Issue 70

Sunday 14th March 2004
next update week ending 19th 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.

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The weather this last weekend was a very mixed bag indeed with heavy snow up here in the Chilterns on Friday morning which by Saturday morning had cleared to give a bright and sunny day interspersed with showers. A shopping trip into Oxford on Saturday afternoon gave the opportunity for some good shots and I could not resist including the picture below of two RAF VC10s from Brize Norton flying in formation over St Giles. 

VC10s are something of a rarity these days and two in formation must be even rarer.

Red Rose were before the Traffic Commissioners last coming week for failing to run services as advertised in the Chesham area. A decision is expected in about three weeks but the company blamed road works and funeral cortèges to Amersham Crematorium for the failures.

Megabus are having great success with their new services and those in competition have generated a response from National Express who are now offering £1 journeys on certain competing services. shades of British Coachways all over again.

Having ones wife by ones side with a camera helps obtain the unusual.
Here the Birmingham bound service is seen approaching junction 7 on the M40 homeward bound.
The bus used has a proper destination unlike the ones used by Oxford.

Ralph Adams reports that last Monday Gloucester Green was having gates installed to keep the public out of the loading area. These gates are set to close off the platforms where the vehicles load and also a line of railings has been placed on the corner by bay 1. On Friday the gates were not in use.

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, 14th March 2004.

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News of the local companies – 14th March 2004

On 6 March Colin Richardson reports that on the Service 324 - Aylesbury - High Wycombe the 17.45 hrs departure was with 5101 and using a double decker to this journey is unusual, but was necessary.

Last week Nigel Peach noted that 3482 had returned to Wycombe painted red
as a relief bus for the U9.

Sunday saw Olympian 5129 laying over outside Newlands Bus Station.

Carousel, High Wycombe

Citaro CB52BUS is seen picking up in Beaconsfield on Saturday morning A40 service
to Heathrow. These buses still lack full vinyls for this BAA sponsored service.



Rob Williams writes "OBC will be introducing new ticket machines in the next few weeks. They will be capable of reading Smart Cards, and first appear on their coach services before moving fleet-wide. I gather that OBC will be the second company in the country to combine smart card compatible machines with magnetic cards! The magnetic card readers are having to be retained for Plus Pass, whilst I gather that OBC own-brand passes will be converted to smart card by the summer."

The new depot is proceeding apace and the main building is now taking shape.

The rear of the building is not quite so far forward as the front.
Both views were taken last Saturday afternoon.

A spell on the over bridge on the M40 cutting last Saturday yielded some nice pictures.

Scania EF53OXF, nr 5 is seen here powering up the gradient London bound.
These coaches will maintain and even recover 100kph up this bank, often leaving other coaches standing.

One of the older Volvo B12B/Jonckheeres nr 55, destination screens showing X70 Heathrow
makes time up the gradient on its way from Oxford.

Rob Williams caught Trident 113 operating the 4A to Elms Rise last Tuesday, 9th March

Volvo B10B 609 has received a full repaint and looked very smart last Saturday when operating on 2 road.

646, 647 and 649 have returned to service replacing Darts 512, 515 and 517.
These Paladins are normally to be found on 14 road as seen by 646 leaving the city bound for the Churchill last Saturday.

Trident 119 is still having work done in the body shop and coach 63 will be absent for some weeks following a problem on the X70 last Thursday.


The old Primeline darts 33650-5,33763,33821/2 are now being prepared for service in Oxford and all are being fully repainted before entering service. I understand that not all will be branded for route 10 and it seems likely that 33821 and 33822 will be unbranded making their appearance on 1 and 7 routes very likely. It is coincidental that when new they were part of a batch 801-829 which brought low floor buses to those routes. The batch are now dispersed over the UK from Exeter in the South West, Cambridge in the East, Stroud in the west and Peterborough again in the East to Sunderland and Stockton in the north East.

Newly arrived Dart SLF 33821 shares the picture with training Lynx 28018.

33763 still awaits vinyls and its registration plates to be affixed.

33650, 33653 and 33654 are nose in at the Pickfords site where Stagecoach has storage space.

After the showers the sun came out and 22929 heads off towards Kidlington on the 7B last Saturday.

Two Volvo/PS buses operate a private hire along the M40 London bound last Saturday.
From Stagecoach in Warwickshire they are 20201 and 20202.

Rob Williams wrote "Today (Thursday) 31330 was on 29s and 52143 finally saw use on the Oxford Megabus too!

Yesterday (Wednesday) 33822 did a couple of rounds on staff transport duties, but 41510 was back in action later."

As mentioned 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.

Olympian 13601 leaves Horspath Garage for another run up to London last Saturday.

Paul posted this shot on the Domeus site last week of 13604 operating a Birmingham-London service.

Here 13604 is seen heading back to Birmingham on the M40 last Saturday.

A surprise performer on the Oxford-London service last Saturday was Volvo coach 52300.
This coach is allocated to Cwmbran but originated on the Cambridge service to London.

Andy Churchill writes "Stagecoach 52143 (K143DFS) is an ex-Stagecoach in Hull Volvo B10M-60/Plaxton Interurban and is being allocated to as a spare to cover Megabus duties should the need require and is in Stagecoach express livery. Dart 33655 fresh out of the paint shop is now at Horspath.

Noted on 9/3/04,a visitor to Oxford was Stagecoach East London 52119 (TSU642), a Volvo B10M in the smart East London coaches livery."

Andy Gilmour writes "The Volvo coach which is currently allocated to Oxford as their spare Megabus (52143 K573DFS) has this morning been swapped at Bullied Way for 13612 (J938MHC) off the Bournemouth service, due to heavy loads on the Oxford service. The afternoon journeys on the Bournemouth tomorrow are also both now full (as only a SD coach is available).

Presumably there are now very few Megabus Olympians in their respective correct homes!!"

And finally Trevor Wilson notes "Have a look at  You will find NX are offering £1 fares on routes and timings shadowed by Megabus."

Tappins Didcot

Another full repaint on the City Seeing fleet is 928 mentioned last week as 929.

Tourex, Oxford

Ralph Adams writes "Tourex Ltd t/a The School Bus Company has repainted coach C259??? with yellow skirt and green above. The fleet name is in large easy read writing. This coach however was not in the all yellow fleet.

The School Bus Company was one of the very first operators with all yellow buses before it became the fashion when the owner went to USA and found the exact yellow used by the operators there. The ex WD Tigers then came in the yellow. The Tiger with reverse seating (i.e. all children facing the back) has been converted back to normal layout. Whilst this style was considered safer, the passengers did not like it."


Thames Travel, Wallingford

A 103 service operated by Solo 153 pauses at Horspath last Saturday.

Worth's Motor Services

From the brand new last week we now see an older Volvo/Plaxton IUI6722
on the 70 service back to base at Enstone.

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