by Arriva for vehicles on the 280 to Aylesbury now refer to it as Line 280 - whatever happened to calling them Routes like normal people do? Surely itís trains that run on Lines? 

OBC 807 seemed to run about all day with Not In Service on its rear indicator. 

Our return to Water Eaton was by Citaro. I see it tells us all that it was 2007 Bus of the Year. 

Not a lot of great note but, after several months, it was nice to be back in the City.

An interesting link from Russell Baldock 

Concessionary Travel lands councils in crises

I read in today's Sunday Express that councils up and down the country are in crises over the funding of the free travel scheme for concession holders. It quotes Preston Council as having to find £4,000,000 to pay bus companies whereas the Government rebate has only been £600,000.

Interesting times ahead.

Closure of Milton High Street by Steve Annells

The closure of Milton High Street is requiring Thames Travel to miss out Milton on the 32 service between Abingdon and Didcot.  The solution has been to run a shuttle bus from Milton to meet the 32 on the Harwell Road on the east side of Milton Park.  I took the chance to take my camera out on Wednesday 6 August.

Optare Solo 153 lays over between trips in Pembroke Lane, Milton

Route 32 doesn't normally leave Sutton Courtenay via Harwell Road.  MAN 857 heads for a rendezvous with 153.

CIMG4311:  Scania 306 approaches Milton Park from Didcot.

CIMG4319:  An odd place for an interchange but necessary; MAN 205 on 32 meets shuttle bus 153

The Milton Park Shuttle run by Courtney Coaches doesn't get mentioned much, but currently requires two vehicles.

The DAF/East Lancs Myllennium KX54NLA continues to give service; it's been partnered by DAF DB250/Plaxton President T130AUA recently,
but  on this day the second bus was Volvo Olympian/East Lancs S847DGX, both seen on the same roundabout exiting Milton Park for Didcot Parkway.

All pictures in this article copyright Steve Annells 

News of bus accidents from Chris in Banbury

I saw this incident on the Bucks Fire Service Public Log and thought it may be of interest for the next news page. I think the bus involved was Arriva 3330. (Gavin Francis reports that indeed 3330 is at Cressex depot with a smashed front end - Saturday 9th August)

Matt Robinson says "I think the bus involved was 3330 (M234TBV). Pictures on the Bucks Fire web site seem to suggest the bus was side-swiped by a lorry heading in the opposite direction along the A4155.
Anyway seems like there was another serious accident today involving an Arriva Solo in Berkhamsted, if I find out any more details on either incident I will pass them on."

Bedfordshire news From Glenn Knight

There is a new booklet out for Bedfordshire Bus Service Changes.

Scans from the new booklet by Glenn Knight

Hemel Hempstead changes from Glenn Knight

Glenn sent scans of the new leaflet briefing members of the puibl;ic on changes to services in and around Hemel Hempstead.

An interesting find on the A421 near Buckingham by Gary Seamarks

I found this on A421 at Buckingham Yesterday  no idea of old reg, but its old (long pod). It was taken from top deck of Olympian R34TAC on an X5.

Report from Aylesbury by Matthew Wheeler

I have a small selection of photos I did on my new Camera phone last week, one in specific response to a photo on your 14 July page...

On your 14 July page, you posted a photo reportedly of Arriva the Shires East Lancs bodied dart 3172 (N672OPP). This vehicle has now returned to Aylesbury, but is in standard livery and no evidence of recent repaint, so I'd suggest the vehicle seen in Interurban livery was incorrectly identified, and was most likely another shot of 3173. I've attached two photos of 3172 parked up in Walton Street, Aylesbury waiting to take up a trip on Route 2 to Haydon Hill just before 7pm on Friday 25 July.

As has been reported on previous pages, there are a small number of MK Metro vehicles at Aylesbury who are covering some MK Metro duties. However, more often than not at least 1 of the vehicles makes it onto local town routes in Aylesbury. Two were in evidence on Friday. Solo 2420 (T407ENV) was on Red Route 9, and is seen having just left the Hawkslade Shops stop on a trip towards Stoke Mandeville Hospital (7pm departure from Aylesbury town centre).

Also seen, at lunchtime, was Dart 3519 (M810OJW) between duties in Aylesbury Bus Station.

Finally, again from Friday lunchtime is Star Travel's Optare Solo on Orange Route 3 travelling along the recent Exchange Street Bus Lane on its outward trip to Meadowcroft/Haydon Hill.

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

Richard Sharman sent these pictures of a brand new Citaro on delivery to Apcoa at Gatwick.
The bus has seats for 16 and massive luggage space.

A Midland Red Leyland National at Banbury - picture by David Percy.
David has said that he has a significant collection of pictures from this period which he will gradually scan.

Gavin Francis caught up with this band coach parked up at Piddington on the A40 near Wycombe,

This line up of Clarkes of London Coaches was caught on camera at Oxpens by Gavin Francis.

I think this is a Parks coach but with Glenton titles, a very old and well known coach company.
Seen at Oxpens in this picture by Gavin Francis.

This company is well known in the east of our area and they have a nice fleet of coach, mostly with cherished registrations.
Pictured in Oxpens by Gavin Francis.

A Setra at Schloss Linderhof taken by David Benyon.

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