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 217
Sunday 24th February 2007
next update week ending 10th 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.

Indeed there are suggestions that the Government is considering legislation to stop all photography in public places.
You may wish to sign a petition on the 10 Downing Street web site at this link:-

An interesting week to report on with some excellent contributions from readers.

Monday sees the introduction of the OTS traffic restriction cameras in Oxford and one wonders what effect this will have on traffic in the city. Last Monday saw the introduction of the congestion zone out to Shepherds Bush and Tube drivers reported an easier run up to Marble Arch.

Bus station is like a gangland playground

A report in the Bucks Free Press suggests that the new Wycombe Bus Station suffers from the risk of attack and theft, after a 16 year old boy was threatened by a group of youths at the new bus station in Bridge Street on February 2nd. He had his mobile phone stolen and this is the second similar incident in a week. One reason for the problem is suggested to be the fact that CCTV equipment has failed thus making it difficult for police to react to such incidents.

One hopes that when the new shops open such as Marks & Spencer and House of Frazer, matters will have improved.

Road pricing could be on the cards for Oxford

The Oxford Times reports "Two hundred people from the Oxford area were interviewed in a survey about four theoretical charging schemes - but there is no plan to bring it in in the city.

The study will be presented to areas which are hoping to attract a share of a £200m pot of Government money for transport innovation as part of a "toolkit" to help them put together applications for the cash.

Department for Transport spokesman Robert Hall said Oxford was chosen as it was a "neutral" area where charging was not proposed.

He said: "It's thinking about the impact of transportation costs on people and the model could have been in Oxford, it could have been anywhere that wasn't considering road pricing but some of the work that was used to develop modelling techniques was done in Oxford."

People were asked for their response to four different schemes - ranging from one which charged a fee per mile inside the Oxford ring road at peak times and a £4 charge to drive into a central charging zone, to one where drivers would pay a sum each time they passed through "charge points" within the ring road. No results have been published.

Bob Johnston, who is the Oxfordshire County Council shadow cabinet member for transport, said: "This has all been going on behind the scenes but once the statistics have been done and all the figures are there what's to stop them bringing it in virtually overnight?

"I'm absolutely certain some sort of charge is necessary to cut congestion but I'm unhappy with the way this survey has been carried out without any great attention or fuss and it could be imposed overnight - they could sleepwalk into it."

David Robertson, portfolio holder for transport, said the council had been approached by researchers based at the University of Leeds about the study.

He said: "They let us know they were carrying out a survey and they are free as an organisation to do whatever survey they want but they have had no co-operation or involvement from us and it is nothing to do with Oxfordshire County Council.

"We have no intention of implementing or taking on board any congestion or road charging."

Over a million people have signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to scrap proposals for congestion and road charging.

Drivers were warned 18 months ago that they could have to pay tolls to use the clogged-up A34 in Oxford.

Oxfordshire County Council leader Keith Mitchell warned toll booths on exit and entry roads on the busiest stretches of the dual carriageway looked increasingly likely.

Mr Mitchell said in July 2005 that he feared the county would be used as a pilot scheme for road charging, after having discussions with Government ministers about the busy road."

More stories on this subject can be found at the following link:- and

The Oxford Times and its sister paper the Oxford Mail are most interesting publications for transport news in Oxfordshire.

Mike Penn has submitted some pictures of buses on the changed Bedfordshire routes mentioned last week

Mike writes "Here are some photographs for you, some taken on Monday and some today.  The light was better today - some of the time!"

Centrebus Plaxton bodied Dennis Dart J126 DUV in Shefford on Monday on the 79 route.

Centrebus Plaxton bodied Dennis Dart J134 DUV in Toddington on Wednesday on the extension of the X31 route.
The Stagecoach bus stop can be seen despite the fact that there are now no Stagecoach buses in Toddington.

Centrebus Northern Counties bodied Dennis Dart M389 KVR in Toddington on Monday on the X31 route.
Think this started life with Starline in Knutsford and then taken over by Arriva?

Centrebus Plaxton bodied Dennis Dart P501 VRO in Henlow on Wednesday on the 171 route.
This is one of those acquired from Sovereign in January 2004 and is still in Sovereign livery.

Centrebus Plaxton Centro bodied DAF YJ56 JYB in Henlow on Monday on the 171 route. 
This is so new that it doesn't yet have fleet names.

Grant Palmer Plaxton bodied Mercedes Vario T463 HNH in Toddington on Wednesday on the X42 route.

Grant Palmer Plaxton bodied Mercedes Vario V398 SVV in Maulden on Wednesday on the 200 route.

Grant Palmer Plaxton bodied Dennis Dart W558 JVV in Toddington on Monday on the X42 route.
The above three are all newly acquired and carry appropriate route branding.

Stratford Blue as the end of the Ayats Bravos

Richard Sharman sent me a picture of the two Ayats Bravos posed outside the Stratford depot prior to their moving to Bath.

A picture in the snow from long ago

Geoff Cunliffe sent me this picture of Oxford in the snow nearly 100 years ago.

Herberts of Shefford by Glenn Knight

Glenn visited this operators yard last week and sent pictures of the rather interesting fleet, albeit some of which may never take to the road again.

Neoplans are definitely built to last.

I seem to remember this coach operating around Heathrow some years ago. Very few were built of this model.

A selection of minibuses which have been operated by Herberts.

All pictures by Glenn Knight

News & questions from Ken MacKenzie of the PSV Circle

We are still hoping that a reader can answer a question from last week by Ken who says "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? 

When did the Octagon in High Wycombe open?

A lady who found this web page when surfing writes "Hi, I was looking up sites about the Octagon and your site came up with the words that you thought the Octagon opened in 1969/70. As far as I can remember my father Cllr W. L. Wharton J.P. opened it in 1962/63 when he was mayor of High Wycombe.

Hope that you can verify this and perhaps let me know as I don’t live in England any more thank you."

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.

One operator which currently seems to receive very little coverage for news is The Oxford Bus Company. I wonder why?

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 24th February 2007

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

News of the local companies – 24th 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".

Matt Wheeler responded saying "In response to the query in the Arriva section on your latest news page... 

Dart 3509 is now at Aylesbury and has been since October 06. I've not seen it in use much recently but this evening it was on Blue route 2 and in the past has also been used on Red Route 9 and Green route 4.

As for DAF 3278. as far as I'm aware, this is still based at Watford."

Gavin Francis sent some nice pictures from further afield of Arriva buses.

The location is Hemel Hempstead Bus Station.

The new Scania/Caetano Levantes for the 737 are now being delivered and route training has been taking place over the past week.

Details of the new coaches are as follows:

Fleet nr    Reg            body nr                chassis vin        

59211    FJ56 OBY    F063043057      YSK4X200001855634

59212    FJ56 OBZ    F063043058      YSK4X200001855753

59213    FJ56 OCA    F063043059      YSK4X200001855756

59214    FJ56 OCB    F063043060      YSK4X200001855762

59215    FJ56 OCC    F063043061      YSK4X200001855760


Fleet numbers in the same style as those used on the Neoplans at Oxford. A dedicated team of drivers will be employed by Stagecoach on this service.

The Levante nr 59211 (57) pictured by Gavin Francis last week first at Oxford and then at Luton Airport.

In the absence of current news from this company I have delved into my archives to find an interesting picture or two.

Metrorider 755 is seen on route 2D on 18th April 1998 rounding the corner out of George Street.

For some time Volvo 628 carried a special livery advertising the X90 service. It is seen, again on 18th April 1998
working a 35 service in St Aldates.

The same bus nearly 9 years later now working for Damory in Blandford, Dorset.
Picture by Woody, taken in Dorchester on 21 February 2007.

I was hoping for some pictures from Witney of the new arrival there in the shape of Solos and Vikki Lee has obliged.

Four of the eleven Solos now in use at Witney.

Vikki Lee's picture of 18137 shows an unbranded example working route 200 in Witney.

Richard Sharman sent some pictures of an Olympian from Bedford which has received X5 branding. Who will send the first picture of this bus in Oxford? Richard writes "Seen fresh out the paint shop this afternoon is 16209,R34 TAC which is branded for the X5 for a 2 month trail. It has also been fitted out with a bike rack!"


Glenn Knight sent this picture of new Volvo 53275 working the VT99 last week.

We had a picture of revised branding on the Bicester Tridents.
There is a second version on some buses as shown above by 18394.

Pictures from a long time ago

I was looking through my archives and found some interesting pictures for your appreciation.

All taken before the national renumbering and each photo has a caption with the date.

Looking through those archive I found some interesting pictures of the Oxford Tube when the M A N s were new in 1999. I understand that the new 15 metre Volvo coaches for Megabus will see the demise of the M A N s which have been traded in against the new fleet.

Seen in New Road on the 16th October 1999 when only a few months old, nr 46 on its way to London.

The Tube has always run on Christmas Day and 1999 was no exception.
An unidentified M A N is seen here on 25th December 1999 at 09:35 near Lewknor, London bound.

Coach 48 was pictured on the 30th December 1999 displaying a special destination appropriate to that period.


Vikki Lee sent in this picture of Swanbrook's Volvo UJI 1761 in Witney. This coach once ran from Oxford to London on the X90
and was new to Shearings. It had a facelift last year.

Worth's Coaches

Worth's have one Citaro for their service to Witney. Pictured above by Vikki Lee.


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



House of Watlington

David Simpson writes "An exchange of messages last year on the Ceased_Bus_Operators group concerned this vehicle. I have only just "caught up" with this subject by coming across the attached picture, taken at Henley-on-Thames 6 July 1951. The main subject was the visiting Fiat from Italy* but OFC489 was sitting beside her. I noted at the time that the owner was L. Howes, Oxford. Chassis Commer Avenger 23A0126 (I probably got that from the tax disc, so -- E&OE!).  Body apparently Harrington FC32F.

* If anyone's interested the Fiat had regn. 29030-CO, owner Viaggi Danzas, Como, body by Bianchi & Co., Varese.  Presumably brought an Italian team to the Regatta, which I was supposed be watching rather than mooching round the coach park!

Feel free to include the photo on your excellent site if you think the subject makes up for the poor quality."

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