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 139

Sunday 31st July 2005
next update week ending 12th August 2005

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

This last week has been an interesting one and has seen a large number of emails and photographs received from readers. This is really appreciated and I am sure readers will enjoy the contributions received.

21 today - Carole Morgan

Some years ago I featured a young lady who had gained her PCV at 18 and was driving the City Sightseeing buses in Oxford. today she is at last able to drive all PCVs as she reaches 21.

Well done Carole, enjoy your day and good luck in the future.

Binders Yard by Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce wrote regarding Binders Yard near High Wycombe and also sent a couple of interesting pictures. I must make a trip to the yard soon as there is always something of interest to see.


A reader's view on buses in Oxford

Mr Devenish wrote with some interesting observations and raised a number of issues saying "I have been reading your website for a number of years now and must admit that I find it a great read. Being a resident of the city (although more part time now I live in Exeter) I always read your views and fellow readers views with much interest!

But in recent months a number of points have come to my attention- I was wondering what your thoughts and other readers thoughts were on them.

1. We live/work, in my view, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, most definitely the most beautiful small city of the world but in recent years I have seen this beauty being eroded by a number of things.

As a transport enthusiast this really hurts to say- but our beloved buses are ruining are lovely city. The number of double deckers has increased (encouragingly to an extent) in recent years but the amount of pollution has also. Oxford is supposed to be a city which looks lovely with gorgeous buildings. I have recently been to Rome and seen what a super job they have done. Why do we not follow there lead, bus terminals created on the edge of the centre (St. Aldates, The Plain, Worcester/Park End) creating a bus free centre, double deckers replaced with 13m Citaros with 3 doors and more standing room (Rome uses this and manages a maximum of 110 pax or 99 with wheelchair) or 18m bendy buses. This will enable visitors and locals alike to be able to enjoy Bonn Square, Carfax etc without being worried about being run over.

Has this ever been done before? Just a thought, although I guess Oxford would be so appealing without any buses.

2. The price of bus fares is increasing at an awful rate. its now £1.30 single to Summertown from Borders! That's a journey of some 5-7mins. Its only £9 (student!) to London0- a journey time of 90mins!

3. Whilst you aren't in anyway attached to OBC- may I say how disgusting it is that they only offer student fares to Brookes and Oxford students on the Airline. I am a student, not at one of these universities, but unlike the vast majority of students at these universities have supported and spent money on OBC for years and will continue to do so as I spend the majority of my time here in Oxford. It's rather ironic that in Sydney I can get a student fare on the airport service using my current student id but in my own home city I cannot. I presume OAP's get a discount regardless of where they live- surely students should as well?"

I think I follow the main thrust of the letter from Mr Devenish but regarding the Airline and Student fares I think his complaint may be that there are no student fares available to Gatwick or Heathrow. I am sure I will receive a number of responses to this letter in the coming days and will reserve my comments for a future date.

I like to think that this page is a platform for varying views and that it would be the lesser for it, if I were to confine content to photographs and what worked on what route. I look forward to your responses.

Leyland PD2 LRV992 - readers replies

Tim Weatherup wrote to me regarding the PD2 pictured a few issues ago saying "Thank you for the work you put into your excellent website - it is appreciated by those of us who read it to keep in touch with happenings in your area. 

In Issue 138, the question was asked: Did LRV992 the ex- Portsmouth Corporation PD2 ever appear in Oxford during its days with Transit Holdings?

While I cannot offer a full answer to this question, I attach two photos which I took on Woodstock Road (I believe) during a visit to Oxford on 30 08 97. The bus appears to be working between Oxford and Blenheim - the route number 20C may mean more to you than it does to me. Perhaps one of your readers will recall details of the service and for how long it lasted.

Ian Kirby writes "In answer to Andrew Dyer's question, Titan LRV 992 did appear in service from Oxford - it was used on short workings from Oxford to Blenheim Palace (service number 200) in 1996.  I have a photo which I shall send you later on today or tomorrow when I get five minutes!  LRV then followed me down to Paignton - my first sighting of it on service was passing the Livermead Hotel, Torquay on 6th June 1998 during my wedding reception!"

Neil Gow wrote "Yes it certainly did, for one season only I think (1996), on the Blenheim Palace route - and I have a picture to prove it."

Further news on open top tour buses in Oxford in the '80s and '90s.

Tim Weatherup writes "Further to the recent (-ish) discussion about the open top DMS Fleetlines, I have the following two pictures in my collection [I regret that neither are dated , nor bear any indication of the copyright holder]."

If anyone knows who took these pictures I would be pleased to acknowledge that fact. Ed. 

I assume these views are post those in brown for the 'Sights of Oxford Tour' - do you know if they were also used on Oxford tours in these liveries, or were they for other duties?

On the subject of services between Oxford and Blenheim, I attach a picture of SKL684X taken 150898 [The photo is by Les Mason, who gives permission for it's use should you so wish - no offence taken if you don't. Apologies for the poor quality caused by the harsh sun/shadow].

I believe that SKL684X was operated by Hitchcox of Great Milton (later Kidlington) and the service was clearly running in 1998. I wonder if any of your readers could tell me when the service started and finished, please, and what became of SKL684X? Thanks. 

On the topic of Oxford - Blenheim services, does anyone know if Guide Friday ever worked this route, please? I know that Guide Friday's Oxford Tour vehicles garaged at Cowley Road were given fleet/fuelling numbers by COMS, but coaches CHL772 (305), JKE104L (309), KUB667V (321) were also allocated numbers at various times, although I am unaware that any of them were ever allocated to Oxford."

Wrong way in High Wycombe

Last Tuesday I spent an hour in high Wycombe and was interested to see a truck turn the wrong way by the bus station. I think this was caused by the fact that the one way sign was broken and the driver of the truck a stranger to the town.

He was put right by the driver of the Arriva bus seen in the picture below.


ow on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 31st July 2005

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies – 31st July 2005

Arriva continue to use the "car park" opposite Newlands Bus Station whilst work is completed on the surface of the bus station.

My picture this week is taken from Desborough Road.

I understand that they will have to vacate the area shortly and that for the time being it will revert to a car park.

The same elderly lady who had to show the driver the way on a 341 service a few weeks ago, this last week had to climb upstairs as the smell of fumes in the lower deck of her bus were unbearable. The sad story continues ....

Volvo B6 3116 fills in on a 33 service last Tuesday.

One of the buses which have had new destination screen fitted leaves the stand on a 326 service last Tuesday.
Scania 3144 is one of the few of the type with new blinds.

Nigel Peach writes below regarding the "bouncy castles" and here 3820 is working a 339 service.

Nigel Peach writes "You picture ex London “Bouncy Castle” Dart 3811 last week remarking that they are still present in the area. Their numbers at Wycombe have now dwindled to 3 (originally 10). 3811 has been at Wycombe since they all transferred in some years ago, 3814 was withdrawn but reinstated about a year ago, and 3820 which had a spell at Aylesbury before returning to Wycombe at the start of this year. 3812 has recently disappeared – that admirable publication “The Thames Valley & Aldershot Newsletter” this week reports that it went for scrap. 

Northern Counties bodied Olympian 5135 (G132 YWC) was one that disappeared around the time the new Volvos arrived. But it’s back now, looking no different! I haven’t seen its sister 5134 for a while though. 

Because of the construction work going on in the bus station, Volvo B10M 3844 which has been at the back receiving attention for about 6 months I should think, has been moved into the car park outside the depot. I wonder if it will ever return to service."

Volvo 3842 works a 328 service last Tuesday.

Sometime ago I was asking about pictures of the trio of Olympian coaches which worked from Wycombe for a number of years in different liveries. Mike Penn writes "I believe that, some time ago, you were asking for photographs of the former Wycombe Bus / Arriva the Shires coach seated Leyland Olympians with subsequent operators.  Here is D824UTF with Western Greyhound at Newquay last Friday."

Well done mike and much appreciated. I really would like to see one of the preserved one day. 824 would be a good candidate as it has the original destination screen

Rob Williams noted Arriva 'green route' Volvo 3864 KE05FMU in Reading on the 329 this evening (25th).

There was some discussion about Carousel taking over routes in Amersham from Red Rose. This did indeed happen last Monday and Carousel are now operating the 373/374/375 and 379 with the Darts recently acquired.

Whilst the Citaros were purchased for the A40 service they can be seen on other routes from time to time.

. MB51 was operating the 339 last Tuesday afternoon.

Football services will not operate this season.

Having operated special football services for a number of years, OBC will not operate these for the coming season. The area offering a special deal on their city services and the route 5 to get supporters to the ground. Full details may be found on their web site.

Curly noted the following interesting workings last week.

8/8A-101, 656, 838

400-a red 6xx full number not seen

Gavin Francis caught a few interesting workings on camera including the Trident on 8 road.


Steve Bunce also sent a picture of an X90 working a Hillingdon.

Bus Monkey sent the following observation.

Wed 27th
101 on 8
616 on 400
838 on 8A

First Slough

Stephen Le Bras writes "SB64812 is newly repainted into Barbie 1 at Bracknell, the last one in the old livery.

DMA40721 at Slough has been repainted with small blue fleet numbers, rather than the large black numbers carried by other repaints."

Last week saw what I believe to be the first working on the 757 of one of the latest batch of Scania/Irizar coaches. These are appearing in increasing numbers as the months go by and it is certainly quite sometime since a new coach appeared on the 757.

NXL15 appears to be the first of the new batch and was caught by Gavin Francis leaving Gloucester Green on a morning departure to Stansted.
The destination blind was not used and a paper sticker sufficed.

Later that day I recorded the same coach returning to Oxford and now the blind is working !!!!

Sometime ago now National Express decided to run non-stop between High Wycombe and Oxford depriving Stokenchurch of what had been an excellent service, Sundays included. This was because the timings would not allow the stop and also the coach was to run express on the M40. Fort sometime now most coaches operate via the A40 and Stokenchurch (it's quicker than the M40 on most occasions) and I cannot see why the service could not stop at Stokenchurch?

On Tuesday last NXL15 is seen running through Stokenchurch.

There have been a number of comments on the "meccano" like destination fitment on the new batch and one readers commented they should be called "roof box" models in memory of a old and well beloved model of the same name!!!!

One presume that NEx received complaints from passengers about forward vision on the "04" batch.

Stephen Le Bras writes following my mid week memo on these new coaches and sightings "I can beat that! I saw YN05WJA on Friday 15th July at Baker Street on route 420. It has a rather strange front destination box- rather like a peaked cap effect standing proud of the windscreen. I took a photograph but it was in amongst the traffic and so not one of my better efforts."

My sightings suggest that there are three coaches so far. 

NXL17  YN05WJC   ?

Stephen says 

NXL17 YN05WJD   according to my notes

Can anyone clarify details of this batch of coaches? 

Red Rose

Mon 25th
N803 GRV on 275


Oh dear, I should have referred to my fleet list as last week I quoted a wrong fleet number for the loaned Mercedes. It is 40150 - N350AVV. Sorry guys.

The Grove bridge closure came into effect and I took the opportunity to ride out last Tuesday and caught first 40150 and then 40162 working the special services.


Rob Williams writes "Grove Bridge - the full timetable is of course available at in PDF format, and is somewhat more legible than your scans.

For those taking pictures, keep your eyes peeled for the two park and ride buses, as both of these are scheduled to make a single trip to East Hanney and back during the day to allow the main two minibuses to return to the depot for refuelling! 

Full details of all other road works affecting Stagecoach services in Oxfordshire are also available on the website. In addition to Kidlington High Street mentioned in your special email, Cowley Road is also being closed for two evenings this week, in addition to the current diversions for inbound traffic via Circus Street and Iffley Road. I certainly think the Circus Street diversion might make for some interesting photos - although having been in place for around a week now I wonder how much longer it will be in force."

Service 7B was diverted last week due to road works in Kidlington and Josh Stone caught one of the diverted buses from his bedroom window.

 Here is a picture of a 7B on diversion in Kidlington coming down Benmead Road due to the High Street being closed. Josh Stone.

Bus Monkey sent the following observation.

Mon 25th
18051 on 3
18052 on X4

More pictures of Stagecoach at Silverstone from Bob Page

A line up of various deckers at Silverstone

Witney depots contribution from the rear.

Now don't get too excited, it's only a Lodekka !!

Last week at Stagecoach

I think this working has something to do with the Grove diversions? Picture by Gavin Francis.

Another Gavin Francis gem. The X4 is certainly getting some variety in the last few weeks.

A visiting trainer to Horspath last week was this Volvo/Plaxton 52109.

Brookes Trident at Plymouth Bus Rally by PJ9875.

I visited Tappins last Tuesday and found a really interesting collection of coaches on site which are included in a picture view below.



Solo number 49 works the X40 through Benson village last Tuesday

The pink lady leaves Wallingford on a 105 working last Tuesday.


Michael Wootten writes with news on his fleet saying "I thought your readers may be interested in the following fleet news: 

A new Volvo B12B / Plaxton Panther coach has been evaluated by the company. The visiting vehicle was built to National Express specification with the latest 420 bhp Volvo engine and I-Shift transmission.


Former City of Oxford Leyland Olympians E227CFC and BBW214Y can be found working between High Wycombe and Amersham on behalf of Chiltern Railways. It's unusual for these vehicles to be used on anything other than School Services.


A detailed fleet list can be found at


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please let me know on

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


I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at

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


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