The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

Issue 184
(OBP-399)

Sunday 9th July 2006
next update week ending 22nd July 2006

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

Visit 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.

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

First of all my apologies for the lack of a News Page last weekend. The very hot weather last Sunday plus six days of work followed by 5 days this last week meant that I needed a break last Sunday. The last two weeks have produced some interesting events which means this issue is a bumper edition.

Yesterday saw another major coach fire on the M40 and I was able to get some pictures of the coach involved plus the resultant congestion and diversions caused. For a period of time the M40 London bound was at a standstill and traffic was diverting via the A40.

 
An Oxford Volvo, nr 18 followed by an Oxford Tube 50119 use the A40 from Lewknor to Stokenchurch.

Traffic through to High Wycombe was very heavy and a long line of slow moving traffic blocked Stokenchurch for an hour or so. The cause of this could be seen from an overbridge near Lane End. Wessex recovery were loading the fire gutted coach when the picture below was taken.

I took a number of pictures from the Booker overbridge whilst I was waiting for the low loader and coach to pass by. This took place some 35 minutes after the picture above was taken.

 
As the pictures show, Volvo/Plaxton Expressliner G995XHW is probably never going to run again.
I am unaware of the coach's present owner but it started life in Bristol on National Express services in the early '90s.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire ensure their drivers on the Oxford Tube are aware of the various diversions which can be used when traffic on the normal Oxford-London route is congested and to this end drivers are taken and shown these diversions. The picture below shows one such training trip when Brookes Trident 18052 went to London last Saturday week, 1st July, with a batch of new trainees.


The Trident is shown at Stokenchurch on the A40 on the return trip.

Roadwork update - Thornhill

A change to the roadworks at Thornhill last week resulted in many inbound services running in via Stadhampton and Cowley to Oxford. Those coaches which maintained normal route experienced  delays of up to 40 minutes over those diverting. However where coaches have passengers for Thornhill Park & Ride diversion is not always possible.

Stagecoach increases fares

July 2nd saw a fare increase by Stagecoach on service in Oxfordshire and also on the Oxford Tube. Some criticism was expressed but when one considers the increase in the price of fuel such an increase was not unexpected.

Elton John and a concert at The Kassam Stadium further update

Stagecoach received much praise for its handling of the Park & ride services fro the recent Elton John concert at The Kassam Stadium. The buses used are listed below and came for many other operating companies.

13629

SWT

13634

SWT

13640

SWT

13646

SWT

14000

East

16076

Warks

16288

Andover

16293

Andover

16308

Portsmouth

16323

Southdown

16324

Portsmouth

16514

Warks

16515

Warks

16517

Leamington

16522

Oxford

16525

Oxford

16528

Bedford

16534

Bedford

16538

East

16580

Northampton

16615

Leamington

16618

Warks

16672

Leamington

16676

Bedford

16678

Bedford

16680

East

18051

Oxford

18056

Oxford

18082

Cheltenham

18083

Cheltenham

18128

Witney

18131

Witney

18437

Gloucester

18438

Gloucester

18439

Gloucester

18445

Swindon

18446

Swindon

18450

Swindon

A number of pictures were received from Derek Dawson of buses included above.

     
Southdown 16308 is followed by C&G 18445 and then Hampshire Bus 13640 (South West Trains livery) and finally 18051 from Oxford.
Pictures by Derek Dawson


Dave Rogers sent this picture of a number of the visiting Tridents lined up awaiting the end of the concert.
It seems that local traffic wardens tried to book the buses for parking on the road - I am personally speechless at such an action.

 

A new local website

Mike Knuckey has launched a new web site and writes "I have launched a new community website called mychilterns and would like to add a link to your website. Can you add a link to my site at http://www.mychilterns.co.uk "

More pictures from the Hemel Hempsted Running Day

I received further pictures from this event taken by Glenn Knight.

Changes to Buckinghamshire County Rider sponsored services

Matt Cooper writes "Following your report a couple of weeks ago that suggested Carousel might be taking on some of the County Rider network currently operated by Arriva, I took a look at the timetables on
http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk 
the other day, and it appears Arriva are losing the entire County Rider network of services.

All from 23/24 July:

Carousel appear to be getting, as stated, the Marlow and Beaconsfield area routes. The Marlow routes retaining the current numbers, but the Beaconsfield routes becoming 580-582 (instead of 180-182).

Red Kite are taking on the 15x and 17x numbered routes around Leighton Buzzard and Ivinghoe.

Redline are taking on the County Rider routes centred on Buckingham (130-133 and 151). They are also gaining the 125 (Princes Risborough - Stoke Mandeville) from Z&S.

Red Rose are taking over the Sunday only 161 (Aylesbury - Whipsnade).

At the same time, Z&S are taking on a few routes at Motts Travels expense, they being the 11, 12, 13 & 15 routes centred on Thame/Princes Risborough. It also looks like they're taking over the 65 route (Aylesbury - Leighton Buzzard) currently operated by Arriva.

In the main it looks like operator changes with most/all routes keeping the same times as present.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the County Rider Optare Solos, and how they are split between the various operators taking over the routes.

Assuming they are split, Carousel would need two, whilst Red Kite and Redline should manage with one each, which then leaves where to put the spare.... Red Rose surely being able to cover their one day per week requirement with an existing fleet vehicle.


To view the timetables, go to http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk, go to "Timetable Search" and then search by Operator Name (or Route number)."

Well, thanks to Matt for that update and I hope many of you will keep your eyes open for the buses in use on these revised services.

Photographing buses by John Bristow

I was interested to read of your occasional tribulations when taking bus photographs.  The drivers who threatened you for taking pictures in the street were way out of order (or had something to hide) as it is after all a public area.  On one occasion a driver leaving a bus station actually slowed down when he saw me pointing the camera.   I do normally keep my camera somewhat concealed (easier with a small digital) when photographing within the confines of bus stations and have never had any problems on these premises.   I think, however, that there could be two problems in bus stations.  Firstly, some enthusiasts may dodge about in the carriageways between stands, thus posing a road safety hazard and incurring the wrath of officials.  Secondly, many digital cameras have a default flash setting and I suppose it is conceivable that the flash could divert the attention of a driver of a moving vehicle within a covered bus station.


At least this picture would have little chance of offending anyone. Photo by Barry Pickett.

That appearance of historic buses running through Stokenchurch - an answer by Dave Stewart

You asked what was going on when you were in Stokenchurch on Sunday 25th.  It was the occasion of the annual   (this is the 22nd)  HCVS Ridgeway Run.   Most years it has terminated at Newbury but this year it ran from Henley, via Marlow, Lane End, Stokenchurch, Chinnor, Risborough, Aylesbury to Quainton Road.   Nice pic of RM737 - especially as it is me in the drivers' cab !!    We were sent off from Henley over a period from about 9:15 to 10:30, I left at 10:00 and got to Quainton at 11:45.   Mostly commercials (vans, lorries, etc, and some really fine specimens).   About 15 buses and coaches, the rarest being the 1921 LGOC S-type S433 and the 1928 Eastbourne Lion HC8043,  which got to Quainton finally at 13:20, the last vehicles to arrive there.  Everything displayed there during the afternoon. 

Alan Gelson adds ".....the buses you sore yesterday morning were heading for the Bucks railway centre at Quainton were they had a vintage vehicle rally (buses & commercials)."

Stokenchurch & that Taxibus by Mike Chadwick

Mike Chadwick writes "I guess your reference to the taxibus stems from the Bucks Free Press article? To clarify the situation, there's no risk of it ending before the initial year i.e. Jan 2007. What the review is about is what happens subsequently. Although Bucks CC didn't attend a meeting last week hosted by Oxon. CC, it is hard to avoid the view that they would feel that the present usage doesn't justify further funding. (And of course the absence of Bucks funding would make it more expensive for the Oxon. part, for which the figures are OKish). 

But all is not lost; some research is to be done in both counties in next few weeks to try to ascertain why potential users are not using it (in case minor adjustments to remedy this are possible); and this exercise will also be useful as repeat publicity for present service."

Pedestrian accident in Gloucester Green by Pete Thomas

I was in Oxford today (Mon 3 July) and was unfortunate to be present in Gloucester Green at midday when one of the tour buses was in collision with a female pedestrian as it reversed away from the stand.
I did not witness the actual impact, but heard the woman's screams and saw that she was underneath the rear of one of the ex Dublin Bus Olympians. Many people went to her aid and the bus was immediately moved forward to allow her to be freed. I don't know whether she was actually driven over by the wheels, but an ambulance car attended, along with police and the fire and rescue service. She was eventually taken away by a road ambulance.

I attach a picture taken on my phone camera once the emergency services were on scene. I will leave it to you to decide whether or not they are useable, or indeed suitable for publication. They were taken from the other end of the bus station, one shot using digital zoom which explains the loss of clarity. (As they do not show the unfortunate lady but do give a clear view of the resultant congestion I have included one picture Ed.)

Just to add my personal view, I was quite surprised at the number of pedestrians walking across the roadway in Gloucester Green, many walking directly behind the coaches and buses occupying stands. This incident seems to have been an accident waiting to happen. Many vehicles reverse unaided, which is dangerous in itself.

I hope that the lady concerned was not seriously injured and I hope that the driver of the bus recovers from the shock of the incident.

Hampton Court Flower Show and RML2318 by Gavin Francis

Took this picture today, 5th July. It is of immaculate RML 2318 on the Hampton Court Flower Show Service. Fully blinded all round as a 718 Green Line Relief and with headboard by downstairs front window it looked a very professionally turned out bus.


The bus is seen in Buckingham Palace Road and is, I think, driven by Frank Dodge.

Open top buses in Bath

The Daily Telegraph for Thursday, July 6th reports that a limit on tour buses, following a two day public hearing, has been limited for the future. No more than ten buses can operate in the world heritage city at any one time. Also loudspeakers, used on buses, will be banned. Of even more interest  is that 80% of all tour buses must also meet European standards on low emissions, rising to 100% by 2008.

There is now only one operator in Bath and also the same applies in our own city of Oxford. However one does wonder what will happen in London where tour buses clog up stops and often run with poor passenger loadings.

The new bus station in High Wycombe

The new bus station, part of the Eden Centre development is progressing well but according to the Bucks Free Press will not open until August. It was supposed to open in mid July.


The new bus station seen last Saturday, 8th July. Still some work to do.

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Would readers who respond to the above please quote this site when doing so.


Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 9th July 2006

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date

News of the local companies 9th July 2006

Ben Carter writes ".....just to tell you, I didn't see the fleet number but I did see an Alexander bodied Olympian in High Wycombe on Wednesday night (29th June) with a destination display reading "National Express". As it was heading along Frogmoor I presume it was being used on either the 323 or 324 but there was no indication of this, not even a scrap of paper in the windscreen!"

Anyone any answers please?

Gavin Francis writes "the LOTS web page for Sunday said Arriva were losing the County rider routes. We had that a couple of weeks ago!! (Yes, Gavin see the article above. Ed.) 

Arriva's Citaros for the 724 are starting to arrive so as soon as I hear one is in service I will go to Heathrow or Watford to get a picture."


Gavin Francis sent this picture of Volvo B6 3133 asking is this a recent addition to the Wycombe fleet?


This picture could be entitled "the sublime to the ridiculous"
Gavin Francis caught this 31 branded Volvo B10BLE on the 757 from London to Luton Airport. What happened to the coaches?


Bouncy Castle 3820 is seen working the Sunday 342 service at Stokenchurch on 2nd July 2006.


Olympian 5132 is seen yesterday, 2nd July, working a 326 service near Asda, Cressex. It looks somewhat forlorn.


Gavin Francis caught Olympian 5144 on a 329 working in Reading before it returned to High Wycombe.

Carousel had an interesting choice of vehicles to photograph yesterday, Saturday 8th July.


RML896 has recently been added to the fleet and has just returned from a repaint. It looks very fine indeed.


Olympians and a Metrobus on parade - 8th July 2006


The latest new addition to the fleet is now back in service after some teething troubles. AL3, the third Renault.

My correspondent CurlyC2 has again sent a number of interesting observations.

About two weeks ago he noted :

632 on 400

620 on 35/A With Oxford Spires advertisement

411 On 13. Does 411 have any specific duties now?

816 on X3.

27/6 

105 On 300 

836 on 2 

827 on 400

3/7 

620 on 8

105 on 400 

5/7  

3 15s at St Aldate's. This route had 818-21 and a large easy access bus not branded.

8/7 

805 has limited branding on rear like 804 in 5 road livery. 805 is in 5 road livery 

616 with Not in service on side and rear. It was unusually on 5 

26 on X70 At the same time as 71 was in use on X90 

Airline coach showing X70 Oxford City with passengers on board in Cowley Rd. ( this would on diversion due to the roadworks at Thornhill. Ed.)

 


The bus mentioned above by Curly is seen here in Queen St last week.
Picture by Gavin Francis.


The X90 was doing well yesterday when this Volvo nr 15 was seen heading towards Oxford during the afternoon


Barry Pickett sent this picture of a Park & Ride Trident taken from the Oxford Castle mound in New Road.
It is a most unusual view and I think a first from that viewpoint.

News on the company web site states that Dart 412 and Volvo 612 are for sale. I wonder if they will go to Birmingham or The Solent? Also a number of B10Bs are earmarked for Q busting duties this summer and are from the first batch of single door Volvos.

Volvo B10BLE 805 is now back from refurbishment and 806 has gone north for similar work.


Mark Lyons took this picture last week of an ex Oxford coach now with electronic displays working the X3 on the south coast with Wilts & Dorset.
Sadly it lacks any wheel trims and looks the worse for it.

Gavin Francis writes that he saw Dart 405 on a 35 working last week. This would have been a morning peak relief.

Kevin Smith wrote saying "Thought you might be interested in a photo this ex-Oxford Olympian which has been with Fords of Althorne in Essex for a few years. 

It is the regular bus that works the Fridays only service into Chelmsford on alternate Fridays from either Tillingham (route 3) or Burnham-on-Crouch (route 6). 

However the route number is never actually displayed. The blinds as shown on the photo are never changed - they always just show the reg number with the old OBC blind !"

Paul Dudfield wrote saying "......... know you like to include historic pictures in the OCBP from time to time so I thought you might like to be reminded of COMS's brief flirtation with articulated buses. The picture was taken in February 1982."

Derek Dawson wrote saying "......... Just been through some old pics looking for something and thought I would send over some of the pics of local operators taken early 90's.

Just sending a couple over to see if they send and if you can use them as they are bitmap images they are in two different sizes if you can use them and want them let me know which of the two sizes turn out best. You will note I am ardent fan of the Bova's so most are these (must have 200+ of them)"

Countrywide Travel


Another picture from Gavin Francis taken in Reading last week.

Gavin took a few pictures of First Group buses operating in Reading.

     


A type yet to seen in our area, Chris Lowe sent this picture of a new Levante coach working in Manchester

Reading Buses

Gavin Francis visited Reading last week and took a number of pictures. A selection are included below.

     

   

   

     

Mark Lyons also sent two nice pictures of Reading buses.

 

Red Rose

Two reports received this week, from Curly and Gavin Francis, state that a red low floor Dart has been in use on the 275. It is registered UV02TPZ.

Can anyone shed any light on its origins?

Two more Tridents have left Oxford to take a summer break in Devon. They are, as expected, 18051 and 18053 and are seen yesterday at Horspath awaiting collection.




18051 is seen above in St Giles on 3rd July working the 7B which heads back to Kidlington.
Picture by Mark Lyons.


22941 pictured last week at the depot is seen here on service 1 pictured by Gavin Francis. 22940 also sports the same advert.


Ex Manchester 22205 has recently received its second repaint in the new livery since joining Oxford.


Olympian 16520 has received a new super rear advert as seen above.


Trident 18393 is the "spare" unbranded bus for the 27 and is occasionally seen on city routes.

Curly writes "two Brookes buses showing Stagecoach on their way to London last Saturday and a 27 Branded Trident showing Not in Service Heading for London. Do you know why they were there?" 

Yes Curly I do, they were used for Tube reliefs following a concert in Hyde Park last Saturday and Sunday evenings. There were some very favourable comments on how Stagecoach provided additional capacity on the London route. All intending passengers after the concert were on their way within 60 minutes.

Warwickshire

There were some interesting fleet movements last month which are given below.

 fleet movement - last period

 
 

18502

KX06 LYU

Dennis Trident - Transfer Nuneaton to Andover

18503

KX06 LYV

Dennis Trident - Transfer Nuneaton to Andover

18504

KX06 LYW

Dennis Trident - Transfer Nuneaton to Andover

18505

KX06 LYY

Dennis Trident - Transfer Nuneaton to Andover

34641

GX54 DWM

Dennis Dart SLF - Transfer from Andover to Nuneaton

34642

GX54 DWN

Dennis Dart SLF - Transfer from Andover to Nuneaton

34643

GX54 DWO

Dennis Dart SLF - Transfer from Andover to Nuneaton

34644

GX54 DWP

Dennis Dart SLF - Transfer from Andover to Nuneaton

 

Swindon

Marcus Lapthorn writes "Of the 9 Volvos that were due to be refurbished, 8 have now been so treated with the latest one, 405 showing up on the 66 route on Sat 8 July. Only 404 has not been refurbished and this was in service on the 66 route on Fri 7 July. No doubt it too will now soon be off for refurbishment."

Some modifications have taken placed to the fleet with new toilet units being fitted with a revision to the pump arrangements. The pump unit is now housed on the outside in a casing beside the toilet door.

50106, 50111, 50113 and 50116 are so far fitted.


Another picture by Barry Picket taken from Oxford Castle.


Neoplan 50113 heads for Oxford yesterday, Saturday 8th July 2006.


50123 heads towards London, following delays after the fire to a Volvo coach mentioned and pictured in the Editorial above.

Worth's of Enstone

Various photos have been taken of Worth's coaches and these are included for interest.


Worth's 53 reg Volvo has just overtaken the Oxford Espress Volvo nr 20 after passing the coach fire mentioned above.


Derek Dawson sent this nice picture of ex Oxford Express 51, at speed on the M40.

PHOTO CORNER
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at 
malcolmhc@aol.com

Coaches at speed by Derek Dawson


Bakers Scania HB54MTB


Bowens mini coach V359POB


Cheney Travel Volvo M604ORJ ex Shearings.


Grayline's T294 CGU


One of Woottens new fleet, YN06MXW


Local operator Plastow's also featured in Derek pictures.


For those who like small coaches

and from my own lens


A WA Shearings GT tourer on the M40 heading north.

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 
malcolmhc@aol.com

Alder Valley goes topless.

Philip Kirk writes "Your publication of the photo of the Alder Valley open-top Bristol VR brought back a few memories. Perhaps the most bizarre was when I was manager at High Wycombe for the company, at the time of the opening of the Wycombe 6 Cinema at Cressex (now renamed something else).

The cinema company were very keen to promote the opening and to publicise the diversion of service 326. Note that AV journeys on the 326 were diverted, but the LCNW ones were not - they were unable to get union agreement to it.

I borrowed the open topper from Maidenhead garage and the cinema people glued huge photos of Timothy Dalton as James Bond to the sides (the first film shown was "The Living Daylights"). In fact, Timothy was taller than the bus.

I personally decided that I would drive it back down Marlow Hill to the Bus Station for storage overnight. However, the glue was not strong and half way down the hill Timothy started to flap and then flew off completely, much to the consternation of the driver of the following BMW driver!"

 

Peter also included some shots of one of the buses involved taken recently at Windsor.

 

Coming events

Running Day as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser  Amersham & District Motorbus Society 

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. 

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date

Links

These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

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.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!

http://www.rayjacksonart.co.uk/index.htm
 

 


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

http://www.britishbuspublishing.co.uk/

The latest handbook from BBF was on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.
It includes all the latest takeovers and as ever is invaluable
in keeping track of this now very large fleet.

As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.

Links

Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002