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 216
Sunday 18th February 2007
next update week ending 3rd March 2007

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a driver of a bus 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.

This week's page will be rather short as time is limited.

On last week's page I noted that the camera ban for the centre of Oxford would come into force on the 19th but I was wrong, it will be on Monday 26th February.

Changes to bus services in mid and south Bedfordshire by Tony Edwards

Tony Edwards writes "I have only just come across this site and as a Herts resident it keeps me in touch with Bucks and Oxon which I know fairly well.

Although on the edge of your area, there are significant service changes from 18th February in Mid and South Beds as a result of significant commercial withdrawals by Stagecoach East.

Significant changes are:

79 to Centrebus Henlow Camp-Barton-Luton
J1 Retained by Stagecoach Bedford-Flitwick, but southern section covered by Centrebus
X31 Dunstable-Toddington and by Grant Palmer
X42Toddington-Flitwick-Ampthill-Bedford but with some positioning journeys to/from Dunstable via Houghton Regis.
M3 Biggleswade-Hitchin section withdrawn and replaced by Centrebus 171.
190 J&D Travel renumbered E7 with revised am peak journey times.
The East Beds Dart is recast as E1-E6 and familiar 178,180 and 188 disappear.
M3 Stagecoach revised Bedford-Biggleswade to operate direct.

The changes are quite comprehensive in East Beds and a timetable booklet of all from this date has been produced by the County Council. A huge effort in the timescale involved.

I look forward to receiving readers pictures of the routes with revised operators.

Stratford Blue as it used to be by John Bristow

Following various items on Stratford Blue, John Bristow sent two pictures which shows how Stratford Blue used to be in the '60s. The pictures were taken in June 1966.


More pictures in the recent snow from Vic Gackowski

Vic writes to say "Its been a long time since we have conversed but I still read the page. Being in Radley during the height of last weeks Snow Storms I took the opportunity to record both Bus and Rail services ploughing through the village. Please find attached a number of Photographs and please use as many as you wish".

I thought readers might appreciate a few train pictures Ed.

1, First Great Western Class 165 Turbo Unit 165106 departs Radley for Oxford working a local stopping service.

2, A First Great Western Class 180 "Adelante" Unit passes Radley at Speed en route from Paddington to Oxford.

3 , A First Great Western HST Unit passes Radley at speed on its way from Oxford to Paddington

4 , A broadside shot of 620 on a 35 working in Radley with a prospective passenger running alongside to try and make it to the Bus Stop.

5 , 615 on a Didcot to Oxford 35A working passes through Radley.

6 ,102 on a Didcot to Oxford 35A working passes through Radley as an unidentified working in the other direction picks up at the Station.

7, An unidentified 35 working passing through Radley on its way to Abingdon.

8 , A snowy Bus Stop

Cheltenham by David Stevenson

In these days of varying weather ones mind sometimes turns to sunnier days ahead and where to go. David Stevenson has allowed me to use some pictures he took in Cheltenham recently which make this an interesting destination for the budding photographer to visit in the coming months. 

Cheltenham - 15/02/07 - Royal Well Bus Stn. Volvo B7 still in Whitelaw's livery from whence it came via Volvo Coach Sales in 2006 

One of Pulhams immaculate fleet seen departing Royal Well Cheltenham - 15/02/07

David writes "Pulhams really is ridiculous in this day and age, smart coaches and buses, smart drivers, service with a smile, reasonable fares, drivers loading luggage into the lockers, loads of passengers. Shouldn't be allowed. What passengers really want are various combinations of uncomfortable seats, high fares, scruffy drivers and bashed up old buses pensioned off by bus groups years ago.  End of rant.

To be serious what passengers, note not customers, really want is service. Western Greyhound do it, Castleways do it, DRM in Herefordshire do it, the vehicle though is relatively unimportant as Pulhams demonstrate. It's not a low floor but the service is second to none. 

I'll be interested to see what some of you say as so many of you work at the sharp end."

Seen leaving Royal Well Cheltenham - 15/02/07

Typically smart Bennett's vehicle. Citaro, Cheltenham - 15/02/07

Marshall bodied something or other. Missed the chap walking beside, too busy trying to get it in the sun.

20686 Often seen in Oxford on the 66 from Swindon, on this day it was working to Cheltenham.
15/02/07 - Royal Well Bus Stn about to depart for Swindon.

20819, an ex Manchester bus now working between Cheltenham and Gloucester.

Cheltenham - 15/02/07 - Royal Well Bus Stn running in from Gloucester.

All pictures by David Stevenson

News & questions from Ken MacKenzie of the PSV Circle

Last week on OCBP 215 you had a photo of a DAF Reg No: J141 NJO and the question was asked who now owns it?
The owner I have recorded is Brown, Soham (CM) who has had it since February 2005 - along with the sister vehicle J140 NJO.
A few other things:
Hutt (RH transport), Finstock have four Optare Solos's due any day and will replace the four loan vehicles on the Hospital/Water Eaton P & R. These could still appear on 56 reg plates but could be the first 07's in OX.
If any of your readers can help with the body numbers of the latest MAN/MCV vehicles into Thames Travel, Wallingford I be grateful - these are for Reg No: AE 56 OUD and AE 56 OUF. The body number can be found on the inside of the rear emergency exit door, there you will find the MCV plate with the number on? 
Ken MacKenzie 
Sub Editor for the PSV Circle - Oxfordshire others.

Pictures from Glenn Knight


Amersham & District Running days 2007 - dates for your diary 

Amersham & District Running Days for 2007 are as follows: 

Sun 13 May 2007 - 3rd Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station 

Sun 24 June 2007 - 2nd Hemel Hempstead Running Day based on Hemel Hempstead Bus Station                        

Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.

Another good week for news although the picture stakes have been a little less than usual.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 18th February 2007

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

News of the local companies – 18th February 2007

A reader asks “….can u find out what has happened to Arriva the Shires & Essex buses 3509 - KE51 PTX & also 3278 T492 KGB. They have not been seen on the road since around Nov-Dec 2006. They were both based at Watford depot".

An interesting picture from Glenn Knight. This coach started life with SC South Coast and then went to Ribble.


Glenn Knight writes with some interesting notes and pictures.

Centrebus KE06 RXL 604 On-Tow prop-shaft went

Latest addition L811/2 CJF Mercedes Marshall`s Ex-South Lancs Transport.

Also fleet list commencing 18.02.2007

Dunstable & Woodside Depot (18.02.2007)

103 J103 DUV Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer B24F London Buses Ltd DR103

110 L710 JUD Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3035 Plaxton Pointer B37D Ex- MK Metro 710

112 L712 JUD Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3035 Plaxton Pointer B40D Ex M K Metro 712

113 L713 JUD Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3035 Plaxton Pointer B38D Ex M K Metro 713

118 XIL 8418 Ex-K866 LGN Dennis Dart 9SDL3016 Plaxton Pointer B34F Ex London General

124 J374 GKH Dennis Dart 8.5SDL3010 Plaxton Pointer B24F London Buses Ltd DR74

125 J125 DUV Dennis Dart 8.5SDL3010 Plaxton Pointer B24F Ex-London Buses Ltd DR125

126 J126 DUV Dennis Dart 8.5SDL3010 Plaxton Pointer B24F Ex-London Buses Ltd DR126

121 M821 RCP Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3040 Plaxton Pointer B40F Ex-Centrebus Leicester

128 K828 NKH Dennis Dart Plaxton B34F Ex-London Buses Ltd CRL28

129 M829 RCP Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3054 Northern Counties B39F Ex Country Hopper, Ibstock

130 K863 PCN Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3017 Wright Handybus B40F Ex-Sunderland & District 8063

134 J134 DUV Dennis Dart 8.5SDL3010 Plaxton Pointer B24F Ex-London Buses Ltd DR134

148 KUI 8148 Ex-H118 THE Dennis Dart 8.5SDL3003 Reeve Burgess B28F Ex Roberts, Coalville

170 J370 GKH Dennis Dart 8.5SDL3010 Plaxton Pointer B24F Ex-London Buses Ltd DR70

189 M389 KVR Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3054 Northern Counties B37F Ex Country Hopper, Ibstock

214 M214 EGF Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer B35F Ex-London General DPL14

228 K628 YPL Dennis Dart 9.8SDL3025 Plaxton Pointer B40F Ex-Safeguard,Guildford

254 K254 JNV Mercedes Benz 811D Wright Nimbus B28F Ex-MK Metro

351 Y451 TBF Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B29F (new)

410 K510 FYN Mercedes Benz 811D Wright Nimbus B28F Ex-MK Metro (awaiting new engine)

431 Y131 TBF Mercedes-Benz 814D Plaxton Beaver B31F (new)

443 R243 XDA Mercedes Benz 814D Alexander B27F Ex-West Midlands 243

463 L663 MYG Mercedes Benz 811D Plaxton DP31F 9/1993 Keighley & District 124

464 L664 MYG Mercedes Benz 811D Plaxton B31F 9/1993 Keighley & District 125

479 H679 BTP Mercedes Benz 709 B23F Ex-Hampshire Bus 79

502 S502 APP Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B39F Ex-Sovereign 502

522 W922 JNF Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B29F Ex-Connex DP22

555 SN55 DVC Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B38F (new)

566 W566 XRO Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B40F Ex-Sovereign 566

601 FH06 KGK VDL SB120 Plaxton B40F (new)

602 KE06 NZW VDL SB120 Plaxton B40F (new)

603 KE06 NZX VDL SB120 Plaxton B40F (new)

604 KE06 RXL VDL SB120 Plaxton B40F (new)

611 T411 LGP Dennis Dart SLF SCC B30D Ex-Independent Way,Battersea

619 T419 LGP Dennis Dart SLF SCC B30D Ex-Independent Way,Battersea

811 L811 CJF Mercedes Benz 709D Marshall B27F Ex-South Lancs Transport

812 L812 CJF Mercedes Benz 709D Marshall B27F Ex-South Lancs Transport

YCM MX03 YCN Optare Solo B29F Ex-Cumfybus,Churchtown

Gone away for repair


Pin Green Depot Stevenage

132 N132 XND Dennis Dart Plaxton B27F Ex-Stuart,Dunkinfield 132

323 R823 MJU Mercedes Benz 814D B32F Ex-Kinch,Barrow

362 S462 LGN Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B29F Ex-Centrebus Leicester

383 MX53 FEH Optare Solo M850 B29F Ex-Winson,Leicester 92

382 MX53 FEG Optare Solo M850 B29F Ex-Winson,Leicester 91

444 R244 XDA Mercedes Benz 814D Alexander B27F Ex-West Midlands 244

448 R248 XDA Mercedes Benz 814D Alexander B27F Ex-West Midlands 248

470 M70 TGM Mercedes 814D B23F Ex-Tellings-Golden Miller,Byfleet

501 P501 VRO Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B39F Ex-Sovereign 501

605 FJ56 YBV VDL SB120 Plaxton B40F (new)

607 FJ56 ZWC VDL SB120 Plaxton B40F (new)

Charlton Services

Keith Davies, the fleet engineer writes "Just thought I'd drop you a line regarding the "missing" Olympians. Here at Charlton Services we have recently made the purchase of C964XVC, one of the Leamington few! We are currently readying it for a school contract and it should be on the road before the end of the month.

Something else that may interest you is the recent purchase of a very tidy Van Hool on a Tiger chassis, its a 1983 vintage but is in amazing condition, its ex Bob Smith travel from the north east, will try and get some pictures to you in the near future."

Rob Williams writes "Charlton Services have acquired ex Stagecoach in Warwickshire Leyland Olympian / ECW 14937 C964 XVC through Ensign (dealer). 

Please find a photo attached from 23rd June 2006 when it made an unusual appearance at Warwick University on the X12 to Leamington (now known as Unibus U1) in place of the usual Volvo Olympians. It was subsequently transferred to Stagecoach East in September 2004 after a short visit to Oxford, but it returned to Warwickshire at Rugby in August 2005 before finally being withdrawn in August 2006 and sold to Ensign in January 2007."

Training continues with the first Scania/Caetano Levante for the 737 build nr 57 registered FJ56 OBY (Scania 57). Readers may well see this on Driver Training runs over the next few weeks.

The Levante nr 57 pictured by Gavin Francis last week.


Matt Taylor writes "Firstly I would like to point out that the coach, 53272, is red not orange. 53272 is part of a batched delivered to Bedford depot for use on the contracted Virgin Trains VT99 Service between Milton Keynes and Luton Airport, replacing older Plaxton Expressliners cascaded down from Stagecoach North West. At the time the vehicle was purchased this service had a PVR of three coaches with one spare, however 6 of these Volvo B7R Plaxton Profiles were delivered. These were the first of this type delivered to a Stagecoach depot south of the border, like all new coaches they are fitted with a Wheelchair lift, and a wider door. As part of the Disability Discrimination Laws which came into effect last year. Because of its original destination on the VT99 route it arrived in a red base coat. The other colours used on the Virgin coaches is applied via a transfer. I believe it appeared for a while in full Virgin livery, however it then was transferred to Northampton depot."

"Northampton at the time were recruiting drivers for National Express work based at Milton Keynes, shunting Yorkshire Tractions 465, 560 & 564 routes to London, while the Yorkshire drivers took their break at Milton Keynes. 53272 was used as a route learner and I believe an earlier edition of your website showed a photo of the coach in Buckingham Palace Road, London, without any decals."

"Meanwhile back on Virgin a timetable change was made to give extra coaches in the morning and afternoon peak however this only needed one extra service vehicle which Bedford already had, once the National Express driver commenced on the 2nd January 53272 was kept by Northampton and placed on the X6 Route. Hence why it was seen in Oxford. Incidentally it also made a journey to Ashford, as two Northampton Darts 33455 & 33456, were at Ashford in S/C SE paint shop, while being refurbished for use on the new Daventry Dart services, A colleague and I plus a trainer Manager took 53272 to Ashford to bring the two Darts back."

Ralph Adams writes "On Saturday 17th February, four ex Oxford Varios have reached East Kent but none yet seen in service. Folkestone have 42373/4/81 and Dover has 42377. The rest of the Witney allocation is expected. Still at Oxford Excel on Saturday were 42371/2/79/80."

Maybe if there are any readers in the Folkestone or Dover area they could get pictures for us?

United Counties 

The United Counties liveried Olympian was on the X6 last Friday evening in Oxford.

The Olympian in UCOC livery - Thanks to Mike Penn for the picture taken on 26th September 2006 in Bedford.


Vikki Lee sent in this picture of Thames Travel's 256. It is a M A N/MCV Evolution, one of two recently delivered.

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



Thanks from Ed Maun and another question

Many thanks for Mick Payne’s answer to my request for info on Thames Valley’s service 80 between High Wycombe and Aylesbury which you published in issue 215.    I was totally unaware of a United Counties service 365 between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough.   

Incidentally, did you get any responses other than mine to Peter Cartwright’s request for info on the Thames Valley Windsor, High Wycombe, Aylesbury services in issue 211?

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

New casting from Britbus

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.

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

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. 


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

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

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