Monday 6th March 2006
next update week ending 17th March 2006
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.
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The snow came down in various parts this week but never quite enough to cause any problems. The winds on most days biting cold and one needed to wrap up well.
When was staff transport more needed than the day this one was caught up in the snow in Oxford - picture by Gavin Francis (now that's what I call dedication Ed.)
My ace roving reporter, Gavin Francis, brings to us this week a snapshot of MK Metro which was recently acquired by Arriva. This may well be the last time one will be able to take pictures of a pure MK Metro fleet.
This week we have the latest fleet list for Heyfordian and it was during the week that the latest batch of Tridents took the road for the Stagecoach fleet. Oxford Bus placed another refurbished Volvo B10BLE on the road but sadly suffered moderate fire damage to one of the older Volvo B10Bs.
Derek Doling has provided a further selection of Thames Valley Bristols whilst Ian White takes us back to Bee Line days or at just after the take over by Wycombe Bus when many buses still carried the yellow and grey livery so favoured by Bee Line. I was told that the then Managing Director had contacts in Holland and liked the yellow Dutch buses so much that he some paint shipped over.
Thames Valley police crack down on cyclists
The Oxford Times has conducted a survey on cyclists at night and found that 47% of cyclists were risking their safety and the safety of others by failing to be properly illuminated during a one hour spot check in five locations last Monday night.
The paper goes on to say that cyclists who break the law by riding without lights will face a £30 fixed penalty ticket during a two week campaign to be carried out in Woodstock Road by police and casualty reduction offices from the county council.
However, if cyclists who are stopped can provide a receipt within seven days to show they have purchased lights they will avoid the fine.
I have often raised this matter on this news page and can only say that the above action is only scratching the surface of a serious problem. Whilst sitting in the cafe on the corner of George St and Worcester St last Saturday evening I would have to say that the 47% mentioned above is a kind figure and that to my observations it was nearer 60%. Apart from the lights, the riders mostly wear dark clothing and of course fail to observe traffic lights or pedestrian crossings. In the case of the location where I was sitting there is the pedestrian pathway rounding the corner by the traffic lights and cyclists ride across here with little care for the poor old pedestrian.
I can appreciate that the police resources are limited to control these problems but maybe a fundamental change to the law is required. I would advocate the following items.
1/ that cyclists MUST wear crash helmets and a fine be imposed for those who do not.
2/ that high visibility clothing in the form of a jacket be worn as a minimum. Again a fine for those who do not wear such an item.
3/ that the rules of the road are imposed with a substantial fine for ignoring red lights at junctions and pedestrian crossings.
4/ finally..... that failure to display lights, FRONT & BACK, carry similar penalties.
Oxford, when the OTS cameras are installed will have the ability to monitor such matters and as such maybe bicycles should be registered with a number plate like any other motorised vehicle to enable suitable action to be taken.
Before the howls of anguish and cries of unfair ring from the cyclists I acknowledge there are many who do obey the law but frankly these are in a minority. Try driving a bus or coach in poor weather on an already busy road and see how the cyclist without lights and some form of high visibility clothing "disappears" in the rear view mirrors and as such become a risk to themselves and other road users.
Competition between road and rail
There are four choices of transport between Oxford and London and v.v., car/bike, coach (two services) and rail. The rail service offers a 30 minute frequency for much of the day at generally higher prices than the coach, the car/bike offers flexibility but with the problem of parking in London or Oxford plus the congestion charge about to be extended westwards of its present boundary. The coach offers a high frequency for most of the day, almost double that of the train and at lower prices. For example after 3pm the coach offers fares of £8 for adults and £6 for Students, Senior Citizens and Children (Saturdays only other days Children travel free).
Last Saturday around 10.15 pm a family of two adults and two children boarded a coach in London for Oxford saying that the train around 9pm had been cancelled at 10pm and they opted to use the coach. The cost was then £27 in total as it seemed there were no through trains after that time. A brief glance at the train times seems to indicate that they must change at Didcot on such later trains and use the bus from Didcot.
Now I have only looked at this matter briefly and did not find the fares applicable by train for a family day return to London but what does appear quite clear is that the flexibility is not the same travelling by train as one has when using the coach.
I could imagine that the family in question may not choose the train the next time the venture to London.
London bus advertising livery
Terry Wong sent me a picture of a London bus saying that he thought Gavin Francis would be interested to note that more than one bus had the livery pictured below.
Gavin Francis visits Milton Keynes
Gavin Francis visited MK last week and sent a number of pictures which appear under the relative operator headings below. Gavin reports :
Had a good but cold couple of hours in Milton Keynes yesterday. I went there to get some pictures of the MK Metro fleet in advance of its take-over by Arriva. It's a fleet I know little about but I was impressed by the fact that every bus was spotlessly clean which for this time of year is not easy. Even the wheels and glass were clean. Considering a high percentage of the fleet is second-hand the overall presentation was of a very high standard. All buses either had electronic scrolls or complete blind displays and they were all in use. They seem to operate every conceivable kind of Dart including one of the original Carlyle design. They also have No. 236 which is an ex-Grey-Green London Volvo/Alexander double-decker. Any pictures which I took which did not show a blind display were the victim of the camera/electronic display problem. When I got home I took a look at the MK Metro web-site which again is of a very high standard. Lets hope that if Arriva do take them over these standards will be maintained.
Other operators in MK are Stagecoach with several long distance routes and also Z and S and Grant Palmer with Mercedes mini-buses. Two Stagecoach Olympians came through both in the old livery. I have no idea why these are not painted in the current livery as other buses in the fleet have been painted in the new livery twice and are well on the way to another. Three coaches 52330/1/2 are in the Virgin livery for the Milton Keynes to Luton Airport service.
Arriva had 3204 and 3205 on the X15, no sign of any double-deckers. I saw 3203 operating on the 74 in High Wycombe the next day. Having said that there was no sign of the two Wycombe Tridents on Wednesday. I also noticed there were no Carousel Metrobuses in daily service on Wednesday. I assume their days are numbered now on bus routes and will be seen only on school routes mainly. Also on Route 74 but this time the First version was Dart 46926 in Lakes livery.
Quarterly Video Newsletter
I am in the process of working on a quarterly video newsletter which will be available on DVD, probably in the middle of March. Please let me know those of you are interested in receiving a copy. There will be a charge of £10 plus postage and packing, about £2. The content will reflect what is going on in the area covered by this page with the chance to really get the feel of how the area is developing. I would also appreciate receiving your thoughts on what you would like to be included? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am pleased to say that response has been quite good and work is in had with an issue date of end March.
Don't forget to look further down this page for Coming Events.
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new. Keep the historical info and older pictures coming but don't forget the modern stuff.
Malcolm Crowe - Monday 6th March 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 6th March 2006
It seems that the Tridents have yet to appear on the X15 and certainly one was still at Wycombe last week.
The 342 today (Sunday 5th March) had a Vario on the 1015 departure from Stokenchurch
One of the Solos of Bucks County Council on the 176, a Monday's only service.
A nice shot of the recently refurbished and branded 3127, this time on the 300 to Uxbridge
Arriva's 3194 in Milton Keynes on the 66 to Dunstable
Scania 3205, branded for the X15, on layover at Milton Keynes
Unbranded 3378, also on the X15 in Milton Keynes
Two buses serving the 74 to Slough last week, 3482 - the relief bus for the U9 - and Thames Valley line 3854.
Olympian 5093 on the X66 at Milton Keynes
Other buses in use on the 4 include the DAFs which when new worked at Heathrow.
Vikki Lee writes "noted newly re-furbished OBC 820 branded City 15 at 4pm this evening (Monday) - heading down St Aldates on......Service 15.
The Oxford Mail tonight says two more Citaros due for X3 to Abingdon as Stagecoach are ceasing operation of the X4 on 25/3/06."
Derek Dawson caught two "espress" working inbound to Oxford at Wheatley.
When there is a change of route number to indicate a variation it is perhaps easy to make a mistake.
The 8A goes to Risinghurst not Barton. Electronic displays help to minimise this problem.
Latest bus back from refurbishment is Volvo B10BLE 820 now branded for the 15.
Note the use of Mercedes wheel trims on the rear wheels.
Blast from the past!
Where did those Fleetlines go when they left Oxford?
Mike Penn writes "the above shows former City of Oxford Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetline 372 (KFC 372G) working for Bristol Omnibus Co. as their fleet number 7000 at Taunton in August 1981. Bristol bought three of these Fleetlines (former City of Oxford 372-4) which were numbered 7000-2. They were intended for use on the Weston-super-Mare to Taunton service but in the event they lasted only a short time. As far as I remember Bristol only operated two other Fleetlines; former Midland Red examples which were converted to open top."
Pink buses with "green Dragons"?
A reader asked recently if there were any pink buses in Oxford with green dragons on the side. Well the picture below shows a pink bus advertising The George and Dragon.
Where are they now
J May took this picture of ex OBC K128BUD at Winchester last week.
That route X60 mentioned last week
Andy Churchill writes "the x60 service was introduced by COMS in March 1991 as part of a new extension of the Citylink 190 network. The route ran from Oxford Gloucester Green via Summertown and Kidlington to Bicester via the A34. Then into Bicester via the A41 Bicester Sheep Street. It then used the A41 to Junction 9 and onto the M40 towards London. It called at Heathrow and on to London Victoria.
The service ran at 2 hourly intervals with departures at 08:45, 11:45, 14:45 and 17:45. Return services from Victoria were also two hourly from 09:10 until 21:10, departing from Buckingham Palace Road - stand 8. Fares were £6 single and £8 return."
Neil Gow writes "Route X60 was introduced by COMS as a Bicester-London express service (2 hourly I think) when the M40 link from Wheatley to Birmingham was opened in 1991 (along with the X40 Oxford-Banbury-Birmingham service joint with Midland Red South). The number X60 was also used for the Oxford-Bicester positioning trips, which provided competition with arch-rival Thames Transit but at a two hourly frequency hardly did them any damage, and would be what your picture shows. The service was run almost exclusively by the batch of Duple bodied Tigers as illustrated and was fairly short-lived, lasting about a year. The X40 lasted quite a lot longer although the MRS working quite quickly became a minibus which reduced its appeal somewhat."
Midland Red ran the X40 in conjunction with COMS. Here CDG213Y is working a northbound service from Gloucester Green on the 8trh February 1992
As the service lost custom a smaller bus was used. I am not sure who the owner was but I think it was still Midland Red?
F846TLU seen at Gloucester Green.
As mentioned in the Editorial a Volvo B10B received moderate fire damage last week whilst parked up at the garage. The bus in question was 612 and so far it is not known what the fate of this bus will be.
Ken MacKenzie sent the fleet list as promised and asks if there are any known changes?
HEYFORDIAN Travel Limited, Murdock Road, BICESTER, OX26 4PP. as 5th March 2006
ESU 940 Scania K112CRS 1806142 Jonckheere 18844 C51FT 3/84 Goodwin, Stockport (GM) 1/94 (ex A 60 JLW by 2/88)
FIL 7662 Leyland ONLXB/1R ON47 ECW 24978 H45/32F 8/81 Hoar & Savage, Tilsworth (BD) 6/00 (ex JTY 373X by 1/03)
FIL 8317 Leyland ONLXB/1R ON49 ECW 24980 H45/32F 8/81 Hoar & Savage, Tilsworth (BD) 6/00 (ex JTY 375X by 1/05)
FIL 8441 Leyland ONLXB/1R ON128 ECW 25003 H45/32F 11/81 Hoar & Savage, Tilsworth (BD) 9/00 (ex JTY 398X by 1/03)
FIL 9664 Leyland ONLXB/1R ON800 ECW 25536 H45/32F 5/83 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7227 1/02 (ex 1430 PP by 3/05, AEF 227Y by 1/03)
LDZ 2502 Scania K112CRS 1810746 Jonckheere 20279 C51FT 2/87 Gillespie, Kelty (SE) 3/92 (ex D313 VVV 3/92)
LDZ 2503 Scania K112CRS 1809052 Jonckheere 20278 C51FT 2/87 Buddens, Romsey (HA) 4/92 (ex D312 VVV 4/92)
SJI 4428 Scania K112CRS 1807035 Jonckheere 19293 C51FT 2/85 Constable, Long Melford (SK) 3/95 (ex B989 MAB 9/94, RDU 4 9/88, B505 CBD 2/88)
VSF 438 Toyota HDB30R 0001092 Caetano 051051 C14FT 5/92 Hitchcox, Kidlington (OX) 9/98 (ex 1636 VB by 9/04, J 27 OPC by 3/01)
XCT 550 Scania K112CRS 1807034 Jonckheere 19292 C51FT 2/85 Cross Gates, Cross Gates (CS) 4/92 (ex B984 MAB c8/89, HYY 3 11/88, B504 CBD 2/88)
YAY 537 Volvo B10M-60 021524 Van Hool 14036 C49FT 5/89 Durham City, Brandon (DM) 4/96 (ex F483 OFT 4/96)
8216 FN Leyland ONLXB/1R ON1883 ECW 26139 H45/32F 5/85 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7253 9/01 (ex B253 PHN by 10/02)
9682 FH Scania K112CRS 1806431 Jonckheere 19244 C53F 3/85 NEW 3/85 (ex 1264 LG by 3/05, B157 YBW 10/88)
6595 KV Scania K112CRS 1806423 Jonckheere 19242 C53F 3/85 NEW 3/85 (ex 5089 LG by 3/05, B156 YBW 10/88)
8779 KV Volvo B10M-60 023956 Jonckheere 21990 C51FT 8/90 Heather, Ruckinge (KT) by 3/05 (ex H 10 HJC by 3/05, H 48 VNH)
7396 LJ Volvo B10M-60 031704 Jonckheere 23062 C53FT 5/93 Turner, Bristol (GL) 3/99 (ex K906 RGE by5/02)
9467 MU Scania K112CRS 1806420 Jonckheere 19120 C55F 9/85 Cresswell, Moira (DE) 1/91 (ex 6960 TU by 3/04, C 47 CKR 7/91)
2185 NU Leyland ONLXB/1R ON1725 ECW 26132 H45/32F 3/85 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7246 9/01 (ex B246 NVN by 5/03)
4078 NU Auwarter N122/3 91 170 39 Auwarter ? CH57/22CT 6/91 Mayo, Caterham (SR) 8/95 (ex H297 GKN 9/95)
7958 NU Leyland ONLXB/1R ON1724 ECW 26131 H45/32F 3/85 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7245 9/01 (ex B245 NVN by 3/05)
2482 NX Volvo B10M-61 017093 Van Hool 13099 C49FT 4/88 Lewis, Greenwich (LN) by 10/00 (ex E418 JKS 10/00, 90 RYD by 3/00, E418 JKS 2/98, 439 BUS 12/96, E743 TCS 11/93)
7209 RU Leyland ONLXB/1R ON10108 ECW 26365 CH42/30F 5/86 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7266 9/01 (ex C266 XEF by 10/02)
7298 RU Leyland ONLXB/1R ON10098 ECW 26364 CH42/30F 5/86 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7265 9/01 (ex C265 XEF by 10/02)
8548 VF Leyland ONLXB/1R ON1913 ECW 26141 H45/32F 6/85 Arriva Durham County (DM) 7255 9/01 (ex B255 RAJ by 1/04)
4827 WD Scania K112CRS 1806139 Jonckheere 18843 C51FT 3/84 BTS, Borehamwood (HT) 4/94 (ex A545 TMJ 5/91, ESU 930 4/90, A 59 JLW 4/87)
868 AVO Scania K112CRS 1806320 Jonckheere 18998 C49FT 5/84 O’Sullivan, Huyton (MY) 12/92 (ex A 52 JLW by 7/91)
481 HYE Optare MR03 VN1322 Optare 1322 B28F 4/93 London General (LN) MRL228 10/99 (ex K428 HWY 11/99)
943 YKN Optare MR03 VN1328 Optare 1328 B28F 3/93 London General (LN) MRL234 10/99 (ex K434 HWY 11/99)
B739 GCN Leyland ONCL10/1RV ON1831 ECW 26007 H45/32F 4/85 Go Coastline (TW) 3739 10/03
L 26 CAY MAN 11.190 4691398G086014 Caetano 359010 C33FT 3/94 NEW 3/94 (ex 9467 MU 1/04, L 26 CAY 9/96)
L409 GPY Volvo B6-50 05246 Plaxton 9310.2VWN1953 B40F 2/94 Go Gateshead (TW) 8409 4/05
L579 JSA Volvo B10M-60 032080 Plaxton 9312VCM1435 C51F 8/93 Bluebird (SN) 52169 5/05 (ex GSU 950, L579 JSA)
L584 JSA Volvo B10M-60 032110 Plaxton 9312VCM1440 C51F 9/93 Bluebird (SN) 52174 5/05 (ex WLT 526, L584 JSA)
L585 JSA Volvo B10M-60 032111 Plaxton 9312VCM1441 C51F 9/93 Bluebird (SN) 52175 3/05 (ex NSU 132, L585 JSA)
L587 JSA Volvo B10M-62 032113 Plaxton 9312VCM1443 C51F 9/93 Bluebird (SN) 52177 3/05 (ex ESU 435, L587 JSA)
L740 YGE Volvo B10M-62 040934 Jonckheere 23382 C49FT 3/94 Park, Hamilton (SW) 12/95
L743 YGE Volvo B10M-62 041036 Jonckheere 23388 C53FT 3/94 Park, Hamilton (SW) 12/95
L745 YGE Volvo B10M-62 041079 Jonckheere 23393 C49FT 3/94 Park, Hamilton (SW) 2/96
L752 YGE Volvo B10M-62 041058 Jonckheere 23391 C53F 4/94 Durham City, Brandon (DM) 8/02
M993 HHS Volvo B10M-62 042256 Jonckheere 23558 C53F 2/95 Compass Royston, Stockton (CD) 12/02 (ex KSK 986 11/95)
M833 HNS Volvo B10M-62 041705 Van Hool 31862 C49FT 2/95 Wickson, Walsall Wood (WM) 9/02 (ex WT 3667 9/02, M833 HNS 12/98, LSK 504 10/97)
M634 KVU Volvo B10M-62 042181 Van Hool 32207 C46FT 2/95 Shearings (GM) 634 4/03
M639 KVU Volvo B10M-62 042219 Van Hool 32212 C46FT 3/95 Shearings (GM) 639 4/03
N605 JGP Mercedes-Benz 811D 670303-2N-038488 Crystals 1424 B29F 11/95 Crystals, Dartford (KT) by 4/02
N802 NHS Volvo B10M-62 044265 Jonckheere 23796 C53F 2/96 Jeffs, Helmdon (NO) 2/02
N803 NHS Volvo B10M-62 044266 Jonckheere 23797 C53F 2/96 Jeffs, Helmdon (NO) 2/02
N808 NHS Volvo B10M-62 044271 Jonckheere 23802 C53F 2/96 Jeffs, Helmdon (NO) 2/02
N809 NHS Volvo B10M-62 044272 Jonckheere 23803 C49FT 3/96 Johnson, Hodthorpe (DE) 5/98
N722 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044371 Jonckheere 23991 C46FT 2/96 Shearings (GM) 722 9/04
N724 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044373 Jonckheere 23993 C46FT 2/96 Shearings (GM) 724 9/04
N726 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044460 Jonckheere 23995 C46FT 2/96 Shearings (GM) 726 9/04
N727 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044461 Jonckheere 23996 C46FT 2/96 Shearings (GM) 727 9/04
N728 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044462 Jonckheere 23997 C46FT 2/96 Shearings (GM) 728 9/04
N731 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044489 Jonckheere 24000 C46FT 3/96 Shearings (GM) 731 8/04
N732 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044490 Jonckheere 24001 C46FT 3/96 Shearings (GM) 732 8/04
N733 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044491 Jonckheere 24002 C46FT 3/96 Shearings (GM) 733 8/04
N734 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044492 Jonckheere 24003 C46FT 3/96 Shearings (GM) 734 8/04
N735 UVR Volvo B10M-62 044493 Jonckheere 24004 C53F 3/96 Shearings (GM) 735 8/04
R415 EOS Volvo B10M-62 060587 Van Hool 33085 C53F 3/98 Park, Hamilton (SW) 8/02 (ex LSK 502 10/00)
R998 KKO Auwarter N122/3 301222WSP26892 Auwarter 1222455 CH57/20DT 3/98 Holmeswood, Holmswood (LA) 4/04
T723 UOS Volvo B10M-62 061035 Jonckheere 25006 C53F 3/99 Winson, Loughborough (LE) 3/03 (ex LSK 830 11/01)
T725 UOS Volvo B10M-62 061044 Jonckheere 25008 C53F 3/99 Park, Hamilton (SW) 4/03 (ex LSK 832 11/01)
SA 02 UCE Volvo B12M 000131 Jonckheere 25956 C53F 3/02 Park, Hamilton (SW) 11/05 (ex HSK 642)
SN 02 NGL Volvo B12M YV3R9F8122A000335 Jonckheere 26093 C53F 3/02 Ellaway & Bjelobaba, Soulbury (BD) 2/06 (ex HSK 649)
YN 53 YGZ Optare M850 19000000001292 Optare B29F 11/03 NEW 11/03
As mentioned above Gavin Francis visited Milton Keynes last Monday and took a large number of pictures of the MK fleet. A portion of those he took are shown below. A fleet list of the current fleet appears on the MK web site linked above.
The company has a large batch of Solos in various liveries.
Darts are also numerous and a number are shown above.
A further selection including one of only three deckers operated.
Another Dart with an interesting branding on the front which needs to be read in a mirror.
Dave Godley caught this brand new Levant coach which looks most impressive.
The way the wheel chair loading is handled is shown in this picture with the equipment folded away.
More details can be found at the following link : http://www.nationalexpress.com/utilities/press3.cfm
Plastow's have another coach, this time from Barlow's of Oldham, near Manchester, who have ceased trading as coach operators. It is seen below and is a Dennis with Caetano Enigma bodywork seating 53.
The new Tridents entered service on 1st March and were released for traffic as the out-station buses came in for refuelling during the morning. As a result some changes to the fleet have occurred.
The following changes to the Stagecoach in Oxfordshire fleet including the Volvo/Alexander PS buses have taken place. The PSs are to be transferred to Cheltenham and Gloucester where they will join the newly taken over Dukes fleet. Also included are the arrival of the new Tridents.
|Fleet movements 6th March 2006|
|18393||KX55 TLK||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|18394||KX55 TLN||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|18395||KX55 TLO||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|18396||KX55 TLU||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|18397||KX55 TLV||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|18398||KX55 TLY||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|18399||KX55 TLZ||Dennis Trident New to Oxford|
|20004||R904 XFC||Volvo B10M Oxford to Banbury|
|20005||R905 XFC||Volvo B10M Oxford to Banbury|
|20006||R906 XFC||Volvo B10M Oxford to Banbury|
|20203||M203 LHP||Volvo B10M Banbury to Gloucester|
|20204||M204 LHP||Volvo B10M Banbury to Gloucester|
|20205||M205 LHP||Volvo B10M Banbury to Gloucester|
|20694||P319 EFL||Volvo B10M Oxford to Gloucester|
|20805||N805 DNE||Volvo B10M Oxford to Gloucester|
|20812||N812 DNE||Volvo B10M Oxford to Gloucester|
|20820||P820 GNC||Volvo B10M Oxford to Gloucester|
Thus seven Alexander PS's are going to Gloucester with seven new Tridents arriving. This corrects the original comments that ALL Alexander PS models would leave Oxford.
20228, 20822 remain at Oxford and 20542 and 20543 at Witney.
The only Varios allocated to Oxford are 42376, 42586 and 42588.
All the remaining Varios of the original batch are now allocated to Witney with the odd man out 42624 still at Banbury.
Olympian 16526 remains at Witney with all others - 16518, 16519, 16520, 16521, 16522, 16523, 16524 and 16525 at Oxford who also supply buses to Bicester, Chipping Norton and Harwell IBC outstations.
Not all had left the Oxford fleet as this written but this should happen very soon now. The PS buses at Banbury, often used on the 59 to Oxford are being replaced by 20004-6 and 20005 is shown below preparing to leave Horspath for Banbury.
Volvo 20005 shows a destination now to become familiar on these buses.
All but one other of the Volvos, 20006-12 will move to Witney.
The new Tridents entered service on 1st March and 18396 is seen on an X31 working that day - this interworks with a Bicester duty.
18399 is seen on March 2nd on a 28 working from Oxford. Pictures by Gavin Francis.
Newman Morgan writes "I had to go into Oxford today, 1st March. Noted new Tridents 18394, 18398, 18399 working Bicesters along with two others, one of which was likely to have been 18393. Also noted that at least two Olympian-worked Bicester runs. As it was the 1st of the month, today may well have been the Tridents' first day in service.
On the 2nd March I noted Tridents 18393 and 18397 on Bicesters today. Also noted 20005 working a 59 journey from Banbury so I am wondering if a few of these vehicles has been/will be transferred to Banbury." (see above Ed.)
Two ex Cambridge Olympians now down in Devon. I am sure I have seen these buses in Oxford on the X5 or X6?
Pictures by Graeme Selway.
Another Devon bus, this time ex demonstrator 33200 which I am also sure worked in Oxford at one stage?
Picture by Graeme Selway.
Gavin Francis took this picture of Olympian 16687 on the 33 from MK to Northampton. It must be one of the few SC buses left in the old livery.
Newer Tridents are used on the X4 from MK to Peterborough from MK. 18110 shows off the front and 18105 the rear branding.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.
Two Volvo coaches working the MK-Luton Airport services in Virgin livery with another Volvo
on the long X5 from Cambridge to Oxford which runs via MK. Pictures by Gavin Francis.
Derek Dawson took this shot of 50113 inbound from London on the A40 at Wheatley last Sunday.
Richard Griffin, who now lives in Staines, was surprised to see 50124 at Cordwallis, Heathrow last week.
As mentioned last week megabus.com launched its first service on 11th August 2003, between London and Oxford, using Olympian's 14239 WLT727 F201FHH and 14240 WLT794 F202FHH. 14239 operated the first journey and it was some weeks before the regular ex Hong Kong Olympians would be ready for service.
Both buses are now in Manchester and Chris Lowe sent two pictures of 14239 on local Manchester working. It has now lost its Megabus branding as the 1st picture shows.
The oldest coach in the Tappins fleet is 500, a Plaxton Viewmaster delivered in 1982. It was registered NBL905X and is on a Volvo chassis.
It is seen at Plastow's in Wheatley last Monday.
On a school working, also in Wheatley last Friday is an ex Wallace Arnold Volvo once G505LWU and now BNZ3505.
Dave Godley took the picture below of one of the new Thamesdown Scanias in Taunton (4/3/06) last week. The second picture is by "pj985" of the same bus this time in Swindon.
Tim Hall writes "My photos can be seen at the links below. The new Scanias were officially launched on March the 1st but will not enter service until Monday 6th March."
Thamesdown 505 in service on 6th March - 1st day. Photo by Tim Hall.
Seemingly Mercedes 305 is still in use, or at least was last week.
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
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at
Thames Valley times in High Wycombe
More pictures from Derek Doling who is scanning his collection of Bill Legg pictures.
613, the first of this batch of Bristol LWL6Bs seen in Maidenhead bus station
The South Midland fleet history gives no record of an LWL6B working on hire but here is proof.
621 is seen with on hire stickers but I am not sure at what location. The date is 22nd April 1961.
622 on a more mundane bus route on a very wet day.
Beeline becomes Wycombe Bus by Ian White
Ian White writes "I've been going through the albums again and thought you might like these for the archive. I took them one day in 1991(I think) at the time when Beeline had just been acquired by Go Ahead. Some were still that horrible yellow and some were in the new livery. I should have been working in Oxford, but somehow I ended up in High Wycombe."
Decker selection, old and new livery. I think the WBC livery was nicer.
4 Nationals and 1 Lynx.
It once was COMS
Terry Partridge took this picture by which time this ex COMS bus had moved to Cornwall.
The date for this year's Spring event is April 2nd.
Wycombe - Other events in 2006:
Special trip over route 347 from Hemel Hempstead to Uxbridge on 19 March marking the 40th anniversary of RML type vehicles starting on that route from Garston & Hemel Hempstead garages.
Bus Running Days as follows:
Sunday 14 May - Slough/Windsor
Sunday 25 June - Hemel Hempstead
Sunday 1 October – Amersham organised by Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Running Day in Aldershot with details from Andrew Dyer.
I wonder if you could put a piece in your "forthcoming events" section about all the excitement that will be in Aldershot (not often you see the words "excitement" and "Aldershot" in the same sentence!!) over the weekend of 3 & 4 June this year.
Stagecoach is organising an event jointly with the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group to celebrate 100 years since the first bus service operated from Aldershot to Farnborough in June 1906. There will be a running day and on Sunday 4 June we will be holding an Open Day at our depot in Halimote Road, Aldershot. As with the Portsmouth event last year, we hope to attract local families as well as enthusiasts and all proceeds raised will go to local charities.
As Aldershot has such a strong history of Dennis operation, we are hoping to get as many different types of Dennis bus on site as we can. Do you have a contact at the Oxford Bus Museum who might be persuaded to bring a KFC Loline 2? Sadly, I don't think any of the Loline 1's or 3's that were on loan from A&D to COMS in 1969/70 have survived to enable them to make an appearance, although there will certainly be sister vehicles in the SOU xxx and AAA xxxC batches there.
Running Days as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser Amersham & District Motorbus Society
At last I'm able to officially notify everyone of the Running Days for 2006.
Sunday 14 May 2006 is the date for the second Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station. Since last year a huge new Tesco store has been built adjacent and is now fully operational. Due to traffic delays experienced last year in Windsor an extra 5 minutes each way is being added to running times between Slough and Windsor.
There is no St George's Day parade to hold us up this year and the Queen's official birthday is 2 weeks plus later when her 80th birthday is marked. I know of no Royal Wedding planned for Windsor this year and, hopefully, timekeeping will be better on the Windsor routes.
An enhancement to the Burnham Beeches service is envisaged with the opposite way round the loop. There is also the chance to have double deck workings but terminating on the eastern fringe of the Beeches.
Another new route for this year will be a service through Windsor Great Park. Crown Estates are happy with this and I have a meeting arranged with them on Tuesday 10 January. White Bus Services currently operate a restricted service here but not on Sundays & on only certain days of the week. Operation is likely to be by non-LT single-deck vehicles. A large number of vehicles is required including at least 16 double-deckers.
Some 40 years earlier on 15 May 1966 RMLs were allocated to Windsor Garage to work several routes in the area. RMC coaches had already been there for some time.
WR Garage operated many other types of vehicle including RT,RF,RC,RCL,RB,RS,GS,SMA,SNB,STL, T and of course some of these only operated in the London Country period. Additionally in the summer months Central area red vehicles were commonplace as green vehicles were reassigned to Green Line relief duties so any red-liveried vehicle would be welcome. At least 30 vehicles (including 5 non-LT/LCBS vehicles will be needed to maintain the schedules.
As 1966 is the 40th anniversary of route 724 it is hoped to have a feeder to/from the Northern areas and to run the route from Slough through Windsor, Old Windsor, Runnymede to Staines. Via Runnymede, by the river Thames was the original routeing when it was extended from Staines to Windsor Castle. It did not serve Windsor Garage nor will it in 2006. The coach link to Staines will therefore be 724 this year in place of 718.
Anyone offering to operate a 725 from at least Kingston will be welcomed. Please let me know.
At the moment there is not an area for display vehicles but every effort will be made to find one. Can I please ask anyone who came last year and was allocated blinds and who will/cannot come this year, to contact me urgently so I can collect them for re-issue to others. These are expensive and will be needed on the day.
Sunday 25 June 2006
This date in mid-Summer is for the first Hemel Hempstead Running Day to be based on the Bus Station. Arriva the Shires and Essex have given permission for us to use the bus station that day but like Slough this is an operational bus station and we will not interfere with their operations which are anyway much reduced on Sundays.
This is the normal date for North Weald which will not take place this year and the NLTS have no plans for a replacement event that day.
Discussions have also taken place with Dacorum Borough Council, Herts County Council and the police who have all been most helpful. I have also spoken to the Market Superintendent and am able to book and pay for stall space on the day. For those who don't know Hemel, the covered market is situated behind the bus station - an excellent location.
The market will have a hot food stall that day and another stallholder sells confectionery, soft drinks, ice cream etc. Ample toilet facilities are at the bus station.
Peter Gomm and I visited Hemel on Fri 6 January and, with advice from the police, have identified an area nearby for display vehicles in Dacorum Way and vehicles on long breaks can park in Queensway (formerly Bury Road) between Leighton Buzzard Road and Marlow's, the railway station on one unused bay on Sundays and the bus station itself can be used for shorter breaks without disturbing its smooth operation. Health & Safety issues have to be borne in mind. A requirement of at least 10 double decks and 11 single decks are needed. This excludes any duplication which will be needed.
A number of rural and inter-urban routes have been chosen for operation - 302, 307 ,312.316. 317.317a,318,319 ,320,330, 337 ,347,706,708, 724. The 724 is for a feeder service to/from Watford from the North and then a 708 to/from Hemel. At the moment I have nothing from the South - any suggestions/offers? (THOSE IN BOLD HAVE TO BE SINGLE-DECK OPERATED).
Certain places such as Berkhamsted Station provide good interchanges with rtes 317/a and 312 connecting there and also in central Watford with the 302 and 347 connecting.
The biggest interchange of all, of course, is the bus station.
Again in Hemel a wide range of vehicles have been operated e.g. GS,RF, T, RB,RT,RMC, RML,SNB,SNC plus several others. Like Windsor, Central Area used to loan their vehicles for weekend and bank holiday duplication.
If anyone has blinds for any or part of these areas please let me know urgently.
Please respond as quickly as you can as I want to finalise timetables/duties etc asap.
I am paying a visit to Hemel this morning to see what it's like between 11.00 and 12.00
Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.
As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.
This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.
It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?
Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - Peter_Cartwright@wycombe.gov.uk - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX.
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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
Ray Jackson Art
A web site which has paintings of buses.
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