Issue 43
(OBP-259)

Monday 25th August 2003

next update week ending 6th September 2003


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

An interesting week for Oxford with the arrival of two more demonstrators and the appearance of all three ex Hong Kong deckers for Megabus. The bank holiday weekend saw the closure of the railway line from Reading to London and there were very heavy loadings on all express services including National Express. The Tube was especially busy with the Notting Hill Carnival and passengers at later stops leaving Oxford and of course at Lewknor often had a long wait for a seat.

My picture above should be entitled colourful Oxford, showing as it does three different operators and five different liveries. The weather was fair and surprisingly the M40 and M25 were quite reasonable and far less crowded than a normal Friday afternoon/evening. Though Saturday was often busy.


The M40 on Saturday morning showing a steady flow of traffic.
The Airline Jonckheere makes a colourful addition to the traffic and was I think nr 33.

The Megabus operation enters its third week but at present from reports received does not seem to be attracting heavy loadings, even with the rail closures.

Roadworks continue on the Abingdon Road and it seems these will be repeated each summer for some years to come. The Abingdon Road is probably the most congested and narrowest of the approaches to Oxford, being the major entry from south Oxford. It seems a difficult one to improve and one reason why the Redbridge Park & Ride has always been successful.

We will shortly see the start of the autumn term at Uni with the introduction of the U services by Stagecoach for Brookes Uni. I hope to cover this fully and welcome your reports tro this page malcolmhc@aol.com With the introduction of a new internet group for enthusiasts in the Oxford area - oxfordbuses@domeus.co.uk -we are now very well catered for and there is a forum for discussion. The two mediums, this and the group will have a differing focus and from reading the mails on that site, of course, frank and open comments may be made. This page, whilst contentious from time to time is rather more limited in what can be expressed. The group however, in exchanging e-mails can be more direct in their focus. For those who are interested you may wish to join that group but I would still welcome your comments and news reports for that is what has helped this page to grow over the past 5 years or so.

Training bus from Reading visits Oxford.


I am told that Reading buses often use Oxford as a training point
for their new drivers under tuition. Here Olympian nr 12 pauses on the Eastern by-pass.

I have been asked to mention the Amersham Running Day which this year will be on Sunday 5th October 2003. It is always a good day with a lot of variety and an event not be missed.

Malcolm Crowe, August 17th 2003.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies 25th August 2003

the Arriva Bus Running Day
Sunday 21st September 2003
- there will be visiting Routemasters as in previous years
and the event is organised by Richard Bond.
venue : Newlands Bus Station

Route branding has continued in Wycombe and a new recipient of branding is one of the Volvo B6s which has appeared with 74 route branding. There seems to be something of a bus war on this route with Frist Berkshire also running a 74 service. See below.


3126 shows off its new branding in Newlands Bus Station.

Steve Warwick reports as usual.

Wed 20th Aug

A new acquisition to Aylesbury's fleet today, a Dennis Lance SLF/Wright Pathfinder, 3376 (M266 VPU) has arrived from Luton. The other two in the batch 3377 & 3378 are to follow by the end of the month.
 


3376 was seen last Sunday on the 323 leaving Newlands Bus Station.

Carousel Buses, High Wycombe


Carousel had a visitor in the yard on Sunday, this Bristol VR - FDV818V - in tilling cream.

City Sightseeing, Oxford.


BFS14L, an Atlantean in the new livery passes Oxford Trident 103 in High Street.

  

   


A surprise demonstrator arrived late last week from Irisbus comes this low floor saloon
OW03FXG should enter service on the 500 tomorrow, Tuesday.

Rob Williams notes

Wed 20th:

102 on 5

103 on 300

104 on 400

City liveried Tridents operating P&R duties seems to be so common that I won't report these any more.

Thur 21st:

222 on 5

643 on 15

823 on 400

Fri 22nd:

104, 103 and 102 on 5! They were operating consecutive departures in this reverse sequence all day!

101, 823 and another Citaro on 400

Michael Collins asks "Does anyone have a list of the Tridents which have normal blinds and the ones which have electonic blinds? Is it just a trial or have they just not got round to doing them all yet?"

Certainly 115, 118, 119 and 120 still have the old blinds but many others have been fitted with new electronic destinations including 101, 102, 103 and 104.

 
Nearing the end of their lives with Oxford are the four Olympians, 221-4
Which it seems may well leave the fleet this winter. Here 221 puts in a trip on the 22.


Saturday saw 27 on the X90 to London


28 was also on the X90 running on the service following 27 later in the day.
It is seen here near Stokenchurch on the M40 around lunchtime on Saturday.


A surprise recipient of an electronic blind is 613 branded for the X3/X13 services.


Another demonstrator which arrived last week was that Citaro shown last week at Carousel.
BX02CMK takes the fleet number 851 and is branded for the 500.


T1 and Y4 pose side by side. Spot the differences.

First in Berkshire


 240 arrives in Wycombe on a Sunday 74 operation yesterday.


S364OOB once in Flightlink livery passes Stokenchurch on the M40 in its new NE Airport livery.


A new arrival to the Birmingham Coach Company for the 240 service is YJ03PNN.

 

 


20009 shows off its new X4 branding. Sadly it was working the 29 Bicester service last Saturday.

Rob Williams writes regarding the display on 22923. He says "22923's display is unique across the entire country! Stagecoach Oxford are testing the software for Hannover, the main bug at the moment being that the ultimate destination and the via points are all shown in the same font. This may be rectified soon though. Plus on the specific request of Brookes, the new vehicles for the U1-3 will all feature these displays!

Thu 21st:

Highly unusual was 32611on 1

31331 on 10

Fri 22nd:

X4 branded 20009 on 28/28A.


20008 shows off the rear branding for the X4 service.


16072 pauses by The Randolph on its way to Bicester. The length seems emphasised in this shot.


Paul posted this picture on the oxfordbuses@domeus.co.uk pages and I hope
he does not mind my using it for comparison with the above picture.
16072 is seen still in London after being prepared for Oxford. 14th Feb 2003 at Plumstead Garage.


I noticed 16079 has black fleet numbers instead of the more usual white.
Pictured at Gloucester Green last Saturday.

Edmund Tresham writes "Do you know where the ex- Thames Transit/ Stagecoach Oxford Dennis Lances are? I understand they moved to the North West, and it would be good, if I have time, to track them down and try to take pictures of them in there new habitat."

Various reports from you advise the following developments and interesting comments.

Ralph Adams says 14239 and 14240 have returned north before Saturday (not confirmed which day yet). (see below)

The "permanent" fleet is as follows, all in Magic Blue with bold advertising vinyl's
13601 BIW4977 Previously Citybus  135 ER9371 Body RH82/1390/6
13604 331HWD previously Citybus  138 ER8635 RH82/1390/9
13605 SJI4558  previously Citybus  139 ES2467 RH82/1390/10
I have not at present found where the chassis number plate is. Any assistance would be welcomed. All 3 registration numbers are from Midland Red South (now Stagecoach South Midlands) vehicles.

The reason the buses do not stay at Oxpens is for crew changes and refuelling, although it appears the latter is not necessary. The buses do not have fuel gauges.

A new sign has now appeared in the cab. Height 14ft 6. This bus will not go under Botley Bridge. Strange to refer to the station bridge as Botley Bridge.

Adrian Lancer says  

Had my first trip on Megabus today.  Both buses used today were ex-Hong Kong vehicles: 13601 (BIW4977) and 13604 (331HWD). 13604 still has 136004 on the front and a no eating and drinking sign in Chinese inside!! Was very impressed, they're very comfy and the air-con's very powerful! Only problem was that they do not like hills - did 15mph on Marston Ferry Road and the M40 by Stokenchurch!!!

Driver said they are trying to get the council to turn the loading bay outside Allsop arms in Gloucester Place into a bus stand, instead of passing the stop three times!! (once to set down, once to get stand and once to pick up passengers)

Only sign of Stagecoach ownership was on the Customer Survey. One of the questions on the survey was: Did you purchase your ticket on the Internet?!! I thought this was the only way to buy one!!

The route does not stop at, or even go past the stop at Magdalen Street East to Oxford, stop in bus lane before and then turns right! Also despite the bus stop in Oxpens, buses do not pick up there during the day due to the number of coach park within and stop on the road outside.

Loadings were 11 people on outward, 19 on return.

Ade (Nat.Express driver) wrote  "on Sunday just gone at about 0815am, BOTH Megabus vehicles (WLT794 & WLT727) were parked in Gloucester Road, just before Marylebone Road in the bus lane."

Edmund Tresham wrote I am at my parents house for the Bank Holiday weekend. On the National Express on my way down from Preston on Friday evening at about 7.30 I passed a one of the UK (with opening windows) Megabus double deckers heading north on the M6 just near Keel Services."

Historical


Brian Matthews ent this photo of ex COMS 106 still operating in Bath in the new livery.

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

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