Spottings & Jottings
Issue nr. 38 - December 10th 2010
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current archives from October 2002
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advise of any mid-week news please let me know
The recent weather has certainly been cold. Locally in the Chilterns, the snow has been light and intermittent, with only a slight covering on a few days. Of course we read and see on TV the heavy snow falls further north and east and must sympathise with those people from such areas where travel has been difficult if not impossible. One thing which cannot be denied is the length of the cold snap when everyone seems to need to wrap up, temperatures falling below 0°C for many days.
Services to and from London have been more affected by various marches and a spate of accidents than weather. Early mornings have seen some fog but not enough to delay services.
Just to record the cold snap and its local effects I show some pictures taken around my village in the last week or so.
A nice link to David Ive’s Bucks & Chilterns picture site.
David writes "Readers may be interested to hear that I have uploaded approximately 50 photos to a new gallery on my website, entitled 'Buses in Bucks & the Chilterns'. It features photographs taken in the area from 1995, when I moved to Princes Risborough from London, until about 2002, when the corporate blandness of Arriva and the other big companies made me lose interest and concentrate more on my main transport interest, railways. However, the photos do reflect a huge period of change in the local bus industry from NBC to Arriva, which should be of interest.
The website can be found on the link, below. This link; http://www.djipix.com/view/gallery/images?category=2&subcategory=15 will take you straight to the gallery.
As a ‘taster’, I have attached a couple of photos from the gallery. The ex Nottingham Olympian was taken near Lacey Green on 25 September 1995 and the Wycombe Bus Olympian coach was taken at Stoke Mandeville on 15 July 1995."
Visit David's photographic website at http://www.djipix.com.
Latest update 5/12/2010.- Category 'Buses in Bucks & the Chilterns' updated.
As readers can judge David's pictures are excellent.
A word about digital photos
I receive many pictures for inclusion on the page and notice that some contributors do not have the date set up on their cameras. It would really help if you could check this and if your date is not set it would be most appreciated if you could do this within the camera set up.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
Gavin Francis took some rather nice pictures of the event in Hyde Park which is drawing large numbers of families at this festive season.
For those interested in all things London, I can recommend the link below. The monthly magazine is of particular interest.
Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society
John Hammond writes that The Folly Bridge Inn is the location for the remaining meetings of 2010 and the final date confirmed as:
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. A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually
around £1 per person per meeting depending on numbers.
Next meeting: 14th December 2010.
19.00 - 21.30pm
when Graham Low will be giving a presentation on Oxford in the '50s, '60s and '70s.
Meetings are held at:
Upstairs Function Room
The Folly Bridge Inn
38 Abingdon Road
A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following look and we hope more of you will attend future meetings.
Finally and as always, my thanks to all who have contributed to this issue.
Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - December 10th 2010.
A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Somebus drivers do object to their pictures being taken, even though the photographer is taking the bus and not the driver.
Readers varied contributions
Gavin Francis has been out and about, busy with his camera.
Excelsior branded coaches still being used on 310 to Bradford presumably to cover Levantes taken on 26th November.
Stagecoach in Oxford using a Bicester branded bus on route 3.
Oxford really is Enviro city with Stagecoach Midlands adding to the fleet with this Coventry branded bus on the Sunday S3.
A "Chippy" branded bus on S1 which happens every weekday morning.
On the same morning Gavin saw Arriva 3148 on the 280, unusual for a weekday morning.
As readers will know, Arriva now has an express service to Oxford each morning with an evening return.
Here 5432 works a 200 service in Oxford.
It is unusual to see a Dart on the 14, now more usually served by an M A N.
More Excelsior branded coach in GG today on 310. Spoke to the driver who said their Levantes were not very good coaches.
Seems there are lots of problems with them. Commented that they have, no guts, poor acceleration and especially the small fuel tank!
He much prefer to use their own coaches.
Glenn Knight writes "seen in the new December issue on Intalink new service M1 London Haymarket – Luton/Milton Keynes Circular run by Slingshot Travel/Imperial Coaches with 03.12.10 Start date planned for this new route. Operates overnight"
Gary Seamarks writes "A Motts ex Dublin Decker was deroofed in Bedford on rail replacement while we were away."
Richard Sharman writes "SC in Bedford are to take the Bedford town routes back from last Sunday from cedars, all routes are hourly except 1 which is 30 minutes, (nothing on web page yet) Town route 1 is being revised from Monday on web page.... BBC Look East had a busway item last night.
SC in Cambridge estimate now Easter 2011 as a POSSIBLE opening for the guided busway, but no certain date is given an they may pull out if its delayed to 2012."
And so on to fleet news with individual company happenings.
Wycombe Park & Ride -
Mike Chadwick writes "Many complaints from passengers on the new P&R 1 service.
It seems that the revised Wycombe Park and Ride timetable only
requires three vehicles in the evening peak (plus one extra journey in the
morning peak). The press release also mentioned that "the new contract allows
Arriva to make more efficient and economical use of the buses" - which I presume
means use them on other routes. One of the buses used its new found freedom by
operating the 0935 and 1135 40 to Thame and back today 2nd November (albeit
running c12 minutes late on the first journey and only gradually recovering).
Don't know about the 1335, but by the 1535 the usual Solo 2497 was back to join
Don't suppose it was a conscious decision, but it will have provided useful extra capacity on Thame / HW Market Day!
An observation from yesterday evening (Wed 4th), circa 1920 when requirement is down to one vehicle, was 3208 on the Park and Ride service!"
Gavin Francis reports that a step entrance Dart was used on the 40 on Sunday morning just gone. He wonders with a yard full of buses at this time why such a bus was used on a route much supported by elderly people? The bus replaced by SLF 3210 on later journeys.
Pete Cabin writes "I noticed 3703 (KE55CKP) has had a repaint into the latest Arriva colours. It was on service 800 to Marlow this afternoon.25/11/10.
3163 (N713EUR) around about 2.15pm this afternoon25/11/10 was broken down at the cricket ground inwards to High Wycombe, the driver left the Arriva engineer who had I presumed given up trying to repair this bus and hopped onto the Carousal 336. Then, as I suspected, within the hour it was towed back to the Cressex depot.
Reverting to the Park & Ride, one of the red single deckers was working the service for the remainder of the day, I think one of the KE53 type of bus but not sure which one.
Finally 3178 (P178SRO) has had its legal ownership changed back to the Arriva the Shires, Luton and not MK as before.
Adam Green writes "26/11 - today 3821 (N521MJO) was on the Northchurch run and 3822 (M522MJO) was on the Mickefield & Bookers. both these buses have recently been repainted.
3703 (KE55CKP) was on the Park & Ride in company with 3863 KE05GOH
Another Bus which has been for repaint into Inter Urban Livery is 3238.
3411 was on the 301 on Friday Evening.
On Monday 29th November
4523 was on the 758 to London Victoria
On Thursday 3rd December
There was a Enviro 300 on the 759 to Redborne but I could not see the number because the windows were steaming up on the Redline Bus.
3152 is in Inter Urban Livery."
Arriva The Shires are to withdraw the Green Line branded 712 service between London and St Albans, from January 2nd. The route was reintroduced in June 2008, after many requests, and had its route changed to serve “Butterfly World”. Unfortunately the passenger volume has not met expectations, despite Arriva’s best efforts to increase patronage. It will however retain one journey in each direction to and from Butterfly World when it opens again in April."
Malcolm Hylandwrites "Went down to Wycombe Bus Station on Monday.28/11 and noted 3703 has appeared in Interurban livery. I didn't see the other 2 Park & Ride VDLs so assume they are undergoing the same treatment?"
9th Dec - and the same this afternoon. And I was also going to say I hadn't seen the 'Line 40' Solos this week, but then, although there were two Darts on the 40 today, I saw one of the Solos on the 74 late afternoon today."
I have received some excellent pictures of the current scene in Milton Keynes from Richard Sharman.
A selection of Solos including 2491 which started life at Wycombe for Line 40.
Larger buses are included in the Mk fleet.
Very few deckers remain and two are likely to have seen their last days on the road.
Seen in Milton Keynes on the 150 was this 300 branded Citaro from Aylesbury.
Now the sole remaining ex Oxford B10BLE which is roadworthy is 3844 painted red and still languishing in MK's yard.
Other Arriva pictures.
From Gavin Francis.
Aylesbury has gained a number of ex Green Line coaches which are normally used on schools. When Gavin caught up with 4362 it was working the long Aylesbury-Luton airport route
thereby rubbing shoulders with its replacements on the 757. One might wonder if coaches have feelings. If they do this one is probably saying
"what a come down!"
From Malcolm Crowe.
Some recent pictures taken by your Editor.
In view of the age of this bus its transfer from Midlands to Wycombe seems rather odd?
Michael Lack writes "Tappins coach was LUI 9301 was reregistered recently as 461 XPB but as also just been painted in the new Tappins livery see photo below."
Richard Sharman sent two pictures of Heyfordian operation far from base.
Gary Seamarks writes"A Motts decker hit the bridge in Elstow Rd, Kempston, Bedford, T200MTT. This is the sixth decker I know of that's hit the bridge. Others were OVV849R UC late 70's, HBD919T UC about 1981 and the rest were Cedars HHT 57N Atlantean/EL Nov 95, A707 YFS ON/ECW Sept 03, E941 CDS Lion/Ar June 07. Apart from the Motts one which was on rail replacement for First Capital Connect the rest were all running empty, the fire station is only 200 yards from the scene."
General news and new vehicles.
Bennett’s (Gloucester): Delivered late in October were four Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante coaches to National Express spec FJ60EFP, FJ60EFR, FJ60EFS and FJ60EFT, for use on Gloucester – Heathrow and Gatwick airport service which has been operated from November 1st.
The two Mercedes OC500 / Caetano Levantes have now arrived and are registered FJ60KUH and FJ60KUK.
South Gloucestershire Bus & Coach (Patchway): The Volvo B9R Caetano Levante’s for National Express duties are as follows:
FJ60HYC, FJ60HYF, FJ60HYR, FJ60HYS, FJ60HYT, FJ60HYU, FJ60HYV, FJ60HYW, FJ60HYX, FJ60HYY, FJ60HYZ and FJ60HZA.
There are various re-registrations to record,
M338 EEC, Volvo B10M Plaxton is now registered L400SGB,
M339 EEC is now L900SGB,
DAF SB3000 Van Hool 352STG (ex Y469HUA) is now L70SGB
Y467HUA is now L80SGB.
Former carriers of L400SGB, L900SGB, L70SGB and L80SGB have all reverted to their original registrations, OIL 9262, S627ETV, X915ERA and P502XGA respectively
Gavin Francis notes on 29th November - problems in VCS with ex Oxford 59214 having several gallons of water put in. Friends at Oxford would not be surprised.
Selwyn's in Oxford by Gavin Francis.
This one made it to and from Oxford! - Excelsior 913 in St Giles. Picture by Gavin Francis.
The new order for Stagecoach with an Elite bound for the fishing port on the east coast. Gavin Francis.
Gordon Richens of Exeter, Devon writes "I attach a picture of ex-Oxford Bus 408 taken in Plymouth. I used to live in Wolvercote, Oxford so I'm very familiar with this particular vehicle."
Some more pictures from Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.
Around the town - picture nr. three is like a Le Mans start!!! GF.
Night time in Oxford by MC.
The company garage now has entrance and exit barriers. MC.
Glenn Knight writes "Dennis Dart W411 UGM seen nr Tring on driver change over this bus started with Capital, West Drayton then onto TGM. Travel London & Abellio 8411."
Richard Sharman caught up with some Red rose buses on contract in Milton Keynes.
659 is the ADL Trident/Enviro 400 which is to be allocated to Bicester out station for S5 services. It is due in the next few weeks.
Some interesting pictures of the local fleet including the use of a Banbury branded Solo on the 17 in Oxford. This is helping out at Oxford as a result of a problem with one Oxford's own Solos.
Winter solstices in Oxford by Gavin Francis.
M A N 22947 on a 7C working in high Street looking rather smart. Gavin Francis.
Dart 34472 on a 59 service outside the Randolph Hotel. Gavin Francis.
A night picture of 22057 on the 10 picking up in Cowley Road. Malcolm Crowe.
Other Stagecoach news.
Midlands (Stratford & Leamington)
Richard Sharman writes "Leamington Depots Goldline Solo 47515 is seen in Banbury Bus Station having worked in on Service 77 from Leamington (you can just see some snow on the bumper from the earlier dusting in the morning)."
Steve Gee writes "Regret I need to correct the information in my recent email about the new saloons at Nuneaton. which are numbered in the 36xxx range. They have similar bodywork to the MAN saloons used on Swindon - Oxford services, but are I guess a different chassis. They are also registered with 60 plates not 10 plates as I stated earlier.
Noted during the week were 36161 KX60DSE, 36167 & 36170. Ex Swindon based Dart 33910 P910SMR was also seen in Nuneaton on a local service.
Apologies for the mis-information."
The statement in the last newsletter - 'A correspondent from Swindon, regarding the problems with the M A N s used on the 66, writes "the theory expressed in issue 36 is partially incorrect. 22620-22626 have all been modified and you are correct the reason they overheat is because the radiators suck in debris.
This is itself partially incorrect as only 22620 & 621 have been physically altered on the rear, as photographs will confirm. Of course it is possible that internally all of the class may indeed have had some internal modification.
Marcus Lapthorn report.
66 route disrupted on consecutive days!
On Thursday 25 Nov at about 1630 there was an accident between two cars just west of the College Farm roundabout on the A420. The road was completely closed between that point and I am told, the Sainsbury store just east of the A 417 at Swindon. That is a very very long stretch indeed. The road remained closed until the evening I believe at about 2030. The ensuing chaos would presumably have caused major disruption to 66 route services.
Then on the same evening a bus caught fire on the road out of Shrivenham going toward Swindon and that road was completely closed. 66 route buses had to take a diversionary route via Bourton before re-joining their usual route at Shrivenham. The road was re-opened at about lunch time, leaving a blackened grass verge and burnt tree and hedge as evidence of the fire.
Marcus adds "I would imagine the bus was Stagecoach working the 2015 from Oxford to Swindon on Thursday 25 Nov and caught fire at about 2115 hours at Shrivenham. A friend of mine said today that she drove past the wreck of the bus early on Fri 26 Nov and the wreck was unattended at that time. "
Tim Hall from Swindon then wrote "Stagecoach Swindon Trident 18178 was destroyed by fire last night at Shrivenham whilst working a 66 service."
Finally we have a picture of the burnt out wreck and one of the same bus working the 66 in Oxford last October by Gavin Francis.
Gavin also recorded sister bus, 18179, on a recent working of the 66 in Oxford.
Another non M A N working recorded by Gavin was this Dart.
Richard Sharman writes "Seen in Water Eaton Park & Ride on the early morning departure for Bradford is Portsmouth Driver Trainer 52366, having been pressed into service due to a shortage of normal vehicles this trainer was the only vehicle spare with a tachograph fitted. "
Richard Sharman caught this recently refurbished Volvo on the M34 to Bradford having just left Oxford.
Gavin Francis caught up with a few rarities in London being used on Megabus services.
The snow was really coming down in picture nr. 1.
I like the Merry Christmas on the Astromega!!!
Michael Woottenwrites "Volvo B10L / Saffle registration GVV 205 has been acquired from Ensign Bus. This is the first SLF bus for Tiger Line. "
Malcolm Hylandwrites "28/11 Woottens W49 worked a journey on the T5 which is normally double decked.
My picture of W64 on the T5 in hi Wycombe today. M Crowe.
Other news is that Premiere W4 (N289OYE) now with Llgwellen Coaches (Tonbridge) and Volvo / Berkhof W30 (WJI2849) to Colchester Coaches.
Leyland Titan W53 (A869SUL) was withdrawn, after engine failure and is now with West Kent Buses.
Volvo /Plaxton W37 B12 WT has regained its original registration R186TKU.
Traded in to Plaxtons at Anston are Volvo B10 / Plaxton Panthers W40 (YN06MXS), W42 (YN06MXU), W43 (YN06MXV) and W45 (YN06MXK).
Minister decides 'no change' to Domestic Hours rules
Transport Minister Mike Penning says that he has decided to leave the Domestic Drivers’ Hours rules unchanged.
It follows a review of the issue launched over a year ago.
Welcoming the news, the FTA - which alongside the CPT - had lobbied hard to retain the existing rues, described it as a ‘victory for common sense’.
In the review, the Department for Transport “found no evidence that there would be any detrimental effect on road safety in keeping the rules as they are, and agreed with us that any further restrictions would risk imposing unreasonable burdens on industry,” says the FTA
Arriva Midlands acquires Wardle Transport
Arriva Midlands has acquired Potteries-based Wardle Transport.
With a fleet of 12 deckers, six coaches, 19 buses and 27 minibuses, Wardle employs 105 members of staff. Core services include private hire, school buses and football bus services, as well as a range of local bus services. The Wardle identity will be preserved.
Bob Hind, Regional Managing Director for Arriva Midlands said: “This acquisition opens up a range of exciting opportunities for Arriva, such as NHS and Special Needs work.”
Young Man who caused the crash of an Oxford Tube is charged
A 21 year old man has been charged following an attempt to take over an overnight Oxford tube service heading for London in the early hours of August 30th.
The incident, which took place between junc 3 and 2 on the M40 resulted in damage to the coach, 50214, which has been returned to Van Hool in Belgium for repairs.
The defendant is charged with causing danger to road users by interfering with a motor vehicle.
He is bailed to appear at Wycombe and Beaconsfield Magistrates Court on December 16th.
Hybrid Bus launch in Reading: 202 SN60ECX E400H/B77F Monday December 6th 2010
“Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements…”
Stephen Le Bras writes:-
I was lucky enough to be invited by Reading Buses to attend the launch of some new revolutionary buses for one of the main routes in the area. Around 30 invited guests attended; there were members of the bus company including CEO James Freeman, ADL and BAE representatives, the bus press and not forgetting his worshipful the Mayor.
Route 26 is being fully converted from pink liveried Omnidekkas to banana and tangerine (orange and lemon) liveried 77 seat Enviro 400H ‘deckers. All 6 of the first batch have been delivered and 202 (reg SN60ECX) was chosen to be our steed for a trip around the route. Route 26 was chosen as it requires 6 buses and has bus priority measures.
First, we all decamped into the Town Hall for a very welcome cup of coffee and lemon cake, followed by a presentation from the three main representatives.
Mr James Freeman (CEO Reading Buses) told how his first drive in a prototype hybrid ‘decker some two years ago at Guildford caused him to consider the trial of such a bus at the end of 2009 on route 17. This was swiftly followed by an order for 20 E400H under stage 1 of the Government’s Green Bus Fund. Once the first 6 buses have been tried in service for two or three months, any modifications to the remaining 14 will be advised and they will follow for route 17. A further 10 buses under stage 2 of the GGBF will shortly be ordered and these will most likely be further ‘deckers.
He stressed the point that the buses were British designed and built. The seat pitches were such that up to 6’ tall people could sit in comfort on the top deck. Buggy and wheelchair users had not been forgotten as there was plenty of room for them in this longer than usual ‘decker: Not forgetting the point that a smoother and more comfortable ride plus 30% less carbon emissions can be expected with the introduction of these buses.
He was followed by Mr Andy Boulton (technical Sales Manager, Alexander Dennis) who said that around 100 hybrid E400Hs were in service with a further 200 to come by April 2012. He also mentioned the recent launch of a single deck E350H with three doors for the European and Australian market (impressing his Australian wife!) but later conceded that it would take a large commitment by a UK operator if it was to be built as right hand drive for the UK market. Lease companies, for example, were wary of the London market where a large influx of articulated buses were being put back on the pre used market after a relatively short time.
Finally, Mr Rob Lindsay of BAE Systems joked how he was hoping that we had not read his report on the Wikileaks website. The hybrid E400H was a proven product with as many as 3000 vehicles (obviously not ‘deckers!) in service in the United States, being operated in all sorts of conditions including the many hills around San Francisco, where they coped admirably. He then went on to explain as simply as possible how an electric hybrid was operated with a lower than usual diesel engine which turns a generator to produce electric power. The result is a rising and falling hum which is not unpleasant to the ears.
I sat at the back of the lower deck on top of the engine surrounded by representatives from ADL and a couple of reporters from the bus industry. As far as I could see, we all enjoyed our journey over route 26 and had no particular concerns about the bus. I look forward to returning to Reading when more of the buses are in service and see what the locals feel about their lovely new ‘deckers!
Stagecoach Group has been named the most admired transport company in Britain in an authoritative annual survey of corporate reputation.
The Perth-based transport group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, headed the transport sector in the Britain’s Most Admired Companies 2010 awards.
It is the second time in three years that Stagecoach has won the award in Management Today’s annual review of Britain’s top companies following its success in 2008.
Stagecoach was rated in the top 20 companies in 2010 out of the full survey of more than 200 businesses assessed.
Conducted by Birmingham City Business School, the survey is now in its 18th year. It is a peer review of corporate reputation across more than 20 business sectors using responses from board level representatives of competitors, as well as analysts and City commentators.
Stagecoach was ranked first in the transport sector for the quality of goods and services, community and environmental responsibility, and use of corporate assets.
It also scored highly for the other performance criteria, which covered:
Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications, said: “We are delighted to be recognised by our peers and other stakeholders for the high reputation of our management, business and services.
“Being named the most admired company in the transport sector for the second time in three years is a tremendous achievement. It is a tribute to the efforts of our employees, our track-record of delivering value-for-money, greener, smarter travel to our customers, and the good returns we have delivered to our shareholders.”
Last month, Stagecoach Group won the travel and transport category at the 2010 Green Business Awards for its innovative Bio-bus scheme in Kilmarnock. A fleet of Stagecoach buses runs on 100% biofuel made from used cooking oil and other food industry by-products, all of which are from sustainable sources.
Stagecoach has also been named Public Transport Operator of the Year at the 2010 and 2009 National Transport Awards for the quality of its regional bus operations.
If anyone is around Torquay on Boxing Day you might find this of interest.
FREE BOXING DAY BUS SERVICE
Torquay (Union Street) – Paignton Service 136
Via Torquay Fleet Walk & The Harbour
Operates on December 26th 2010 only
Torquay, Union Street - - - 1045 1145 1245 1345 1445 1545
Torquay, The Strand 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600
Paignton, Library 1015 1115 1215 1315 1415 1515 1615
Paignton Library 1020 1120 1220 1320 1420 1520
Torquay Cary Parade 1035 1135 1235 1335 1435 1535
Torquay Union Street 1040 1140 1240 1340 1440 1540
Serves all stops en-route, hop on – hop off, just come and enjoy a free ride!!!
This service is operated with a Vintage Bus, this is a FREE service run by the Devon & Dorset Group, organisers of the annual Torbay Vintage Bus Running Day.
From Julian Walker
I have noticed that some correspondents are sending in photos of buses in places where they have been holidaying. I have been to the delightful seaside town of Sitges, some 40km south of Barcelona, several times recently, I and would like to send you some photos depicting the local buses.
The centre of the town is compact, with narrow streets, so is easily walkable. However Bus Urba operates three routes to outlying parts of the town. These operate as a loop and all run half-hourly from outside the Railway Station from early morning until mid-evening. Route L1 serves Poble Sec and Vallpineda to the west of the town, route L2 runs south to Can Pei and Hotel Terramar whilst route L3 runs north to Llevantina and Quint Mar. There is also an infrequent L4 which runs along the mountainous coastal road to Castelldefels but I haven't managed to photograph that. The town services are operated by Transports Ciutat Comtal, part of the Sarbus Group, under contract to L'ajuntament de Sitges (Sitges Council).
Sitges also has a few interurban routes. The frequent and regular 72 runs to Vilanova i la Geltru via Sant Pere de Ribes, whilst an infrequent route 68 runs to the inland town of Vilafranca de Penedes. These services are operated by Plana Bus. Sitges is also served by the Mon-Bus route from Barcelona and Barcelona Airport to Vilanova i la Geltru. These services have a stop in Passeig Vilafranca, a few hundred metres from the Railway Station.
Sitges Bus Urba - 321 and 707 at Sitges Railway Station waiting to work
town routes L2 (Can Pei and Hotel Terramar) and L1 (Vallpineda and Poble
Sec) respectively. 14th September 2010.
Sitges Bus Urba - 707 sets off from Siges Railway Station on town route L1 to Vallpineda and Poble Sec. 14th September 2010.
Sitges Bus Urba - 720 waits across the road from Sitges Railway Station on town route L3 to Llevantina and Quint Mar. The digital display shows an air temperature of 27C! 14th September 2010.
Bus Urba Sitges - 720 has almost completed its loop of town route L3 (Llevantina and Quint Mar) and is turning from Carrer Emili Pico into Carrer Rafael Llopart. 28th April 2010.
It isn't always gloriously sunny in Sitges! Bus Urba 707 on town route L2 (Can Pei and Hotel Terramar) nears the end of another journey round the loop on a very wet 3rd May 2010.
Sitges Bus Urba 320 passes Hotel Terramar whilst working town route L2. 17th September 2009.
Sitges Bus Urba 321 and 320 rest at Sitges Railway Station in between runs on town routes L2 (Can Pei & Hotel Terramar) and L1 (Poble Sec & Vallpineda). 18th September 2009.
The USA by Andrew D Webbe
As promised at Showbus I am attaching photos of some "British" buses that were at work in the USA during August 2010. Original British identities (where applicable) are based on personal notes and / or internet research.
Stagecoach's Coach USA operate a frequent and popular set of three tours in New York. The mainstay of the operation is with Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 Tridents as illustrated by 71500, supported by older Duple Metsec Tridents such as 71325. One survivor of an earlier batch of buses was ECW Olympian 71243 that appeared in service one morning. I didn't see it again, or any others of this batch.
Washington DC has two operators using double deckers. Ensignbus' City Sightseeing operation is worked by MCW Metrobuses, supported by at least two former German MANs. Identification of the Metrobuses is a little haphazard, whilst many carry British registrations these do not always confirm the British identity as front and rear grilles seem to get swapped around in the workshops. As an example, two buses were carrying GYE325W, an ex London vehicle. One of these vehicles had a forward staircase not specified on the London Metrobuses. The pictures show ex London M724 with offside doors for use on US roads and M729 alongwith an unidentified Metrobus of "provincial" origin. I believe that the Metrobuses are shortly to be replaced with East Lancs bodied Volvos that served with Arriva in Copenhagen.
Open Top Sightseeing use Alexander Dennis Enviro 500s and Ayats Bravo Volvos. Whilst the latter are not "British", their smaller cousins are familiar on sightseeing work in Bath, London, Windsor and Cardiff.
Sightseeing tours in Las Vegas are in the hands of Ayats Bravo Volvos, although I understand that some ex Big Bus Titans have recently arrived here to run the tour. The main "British" interest in the city is provided on "The Deuce" service that has Enviro 500s with dual staircases that serve all stops along The Strip These are augmented by hybrid versions of Wright's successful Street Car which operate "The Ace", a limited stop service along The Strip.
Enviro 500s can also be found on other services elsewhere in Las Vegas.
San Francisco is a delight for transport fans and well worth a visit. The cable
cars, streetcars (trams to us) and Metro all provide interest and a cheap rover
ticket gives unlimited travel on all.
Several operators run an ecclectic mix of British deckers on sightseeing tours.
Open Top Sightseeing use Enviro 500s alongside former London Titans, still in Big Bus Company livery from their previous tour life in London. Former London T786 basks in the summer sun at Golden Gate Bridge, where Trident 8K59742 is caught about to cross the bridge.
City Sightseeing use Metrobuses, named after British cities. The number plate lying in the front windscreen of this example would suggest that it was originally LT's M600, the position of the staircase would suggest otherwise!
Deluxe Sightseeing use a wide variety of vehicles, some appearing far from "deluxe". Olympian NIL8255 passing along the popular Waterfront started life with East Midland back in 1982, whilst A901JPR started life with Wilts and Dorset and still carries legal lettering for Shamrock of Poole i the front nearside window. Roe Olympian 302 started life as A812THW with Bristol. More Olympians included an East Lancs bodied example and an Alexander RL example. Finally ex London Titan T783 was also operating.
Stagecoach's Coach USA operate several closed top Enviro 500s on organised day trips to the main sights, as illustrated by 61616 picking up passengers at the Waterfront
Tours in Los Angeles are centered on Hollywood and are noticeable for their
exclusive use of older vehicles.
Vizit Tours has a wide range of vehicles in use, including an ex Maidstone and District ECW VR, ex London Metrobus M495 and a Roe Atlantean that started life as Ipswich Borough Transport's TRT98M way back in 1974.
Starline Tours operate the City Sightseeing franchise, covering three routes, two of which use British double deckers, mainstay of the routes are elderly VRs. 301 pausing at the intersection of the two double deck tours in Beverley Hills was originally Yorkshire Traction's XAK914T. 306, calling at Santa Monica Beach originated with Crosville as DCA529X. Adding variety to the fleet is another ex London Metrobus and former Tyne & Wear PTE MCW Atlantean 189, VFT189T, seen awaiting custom at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscars.
Hollywood Sightseeing Tours use an ex Ribble Olympian, still in the livery of Shamrock of Poole. It is seen having escaped the sunny climes of Bournemouth for the even sunnier climes of Beverley Hills.
Buses in the Landscape
From John Marsh
You caught me on the hop getting S&J 36 out so quickly.
I wanted to thank Neil and Richard for rising to the challenge and identifying the location of the bus I photographed as my 'plane came into land at Leeds/Bradford Airport. Wasn't it Hughie Green who used to say "It's easy when you know how!"?
And now for one that Google Earth will probably not help with.
A friend who is researching his family history has asked if I can supply any information about this bus taken outside the Lands End Hotel in @ 1912. So far I've drawn a blank. One of his relations is on the bus Fleet No. 6 (AF65). But was the bus on a scheduled serviced from Launceston to Lands End or would this have been just a pleasure outing? Quite a long journey on such a vehicle! Any info about the bus and its owner would also be of interest.
And, just for good measure, a more recent shot of a Shearings Euro Tourer (MX05AGY) on the approach to the Dartford Tunnel at the end of last month.
From Andrew Webb
The attached picture shows RML2408 passing Waterloo whilst on a private hire on
4 December 2010. The bus is owned by the Broadcasters' Bus Consortium at
Binders Yard in High Wycombe. Apparently the Consortium is made up of BBC radio
DJs David Sheppard, Ken Bruce, Alan Dedicoat, Charles Nove and Steve Madden.
Further details of the bus can be seen at Thisbus.com.
This was one of three Routemasters seen at Waterloo within 10 minutes on different private hires, the other two being RM298 and RCL2220.
An amusing end to this page
SCHOOL BUS IN JAPAN
SCHOOL BUS IN INDIA