Issue 86
(original Oxford Bus Page included to nr 302)
Sunday 11th July 2004
next update week ending 23rd July 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.

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News reached me this week of a further trial of the new Oxford Tubes in Gloucester Green. Reports so far are conflicting as to the outcome but a decision on their use and how this will be must not be far away now. Crew training continues but I have no further reports as to how many are now at Oxford.

The photo below brings pleasant memories of my two weeks at Wimbledon. A further week at Farnborough draws near and I am sure this will prove to be most interesting.

Your Editor at the wheel of London General NV185 in Wimbledon week - photo courtesy Chris Maxfield.

Monday 12th January 2004 saw the launch of the Silverlink services in the High Wycombe area and the following Sunday the first service to Stokenchurch, numbered 400A operated and was recorded in issue number 63 of this page.

The first service on the 18th January 2004 at 1035 from Mill Road. The bus had arrived empty from Wycombe.

Perhaps, not unexpectedly, this service has been the victim of poor patronage and this week's Bucks Free Press reports the end of the six month trial and the demise of the Sunday 400A.

Ralph Adams wrote on some interesting matters saying "Quite a few changes and a quiet day at work, so I was able to see some of the effects in Oxford.

X42. Dart 501 dedicated bus with large green signs informing of route and a cost of from 50 pence per journey.
(a picture of this bus appears under the operator heading below Ed.)

Route 17 had Vario 847 today (the only one that is 7.8 metres, the rest are 8.5 metres)

The 103 to Wheatley has a 53 minute layover in Oxford, either in Speedwell Street in a 10 minute bus bay, or on double yellow lines in Butterwycke Place. The driver leaves the bus to take over another service.

One of the drivers said that the X15 (Witney - Berinsfield) had 9 passengers leaving Abingdon on the journey he did. For a first day, a very good response, although I do not know what the passengers carried on other journeys were. I hope the others were as well patronised.

On the  106, according to the timetable published on paper, on the web and the bus stop in St Aldates, there is no service at 1445. Despite this, the bus arrived and 10 passengers were waiting to travel.

Whites used their hired blue and silver Solo, YN53SVJ,
( a picture of this bus appears under Whites heading below. Ed) on the 108 apart from the last journey at 1810. The bus cannot return in time so the bus used on the Didcot Town service (T645HBF) comes to Oxford to cover the 1810 to Wheatley

As ever I am grateful to all those who have contributed to this week's shortened page. Now on to the reports for our area.

Malcolm Crowe, 11th July 2004

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News of the local companies 11th July 2004

Gavin Francis sent a number of photos of Olympian 5130 in its "Chimes" livery and this rear view shows how every window on the bus is covered with vinlys.

Olympian 5130 showing off its rear end. Picture by Gavin Francis

Further pictures of the refurbished Olympians are emerging and this week I have nice shot from Steve Warwick of 5160 in Thame.

Arriva 5160 shows the new livery during a stop in Thame. Picture by Steve Warwick

Andy Churchill reports "Update news from Arriva the Shires is that Wycombe depot now has 3 new Transbus Darts with pointer bodywork, in the form of 3837-9,of which 3838 is (KE53NFA). 

Wycombe also has Dennis Dart 3482(W482XKX) in red livery having moved from Aylesbury. 

Former Wycombe Bus Dart/Wright Handybus 3817/8 - (H367/8XGC) are now at Harlow depot 

Similar 3819/20 - (H369/70XGC) are at Aylesbury depot, also now at Aylesbury are 3823 (N523MJO) ,3833/3834 (M503/504VJO) plus  Leyland Olympians - Alexander 5828/5829 (E228/229CFC),5832(G232VWL). 

Leyland Olympian/Alexander 5835(G235VWL) is now at Luton depot, along with 3842. (I saw 3842 in NBS this morning so that I assume Andy saw this bus during some routine maintenance work at Luton. Ed) 

Volvo B10Bs 3841,3843/44/53-55 have received route branding for the Thames Valley line 328/329. 

The Reading Chronicle paper recently ran an article on the services 328/329, the services are benefiting from a 'unique' partnership with Arriva, Reading BC, Wokingham DC & Bucks CC including new fare deals, publicity material and route branding. This is believed to have taken effect from 6/6/04."

Ross writes "Whole week - 5159/60/1 are all back in service - personally look fairly smart.  Haven't sen any of the other 3, but 5832 has appeared on the service occasionally this week, along with 5097/9/101/2/4. "

Sister bus 5161 caught at speed shortly after leaving Wheatley on its way to Aylesbury.

Scania 3166 now carries an overall ad for Lakes. It is seen in High Wycombe
nearing the end of a Sunday morning journey from Aylesbury.

Volvo B10M-56 trainer 3325 shares a stand with Olympian 5124 in Newlands Bus Station.

Carousel Bus, High Wycombe

Gavin Francis sent this picture of one of the recently acquired Metrobuses M1351.

First in London - First Student

Not yet having gained iots national fleet number, 42644 (644) operates a Sunday service on the 74 from Slough.



This week's news include some pictures of more recent rear vinyl applications to coaches.

26 shows its rear branding for the London service. This was the last coach to return
from refurbishment and was the only one to have gained Airline livery and not to retain same.

An ex London coach, nr 69 which was nr 5 and this has also gained rear branding
in its guise as an Airline coach.

As mentioned last week 835 and 836 have been rebranded as City buses now rather than
Abingdon direct vehicles. 836 can be seen above in Cowley road garage.

Ross reports as follows for last  week saying "With regards to post last week about the OBC dart (401) with the logo in the blind on the 13C all buses I have seen on that route have had the OBC logo displayed when Marston bound, so doubt they can display Marston Village. 

Mon 5th
629, 631, 635, 641, 642 - 5
806 - 5A
831 - 15
510, 620 - 13
803 - X13 

Tue 6th
655 - 13
831 - 15
612, 629 - 5
605 - 5A 

Would guess that the B10Bs on the 13 are doing the extra peak journeys during the Abingdon Rd roadworks.

Wed 7th
831 - 15

Regarding the B10BLE reported by Iain on the 400 last week - 814 was on the service last Friday.

Then Bus Monkey adds

Mon 5th
629, 635 on 5
827 on morning 4A (on paper in window - destination display showing 400 Seacourt!!)

Tue 6th
826 on morning 4A (on paper in window - destination display showing Special Service)
612, 629, 639 on 5 - 612 was showing 35A in its numeral display, its electronic equipment on the side and rear confirmed it was indeed on the 5!
605 on 5A

A copy of the latest fleet list can be found on the official company web site. 

A Transbus Volvo coach on the 310 in George Street last Friday

Mnetion has been made in another correspondent page devoted to our area about the condition of some buses in Oxford. Stagecoach have however started a second repaint of the Paladin bodied Volvos and they do look very smart as a result. Several are still to be done.

Freshly repainted 20004 pulls out of George Street last Friday.

Ross notes "Some additional jottings, to those spotted by the Monkey. 

Mon 5th

20822 was on the 7C.

Bus Monkey reports the same but on the 7.


33763 - X4

Ken Gladstone reports that "Stagecoach 20203 was rear ended by an artic in Woodstock around 11:30 today (last week 6/7/04 - Ed.) - the rear end is badly damaged and no window was left. The artic also suffered quite a bit of damage. No sign of injuries.

Ian Pinnell wrote  "Hello there. This is the only piece of information I have this week, sorry its not a lot. But here it is...

Stagecoach 22207 worked a 7 working although it was a Blackbird Leys branded bus.

John Hammond wrote from Stagecoach saying "Stagecoach will again be operating the Park & Ride shuttle service to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on Sunday 11/7/04.

It has been organised by Stagecoach East and has run for the past two years already, support is provided by the depots of Stagecoach Oxfordshire & Warwickshire to assist the buses supplied by Cambridge, Peterborough, Bedford, Biggleswade & Huntingdon O/S & Northampton depot.

Double Deckers, and possibly some Single Deck B10M's will support the operation of services from Hinton in the Hedges Airfield, Sixfields Rugby Stadium (Northampton) and Towcester Racecourse.

Depots helping out will be Oxford, Witney, Rugby & Leamington lending buses and drivers - will aim to get actual bus numbers for you on the day !

It is appreciated that the company has provided this information. did anyone get any pictures of the event?

Unbranded 22205 operates the 7 last Friday. Seen here in George Street

The Leyland Lynx at Stagecoach Oxford being converted to a driver trainer is actually identified as 29615 (G615CEF) and not as thought to have been 29613


Tube 50058 has gained this rear end ad for Pioneer.

News on the Megabus front is that since the 28th June 2004 an expansion of services involves new services from London to/from Glasgow via Manchester M11, Leeds (with connections for Chesterfield and Sheffield) M12, and Leicester (via Milton Keynes) M13. the service to Scotland will use 70 seat articulated coaches, with reclining seats, toilets and dedicated luggage space, the remainder of the other English services will use double-deckers, which are now being equipped with new coach-style seats and toilets, mind you some tri-axle Leyland Olympians have recently had added the ability to tow a luggage trailer and to which the provision of these facilities will address the main criticisms of the operations.

Thames Travel, Wallingford.

The bus mentioned by Ralph Adams in the Editorial part of this week's news page.
Seems that some very low fares indeed are being offered for the 35 minute journey.

Adrian Lancer writes regarding the picture of the Solo on last week's page saying "With regards to the pic of X385VVY working for Mitcham Belle, I believe it may be a hire vehicle (was it a Dawson's one?), as MB have had it for quite a while now (2 months??) and still does not have MB livery (even though it's only a few bits of blue and red here and there as it's mainly white!).
Interestingly, it was reported on the London Bus Group that it has appeared in a half page advert announcing the proposals to introduce bus stops on the K5 (it's usual route)

Ralph Adams then wrote "
On Monday, I spent most of the day watching activities in Oxford. One of the TT drivers is an enthusiast who told me the company owns the following vehicles.

208 Olympian - used on school service plus one evening trip. Thought it would arrive in Oxford at 1800 but did not, and has not all week. I think it more likely it did a similar time to Reading

501 Dart. This is dedicated to X42.

847 Vario. The only 7.8 metre Vario - used on Service 17 every day

846/48 Varios. This accounts for why more modern buses have come and gone. These 3 Varios are from the start of the operation by Mr Wright
49 & 383 Solos.

The X42 was observed every 2 hours but the loadings were not specifically noted. I have not seen queues waiting for it. The fares are cheap but at a reduced frequency from the 107, will it have any success? The advert of 50 pence a trip is misleading. 30 days cost 30, but the service only runs 6 days a week, so to have a cost of 50 pence a journey means you must make a return trip twice in one day on at least 4 days.


Ralph Adams writes " On Monday, I reported that the 108 was used by one bus until the 1705 and the Didcot bus did the 1810 as the 1705 would not be back on time. On Wednesday all journeys were by the same bus. On Friday the 1705 went down the High Street at 1735 and again the Didcot bus was used on the 1810.  I am not aware of the reason why the 1705 has problems although the timetable is tight from 1600. 12 minutes from St Aldates to Headington at 1600 and 1705 must be difficult to maintain.

The Solo used by Whites on the 108 is YN53SVJ

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