Issue 79
(OBP 295)

Sunday 30th May 2004
next update week ending 12th June 2004

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

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Last week was a busy one for me with a meeting in Paris on Monday and Tuesday followed by a trip by train from Paris to Brussels (Thalys) and then on to Frankfurt (ICE3). The bus scene in Paris was interesting especially since they also have Citaros on a route to the airport CDG.

 
The Thalys travelled on between Paris and Brussels and the Paris Citaro 4308

I must say that the Thalys set used was 10 years old and looked rather tired and worn out especially inside. The Paris buses have to my mind a rather bland livery and are mostly Renaults with a batch of Citaros mentioned above.

One interesting bus seen was an open top Neoplan used on sightseeing. The sun was in the wrong direction but I have included the picture for interest.

Well on to more local news and a couple of pictures showing the total disregard that some taxi drivers have for Gloucester Green Coach Station and the rules about access. I have obscured the number plates as I am not trying to run a "help the police page" but it isd so very dangerous to sdrop intending passengers off in a bus movement area. The council is taking stringent action to ensure the bus companies follow safety rules, high vis jackets, barriers, pedestrian crossing and other actions only to have taxi drivers blatantly ignore all efforts.

 
The first picture shows the congestion caused by a taxi dropping off in Chain alley, something which coach drivers can get fined for
and the second of a taxi dropping off in the middle of the operating area. Maybe it's just me but why are they so stupid?

On the subject of Gloucester Green it seems delivery of the new Neoplan coaches for the Oxford Tube is imminent and I understand that discussions are still taking place between the council and operators to decide what will happen. the next few months should prove most interesting.

Brookes Bus 

From September 2004 BrookesBus will be embarking on a expansion to current services, and will be increasing the cost of the annual Unirider bus pass. Full details can be found on the news page at http://www.brookesbus.net

New service U5 will operate City Centre - Cowley Road - Hollow Way - Gipsy Lane up to every 20 minutes, between 0745 and 2400 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sunday and until 0300 on Weds, Fri and Saturday. A reduced timetable will operate during vacation periods.

The U5 service will also extend directly to the Wheatley Campus once an hour, and to the School of Health Care on the Marston Road twice an hour, providing convenient access from the Cowley area to several University sites.

The BrookesBus U3 service will cease operation from September, leaving no service on the Iffley Road.

New service U4 will be launched to the Kassam Stadium in the evenings and at weekends, for Bowling, Cinema, live football and entertainment, operating via the Marston Road, Gipsy Lane, Hollow Way and Tesco.

A new service to the designer outlet village at Bicester Village will also be implemented for weekend excursions during term time.

U1 service frequency will be adjusted at Harcourt Hill, with services reduced to every 30 minutes at non-peak periods,
U1 service frequency will be increased at Wheatley, with services operating every 15 minutes between Wheatley and Gipsy Lane throughout the day time.

The BrookesBus Unirider pass will increase to a price of 150 per year, valid between September 7th 2004 and September 30th 2005.

Other tickets and passes are available; visit http://www.brookesbus.net for further information on flexible tickets and semester passes, also for information on how to purchase your new Unirider. Passes will go on sale in August.

This is an interesting development and promises to increase competition on the Cowley Road where the corridor is already heavily served by a number of operators. It will also increase night bus services on the Cowley Road and I suppose add to traffic on this already congested road.

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. However due to afore mentioned time constraints these will be held over until next week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.

Malcolm Crowe, 30th May 2004

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News of the local companies 30th May 2004


Two of the recently branded ex Oxford-Wycombe Bus Volvos, the front one bring 3823.

Andy Churchill reports that as from 6/6/04 a set of changes are being made to routes: in High Wycombe routes-300/301/309/310/328/329/340/363 are to have minor timing changes, and potential changes to be made to routes-305/317/339/353/362/372 pending agreements with Bucks cc and local boroughs.

At NBS Volvo B7L/Wrightbus Eclipse demonstrator (FJ04ETY) in all-white was evaluated at HW during April on a number of routes, Volvo B10Bs
3841-44/53-55 now have received bold side branding for the 328/329 the 'Thames Valley line' (Wycombe-Reading) the strip above the windows is orange and below the windows the brand name is orange/white.

At Aylesbury the recent absence of the route 280 branded Olympians that have been away for refurb have resulted in a few oddities on the route off their normal haunts and on 13/04/04 saw the appearance of ex-Wycombe Olympians 5828/5829/5830 returning to their original home City of Oxford.

Now on 25/05/04 the normal 280 Olympians are beginning to reappear again. (I still have not seen a refurbished one Ed.)

I read somewhere that 7 new buses have been ordered for September delivery for the 328/329.

On a note of some concern some services to Radnage and Stokenchurch have failed to operate in the recent two weeks, leaving intending passengers stranded and very unhappy.

Blunsdon's of Oxford

Phil Rumsby writes "I enclose a photograph of Blunsdon's latest coach which we used to go to Drayton Manor Park yesterday. The photo shows it loading in the bus stop in Bladon, the village where the company is based. Mr Blunsdon says he has just purchased another similar vehicle and delivery of this is expected shortly.


I think the coach is ex Hallmark coaches.

Carousel Buses - High Wycombe.

Stephen Le Bras writes "Last Monday, M1351 of Carousel ( in London United livery) was used on rail replacement between Windsor and Slough, as the bridge over the river was damaged by workmen and had to be repaired before services re-started at 2.14pm."

  

   

Bus Monkey writes with his weekly sightings :

Wed 19th
--------------
T5 on 5B
619, 632, 638 on 5

Thu 20th
-------------
643 on 5

Fri 21st
----------
405, 637 on 5

Mon 24th
-------------
634 on 5
T5 on 15

Tue 25th
-------------
620, 641, 642 on 5
T5 on 5A

Wed 26th
--------------
638 on 5

Thu 27th
-------------
641, 643 on 5
813 on X13

Fri 28th
----------
Transfixed by a crate of bananas in Tescos

And that gets me up to date again!

Bus_Monkey

The boy certainly has a sense of humour and the use of T5 on a number of days is also interesting.

Coach nr 71 seems to have a problem with its Hannover destination equipment as I have yet to see it displaying anything.


Coach nr 71 shows off its new livery at Gloucester Green.
These coaches certainly look different with their large mirrors and excellent paint finish.


The Hannover destination equipment on 114 evaded my camera yet again but it still makes a nice photo.


406 fresh from body overhaul and looking very smart.


The rear view shows the new lights fitted during overhaul

 

Bus Monkey sent the following observations

Fri 21st
----------
18135 on 100 (back from Rugby then....)


Tue 25th
-------------
22057 on U1
 


Olympian 16213 works an X5 service from Bedford. It is seen here in George Street, Oxford.

 
Another Bedford Olympian 16584, surprisingly still in the old livery last Saturday.


Finally a nice picture of 33654 in high Street last Saturday on route 10


Andy Churchill sent this picture of W
itney trident (KN04XJK) seen at Oxford rail station
on Saturday 22 May 2004 with part of fleet name missing.

Andy also says "new Tube coaches Neoplan Skyliners (50101-50125) are due for delivery in July and with a new look.

Details of former vehicles is ex- South Midland Bristol VRT 617 (TBW450P) is currently with Munden of Bristol quite appropriate , and ex-Thames Transit Dennis Dart 3003 (L712JUD) has moved from MK Metro at Milton Keynes to Centrebus at Leicester."

Richard Sharman writes "Banbury - 16519 is in use at BANBURY and I have seen it today on Stratford Schools, followed by a trip on B5s, Also it was lent  to Witney a few weeks ago for a few days.

Richard goes on to report

42375 on loan from Witney.
16520/1/5 in Store here.
P353JND has just had a repaint, Witney 727 is next.

Oxford - The Neoplans are due to start delivery this week.

523 was on 20's and 526 on 7A's!! 

Rob Williams writes  

16519 stayed at Witney until 19th, then Banbury again from 20th. The Leyland at Banbury is currently off the road with an oil leak, but I assume it will reappear to allow 16519 to have its centre door removed before 16519 does indeed move to Banbury permanently.

16523 is now based at Oxford and a double decker is being outstationed at Chippy at the moment, hence 16523 can appear on 20s.

16526 is to remain at Witney, and hasn't been operated from Oxford to the best of my knowledge, so I question if it was that bus on 7s.

Eventually 16521-5 will all be Oxford's, displacing all of the other varieties of Olympian to other locations. 16403 is going to Fife very soon having been replaced by 16523, and then later 16141/4 will go to Leamington to reunite the London batch at one depot.

Neoplans - nothing. The drivers I know all seem very excited about the prospect of fabulous new coaches though, hence all sorts of rumours are flying about.

Keith Wood also notes "40136 has joined other withdrawn ex Leamington 709's at Nuneaton. Ex Oxford 16517/16518 remain but 16514 has left. Ex Oxford B10M 20423 is in regular service at Nuneaton and not just confined to it's school contract. Major service revisions are scheduled here for the 19th July.

What is interesting are the conflicting reports regarding the Neoplan coaches. Sure to cause a stir when the do eventually enter service they are most certainly in the tin so to speak but just where they are is a mystery. I think they must still be in Stuttgart at the Neoplan factory.

Z&S of Aylesbury.

Ed Maun writes "A double deck ex London Leyland Titan was again operating service 321 between High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, and the Risborough Town service today, Tuesday 25th May.   This time it was KYV435X, which I believe came from Metroline.

Steve Warwick notes, regarding a report in a recent issue "The Z&S Carlyle Dart is in fact an ex Metroline MAN 11.220/Marshall C37 body one of the rarer models to operate in London."

PHOTO CORNER
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