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 141

Sunday 14th August 2005
next update week ending 26th August 2005

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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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Another interesting week with a spell of nice warm weather and if anything quieter roads with many people off on holiday. Your Editor took Tuesday to visit his daughter in Bournemouth and an interesting hour was spent in Poole bus station which was very busy indeed. If anyone wants a most interesting day out then this is the area to go to.

The Editor goes to Poole

1625 last Tuesday at Poole bus station last Tuesday, where a busy scene was recorded.

The 1640 X8 service due in Blandford at 1728 seen departing from Poole bus station. This service was operated
by a Bristol VR 4429, GEL679V from Poole depot. Built in 1977 this bus is now 28 years old and a credit to the company.
Earlier in the afternoon this bus was seen operating a 151 service to Bournemouth, a busy day for a "veteran".

The Wilts and Dorset Bus Company has a very good web site which will help anyone interested in a day out with VRs. The .dpf s come up very quickly indeed.

A 152 service operated by one of the latest Volvo B7TL/East Lancs open topper arrive from Sandbanks with a full load
whilst the 1640 X3 starts out on its long journey to Salisbury which will take this Optare Spectra via Bournemouth,
Ringwood and Fordingbridge to Salisbury where it is due at 1830.
Spectra 3173, Y173FEL delivered in 2001, is based at Ringwood with six other Spectras.

The garage location at Poole is below a multi-story car park and the tops for 10 of the new Volvos, one of which is seen in the
preceding picture, are stored for the summer in racking at the depot. According to my record there are only NINE open tops
so which is the tenth?

The Optare Solo is very popular with W&D and 2642 delivered in 1999 is seen here on service 159 near Branksome last Tuesday.
I think this service, from Bournemouth to Poole, shows Alderney to save visitors using a service which takes a devious
route between the two towns.

The contrast between the old and the new in the Wilts and Dorset fleet is very marked with 38 new Volvo single deckers and 13 new Volvo deckers in contrast to some 20 plus Bristol VR s still in the fleet and as seen above, still in all day use in the summer peak.

Chiltern Railways - latest on Gerrards Cross

News relating the temporary closure of the Chiltern Railways line at Gerrards Cross says that a decision on re-opening may be made tomorrow, Monday 15th August. More details may be found on the following link.

Higher security on our buses and coaches since 7th July.

This week's Oxford Times brings news of a scare on an Oxford Bus Volvo, 604, in Abingdon last week. Seemingly someone left a set of curling tongs on a 35 service causing considerable concern to the crew and passengers. The police said "we receive lots of reports about suspicious package and have to take them seriously."

It is now standard practice to check all buses and coaches a the end of each journey to ensure the safety of the service. Many of you will know how many strange things people leave on buses and I am pleased to say that passengers in general are much more understanding about leaving anything behind since July 7th.

Safari Sightseeing by Richard Griffin

Richard Griffin writes "thought you should see this zebra-coloured bus that does a little tour round Whipsnade Wild Animal Park".

Red Bus at Abingdon

Marcus Lapthorn wrote asking a bout a red bus he had seen in Abingdon, saying "noted that it was being used by Stagecoach in Swindon. Registration number is: HIL 6075. Is anything known about this bus?

I am delighted to say that Neil Gow, Graham Mildenhall, Tim Hall, Rob Williams, Andy Gilmour and Dave Rogers confirmed that it was Stagecoach Swindon's 26019, a DAF SB220L with Optare Delta bodywork. It is often seen on the A420 between Faringdon and Swindon in use as a Training Vehicle. Originally registered J719CYG with Stagecoach London and was based at Barking latterly.

Any pictures would be appreciated.

Luxury transport for football at Wycombe

Trevor Wilson writes "this coach was at the Causeway Stadium on Sunday 7th August for the Wasps vs Exeter friendly where other entertainments were laid on.  The coach was open to all - very nice.  The driver said the cost was 600k new, leather seats 1k a piece.  Basic cost for the coach 300k.  It is the QPR team coach and was down at the Causeway for the Wasps players to try it - new Wasps team transport.


Report on binders Yard, High Wycombe from Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce wrote "I got up to Binders Yard this weekend and a few interesting vehicles were to be found. Firstly only two vehicles remain in the yard of Abbey Coaches (formerly Prestwood Travel) - both Leyland Nationals - VOD603S and KPA372P. Both have now lost various pieces of bodywork and are, presumably, waiting for the scrap man to collect them. Leyland Atlantean KPJ262W has now moved next-door to the yard of Ward Jones. Again various pieces are missing and it is unknown whether it is for saving or scrapping.

For those of you not familiar with Ward Jones' yard, it has two 'permanent residents', stored until such times as they can be restored I presume, these are Bristol LHS KWO569X and ETF484F, a poorly looking Leyland PD2A/27 with East Lancs. body. Other various long-term projects come and go at intervals. 

In residence this week were the following: 12728 (VOD88K) an early Bristol LHS with Marshall B33F body, new to Devon General and still carrying its Channel Island registration."

Steve continues "MXX468, and excellently presented RF owned by TimeTrak (who use the yard as an OC). Another RF, MLL943 is still here, awaiting some major work. A couple of Bristol half-cab double-deckers to be seen were VDV760 and NTW942C. VDV760 is a LD6G new to Western National and NTW942C is an FLF6G new as 2849 with Eastern National.

A few more modern vehicles are always to be seen. Always a Leyland National or two, sometimes a T-class Titan or VRT and any number of Routemasters seem to call in for work regularly, and the smallest must be C862DYD an ex-Southern National Transit in for some remedial work.

I hope this report is of interest and I will write again after my next visit in a few weeks time.

As a side issue, I took a photo of Wright bodied Dart J630KCU which is now resident in the yard of Magpie, also of Binders Yard. I think it has only just been purchased and has not yet been cleaned up or re-painted. It was ew to Northern General. Also attached is a general shot of Bob Vale's Coach Sales yard just up the road from Cryers Hill. It is very well hidden from the road, but is impressively large when you find it, with plenty of gleaming, modern coaches to see.

Bob Vales coaches for sale

Real time bus information in Oxford - update

The real time information system for certain routes in Oxford to be found at seems to be working quite well now. I am however led to understand that at present it has not be fully completed and work is still being done by the operators and the county council to finalise matters.

Park & Ride in High Wycombe - to start in September.

The first bus for the High Wycombe Park & Ride service due to start in September has arrived. I understand the service will run from the centre of the town to the car park at Handy Cross where the UCI WYCOMBE 6 - CINEMA complex is located. More details will follow in due course. The new bus, one of three to be operated by Arriva is pictured above.

More on Leyland PD2 LRV992 by David Whitley

David Whitley writes "I note Andrew Dyer's question about LRV992.

This bus worked the service 200 open top summer only route from Oxford to Woodstock during the summer that it was based in Oxford. It also featured one day on a dupe from Blackbird Leys to Oxford with George Fair at the wheel and myself as conductor...  Happy days!

It also featured in the Christmas Lights switch-on in 1996, I seem to remember as it had been the old school bus for the then City Centre Manager at Oxford City Council, Marcus Lapthorn."


ow on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 14th August 2005

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies 14th August 2005

Ed Maun writes "I was interested to see the picture of Dart MPD 3484 (W484YGS) on service 232 in Thame, in Issue 140. The usual bus on this service is Dart 3829 (KE53NFG) which was bought especially for this service as, I guess, Oxfordshire CC specified a new low floor vehicle as part of the contract. 3484 is one of a batch of MPDs allocated to Aylesbury depot in, I believe, 1999 for town services 2 and 9 in Aylesbury. Those used on the 9 service have of course now been branded as Red Route 9. 3484 is therefore more normally used on the 2, or as spare for the 9.   

One of the X15 branded Scania single deckers has appeared on the 323/324 (Aylesbury to H Wycombe) at least two days this past week!" 

Arriva Dart MPD 3484 passes Thame Market last Tuesday on its way from Princes Risborough mentioned above by Ed Maun.

Arriva in Wycombe - this week in pictures

Vario 2198 on route 308 turns into Newlands Bus Station last Thursday.

The multi-story car park makes a good photographic spot in High Wycombe. Here a Volvo B6 3115 and a Dart 3826
set off from the revised outside stop U on their respective journeys last Thursday lunchtime.

Now in Wycombe for many years these two Olympians share similar registrations but are fleet numbers 5110 and 5134.

Olympian 5122 is seen passing the Kings Arms in Stokenchurch on its way to Radnage last Thursday.
It has turned round on the green having come from Wycombe on the 340.

More new buses for High Wycombe

As mentioned above a new bus has arrived for the Park & Ride service due to start in September. It is a VDL SB120 Wright bodied single decker painted in County Council green. It is as yet devoid of an vinyls. Two more similar buses are due to make a total of three required to run the service.

Arriva VDL SB120/Wright Cadet YJ05PYW which could become fleet number 3860?

L109HHV the Dennis Dart - Northern Counties above
started life with Metroline/MTL London Northern
and then moving to Ensign before going to Red Route buses then back to Ensign joining Carousel in June.
It has now received full fleet livery with vinyls and looks very smart.

The other Dart, 301, which was often wrongly quoted as 310 when it first arrived has also received fleet livery
and someone with a sense of humour had set the blinds, albeit in the yard, to reflect another time in Wycombe.

Metrobus M1351 is seen entering Newlands Bus Station last Thursday on service 2.
The full destination display sets it off well.

Windsor and Eton

Stephen Le Bras writes "Windsor's open top sightseeing fleet has been augmented by 376-EU05VBO, an Ayats bodied Volvo B7L, at the end of last month. The seats are a lot less comfortable than the older buses but it seems very popular."

Gavin Francis took this excellent pictures of Oxford Bus 613 in St Giles.
This is the only one of the batch to receive a digital display so far.

One of the dual doored batch of Plaxton Verde bodied Volvo B10Bs which dominate many routes in Oxford.
637 is seen here about to pass under the Station Bridge at the end of Botley Road on its way to Rose Hill on the east of the city.

The ex Oxford Olympians and where are they now
- a response from Michael Wootten

Curly asked what about the ex Oxford Olympians and where are they now. Michael Wootten writes "I thought Curly might be interested in the following list, which details the last reported location of all the ex-COMS Leyland Olympians.

201 - Mr G Wareham, Oxford (Preservation)
202 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
203 - Brylaine Travel, Boston
204 - Jeffs, Helmdon
205 - Confidence, Leicester (via Worths, Enstone)
206 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
207 - Jeffs, Helmdon (scrapped)
208 - Thames Travel, Wallingford
209 - Jeffs, Helmdon
210 - Jeffs, Helmdon (scrapped following accident)
211 - Jeffs, Helmdon
212 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
213 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
214 - Woottens, Chesham
215 - Straffords Coaches, Minera, Wrexham
216 - Worths, Enstone
217 - Charlton Services, Charlton-on-Otmoor
218 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
219 - T Price & Son, Wrexham (via Straffords Coaches, Minera, Wrexham)
220 - Worths, Enstone
221 - Confidence, Leicester
222 - Fords Coaches, Althorne
223 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
224 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
225 - Arriva the Shires, Southend-on-Sea Depot
226 - Arriva the Shires, Aylesbury Depot
227 - Woottens, Chesham (via Arriva the Shires, High Wycombe)
228 - Arriva the Shires, Southend-on-Sea Depot
229 - Arriva the Shires, Southend-on-Sea Depot
230 - Arriva the Shires, Aylesbury Depot
231 - Arriva the Shires, Luton Depot
232 - Arriva the Shires, Aylesbury Depot
233 - Simonds Coaches, Hayes (Accident Damaged - Acquired for Spares)
234 - Arriva the Shires, High Wycombe Depot
235 - Arriva the Shires, Luton Depot
236 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
237 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham (Via Weavaway Travel, Newbury)
238 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham (Via Weavaway Travel, Newbury)
239 - Hedingham Omnibuses, Sible Hedingham
999 - Mr G Wareham, Oxford (Preservation)

Further details and photographs of these fine machines can be found at

Curly also asked about ex-COMS Leyland Titan 975, which is now in preservation with the Oxford Bus Museum.

Those wishing to enjoy a ride on former City of Oxford Leyland Olympians E227 CFC and BBW 214Y can find both buses working between High Wycombe and Amersham on behalf of Chiltern Railways.

It would be nice to receive some current pictures of those at Hedingham, Price of Wrexham and fords of Althorne or indeed any of the above in service outside Oxford.

Curly writes regarding operations last week saying

608 did the split card which starts off on 13/13A and becomes a 13B in the Evening 

102 on 400

A 6xx worked the A8 and l wonder if there's such a bus??

102, 636 and a 4 road Dart worked the 15 

There was a Citaro on the 13/13A in the daytime becoming a 13B in the Evening 

A Citaro also worked the 16 and 16A also working the 6 off-peak 16B journeys

Kevin Stevens writes "Attached is a picture of a First Bus coach, several of which were seen at Oxford railway station on Sunday. 
I am told this particular coach used to serve the Reading/Heathrow coach link. 
Apparently First Bus have a  fleet of these that are deployed around the country to whichever station
requires them for rail replacement and through which First operate trains"


McLeans of Witney

Chris Maxfield writes "More from McLeans including the Oxford United team coach also a couple of slightly better ones of others taken the other day."

Milton Park

Steve Annells writes "Don't think you'll have got this over the weekend (running in a new ISP), so I'll send it again. A frequent addition to the Courtney Coaches-run Milton Park Shuttle to augment the route-branded Optare Solo YE52KPP is the very smart DAF SB220 / East Lancs Myllennium KXA54NLA in all silver-grey, but this last week I've also noted Scania L113 CRL / East Lancs R672NFR in white/purple 'Borough Bus' livery.  Both are very unusual types for this area. For the record, R672NFR was in use again this morning! (8/8/2005)"

I have taken the liberty of quoting the services run for Milton Park as mentioned above. This information is taken from their web site.

Photos of the various buses used would be appreciated.

Travel - Getting to Milton Park by Shuttle Bus

Milton Park provides a free Shuttle Bus that interacts with the local transport links to and from Didcot Parkway. The service runs from 07.10am - 10.00am and 16.02pm - 18.45pm from Didcot Parkway to Park Centre - along the main route (red line)

During 11.45am - 15.30pm the service runs to the same destinations but doing a circular route around The Park (red and yellow line) .

This service is for Milton Park tenants only.

49 Seater Bus Timetable Depart Didcot Parkway

07:10 07:30 07:50 08:10 08:30 08:50 09:10 09:30
09:50 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 15:40 16:00
16:20 16:40 17:00 17:20 17:40 18:00 18:20  

33 Seater Bus Timetable Depart Didcot Parkway

07:20 07:40 08:00 08:20 08:40 09:00 09:20 09:40
10:00 12:15 12:45 13:15 13:45 14:15 15:50 16:10
16:30 16:50 17:10 17:30 17:50 18:10 18:30  

49 Seater Bus Timetable Depart Milton Park (Park Centre)

07:00 07:20 07:40 08:00 08:20 08:40 09:00 09:20
09:40 11:45 12:15 12:45 13:15 13:45 15:30 16:10
16:30 16:50 17:10 17:30 17:50 18:10 18:30  

33 Seater Bus Timetable Depart Milton Park (Park Centre)

07:10 07:30 07:50 08:10 08:30 08:50 09:10 09:30
09:50 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 15:40 16:00
16:20 16:40 17:00 17:20 17:40 18:00 18:20  

 (All services operate subject to traffic congestion, which may cause unavoidable delays.) 

Map showing route of the Milton Park Shuttle Bus.
Map showing route of the Milton Park Shuttle Bus


Stephen Le Bras writes "I saw my first non working NXL15 display on Saturday- with a piece of paper being used instead. Having photographed one or two NXLs, I find that they have the sort of blind which refreshes itself every split second, leaving an annoying gap."

Ralph Adams writes regarding the Grove diversions and minibus services saying "I went into the area last Wednesday to see what was happening. 

Due to road works on Abingdon Road, it appears very difficult to maintain a good timekeeping, but the shuttle bus from Abingdon Tesco to Rowlands Corner certainly did well on making the connections at both ends. On the day B10 20008 was used with 40150. Surprised to see a full size bus being used as it was needed to maintain a fast service along country roads with tractors causing delays. However the driver certainly managed well. 40150 which is only on temporary loan to cover the bridge repairs has an Abingdon garage advert on the rear, normally an indication of a longer term residence. Why do bus companies allow adverts from the competition on their vehicles. A while ago, the inside of one bus had a driving school advertising its services to the bus passengers!

At Wantage, a passenger asked if the shuttle had been withdrawn as a big bus was seen in Marcham in the morning. Obviously he felt a "shuttle bus" should be a minibus."

Chris Lowe keeps us up to date on any of our buses now in his area. A few weeks ago he sent a picture of 16513 with its fleet number reading 16531. He now sends a picture taken last week when the bus was being used as staff transport at Didsbury, South Manchester.

The fleet number on 16513 is now correctly displayed. Picture by Chris Lowe.
This batch of single door Olympians worked the 100 Witney service when new.

Curly has noticed a number of buses in Oxford displaying a route letter ahead of the route number. This can happen on the old manual style displays but it is unusual on a digital display.

22916 was displaying route number B7 when this picture was taken. The driver had wrongly keyed in the display
but it was corrected before the bus left on service.

The old Oxford Tube M A N s continue in service with the Tube whilst post delivery modifications take place on the Neoplan fleet.

Here 50046 boards passengers at Hillingdon last week. Picture by Richard Griffin.

In the new Stagecoach book celebrating 25 years of this major group, the cover picture is of two Neoplans at Victoria.
This picture taken from the offside shows 50146 overtaking 50116 in Buckingham Palace road last week.
A year separates the two coaches.       Picture by Chris Maxfield.

The latest issue of Buses Focus has two articles, one on The Oxford Tube and one on Megabus services. This publication is a recommended read.

Gavin Francis took this picture of Dart 352 - KU52RXR in St Aldates showing its super rear advert last week.


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

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

This Leyland Titan appeared in Stokenchurch a few weeks ago having limped off the M40 for running repairs.
Location Facilities appear to have an interesting fleet. Does anyone know more?

This Wright bodied Volvo was operating the 797 a few weeks ago and is seen at Buckingham Palace Road
on a morning departure. It is far from what one expects on a Green Line service.
I am sure the Green Line depicted in the latest book on the subject never foresaw such a bus working the services.

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at

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


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