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 247
Friday 9th November
next update week ending 17th November 2007

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


News Archive Pages from the "Oxford Bus Page"
I regret that the server used to store the pictures for many of these pages is no longer available.
I hope to restore the pictures at some time in the future.


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

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.


The Volvo Bus Express Coach Operator of the Year - UK Bus Awards 2007

Local news story of the week is that Oxford Bus have won Express Coach Operator in the 2007 UK Bus Awards for their Airline service. More details can be found at the following link which notes that the Oxford Tube was runner-up.

Picture by Richard Griffin

Stagecoach, as a group, also had a great success and more details can be found at the following link :-

More details have emerged regarding the unfortunate fire reported last week concerning a Megabus Skyliner. These may be found under the operators heading.

Arriva have a white Plaxton in use on the 757 service from Luton, one assumes replacing the DAF which was in a serious accident some weeks ago on the M1.

The local paper, The Bucks Free Press carries a story today of two consecutive drivers refusing to carry a pregnant mother and her mother who has Alzheimer's because the lady only had a £10 note for fares totalling £1.60. The drivers of 31 and 33 services only had £6 change in each case and so the passengers were not allowed to travel.

Reading Bus has ordered a fleet of 14 ethanol powered buses from Scania. They are Omni City deckers with leather seats and emissions quoted as better than Euro 5. They presently have the demonstrator from London for an extended period.

Picture by Mark Lyons

Veolia has purchased Astons of Kempsey, a picture of this fleet having been sent in Ben Morroll this week. The bus in question worked on demonstration with Reading Bus and Thames Travel.

Your Editor goes to Plaxtons at Anston

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to take and return Oxford Tube Neoplans requiring modification work which is done by the Plaxton facility at Anston.

I left Horspath depot just before 7 am and after a fairly uneventful  trip arrived at Anston just after 9.30am. My steed for the northbound journey was 50108 and it maintained a steady 100kph on the M40 and M1 motorways. I used the A43 to cut through from one to the other motorway and saw little of interest en route, except for a couple of Jeffs recently acquired Olympians in use on schools services around the A43 and Silverstone. Plaxtons is very easy to find and after a short period when the M1 was very slow just before junction 31, turned off on to the A57 and soon pulled into the facility at Anston.

The works is on both sides of the road in Anston and the yard where I parked contained numerous coaches, both new and second had. Cheetah mini coaches were much in evidence as were a couple of Primos, one of which had come back from demonstration to Damory Coaches. These little buses are very cute and have controls not unlike a Dart. They are reported as being very nippy indeed and certainly when I have seen the Carousel one around High Wycombe it seems to have going like a bat out hell!!

In one of the workshops I came across Oxford's Volvo coach nr 67 having bodywork attention. In another bay I found Stagecoach Jonckheere Monaco coach 50038 seemingly having been retired by SC and being prepared for a new owner. This coach has a refurbished interior which was completed following a fire on the M40. I think the work was then done at Anston.

There were about 20 or more second hand coaches in the yard including one from Pearces of Oxford but I am not sure if this was in for attention or had left the Pearces fleet? Certainly Pearces name appeared as the legal owner.

An older Shearings coach was on site in allover white and just ready for a new owner.

The weather was kind but at this time of year the sun is not at its best for photographs. One can see in the pictures below three Stagecoach coaches including the Oxford Tubes, 50108 and 50113 plus a new 15 metre Volvo from Ayrshire.

After my legal break I set off back to Oxford and this time used the M1/A42/M42/M40 route via Birmingham. The time of day (late morning) meant I avoided the worst of the traffic through the M42 Birmingham section and I was back home by 1.30pm. The run back was pleasant and I preferred the route avoiding the A43 which can be extremely congested. Very little of interest was seen on the way home except for several National Express services, though operated by nothing out of the ordinary. 50113 performed well giving a nice smooth run.

All in all, it made a nice day out - and I got paid for it!

Peter Cartwright's RML at work in Wycombe by Paul Davies

Paul writes "Malcolm, no sooner had you published your latest online news than I have some pics for you! 

Peter Cartwright's RML is out again today 03Nov. It's running a free bus service (registered as 301) between High Wycombe station, and John Hampden Grammar School in connection with Wycrail07 - a model railway exhibition. 

There are a couple of pick up points in town, then she heads up Desborough Avenue - a somewhat easier climb than Marlow hill." 

It's often nice that one can see Peter in one of his veterans in and around Wycombe. You can always tell when the RML's around since it has a distinctive exhaust.

Stephen Le Bras reports from Victoria.

Stephen says "Once again, I headed towards Victoria. Something to note is that it is now imperative for all coach drivers to turn from  Elizabeth Bridge into Bulleid Way, as new signs have been erected to stop coaches from using St Georges Drive ( at pain of a £200 fine). Between 8am and 9am, all coaches obeyed this instruction apart from one- an Ecolines coach on a regular scheduled service to Europe. Hope someone tells them soon, otherwise it could become costly! 

Noted in Victoria- on route 757 white Plaxton KX04HRR and 38 service branded 3607.

Route A6 update- SC20 FJ57BHZ &SC21 FJ57KJA

now we have 2 axle Scania/Levante again!- SC22,23 FJ57 KHM, KHK. 

Oh and a number of Dot2Dot minibuses being operated by National Express. I must check on this operation!"

Gavin Francis keeps us up to date on London

Gavin writes "Pictures for you include the Metroline Trident advertising Venezuelan oil and also one of the new MM class MAN Evolutions on the 206. Tried to show Autumn in a location still near Central London."

Keith Shayshutt is after information in our area

Keith Shayshutt wrote "A rare visit to Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire yesterday gave me time to explore Fingest and Lane End. I see what you mean about the mound in front of the house at Fingest which replaced the former Thames Valley outstation. I've contacted the Parish Council and they are trying to search out an old photo for me - let's hope they come up trumps.

At Lane End the former Thames Valley building is now boarded up so I guess, as you say, it won't be long before the demolition team moves in.

I attach a couple of photos, feel free to use if you wish, taken yesterday:

1) the former COMS depot at Bicester

2) a new Arriva Versa in High Wycombe looking very smart - the sun was so bright that it prevented me from getting a front shot!

3) a Motts Solo on the 1330 118 to Brill photographed in Oxford

The 118 is an interesting route which operates one journey per day on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ed.

More on the 366 including pictures from Mike Penn

Following last weeks story about the 366, Mike Penn sent some interesting pictures on the parallel Centrebus route 366. I had asked readers for pictures and Mike has obliged in fine style.

Mike writes "London Country Leyland National SNB324  (UPB 324S) entering Luton bus station in June 1986.

Sovereign Bristol VR  DWU 295T in Luton bus station in June 1993.  This was one of a handful of VRs acquired from fellow AJC (later Blazefield) company Keighley & District and was a real rarity on the 366.

Sovereign EUM 892T was one of a number of 11.3 metre Leyland Nationals acquired second hand in the early 1990s, many of which carried advertising liveries.  It is seen in Park Square, Luton in May 1995.

Sovereign Leyland Lynx F358 JVS was acquired from Jubilee Coaches, Stevenage whose livery it still carried in this July 1989 shot.

Centrebus L710 JUD was a former Thames Transit Dart acquired via MK Metro immediately after the takeover of Sovereign's St Albans operation  in January 2004.  It is seen near Barnfield College, Luton in March of that year shortly before that extension was withdrawn.

Shortly after the Sovereign acquisition, operation of the 366 route was transferred to Dunstable.  LQT  Dart K628 YPL (ex Safeguard of Guildford) is seen in Welwyn Garden City in July 2004.  This is the one that carries route branding for the 366.

Centrebus (ex MK Metro) Dart J648 XHL is seen in Chaul End Lane, Luton in September 2007  working through from Dunstable.  This part of the route was previously the 131."

Thanks to mike for some interesting pictures which will bring back memories for many readers.

Service X15 - a post script by Ed Maun

As a post script to the many words and pictures concerning service X15 that have appeared recently I attach a couple of press cuttings that you may find interesting.  

The first is from the Bucks Free Press dated 4 July 1986 and shows the Alder Valley Dennis Falcon 1001 A101DPB on fire at Downley.

The second cutting shows Alder Valley Leyland Leopard/Alexander 66 LHL246P.   This was one of the pair of Leopards acquired from Yorkshire Traction in May 1982 for use on the Alder Valley share of the X15 service.    I have no idea where the photo was taken – it appears to be a posed shot.

I believe, but I cannot be sure, that the cutting is from an issue of the NBC house newspaper.

New Explorer Tickets in Hertfordshire by Glenn Knight

Here is the new posters for the new £3.50, £7.00 & £10.00 Explorer tickets.

Changes to service in East Oxfordshire from 9th December

Follow the link below to get the full picture.!!/delta/base64xml/L0lJSk03dWlDU1lBIS9JTGpBQU15QUJFUkVSRUlrLzRGR2dkWW5LSjBGUm9YZnJDRUEhLzdfTV8zN0wvMjQ!?WCM_PORTLET=PC_7_M_37L_WCM&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT= 

I look forward to pictures of the new operators in action at the earliest possible date.

Buses in cityscape and landscape or seascape

Jersey is the setting for the first picture this week sent in by reader Matt Robinson. Matt writes "A photo from Jersey which I thought you may be able to use for buses in the landscape. This was taken from the hotel balcony. The tide at St. Clements goes out a very long way as you can see !!"

Our second picture is of the Thames, a bridge and some buses by John Marsh. Autumn is here.

A nice bit of history and a landscape picture came from Andy Jelly's father who provided this 1950s picture of Shanklin Bus Station on thje Isle of Wight.

Bus Models

James Smith writes "I can let your readers know that I have a few of the Creative Master, UKBUS 2015 Oxford Bus Plaxton President model left at a reduced price." 

It's been reduced to £20.50

I'm hoping to offer your readers a permanent discount in the very near future.
- Low cost Bus models

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.

Malcolm Crowe - Friday, 09 November 2007

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

News of the local companies – 9th November 2007

Volvo B10 V268 HBH 3268 on 24 Farley Hill on Sunday 4.11.2007 taken at L&D Hospital Calnwood Rd
Picture by Glenn Knight

Glenn Knight and Gavin Francis have provided pictures of the white Volvo coach being used by Arriva/Green Line to seemingly stand in for the recently damaged DAF.


Picture by Steve Bunce who comments about route branding and buses on other routes.

Glenn Knight
writes that this Dart is the only one at Luton with a digital display.

I know, I have used this location more times than any other but I was surprised to see a Volvo at Stokenchurch. I think it had just come in on a school service.

Gavin Francis caught up with 3861 on the Park & Ride 100 service last week.


Glenn Knight writes "More of the Centrebus fleet"

A better picture of the Scania mentioned last week.

Glenn Knight's contribution to the 366 saga mentioned above.

Another shot from last March of a then fairly new Centrebus on the 366. Picture by Glenn Knight

Grant & Palmer

Glenn Knight writes "I have attached a photo of Grant Palmer of Dunstable's latest addition Dennis Lance Plaxton Ex-Arriva Merseyside 1900 taken at Bedford Bus Station 5.11.2007 before departure on X42 to Toddington Green

Picture by Glenn Knight

Reading Buses

Andrew Webb writes "Just been reading your excellent weekly page.  One minor correction I think is the picture of Reading Trident 475.  IIRC it originated with Pete's Travel in the Birmingham area and then passed directly to Reading Buses, never working for a London operator.  Blue Triangle did, however, take two of the same batch and used them in London service."

Red Rose

Martin Isles writes "You might like to note the fire at Red Rose this weekend - link from homepage of

Brian Bell writes "A Z&S single decker (info from a non-enthusiast so no details) was on the R19 this morning. Real shame about D303 PEV (this regularly worked the R19 even though non compliant)."

RH Transport Services

Some interest this week as the company has had some hired in vehicles working.

Loaned from Ensign Bus, ex Reading Olympian nr 16 - Picture by Richard Sharman

Again loaned from Ensign Bus, an ex Stagecoach Dennis Lance
- Picture by Richard Sharman

RH s own Lance 601 now repainted into fleet livery - picture by Richard Sharman

Of interest this week is the arrival of 11 new Solos for the Goldline Leamington services which start on Monday. I hope a reader can get to Leamington to get some pictures as sadly I'm working.

Noam Bleicher writes "Your readers may be interested to learn that the Goldline Solos are already at Leamington Garage, which can be seen clearly from Oxford-to-Birmingham trains. Sadly it is now too dark to take pictures at the time I travel, so you will have to take my word for it!

Like yourself, I wonder if this brand will be tried in Oxford sooner rather than later, Oxfordshire being one of Stagecoach’s more affluent territories, with high car ownership in parts."

The new buses are as follows:

47508    KX57KGA

47509    KX57KGE

47510    KX57KGF

47511    KX57KGG

47512    KX57KGJ

47513    KX57KGK

47514    KX57KGN

47515    KX57KGO

47516    KX57KGP

47517    KX57KGU

47518    KX57KFZ

Many thanks to Stagecoach Warwickshire for the vehicle details.

I am advised from several sources that the Neoplan involved in the fire was 50148 and that it was operating the overnight London to Aberdeen M11 service.  The vehicle was MX05 BWN (50148).  It was completely burnt out from the engine compartment to the middle of the vehicle, the trailer was badly damaged too.

TT 205 waits to take up service last Tuesday in Wallingford Market Place.

M A N 256 on its way to Benson from Reading last Tuesday.

Some passengers were being taken in this car on route 138. I wonder why?

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

Victoria Coach Station - November 2007

I had to be in London last Wednesday and took these pictures of VCS 2007 style.


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 and useful links

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. 

New DVD 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.

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 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 2006
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th 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