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 197

Monday 9th October 2006
next update week ending 21st October 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.

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Last week brought news of an increase in bus passenger numbers in Oxford. Philip Kirk, Managing Director of the Oxford Bus Company, reports a big rise in passenger numbers reversing a decline recorded three months ago. The company saw an 8% increase in passenger numbers over the past six months some of which is attributed to the spate of roadworks which have been a feature of travel in Oxford for many months now. Mr Kirk also said that about one third of the additional passengers could be attributed to extra journeys made under the concessionary fares scheme. The Park & Ride services also saw an increasing number of journeys and there is some evidence to suppose that car drivers are leaving their cars at home during the present phase of the roadworks.

It will be interesting to see if, when the roadworks are completed, the increases are maintained.

Another source of increased use of coach services to London may come when the congestion zone is extended further west to Shepherds Bush. This is to take place in February 2007 and should improve journey times on the Oxford Tube which uses Holland Park Avenue and Bayswater to reach Victoria.

Whilst one thought that The Oxford Tube was unique in launching its Wi-Fi internet service on board its coaches, Reading Transport also introduced a similar service on its Goldline Travel Thames Valley Park service last Monday. Five new luxury Euro 4 Scania OmniCity buses entered service on a six year contract to the park which is home to major international businesses such as Microsoft, Oracle and the BG Group. Running on bio-diesel, the 12 metre buses have tinted windows, saloon climate control, leather seats and Telabria Wi-Fi internet. This is claimed to be a first, however if I am correct the Oxford Tube started on October 1st and also got a very good plug on the BBC Oxford news shown on Tuesday 3rd October at 1300, 1800 and 2200 of that day.

Photo by Mark Lyons

Talking about Euro 4 and Euro emissions in general one notes the OBC's new order for Citaros due shortly will be to Euro 5 standards. It is now reported that Euro 5 does not become mandatory for new buses until 1st October 2009.

An interesting story emerged in The Oxford Times last week when A PLEDGE to give councils new powers to ensure bus operators serve communities properly was welcomed by Oxfordshire County Council.

The full story can be read at the following link :

One wonders how this development will affect local operators?

Last Thursday Bayswater was reopened after a closure lasting around two weeks due to a collapsed water main. This resulted in the diversion of the Oxford Tube which operated via Baker Street during the closure. Such closures are never easy for the operators concerned and matters were not helped by additional roadworks at the top of Knightsbridge which precluded the Tube service from operating via Kensington Church Street.

Road closure in Kidlington

From next Monday, 9th October 2006 until approximately 22nd December 2006, Mill Street in Kidlington will be closed to enable Thames Water to replace a sewer between Vicarage Road and Benmead Road.

As a result of these roadworks the Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach routes serving this area will be affected.

During the works Thames Water have agreed to finance the operation of a shuttle bus. The shuttle, which will be operated by Stagecoach in Oxford, will run approximately every 15 minutes between 9am and 5pm Monday to Saturday and will observe the following circular route - Evans Lane, Mill Street, Brasenose Drive, Green Road, School Road, High Street, Sterling Road Approach, Oxford Road, Bicester Road, Evans Lane.

A free circular shuttle bus will operate between 0855 and 1655 Monday - Saturday from Evans Lane via Brasenose Drive, Green Road, High Street and Oxford Road to allow connections with all buses diverted from the area.

Outside of these hours passengers will need to walk through to either the High Street or Oxford Road to catch their bus.

The following link will provide readers with a timetable for the shuttle bus:

Oxford Bus

Services city 2 and 2A will be unable to serve stops at Chorfields or along the full length of High Street, Mill Street and Evans Lane. Buses will therefore divert as follows. 

    city 2 - normal route from Oxford to Grovelands, then via Lyne Mead to Banbury Road (The Black Horse), Exeter Hall to Garden City where normal route resumes.

    city 2A - normal route from Oxford to Garden City, then via Exeter Hall, Banbury Road (The Black Horse), Lyne Road to Grovelands, where normal route resumes.

All bus stops will be served whilst buses are on diversionary routes but OBC will be unable to serve stops at Chorfields or along the full length of High Street, Mill Street and Evans Lane from Monday 9th October until 22nd December.

Please note that buses on city 2B, 2C and 2D will be unaffected by these works and observe normal route throughout.

Stagecoach in Oxford

The road closure will affect part of route 7B.

Route 7B will operate as normal to Kidlington High Street, and then turn left into Mill Street, Benmead Road and back onto Oxford Road. Buses will however be unable to serve the other half the normal route along Mill Street and Evans Lane.

Abingdon - road closures

Abingdon High Street will be closed from 0830 on Sunday 8th October until 0900 on Wednesday 11th October for the Michaelmas Fair. Various bus services will be affected.

See the following links.

Abingdon Runaway Fair

The Runaway Fair will be taking place in Abingdon between 8.30am on Sunday 15th until approximately 9am on Tuesday 17th October 2006.

The Oxford Bus Company have published details on bus services affected at the following link :

The Oxford Bus Museum - October bus rally

Herewith a note in the forthcoming bus rally at the Oxford Bus Museum. It is to be held on Sunday 15 October and vehicles will be displayed at the Water Eaton Park & Ride site, by kind permission of the County Council, and a regular free bus service, operated by preserved vehicles, will run between there and the Museum.  Free parking is available at Water Eaton.  Alternatively visitors can park at Long Hanborough: look out for the signs to the nearby industrial estate, and then take the free minibus service to the Museum.

A day out to Liverpool with your Editor

Last Thursday saw your Editor once again on Virgin Trains, this time bound for Liverpool. I had booked on the 06:32 Virgin service from Oxford to Birmingham, operated as ever by a Voyager. As my last few experiences of Virgin Cross-Country had been rather less than satisfactory I was not especially looking forward to my trip on the day. I reached the train station nice and early and was pleasantly surprised to see that my service was expected ON-TIME. An added bonus was a travelling companion in the shape of Noam Bleicher, Chairman of the local Bus Users group. Noam was off to Leicester - change at Birmingham, a journey he makes on a very regular basis. Noam promised me an on time journey throughout and indeed we were true to his word with an impeccable journey.

Noam also suggested that I change to Stafford as I would not need to change platforms for my connecting Central Trains service to Liverpool. This service is Desiro operated and Noam said the trains were very comfortable.

In fact when I arrived at Stafford I saw that I could also use a London-Liverpool service at 08:46 operated by Virgin with Pendolino trains which would only mean a 10 minute later arrival in Liverpool. Again the service was reported as on time and I enjoyed a very fast journey to Liverpool Lime Street arriving some 5 minutes earlier than scheduled.

My Pendolino train on arrival at Liverpool Lime Street.

So, I have to say that when the trains do run on time Virgin provides a very good service. I had a seat throughout, in fact there was lots of space and empty seats, quite unlike my previous journeys.

So, why was I off to Liverpool. The reason was to collect a training vehicle from Stagecoach on Merseyside and to catch up with an old friend, Les Burton. Les is now Operations Director for SCoM and I was to report to Gilmoss Depot to collect the vehicle in question.

Gillmoss is an old Liverpool Corporation bus depot and was, I am told, built in the 1950s. It has provision for some 200 buses to be parked herringbone fashion in the open air and a workshop facility with offices and crew rooms. The depot was once part of MTL and then Arriva before becoming part of Glenvale. Stagecoach took over Glenvale in 2004 and this depot and Aintree make up Stagecoach on Merseyside.

I was able to get a number of pictures of the current fleet and there was even one Volvo/Wrights still in the old CMT livery but as my picture shows, not for much longer. (CMT were absorbed by Glenvale.)

SC on Merseyside 21121 a Volvo B10BLE with Wright Renown bodywork new to CMT in 2000
presently being repainted into Stagecoach corporate livery.

SC on Merseyside 21117 a Volvo B10BLE with Wright Renown bodywork new to CMT in 2000
presently being repainted into Stagecoach corporate livery.

SC on Merseyside 21114 a Volvo B10BLE with Wright Renown bodywork new to CMT in 2000
pictured at a parking area by the side of Lime St Station.
Ribble buses once used this same street but in the opposite direction.

SC on Merseyside 34481 a 2004 delivery to Merseyside which now has a large fleet of similar Darts.

Once part of Arriva and previously MTL, this Metrobus 596 is now seen in withdrawn condition at Gillmoss depot.

The reason for my trip to Liverpool was to collect this trainer which is on loan to Oxford for a few months.
52211 started life in Chesterfield and has only recently come to Liverpool.

The day was far from fine and made photography less than appealing. I started back to Oxford from Gillmoss leaving at 12:15 and pulling into Horspath depot at 16:20 having enjoyed the Volvo coach which performed faultlessly on the journey down from Liverpool.

For those interested in seeing more of Glenvale may I recommend the following link :

British buses in  the USA by Gavin Francis


This ex Birkenhead Leyland PD2 with Massey bodywork was located in Orlando last September by Gavin Francis.

An ex Nottingham Atlantean spotted in Kissimmee on September 3rd 2006 by Gain Francis.

If anyone has further information on these two buses we would welcome hearing from you.

Another left hand drive interlude by Gavin Francis

Gavin couldn't resist taking a picture of this window display in Marks & Spencer, High Wycombe.
Why on earth do they want to make the bus left hand drive?

Polish buses enter service with Transdev

Gavin Francis was on hand in London today to catch what is probably one of the first sightings of the new Polish built Scania deckers for the 148.

One more from Amersham

Received too late for last week's page, Peter Edgar sent this picture of RTL139 on a 353 working at this year's Amersham event.

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

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 9th October 2006

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

News of the local companies – 9th October 2006

Nigel Peach writes to note "Volvo B6 3117 (M717 OMJ) has appeared in Wycombe with Wycombe blinds. I guess it could be a direct replacement for similar bus 3110 which was burnt out a month or two ago. 

I've seen DAFs 4427 and 4490, but I noticed that 4491 was listed on the running board at the bus station today (Mon 9th). I've not seen it yet though. I wonder what these buses are replacing. They seem to have displaced the Scanias on the 32 - these are now found on all sorts of different routes. 

Also I noticed today two of the ex Oxford Volvos, 3853 and 3854"

Arriva have increased fares in Luton as shown in the fare flyer.

Simon Oliver sent a couple of nice pictures of double deckers in the countryside. Simon says "first 5132 in Binfield Heath on the 329 to High Wycombe and second 5130 leaving Wargrave on the 328 to Reading   - both taken July this year"

Simon Oliver's picture of Olympian 5132 leaving Binfield Heath en route to High Wycombe on 18th July 2006

Simon Oliver's picture of Olympian 5130 running through Wargrave en route to Reading on 18th July 2006

An interesting point about these two pictures is the use of double decks on the Reading routes. The more usual fodder on these routes are the ex COMS/OBC Volvo B10Bs some of which are branded for this route.

Glenn Knight sent this picture of 3601 on a 24 working in Dunstable rather than the branded 38 route.

This elderly Van Hool DAF has received the new Green Line Livery and carries it rather well.  Picture by Gavin Francis.

Chris Maxfield was on hand to catch this Leyland Olympian, 5128, on the 280 Aylesbury service - seen in Oxford last week.

Another elderly Olympian, this time ex Oxford Bus 232 transferred in its later years to Wycombe Bus.
Arriva took over Wycombe Bus in late 1999 and 5832, above, spent another 5 years at Wycombe before moving to Aylesbury.

Dennis Trident T411 seen on a line 4 working last week in this picture by Gavin Francis.

Pictures of the latest bus to enter service are now coming in and I am pleased to post two received from Gavin Francis. The bus appears almost identical to the earlier 55 reg one but so far it has not received any destination blinds.


Richard Sharman was also on hand in Oxford to get a nearside three quarter view for us.

Ex Heathrow A1/A2 Olympian 34194 pauses at Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria whilst on loan to First Bee Line to test suitability for the 702.
This picture was taken on 22nd May 2005 by Michael Wadman and the bus is now back on its normal route, the X80 in Devon.

Michael says "For about a fortnight during May 2005, First Beeline had First Devon & Cornwall Olympian Alexander 34194 (481 FPO) on loan for evaluation on the Green Line service between London, Windsor, and Bracknell. It’s seen in Buckingham Palace Road on 22nd May 2005. It was of course new to London United as Airbus N113 UHP."


Steve Warwick writes with news hot of the press saying "6th October - Volvo B10M   L745YGE is now  2779UE & Volvo B10M L752YGE is now 1435VZ" 

A surprise repaint which emerged last week was the first of the Wright's bodied Darts, nr 401. It has only received an external repaint and has not been refurbished in similar fashion to the Volvo B10BLEs.

Gavin Francis caught 401 in Magdalen St East last Friday.

Work continues apace with the refurbishment of the Volvo B10BLEs. 801-809 & 818-821 are now completed.

Gavin Francis caught 409 on 5 road last Friday.

When I went to Liverpool, 809 was on a 5 road service at the early hour of 06:15 last Thursday.

Oxford's 401 mingles with Stagecoach buses outside the Randolph last week in this picture by Richard Sharman.

641 was caught on camera by Chris Maxfield as it left Carfax on its way to Barton last week.

Richard Sharman's picture shows the same bus at Carfax but this time on 4 road service.

The same bus yet again, this time at Pullens Lane last Tuesday on 8 road.

Richard Sharman had to do some hill climbing to get this picture of 808 at Plaxtons in the process of refurbishment.
Its seat squabs have been removed for recovering.

Most unusually 601 saw service on 2 road last week instead of the normally rostered Citaros.
Picture by Chris Maxfield.

"espress" Volvo/Plaxton nr 24 heads out of Oxford towards London last Tuesday. There were some significant delays due to single line
working at the Long Wall traffic lights resulting in many inbound coach services operating via Marston Ferry Road and the Banbury Road.

Gavin Francis went to Southampton on Sunday and one of buses caught in his lens was this ex OBC Volvo.
625 is seen in Solent Blue Line colours on a local service. It was once 651 in the Oxford fleet.

Late news this evening, Monday, was that Volvo 641 has been on 13 road and Dart 410 on 400 road today. Gavin Francis caught both buses on film but the picture of 641 is not up to his usual standard as the light was against success with a moving bus.


Gavin Francis caught this DAF/Van Hool on a 303 working last Friday, leaving Gloucester Green bound for Birkenhead.

Pearces of Oxford

Whilst Gavin Francis was at Oxford train station last Friday this fairly new Volvo/Plaxton was also on hand to pick up some passengers.

As mentioned above Stagecoach have been appointed to operate a minibus shuttle service in Kidlington between now and December. The bus selected for the work is this UVG bodied Vario latterly based at Banbury.

42624 was sometimes seen on the old X59 and last Saturday was on the staff bus working.

The X30 to serve Cumnor.

In response to popular demand, route X30 will now serve Cumnor village between Oxford and Wantage.

This will provide the residents of Cumnor with:

  • an even 30 minute daytime frequency
  • modern easy access buses
  • weekly travel from £13 with a MegaRider Plus
  • new links to Wantage and Grove

Minor timetable changes are also being made to improve reliability in the light of operational experience.

Timetables should be available by 16th October.

Late news this evening, Monday, was the appearance of stripey livery Olympian 16687 on X6.

Dart 34470 is seen on an early morning 14 working at Oxford train station last Thursday.

Richard Sharman sent this picture of two time expired Olympians, both of which spent time at Oxford, and are seen here at Leamington prior to disposal.

Richard Sharman sent this picture of a brand new Dart for the X17 service. 35182 is one of the highest Darts so far recorded.

Gavin Francis caught 20542 on a route 7 working last Friday, seen in heavy rain in Queen Street.

Unbranded low floor M A N 22941 is seen here on a 32 working to Didcot last Friday. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Trident 18196 is one of the batch branded for Brookes bus services and is seen here at Pullens Lane last Tuesday.
The destinations now proclaim "campus" for each of the three major Brookes locations.

Richard Sharman took this very crisp shot of 50121 with reduced branding.
This is pending the application of Wi-Fi branding on the whole Tube fleet within the next two weeks.

With the onset of term time for Brookes, some relief capacity is needed at various times of the day.
Neoplan 50115 was pressed into service on a number of occasions over the past days and
Gavin Francis was on hand to record today's duty.

Gavin Francis caught this Olympian working a Megabus duty from South Wales today.

Stevenage Link

Glenn Knight sent this picture of a Stevenage Link Dart, T402 LGP.

Richard Sharman works for Stratford Blue and has sent an interesting picture for this week's page. Seemingly this Arriva/MK Metro Dart has now joined the fleet of Stratford Blue.

Dart 651 on a 106 working last Tuesday to Berinsfield

Late news this evening, Monday, was the appearance of new Dart 156 on the 105 and 106 today.

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

Richard Sharman took this picture of a Roadliner coach at Oxpens on 7th October.


For those of you who like old pictures of Oxford, there are a few at this link. You may find the web site mentioned of interest in other areas.

Arthur House of Houses's of Watlington took this picture many years ago.

Looking through my old pictures I came across another generation of double deck coaches which took to the road in 1960, or some 46 years ago.
These were the Ribble/Standerwick Atlantean coaches which seated just 50 passengers and ran mainly between Blackpool and London.
I wonder does anyone have a picture of these coaches passing through Oxford?
This picture was taken in the late summer of 1960 and I had just ridden on the coach from Warrington to Victoria on the night service.

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

The Oxford Bus Museum - October bus rally

Herewith a note in the forthcoming bus rally at the Oxford Bus Museum. It is to be held on Sunday 15 October and vehicles will be displayed at the Water Eaton Park & Ride site, by kind permission of the County Council, and a regular free bus service, operated by preserved vehicles, will run between there and the Museum.  Free parking is available at Water Eaton.  Alternatively visitors can park at Long Hanborough: look out for the signs to the nearby industrial estate, and then take the free minibus service to the Museum.

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