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 239
day 30th August 2007
next update week ending 8th September 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.


The page will be shorter than usual as time is limited. I am working on Saturday and Sunday again so have just a few hours to put this issue together.

New Solos have arrived at Arriva Wycombe and we have pictures of ex Oxford Volvo B10Bs in Birmingham. More Tri-axle Levantes have entered service with National Express at Stansted. A new super rear ad has appeared on an OBC Park & Ride Trident and further ex North East examples continue to enter service with the same company.

The M40 saw another accident on Monday evening and it is with this story that this week's page opens.

The M40 faces another blockage on the last day of the "summer" near Stokenchurch

In the late afternoon of Monday 27th August a car and caravan crashed on the M40 about a quarter of a mile past junction 5 in the London direction. Traffic soon came to a standstill and apart from the usual emergency vehicles the police helicopter soon arrived at the scene. Needless to say the motorway was heavily congested at the time and traffic soon built up back towards Oxford. In a very short space of time the off slip road from Oxford became congested with people making two lines and then trying to exit to the A40 in the Wycombe direction, as if it was a dual carriageway. Even more amazing was the long line of cars and light vehicles which were turning back up the on London slip road and coming off in the face of oncoming traffic. The pictures below show the ensuing chaos and it seemed only a matter of time until there was a "head-on" on the slip road.

Suddenly a police motorway patrol car appeared and on turning into the slip road was confronted with the sight of a stream of cars heading up the slip road. Maybe recovering from his surprise, the officer got out of his car and proceeded to order the offending traffic to turn around and return from whence they had come.

Now whilst I hear you all ask what has this to do with buses and coaches, I would note that there were a fair number of coaches on the London bound and airport services which were delayed by proceedings and my pictures record some of these caught up in the traffic chaos.

Traffic and a standstill on the M40 with the second picture showing the stream of traffic trying to leave the motorway against the law.

An Oxford airline coach, nr 68, uses the A40 from Lewknor to avoid the traffic.
The latest issue of "Buses" states this coach has been reliveried in X90 green. I think not !!

National Express services were also affected.

This Oxford Tube was able to rejoin the M40 which had just reopened and avoid the lengthy traffic queues on the A40 through West Wycombe.

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.

Colin Cooke reports on the Herne Bay gathering in pictures

Colin Cooke sent some nice pictures of buses attending the recent Herne Bay event. It looks to have been a nice event with some interesting buses. Nice to see the Portsmouth TD.

Buses in the Landscape/Seascape and DAF 3152 disembarks from the ferry and will head of to Bournemouth.

Matt Bullock answers some questions from the last News Page - 238

Frostways and Grayline

Matt writes to answer two questions from last week's News Page. He says :

1/ I believe that Frostways of Kennington were the ones who operated out of 148 Kennington Road; they later moved to Sandy Lane West, though I'm sure someone else will be able to corroborate or correct this. 

2/ F986 OJO was former Grayline, Bicester MJI 1678, originally F360 CHE, reregistered and sold in August 1995."

Mobile telephones - a reader comments

Stewart writes "Having read your website, in particular the it on mobile phone usage you said you "It is also stated in the article that the use of mobile phones is allowed in the event of an emergency, such as an attack on the driver, whilst the bus is on the move. (I'm not sure that this is legal - to use a phone one MUST stop. Ed.)", as a driver myself we ARE allowed to use mobiles on the provided it is unsafe to stop."

Wroughton and a new arrival

Marcus Lapthorn writes to include a picture of a new arrival at the museum. It is a Citaro fuel cell bus recently running on trials in London

Marcus writes "First Group ESQ 64991 Hydrogen bus is in the reserve store at the Science Museum in Wroughton, Swindon. 

Heritage buses will be on view at Wroughton on Sat/Sun 8/9 Sept from 1000-1700. Free entry but £3 per car. Stagecoach buses stop right outside the entrance. Heritage buses also to be used for ferrying people to and from the more distant hangers in which the buses are stored. 

More details @:

John Marsh visits the Delaine Leyland day

John Marsh writes "The Delaine Leyland Day was on Saturday 25th August when the Lincolnshire Independent ran all five of its Leylands to commemorate the fact that 2007 will be the last year for them of Leyland operation once ex-GM Buses (ANA9Y) is taken out of service later this year. 

The five vehicles in question ran a 20 minute frequency between Bourne and Stamford between 0900 and 1700 hrs and coverage of the day can be seen in 120 pix on my web site:- 

Buses in cityscape and landscape

Picture by Matt Bullock

Another picture by Matt Bullock

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 - Thursday 30th August 2007

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

News of the local companies – 30th August 2007

with MK Metro

Top news for this week is the arrival of two brand new Optare Solos for the newly won Line 40 service from High Wycombe to Thame. This service has been run until now by a mixed bag including this Volvo B6 with a rather poorly destination display.

Gavin Francis and Mark Munday both sent pictures of the new arrival which are expected to enter service next Monday, the 3rd September.

Pictures from Gavin Francis.

Pictures from Mark Munday who writes "Please find enclosed a few of pictures of the two new Optare Solo's which arrived at Wycombe yesterday. The registration numbers are: YK 07 BGE/BGF. At this time i do not have fleet numbers for them but will try and get them before they go onto Route 40 on Monday next."

Service changes in High Wycombe - a correction

A reader writes "Just to let you know that the re-numbering is not as stated last week with the 329 becoming the 800 and the 328 becoming the 850."

(now I wonder why they didn't do it in order? Ed.)

5144 seen in Oxford - one of a pair in this livery based at Aylesbury. Picture by Gavin Francis

A better picture of rebuilt 5153 now based at Wycombe.

Volvo 3867 on a 31 working by what will soon be the old Marks & Spencer in High Wycombe.

4063 now a trainer and in use at Wycombe last week. Picture from Gavin Francis.

Glenn Knight writes "Following last week's scans of Luton Bus Station leaflets I am now sending you a new plan of buses in Luton due to start very soon."

Matt Robinson writes to say "Having said that, this is the final week before Luton and Dunstable's service changes take effect on Sunday. (Timetables now appearing on the Arriva web site).

Following Arriva's withdrawal of the Dunstable - Milton Keynes route X66 from this weekend, Centrebus will be amalgamating the route in to certain journeys their existing X31 route. This will form an hourly Luton - Dunstable - Milton Keynes route (similar to what the X66 originally operated). This will also offer a faster Luton - MK journey time than Arriva's route 70. There will, however, not be as many departures each day on the MK-bound X31 as there was on the X66. 

It's maybe also worth mentioning that Luton's museum piece, 25 year old Leyland Olympian 5381 (MUH281X) made two evening duties last week. On Tuesday it was on route 24, while on Wednesday it worked an evening 27 alongside the standard low-floor Scanias new in 2005. Some contrast that one!"


Glenn Knight sent this picture of a Dart which I think used to be with Armchair working in Staines?


Ken MacKenzie writes to say "This will answer the question regarding a Heyfordian sighting at Catteralls. 

R998 KKO       Au N122/3  Au CH57/20DT   Portrest{Catteralls}, Southam (WK) 7/07 

You will see it departed Bicester in July."

Further tri-axle Levantes continue to enter service but of equal interest is the appearance of some new double deck coaches with Trathens. These are not Skyliners, a type no longer available."

Ben Morroll sent this picture of a Volvo Tri-axle newly delivered and in livery on the 540 service in Birmingham.

Gavin Francis sent these pictures of one of the last Skyliners to enter service, 290WE. It had come in on the 540 and soon left on the 501.

The LK Volvos until now used almost exclusively on the A4, A6 and A9 services are now being repainted and appear on the 717 service amongst others.

Tridents 906 and 907 have entered service as these pictures from Gavin show.

Pictures by Gavin Francis

More pictures of ex OBC Volvos now in Birmingham.
The picture of 601 brought back memories, as I have used this bus on trips to Cardiff, Rugby and Wimbledon plus Farnborough.

I am told that the appearance of Diamond bus trainers in Oxford is the result of ONC doing training for Diamond. Drivers are now moved to Oxford in a minibus which readers may look out for.

A new super rear has appeared on Trident 107.

Stephen Le Bras writes "Both blue 62 and green 17 were on the X90 today."

Gary Robinson writes regarding the X6/X88 service mentioned last week. Gary says "As a semi interested bus user from Leicester (but commuting daily to Towcester) I note with interest that the Stagecoach x6 and 88 service is going to be combined… 

The Leicester route drivers (x7) are to be split up and deployed on the new x88 service and general consensus was that Optare Solos will be used on this run (Three drivers asked!) 

I find this hard to believe for two reasons, firstly capacity – one driver commented the 09.00  x6 from Northampton is often nearly full so a 24 seater Optare will  appear to be totally unsuitable, also I’m pretty sure the Optares are nor fitted with tachographs which will be required. 

One point of interest though is that at least 3 88/89 turns this morning were in the hands of spare/school run double deckers – maybe the Optares are in for modification?? 

Apart from that, thanks for an interesting website, keep it up."

Stephen Le Bras writes "I noted two ex Oxford Tube MAN/Je - one was Coachmasters of Rochdale 50043 and the other TM Travel possibly on an NX working 50066."

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.

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. 

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