Issue 77

Sunday 16th May 2004
next update week ending 22nd May 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 past week has been a quiet one in our are with little of note. People are now thinking of summer holidays and planning other breaks from the monotony of day to day life.

The Oxford Bus Museum is prepared for another summer and full details of this years programme are to found on their web site.

A great deal of work has taken place in the past 12 months and visitors, old and new alike, will find plenty to see and enjoy.

Drivers frustrations on the motorways.

One small point raised by one reader, Rob Veltman, is an item noticed on a journey from London to Oxford by one of the operators on that route. He says "I was sitting behind the driver who was making good time whilst also giving a rather comfortable journey to the passengers. The driver was considerate and only used the middle lane where necessary, only pulling out to overtake slower traffic, mainly lorries."

Rob goes on to say that several times when the driver indicated clearly and in good time his need to move to the middle lane other traffic, mainly cars would hold to the lane which the drivers was trying to move into even though the outer lanes/lane was free and safe to pull out into. Rob expresses his sympathy with drivers in these circumstances and wonders why the government does not do more to advertise, say on television and the national press about motorway driving and lane disciplines.

(One wonders if small notices on the rear of PSVs saying "please let the coach pull out" might do some good. Ed.)

Thornhill problems.

On the subject of consideration I must show the photograph below to indicate a growing problem at Thornhill which needs attention. Car divers and especially taxis, dropping off or picking up passengers from the express services at Thornhill Park & Ride, are using the actual coach stopping area for this purpose, even though there are clearly marked drop off/short term waiting zones provided away from the coach stop. I wonder why the council cannot clearly mark the area with "NO ENTRY signs except buses" which would minimise or stop this problem? With sometimes three or more coaches suing the stop such practices are causing a lot of problems in an already restricted space.

Two taxis dropping off result in no room left for anymore than ONE coach!!!!!!!


A press release from Oxford Bus notes the benefits to come from real time bus information. Oxfordshire County Council has signed a £900,000 contract with ACIS (Advanced Communication and Information Systems) to provide a real-time bus information system for the county.

The council is working in close partnership and will share the cost with Go-Ahead subsidiary The Oxford Bus Company and with Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.

Phase 1 of the project is to provide real-time information along the competitive Banbury Road corridor in Oxford, currently served by around 30 buses an hour during the day. services included are Stagecoach's route 7 to Kidlington, services to Bicester plus Oxford Bus Company's route 2 to Kidlington and 500 Water Eaton Park & Ride service. Oxfordshire County Council will be providing 20 on-street signs, new shelter infrastructure and a website containing virtual signs for all stops along the corridor.

In addition to the core contract, The Oxford Bus Company is fitting its entire bus fleet of 155 vehicles with Automatic Vehicle Location Equipment (AVLE) and Stagecoach will equip 12 buses with similar equipment.

If successful, Oxfordshire County Council hopes to roll out the system across the rest of the Premium Bus route network. plan 1 is due for completion by December 2004.

Oxfordshire County Council's Executive Member for Transport, Councillor David Robertson said "Here in Oxfordshire we are continuing to buck the national trend with bus use rising. i am confident that this system will bring many benefits to passengers and is a further example of the County Council's continuing commitment to promote bus use in the county"

Developments will be watched by everyone with interest I am sure and this page will bring you those developments as they happen.

From Andy Churchill - Red Rose Dart returns to service.

Andy Churchill wrote a newsy message which I quote "on the subject of Stagecoach Witney Tridents in use on London Citaro withdrawals recently , it has been confirmed that the Witney ones did not get used in the end and were returned to Oxfordshire for preparation for entry into service. Those Tridents that were used were Stagecoach East Midlands - 5 in fact (YN04 KGE/F/G/K/P) for service 77 (Chesterfield & Worksop) and ran until the 1st April 2004.

Other interesting news is from RED ROSE, AYLESBURY, where the Golden Jubilee liveried Dennis Dart RR02BUS, which was
vandalised as long ago as July 2003, has at last returned to service still in it's gold back in mid-march and returned to it's normal haunt in Watford.
(I forgot to mention this worked a 275 service to Oxford a week last Saturday afternoon. Ed)

Also former Thames Travel Optare Solo (X385VVY ) is in use as a crew ferry vehicle for Mitcham Belle in Surrey."

Those regular users of the M40 will have doubtless noticed the long graffiti daubed fence at the back of a field as you approach the M25 junction London bound. For many years the only writing was a slogan saying "why do I do this every day", which considering the long delays in rush hour at this point was somewhat thought provoking. The notice disappeared under new daubings and has been reinstated in recent weeks as can be seen in the picture below.

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, 16th May 2004.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies Ė 15th May 2004

Back home in Oxford, though only filling in for buses away for refurbishment
last Friday saw ex COMS 230 now Arriva's 5830 based at Aylesbury.
This bus moved from Oxford to High Wycombe some years ago as part of The Wycombe Bus Company fleet.

No special reports were received this week.

Carousel Buses, High Wycombe

Andy Churchill reports that "at High Wycombe MCW Metrobus (GYE598W) is being prepared for service after a few months in store. Also Carousel have made changes to service A40 (Wycombe-Heathrow) with a revised timetable, although former departure times from each end are maintained the running time has been speeded up! Many journeys have had to wait time or have run early for some time and this makes the advertised timetable more realistic and reliable."

Steve Burns, one of the Directors of Carousel advises that several additional Metrobuses are to enter service. These are: M1092, 1100, 1101, 1345, 1351 and 1354.

The Citaro demonstrator also returned for two days, Thursday and Friday last whilst one of the three Carousel Citaros had further work on fire suppression equipment by MB. It worked on the A40 as before.



Coach 70 has now entered service along with 69 but both coaches still lack rear vinyls. Coach 71 remains the outstanding coach to return as of Friday last week. Coach 25 returned from refurbishment this last week and will enter service in the coming week. It has new style fleet numbers as can be seen in the photo below which I think look much better than those currently used. I hope the rest of the fleet maybe similarly treated. In fact they are smaller version of those used on the Citaros.

Coach 12 remains in service but nr 11 has not been on the road for a few weeks now.

Coach 25 seen ready for service at Cowley Road garage..

Workings to note this last week were

Friday 14th

813 on the X3
4 on the X80

Darts 512 and 519 have returned to service.

Saturday saw a number of London coaches on the airport services including coach 20 on the X80.
Here coach 15 is seen at Terminal 4 Heathrow on Saturday morning.

Earlier on Saturday morning coach 60, the one with, in my opinion, the best rear end vinyl
waits time at terminal 4 stop 15. New timetables are now in place showing the improved 20 minute frequency of the X70

Still "clinging on" coach 12 sees duty on an X70 service last Friday.
Within the last week it has lost its X90 vinyl off the upper front screen.
A large hand written notice proclaimed HEATHROW in the front window.

A really excellent body refurb and paint job has been done on Volvo B10B 611 as seen above.

Plastows, Wheatley

Plastows have just received a further Volvo B10M/Jonckheere coach Y227CDS.
The coach was previously with Parks of Hamilton, the Scottish operator.
It will have branding applied next week.


News from readers was received as follows:

Ian Pinnell writes "I am a fan of Stagecoach and was wondering what they will be doing with their old Olympians used on the 100 route and routes that needed double deckers. Where will they be used or will they be kept in storage and used if they need to be used? I was just wondering because Olympian 16141 was working the 7 today and the bus looked old and looked like it had not been cleaned on the inside for a while."

I must also congratulate you on your efforts on the Oxford and Chiltern Bus Page and every week, I learn something new about each company in Oxford."

Rob Willaims noted "16519 was back operating from Witney by Thursday 6th. Noted it in service on the way home from work. 16516 still in use at Rugby (no progress with their Enviros - (the two are still sitting there gathering dust)."

Ross Aston reports "As well as 16516 Witney Trident 18135 was inside Rugby depot yesterday at 6pm.  Does anyone know why?"

The older Volvo B10M Paladins are still hard at work in Oxford and here 20006 works the X31.

A surprise on Friday was that a Vario, 42371, was working the 600 from Thornhill for most of the day..

The K reg Darts must be nearing the end of the time with Stagecoach.
Here 32706 works the X59 into Oxford and seen coming off ST Giles.

A Megabus, BIW4977, is seen at Hillingdon last Friday evening.
This bus seems to have a good turn of speed or my car speedo is wrong!!!!!!

Tappins-Guide Friday

The last Guide Friday in green at Oxford is BFS39L seen a week ago.

Thames Travel

This little TT Dart has a rather nice super rear ad.

Z&S International 

Newman Morgan reports that  "A double deck ex London Leyland Titan A963SYE was operating service 321 between High Wycombe and Princes Risborough (and presumably the Risborough Town service) on Thursday 13 May instead of the usual ex London Dart or ex West Midlands Mercedes mini!    This also occurred on Friday 7 May, but I didnít get the registration number."

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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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