Issue 85
(original Oxford Bus Page included to nr 301)
Monday 5th July 2004
next update week ending 16th July 2004

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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Well, another Wimbledon is over and nearly two weeks at the wheel of London General NV185 passed without incident. It was as enjoyable as ever and I am more than ever convinced that the Volvo Olympian was probably the last really good double decker built for the British market. I am not technically qualified to comment on the merits and demerits of the Dennis Trident and Scania Omnidecker but from what I hear they are not so favoured as the Olympian. The Volvo B7 seems to lack the power of the Olympian and on a hill constantly changes up and down the box on the LG ones which are fully auto. However it does offer low floor capability which is where the older bus comes unstuck. Ah well, there's progress for you.

As always London General were helped out by Brighton & Hove as well as Countryliner. I include a picture of B&H's latest coach for comparisons sake with Oxford's latest new coaches. Main difference internally is the toilet which is of the sunken variety. I think I prefer the unit as on the Oxford coaches since on the B&H coach you leave the toilet to the gaze of the five passengers on the back row. however this is only a personal observation. The revised livery is a matter of choice but as a traditionalist I think I prefer the older livery.

B&H's 509 seen leaving Car Park 1 Bus Station at Wimbledon and it wasn't raining!

During the Championships there was a Tube strike and additional buses were used for the London service. This included Routemaster DRM 2516 on the Tuesday evening.

The earlier B&H livery can be seen in this picture of DRM2516.

John Bristow of Swansea writes "Greetings. As a former native of High Wycombe I was interested to see the recent discussion on routes 26 and 326 in HW, and I thought that you may find the attached pictures of interest.  They show RT 3256 negotiating the Oxford Road roundabout in January 1970 and RML 2460 at Bowerdean terminus."


As ever I am grateful to all those who have contributed to this week's shortened page. Now on to the reports for our area.

Malcolm Crowe, 5th July 2004

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News of the local companies 5th July 2004

The refurbished Olympians are now entering service on the 280 and I received a number of pictures from Gavin Francis and Chris Maxfield. Thanks Guys.

Pictures by Gavin Francis

Picture by Chris Maxfield

Some comments were received from a regular correspondent who has become a friend, Nigel Peach. Nigel writes "Congratulations on reaching 300 issues. I echo what Geoff Cunliffe says - he puts it very well. Thank you for the pleasure you have given in the very interesting weekly reports, and for the hours of work you put in each week. 

Arriva Olympian 5108 (F506OYW), (the ex playbus) which has been out of service for months, seemingly under cannibalisation, and then reported by Steve Warwick as having moved to Aylesbury, has returned to Wycombe. It was on the 317 from Maidenhead on Wednesday. It looked as though it has may have been repainted but I didn't see it that closely."

Thank you Nigel.

When in Wycombe today I caught site of Olympian 5130 in a very eye catching overall advertising livery as pictured below. Appropriately it was on the 300 service to Uxbridge.

Overall add for The Chimes Shopping Centre in Uxbridge.
This route is normally operated by a single decker.



Oxford has started retrofitting the London Excalibur class coaches with CCTV equipment starting with coaches 15 and 16. From the pictures by Chris Maxfield the location of the cameras can be seen. These cameras prove very useful indeed in the case of driving incidents and disagreements in case of a problem.

16 shows off the rear camera on the roof panel. Chris Maxfield.

16 again and this time the nearside all seeing camera. Cyclists beware!

All three Airline coaches 69-71 have now received rear end vinlys and I hope to bring photos of these next week. one is "Tan Line"

Deputising for an Airline branded coach, London coach 2 waits time at T4 last week.
Sadly it lacks a trim on the offside rear wheel. Another coach of the same batch seen last week
also lacked a front offside wheel trim.

Ian Pinnell reports as follows for last week.


5 Road:

4 Road: 648: 4b/650: 4c/638: 4a

400 Road: 820? - 400 (unsure about this one, although it was a Park and Ride Trident)

2 Road: 634: Risinghurst bound/612: Barton bound

Route X3: 834

and then Bus Monkey reports

Wed 30th
601, 640 on 5
6?? on 5A
401 display appears to be stuck showing the OBC logo, on 13C

Thu 1st
602, 634 on 5
811 on 5A

Fri 2nd
638 on 5

510 - 6

619 - 2C - Is this (soon to end) duty still interworked with the X3 and 18 after the recent Abingdon changes?

634 - 5

811 - 5A

On a branding note I understand that Citaros 835 and 836 have lost X3/X13 branding following the changes to those service in recent weeks.

New is short this week with only two reports for Stagecoach.

Ross reports

Route 1: 22943/22947

Route 7: 22927/22941

Route 20 - 18134

Route 44 - 40108   (this is one in Park & Ride blue livery)

and our friend Bus Monkey noted

Thu 1st

20007 on 7


Chris Maxfield reports that a further SIX new Skyliners were at the dealers premises in Yorkshire last week.

Stephen le Bras notes that he has a first sighting of one of the Stagecoach Volvo B10MA artics operating a Megabus service out of London. Not to Oxford I hasten to add. It seems these coaches may be replaced in Scotland by some of the Oxford Tube M A N deckers.

Adrian Lancer reports "From 12th July, the Oxford-London megabus will be reduced from 6 return journeys to 5, and will stop at Baker Street, Sandhills, Summertown, St.Giles and Oxpens ONLY.  Is this to stop it taking custom away from the tube, or are the withdrawn stops not used very well?"

Stratford Blue

I received a correction to last week's report from Paul who writes under Stageoach 888. Paul says "The services are not operated under contract to Probus, but are running on the Probus bus service registration. For this purpose, they are operated 'on hire' to Probus.

Warwickshire should know by now that the stricter interpritation of the rules relating to short notice registrations has been in force for some time and a contract change is something that should be planned for. County Councils in particular have taken the mick in the past and used the short notice rules to cover up sloppy contract management. As an operator I am delighted that the TC has taken this line as it means that CCs have to get them selves sorted eight weeks in advance !

The only short notice that should be accepted is where an operator makes changes at eight weeks notice then the CC wants to do something about it. A natural contract expiry followed by a retender is not considered as a valid reason for short notice, an operator really doesn't have a valid reason for giving less than the required notice for cancelling a service.

There, easy !!!!!!

Thames Travel, Wallingford.

On a where are they now theme look what i found working the K5 for Mitcham Belle. Not sure if its owned by them or on loan from a dealer?

Tourex of Oxford.

RM 1528 on Wedding duties with Tourex of North Hinksey by Gavin Francis.

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