Spottings & Jottings nr. 84 - April 10th 2015

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

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know


Well, this month has been a very busy one for new vehicles and changes around the fleets.

The remaining X90 Interdecks have entered service, the new E400s for the Arriva 280 service have also entered service and news is breaking of a new service from another who proposes running a service from High Wycombe to Thame thus maintaining a link being lost as Arriva will withdraw their service between Stokenchurch and Thame from mid May.
Carousel are revealed as the operator and the service is set to start on June 1st 2015. The Arriva withdrawal to Thame is due to the upcoming withdrawal of funding by Oxfordshire County Council for this service

Coach 71 leaves Victoria for Oxford on Friday 13th seen by Gavin Francis.

 5465 coming up Queen St on 26th March seen by Richard Sharman.

Rebuilding works in central Oxford, where the Westgate shopping centre car parks are being demolished and will be replaced by much more shopping areas. Buses, coaches and taxis are currently diverted via Norfolk Street as Old Greyfriars Street is now closed and indeed is disappearing under the present works. Indeed Norfolk Street is now alternate working with additional works on the north side. Gavin Francis and Richard Sharman have provided a number of pictures to illustrate developments.

The temporary Coach Park at Norfolk Street has now also closed as seen on 26th March by Richard Sharman.
Coaches are now catered for at Redbridge Park & Ride which is someway out of the city centre.
Abingdon Road can become very congested and one has to question such facilities in such a popular tourist centre!!

Oxford's 41 heading for Heathrow negotiates the building works around Norfolk Street on March 30th seen by Gavin Francis.

Oxford's 870 on 13 road heads out of Castle St. into Norfolk St. to negotiate the building works on March 30th seen by Gavin Francis.

Oxford Westgate Centre demolition and the building works on March 30th seen by Gavin Francis.

SCO 36761 r 11 comes out of Norfolk St into Castle St negotiating the building works on March 30th seen by Gavin Francis.

SCO 50265 negotiates the diversion from Norfolk St into the remains of Old Greyfriars St  building works on March 30th seen by Gavin Francis.

One wonders how long these works will take. It appears that there will not be a bus station as originally proposed and buses will still use on street pick ups.

Chaos caused in central Oxford caused by a protest march on Saturday 4th April.

Richard Morgan was on hand to capture a few of the problems resulting.

SCO 12020 on its way from St Aldates, having reversed into Rose Place, during march diversions.

An E400,probably on the 8 to Barton, does a three point turn at the top of St Aldates.

The cause of all the problems for bus and coach services.
Personally I have never seen so many police on duty in Oxford in my 40 years as a near resident!!

Coach services from the M40 were diverted via Marston Ferry Road during the march and your Editor is seen here on an inbound London service.

Many thanks to Richard Morgan for his excellent pictures seen above

Megabus launch German domestic operation

Full details under Megabus section below.

Later in this page we will see details of a new service between Gloucester and Bristol operated by Stagecoach West and of especial interest to readers as the coaches used are from the X5 Cambridge-Oxford service. However as a taster I include the picture below.

Rather retro but nice in my opinion.


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 £3 per head is made.


Next meeting:

Our next meeting is on Tuesday April 21st

This is the Annual General Meeting

 Meeting commences at 19:15. 

 Meeting free for subscribed members, £3 for non members.

 Allan also hopes to have some of his published books to bring along with him on the night for sale, these include an
in depth look at Bristol VR's in their home city.

Meetings are held in the new venue at:

 The Tree Hotel,

 63 Church Way,

Iffley Village, Oxford OX4 4EY


All meetings start at 19.15 although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.
The venue offers a wide range of excellent food

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 - April 10th 2015


Luke Braham writes "Arriva have got 3266 and 3267 currently on loan but I’ve not caught up with them yet. Both are most likely to appear on the 300.

The ex-COMS coach (nr 90) is still parked up in the Redline depot in the same place as last time. Its still in the X90 livery with all vinyls removed expect the fleet numbers."

Gordon Scott writes from Edinburgh "I was in town this morning and I caught up with two new 15 plate buses for Perrymans of Berwick upon Tweed operating route 253 Edinburgh to Berwick upon Tweed.

024 SN15 LJF and 025 SN15 LJJ taken at Edinburgh Bus Station on 9th March by Gordon Scott

One of Lothian new Volvo B5 Wright bodied 423 BN64 CSX all now being fitted with side adverts taken in Princess Street Edinburgh.

Three shots attached taken today at Alexander Dennis factory Falkirk, buses on test run.

Arriva West Yorkshire 1934 SN15 LNW for service at Wakefield seen on March 27th by Gordon Scott.

West Midlands Enviro 200 867 SN15 LCO on March 27th by Gordon Scott. 

West Midlands new Enviro 400 MMC 6120 SN15 LGG on delivery run on 27th March by Gordon Scott. 

Arriva Enviro 400 SN15 LPJ on test run before delivery for service at Wakefield seen on March 27th by Gordon Scott.

Your Editor has always found Edinburgh a fascinating bus scene and Gordon Scott has provided an update for present day operations. I hope readers enjoy these pictures from north of the border?

Lothian Buses has service changes from today (27th March), shots attached Lothian route 29 changed to double deck route from today shot attached Volvo Wright Gemini 928 SN09 CVO with Orange roof and route number branded taken Silverknowes, Edinburgh. 

Also taken today Lothian Volvo Wright 927 on route 29 and Volvo Hybrid 25 on route 30 taken in Princess Street Edinburgh.

Lothian 330 SN59 BFL Volvo Wright Gemini taken yesterday on route 22 Pink roof and route number branded taken in Princess Street Edinburgh.

Lothian 201 SN11EES Enviro 400 Hybrid on route 41 also used on Night services 040415 G Scott

Lothian 735 route 44 repainted into current livery was route 44 branded before 040415 G Scott

Lothian 937 SN10DKE route 25 in Airlink 100 livery taken on 4th August 2014
and now Lothian Country Buses 938 SN10DKF route 113 the second Wright Gemini in this livery - when new in Airlink 100 livery 4th April 2015.
Pictures by Gordon Scott.

David Fell writes "I thought you might like to include this photo of former Oxford Tube T35 DFC on your website.

It was taken today by myself outside Trinity College on Broad Street. It is in a grey livery with the name 'Vision' but I'm not sure which operator this is. Must update my records from the PSV Circle news sheets!!"


Arriva logo and TGM

Luke Braham reports "The latest arrival to the MAX specification is Citaro 3909 BU06 HSO which had returned to the Aylesbury depot by the 7th February. It carries full MAX livery with route 150 branding and has had its luggage racks removed and replaced with extra seats. It is awaiting to go to VOSA for recertification to check that its safe for public service.

3908 BU06 HSN is expected to go away for similar treatment when sister 3909 returns to service.

Citaros 3908 BU06 HSN and 3909 BU06 HSO have been fully refurbished and repainted into Arriva MAX livery with route 150 branding.

Thanks to the depot staff for allowing me on site to take these pictures!"

Last week saw a few mix ups with the MAX fleet at Aylesbury with 150-branded 3914 BV58MLK being sent to Leighton Buzzard outstation and being used on route 70 along with X60-branded 3917 BV58MLN which was used on the 150. With 3917 being at Leighton Buzzard, this meant that non-MAX buses would have to operate the X60 which included 3931 BD12DHJ on the 16th February, 3930 BD12DHG on the 17th February and 3922 BK58 URP on 18th February with 3917 returning to Aylesbury on the 19th February possibly with sister 3914.

Arriva 3914 BV58 MLK on the 70 on February 18th taken by Luke Braham.

Arriva 3917 BV58 MLN works the 150 on February 18th taken by Luke Braham.

Arriva 3922 BK58 URP on the X60 on February 18th taken by Luke Braham.

Arriva 3931 BD12 DHJ on the X60 on February 16th taken by Luke Braham.

Arriva the Shires 3908 BU06HSN on the 650 on March 17th taken by Luke Braham.

New E400s arrive

Only 5464 was missing from these pictures taken after delivery to Aylesbury depot in early March by Luke Braham.

Early pictures of E400s in service prior to branding being added.

Arriva the Shires 5462 SN15LPL works the 280 on 17th March before branding was added - taken by Luke Braham.

Arriva the Shires 5467 SN15LPX works the 280 on 17th March before branding was added - taken by Luke Braham.

Nine brand new ADL Enviro400s have arrived at the Aylesbury depot to replace the 58-plate Enviro400s on Sapphire route 280. Full details of there arrival is below:




AD E446/1 






AD E446/2 






AD E446/3 






AD E446/4 






AD E446/5 






AD E446/6 






AD E446/7 





AD E40D  

AD E446/8 






AD E446/9 



5461 SN15 LPK - Arrived by the 13th March
5462 SN15 LPL - Arrived on the 5th March
5463 SN15 LPO - Arrived on the 4th March
5464 SN15 LPP - Arrived by the 13th March
5465 SN15 LPU - Arrived on the 4th March
5466 SN15 LPV - Arrived on the 6th March
5467 SN15 LPX - Arrived on the 6th March
5468 SN15 LPY - Arrived by the 9th March
5469 SN15 LPZ - Arrived on the 5th March

The new E400s were branded for the 280 during the following week and then entered service. The 58-plates were then expected to transfer to Hemel Hempstead for the 320. 

Mercedes Benz Citaro 3919 BK58 URM arrived at the Aylesbury depot having been refurbished and repainted into MAX livery on the 19th March. It is believed to have route 300 branding.

Wright Renowns 3266 V266 HBH and 3267 V267 HBH are said to have transferred to High Wycombe after loan to Aylesbury depot.

Dennis Dart 3293 V293 HBH looks as if it has been withdrawn from service and it has not moved from the same spot in the depot for nearly a week now.

The first two Enviro400s entered service on the 280 on the 17/03/15 and these were 5462 SN15 LPL and 5467 SN15 LPX. They entered service in unbranded Sapphire livery but are due to receive branding in the next few days. 

On the 19/03/15, 5465 SN15 LPU entered service in fully branded Sapphire livery for the 280.

Currently on loan at Aylesbury depot are ex-Arriva North West 3109 MX12 KWY and 3110 MX12 KWZ. They are here to cover for the MAX refurbishment of the Citaros that are currently used on route 300. I am not sure if 3109 and 3110 will be there Arriva the Shires fleet numbers as these were also carried in the North West but I will update you on this.

Arriva the Shires 3109 MX12KWY and 3110 MX12KWZ on the 300 on 27th March taken by Luke Braham.
(The fleet numbers should be 3769 and 3770 Ed)

Also on loan at Aylesbury are ex-Milton Keynes Darts 3234 V234 HBH (not yet seen) and 3237 V237 HBH. (I’ll send photos of these once I have them)

Nigel Peach writes "On 17th March I noticed that 3266 and 3267 were listed on the running board in HW bus station. I then saw 3267 (V267 HBH) (complete with its advert for something in Milton Keynes!). They are Volvo B10BLE with Wright Renown bodies and join sisters 3261-3. (3261 has been at Wycombe for some years, 3262/3 joined late last year).
V  reg buses - quite new for Wycombe! Searching online, I saw something to say that 3266 and 3267 were at Aylesbury in February covering for Citaros away for refurbishment. The refurb programme must be over! I noticed that DAF 3444 was not listed anywhere (though I definitely saw it last week), and similar 4429 was at Cressex last weekend looking withdrawn, so my guess is that 3266/7 are direct replacements for 3444 and 4429. These latter two were the last of the ex gas powered DAF buses in Wycombe.

Then in Oxford Road I saw Volvo B7 3890 (LF02 PVA), "not in service". This is the bus that was once described as The Bus of the Future when new. I wonder if it is a transfer to Wycombe or just passing through. (I have been advised by Arriva the Shires head office that this bus is now on the Wycombe allocation. Ed.)

3890 at Wycombe Bus Stn on March 30th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

3890 heads for Slough from Beaconsfield on route 74 on 31st March taken by Malcolm Crowe.

I mentioned that I saw Volvo B7 3890 (LF02 PVA), "The Bus of the Future" the other day in Wycombe but not in service. Yesterday (25th March) it was working the 32 to Micklefield.

Wycombe's B7RLEs, 3861-7 arrived new in Wycombe 10 years ago this month. 3864 is currently out of service at Cressex. It looks as though it has been involved in an accident. I also wonder about sister 3866. I've not seen it so far this year, and it doesn't feature on the list in the bus station at all - not even VOR.

No sign yet of any Streetlites due imminently for route 33! (These buses are, I am advised, for June build - so a few months away yet. Ed.)

Late news from Nigel.

We have two more: 3511/2 KE51 PUY/PUX have appeared in Wycombe and both were on route 37 today. They are two more  originally Arriva London, but then converted to single door when they transferred to The Shires and have been based latterly at MK. They are Wright Cadet bodied DAF SB120s. (We've already got 12 of those at Wycombe!).

I couldn't work out what they might have replaced - all the old buses were still working today. But I did notice that there were no less than 14 buses on the VOR list!

From the Editor. 

As a result of a major replacement of single decks by E400 double decks 27 single decks have moved to Arriva The Shires. 

Acquired from Arriva Merseyside in the last weeks. 

VDL SB200 – Wrightbus Pulsar B44F


3753-3763 (MX61AVY/Z, AWA/C/FM/N/O, AXA/B/C
3764-3766 (MK12KWR/S/T


3767-3772 (MK12KWV/W/Y/Z, KXA/B 

Six of the above were still operating with Merseyside fleet numbers

3753 (3072) – 3756 (3075) – 3764/5/6 (3123/4/5) – 3773 (3147)

3769 (3109) & 3770 (3110) both at Aylesbury. (see pictures by Luke Braham above)

Some of the above are planned to go to Wycombe to replace many older buses.

3217, an S reg. Dart, was seen broken down at Studley Green on 30/3 seemingly deserted for a number of hours.

Arriva 3457 and 3861 on route 800 in Marlow seen on March 9th by Malcolm Crowe.

Arriva 3224 on route 40 at Stokenchurch on March 10th by Gavin Francis. (This may be replaced very shortly - see above.)

Arriva 3226 on route 40 at Stokenchurch on 24th February seen by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3262 on the 74 in Wycombe on March 3rd seen by Gavin Francis. 

Arriva 3444 on the 37 in Wycombe on March 3rd taken by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3454 on the 31 in Wycombe by March 3rd by Gavin Francis.

3511 seen with Wycombe on 8th April 2015 and previously with London at Upminster on 19th August 2008 both by Gavin Francis.

3512 on the 37 in Wycombe ex MK seen on 31st March 2015
and as Arriva 3512 on the 346 at UPMINSTER STATION on 19th August 2008 both by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3701 on the 40 at Stokenchurch on March 9th seen by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3769 still 3109 ex Merseyside on the 300 in Wycombe on March 31st seen by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3932 on the 300 in Wycombe still with Luton - Watford branding - seen on 3rd March by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 6242 works the 32 at Cressex on March 3rd by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 6304 most unusually working ther PR1 service in Wycombe on March 3rd seen by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3745 works the 30 in Wycombe on 3rd March seen by Gavin Francis.
Route branding seems a pointless expense when the buses are always working other routes!!!!! Ed.

Arriva 4065 on the 757 still with its 797 seen leaving Victoria for Luton on 12th March by Gavin Francis.

One of the last Arriva working on the 797 - 4067 awaits departure from Buckingham Palace Road on February 26th seen by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 5465, with full branding, coming up Queen St in Oxford on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman.

Arriva 5468, also with full branding, turning by Carfax in Oxford on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman.


Carousel Buses

Andy Cork writes "I'm not really into buses but I was doing a bit of research into a bus that we have had donated to school and thought that you might appreciate some photos of the fantastic 'new' bus that Oxford Bus Company have donated to the school, fully kitted out. We are now the proud owners of (918) PN02 XBZ but as you can see from the photos, it has had a bit of a work over to make it suitable for us! 

I'm not sure if you are interested in the fate of some old buses, but it is fantastic for us!"

Andy has sent a number of pictures which I'm sure readers will find interesting.



Well done to Go Ahead for their generosity to this school.

Nigel Peach writes "Carousel's Dart P480 MLE has been the regular on Purple Route 35 to Flackwell Heath until recently. The purple buses 415 and 417 (AF53 GCX/Z) are apparently officially in reserve now, but 415 was running the route last week.

I was amused to read in April "Buses" which arrived yesterday that 480 is being used as a crew ferry. In that case it has been ferrying crew to and from Flackwell Heath every hour, displaying "35" on it!!"

Carousel's 101 works the 36 in Wycombe on 3rd March seen by Gavin Francis.

Carousel's 112 still registered T112DBW working the 740 seen in Wycombe centre on 31st March by Gavin Francis.
Something seems amiss with the destination screen.

Carousel's 712 on the A40 to Heathrow seen in Wycombe Centre on 31st March by Gavin Francis
It seems a far cry from a Citaro fleet used in the early days of this route.

Carousel's 809 works the Blue 1 leaving Wycombe Bus Station on 30th March seen by Malcolm Crowe. 

480 has been the subject of numerous messages concerning its withdrawal, use as a staff shuttle and now here it is in Stokenchurch

seemingly having had a spruce up and caught on camera by Gavin Francis on 7th April.
It no longer carries any branding or fleet number!!!

Heyfordian's H804AHA on school route 904 heading west in Stokenchurch on 9th March by Gavin Francis.


The first 15 plate Levantes are entering service as seen below.

Lucketts brand new X4825 BK15AHP on an 030 working leaving Victoria coach Station on 30th March by Gavin Francis.

South Gloucester's L400SGB, ex FJ60HYR, with super rear "World Rugby" in Bulleid Way on 6th March by Gavin Francis.

South Gloucester's  NX07AAA which was FJ60HYV, also with super rear "World Rugby" in VCS on 2nd March by Gavin Francis.

 South Gloucester's T300SGB new as FJ57KHH on Elizabeth Bridge on 13th March by Gavin Francis.

Excelsior's 911 - A19 XEL ex FJ55BXW works the 310 into Oxford on 21st October by Malcolm Crowe.

Caught in the lens of Gavin Francis, Little's of Ilkeston operate the Levante VIL9335,
once Haytons Coaches MX56HYZ when new and now seen on Hino Tours in Oxford on 4th April 2015.

Stansted's SH197 now carries super rears for London's Air Ambulance seen near VCS on 5th April by Malcolm Crowe. 

Many happenings in this operator. Route colours, new coaches and variety on the 737 service operated on behalf of National Express.

Route 4 is the latest service to get specially coloured and branded buses with Citaros 842 and 843 so far completed.

OX 842 in the new livery seen on New road on 5th Match by Gavin Francis.

OX 843 is seen after return from Hants and Dorset trim whoi had completed the repainting. Date 5th March by Gavin Francis.

The two Citaros pass in Castle Street on 30th March seen by Gavin Francis.

Oh dear! slight finger trouble, a 300 service shows 600 when in George St on 4th April taken by Gavin Francis.

Citaro 870 on the 13 heads out of Castle St and negotiates the building works on 30th March seen by Gavin Francis.

Training Volvo 965 rounds the corner at Carfax on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman. 

The new coach fleet for the X90

Nr 71 seen turning into Bulleid Way on 13th March by Gavin Francis.

Nr 72 at the termin us in Buckingham Palace Road on 5th March taken by Gavin Francis.

Nr 73 on it's first day in service leaves Gloucester Green for London on 9th March by Gavin Francis.

Nr 75 heads up New Road after leaving Gloucester Green on 5th March taken by Gavin Francis.

Last but not least, nr 78 in various shots, first in London's Elizabeth Drive on 6th March and then in Gloucester Green on5th March
both taken by Gavin Francis.

Interdecker 76 leaves London en route to Oxford on March 31st by Richard Morgan.

Other express workings.

82 on an inbound diverted working in St Giles on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman. 

61 on diversion Inbound at St Giles on 7th February taken by Ricahrd Sharman.

Well suited to the air[port services, Interdecker 63 offers increased capacity as it heads for Gatwick on 5th April and seen by Gavin Francis.
These coaches have been seen regularly on the LGW service in the past few weeks.

National Express 737 workings.

Coaches 41 and 48 pass close by in Stokenchurch on 9th March taken by Gavin Francis.

Coach 46 approaching Carfax on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman. 

Coach 49 heads westward in Stokenchurch on 24th February by Gavin Francis.

Coach 52 pauses in Stokenchurch on its way to Stansted on 10th March taken by Gavin Francis.

Oxford's 43 works a 737 service from Gloucester Green on 3rd April seen by Gavin Francis. 


Once again double deckers have been appearing on Sunday workings of the the 10 service around Oxford.

 E400 10070 on 10 working in St Aldates on Sunday 6th April taken by Gavin Francis.

15995 on an S3 working at St Giles on 7th February taken by Richard Sharman.

An old friend, former Oxford 22941 now withdrawn at Gloucester Depot seen on 26th March by Richard Sharman.

Due to M40 closure or congestion this SW1 service routed through High Wycombe on April 7th caught by Luke Braham.


The new tri-axles on the X5 have now gained super rear branding.

54302 shows it Cambridge super rear on 6th March by Gavin Francis.

54305 shows its Bedford super rear on 9th March by Gavin Francis

Another Cambridge rear on 54318 on 9th March by Gavin Francis 


Stagecoach launch aviation-themed coach service between Gloucester and Bristol


A NEW coach service between Gloucester and the north of Bristol has been launched.

The Belles Express is an hourly coach service run by Stagecoach West which takes inspiration from the region's aviation history and made its maiden journey on Monday, March 23.

The service runs from Gloucester Bus Station, Waterwells Park and Ride, AZTEC West, Cribbs Causeway, SGS Filton College, MoD Abbey Wood and the University of West England.

Buses will run hourly starting at 5.55am Monday to Saturday and are equipped with Wi-Fi, an onboard toilet and power sockets with a return fare costing £8.

The firm chose to use a classic 1940s retro airline feel for the coach. The outfit that Millie, the Belles Express icon, wears in the image on the bus is designed to look like an airline uniform, tying in with the traditional bus driver hat that will be introduced to drivers of Belles Express.

Rupert Cox, Managing Director of Stagecoach West, commented: “We’re extremely excited about the launch of Belles Express; we’re changing the daily commute for many passengers, giving them more luxuries than they’d find on their alternative routes, and also saving them some money at the same time.

"This investment in the region will help connect more people, and by using the M5 a quick link between Gloucester and North Bristol.”

The Belles Express will serve Waterwells Park & Ride, Aztec West, MoD Abbey Wood and the University of West of England; and at off peak times will also serve Cribbs Causeway.

More details about the Belles Express can be found at : 

Marcus Lapthorn writes “We were in Cheltenham last week and I picked up copies of the Belles Express leaflet which I had never heard of! It looks to be a very good initiative and the leaflet is most attractive. How did they come to use the name Belles Express? I presume that you have photos to share with us on the next web page? Full marks to Stagecoach West.”

Carl Berry writes "Seen in Cribbs Causeway on it's first day of operation is Stagecoach West's new 'Belles Express' service from Gloucester. 53609, KX58NCA is one of three dedicated coaches for the service, the prime purpose of which is a commuter route between Gloucester and North Bristol. (However the Cribbs variation does run on Saturdays as well)."

53609 seen on 23rd March by Carl Berry.

More pictures from Richard Sharman.

SC West 53609 arriving at Gloucester on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman.

SC West 53610 inside Gloucester Depot on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman.

SC West 53611 heading for Cribbs Causeway on 26th March taken by Richard Sharman.

An artist with a fine imagination ! Ellie and Millie grace the rears of 53609 and 53611 at Gloucester taken by Richard Sharman.


Midlands 36759 on Rail Replacement Work at Banbury on 6th February by Richard Sharman. 


Gordon Scott has sent some pictures of buses and coaches which have replaced our ex Tube coaches on the X25 ( worked out of SC Glasgow.)

15945 YP63PVE Scania Alexander Enviro 400 X25 route branded new to SC West Scotland Ardossan depot on 6th March by Gordon Scott.

Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther's 54061 and 54071 in new X25 branding with 54061 being ex Stagecoach Midlands in Megabus.
Pictures taken on 6th March by Gordon Scott.

From David Walker who writes "Main update if you haven’t already heard, all 5 Glasgow Van Hools 50204/ 50221/2/3/4 have departed to join the Megabus fleet at Cwmbran. They have been replaced by 2 Panthers (54061/71) and three coach spec’d E400s transferred up from Ardrossan (15944-6). All five have arrived at their new home I believe with 50221 already away for repaint. So they will be back in London before long that’s for sure. 

We are currently sadly in the last few days of 17 years of operation of the fleet of PS’s on Arran. Most of the new Streetlites are now over and settling into service. Im going over on Saturday to see the old workhorses for one last time." 


David Fell writes "I thought you might like to include this photo of former Oxford Tube T35 DFC on your website.

It was taken today by myself outside Trinity College on Broad Street. It is in a grey livery with the name 'Vision' but I'm not sure which operator this is. Must update my records from the PSV Circle news sheets!!"

Still looking smart on April 1st 2015 by David Fell.

50268 on diversion through High Wycombe on 7th April taken by Luke Braham.
These make an interesting comparison as each has differing head light set ups.




What has been a surprise is the transfer of the five Astromegas (50204,21,22,23, & 24) to Cwmbran for Megabus work.
Initially they were used for relief work over Easter by Rugby depot except 50221 which is in for repaint to Megabus.
Pictures of the working coaches are seen below.

50223 seen loading in VCS and then heading for Plymouth on 3rd April by Malcolm Crowe.

50204 seen on layover in Bulleid Way by Malcolm Crowe on 3rd April.

Memories of my taking this coach to Kilmarnock on 31st July 2014 for its service in Scotland. It is seen at Killie on arrival with 50212.

50204 on the M12 for Leeds in Bulleid Way on 5th April by Gavin Francis.

50223 in Bulleid Way on 7th April taken by Gavin Francis.
We well remember taking this coach (brand new) to Showbus at Duxford in 2009!!

"Gobbiner" writes "As your probably readers are aware the former Tube Astromegas working for West Scotland on the Glasgow - Cumbernauld X25 corridor have recently been replaced by other vehicles. The Astromegas involved have now been transferred to South Wales, Cwmbran depot for use on Megabus work.

Over the Easter period 4 of the vehicles have been on loan to Rugby depot for extra capacity on Megabus workings and to cover for other vehicles on European services.

As far as I know and from my own sightings at least three have passed through Manchester on various Megabus diagrams.

Yesterday on Easter Monday I managed to photograph two of the vehicles passing through Shudehill, Manchester on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

50204 was working a London via Birmingham & Coventry on 6th April.

50224 was on a Plymouth - Newcastle service on 6th April.

They will I presume be painted blue ready for the summer so probably won't be in corporate livery very long."

For those interested Gobbiner has a flickr page. : 

Neil Bridges writes "Well coming back from Devon on Saturday 4th April I saw ex Oxford tube 50222 working a duty to Exeter/Plymouth just south of Avonmouth at approximately 1130hrs. It was in Stagecoach livery but without any route branding." launches German domestic service

Europe's leading low-fares, high quality coach operator revealed plans to launch new domestic services in Germany from April 8th.

The company, which has operated coach services for more than a decade, will introduce a new route between Munich, Nuremberg, Leipzig, Berlin, Hanover, Dortmund and Cologne from 8 April 2015, offering travel from just €1*.

Customers will be able to travel on a €5million fleet of double decker coaches equipped with free Wi-Fi, power sockets, toilets and state-of-the-art safety features. uses bigger coaches with more seats carrying up to 87 people, compared to other operators which tend to have less seats. This allows the company to have a low cost per passenger and helps keep fares down to provide outstanding value for money.

The new route means the network in Germany will now cover the following nine locations: Cologne; Frankfurt; Stuttgart; Munich; Nuremberg; Leipzig; Berlin; Hanover; and Dortmund

It will also give passengers international connections to cities in the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. has been operating international services to and from Germany since 2013.

Tickets are now on sale at for travel from 8 April has established a new operational base in Munich, creating 23 jobs, with a further 27 employees to be stationed at a crew base in Hanover.

The operator has forged strong ties with local businesses. Munich-based companies Josef Ettenhuber and AGK Truck and Bus will assist with fuelling, cleaning, parking and maintenance of the vehicles. The company will also use office premises shared with AGK Truck and Bus at its base in Feldkirchen, Munich. In Hanover, has rented office space in the city centre near the bus station. Managing Director Edward Hodgson said: “This is an exciting development for public transport in Germany. It will provide more choice for passengers, who will benefit from low fares and high quality travel to some of the most popular places across the country.

"Our brand new fleet of coaches allows us to carry more passengers and keep costs down for our customers, meaning they have more money to spend when they get to their destination.

"We've been successfully operating coach services for the past 12 years, with international services to and from Germany since 2013. Over the past three years, we have been serving a growing number of European cities and we are looking forward to creating new jobs and boosting tourism with our new network.

"Our services will complement existing transport options for people and our experience in the UK shows that coach and rail services can both attract growing numbers of passengers by offering customers good value and good customer service." began operating services into Germany in October 2013 when it started serving Cologne on a route to and from a number of other European locations including London. In December last year, the company expanded its operations with a route between Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne and Brussels, providing both international services and domestic travel between German cities.

For the first five days of travel on the new services all tickets will be priced at €1*. Thereafter, has confirmed that there will be €1* seats on every journey within Germany. All other fares on the route also represent excellent value for money, particularly when compared to other modes of transport. The current average fare on journeys within Germany, since their launch in December 2014, is less than €7*. services pick-up and drop-off at stops either right in the city centre or near convenient transport links into the heart of each city**.

As well as using the domestic network, customers in Germany can also connect to cross-border routes, helping to open up travel opportunities to more than 110 destinations on the network across the UK and mainland Europe

The number of passengers using's growing coach network in Europe increased by more than 60% in the past year as the company continues to transform travel options for passengers. already carries more than 15 million passengers a year across Europe and North America. was launched in the UK in 2003 and expanded its services to North America in 2006. The company launched low-cost coach services between London and mainland Europe in 2012 and links around 110 destinations in the UK and Europe. The European network already includes Paris, Amiens, Amsterdam, Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Toulouse, Barcelona, Brussels, Lille and Luxembourg.

Services have proved very popular with families, students and tourists looking to save money on their travel and spend extra on entertainment when they arrive at their destination. Passengers travel on state-of-the-art coaches featuring free wi-fi so they can stay connected on the move.

11 double deck Astromega coaches will operate on the new routes, representing an investment of over €5million. The vehicles have all been manufactured by Belgium based coach builder VanHool, and have free Wifi and power sockets. They also have onboard toilet facilities for additional comfort and convenience. In addition, all vehicles have two brand new safety features - Lane Deviation Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control technology - which have been introduced a year ahead of regulations

All drivers undertake a detailed operational and customer service training programme, including route familiarisation and driving assessments. The training is part of an EU standard qualification for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. ensures full compliance with relevant EU working time legislation and the company also has stricter maintenance standards than legal requirements as part of its commitment to safety.

One of the new Astromega coaches seen when working a relief service to the UK during Christmas 2014.
Coach 56004 in Victoria, London on December 27th seen by Gavin Francis.



VH TDX??  




Megabus (Germany) 






VH TDX??  




Megabus (Germany) 






VH TDX??  




Megabus (Germany) 






VH TDX??  




Megabus (Germany) 






VH TDX??  




Megabus (Germany) 






VH TDX??  




Megabus (Germany) 




Above are some of the recorded Astromegas for Germany.


More Megabus news and pictures.

Megabus 50237 on the M7 in London (BPR) on 13th March by Malcolm Crowe.

USA Megabus Astromega DD065 seen at Kissimmee, Florida on 17th March by Gavin Francis.

I wonder how many Astromegas Stagecoach now own? Also does anyone have pictures of the eleven European Astromegas??

Megabus Freestones YT62HZX on  its usual M16 on 12th March by Gavin Francis.

News this issue is that Scania 209 and 210 have been repainted into Thames Travel livery followed shortly thereafter by 213.

210 on the X40 in St Aldates on 2nd March by Glowpigs.

213 seen in Frideswide Sq on 23rd March by Glowpigs.

418 has now gained fleet livery from Red Carousel livery seen on 7th February by Richard Sharman.

since our last issue uno has taken over the operation of the 797 now running between Hatfield and London.

UNO AE501 T21UNO ex J28941 when in service in Jersey CI and now on the 797 in London (BPR) on 24th March taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Uno 319 on the 797 leaves for Hatfield on 12th March taken by Gavin Francis.

Uno 322 on the 797 on 5th March by Gavin Francis.

The service no longer operates on Saturdays and Sundays.


South Midland ex Tappins N171LHU seen on 26th March by Gavin Francis. I believe these are being replaced by new coaches.

A number of Jonckheeres have also arrived at Didcot by 26th March by Richard Sharman.

Abingdon WA64CWX a new Futuras at Didcot Depot on 26th March by Richard Sharman.

Tappins Weavaway WA64CVW at Didcot on 26th March by Richard Sharman.



Colin Shears passes on after half a century of bus preservation

Colin with his favourite bus, Exeter 66.

Colin Shears, a pioneer of veteran bus preservation in Devon for half a century, has died at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.

Born on March 5, 1934 and brought up in the Pennsylvania area of Exeter, he developed a keen interest in local road transport from a very early age.

Even at school, he was drawing buses in his exercise books, much to the puzzlement of his teachers.

He was a pioneer in the hobby of preserving old buses and other commercial vehicles, purchasing the first of many as long ago as 1956.

Exeter Leyland 66 and many subsequent ones are still with us today and have brought much pleasure to past and present day generations wherever they have been displayed.

In 1963, Colin succeeded in purchasing a large former aircraft hangar in North Devon. With the help of fellow old vehicle enthusiasts, over the past 50 plus years this has enabled the rescue of literally hundreds of historic buses, coaches, commercial vehicles and cars.

His son Daniel has taken on his interest and he now manages the vehicle collection as well as acquiring his own historic vehicles. 

Colin was an early member of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club and the Exeter based Crash Box Car Club and several other preservation and conservation bodies.

Last year saw the completion and publication by the West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust of his autobiography.–

His funeral will take place at 2pm on Thursday, April 9 at Exeter & Devon Crematorium, Topsham Road, Exeter.

Your Editor's recollections of Colin date back to 1962 when a group of Manchester enthusiasts collected an old Manchester Corporation Leyland Tiger TS2, VR5996, which had been used as a Canteen by MCTD in its later years. We took the water tank off the roof and prepared the bus for its journey to Exeter. Colin joined us in his Land Rover and we took the whole day until 2 am the following day to get to within 20 miles of Exeter. The journey was completed the following day.

Driving this old bus was quite something with its centre placed accelerator, push on handbrake and crash gearbox. I can imagine many of todays drivers might not find it so easy to drive.

Photo taken by John Kaye, Sunday 23 February 1958, Cannon Street Bus Station, Manchester

What a character this man was, a great credit to bus preservation and now sorely missed. 

Oxford Trams by Ralph Adams

 Several of us recently went to London for a workshop to discuss trams in Oxford. I am very keen on trams myself going on at a least one tram holiday every year which includes going around central workshops and last year included the Alstrom factory in Vienna. I am therefore pro-tram.


 There were various speakers who had a similar theme but did not cover all the items in my opinion.


 French comparisons

 Many new tram systems have started over the last 30 years and comparisons were made with how they have managed with cities of a similar size to Oxford.


Population growth.

It is anticipated that Oxford will grow by 100,000 by 2035 spreading outside the present boundary into green belt. Transport will be one of the main problems as the city is already full up. This growth will also need new schools, health centres and other infrastructure.


Capital cost

A new tram system requires a lot of money which it is not able to cover from income. However the green belt land will be worth a lot more as building land and the proposal is that the enhanced value would be taken by section 106 (effective tax) to pay for this. I thought s106 had now stopped.


Revenue cost

A tram system will probably recover its running costs and into surplus over a 30 year period.



The first suggestion is a tram train. Although the gauge for both is the same, they cannot easily run on the same track. It is necessary to have a heavy tram to avoid derailments which increases costs and noise - note Manchester first generation trams. This first route would be from Langford Lane to Water Eaton on road, train tracks to station and onto BMW via Science Park and Business park, existing track. However the demand to go from one business park to another would not be high in my opinion and did not directly link with new housing developments.


 The next route would be a new Park & ride at Cumnor via city centre to Thornhill. However another speaker said that within 2 years no transport would be in Queen street so how would it pass the city centre. It was accepted that once the buses had gone, it would not be possible to reintroduce trams although mixed use is done in Holland and Germany.The route would go along Botley Road but nothing mentioned how trams would have priority, especially near station where it is only 2 lanes. A tunnel was considered for city centre but a cost that could not be raised. Going through Headington, there would need to be a reduction of buses as it could not justify a branch to Barton, so Barton would have only 4 buses an hour instead of 12. Don't worry about the residents of Barton! I cannot see why a loop around the estate is included  but the "brains" do not consider this possible.


Another route would be the extension of the first from Water Eaton down the Banbury Road. Nothing really said about this except that Banbury Road is wide enough but again there are a lot of other buses from Bicester etc. Will these passengers have to change. Having a tram route and bus route together is not ideal. In Croydon routes were cut back e.g. 54 and still there are complaints.


Next route would be Eynsham park & ride via Kidlington,  Wix new business park (opposite north way over A40)  to JR, Brookes, BMW. Not a bad route but no details of routing. Presumably alongside the A40 as it would not work on the road itself. Trams can be close together so land space required would not be excessive


 I might have missed the above but Eynsham P&R to Water Eaton and down the Banbury road makes sense.



 We have a deregulated market at the moment and Stagecoach Oxford is the most profitable for the size in the group, and probably the same applies for COMS within Go Ahead. Neither company will be willing to give away their business that they have spent a lot of money developing. Note the battle going on with NEXUS and the case there has today been delayed another 4 months as NEXUS now say they need more time to counter the bus companies views despite having already produced a massive document. This problem was completely ignored.


 French success

 The cost benefits of a new capital expenditure need to be carefully accessed. This comes in various forms such as ease of business growth, less time to travel, social inclusion, civic appearance, tourism and many other items. The French pattern is very different to UK and has a far greater social benefit. It is surprising therefore that the social needs of Barton are completely ignored and their residents suffer considerably. Rose hill and Blackbird Leys were not covered although Cowley was. No practical case of Cowley was mentioned but how would you put any priority on Cowley Road, an essential if people are to switch from cars to trams.


 Also not mentioned were delivery lorries. Everywhere has these and businesses in the city centre do not have rear access. E.g. Edinburgh Woollen Mill lorry stops in Cornmarket at 9:00 and sack trolleys all the goods back to Carfax.



 It will be several years before we see a start and I doubt I will be alive when it is finished so not of real importance to me but I see major problems without a complete change in how we are governed. In France, central government makes a decision and there appears to be no appeal. They just go straight into it like their new high speed train tracks. If we had the same attitude that governments make decisions, all cars could be banned from Oxford in 6 months, compulsory purchase of land and bus business (with proper compensation of course) instead of constant appeals to every possible decision. HS2 would be almost finished by now, a third runway at Heathrow and a second at Gatwick would be operational! If I support the proposal I say yes, if I do not support the proposal, keep it as it is. Unfortunately life is not simple. 

Buckinghamshire developments by Colin Richardson

Transport for Buckinghamshire now provides a summary of service changes some six weeks before the starting date of any change.


I set out below a long list of changes for bus services operating on routes starting and finishing in Buckinghamshire.


15 March


724 Green Line changes with added running time in the Monday-Friday peaks.


23 March


300 Aylesbury-Princes Risborough-High Wycombe - Additional journeys at school times one journey from & to Princes Risborough


800/850 - High Wycombe - Reading - Additional running times on school days.


5 April


X5 Stagecoach East   Oxford-Cambridge - Minor extra running time on early morning journeys weekdays


6 April


133/134 - Redline - Westbury-Water Stratford-Buckingham Minor timing changes


175 - Redline -  Edlesborough - Hemel Hempstead  Terminus is now in Bridge Street


12 April


70 Arriva - Milton Keynes -  Stoke Hammond - Luton  Timing changes These changes include a Sunday change with an extension of the service from Leighton Buzzard Station through Stoke Hammond to Milton Keynes.  This change provides Stoke Hammond with a Sunday service of five journeys for the first time in around forty years.


10 April


Arriva Pink route 8 - Aylesbury - Bedgrove   Minor changes to peak times weekday


61 Arriva - Aylesbury - Ivanhoe - Luton Interchange.  This service will no longer service Luton and will terminate at ASDA in Dunstable.  Passengers wishing to travel onward, should use route 31 for trip to Luton & Dunstable Hospital or trips to Luton and Luton Airport  change to Flyer A at Dunstable (Winston Churchill) Stop.  Timing changes throughout.  This is the first time in over 70 years there is now no direct link from Aylesbury and many other places to Luton.  There has been no Sunday service link for over 20 years.  


150 Arriva Aylesbury-Leighton Buzzard-Milton Keynes  Minor timing changes


280 Arriva  Aylesbury-Thame- Oxford    Revised timetable to improve

reliability during road works in various places in Oxford.  Sunday service increased to every 30 minutes during shopping hours and an extra journey in the evening to provide an hourly service throughout the rest of the Sunday service.


300 Arriva - Aylesbury-Princes Risborough - High Wycombe  Revised timetable changes.


500 Arriva - Aylesbury   -Hemel Hempstead - Watford. Frequency increased on

Weekdays to every 20 minutes throughout each day.  Sunday service is unaltered.


That is all changes up to date.


Western Greyhound is finally no more

The once award-winning and respected Western Greyhound collapsed without warning on Friday morning (13 March), when its new owner announced that the business had ceased trading.

The company, which employed 158 people at its leased Summercourt base near Newquay, announced it would cease trading with immediate effect on a recent Friday.

The first any of the staff, including management, knew of the closure was when they arrived for work at around 0500hrs on Friday.

Cornwall County Council moved quickly, working with First Kernow, Stagecoach, Bodmin Group Travel and Plymouth Citybus to take over the 20 routes.

First Kernow is accepting Western Greyhound pre-paid tickets on its bus services over the next few weeks. It has also recruited 23 drivers.

The collapse comes less than three months after it was bought by MD Michael Bishop, who brought in Adam Smith as General Manager. Both have a history of having been involved with failed bus companies, including Velvet Bus in Eastleigh (Adam Smith) and the Countryliner Group (Michael Bishop).

In a statement Mr Bishop said: “The reason for the company ceasing trading is a financial issue with the company’s insurance. We explored all alternatives to seek a resolution to this and, unfortunately, that failed.”

The firm, which has suffered a series of setbacks over the last two years, was understood to be trading at a profit last autumn, before its sale to Mr Bishop. Under his tenure, a number of nearly-new buses were sold, with older ones bought in exchange.

Western Greyhound had been called to a Public Inquiry before the Traffic Commissioner in Bristol on 23-24 March.

Mark Howarth, who together with Robin Orbell started Western Greyhound in 1997, said: “I am very sad that the new owner has had to cease trading.

“For many years, we had a wonderful team who worked very hard building a great company to a very high standard which was well-acclaimed, although sadly many factors such as two fires resulted in some operational problems last year.

“We sold the company on, hoping to see new investment and a return to those traditional high standards, and a real start had been made in making such progress.

“It was gut-wrenching that the insurers required a full annual payment up-front rather than the traditional monthly installments that were paid in the past.

“Cornwall Council, together with some local bus companies, have done tremendously well to have replacement services up and running so quickly after this sudden announcement, and I do hope there can now be some stability in the market and that all the staff find suitable jobs.”

Union RMT reacted with dismay, saying that the announcement came one day after a meeting with the union, when management gave no indication that there was any problem with the business. In fact, they told the RMT that they were looking forward to carrying on negotiations on improving pay, terms and conditions and securing job security.

Says RMT General Secretary Mick Cash: “Either the management were lying to the union, or those in the negotiations were as in the dark about problems with the business as the front-line staff.

“We shall be looking into all aspects of this company’s collapse, including the role played by its major shareholders.”

Express services speeding on the M40

A gentleman from Hazelmere, High Wycombe comments that "on the M40 while heading for the Oxford exit I am always being passed by coaches, even though I am driving at 70mph . To say they are restricted to 62mph is untrue."

I feel compelled to comment on this claim to say that the coaches he claims are speeding are restricted by a limiter, set by VOSA/DVSA, which might allow a couple of miles an hour on a downhill stretch but to say they are all exceeding 70 mph is frankly rash.

What I do know is that most car speedos are around 5 mph fast at 70 mph, even 10% fast, and in my case on my old Smart Car some 8 mph over at 70 mph.

Indeed are cars now using VOSA/DVSA set speedometers and where are such laws applied? Has the gentleman from Hazelmere had his car speedo officially checked?

From readers

Lochs and Glens from Jason Grinham

Jason recently took a Lochs & Glens coach tour and sent some nice pictures of his coach. They were taken at the Loch Long hotel in Arrochar and at the Loch Awe hotel .

Pictures taken by Jason Grinham - April 2015

Cyprus by Marcus Lapthorn

Here are some photo’s taken in southern Cyprus in February 2015. I was delighted to discover these old Cypriot buses which are still being used on wedding parties and other group activities. The double decker is of course ex UK.

CAP944 260215 M Lapthorn

EAK933, KTR607 and KYH301,  by Marcus Lapthorn.

Zoo Transfer KRS336 and CAL072 by Marcus Lapthorn.

OSYPA Ltd Paphos Transport Organization TKQK 066, TKUL739, TKYF828 and THPP197 - PAPHOS 240215 y Marcus Lapthorn.

OSYPA Ltd Paphos Transport Organization Main Station PAPHOS 240215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

EFTHYMIOU SAVVAS Driving School KWQ185 240215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

Intercity Buses LBE074 240215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

Jack Sons Transport LBQ 970 230215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

Jack Sons Transport TAY641 230215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

Once with Jack Sons Transport TKF167 and TEG842 230215 seen by Marcus Lapthorn.

Jack Sons Transport TKSK744 230215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

LAS813 260215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

Leptos Estates TAAS 724 240215 by Marcus Lapthorn.

SH146 260215 by Marcus Lapthorn. 


Alan Coulson writes "I wonder if you can help me out please or if any of your fellow historians can. I am doing family history of R.W.Carney  (Bob) of Sunderland County Durham who ran coach business  from 1948 till 1983.

I have traced his 3rd coach to Surman of Chinnor a Bedford SB new them in 5/1952 I gather that he bought it 2nd  hand date unknown I have a blurred front end photo and wonder if any one has better photo as I have now started to do before and after Carneys in photos.

Whilst searching Google Chinnor I noticed on a page for Jeffways.

Bob’s 1st. coach was KKX28 bought 2nd from Fred Stratton of Redby coaches of Sunderland Bob and Fred were friends Bob would drive for Fred and Fred would help out Bob on his milk round. My query is my notes state Fred had this coach in 1946 then to Bob in 1948. As I bid to trace history with no access to records i have been told that coach was new to Jeffways and Station Taxis in 1947 of High Wycombe  as the dates don't seem to add up I ask could you confirm any history  I have side on photo which has a J  motif on coach  on reading about Jeffways and there history plus take overs J & P  I see a link  re J Jeffways.

KKX28 is listed as a Bedford and later describe as a Longwell Green rebodied Bedford OB. Number 50788.   Can any one say this is a Bedford with a new  Longwell Green body.

I thank you for any help.

Readers - please send me a note -Editor. 

From my web page in 2006

Surman’s Coaches Bedford SB Duple Vega LBW 407. 
I would guess the photo was taken on a hot summer’s day seeing that the widows are open quite wide.
I remember driving a coach just like this when I worked for Godfrey Abbott in Manchester in 1963. Ed.

Surman’s Coaches EUD 286 - a Maudsley Marathon Mk III with a full fronted Gurney Nutting coach body. 
I have no idea where this photo was taken but I am 99% sure it is neither of the two Chinnor garages.

The use of the above pictures has been kindly agreed to by P M Photography who hold the copyright.


London in pictures by Gavin Francis

RATP have taken over from Arrival with the Original London Tour as seen byDLP247 and VLY610
taken on Friday 13th March by Gavin Francis.


Redwing BF15XOX in Oxford - part of new fleet of coaches - seen on 26th March by Richard Sharman.

New Look Z&S Livery on SJZ9743 on 6th February by Richard Sharman.

Howard Snaith's YN10ADX in Oxford on 7th February on Richard Sharman.

Go Ride VW Crafter SN58BZK on the K2 at Begbroke on 26th March by Richard Sharman. 


Reviews of new books

I have received two books for review which I found well produced and most interesting.

The PSV Circle has a revised edition of Berkshire and Oxfordshire current fleets. There are some excellent colour pictures and almost every operator, large and small in the area is included. A most useful reference book.

You can purchase the book from : Sales Team, PSV Circle, Unit GK Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP. The cost is £9 inc post and packing.

The second book reviewed is a pocket sized booklet costing £5.95 which can be obtained from Presbus Publishing.

This is well produced book and in a way is retro repeating the successful format of Ian Allan spotters books in the 1950s. Very good price for a very nice book, giving all the information you could ask for on operations and buses in Stagecoach Midlands including six new Van Hool Altanos, yet to be delivered.

Please quote the OCBP when ordering. 

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 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 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.