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 265
Tuesday 20th May 2008

(next update week ending 31st May 2008)

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


Last week proved a busy week with little time to prepare the latest issue. Hence you are only getting the latest issue on Tuesday for which apologies since I had intended to produce same by Sunday last.

Driving has proved interesting with a variety of sunny mornings and wonderful sunrises followed by dark and miserable days with heavy rain. Yesterday saw the M1 closed due a fatal accident and I was surprised to see even a 757 service using the A1M through Hatfield. The coach in question was the 04 registered all white Volvo fleet number 411. I was also passed by a National Express service London bound and well off its normal route. My passengers, having heard that Harpenden was very slow as was Redbourne, were treated to a detour via Whipsnade to reach Hemel on my Oxford bound service which cost us only 15 minutes delay, maintained through to Oxford.

I received some excellent items for publication including one email on the knotty problem of bus photography in public places. Read on for this contribution from John Morris.

On the subject of concessionary travel it seems that many services are being well supported by passengers, however the operators are not necessarily getting full recompense and one wonders how long this situation my last. With fuel prices increasing almost daily and a litre of diesel now topping the £1.30 mark in many places costs are rising in line and somewhere something has to give. Indeed diesel is now often £0.12 per litre more than petrol often nullifying previous cost savings in operating diesel vehicles. It therefore seems inevitable that fares must rise and by levels only wondered at in days past. Newspaper reports suggest a level of £1.50 per litre representing a 50% rise in less than one year. Interesting times are ahead.

On the subject of photography in public places by John Morris

To the Editor

Dear Sir,

Please excuse the formality in the address as this is the first time I have emailed you and I come from the 'old school' of manners. 

I looked at your photographs of the Bristol KS with considerable interest as my colleague had mentioned travelling on one from Canons Marsh to Whitchurch during the Bristol bus rally on Saturday.  In 1979, I also learned to drive PSVs on an old 'conker box' so my interest was personal and incidental. 

I was surprised at your disclaimer concerning drivers faces.  I can only hope that it was tongue in cheek to show the idiocy of the situation.  It may be that the driver who complained may have had something to hide and this may have prompted his complaint. (Sadly No! - it was because of several incidents from drivers who become demented by the sight of a camera pointed in their direction. Ed.) 

As one who regularly takes photographs and videos in public places, mostly on railway stations and environs but sometimes at airports and other venues, I am particularly aware of the law regarding the taking of photographs.  I have looked up several reference works and there is no law in force, other than those pertaining to national security, to prevent anyone taking photographs in a public place without asking permission of persons in the photograph UNLESS the end product is to be used for commercial gain or other unlawful purpose

This applies equally to photographing children in school functions such as sports days or performances, although I appreciate that schools may have their own local rules on this. 

Working in a Police Control Room, as I do, I have often had concerned parents calling about persons with cameras in the vicinity of school premises.  Whilst in the present climate this concern is understandable the persons involved are not committing any offence.  Neither can a Police Officer, or for that matter anyone else, demand that you delete the images or hand over the film without a Court Order as this may prejudice any defence you may present should it go to Court, the photographs may well prove your innocence. 

We live in times where common sense has gone out of the window and everyone is jumping on the band wagon of political correctness that will stifle society in the end and we shall end up like the old eastern bloc countries where even owning a camera could be construed as committing an offence. 

I hope that you will forgive this admonishment but personal freedom is a subject very dear to my heart. 

Keep taking the photographs, they are an historical record. 


John Morris.

I am sure many readers will take heart from Mr Morris's letter, indeed it may be worth keeping a copy on hand for use if and when apprehended. What a life we do lead. Ed.

Darwen to takeover Optare?

Darwen shares suspended under AIM rules as ‘reverse takeover’ considered.

Darwen Holdings, the former East Lancs Coachbuilders business, has confirmed it is in talks with Jamesstan Investments Ltd, owner of the Optare group of companies, about a deal that would be considered a reverse takeover under the AIM (Alternative Investment Market) rules.

Jamesstan Investments - set up to buy Optare in March - is controlled by Roy Stanley who is also Chairman of Darwen Holdings, which AIM-listed with a market capitalisation of £18.5m in February. It would therefore appear that a takeover of Optare by Darwen is inevitable.

Darwen Chief Executive Andrew Brian says: “Optare is a very highly regarded brand within the industry, and the deal we are discussing would present a very exciting opportunity for us, our shareholders, and all related parties. The deal is in line with our strategy to grow Darwen through acquisition, alongside the organic progress we’ve made over the past year, and we look forward to updating the market in due course.”

Stagecoach completes Rapsons deal

Stagecoach has completed the acquisition of Highland Country Buses Ltd and Orkney Coaches Ltd from Rapsons Coaches Ltd.  

The businesses operate bus and coach services in the Highlands, Skye and Orkney, with an annual turnover of approximately £12.5 million. They employ 400 people and run 200 vehicles.  

The purchase includes bus depots in Inverness, Aviemore, Fort William, Portree, Thurso, Wick and Orkney, plus a number of outstations.  

The newly-acquired services will be operated under the Stagecoach brand.

Roadlyner on National Express - follow up from the last issue

I was delighted to receive a mail from Mark Self of Roadliner following pictures in the last issue of OCBP.

Picture by Gavin Francis

Just a quick line to say that we have seen our Volvo B9TL East Lancs Roadlyner on your website! 

It was operating the Liverpool Service as far as Birmingham on SUNDAY (5th May 2008).  I was quite amused to see the vehicle & trailer combination at Gloucester Green.  It looks as though it was causing havoc!!!!! (Graham Davis - the Manager of NEx Oxford can be seen in the picture above but I am sure he was, as ever, in control of matters. Ed.)

We work closely with Simon Weaver at Weavaway and regularly hire in his 102's to operate from our neck of the woods.  Simon is a little conservative where he sends his but ours can be regularly seen whizzing down to Paris, Champagne, Metz with her trusty trailer following on behind! 

Keep up the great work on your website and keep an eye open for our vehicles in your neck of the woods. 

You may also wish to note that our sister operation (Victory Tours) runs with the same paint scheme as the Roadliners but replaced by a metallic blue of similar shade to a leading operator in your area! 

With kind regards 

Mark Self - Managing Director - Roadliner Passenger Transport Limited

Slough Running Day - 11th May

Contributions from Colin Cooke, Graham Anderson, Gavin Francis and myself.

Colin Cooke writes "The first of a series of Running days started at Slough with wall to wall sunshine ! so the a great day for the photographers. I always like to see good use made of the Buses only turning circle at Gerrards Cross, so my shots are of a RML and RF on different routes making use of the circle by The Packhorse Pub.


Graham Anderson from High Wycombe writes "Having previously said I don't have time to send you pictures I'm at a bit of a loose end tonight so here's a few I took in Slough on Sunday! All were taken at The Brunel Bus Station hopefully you will be able to read the fleet numbers for any captions."

Thank you Graham, they are excellent pictures.

Gavin Francis writes "An RML I took in Bridge Street on Sunday morning 11th May and also same bus 35 years ago!"

Finally my own offering of a most welcome and unusual visitor to High Wycombe on the day was the STL pictured below. How I wish I could have had a trip on that lovely bus.

Pictures from Essex by Wayne

Thought I would send you some photos which may be of interest as they are of buses which come from your area.

The two Hedingham Photos are from your part of the world and the Olympian next to VR HJB456W is one from the FWL batch that were new to Harwell.

Kind Regards Wayne

The Lake District from Terry Wong Min

Pictures from my grand tour.  Where will I go next.  Attached Lake District today.

Regards Terry

May 2008

A walk with Marcus Lapthorn and a VR

An interesting story for your readers:] 

Whilst out on a long distance walk this week I came across a former Southern Vectis Bristol VR double decker on a farm near Lambourn in Berkshire. The bus is SDL636J and was new to Southern Vectis in 1971. In 1984 about £3,000 was spent on the bus, which included a new floor. In 1987 the bus passed to Blue Line and was subsequently sold into preservation to a man near Swindon, who stored it at the Science Museum depot in Wroughton. At some point a new front end was fitted having been acquired off a bus in Barnsley. When the Science Museum needed more space for their own exhibits, the bus was ejected and sold. It is now owned by a couple who have been hired by a farmer to act as guards for his chicken farm. They live on the bus and have inserted solar panels into the roof of the bus. So much power is generated by these panels, that the couple are able to play their thousands of CD's stored on the top deck all day and night! The sleeping accommodation is on the top deck. The bus has recently passed its MOT and so may well move onto other farms in due course. The bus is now painted in a psychedelic livery which certainly stands out!

Gez – Stagecoach Lancaster visits London 

Here are some of those London pictures I promised. I had a couple of hours around VCS Friday morning netted these odds and ends, very profitable with loads of Big Bus heading up to start service and a good chunk of the Evan Evans coaches heading off on various tours.

Working a 797 to Stevenage is R524TWR in Plus Bus advertising.

I also saw a 702 and I presume what is a First coach in all over Green colour, possibly a new Green Line livery???

YJ08EBA a Temsa, Arriva are using on easyBus services I also noted YJ08EAY as well.

Blackpool 2008 by Colin Cooke

I took the picture below on 13 May of a lovely refurbished Balloon 1935 Blackpool Tram. During the winter trams have not been running to allow for a major track replacement program to take place. This is all complete and the trams can be seen again in their glory !

Perhaps viewers would like to click on the following link for some added effects !!!!   -

Ex Oxford area buses with Nu Venture from Chris

We have just bought another ex Oxford Bus, from Thames Travel, Optare Solo [X373 VVY] the first of the type in the Nu-Venture fleet. It arrived yesterday in plain white livery joining [V270 BNV], I don't know if they ever operated together at Thames Travel?

Also ex Oxford 601 was with Nu-Venture on loan for a school journey the other morning.

Gloucester traffic in the ‘50s and ‘60s

Readers may be interested in the link below posted on the South West Bus Photo Google group, Peter saying "This is probably slightly off topic, but my guess is that this will interest a lot of people on here. Some very nostalgic traffic scenes." 

Nostalgia! A few buses, mainly K's, and loads of trucks and commercials.

Chris Maxfield visits Milton Keynes

Chris recently visited Milton Keynes and sent a large number of pictures some of which I selected for this week's issue.

In spite of the fact that much has been spent on providing refurbished Scanias for Line 100 between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes
as can be seen above unbranded Scanias and even double decks are still used on this service.

Many MK buses are now gaining or already had Arriva main fleet numbers.
Of interest above is an ex Wycombe Vario, 2198 now in MK yellow and blue.

Being a Saturday, Arriva's National Express Levante coaches were not in full demand and
were therefore able to see service on Rail Replacement on the West Coast main line.

Glenn Knight's travels

As ever Glenn has sent in some interesting pictures which I include under a specific heading as his contributions are varied.

We first start with Mullany's Coaches which Glenn visited last week. I often see one of their ex London Central/General Olympian-NCME Palatine II deckers on school service in and around Hemel Hempstead.

Mullany`s Coaches of Watford:

M601TTV Volvo B10 Alexander Strider

EBZ 6295 MCW Tri-Axle Metrobus - note the narrow entrance door typical of Far East buses.

EBZ 6296 Volvo Plaxton Paramount

F238CNY Leyland Lynx

D302PEV Volvo B9 (Red Rose had D303PEV before their recent fire)

Included here for continuity, Gavin Francis provided this picture of ex NV169 now with Mullany's.

ARRIVA Shires: MK Metro 2441 was at Luton 19/05/2008 and 5135 G132YWC, once a Wycombe depot bus, made a unusual appearance on the 27 to Marsh Farm.

Glenn took this picture of ex Wycombe Bus - Arriva 3806 being used for spares by Quantock at Taunton.

Glenn also writes "Today, 6th May. in service on 36A/C in Leighton Buzzard are YN08NLE & YN08NLF Enterprise Plaxton B28F . Photo available on my website: "

Regular features

Travel on a Concessionary Pass 2008

See my comments in the Editorial above.

Buses in the Landscape

Following the lack of postings for the last issue you have given more than deserved for this issue which are much appreciated.

Glenn Knight sent some pictures of Centrebus Dart J370GKH on the 08.03 46 service Luton - Hemel Hempstead on 10th April 2008.

The bus runs dead to Dunstable via Holtsmere End Lane, Gaddesden Lane (photo above) & Dodds Lane (second photo above) with the road being 2.6m wide so not ideal for a bus route.

Keith Shayshutt writes "Sorry to see no entries in the Buses in the Landscape section of the most recent page, so here's a few submissions for your consideration."

KMP Atlantean Open Top ODV203W approaching Pen Y Pass in Gwynedd on 11 May 2008

A Johns Vario R456PRH (ex EYMS) working on Blaenau Ffestiniog Town Service on 10 May 2008

Express Solo EM06 ORS in Beddgelert, Gwynedd on 11 May 2008

Next Peter Edgar sent the picture below.

 RM 2060 taken at Great Scotland Yard ........................Little Bus, Large Buildings!
Picture by Peter Edgar

David Harrison writes lastly saying "Two photos are attached showing different 'buses in the landscape'.  The first shows an articulated Cardiff Bus vehicle next to the Millennium Centre at Cardiff Bay at the end of last month, and the second rather different one shows a First-operated Solo on a local service in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire, last week.  Funny how these out of the way villages in a PTE area have a better service than some towns in the shire counties!



If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

Let me have your contributions


Marcus Lapthorn once again provides historic pictures, this time from Red Rover of Aylesbury.

Red Rover, Aylesbury 

Freshly repainted GAU725L, fleet no.133 in Aylesbury on 20 November 1978, on its way to Elmhurst Estate.

DAU435 C in Aylesbury at their depot on 20 November 1978, still in former owner's livery. (Nottingham City Transport).

Fleet no.132, FAU 721 L in Aylesbury at their depot on 20 November 1978. 

All of the above ex Nottingham City buses.

Future dates for your diary

Stroud Running Day from Marcus Lapthorn 

Hopefully someone will cover Stroud Running Day on Sunday 29 June, if you could publicise it please? I cannot attend that day.

and from Peter Cartwright 

Amersham & District Running Days for 2008 are:

Uxbridge/Northwood Running Day Sunday 1 June which, it is intended, will cover routes 309 309A 347 158 220 223 & 225. Details are still to be finalised.

3rd Hemel Hempstead Running Day Sunday 22 June based on Hemel Bus Station. Marking 60 years since the first Country RTs came into service. These were allocated to Tring and Hemel Hempstead (Two Waters) garages for the 301 and 302 routes. It is hoped that a number of RTs will be operating on these routes on 22 June.

20th Amersham Running Day Sunday 5 October based on car park adjoining Amersham MET Station. This has become a very popular event and no doubt it will still attract many after 20 years when again there will be some alteration to routes operated.

Malcolm Crowe - Tuesday 20th May 2008

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

News of the local companies – 20th May 2008

Arriva suffered a bus fire near Stansted last week when Volvo B6 3252 (I am told this was the bus involved) had an engine fire and the rear of the bus appeared to be fatally damaged. We shall have to wait and see. The bus was working the 510 service from Harlow to Stansted.

Following last week's picture of Volvo 3331 at Wycombe, sister bus 3332 has appeared in the Interurban livery
as shown in this picture from Gavin Francis. It was working the Orange route 39 and looks very smart indeed.
One wonders if Arriva have moved these buses to Wycombe as they will be good performers on the local hills?

Scania 3146 is seen in Wycombe Bus Station last Saturday evening on a 362 working. Picture by M Crowe.

I rather liked this shot as it had both Versas and one of the new Solos in the same picture.
2401, 2402 and 2496 are seen at rest last Saturday evening.

sister olympians 5150, 5151 and 5153 are all now at Wycombe in Interurban livery whereas 5152 is now at Hemel and retains original livery.

Gavin Francis caught up with Scania 3608 working a 69 service at Luton Airport last week despite the 38 route branding.

I have heard several passengers say that it is rumoured that Line 40 from Wycombe to Thame is to be increased to half hourly. Whilst this may indeed only be rumour, the present 30 seater Solos are often inadequate for the increased passenger loadings on this service and it is not uncommon for passengers, especially elderly ones , to have to stand from Stokenchurch to Wycombe and back. So for the success of free concessionary travel.

Air Direct

The second coach is still awaited and often an 03 or 04 Scania/Irizar is used to cover workings.


Chris Maxfield took this picture of ex Thames Transit Dart L710JUD working the long X31 service between MK and Luton a week last Saturday.
L712JUD was also employed on the same service on the same day. They are beginning to look a little care worn now.


David Rawsthorn of easyBus writes "The Two Temsa Opalins will be returned to Arriva Bus and Coach 12th May 2008. They were for a 2 month trial evaluation and are being returned at the end of the hire period. We plan to evaluate other vehicles later this year as we decide on what the next batch of easy buses will be. What never ceases to amaze me is how few manufacturers actually court business and can provide a demonstrator for a reasonable trial period.

Three New Sorocos are due for delivery within the next 7 - 10 days, STN allocation will then be 14 Sorocos.

Three Sprinters will still be allocated to STN but may be de-fleeted in due course.

One of the Sprinters KE04WBD, 0290 is in the new livery. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

The other Seven Sprinters are allocated to Gatwick along with seven Sorocos."

First Berkshire

Stephen Le Bras writes "The final Citaro 64018 has been returned to service repainted blue. The burnt out Solo remains in situ."

Grant Palmer

Please find below report for your web page regarding our new Primos in Leighton Buzzard plus photos attached.

Best wishes - Nick Doolan - Grant Palmer Passenger Services

Grant Palmer Passenger Services of Dunstable have placed in service two Enterprise Bus / Plaxton Primo's YN08 NLE / NLF on newly revised route 36 serving Leighton Buzzard and Linslade from 6th May. These vehicles have been purchased with financial assistance from Bedfordshire County Council and feature high backed seating and full cctv security camera systems along with low floors for ease of access. Route 36 has now been revised to serve Leighton Buzzard Railway Station along with Billington Park and Sandhills estates and has incorporated route 37 which Palmer used to operate with the Bedfordshire County Council owned Mercedes Sprinter BX54ECY between these destinations. This vehicle has now been returned to them. These two new Primos join similar vehicle MX56AAK, purchased by Grant Palmer for Luton area routes in October 2006.

Bedfordshire County Council are producing a short promotional film about the new buses in Leighton Buzzard which has been in production this week and should be available on their website when completed.

Above pictures by "NLE" by Glenn Knight and remaining two from Nick Doolan.


Wycombe Wanderers played Stockport County last Saturday but sadly lost. However their new team coach was caught by avid supporter, Gavin Francis and is seen here in Stockport.

Most of Stansted's fleet of tri-axle Levantes are now in the new livery and work is now progressing with other depots. Many of the Levantes at Heathrow have gained the new livery and sadly the older livery is fast disappearing.

Your Editor doing what he enjoys most. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Hatfield - The University of Hertfordshire on a recent Sunday morning.
Not everything goes according to plan but when things go wrong one has to do ones best for the passengers.
In this picture above we see a Levante with a problem. The passengers suffered a delay of just 10 minutes
before being transferred to a 717 service for Stansted.
Geoffrey De Havilland looks on, maybe approvingly?

In the past week Volvo 634 has not been seen and one wonders if it has now left the fleet or is away for repaint? This was the very last single deck in the old white top livery. The older Volvos 635-643 can now be seen mainly on 8 and 9 roads.

Oxford's Airline 63 was caught by Gavin Francis working an X90 service in Victoria.
Most of her sisters are indeed in X90 livery but 62 and 63 are scheduled to remain on airline services.

Maybe not for the first time but unusually one of the new Volvos makes a rare foray into London on an X90 working. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Gavin has also been busy in Oxford and produced a number of pictures last Saturday.

An evocative picture as centenary 817 passes Carfax Tower. The old tower would have seen trams in a similar livery 100 years ago.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Airline branded Scania coaches repainted into Oxford espress livery now include 39 N1OXF which now leaves P1OXF and R1OXf in Airline livery as planned.

Redline, Aylesbury

Redline have some interesting routes which reach out to Milton Keynes. Pictured in MK by Chris Maxfield.

Red Rose, Aylesbury

Gavin Francis says this bus was in full livery until the recent fire and wonders if it has only now returned from repair.
Seen in his lens at Stokenchurch last week on a school service.

More on the new Enviro 200's for South.

These buses are emolyed in and around Aldershot on Kite services and the livery can bew seen in the pictures below.

Les Smith sent these pictures of the buses in full livery.

An earlier picture taken on 6th May shortly after the arrival of these buses.

Gavin Francis took this picture of 52452 and says it must have been 1st day out of the paint shop by the smell of it.
The repaints might explain why there have been buses on this route recently.

Gavin Francis  has been busy around Oxford with his camera

Gavin Francis has been busy with his camera in Oxford and found some interesting shots of the Stagecoach fleet.

Scania 15439 seen in Magdalen St East after working an X27 express from Bicester - Gavin Francis.

Dart 34466 is seen unusally working a 100 service from Witney last week. Gavin Francis.

Dart 34471 on a 17C working last Sunday in place of the more usual Solo. Gavin Francis.

Seemingly Dart 34467 was involved in a small problem requiring the assistance of the fire brigade
seen in this picture by Richard Morgan.

Chris Maxfield caught a Witney Trident needing help by Kardos last week.

Also from Chris and taken in MK is this Volvo branded for the X5 and showing off a further example of the super rear branding.

Well Darts don't seem to have much fun and I'd swear this one changed its own blind, just maybe hoping to get a long run.

Paul wrote following my comments regarding the mis information about new deliveries.

He says "Not usually one to defend BBP, but the allocation of this batch of vehicles published in the 2008 Handbook was correct at the time of publication. 

However, due to late delivery by Alexander Dennis, the allocation was changed so that Aldershot received their vehicles first instead of last. There are actually 6 vehicles for Aldershot (not 5) and the rest are now expected to be allocated as follows"

39651 GX08 HBN Aldershot
39652 GX08 HBO Aldershot
39653 GX08 HBP Aldershot
39654 GX08 HBU Aldershot
39655 GX08 HBY Aldershot
39656 GX08 HBZ Aldershot
39657 NJ08 CRX Hartlepool
39658 NJ08 CRZ Hartlepool
39659 NJ08 CSF Hartlepool
39660 NJ08 CSO Hartlepool
39661 NJ08 CSU Hartlepool
39662 NJ08 CSV Hartlepool
39663 NJ08 CSX Hartlepool
39664 NJ08 CSY Hartlepool
39665 NJ08 CSZ Hartlepool
39666 NJ08 CTE Hartlepool
39667 NJ08 CTF Hartlepool
39668 NJ08 CTK Hartlepool
39669 NJ08 CTO Hartlepool
39670 NJ08 CTU Hartlepool
39671 NJ08 CTV Hartlepool
39672 NJ08 CTX Hartlepool
39673 NJ08 CTY Hartlepool
39674 NJ08 CTZ Hartlepool
39675 NJ08 CUA Hartlepool
39676 FX08 HFA Mansfield
39677 FX08 HFB Mansfield
39678 FX08 HFC Mansfield
39679 FX08 HFD Mansfield
39680 KX08 KZO Nuneaton
39681 KX08 KYT Nuneaton
39682 KX08 KYU Nuneaton
39683 KX08 KYV Nuneaton
39684 KX08 KYW Nuneaton
39685 KX08 KYY Nuneaton
39686 KX08 KYZ Nuneaton
39687 KX08 LVH Nuneaton
39688 KX08 LVJ Nuneaton
39689 KX08 LVK Nuneaton
39690 KX08 LVL Nuneaton
39691 KX08 LVM Nuneaton
39692 KX08 LVN Nuneaton
39693 KX08 LVO Nuneaton
39694 KX08 HRA Northampton
39695 KX08 HRC Northampton
39696 KX08 HRD Northampton
39697 KX08 HRE Northampton
39698 KX08 HRF Bedford
39699 KX08 HRG Bedford
39700 KX08 HRJ Bedford

Stagecoach Swindon

Marcus Lapthorn writes "The new single deckers for the 66 route between Swindon & Oxford will be MAN 18.240's with Alexander bodies. They are being delivered late due to delays that have built up at the factory in Scotland. The new vehicles will be longer than the Volvos that they replace on this route. This will create a slight problem when it comes to servicing these vehicles at Swindon depot as the inspection pits are not long enough. The buses will have to be reversed over the pits in order for adequate access to be made to the rear engine.

It is now hoped that the new buses will enter service on or by 1 June 2008."



Yet another tri-axle Scania has been delivered to this operator and is seen at Stansted a week ago.


Stuart Curwen writes "Over the last few weeks I have been working on a new website dedicated to bus operations in Swindon particularly Thamesdown Transport & Stagecoach In Swindon it contains items of interest like "The Latest News", Fleet lists of the above said companies, Route information, Former Vehicles and much more." 

The site address is

This should address the needs of the many people interested in this operator.

Alistair Liddle writes "For the first time in a few weeks a Thamesdown Solar has arrived on a Sunday, latterly they have come in on a weekday morning and been picked up by Scania on the same day!! 

So much to my surprise and gratification one was sitting there this afternoon in almost complete livery as opposed to the simple Blue/Green combo that was sent over before."

I rather liked this picture from Richard Sharman. The angle seems to add something.

Thames Travel MCV Evolution AE55MVK from Pete Thomas 

Great to read the page as usual, keep up the good work.
AE55MVK was in use in my area (Flintshire) in September / October / November 2007, and I was informed at the time that this vehicle was on loan from Alliance & Leicester Finance, Liverpool. At the time it was covering for delayed Enviro 200 Darts for a local operator.

Worths of Enstone

Richard Sharman writes that Worths have a recent arrival to the fleet seen above.

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

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.

Paul Davis writes
"Malcolm, have you had a Liechtenstein bus on your pages before?
I caught this one at Buchs (Switzerland) on 4th May - if I'd had my wits about me I'd have got her within Liechtenstein itself."
I have to be honest and say, "No I have not!"

New Trident model with an Oxford flavour

ukbus 1036 Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident

 Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Model News of an Oxford bus

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


A photo disc for your collection

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

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

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

Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book

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

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

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

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

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. 


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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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


These are nine most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire

Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK

John Marsh's pictures with a difference

The Oxford Bus Museum

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2008
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2007-2008
from British Bus Publishing

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


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Bus services in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Logo/link

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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