Sunday 28th May 2006
next update week ending 10th June 2006
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the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
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As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.
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A few items of interest this week with further news of Stagecoach changes here in Oxford plus the return of another refurbished Volvo B10BLE for 5 road by Oxford Bus. The roadworks in Sandhills continue to bring misery to travellers and problems in maintaining service for operators.
Nothing has so far emerged about the use of those Routemasters but at present there only three at the site in Cowley Road, so one wonders where the other one has gone.
RM1185 - XYJ427 - latterly with Arriva London at their Clapton depot. Damage has occurred to the rear nearside lower deck window.
Updated report on delays to traffic and services resulting from work at Thornhill Park & Ride junction on the A40.
Work started on the roundabout at Headington early last week and as a result there are only two lanes in use on the circle. Strangely this seems to have reduced the chaos of earlier weeks at this point. However last Friday was the first test of the traffic levels on the approach to Oxford from the east on a holiday weekend.
Traffic started to back up during the afternoon and those holiday makers with their caravans must have had a nasty shock when the started to queue from as far back as the M40 at Wheatley. This did not last for more than two to three hours but the result was doubtless a lot of unhappy drivers. The queue had lessened and by 5pm was only as far as the Wheatley west slip road.
The delays did mean that one coach returning to Oxford and choosing unlike two other coaches not to use the Stadhampton diversion took just about 70 minutes longer to reach its terminus at Gloucester Green than those two which diverted.
During the week there have been times when Gloucester Green was noticeably short of coaches for departing services. Equally there have been lengthy delays in getting out of Thornhill Park & ride when running to London or the airports. A notice advises that delays of 12 minutes can be expected at peak times. It is not surprising then that inbound coaches to Oxford are not normally going into the Park & Ride thereby saving some precious minutes. In one case and additional eight passengers for London were boarded in Thornhill whilst waiting fo0r the lights to change.
I should make clear that following last week's comments on Stagecoach service 7 buses not going into Barton, that this only occurred on the first day of the works and now ALL services are operating the full route.
From Oxford to the Chilterns
I couldn't resist this picture of the M40, containing as it does four coaches leaving Oxford, all no doubt trapped in the queue to leave Thornhill.
In the distance is OBC Volvo coach 71 with 22 closest to the camera.
Open top tour bus restrictions and a response from a reader
Noam Bleicher writes "I
hope some sensible solution is found, both in Bath and and Oxford, to the
conundrum of tour buses. I would have thought some sensible solution could be
found, whereby the number of buses on the road is adjusted to keep headways
constant taking into account traffic. On a quiet day for eg, one may only need 4
buses to maintain a ten-minute headway - you could lay two buses over and save
the fuel (but not the driver's wage).
This would require some sort of deal from the city on cheap layover space at Oxpens, and also some kind of technological fix to ensure the commentary could always be relevant at different speeds - maybe using GPS technology?
At any rate, I feel this will soon be a current issue given the handful of RMs parked behind the bingo hall. It is hard to see how an operator can run a profitable regular service using crew-op buses when the majors sometimes have trouble using OPO! I suspect the RMs will soon lose their roofs and become tour buses. I look forward to reading about it in OCBP."
Well lets see what happens.
Looking for a Volvo 6 wheel coach?
Carole Morgan writes "I am searching for a six-wheel Volvo in good condition. Can anyone help me?"
Exeter Running Day - July 15th 2006
I mention this event as maybe some readers will be on holiday in the area and wish to attend. The organisers are WHoTT for the Running Day being held in Exeter on July 15th.
As Stagecoach are celebrating the fact that it is 10 years since they bought Devon General and Bayline, they have in association with WHoTT decided to hold a Bus Rally and Running Day based on the Coach Station in Exeter, there will be a static display of many Stagecoach and Devon General vehicles past and present.
However to many the highlight of the day will be the free bus service, there will be a free service using former Devon General and Exeter Corporation vehicles re-enacting the C service from Exeter City Centre to Crossmead at the top of Dunsford Hill, the service starts just outside the Coach Station on Belgrave Road and then operates to Crossmead via the High Street, Exe Bridges and Cowick Street. The main part being the use of Exeter High Street, this is usually only for use by Stagecoach service buses and emergency services, but special dispensation has been achieved for the heritage service for the day.
The service will operate every 15 mins from 1015 until 1545 with the last bus arriving back at Belgrave Road at 1625. The service will observe all bus stops en-route.
The vehicles that will be used subject to availability will be:
56 1957 Guy Arab IV
86 1963 Leyland Titan PD2
DR817 1957 AEC Regent V
913 1960 Leyland Atlantean (member of the ICG)
518 1965 AEC Regent V
537 1968 Leyland Atlantean
1215 1980 Bristol VRT (member of the ICG)
As you will see the 'ICG' is supporting the event by supplying two vehicles for the free service as well as additional vehicles for static display.
Also it is expected that our own local Brookes Tridents will be running the 12 service in Torquay and additionally Thames Transit owes its start to Devon General and Harry Blundred. From time to time a number of ex Devon buses and coaches have worked from Oxford and most recently we have a Slimline Solo on loan from Devon.
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new. This week's report is somewhat shorter than usual but I hope still with interest to everyone.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 28th May 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 28th May 2006
Following a reader asking for more pictures of buses in service and not inside the bus station Colin Grafham sent the pictures below saying "In issue 177 Ben Carter made a request for more photos of buses/vehicles out in service or at their termini.
Accordingly, I've attached four photos which I took on 16 May 2006 in the High Wycombe area:-"
Picture 1 - Arriva The Shires 3862 passing Penn Pond on 'Green' route 31 prior to arriving at the terminal point.
Picture 2 - Arriva The Shires 3867 standing at the Penn (Post Office) terminus of 'Green' route 31.
Picture 3 - Arriva The Shires 3181 approaching the Totteridge Lane terminus of 'Red' route 33.
Picture 4 - Arriva The Shires 3181 standing at the Totteridge Lane (Tyzack Road) terminus of 'Red' route 33.
Following last week's picture of 3342 I received the following from Mike Penn who writes "I thought you might be interested in a little more of the history of Arriva The Shires 3342 (L602 EKM) which is now at High Wycombe. It was acquired from Arriva Southend late last year along with 3338 and 3351 (L608/1 EKM). They were first allocated to Stevenage but then 3342 went on loan to MK Metro, by then an Arriva company, and was used on their services in Northampton, the only Arriva liveried vehicle amongst a sea of First and Stagecoach liveries. I am attaching a photo of it in Northampton taken on April 5th. 3338 has also moved on and is now with Arriva East Herts & Essex at Harlow. I suspect that 3351 has also moved though I don't know where."
Mike goes on
to say "I believe you mentioned a week or two ago that the fleet number of
3342 might be confused with 3242 (M842 DDS) which is also at High Wycombe. In
another irony M841/6 DDS are now with Arriva East Herts & Essex at Harlow having
moved from Arriva The Shires to Arriva Colchester and then to Burtons who took
over Arriva Colchester. However they are now numbered 3341/6 as as the original
number of M841 DDS (3241) is now allocated to a former Sovereign vehicle.
Also you mentioned that former Sovereign 124 (R524 TWR) has been used on Green Line route 797. I myself have seen it on that route a couple of times recently, once in Stevenage and once in London. It is mostly green of course, though in advertising livery, not Green Line!"
This morning I visited Cressex depot to see what was around. I got a nice shot of Dart 3838, one of the three used on the U9. I am told that this is consistently TfLs best performing route.
A general view of the yard from Lincoln Road and one of Dart 3838.
Back to High Wycombe for a few more pictures.
Stokenchurch and the 1017 to High Wycombe today, Sunday 28th May. This time its Dart 3365 - who knows this ones history?
Vario 2171 works a 326, today Sunday, where it seen passing the old Thames Valley depot at Wycombe Marsh
Volvo 3842 with Thames Valley line branding works at 326 in London Road, High Wycombe, heading towards Wycombe Marsh.
I have noticed a Dennis Lance/Wright Pathfinder on the 280 this week in Oxford.
Nigel Peach writes "Mercedes Minibus 2417 (N177 DWM) has been operating from Wycombe this week. It has no destination blind and was at one time based at Aylesbury."
Back from the paint shop, T402SMV displays its new colours, looking very smart indeed.
A line up of buses resting on a Sunday - 28th May 2006.
Glenn Knight sent this picture of a Leyland Royal Tiger with Charlton Services.
A further Volvo B10BLE has returned to service following refurbishment. It is 803 but so far I have been unable to get any pictures.
I have also now seen Volvo coach 71 in service but again have been unlucky in my quest for a picture.
Coach 2 seen inbound through the road works at Sandhills.
Airline coach 61 is seen heading past junction 7 on the M40 Oxford bound last Friday.
Trident 111 passes Nuffield College in New Road as it heads towards Redbridge via the City Centre.
Another of the ex Tayside Volvo coaches now working for National Express out of Heathrow depot.
Gavin Francis caught NXVP4 on a 7347 working in Oxford last week.
Tuesday 23rd saw the arrival of Slimline Solo 47106 from Exeter and Tridents 18054 and 18055 left for Exeter and their summer break. It is expected that 18051 and 18053 will also go to Exeter for the summer leaving Oxford after the 17th June.
SC were very quick in reprogramming the destination on 47106 and I took several pictures to show the new routes, due to start on June 4th.
47106 showing the route 16 and also the Concessionary Fare screen now appearing on all appropriate buses working in Oxford.
47106 this time with 17 destination display
I am almost sure it will never happen but the screen is also capable of showing a Tube display !!!!!
Ricahrd Sharman sent this picture of the Bicester out station with a Brookes Trident in house.
Trident 18052, the one fitted with a tachograph, will not be going to Devon.
Gavin Francis asks did all the M A N s have this message in the interior?
Richard Sharman writes "An article in Route One this week brings very interesting news that Weavaway are setting up in Oxford under the Oxford International brand.
Depot will be in Abingdon.
Fleet will be 8 DAF/Alizee, one of which is LUI 9693
A 70 seater coach
2 B9TL/East Lancs
Work will be PH and seven school runs plus some currently running out of Newbury."
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
An occupant of the Binders Yard complex caught by Terry Partridge.
Gavin Francis sent this picture of Bristol FLF 134HUO in Hawaii taken some years ago.
Where are they now
Hyland writes "Have attached two of my photos which you may care to use under
the 'Where are they now' heading. The filenames give dates and location.
Actually this is a little bit of encouragement to get you to look at my website on which I've done a lot work recently."
Address is http://www.cliix.co.uk/
"Go to the page titled Colour albums and click the link to pics-by-malcolm.fotopic.net"
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at
COMS and the 190
Peter Edgar has scanned a July 1989 timetable for the X90 which makes interesting reading. Look at the fares and times. This was seventeen years ago !!!
Matt Bullock writes "Following on from Brian Wright's memories of Kemps; they did of course become Chiltern Queens in June 1955. The ex-Green Line 10T10 was BRD 922 (formerly EYK 229), a 1938 AEC Regal with Weymann C34F bodywork that did indeed spend the war as an ambulance. It was scrapped in December 1957. 24 Kemps vehicles passed to Chiltern Queens though not all were operated."
Bus Running Days as follows:
Sunday 25 June - Hemel Hempstead
Sunday 1 October – Amersham organised by Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Running Day in Aldershot with details from Andrew Dyer.
I wonder if you could put a piece in your "forthcoming events" section about all the excitement that will be in Aldershot (not often you see the words "excitement" and "Aldershot" in the same sentence!!) over the weekend of 3 & 4 June this year.
Stagecoach is organising an event jointly with the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group to celebrate 100 years since the first bus service operated from Aldershot to Farnborough in June 1906. There will be a running day and on Sunday 4 June we will be holding an Open Day at our depot in Halimote Road, Aldershot. As with the Portsmouth event last year, we hope to attract local families as well as enthusiasts and all proceeds raised will go to local charities.
As Aldershot has such a strong history of Dennis operation, we are hoping to get as many different types of Dennis bus on site as we can. Do you have a contact at the Oxford Bus Museum who might be persuaded to bring a KFC Loline 2? Sadly, I don't think any of the Loline 1's or 3's that were on loan from A&D to COMS in 1969/70 have survived to enable them to make an appearance, although there will certainly be sister vehicles in the SOU xxx and AAA xxxC batches there.
Running Days as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Sunday 25 June 2006
This date in mid-Summer is for the first Hemel Hempstead Running Day to be based on the Bus Station. Arriva the Shires and Essex have given permission for us to use the bus station that day but like Slough this is an operational bus station and we will not interfere with their operations which are anyway much reduced on Sundays.
This is the normal date for North Weald which will not take place this year and the NLTS have no plans for a replacement event that day.
Discussions have also taken place with Dacorum Borough Council, Herts County Council and the police who have all been most helpful. I have also spoken to the Market Superintendent and am able to book and pay for stall space on the day. For those who don't know Hemel, the covered market is situated behind the bus station - an excellent location.
The market will have a hot food stall that day and another stallholder sells confectionery, soft drinks, ice cream etc. Ample toilet facilities are at the bus station.
Peter Gomm and I visited Hemel on Fri 6 January and, with advice from the police, have identified an area nearby for display vehicles in Dacorum Way and vehicles on long breaks can park in Queensway (formerly Bury Road) between Leighton Buzzard Road and Marlow's, the railway station on one unused bay on Sundays and the bus station itself can be used for shorter breaks without disturbing its smooth operation. Health & Safety issues have to be borne in mind. A requirement of at least 10 double decks and 11 single decks are needed. This excludes any duplication which will be needed.
A number of rural and inter-urban routes have been chosen for operation - 302, 307 ,312.316. 317.317a,318,319 ,320,330, 337 ,347,706,708, 724. The 724 is for a feeder service to/from Watford from the North and then a 708 to/from Hemel. At the moment I have nothing from the South - any suggestions/offers? (THOSE IN BOLD HAVE TO BE SINGLE-DECK OPERATED).
Certain places such as Berkhamsted Station provide good interchanges with rtes 317/a and 312 connecting there and also in central Watford with the 302 and 347 connecting.
The biggest interchange of all, of course, is the bus station.
Again in Hemel a wide range of vehicles have been operated e.g. GS,RF, T, RB,RT,RMC, RML,SNB,SNC plus several others. Like Windsor, Central Area used to loan their vehicles for weekend and bank holiday duplication.
If anyone has blinds for any or part of these areas please let me know urgently.
Please respond as quickly as you can as I want to finalise timetables/duties etc asap.
I am paying a visit to Hemel this morning to see what it's like between 11.00 and 12.00
Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.
As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.
This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.
It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?
Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - Peter_Cartwright@wycombe.gov.uk - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX.
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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
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
James Smith writes "I'm reopening my Bus Model store (its being hosted at www.arriva-shires.co.uk/shop for the time being) and as an opening offer I'd like to give your readers the opportunity to buy a couple of local models at a reduced price.. Anybody wishing to purchase these items should contact me directly by email (email@example.com) instead of through the store...Details Below:
CREATIVE MASTER UKBUS 1014 - DENNIS TRIDENT - OXFORD PARK & RIDE
Normal Selling Price £19.99 - Oxford Page Readers £13.99
CREATIVE MASTER UKBUS 2012 - DENNIS TRIDENT - STAGECOACH BROOKES BUS
Normal Selling Price £20.99 - Oxford Page Readers £14.99
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