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 266
Saturday 31st May 2008

(next update week ending 7th June 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


The past few days have been difficult as my AOL has been playing up and for a period I was unable to download attachments or even reply. After several wasted phone calls to the help line (New Delhi) at last I resolved matters but am still awaiting an updated disc to reload my software, after which I hope all will be well.

As a result of the foregoing and my trip at last finalised to Land's End this issue will be in two parts as I have had such a fantastic input from very many contributors. I would therefore ask those who may not see any reference to their contributions to please be patient as I will be publishing another page by the end of the coming week.

Referring to my Land's End trip I leave on Monday morning, 2nd June, on Motts M1 service to Reading, thence via Newbury, Andover and Dorchester to my first night stop at Lyme Regis. I then take the First X53 Jurassic Coast service to Exeter and onwards via Plymouth and St Austell to my second night stop in Fowey. On Wednesday I travel, mainly by first to Land's End and back to my third and final night stop at Penzance. On Thursday morning I take National Express ser vice 504 to Reading Calcot and thence by Reading Buses and Thames Travel to Oxford to catch the 18:30 737 service back to Stokenchurch. The trip will form the basis for a major article on these pages and apart from the hotels and food the trip will cost nothing, I hope !!

On the subject of photography in public places

I received a number of responses to my piece in the last issue.

Andy Millwood writes "Just a little note about photography, a subject much debated in your columns, I think the best remedy is to look a bit Casual, adjust camera beforehand, point it away, so that people don't think you're shooting at them and then when moment comes shoot. I find it helpful as I once got caught in this situation and got into heated exchange with the driver but I've learnt my lesson and not had trouble since. Try it, one has nothing to lose and it would be a shame if our hobby was banned."

Peter Edgar also wrote with a recent experience which is most worrying. Peter says "What a first class letter from John Morris, and I'm so glad you have printed it, I would also agree with your comment about everyone keeping a copy at hand.

I had my first experience recently at Shepherds Bush whilst photographing, took the two CPOs about half an hour to take my details and have them checked out, no doubt 100yards away there was mega drug dealing taking place, but I was more really is a strange world at times!"

So I hope my trip to the south West is not spoilt by any similar experiences and that I will return to continue with the OCBP and not find myself incarcerated in some Cornish prison. 

Transdev to buy Top Line Travel

Transdev Blazefield is to buy City Sightseeing franchisee Top Line Travel of York.

The firm, set up eight years ago by Peter and Susan Dew, runs 10 open toppers, plus seven school and local service buses. Transdev already owns Yorkshire Coastliner and Harrogate & District Travel, both of which operate into York.

Peter Dew, who will remain with the business, told routeONE: “We have always believed in the provision of a high quality service, but now we need the backing of a bigger group to further the next stage of our development.”

A question from Australia - Steve Brown 

I tripped over your Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page while Googling in search of information about the early days of Keith Coaches (Chesham)

In particular I am interested in any clues as to the date/place/context of the attached photograph showing a Keith charabanc-type vehicle, as I believe that my Dad is the man seated behind the driver. 

Is there by any chance anyone among your bus enthusiasts who knows about such things, and would be willing to give me a few words of wisdom? 

Any info at all would be much appreciated. 

Steve Brown, Port Noarlunga, South Australia

From Bill Jackson on the gathering at Eastbourne 3rd May

I have a few weeks of your always excellent website to catch up with, but I thought I'd send you these pictures in the meantime. I realise that most are of buses beyond the Oxford and Chilterns area, but they are all interesting buses, snapped during their appearance at the Magnificent Motors day in Eastbourne (last Saturday - 3 May). Use as many or as few as you wish.


One of the visitors was Reading Scania 1012, and I've also included a picture of two preserved RMs. The others include a fine East Kent AEC, two wonderfully preserved Eastbourne single deckers (an AEC Regal - still in regular use by Eastbourne Buses for charters, and a Leyland Lion from the Eastbourne Lion Preservation Group), and a preserved Eastbourne Leyland double decker. Although I have lived in Oxfordshire for 30 years I was born in Eastbourne and have always visited regularly, and I remember these Leyland deckers were introduced (I think in the late 1960s) in an attempt to replace open-top buses. Most of the upstairs windows were designed to wind right down into the bodywork, which - together with the opaque plastic roof (seen in the picture) - was intended to have the same feel as an open-top bus in summer, but also to allow wet-weather and year-round use without major surgery! They were not popular with locals or visitors as an alternative to open-toppers, but remained in regular service use until OMO took over completely. A few were leased to London Country during their bus shortage in the 1970s, I think.


From Stephen Le Bras who visited Reading on 30th May

Not the hoped for seven Omnicity 'deckers but an interesting trip to Reading nevertheless- just two Omnicity 'deckers in service on the 17- 1101 and 1102 scheduled some distance apart- so difficult to photograph both. 1103 was being used as a publicity bus in the centre of Reading. 

Otherwise, First 20366 on RailAir , 815-7 on the 21. 

I did have a short ride on 501. Unfortunately the monitor which shows the next stop wasn't working. The one on 1101 definitely was working, giving an update visually and audibly!

From Tim Wild on Reading

I work in the centre of Reading and looked out of my office window on Wednesday morning to see 1101 stood next to the town hall, a short while later it was joined by 1102. There were a lot of RBL bosses and perhaps town councillors all very smart in attendance. After a time, with a video camera man in attendance, the vehicles departed with said dignitaries on board, there appeared to be a 30-45 minute run then both vehicles returned. They did not stop long before disappearing again and have not been seen by me since!

I attach a couple of photo’s which I hope do not clog up your e-mail too much. I note with interest the slight variation regarding wording on the front of 1102 but not on 1101.

From Ian White about an RML at Chinnor 

I went up to the railway at Chinnor this morning (Sunday) and waiting there was RML2446 working on a service between Chinnor Station and Princes Risborough Station just for today.

Attached is a picture of the said bus not looking at it's best I might say but maybe it's suitable for your site.

From Colin Cooke on Uxbridge 1st June

Uxbridge, Ruislip & Northwood Running Day  - Central area meets London Country

Amersham & District Motorbus Society introduced a new running day to their now familiar events on Sunday 1st June with the Uxbridge, Ruislip & Northwood routes. This allowed for some very famous old routes to be resurrected including the 158 to Ruislip Lido, the 128 with two BL's doing the honours and one of my favourites the 309A, a very short route linking Northwood with Rickmansworth. Other routes being run included 211,220,223 and 225,347. So a good variety over 'green and red' routes. Special thanks to the organiser Peter Cartwright and his team, and as always the drivers and owners for yet another successful event.

My photos capture the 128 and 309 passing Batchworth Heath and DMS1868 making use of the famous 'Buses Only' turning circle at Ruislip Lido.

John Hammond visits Thornhill 

John writes " An interesting capture of a RH Solo with the destination scrolling "On Break, please do not disturb thanks...."

Indeed this must be a first?

Oxford Bus Co vehicles at Thornhill Park & Ride today.

From Chris Lowe on events in Manchester

Chris took some nice pictures of vintage liveries on modern day buses up in Manchester and I hope readers will forgive me indulging myself as I have fond memories of NWRCC.

Two local operators have painted buses in the old NWRCC livery. Ah happy days.

Ex OBC 620, the first B10B to get the new livery, is now working up in Manchester and I think looks very smart.

Chelsea Flower Show in pictures by Gavin Francis

Last week the world famous Chelsea Flower Show took place and as ever London General operated some interesting buses on the special service from Victoria. Gavin took a number of interesting pictures.

Old faithful RM9 was out again with Frank at the wheel as always and the NVs in General livery look rather nice.

Don't know whose this is and what its origins are? What fun though.

From Caz Morgan – a day at Cheltenham Races

Caz Morgan, once the youngest PCV driver in Oxford is now working in Manchester for Stagecoach. She was involved in the Cheltenham event this year and took some nice pictures shown below. 

Thanks to Richard Morgan for forwarding these pictures.

Slough Running Day – more input from Stephen Le Bras

Thanks for another interesting update. I liked the Slough and Windsor running day details- I was lucky enough this time to have a trip on STL441 on the 441 to High Wycombe. RML2589 shadowed us on the way and was needed at Beaconsfield for the photo shoot. The driver blocked off the traffic to allow everyone a chance to get a photo. 

Regular features

Travel on a Concessionary Pass 2008

Dave Stewart records some experiences. 


You wanted some stories about 'Travels with my Bus Pass', so here are a few of my recent travels with a London Elderly Persons Freedom Pass which may be of interest or amusement. As one who has had a London pass for a few years and has spent many pounds over many years buying bus tickets (usually one-day or rover-type ones) outside London,  I now have this generous concession. It is one of the few benefits of being old (disbenefits are plenty, of course) and I wonder how long it will last like this, given the controversy over Government recompense to operators and fuel prices nowadays.   

Bear in mind that with a London pass one can travel within London after 9am and on trains and tubes as well as buses, so my journeys described are the 'out of area' sections.   What may well be of interest to readers is that Green Line routes 702, 724, 757, 758 and 797 can be used throughout (after 0930 of course) with the ENCTS (England National Concessionary Travel Scheme) passes.    Holders of non-London passes can travel within Greater London on TfL buses only (but not on trams, DLR, Underground, Overground or National Rail) with the same time conditions as London residents, ie. after 0900 to 0430 Mon-Fri (rather than 0930 to 2330 outside London), and all day Sat/Sun/P-Hols.  Anyone who has still not yet got a new 'proper' pass should - when in London  - show both their old pass and their temporary pass when they board the buses.   Just show the pass, it won't work on the Oyster reader for some time yet..

One thing that is radically different between London and elsewhere is the interaction with drivers.  In London, only around 5% at the most (and often not even that) of passengers actually pay a fare when boarding and all buses are flat-fare anyway.  Virtually everyone has Oyster cards, Travelcards, Bus Passes, Freedom Passes or children's passes, and they are just shown to the driver or 'zapped' on the card reader.  No graduated fares so no need to ask or state destination. Assault screens are universal as are dual doors on most buses.  So, very few speak to the driver when boarding and the vast majority get off at the middle doors so, being too far away, no 'thanks' are said to the driver.  Contrast this with outside London where almost everyone states a destination (I am now getting used to it) - even free pass holders who then get a 'from and to' printed ticket.  When leaving, single doors are almost universal, so most people say thanks to the driver.   That doesn't mean to say the people in London are any less courteous (though some would disagree), it's just that there is no opportunity anymore to interact with the driver.

Dave Stewart

Trip No.1  just one week after the scheme started

I was in Kingston and on the spur of the moment and as a Travel Surrey Dart on the 451 was coming down the road, I decided to try out my pass outside London, initially in a rather modest way.   My pass was accepted and I got a "free travel" zero fare ticket.  It was printed valid as far as Hurst Road Tesco at West Molesey, which was - I believe - as far as one could go with a London ticket prior to 1st April.  Anyway, I stayed on to Walton on Thames. The 451 was a long 10.7m Dart - Travel Surrey's buses are almost all of the 8.8m Mini Dart variant.  Amazingly, a lady behind me remarked to her companion "this bus seems to have more seats than usual".  So, 'normals' do notice differences in buses sometimes !!    I then took another Travel Surrey Dart on 555 to Ashford.  Driver grunted, "I suppose I could take that" he said reluctantly, wanted to know where I was going, and didn't issue any zero fare ticket (same company as 451, so I don't know which rule is right and nor do they, it seems).  Then a TfL (London United) Dart on the 216 Ashford to Staines, so ok with my pass anyway.  Then three trips on First Beeline, drivers accepted pass with no comment and no ticket issue (I guess they record the boarders on a button on the ticket machine?). A Wright-bodied ex South Yorks Scania on 71 Staines to Windsor. A 20min break and then a blue Citaro on 77 to Slough. After picking up the new timetable books I rode on one of the big ex-Welsh Volvo/ Plaxton coaches on 702,  just 30 mins to Hammersmith, much of it down the offside bus lane on the M4. Quite impressed with First Beeline!  Trip in the middle of day on a weekday, just the usual sprinkling of passengers, only two or three elderlies on the 71 and two on the 702 looking as though they were in it just for the ride. 

Trip No.2, again more-or-less on the hoof, later the same week

UNO Scania double-deck from Queensbury to Hatfield.  Took 20mins to get the short distance to Edgware, due to lots of local passengers at most request stops, and we finally passed Barnet Spires only 2 mins before being due at Hatfield Galleria 7 miles away, but made it by 1302 (due 1250).  Then Arriva Green Line Citaro on 724 (1306) to St Albans, setting down at the new stop at the 'Peahen'.  The route was recently removed from St Peter's Street due to impossible traffic congestion.  Then an Arriva ex-gasbus DAF on 321 (1345) St Albans to Harpenden, followed by an ex Sovereign Dart (and still in Sovereign blue livery) but now with UNO Buses having been taken over from Centrebus in March (!) on 320 (1431) Harpenden to Hemel.  Although blind had read Hemel Bus Station, driver said he was only going to Adeyfield rather than Hemel Bus Station (it was now a school day in Hemel although other places seemed to be on half term).  At Cupid Green, changed blind to school route 820,  dropped me at Adeyfield Queens Square shops.   Luckily, an Arriva (ex-Sovereign) Volvo/ Wright Renown on 301 appeared on the other side of the road to get me to HH Bus Stn.  Bus tickets quite a variety.  The UNO 614 no ticket,  724 on Almex, it said  'London Free Travel'  with from and to points printed.  321 and 301 (both Arriva) and 320 (now Uno) each issued 'Free Pass' Wayfarer tickets with 'ENCTS' code (Arriva) or 'England Concn' (uno), in each case with from and to points printed. 

There was now a choice of  routes towards Watford, the direct Arriva 500 or 550 but, ever one for "an experience", when an elderly N-reg Merc.711 turned up I plumped for the 352, taken over a few weeks earlier by Red Rose and going the long way round.   Polish driver, pass accepted, issued a 'No Fare' ticket, purporting to be in return for showing a 'Herts Free Pass' and printed to Sarratt, perhaps my mention of 'Croxley' when boarding wasn't understood and everyone got a ticket to Sarratt.   Set off at 1540  (this journey should be 1536 on SDO via local school - we didn't do that bit though, perhaps it was half term at that school?).   29-seat bus, very cramped with 20 passengers aboard, plus one folded pram and two wheeled shopping trolleys taking up the luggage rack (ie the back seat), numerous shopping bags and including rather bizarrely three African students (who went to Croxley Green)!.  We set down ten in Bovingdon, picked up three others,  on via Chipperfield and Sarratt, very narrow road, many squeeze-pasts - and met the other 352 (a Dart) coming the other way - a bit awkward to say the least and a fair bit of scraping past branches.  Manual gearbox bus, bit of a boneshaker, much crashing over potholes and many sharp bangs from underneath (I was sitting over one of the rear wheels - which stayed attached!).  Still, in spite of everything, got to Croxley Met Station more-or-less on time and alighted for a Met train (London pass now valid again) home. 

As with trip 1 above, elderlies 'out for the day' only seemed to appear on the 614 in any numbers, other buses were just routine types of load. 

Trip No.3,  three weeks after the start

I had occasion to go to Ashford again.  Hatton Cross to Ashford on Travel Surrey Dart on the 557.  This time I got a 'free travel' ticket.  In Stanwell, a crowd of young mothers and small children were at a stop.  Looked like a crèche had just turned out.  Amazingly, we took on five pushchairs and a fair amount of noise - didn't last long though, they were all off within a few stops further along and after the contents of a bag of Wotsits had been either (a) consumed by children or (b) dropped on the floor.    Later in Staines and attempting to get to Heathrow Terminal Five (for the Piccadilly line home) and when the First Beeline Citaro on the direct route 71 failed to stop, I had to take the 'plan B',  the 30-minute tour of Stanwell and Stanwell Moor on Travel Surrey Dart on the 441.  I showed my pass.   "We don't take that" said the driver, with some disdain.  "Yes you do, it's a London Freedom Pass with the national symbols on it" I said.  "I've never seen one of those" he said.  "Well, you have now" I said, with some incomprehension, given that the route 441 (and indeed most of the routes of that company) operate to points within the TfL area and it was three weeks after the start of the scheme.  I wondered how they would not know about it?  No ticket this time.  See earlier episode with this company in the same area.     Called company later, who said they would deal with the apparent problem there. As it happens, I haven't needed to use their buses since to see if they did. 

Other odd trips 

In Brighton very briefly on the occasion of the coach rally on 19th April.  Two Brighton & Hove rides from and to the Station.  London Pass accepted without question. Both tickets printed 'Free Journey Travel Permit  issued in conjunction with a valid Sussex Countycard'.   I presume that there is just the same button for any old pass, no matter from where it originates and that 'Sussex' (or more probably Brighton & Hove citycouncil) is billed for it.   During the recent Slough running day on 11th May, I took the opportunity to get back to Slough on normal services by using First Beeline Citaros from both Windsor and Maidenhead.   Again, as in (No.1) above, pass accepted, but no tickets issued.  This free ticket business comes in handy. how long will it last? 

Trip No.4, mid-May

Decided to do a 'round-robin' in Bucks and Oxon, just to sample some services and vehicles.  Been to the places many times but this was a bus trip just for its own sake.  Piccadilly line to Uxbridge with normal London pass conditions.  Carousel route A40 (a Renault AgoraLine) on the 0940 to High Wycombe. Left on time, 18 passengers ex Uxbridge, 9 of which were obviously pensioners. Picked up and set down several passengers along route and it seemed reasonably busy, quite a few had passes (Bucks passes or Seasons I presume).  Due at HW 1020 but made it by 1032, largely because of the last bit from Loudwater.  It looked like a gap in Arriva buses, we kept getting hailed at stops, got a few ditherers, one without any change plus a couple with Arriva-only tickets,  and then a constant "pull of the magnet" at every red traffic light (of which there are loads) from Loudwater to the Bus Station.  Thus a 15min connection reduced to a 3min one to catch the Arriva 40 (one of the new Solos) on the 1035 to Thame, but luckily from the very next departure bay.   16 passengers ex HW, but all except me had alighted by the time we got to Stokenchurch King's Arms.  Then people started getting on there and variously en-route, 10 altogether and all went to Thame, which we reached on time at 1127.  Arriva 280 (as usual one of the 'coach seated' Volvo Olympians) on the 1135 to Oxford.  Nice comfortable seats and good views, but fairly few passengers.  However, this changed when a large group of about 40 teenagers turned up at Wheatley and virtually filled up the bus upstairs.   Noisy of course but all good natured, taking pictures of each other with phone cameras.  Sounded as though they were all due to break up and leave school soon.   An unexpectedly fast run (to me, anyway) up to the Oxford bypass roundabout and pretty clear through Headington, reaching the Carfax at 1220, only a few mins down.   Although I know the city and its buses very well, a fairly fleeting run though Oxford like this just observing the myriad of passing buses reinforces what a very colourful and varied selection of types, operators and colour schemes can be seen in the city and it's always a fine place to get a 'fix' of something different. 

After a short break to collect maps and timetables, I rode the 1310 Stagecoach 27C from Magdalen Street to Bicester, one of the new Enviro400 bodied Scanias. We were in a convoy of four buses up the Banbury Road but even then, there were a few local passengers off and on, and it seemed to take ages to the turnoff toward Gosford. After that, though, the fast performance on the Scania showed itself with a very fast straight run to Bicester, arriving only two minutes down.  I could have taken the X5 all the way from Oxford but wanted to ride one of the Scanias, hence I then caught the X5  (Stagecoach  Volvo/Plaxton coach) just from Bicester (1405) to Buckingham Tesco.  I noted in one your earlier reports that the X5 route was in the scheme (and I presume that UC's X4 is also).   Like most of the coaches on this route, it had curtains and seat belts and plenty of legroom, but with virtually no forward visibility due to the low driving position but the much higher passenger saloon.  I could have sat at Tesco for half an hour but walked into Buckingham for some exercise.  Two others alighted as well, who also walked into the town, it was a little further than I remembered and it took me 15 mins.  The local bus into town is timed to leave Tesco 3 mins before the X5 arrives, and it did just that;  the little green Plaxton Primo left as we were turning at the Tesco roundabout. I guess that the X5 goes only round the bypass because it might get caught in traffic in the town and make the long route unreliable.  However the town was virtually empty on that day but the tight little corners and the river bridge would probably screw up the X5s in the peaks. 

The purpose of going via Buckingham was to ride Arriva 66 to Aylesbury. The main hourly service continues to be worked by the elderly Leyland Olympians, indeed my departure (1445) was a G-reg example and we passed the other one half way along the route..  Upstairs on a double-deck, it is quite a scenic route, with some great views and it diverts through a number of attractive villages.  It's a good 50/55- minute run, about 18 miles. Only a mere handful of passengers though, never more than about six at any one time.  A short break in Aylesbury and then a marathon run on the Arriva 500.  The 1600 departure to Watford was one of the  former Green Line DAF/ Plaxton Prestige vehicles, still with the very comfortable green-moquette high-backed seats, and fairly rare on the road, due to their unreliability.   Quite a busy journey and by the time some students had boarded on the Tring Road, we were virtually full.  Most got off at several stops all through Tring  but it was a steady off and on all the way to Hemel, where everyone except me and one other got off.  Some new people boarded, and again a few more here and there along the way, all but one going all the way to Watford by which time there were 16 getting off.  A pretty hard working run, timed 1600 AY to Watford 1738, we left at 1605 and got to Watford at 1748.  Then back on TfL-services and a quick train ride with my London pass back home. 

Apart from those on the Uxbridge- Wycombe A40, plus two persons on the 27C and one on the 66,  there were no other fairly obviously elderly people going for a longish ride 'because they can'  on any of the seven journeys. Yes, there were elderly people but other than those few, they were just people going home with shopping, going a few stops, that sort of thing, ie normal everyday local journeys that they would have done anyway.  Each bus driver accepted my London Freedom Pass without question, all issued 'free pass' and/or 'no fare' tickets.  What amuses me is the different terminology.  As I found in Herts earlier,  all Arriva tickets show 'ENCTS Pass' but others are different. My Carousel ticket shows 'BCC SG',  Stagecoach Oxford 'CONC SGL',  the X5 (which is United Counties and on an Almex) 'NAT OAP' .  Six of the tickets showed 'from and to' points but Carousel's showed just 'Bus Stn'.  Anyway, I worked it out at about 120 miles for nothing.  Perhaps no-one but an enthusiast, though, would sit on buses for the best part of eight hours just for the fun of it !!

Very many thanks to Dave for a most interesting piece. It gives me strength for my upcoming trip.

Buses in the Landscape

Bill Jackson writes "I've also attached separately a picture for possible inclusion in 'Buses in the Landscape'. This is from my recent holiday in Gran Canaria. It shows a service bus from Global (the main operator) on the main road in Puerto Rico. Not the greatest picture of a bus, but evocative of the role of buses in dense holiday areas, perhaps."

Ian Kirby writes " my picture was taken from the churchyard in Widecombe in the Moor on Dartmoor.  A Traveller's Choice, Carnforth climbs out of Widecombe and passes a Landtours, Farnham Irizar bodied Scania on the way down. 22nd April 2008."

John Marsh sent an interesting picture taken in Cambridge which I am publishing below. There are several more which I have held over to the next issue.

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:

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.

The second part of this page will be published next weekend following my return from the South West. Honestly I've run out of time.

Malcolm Crowe - Saturday 31st May 2008

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.

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. 


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 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