The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

Issue 147

Monday 3rd October 2005
next update week ending 14th October 2005

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

This last week had a number of highlights captured on this edition of the OCBP News Page. Perhaps the most significant was the launch of what is claimed to be thr first brand new opern top bus for sightseeing in Oxford.

City Sightseeing in Oxford launch their new bus.

The official press release from Tappins is quoted below and reveals that a lot of thought has gone into their new Volvo B7TL.

The Mayor of Oxford launches the latest addition to the fleet of Open Top Tour buses in Oxford.
This is believed to be the first brand new open top bus to operate in Oxford and certainly the most environmentally friendly.

The City Sightseeing brand is now represented in over 70 locations world wide offering a quality introduction and orientation to many historic cities from Sydney to San Francisco, Istanbul to Copenhagen, Cape Town to Edinburgh as well as Oxford.

Volvo B7TL chassis with an East Lancashire Coachworks body.

It has a very green power pack with a Euro 3 low emission engine together with a particulate trap exhaust system which reduces the NOX emissions.

The half Open - Half Closed top, whilst not a new idea, is rather revolutionary on this particular bus as  the top deck has a full glazed partition separating the inside and outside with an opening door, a first in Great Britain. This allows the bus to be used on a home to school route each morning before it starts its day in Oxford on city tours. The school children are secure inside and all the internal seats have three point seat belts and a CCTV camera system with eight cameras which watches not only the passengers but other motorists outside as well. It will obviously assist city tour sales in the winter months as the closed top section will afford protection from any inclement weather but the open deck will still have a novelty appeal.

Brookes running at full strength.

Oxford Brookes University students are now back in full strength and this has resulted in an almost daily appearance of M A N Jonckheere coaches helping out in peak hours.

Megabus 50046 is seen at Wheatley Campus having worked a U5 peak hour morning service from Holloway.

Amersham Running Day - Sunday 2nd October 2005

This last Sunday saw the 17th Amersham Running Day when a large number, of mainly ex London buses, turned up and many ran an intensive timetable of LT route operations, recreating the time before NBC and what has gone after.

I am including a number of pictures taken by Chris Maxfield of the various buses attending plus a number of Stagecoach's Oxford Tube Neoplan 50124 which also attended. This coach drew quite some attention and positive comments from people who looked over the coach. It was interesting to note that with an old length of double deck buses of just over 26ft the Neoplan almost represented two old buses in one regarding the length. The Neoplan is over 45ft in length.

Two very nice little GS buses attending Amersham

A line up of RMs at the event and a number of other ex London deckers.
RML2440 is owned by one of the organisers Peter Cartwright.

RFs were well represented and some are pictured above.

And last but not least the RLHs were represented by four of which two are seen above.

Other buses attending included this beautiful East Kent Leyland owned by Ward Jones of High Wycombe.

Tube 50124, having had success at Showbus 2005 went along to represent modern coaches and proved very popular. Chris Maxfield caught the mood of the day in a series of pictures which saw the Neoplan visit Slough, Windsor and Gerrards Cross.

50124 is pictured at Gerrards Cross, then Slough, Windsor and High Wycombe Bus Station.
The last picture above shows the service bus on the 790 Amersham-Wallingford service being
operated by Thames Travel 104 and the Tube which ran as far as Stokenchurch.

Colin Cooke sent three very nice pictures seen above.
The first is of RTL139 with a Woottens VR at Gerrards Cross and the second of an RF operating the 398 service.
Finally an RLH, nr 32 leaves Amersham hotly pursued by GS17.

Oxford Bus raise fares. 

Better news for Oxford Bus Company fares

Average fare increase only 5.8% 

Oxford Bus Company fares are to rise from the 2nd October 2005 but not as much as was originally feared.  Along with many other companies in the area fuel costs have rocketed. It was originally thought escalating fuel costs would mean the increase might have to go into double figures; the cost of diesel has doubled in the last twelve months. 

“We’ve looked at the whole cost base as closely as possible and we’ve been able to keep the increase to 5.8%,” explained the Oxford Bus Company’s Commercial Director Nigel Eggleton. “Our fuel bill is a huge part of our costs and the steep rise in prices in the last year has cost us an extra £1.5million.  No one likes to have to pay more but as 94% of our services are run without any kind of subsidy we can only raise extra funds through our fares. It will be a year since our last ‘fares revision’ and we have worked hard to avoid another increase within the year. Many other bus companies have put their fares up as many as three times in the same period.” 

“The average increase on all our services, ‘Espress’, Airline, Park and Ride and local services is 5.8%.” Nigel Eggleton added, “but it’s impossible to apply that increase evenly across the board. It means that some fares will go up by less than that and others by slightly more. 

“For example a single fare from Oxford city centre to Didcot will go up by 10 pence from £2.40 to £2.50. That’s an increase of 4.1%. We need to go to the nearest “round figure”. So a single from the city centre to Headington or Summertown will only go up by 10p from £1.30 to £1.40 but that works out at 7.7%.”

"We’ve tried to predict where fuel prices will go and we will do our best to make sure we don’t have to put fares up again in the next year.”

Sample Fares

Park and Ride;   Return fare £1.90 to £2.00 

Oxford – Kidlington  £1.50 to £1.60 single, £2.30 to £2.50 return 

Oxford – Wood Farm  £1.20 to £1.30 single, £2.00 return unchanged 

Oxford – Gatwick Airport £20 single unchanged, £24 to £25 return

(It now remains to be seen what the other local operators will do regarding fare increases. Ed.)

National Express 757 changes

Noam Bleicher writes "Following the mention of changes to the 757 on Malcolm's website last week, I found that the change is a re-routing via Luton Airport. The route will be Oxford-Wycombe-Hemel-Luton Airport - Hatfield Herts University - Stansted Airport.

Frequency will remain at every 2-3 hours.

This means that Oxford now has direct bus links to all four London airports, as well as direct rail links to Birmingham (and, for what it's worth Southampton) airports.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire nominated for awards 

Rob Williams writes "They don't appear to have put the lists of nominations onto the Awards website yet, but the two nominations for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire were as follows: 

The Claudia Flanders Memorial Award for Accessibility - Oxford Tube 

Successful Partnership Award - Brookesbus 

The nominations were announced at the UK Bus Awards national seminar "Achieving Excellence in the Bus Industry" at the Lakeside Conference Centre, Aston University, Birmingham on Wednesday 28th September 2005. Full details should become available at 

There is strong competition in both of these categories, and all of the others, so the awards on 9th November should be interesting.

Another nice photo site is to be found at


I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this page and look forward to your continued support in the future.

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 3rd October 2005

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date

News of the local companies – 3rd October 2005

The new depot at Cressex appears ready for occupation but so far nothing has moved. The original dates of the 19th and 26th September appear to have slipped for some reason.

Nigel Peach writes "I notice that the two ex London Olympians I mentioned last week (5844 and 5855) have now disappeared. 

In their place, in the car park outside the bus station on Wed 28th was another all Leyland Olympian. This was 5116 (G286 UMJ) and has an all-over rear add for the Harlequin shopping centre in Watford. 

It has just occurred to me (rather mischievously) that maybe this bus has been especially drafted in to encourage shoppers to go to Watford rather than Wycombe where there is considerable upheaval at the moment!!!"

Binders Yard

Andy Gilmour writes " ....just catching up with the Oxford news pages, and very interested to see 2 vehicles which are now preserved.

The first is the Leopard tow vehicle at Binders yard - this is now owned by a group of South West based preservationists known as the Inner Circle Group, including Terry Bennett, Terry Partridge and James Pratt. They have around a dozen vehicles between them and a link to their website is attached 


Secondly the Oxon Travel LH, BL31, which after use by them passed to well known Devon operator Tally Ho!, and which was purchased for preservation direct from Tally Ho! in April 2004 by Terry Mitchell of Eastleigh. It currently lives in the same yard as BriJan coaches in Bishops Waltham, Hants., but has not been seen out and about on the rally scene much as yet. Part of the reason Terry brought this particular bus is because I remembered it from its time in Oxford."

Ex Arriva Olympians G530 & G534VBB are presently being prepared for service and should enter service next Monday. The company were not happy for me to put pictures I had taken on this page, asking me to wait until they were in service.

Coachman of Swindon 

Marcus Lapthorn writes "I spent a very interesting hour today with Tony Benn, who is a co-owner of the above company. Here is an update on the latest news from Coachman. 

Ex COMS VR - KJO 504W has had its roof removed and is currently in the process of being rubbed down prior to having a repaint. It is intended to hire out this bus next year for weddings, race meetings etc. The former owners livery - Taylors of Sutton Scotney - is now showing once more! (Taylors are no more though having completely closed down). 

The other ex Oxford VR (HUD) is still in daily use on school runs mainly. 

Coachman actually purchased 4 Titans from Reading, numbers 70 (still in Reading livery),  72 (now Coachman no. 36), 73 (now Coachman no. 37) and 74 ( new Coachman no. unknown). Reading Corporation towed two other Titans (71 & 79) to Swindon which were GIVEN to Coachman as they were non runners. No. 71 is still in the Coachman yard but is simply a source of spares as it was fire damaged. Former Goldline 79 has already been scrapped by Coachman. These last two only arrived at Swindon 3 months ago (i.e. after the first 4 were purchased). 

Former Stagecoach 10838 is also in the Coachman yard in a pretty sorry state as it too is being used as a source for spares. The other former Stagecoach (ex London) Titan is still in daily service on school runs and is a very reliable performer as is the former Lothian Atlantean."

Trevor Bayliss from Stagecoach wrote to say "There is an error in the last edition of your bus page in reference to the stops used for the 11 and 100 service during St Giles Fair. Both services will service George St on the normal way. Instead of using Magdalen St as the turning point, Broad St will be used as in previous years."

Ben Morroll wrote to send pcitures from the north of our area including one from Birmingham.

Olympian 16515, once the pride of Witney garage is now in this uinibus livery for Warwick University services.

Ex Thames Transit/Stagecoach Dennis Lance N902PFC, another victim of the Carlisle floods has entered service
in Birmingham and looks very good indeed.

Ex Oxford Tube 50036 has now appeared in Scottish Citylink livery and is pictured in Edinburgh last week by DJ.


If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
please let me know on

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

Gavin Francis caught this Ayats coach in Oxford last week.

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date


If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
please let me know on

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire

Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK

The Oxford Bus Museum


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002