Issue 69
(OBP-285)

Sunday 7th March 2004
next update week ending 12th March 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.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news please
let me know on
malcolmhc@aol.com

This last week has seen an excellent level of contributions from my readers and I am sure that you will find the pictures of Wilts & Dorset plus an excellent picture of Worth's new Volvo coach.


Queens College forms a backdrop for a busy scene at the Queens Lane stop in High Street.
The late afternoon sun catches the upper parts of the buildings, headlights being the order of day.

One item of news from our area, fully covered in the Bucks Free Press is that Red Rose are before the Traffic Commissioners this coming week for failing to run services as advertised in the Chesham area. This is of concern since this company provides a number of services around the Chilterns which would be difficult to cover should they lose their licences.

There is also talk of reopening the railway line, as a busway in part, from Wooburn to High Wycombe. It does seem however that this is a long term plan.

Megabus is now in operation from the new destinations mentioned last week and I saw the Birmingham service on a number of occasions but sadly not when I could get a picture. The most noticeable difference on the Olympian seen was the destination Birmingham, shown in both directions. Loadings seemed quite good for a new service. I would appreciate photos of the Oxford bus on loan for the start of the service.

A notice is on display at Thornhill regarding new facilities to be provided. These will be most welcome as the current bus facilities get very busy now with so many services using the site.

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.

Malcolm Crowe, 7th March 2004.

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News of the local companies 7th March 2004

Further problems trouble Aylesbury where vandals damaged a total of nine vehicles last week. Steve Warwick writes:

Monday 1st March

Following the vandalism at Aylesbury depot over Sunday/Monday 9 buses suffered broken windows, 3080,3117,3119,3104 were four that I know of.

Buses were borrowed from  Watford and Wycombe depots, Lynx 3345, Volvo's 3138, 3242 and 3179. SLF Dart, 3823 was working 280's Aylesbury-Oxford. Olympian 5101 was working the 9 service for a time.


Dart 3813 is seen here at The Dashwood Arms in Piddington last Saturday working a 340 service to Radnage.

Nigel Peach writes "The Wycombe scene seems pretty quiet at the moment, but here are a few recent observations:

Ex Oxford Olympian 5833 (G233VWL) has been at the back of the depot for about 6 months now I should think, gradually being cannibalised. I believe it was one of the first to be transferred to Aylesbury but they rejected it as unservicable. Anyway, sometime in the last few weeks it has been turned round through 180 degrees.

Ex London Dart 3816 (H881BGN) has also been in that row for a month or two. That too would appear to be in the process of stripping for useful parts - it's certainly lost its headlights! That batch of 10 seems to have dwindled still further. I've not seen 3817 for some time, and 3814 has been parked in the same place near the entrance to the depot for a week or two. That leaves just 3 in service - 3811/3/5 (G554/560/570 SGT).

Another bus that hasn't moved for a few weeks is Merc Mini 2410 (N780EUA).

There was talk that SLF Dart 3482 (W482YGS) was going to be painted red and used as a spare on the U9 LT route in Uxbridge and the Red Route 33. It disappeared some months ago, but hasn't yet returned!"

MPW also wrote to say "I've got a few Arriva (Aylesbury) observations for the past couple of days after seeing the report on your website that they are short on vehicles.

Friday 27th. new Dart MPD 3829 was on route 9. This vehicle was purchased for Oxford county council sponsored journeys between Thame and High Wycombe.

Saturday 28th. 2 MPDs on Route 9, 1 "bouncy castle" Dart (either 3819 or 3820), and, at least around lunchtime, one "missing". There was no 12:50 deparure from Aylesbury bus Station, and the driver who should have taken it out was asking the later 9's that turned up where his bus was, the next two both turning up at the same time (just before 1:10), so the one that should have left at 1, sped off without picking anyone up, so those of us who had been waiting some time had to catch the 1:10.  

3829 was on route 2.

3178, which had previously had branding for High Wycombe's "red route" 33 has now had this branding removed.

Monday 1st March

Leyland Olympian 5101 (G 651 UPP) was on Route 9 at lunchtime.

Tesco bus service was operated by what I believe is a new arrival (presumably to help out with vehicle shortage), and was a Plaxton Derwent bodied Volvo B10M, 3324, E564BNK.

Tuesday 2nd March

Volvo B6 L922LJO (3138) was seen running between the depot and the bus station, judging by the time (about 12:40), it would either have been on a Crew Shuttle journey or on its way to run the next 61 to Luton. This bus was also parked up in Aylesbury Bus station the previous week, either on the Thursday (26th) or Saturday, suggesting it has transferred in to Aylesbury from High Wycombe."

  

   

I was pleased this week to receive photos of ex Volvo coaches now with Wilts and Dorset. Malcolm Audsley wrote "Attached are 2 views of the ex Oxford B10Ms now with Wilts & Dorset for the X33 Bournemouth - Southampton service. I think you will agree they look most un Wilts & Dorset like, the livery has strong echoes of Oxford style. Whether or not you wish to use these, keep up the good work, the site has been required viewing for me for several years now, Oxford has always been a favourite City of mine, main regret is not visiting when the classic COMS "duck egg" colours were still in use."


3233, R807NUD is seen from the rear sporting its new livery. Photo Malcolm Audsley
This coach was Oxford's nr 1.


An offside front view of 3234, R812NUD showing the lower destination screen still in use.
This was Oxford's nr 3.  Photo Malcolm Audsley

It is interesting to note the history of these coaches which were actually dealer stock when purchased by Oxford in 1997.

1   R807 NUD    46447   9612VUP6255   C53F    01.11.97T                      3233                                                                
2   R813 NUD    46448   9612VUP6256   C53F    01.11.97T                      3235
3   R812 NUD    60224   9612VUP5492   C53F    01.11.97T                      3234
4   R811 NUD    60275   9612VUP5624   C53F    01.11.97T                      ?? Damory 

Original registrations were R1-4OXF now carried as follows 

Scania 63 is R1OXF and was fleet nr 41. Dart SLFs 402-4 are now R2-4OXF ex R402-404FFC 

Quite confusing 

1-4 then became 96-99 before sale and did run with these numbers for a while  


Nr 2 is now Scania BE53OXf and is seen here leaving Gloucester Green last Friday afternoon.

It seems that Volvo/Paladins 646, 647 and 649 will return to service next week replacing three old Darts. It is not known which Darts are involved at present. The blinds from the Darts fit the Paladins and as such they can operate the 14 to The Churchill Hospital.


Second hand Paladin 657 has had its blind replaced by a different type, seen here on the 22.


Nearing its last days on the X90, coach 12, which started life on airport services is seen displaying the
soon to be gone forever Oxford express livery.


The 400 often sees Citaros on the service and here 827 is seen at Thornhill last Saturday evening
awaiting time for its departure to Seacourt.

Motts of Aylesbury


Saturday last was a dull day at Stokenchurch and here Mercedes P373XGG shows off its digital destination display.
It will wait time at Stokenchurch before returning to Reading.


Please don't leave me behind!
A passenger very nearly gets left in Oxford on this Go Ahead Volvo operating the 304 service to Liverpool.


Unaccustomed luxury is provided on this 757 service to Stansted by this ex Speedlink DAF-Van Hool
still featuring tables and rearward facing seats. T206AUA.

 


Services on the 7 operating between Barton and the City show 7C these days. 22915 is seen at Queens Lane.


I am told that M A N s should not operate services outside Oxford City but here 22930 works at 27A last Friday.

Hi Malcolm.

Simon Langley writes "The old Primeline darts 33650-5,33763,33821/2 left Nuneaton yesterday for Oxford and in turn, 3 B10M's have appeared at Nuneaton 20417/23 H617/23 ACK and 20541 P541 ESA. Rumours are afoot that the step entrance darts 32001-8 will be going and being replaced by 8 B10's but no one knows if these 3 are for us."

Rob Williams writes "22914 looked like it was being prepared for repaint today.

22922's destination display has been fitted with LED backlights, as fitted from new to the 51 plate Blackbird Leys MANs, 22053 and the X4 Darts. You will most likely note that it looks a lot brighter compared to the other MANs on 7s and 3s. Soon to depart 20542 has had similar for quite a few months. 

Work seems to be progressing on 18055's repairs.

A purchaser has been found for 41510, it will depart when the 0709 arrives from Banbury.

33763 arrived from Nuneaton on Thursday, freshly repainted.

33655 is going from Nuneaton to the Banbury paint shop at some point this weekend, I think most of the others have been done now through a combination of Bedford and Banbury. I expect that they will start appearing in the Oxford yard from this weekend. 

I believe that 20541 and 20704 are currently in use at Banbury, but are scheduled to leave this weekend. 

52143 has still not moved.

16402, 31330 and 41510 are all still at Oxford today (only 41510 in use). I gather a buyer has been found for 41510 after they came to have a look a few days ago."

Adrian Lancer noted on 5th March

22052 - U1
31330 - 1
32612 - 3

and

33925 - 66
16144 - 7, complete with Brookesbus stickers and 7A blinds (despite running through to Barton!)
Notices have now appeared on stops regarding the 10 conversion to low floor - albeit without dates!!

Tim Hall from Swindon writes "Stagecoach Oxford and previously Devon 16401 is now at Swindon and entered service on schools today "

Ralph Adams wrote "travelled on X59 into Oxford on Monday on B10 20541 (officially in reserve), on loan to Banbury to cover vehicle shortage. Last week 2 B10Ms were at Banbury.

Today a MAN was on U1,
destination City Centre coming from Headington at about 1200 at Carfax. "

As mentioned above the Birmingham Megabus service started and bus 13604 and is on loan to Rugby for the Birmingham-London route until their second Olympian is ready to go.

Tangy Tango writes "I can confirm one of the Oxford vehicles was on the Megabus Birmingham services, as the 1700 service from Brum was an Oxford vehicle and I was on this service. Does anyone know where this vehicle is based as I believe I have left my mobile phone on this bus  

Rob Williams writes "presumably the coach is to cover for 13604 (331HWD), which was on loan to Rugby for the first day of the Brum services. The other bus used on the Brum service was 13614 (J166UNH)"

Tappins Didcot


I notice that UTV217S has now received a full repaint as has ex Edinburgh 929.

Thames Travel, Wallingford

Ralph Adams writes "Several Thames Travel buses have received fleet numbers in addition to the x51, x52 and x53  buses. They are all the older style registration numbers, including 383 and 848, and on several at the rear the digits are in a vertical order. Mr Wright likes to do things differently. Not aware of anyone else using his new style of numbering (which is quite a sensible way), and the vertical numbers enable the numbers to be large enough to be seen.

Seen tonight was V399SVV with the fleet number on the rear. According to my fleet records, this bus came when they acquired the X39 with V390SVV, but 399 left the company quite a while ago. Now back at Wallingford."

Worth's Motor Services


I was delighted to receive the picture above from Mike Morgan showing Worths new Volvo-Jonckheere.
It has been seen on their Oxford service in St Giles.

It also is noted that the new Citaro is in full livery with new style fleet names. BU53ZWZ. I am still hoping for a picture of this bus which works services around Witney.

PHOTO CORNER
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This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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