Sunday 13th August 2006
next update week ending 26th August 2006
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This week there are a few items somewhat off our normal track that I hope you find interesting.
The most important news for this week is from High Wycombe with the closure of Newlands Bus Station on Saturday August 12th and the opening of the new Eden Bus Station on Sunday 13th August with the 0215 National Express departure to Stansted.
Peter Cartwright arranged for two Routemasters to work special services on Saturday 12th August from Union Street outside the old bus station and an interesting and memorable day was had by all who attended.
This edition of our News Page is somewhat dedicated to the old and the new in High Wycombe and will provide a record of events on these two memorable days. With thanks to Gavin Francis and Peter Edgar for their efforts with the camera.
Ed Maun writes "To mark the closing today (Saturday) of Newlands Bus Station in High Wycombe I have attached the clip from Motor Transport dated 3rd April 1970 which you have seen previously and which shows the bus station when newly built. Note that the Tesco store did not exist at this time. The commemorative timetable programme for today’s RML running day suggests the station opened in May 1970. My records suggest 6th June 1970 was the day that operations started. I certainly agree that the opening was delayed by industrial action. The bus station had been officially opened by Mr Fred Mulley the then Minister of Transport on 20th March 1970.
I did one return trip today to West Wycombe and back as service 305 on the red RML – being red was the nearest I was going to get to a Thames Valley vehicle – a K or KSW on service 42 would have been much better!"
Sadly Ed, one cannot always have what one would like and an RML was better than nothing !!! Ed.
Newlands Bus Station bows out after 36 years service to be replaced by a state of the art facility, all part of the Eden development
Although there is some debate as to the actual opening of Newlands Bus Station. It was to have opened in May 1970 but due to industrial action the first services operated from 6th June 1970 according to the records held by Ed Maun. The bus station was owned by the Thames Valley company and cost £175,000. The total cost of the new Eden project in High Wycombe is £275 million but no individual figure is given for the bus station.
When the Newlands Bus Station was opened is was heralded as a state of the art operation and seemingly offered a spacious and airy operating environment for the local buses. Sadly over the years it has become run down and a rather dark and dingy place altogether. The new Eden Bus Station looks good and should remain so for many years to come.
Pictures from the Commercial Motor of April 1970 sent to me Ed Maun show Newlands Bus Station prior to the opening.
The first picture by Peter Edgar shows the first day of operation, Sunday 13th August and the second by Gavin Francis shows the passenger waiting area.
A useful link to the Eden Centre project is : http://www.edenshopping.co.uk/index.php?page=news&news_id=71
As mentioned above Peter Cartwright arranged a running day with RMLs 2412 and 2440 to celebrate the end of the old bus station and those who attended were treated to running on most of the LT routes operated in 1970.
This picture taken by Peter Edgar shows RML2412 at West Wycombe on Saturday morning, the terminus of the old 305 service.
Later in the day I was able to ride on RML2440 and this pictures was taken as we left Newlands Bus Station passing RML2412 on a 3563 working.
The late afternoon sun throws shadows on RML2440 as she leaves Newlands Bus Station on her way to Totteridge.
Later in the evening RML2440 worked a 455 service to Beaconsfield leaving NBS at 2025, sadly with only one passenger on board.
The Saracens Head at Beaconsfield provides the backdrop for RML2440 waiting time for the run back to High Wycombe.
RML2440 operated its last service as a 363 from Totteridge and terminated in the Eden Bus Station at 2150 becoming the "first" service to use the new facility.
Presently there is quite a long walk from the new bus station to the shops as this map shows.
There are excellent departure screens for all services using the new facility. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Gavin Francis took this picture on Sunday afternoon at is shows the parking area and exceptionally long bays for each stand.
In fact there is nearly room for two buses per stand !!!
Departing services have to wait for traffic lights to release them from the station, a rather long wait at present. Picture by Gavin Francis.
The first official service to use the bus station was the 0215 National Express 737 service to Stansted on 13th August 2006.
This picture by Peter Edgar shows a Sunday mid morning departure.
The 329 service to Reading follows the Thames Valley for much of its route. Peter Edgar's picture shows 3853 waiting for the lights on Sunday morning the 13th.
An earlier picture shows the same bus waiting for time on bay 11.
A general view looking south, showing the Carousel office. Picture by Peter Edgar.
Of course one can expect the old bus station to disappear rapidly now as work gets under way on redevelopment. Gavin Francis took some evocative pictures this afternoon showing the deserted area.
What a far cry from May 1970 when this was a state of the art facility. NBS this afternoon by Gavin Francis.
Another operator to High Wycombe is Red Rose and above we can see their last service to NBS on Saturday.
This picture taken by Peter Edgar shows the Solo returning to its home base in Aylesbury after a 275 working from Oxford.
South West Trains Olympians returned to Winchester - the Oxford Tube is once again ALL Neoplan
Friday morning saw your Editor returning 13646 to Winchester in company with Chris Maxfield driving 13652. Both buses had seen limited service in Oxford as rectification work on the Neoplans was completed in record time. We had the opportunity to see the Winchester depot of Stagecoach and were also able to see the new Enviro 300 buses which are to work the Winchester Park & Ride from today, Sunday. They were being prepared when we arrived. I feel that I can include these buses on this week's page as I saw one on delivery down the M40 to the M25 last week.
The above pictures show the new buses under preparation for service.
One bus is in normal fleet livery and will act as a spare.
Olympian 13652 back home after its three week stint with Oxford.
Our return to Oxford was by Virgin Cross Country on a very over crowded 4 car train. There was barely room to stand and one was reminded of the rush hour on the Tokyo underground. The only thing missing was "packers" to get us all in. I cannot say that our journey was comfortable and for £18+ each single and one hours journey I am still not impressed by train travel 2006 style.
An interesting bus was parked outside Winchester station and operates a link service from Winchester to Romsey.
A Dennis Dart/Alexander Dash BC40F bus, 32454, is used on South West Trains link service to Romsey.
The Red Rover we once new and loved
John Bristow sent me some pictures of the Red Rover of yesteryear taken at Oving. john writes "further to the recent writings on Red Rover I thought that you may be interested in the attached pics. Both shots were taken at Oving."
The Bridgemaster was taken on 1st October 1966 and the RT on 16th October 1965.
Anyone for a trip in a time machine?
A Routemaster tale by Gavin Francis
Gavin took a picture of Routemaster on a local road recently and realised he had seen this bus earlier in the year.
When Gavin caught this RML in his lens he little realised we had seen it at Cobham earlier this year.
Amersham Running Day 2006
Peter Cartwright writes "Time is passing very quickly and the Amersham Running Day is now less than 2 months away. I know a number of you wish to participate but please can you confirm your attendance please as schedules will need to be compiled this coming week. They are already in draft form.
Please reply to my new e-mail address:- email@example.com.
Heathrow to Harlow - Green Line 2006 style
Gavin Francis went to Harlow last week and took some excellent pictures of the new Citaros on the Green Line 724. Who remembers that the 724 used to run from High Wycombe?
The new buses represent an investment of £1.3 million and are the result of a Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) between Arriva, BAA and Hertfordshire County Council. There are nine Citaros altogether and the new 39 seat buses replace an equal number of nine year old Plaxton Prestige DAF SB220s. These buses pioneered low floor operation on this route which serves Hertford, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, St. Albans, Watford, Rickmansworth and Uxbridge when running from Harlow to Heathrow.
Number 7 of the batch is seen leaving Hertford en route to Heathrow. Picture by Gavin Francis.
Number 1 of the batch is seen in Uxbridge in this picture by Mark Lyons taken on 11th August.
The SB220s will now move to Aylesbury and Watford to operate the 500 service between those two towns.
More on the flying Tube
Trevor Wilson writes regarding last week's piece "The new rolling stock for the Waterloo and City line is the old stock returning after refurbishment."
(Sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick. ED.)
More diversions for express coach services from Oxford.
The last week has seen continuing diversions for coach services between Oxford and London, Heathrow and Gatwick. Apart from more serious accidents on the M40 junction 4 at High Wycombe is feeling the brunt of the work on the revised junction resulting in tail backs on the M40. This is adding to travellers delays.
Latest Citaro models revealed
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester - ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus
Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads.
ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks.
Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre.
ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions.
ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.
The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively.
News of an interesting rally
I received news of an interesting rally which would make a nice day out.
James Webb writes "Wonder
if your readers might be interested in the Avon Valley Railway/Bristol Vintage
Bus Group's rally and running day at Brislington Park and Ride in Bristol on
August 13? I know it's a bit outside the area but still an easy day trip.
I believe there are over 50 vehicles entered at the time of writing this, some of which will be operating services to and from the Railway itself, the BVBG's depot at Flowers Hill and possibly either Temple Meads or Bath Spa stations (not 100% sure on this one but they have in the past) which would make getting to the event by public transport easier.
More information from http://www.avonvalleyrailway.org or firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to give you more complete details if you're interested - with a bit of luck they might respond a bit quicker if you let them know I sent you.
And I'd better declare a vested interest...despite living in Oxford I'm a volunteer conductor/stationmaster on the railway!"
Model Buses for Sale
I have a new Deal on Models for your readers...
Each of the following models are available in the following price structure:
1 Model = £13.00
2 Models = £24.00
3 Models = £35.00
4 Models = £41.00
Postage is £2.70 for the first models and 40p per model after that.
UKBUS 1014 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R TRIDENT
UKBUS 5002 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R CITARO
UKBUS 2012 - CREATIVE MASTER BROOKES BUS TRIDENT
CORGI ORIGINAL OMNIBUS OXFORD ESPRESS EXCALIBUR
Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at email@example.com
More models are for sale on my eBay store, http://www.modelsmk.co.uk/shop
Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 13th August 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 13th August 2006
Yet another Volvo B6, this time 3110 was totally burnt out last week, thankfully running an empty journey back to High Wycombe. This is third such bus to succumb to fire in the past two years.
For those who follow Stagecoach, a surprise addition to the fleet in Stevenage is the Alexander PS pictured below by Gavin Francis. He took the picture last week.
Carousel has an office in the new bus station which looks very smart indeed. They have new furniture and a computer. This will offer intending travellers a point of reference for this company.
Citaro MB52 arrives at the new bus station from Heathrow on an A40 working this morning, 13th August. Picture by Peter Edgar.
Peter Edgar took this picture of RML896 which has just been repainted. It now awaits full livery.
Mark Lyons provided this picture of DPL423 on a County Rider service, 581 taken in Uxbridge.
The bus awaits full livery.
I am advised by several sources that both Dart 412 and Volvo 612 have now moved to Diamond Bus. A useful link for pictures is:- http://west-midlands-buses.fpic.co.uk/p32703878.html
Another useful link for fleet news is :- http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/cgi-bin/cms-pull.cgi?/oasis-ims/img/oxfordbus/live/20060726%20Enthusiast%20Update.pdf
National Express had the accolade of being the first operator to service The Eden Bus Station in High Wycombe which opened for the 0215 737 service to Stansted on 13th August 2006.
Oxford International, Culham
Richard Sharman sent this picture of X70 OXF.
Gavin Francis caught 22209 in Queen Street last week with a new super rear ad.
Gavin Francis took this picture of 22931 unusually working the 10 at the JR Hospital last week.
Gavin Francis found Trident 18395 somewhat off route last week on the U5 at the JR instead of the branded 27.
Ex Hong Kong Olympians 13646 and 13652 have been returned to Stagecoach South Winchester depot. They left Oxford on Friday 11th August.
Chris Maxfield is wondering about the livery of this company. Some buses appear to have been repainted all white.
Volvo 67 is pictured by Chris Maxfield at Wallingford depot in all white.
An earlier picture shows it carrying vinyls for the Oxford Science Park
Chris Maxfield also took this picture of an ex Chiltern Queens Volvo in Wallingford 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
I look forward to readers contributions for this section.
Duxford - Showbus - 24th September 2006. http://www.showbus.co.uk/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
A web site which has paintings of buses.
The latest handbook from BBF was
on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th
As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.
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