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 180

Sunday 4th June 2006
next update week ending 17th June 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

This has been a busy week for local happenings, with Thames Travel receiving their batch of long awaited Scanias for the X39 Premium route between Wallingford and Watlington via Oxford, changes to the exit of Newlands Bus Station in High Wycombe and the major changes to various city routes in Oxford with Stagecoach taking over several more routes.

Work on the Eden development in High Wycombe is gathering pace and local comments notice how each day seems to bring further developments. The previous exit into Union Street has now been closed and Temple Street has now been made two way.

Temple Street, leading to Newlands Bus Station is now two way. Picture taken in the afternoon of 4th June 2006.

Gavin Francis took the first picture which is of 3824 leaving Newlands Bus Station by the new route.
The area behind the Dart was formally the workshops of Arriva High Wycombe.
The second picture shows 3481 leaving the bus station shortly before the changes took place.
Picture 2 by Frazer Peddle.

Updated report on delays to traffic and services resulting from work at Thornhill Park & Ride junction on the A40.

Things seemed to have settled down in the past week with each direction of the A40 getting 6 minutes and the roads from either side about 2 minutes each. This can however result in a 12 minute wait to get out of Thornhill which does little to help the service reliability.

There have of course been odd occasions when diversions of inbound services via Stadhampton have been necessary but in general the general delay is about 10 minutes in and out of Oxford.

Sunday morning, this morning, saw an X90 service diverted via Stadhampton.
Here we see the Volvo/Plaxton Excalibur heading south from the M40 junction 7 towards Stadhampton.

Roadworks in High Street, Oxford cause long delays

For a few weeks now work has been in progress relaying the footpaths along High Street from Carfax. Last week the contractors started work on the opposite side of the road by Carfax whilst work is still in progress on the north side of the same road, only a few hundred yards further east. Needless to say this cuased some delays from time to time, especially since delivery vans and cars still park more or less in the middle of the work.

Harvey Cullimore took a couple of pictures which illustrate the problem very well. One can only question why parking should be allowed at all at this difficult time?


Are you a fan of the Bristol VR?

Peter Edgar wrote following a visit to Poole last week. He says that this will be the last year for the Bristol VR with Wilts and Dorset see set of in that direction if you like VRs.

Two Bristol VRs with Wilts & Dorset at Poole. Pictures from Peter Edgar.

Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 4th June 2006

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

News of the local companies 4th June 2006

Arriva is not without interest this week and I couldn't resist TWO pictures from Stokenchurch, one of a different angle.

First of all on Saturday we had 5094 on the 342 and then today, Sunday, unusually Volvo B6 3127.

Gavin Francis caught Dennis Lance 3377 on the 323, another unusual rostering.

Gavin Francis caught this ex Merseyside Mercedes 2171, transferred in from Aylesbury on a local High Wycombe working last week.

Ex COMS 5830, now based at Aylesbury was working the 261 last Friday and is seen here heading down St Aldates.

Last week I pictured 3365 and wondered about its history. Mike Penn came to the rescue with this potted history of this bus plus a picture of it in 1996 which is shown below.

Mike says "You asked about the history of Arriva 3365 (L415 NHJ), so here goes! L415 NHJ was new to County Bus & Coach as fleet number DWL415 in January 1994 and was based at Ware.  It was a one off purchase; there were no other Lxxx NHJ registered vehicles.  I am unsure of the reason for this; I had it in my mind that it was bought to replace another vehicle lost in a fire but I have been unable to find any reference to that now.  Also it had a Wright body whereas the previous two batches of Darts had Plaxton bodies.  County were sold by West Midlands Travel to the Cowie Group at the end of February 1996 and in July DWL415 was repainted in the new Cowie livery style, possible the first in the fleet to be so treated.  I am attaching a photograph of it passing Watford garage on the 724 route to Heathrow Airport taken on August 15th 1996.  At this time it still hadn't had fleet names or numbers affixed.  County Bus & Coach became Arriva East Herts & Essex in April 1998 and in November of that year DWL415 was repainted into the new Arriva livery, its second repaint in less than five years.  It became 3365 in the January 1999 renumbering and in February 2002 it was transferred to Arriva The Shires being based initially at Hitchin.  It moved to High Wycombe in October 2002.

As it happens County did have a Dart whose body was destroyed by fire in an arson attack at Edmonton.  This was DP309 (J309 WHJ).  However it was rebodied in November 1992 so the purchase of DWL415 seems unconnected. Incidentally J309 WHJ was the first Dart to be rebodied.  I am attaching a photo of this also, taken in August 2005 at Stevenage by which time it was being operated by Transit Group."

Mike, thanks for that information which is now on record for the future.

Terry Wong wrote regarding Rail Replacement work saying "I posted some information to the London Bus Group and Rail Replacements group on Arriva Shires and Essex doing some District Line down at Wimbledon-Fulham Broadway.  Weird you may ask or not?  It is as they tend to stay up on the North West part of London.  So here are a couple of pictures of what I saw while pursing the latest talking point of Centra stripped of it's TFL routes.  Taken on Saturday.  I hope this is of interest to your fellow readers.  Incidentally, Arriva had Arriva Sightseeing, Arriva London (Norwood (N), Battersea (BA) and Thornton Heath (TH)) helping out! And also Metroline and London United as well as their own gear."

The buses mentioned by Terry. I seem to remember that someone was asking about 5154?

The company were much involved this weekend in Rail Replacement work for the Northern Line following a derailment on Friday. The new Dennis Trident 402 was in use on  this work.

Gavin was busy taking pictures this week which are shown below.

C1WYC was almost ready for service when Gavin took this picture.

DAF 976, outbound from the bus station passes DAF 981 in the lay-by in Temple Street last week. Picture by Gavin Francis.

A further Volvo B10BLE has now left Oxford for refurbishment. It is 804 and Harvey Cullimore who happened to be at Plaxtons last Saturday week get a shot of the before, as it were, to compliment the recently returned 803 pictured below by Gavin Francis.

804 awaiting work to be started - Plaxtons 27 May 2006.

Gavin Francis took these pictures of 803 at The Rail Station last Friday.

An unusual working for the 5 last Friday was by this Citaro seen in a picture by Gavin Francis at the Train Station.

Gavin Francis contributed 636 on the 14 last Friday. This route transfers to Stagecoach from today.
Andy Churchill sent this picture of 637 on the 14A earlier last week on a very wet day.

Another route to go to Stagecoach from today is the 16. This picture shows Dart 403 on the service last Friday.

Trident 115 has gained a new advert on the rear and this shot showing the bus was taken last week by Gavin Francis.

Lastly we have two pictures of the depot taken this Sunday depicting the scene.
The grouping of types is interesting and I "copped" all three P&R Citaros in one go!!!!

Mike Penn writes "Another photo for you.  This is former City of Oxford (Wycombe Bus) Bristol VR HJB 464W now with Hedingham & District seen at today's Southend bus rally.  Hedingham & District still run a sizeable number of VRs."

Gavin Francis caught this confusing coach working the Stansted service last week. In spite of the paper sticker the actual destination claims the coach will go to Cambridge.
Bet it didn't !!!!!

The 420 NEx service passes along the M40 through our area of coverage. Here we can see a Scania
which has been painted up in support of the Irish Community in Birmingham.  This seems to happen each year for St Patricks Day.

Red Rose, Aylesbury.

Red Rose as everyone knows works the 275 between Oxford and High Wycombe. However this service only runs three days a week and on Tuesdays and Thursdays the bus normally used for the 275 works a service from Watlington to Henley.

The Mercedes in use last Thursday is seen in Watlington on the late lunchtime service.

Sunday 4th June saw the start of Stagecoach operations on a number of routes recently won in a round of tendering by local operators.

Route 16

Dart SLF 34471 is seen on the first day of operation of the 16. It is seen picking up in Littlemore on the hourly Sunday service.

This picture by Gavin Francis shows the same bus in St Aldates.

Route 17

Brand new Solo 47315 is seen passing through Marston Village on the first day of operation of the 17.
This was the only Solo out today with 47316 and Slimline 47106 not in service.

Route U10

First day of the U10 with Trident 18056 working the 1134 from Cowley Centre to the J R.

Gavin Francis caught an Alexander bodied version at Carfax on the outbound service today, Sunday

I mentioned that some Brookes Tridents had already left for Devon, being 18054 and 18005. Ben Morroll sent some excellent pictures of these buses in Torquay and Paignton last week.

For those who like coincidence we have pictures of three consecutive buses in three very different location.

Gavin Francis took this picture of 18399 on the 27C last week which shows off the Concessionary Travel details now displayed on many SC buses in Oxfordshire.

Mike Penn sent a picture of one of the Oxfordshire Lances now with Birmingham coach Company.

The 0600 Capital Select Express service to London Victoria, first stop Marble Arch loads last Friday at Thornhill.
A breakfast of various rolls, pastries and fruit juice plus a copy of The Independent are offered free to all passengers on these early morning Commuter services.

Gavin Francis took this picture of 50103 last Friday operating the 0720 service from Wantage to Oxford.
It is seen here in Bond Square, Oxford at the end of this working.

Neoplan 50109 had been for a minor repair at Plaxtons and is seen here on its way back to Oxford
at Leicester Forest East in company with a Megabus Neoplan. Photo by Harvey Cullimore.
The Neoplan is one of those allocated to Yorkshire Traction at Barnsley, hence the two fleet numbers.

This last week has seen the arrival of the long awaited Scania/East Lancs single deckers and we cover this by a good spread of pictures which we hope gives everyone a good idea of what they are like. Branding will be applied in two weeks time and so for the time they do look a little bland. 



Scania N94 UB

Chassis No1854142

C59301 31 seats



Scania N94 UB


C59302 31 seats



Scania N94 UB


C59303 31 seats



Scania N94 UB


C59304 31 seats

306 had just arrived from the supplier when this picture was taken at Wallingford depot last Thursday.

Gavin Francis took this picture of 106 in Oxford St Aldates last Friday. This was the last of the quartet to arrive.

The very nice and light interior of these new buses.

Fleet number 406, the first to enter service, taken at Howbery Park, near Wallingford last Thursday.


The new depot for operations in the Abingdon area will be at Culham. Operations start tomorrow Monday 5th June. The title of Oxford International is to be used.

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



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

The London via High Wycombe service

As mentioned elsewhere in these pages, the Oxford-London service via High Wycombe was once operated by United Counties. This was until these operations were included in the South Midland operations of Thames Valley.

The service had been started by Varsity Coaches and I found this pictures of one of the United Counties coaches branded for use on  this service. The Bristol JO5G with Eastern Coachworks body was new in 1936 and was used until early post war days and based at the Botley Road Garage then in use.

The picture comes from the Keith A Jenkinson collection and is I think pictured in Gloucester Green

Coming events

Bus Running Days as follows:

Sunday 25 June - Hemel Hempstead

Sunday 1 October Amersham organised by Amersham & District Motorbus Society

Running Days as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser  Amersham & District Motorbus Society 

Sunday 25 June 2006

This date in mid-Summer is for the first Hemel Hempstead Running Day to be based on the Bus Station. Arriva the Shires and Essex have given permission for us to use the bus station that day but like Slough this is an operational bus station and we will not interfere with their operations which are anyway much reduced on Sundays.

This is the normal date for North Weald which will not take place this year and the NLTS have no plans for a replacement event that day.

Discussions have also taken place with Dacorum Borough Council, Herts County Council and the police who have all been most helpful. I have also spoken to the Market Superintendent and am able to book and pay for stall space on the day. For those who don't know Hemel, the covered market is situated behind the bus station - an excellent location.

The market will have a hot food stall that day and another stallholder sells confectionery, soft drinks, ice cream etc. Ample toilet facilities are at the bus station.

Peter Gomm and I visited Hemel on Fri 6 January and, with advice from the police, have identified an area nearby for display vehicles in Dacorum Way and vehicles on long breaks can park in Queensway (formerly Bury Road) between Leighton Buzzard Road and Marlow's, the railway station on one unused bay on Sundays and the bus station itself can be used for shorter breaks without disturbing its smooth operation. Health & Safety issues have to be borne in mind. A requirement of at least 10 double decks and 11 single decks are needed. This excludes any duplication which will be needed.

A number of rural and inter-urban routes have been chosen for operation - 302, 307 ,312.316. 317.317a,318,319 ,320,330, 337 ,347,706,708, 724. The 724 is for a feeder service to/from Watford from the North and then a 708 to/from Hemel. At the moment I have nothing from the South - any suggestions/offers?  (THOSE IN BOLD HAVE TO BE SINGLE-DECK OPERATED). 

Certain places such as Berkhamsted Station provide good interchanges with rtes 317/a and 312 connecting there and also in central Watford with the 302 and 347 connecting.

The biggest interchange of all, of course, is the bus station.

Again in Hemel a wide range of vehicles have been operated e.g. GS,RF, T, RB,RT,RMC, RML,SNB,SNC plus several others. Like Windsor, Central Area used to loan their vehicles for weekend and bank holiday duplication. 

If anyone has blinds for any or part of these areas please let me know urgently.

Please respond as quickly as you can as I want to finalise timetables/duties etc asap.

I am paying a visit to Hemel this morning to see what it's like between 11.00 and 12.00

Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.

As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.

This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.

It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?

Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX. 

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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