Spottings & Jottings nr. 68 - 9th May 2013
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will
advise of any mid-week news please let me know
May 1st came and went
with some interesting events. Oxford is always interesting because of the
annual student activities. May Morning in Oxford is a traditional
celebration of the coming of Spring and brings together Oxford's communities
to enjoy dancing, singing and revelry from around the city. May Morning is
celebrated on 1 May.
The celebrations for 2013 started at 6am on Wednesday 1 May 2013 with the choristers of Magdalen College choir singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the Great Tower. (Hymnus Eucharisticus was composed in the 17th century by a Fellow of Magdalen and has been sung every year from the Great Tower on May Morning.)
This year Magdalen Bridge was open to pedestrians but closed to traffic from 4.30am until around 8.30am to enable everyone to enjoy the singing in comfort and safety. The bridge re-opened to traffic shortly before 8.30am.
In the interim bus services were, in the main, diverted via Abingdon Road, Donnington Bridge and the Iffley Road. This caused some delays but enabled services continued to serve passengers.
A couple of pictures below show the Oxford 400 heading south along the Abingdon road followed by a Brookes U1 service.
Bus Users UK - AGM held in Oxford
Last Saturday, April 28th, saw the annual general meeting of Bus Users UK. This was held at the Four Pillars Hotel on the Abingdon Road and afterwards Oxford Bus provided Hybrid 351 and Stagecoach Gold Scania 15837 to offer attendees a short tour of Oxford.
The picture below shows 15837 ready for duty earlier in the afternoon. your Editor was at the wheel!
May 1st also saw the introduction of the National Express A1 service between Luton Airport and London Victoria. This is the most significant change in over 30 years and was related in the special page re Luton Airport services published earlier this week.
The continuing story of developments continues below.
The continuing saga of the Luton Airport-London services.
May 1st saw the introduction of the
much heralded National Express A1 service between Luton Airport and London
Victoria using a fleet of brand new Volvo/Levante 48 seaters, featuring
wi-fi and “rear wheel steering”. In addition there are four older 12 plate
Levantes transferred from Sibson Road the full details below as provided by
Glenn de Sousa.
The service is running from Luton Airport stop 10 (that used originally by Green Line) to London Victoria, where arrival serve Sammy’s and departures are from Gate 9 in departures.
Loading observed on the day were very light and
most coaches were holding en route to Victoria at various inbound stops, as
they are not allowed unlimited space in VCS, as with all; other services.
Making a short check on the National Express web
site I find that a return ticket on the A1 returning two days later costs
£26 whereas the equivalent ticket on the
greenline service costs just
£15. Indeed a
greenline single is £10 vs
£15 on the NEx A1.
Of course since the greenline service is a long established service and regular passengers will go where the know, it may take some time for the NEx A1 to become established.
Photos of both companies services at London Victoria on May
Photos of both companies services at London Victoria on May 1st.
From Glenn de Sousa
The following coaches are being used by National Express on their A1 route:
LT01 - FJ13EBG
LT02 - FJ13EBK
LT03 - FJ13EBL
LT04 - FJ13EBM
LT05 - FJ13EBN
LT06 - FJ13EBO
LT07 - FJ13EBP
LT08 - FJ13EBU
LT09 - FJ13EBV
LT10 - FJ13EBX
LT11 - FJ13EBZ
LT12 - FJ13ECA
LT13 - FJ13ECC
LT14 - FJ13ECD
LT15 - FJ13ECE
LT16 - FJ13ECF
LT17 - FJ13ECN
LT18 - FJ13ECT
LT19 - FJ12FYL was SR136 - transferred from National Express’ Sipson Road depot
LT20 - FJ12FYM was SR137 - transferred from National Express’ Sipson Road depot
LT21 - FJ12FYN was SR138 - transferred from National Express’ Sipson Road depot
LT22 - FJ12FYP was SR139 - transferred from National Express’ Sipson Road depot
On the first day of service, today, from my observations, National Express were carrying far less passengers than Arriva’s 757. However, easyBus’ new London - Luton route from Baker Street carried full loads of passengers at one point (only 9/10) probably due to their extremely low fares.
May 1st from Mike Penn.
Here are some photos from today’s events at Luton Airport.
Of note is the circumstances surrounding Edinburgh Airport and an apparently similar situation in 2011 as recorded in the link below by the BBC.
In 2013 Lothian still operate to the airport and one wonders what the outcome of the Luton Airport situation will be.
I am sure that this matter will continue to interest people for some time to come.
Saturday May 4th by Stephen le Bras at Victoria.
Saturday May 4th by Stephen le Bras at Victoria.
The first Saturday I've witnessed which has pitted
Arriva's 757 against National Express' A1 for the Luton Airport run was
certainly different. A1 services were arriving and leaving so often from Bay
9 that the supervisor did not know where to put them and the stop common to
both services at Buckingham Palace Road saw drivers waiting to make up time.
Passengers were using both services although the lack of leaflets may not
have helped. Large placards announced lower fares or more convenience for
Indeed, the destination displayed on the front of the 757 now reads "Luton via Airport" and the writing on the side still reads "in partnership with easyBus, National Express, Terravision and Wizz." easyBus have changed their London terminus to Baker Street to pick up more passengers.
The thing which I find amazing is that 70 coaches per day on the A1 seems too much.
There were passengers on some coaches but not enough to make it profitable. There is also the fact that they have had to find enough drivers as Arriva's service pattern has not been changed. Are there fewer spare private coach drivers around Luton now?
Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe record the present greenline service and the coaches used.
serving Luton Airport using their fleet of Renault mini buses and doing
rather well judging by the loads being carried.
Also in this issue
Also in this issueGavin Francis reports on this year’s event at The London Bus Museum, providing us with a comprehensive report.
Geoff Cunliffe writes "I have a correction for you, in that I thought the photograph I sent you of Blackpool Brush car 631 being restored in Starr Gate depot was ‘watermarked’ but it is not. Correctly the copyright of the picture belongs to Alan Robson and not myself. I know you regard these matters as important and maybe you could insert an amendment in the next issue.
My fault – sorry. "
Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Peter Cartwright , , writes to advise:
,Running Days Organiser
,Amersham & District Motorbus Society
writes to advise:
"Please note that programmes for the Harlow Running Day are now available and include a number of feeder services from, inter alia, High Wycombe, Amersham, Uxbridge, Rickmansworth, Watford, St Albans, Hatfield, Hertford, Ware, Staines, Sunbury, Hampton Court, Kingston, Victoria, Croydon, Bromley, Stratford, Leytonstone, Gravesend, Brentwood, Ongar, Epping, Stevenage.
Programmes BEFORE the day are £6.50 and can be
obtained from me at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX - £7 on the
day. Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motorbus Society please. "
A couple of corrections to your latest newsletter.
The new wooden shed at Binders Yard is NOT a garage/workshop erected by Ward Jones who has NOT acquired this site. My own Routemaster is also parked there.
The new route 1 between High Wycombe and Chesham to replace Arriva's 62 and Carousel's 4 brings back a number used by Amersham & District prior to its acquisition by LPTB in the 1930s. The service was renumbered 362 with an A and C suffix by London Transport in October 1934. Carousel's journeys run via Eskdale Avenue to a terminus at Chesham Grammar School NOT via Hilltop Estate.
The timetable for the Harlow Running Day on 5 May has now been finalised and requires a PVR of 17 vehicles. There will be a feeder service from High Wycombe/Amersham/Uxbridge. Programmes can now be purchased from my address- 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE HP13 7NX for £6.50.
The schedules for Slough on 12 May are now being finalised and programmes should then be available at £6.50 from the address as above. Journeys on the defunct 441B between Beaconsfield and Langley are incorporated in the schedules together with other changes.
There are also timetable changes on Sundays from 12 May 2013 on Carousel routes 74 (no longer serving Hedgerley) departing HW at 08.10,10.10,12.10,14.10 and 16.10 returning from Slough at 09.00,11.00,13.00,15.00 and 17.00 and A40 increased to hourly HW - Heathrow departing HW at 07.40 to 16.40 and from Heathrow 08.40 to 17.40. So an even earlier Sunday finish. The 740 is withdrawn on Sundays. The Sunday service between HW and Chesham with the introduction of route 1 from 14 April is restored to hourly between 08.30 and 17.30 from High Wycombe and all journeys are extended from the Broadway in Chesham to the Grammar School.
Dates for your diary
Dates for your diary
Other Running Days in 2012
Sunday 19 August HEMEL HEMPSTEAD based at bus station, Waterhouse Street
Sunday 7 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station
Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society
The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture show with local and guest speakers. For non-members a charge of £3 per head is made.
Tuesday 21st May.
The speaker is Paul Lacey.
"Thames Valley the final years"
The venue is moving back to the Folly Bridge, however this pub is now called "The White House". Cost is free for members and £3 for non members.
Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:
The White House (was the Folly Bridge)
38 Abingdon Road
Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)
or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE
A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.
When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site
Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.
Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!
I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.
May I please ask readers to do two things?
1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.
2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.
The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.
Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.
The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all.
Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 9th May 2013
Observations and pictures
Correction to caption, it's Ecclestone Bridge not Ecclestone Place (getting my Ecclestones and Bressendons mixed up!). Perhaps we should just call it Victoria and keep it simple...
Gavin Francis has sent a number of interesting pictures.
Richard Morgan sent some pictures from Banbury showing the current services, some of which may change in the near future.
Richard Sharman contributes
pictures as follows:
contributes pictures as follows:
Alex Hazell sent fleet lists for Olympian Coaches and S.M Coaches are as follows;
S.M. Coaches - Buses.
IrisBus Logo/Unvi EU07XGK, EU07XGL and EU07XGM
IrisBus Agoraline EU06KHK
Dennis Dart Alexander ALX200 Y293FJN, Y296FJN, Y346FJN, Y351FJN, LX51FFW, LX51FGU, LX51FHA, LX51FHB, LX51FHH, LX51FHJ, LX51FHK, LX51FHL
Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer mark 1 P741RYL
Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer Mini Pointer Dart V189ERG, V191ERG, V193ERG
S.M. Coaches - Coaches
Iveco Daily KV04CVH
Iveco Maxim 2 FN02VBK
Iveco Eurorider Beulas F10BUS, LV02LKD
Iveco Beulas Iris Euroride C33 SM10BUS
Olympian and S.M Coaches have two fleet support vehicles for breakdowns etc etc
Fiat Ducato T380WQWC
Iveco Daily MX05GWG.
Olympian Coaches - Buses.
Dennis Dart Alexander ALX200 Y244FJN, Y248FJN, Y252FJN, LX51FGV, LX51FGJ, LX51FGN, LX51FGO, LX51FHF, LX51FHG.
Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer mark 1 P301AYJ, P758FOD, R476LGH, R485LGH
Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer Mini Pointer Dart V188ERG, V194ERG, V195ERG, V196ERG, V198ERG, V199ERG, V729DNL, V749ECU, Y862TGH, Y907TGH, Y971TGH
Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer 2 S117EGK, V787FKH, V808KAG, Y153NLK, Y161NLK, Y237NLK, Y653NLO, Y662NLO, Y664NLO, Y667NLO, Y669NLO, Y672NLO, Y553XAG
Mercedes Benz 0814 Plaxton Beaver R450PRH
Irisbus Agoraline AU05FKC
Volvo B7 Plaxton President W461BCW
Olympian Coaches - Coaches
Scania Irizar YN04GPF, YN04GPV, YN06CKY
LDV Convoy MV03AJY
DAF SB3000 Van Hool Y304HUA, Y314HUA
(ex National Express)
(ex National Express)
Iveco Maxim 2 YN05ARX
Iveco Eurorider Beulas MKZ6312, XIB3196 (previously S233HGU) S234HGU, S235HGU, T289CGU, LV02LLJ.
Volvo B10M Plaxton Premiere 350 N66BUS
Volvo B10M Plaxton Excalibur V282SBW, V283SBW
(ex Oxford Bus)
(ex Oxford Bus)
Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther CN05DZF.
Currently on hire from Ensignbus (dealer) are the following;
Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer SLF X962VAP, X964VAP, X968VAP
Dennis Dart Caetano Compass T426LGP
Volvo B10M Olympian Northern Countries R257LGH
The two Dennis Trident/Plaxton President finished in white are owned by Travel With Hunny, or TWH Bus and Coach, although one is out of action. TWH rent some yard space of Olympian for parking their own buses.
Epsom Coaches: The company has
ordered two Setra S416GTHD, one to C49F layout and the other to C53F.
Epsom Coaches: The company has ordered two Setra S416GTHD, one to C49F layout and the other to C53F.
Horseman (Reading): The two remaining Panther 2s have
arrived and are registered YN 13 AWG/AWJ.
Horseman (Reading): The two remaining Panther 2s have arrived and are registered YN 13 AWG/AWJ.
Luckett (Fareham): The company is fast running out of available space at their Head Office and have acquired the Priory Coaches yard in Gosport.
As noted, they have also taken over the contract for National Express services A3 Gatwick Airport-London Victoria, and 025 Brighton-London Victoria.
Since January of this year the company has taken some 24 new vehicles; five are Scania Irizar i6, two are integral Irizar i6, one Plaxton Cheetah and 13 for the acquired National Express duties. New coaches noted include 4976 (YN13 BWL) Irizar i6 C49FT and Scania K360EB / Irizar i6 (YN13 XYS) C53FT, both in Luckett’s standard livery.
Pulham (Bourton-on-the-Water): New here are N258 PYS (ex N311 BYA) Volvo B10M-62 / Van Hool C53F, which has come from Pearson, Aldbrough; P690 JBD Volvo Olympian / Alexander H51/36F, which has come from Fife Scottish; P110 DCW Volvo B10M-62 / Plaxton C57F from Hamilton, Bow; SN04 XWC (ex 2767 WF, FJ04 ERU) Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51F from Cockell, Bootland & Gannon, Loanhead and finally FJ05 APO Volvo B12B / Plaxton C49FT from Plan-It-Travel, Chelsfield.
The Travellers Choice (Carnforth):
A couple more re-registrations to note are of Scania / Caetano coaches that were used on National Express services, but now repainted into fleet livery.
FJ56 PCV (now 8447WX)
FJ56 PDV (now 11 BCX).
Worthing Coaches (Worthing):
As well as the new Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante noted under National Express, other new coaches are Scania K340 / Irizar Century 4974 (YR62 EAF) and Scania K340 / Irizar i6 5369 (YN13 XYT).
NAT Group (Cardiff Bay):
The first Plaxton Elite i (Interdecker) to go to an operator other than Stagecoach is also now in use YN13 GDE.
For those of you waiting in anticipation for the Platinum buses for the 280 there will be a foretaste by Mike Penn in the next issue.
Nigel Peach writes :
I see that the five MAN 14.220/ M.C.V. Evolution buses (3741-5) have entered service on "The Blue One" service to Chesham. Today (23rd April) was the first opportunity I have had to see buses on this relaunched route. However, the first bus I saw was one of the recently transferred DAFs. Looking at the board in the bus station, I notice that Arriva use four buses on this route. Today two of the batch of five were off the road, so the DAF was making up the numbers with three of the M A N s (or should that be MEN??!!!).
I tried to work out which buses have been displaced by these arrivals. I noticed that 3529 was rostered, but I couldn't see any of the other three Caetano Compass bodied Darts on the list (3530/2/6), so maybe they have gone, together with 3520 (the unusual UVG Urban Star bodied Dart).
However, it is good to see 3821 (at least two years older than any of those mentioned above!) still beavering away on Red Route 33 - the only survivor from Wycombe Bus days. I quite often see it out and about on a Sunday too, so I imagine it must be a popular bus that they are trying to hang on to for as long as possible!
Chesham interlude with Gavin Francis
Luke Braham writes:
Saturday 13th April was the last day of Line 100, Aylesbury to Milton Keynes, ready for the service changes on the 14th April. The buses that were used on Line 100 and Line 150, as the buses were shared, on that day were 3274 (V274 HBH), 3277 (T491 KGB), 3387 (P194 LKJ), 3441 (R201 VPU) and 3509 (KE51 PTX). Due to Line 100 being withdrawn the Line 150 is extended slightly via MK Stadium, Milton Keynes Hospital and Milton Keynes Rail Station but will continue operating every hour with seven journeys on Sunday’s which are no longer connected to Line 300 from High Wycombe.
The bus stop’s were changed ready for the changes a day or two before they happened.
A Volvo Olympian has joined the Arriva Aylesbury depot from, I believe, Arriva Southern Counties and is 5940 (P613 CAY) and I think it is here as there has been an increase in school journeys to Cottesloe School in Wing for three journeys to four.
i also have more news about the 52-reg Tridents but I’ll send that near the time for the next S&P.
The ex-Garston 52-reg Trident are still arriving at Aylesbury after refurbishment and single door conversion at Bus & Coach World, Blackburn which I believe is also were the Line 280 Enviro 400’s are being refurbished for Sapphire 280. An updated list of the buses arrived and of what could arrive at Aylesbury is below:
6000 – KL52 CWN
6001 – KL52 CWO (possibly)
6002 – KL52 CWP
6003 – KL52 CWR
6004 – KL52 CWT
6005 – KL52 CWU (possibly)
6006 – KL52 CWV (possibly)
6007 – KL52 CWW (possibly)
6008 – KL52 CWZ (possibly)
6009 – KL52 CXA
6010 – KL52 CXB
6011 – KL52 CXC (possibly)
6012 – KL52 CXD
6013 – KL52 CXD
Now on to the pictures:
Luke adds on May 5th
Luke adds on May 5th "Today I went down to the Arriva Aylesbury depot one of the main things of interest was that Dennis Trident 6309 (Y509 UGC) has lost its engine and some of the body panels around the engine compartment."
Pete Cabin writes
Pete Cabin writes
Adam Green writes ."
writes"3370 has not gone to High Wycombe, it is still in Hemel
Mike Bennett writes
writes"Seen in Frideswide Square on Wednesday April 10th operating the 280 service, was Arriva The Shires ALX400 6310. Your notes mention that a motley selection of buses may be seen on this route whilst the Enviro 400 fleet is being upgraded."
Glenn de Sousa writes
Glenn de Sousa writes "Further details on the dart Dart. P526YJO was short term here only, as this is now being cannibalised at the rear of the main depot yard in MK. The engine, gearbox and some of the front end has been removed already.
Further Citaros at Milton Keynes in the new
revised Platinum MK livery are BG59FCY and FCZ, joining the Citaro that
recently transferred from Aylesbury.
At Arriva the Shires, at least one ex-Garston Plaxton Centro is at Stevenage, being YJ57BWA - I saw it on service SB1 today. I am unsure whether this is a loan or permanent as I thought that these were heading off to work the 550.
KE55 GVY is missing the dark blue bumper at the
front. Noted today on route SB* at Stevenage Bus Station. "
Two more ALX400’s at Bus and Coach World, Blackburn today (8/4) are: 6008/10 KL52 CWZ/XA, they are destined for Aylesbury.
10 Apr il
I have just seen an Arriva the Shires Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 (part of the 2009 batch for Centraline 300/301 in the yard (visible from the roundabout of M25/A1(M)) of Lantern’s Recovery Service at South Mimms, along with a Metroline Plaxton President blinded for route 107 to Edgware (I think). Does anyone know if the Enviro has broken down, where and maybe when?
Arriva in pictures
Now nearing the end of its day with Arriva, Olympian 5149 is seen in Hemel Bus Station on April 19th by Gavin Francis
These were such handsome buses and excellent to drive, it seems a shame they look so care worn now!
Nigel Peach reports
reports"M A N s 415 and 417, the buses painted purple for routes 35/36 still haven't received branding for these routes. It's a shame - they look quite anonymous and would look so much smarter with the decals.
I haven't seen sister 416 for quite a while and wonder what has happened to it. I imagine that replaced purple Dart 561 has been withdrawn, as I've not seen it for some time.
Bernard Lewendon writes "Seen at The Eden Bus Station today (29th April) was a new arrival to Carousel.
Fleet number 105 T105DBW Dennis Trident 2 / Alexander ALX 400, 1999 (ex Oxford Bus)
Painted all over blue. Previously with Thames Travel but now with Carousel legal lettering in the side window.
The fleet number was that of Thames Travel and it looks like it is being retained as the bus had been newly repainted and the fleet number then added. Perhaps it will gain "The Blue Bus" lettering in due course.
Editors note: It will be interesting to see how it performs in
Wycombe, since the Trident has never been successful due to the hills around
Editors note: It will be interesting to see how it performs in Wycombe, since the Trident has never been successful due to the hills around the town!
CSS operated in Oxford by Tom Tappin
Stephen le Bras reports
regarding the new hybrid saloons "VSH
69921 and 69926 entered service on the 75/76 service (Maidenhead to Heathrow
Airport via Slough) on Saturday 20th April. VSH 69924 also made an
appearance at the Brooklands Spring running day and attracted a standing
load first time around on the 462 to Weybridgeeand back. Driverand back. Driver
familiarisationncontinues in the area; meanwhile 2 or 3 can be expected in
service for the first week.continues in the area; meanwhile 2 or 3 can be expected in
service for the first week. "
Report on First hybrids
Entry into service of the first two hybrids took place on 20th April with just 2 buses running on the 75/76 route. This sort of level of service continued for the first week with an average of 5 buses in the second week. Older Citaros from the Slough fleet are being sent to Bracknell where they will out-shopped in a yellow livery reminiscent of the old Beeline livery.
Clive King kindly supplied two pictures of the new Hybrids in service.
Paul Hawkins writes saying
Paul Hawkins writes saying "Reference your last Oxford bus page and the First Berkshire Volvo hybrids. Lothian have a batch of ten entering service on service 1 between Clermiston and Easter Rd on the 15th April.
David Percy writes to report some new coaches for the operator.
King Long appear to have an involvement with JEFFS
now. David Percy advises that "JEFFS are taking part
in collecting new King
Long vehicles from Southampton docks and taking them to the parent
companies' dealership/workshops in Coventry, quite a nice easy day and nice to
drive brand new vehicles! "
Mark Smith writes
writes"The links below include two pictures of Mullany's Buses New Optare Solo SR's and also a picture of the inside of the new bus."
See elsewhere for details of the new service to Luton Airport and details of the coaches involved.
NEx Bournemouth Transport's 340 FJ13DZX awaits time for an 035 service from VCS on May 5th Malcolm Crowe
Rubbing salt in the wound !!!
NEx LT18 FJ13ECT on the A1 service to Luton seen parked up in Bulleid Way on layover, the date May 5th.
The greenline Duty Inspector remonstrates with the driver who has no right to park in this coach station,
especially irritating inview of the loss of the rights for the 757 to serve Luton Airport.
Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT
X4808 FN62 CAO
X4809 FN62 CBV
X4810 FN62 CDX
X4813 FN62 CFX
De Courcey (Coventry)
Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT
MD17 FJ13 EAA
MD18 FJ13 EAC
MD19 FJ13 EAF
MD20 FJ13 EAG
MD21 FJ13 EAK
MD22 FJ13 EAM
MD23 FJ13 EAO
MD24 FJ13 EAP
MD25 FJ13 EAW
MD26 FJ3 EAX
MD27 FJ13 EAY
MD28 FJ13 EBA
National Express Operations
Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT
LT01 FJ13 EBG
LT02 FJ13 EBK
LT03 FJ13 EBL
LT04 FJ13 EBM
LT05 FJ13 EBN
LT06 FJ13 EBO
LT07 FJ13 EBP
LT08 FJ13 EBU
LT09 FJ13 EBV
LT10 FJ13 EBX
LT11 FJ13 EBZ
LT12 FJ13 ECA
LT13 FJ13 ECC
LT14 FJ13 ECD
LT15 FJ13 ECE
LT16 FJ13 ECF
LT17 FJ13 ECN
LT18 FJ13 ECT
In Addition to the new coaches at Luton, several more Volvo B9R / Caetano Levantes have been transferred from Sipson Road:
LT19 (FJ12 FYL) ex SR136
LT20 (FJ12 FYM) ex SR137
LT21 (FJ12 FYN) ex SR138
LT22 (FJ12 FYP) ex SR139
OXFORD Bus Company has opened a new city centre shop to cope with booming demand for its travelcard, the Key.
Since the rechargeable smart card was launched in 2010, more than 100,000 people have signed up to get one and nearly half of all the firm’s journeys are now made using it. The centre at 44/45 High Street will support the company’s existing outlet at Debenhams in Magdalen Street.
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith cut a tape at an official opening ceremony as part of a national initiative to encourage more people to switch to bus travel.
Andrew Morison, commercial manager of Oxford Bus Company, said: “More and more people are switching to the key and before too long half the journeys made on our buses will be made using it.
“When you add in the number of passengers using other smartcards, like the concessionary bus passes, the majority of transactions won’t involve cash.
“This makes a significant difference to the time it takes for people to join a bus at a stop and has a major impact on journey times.
“Our existing travel centre in Debenhams is very successful but the new facility will make it easier for commuters and city centre workers to renew
their key products before they start work.”
The facility will be open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
For more information, visit oxfordbus.co.uk
Coach 18 has now re-entered service in the same livery as that seen on coach 17. This provides multi-route coaches for the increased timetable now being operated.
862 was running for Thames Travel minus most branding but retaining the rear advert.
It has now returned to the main fleet and is seen on May 8th heading down St Aldates.
I had questioned why, when with TT, it had retained the full rear branding!!
As mentioned elsewhere Oxford's 105 has been transferred to Carousel in a plain blue livery.
At Hants & Dorset Trim (Barton Park)
for Hedingham: T107 DBW T108DBW T117DBW :
for Thames Travel: 861 (BF57 OXF)
The above were being prepared for their new operating companies.
The 29 Scania KUB270 Enviro 300SG are nearing
completion at Alexander Dennis and the first were due to enter service on
the 7th May,
401 YR13 PLN
402 YR13 PLO
403 YR13 PLU
404 YR13 PNE
405 YR13 PLX
406 YR13 PNJ
407 YR13 PMO
408 YR13 PMU
409 YR13 PNN
410 YR13 PNO
411 YR13 PMY
The buses were ordered following a successful tender for a Reading Borough Council contract that requires 11 buses.
The major contract serves Green Park, Madjeski Stadium and Kennet Island.
The first of the ex Lothian Buses Tridents, 557 (W557 RSG), 558 (W558 RSG) and 569 (W569 RSG) have also arrived.
Glenn de Sousa writes
"Reading Buses are to introduce their 10 ADE300NG’s on the South Reading
Contract (fasttrack routes) on the 7th May. "
"The new high specification Alexander Dennis Enviro
200's for Redline Buses St Albans services S4 and S5 have arrived at their
depot in Aylesbury. They are fitted with free wi-fi and this has prominent
branding on the near side windows. They are in a maroon/red livery with
route branding on the cant rail. One of them is registered MX13BCK. They
will operate Monday to Saturday daytime only. Evenings and Sundays are to be
operated by Uno.
The second Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 for
Redline Buses St Albans services S4 and S5 is MX13BCF.
As Luke Braham may have said to you already, the Optare Solo Slimline for Redline Buses is ex-Roberts, Hugglescote - registered MX57UPE.
I have found the following information on the Solo from Bus Lists on the Web:
New in January 2008, the seat layout is B27F, Chassis # is SABDNEAB07R192689."
Pictures from Gain Francis.
In the next issue we will have a very nice article and pictures from Marcus Lapthorn on Cheltenham.
Glenn de Sousa writes "Quick note to say that Stagecoach in Cambridge’s order of 11 ADE 300’s will start to arrive from the middle of next week (beginning 8th April). They are due to replace the older M A N’s in the fleet. Knowing ADL though, they may start to be delivered early!"
Andrew Simmonds writes "Just a bit of news from Northampton is that Stagecoach have vacated the bus station as a depot and their Rothersthorpe Avenue garage workshop is also closed and for sale. The new site is a couple of hundred yards down the road from their Rothersthorpe Avenue depot. The new address is Main Road, Far Cotton, Northampton, NN4 8ES.
Consists of a open air parking area and maintenance workshop with offices across the road in another building.
Present there was the Stratford Blue RML and the Eastern Counties FLF as well as the normal Northampton fleet.
The move had happened by Friday 29th March. Not sure of exact date but hadn't happened on 17th March.
The bus station is to be knocked down as part of
a redevelopment of Northampton centre. A new bus station is being converted
from the old Fish Market just down the road from the Greyfriars Bus Station. "
John Marsh visited Stagecoach South to see the new Enviro 300 Gold Buses in service.
Due to a serious water main burst in Notting Hill Gate, the road is now closed in both directions for a seemingly indefinite period. This means that inbound Tube services route via Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street to reach the Notting Hill Gate stop but that outbound services run from Marble Arch via Marylebone Road, The Westway and the A41 to reach Shepherds Bush, running round Royal Crescent to the outbound stop by The Hilton Hotel.
The three express services in the morning peak operate via The Westway and Baker Street to reach their first stop in London at Marble Arch.
An interesting article about the new Astromega sleeper coach appeared in the Daily Mail recently.
TT 106 ex Oxford on route 106 in High St on April 9th by Gavin Francis
Until recently this Citaro was running in plain red with Thames Travel fleet names applied to the front. Now it is full livery
but unbranded and lacking the advertising borders. It is working an X32 service on May 8th. Malcolm Crowe.
uno Citaro 317 on a 714 working at Victoria on May 2nd seen by Gavin Francis.
Six further Optare Versas have arrived, in the shape of YJ13 HHU, YJ13 HHV, YJ13 HHW, YJ13 HHX, YJ13 HHY and YJ13 HHZ.
These ones being type V1210 B49F and are different from the two noted last month (YJ13 HJO and YJ13 HMO) that were V1100 models, being to B44F layout.
Also new here are Mercedes-Benz 0816D / Plaxton Cheetahs C29F SF13 FPA and SP13 FPC.
Meanwhile Optare Solos YG02 FVV and YG02 FVY have been sold to Thames Travel. (are these for new routes?)
New for the Tappins operation are PO13 LLE and PO13 LLF Neoplan Tourliners, with Volvo B10M / Van Hools W30 OOW and W40 OOW going in part exchange.
Volvo B10M-62 / Van Hool 179 (N179 LHU) and 180 (N180 LHU) have been re-registered to NBZ 70 and NDZ 70 respectively.
YUE 338 (ex FJ57 CYY), the Volvo B12B / Jonckheere acquired from Ellison, is the new Oxford United FC team coach.
Glenn de Sousa writes "Weavaway are expecting a further six Optare Versa’s, of a longer length than the previous. Thanks to Derek Bradfield (PSV Circle) for informing me of the registrations which are booked as: YJ13HMU-Z., of a longer length than the previous. Thanks to Derek Bradfield (PSV Circle) for informing me of the registrations which are booked as: YJ13HMU-Z.
Weavaway seem to have changed Tappins’ livery to
plain black with Tappins fleet names in the same style as their other
I have also noted that at least one of the N registered Volvos new to
Tappins has appeared in black Weavaway livery with South Midland fleet
I have also noted that at least one of the N registered Volvos new to Tappins has appeared in black Weavaway livery with South Midland fleet names.
John Marsh visited Newbury and took some pictures of a new Versa.
John Marsh visited Newbury and took some pictures of a new Versa.
Contracts for subsidised bus services largely serving Banbury, Bicester and the surrounding rural areas have been reviewed and retendered by Oxfordshire County Council.
Existing services will continue, and a new route will link Hornton and Horley with Banbury on Thursdays. Some enhancements have been possible to some routes, but one or two minor reductions have also been necessary and the companies running some routes will change.
The new contracts will come into effect on 2 June.
Further information on bus timetables and fares will be available from the relevant bus companies in due course.
News from Malta.
From Ian Brown, Hemel.
There was a change of government in Malta following the recent general election. The Labour Party is now in power after many years in opposition.
Little has changed on the bus scene, apart from the the latest move; all buses appear to have a duty number displayed in the front windscreen. This is an an A4 photocopy-type sheet of paper with, printed horizontally, a four or five figure number denoting the duty number, placed there by the driver. Apparently this is so that TfM (Transport for Malta) can monitor the progress - or not - of diagrams. That apart, discussions are under way to seek planning permission for a new central headquarters depot, workshop and cleaning area for Arriva`s vehicles.
Megabus wins awards at the UK Coach Rally & Awards
Mark Atkinson of Megabus writes "As London Manager, It was an honour to represent megabus.com at one of the most prestigious events within the coaching calendar.
To be nominated for "making coaches a better choice" proves the last ten years have been a great success story for Stagecoach and this award recognises the commitment of the staff that helped us reach this milestone within the industry."
Trips & Events
Gavin Francis reports on this year’s event at The
London Bus Museum.
With a forward courtesy the London Bus Museum
Have you ever wondered what happened to all those wonderful old buses that ran in London and which you only now see in old films and books? Well, the good news is, some of them live on! While thousands went to the scrap yard at the end of their working lives, some have found their way into preservation as living, moving museum pieces at London Bus Museum. Here you will discover the largest collection of working historic London buses in the world, a priceless heritage representing more than 100 years of public transport evolution in the capital.
London Bus Museum is much, much more than simply a display of old buses for enthusiasts; its aim is to present the unique engineering heritage of the collection in its historical, social, technological and educational background.
Here you can re-live the happy times of travelling on these knights of the road, experience the sights, sounds and smells of a past age, evocative of colourful liveries, elegant coachwork, fine leather and moquette upholstery. A wonderful day out with a difference - indefinably nostalgic for those who rode on them, as well as a world of fascination and wonder for the younger generations, many of whom have never even been on a bus!
The displays are organised in a timeline sequence starting with the horse-bus period of the late 19th century, into the early motor-bus era before WW1 and the development of the familiar ’modern’ bus in the 1930s, through the trials and tribulations of WW2, then into the era of the huge standardised fleet in the 1950s-1960s and finishing with the emergence in the 1970s of rear-engined buses operated by one person. Each exhibit is placed within a diorama of a period London street scene, adding to the historical ambiance of the museum. At special events, some of our buses are used for rides, providing a real taste of travel from a bygone era.
Cobham Hall displays the culmination of 40 years of preservation work and is open for viewing seven days a week, providing the opportunity to see our vehicles and artefacts in a light, airy and modern environment.
London Bus Museum 40th Spring Gathering - Sunday 21st April 2013
This year marked a milestone for the museum as it was the first time the event was staged at their new home at Brooklands. Here the world’s first purpose built motor circuit was constructed in 1907 and the Brooklands Museums display a wide range of motoring and aviation exhibits from giant racing cars to a Wellington Bomber and a Concorde.
As an added bonus directly opposite the entrance is Mercedes-Benz World with its test track at the front so whilst going back and forth to the car park you could watch high performance cars going through their paces on the track.
For an entrance fee of 10 pounds Brooklands provided a wide range of exhibits which I am sure most visitors found to be very good value for money.
After passing through the entrance one of the first building is The Jackson Shed built in 1930-1 by Robin Jackson to maintain and tune racing cars. It now houses the Grand Prix Exhibition and the McLaren Formula 1 simulator.
Some of the original track still exists. This
section is called the Members Banking and is the steepest section of the
track rising to nearly 29ft high.
Brooklands is the home of the first production Concorde G-BBDG which was the first aircraft to ever carry 100 passengers at twice the speed of sound. Much of Concorde’s design and manufacture took place at Brooklands.
Mercedes Benz World is alongside the car park at Brooklands and for most of the day there was a good sized crowd watching the cars on the test track.
Brooklands has a 1 in 8 test hill which was constructed in 1909 for the motor industry to conduct acceleration and braking tests. This view from the top shows many of the non London buses on display and in the background the blue and white outline of the Mercedes test track.
This Wellington Bomber was recovered from Loch
Ness. To put it back in the condition it is today over 100,000 hours of
volunteer labour has been used.
Buses and Coaches on display
Most of the buses which had London Transport backgrounds were parked on The Finishing Straight a 100 feet wide section which lead to the Members Banking which is the steepest section of the track at 29ft high.
Originally STL 1470 this bus was converted into a tree lopper in 1953 and gave 10 years service in this role until withdrawn in 1963. It was then converted into a caravan for 10 years before being bought for preservation in 1973.
The New Bus for London was represented by LT5 which was used on service 462 and enabled people not normally in London to sample this purpose built London bus.
This former British Airways bus was built in 1972 by Sparshatts for use at Bangladesh Airport. It was however never delivered and instead went to British Airways at Heathrow. In 1982 it was donated to the B.A. Museum at R.A.F. Cosford and then to Brooklands in 2007.
Chocolate Express was probably the most well known of The Independent operators (Pirates) and bought this Leyland LB5 with Dodson body in 1924. It survived in service until 1934 when it became part of London Transport although it did not run in service for them. Discovered in 1984 on a Norfolk farm it was restored by Mike Sutcliffe and is on long term loan to The Museum.
This ex-Southdown bus was built in 1930 by Tilling-Stevens and has a Short Brothers body. It had made the trip from The Amberley Museum for the day.
Until recently this rare Volvo B10L was operated by Woottens of Chesham but it has now passed onto Seaford and District.
This bus was Brighton & Hove first Scania. Still wearing P. C. Coaches livery it has now entered preservation.
These 2 RTs have both received extensive overhauls over the past few years. RT2775 was one of 3 RTs which toured North America in 1952. Unlike most RTs which changed their identity each time they passed through Aldenham on overhaul RT2775 retained its original chassis/combination until 1964 when the body received the chassis of 1948 RT 734. Two years ago RT4779 was displayed as just a shell at Dunsfold Airfield but now restoration is complete.
Buses Excetera have been buying up some of the original Alexander Dennis Transbus Enviro 200s. Their unusual features of single rear wheels and rear door situated at the back corner meant that whilst they were trialled in London when the orders started they were of the conventional layout. S13ETC was originally GX56BKY and S40ETC SN54GRU.
This year RT113 celebrates 50 years in preservation. On the 1st May 1963 it became the property of the 2RT2 Preservation Group and in doing so became the first member of the RT family purchased for private preservation in the UK.
First in Berkshire have started to receive new
Volvo V7900H 12m buses for use in the Slough area. They are painted in a
similar livery to the Citaros already there and will be used on Heathrow
New arrivals at The Museum
At 13.00 in front of the Brooklands Clubhouse there was a presentation by The Museum Vice President Leon Daniels who unveiled three new arrivals.
This is an early post-war AEC RT with a Park Royal body built in 1948. At this time the bodies showed the route number in the front roof dome known as a roof route box. Subsequently it was moved to be alongside the other destination blinds. In 1965 it left London for the Paris Transport Museum where it has resided ever since. Apart from a lick of paint it has remained completely untouched and is totally original through-out. It seems to have been locked in a time warp. Earlier this year it was donated to The Museum.
This was the third of three experimental AEC Reliances with Willowbrook bodies purchased by London Transport in 1960 to test the concept of a separate exit door. All three entered service at Hemel Hempstead Garage on route 322 and over the next three years moved around other garages until being withdrawn from service in 1963 and being sold to Chesterfield Corporation who ran them until 1977. RW 1 was scrapped but RW 2 along with RW 3 survive in preservation. The owners of RW 3 have placed it on long term loan to The Museum.
RML 2760 was numerically the highest number new Routemaster bought by London Transport. When the rest of the RML fleet was refurbished in the 1990s this bus retained its original interior along with its AEC engine. For many years it has been with Stagecoach East London although for the last few years has only been used as a special events bus. It has been decided to retire it now and Stagecoach have placed it on long term loan to The Museum.
Many people will know this bus as ‘The Spirit of London’. It was bought to replace the Trident which was lost in the 7/7 bombings. It originally entered service in 2006 with fleet number 18500 but this was later changed to 19000 to put it in the Enviro 400 series. Last October it was the subject of a major arson attack but the decision was made to rebuilt it and it was displayed ready to return to service.
writes following a meeting we enjoyed "
writes following a meeting we enjoyed "I have looked out my thousand-odd pictures of Thames Valley as you asked and have none of Desborough Road, but many at Frogmoor Bus Station and some at Wycombe Marsh. My only view of Fingest is attached - of MW6G 166, taken in 1970. I have none taken in Stokenchurch."
Bulleid Way can be difficult to operate, especially with left hand drive coaches.
However on the 30th April two Catteralls tour coaches picked up a large group of youngsters
who spilled all over the roadway.
World Cleaners L10 and L20XRY at Oxpens on May 9th seen by Gavin Francis.
These coaches are some the LK53 batch once run by National Express on the Stansted service and World Cleaners operate out of the same location as B M Coaches!
Links & Publications
Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures
You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000
One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.
The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.
Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.
Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.
Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.
independents are also represented.
Todays buses - Oxfordshire
This review covers the September 2010 video by Robin Clare Transport. The issue costs £10 and is well worth this small cost for over one hour of buses and coaches in our area.
The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over
18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back
The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over 18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back memories.
Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the
OCBP when doing so.
Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.
Thames Valley - final part now available
Thames Valley - final part now available
RETAIL PRICE £25
ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p
This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.
All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.
Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so
order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close
Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT
If you are local and wish to
collect please call me on 0118 979 4097
Newbury & District History
Newbury & District History now available
Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury &
Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.
The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which
although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding
The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.
Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford &
London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when
both owned by Red & White.
Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.
The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within
Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.
The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs
plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.
Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.
The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special
price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.
The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.