Issue 8
(OBP-224)

Monday 18th November 2002

next update week commencing 24th November 2002

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 on
malcolmhc@aol.com

This last weekend has seen considerable traffic delays on services from Oxford into London. On Friday evening all services were running with significant delays and on Saturday the situation worsened with the closure down to one lane at Gypsy Corner on the A40 in both directions. This resulted in delays on inbound services of over 30 minutes. Loadings on both operators on the London's was heavy and Christmas shopping was undoubtedly one cause of this demand.

The Oxford County Council web site proves an interesting source of information and I do recommend this site to interested readers. http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/index/environment_and_travel/travel/publictransport/news-3.htm is a link to this site and use the menus. Steve Hayes from OCC says "I update this page weekly with the changes to bus services in Oxfordshire. I give a brief outline as to what the changes are and sometimes why they have been made.  The page is always up to date up to the current week but obviously the further ahead one looks the less complete the data is. 

Another site that you may find interesting is the new Traveline Southeast website: http://www.southeast.traveline.org.uk  This is a new site that provides a public transport journey planner similar to the railtrack one but using buses and coaches as well.  There is also a timetable section that includes bus timetables for all services in the South East. The data for Oxfordshire is generally very accurate, however if you find any flaws please let me know.  Currently the Oxfordshire data is only to timing point level but this will hopefully be improved next year so that a time is shown for every stop along a route, which will make the journey planner more reliable.

Steve says that I may include details from the OCC site with the usual acknowledgements.

Current information is as quoted with thanks to Oxfordshire County Council

Week commencing 3rd November 2002

_______________________________________________

Week commencing
10th November 2002

No changes currently registered for this week.
_______________________________________________

Week commencing
17th November 2002

_______________________________________________

Week commencing 24th November 2002

Following last weeks comments on cyclists and the picture included of a highly visible cyclist, Al Partington wrote "very pretty  .... but think i'd be 'seeing stars' and worryingly not much else if my eyes strayed across that cyclist in the dark!"

Whilst I can see where Al is coming from, I do feel that this lack of visibility calls for drastic measures. I don't think that many cyclists realise just how "invisible" they are to drivers of heavy vehicles, especially in poor weather conditions.

Paul Dudfield wrote "My comments about Arriva are my personal views. It is clear that many of your readers are interested in them and as you say, you can't cover the Chilterns without them.

I am a native of Oxford so my first interest is in Oxford Bus Company. However Stagecoach cannot be ignored. My mother still lives in Headington and I visit her about once a month on day trips from Exeter but do not have much time to look at buses.

I am interested in the routes as much as the buses so news of other operators around Oxford is of great interest.

Having spent several years commuting between Witney & Oxford I was interested to read of the proposed busway between the two towns. Any more information you can publish on that would be of great interest.

Well if anyone can add to the busway developments I will publish that information for general interest.

High Wycombe town centre has reopened to through bus services after some weeks of closure. The corner by Marks & Spencer provides an ideal vantage site to watch the town's services.


Buses go through the centre of Wycombe again after many weeks of diversion.
The children's roundabout offers a service from Penn to Wycombe !


The trafficrising bollards on High Wycombe have been plated over. One wonders if this has something
to do with the fact that a bus got one caught under its engine some months ago?


A picturesque view of the village pond at Lane End catches the reflection of Arriva Dart 3365 on a 339 working.

I look forward to your continued support and contribution and welcome your comments.

Malcolm Crowe, November 18th 2002.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

The operator news from our area follows.................

News of the local companies - 10th November 2002

Airlinks/Jetlink


Volvo M727KPD pauses to pick up passengers at Stokenchurch last Saturday whilst working a 757 service.


Late night (2320hrs) on Saturday saw two ex Cambridge Coach Services Volvos, 307 and 301
sharing bays 10 at VCs with Oxford nr 12 on the X90.

Arriva serving The Shires

Graeme writes "I do visit Wycombe every few weeks and you may be interested to hear that National Greenway 3053 is still hard at work  

r
Yes, Graeme and here it is last Saturday on an inbound 323 working from Aylesbury.

Steve Warwick writes  

Monday 11th Nov

Scania 3166 has been on 280 Oxford's all day starting with the 0550 280 this morning.
Olympians 5071 and 5097 worked the 4 & 5 town service for most part of the day until relieved by Dart 3485 and a minibus.
 

Trevor Wilson wrote "Arriva Alexander Olympian 5834-G234VWL seen in Denham westbound working the 17.30 300 Uxbridge -> Wycombe. on Wednesday 13th November 2002.

First Uxbridge 335 Chalfont St Peter<>Slough via Fulmer has again seen Metrobuses and 607 branded NC Olympians working this single bus service - obviously the regular Wright Dennis SLF Lancet(?) MnnnEAF is out of service again.  DD's are substituted on school days as a SLF Dart lacks the necessary capacity.  The normal week-end vehicle is Marshall SLF Dart.

(Sorry - but I have forgotten the name of the 36ft heavy low floor Dennis - but it is not a Dart - can you substitute the correct name?)

Nigel Peach wrote "Wed 13th : Olympian 5829 is back at long last. It was in the bus station at lunchtime."
 

 
The centre of Wycombe has reopened to through bus services and 3827 is seen here on a 3030 service last Saturday.


Olympian 5825 works a 310 service last the defunct fountain in Wycombe centre. 

Finally Neil Roughton wrote a very newsy email regarding several items of Arriva interest.

He says "Have just visited your web site for the first time in several weeks [due to work pressures including many Rail Replacement services to organise, supervise and drive!] and am most impressed by the new format, including the St.George's flags - well done.

To answer Ed Maun's enquiries, the 323/324 is all Aylesbury operated on Monday to Saturday, including evenings, whilst is all Newlands operated all day on Sunday. 3048, the Greenway showing 262 Thame, was in St Clements heading for Oxford Rail Station. It was running out of service as when it finishes the 262 at Worminghall it runs dead to Oxford to perform the 1740 service 261 which does not have a corresponding inbound journey. The 262 was Dart MPD until the start of the new school year in September when we had to put a 40 seater on the service due to heavy loadings of school children.

Heavy loadings are also the reason you were able to take a picture of a double decker on the X15 in Wing. The 3 bus service is normally operated by the route branded Scanias 3203/4/5 but is so busy on Saturdays on the run up to Christmas going to MK that it is now double decked on this day with the Scanias on other services such as the 54 or on rail replacement work. In fact even the deckers cannot cope on some journeys and dupes are run when staff are available - I'm duping the 1015 ex Aylesbury tomorrow morning!

5829 and 5106 have now been swapped between Wycombe and Luton to improve the hill climbing abilities of Wycombe's deckers and more may follow. The VR 5049 went back to Luton but has now been sold, for preservation I believe, as it is surplus to requirements at Luton following the withdrawal of a school bus. (this is the first confirmation of the departure of 5829 which Nigel Peach says has returned, to Wycombe, so now I await further comment Ed.)

The 38 route in Luton you referred to is a 12 minute frequency operated by Tridents - however the PVR is 12 and only 12 Tridents are in stock so inevitably Olympians appear to cover maintenance on the tridents. Dart MPDs are used on the route in evenings and on Sundays. Glad you enjoyed Luton garage and found the place a well organised unit and the staff friendly and helpful.

The 61 is hardly worked by Aylesbury these days just the 0630 Aylesbury to Ivinghoe [where passengers change onto a Luton garage bus to continue on to Luton] and the Aylesbury vehicle turns round and works the 0705 Ivinghoe to Aylesbury. This is on Monday to Saturday and all other journeys are operated by Luton Garage with Dennis Lances 3376/7/8 and Olympians. The 61 was nearly all Aylesbury worked but when Cressex merged with Newlands and the 323 and 331 etc moved to Aylesbury, the 61 moved to Luton to balance out the work as Luton had withdrawn the 4 bus 30/231 and 202 routes."

Many thanks to Neil for these comprehensive notes which are most useful. I am especially pleased to have caught the Olympian on X15 as I was unaware of the allocations on that service.

City of Oxford Motor Services - The Oxford Bus Company.

A surprise arrival at Oxford Bus on Monday of last week was a Mercedes Touro demonstrator. After some work fitting a ticket machine and vinyls for the X70 service , the coach had a day on driver familiarisation. On Friday it entered revenue service on the 1500 X70 service to Heathrow.


Mercedes Benz Touro, with fleet number 40 (BF52SYO) leaves Oxford on the 1500hrs X70 last Friday.


Seen here in Gloucester Green , the rear of nr 40 is impressive.

As mentioned last week 223 is back at Oxford Bus and will return to service with the main fleet. Meanwhile 208 has replaced this bus at Thames Travel on loan wef 11/11/02.

Olympians entered services on the 22 last week, with 214 and 224 being the normal allocation. however red Tridents (101-103) have also been seen on this service.

Trevor Wilson writes "This web site page lists current status of all COMS VRs  - http://web.ukonline.co.uk/robsly/comsl.html.

It also includes the Museum VR in the old Oxford colours. Part of a web site listing the status of all VRs - and other Bristols"

Trevor also sent the photo below with the note

Credits are:

(1) Yahoo group as listed - British Vintage Bus Photos

(2) Peter Relf copyright


AEC Bridgemaster 327 - 327NJO on route 7 to Wood Farm several years ago. Peter Relf.

Paul Dudfield wrote "Please thank Grahame Wareham for posting the picture of TCP 899. The only other picture I have of it is in the TPC book about Alexander's. It appears to be an manufacturers official photo and the door does not have a low level window. I did think one would have been installed at some time but I never thought it would be that shape."

Brian Matthews sent the photo below of AEC Swift, 623 - DFC 623D on the 135 near Adderbury in July 1976

 


An end piece to this week's Oxford Bus report shows the new MB Touro
in company with 29 and 21 at Gloucester Green last Friday.

Guide Friday/Tappins.


A decent picture of the new arrival in the Oxford Tour fleet , BFS39L.
The note of a LIVE GUIDE in the front nearside window seems to ask the question are there
any dead guides around!!!  (Sorry - I just had to ask. Ed.)

Motts of Aylesbury.

Neil Roughton writes "The second white Motts double decker you saw heading for Football specials in Wycombe was probably there latest bus acquisition E153OMD an ECW bodied Olympian ex Arriva Kent & Sussex and now the regular performer on ex Shires route 655 from Aylesbury Bus Station to John Colet School in Wendover."

Pete Brown writes "Further details of Motts new arrivals are that they are actually both Volvo B7R-63 with Plaxton Prima coachwork. They are confirmed as:

T9HCT (C53F) - ex. Harding, Betchworth
S333SJH (C55F) - ex. Head, Lutton

Red Rose

Neil Roughton writes "The double decker in the Red Rose yard does not belong to them but parks there sometimes at weekends whilst on rail work. It is owned by a firm called "Redline" and is an ex Arriva North West Olympian/Alexander F101FMT, based in Leighton Buzzard. Red Rose K26WND is ex  sister company The Lutonian and ex Shires.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire & Stagecoach in Oxford

News of the week has to be of the forthcoming renumbering of the whole UK Stagecoach fleet in January 2003.  Details are as follows.

DOUBLE DECK
 Titans    10000    11999
 Routemasters    12000    12999
 Manchester Olympians    13000    13999
 Dominator    15000  15199
 Dennis Dragon    15100    15199
 Volvo Citybus    15200  15299
 Scania    15300    15399
 Fleetline    15500    15599
 VRT    15700    15799
 Atlantean    15800    15899
 Metrobus    15900    15999
 Volvo Olympian    16000    16999
 Dennis Trident    17000    17999
 Preserved DD    19900    19999

LARGE SINGLE DECK
 Volvo B10M buses    20000    20999
 Volvo B10B    21000    21199
 Volvo B10BLE    21200    21999
 MAN Saloons    22000    22999
 Mercede Citro    23000    23899
 Mercedes 405    23900    23999
 National    25400    25499
 Leopard buses    25700    25799
 Tiger Buses    25800    25899
 Misc single deck    25900    25999
 DAF Optare    26000    26999
 Dennis Javelin/Lance    27000    27999
 Scanis buses    28000    28999
 Lynx    29000    29999

MIDI SINGLE DECK
 Volvo B6    30000    30999
 Volvo B6LE    31000    31999
 Dart    32000    32999
 Dart SLF    33000    34999
 Optare Excel    35000    35999
 Preserved Single Deck    39900     39999 

MINIBUSES
 Mercedes 709    40000    40999
 Mercedes 811/711    41000    41999
 Mercedes 814    42000    42999
 Iveco    46000    46999
 Solo    47000    47899
 Optare Metrorider    47900    47999
 Dodge Training buses    48000    48999

COACHES
MAN DD    50000    50999
 Artic    51000    51999
 B10M    52000    52999
 Tiger    58000    58999
 Javelin    59000    59899
 Preserved coaches    59900    59999

Demonstrators/Loaned vehicles
 80000    89999

NON BUSES
 Cars and Light vans    90000    94999
 Transit vans    95000    95999
 Recovery & Lorries    97000    97999
 Other plant on FACT    99000 99999 

With thanks to Gez of Stagecoach Lancaster and Andy Gilmour for those useful notes. This may mean that the Oxford Tubes will be 50034-50060 and 50066 from January. I wonder?


..........and South Midland days in 1985, the architecture of Gloucester Green
perhaps more interesting than the mundane fleet member. Brian Matthews.


There are still quite a few buses in the old livery. Here 758 works a 10 service.


The three Dennis Lances from Chipping Norton are rumoured to have limited life in this area..


This Olympian is leaving Gloucester Green on the long run to Northampton. It is number 664.


Stageocahc Swindon and District 409 leaves Gloucester Green on the 66 to Swindon..
With the FA Cup next round announced this service could see heavy loadings on the 7th December
when Oxford United play Swindon Town at home.

Keith Wood wrote "426 visited Rugby between Nuneaton and Witney presumably for work to be undertaken. Olympian 501 B961ODU has been sold to GHA Coaches Wrexham. This has been reported on UK Bus Fleetnews. I'm surveying Rugby and Nuneaton tomorrow. At least two new Optare Solos in WCC Green are reported due so I'll be hoping to catch them.

Just posted on the WCC website are details of the new services for Camp Hill Estate in Nuneaton to be operated by the new WCC Liveried Solos.
The tender results for these services are also on the website. Known as Camp Hill Accessible Transport CHAT various services will be run including work, evening taxibus and Sunday services. The Urban Bus Challange Scheme has stumped up the necessary 550,000 to run the scheme.

I see Stagecoach are initiating a national renumbering scheme in January ! Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh !

Nuneaton Dart 109 has recived new livery whilst Merc 372 was stripped down and on it's way to Banbury yesterday morning so it will be next. Merc 346 was having a vinyl Mega Rear advert applied but I couldn't see who for. National 702 is still in service.

Rugby now has re-instated Olympian 831 in service whilst
Leyland Nationals 705/710/722(re-appeared !) & 772 were in the depot but not in service. Most 63/63A Rugby
- Leamingtons are in the hands of Olympians so Volvo B10M's now control former National duties.

Still no sign of 842 P332JND or the new WCC Solos."


Rob Williams writes "Leamington's 341 is in new livery, ex Volkswagen Colourbus.

A bit of info regarding vehicles at Nuneaton garage:  Darts 109/10 are now in new livery  -- Former Oxford B6 842 P332JND has been repainted and is now fleet no.475

Former Oxford Tube B10M 4828 VC has been rubbed down in preparation for its new role as a trainer as the Virgin contract  has now finished

Also the three Optare Solos have arrived this week for the former flexibus routes to Grove Farm and Camp Hill, they are owned by Warwickshire County Council and are in their colours (green/yellow)

Simon Langley wrote "I forgot to add that the three Solos have now been numbered as follows:

616 YG52DHM
617 YG52DFY
618 YG52DFK

Also Dart 104 is being prepared for repaint."

Another source writes "C Reg Olympian 504 has gone today to Bedford for repaint. It is obviously planned to stay in the group for some while if worth repainting.

According to LOTS, FIVE R Reg Olympians are on their way to Oxford, having already left London operations. They are low height, dual door like the Witney buses, but with 4 less seats downstairs.  They are probably being refurbished before arrival here as they are  painted red, and almost certainly have all windows etched as they come from South East London,  None have arrived yet."

Thames Travel, Wallingford.

Oxford Bus Olympian 208 has now replaced 223 on loan, effective 11/11/02.

992, one of the ex Chiltern Queens Volvos was on the 101 to Watlington last Saturday afternoon.

PHOTO CORNER
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at 
malcolmhc@aol.com


T174AUA leaves Gloucester Green last Friday afternoon on a 303 working.

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

This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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