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 205
Sunday 3rd December 2006
next update week ending 16th December 2006

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

To see the pictures full size just click on the small one

Thursday 1st December 1881 was the day on which horse trams began running in Oxford and the company which ran the trams was The City Of Oxford and District Tramways Company incorporated in 1879. The first section to be opened was that from the rail stations to Cowley Road and by 1896 was carrying some 3 million passengers annually. Eventually the horse trams covered an east west route as mentioned above and later a south north route from Lake Street to South Parade with a branch to Leckford Road. Ironically, even though proposals had been made to electrify the trams, horse trams were still running in Oxford in 1913 several years after most cities had abandoned such a mode of transport. Buses came to Oxford by 1914 and six routes were operated, being to Cowley Road, Summertown, Iffley Road, Headington, Hinksey and Botley. Thus reads the history of buses in Oxford and I can recommend the book of Oxford Buses and Trams normally available from the Oxford Bus Museum.

For those of you lucky enough to have a copy of Buses nr 318 of September 1981 you will be able to read all about the 100 year celebrations of COMS. If you don't have a copy its well worth trying to get one.

Picture by Chris Maxfield

Last Friday, 1st December saw the celebration of 125 years of public road transport in Oxford by The Oxford Bus Company and another book has been written to celebrate this anniversary. Copies of this book will be available shortly and I will keep you posted on how and when you can obtain a copy.

The present company, The Oxford Bus Company, celebrated the event by repainting two Volvo B10BLEs, one 816 in traditional COMS livery and one, 817, in Tramways livery and both were launched on Friday 1st December as related in the press release below.

Oxford Bus Company celebrates its 125th birthday 

A series of events were announced as the Oxford Bus Company celebrated it’s 125th birthday and traced its roots from the original horse drawn trams to today’s green environmentally friendly fleet of buses and coaches. 

The first of the events was held on the 1st December 2006, the exact anniversary of the first horse drawn tram journey in 1881.  Two buses have been repainted in the historic liveries used by the original tram company and by the bus company throughout the thirties and forties. The buses recreated the first journey from Cowley Road to the railway station with VIP guests on board. Also that day, the MP For Oxford East, Andrew Smith, launched the celebrations by officially opening the company’s new headquarters and depot on Watlington Road in Cowley. It has cost over £10 million to develop the state-of-the art, environmentally friendly, facilities. 

Andrew Smith local MP with Arthur Pearson the company's oldest member of staff. 82 now starting his 60th year with the company!
with Managing Director Philip Kirk launch the special buses. Also seen is one of the very latest Citaros now being delivered.

Oxford Bus Company’s Managing Director, Philip Kirk said, “It’s a tremendous achievement for any organisation to have reached its 125th birthday. We are immensely proud of our history. We believe it is truly a unique company. We’ve been right at the heart of the community we serve for the last century and a quarter. We’ve supported the area through thick and thin, through the challenges of two world wars and through recessions and boom times. We’ve been only too willing to rise to the demands that prosperity has brought to the Oxford area. 

But we’re not just celebrating the past. We are equally proud of our present day achievements and we look forward to the future with great confidence. Our aim now, as it has been since 1st December 1881, is to provide the best possible service for everyone who lives, visits, studies and does business in our city.” 

Later in December a new book “The Oxford Bus Company, the first 125 years” will be published, charting the bus company’s history and development. More details on that will follow nearer the time.

You can see more of the buses under the company heading below.

Green Road roundabout roadworks completed

We are told that today, Sunday, should see the completion of the long term roadworks at Green Road and the hamburger junction will be fully commissioned. This will be very welcome by all concerned as motorists and transport operators alike have had to put up with nearly a year of traffic queues and tailbacks.

Gavin Francis visited the site this morning so that we all get an idea of how things are now.


The first picture shows the bus lane ending from Thornhill. The second the hamburger through road to the western by-pass. The third picture shows the road in from the eastern by-pass and finally looking towards Barton from London Road, Headington.

This should also mean that bus and coach services can now return to normal and schedules will be generally met at all times.

Work starts at Thornhill Park & ride on new bus station

Gavin also took a few pictures of work which is now starting at Thornhill Park & Ride and which is a prelude to the new bus station. The work is on a temporary bus stand during the main construction works.


A local model worth adding to your collection

Malcolm Hyland writes "This mail comes to you in my capacity as Treasurer of The Amersham & District Motor Bus Society.

We have a very limited stock of the 10T10 EFE model T596 on route 458 to Uxbridge. This model was commissioned through London Bus Repaints for the Slough & Windsor Running Day on 14th May 2006 and was a limited edition of 150 models.

Price is £27-50 plus £2-50 for postage and packaging. It is available through Malcolm Hyland at 41, Clare Road, Prestwood, Bucks HP16 0NU. Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motor Bus Society. E-mail queries to

This week's edition is somewhat limited but most main events have been covered. Thanks to all who contributed.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 3rd December 2006

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

News of the local companies – 3rd December 2006

Further to last week's picture of 3089 at Luton Airport, Mike Penn writes to say "With regard to your photograph of Arriva L133 HVS in this week's page it's not the first time it has operated into Luton but it could be the first time it has worked the 321, having moved to Watford recently.  For the record it was new to Buffalo Travel, having been purchased to operate Herts County Council route 89 from Hitchin to Henlow Camp.  Following Luton & District's takeover of much of Buffalo Travel's stage work in May 1995  L133 HVS became Luton & District number 350, later becoming 3089, and was allocated to Hitchin, where it has remained until recently, now of course with Arriva The Shires.  As such it sometimes worked into Luton on services 100 and 101.  It was, and is, the only Alexander Strider bodied bus in the fleet.  The Hitchin to Henlow Camp route was once Birch Bros. route 209, becoming United Counties route 89 in 1968.  Since then it has been run by a number of different operators, including Seamarks and Dunn-Line and is now run by Centrebus.  The attached photo is of  L133 HVS with Buffalo Travel taken in Stevenage in July 1994."

Glenn Knight writes "MK Metro`s latest addition V393 KVY Optare Exel B33F Ex-Claribel, Birmingham photo attached with it on the 33`s today."

Chris writes from Banbury to say "Just to let you know that  Heyfordian's Plaxton Pointer B6 (Dart Look alike !!) L408GPY that I mentioned to you, and indeed you photographed whilst it was on loan at Wycombe a few weeks back, was again running on 81 duty in Banbury on Friday morning around 11am."

As mentioned in the Editorial above some items of interest are worth recording this week.

First we were aware that a further delivery of Citaros were due in December and the first to be seen is nr 852 which was included in celebrations for the 125th at Cowley House last Friday. The batch would appear to be 849-859 and these must be some, if not the first, Euro 5 buses in the U.K.

Along with 852, 816 and 817 appeared in special liveries to mark the 125th.

Both Chris Maxfield and Gavin Francis have been busy with their cameras taking pictures of the special livery buses and a selection of their results are shown below.

Gavin Francis


Chris Maxfield


Chris Maxfield was also out and about today taking pictures of 817 in Tramways livery. Don't you just love the lady in the crinoline



The Darts are now returning to service after modification and those seen over the past week are 402, 407 and 410. Thanks to Vikki Lee and Curly for these sightings. Additionally Curly reports that 402 has been fitted with a digital display.

A picture of 402 today by Chris Maxfield.

Also Curly notes that on 27th November a green Park & ride Trident was on the 13.

Trident 904 entered service last week and again I received pictures from several readers.

Vikki Lee took this picture of 904 on a 35 working last Wednesday 29th November.
I wonder what this bus would look like with a duck egg green cheat line between the two shades of red?

I was delighted that John Marsh sent this picture of the rear of 904 showing the full destination display.

Coach nr 1 is seen in London a week ago in this picture by Chris Maxfield.

Red Rose, Aylesbury

Various pictures of this little Dart reached me this week but the one above by Vikki Lee caught the moment as it were.
It was seen on the 275 on several days last week.

Gavin Francis caught 22053 in bad light on a 32 working on Friday 1st December.

One of the few ESA registered batch active south of the border, 20542 unusually works low floor route 1 on Friday 1st December 2006.
Photo by Gavin Francis

Chris Maxfield took this picture of 22926 n route 12 despite its 7 branding. Friday 1st December 2006.

Just occasionally a Volvo B10M gets on to the 7 as seen here in this picture by Chris /Maxfield of 20009 in Barton last Friday.


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

Derek Doling writes "A Trathens Neoplan taken at Victoria in Feb 1985.  Thought it would contrast with the latest one on your page this week."


If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

Coming events & models

King Alfred, Winchester Running Day - Monday 1st January 2007

Always a great event and well worth a visit.

DVD s by Robin Clare

The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :-

Latest Citaro models revealed

Dave Rogers sent the following press release.


Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester  -  ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus


Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads. 

ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks. 

Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre. 

ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions. 

ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased. 

Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.


The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively. 


Model Buses for Sale
prices revised with immediate effect

I have a revised deal on Models for your readers...

Each of the following models are available for the following price : 

Each Model = £10.00

Postage is £4.00 regardless of the number of models.







Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at

More models are for sale on my eBay store,

Thanks!    James

Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.


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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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


These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

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

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbook from BBF was on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.
It includes all the latest takeovers and as ever is invaluable
in keeping track of this now very large fleet.

As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

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