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  

 Introduction and Menu Page

Issue 284
Monday 9th March 2009
(next update week ending 21st March 2009)

Now in our 11th year

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current 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 thumbnail


This last week has seen a superb number of contributions from readers which will make this issue really interesting.

Stagecoach have renumbered the latest M A N deliveries and reregistered those arriving after the 1st of March, giving these buses 09 plates, the first for any local operators in our area. Arriva have received two more Van Hool tri-axles for the 757 service Luton Airport-London Victoria. However these latest deliveries are in full easyBus livery. easyBus are also trialling an Optare 28 seater on the Stansted-London service.

This issue sees a new section "Seen in Oxford" as a way of bringing visiting buses and coaches under one section. Gavin Francis has been very active in providing pictures of visiting vehicles.

Parking on motorway overbridges?

I was told by a correspondent in Manchester that a large number of Eavesway coaches would be travelling from Manchester to London for the F A Cup Quarter Final at Wembley on Saturday last. I determined to take up a spot on the junction 5 overbridge to record the promised convoy. I settled in our car at an angle to take photos in comfort. "Now this is how to do it" I thought and awaited the first coach to pass by.

It was not long before a Traffic Patrol from the M40 pulled up on the bridge and the two officers came to my car. One opened my nearside door (against the road) and told me I could not park on the overbridge as I created a distraction (I assume he meant for the M40 drivers) whilst his colleague walked round my car like a VOSA Inspector or policeman, (I presume looking for problems).
To say I felt intimidated is an understatement.
I remarked that traffic officer patrols often parked on the overbridge and surely they were a greater distraction, especially since my car is dark grey and more than blended into scenery and theirs is highly visible, often causing motorists to break suddenly. I questioned the "rule" he was making and where one could find this rule?
He could not give an appropriate answer to this but insisted I could not park where I was. (There are NO signs to restrict parking.) Not wishing to cause trouble I removed my car to the far side of the slip road where I was not causing any problem.
At junction 5 there is a massive paved area off the road where many people park inc trucks etc etc. Indeed as a group of villagers making a traffic census to gather information for a proposed MSA at junction 5 in the late '80s we parked a caravan for the whole day at the same spot, providing welcome cups of tea to passing police patrols.

One can see the paved area on the left of the picture which is big enough for a 12 metre truck and some - where are the no waiting signs.
Not only do the police and traffic officers park here but also recovery trucks, cars, vans etc etc.

Whilst I am, as they are, equally concerned about distraction to other motorists I felt this was unreal and wondered when the Gestapo would arrive. I have taken pictures from this bridge for nearly 35 years and never felt any distraction was being caused.
Our house is by the side of the on slip road London bound M40 and we often have to put up with trucks by our house taking their legal breaks on the hard shoulder for many hours during the night (I am sure you are not allowed to park on the hard shoulder?????), but the police will never do anything about this, even when it seriously disturbed my elderly mother who used to live with us.
The other day a truck was blocking the road in the village of Stokenchurch and traffic officers were eating sandwiches in their vehicle. My wife asked them to try to do something about the truck parked in a bus stop, which was creating a danger for other motorists and they said they had no jurisdiction for this and carried on with their sandwiches.
So yet again England proves to be not a land of the free.
I applaud law and order but surely things are going too far and where is the rule, I can't find it and they couldn't quote it to me either?
Does anyone have any comments? Those received so far talk of living in a police state, "you should write to the Chief Constable" etc etc. Indeed if any police officers read my web page and I am almost certain some do, please tell me if I am wrong and where the rules for no parking are quoted. Indeed if there are such rules why are the no signs to indicate this restriction?


Paul Lacey is pleased to announce the completion of his latest and long-awaited book:


224 A4 pages, perfect bound in laminated covers, with 544 half-tone illustrations, full fleet list, service fleet list, route map, and appendices covering livery details, background to Newbury & District and South Midland, as well as allocations of vehicles, working arrangements and premises. A highly detailed and evocative account of all aspects of the Thames Valley activities, with the experience of over 40 years of research, fully illustrated with almost all unpublished photos. 

Retail Price: £25  Order your copy NOW direct for just £20!

Please quote the OCBP when ordering

Other titles currently available:

A History of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd., 1920 – 1930

Retail Price: £15                                                     Special Offer Price: £5

A History of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd., 1931 – 1945

Retail Price: £25                                                     Special Offer Price: £5

Thackray’s Way – A Family in Road Transport

Retail Price: £10                                                     Special Offer Price: £5

50 Years of South Midland, 1921 – 1970           Written by David Flitton

Retail Price: £11                                                      Special Offer Price: £5 

Offer prices apply to orders placed with the new volume only. Send to:

Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT, cheque payable to Paul Lacey  -(post & packing inclusive). 

If you live locally and prefer to collect, please call on 0118 979 4097 to arrange a mutually convenient time to visit (please do not just turn up!).

OCBP comment: These are great book for the enthusiast with local interests cantered on the Thames Valley and Chilterns. They contain a wealth of information and fleet list plus some most interesting pictures. We can thoroughly recommend each publication.


As always I am publishing the page in parts and so some pages may not be immediately available.

Malcolm Crowe, 9th March 2009

Menu for News Page Issue 9th March 2009

Archive Index (previous News Pages)

Introduction & main menu

Editorial & Features plus seen in Oxford & Picture Corner

Company and Fleet News

Concessionary Travel, Buses in the Landscape, Running Days and Historical articles.

Some pages will not open as I have not uploaded them yet - please check back.

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a bus driver in Oxford but considering the fact that the photographs are taken of the vehicle not any person,
I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
I am sorry to have to mention such a matter but we now live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.

Other items of interest including models, links and accommodation.

Sim Bowman has written regarding his web site and I thought this would prove useful to anyone wanting to visit our area and intending to stay overnight in the Chilterns.

Accommodation in the Chilterns

Spring is in the air! Visit the Chilterns and then, why not stay for a while? If your looking for a country cottage, a pub, an inn or hotel in the UK within easy reach of London, then we think you may have found the answer. Lying only a few miles north-west of London, the Chilterns are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lying within the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the Thames Valley and there are literally hundreds of places to stay and things to do in the Chilterns to choose from.

The Chilterns remain an unspoilt area of gently rolling chalk hills, perfect walking country with beautiful beech woods full of wildlife, quiet valleys and charming brick and flint villages with welcoming pubs, inns and hotels.
The Ridgeway, an official National Trail, runs from one end to the other and with a myriad of other footpaths the Chilterns offer easily accessible walking in beautiful countryside and only half an hour from north London!

So, if you're looking for holiday accommodation, a short stay or maybe just something to do for the day in the Chilterns - we can help! The Let's Stay Chilterns holiday accommodation and tourist guide features everything from self catering and VB inspected Chilterns holiday cottages, budget and luxury Chilterns hotels, Chilterns bed and breakfast accommodation, guest houses, Chilterns camping and caravanning sites, Chilterns pubs and inns, pet friendly places, properties with facilities for wheelchair users, restaurants, attractions, things to do in the Chilterns and much more.

For more information on the Chiltern Hills please see our new
Chilterns Guide.

For more images of the Chilterns and other areas click here.

Altogether a very useful site.

Interesting photo link

Doug Spencer has a nice photo site readers may like to check out.

Trident model with an Oxford flavour

ukbus 1036 Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident

 Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

Creative Master Northcord is proud to release a brand new livery on its well-known casting – the Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident. This is ukbus 1036 carrying standard Stagecoach livery but with special route branding livery.

This model represents Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 (KX55 TLN). This is the second Stagecoach in Oxfordshire ADL ALX400-bodied Trident model that CMNL produced. The previous one is ukbus 1026 with Brookes bus colours. 

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 is one of a fleet of seven Tridents introduced onto route 27 in March 2006 to replace Volvo B10M single deckers. Route 27 operates between Oxford and Bicester up to every 15 minutes at busy times with three main route variants around Bicester – 27A to Glory Farm and Launton, 27B to Glory Farm and Langford and 27C to Ambrosden and Arncott. 

18394 is one of three vehicles which carry supplementary branding for the Bicester Duo ticket which was introduced during 2007. The ticket allows two people to travel from Bicester to Oxford for the price of one.


The replica features excellent detailing, inside and out, including an opening engine door, engine detail and the representation of LED lights at the rear. This is a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the windows and livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. The model has no unnecessary metal poles to hold it together.  

It will be a good opportunity to make a twin Stagecoach in Oxfordshire bus model set with ukbus 1036 and ukbus 1025 representing the common street scene in Oxford.

PSV Circle publishes latest issue of the fleet list for Berkshire and Oxfordshire

Ken MacKenzie writes to note that the new PSV Circle fleet list for Berkshire/Oxfordshire (G432) is now available.

Those readers wishing to buy a copy should write to: PSV Circle, 59 Palmer Avenue, Cheam SM3 8EF - Cost id £7.00 plus 50p P & P and it will also be available at the PSV Circle sales stand at Showbus 2007.

This will be a most useful reference for all those interested in the local scene.

Editors review - I have now had chance to review this book and it is indeed very useful, giving details of all known fleets in Berks and Oxon. Whilst some information is not totally up to date it allows the readers to have a comprehensive view of the local fleets and up dates can be gained by joining the PSV Circle. At £7.00 this represents value for money as it also includes a number of good photographs.


A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.

Model News of an Oxford bus

Guy writes to send a picture of the latest offering on the model front related to Oxford.


A photo disc for your collection

This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site

Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.

The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.

Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book

In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.

The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.

The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.

Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours. 

DVD s by Robin Clare -

Robin sent me a copy of his latest DVD to review. "Today's buses - Oxfordshire" is the compelling title which includes Henley, Wallingford and Didcot before the viewer is taken onto Wantage, Witney, Banbury and finally Bicester. Each of these locations is covered in2 to 5 minutes and each shows the current selection of buses and coaches to be found. Finally over 37 minutes is devoted to Oxford with filming in a variety of locations in the city.

On another subject the road sense and behaviour of cyclists in Oxford has to be seen to be believed!!!!

The quality of the DVD is excellent and one can really see clearly the details of each vehicle, something which older video always seemed unable to do. All the latest developments are shown in this September 2007 DVD, including workings from Broad Street during the St Giles Fair weekend.

The DVD provides a unique record of events in Oxfordshire during this period and at £10 is not a very large outlay.

Robin Clare Transport Video
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA

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

Citaro models

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. 


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

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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 nine 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

John Marsh's pictures with a difference

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 2008
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2007-2008
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 15th year.


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Bus services in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Logo/link

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