Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 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.
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A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a bus driver in Oxford but considering the fact that the photographs are taken of the vehicle not any person,
I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
I am sorry to have to mention such a matter but we now live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.
Apologies for the delay in publishing this week's page. I caught a bug from somewhere and was laid low all day yesterday. Worked on Monday and Tuesday was busy with domestics. Hey ho, such is life.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny and Amersham turned out to be an excellent day for all who attended. I have made a special headline report of the event for this week's page. Thank you all who sent pictures, I was really spoilt for choice.
What can one say but what an excellent event, a lot of hard work by the organisers, especially Peter Cartwright, who provided the stage for so many excellently turned out vehicles. For me the appearance of STL2377 was something of a highlight and I make no excuse for the many pictures shown.
I arrived bright and early at around 09:45 whilst there was still little activity and only very few buses on show. In fact at around 10:15 quite a queue had formed with only a couple of buses waiting time further down the road. Indeed I can only say what patience many people have.
Patience by the waiting crowd. - Amersham 2007
During this time buses started to arrive and a number of splendid entrants arrived.
My early days of living in the High Wycombe area were brought back by this LC RT in NB livery. I seem to remember such buses on the 441?
My early days in London were when I worked in Portland Place - think the 159 went by.
Amersham depot had the garage letter MA, which for someone coming here from MAnchester was sort of homely.
In amongst the multitude of LT buses, this ex Colchester Bristol RE made a nice change. MJW at the wheel.
From my vantage point I needed to be on the ball to get all the arrivals. Here we see T792 approaching from the other direction.
A surprise early arrival was one of Arriva Wycombe's new Optare Versas. Whilst it was parked up I guess at least a dozen people got similar pictures.
However did anyone else take the current destination display list - I wonder?
And so to that wonderful STL. The patience of many was rewarded when she turned to load.
Seemingly the bus is weight limited and so only about half a load were boarded.
It is now seen in varying poses by myself, Gavin Francis and Paul Davis.
Further pictures of this and other buses can be found at the following link. The ones of the STL are taken in Chesham.
Richard Thomas writes "I have an album of shots taken on Sunday last, please use the link on your news page."
Richard Thomas - HERTSMAN IMAGES - Transport Images - http://hertsmantransport.fotopic.net/
The vantage point I had selected was very good for departing services and I enjoyed watching many of the buses heeling over as the headed of to a variety of destination.
What a lovely RT this was, I especially liked the Express destination. RT3496 leaves Amersham on its way to Windsor.
As a child one seemed overwhelmed by the double deck buses of the time and this picture captures this feeling. RT3254 leaves for Aylesbury.
The parking area gave a lot of photographic opportunities. Pictures by Roger Spence.
I believe that red central area buses were sometimes pressed into service on Green Line routes and this picture by Gavin Francis recreates this fact.
I was delighted to meet a number of readers and Colin Cooke, having spent about 30 minutes taking pictures along with me suddenly shot of to get a "picture under the bridge". His efforts whilst away are recorded below.
The one under the bridge on the way to Little Chalfont. Seemingly Metrobuses can get under this bridge now.
Seen at rest and then heading past Little Chalfont on its return to Amersham, RLH48 makes a fine sight.
All three pictures by Colin Cooke.
One driver's happiness can be seen in this picture of Michael Wootten at the helm of his Bristol RE, taking a full load on board.
Whilst we were all busy at Amersham, High Wycombe saw a large number of services departing using a number of most interesting buses. Paul Davis and Nigel Peach were on hand to record events.
Two Leyland National brought back memories of the 1970s and 1980s. Pictures by Paul Davis.
Older buses which had worked in High Wycombe were remembered by this TV Bristol KSW which ran to West Wycombe.
Pictures by Paul Davis and Nigel Peach.
Buses which had been in Amerhsam could also be seen in High Wycombe.
Pictures by Nigel Peach and Paul Davis.
Nigel Peach wrote "I took a number of photos at today's Amersham Running Day. I have 11 to send to you which may or may not be of interest. (I used some but not all the pictures ED.)
Peter Pribik's Thames Valley KSW6B 748 (JRX 823) at a very uncrowded Wycombe Bus Station at 11.00am. I was thrilled to actually ride on this bus for the first time after seeing it most years at various events. I travelled to Aylesbury, and later a short working to West Wycombe.
RT 3496 (LYR 915) in Wycombe bus station, also taken from 748. This RT is a rarity, being a Country Area (green) vehicle with the route number at the front in the roof of the bus. I'd intended to get a picture when I got to Wycombe on it, but 748 (which I hadn't expected to be there) was just leaving for West Wycombe, so I leapt on that!
748 at West Wycombe (with the famous church with the golden ball in the background) recreating the 42 which ran from Loudwater to West Wycombe. The curiosity of this route was that in the 1960s there was also another route 42 which ran from Wycombe Marsh to Booker Hill Estate at the same time. Two routes with the same number! And we moan about confusing route numbers today!!
All in all, an enjoyable day with a good crowd of people there. Congratulations to Peter Cartwright and his team for organising it all."
Ed Maun writes "Although the prime focus of the running day on 30th September was centred on the anniversary of the closure of the ex London Transport garage in High Wycombe, I was pleased to see that the erstwhile Thames Valley routes 27, 30 and 42 were to feature. Bearing in mind that it was bound to be primarily a “green liveried” day, I was intrigued as to what might be used on the ex TV services. I was therefore delighted to see a red bus in Princes Risborough Market Square on the service 30 (It was on the 1005 running no. 62 from High Wycombe to Aylesbury). Unfortunately not an ex TV bus but an ex Alder Valley Leyland National – I couldn't see its fleet number as I drove passed; what was it? By the time AV had taken over TV’s services the Aylesbury to High Wycombe had become service 21 and the 42 no longer served West Wycombe – it terminated at Booker Hill Estate. Service 30 was then a local Wycombe town service. Does any one know what buses were used on running numbers 61 and 63 which were scheduled for ex TV services?"
I had so many photos I was spoilt for choice.
Memories of LT RMLs in High Wycombe
I received some interesting pictures from LT days in High Wycombe which I am sure readers will enjoy.
Paul Davis sent these pictures of RMLs in service at high Wycombe, both of which were present last Sunday.
Gavin Francis writes "I have attached a picture of RML 2310 (see above) which I said was once a Wycombe depot bus. With 2307 2412 2418 2440 2428 it seems that a fair number of Wycombe's RMLs are still around."
Paul Davis sent these pictures of buses which were once common place in the area. The bus garage at Wycombe has yet to be turned into Staples.
Paul writes :-
RML2412 showing blinds for the school journey on 362 - Feb77
LNC55 having just arrived from Reigate Jan76 - these vehicles were classified 'coach' but you can see they were ordinary bus seats.....
AEC Swift SM451 waiting to leave on a 305 journey Jan76.
More on digital destination displays from an interested reader
My correspondent writes "I just came across your site, and have seen various references to scrolling displays on buses.
You might be interested in the following. I recently asked the Daft if there are any proposals to regulate the use of scrolling destination displays on buses, as some people might find them hard to read and they might distract other road users.
I quote the reply I got below. I believe that some authorities are currently looking into this. The department wrote back saying
Re your request for advice about the information screens on the outside of buses which display scrolling or revolving data. Your email has been passed to this section because we are responsible for the vehicle lighting regulations.
The Department cannot give an authoritative interpretation of the law; that is a matter for the courts.
The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR) set down the permitted lights on vehicles. The RVLR can be read on the internet at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1989/Uksi_19891796_en_1.htm
Regulation 13 of the RVLR requires that all lights (with a few exceptions) are steady. This prohibits text which automatically changes, scrolls or moves. Additionally, the light must not cause undue dazzle or discomfort to other road users."
Interesting..... I know that in the early days of the Oxford Tube Neoplans, they had scrolling rear destinations, these were soon discarded in place of a static display. Many operators still have scrolling displays but these are mainly confined to the front. One example which still features rear scrolling are the latest Green Line DAFs on the 757.
I don't think that the department has the time or manpower to police this issue, so things will remain as they are for a long time to come.
These routes are highlighted at the following web link :
Following last week's article on the X15, Andrew Harvey-Adams wrote to say "Thanks for yet another weeks ''page'' as usual packed with interesting news and pictures . Those early X15 shots got me thinking back to the eighties when we lived in Essex and made the journey to Leighton Buzzard to visit my wife's parents who lived in Soulbury in those days Am I correct in thinking that in the EARLY DAYS of the X15 READING TRANSPORT were also involved in a few of the running , I just seem to remember at the back of my mind a timetable leaflet with all the operators , inc. Reading thereon , also I am sure, but I didn't photograph a READING Bus in Leighton Buzzard High Street ?"
I hadn't realised you were going to do a big feature on the X15. Coincidentally I'd just scanned this picture from 16 Dec 84 of the Alder valley VR.
Some unusual buses in other use by Glenn Knight
Glenn Knight found some unusual buses in his are and writes "VRH 499W Volvo Unicar on Farley Hill, Rotherham Ave used as a car transporter and K718 JHE Dennis Javelin Wadham Stringer used at "The Chinese State Circus" to transport the acrobats around at Farley Hill Stockwood Park taken 27/09/2007."
How about a little bit of Nostalgia seen at Urquhart Castle was this little sweetie, from days of old.
A question from Dick Gilbert concerning B & C Coaches of Cumnor?
Dick Gilbert writes to ask "I've come to ask a favour; What do you know about B&C Coaches of Cumnor, active in the 1950s and 60s (and maybe earlier)?
All I know is that they bought a couple of second-hand full-fronted Bristol Ls from Thames Valley in 1963 and '64, but I'm particularly interested to know about their earlier vehicles.
Do you have any info about this firm? All contributions, however small, will be most welcome."
Well I wonder if any readers can answer Dick's question. I look forward to hearing from you.
Buses in cityscape and landscape
Luton Town Centre - Picture by Roger Spence
James Smith writes "I can let your readers know that I have a few of the Creative Master, UKBUS 2015 Oxford Bus Plaxton President model left at a reduced price."
It's been reduced to £20.50
I'm hoping to
offer your readers a permanent discount in the very near future.
www.modelsmk.co.uk - Low cost Bus models
Malcolm Crowe - Thursday 4th October 2007
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 4th October 2007
Nigel Peach writes with some interesting information saying"I spoke to the Arriva driver of the Versa. He told me that they are expecting two more, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. They will run on routes 38, 39 and 40. The 40 was due to be run by the Solos as you know, but because of their problems with the doors, they are expected to go to Aylesbury. In any case they were underpowered and would have really struggled at Wycombe!
This is how the other Versas might look. Picture by Lee Hobbs.
The unfortunate Solo - wonder what it is up to. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Your correspondent last week is correct. Dart 3482 (W482 YGS), having been deposed as the reserve bus on the U9 and repainted in standard livery, IS now red again! Apparently the three Transbus Darts 3837-9 are being troublesome and quite often more than one is off the road. So 3482 is now the back up to the back up for this route!
Pictures by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.
This week Gavin's pictures all capture the destination screen - now how did he do that?
Several readers saw this repaint and wondered.
Indeed, 3482 now seems a regular bus for Line 40 and was seen heading through Stokenchurch around 6 pm this evening.
I am told that Wycombe may be getting some more low floor Darts soon, cascaded from Watford. One that came from there three months ago, 3210 (R210 GMJ) was involved in a fatal accident some weeks ago in Desborough Road, HW and is still out of service, impounded. Meanwhile, Dart 3829 (KE53 NFG) has left Wycombe, back to Aylesbury from whence it came."
Picture by Gavin Francis.
The attached link may be of interest to those following Arriva.
Colin Richardson wrote regarding a location in our area. I'm not sure where it is but he says "Last Sunday saw the opening of two stops in the middle section of the High Street. One stop for town services 2 & 4 and for interurban services. 16, 66, 100 ,150. Other may follow.
Yesterday I sat in the town shelter for 40 minutes and please to report that ordinary motorists and pedestrians were walking about freely.
I suggest someone should take photos for the OCBP on a bright day.
I will inform of further developments in due course."
James Smith writes "Just a couple of pictures this week....
One that I took as a record of the last day of Service X15, and the other is a (rushed) picture of the leather interior of the refurbished DAF.
Who would have thought that this Dart would have been headed for MK when it was first new at Wycombe?
James adds "Sorry it's a little blurred but it had just come in to the yard as I was leaving work, so it was a quick "Snap & Run".
Glenn Knight writes "Pictures for the page"
ARRIVA V287 HBH 3287 broken down on Flowers Way Luton 3rd time in 1week this has happened 26/09/2007.
M K Metro J941 MFT 3514 24/09/2007.
John Podgorski wrote in response to a readers query saying "Re the 26/9/07 edition, and Tim Hall's query on Arriva The Shires Stagecoach style B10M/Alexander service bus no 3332 (M783 PRS).
This vehicle joined Arriva when the Stevenage and Hatfield parts of Sovereign Bus & Coach were acquired from Blazefield in January 2005, along with sisters M234 TBV, M782 PRS, now Arriva 3330 and 3331.
Tim was lucky to catch this bus on the 301, which is normally worked by low floor Volvo B10BLE/Wrights.
These 3 B10Ms are based at Stevenage and appear on all sorts of work, including stage carriage, schools and staff shuttles."
Mark Munday advises that there are now two orange Versas at Wycombe.
Matt Robinson writes to advise that further to the recent appearance of Scania 3202 (R202RBM) at Cressex depot, it is back 'home' at Stevenage. It is still branded for routes 100 & 101 and I've seen it working into Luton several times in the last week or so.
More pictures now from Gavin Francis.
Route 32 variety by Gavin Francis
Route 800 variety by Gavin Francis
On the 850 by Gavin Francis
DAF 4490 gets a Lake livery by Gavin Francis
In Aylesbury depot, I don't think they will see service anymore. Picture by Roger Spence.
Once Oxford, then Wycombe and now Southend. Picture by Andy Millwood.
Two more from Glenn Knight
A number of interesting pictures this week.
I couldn't find a service 573. This Dart was on that route in Beaconsfield last Saturday.
202 was working Line 1 when Gavin Francis took this picture last week.
Dart 480 on the Campus Link in this picture by Gavin Francis.
Gavin Francis having provided pictures of these Darts with Metroline last week, caught up with 706 on the 27 last week.
Carousel have an RT and Paul Davis provided one of her on the 406 in June 1977.sent pictures of her as she used to be - RT981
Andy Millwood writes "I noted recently one of the Carousel Metrobuses M1272 and M1356 are in the fleet of Atbus, Ashford, I have a picture which shows the former on Rail replacement duties At Weybridge Stn on Aug 27th (Cobham Open Day)."
Rob Williams passed on some information from Tony hunter who advises as follows.
Rumour has it (see an email from Tony Hunter on the West Midlands Bus Group below) that the B10Bs displaced by the Tridents will be going to The Green Transport Company, Birmingham via Go West Midlands. They have just sold 8 Olympians to this company who have started operating their own services rather than contracting them out to local operators such as Diamond, First and Stagecoach.
Tony Hunter writes "Now
have 7 of their 8 Olympians Painted, P929 RYO is the one not back yet.
3 are fully branded
The first B10Bs could be arriving this week, and it looks likely, although not 100% confirmed that they will be the Plaxton Verde bodied ones from Oxford that were supposed to be coming to Diamond Bus!"
Glenn Knight sent a picture of a Red Line Dart.
K576 NHC Red Line on 66 from Aylesbury taken 29/09/2007.
I saw Olympian 16580 heading London bound on the M40 the other day. It had been converted to open top and was lacking most of its paint where panelling had been replaced.
Simon Oliver writes"I've attached a couple of pics of ex Stagecoach Oxford buses now running around in Northampton"
Pictures by Simon Oliver
Interesting developments from October 1st were the start of Megabus using Victoria Coach as their terminus in London. This coincided with new services from London to Chester, Newport and Leicester.
Also a new service was commenced between Bournemouth and Birmingham via Oxford. http://megabus.com/uk/
You can see all the details at the following link. Pictures of the Oxford stop would be appreciated.
UNO T421 LGP Dennis Dart on 636 at 17:13 towards L&D Hospital 26/09/2007 by Glenn Knight.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Marcus Lapthorn suggest that if we are to have more flooding in and around Oxford the above
might offer a suitable solution for public transport.
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming events, models and useful links
PSV Circle publishes latest issue of the fleet list for Berkshire and Oxfordshire
Ken MacKenzie writes to note that the new PSV Circle fleet list for Berkshire/Oxfordshire (G432) is now available.
Those readers wishing to buy a copy should write to: PSV Circle, 59 Palmer Avenue, Cheam SM3 8EF - Cost id £7.00 plus 50p P & P and it will also be available at the PSV Circle sales stand at Showbus 2007.
This will be a most useful reference for all those interested in the local scene.
Editors review - I have now had chance to review this book and it is indeed very useful, giving details of all known fleets in Berks and Oxon. Whilst some information is not totally up to date it allows the readers to have a comprehensive view of the local fleets and up dates can be gained by joining the PSV Circle. At £7.00 this represents value for money as it also includes a number of good photographs.
A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.
Model News of an Oxford bus
Guy writes to send a picture of the latest offering on the model front related to Oxford.
A photo disc for your collection
This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site http://www.cliix.co.uk.
Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.
The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.
Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book
In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.
The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.
The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.
Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours.
Robin sent me a copy of his latest DVD to review. "Today's buses - Oxfordshire" is the compelling title which includes Henley, Wallingford and Didcot before the viewer is taken onto Wantage, Witney, Banbury and finally Bicester. Each of these locations is covered in2 to 5 minutes and each shows the current selection of buses and coaches to be found. Finally over 37 minutes is devoted to Oxford with filming in a variety of locations in the city.
On another subject the road sense and behaviour of cyclists in Oxford has to be seen to be believed!!!!
The quality of the DVD is excellent and one can really see clearly the details of each vehicle, something which older video always seemed unable to do. All the latest developments are shown in this September 2007 DVD, including workings from Broad Street during the St Giles Fair weekend.
The DVD provides a unique record of events in Oxfordshire during this period and at £10 is not a very large outlay.
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester - ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus
Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads.
ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks.
Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre.
ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions.
ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.
The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively.
Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.
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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
John Marsh's pictures with a difference
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
The latest handbooks are now
on sale, the ever
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002