Spottings & Jottings nr. 68 - 25th February 2014

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A slight delay to my planned publication date but I wanted to wait for certain interesting pictures which were on their way. Once again and as ever there have been a number of interesting developments which include a Chiltern Rail replacement service by Oxford Bus between Oxford and Bicester via Islip, numbered CR1. This service will last for 18 months and it is suggested that the ADL E40D buses on loan from southern Vectis may stay longer. You can read about this and see the timetable at the following link:

Oxford's loaned Southern Vectis E40D 1584 works service CR1 for Chiltern Railways at Oxford Station on February 15th - Richard Sharman.

Oxford's loaned Southern Vectis E40D 1581 works service CR2 for Chiltern Railways heading for Oxford Station along Park End St on February 24th - Gavin Francis.

Oxford's loaned Southern Vectis E40D 1583 after working service for Chiltern Railways at Oxford Station on February 24th - Gavin Francis.

The buses allocated to the contract is 1581-4 but I do not have a picture of 1582. The use of the advertising "cases" is most inventive and will save expensive rectification work when these buses finally move on to their home with Southern Vectis.

Ralph Adams adds "The PVR in use is three but there is a fourth which is on constant standby. It is based at Bicester Town station from 05:30 until 14:00 when it transfers to Oxford station staying the final journey at 21:05.

All four of the loan buses 1581-1584 were in use on 17th February. There is a spare bus to cover maintenance etc. - Trident 114.

(I wonder how this bus fits in with low emission zone? - Well, my copy of Oxfordward tells me that the use of the Trident is possible as there is an exemption for "low frequency services. Hence the use of 114 as a spare. Ed.)

Most journeys had at least one bicycle on board and one had six. According to the Chiltern Railways website, eight can be carried.

The stop at Islip is a short walk from the station although the bus passes the station entrance. I think that if it stopped there it could cause considerable traffic congestion, but more importantly, if the A34 is blocked, the alternative route is via Ambrosden and the turn is between the authorised stop and the station.

The entry to Bicester is via A41 and London Road so avoiding Bicester Town centre.

The eyesore of Kidlington Silo is now a memory, presumably removed in preparation for the new station."

With the four buses now on the Chiltern contract, according to my calculations there are 99 City buses in use daily on a fleet of 111 buses giving a spare ratio of 12.1% - quite a target to reach.

The New Routemaster in London

Somewhat away from our area the New Routemaster LT Hybrids continue to enter service in London and the 148 is the latest route to enjoy these new buses. Indeed some entered service early at the time of the London Underground strike in early February. On the negative side we will see the loss of Heritage route 9 in July. It is reported that the introduction of New Routemasters on the main route 9 has been detrimental to the Heritage service. The best of the Routemasters used on the 9 are expected to go to Stagecoach for Heritage route 15.

Various London United examples on the 148 include LT134, LT140 and LT146 all taken by Gavin Francis in late February 2014.

Silver LT150 of London United seen on the 9 taken by Gavin Francis on February 24th 2014.

LT5 now re-registered LTZ1005 working the 38 taken by Gavin Francis on February 18th 2014.
(Of the first eight LTs LT 1-3 and 8 retain their original marks (LT61A-CHT and LT12HHT) and they are not with Arriva at this time.)

As mentioned above the heritage route 9 is due to cease in July 2014 and the time is limited now for a ride on these Routemasters on the 9.
RM1640 passes Hyde Park Corner on February 24th as seen by Gavin Francis.

RM 1204 passes the Royal Albert Hall on January 24th seen by Malcolm Crowe. 

Flooding in the Thames Valley caused problems for bus services in our area with the Abingdon Road closed on two occasions. Diversions caused many problems for reliability but the various companies coped very well and apart from stops unable to be served due to road closures the services ran well.

Our picture shows a Thames Travel Citaro negotiating flood waters in Chalgrove when the village was cut off for a day in February. Paul Kempster.

The Wycombe area was badly hit in respect of services heading towards the Thames Valley as this notice shows.
Taken by Bernard Lewendon in Wycombe Bus Station.

High winds were also a problem resulting in many road closures and difficulties. This included a 10 hour closure of the M40 northbound on a Saturday morning which did nothing for the London services!

Richard Sharman writes "seen in Rutten Lane, Yarnton."


Another tree down in Yarnton.


Oxford City Centre becomes a Low Emission Zone

The introduction of a  Low Emission Zone in Oxford from January 1st has seen the significant use of new or newer buses in the city. This resulted in the withdrawal of the whole "Park & Ride" Trident fleet belonging to Oxford Bus. Some of these buses were in use for Brookes services and others in red for city services. Some are stored at Yarnton and others transferred to Carousel for school bus services.

The picture shows Trident 116 now at Carousel with advantage being taken of the similarity of the Brookes livery and the Carousel school bus livery.
Taken by Bernard Lewendon on February 21st 2014 who says 116, The Blue Bus, is a new arrival, probably to replace 931 that recently went for scrap.


Headington Connect E40Ds for the 700 service seen on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.

Stagecoach have enjoyed the delivery of a number of new ADL E200 and E400 buses seeing the end of the old M A N fleet many of which have transferred to other SC fleets. I notice from the latest issue of Buses that 22922 (S922CFC) once with Stagecoach was sold to Dunsmore, a dealer, in Larkhill last January.

The Arriva case against Luton Airport

Readers can learn about this case at the link below. It is not clear as to whether the Green Line service will once again serve Luton Airport or that the service will continue to operate with a transfer.

Of associated interest is the fact that National Express have taken over the "Sammys" facility at Victoria which serves as the arrivals station for inbound National Express, Megabus, Eurolines, ID Bus and Sindbad Coaches plus some other less frequent operators.

Coaches on the A1 service from Luton are now cleaned etc. at Sammys though I imagine servicing still takes place at Stansted. All of the fleet of Bliss Travel is now garaged elsewhere. National Express have provided a minibus as transport for their engineering staff.

Requests for information and help

Oxford & Carterton Vintage Bus


Derek asks "I was wondering, what bus service operated from Carterton in the late 1970s (to Witney and places)?


I think they might have used  Leyland Atlantean  or Bristol VR buses but I'm not sure. I can't recall the colours or the bus company that serviced them."


Graham Anderson from High Wycombe asks "I don’t know if you or readers of your website can help but I’m trying to obtain a copy an old photo taken in the centre of High Wycombe.

It features a London Country RT 979 (JXN 7) on Route 326 opposite Murrays in White Hart Street with a Hillman Imp and VW Beetle in the foreground.

It looks like this photo was taken from the top deck of another bus turning right into White Hart Street or perhaps the first floor of The Globe public house.

I used to travel with my mother on the 326 from Micklefield to and from Dashwood Avenue and/or the town at least twice a week, often getting on at The Bull public house (Now Robert Dyas) that it’s just pulled away from in this shot.

I also worked at Davenport Vernon’s in the 70’s who supplied many Imps locally. They are still very close to my heart as I’m the current Chairman of The Imp Club!

If I could find a good reproduction of the photo I’d like to feature it in the Imp Club’s monthly magazine. 

I wonder if any of your readers can help?

I was nicely surprised to learn that the picture in question was taken by our Staff Photographer Gavin Francis

The picture in question taken by Gavin Francis in the '70s. 

Running Days

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

Nearly ten years ago and on 5 October 2003, RLH48 takes a happy group of enthusiasts on a run to Berkhamsted - Malcolm Crowe.

Dates for your diary

Sunday 5 May   HARLOW marking 50 years since Harlow Garage opened to replace Epping.

Sunday 12 May   SLOUGH moved from 19 May to avoid clash with Sevenoaks. Slough & Windsor Railway Society to join with us for the first time and to open their premises opposite the bus station for stalls etc. Also hopefully the launch of a green RT (a former WR one) now fully restored.

NEW DATE Sunday 14 July   UXBRIDGE moved from 30 June as London (Cobham) Bus Museum are having an event that day and from 7 July to avoid North Weald.

Sunday 18 August   HEMEL HEMPSTEAD

Sunday 6 October    AMERSHAM – this year celebrating its Silver Jubilee!


Dates for your diary

Other Running Days in 2012

Sunday 19 August HEMEL HEMPSTEAD based at bus station, Waterhouse Street

Sunday 7 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station 


Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in  Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture  show with local and guest speakers.  A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually around £1 for members per meeting depending on numbers.  For non-members a charge of £2 per head is made.

Next Meeting: 18th March 2014.

Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road



Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)

or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE 


All meetings start at 19.30pm although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.

A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.


When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site 


Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.


Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!


I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.


May I please ask readers to do two things?


1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.


2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.


The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.


Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.


The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all. 

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 25th February 2014


Observations and pictures

More on the London Underground strike

Bob Stanger writes "I was very pleased to have seen the report and photos taken by Gavin. To add to the story, EnsignBus had many other vehicles out particularly on route 25. I was driving RT3232 now restored to it’s original Green Line livery and the following vehicles were also on duty. Red Cravens RT1431, RT4421, DM2646, M1, RTL453. two of the recent Plaxton Volvo Bendy Coaches ex Stagecoach Scotland together with two ex Stagecoach Volvo Jonckheere coaches. Finally a restored Daimler Fleetline ex Southend Transport and an ex Metroline Dennis Trident in EnsignBus Blue and Silver.

Route 257 was boosted by a number of other Ensign service buses. I attach a photo of RT3232 in Aldgate Bus Station. This was our last journey on Wednesday evening and fortuitously our shift just allowed us to get to Aldgate, so naturally I had to take a photo of RT3232 in it’s historic home. Entering service in August 1950 in Green Line Livery on route 721 from Romford to Aldgate an opportunity to recreate a little piece of bus history.


No fares were taken on the extra vehicles provided by non TFL operators. I forgot to mention that Stagecoach had some guest standard liveried vehicles running on the 205. Attached is a snap photo I took in Bow garage where we took RT 3232 to have it’s windscreen wiper looked at. Route 29 also had additional vehicles some supplied by The London Bus Company. A friend of mine was driving RT3238 another Green Line liveried vehicle. See below

p.s. The Bendi-Coach had it’s Hanover display programmed for 25 Holborn and 25 Stratford. The driver tells me there were some astonished faces at the bus stop when these turned up."


Clive King writes "A frequent visit to your website region and one of only a handful in the UK, B M Coaches' Van Hool T917 with theatre-style seating enters Trafalgar Square with due caution on Saturday 8 February."



Clive King writes "Out of area but very interesting is one of Ensign's former Stagecoach Volvo B10M / Plaxton articulated coaches working, as intended, on c2c rail replacement at Upminster on Saturday 8 February and attracting a considerable attention from ordinary would-be c2c rail travellers let alone enthusiasts. "

Aylesbury changes by Colin Richardson 

As promised - Here are details of the revised bus routes and times as follows:


Route 9  - Bus Station via estates to Stoke Mandeville Hospital Journeys from Hospital on Mondays to Fridays before 09:30 are given longer running time, due to local traffic congestion.   No changes at other times and on other days.


Route 50 - Aylesbury Bus Station - Halton Camp Different times introduced with longer running times at school opening and closing times on schooldays only.


Route 55 - Aylesbury Bus Station - Chesham Broadway One afternoon journey altered to provide regular two hourly service at least to Amersham.

Boarding point changed at Amersham Hospital to stop opposite hospital entrance for journeys to Aylesbury, to save on running time.


Route 61 - Aylesbury Bus Station - Luton Interchange (Close to Train Station)

The route has been cut back in Luton from Wigmore Estate ASDA to Interchange.

Outward timings are unaltered, Most journeys in the middle of the day operates up to 15 minutes earlier.  This change in timings is allow for a more regular service between Tring and Aylesbury.


Route 150 - Aylesbury Bus Station - Central Milton Keynes Station There are no additional journeys.  However, for sometime this route has been not running to time on many journeys.  There no are additional journeys, but all buses every day pause for up 5 minutes in both directions at Leighton Buzzard, High Street.


Route 300 - Aylesbury Bus Station via Stoke Mandeville Hospital to High Wycombe Bus station This route has been diverted via new stop in Hospital grounds now called Main Entrance stop.

One additional bus at 05.40 rest from Aylesbury Bus Station for Stoke Mandeville Hospital early shift workers, and continues to High Wycombe Bus Station, to where it ran out of service.  Different times are now given to school days and non school days on journeys from Aylesbury to High Wycombe Additional running time is given to all afternoon peak time journeys.


For the first time in sixty years the Lower Road, Stoke Mandeville was closed close to The Bell Public House from Friday afternoon (7th) to end of Sunday (9th)  Routes affected were 55, 300 and 321.  Each bus had to use Wendover Road and Station Road, Stoke Mandeville.  Unfortunately, Stoke Mandeville Hospital was only served by local route 9 and route from the hospital to Leighton Buzzard.  No bus served the hospital on Sunday, for the first time to my knowledge.


Electric buses - Milton Keynes


Currently (7th February) only three buses are operating on Milton Keynes route 7.   Seven buses complete the full PVR

Richard Sharman writes to report that Rail Replacement swung into action on February 10th required as some train lines were flooded.

Former Charlbury Travel and now Mark One Travel's MAN/Caetano C15 GRT and recently repainted Jeff’s Travel ESU 935 rest on standby duties for First Great Western at Oxford Station.




Regal Busways Enviro 200 EU10OJE on Rail replacement service at Oxford on February 16th taken by Richard Sharman.

Regal Busways RG09BUS on Rail replacement service at Oxford on February 16th taken by Richard Sharman.

Bernard Lewendon writes "Your number 75 is excellent and welcomed, as usual.

I have not seen the Arriva LDV in Wycombe since the day I took the picture.

Carousel: I suspect that 419 from Thames Travel, and pictured by you in 74, is here to replace P480 MLE as this older bus has not been seen for some time.

(LOTS advise that this bus is in use as a mobile office at Thames Travel's Hogwood base. This in Finchampstead, Berkshire. However it is due to be scrapped quite soon.)

There is an interesting picture of High Wycombe, Frogmoor hanging on the wall in Morrison's Supermarket, Hughendon Road.

It shows two single decker Thames Valley buses. The first is on the 25 to Flackwell Heath and is 570 FMO 952, a Bristol LL6B. The second is a Leyland Tiger and as the 25 was the only single decker route using that stop I suspect that it is soon after 4pm and it is a relief service that was a common practice at that time of day.

The last Tiger was withdrawn in 1954. The picture is described as circa 1955.

Well worth a visit to see as the picture is quite large and full of atmosphere. Those were the days!

You might like to have these pictures taken Sunday 16 February, a warm and sunny day would you believe?

At Arriva just the usual Sunday garage scene but more unusual - the sun is shining.

The Solo is seen in Wycombe only on Sundays and is Vale Travel of Aylesbury X311 CBT.

When I print some of the pictures I first zoom in to get a better result but when I try with email attachments it does not work so I have to leave you to zoom and crop as you think to improve the final image.

Many thanks to Bernard for a comprehensive report. More on Carousel can be found under the fleet heading below. Ed.

James Allum writes "I am pleased to send some pictures for the page with some information."

Ex London General and Arriva cover bus V107 LGC was spotted in Lanes Coaches outstation at Two waters today.  

Also to note was Ex Garston KL52 CWO now based at Hemel Hempstead (6001) was photographed at Hemel Bus Garage today on a layover or as spare with a few other ex London Tridents parked up over the back.


Saturday 1st February 2014

Gavin Francis writes to send various pictures of coaches in Oxford on Rail Replacement service for First Great Western who had many difficulties between Oxford and Didcot.


Rail Replacement coaches at Oxford Railway Station

ESU 635. I think this coach might have been used on the Oxford/Bicester RR service.
I followed it out of Oxford on the A40 and it turned off at Wheatley to go up the m40 towards Bicester.

is a Dennis R Type/Plaxton coach in the fleet of Pewsey Vale Coaches, Pewsey, Wiltshire.
It was new to Hodgson, Barnard Castle, County Durham as NX54 AAK in September 2004.
It joined Pewsey Vale in March 2008 and was given its current mark in March 2011.

R919HTW - Pewsey Vale Coaches, Pewsey, Volvo R919HTW

TK Travel of Aldermaston's M7TKT Volvo B10M/Berkhof Axial.

Various other coaches in use on the Rail Replacement services as shown by Gavin Francis. 



Arriva logo and TGM

Luke Braham reports as follows:

Neither 3930 or 3931 have free Wi-Fi or leather seats!  This is in spite of what the destination screens may have proclaimed.

Both 5454 and 5455 have been confirmed by my contact at Arriva Aylesbury as being non LEZ so are unlikely to see service in Oxford until they comply. Due to this Arriva have to find other uses for them and 5454 was used on the 500 today (25/01/14).

Another arrival at Hemel Hempstead from Garston is 3273 V273HBH. It was seen on the 500 today (25/01/14) with route 321 branding.

Another Alexander ALX400 to arrive at Aylesbury is 6286 Y486UGC.


We also have a broken Sapphire. 5435 which is parked in the depot with a front panel missing. I’ve got some other pictures to send you from the depot but I’ll send them later as I’m going out in a minute.  

3215 R215GMJ is also parked in the Aylesbury depot with the flap below the drivers cab up.

4490 T490KGB arrived at the Aylesbury depot on February 17th from High Wycombe. This will be used to operate the duplicate’s of the 300 behind the normal service bus on schooldays, once in each direction as Aylesbury are now going to run it. It looks like Arriva have not seen fit to use a double decker on that run after all. It is seen in the photo shortly after arrival.

5440 SN58 EOO was also off the road last weekend and was at Milton Keynes for repairs to an electrical fault. It was back in service at Aylesbury by the 30th January.

Yesterday (1/2/14), while I was observing operations in Aylesbury, I came across three of Hemel Hempstead's 63-plate Wright Eclipse 2s on the 500. This has happened before as shown in S&J 57. The first one to arrive was 3972 LT63UNS which I missed entering the bus station. This then formed the 09:12 departure form Aylesbury.

The next one to arrive was 3973 LT63UNU which departed with the 09:42 departure from Aylesbury.

Finally, 3967 LT63UNL arrived in Aylesbury and then operated the 10:12 departure.

It seems that Arriva in Hemel still haven't realised that they have branding for route 2. This now means I have pictures of six of the eight at Hemel on the 500 all taken in Aylesbury!!

On Sunday the 9th February both 0442 Y42HBT and 0447 Y47HBT were branded for Aylesbury’s Pink Route 8. The route was officially launched on the 13th February despite having been operated since September last year.


Hemel Hempstead’s 4523 KE03OUK and 4524 KE03OUL are to transfer to Milton Keynes towards the end of March.

Stevenage’s 3552 KX09GYB has been repainted into inter-urban livery and has not regained route 300 and 301 branding since repaint.

New at Hemel Hempstead is ex-Arriva London 6290 Y523UGC.

5149 S149KNK and 5152 S152KNK are still in service at Hemel Hempstead.

Today in Aylesbury I saw three Arriva the Shires buses working routes that they shouldn’t have for various reasons such as branding and Oxfords LEZ. These three were all seen within a 5 minute period.

Hemel Hempstead’s 3579 KX12 HAE was seen operating route 500 with route 300 and 301 branding.

Arriva the Shires 5455 SN58 EOB is again operating Sapphire route 280 today (22/02/14) despite not being LEZ.

Arriva the Shires 6306 Y506 UGC has retuned to service after having repairs at Milton Keynes after an accident in September last year.  

Aylesbury’s 5455 SN58 EOB is seen operating Sapphire route 280 despite not being LEZ compliant for Oxford.

Aylesbury’s 6286 Y486 UGC is seen operating Blue Route 2 which is normally operated by a Dennis Dart.
 (Sorry about the disappearance of the destination)

I’ve got two pictures of 5438 with revised destination been trying to get a better one. I’ll send you them both in another email to avoid them from not sending like last time.

Arriva the Shires 5438 has been set up to show the rear display on the front destination display. Hence that nothing is being shown on the rear destination display. This also
means that the route number on the front is on the wrong side.

I found out about the to Enviro400s two days ago but was hoping to get more information from my contact at the Aylesbury depot today but I didn't see him. From my understanding though 5454/5 are staying but will be used on other routes. I’ll update you when I know more and when they arrive.

LOTS note the these new buses will be 5459 and 5460. No delivery date advised as yet. Ed.

Adam Green writes "Well!  Hemel Hempstead's new Buses have been on a variety of other routes as seen in my pictures."

3969 on the 2 to Woodhall Farm Via Town Centre & Grovehill

3971 on the 353 to Slough Via Gerrards Cross 

3970 on the 301 to Stevenage via Welwyn Garden City

Acquired vehicles:

6290 (Y524 UGC) DAF DB250 / Alexander ALX400 H43/22F from Arriva London

Vehicle disposals:

DAF SB220 / Plaxton Prestige 3269 (T493 KGB) to ASM, Aylesbury (for scrap)
Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 3208 (R208 GMJ) to A H Hardwick, Barnsley (dealer)
Volvo Olympian / Northern Counties 5147 (S147 KNK), 5161 (S161 KNK) to A H Hardwick, Barnsley

Allocation changes:

3220 (S317 JUA) Garston to Stevenage (w)
3221 (S318 JUA) Garston to Stevenage (w)
3235 (V235 HBH) Hemel Hempstead to Luton
3237 (V237 HBH) Hemel Hempstead to Luton
3258 (V258 HBH) Garston (w) to Stevenage (w)
3263 (V261 HBH) Luton to Aylesbury
3275 (V275 HBH) Milton Keynes (w) to Garston
3746 (AE56 MDX) Garston (u) to High Wycombe
3835 (KE53 NFF) Hemel Hempstead to Garston
3837 (KE53 NEU) Hemel Hempstead to Garston
4364 (W364 XKX) withdrawn at Stevenage
4384 (YJ58 FJA) Hemel Hempstead to Luton (u)
5157 (S157 KNK) withdrawn at Aylesbury (w)
5158 (S158 KNK) withdrawn at Aylesbury (w)
5421 (W421 XKX) Hemel Hempstead to Luton
5431 (W431 XKX) Aylesbury to Luton 

Chris Lowe writes "I haven't managed to take a photo of it yet, but JPT Buses of Middleton has a third Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian, this one being 517 (S147 KNK) which is also painted in this fleet's yellow and blue livery."

Arriva pictureview.

Solo 2496 works a 31 service out of Wycombe Bus Station on January 31st as seen by Gavin Francis.

Arriva's 3743 on route 40 in Stokenchurch on February 1st taken by Gavin Francis.

The blue and gold of it, two E400s at Oxford Rail Station taken by Gavin Francis.

The latest acquisition, 3746 on the blue one, taken by Malcolm Crowe on January 31st.

Ex Wycombe Bus, Oxford registered N521MJO, 3821, is seen withdrawn at Cressex depot on February 1st by Malcolm Crowe.

Arriva's 3837 in front of a Carousel Olympian with not much longer to be seen Wycombe. Malcolm Crowe on January 31st.

Aylesbury depot's 6004 works a 300 service on February 24th taken by Malcolm Crowe. 

Gavin Francis reminds us of the last time Carousel operated Tridents in bulk.

Carousel's 402 - a Trident which came from Metrobus, leaving Wycombe BS on a Line 1 service on April 22nd 2008 - Gavin Francis.

403 before being repainted and entering service on service routes but in use as a school bus in blue and yellow.
Gavin Francis took this picture on June 15th 2006.

LOTS advise that the company has acquired Tridents 102/3/4, 111/2/3/6/8/9 and 120. These are 1999 buses which were purchased to operate Oxford's Park & Ride services.

Carousel are now operating ex Oxford Trident 102, normally on the 36, taken by Gavin Francis on January 31st.
It was once again on the 36 on February 24th!

As a result all of the current double deck comprising Leyland Olympians (923-927), Volvo Olympians 928-931 and Volvo B7TLs 918-922 are to be withdrawn. I do remember being told that the B7TLs were very thirsty fuel wise. On the other hand Tridents have proved difficult on the hills around Wycombe!

One of the soon to be departed Olympians, 928, seen by Gavin Francis on January 31st.

Special liveried 416 is also seen on the 36 by Gavin Francis on January 31st.

Carousel 871 - CB51BUS - on the A40 on January 31st by Gavin Francis.

The Ashmolean gets exposure in Wycombe as 102 enters the bus station on January 31st by Malcolm Crowe.

Carousel 116 looking rather smart in its new garb on February 24th and taken by Malcolm Crowe.

First with increased presence at Wycombe with the existing X74 and now the X9 which had an increased frequency.
Taken on February 1st by Malcolm Crowe.

First 44561 works an X9 service into Wycombe on January 31st taken by Malcolm Crowe.
I like the "change given" proclamation !!

Bernard Lewendon writes "On 21 February First 65726 failed on the London Road / Gordon Road roundabout causing a long tailback of traffic. It was working on the X74.

Not the best place to breakdown!!

Later on the same day, possibly as its replacement, an electric Volvo made what must have been a very rare, probably a first, visit to Wycombe. It was 69926."

Five further Volvo 7900H hybrid single decks have arrive at Slough garage for the “7 series” of routes.

69930 BJ63UHZ
69931 BJ63UJV
69932 BJ63UJW
69933 BJ63UJX
69934 BJ63UJZ

A Heyfordian tri-axle passes the Royal Albert Hall on January 24th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Solo YJ11EJN works it regular route 118 to Brill taken by Malcolm Crowe on February 8th.


Luke Braham writes "I went to the Motts Travel depot yesterday afternoon to take some pictures of the bus and coaches. A surprise for me was to see Motts Travel MT09 MTT in the depot still in its Union Jack livery and 16-seater and studio interior for Channel 4’s Coach Trip program.  

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any shots of the yard or general shots but have two shots that you may be interested in. I have included these in the attachments.  

I’ll get some next time as I’m planning to go back next month when the new Setras arrive. I have to sort this out with Hedley nearer the time.  

MT09 MTT still caries its Coach Jack adjustments while the production team decide if they are going to film another series. Motts are being paid to keep the coach off the road and parked up in the depot by the production company.


Motts Travel currently have five coaches for sale from there fleet. They are B10 MMT, M616 ORJ, M573 DSJ, GT05 MTT and UK06 MTT.


UK/GB13 CRU are both at Evobus having a one year expectation to check that everything is working as it should be."

broken down Levante, FJ07DVY being recovered at Victoria Coach Station seen by Gavin Francis.
The coach was Bournemouth Transport's 321.

One of South Gloucester's latest acquisitions seen leaving VCS by Gavin Francis. -
FJ56OBR is ex Stagecoach 59205.

Jevon Smith writes "Caetano Levante bodied Scania's ex Stagecoach 59205 FJ56OBR & 59213 FJ56OCA are owned by South Gloucestershire Bus & Coach in plain white. Will keep my eyes peeled for more."

Parks older tri-axles are being re-registered from the HSK plates. SW09URZ has just arrived in Sammys
from the west country on February 20th when seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Parks YY63WCJ seen in Gloucester Green on the southbound night service 421 on January 29th taken by Gavin Francis.

Of note are Bruce Coaches who have the under mentioned new Scania /Caetano Levante tri-axles.


Bruce's FN63PWK ready to work a  592 service from VCS on February 18th taken by Gavin Francis. 

New vehicles

Ambassador Travel    210 BF63ZSK    Volvo B9R Caetano Levante C48FLT
Ambassador Travel    211 BF63ZSL     Volvo B9R Caetano Levante C48FLT
Ambassador Travel    212 BF63ZSN    Volvo B9R Caetano Levante C48FLT
Travelstar (Walsall)           BF63ZSR    Volvo B9R Caetano Levante C48FLT
Lucketts (Fareham) X4823  BF63ZTC    Volvo B9R Caetano Levante C48FLT
Lucketts (Fareham) X4824  BF63ZTD    Volvo B9R Caetano Levante C48FLT


Allocation changes:

SH23 (FJ57KHK)     withdrawn at Start Hill
SH52 (FJ57KJU)      withdrawn at Start Hill
SR110 (FJ60HXS)   withdrawn at Sipson Rd
SR169 (FJ11GLZ)     allocated to Sipson Rd
SH170 (FJ11MJE)    allocated to Start Hill
SH172 (FJ11MLK)    allocated to Start Hill
SH174 (FJ11MLN)    allocated to Start Hill

The lettering on this coach is to a modified colour scheme which looks rather attractive. Taken by Gavin Francis on February 24th.

South Gloucester's L555SGB at Gloucester Green Oxford on February 9th whilst working the 302 Bristol service. Taken by Gavin Francis.

South Gloucester's L66SGB works the 302 Bristol service taken by Gavin Francis on February 24th at Gloucester Green.

South Gloucester's LK53KVY which was National Express's CY83 seen at Victoria on February 18th by Gavin Francis.

Whittles of Kidderminster's 22 YX07HJJ which came from EYMS where it was fleet number 66 VCS.
Seen at Elizabeth Street, Victoria on February 8th by Gavin Francis.

John Shaw's FN63PXB is a modified Levante seen at VCS on February 15th by Malcolm Crowe.
This coach has a numbered of features such as a monitor view of the coach seen in the picture on the right.
It has improved seating and is mounted on a Volvo B11R chassis.

This picture compares the front end with an older model, note the change of rear view mirrors.

Also the roof line is changed giving a different view. So far this is a unique vehicle.

Things are not going too well on the 737 and above we see J D Coaches operating the 09:20 departure only leaving at 10:50.
BU04EYZ is seen on February 16th by Malcolm Crowe.

Dartline Coaches WA05WNE was operating a 501 Dupe on February 20th seen by Malcolm Crowe. 


Oxford's pair of coaches in overall adverts for places to visit in Oxford.
As Gavin Francis says, " not too many days left for these two now".

Jack Lithgo writes "I am an avid reader of the Oxford and Chiltern Bus Page but not very computer illiterate so don’t know how to send items for the page so hopefully this will come through, This coach is now owned by A1 of Methil and as it has an Oxford mark thought yourself and your readers may be interested. Just do with it as you wish."

John Hammond  writes "I saw the following advertised for sale, ex Oxford Bus Company."

New coaches

Here is an interesting link provided by Ralph Adams.!i=3066492413&k=t9VTc7p

The new coaches mentioned are five Volvo B11R/Plaxton Paragon 44 seaters 21-25 AE14OXF to EE14OXF. They are expected to enter service on March 1st. This is when the older 07 plate Volvos will be withdrawn.

Roland C writes that on February 6th 119 had gone from Yarnton and was not there on that morning. By February 19th there was one red and four Brookes including 104 110 118 and one Carousel D/D.

Please refer to the heading story for the buses involved in the Chiltern Railways replacement service between Oxford and Bicester. 

Oxford's 52 lays over on the X90 on Elizabeth Bridge on February 19th taken by Gavin Francis.

15 metre Volvo nr 63 on an X90 working turns the corner by The  Bag O' Nails at Victoria on  February 24th taken by Gavin Francis.

From a different angle we see 15 metre Volvo 61 returning to Oxford but showing the Airline scroll instead of the X90!!
The date is February !9th and it's taken by Malcolm Crowe.

62 shows the scroll difference with the X90 on the "wrong side" in Castle St on February 8th taken by Malcolm Crowe.


Coach 46 renumbered departing from Gloucester Green on February 8th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Coach 42 renumbered from 13 and seen at Gloucester Green on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.


Ex Thames Travel E40H, 300 is seen operating an 8 road service on a very sunny morning on February 16th by Malcolm Crowe.


Wrights Hybrid 356 is seen in Castle Street on a 5 road service on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.


Wrights Hybrid 359 is seen heading up New Road on February 16th by Malcolm Crowe.


Oxford's Citaro 865 on a 4 road working on February 8th taken by Malcolm Crowe.


Loaned E40-D 1579 is seen working an 8 road service on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.


It would be nice to have some pictures of Oxford Chiltern Rail service at either Bicester or Islip.

Red Line

Luke Braham writes "In the last couple of months Redline Buses have had two new arrivals. They are ex-London United Alexander ALX400 SK52 MPU and SK52 MPV brought from Ensign Bus. SK52 MPU arrived in December and SK52 MPV arrived in January. " 


vehicles in reserve
22926 S926 CFC MAN ALX300  (to go to Yorkshire) NO
22935 S935 CFC MAN ALX300 NO
33650 R150 CRW Dennis Dart SLF BY
33652 R152 CRW Dennis Dart SLF NO
33654 R154 CRW Dennis Dart SLF NO
22768 OU58 GKK MAN E300 - pending service changes OX
22769 OU09 BZO MAN E300 - pending service changes OX
22770 OU09 BZP MAN E300 - pending service changes OX
22771 OU58 GKO MAN E300 - pending service changes OX
vehicles awaiting disposal
42624 R624 CTX Mercedes Vario (Staff Transport) OX
fleet movements last period
22925 S925 CFC MAN ALX300 - Reserve to Yorkshire
22933 S933 CFC MAN ALX300 - Reserve to Yorkshire
22934 S934 CFC MAN ALX300 - Reserve to Yorkshire
22940 S940CFC MAN ALX300 - Reserve to Yorkshire
22052 KX53VNH MAN ALX300 - Reserve to West

Looking very smart, 15434 works an S3 service in George Street on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.

Witney's 15611 laods an S1 service in George St on February 8th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Stagecoach's 36933 is seen starting its trip to Greater Leys, passing Carfax Tower on February 8th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

E20D 36983 ends its run at High Street on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.


Somewhat off route this Scania 15731. branded for the 55 from Swindon to Chippenham is seen working a 66 service
at Gloucester Green on January 23rd no doubt caused by traffic delays in Swindon. Taken by Gavin Francis.


East's 53307 exchanged with  one of the ex Virgin X99 service. This and one other made a double exchange with Aberdeen. taken on February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.

Richard Morgan spent a few hours in London on Saturday, 22nd February and chanced to see another old Tube 50036 passing him in Victoria.




Richard Griffin writes "Earlier today (Saturday 25 Jan) I encountered a former Oxford Tube W66BBW, the last of the MAN/Jonckheeres, as 50066.  It was operating a South West Trains rail replacement service towards Feltham, and carried Mitcham Belle livery.


This vehicle, over a year younger than its Tube brethren, was one which a decade ago I could identify from a distance at night while driving OBC coaches, because its front Hanover flip-dot display contained fluorescent yellow dots whereas all the other 1st-generation Tube deckers' were non-fluorescent."


An up to date item to report is that the experiment of coloured displays on three Astromegas, 50211, 50213 and 50222 has been completed and these coaches have reverted to the normal display.


50211 is seen at Queen's Lane  before reverting to normal standard. February 8th by Malcolm Crowe.


Another change to destination displays is that now services departing either end of the route show "Now Boarding for London" etc.
The photos above show the layouts. This change was introduced in early February 2014.


50216 loads for London at the Oxford Brookes stop on February 16th taken by Malcolm Crowe.


50217 heads along Bayswater on February 11th taken by Malcolm Crowe. 



Megabus 54209 lays-over before taking the morning M20 service to Glasgow on February 18th taken by Gavin Francis.

I am told that the following have been withdrawn. Dennis Tridents 101, 105, 106 and 109. Can someone clarify this please?



New coaches for

 in the USA

Stagecoach is investing $10.5million (£6.3million) in 15 new Van Hool TD925 Astromega double-deck coaches for its network in North America. Dale Moser, president of, says: “ has transformed inter-city bus travel in North America. We believe there is a huge opportunity to encourage people to leave their car keys at home and take the bus to get to work, make a business trip, travel with friends or go on a vacation.

“These new state-of-the-art coaches are part of our exciting expansion plans for 2014 and will help bring safe, high-quality and affordable travel to more people in North America.” 

The investment comes as independent research calculates that travellers in the United States saved $1.1billion (£660million) last year by taking and other discount inter-city bus operators rather than travelling by train or plane. The research by the DePaul University Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development in Chicago found bus passengers saved 52 per cent compared with trips by rail on the same route, while they paid 79 per cent less than people who chose to fly to their destination.


         Second wave of single deck buses being used on routes 8 & 12

         These form part of a £5.6 million investment in 37 new buses for Northampton

         New route 4 announced

Stagecoach Midlands has announced that a second wave of new buses will be launched today (31st January 2014) following its announcement that it has invested £5.6 million in 37 new single deck, low emission buses for major bus routes in Northampton.

The batch of 14 new buses will be used on major bus routes including:

8 between Rectory Farm, Blackthorn, Weston Favell Centre, Northampton College, the town centre, Towcester, Silverstone, Brackley and Bicester

12 between Camp Hill, Briar Hill, the town centre, rail station, St James and Kings Heath

These join the 14 new buses which were launch at the beginning of January on routes 5, 10 and 15 to Southfields, Duston, St Giles, West Hunsbury, Kettering Road, Parklands, Harborough Road, Kingsthorpe and Acre Lane.

The remaining nine buses will arrive in the next two weeks and Stagecoach hope to have all 37 buses in service by mid February.

The investment demonstrates Stagecoach Midlands’ continued commitment to providing quality bus services to the residents of Northampton.

The new buses were launched by Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council

Councillor David Mackintosh said “I am delighted to have been able to launch these new buses which are so vital to the residents of Northampton. This is an impressive investment by Stagecoach and compliments the investment made by Northampton Borough Council in the new North Gate bus interchange which will opens on the 2nd March. The improved accessibility that the new buses will offer will benefit many passengers”

Steve Burd, Managing Director of Stagecoach Midlands said “We believe in continually invest in our services to provide an improved quality service to our customers and to encourage more people to leave their cars at home for at least some journeys. We are working in partnership with both Northampton Borough Council and the County Council to make public transport an even more attractive means of travel”

Stagecoach has also announced that it is launching a new route 4 service on the 17th February between Sunnyside and the town centre. The route will provide a 20 minute frequency, running via Broughton Green, Eastern Avenue North, Kingsland Avenue, Kingsthorpe Road, Kingsthorpe Grove and into town along Kettering Road. The route is being introduced following requests fro passengers.

Information regarding the actual vehicles is as follows:

New vehicles: A further sixteen Alexander Dennis E20D / Enviro 200s entered service at the end of January.

37052 YY63 YPT 
37053 YY63 YPV 
37054 YY63 YPW 
37055 YY63 YPX
37056 YY63 YPZ
37057 YY63 YRA
37058 YY63 YRC
37059 YX63 LKP
37060 YY63 YRE
37061 YY63 YRF
37062 YY63 YRG
37063 YY63 YRJ
37064 YY63 YRL
37065 YY63 YRM
37066 YY63 YRN
37067 YY63 YRO

Route branding is carried by a number of these and those already delivered noted so far are:

37038 to 37041 for route 5:
37043 to 37045 for route 10:
37046, 37047 for route 15:
37052 to 37057 for route 8:
37058 to 37062 for route 12

Services 353 and 354 serving Hemel, Chesham and Slough - From 30th March 2014

Trevor Wilson writes "Would customers please note that we will no longer be running Services 353 (Hemel Hempstead - Chesham - Amersham - Slough) and 354 (Chesham - Berkhamsted - Northchurch) with effect from 30th March.

These services will, however, continue to run but will be provided by other bus companies.

For details of the timetables from 30th March please visit where the new timetables will be posted in advance of the changeover date.

More trouble for Western Greyhound

Western Greyhound have once again suffered at the hands of arsonists, this time at their Liskeard depot. The depot on the Trevecca Industrial Estate was targeted and three Mercedes-Benz Vario minibuses were totally destroyed. Eleven buses, including two Plymouth CityBus double decks that outstation at the premises, were unable to leave as the depot and surrounding roads were closed to allow Police investigations to be carried out.

Trips & Events


Buses in the Landscape

New Routemaster LT 12 on the 24 is framed by construction cranes by Victoria.
The date was February 18th taken by Gavin Francis.


Metroline VW1407 LK13BHY on Route 52 at Victoria with Thai wrap taken on February 18th by Gavin Francis.

Naughton YN54DDK ex Arriva TGM is seen at Oxpens on February 19th taken by Gavin Francis.

I see that K and H Doyle Coaches has closed down and on February 15th we passed Tridents T184 and 183CLO eastbound on M40.
I wonder if they were heading for Ensign?

Two new Routemasters on delivery eastbound in the M40 on February 11th, taken by Malcolm Crowe.
I think they were LT120 and 143.

A picture from Australia by Les Burton - taken on a very rainy day in Queensland.

Links & Publications

Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures

You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website -

One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.

The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.

Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.

Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.

Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

This review covers the September 2010 video by Robin Clare Transport. The issue costs £10 and is well worth this small cost for over one hour of buses and coaches in our area.

The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over 18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back memories.

Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.


Thames Valley - final part now available




ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p

This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.

All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.

Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so

order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close

Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT

If you are local and wish to collect please call me on 0118 979 4097 and arrange a suitable time, but no casual callers please!


Newbury & District History now available

Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.

The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.

A Guy Arab on the Oxford service and seen at Gloucester Green.

Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.

The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.

The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.

The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.