Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
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.
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
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.
The past week has been a busy one for me and such was the level of contributions and work patterns, I was unable to complete the page in time for publication last Sunday as planned.
On the matter of contributions I must record my sincere appreciation to all those who give of their time to send me reports and pictures each week. This is a major factor towards the continuing success of the page. Thank you!
As I write this editorial the M40 is blocked London bound yet again with a crash at High Wycombe - Junction 4. The A40 through our village at junction 5 is also clogged with traffic and there must be many drivers who wish they were somewhere else.
It is against this background that operators struggle to maintain an effective service and one wonders if, with the level of traffic now using our motorways these days, there shouldn't be more use of bus lanes such as the one in use on the M4 near Heathrow?
Following on from the discussion on destination displays, Noel Clark has written in to put another point of view. I appreciate another view on the matter as this is what makes the page worth reading.
Noel writes "You may be aware that I was responsible for the continued programming of a certain well known bus operators LED destination displays for a while. When the first vehicles were delivered with this equipment fitted a pre-compiled file of destinations was provided by the manufacturer. It is at the initial configuration stage of the file set that you choose where to place the route number. Once set it cannot simply be switched over – EVERY destination needs to be reprogrammed. A lot of work I can assure you, and as the route number was on the left of the initial file set that’s where it stayed.
The basis of using upper case is simple. The LT method of lower case for intermediate stops and upper case for ultimate destination has been practiced for decades and is very clear. As our fleet at the time comprised mainly ex-London vehicles with that style of blind we continued the theme on the LED displays.
Unfortunately now the PC brigade have stuck their nose in and interfered I can’t go to London and easily use the bus now as I’m unfamiliar with the routes and am subjected to a huge ultimate display and no intermediates shown. I know we’re subjected to PC nonsense every day of our lives, but surely there are more important things to worry about than what style is employed on the LED destination equipment. I for one am glad to see so many vehicles in Wycombe with LED equipment, compared to a few years ago when many vehicles had non-functioning blind lights at least you can now see at night what bus is approaching."
Peter Edgar writes "I am sending a few pictures taken on a rather wet Sunday in Hemel Hempstead on 24th June, it was slightly better weather wise than Slough, but only just. Indeed two of the pictures have a strong connection with water. Rather appropriate don't you think?" (Love the captions added by Peter - Ed.)
Peter Edgar gives the caption - GeeSe 13. Clever don't you think?
Another caption from Peter Edgar - Now which one shall we take? - Excellent !
Terry Wong Min also writes saying "...a couple of pictures from me taken at the Hemel event. The weather was not great keeping numbers low. A real shame really for the amount of energy put into this event but mother nature has the last say."
Here T792 at Aldbury - pure nostalgia.
(I removed the traffic cone and another plastic modernity and now we have a near original picture from the '50s or early '60s. Ed.)
A GS nr 13 again, this time at the Plough "magic" Roundabout.
More from Terry Wong Min - Wimbledon and Blackburn
Terry writes "I thought I would add local event (to me) Wimbledon Tennis just over in SW19. NV170 and NV176 together on the Wimbledon shuttle at Somerset Road. I finally enclose the new vehicles up in Blackburn with Transdev branded the "Spot On" on local 1, 6 and 7."
NV170 and NV176 together on the Wimbledon shuttle at Somerset Road.
Kinda looks familiar - sort of like Reading but no its Blackburn and Transdev.
A unique view of Wimbledon buses by Peter Edgar
Peter writes that when he took this picture, little did he realise the possibilities. The metal sheets which make up the bus park area at Wimbledon are very bright silver, reflecting the sun sometimes very badly. They are also lethal in wet weather being akin to a skating rink if one is not careful.
I enjoyed Peter's digital work on producing something akin to snow.
And they say the camera never lies. - Picture taken and adapted by Peter Edgar.
Rob Evans writes "Attached are a selection of photos from 23/6/07 from the Oxford bus museum tours and Oxford bus garage visit. Also attached are pictures of Arriva 5097 on the 280. While the Oxford bus museum buses ran faultlessly for the time I was riding them 5097 was rather less reliable and came to a grinding halt almost opposite the bus stop the vintage buses were operating from with steam pouring out as can be seen from the first picture taken from the top deck of Oxford Bus Museums 956 AJO. The driver then got all the passengers off and it remained there for an hour or so until a MAN van appeared and re-filled it with coolant. The driver then turned round and headed back out of Oxford and I have a picture of 5097 and NJO 703 from the Oxford bus museum next to each other. One wonders if 5097 made it back to Aylesbury as there was no heavy traffic and no obvious reason why it should have overheated, and it was not escorted when it headed off. To add to the OBM vehicles in the city, a Bristol Lodekka from nostalgia travel also made an appearance for a wedding at the town hall. Unfortunately as I wasn't expecting it I struggled to get a good shot of it but one is attached. "
An excellent selection of pictures by Rob Evans
Steve Annells writes "Managed to get to the mini running day on Saturday. Quite wonderful to walk down to Queens Lane and see buses waiting in real City of Oxford livery. My 8 year old son put it well, he said the colours look so right for Oxford. We were able to sample all three of the old timers, and the children were fascinated by the depot tour. I guess you'll have plenty of the outside shots but attached are a couple I took inside. One is of coach 26 loading seen through the back window of 703 (look at the traffic!); the other demonstrates the low ceiling in L166 - my 6 year old was amazed she could touch the ceiling easily!"
Pictures by Steve Annells
Matt Wheeler writes "I've also got a couple of photos from the Oxford bus depot open day on Saturday. Taken from Citaro 852 as we were driven around the depot site.
The driver was kind enough to point out new arrival 905 (at the time reg NK51 UCM), ex Go North East trident which had only arrived the day before, and also a new trainer from Go West Midlands, K301 YJA. The photos were taken from on board the Citaro, hence the reflections. I've also included a photo of 904 sporting its recently acquired registration."
With regards the special service to the depot, only 3 buses were available on the day, rather than the planned four. I can't recall exactly, but the conductor on the way to the depot mentioned that H928 was due MOT or service soon and was under going preparation for that."
Finally Matt Robinson writes re the missing bus saying "Just a quick note about Oxford Regent 928 from last week's page. It was detailed on the sheet of operating vehicles we were given. The conductor on one of the buses told me that it hadn't come down to Oxford that morning with the other buses, but at that time they were hoping it would still possibly make an appearance later on. Possibly it didn't materialise after all."
Michael Chadwick writes "On a slightly more serious note, on your page last week or the one before, I think you may have implied that the 275 was a single journey each way - it is of course 3 to Oxford, 2 from, Mon-Fri,"
Sorry Michael, it was not my intention to create any misunderstanding. Indeed I was pleased to receive the picture below from Gavin Francis, showing a brand new Red Rose bus on the 275 last week. The picture was taken in The High, whilst buses were waiting for the lights at the contraflow on Magdalen Bridge. Indeed the queue of buses and coaches at one point, stretched back well beyond Queens Lane.
Picture by Gavin Francis.
Indeed just before I started to finalise the page tonight, Wednesday, an Enviro 200 came dashing through the village on the last 275 of the day. It is nice to see a new low floor bus on this service.
Robin Clare publishes Volume 15 DVD
Many of you will be aware of the various volumes on DVD of buses in the U.K. from Robin Clare.
His latest offering gives a glimpse in some locations in this area, such as Oxford, Reading and High Wycombe. I think it is well worth the £10 and it can be obtained from:
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA
Red Line - Aylesbury - a query from a reader answered by Matt Wheeler
A reader asked about some red double decks in Aylesbury? Your answers flooded in and I quote from Matt Wheeler "I would expect it is RedLines who have a depot on Gatehouse Way, and do have a few red double deckers in their fleet, as well as a Plaxton Primo in green County Rider livery, and the 3 Optare Aleros used on the towns Water Rider service. If you look up Gatehouse Way, Aylesbury, on Google Maps, the depot is on the corner where Gatehouse Way meets itself.
I have a couple of pics taking on Dec 25 last year... all were taken from outside the depot fence, and I've included one which shows three of their double deckers, if you look carefully.
As well as County Rider and Water Rider routes, Red Line also operate on route 66 between Aylesbury on Buckingham, running the full Sunday service and one or two journeys on weekdays. I expect the double deckers are mainly used on school services."
Musings by Matt Robinson
Matt writes "Although I didn't manage to get a photo (it was just leaving somewhere as I arrived in the bus station), Olympian 5151 (S151KNK) has become the third S-registered Volvo Olympian to transfer to Wycombe. It sports unbranded interurban livery like sister 5150. I was also told that 5153 was painted into this livery before it left Garston. I was wondering if anybody could shed any light on the work currently being carried out on 5153, as I'd also been told the roof repair was completed before the bus left Watford (hence why the repaint had been done).
We also have
a Scania Omnicity demonstrator on loan at Luton. YN07EZB in a blue livery. I've
been told it will spend its trial period on route 12. The 12 is currently
operated by a batch of R-RBM Scanias. Crawley Green Road will also be a test of
the hill climbing capabilities of the Omnicity.
(see pictures under the Arriva heading.)
I finally made my long-time planned day trip to Reading from Luton "by Arriva service bus" yesterday. Despite having the day off work I left home around two hours earlier than I would on a normal work day !!
All of our connections went without a problem, including a short breakfast stop in Aylesbury, we eventually arrived in Reading at exactly 12.00 midday. Leaving Reading at 14.15, we arrived home at 19.30. So the one-way journey itself (I haven't worked out mileage yet) is just over the 5 hour mark. This compares to a journey time on my previously longest day-trip (Oxford), which can be done in around 3 hours and 20 minutes.
I took a few photos in Wycombe bus station, but was later told by a member of staff that I could only take photos 'off the pavements' if I wore a high-visibility jacket. (seems reasonable and maybe one should carry a high viz vest rolled up in a pocket. Ed.)
The outbound bus to Reading was Wycombe ConneXion branded Scania 3204. I'm very familiar with this bus from its X15 days. Still a nice fast tidy bus, and the smell of damp that these three buses used to suffer from at Aylesbury appeared to be non existent. Inbound involved my first ever trip on a Plaxton Verde bus, 3841. Again a pleasant bus, still carrying its Oxford Bus Company no smoking signs like 5826 which was mentioned last week.
On the way
back I received a telephone call to say that Luton was totally gridlocked due to
the closure of the M1. Traffic between Luton and Dunstable was solid in both
directions as motorway through traffic was diverted via local roads between
junctions 10 (Airport) and 11 (Dunstable Road). Upon arrival at Aylesbury Arriva
had placed a notice board on bay 7 of the bus station explaining that route 61
was suffering from severe delays due to this congestion, and I was also called
by a driver at Luton (who had finished their shift over an hour late due to the
traffic) who told me to avoid the 31 from Leighton Buzzard which was suffering
from similar problems. The knock-on effect in Luton itself had meant just about
every other local service was also affected.
Our planned diversion route from Aylesbury then followed Hemel Hempstead (500), St. Albans (301) and back to Luton (321). Although the congestion had cleared, I did manage to photograph five buses in Luton Town Centre on my arrival back in town, all working the 'wrong' routes due to so many buses ending up so badly disrupted. Such occurrences tend to be notable when they happen in Luton, so to photograph that many buses in the space of a few minutes demonstrates the scale of the problem Arriva had to deal with.
I have a good few photos from our day trip which I hope you can make use of. The Thames Travel Dart posed nicely for me just as I took the photo outside Reading Station, while the Reading Buses' Omnidecker picture I took through the window of 3841, and so was really impressed that it came out so well.
Matt goes on say later in the week "This is just a collection of 'odd working' photos from Luton taken on Thursday evening following the traffic chaos:
Olympian 5135: Double-deck workings are relatively rare on the 38 nowadays.
(an ex Wycombe machine - Ed)
The other pictures have been held over until next week. Ed.
Matt adds "Just another quick note to say that now the vehicle crisis at Luton appears to have eased, bouncy castles 3819 & 3820 (H369/70XGC) are parked at Luton depot displaying DO NOT USE labels in their windscreens. There are unconfirmed reports that they are to be scrapped."
N201CUD – a mystery cleared up by Steve Bunce
Steve writes "Following on from a piece in your May 28th newsletter, concerning Mercedes N201 CUD seen in Hemel Hempstead.
It is not owned by Little Jim's (although I am not familiar with this operator)
but is in fact owned by Pickford of Chippenham, Wiltshire. It is part of a large
fleet of hire vehicles available under the trading name of next-bus.co.uk.
Most are Mercedes midis, and at least three have been working a Brent Community Transport (BCT) school route through Ruislip recently - namely our old friend N201 CUD, P671 PNM and today saw N367 JGS on route. Their livery is pretty unmistakable (not bad for the simple application of paint to the bumpers) and I enclose some shots of these vehicles taken on the Ruislip route, including a legal lettering shot and website address picture.
I hope this little bit of information helps to clear up this mystery."
House of Watlington again
Ian Smith from Hazelmere writes to say "I’ve just stumbled across comments about Houses of Watlington in your issue 200. I would add to Alan Bennet’s memories as follows:
The other Bedford SB8 was WXC347 (not YLF). I have a number of photos (colour slides) from the era which I will scan in and upload. I used to live at Gt Milton and travel to school in Thame (‘Lord Bill’s’) on Houses: the route took us the long way round via Great Milton, Stadhampton, Cuxham, Watlington, Lewknor, Chinnor.
Houses had a really interesting fleet including UVN490, a Thames Trader/Plaxton C41F coach (1960), TDF834, a 1958 Bedford SB8 with Duple B40F bus body, two Bedford OWBs and an OB, two Commers – you have a picture of OFC489 but there was a lovely petrol-engined one too."
I am sure we all look forward to seeing Ian's pictures in due course.
Roger writes "Here are a few
more for you.
In Hemel you can't go far without hearing the distinctive chug of their engines, so here is a little selection of 'various varios'... "
2179 and 2182 at the bus station. 2179 appears to have been covering on the 550
2241 at the bus station surrounded by some of her larger stablemates
2249 waiting at the Marlowes
2373 at the bus station on route 32
At Milton Keynes today, sister 2289/111 was on route 6
Along with 2298/120, without a rear window
Dart Handybus 3514/421, carrying side advertising for a local recruitment agency, was on route 3.
Whilst Luton's Scania 3602 (with route 38 branding!) was on the X66 from Dunstable
One of seven brand new Wrightbus bodied VDL Buses, 3732 passes the impressive shopping centre.
They are in a red livery for local route 4, and despite carrying their Arriva-series fleet numbers,
they have new style 'MK Metro' logos rather than any reference to their parent company.
Finally, a few scans of old pictures taken at Aylesbury depot in the early 1990s.
Where now there are Varios, there were once Ivecos! MBI56 had seen service in the LCNW area before ending up at Aylesbury, hence the green livery
Number 67 carried the more usual 'Hoppanstopper' livery, though it was seemingly in apologetic mood
Alistair writes "Have a look at my fotopic gallery at: http://alistair268.fotopic.net/c1233049.html you'll find some new EL stuff there. It's not the best factory to photograph at but if there's anything you want just help yourself.
Work permitting I'll be across on the 8th. of next month for the Pennine Rally and display at the factory so I'll let you know what's there.
A number of buses operated by Z&S of Aylesbury were employed on both Saturday and Sunday (30th June and 1st July) operating a Park and Ride facility at an event at Waddesdon Manor called MAD (Music, Art and Drama). This is an annual event involving schools from around Bucks. Enclosed are some pictures of some of the vehicles operated.
J778 CEV is one of two former Dublin bus Olympians operated on Saturday, this one being repainted in red with cream stripes and having been converted to single door. The other (which I didn't photograph) was still in full Dublin Bus livery, with the centre door having been recently removed. Also being used was the new Optare Spectra, YJ06 YPY,now repainted in to Bucks County Council 'green' from the previous white livery it was delivered in. It is usually used on the tendered 65 service between Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard.
Two Mercedes Plaxton Beaver 2's were also operating on Saturday, S453 LGN been one of them. I rode on this bus and it had so many rattles, compared to the 'quality' build of the Olympian. These are usually used on tendered services in Milton Keynes.
By far the biggest surprise was the use of one of their remaining ex London Titans, A963 SYE I don't think there can be too many of these buses now left in service, in essentially London livery (it has never been repainted since arriving at Z&S), with dual doors and sporting a Leyland Badge both front and back!!
Buses in cityscape and landscape
Again contributions continue to arrive on my desk and I have used these below plus one from my lens.
Buses in the landscape - a picture taken on the Greek Island of Lesvos
Pictures by John Marsh
Buses in the landscape - A Brookes Trident passes Magdalen College - Gavin Francis
A Levante and the old BOAC Air Terminal at Victoria by Gavin Francis
Nigel Peach took this picture of the roundabout by the Eden Centre earlier in the week.
St Aldates and the rain is keeping off and the sun shining. MC 26th June 2007
Amersham & District Running days 2007 - a date for your diary
The final Amersham & District Running Day for 2007 is as follows:
Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.
Malcolm Crowe - Thursday 5th July 2007
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 5th July 2007
Three reports this week, including details of a demonstrator which is with Arriva in Luton for a few weeks.
Mike Penn Writes"Here is a photo of the Scania OmniCity demonstrator YN07 EZB currently on hire to Arriva The Shires at Luton. It was photographed in Church Street this morning (Wednesday) and I understand that it is due to go into service on the 12 very shortly."
Glenn Knight writes"I have attached a photo of the Scania N94UD Demonstrator currently at Luton from Scania Bus & Coach UK on loan for about a month and will spend most of it's time on the 12s Luton & Stopsley. plus photos of the interior and one in Stopsley, Crowland Road, where the bus terminates."
Nigel Peach sent a picture and a report from Wycombe saying"I attach another photo of Olympian 5130 showing more clearly the roof damage it incurred. This was taken at the Cressex depot - I notice that fire damaged Scania 3169 has at last gone from there.
The damage was as previously reported caused by a tree on the Reading to High Wycombe service.
Olympian 5151 is another to join 5150 and 5153 in Wycombe. I saw it in the bus station this week.
Scania 3158 has lost its allover advert and is back in standard livery - it looks a bit scruffy in places where the advert has been removed. Sister bus 3146 has been repainted in the revised Arriva livery and gained a digital display.
The second picture is of Volvo B7 3863 (the one from that batch not branded for routre 31) taken in the rain from the top of Newlands Multi Storey car park on 30th June. (This picture is included in the Buses in the Landscape section above Ed.)
Gavin Francis took some pictures this including those shown below.
Gavin sent some pictures of Carousel buses to bring us up to date on fleet details. The DAF in parking livery has been repainted red and the Optare is now a regular performer on various routes. The Olympian still sport the A40 livery it carried to launch that service.
Richard Sharman sent a nice shot of a DAF-Van Hool working with this Oxfordshire company.
Gavin Francis took this picture of a Dart which used to run a service in Windsor in a branded livery.
It is seen working a 74 departure from Wycombe.
Gavin Francis caught one of the new Enviro 200s on the 113.
I am told that these buses will shortly receive a new livery prepared by Ray Stening's Best Impressions.
John Hammond writes in correction to the caption on the picture above "Your picture and caption were not quite correct last week. The picture of the Enviro 200 on the 113 was clearly taken at Carfax, but the 113 service only runs between Stanton St John and Wheatley ASDA. So the bus would have been on a 103/104 working but was showing the wrong destination for some reason."
News of the week is the start of returning the new Volvos to OXF registrations which is now taking place.
Stephen Le Bras writes regarding sightings last Saturday "London Victoria- Oxford coach 17 still in use at Victoria. (This is scheduled to become a trainer Ed.)
An hour and a half stay at Heathrow produced several interesting buses and coaches:
Re-Registrations: Oxford Volvo/Plaxton 84 to 86 are now OXF, whilst 89 is still OXS. Scania 57 was noted among the Plaxtons."
Alexander reports from last week "Yesterday Gordon Brown replaced Tony Blair and Attempted London bombings occurred which followed the London bombings in 2005 and the terrorist attacks in America in 2001. This caused major traffic problems in London
The X90s were very full and were diverted via Knightsbridge, Notting Hill Gate and Shepherd's Bush and if they were full already they were not running via Hillingdon unless people wanted to get off. If not stopping at Hillingdon they then diverted via the M4, M25 to the M40."
Alexander goes on to report regarding London events
Tour De France on 8th July 7:00-21:00
Route X90 will divert via Eccleston St, Eaton Sq, Sloane St, Sloane Sq, Sloane St, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill Gate and Shepherd's Bush.
Picture by Gavin Francis showing the alternate line working on the Magdalen Bridge.
Picture by Gavin Francis with OBC 804 heading a long line of buses caught up in the roadworks on the Magdalen Bridge.
My picture of 809 on 5 road at Carfax.
Another of my pictures showing Citaro 850 heading for the Rail Station on a 13 road working.
Pearce of Oxford
Gareth Evans of Coach & Bus Week kindly provided a write up on a new coach recently delivered to Pearce's.
“Reproduced with kind permission of Coach & Bus Week (CBW), the weekly trade magazine, issue 786, June 20, 2007 - http://www.cbwonline.com/ ” .
With a long history of running small and medium-sized Plaxton coaches, Pearces of Oxford has recently added two 41-seat 10m-long Profiles to its 12-vehicle fleet. Based on Dennis Javelin chassis, they replace two 10m Premieres.
“We have a steady demand for mid-sized coaches,” explained Clive Pearce, who founded the business back in 1974. “We started off running 12-seat Transits, and although we have been operating full-size coaches for many years, we still have a reputation as being a specialist in catering for smaller groups. We find there is a wide market demand for coaches of around this size.”
The two new air-conditioned Profiles will be used mainly on private hire work.
“We’ve been involved with Plaxton for over 25 years,” continued Clive Pearce, “and have always had good service from them. It’s a tried and tested British product”
And that involvement has seen the company running a variety of smaller Plaxton products. “Our first Plaxton, in 1981, was a two-year-old Mini Supreme 17-seater,” Clive Pearce recalls – adding that one of the things it was remembered for was being underpowered with a two-litre Opel diesel engine. This coach survives in preservation.
Operator rating: 9/10 “Plaxtons have always been very fair on part exchange values.”
Chassis/body Dennis Javelin / Plaxton Profile
Engine Cummins ISBe 6 cylinder, 275bhp
Transmission ZF 5HP500 auto
Spec rear and centre underfloor lockers, reclining seats,.
Supplied by Plaxton 01909 551166
Whilst on the subject of Pearces, Marcus Lapthorn writes "Re SFC Registrations - Another one was midi coach D366 SFC which was featured in a Morse programme running in Pearce's of Oxford livery."
News of last week related to the passing through of two new Enviro 200s for SC South at Winchester. Oxford is often used as a staging point for new buses en route south.
The two buses passing through were advised to be by Steve H "For the record these are 36016 (FXD) and 36017 (FXE). They were in the shed this morning and out in the yard when I finished at 14:00 (but not photographable)."
Steve goes on to say "Yes, the entire batch are expected as : 36014-36026 (GX07FXB/C/D/E/F/G/H/J/K, GX07HUJ/K/O/P). They will have new route branding and be named after Sheep (referring to the "sheep's wee" AdBlue). Apparently they will be replacing our 53 plate Darts.
We've only come up with "Lamb Chops", "Shaun", "Larry", "Woolly", "Ba Ba"... may
be one (the last one?) will be "Mint Sauce"!!!!
I should add, these are the same length and seating as the current SLF darts - 10.8m (I think) and B38F +21.
Chris Lowe writes re Manchester goings on "A quick note to let you know that now that Stagecoach Manchester have upgraded service 11 (Stockport - Altrincham, via Cheadle, Gatley, Wythenshawe, Broomwood) with low floor MAN's and some B10M's as well as a few low floor Darts. They have effectively replaced the Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart's (18 new to London and 1 to Oxford) onto other work to replace the majority of Mercedes-Benz Varios which are being sold.
Former Oxford Dart 32048 (N48 EJO) is seen here in Stockport Bus Station today (29/6/07) after having recently received a repaint as well as gaining flip dot electronic destination equipment and side route numbers. The only downside is the full width destination blind aperture at the rear which was actually used previously has now been masked off. In the photo I have attached it is seen here about to depart on a service 11 journey to Altrincham.
Of interest one of the sold Mercedes-Benz Varios has turned up with Speedwell Bus of Hyde in Greater Manchester and repainted into their new livery, but has had the opposite done with the destination equipment, i.e. it has lost its electronic flip dot display and gained roller blinds again. I also photographed this bus as well in Stockport today.
I have attached the picture of the former Stagecoach Manchester Plaxton Beaver 2 bodied Mercedes-Benz Vario for you above, along with a picture taken back in April 2005 of the same bus working for Stagecoach, also pictured in Stockport Bus Station. The Vario (R501 YWC) may be linked to the modification of Dart 32048 with the electronic flip dot display, because as you can see in the picture it latterly had a flip dot display with Stagecoach. But it has gained roller blinds (like when it arrived) upon sale to Speedwell Bus of Hyde.
Not sure if you know the route of Stagecoach service 11, but it is basically the old Bee Line Buzz Comapny route 1 started back in January 1987 during the early days of deregulation. This has now become the main service between Stockport and Altrincham. The old 71 and 80 (now 371 and 370) you mentioned are only operated half hourly, compared to every 10 mins on service 11, with the evening and Sunday service (on both 370 & 371) now operated under tender by Bullocks of Cheadle. The 11 has recently been converted from operation by the 19 Darts that were branded for the service, and is now operated with a mix of low floor Darts, MAN 18.220s and Volvo B10M's to increase capacity and provide some low floor journeys on it."
Stagecoach in Swindon Enviro 400 19130, VX07 CYV branded "TranWiltsExpress" route 49
between Swindon and Trowbridge.Coach Park, adjacent to Weymouth railway station Sunday 24th June 2007 by D J C Wey.
Solo studies by Ben Morroll and Gavin Francis.
My picture of a "big bus" on the 10.
Variety on the 3 s by myself and Gavin Francis.
Gavin Francis took this interesting picture - Is Swindon to merge with Oxford?
Tube 121 heads of to London and seen passing Carfax. Picture by MC
More from Stuart Curwen of recently arrived ex Lothian Olympians.
M J Wootten writes "I thought you might be interested in my latest enthusiast page update - http://www.woottens.co.uk/fleet.htm
C63 HOM - Latest ex-COMS Lynx now in service with sisters C64\6 HOM
A869 SUL - Recently acquired
SWC 24K - Return of the RE
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
City of Oxford Motor Services
David Sanders sent this nice shot of one of those lovely REs operated by COMS on the London services.
Paul Davis writes "Malcolm, as a comparison to this week's picture your readers might like to see this picture of an RE at Watlington in July 83.
I don't know if this bus was on short term loan from Bristol to Oxford, or if it was later repainted, but the green livery is obviously something a bit different."
In fact the bus joined the COMS fleet as a loan from Bristol in1982, where it had been fleet nr 1201.
It ran in green for two years when it was repainted into NBC red in June 1984. It was sold to Rollinson, Carlton in May 1985.
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.
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
New casting from Britbus
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.
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.
DVD s by Robin Clare
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
Latest Citaro models revealed
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.
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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
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