Issue 99
Sunday 17th 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

Well I'm nearly there. Issue 99 is here and next week the big 1 0 0 for the OCBP. I have been heartened by support from so many people and if you have any interesting comments and memories over the past 5 years which might be appropriate to include please do send them to me. The earliest page I have on file is July 4th 1999 which at the time was the Oxford Bus Page but I took the page over from David Root earlier in the same year and so for nearly six years I have sat each Sunday evening at my computer to produce the News Page. Sometimes it has been late and on just a few occasions I have taken a break and a week or two are missing. Visitor stats to the site show over 500 visitors come to the site each week. Total visits recorded approach 250,000 hits in 5½ years which for a specialist site is not bad going. I will be giving further details in issue 100 and hope to make it something special. In fact as you can see above total news pages are now up to 314. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

Plans for bus lanes on the A40 west of Oxford

The last week has been an interesting one in that plans for speeding up bus traffic have been unveiled by the council involving an area west of Oxford on the A40. A public exhibition is open in Eynsham and the aim is to make it easier for buses to get through the queues of traffic into and out of Oxford especially in  peak hours. If matters are left unchecked it is forecast that traffic could almost double by the 2020s. The plans could improve reliability of the 100 service and indeed other routes in the same area. We look forward with interest to these developments.

Stepping back into the past.

Is it really nearly 40 years since the picture below was taken. The coach thankfully is still in-being thanks to the Oxford Bus Museum and you can see the vehicle in the tin so to speak but the picture is somewhat evocative.

What a delicious picture. John Bristow sent this photo taken on September 25th 1966 of AEC Regal coach 607.
I am wondering if by this time the coach was officially withdrawn and in preservation?

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.

50 YEARS OF SOUTH MIDLAND, 1921 – 1970

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

Continuing travels on the continent.

As many of you will have realised I have developed an in interest in Citaros which can be added to as I work in Germany and travel each week to various cities in central Europe. Last week was the turn of Hanover and here I was surprised to find Citaros looking like nothing I had seen before. I found the body style pleasant but somewhat clumsy in the window layouts. They run on CNG and appear to operates a number of selected routes in the city. The livery is reminiscent of Glasgow or Halifax and they come in two types, articulated and standard.

The two types of Citaro buses which run on CNG and are to be found in the German city of Hanover.

Services to the "other University City"

Many of you will be aware that Burton's of Haverhill - part of the Tellings Golden Miller Group - took over operation of the National Express 010 service from London VCS to Cambridge recently. A fleet of new coaches has been purchased to work this service but frequency and alternatives in no way match that of operations to the other city of Oxford.

A nice touch on this new Volvo B12B with Plaxton Panther Expressliner C49FT bodywork is the registration!
XFC waits time on one the bays 10 at VCS last Saturday afternoon.
For those who might wonder FC was an Oxford registration before changes made such things a matter of the past.

Route news in and around Oxford

Some rumours are circulating in our area suggest that a number of changes are to happen to various routes in the coming weeks. I emphasise that these are not officially confirmed but I include them in this week's page since some of my readers may wish to rides the affected routes of take photos.

Worth's V9WMS waits time at the 70 stop in St Giles on a Friday in September 2004

My understanding is that long running Worth's service 70 to Charlbury is to be taken over by another operator. Sources say that the county put the Charlbury - Oxford complete service (including previous commercial services) to tender. Worth's it seems did not win the tender and finish the service on 11th December 2004 after over 70 years of operation by the company.

Other developments in the city concern the 2D and5A of OBC and it also appears that the Herschel Crescent diversion (OBC) is now being withdrawn as it was not used, despite the photo call of a crowd of people some while ago. It is very poor when the public demand a service but then do not use it.

None of the foregoing is as yet confirmed but seems, from what my sources suggest to be fairly reliable
and I look forward to confirmation of the above developments as soon as possible.

Expressway Oxford

Ed Maun writes to say "I have just received the latest Transit magazine dated 15th October. A news item reports the abandonment of the proposed Expressway Oxford guided bus scheme by Oxfordshire County Council and its partners, due to a 70% jump in capital costs.  It also states that Oxfordshire has decided to apply for smaller-scale bus priority measures on the main radial corridors into the City and is planning a further set of Park & Ride sites much further out from the city centre at potential sites near Bicester, Witney and Abingdon."

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

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 17th October 2004

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies – 17th October 2004

Nigel Peach writes "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 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! 

In your Issue 96 of 26th September you showed a picture of Arrive 5825 (E225 CFC), ex Oxford Olympian, and you posed the question, does anyone know why it has been renumbered 5881?  (I am told that it is because it needs to fit into the Southend numbering scheme but that is not official Ed.) 

Well, I can't answer that, but the latest Buses magazine reports that this bus has been transferred to Arriva Southend. It reports that Southend's Dennis Tridents 5442/3/5-7/51 (W442XKX etc) are coming to "The Shires" with 5825  and "the rest of this batch of Olympians is expected to go to the seaside". 

Under the Southend heading it suggests that 5826-9 are to follow (it refers to them as 5226-9). Well, 5827 has already been sold to Woottens so that only makes a total of 4, with 6 Tridents coming the other way. Perhaps some of the G reg batch 5830-5 will join them in Southend. 

In the September issue of Buses, it reports of Southend that "word has it .. that this operation is being downgraded to a low cost unit owing to unprofitability, with retrenchment on the cards, and new buses apparently off them. 

We've been down to just four of the ex London Wright bodied Darts (Bouncy Castles) running at Wycombe for the last few months. (3811/3/4/5). I reported last week that 3814 is now in the back row of the depot without blinds. 3811 and 3815 are both still running, but I've not seen 3813 for some time. 

I noticed yesterday (Friday 15th) that another is now parked alongside 3814. I expected this to be 3813, but no, it's 3812 (also without blinds), which disappeared from Wycombe in about Jan/Feb time. I think I heard it was at Aylesbury, but the Arriva 2004 handbook describes it as unlicensed. Surprising then to see it back in Wycombe, out of use!"

Thanks to Nigel for the newsy report which brings matters up to date in Wycombe or nearly so. today I called into Newlands Bus Station to get a picture of the two Darts with LOX registrations transferred in from Harlow. From the pictures below you will see that the ex Oxford Bus Volvos are acquiring new number blinds. Additionally it seems that ex London D reg Olympians may be off as they are very poor performers on the local hills. Recently arrived Volvo Olympian 51454 was outside the bus station and I could only obtain a rear shot but it is one for the records.

The style of numbers used on the Volvo B10Bs are different fonts.

Steve Warwick writes :-

Sat 16th Oct, 

Aylesbury Depot is to take over the 16/17/18 Aylesbury to Bicester from  Grant Palmer who have given the contract up. Starts Monday 18th.

Open topped Leyland Atlantean 5301 (JNK 495N) is back at Aylesbury is be used as the crew shuttle as we are that desperate for vehicles! Should be fun."

Ed Maun writes "LOTS “The London Bus” magazine for October reports that services 310 and 363 will be replaced by Green Route 31 from 31st October running from Downley Village Hall to Penn Post Office via High Wycombe Bus and Rail Stations.   The day time frequency will be increased to 15 minutes with evening and Sundays remaining hourly.

Gavin Francis was coming back through Gatwick south Terminal and happened upon Carousel doing Rail Replacement work. He quickly grabbed a picture which is one for the record I think. Leyland Olympian L554 is the bus in question.

Sunday morning at Carousel with the two recently acquired DAFs sharing the yard with a couple of Metrobuses and a Routemaster.

A number of interesting development here see two of the rebranded Volvo B10M coaches, 69 and 70 now involved in a driver training role. This has been made possible by the winter reduction in timings and therefore coach requirement on the X70 service to Heathrow.

Nr 70 bearing L plates as does its sister 69

A view of two Tridents on Park & ride services last Friday. 108 is heading east to Thornhill
whilst 116 will head south to Redbridge.

Occasionally OBC will run buses short in order to recover time and here 634 is going to turn at Green Road
rather than make the whole route in the Barton Estate.

Another report in the Oxford Times says that buses have been subject to attacks with air rifles on the Blackbird Leys service. This is causing concern as such attacks could have disastrous results. Let us hope that the police can bring the matter under control.

Apart from the picture in the editorial I also caught on camera D21 a DAF coach on the 757 coming up to Carfax last Friday. The result is shown below.

The NEx 757 sees a variety of coaches thereby providing interest to watchers of the route.

Red Rose of Aylesbury

Although Solo RR03BUS is the normal bus for the 275, this other Solo MX03EJY often puts in an appearance. Seen here at Carfax last Friday.

Oxford is a very busy place and motor traffic, bicycles and people always jostle for space and position. Whilst snapping away at Carfax on Friday I did not realise that this shot had been taken showing an elderly gentleman in somewhat of a spot but I am pleased to say clearly in the view of the driver of the X4. I do remember that the move had started off without the cyclist and he had pushed forward to get between the two buses.

Another interesting shot, this time of 22209 lacking wheel trims but when taken at 1210hrs a cyclist should not have been riding his
bike in Queen Street as the sigh to the right of the bus clearly shows. I wonder why the authorities bother with signs at all?
Pity the poor pedestrians and why are cyclists seemingly above the law?

I had not appreciated when taking these pictures how much the highlighted the cyclist situation in the city.

I mentioned last week that 22054 is to lose its Brookes livery and I was looking through my picture library and cam across this recent shot of the same bus in Brookes livery as a reminder for the future.

Ironically behind this bus, passing through the bus/taxi gate on High Street is a private car. See last week's page re this matter.

Brookes, as already mentioned changed their services for the new term and the U2 was withdrawn and a revised route the U5 introduced. This service covers the Cowley Road and two buses serving the route last Friday are caught on camera as the pictures below show.

Trident 18051 is seen turning into St Aldates whilst 16519 is seen leaving Carfax, both on Friday lunchtime last week.

This was the coach I pictured when still being finished at Neoplan inb Stuttgart last May - 50103, the 3rd off the line.

Thames Travel, Wallingford.

The X42 is seemingly dye to finish shortly and last Friday this MPD was in use instead of ex OBC 501 which is the more usual vehicle.

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John Bristow also sent this picture of RM1347 taken in September 1966 in Cowley Road Garage of COMS.

Martyn Banham sent this picture of an ex Airbus Olympian.
Martyn says "
Whilst photographing no particular buses around Oxford City centre, I happened across a rather interesting motor.
Followed it to the Coach Park where I could get a better picture of it.
 N125YRW; Travel West Midlands Volvo Olympian/Alexander.
Part of their private hire fleet, but no other explanation for its presence.

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at

These are two most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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