Sunday 25th April 2004
next update week ending 1st 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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This last week has been an interesting one with more new deliveries entering service in Oxford, once again with Stagecoach for the 100. Carousel has, after all, had to have fire prevention modifications to its three Citaros and has had a demonstrator on loan for some days to enable work to be carried out. These events are covered under the respective operator headings.
Work on the Abingdon Road continues to cause delays and other work is now scheduled for St Clements Street.
No news is as yet forthcoming as to how Gloucester Green is going to cope with the planned introduction of the new Oxford Tube Neoplans and indeed life is often crowded and difficult with the current level of operations.
Thornhill Park & Ride is shortly to see more services rerouted to use this facility with the Oxford Tube shortly to use this point. Even with the current level of use by OBC and the SC P&R service things can get quite fraught. People seem to have to drop or collect passengers from the stops, even though there is a drop off facility provided and indicated.
Here cars try to avoid delay whilst coaches were loading and have to do three point turns to get out.
The problem lies in the fact that with more than two coaches using the express stop/shelter further coaches block the entrance to the car park. At certain times inbound services clash with outbound services and, even now, a potential of four or even five coaches can arrive at similar times. work is due to start on a proper interchange similar in style to that a Water Eaton, featured last week on this page, but this is not even started as yet and more services are due very shortly. It may prove that something has to be done in the interim to resolve what is potentially a big problem.
Steve Annells sent me a report on a new venture
for youth in South Oxfordshire. He says "...the attached is a set of
photographs from the launch in Steventon of the DAMASCUS Youth Bus, supported by
Oxford Bus Company."
DAMASCUS is a Youth Project working in (D)rayton, (A)ppleford, (M)ilton, (S)utton (C)ourtenay and (S)teventon.
The picture is one taken of the bus before the launch by Steve Annells
Rita Atkinson MBE of DAMASCUS being interviewed in front of the bus.
Upper Deck Interior shot -by Denise Annells
Adrian Lancer writes that last week there was "an NFBU bus users surgery at Brookes. Involved were an unid OBC bus (either 4xx or 8xx) and 18131. 18131 carries "now low floor" on the upper deck fron window. Also notable is the lack of a lower deck rear window and the conversion of the 100 route from dual to single door operation. The Trident was displaying "National Federation of Bus Users" on the front blind, with NFBU on the rear"
In addition Rob Williams adds that OBC sent along 808 showing Private on its blind.
Luis Vieira wrote "As member of “Portuguese Amibus” and specially interested about different versions of British buses of Carris fleet, you probably know, ex - 123 belongs to a small series of buses, with particular details in bodywork, that no longer exists. I am particularly interested in bus preservation and related matters I’d like to receive any picture or technical details concerning AEC Regal III, ex - CCFL fleet number 123."
Can anyone help please?
Finally this next months issue of "Buses" on sale now, contains a most interesting article on competition in Oxford.
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, 25th April 2004.
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Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
News of the local companies – 24th April 2004
Ed Maun visited High Wycombe last week and writes "Two of the ex Oxford Olympians were still in service – 5825 on service 301 and 5831 on Red Route 33 !!!. All other Red Route 33 journeys seen were operated by branded Darts however. Red Route 33 branded Darts 3824 and 3825 were parked up out of service. As I was parking the car in the Newlands triangle I noticed a Volvo Plaxton Verde on either service 328 or 329 heading towards Reading with “Thames Valley Line” route branding. The new depot site for Arriva in Lincoln Road, Cressex (incidentally, opposite the previous depot) is just a total mess at present, the old buildings having been demolished ready for the new depot to be built."
I myself spent an interesting hour on Saturday afternoon taking pictures in the warm afternoon sunshine. Conveniently placed are a number of flat topped bollards where one can take pictures sitting down providing no one walks in front of the lens.
The 33 was almost wholly operated by the 38xx SLF Darts but one interesting variant was the spare bus for the U9, 3482.
A red bus for the Red Route - 3482 leaves Newlands Bus Station yesterday.
The Thames Valley Line branded Volvo B10B is 3842 but this was in workshops so I had to be content with the photos below.
3842 shows off its new branding.
Other members of the class are also receiving repaints and the repositioned fleet number on the rear is interesting. Olympian 5108, the ex Motts converted play bus, which when received by Motts only had 1500 miles on the clock, lies unwanted at the back of the bus station. It has seemingly started to be cannibalised and one wonders what its future will be. Ex COMS 5825 is also out of service next to 5108.
Whilst the other ex London Olympians have very large route numbers 5856 still seems to lack this facility and enjoys a route card in the front nearside window.
5856 is seen leaving Newlands Bus Station going nowhere on the 363!!!
There was a steady stream of buses going in and out of the bus station and it really was quite a pleasant interlude.
I had already photographed 5130 leaving NBS for Ibstone and on my way home had chance to catch it again on its way through the lovely village of West Wycombe.
Olympian 5130 Wycombe bound on the 342, the trees now coming into full leaf.
Carousel, High Wycombe
Following my neck and the trapped nerve I now have to visit an Osteopath in Hillingdon and on my way back through Uxbridge I came upon a surprise Citaro. It seems that Evobus have had to make modifications to the three Carousel buses after all and a loan bus has been provided whilst work is done. I caught up with this vehicle on one of its last journeys before return to Evobus operating in Uxbridge on the A40. This route was officially launched last week at Heathrow and has proved to be a very successful route indeed. Carousel Director Steve Burns reports loadings are increasing all the time.
Citaro BU53AYA heads towards Heathrow out of Uxbridge Town Centre.
The livery was most pleasing and I read in the latest issue of Buses that this vehicle
has also been on demonstration to Wilts and Dorset.
I was not happy with the photos of the final livery shown so far and got this one of CB52BUS
leaving High Wycombe on the A40 last Saturday afternoon.
Gavin Francis sent this picture of a Routemaster at Carousel
He Says "Just thought you might like this photo of RCL 2223 taken at the depot this morning
It has the fleet mane AIRPORT ROUTEMASTER on the side in the same style as LONDON TRANSPORT
and a BAA logo on the front. Advertising on the side talks about Computer Training at Heathrow."
Coach 69 has arrived back after conversion to C49FT and it now only needs vinyls for The Airline and some minor finalisation and it should take to the road very shortly. It has been fitted with an electronic display and big yellow mirrors and to the uninitiated will look very like the latest coaches on the route. One waits to see what message is used on the rear.
Excalibur coaches 8, 9 and 10 have now been sent away from Oxford for storage pending a decision on their future. This means that for the first time in many years now there is no VCS advertising livery coach on the X90. coaches 11 and 12 continue in service pending the return of 25 and 26 away for refurbishment.
All the five new Irizars now have fleet numbers, nr 1 seen here entering Gloucester Green last Friday.
With the inevitable traffic delays last week and unexpected shortages of Airline branded coaches,
London nr 4 put in a full duty on the X70 last Friday.
Thornhill Park & ride does an excellent business on the express services and last Saturday was no exception.
Here nr 12 and nr 19 are seen at Thornhill last Saturday morning
Correspondent "Bus Monkey" reports:
Mon 19 April.
640 on 5
642 on 400
807 on 13
837 on 4A
637 on 5
803 on 5B
629 and 655 on 15
640 on 5
636 on 15
629 on 400
635 on 5
Espress 21 on X80
There always seems to be at least one B10B on the 5, and sometimes the 15. Is this normal for these low floor routes? (Engineering demands do result in a shortage of low floor buses from time to time Ed.)
The new garage continues to grow and below is a shot of the current situation of the main building. Most brick work has been finished and this view is from the west side.
The new garage with the engineering bays in shot.
Two most unusual working occurred last Friday when 410 spent some time on the 300
and 405 on the 400 due to a shortage of Tridents.
The 2D is now Council sponsored during the day and here 606 is seen waiting time
in Magdalen Street East last Friday.
My thanks to Ken Gladstone who has provided the following fleet list. Ken says "My list is as up to date as I have information. You will see four registrations at the bottom which I've no other information - they could be incorrect but they need checking. I also changed the format during the last year and therefore both styles are shown."
OC:Murdoch Road, Bicester
OX26 4PP also Knightsbridge Farm, Woodstock Road, Yarnton OX5 1PH & High Wycombe
??? ??? ? z Bova EL26/581 C53F Wallace Arnold 87 [EX 2482NX, FUA398Y]
EAZ8412 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C57F Hearn, London 99 [EX E75VKO]
EAZ8413 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C57F Hearn, London 99 [EX E76VKO]
ESU 940 Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C51FT Goodwin, Greater Manchester 94 [EX A60JLW]
FBZ 7356 Optare Metrorider B31F Arriva Yorkshire 00[EX J 714 CUM]
E 171 OMU Volvo B10M-61 Duple C53F Westbus, Kent 93 [EX FIL 7664, E 171 OMU]
HUI 4566 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C53F Sutherland, Scotland 00 [EX FAV 566 Y]
LDZ 2502 Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C51FT Gillespie, Scotland 92 [EX D 313 VVV]
LDZ 2503 Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C51FT Buddens, Hampshire 92 [EX D 312 VVV]
LIL 9664 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C53F Sutherland, Scotland 00 [EX FAV 564 Y]
SJI 4428 Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C51FT Constable, Suffolk 95 [EX B 989 MAB, RDU 4, B 505 CBD]
TJI 6301 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C50F Bennett, Berkshire 98 [EX YPJ 209 Y]
TJI 6302 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C50F Bennett, Berkshire 98 [EX RJI 5703, YPJ 210 Y]
TJI 6303 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C50F Bennett, Berkshire 98 [EX A 115 PBW]
TJI 6304 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C50F Bennett, Berkshire 98 [EX A 116 PBW]
TJI 6305 Leyland Tiger Plaxton C50F Bennett, Berkshire 98 [EX A 117 PBW]
VSF 438 Volkswagen LT55 Optare C25F Non PSV 98 [EX D 144 SCM]
WJI 8931 Leyland Tiger Duple C51F James, Wales 00 [EX C 263 SPC]
XCT 550 Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C51FT Cross Gates, Wales 92 [EX B 984 MAB, HYY 3, B 504 CBD]
YAY 537 Volvo B10M-60 Van Hool C49FT Durham City, Durham 96 [EX F 483 OFT]
481 HYE Optare Metrorider B28F London General 99 [EX K 428 HWY]
868 AVO Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C49FT O’Sullivan, Merseyside 92 [EX A 52 JLW]
943 YKN Optare Metrorider B28F London General 99 [EX K 434 HWY]
1264 LG Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C53F NEW 3-85 [EX B 157 YBW]
2462 FD Toyota HZB50R Caetano C18F NEW 3-94[EX L 535 XUT]
2622 NU Toyota HB31R Caetano C21F NEW 5-90 [EX G 152 ELJ]
4078 NU Auwaerter N122 CH57/22CT Mayo, Surrey 95 [EX H 297 GKN]
2779 UE DAF SB3000 Plaxton C53F Oxford 98 [EX 4128 AP, F 139 LJO]
4827 WD Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C51FT BTS, Hertfordshire 94 [EX A 545 TMJ, ESU 930, A 59 JLW]
5089 LG Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C53F NEW 3-85 [EX B 156 YBW]
6595 KV Auwaerter N122 CH57/20CT Stockdale, North Yorkshire 92 [EX NIW 2235, F 625 CWJ]
8779 KV Leyland Tiger Plaxton C53F Riddle, London 99 [EX 6940 MD, C 809 FMC]
6960 TU Scania K112CRS Jonckheere C55F Cresswell, Derbyshire 91 [EX C 47 CKR]
CMJ 99 T w Bedford YMT Plaxton C53F Smiths, Hertfordshire 87 [EX 7223 MY, CMJ 99 T]
7845 LJ DAF MB200 Plaxton C53F Broadwest, Wales 98 [EX B 623 JRC]
B 674 GWJ Dennis Dorchester Plaxton C49F SouthYorks,South Yorkshire 98 [EX 7958 NU, B 674 GWJ, 476 HDT, B 976 DWG]
8252 MX DAF SB3000 Plaxton C53F Oxford 98 [EX F 135 LJO]
L 26 CAY MAN 11.190 Caetano C33FT NEW 3-94 [EX 9467 MU, L 26 CAY]
JTY 373 X Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Hoar &, Bedfordshire 00
JTY 375 X Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Hoar &, Bedfordshire 00
1636 VB Toyota HDB30R Caetano C14FT Hitchcox, Oxfordshire 98 [EX J 27 OPC]
7396 LJ Volvo B10M-60 Jonckheere C53FT Turner, Gloucestershire 99 [EX K 906 RGE]
L 740 YGE Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C49FT Park, Scotland 95
L 743 YGE Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53FT Park, Scotland 95
L 745 YGE Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C49FT Park, Scotland 96
N 809 NHS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C49FT Johnson, Derbyshire 98
AEF 227 Y Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Arriva Durham County 02
B 245 NVN Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Arriva Durham County 01
B 246 NVN Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Arriva Durham County 01
8216 FN Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Arriva Durham County 01 [EX B 253 PHN]
B 255 RAJ Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Arriva Durham County 01
7298 RU Leyland Olympian ECW CH42/30F Arriva Durham County 01[EX C 265 XEF]
C 266 XEF Leyland Olympian ECW CH42/30F Arriva Durham County 01
2482 NX Volvo B10M-61 Van Hool C49FT Lewis, London 00 [EX E 418 JKS, 439 BUS, E 743 TCS]
N 802 NHS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F Jeffs, Northants 02
N 803 NHS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F Jeffs, Northants 02
N 808 NHS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F Jeffs, Northants 02
FIL 8441 Leyland Olympian ECW H45/32F Hoar & Savage, Bedfordshire 02 [EX JTY 398 X]
N 605 JGP Mercedes-Benz 811D Crystals B29F Crystals, Kent 02
M 833 HNS Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool C49FT Wickson, West Midlands 02 [EX WT 3667, M 833 HNS, LSK 504]
L 752 YGE Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F Durham City, Durham 02
R 415 EOS Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool C53F Park, Scotland 02[EX LSK 502]
M 993 HHS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F (’95) Compass Royston, Cambs 02[EX KSK 986]
M 634 KVU Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool C46FT (’95) Shearings (634) 03
M 639 KVU Volvo B10M-62 Van Hool C46FT (’95) Shearings (639) 03
T 723 UOS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F (’99) Winson, Loughborough (LE) 03 [EX LSK 830]
T 725 UOS Volvo B10M-62 Jonckheere C53F (’99) Park, Hamilton (SW) 03 [EX LSK 832]
B 739 GCN Leyland ONCL10/1RV ECW H45/32F (’85) Go North East ???? 10-03
YN 53 YGN Optare M920 Optare B29F NEW 01-04
NIL 4850 ? ? ?
1435 VZ ? ? ?
YN 53 YGZ ?? Optare ? ?
P 630 OSP ? ? ? Possibly MoD
The above list should be compared to that provided by Steve Warwick a week or so ago.
By the way i am still trying to get picture of the new Solo??
notes that on
Fri 23 April
22930 on X31
Ian Pinnell wrote that "
On Wednesday 22nd April, there was a very unusual working on the routes 7/7C. The bus in the spotlight... 22209 usually used on route 1 as it was route 1 branded! I heard that they were having to use other types of buses on this route because there is a shortage of Low floor M A N 's.
Ross Williams writes "To answer the point on this weeks OCBP news page: The "funny" blinds on route 10 are an experiment for the residents on Horspath Road, to help them identify which way a bus is going more quickly/easily. Horspath Road is special because buses run in the same direction both when heading to and from the city. So now buses heading in the direction of the JR are the usual yellow on black, whilst buses heading in the direction of the City Centre are black on yellow.
He also asks "Can the MANs display the different blinds or is it just the Darts? I'm asking because 22057 at least had the more normal yellow on black display when city bound when I used it last week - also is this type of display possible on 22052-4?"
This was answered that "...the only electronic displays that can't theoretically do it are those in the 709s and most of the B10Ms. I think so far it is only the nine ALX Darts that have been reprogrammed though - going around the whole fleet must take ages! I'd expect it on everything else next time there are some route changes, if it has been deemed successful that is. As for the LEDs, they won't scroll in reverse colours, but it may be possible in ordinary mode, I don't know. Either way, I've seen no sign of them being changed."
Churchill writes "Malcolm, an interesting piece of news recently I see is
that the present Oxford Tube fleet of 28 mans -including rebuilt 38 will leave
Oxford for Scotland, as and when the new 82 seat Neoplan Skyliners begin to be
delivered to Stagecoach and see that they will feature a purpose-designed cycle
racks (the route at busy times carries 400 cycles a week ). I remember the use
of bendi-coaches on the Oxford Tube to test the feasibility
on the route and this was not long after the take over of Thames Transit Ltd by Stagecoach, and from 13th to 28th august 1997 that Stagecoach Fife Scottish Jonckheere Mistral-bodied Volvo B10MS 561(N561 SJF) was loaned for evaluation as the tube had been suffering capacity problems at peak times it was painted in full Stagecoach corporate livery and was given 'Oxford Tube' lettering on it's front windscreen. One of it's problems is that it could not fit into Gloucester Green due to it's length and so passengers were picked up in George Street. I believe also that it was tried on one or to other services as well as the Tube it certainly made an interesting journey on the M40 to London.
Another thing is seeing an Iveco 59.12 2086 (L946EOD)on a 32a service to Didcot complete in the 'Gloria Glide Park and Ride X9' livery not it's normal haunt a rare odd working." (I had a picture of 561 on this page a few weeks ago. Ed)
Finally Stephen le Bras writes "the new Tridents never did see service on the 453 - only the East Midland ones."
New Trident 18127 operates a 100 service through George Street last Friday.
The same bus heads back to George Street for its return to Witney. Note the Low Floor lettering.
A picture taken by Richard Griffin sometime ago of the N1.
Dart SLF 33653 with the yellow lettering mentioned above.
That elusive new Thames Travel MPD, 104 (OU04FMV) was on the 101 and caught on camera last Friday.
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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002