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 235
Sunday 22nd July 2007
next update week ending 4th August 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 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.


Well, what a week this has been! Rain of a quantity not seen in England in July has fallen and now many areas in the South Midlands are flooded with Oxfordshire one of the worst hit counties.

Passengers waiting for the 66 service to Swindon at Oxford's Gloucester Green coach station had not seen a service since mid afternoon and Oxford depot of Stagecoach sent an M A N service bus around 1800hrs to hopefully operate a service in the Swindon direction. Over 100 people were waiting for this one bus. The 100 service to Carterton was unable to operate as much of route , especially around Brize Norton was impassable. As we can see in pictures below Banbury Bus Station and much of the surrounding area was totally flooded and impassable.

I am pleased to publish pictures received from Chris in Banbury who took these pictures of Banbury Bus Station on Saturday morning.

As I write this week's page more rain is expected but the worst of the present situation is very slowly improving. More stories relate to close to my own village of Stokenchurch. The road from the A40 leading to Radnage became impassable due to mud washed off the fields by the rain. I am told that Motts new Solo, on its school run, got stuck in this mud and that the only way into Radnage was to go to West Wycombe and track back up the valley from that village.

Reports on Friday were of significant chaos on the London routes, especially when the Hanger Lane underpass became flooded. One Tube which later used the tunnel came out with some inches of water on the lower deck. The whole of the London services were delayed and some people tried the train which later had problems with flooded lines in the Didcot area.

The National Express 737 service was not without problems when a flood of some 4ft blocked the road into and out of Luton airport closing the airport totally for a period during the latter half of the afternoon.

Indeed as this page goes to press reports are coming in of flooding in Oxford in the Botley and Osney areas. The Botley Road is closed and services using that road are being diverted via the Woodstock Road. The Sky News says that the biggest danger period will be in 24 hours time.

If anyone has a story to tell let's hear about it. Photos would also be welcome- .

Out of our area

Suzy Scott writes regarding a Bus Users event in Cambridge and she sent a picture of the Enviro 200 used for the event.

Ian White's picture and a question - a reply from Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett writes "The bus is almost certainly a Milnes Daimler - check the shape of the radiator, the chassis member across it, and the dumb irons. The BP 311 registered example is definitely from 1905 so fits well with the 1907 estimate for the photo shown. The bus in my other photo is from about the same date, but interestingly it also has the London registration letters  LC. I wonder whether the bus in the photo was originally in service with a London operator and is now enjoying a second life with a rural owner. 

The bodywork on the bus does not match up with any I have photos of, but at that time bodies were coach built by many different makers."


Bibliography:-      BP 311      Blandford Pocket Encyclopedia in Colour - Buses and Trolleybuses before 1919  -  David Kaye  -  Blandford Press  -  1972

                        LC 7314     London Bus and Tram Album  -  VH Darling  -  Ian Allan  -  1967     

The bus that Ian White wanted to know more about?

(I do hope that the publishers will not mind us showing the photos which come from books no longer easily available. My thanks to Blandford Pres and Ian Allan. Those interested may find these books at swapmeets and rallies. ED.)

Alton Bus Rally

Peter Edgar writes "Attached are picture's of ex Thames Valley Bristol Lowbridge K Type 446, and RML 2412 (once based at LT's Wycombe garage, and now locally owned) both photographed at Alton Bus Rally last Sunday."

RML 2414 looks immaculate.

Back on the road now is the early post war Bristol K with the first style of ECW low bridge bodywork.
It is with Ward Jones of High Wycombe.

Reading report by Stephen Le Bras

I went over to Reading for a few hours to try and see the Scania/East Lancs 'deckers which are running. Route 500 was all 'decker and 835/6/8-40 were duly noted in use. 

The three new Plaxton coaches for the RailAir link are not yet in service but I did glimpse one of them, 20603, on trade plates calling into the station at Reading. It appears to have a yellow band above the windows. 

41165-8 are still parked up at Slough garage in the end section next to the road.

Buses in cityscape and landscape - do you like AEC s?

I was pleasantly surprised to receive pictures from Portugal. Ricardo Fig writes "I am sending you two photos of a UTIC-AEC to the section "Buses in Landscape". If you think that they are good to show on you site, feel free to publish them! They were taken in Minas da Panasqueira, near Covilhã, Portugal."

It is wonderful to see these venerable AEC s still in service in 2007. These pictures were taken on 27th May. I hope Ricardo will send some more?

Relative to what is said above about flooding on the 66 route Mike Bennett wrote last week, prior to the floods "I have attached a photo of Stagecoach Swindon Volvo B10M - Alexander PS - 20686, taken on Tuesday July 17th.  The location is Watchfield High Street, where it meets the original A420 road that will take the bus back through Shrivenham and hence Swindon.  The service is a short working of the 65, which at 13:55 does a loop around Watchfield before heading back into Swindon.  The village sign appeared there several years ago."

Then Marcus Lapthorn came up with one taken in Faringdon (I think) of yet another "new" coach on the 66 saying "The current shortage of vehicles for this route is probably because they are clapped out! 20685 needs or needed a new gear box and 20686 is unreliable as it is very difficult to start and loses power on hills out of Oxford so runs late!"

Finally Peter Edgar sent a submission saying "Taken in Edinburgh this week, showing Lothian vehicles on both Waverley and North Bridges."

There is so much to see in the picture.

Buses in the landscape -
my submission for this week is a line up of Terravision coaches at Stansted.
you can just make out an aircraft taking off at "11 o'clock"

Amersham & District Running day September 30th 2007 - a date for your diary 

The final Amersham & District Running Day for 2007 is as follows: 

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.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 22nd July 2007

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

News of the local companies – 22nd July 2007

Our usual correspondent, Matt Robinson, has been busy once again this week. Matt writes "Sorry I missed the page this week with the pictures, I didn't get a chance to sit down and upload them all until this morning, again I've attached a handful of those I took yesterday - 14th July.

I visited Stevenage for the first time in about five years, before moving on to Welwyn and Watford. Nice to get out and about after a busy week, and a nice warm sunny day too. Unfortunately the weather wasn't suited to everybody as I managed to witness two incidents of people passing out at bus stops requiring Ambulances. One was at Stanborough Park between Welwyn and Hatfield, the other in North Watford.

Whilst on the 100 into Stevenage and while I was there, I only noted Scanias 3196 and 3197 around. I know 3202 is now at Wycombe, but there was no sign of branded 3201 or unbranded 3143 either.

Luton-based B6 3122 (M722OMJ) has become the latest recipient of an LED destination display. Unlike 3130 and 3135 this bus originally had a roller blind destination display, rather than a faulty electronic one. Another recipient of a new LED blind this week is Watford-based DAF 3276. I've attached a photo - although my camera had a bad day all round today where those displays are concerned.

With all the recent Volvo Olympian transfers from Watford to Hemel Hempstead and Wycombe, 5146 (S146KNK) is one of three still based there (5149 and 5154 are the other two), still carrying its TGI Fridays advert.

A recent arrival at Luton is the first Mercedes Vario purchased by the company back in 1997, 2171 (R171VBM). It has been painted into easybus orange but has not entered service as yet.

My bus home on Saturday (the 17.45 24) was worked by ex-Wycombe Olympian 5135 (G132YWC). It had been called on to replace Volvo Olympian 5138 which had suffered a failure of its indicators during the morning. Further to my comments regarding 5135 and some tight bends on the 24, it coped fine. Earlier in the day I'd also been on another ex-Wycombe machine, Olympian 5831 (G231VWL). I previously commented about the driver attack alarm, this time I spotted it still has a notice on the cab window reminding drivers of the 5mph speed limit on Cornmarket Street.

Noted a couple of odd workings today (Monday 16th July) - Dart 3286 on 24s and Scania 3613, branded for the 27, on route 31 at the airport.

I've noticed that at least two of the Van Hool wheelchair coaches on the 757s (4067 and 4069) have had small Terravision vinyls applied to the sides and rear, above their Green Line route information. I will try and get a photo to you this week if I'm able to catch one at the airport.

Finally here's a photo of what I believe is the last Sovereign-liveried Arriva vehicle, Volvo B10BLE 3314 (PN02HVO). Admittedly the livery is still quite prominent in St. Albans, where several of the Plaxton-bodied Darts owned by Centrebus still haven't acquired their livery."

I asked Matt if he had been able to get any pictures of the flooding at Luton and he replied "Sorry Malcolm, I've been stuck in the office on overtime most of the week. I did get out to Watford for a couple of hours this afternoon, just uploading what few pictures I did take. Unfortunately the rain just caught me when I arrived in Watford, so I had to keep grabbing the odd photo, then running for cover. The A1081 between Kinsbourne Green and Luton was flooded on the way home, but DAF 3272 ploughed through the water quite happily.

I didn't manage to get any photos of yesterday's disruption, however I monitored how the queue moved outside the office. A Luton-bound 100 joined the queue on Percival Way just before 3pm. At 4pm I could still see the same bus out of the window, and the 100 which would have left Stevenage an hour behind it was also in view from the window.

DAF SB220s 3271 and 3273 (V271/3HBH) have both had LED displays fitted to them this week, as has B6 3122 (M722OMJ). I've been told that all of the Luton-based B6s will receive these displays.

Green Line DAFs 4065-9 on the 757 have also managed to escape my lens this week. At least three of these Van Hool-bodied Green Line coaches on the 757 now have Terravision vinyls. I've only managed to spot them when I've been driving in the opposite direction so far!!"

Matt Robinson adds "That late downpour did come - I've been attending a function at Stockwood Park (by Junction 10 of the M1) this evening, and when we left London Road was literally a river. Some streets in the town centre were flooded too, I even saw a fire engine trying to pump water away from a side street. Not as bad as it was on Friday though.

2477 is one of Watford's new Optare Solos. It worked into Luton this evening on one of the late night workings, the last 321 journey of the evening departing from Luton.

3272 shows off it's new destination display - I took a photo of 3276 in the same spot last week (and coincidentally operating the same departure - the 16.05 from Watford) but the display didn't come out complete.

I liked the Uno Dart as it carries an appropriate registration mark."

Mark Munday who is with Arriva at High Wycombe writes "A quick note about  3242 which as of yesterday was sold and went to a company in Leicestershire at present unknown. If I find out who I will let you know."

Mark goes on to writes "...attached are some photos I took of 5153 on Tuesday night. PSV glass had just put in the new windows with hopper opening windows, as when the new roof was fitted there no opening windows upstairs. As you can see a lot of work is still to be carried out including most of the stair backs and frame are being replaced. It is supposed to be having an MOT on Friday next (20th July)."


Mark adds "...on the fleet list, we are supposed to be getting some newer buses very soon, so as soon as this happens will get an up to date list."

Nigel Peach visited Cressex depot on Saturday and had two scoops for this week's page. He wrote saying "I attach some photos taken at the Cressex depot today (Sat 21st), some of which may be of interest.

I had thought that Merc Vario 2171 (R171 VBM) had disappeared. I was very surprised to see it returned but in the "easy Bus" livery with destination Stansted. This will be very handy for my son who is going on holiday on Monday, flying from Stansted!!!"


Elusive Olympian 5153 (S153KNK) was there, looking very smart after repaint and repair.

Two of Wycombe's three DAF SB220s  4490/1 (T490/4TGB) were parked together. Nigel Peach
Note the 490 and 494 registration numbers.

Glenn Knight also sent pictures of 2171 and I include his rear view which shows the branding on this bus. Glenn writes "Mercedes Benz R171 VBM 2171 in full Easybus Livery photo taken in Dunstable 19.07.2007 on Staff Shuttle for X66."

On the subject of 2171 visiting Wycombe I can only presume that it was being used as staff transport to take back a driver who had transferred a bus from its new home depot. Maybe someone can clairfy?

Finally we have seen Dart 3819 in service at Luton and Hemel and so it was with some surprise that I caught it on staff transport at Wycombe one day last week, the 17th to be precise.

No news this week.

Charlbury Coaches

Greg Gilbert writes "Thought you might be interested as you have put photos of BAZ 6516 Volvo B10M on your website.  We have pictures of the first coach that we purchased, a Duple 320 Cummins registration number XIL 8146.   

We have now replace BAZ 6516 with the following coach - DAF 3000, Caetano Algarve 2 Reg No JIL 7651. 

We would be happy for you to put these on your website.  I am the ex-Worths driver who started out on his own about three years ago."


First Berkshire

See the report in the editorial from Stephen Le Bras.

Oh and whilst I understand competition I try to find the logic of running two double decks, one from Arriva and one from First right behind each other on the 74, throughout the main part of the day?


Heyfordian to sell Ayats

Family-owned Heyfordian is diversifying with the opening of a dealership for Spanish coachbuilder, Ayats - six months after the company acquired Tappins of Didcot, making it the largest independent Oxfordshire operator. MD Graham Smith says newly-formed subsidiary Heyfordian Coach Sales is based at existing premises in Bicester, taking over the sole UK dealership from Ayats, Spain. Existing key staff have transferred.

Thanks to Richard Sharman for those notes. 

Little Jim

Jim Petty, the owner of Little Jim's writes "...just to put you in the picture re N201 CUD in Hemel and Berkhamsted.

As Steve rightly says, N201 CUD is owned by Pickford of Chippenham, who variously trades as "Next Bus", "Faresaver" and "Mercedes Magic"!  They run local services in Wiltshire and hire out Mercedes buses to various operators, big and small.

My bus service linking Northchurch Estates with Hemel Hempstead was introduced in March 2006 in an effort to provide an on-time service not affected by the sometimes horrendous delays in and near Watford. My own bus, G71 PKR is now becoming quite elderly, and more important is often loaded to capacity. I therefore have hired in a larger bus, and will continue to hire in various machines until I find one that meets all my needs, which include excursions etc.

To this effect, I am returning N201 CUD to Chippenham this afternoon, having just returned from a weekend private-hire to Bournemouth! For the next few weeks I am trying out a Mercedes N101 CKN hired in from Nu-Ventrue of Aylesford, Kent.

Thanks for putting together a very interesting website."


Gavin Francis caught up with yet another ex Stagecoach Volvo-Plaxton in the High Wycombe area. Heyfordian have several.
This time it is ex 52188 which left the fleet several years ago but has only recently joined Magpie.

Whilst the entry into service of the tri-axle Levantes is eagerly awaited I have managed to get some pictures to wet readers appetites. These were taken at the Scania facility at Stansted. There are some quite significant changes from the two axle variety were are now used to.

Nr 15 is seen from the front at Stansted last week.

The length is now apparent when viewed from the side.

The seating is quite different from that fitted to the current Levante models.
It is also interesting to find that the washroom facility is fitted with a sliding door.

Two of a batch of six which are awaiting entry into service at Stansted. FJ07 DVH, DVK, DVL, DVM, DVN and DVO were noted.

An additional mirror is fitted to these coaches compared to earlier Levantes for National Express.

Andrew Burbidge sent an interesting picture of a 5 road branded Volvo working a 9 road service a week or so ago.

This is a most unusual occurrence as OBC are very fussy about having the correct buses on the correct routes.

Trident 904 was noted on the 300 service at Redbridge and reader Guy noted the same bus later in the week on the X3.

Anthony Poulton writes "I'm sorry to report that former Oxford B10B K129BUD now with Solent Blue Line has caught fire and been partially destroyed today in Hythe. Fortunately it happened literally outside Hythe fire station so was quickly extinguished and no-one - including the driver- was hurt. Apparent cause is electrical and speaking to the fitter on site he reckons there is too much damage to repair. 

A few pics attached for you - please feel free to use on the OCBP with my pleasure."

The ex OBC Volvo mentioned by Anthony Poulton above.

Red Line, Aylesbury

Jeff Collier writes regarding the above company "There are currently eight DDs: various Olympians registered H534 RKG, H156 XYU, G638/9 BPH, H557 GRK, H643 PTW, F101 TWL AND L983 MSC, all in red. Also in red are Volvo/Wright T507 TOL, Handybus M65 HHB and ex Stagecoach Mercedes Vario/ Beaver 2 P558 PNE. The Prisma in County Rider green livery is MX56 ABV and the Blue Waterider liveried Aleros are MN04 LXF/G/H. Most coaches are Volvos with Van Hool KIW 8606 and unidentified A8 HOF in white and Jonckheere LIL 9666 in pale blue. Various school services are worked including 655/675/840-2, 850/1 and 903." 

Marcus Lapthorn writes "my photo of 52265 is showing a sticker in the offside rear door, which is probably a hang -over from yesterday's Fairford Air Show I would imagine?"

Marcus Lapthorn also took this picture of 52265 on the 66 and it is referred to above.

The latest allocation list for Oxford shows the following changes.

fleet movements
18054 KX53 VNE Dennis Trident - on loan to Devon
18055 KX53 VNF Dennis Trident - on loan to Devon
18195 KN54 ZXR Dennis Trident - on loan to Devon
32625 P625 PGP Dennis Dart - disposal to Stagecoach South
32626 P626 PGP Dennis Dart - disposal to Stagecoach South

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



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


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.

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. 

Robin Clare publishes Volume 15 DVD

Many of you will be aware of the various volumes on DVD of buses in the U.K. from Robin Clare.

His latest offering gives a glimpse in some locations in this area, such as Oxford, Reading and High Wycombe. I think it is well worth the £10 and it can be obtained from:

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.

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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

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

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