The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

Issue 242
Wednesday 26th
September 2007
next update week ending 6th October 2007

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

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a bus driver in Oxford but considering the fact that the photographs are taken of the vehicle not any person,
I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
I am sorry to have to mention such a matter but we now live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.


Due to my recent weekend stints at work I have been unable to publish the page before Wednesday and I am sorry about this, as I know many of you look forward to Monday morning and a good browse through the latest edition.

The year seems to be just flying by and we are already nearly in October. This means that Coach & Bus Live 2007 is almost upon us, bringing as it always does what is new and best in the coach and bus world.

I hope to attend and bring you a report of what's on show. If any readers is also going, it would be nice to have a report and maybe pictures to enable us to get a balanced view on the show.

The past week has seen some interesting happenings in our area and contributors have sent in some pieces for publication as you will find below.

I do appreciate that some of the items covered this week are not from our area but I found them interesting and hope readers will also.

Once again I would compliment all those who have contributed to the page, especially for the very photographs received.

The story of a route which is no more - the X15 - by Matt Robinson with additional photographs from Gary Seamarks

Saturday 15th September 2007 saw the end of another long-established bus route in the Chilterns territory, with the withdrawal of Aylesbury to Milton Keynes route X15. Despite running this shortened route since 1994, the X15 was the remains of a much longer route, once branded as 'The Chiltern Connection'.
In the mid 1980s the X15 operated from Reading to Northampton, jointly worked by Alder Valley and United Counties. The route at the time was mainly coach operated, with rare National and VR workings.

United Counties Leyland Tiger in Milton Keynes on 20th December 1983.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

Alder Valley Leyland Tiger at Heath & Reach on 29th September 1985.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

The MK - Northampton section of the route was cut in April 1986, coinciding with United Counties concluding their involvement on the route. The route was shared between Alder Valley (The Bee Line) and Luton & District's Aylesbury depot at this time.

The daytime frequency of the X15 at the time was low. Additional frequency between Aylesbury and Heath & Reach was provided by Aylesbury to Bedford route 141. The 141 was shared between L&D's Aylesbury depot and United Counties' Bedford depot, using mainly VRs and Nationals.

A Luton & District VR at Heath & Reach on 26th August 1989.
The photo of VVV960W is operating the 141 Bedford route in Heath & Reach, prior to the X15 going hourly AY-MK.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

Aylesbury's main buses for the X15 were all coach seated, Leyland National VRP533S and Bristol VRs HBD918T & VVV955W. These were later joined by Leyland Lynx H407ERO, which was converted to 45 coach seats and painted in Luton & District's red/cream livery. It had previously been painted blue and silver and used on Luton airport flyer work (a 29 seater at the time with racking in the front section).

A sister Lynx to that mentioned above on airport work at Luton, 2nd June 1993. Picture by M Crowe.

Lots of nasty boards in the window - a Leyland Tiger from LDT on the X15 in Aylesbury on 17th August 1988.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

Bristol VR CJH124V was a regular performer on the X15 for many years and is seen above in Alder Valley-National Bus DP livery.
It is seen in Leighton Buzzard on 18th June 1986.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

One year later in 1987 it gained Beeline livery and is seen again in Leighton Buzzard on 15th June 1987.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

1989 saw Aylesbury's first Leyland Olympians arrive, nine ECW-bodied X-reg examples from Luton and Dunstable depots in exchange for Bristol VRs. These were complimented later that year by six brand new G-reg Alexander bodied examples, G649-54UPP. 654 had coach seating and became the flagship vehicle of the X15. It was promptly painted into a blue livery for routes X14/X15 and branded 'The Chiltern Connection'. Around the same time route 141 was withdrawn and to compensate the Aylesbury - Milton Keynes section of the X15 was upgraded to an hourly frequency. Leyland Olympians then became mainstays of the route.

X reg Olympian 612 on the X15 passing through Leighton Buzzard on 30th September 1990.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

Olympian 654 carries full branding livery for the X14 and X15, again in Leighton Buzzard on 15th February 1990.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

On a very odd occasion the unique Dennis Falcon worked the X15 as it was coach seated. It is seen above on the 329 to Reading, once part of this long route.
In 1991 it left the area for pastures new in Manchester with Maynes. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Later The Bee Line replaced their own coach-seated VRs on the route with three ECW-bodied Leyland Olympian coaches cascaded from London coach work. They were D822-4UTF. Ironically they would go on to join the former Luton & District fleet (when under Arriva ownership) courtesy of the Wycombe Bus sale a few years later.

As mentioned above, the three coach Olympians, which had worked the Alder Valley London-Bracknell expresses
were transferred to Wycombe to work the X15 amongst other services. These included weekend express routes to the south coast.
823 is seen passing Monks Risborough on 10th May 1990. Picture by M Crowe.

Luton & District were running Olympians like the one above in 1991 and 650 is seen on 23rd July of that year near Fenny Stratford.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

The VRs were still working the route in 1993 when 951 was seen near Bletchley.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

In 1994 the Stoke Mandeville to Reading section of the X15 was withdrawn, but journeys continued to terminate at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Bee Line involvement on the route ceased at the same time and the route became solely worked by Aylesbury depot. 654 was then one of the first repaints into The Shires' (L&D relaunched in 1995) blue and yellow livery. In this period the X15 was shortened again to terminate in Aylesbury Bus Station, however Sunday workings continued to work the full Milton Keynes to Reading route, albeit with route number 325. The Sunday 325 was withdrawn sometime around 1998-99, replaced by four return Aylesbury - Milton Keynes X15 workings instead.

In 1997 three brand new Scania L113CRLs with Northern Counties DP45F bodywork were delivered to Aylesbury and branded for the X15. They were registered R203-5RBM (numbered 3203-5 - incidentally 3205 would be the last bus delivered to The Shires in their blue and yellow livery before Arriva corporate livery took over). The Scanias lasted on the route until 2005 before transferring to Wycombe depot (ironically intended for the HW-Reading route, former X15 territory). However Saturday workings continued to be primarily operated by Leyland Olympians due to increased loadings. Extra Saturday runs were added to the timetable in 2003, increasing the frequency to every 30 minutes at certain points in the timetable.

Scania 3204 is seen carrying X15 branding on its blue and yellow corporate livery soon after delivery in 1997.
Gary Seamarks has kindly provided this classic photo.

In 2005 the branded Scanias were replaced by four low-floor DAF SB220s with Plaxton Prestige bodywork. They had been cascaded from Green Line route 724 and were registered R205-8VPU (numbered 3445-8). Prior to this there had been a brief trial using Dennis Trident double deckers cascaded from Luton route 38. However the buses were forced to divert via Leighton Buzzard Rail Station instead of Linslade Road due to the height restriction of the rail bridge there. Arriva had requested the height limit of the bridge be re-graded but the application was refused, and the Tridents were placed on Aylesbury-Watford route 500 instead in exchange for the DAFs.

The four DAFs which were the mainstay of the route in its final years.
Pictures by Matt Robinson.

The opening of the Leighton Buzzard/Linslade/Stoke Hammond by-pass in September 2007 saw the X15 replaced with two new routes. Line 150 covers the old X15 service between Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard, with odd journeys operating the original service. The new 'main' order is Line 100 which operates Aylesbury to Wing via the old X15 route, then directly into Milton Keynes via the new by-pass.
Thanks to Gary Seamarks who has kindly provided the classic photos with his permission to use same within this article.

Picture by Matt Robinson.

My photo of 5104 (G654UPP) was taken in Aylesbury Bus Station after its final run on its old route. The pictures of Olympian 5101 in Mix 96 livery and DAF 3445 (both in MK) were taken on that final Saturday.

Picture by Matt Robinson.

This is a most interesting article and compliments last week's pictures of the Line 100 launch by James Smith.

The DAFs are still around and 3447 has received a new coat of paint, branding and leather seats for its new role on Line 100.
Picture by James Smith 14th September 2007.

Highlands & Islands by Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor has just returned from the far north west of Scotland and sent some interesting pictures for this week's page. It makes me want to go there and see it for myself. Matt writes "The Isle of Skye is a most interesting place and my second picture is maybe for Buses in the Landscape. First is Citylink's 916 route operated by West Coast Motors, leaving Glasgow at 7am, arriving at it's terminus on Uig, Isle of Skye to meet the ferry at 2pm, before returning to Glasgow.


If you look closely at the photo you can just see the bus at the Uig Ferry Terminal, Unfortunately as I was late, due to a abnormal road coming off the A87 on Skye, the ferry wasn't in, it had just set sail. However it gave me the opportunity to take a T9 along roads that I didn't think were possible and I did manage to get the other photo, showing Interchange Highland and Island style.

How about a little bit of Nostalgia seen at Urquhart Castle was this little sweetie, from days of old.

North East interlude by Ben Stove

Ben saw the piece on the North East last week and sent some pictures of buses in his area. I found them interesting and hope readers do so. Many of the Trident batch, some of which are now working Oxford , are still hard at work in the North East. I also was interested to find a DAF from the batch, some of which are operated by Carousel.

Ben writes "I Enclose a large part of Go North East's brandings for you all."

3868 W178SCU A White Spare Bus for Service 1 'Coaster' From Gateshead Interchange - Whitley Bay Cemetery.
This bus also has recent fitted coloured Led Display's This Picture was also taken on the Tyne Bridge.

W187SCU Recently taken off service 21 Due to a Rebrand of 'The Angel' This bus used to be branded for the Old name of '21 24hour service'.
Since it was displaced from service 21 it moved to Gateshead Depot for service 23/24 This is seen on the Tyne Bridge.
From the 21st September 3876 W186SCU 3877 W187SCU 3878 W188SCU Have moved back to Chester le Street Depot to help out on service 25 and 50.

NK51UCR Recently branded for 'The Angel' There are only 2 Dennis Trident's Branded like this. These Tridents did not go to Oxford Bus Company.
Seen with its recent fitted Coloured Led Displays looking rather smart. Picture taken on Tyne Bridge.

R551LGH Was recently repainted a Yellow colour believed to be for a School bus. this joins most of the other batch of Volvo Palatine 1.
They are yet to be branded they should all look great of there for School buses.
This is allocated to Gateshead Depot and the picture was taken in Gateshead Interchange.

R554LGH Is seen in the Old Livery for Go North East. This could also be repainted yellow
This is also allocated to Winlaton Depot and the picture was taken at Gateshead Interchange.

NK53UNT An earlier batch of Scania L94UB Solar's. This was recently transferred to Gateshead Depot for Many Service's.
This Scania and 4968 Will most likely be used for 2 White spares for 'The Orbit'. The picture was taken in Gateshead Interchange.

 R975FNW Was one of the batch of 9 DAF Northern Counties to be Acquired By Go North East. 
Previously used on airport work for the Heathrow Express before final running through to Heathrow,
it was acquired from Arriva Bus & Coach when they arrived at Go North East
They had to convert them from duel door to single door. 4985 Was Seen operating Service 25 On the Tyne Bridge.

NK54NVT was recently painted black for 'The Orbit' (93/94) 5222-5226 Will also be repainted black. 5222 Is now black for it with the rest to follow.

NK54NVX Was also Seen on the Tyne Bridge. There are a batch of 7 that were displaced from Service 21 were they now are operating for Gateshead Depot Ex Chester-Le-Street Depot
The Batch of 7 now under go a paint job were they will be resprayed all over black for the 93/94 Soon to be rebranded as 'The Orbit'.

Stagecoach is not left out by Ben and they have some rather interesting buses.

16725 N725LTN Has had an allover Advert for 'Fly Emirates' This was just recently added to this bus. It looks more like a Routemaster than a Volvo.

22013 NK03XJC Was seen in Gateshead Interchange Just came off service Q1 (Supposed to be a Dedicated bus).

61002 NK05RWN A Designline Olymbus Electric Bus Dedicated to service Q1/Q2. This was seen in Gateshead Interchange about to work a Q1 To Baltic.

I hasten to add, for my readers, that I am not going to make a habit of out of area coverage but I did find this interesting.

A visit to Jersey CI by Matt Robinson

Jersey is a fascinating place with narrow roads and high hedges with buses and coaches to match. In days, now long done, it was a real Mecca for bus enthusiasts, having many elderly Leylands. This made is seem as if the Island was in a time warp. However those days are now long done and narrow Darts and many more modern vehicles are now the order of the day. Matt Robinson sent some interesting pictures of the current transport fleet on Jersey - September 2007.

Matt Writes "Last week I visited friends in Jersey. I also took almost 150 bus photos during my time there. The bus service in Jersey is operated by Connex, their service fleet is totally Dennis Darts (however they have some Mercedes minibuses for school contracts).
Due to vehicle size restrictions on the island, older non-standard bus types have proved popular on the Island. Gone now are the Ford R1015 buses and Bedford SB5 coaches, but the mid-engined Leyland Swift lives on there (many have been late imports from various UK operators including four from Arriva The Shires). Both major coach operators' (Tantivy Blue Coach and Waverley Coaches) most modern coaches are Cannon Hi-Lines with Leicester Carriage Builders bodywork, whilst all of Connex's Dennis Darts are specially built to smaller dimensions than standard UK Darts.
Jersey's bus network is very efficient, with the main arterial bus routes maintaining 30 or 60 minute frequencies right up until midnight during the summer months. Unfortunately the island's size restrictions mean that often buses can be full, requiring duplication.
Riding Jersey's buses along winding lanes (and amidst some of the great coastal views) is a real experience, and a real test of driver skill seeing how close the buses get to those granite walls !!"

That's a brief summary, here are some photo descriptions:

Tantivy Blue Coach number 26 (J60319) is former Arriva The Shires Leyland Swift F155KGS (acquired from Buffalo Travel).

Tantivy Blue Coach number 1 (J82047) is one of a pair of rare Camo-bodied Renault coaches delivered new in 1996 (Tantivy also had a unique Wadham-Stringer bodied Iveco Countrybus, although that had disappeared this year.)

Waverley Coaches latest delivery is number 25, a Leicester Carriage Builders bodied Cannon Hi-Line, Jersey's latest standard coach.

Waverley Coaches number 15 is the last remaining Duple Dominant-bodied Bedford SB5 in service in Jersey. There was a time when they were literally everywhere on the island !!

Leyland Swifts remain the most popular vehicles amongst Jersey's coach operators, Waverley Coaches' number 2 (J51772) was new to them in 1989. Although most have Wadham Stringer Vanguard bodies, some of Blue Coach's examples have Elme bodywork, which looks more coach-like.

Connex 773 (J93319) is one of a number of Plaxton bodied Darts bought by the island's previous bus operator, JMT (then passing to Tantivy Blue Coach who are part of the same company as JMT). Connex recently purchased 10 of them and shipped them back to the UK for refurbishment. About an hour after this photo was taken this bus was involved in an accident resulting in nearside damage.

Connex 231 (J101731) and 544 (J79350) are two examples of their newer Darts with Caetano bodies.

Well, a most interesting piece and even some local interest in the ex Buffalo Leyland Swift. Well done Matt.

A question from Dick Gilbert concerning B & C Coaches of Cumnor?

Dick Gilbert writes to ask "I've come to ask a favour; What do you know about B&C Coaches of Cumnor, active in the 1950s and 60s (and maybe earlier)?

All I know is that they bought a couple of second-hand full-fronted Bristol Ls from Thames Valley in 1963 and '64, but I'm particularly interested to know about their earlier vehicles.

Do you have any info about this firm? All contributions, however small, will be most welcome."

Well I wonder if any readers can answer Dick's question. I look forward to hearing from you.

Some answers to questions and comments on last week's News Page 241 from john Podgorski

I can help clear a few mysteries from recent News Pages.

First Coach Tri-Axles on the X30 at Stansted.

First tri axle Volvo  20202 (T702 JLD) at Stansted Airport.

First Essex have borrowed three of these, 20201-3 (T701-3 JLD) from First London, for use on their X30 Stansted-Chelmsford-Southend "Coachlink" service. They are based at Chelmsford depot, and provide "extra capacity" on this route, which had previously been worked mainly by 0814D/Cheetahs.

As there are only three First Essex tri axles, you won't necessarily see them on every visit to Stansted. I may have been lucky, as I've seen all three on visits to Chelmsford.

National Express - another accident 

The Nat Ex Scania/Levante tri axle that crashed on the M11 was SC4 (FJ07 DVK).

The driver was arrested on suspicion of careless driving, and has been bailed until October.

The damage to the coach didn't seem too bad on the news report, but that doesn't tell the whole story.

It was removed by low loader, possibly to Scania at Start Hill, near Stansted. 

Heyfordian Merc 811D N605 JGP.

This was one of a batch of six (3x709D, 3x811D) new to Crystals of Dartford, and used on a couple of TfL contracts in the Orpington area in the mid '90s to early 2000s. Bodywork is by Crystals.

Crystals main activity was welfare buses, and they subsequently sold their "mainstream" bus activities to TGM in 2003, who in turn passed them on to Metrobus in 2005.

Carousel ex Stagecoach Olympians.

F510/11 NJE are both originally Cambus, ex Stagecoach Devon via Ensigns. 

Arriva Hitchin depot.

This closed operationally in mid Jan 2007. However it remained in use for engineering until late summer, when the workshop at Stevenage, Norton Green Road depot had been extended.

At 9/07, Hitchin garage still stood, but now only used for staff car parking. It was built as an Eastern National facility, passing to United Counties in 1952, when the EN "Midland Region" was hived off.

You are right about the traditional Tilling design bus garage now being a rarity. I can think of a few still standing in East Anglia, but not in the Chiltern area.

Tappins Metrobus E471 SON  

Tappins Metrobus E471 SON has suffered accident damage, and has gone to Ensign at Purfleet for breaking.

Buses in cityscape and landscape

Andy Churchill sent this excellent picture of London's Westminster, taken from the Millennium Wheel. A sign of the times is that there are more bendy buses on the bridge than double deckers.

Picture by Andy Churchill

Paul Dudfield sent this picture taken in deepest Wales. It shows a Richards Brothers Dart entering the village of village of St Dogmaels on its way from Poppit to Cardigan taken in September 2007.

Picture by Paul Dudfield.

Work is progressing on developments in High Wycombe town centre. There is a large roundabout and this will be controlled by a great number of traffic lights in due course. The town has already slowed down due to many other sets of traffic lights and one might expect even more delays when the new lights come into force.

Picture by Nigel Peach

Nigel comments "You've maybe had enough pictures taken from Newlands Multi Storey car park, but here's another! This shows a Red Route 33 and a Green Route 31 caught in traffic on the way to the bus station. (The lampposts rather spoil the picture!)"

Allan Field sent the following comments to accompany some pictures taken at Sandbanks near Poole recently.

"Malcolm, I thought that you might like to see these photos which complement the piece that you published in Issue 238 when you travelled over the Sandbanks Ferry on Wilts and Dorset service 150 from Bournemouth to Swanage. You may wonder how I was able to take them from such an unusual angle - the answer is that they were taken on 1st September from the top deck of the Poole to Cherbourg cross channel ferry which towers over the landscape and the yachts when it leaves Poole Harbour past Sandbanks."

High Wycombe LC garage lives again - at least for an hour - Sunday 23rd September

Peter Cartwright and friends recreated an hour at HE garage last Sunday with three LC buses which included recently purchased RF673. This bus will be at Amersham next Sunday - see below.

For those readers who may not be aware, Staples building was once a London Transport bus garage, or was at least until the late '70s.


Amersham & District Running day September 30th 2007 - a date for your diary 

The final Amersham & District Running Day for 2007 is as follows: 

Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.

Timetables are now on sale at the Tourist Information Office in High Wycombe.

Malcolm Crowe - Wednesday 26th September 2007

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

News of the local companies – 26th September 2007

The Solos have still not appeared on Line 40 and one must now wonder what is going to happen. However Nigel Peach got the scoop of the week when he passed by Cressex depot in high Wycombe and saw that a new Versa had arrived. Indeed these must be some of the Versa to be delivered, two being due at Wycombe for routes 38/39. Nigel writes "New orange Optare YJ57 EKF was at the Cressex depot this morning (Sat 22nd). Two photos attached. No branding yet (& no fleet number)  but presumably this is for routes 38/39. Hope it doesn't have the same problems in the bus station that the Solos have! Incidentally, Solo 2492 has received its fleet number at last - it was also residing at the depot this morning."


Nigel adds "I was quite surprised the other week to see that DAF 4490 has received an all over ad for Lakes Electrical when Scania 3144 had received similar treatment only a few weeks ago, replacing sister 3158 as the Lakes ad. I was even more surprised this week to see that 3144 has had the ad removed and is now back in normal livery. Why would this be I wonder? Did they put the ad on the wrong bus?! This set me wondering who and what determines which specific bus receives an all over ad, and do conditions come with it - i.e. does the bus have to appear on a certain number of different routes etc?"

York Bus Driver writes re a question asked last week "Regarding the off side numbers on the Green Line coaches, I would guess they are for the same reason that the Oxford Tube coaches used to have them - so that drivers can pass on traffic problems to each other via radio / phones, and hopefully help the service run more smoothly."

Glenn Knight writes "DAF SB120 KE51 PVF 4514 was on the 16.40 321 to Watford & the 15.55 321 to Luton Airport taken on the 19/09/07.

Tim Hall from Swindon wrote "...last Wednesday, 19th Sept. I did a little trip into your area and took lots of photos in the Hemel, Hatfield, St Albans and Stevenage  areas.

I enclose five of the more interesting:


(anybody know the history of this please)

Simon Oliver wrote saying "I went over to High Wycombe and Thame last Saturday hoping to photograph at least one of the new solos on the 40, but what did I get - darts - so It looks like I'll have to make the trip again. 

I've attached the link for my Arriva Shires and Essex collection. I've added 9 new pics, which include Leyland Olympian 5113 turning in the green in Stokenchurch, something which they now longer do. I forgot I had this picture, though it's a bit in the shade. Also added Plaxton Verde 3843 in Henley last summer on the 328 in the Thames Valley line livery ( made a change last summer to have the right liveried bus on the 328 & 329). 

The other seven pictures are taken in Thame, Princes Risborough and one of a Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo on the 800 (former 329) in Binfield Heath."

The two new Solos meanwhile languish around the place and are seen in two locations below.

Route 353 which runs between Chesham and Uxbridge is operated out of Wycombe depot. Volvo B6 3115 is seen here near Chesham last Monday.

Once based at Wycombe, Olympian 5124 is now at Aylesbury and was on the 280 last Tuesday here in Thame.

Smartly turned out Olympian 5159 was also on the 280, again in Thame last Tuesday.

3173 seen last week in Hemel is this week on the 52 at Amersham.

Finally Peter Cabin writes saying "I don't know if I am seeing things but I could be sure I saw 3482  W482YGS painted back in London red today on the 39 to Hicks Farm Rise??"

Carousel Bus, High Wycombe -

This fleet is being enlarged and I was surprised to find quite a number of buses at the Cressex depot in what is normally a peak period. One was a recently acquired Dart and another a further Olympian from Stagecoach F511NJE.

The destination display on this DAF seems to have become skiwif - I wonder why?

Olympian L564 still has its original A40 branding but is seen here at Amersham Hospital last Tuesday on a route 4 working.

I expected to see this little bus on the 27 but recently it always seems to be on the BCUC special service. Here passing Amersham Hospital last Tuesday.

Gavin Francis - as ever - provides us with a reminder of what the R registered Darts were up to with Metroline before they so recently joined Carousel.

Carousel have an RT and Gavin Francis sent pictures of her as she used to be - RT981

Centrebus -

Tim Hall sent this picture as part of a five part set - see under Arriva above.



First Berkshire

First have cascaded a Scania/Irizar onto the 702 service to Windsor and Gavin Francis sent pictures of the refreshed coach.

Nice to see original wheel trims in use.

Chris Maxfield has been busy catching up with OBC.

Unusually Trident 903 appeared on an 8 road working last week.

The two special liveried Volvo B10BLEs have been appearing on a variety of routes including 400 and 500.

It is now most unusual to see anything but a Citaro on 2 road.

At last - the elusive training coach 961 - ex coach 16.

Tridents of the red variety appear on a variety of routes and the picture above by Andy Churchill shows 103 on football route 601 last Saturday.

The ex Airline Jonckheeres have for a number of weeks not carried any branding on their rear panels. This has now been rectified and WiFi is now the order of the day.

29 and 31 show the variation in the wording on the rear panels. Pictures by Gavin Francis

32 and 33 showing the WiFi differences - pictures by M Crowe.

R H Transport Services

RH Transport Services are now applying fleet names to all the fleet and a recently acquired Solo has gained the fleet livery and fleet names as this picture from ?John Hammond shows.

Glenn Knight writes "Olympian 16674 - L674HNV without Pluto Branding at Luton 19/9/2007 at 17.05"

Recently repainted 22053 stands next to 22052 at Horspath depot last week. M Crowe.

22943 had just returned from repaint at Banbury when this picture was taken last Friday.
Note the slight livery difference and why do they paint the wheel trims?

Richard Sharman caught up with 52211 on training duties last week.
This was a lucky shot as this coach is now stripped and ready to go Banbury for repainting.
52251 is now ready and in service on training duties.

Seemingly there is just one trip per day from Oxford City to Florence Park terminating.
Chris Maxfield's picture shows this journey operated by Solo 47315 last week.

Stratford-upon-Avon Stagecoach style by Richard Sharman

Seemingly never a day goes by in recent weeks when the M40 is not blocked or heavily congested with an accident.
It is then that the London services often use the A40 through West Wycombe as a diversion.


Stuart Curwen sent this picture of ex Lothian Olympian 306 now in school livery.

The company advises that a further batch of four M A N 14.220/MCV Evolutions are due which will replace four 51 registered Darts. The hew buses will be in the latest fleet livery.

UNO - Hatfield

Tim Hall took these pictures on his trip last weekend. See under Arriva above.



Woottens Coaches

I had the pleasure of visiting the depot last Monday and publish a selection of pictures taken on that occasion. A warm welcome awaits enthusiasts, have a high - vis jacket with you and let them know you are coming. The fleet is a wonderful mix of new and traditional with something to suit all tastes.

A view of the depot from the road. This used to be Rovers premises until taken over by Woottens.

Old and new share the yard and Michael tells me they've had excellent service from the Lynxs.

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

A whole new concept for mass transit ! Imagine that on the Blackbird Leys services.
"Get that round the city centre" - "Drivers - what drivers?"

Wonder what this was doing in Oxford - picture by Chris Maxfield

Z&S have anew acquisition. Picture by Chris Maxfield.


If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

Paul Davis wondered what happened to this Dennis - see under the X15 story.

A wonderfully evocative shot of COMS Bristol RE 82 in High Wycombe Newlands Bus Station on 28th December 1984 by Paul Davis.

Gloria Glide - Park & Ride. Thames Transit style.

A Thames Transit Dart - 3013 back in the days of new competition in Oxford.

Coming events, models and useful links

PSV Circle publishes latest issue of the fleet list for Berkshire and Oxfordshire

Ken MacKenzie writes to note that the new PSV Circle fleet list for Berkshire/Oxfordshire (G432) is now available.

Those readers wishing to buy a copy should write to: PSV Circle, 59 Palmer Avenue, Cheam SM3 8EF - Cost id £7.00 plus 50p P & P and it will also be available at the PSV Circle sales stand at Showbus 2007.

This will be a most useful reference for all those interested in the local scene.

Editors review - I have now had chance to review this book and it is indeed very useful, giving details of all known fleets in Berks and Oxon. Whilst some information is not totally up to date it allows the readers to have a comprehensive view of the local fleets and up dates can be gained by joining the PSV Circle. At £7.00 this represents value for money as it also includes a number of good photographs.


A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.

Model News of an Oxford bus

Guy writes to send a picture of the latest offering on the model front related to Oxford.


A photo disc for your collection

This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site

Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.

The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.

Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book

In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.

The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.

The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.

Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours. 

New DVD by Robin Clare -

Robin sent me a copy of his latest DVD to review. "Today's buses - Oxfordshire" is the compelling title which includes Henley, Wallingford and Didcot before the viewer is taken onto Wantage, Witney, Banbury and finally Bicester. Each of these locations is covered in2 to 5 minutes and each shows the current selection of buses and coaches to be found. Finally over 37 minutes is devoted to Oxford with filming in a variety of locations in the city.

On another subject the road sense and behaviour of cyclists in Oxford has to be seen to be believed!!!!

The quality of the DVD is excellent and one can really see clearly the details of each vehicle, something which older video always seemed unable to do. All the latest developments are shown in this September 2007 DVD, including workings from Broad Street during the St Giles Fair weekend.

The DVD provides a unique record of events in Oxfordshire during this period and at £10 is not a very large outlay.

Robin Clare Transport Video
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA

The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :-

Citaro models

Dave Rogers sent the following press release.


Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester  -  ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus


Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads. 

ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks. 

Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre. 

ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions. 

ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased. 

Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.


The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively. 


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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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


These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire

Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK

John Marsh's pictures with a difference

The Oxford Bus Museum

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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