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 187

Sunday 30th July 2006
next update week ending 12th August 2006

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

Having had a very busy week I hope you will all understand that this week's page will be short and sweet. There has been quite a lot of interest in our area in the past few days but this page will focus on Oxford.

Oxford Bus Tours

I received the following e-mail from S Brown who writes "The RMs operated around Oxford for only a few days before the Traffic Commissioners pulled them off the road. Rumour has it they were operating illegally by starting the service before the end of the 56 days notice period - sometime in early August!

This doesn't bode well and I'm sure Tappins and the City Council will both be watching this new operator more closely to see if they flaunt the rules further."

So we now await further developments but I had heard that they were operating on an excursion licence and as such should not have been using city centre routes which are for local buses and services including the City Sightseeing route.

Oxford High Street gets a facelift.

The High Street approaching the junction at Carfax is presently being worked on prior to resurfacing. As a result single file traffic is in operation causing significant delays at various times during the day.

Indeed from time to time express services entering Oxford have had to divert via the Marston Ferry Road and the Banbury Road to maintain any sort of schedule to the service.

Here we see Scania nr 3 heading down George St towards Gloucester Green, nearing the end of its run from London - 27th July 2006

With the roadworks requiring one way working some good photographic opportunities were presented at Carfax.

In the first picture we see OBC Volvo 81`9 operating a 15 road service
and in the second Brookes 18197 on a U1 service both in the one way system.

From time to time the temporary traffic lights fail and stop go boards are then used. On at least one occasion the lights stuck on green in both directions causing all kinds of problems.

By Carfax a man sits in a "cage" controlling the lights to try and keep the traffic moving. He is assisted by more men with two way radios who keep things moving as smoothly as possible. I was told that the poor chap was now in a "cage" as the barriers were knocked over by a bus leaving Carfax and he nearly went with it!

Here you can just see the man in the "cage" on the left of the picture.
OBC 116 waits for the lights to change on 27th July 2006.

Generally things sort of work but the masses of pedestrian walking all over the junction add to the hazards experienced by drivers. Cars are still suing the High Street adding to the general confusion and we won't talk about the cyclists who now ride all over the pavements adding to the dangers for pedestrians.  During my short time at Carfax there was no evidence of police or traffic wardens and cars were parking in St Aldates adding to the traffic delays.

Flash floods hit Oxford a week last Saturday

Following the pictures received showing the floods just over a week ago Matt Bullock sent one more picture taken at the very height of the storm in the Woodstock Road.

An OBC Park & ride service heads for the City Centre in this evocative picture by Matt Bullock.

Brookes Tridents on holiday - more pictures from Devon

Another picture came from Terry Wong showing a Brookes Trident on the X46 in Exeter bus station.

The bodies on these Tridents were built at Wigan in the old Northern Counties factory then owned by Plaxtons.
There is a new history of Northern Counties by Venture Publishing on sale at Headington Book Shop.

The Isle of Wight with pictures from Barry Pickett

Barry visited the Isle of Wight recently and took these pictures which give an idea of what waits a visiting bus enthusiast.

I entitle this picture Colourful Ryde with the many different liveries of Southern Vectis.
One can only wonder what the inhabitants from the '50s and '60s would make of it all, if they were suddenly plonked here by time warp?

The preserved Bristol K is seen here working a rail replacement service recently.
I'm not sure what has happened to "the old girl" sister bus used by Southern Vectis a few years ago?

Developments in Aylesbury Web Site link

Colin Richardson wrote regarding town centre developments in Aylesbury which include a facelift for the bus station.

Colin says "In brief:  Work started on 17 July at the double mini roundabout in Aylesbury, with removal of a filter lane from Friarage Road to Oxford Road.  The central reservation will be remove and replaced with double white lines.  This action of the work is from top of Oxford Road to the Walton Street roundabout.  It should be completed by mid November this year.  Other sections are still at the drawing office stage, with the next two phrases to commence in February 2007.  Bus lanes will be built in Oxford Road and Friarage in the phase. 

I am Secretary of the twenty one year Aylesbury Vale Transport Users Group, which five times a year.  Currently meetings with all parties involved on a monthly basis to discuss aspects of each phase. 

Hopefully there will be no delays to bus services, however, some delays may happen.. Route 280 now has roadwork's at four sites on its route, at least for three months. 

I will provide updates from time to time."

I look forward to more details as work progresses and also some pictures.

A new local website

Mike Knuckey has launched a new web site and writes "I have launched a new community website called mychilterns and would like to add a link to your website. Can you add a link to my site at "

News of an interesting rally

I received news of an interesting rally which would make a nice day out.

James Webb writes "Wonder if your readers might be interested in the Avon Valley Railway/Bristol Vintage Bus Group's rally and running day at Brislington Park and Ride in Bristol on August 13? I know it's a bit outside the area but still an easy day trip.

I believe there are over 50 vehicles entered at the time of writing this, some of which will be operating services to and from the Railway itself, the BVBG's depot at Flowers Hill and possibly either Temple Meads or Bath Spa stations (not 100% sure on this one but they have in the past) which would make getting to the event by public transport easier.

More information from or who will be able to give you more complete details if you're interested - with a bit of luck they might respond a bit quicker if you let them know I sent you.

And I'd better declare a vested interest...despite living in Oxford I'm a volunteer conductor/stationmaster on the railway!"


Model Buses for Sale

I have a new Deal on Models for your readers...

Each of the following models are available in the following price structure: 

1 Model = 13.00

2 Models = 24.00

3 Models = 35.00

4 Models = 41.00 

Postage is 2.70 for the first models and 40p per model after that.







Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at

More models are for sale on my eBay store,

Thanks!    James

Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.

Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 30th July 2006

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

News of the local companies 30th July 2006

The only item of interest to publish this week is that Citaros are awaited for the 724 route and may indeed already be in service.

Also the bus station in the Eden development in High Wycombe is now close to opening, August 13th rings a bell.

I never cease to be amazed at the power of the web. Last week I had a call from Fred Spresser who used to be with Thames Travel but now resides in the North East saying he had followed OBC 603 out of Durham. When I arrived home low and behold there was an e-mail from Mark Westgarth saying "Thanks for the excellent and regular news coverage from the Oxfordshire area. Currently running with Go Northern is Oxford Bus B10B 603 (N603FJO).  It has been observed running out of Chester-le-Street depot on a variety of routes and retains full Oxford Bus livery, except for Go Northern fleet names.  I enclose a photograph of it at Durham on Saturday 22nd July."

Thanks to Mark and in return I can advise that Trident/Plaxton President 3883 - NK51 UCL from Chester-le-Street is on loan to Oxford but has not entered service, currently only having been seen on driver training.

Also still on loan at Oxford are the two Wilts & Dorset Citaros which work the X3 and X4 routes.
This picture was taken on the 27th July 2006.

More B10BLEs return from refurb.

806 has now re-entered service following refurbishment. In common with 805 and 806 it does not have any picture branding on the rear panels.

The 737 continues to provide interest. One of the Scania PBs came into Oxpens on Friday morning correctly displaying 737 on the front blind but 757 on the rear blind.

Speedlink operated a very fine fleet of coaches with 30 seats, tables, servery and toilets.
These coaches are now operated by National Express and turn up all over the place.
The picture above shows P444SAS in Oxpens on 28th July 2006, laying over on a 737 working.

Red Rose

The 275 once again produced an unusual performer last week and was caught on camera by Gavin Francis..

I think the contract calls for a low floor bus and this is most certainly not !!!!!

R H Transport

Richard Sharman sent this picture of the Solo used on the Cotswold Line Railbus service.

This picture of one of Slimline Solos of RH shows off the rather small size of these buses.

Normally Staff Transport is provided by a Merc with just 16 seats. Last Friday staff had the "luxury" of a Dart for their service.

Richard Sharman caught up with a couple of Varios which have now left Oxford and reside in Gloucestershire.

42376 is now with the "Dukes" fleet and is seen here under repair.

42588, once used by me for Diversion Training and taken up to London, is seen here in Gloucester depot with wheel trims !!!

Another Oxfordshire registered bus now working in Gloucestershire. 32085 in Gloucester bus station by Richard Sharman.

Last week we mentioned that two South West Trains Olympians were working Tube services from Oxford to London. Several readers sent pictures of the working which make an interesting change. The difference in height to the Neoplans is well caught in Chris Maxfield's pictures.

Picture of 50125 with the two Olympians by Chris Maxfield.

Modifications are now well under way and on Saturday with a full loaded Neoplan out of Gloucester Green I had passengers asking for the cold air to be turned down.

50112 passes 13646 in Buckingham Palace Road last week. - Chris Maxfield.

Mike Penn caught up with 13652 on the 24th before suitable vinyls had been applied.

Gavin Francis's picture shows the "I'm an Oxford Tube" branding taken on the 26th.

Maybe this picture should be titled "Look I'm shorter than she is"

Another picture of the same two buses in Gloucester Green by Chris Maxfield.

Gavin Francis's extensive photographic library yielded these pictures of 13646 and 13652 in their Megabus livery last year.

Here 13634 operates a Megabus service last week. - Picture by Gavin Francis.

Driver Training is an important feature on the Oxford Tube for new drivers.
Here a drivers is under route familiarisation at Lewknor last Friday.

Rob Williams of Bus Zone fame - - writes re the new Darts "Correspondents on the Bus Zone Forum report that Thames Travel have two new plain white ADL Dart MPDs in service:

506 - KX06 LXN

606 - KX06 LXO

The first was noted in service in Reading on 6th July, and both seem to have been regulars in Reading over the last few weeks mainly on route 144, but also route 142.


I managed the attached shot in the strong sunlight on 14th - the destination displays were working but avoided being captured by my camera. 

A report from another correspondent on the Bus Zone Forum tonight states that former CQ Dart 751 - KP51 SXU has been returned to Dawson Rentals."

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

Thames Valley tinkling Tilly rides again

Peter Edgar was at Worthing today and took these pictures of the superbly restored Tilling Stevens B10A new in June 1927. The bodywork is by Brush with 35 seats and left TV service in July 1940. In October 1939 it was based at Maidenhead.


Coming events

Duxford - Showbus - 24th September 2006.

Running Day as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser  Amersham & District Motorbus Society 

Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.

As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.

This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.

It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?

Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX. 

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

The latest handbook from BBF was on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.
It includes all the latest takeovers and as ever is invaluable
in keeping track of this now very large fleet.

As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.


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