Issue 91

Sunday 22nd August 2004
next update week ending 4th September 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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I have now returned to normal and although this will be a short page, following the double one published only last Thursday I hope you will find the content interesting.

Road works continue on the Abingdon road but these should finish shortly, after which there will be one more session before the winter.

I notice from my September issue of Buses magazine that there is a new edition of the fleet book for National Express which will be most welcome. It is always difficult to provide accurate captions for photos as there is not always time to identify the legal owner.

Gloucester Green is indeed now complete and the two major operators, Oxford Bus and Stagecoach are certainly being very strict on applying the rules regarding loading, keeping the passenger access gates closed until loading starts and ensuring the coaches are correctly reversed off by a banksman in a high vis jacket. Of course it is not so easy for other operators such as National Express but I am sure this is something the council is looking at.

In the picture below one of the new 13.7metre long Tubes is seen loading and bay 2, 3 and 4 have now become bays 2 and 3. There is more manoeuvring room between the bays at that end including the one for the Oxford espress - bay 5 - easing the departures of coaches on these bays.

Neoplan Skyliner 50124, T55UBE is seen loading on bay 3.

As will be seen in the photo there is a lot more room between the bays, necessitated by the centre entrance for wheel chairs on the new Tubes. The Neoplans are not allowed to park up in Gloucester Green but if one of the two bays are clear they can come in to un load if their departure is imminent. Otherwise they are setting down in George Street and then going to Oxpens to park.

Well on to the news of our local companies and many thanks for the continuing reports for so many of you.

Malcolm Crowe, Stokenchurch - 22nd August 2004

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News of the local companies 22nd August 2004

Another view of Olympian 5159 in the new livery, rounding Carfax corner.
Why is it one so often sees the same bus every time one appears.

Gavin Francis writes "10.8.04 - Went into Wycombe this morning and amongst other things Arriva 0449 was working the 308 to Pheasant Drive. Standard Arriva blinds were fitted (a piece of paper in the windscreen). I have never seen one of this type of bus used on a local route before, have you?? I have attached a picture for you." (As noted in the caption above this has occurred recently and I believe once or twice before. Ed.)


Arriva in Wycombe still seem to have problems with the destination equipment on the Volvo B6s with NC bodies.
Here 3126 works a Sunday 315 service approaching Wycombe centre with the seemingly inevitable yellow boards in the front window.

Steve Warwick writes regarding the photo below saying "I have as a matter of interest although not even close to our area attached a photo of one of the new Volvo B7TL/Transbus ALX400 recently delivered to Arriva Medway Towns when the whole fleet was replaced over one weekend. (Photo is by Malcolm Hyland)

I took this shot last Friday of the rear of 5159 for comparison, showing the branding.
The unusual use of words as well as figures for the branding is noteworthy.

Steve also reports that "Ex Oxford Leyland Olympian 5826 (E226 CFC) has been transferred from High Wycombe. It arrived today looking very smart after a repaint. It is to replace 5108 which has gone back to HW."  (Maybe someone will get some photos of these ex Oxford vehicles in service at other depots? Ed)

Carousel Bus, High Wycombe

Metrobus 5002, it was M258, seen waiting time at Chenies on the last Watford-Amersham service a week last Saturday.
Note the National Bus company logo on this bus!



Oxford Bus may have changed the allocation on 14 road as yesterday a Citaro and a Volvo B10BLE were working the service. The Volvo was 808 and the Citaro is pictured below.

836 waits for lights in Worcester Street on its way to Oxford Rail Station yesterday, 21st August.

Last week I had pictures of Airline branded coaches on the X90 and this week I can bring you a picture of a London branded coach on its way to Gatwick.

What is rather interesting in this picture is the revised destination display as none of the Airline coaches
have a X80 showing Gatwick - south and north terminals.
Nr 5 is the coach shown sadly minus its wheel trim on the offside front.

Regular correspondent Bus Monkey reports as follows.

Mon 16th
831 on 4A
101 on 4B

Tue 14th
813 on X3

Fri 20th
812 on 2

The use of low floor buses on the 4 group of routes is also interesting on a week day.

John Nettleship writes to say "I have seen a lot of green coaches on the airport routes lately, do you know why?"

Well sorry to say, no I don't. Maybe someone from the company can answer your question. however often one can have problems with the M40 and better to run a service with a wrongly branded coach than not at all.

As reported earlier Dart 403 has gained wheel trims and now I have also seen 401, 405 and 407 sporting similar trims.
403 is seen at its stop outside the Randolph last Saturday.

A 4xx series Dart was used on the Gloucester Green shuttle on Saturday evening and parked in Bay 1. The bus in question was 406.

Finally I caught up with a coach displaying the new slogan for London on its blind. I did not see any coach last week showing other the Oxford London in style or v.v. The "oxford-london in style and elegance" was not in evidence.

26 displays the alternating slogan now appearing on all espress coaches on the X90.

As a post script I also saw coach nr 10 in its refurbished condition and noted it had new style fleet number as applied to 25 when it first returned and subsequently removed. I do think the look very much nicer than the thick ones. What do other people think?

Volvo 444NVX leaves Gloucester Green on the 543 bound for Southampton.

Gain Francis sent this shot of 22052 posed in Speedwell Street with the N4 display. Not so many people are
around to see the night services and I appreciate the efforts of Gavin to bring these shots to the page.

It seems that there are new double decks due for revised Brookes services this Autumn but this is not something official on driver talk.

Bus Monkey reports

Mon 16th
16524 on 7/7C

Wed 18th
22932 on X4

Thu 19th
22057 on 10 in morning

Tue-Thu: the GG shuttle was primarily operated with 42371 and 34466, but 42373 also made an appearance on Wednesday.

On the subject of roadworks in Oxford, there are also works on Hollow Way at the moment (so route 10 is hit three times), not to mention the seemingly
annual roadworks on Abingdon Road.

All the new Neoplans are now in service and Saturday was seemingly the first day when none of the old Tubes were being used.

M A N 36 was prepared and ready at Horspath on Friday to work the 2355 London Glasgow Megabus service and there are now very few of the old coaches left in Oxford. I am also told that several have already been repainted in Megabus livery and I look forward to your photos of these coaches please.

50115 seen turning out of George Street. These coaches seem to have no problems regarding
manoeuvrability and the rear steer axle seems to help in  this.

501115 arriving in Oxford ready for the departure seen above.

Last of the batch, 50125 T60UBE pictured between trips at the Buckingham Palace road terminus in London.
At this stage it had only 4420 kms on the clock, having been in service less than a week.

Gavin Francis writes "Trident 17779 turned up for fuelling last week during its Megabus duties."

This picture by Gavin Francis shows the boards used for these buses when operating Megabus services.

Noted on a late Saturday departure from London to Birmingham was 16515. This bus had Stagecoach in Warwickshire branding and showed Birmingham on the blind. This Olympian was new to Oxford as a dual door bus and spent much of its life a Witney having started out on the Blackbird Leys route.

Swanbrook, Cheltenham

Although the new Scania worked the 53 earlier on Saturday the last trip was worked by this Volvo
ex OBC  UJI1761 still looking very smart.

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