Sunday 26th November 2006
next update week ending 9th December 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 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.
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Various events of interest have occurred during the past week and I am also delighted that so many of you have sent contributions for this week's page.
Philip Kirk responded in detail to the Oxford Times regarding buses in the High Street which is reported at the following link:
Philip Kirk responds to critics
I received some interesting pictures regarding the launch of the new Virgin Trains coaches from Steven Knight, Head of Campaigns for Virgin Trains - Communications for which I am most grateful.
These are official pictures taken for the press. The second of the two pictures is most appropriate.
BUS SERVICES IN GUERNSEY
I received a rather interesting article on buses in Guernsey which I thought some of you may find interesting. Thanks to Ian Williamson for his contribution.
Bus services in Guernsey are operated by Island Coachways on behalf of the Guernsey States Environment Department. Indeed some of you may be thinking of your holidays for next year and here is an idea.
There is a network of 8 routes all of which either start from or run via St Peter Port bus station on the Esplanade. Routes 1, 3, 7 and 8 are circular and have an ‘A’ suffix when running anticlockwise, 5 and 6 can be described as ‘figure of 8’ and also use ‘N’ and ‘S’ designations. Thus a 6AN changes to 6AS at the bus station and continues after a 5 minute layover.
There is a fixed fare of 60p, which applies to all journeys on all routes, ranging from a 1 hour 20 minute trip round the island (route 7) to a 12 minute run from the Park & Ride (1 and 2). However the local version of the Oyster card, known as ‘Wave & Save’ reduces the cost to as little as 30p. Connecting journeys can be made without extra payment as long as the second journey is made within 30 minutes of alighting from the first. Most services operate between 07.00 and 19.00 approx. with a few later journeys on 3 and 7 but in August this year these routes (and 6) continued until just before midnight on an experimental basis. There is no decision so far on the viability of repeating the scheme next summer.
The Dennis Dart Myllennium is the mainstay of the fleet with over 30 being operated configured for 35 seated and 18 standing. To comply with local regulations they are restricted to 25 mph and are 7’8. 5” wide and 31’8” long. There has been some debate suggesting they are too large for many local roads and it is not unusual to see vehicles being driven along pavements to assist passing. Buses have radio contact with their control centre and will often wait at a favoured location to ease passing manoeuvres.
Previous vehicles operated included 7’6” wide ex LT Bristol LHs and more recently Metroriders and City Pacers. Some older vehicles remain in the fleet, primarily for school contract and private hire duties.
Passenger numbers have increased in the last few years but with no VAT on new cars and petrol costing less than 60p per litre, car ownership is widespread and traffic congestion – in rural areas during the ‘school run’ and in peak hours in the towns – continues to be a problem. For visitors the bus services provide an economic and convenient way to see the Island’s attractions, beaches and shopping centres and provide good connections from the ferry and airport to virtually every town and village.
Also of interest to some visitors:
The Terminus Café has an extensive display of photographs of buses in use over the last sixty years
Tram tracks can be seen in the entrance to the Island Coachways garage midway between St Peter Port and St Sampsons – the trams were abandoned in 1934!
2 Routemasters can be found on the island operated by Universal Limos for sightseeing and private hires.
More information is available at http://www.buses.gg
The bus in the picture bears a striking resemblance to Thames Travel's new Scanias.
Upcoming bus service changes in Witney
One of my many correspondents sent me some pictures relating to the upcoming changes to bus services in the Witney area. These were highlighted in a recent issue and I am repeating them for clarities sake with regard to the pictures submitted.
Oxford County Council local bus tender changes - 11th December 2006
David Harrison wrote with details of upcoming changes to services in Oxfordshire effective December 11th 2006.
Oxfordshire CC have announced the results of their review into subsidised services in the Witney and Eynsham areas plus a few other changes. Of particular note is the reduction in Carterton town services and the reduction in the off-peak Water Eaton P&R service to every 20 minutes M-F! The main changes are set out below:
This service will continue to be operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, and low floor buses will be introduced to this route as soon as possible by Stagecoach.
Service 19: Witney-Bampton-Carterton
These services will continue at the current hourly frequency, and they will continue to be operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. Due to low passenger usage, the extension of service 19 to Cotswold Wildlife Park has been withdrawn. Low floor buses will be introduced to this route as soon as possible.
Service 45 has been withdrawn due to low passenger use, a daily shopping service from Sutton, Stanton Harcourt, Bablockhythe, Northmoor and Brighthampton to Witney provided by service 18A which will be operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.
The South Leigh to Witney shopping service will now be provided by extension of Villager service 20A on Thursdays only.
Service 64: Carterton-Filkins-Lechlade-Swindon
The service will continue at current broadly two-hourly frequency and will remain operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. The service will operate in and out of Carterton town centre via Milestone Road and Corbett Road to replace former town service 117. Low floor buses will be introduced to this route as soon as possible by Stagecoach.
The diversion via Coleshill is retained, and the route in and out of Swindon is unchanged.
Services: 213/214/215 Witney town services
The Witney town services will now be entirely operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, and Stagecoach will be introducing low floor buses as soon as possible.
The Wood Green/Cogges services will be merged, and will operate in a single clockwise (213) and anti-clockwise (214) loop, resulting in some increased journey times. However journeys via Wood Green School retained as at present. These services will no longer serve the Sainsbury's superstore.
Service 233 will continue to be operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. journeys via Burford School operated by double-deck vehicle as at present, however school journeys will be withdrawn from Ascott-under-Wychwood.
Stagecoach will be introducing low floor buses to this route as soon as possible.
Services: 113/117/118/119 Carterton local services
Service 113 will now operate on Thursday only, giving three journeys from Burford to Carterton via Shilton Village (first morning journey commences at Fulbrook) and two from Carterton to Burford (final journey extended to Fulbrook on request). All journeys operate via York Road and Shilbrook Avenue, with two additional round trips linking this area with Carterton shops and Broadshires Health Centre. The operator for this service has not been announced yet.
Service 117 is withdrawn, and is replaced by diversion of two-hourly Stagecoach in Oxfordshire service 64 via Corbett Road and Milestone Road.
Service 119 (York Road/Shilbrook Avenue) and will be replaced by limited Thursday only service 113.
Service 118 will continue to operate between Carterton town centre and into the Shilton Park estate via Broadshires Health Centre. It will be operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire and Stagecoach will be introducing low-floor vehicles to the route as soon as possible.
Photographs of buses on existing service received are shown below.
A Stagecoach Volvo B10M, 20010, leaves Witney bound for Carterton on service X2.
In the changes this service is to be renumbered 200.
SC Vario 42371 departs from Witney Market Place on the Town Circular service 215.
This service is currently interworked with the service to Woodstock.
Stagecoach will be working this service coupled with revised services 213 and 214.
These two services are presently worked by McLeans.
SC Vario 42379 works through the village of North Leigh on its way from Oxford to Witney.
Currently operated by a mixture of B10M, Dart and Vario buses the future service will be run by Solos.
Another Vario, this time 42372, is seen leaving Standlake bound for Witney on the once a day variant of the 18, the 18A.
Trident 18133 crosses the river bridge in Burford on a return working to Witney. This bus had operated a through service from
Oxford on the 100/233 but from 11th December the number of through journeys between Oxford & Burford will be drastically reduced.
Finally a nice map of the town services appears in the new timetable for these routes.
Centrebus in Luton again by Glenn Knight
Ben Morroll visits Bicester
Ben visited Bicester on Saturday and sent a selection of interesting photographs.
Grayline have a number of additions to their fleet and I show a few pictures to illustrate the point below.
The Dart would appear to be a very recent acquisition.
R H are becoming a force to be reckoned with and have a service which reaches Bicester being the 25/25A
Stagecoach uses the Brookes buses on other routes when they are not required for U services.
Here 18055 pauses in Bure Place on its way back to Oxford.
Finally a bus once owned by City of Oxford having been purchased for the Wycombe operation
is now based at Aylesbury and so Dart SLF 3823 is seen on the service 16 in Bicester.
A local model worth adding to your collection
Malcolm Hyland writes "This
mail comes to you in my capacity as Treasurer of The Amersham & District Motor
We have a very limited stock of the 10T10 EFE model T596 on route 458 to Uxbridge. This model was commissioned through London Bus Repaints for the Slough & Windsor Running Day on 14th May 2006 and was a limited edition of 150 models.
Price is £27-50 plus £2-50 for postage and packaging. It is available through Malcolm Hyland at 41, Clare Road, Prestwood, Bucks HP16 0NU. Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motor Bus Society. E-mail queries to email@example.com
Thank you to all those who been with me since day 1 and to those who have contributed each week to help make this page so special.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 26th November 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 26th November 2006
Glenn Knight wrote "I took a picture on 20th November of this rather unusual bus on the 321, 3089, L133 HVS."
I wonder if this is a first? Ed.)
Work on the Green Road roundabout last Friday lunchtime caused some significant delays to traffic resulting in the 280 service being severely disrupted.
Nigel Peach reports that he has now seen DAF 4429. I believe this bus has been at Watford for major repairs.
Steve Warwick has at last succeeded in getting a picture of the new Ayats Bravo coach, now in full livery.
Gavin Francis was up in Victoria and caught one of the new Trathens Neoplans loading. Unlike the Stagecoach versions they only have a centre door as highlighted by Gavin's picture.
Several readers wrote to note that it appeared that all the OBC Darts, with the exception of 411, were off the road for much of last week. Philip Kirk the Managing Director advises that one Dart suffered a rear axle malfunction. As a precaution all Darts (except 411) are off the road and all rear axles on this batch (401-410) are being changed.
As a result there were several unusual workings and Chris Maxfield noted that Citaro 833 was on the 35 on the 22nd November. Even more unusual on the same day was the appearance of Jonckheere coach nr 56 on the X4 morning relief service.
Ben Morroll visited Oxford on Saturday and sent several pictures of unusual type workings.
Volvo B10B 632 is seen on a 6 road working last Saturday.
Citaro 827 is seen in St Aldates on a 13A working last Saturday.
Citaro 833 is seen on a 13 working at the Rail Station. One item of note is that these X3 branded buses have all lost their branding for that service.
Another unbranded Citaro seen last Saturday was 832 on the X4 in St Aldates.
Another unusual working was of 837 on the 6 last Saturday.
Citaro 838 is seen on the 13B at the Rail Station last Saturday.
Finally we see a Trident, 102, on the 13A in The High.
Last week I mentioned the ex Dennis demonstrator, V929FMS had turned up with Kimes. Ben Morroll kindly sent me a picture provided by Dale Tringham of this bus.
From the 10th December look out for renumbered and newly won tendered services to get pictures of for this page.
A few interesting pictures have come to light in the few hours.
Chris Maxfield took this picture of 22919 on a 7 working whilst it was waiting time at High Street last Friday.
Similar bus 22922 heads into town from Headington followed by Oxford Bus 609.
Note the different place and size for the fleet number on the OBC bus.
Friday 24th November 2005.
On Friday last a Dart was used on the 12:10 relief service from Pullens Lane to Wheatley. It was 34472.
The Darts used on service 10 are having freshening up and the first to be so treated is 33650.
Ben Morroll caught Trident 18053 on the 3 yesterday, Saturday 25th at Carfax.
Glenn Knight's photo of KX56 JZO 52376 Luton Flyer taken at MK Rail Station on 14th November 2006
Dudfield wrote "I
visited my in-laws in Witney last weekend. They have just discovered that they
can get a bus from near their home to Sainsbury's. Now I see from OCBP that the
bus will no longer serve Sainsbury's. Such is life.
The OCBP report also mentions Stagecoach service 64 (Carterton-Swindon). It seems a shame to me that the service does not start from Witney as it would provide a useful link. Pre-deregulation, different operators were involved which probably prevented a through service. However now it's all Stagecoach, it ought to be possible. It could even be linked with service X2 to run right through from Oxford.
The Optare website press releases page http://www.optare.com/News/index.htm carries an article dated 16/11/06 about Whites becoming the first operator in Oxfordshire to have an entirely low-floor fleet.
Finally, in view of your oft-repeated comments about motorists abusing the bus gate in Oxford High Street , you might be interested in this clip on YouTube".
I always like line ups which are not posed but someone may say, I don't believe you.
Well, honest everyone, this was not posed.
Ben Morroll caught Scania 106 turn the corner at Carfax last Saturday.
Whites of Abingdon
Paul Dudfield wrote "The Optare website press releases page http://www.optare.com/News/index.htm carries an article dated 16/11/06 about Whites becoming the first operator in Oxfordshire to have an entirely low-floor fleet."
However Ralph Adams suggests this may not be correct as there is still a yellow Vario at their depot.
clarify if this bus is still in stock?
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Peter Edgar took these pictures of RML2289, featured in earlier editions of this page, as the bus now appears earning its keep.
Derek Dawson sent this picture of a new Solent Blue Line Enviro 400. I believe these buses were ordered by Wilts and Dorset
but proved too high for their operation.
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
I had a few interesting pictures this week from new sources.
Seems this ex Thames Valley Bristol is still alive and well in Canada.
Frank Pond wrote a note to accompany the above pictures, saying "I met Graham Anderson whilst photographing a steam engine last weekend. He had seen my photos of an old Bus that I had taken while on a recent holiday in Picton, Ontario (about 3 hours drive East of Toronto). It intrigued me and my brother in law.
I have attached a write up and a couple of photos in case you are interested."
My website is: www.fotographer.me.uk
City of Oxford Motor Services.
Derek Dawson sent a scanned picture dating back to 1984 and taken at Eastleigh Bus Station.
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming events & models
DVD s by Robin Clare
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
Latest Citaro models revealed
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - 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.
Model Buses for Sale
prices revised with immediate effect
I have a revised deal on Models for your readers...
Each of the following models are available for the following price :
Each Model = £10.00
Postage is £4.00 regardless of the number of models.
UKBUS 1014 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R TRIDENT
UKBUS 5002 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R CITARO
UKBUS 2012 - CREATIVE MASTER BROOKES BUS TRIDENT
CORGI ORIGINAL OMNIBUS OXFORD ESPRESS EXCALIBUR
Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at email@example.com
More models are for sale on my eBay store, http://www.modelsmk.co.uk/shop
Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where
I will advise of any mid week news & when
each News Page is posted
please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
The latest handbook from BBF was
on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th
As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002