Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings nr. 71  -  14th September 2013

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current archives from October 2002

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First in this issue I would like to congratulate Gordon cutting, one of the Stagecoach Chipping Norton outstation drivers, who won Driver of the Year at Blackpool for 2013.

Having tried myself at Blackpool I know how hard it is and how strong the competition is.

Meet Britain's double decker champion: Bus Driver of the Year Gordon Cutting


Well done Gordon!

The start of September saw the introduction of the 63 plate and a number of new buses entering service in the following days. This is always an interesting time and many people look out for their first new plate on the road. Of course we had been seeing 63 plates for some weeks preceding the 1st as vehicles were delivered ready for service.

The first picture I received of a 63 plate in service was from John Marsh and as ever Delaine of Bourne were hot of the mark with a new bus as seen in the picture below from John.

Delaine 154  AD63DBL Market Deeping 020913 J Marsh
Delaine's 154, AD63DBL in Market Deeping on September 2nd taken b y John Marsh.

Other companies in our area were close behind with Stagecoach in Oxfordshire putting six new ADL E200s into service on the 12, 14 and 16 routes. Thinking back to my comments about deliveries taking place in advance of the 1st I took some pictures of these new buses some two weeks earlier.

SCO new E200s 200813 M Crowe
New E200s already in Oxford on August 20th before being prepared for service, taken by Malcolm Crowe.

SCO SN63MYF new E200 after delivery 270813 M Crowe
SN63MYF to become 36932 shortly after delivery on August 27th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Not to be outdone by the larger operator Redline of Aylesbury also took delivery of similar E200s for routes in Aylesbury. A picture showing preparation was supplied by Luke Braham.

Redline Buses MK63 XAR 230813 L Braham
Taken at the depot Redline Buses MK63 XAR was all but ready by August 23rd taken by Luke Braham.

Details of the upcoming LEZ in Oxford can be found at the link below and make for interesting reading. I am told tha the list of buses is incomplete at this stage.


The battle between National Express and Green Line continues around Victoria as the pictures below show, with Green Line retaliating against the National Express actions. One wonders how this will all end?

Arriva GL 4386 r 757 with new flash branding BPR 040913 G Francis
Arriva GL 4386 with new flash branding, seen in Buckingham Palace Road on September 4th taken by Gavin Francis.
This branding replicates the style, even down to the type style and colour, used by National Express.

Some of the promotional actions happening at Victoria.

Reports are included in this issue of the Hemel Hempstead Running day, a visit to Bracknell by Gavin Francis and also pictures of the new Van Hool left hand drive coaches entering service on the European services of Megabus.

This use of left hand drive vehicles asks the question when is offside offside and not nearside!!!!
55010 is seen on an early visit to Victoria.

Major road works have caused delays and problems to services in recent weeks.

Thankfully the work at Notting Hill Gate is now but a memory but some problems at Victoria by the coach station caused more than a little problem as seen in the pictures below, with three way traffic lights.

This work was in full swing when these pictures were taken by your Editor on August 18th.

Of course since the last issue Notting Hill Carnival has taken place and I personally sat for over 30 minutes without moving during the Bank Holiday Monday afternoon!! There were literally thousands of people walking to the main area causing the police to virtually close the main road whilst they crossed. Some Go-Ahead Citaros were in use on the 453X.

A trial for the use of 15 metre coaches in Gloucester Green took place in the wee small hours recently. I am unaware of the outcome but I was provided with a picture of one of the new Megabus Altanos used in the trial.

From October 16th TEX Travel have announced deregistration of all their bus services.

Also in this issue are details of some excellent value fleet books and also the changes related to Robin Clare videos now available  with new videos from Busflix.

I hope everyone enjoys this issue?


Running Days


SHOWBUS is on the move! For 2013 we are taking the event to a wider audience in the Heart of England. Join us at Long Marston Airfield in Shakespeare country just south of Stratford upon Avon on September 22nd.

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

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

A request re a running day linked to The Chinnor & Princes Risboro' Railway

Rob Evans writes "I am writing to you on behalf of Chiltern Railways and the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway regarding a series of events we are running in October. We are re-connecting the Chinnor branch to the mainline and running through train services on Saturday the 5th, 12th and 19th October.

There will also be visiting events and attractions at both Chinnor and Princes Risborough. For two of the weekends we have limited capacity as we are using a bubble car and so we will be using a heritage bus between Chinnor and Princes Risborough to create additional capacity.

The reason for emailing you is that we want to make this event as big an attraction as possible and, while we can’t justify hiring additional busses for the shuttle in our budget, we wondered if you have any contacts that would be interested in running tours from Princes Risborough on any or all of the weekends –round trips to West Wycombe or trips up the hill onto Bledlow Ridge etc. This would be fantastic additional attractions for the event. While we don’t have a budget for it we would be happy for anyone assisting us in this way to charge for the tours and cover their costs in this way. There is already publicity of the event in the national railway press and so we are looking at making the event as attractive to people as possible as it is a unique opportunity –the first regular train service to Chinnor in nearly 60 years.

If you do have any contacts who would be interested in helping us in this way I would be grateful if you could pass on my details to them."

If anyone can assist please let me know.  Classic Coaches used to be involved but this was many years ago.          


Dates for your diary

Sunday 6 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station

Full details at the under mentioned link. 



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:

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 


17th September - Terry S. Blackman - Buses of the 1970’s

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 - 14th September 2013


Observations and pictures

From Graham Low

Here is Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 36933, the first of the new E200s that I have seen in service. It is seen on the 12 at The Plain today (3.9.13).


I was surprised to see a DAF/ALX400 on the 280 this morning. In the distance I saw a freshly repainted E400, not in Sapphire livery but with Sapphire style silver displays - maybe this was 5454 or 5455. Other correspondents will clarify this I am sure!!

From Mike Bennett

I was in Bicester on Thursday July 25, to see the new bus stop arrangements adjacent to the new Sainsbury’s and Vue Cinema complex, recently opened in Manorsfield Road.

My immediate impressions were that there is no great improvement on the previous bus provisions in Bure Place; yes we have nice new shelters for the S5 and X5 services, but waiting for the local buses, whilst pleasant on this nice warm day in July, will be less than ideal during the winter months.

You are waiting under the edge of Sainsbury’s building, but have no shelter from the driving rain that will inevitably come in from the south west.  I leave you to ponder whilst viewing my photos.

I came back into Oxford on an X5, and the driver commented on the tight turn around the new roundabout in Manorsfield Road; indeed you can see how tight is the turn in my photo of a Stagecoach Gold bus on the S5.

SCO 15762 on route S5 makes the tight turn in Bicester, commented on above, on August 11th by Mike Bennett.
One wants to try it in an Oxford Tube Astromega used o n two rush hour S5 Express services every weekday. Ed.

SCO 15754 in Bicester having left the new stops again on August 11th by Mike Bennett.

Thames Travel Solo SR 720 on route 23 in Bicester on August 11th by Mike Bennett.

Grayline's OV51OOA on route 21 in Bicester on August 11th by Mike Bennett.
It is interesting to see its sister now with Marchants shown below.

Marchants ex Grayline-Bicester OV51OOC on route J in Cheltenham on July 5th by Dave Ballantyne.

From Richard Morgan

"Pictures of an ex COMS Plaxton Verde (624) taken at Arriva's depot at MK last Saturday, July 27th."

MKDONS N624FJO on July 27th 2013 by Richard Morgan.

 From Marcus Lapthorn

"The Swindon ‘Safety’ bus is former Sullivan Buses Leyland Olympian/ECW G298 UYK. It is based at Swindon Fire Station. Is this a bus that you can recall in service in London?

I see that it bears the logo of the Government office for the South West!"

Pictures by Marcus Lapthorn.

From John Bristow.

I have at last managed to visit the 'new' Wycombe bus station so to  celebrate I attach a shot of a Carousel Primo 751 taken on 7 August.   (These are almost unknown in Swansea). 


The second shot is of a gaggle of 'Borismasters' I came across at Hampstead Heath terminus, taken on 5 August. 

Arriva logo and TGM

From Luke Braham


The Sapphire route 280 spares entered service towards the end of last week. They are 5454/5 SN58 EOA/B that have recently transferred into Aylesbury from Hemel Hempstead. One the inside they are to Sapphire standard but have no picture below the staircase and are in normal Arriva fleet livery. I have included in this email pictures of them both.

Another Sapphire with damage is 5452 SN58 ENX. 5453 SN58 ENY was the one parked in the Wycombe depot last week so its good to see that back in service.  

Sapphire spares 5454/5 SN58 EOA/B are in service but the destination on 5454 does not like the camera. I have sent a picture of 5454.

5455 is to Sapphire standard but are in Arriva livery as a spare for the 280 along with 5454. I don't think they have the pictures on the side of the staircase though. I saw 5454 on the 280 and 50 in Aylesbury today.


Arriva the Shires 5454 SN58 EOA was operating route 50.

Since I have been away a few things have happened at Arriva Aylesbury.  

5156 S156 KNK and 5940 P613 CAY have transferred to Milton Keynes and 5148 S148 KNK is now parked in ‘death row’ at the Aylesbury depot.  

Sapphire route 280 5435 SN58 EOG has returned to Blackburn Bus and Coach World for a repaint. 

2061 YX04 GBF was towed into the Aylesbury depot on the afternoon of 1st September.  


Today in Aylesbury I noticed Arriva the Shires Sapphire spare 5455 SN58 EOB coming back into Aylesbury Bus Station having done the 150 school run to Cottesloe School in Wing only and does not continue to Milton Keynes.

The Wright Eclipse 2’s for Arriva the Shires are to be shared between Luton and Hemel Hempstead depots and will be numbered 3962-74. I’m just hoping some of Hemel’s come to Aylesbury on Hemel’s workings of the 500.

Arriva the Shires 3745 AE56 MBV is seen operating route 31.

Arriva the Shires 3921 BK58URO is seen operating route 300.

From Bernard Lewendon

At Arriva 2496, one of their Solos, has had a repaint and now looks very smart and shiny in the latest livery.

It was new in 2008 so this will have been its first repaint. 2497 will presumably follow soon.

Still in service in the earlier colours with more white are now down to just three. 3214, 3216 and 5162. They are R or S registered so a repaint at this late date is unlikely.

The current allocation for High Wycombe is shown below.

Arriva the Shires at High Wycombe
Fleet allocation
3821 N521 MJO Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2 withdrawn
3822 N522 MJO Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2 withdrawn
SC3431 P431 HVX Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2 withdrawn
3181 P181 SRO Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer  withdrawn
3214 R214 GMJ Dennis Dart  / Plaxton Pointer   
3444 R204 VPU DAF SB220 / Plaxton Prestige  
3520 R809 WJA Dennis Dart SLF / UVG UrbanStar withdrawn
3852 R372 TWR Volvo B10B / Wright Endurance  s/e withdrawn
3216 S216 XPP Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2
3217 S217 XPP Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2
5147 S147 KNK Volvo Olympian / N.C.Palatine ll  
5151 S151 KNK Volvo Olympian / N.C.Palatine ll  
5162 S651 KJU Volvo Olympian / N.C. Palatine  
3226 V421 DGT Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2  
3261 V261 HBH Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown  
4429 S429 MCC DAF SB220 / Plaxton Prestige  
4490 T490 KGB DAF SB220 / Plaxton Prestige  
3307 W134 XRO Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown  
3308 W136 XRO Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown  
3309 W137 XRO Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown  
3310 W138 XRO Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown  
3452 W452 XKX Volvo B10BLE / Alexander ALX300  
3454 W454 XKX Volvo B10BLE / Alexander ALX300  
3457 W457 XKX Volvo B10BLE / Alexander ALX300  
3458 W458 XKX Volvo B10BLE / Alexander ALX300  
3482 W482 YGS D. Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer MPD  
6300 Y524 UGC DAF SB250 / Alexander ALX400  
6301 Y501 UGC DAF SB250 / Alexander ALX400  
6302 Y502 UGC DAF SB250 / Alexander ALX400  
6303 Y503 UGC DAF SB250 / Alexander ALX400  
6304 Y504 UGC DAF SB250 / Alexander ALX400  
4529 LJ51 DFA DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet  
4530 LJ51 DFC DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet  
4531 LJ51 DFD DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet  
4532 LJ51 DFE DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet  
4516 KE51 PVK DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet  
4517 KL52 CWJ DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet  
3837 KE53 NEU Transbus Dart / Mini Pointer  
3838 KE53 NFA Transbus Dart / Mini Pointer  
3839 KE53 NFC Transbus Dart / Mini Pointer  
4519 KE03 OUN DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet
4520 KE03 OUP DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet
4525 KE53 OUM DAF SB120 / WrightBus Cadet
3701 KE55 CKU VDL SB120 / Wrightbus Cadet 2
3702 KE55 CKO VDL SB120 / Wrightbus Cadet 2
3703 KE55 CKP VDL SB120 / Wrightbus Cadet 2
3861 KE05 FMX Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3862 KE05 FMV Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3863 KE05 GOH Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3864 KE05 FMU Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3865 KE05 FMP Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3866 KE05 FMO Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3867 KE05 FMM Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban  
3741 AE06 OPG Man 14.220 / MCV Evolution  
3742 AE06 XRM Man 14.220 / MCV Evolution  
3743 AE56 MBF Man 14.220 / MCV Evolution  
3744 AE56 MBU Man 14.220 / MCV Evolution  
3745 AE56 MBV Man 14.220 / MCV Evolution  
2496 YK57 FHH Optare Solo M950
2497 YK57 FHJ Optare Solo M950
August 2013

Just one correction (Thanks to Nigel). 4525 of 2003 is KE03 OUM and not KE55 OUM.

At the Arriva garage in Lincoln Road today I noticed that the Southern Counties bus, 3431 has been removed. It came to Wycombe last October and was immediately withdrawn and has remained in Death Row ever since.

Also I could not see 3520, the long-time withdrawn Urbanstar so perhaps that has also gone.

In the workshops it was possible to see the rear ends of two buses not seen here previously.

(Good thing that I took my binoculars).

They are 3282 V282 HBH a Plaxton SLF with MPD body, and 4368 W368 XKX a DAF SB3000 with Plaxton Prima Interurban body, now a driver training vehicle.

Also noted was the crew shuttle taxi FX4 P564 SYF. It has not been around for several weeks and it looks as though it has had a repaint.


Arriva 4525 on route 40 at Stokenchurch on September 3rd by Gavin Francis

Arriva 5439 with non working blinds on route 280 in Oxford and September 10th by Gavin Francis

Arriva 5454 on route 280 in New Rd, Oxford on August 23rd by Gavin Francis.

Arriva DLA1 trainer in London on August 28th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva Green Line 4377 on the 757 turns onto Elizabeth Bridge on August 30th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva Green Line 4377 on the 757 with new flash branding at the London Terminus on September 11th by Gavin Francis.

Now an unusual sight was Arriva 2496 on the 40 in Stokenchurch on September 5th by Malcolm Crowe.

Arriva Sightseeing DAF DLP246, seen in this livery on August 14th by Malcolm Crowe.

Thanks to Bernard Lewendon we have a current fleet list for Carousel.

Carousel Buses, High Wycombe.
923 G530 VBB Leyland Olympian / N. Counties
924 G534 VBB Leyland Olympian / N. Counties
925 H554 GKX Leyland Olympian / Leyland
926 H556 GKX Leyland Olympian / Leyland   withdrawn
927 H563 GKX Leyland Olympian / Leyland
561 P423 MLE D. Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 2 Withdrawn
928 R267 LGH Volvo Olympian / N. Counties Palatine 1
929 R269 LGH Volvo Olympian / N. Counties Palatine 1
930 R270 LGH Volvo Olympian / N. Counties Palatine 1
931 R287 LGH Volvo Olympian / N. Counties Palatine 1
101 T101 DBW Dennis Trident 2 / Alexander ALX400
918 PN02 XBZ Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Vyking
919 PN02 XCA Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Vyking
920 PN02 XCK Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Vyking
921 PN02 XCS Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Vyking
922 PNO2 XCT Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Vyking
871 CB51  BUS Mercedes Benz Citaro
872 CB53 BUS Mercedes Benz Citaro
415 AF53 GCX MAN 14.220 / M.C.V. Stirling
416 AF53 GCY MAN 14.220 / M.C.V. Stirling
417 AF53 GCZ MAN 14.220 / M.C.V. Stirling
801 C1 WYC Optare Tempo
802 C2 WYC Optare Tempo
803 C3 WYC Optare Tempo
804 YJ56 WUD Optare Tempo
805 YJ56 WUE Optare Tempo
806 YJ56 WVS Optare Tempo
807 YJ56 WVT Optare Tempo
808 YJ56 WVU Optare Tempo
809 YJ56 WVV Optare Tempo
751 YX07 HNO Enterprise Plasma / Plaxton Primo
752 YX07 HPJ Enterprise Plasma / Plaxton Primo
753 RK07 BNF  Enterprise Plasma / Plaxton Primo
420 RX60 DLY MAN 14.240 / ADL Enviro 200
421 RX60 DLZ MAN 14.240 / ADL Enviro 200
422 RX60 DME MAN 14.240 / ADL Enviro 200
423 RX60 DMF MAN 14.240 / ADL Enviro 200
424 RX60 FKF MAN 14.240 / ADL Enviro 200
873 AE61 EWO M.B. OC500U/ MCV Evolution
874 AE61 EWP M.B. OC500U/ MCV Evolution
875 AE61 EWR M.B. OC500U/ MCV Evolution
August 2013

From Bernard Lewendon

At Carousel there is a new arrival. Numbered 101 and straight from Thames Travel at Oxford (??). Registration T101 DBW and it is a Dennis Trident 2 with Alexander ALX400 body.

It still retains side lettering listing the roads it would have travelled whilst in Oxford.

Pictures by Bernard Lewendon

Picture by Malcolm Crowe on August 23rd. 

From Luke Braham who visited High Wycombe recently.

Carousel 422 RX60 DME on route 1 arrives in High Wycombe Bus Station on September 8th.

Carousel 422 RX60 DME in High Wycombe Bus Station on September 8th. 

From Gary Seamarks

Think this sign at First Northampton depot says it all !!! 

Even in my short time since knowing of Northampton Transport this would have seemed unthinkable in 1975 (my first number bashing visit to the town) Red buses out numbered the Green. If anything going by what happened in Maidstone when NBC pulled you could have seen UC pulling out with rural services running from MK, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering etc and just a small outstation in the county town. What on earth must former Transport managers and drivers be thinking, First in Northampton or First out of town ?? 

R I P first Northampton ... 

From Luke Braham who visited High Wycombe recently.

First Berkshire's Citaro ES 64045 looking less than happy arrives in High Wycombe on the X74 on September 8th.


Epsom Coaches BU06CSO works service R21 to the Reading Festival on August 22nd as seen by Gavin Francis.

A new super rear has appeared on several coaches promoting Amsterdam.
I'm not sure if this isn't misrepresentation as the coaches pictured have never left the shores of the UK in National Express service?

The holiday period produced some unusual hires and Roselyn were operating a 501 dupe to Exeter on August 13th seen by Gavin Francis.

The 737 has seen several occasions recently when Stansted based tri-axles have operated.
SH17 was on the route on September 6th when Gavin Francis took these pictures.

A more regular performer since NEx took over is SH141 seen at Stokenchurch on September 3rd by Gavin Francis.
It seems that Heathrow (Sipson Road) are short of coaches hence the appearance of the tri-axles.
The two axle coaches have gone to Heathrow to help out.

A new super rear attracting passengers seen by Gavin Francis on August 13th.

Who says that a livery cannot improve a coach. This must be one of the most attractive applied to a Levante.
Epsom Coaches EP01, once in NEx livery now sports in house branding, in spite of being used on the 410 to Birmingham on
September 11th and pictured by Gavin Francis.

Another branding change is to that used on the 870 and 871 from Ireland as seen in the picture above by Gavin Francis. 

Graham Low writes "OBC Volvo B5LH 360 now has standard wheel trims - the first to be so treated I think."

The company web site advises:

21 August 2013

Vehicles sold: 35/6 Holmeswood Coaches 6/13

 38-40 BASE Ltd 6/13

 42-6 Ensign, dealer 8/13

 101 Thames Travel 8/13

13 March 2013

Vehicle reregistered: 300 to R12 OXF (3/13)

Vehicles sold: 105/6, 861 to Thames Travel (3/13)

Any pictures of the coaches in their new homes would be much appreciated.

James May sent some nice pictures of interest.

City of Oxford 119 (T119DBW) is pictured turning in Brockenhurst railway station car park. The 6 is operated as a BlueStar route but from Wilts & Dorset’s Lymington depot, and connects Lymington with Southampton. Therefore, the photo is of an Oxford Bus Company bus on loan to Wilts & Dorset operating a BlueStar route! Brockenhurst railway station is actually very good for bus photography – the Green and Blue New Forest tours pass through as well as route 6.


A shot of City of Oxford 113 (T113TBW) in Bournemouth town centre, along Gervis Place. It is pictured on an X1 heading for Lymington. The X1 and X2 were the main routes for the four Tridents allocated to Lymington earlier this year.

September 3rd and a message from Ant Poulton.

All six Tridents did indeed depart Go SouthCoast on the morning of Tuesday August 6th, presumably back to Oxford although their actual destination was not confirmed . . .

September 2nd and Luke Braham was on hand to see Oxford's coach routes on diversion.

"Due to problems on the M40 this morning (02/09/13) Oxford Bus Company’s Airline and X90 services were on diversion through Aylesbury."  

Oxford Bus Company 8 HF61 OXF is seen operating LHR in Aylesbury.

Oxford Bus Company 97 GG08 OXF is seen operating the X90 in Aylesbury.

Oxford Bus Company 98 HH08 OXF is seen operating the X90 in Aylesbury. 

I didn’t see the Oxford Tube though.  

Jamie Burrows wrote with an interesting picture.

I've attached a photograph of the ex. OBC Plaxton Verde's which are still (just) in service with Damory Coaches of Dorset (Part of Go-South Coast) 

Still in operation with us are; 

N602FJO: 5602 (ex 5090)

N606FJO: 5606 (ex 5091)

N616NRG: 5616 (ex5092)


Until recently, all three were in regular service in North Dorset on the Damory Coaches network. In September 2011, Damory Coaches won a major contract with Dorset County Council, providing the majority of the counties bus services and home to school contracts. With the contract awarded, was the promise for low floor vehicles. 

As history goes, the 3 ex Oxford Plaxton Verdes B10B Volvo's (together with 3 ex Walls of Manchester DAF Ikarus buses) replaced older Leyland Lynxes and Bristol LH's (I remember these new "modern buses" taking over- I'm 23 years old).

The low floor modern replacements are now cascading and are ex Solent Blue Line Wright Cadets and due shortly are Wilts & Dorset Optare Excels. 


As you can see from my photograph, N602/606 FJO have both in past years received the 2-tone blue Damory livery. N616NRG has never been repainted since it transferred in {2005?} and still wears the turquoise Damory livery. 

Also in our fleet are several Oxford coaches.


OX 211 a Q BUSTER is seen on route 8 in High St on August 29th by Gavin Francis.
This bus, when new, was used during the Omnibus Society's visit to Oxford.

St Giles Fair and buses using Broad Street on diversion



Luke Braham keeps us up to date with happenings at Redline.

Three Alexander Dennis Enviro200’s have arrived for Redline Buses. They have B29F seating and are registered MK63 XAR/S/T. They are for the Green Route 4 contract in Aylesbury as Redline taken over from Arriva the Shires on 1st September.  

Today changes to the Rainbow Routes in Aylesbury became visible and Redline buses have took over the Green Route 4 service from Arriva the Shires. The route now operates Between The Coppice, Aylesbury Town centre and the new Berryfields Estate and operates every 20 minutes. It has a PVR of three bus so Redline Buses have three brand new 63 plate Enviro200’s for the route. They have free Wi-Fi and have B29F seating. They are registered MK63 XAR/S/T. They are seen on the first day of service in the pictures.

Redline Buses MK63 XAS is seen operating Green Route 4 on the first day in service. 

Redline Buses MK63 XAT is seen operating Green Route 4 on the first day in service. 

I think it will be interesting to see what buses Redline use as a substitute for these Enviro’s.

Thanks to Luke Braham for those interesting notes and pictures.

Star Travel

Recently Anglian Bus have been selling on buses or transferring them to Konect Bus due to Anglian Bus’s network revisions which started on the 2nd September. One of the buses Anglian Bus has sold on is Optare Solo AU54 EOA which was seen by myself in Aylesbury on the 8th September operating route 5 with Star Travel. 

Luke Braham



New vehicles are being received and placed in service over the next couple of months. These are planned replacements for older Darts plus additional members to the fleet to satisfy the requirements of new contracts won.

These new services are the 700 service to Water Eaton and Kidlington, which is increased from that taken over from the now defunct R H Buses.

The 800 and 900 will serve Thornhill with services to The John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals as the map link below shows.


Four new E200s will work the 800 and 900 routes and by December five new ADL E400 double decks will work the 700.

The new E200s for services 12, 14 and 16 are shown below.

36926  SN63MXY         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36927  SN63MXZ         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36928  SN63MYA         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36929  SN63MYB         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36930  SN63MYC         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36931  SN63MYD        ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36932  SN63MYF         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

36933  SN63MYG         ADL  Enviro 200  B38F

The arrival of these new buses will give Stagecoach in Oxfordshire one of the most modern fleets in the U.K.

SCO 36928 and 36927 on delivery at Horspath on August 16th by Gavin Francis.

SCO 12014 on route 2A starting from Broad St during St Giles Fair, seen on September 11th by Gavin Francis.

SCO 12023 passing through the road works on St Aldates on August 13th by Gavin  Francis.

SCO 15434 on the 8 threading through St Aldates road works on August 12th by Gavin Francis.

SCO 15762 most unusually works route 2A leaving from Debenhams on August 16th seen by Gavin Francis.

There is a regular duty by a Gold Bus on the 31 as seen by Scania 15834 in St Aldates on September 4th by Gavin Francis.

One of the Elites used for nearly three years on the 737 paid a surprise return visit from Dover.
53704 is seen at Horspath on September 10th by Gavin Francis.

22765 is seen in Broad Street on diversion during St Giles Fair by Gavin Francis.

Darts 33654 and 33650 are now in reserve following the introduction of the new E200s. Seen by Gavin Francis on September 5th.

SCO Scania 15437 on route 8 passes Headington Girls School on August 21st taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Another Gold Bus working off route, 15754 works an X30 service to Wantage on August 29th by Malcolm Crowe. 


Due to a shortage of Gold Buses at Swindon,55 branded coach seated Scanias such 15732 are often seen in Oxford.
This one is seen by Gavin Francis on August 29th.


Richard Morgan writes "Attached photo of the vehicle I did my Pre-Employment Assessment on last Tuesday 27 Aug.  First time I had driven anything larger than the minibus since leaving Tappins in February 2011.  Working on Special Events at Silverstone GP for next three days.  Internal shuttle on Friday and P&R from Towcester Racecourse on Sat & Sun. 

Steve Burd kindly agreed to employ me as a casual driver for Special Events so that I can drive the Bristol FLF. 

Mike Bennett writes "Whilst in Northampton on August 8th I photographed an ex Stagecoach Oxford Dennis Dart SLF/ALX200, R720 YUD, once briefly number 820 in the Oxford fleet.  This was long before the Stagecoach “number for life” changed it to 33820 as seen here.  Apparently it went to Stagecoach Cambus in late 1998.

It is seen leaving the soon to be replaced (demolished hopefully) Greyfriars Bus Station, recently listed in the top ten most hated buildings in the UK.
 I just had to see the building before it goes !
The replacement bus station is taking shape, but seems to have fewer bays than the current building – we shall see.

North West and Cumbria

Trevor Wilson writes "The Stagecoach open top bus 16393 N393LPN now operating out of Fort William was formerly with Stagecoach in Cumbria and operated open top services in the Lake District.  16393 was originally supplied to Hampshire Bus. 

It did spend a few weeks in Chester and Rock Ferry earlier this year (along with 16294 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmc1947/8583609796/ ) after Stagecoach took over the First operations in Chester and the Wirral http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmc1947/8583612262/Stagecoach withdrew ex London open top Olympians and this bus was one of the stop gaps pending ex London Tridents converted to open top. 

I notice you covered the Stagecoach Gold new service in Devon. 

There is also a new Stagecoach Gold service in Cumbria, started Monday 4th August 2013, route 300 Whitehaven-Workington-Maryport-Wigton-Carlisle, one bus per hour each way and has 4 new Scania double decks allocated to Lillyhall depot. 


Stagecoach is making a calculated bid to persuade commuters between west Cumbria and Carlisle to switch to the bus.

The buses have leather seats and free Wi-Fi.

It says that four new double deckers, purchased at a cost of £650,000, offer standards of comfort and luxury never seen before on a bus route in Cumbria.

Features include hand-stitched, high-backed Lazzarini leather seats and free Wi-Fi.

They will enter service on the 300 route early next month.

This provides an hour frequency – two-hourly on Sundays – between Whitehaven and Carlisle via Distington, Workington, Flimby, Maryport, Aspatria, Wigton and Thursby.

The buses will be branded ‘Stagecoach Gold’ and finished a gold-and-blue livery.

A team of drivers will be dedicated to the route.

They have been getting extra training in customer service in readiness for the launch.

Stagecoach also promises that the vehicles will be subject to “a meticulous cleaning regime” as part of its strategy to convince motorists that the bus is a realistic alternative to their cars.

Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach in Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: “It is a real coup for Cumbria to be chosen to receive these luxurious buses.

“Bus travel has come a long way in the past decade and more and more people are realising that it is the more sustainable, economically-friendly way to travel. You can even connect to the internet or pick up your emails using the free on-board Wi-Fi.”

The buses will be based at Stagecoach’s Lillyhall depot near Workington and are the first of their type to be deployed by the company in the north of England.

Stagecoach will offer weekly tickets aimed at commuters, offering unlimited travel from £3.71 a day.

The company saw off competition on the 300 route earlier this year.

Wigton firm Reays launched a service between Workington in Carlisle in January, only to withdraw it two months later when the expected passenger numbers failed to materialise.

James May kindly agreed for me to use some of his pictures.

15431 (KX08KZA) is pictured in Bude strand, departing for Exeter on the X9.
The X9 was taken over from First last year when the North Devon operations were closed down – there are three similar Enviros at Exeter
 that are predominantly used on the X9. It is pictured on 3rd August.

15433 (KX08KZF) is also pictured loading passengers along Bude strand on an afternoon X9 arrival on 2nd August.

15864-WA62ANU-Holsworthy-on July 31st by James May.

South East

Roy Meller writes "Stagecoach Eastbourne received eleven new Enviro 200,s  ( E20D )  costing £1.3m  on to the towns " Loop " service on 12/8/13, four vehicles are unbranded 2 with advert frames.

GN13HHY  is seen in Cornfield Road , Eastbourne  12/8/13

GN13HHS is seen at The Rising, Langney Eastbourne  19/8/13


On 29/7/13 Renown took up route 297 ( Tunbridge Wells - Tenterden )   X965VAP  is pictured in Tenterden High Street.

Stagecoach East Kent  started new Routes 2/2a  Ashford - Tenterden  , and operated a free service over the route on the first day,
 using their Heritage AEC Regent V  MFN946F, and is seen at The Vine, Tenterden.

 Compass Bus , has also introduced new Enviro 200,s onto it's services in the area.

GX13FSP is seen in Willingdon Village  on the 126   ( Seaford - Eastbourne )


An Oxford Tube runs along the Embankment on its way from West Ham Garage to Victoria.
This was due to the closure of Sammy's for maintenance leaving no parking facilities for the park ups.
Photo by Robert Hall.


As mentioned in the Editorial above, Megabus received its ten new Altano coaches for continental services in July and August. By the time you read this they should be entering service replacing the Volvo B9/Panthers which launched services to Amsterdam and Paris from the U.K.

Gavin Francis was on hand to get some pictures of 55010 when it visited VCS on familiarisation training on September 5th.



A very fine addition to the Megabus stable.

SC Megabus 54206 and 50304 in Sammy's on September 4th by Gavin Francis. Ten of each entered service over the past 12 months!

SC Megabus 50307 on the G6 by Victoria on August 12th by Gavin Francis.

SC Megabus 50232 runs round to VCS departures for the M11 service to Aberdeen on August 12th by Gavin Francis.

SC City Link 54126 on Megabus duty in Bulleid Way on August 25th by Malcolm Crowe.

SC Megabus duty using Parks LSK844 on August 5th by Malcolm Crowe 


Stuart Curwen writes "Attached are few photos of the Ex-London United Scania Omnidekkas now in service with Thamesdown Transport 

Full Details of the buses below 

Fleet No - Reg - Name - Former London United Fleet number

371 - YN55NHD - Earl of Devon - SLE10 

372 - YN55NHE - Earl of Dartmouth - SLE11

373 - YN55NHG - Earl of Plymouth - SLE13

374 - YN55NHH - City Of Exeter - SLE14

375 - YN55NHJ - River Tamar - SLE15

376 - YN55NHK - Duke of Cornwall - SLE16

377 - YN55NHL - Earl of St Germans - SLE17

378 - YN55NHM - Earl of Mount Edgcumbe - SLE18

379 - YN55NHO - City Of Truro - SLE19

Thamesdown 371 YN55NHD
on September 3rd by Stuart Curwen.

Thamesdown 372 YN55NHE on September 3rd by Stuart Curwen.

Mike Bennett writes "I was in the West Midlands in early August, and whilst in Wolverhampton Bus Station I saw Plaxton Mini Pointer Dart KP51 UFB, now 20544 in the fleet of Rotala Black Diamond, but formerly one of Thames Travel’s buses.  It was in their fleet as number 551 until early 2008, when it was returned to Dawson Rentals, spending some time with Wessex Connect, before moving to the West Midlands.
Last year at the same time I was in West Bromwich, when similar KP51 UFH was seen, now Black Diamond 20601, but previously with Thames Travel as its number 651.



106 on the X39 in St Aldates on August 13th by Gavin Francis.

109 on the 116 in Oxford con  August 31st by Gavin Francis.

718 on the 94 in Magdalen St East on August 12th by Gavin Francis.


From Luke Braham.

Z&S Buses have acquired six Ex–Metroline Plaxton Presidents from Ensign Bus for Milton Keynes contracts started yesterday (02/09/13). They are registered LR02 BBO/Z, BCU/F, BDO/F. LR02 BCU is seen in the picture taken on the evening of 03/09/13 after working the 12 in Milton Keynes.


Wright Streetlite MX11 JYV is also with Z&S Buses but I do not know if it is a loan vehicle or not. 


Details are now to hand at an informative web site on Oxford's LEZ due to come into force on January 1st 2014.

Oxford Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

Why do we need a LEZ?

The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been introduced to encourage the uptake of cleaner greener vehicles, leading to reductions in pollution emissions and improved air quality.

How did we decide we needed a LEZ?

Oxford City Council, together with Oxfordshire County Council have developed the LEZ over a number of years, including assessments highlighting the need to reduce the impact of vehicle generated emissions. A joint City-County feasibility study identified the process leading to the development of the LEZ, including consultation with the Bus Operators.

Which vehicles are affected?

All local bus services within the streets affected must be operated exclusively by buses whose engines meet the Euro V emission standard (for nitrogen oxides (NOx)), either as a new engine or a vehicle that has been retrofitted with equipment to reduce emissions in order to achieve the Euro V standard (for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)).

When does the LEZ apply?

The LEZ is applicable from 1 January 2014.

How is the LEZ enforced?

The Traffic Commissioner has issued a Traffic Regulation Condition (TRC) that applies to the licence of bus operators providing services in central Oxford. The full text of the TRC as published by the Traffic Commissioner can be viewed (from page 21) in TRC document below:

PDF icon Traffic Regulation Condition (430kB PDF)

Local enforcement of the TRC is explained in the Bus Operator Guidance

Full details are available at the link below.



Luke Braham writes "I went on holiday to Paignton but I end up taking a couple of bus pictures in Torquay while I was away. I include a picture of ex-Oxford 18132 KN04 XJG at Torquay with Hop 11 branding on Stagecoach livery."

The respective timetables are quoted for interest in an area of beauty and delightful holidays!

First Devon 33421 WA08MVF on the X80 in Torquay on August 25th taken by Luke Braham.
This route is soon to be challenged by Stagecoach who are introducing Gold buses in competition!

SC Devon's Scania 15787 WA61KLM on route 12 in Torquay on August 26th taken by Luke Braham.

SC Devon's Scania 15796 WA61KMG on route 12A to White Rock (Sundays and Bank Holidays) seen in Torquay on Bank Holiday Monday August 26th by Luke Braham.

A long way from its original home in Witney on the then 100 service to Oxford, SC Devon's 18132 KN04XJG on hop 11
loading in Torquay for Dawlish Warren on Sunday August 25th taken by Luke Braham.

Darts on the 31 which runs between Torquay  and Barton via Hele Cross.
These taken by Luke Braham on August 30th 2013.

Gavin Francis visited Bracknell on September 3rd and sent a number of pictures, those of Courtney very interesting as Glenn de Sousa has reported on this company but that does not indicate the livery variations which make for a colourful sight.




Arriva have a service from High Wycombe but the advertised journey was a no show during Gavin's visit.

First operate there and Gavin saw the new Volvos on route 75.


Finally Thames Travel were recorded on service as shown below. They are certainly spreading their wings now!

Events - Running Days

Hemel Hempstead

Clive King writes "RT3491 resumes its run round to pick up for a journey to Gadebridge at the Hemel Hempstead Running Day on Sunday 18 August. A minute or so earlier, it had stalled across Waterhouse Street and received rapid attention to the engine but fear of stalling affected driveability on the run to Gadebridge and back. This may well have been the last Hemel Hempstead Running Day due to redevelopment and it is appropriate to thank Peter Cartwright and all his helpers for organising this enjoyable event."

Mark Turner writes to submit pictures he took on the day.





Matt Bullock  writes "In response to Andy Hunt's request, in S&J 70, for info on Byles and Blunsdon's, I have no photographs but I attach fleet histories from my records of the two companies which may be of interest."

Byles, Kidlington 



Chassis No.

Bodywork & Seating

Body No.



Previous Owner


Subsequent Owner


RUD 511G








Sparks, Padworth 5/69

LFC 938G

Ford Transit


Williams Deansgate M12






MTM 937H

Ford Transit


Martin Walter M12





Sullivan & White, Bicester 7/71

MNE 221G

Ford Transit


Williams Deansgate M12



Young, London N9


Martin, Marlow 5/72

WWL 801K

Ford Transit


Luton Commercial Motors M12





Kilsby, Flore 5/75

MUD 401L

Ford Transit


Moseley Envoy M12






Scrapped 1/81

VRB 283F

Bedford J2SZ10


Plaxton Panorama C20F




Stone, Church Gresley


Renton, Oldham 6/75

GER 333E

Bedford VAS5


Duple Bella Vista C29F




Aspen, Chester


Mott, Upton 2/77

NAD 293F

Daimler Roadliner SRC6


Plaxton Panorama C47F




Mace, Churchdown


Cove, London SE25 9/76

YBY 969G

Ford R192


Plaxton Panorama Elite I C45F




Fairway, Biggleswade


Eastville, Bristol 1/79

XGR 262L

Bedford YRQ


Duple Dominant C45F




Barron, Hull


Clowes, Reapsmoor 5/82


Bedford VAL14


Plaxton Panorama C52F




Bates, Rothwell


Blunsdon, Bladon 6/80

NRO 258V

Ford Transit


Tricentrol M12





Willoughby & Harris, Freeland 7/83

JKV 102N

Bedford YRT


Duple Dominant C53F




Smith, Potterspury


Brown, Congleton 10/82


Bedford YMT


Duple Dominant II C53F




Murgatroyd, Thurscross


Clarke, Elmswell 6/90

to 102 SYB 4/87, DFC 932R 6/90

UAY 222S

Bedford YMT


Duple Dominant II C53F




Howlett, Quorn


Eaglen, Morton 3/90

MYB 395

Bedford YMT


Duple Dominant IV C53F




Britton & Bugler, Yate


ACL Training, Liverpool 5/99

NJT 122W

PIW 5455

Bova Europa EL26/581


Bova Europa C49FT




Alfa, Chieveley


Ellison, Ashton Keynes 1/02

EGV 587Y, 5611 PP, FUA 400Y

Blunsdon, Bladon 



Chassis No.

Bodywork & Seating

Body No.



Previous Owner


Subsequent Owner



AEC Reliance 4U3RA


Harrington Cavalier 36 C51F




Premier Travel, Cambridge 242


Coaches, Catshill 5/78

UOM 709H

AEC Reliance 6U3ZR


Plaxton Panorama Elite II C51F




Bowen, Birmingham


Gateway, Tingewick 9/80

MEL 964F

Bedford VAM70


Duple Viceroy 36 C45F




D&P, Belper


Golden Boy, Royden 3/80

BXE 285J

Bedford YRQ


Duple Viceroy C45F




Gentle, Ashwell


Avon AHA, Frenchay (N) 8/79

JFB 496H

Leyland Leopard PSU3/3RT


Plaxton Panorama Elite II C53F




Down, Mary Tavy


Lockside, Castleford (N) 5/84

JNK 555N

Bedford YRT


Plaxton Panorama Elite III C53F




Jupiter, London SW14


Bagnall, Woodville 9/84 for spares

Damaged in accident in 9/83


Bedford VAL14


Plaxton Panorama C52F




Byles, Kidlington


Matthews, Cwmbran 1/81


KVD 448P

Bedford YRT


Plaxton Panorama Elite III C53F




Trina, London WC2


Martin & Whitcombe, Cross Ash 4/88



Bedford YRT


Plaxton Panorama Elite III C53F




Hoare, Weymouth


Tourex, Oxford 3/88


ELP 553T

Bedford YMT


Plaxton Supreme III C53F




Kirby, High Wycombe


Williams, Bampton 4/96

to RJI 6612 2/94


Bedford YMT


Plaxton Supreme III C53F




Telford, Highworth


Sanders, Holt 4/90


CRW 513T

Bedford YMT


Plaxton Supreme III C53F




Rainbow, Westbury


Burke, Claretuam, 3/95

to RJI 6610 2/94

AWB 809T

Bedford YMT


Plaxton Supreme III C53F




Freeman, Uffington


Thompson, Carterton 4/96

to RJI 6611 2/94

G859 VAY

Dennis Javelin 11SDL1905


Plaxton Paramount 3200 III C53F






Wigley, Carlton (D) 4/09 for scrap


G639 SWL



Duple 340 C57F




Pearce, Berinsfield


Lewis, Maenclochog 2/97


F459 NDV

Dennis Javelin 12SDA1907


Plaxton Paramount 3200 III C53F




Dorset Queen, East Chaldon


Lodge, High Easter 4/06


J245 MFP

Dennis Javelin 12SDA1929


Plaxton Paramount 3200 III C53F




Hedingham & District L234


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09



Dennis Javelin 12SDA2171


Auwarter Transliner C50FT




Ellison, Ashton Keynes


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09


P639 OOA

Dennis Javelin


Auwarter Transliner C49FT




Collins, Carrickmacross


Glenferry, Passage West, 6/08

97-MN 1126

PIW 5455

Bova Europa EL26/581


Bova Europa C53F




Ellison, Ashton Keynes


Smith, Long Marston 3/06

EGV 587Y, 5611 PP, FUA 400Y

R421 YWJ

Dennis Javelin


Plaxton Premiere 320 C53F




National Express Operations 1015


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09



Dennis Javelin


Plaxton Premiere 320 C55F




Brijan Tours, Bishops Waltham 29


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09



Dennis Javelin


Plaxton Premiere 320 C53F




Brijan Tours, Bishops Waltham 39


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09


DXI 74

Hestair Duple 425 SDA1512


Duple 425 C50FT




Helmore, Paignton


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09

E572 BGA

W411 HOB

Mercedes-Benz O.404-15R


Hispano Vita C49FT




Spencer, Ellistown


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09


S455 JJB

Mercedes-Benz O.404-15R


Hispano Vita C48FT




Three Star, Luton


Blunsdon, Bicester 9/09


If any of you readers can provide any additions, corrections or further info it would be of great interest to me. I'm keen to receive info (vehicle details, company history etc) on all Oxfordshire operators, most especially pre-1960s. A bit of a long-shot, I know, but you never know! If anyone has anything they can send to theoxforddrinker@yahoo.co.uk and I'd be most grateful.


 A reader has a question saying "one query with a caption and it relates to some F-KOD registered Mercedes that were new to TT but subsequently sent to Devon where they retained their
Oxford blue livery and had Coastllnk vinyls placed on the sides for the Exeter - Dawlish - Teignmouth - Newton Abbot service.

I was with the company when they were new but had left by the time they were transferred to Exeter. I have a note that these vehicles has semi luxury seats for use on the Oxford Tube (!) but not sure if
they ever were. Maybe it was for a feeder to the Tube from Witney or High Wycombe in those days

Some interesting pictures, from Michael Wadman, have come to light from over 10 years ago!

Swanbrook  E300 BWL  -Former South Midland MB 709D / Reeve Burgess on Service 49 at Gloucester bus station
dated 15th June 1999

Swanbrook  A111 MUD Former City of Oxford MS Leyland Tiger / Plaxton on Service 53 at Northleach on 21st March 1997

Swanbrook  A111 MUD a former City of Oxford MS Leyland Tiger / Plaxton on Service 53 at Gloucester bus station
15th June 1999

Swanbrook  B120 UUD - Former City of Oxford MS Leyland Tiger / Plaxton at Gloucester bus station on 21st June 1997

Swanbrook  B121 UUD Former City of Oxford MS Leyland Tiger / Plaxton at Cheltenham on 25th May 1996 
By this time I think that the Oxford – Gloucester service had been numbered 53, but it wasn’t usually displayed on the coaches.
The service in 2013 is numbered 853.

All pictures by Michael Wadman

 I always thought that these "high liner" 3500's were really impressive coaches. The body design was excellent and even today, in 2013, doesn't look that dated. Ed.

I have been re-reading Paul Lacey's South Midland history and find myself admiring the development of a small private company in 1921 to a pseudo big company in latter days, always providing the latest designs of coaches in a livery which approximated to the very large operators.


Buses in the Landscape

Framed by trees and buildings with children and a balloon.

SCO's 15836 on the S3 at Oxford's train station on August 7th taken by Frazer Peddle on August 7th by Frazer Peddle.

On a city tour ex an Oxford Park & Ride Trident passes a backdrop of college buildings.

CSS 59 in Oxford on August 7trh by Frazer Peddle.

Trees, people, a taxi and a bus at Oxford's train station

Oxford Bus 213 waits time on service 5 to Blackbird Leys on August 7th 2013.


Arriva DW 273 on route 38 displays a new allover for Hypervenom by Victoria on September 6th taken by Gavin Francis.

August 29th saw several new "Borismasters" out on training runs for route 11, as seen by Gavin Francis, when LT54 and 57 passed his lens in Victoria.

Excalibur Eurolines YJ60LBX displays new graphics in VCS on August 13th taken by Gavin Francis.

Metroline LT24 on route 24 still displays advertising for this years Imber day, which took place on August 14th, now LT24 is seen on September 6th
taken by Gavin Francis

Flights FN06FLC, once working on National Express contracted services, on a private hire, laying over at Oxpens on August 22nd taken by Gavin Francis.

Ex Hants and Dorset 1557 KRU224F seen at Binders Yard on August 26th by Gavin Francis.

Harris Coaches ex Marchants Coaches P6WRS ex P332VWR at their depot in Binders Yard on August 26th by Gavin Francis.

The subject of a number of livery changes, Titan T961 in a new guise at Binders Yard on August 26th by Gavin Francis.

Unusual to see both buses, London - Harrods RML and RM leaving Victoria on tour on September 11th by Gavin Francis.

I seem to remember driving this bus on a private hire to Epsom Downs around 2004 when working for Oxford Bus,
London General Olympian NV171 open top on the 850 service on September 4th taken by Gavin Francis.

Nostalgia Travel's RML 2430 in Frideswide Sq., Oxford on August 31st taken by Gavin Francis.

Gavin Francis captured this very fine Panther in Oxpens on September 6th and the superb graphics are shown in more detail in the closer up.
Taylors come from Yeovil and celebrate 50 years of service.

Galleon Travel of Roydon, this time an Irizar i6 waiting it's passengers in Oxford on August 13th taken by Gavin Francis.

Dave Allen took some very nice shots of the RT class working the Wartime Tour of London.

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 - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000

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

New source of fleet books for the enthusiast

A copy of the latest book from Steven Knight has landed on my desk for review. The book contains full details of the Stagecoach Midlands fleet and is well worth the modest price of £5.50, especially since an update of the fleet can be downloaded at the web site. Allocation details are given plus details of liveries carried by buses and the associated branding where applicable.

This takes me back to the early days of Ian Allan when such books were available and as pocket books were so useful. Also each edition represents a record of the fleets which in the future can be so useful.


Specialist booklets for the bus enthusiast and historian

Check out the link below for copies of these books





This review covers a 53 minute video of Oxfordshire and includes Abingdon, Oxford City Centre, Bicester and Banbury. It features buses from Thames Travel, Stagecoach, OxfordBus, Heyfordian and Tappins.

For those who haven't the time to assemble video, many of us are taking still pictures!!, this provides a current record of the local scene and at £10 represents good value for money.

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.