Issue 98
Sunday 10th October 2004
next update week ending 16th October 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

The local Oxford papers, especially The Oxford Times have been full of reference to the problems with unauthorised traffic using the "bus gate" in High Street adding to the pollution in the city. A spokesman for The Oxford Bus Company said that a survey showed something in the order of 45-50% of the traffic using the High Street and passing through the banned area was flouting the regulations which bans traffic excluding buses and taxis. The ban was introduced in 1999 and this page has carried a number of references to the flagrant breach of the rules in the succeeding years. I must say I had not realised that 5 years had passed since its introduction but anyone who spends time in Oxford on the high Street or at Castle Street can see breaches at most times of the restricted period. It was interesting to note that on Saturday the police were out at both locations apprehending drivers who doubtless had what they believed to be a very good reason for being where they were. indeed a figure of 900 cars per day being there when they should not have been so was also quoted.

Various buses passing through the "bus gate" on High Street. Due to the current concerns over human rights
I have avoided using the many pictures I have showing cars flouting the rules!!!

The comments from the council were that they found the figures an over calculation but they had been pressing central government for an improvement on the legislation.

In High Wycombe Carousel and Arriva are in the news again regarding Carousel's decision to run a competing bus service from the town to Chesham. The service, the number 4, will compete with the Arriva 372 with some fares on Carousel being nearly 1 cheaper than on Arriva.

One of the buses likely to be used on the new service, ex Heathrow car park DAF DB220s
R981 and 988FNW have joined Carousel. They carry a striking new livery.


Paul Lacey wrote to me about a new book he is publishing which man y of you will no doubt be interested in. Details of how to obtain the book can be seen on the attached download document and I hope many of you will support Paul in this venture.

One of the pictures to be found in the 50 years of South Midland book.

To order the book please download the attached document and there you will find all details.

Order form for the South Midland book

Amersham Running Day - 3rd October 2004

Many of you sent in pictures of the running day and I am including a selection to remind those of you who attended what a great day it was. Around 40 vehicles attended and some 2500 people took rides on the buses in public service. Attendance was one of the highest in the event's sixteen year history despite rather wet weather.

Carousel's Citaro CB53BUS displays a less than usual destination and route when seen at Chesham last Sunday.
Picture by Brian Matthews,

Citaros meet at Amersham Running Day. Oxford's 825 meets similar sister CB53BUS from Carousel.
Picture by Alan Gelson

Peter Edgar sent these pictures of RF366 and RML2456

mmm, T792 looking every inch a post war AEC Regal with provincial lines rather than London.
Pictures by Alan Gelson

RF600 with a rather unusual livery caught by the lens of Alan Gelson.

This could be called the old and the new, caught again by Alan Gelson.

A very nice line up at Amersham with a good impression created of bus design from 1945 through to 1956.
Picture by Peter Edgar.

Alan Gelson again, this time at Chesham with a really classic and vintage view. RLH32, GS34 and RF280.
Only the place is probably wrong as there would have been on street loading in the main street behind the buses.

An RF, 280 arriving at Hyde End on the 348.

A nice contribution was sent in by Steve Annells who tells us about the Michaelmas Fair in Abingdon. Steve writes "The light was a bit strange when we took the children to Abingdon Fair last Tuesday, but I did get a couple of interesting photographs of the rerouting of services.

Attachments are:

For the duration of the Michaelmas Fair, Stratton Way is part closed and part two-way traffic.
Stagecoach 20805 a Volvo B10/Alexander on route 31.

34468, a Stagecoach Dennis Dart/Plaxton turning from Bath Street into Stratton Way.

Oxford 834 heading the 'wrong' way down Stratton Way and turning into Bath Street on X13.

Oxford 610 taking on passengers at a temporary bus stop in Spring Road while on a 35A to Didcot.

Many thanks to Steve for these unusual photos.

Finally as postscript to this week's editorial I could not resist including this picture of Gloucester Green on Friday afternoon. I think my caption is most appropriate.

Not a bus or coach in sight? No, not a strike just Friday afternoon!

Now on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 10th October 2004

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News of the local companies 10th October 2004

Very little to report this week with only a couple of sightings by Adrian Lancer who noted 5117 and 5832 being used on the 280 from Aylesbury to Oxford.

However a late report from Nigel Peach says "Lynx 3068 and ex London Dart 3816, which have both been in the bus station for many months under cannibalisation, have both now disappeared. Similar Dart 3814 is now at the back of the depot with desty blinds removed. The numbers of this type have dwindled in Wycombe from the original ten down to three - 3811/3/5 and of these I've not seen 3813 lately. 

The Northern Counties Paladin bodied Volvo B6s (there are seven in Wycombe) all have dot matrix display blinds which more often than not are not working, and even when they are not easy to read. I'm pleased to see that 3126, the bus branded for route 74, and 3110 have had these displays replaced by new orange ones which are much more legible. I hope that means the others are going to receive similar treatment. Then perhaps they can work on the ex London Olympians whose blinds are very legible but seem to be forever caught up or torn, again meaning having to resort to the piece of paper in the windscreen. 

Good to see a report in both the Bucks Free Press and the Wycombe Star about the Amersham Running Day. The Star reports that because of its popularity they hope to make it a six monthly event. That's good news, especially as I couldn't make it this year!"

Alan Gelson came up trumps with a number of photos of buses and coaches at the new depot on Watlington Road.

The yard looking towards the BMW factory with various buses and coaches.

Another view of the new garage, this time with the new workshops as a backdrop.

Coaches 11 and 12 have returned from Volvo's having been refurbished to the usual high standard.
Contrary to last week's report from the company these coaches seat 45. They will re-enter service tomorrow Monday 11th October.

A final shot by Alan including one of the refurbished coaches, nr 12.

Some short reports were received for this week including one from Ian Pinnell. Ian says "This week has been an unusual week for 2 road as a few red tridents worked this route. Two of which were 102 and 104. 

816 - 14 road
- 2 road
- 2 road
- 2 road

As mentioned above 816 was on 14 road on Saturday last looking rather smart and clean.

Whilst Oxford's fares have gone up it did not appear to making any difference to the London service on Saturday with many coaches running totally full. This may have been helped by the fact that trains were not running through to Oxford but were replaced by a bus service from Didcot.

Reports this week were somewhat limited but of note are the following:

20005 route 7

22942 route 3 although with Orange stickers next to destination display, route 1 branding removed or route 1 branding currently being added

noted by Ian Pinnell 

22942 - a recent repaint

22054 is due to go off to loose it's Brookes livery next week.

noted by Rob Williams

22935 - 3 (with bus full blinds - never seen these on a MAN before!)
22942 - 1 (with orange bits either side of blind box but no route 1 branding at all!)

noted by Adrian Lancer

Regarding the "bus full" blinds this is not something new and I have seen this on 1s and 7s in the past. Ed.

I am now including a link for an excellent web site for enthusiasts in this area "BUS ZONE". Here you find very up to date fleet lists of operators including Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.

As noted above 22054 is to lose its Brookes livery and I understand will be painted in fleet livery and put to work on the 1s.

Interestingly there are now two of the new Neoplans which can be spotted from a distance and surprise your friends with the fleet numbers.

50109 as seen below has white edging to its destination box following replacement after a bird strike.

and 50110 has now Oxford Tube logo following replacement of the upper deck window.

Some interesting photos have been sent by Suzy Scott and whilst they hav3e already been posted on Domeus I felt it appropriate to include them on this week's page.

SC 50042 in full Megabus livery, you can still see the old Tube fleet number on the front upper deck side window..

The rear is rather imposing and an excellent paint job has been made. However the difference in the front and rear
wheel trims is unusual for Stagecoach in Scotland who are normally very fussy about such things.

Suzanne Scott writes to say " This week has seen the first three of the former Tubes receiving full lettering - 42, 55 (48 too IIRC). 55 passed me at work one night last week, so was done by then.

On Saturday, I booked a return trip from Dundee to Aberdeen to take up most of my afternoon and early evening. Whilst waiting at Yeaman Shore Dundee for the 1250 M9 to Aberdeen to arrive, the bus turned up around 10mins late, and left 15mins down (just a "pick up and go" job!) However, when I saw the bus involved - former Tube 42 - I was not surprised.

The vehicle was able to sprint quite easily up the road - all hills coped with ease. There was no feel at all of this being the same bus that struggled while going uphill at 20mph last time!

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These are two most interesting sites which I do recommend

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