Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings nr. 66  -  March 8th 2013

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

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Well, quite some days in preparation here is the latest page. It takes quite a lot of planning to finalise the page in good time, especially since further very welcome news, information and pictures are continually coming in.

In this issue, apart from a lot of local news, I am including some articles and pictures on readers visits. As the days are now lengthening one may think of places to visit in the spring and summer and, with this in mind, I am pleased to share some ideas with readers. Nottingham, for example, looks really interesting. The city transport seems to have similarities with Reading, in both fleet and livery ideas.

Markov Zorro has sent some excellent pictures for our "Buses in the Landscape" section, which are very good quality.

A very nice reminder of the history of Victoria Coach Station. Gavin Francis on February 26th.

The change of bus stops in Oxford from Queen Street took place many months ago now. however the congestion from the increase in stops on St Aldates has created the situation as seen in the picture below!

Oxford traffic problems week commencing 4th March reported by Artful Dodger.

Mon Mar 4

At 1054 the 3, 8/9 and X30 were diverted due to Speedwell St and Castle St being closed due to an incident. Routes 8, 9 and X30 were unable to serve Castle St. Routes 8/9 were picking-up in Bonn Square and the nearest stop for the X30 was St Aldates.

At 1106 Westgate Police also closed Thames St and Oxford Tube was unable to serve Speedwell St so the nearest stops were Gloucester Green and High St. At 1107 all OBC services diverted via Oxpens Rd.

At 1206 the area was still closed and the services were still diverting.

At 1222 Oxford Tube was able to serve Speedwell St.

At 1305 OBC services returned to normal as did Stagecoach services at 1331.

Wed Mar 6

At 1433 due to A fire at the bottom of Cowley Rd all OBC services using Cowley Rd only followed normal route City bound with outbound services diverting via Iffley Rd, Church Cowley Rd and Between Towns Rd where normal route was resumed.

At 1439 the road re-opened so services returned to normal. 

Seems life is never easy!!

A significant event for an area outside London or Oxford is recorded in High Wycombe.

New Wycombe-Chesham bus service is number 1


The contract for the new service is signed at County Hall

The contract for the new service is signed at County Hall

BUS passengers are set for a better service between High Wycombe and Chesham after two companies agreed to share the route.

Currently Arriva and Carousel Buses operate their own separate services between the two towns, leading to confusion amongst customers.

But all that will change from April 14 after a merger was brokered between the two operators by Transport for Buckinghamshire, with Arriva and Carousel combining the service.

The existing 4 and 62 services will be replaced by a new number 1 route, which will take effect from next month. Serving High Wycombe, Hazlemere, Holmer Green, Amersham and Chesham - alternating between the Pond Park and Hilltop estates - the new service will run every 15 minutes.

Peter Hardy, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning, said: "I'm pleased that as a result of listening to our residents we have been able to work with our providers to enable a more streamlined service. I hope that as a result of this, all passengers will reap the benefits of the improvements."

Paul Adcock, Regional Director at Arriva the Shires, said: “The new service, offering a more co-ordinated timetable, gives existing customers and potential customers a greater choice of travel and a more regular service throughout the day. With joint marketing and promotions we hope that this is the start of a successful link for the people of Chesham, Amersham and High Wycombe.”

Philip Kirk, Managing Director of Carousel, said: “We’ve talked to our passengers and its clear they expect the best possible bus service and that is what we aim to deliver. The vehicles need to be comfortable and convenient enough to tempt people to leave their cars at home and catch the bus.”

The agreement was signed at County Hall in recently.

It is now time for the 13 plate era and there are several references in this issue to such matters. 

The Editor visits West Ham again

Due to the closure of Sammy's at Victoria, for lighting work, the "Park-ups" on the Oxford tube had to find alternative parking recently.

Your Editor already knowing the location of West Ham opted to take his coach to the Stagecoach depot for the day which always proves an interesting interlude.

Below are pictures taken on the day:

West Ham depot with Tube 50219 on February 7th by Malcolm Crowe

West Ham depot general views on February 7th by Malcolm Crowe

One of the large training fleet, Trident 17362 at West Ham depot on February 7th by Malcolm Crowe

West Ham operates the Heritage RMs on route 15 with four waiting service on February 7th by Malcolm Crowe

Heritage Routemaster RM324 showing the cab on February 7th by Malcolm Crowe

The servicing of the sleeper coaches is done at West Ham where 51097 is seen on February 7th by Malcolm Crowe

Running Days

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.

Dates for your diary

Slough Running Day 2013

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

The last Bus Running Day from Brunel Way adjoining the new bus station and close to the railway station.

1000 to 1730

Other Running Days in 2013

Sunday 14th July UXBRIDGE moved from 30th June to avoid clashing with a Cobham event.

Sunday 18th August HEMEL HEMPSTEAD.

Sunday 26th October AMERSHAM -25th anniversary rally. 


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:

The March meeting will feature visiting speaker Glyn Bowen, giving a talk entitled "My life with buses at work and play".

Glyn worked in the bus industry for many years, mostly in Wales with a mix of operators.

The date will be Tuesday 19th March 2013.

 The society is currently looking to rebook the Folly Bridge Inn for the meetings, however a fallback venue has been found. Check the web site for an update on the meeting room situation for this meeting.

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 - March 8th 2013



From Trevor Wilson 

I see the Arriva 353 has now changed to Hemel Hempstead - from June 2012 it would appear.  Anyone know why?  And which depots work the route - used to be High Wycombe.

Used to live in Chalfont St Peter and occasionally used the 353.

Observations and pictures

Local News 

Aylesbury Bus Services Alternations from Sunday 24th February 2013


From 24th February 2013 there alternations to the following Aylesbury area routes.


Routes are - 2, Bus Station to Hayden Hill - small adjustments including the Monday to Saturday late evening journeys now run a little later, off the journeys from High Wycombe.


Route 50 - Aylesbury- Halton Camp - adjustments some early morning and the late evening journeys on Mondays - Fridays - to improve running time.


Route 60 - Aylesbury-Buckingham-Maids Morton - adjustments to some early morning and early evening journeys - to improve running time.


Route 200 is withdrawn


Route 280 - Aylesbury-Oxford - 280 journeys now replace the short lived route 200 Additional journeys have been added on Mondays - Fridays in early morning.

Additional evening journeys are provided, with two extra journeys from Aylesbury on Friday and three extra journeys from Oxford on Friday and Saturday nights, with the last bus 02.15 hrs. from Oxford, arriving Aylesbury 03.21hrs. 

Aylesbury has now joined most other main roads from Oxford with very late journeys ion Friday and Saturday nights.  One minute added to Oxford bound Mondays-Friday off peak journeys to improve running time.


Route 300 - Aylesbury-High Wycombe

For Buckinghamshire NHS staff working at High Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals will now be able to use their passes on new early morning journey at 06.05 hrs from High Wycombe seven days a week.  Additional added Monday to Friday evenings for NHS shift workers, the late evening journeys are now at least 19 minutes later, with the last bus leaving Aylesbury at 23.05 hrs. High Wycombe at 23.50 hrs., six nights a week, both are the latest ever

provided on the through journeys on the route   On Sundays first journey added

at 07.45 hrs from Aylesbury, instead of running to High Wycombe out of service to provide 09.05 hrs. journey to Aylesbury and onward to Milton Keynes.


Many bus services in the county have been improved on same rural and mainly on inter urban routes over the last three years.  With funding alternations due this year services may be withdrawn or changed during the year.


Colin Richardson

Fleet News

From Richard Sharman

Arriva 3930 departs The Point in Milton Keynes for Aylesbury.
This bus certainly gets around having been seen on the 200, 280 and 300 apart from now the 150.


Former RH Buses Kidlington Town Service Solo, 501 is now with Z&S.



From Glenn de Sousa

On the 23rd January, Compass Travel bought a Volvo B10M/Plaxton Paragon from Drew Wilson (dealer). The coach was previously registered W12 WSC with Whitestar Coaches in Glasgow. It was new to Harrison’s Coaches (I don’t know where they are) in March 2000.

Here is some information on Roadrunner, who took up the Centrebus Harlow services:

Roadrunner Buses

None of the vehicles transferred from Centrebus - Roadrunner purchased ex-Metroline Darts as Gavin said, but also purchased ex-Stagecoach London ALX200's. All acquired vehicles for the extended operation are:

Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer II


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200


Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200


Irisbus Agoraline AU05 FKC from closely linked and local operator SM Coaches entered service on the routes.

The services that transferred were:

C1: Turnford, Cheshunt, Goffs Oak, Cuffley (Mondays to Saturdays)
C2: Cheshunt, Brookfield, The Old Pond, Waltham Cross. (Mondays to Saturdays)
C3: Harlow Bus Stn, Stansted Abbots, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Turnford, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross. (Mondays to Saturdays)
C4: Hertford, Ware, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Wormley, Turnford, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross. (Sundays)
341: Hertford, Essenden, Hatfield Galleria, Ware College. (Mondays to Saturdays)
351: Hertford, Stansted Abbots, Much Hadham, Bishops Stortford, Stansted Airport. (Mondays to Saturdays)
324: Broxbourne Station, Hertford. (Mondays to Saturdays)
311: Hertford North, Ware, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross. (Sundays)

Roadrunner Buses, Harlow took over the Centrebus Harlow operations on the 4/5th November 2012. No buses were included in the deal, but a number of ex-Stagecoach London Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200s were bought for the operation of the new routes. They are:

LX51 FGJ/N/O/N, FHF/G. All of the Darts acquired by Roadrunner for the former Centrebus services are now in corporate livery.

Some of the same type arrived for sister company SM Coaches, Harlow, they are:

LX51 FFW, FGU, FHA/B/H/J-L, Y293/6,346/51 FJN.

Three shorter vehicles arrived this month for SM Coaches, at this stage they are in London red from their service with Stagecoach London. They are Y244/8/52 FJN. They are expected to be repainted into the Roadrunner/Olympian livery.

At TGM Harlow, the latest vehicle to acquire Network Harlow two-tone blue livery is Mini Pointer Dart 3828 (KE03UKK).

Scania Omnidekka YN55 NKZ has been transferred from London United (RATP) to Bath Bus Company (RATP) to work the Windsor tour. It operates out of the London United Hounslow garage.

Also at BBC to work the new Bath Airport Shuttle as A501-505 are ex-London United SK52 URX/Y, USG/H/J.

Herts CC have published the results of the recent Local Bus Services tender. Important changes are:

Sent from Windows Mail

The whole fleet of buses working the Bath Bus Company (City Sightseeing) Windsor Tour are:

267 - P767 SWC

307 - N537 LHG

391 - V901 FEC

360 - AE60 GRU

361 - YN55 NKZ

267/307 are Volvo/Olympians, 391 an Alexander Dennis Trident 2/ALX400 

From the 2nd April, Roadrunner Buses have registered the 351 (Stansted - Hertford) commercially. 

28 Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Diesel’s are due at Potters Bar (Metroline) for Transport for London route 82. They are going to be TE1420-1447.

T1420-1422 have been delivered to Metroline’s CELF Centre in Perivale (the Central Engineering and Logistics Facility). (07-08/02/13)

TE1420 is LK62 DXM
TE1421 is LK62 DXP
TE1422 is LK62 DXS
TE1423-1447 are due soon


Courtney Buses, Finchampstead (Bracknell)

An update to my last email re Courtney Solo’s:

YJ62 FMD is in plain all over white (06/2/13 - seen at around 1600)

YJ62 FYH has received Courtney lettering on its plain white livery. YJ57 XXE wore the silver Bedfont Lakes livery at the end of last year, though I am not sure whether it still does. Can anyone help on this, has the bus been withdrawn?

Courtney Slimline Solo’s YJ57 XWN/P/R/T have been sold to Nottingham City Transport. They are 144-7 in that fleet, in that order. They will enter service there next month as they are currently undergoing a repaint from all over white which Courtney sold them with.


Golden Boy have recently taken delivery of 3 Mercedes Benz Sprinters/Paramount Conversions. Two of them are 19 seaters, the other seats 16.


- Parcel Racks

- Autoclima (roof-mounted and in dashboard) air conditioning

They also have their 2004 Sitcar Beluga advertised for sale along with 2 1999 Van Hool’s.

The VDL Futura 2’s for Anderson Travel that I noted in the last S&J were supplied by Moseley in the South.

There are several 13 plate coaches for Anderson’s, following on from the last S&J. They are:

Sitcar Beluga (C25F seating)


They are on a Mercedes chassis.

VDL (Bova) Futura

WA13 AMO/U/X. I am unsure whether WA13 AMV is for this operator, but it looks likely.

AMU seats 53, AMX seats 49.

Also, a new Van Hool TX27 has been ordered by New Bharat Coaches (based in Southall). It’s body is that of the new Van Hool TX range - it is registered as BC13 NBC.

Galleon Travel

A new Irizar i6 coach is YN62 DNO.

Logic/Galleon Travel, Essex: ex-Metroline T35 KLD suffered accident damage and was withdrawn earlier and has now been scrapped.

Ensignbus, Purfleet:

Ex-Metroline Plaxton President T105 KLD was on loan to Xelabus in January. It is 905 in the Ensign fleet, still in London red from previous operator.

Mullany's Buses

Mullany's buses Watford have acquired a second hand Enviro 200, KX59 CXT, and its first day in service was the 25th February. It was new to Renown (Bexhill-on-Sea) in October 2009. It's seating layout is B29F and is equipped with digital destination displays, however, these were not fully programmed when it entered service with Mullany’s as if I am not mistaken, they are the first LED displays for the company. More new/acquired vehicles are to be introduced soon.

East Lancs Millennium Viking PL51 LGF has returned off lease to Volvo (who supplied the chassis for the bus).

At least 3 Enviro 200’s are due for fleet renewal at Mullany’s. This is supported by the Big Herts Big Ideas scheme (funding from the government). Also a few new Optare’s are due for Mullanys as well to enter service in March.

A further Enviro 200, seen on 4/5th March, in Mullany’s livery is KX59 CXS.

A new Volvo/Plaxton Panther 2 for Horseman Coaches, Reading is YN13 AWF.

From Mark Smith

Mark also mentions about the new buses and route changes for Mullany's Buses.


Roger Knott writes that on short trip into CENTRAL LONDON Sat 23.2.2013 he saw:-

OXFORD 51 working X90 & BAKERS EB60MTB coach parked at HYDE PARK.

New vehicles on TFL bus routes introduced in Central London this month are E400s on route 36 E261-E275 - E400 HYBRIDS ADH23-ADH51 on route 27 and new VOLVO/WRIGHT vehicles have started to appear on route 52 but didn't see any.

Chepstow Classic Buses

Several acquisitions to note include N720 LTN Volvo Olympian / Alexander H47/28F; R804 YUD, R807 YUD, and W102 PMS Dennis Dart / Alexander, all from Stagecoach Devon.

T575 KGB and T131 MGB Dennis Dart SLF / Marshall Capital, also from Stagecoach Devon, and V164 MEV Dennis Trident Alexander from Stagecoach London.

Dart W102 PMS was acquired and prepared to replace P621 PGP on local service. However, it quickly suffered engine failure and has been withdrawn as a result. Its future is therefore uncertain.

Note the ex Stagecoach Oxford Dart ALX200s included above.

Arriva logo and TGM

From Lewis Nagle

I have attached a photo of 3873 (KE57EPA) on route 724. The usual 724 workings are the specially branded Green Line Citaros, but one of the Wrights from the same garage appears to have escaped onto the route. I think that Wrights actually suit it more, not sure why!

These are of course the Eclipse 1.5s, they are on the newer B7RLE chassis but still use older style bodywork. These are still in the Arriva National livery as opposed to the newer Arriva InterUrban livery.

From Luke Braham 

Not much going on in Aylesbury at the moment but I have managed to get a couple of pictures for the page.

Arriva 0441 (YJ10 LZV) unusually operating Aylesbury Town service Blue Route 2.

Arriva 3269 (T493 KGB) unusually operating route 50 which is normally operated by a double decker.

Recently transferred into Aylesbury is Arriva 3274 (V274 HBH) which is seen operating route 150.

Blue route 2 branded Arriva 3296 (X296 MBH) unusually operating route 61.

The oldest double decker in the Aylesbury fleet Arriva 5145 (N45 JPP) is seen operating route 55.
Adding to the picture of 5145 (N45 JPP) sister vehicle 5144 (N35 JPP) has been withdrawn from service at Aylesbury.

Arriva 5439 (SN58 EOM) is seen operating route 280.

3437/9 were not ready for repaint but 3439 was unbranded today.

24th February

Just got back from the Arriva depot in Aylesbury and found some things of interest but no news about the 280 service but 5434-6/9 were at the depot in Arriva livery with 280 branding.

First of all 5447 (W447 XKX) was towed away a few weeks back with front body damage and I have included a picture of 5447 in October 2012 operating route 60.

At the depot today (24th February) was a white Dennis Trident registered V107 LGC, which may be a loan to cover for 5447. I have included a picture of it at the depot.

Also at the depot at the back was 5150 (S150 KNK) being stripped for spares and I have included a picture with it in the middle.
Dart 3826 is seen on the right of the picture prior to its transfer to MK. Ed.

All pictures from the depot were taken from the path outside.

I'm sorry the end is approaching for the Palatine 2 bodied Olympians. They were really nice stylish buses and nice to drive. (I drove the LG NV's some years ago.)

From Adam Green

I was in the car Heading Home last night and 4200 Green Line from Luton came out of Grove Hill and went on to Woodhall Farm it must be on loan at Hemel

5154 is at Hemel from Watford

4200 was on Test in Hemel to see if it could Get Round on the 758 i herd it got round ok and we might be getting a Few also 3281,3282 from Luton and 5154 from Watford are also at Hemel Hempstead

3282 was Broken Down for 3 hours parked up in Town

5458 was on 500 to Watford

3567 was also on 500 to Watford 

From Pete Cabin

3865KE05FMP is no longer on any of High Wycombe allocation boards it was recently on the VOR board. This bus has been of the road for several months now it’s possible it may have been sent back to Volvo for repair or it’s been transferred.

Regarding 3457W457XKX that is still on the VOR board, has also been off the road for several months.

From Glenn de Sousa

At Arriva Shires and Essex some recent arrivals from the Arriva London have been DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 4535 (LJ03 MYL), 4536 (LJ03 MYM) and 4537 (LJ53 NGX), the latter of the two are in service at Garston.

Further updates for the Arriva Group:

Arriva the Shires Citaro 3918 transferred from Garston (route 321) to Milton Keynes as a spare for the Platinum MK 300 service. By yesterday (28/02), this was repainted into a NEW Platinum MK livery and in service

All of the Optare Versa’s for Garston have been delivered and were launched yesterday, 1st March. They all have PerfectTen branding for the route as well as adverts on the roof (If I am not mistaken). They also have colourful advertising for PerfectTen on the rear.

The 10 new buses that are running on route 10 each have a different 'reason' for using the route posted on the rear; these include a 10-journey ticket for - yes, you've guessed it - £10.

3413 has reason 10 (light purple): No parking hassle 

3414 has reason 2 ([darker] orange): Great value tickets, Unlimited travel for less than £1.50 per day

3415 has reason 1 (light green): Frequent service throughout the day

3416 has reason 5 (light green): Work shifts or part time? 10 trips for just £10 on route 10

3417 has reason 4 (yellow): Sit back and read a book on the way to work

3418 has reason 6 (dark green): Forget about the cost of insurance, parking and fuel; take the bus and save £££s

3419 has reason 3 ([lighter] orange): Weekly ticket just £10, Start saving now

3420 has reason 8 (dark blue): This bus could take more than 40 cars off the road

3421 has reason 7 (light blue): Want to read the paper before you get to work? Jump on board

3422 has reason 9 (dark purple): Save money, save C02 , get the bus

The launch of the new service
Picture courtesy Arriva.

High Wycombe news

At least one MCV Evolution MAN 14.220 will transfer from Arriva Medway Towns (previously with TGM) to Arriva the Shires, most likely to High Wycombe as buses are required for a contract.

Dart P526 YJO has transferred from High Wycombe to Milton Keynes, it is still in the Red 33 livery. At least one VDL/Wright Cadet is in an all over wrap for a local business.

ALX300 3459 ,W459 XKX, is the last of it’s type at the Stevenage depot - all others having transferred to Wycombe in earlier months/years.

The whole batch of Enviro 300’s for the 300/301 and Pulsar 2’s for the SB1 still remain in the former Arriva national livery apart from ADE300 KX12 HAE which was delivered last year as part of the Big Herts Big Ideas scheme.

3300, R524 TWR, has gained an LED digital display at the front.

Crew transfer taxi N336 PHX is at Stevenage with branding for greenline 797.

DAF/Plaxton coach 4365 is now a driver trainer.

Dennis Dart/Plaxton Pointer T829 NMJ (could be NMJ) has been re-instated at TGM Harlow.

Arriva Southern Counties:

The 16 Optare Versa’s for Southend will have their 62 plates voided for 13 plates and will enter service in March.

33 Volvo B5L Hybrid Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2s are due for Arriva Merseyside, seating H41/25F, are due for Birkenhead garage for use on Cross-River services in Mrseyside. They are:

4503-MX13 AFJ
4504-MX13 AEE
4505-MX13 AEF
4506-MX13 AEG
4507-MX13 AEJ
4508-MX13 AEK
4509-MX13 AEL
4510-MX13 AEM
4511-MX13 AEN
4512-MX13 AEO
4513-MX13 AEP
4514-MX13 ACY
4515-MX13 ACZ
4516-MX13 ADO
4517-MX13 ADU
4518-MX13 ADV
4519-MX13 ADZ
4520-MX13 AEA
4521-MX13 AEB
4522-MX13 AEC
4523-MX13 AED
4524-MX13 ABK
4525-MX13 ABN
4526-MX13 ABO
4527-MX13 ABU
4528-MX13 ABZ
4529-MX13 ACF
4530-MX13 ACJ
4531-MX13 ACO
4532-MX13 ACU
4533-MX13 ACV
4534-MX13 AAE
4535-MX13 AAF

New Hybrid and Compressed Natural Gas powered vehicles for the Arriva Group are:

Arriva North East

Service 308: Blyth - Billy Mill - Newcastle - 10 new electric hybrid double-deckers

Service 2, 11 and 12 in Darlington - 11 new CNG-powered single-deckers

Arriva Southern Counties

Service 71: Snodland - Maidstone - 11 new electric hybrid double-deckers

Arriva North West

Service 10: Salford - Manchester - 11 new electric hybrid double-deckers

Cross River services 407, 432, 433, 437, 464 and 472 - 33 new electric hybrid buses

Runcorn Busway service 1 and 2, services 21 and X30 - 10 new CNG-powered single-deckers  

From Mike Penn

Now that the last Leyland bodied Olympian in the Arriva the Shires fleet (H197 GRO) appears to have been withdrawn I thought you might like these photos of it earlier in its life.  The first shows it at Watford Junction with Luton & District when almost new in April 1991 and the second shows it in the same place in September 2002 when it was in Golden Jubilee livery with Arriva The Shires.


I can confirm that Centrebus 113 (L713 JUD), which was new to Thames Transit, is still in service at Luton.  Here is a photo of it taken on the morning of March 5th 2013.

An interesting observation this afternoon (March 4th) in Bletchley was Arriva The Shires Dart 3826 (P526 YJO) working route 4.  It was still in red livery with High Wycombe Red Route 33 branding.  I’ll add a photograph to my website shortly - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/58-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2013

There are already a few interesting photos on the website taken this year including a Centrebus East Lancs Esteem bodied Scania fitted with guide wheels to test the viability of using such vehicles on the Luton – Dunstable busway when it opens later this year (hopefully!).

I must commend Mike's photo gallery to readers, well worth a visit. Ed.

Arriva in pictures

I now include a number of pictures taken since the last page.

Arriva 3282 in Hemel town, broken down, on February 19th seen by Adam Green.

TGM 634 GN07AVO on revised route 133 at Stansted Airport on March 5th seen by Gavin Francis.
This bus originates from Arriva southern Counties, hence the Guildford registration.
Route 133 can be seen at

Arriva 3482 on the West Wycombe road on March 20th seen by Malcolm Crowe.
The Golden Ball church tower at West Wycombe is seen in the background.

Arriva 3701 seen at Cressex depot sheeted over after an accident taken on February 15th by Malcolm Crowe.
All three Park & Ride DAFs have now been involved in accidents and of course 3703 is now in national livery.

Arriva 3743 and 3745 seen at Cressex depot awaiting entry into service taken on March 5th by Malcolm Crowe.
These buses have come from Gatwick hotelbybus service.
I believe I saw one of these buses today, March 8th on the PR1 service in High Wycombe. Ed.

hotelbybus AE56MBV seen at Cressex depot on February 15th by Malcolm Crowe.
This bus can be seen in its present condition above after repaint.


Part of the line up at Cressex depot on March 5th as seen by Malcolm Crowe.
3745, 3181 minus engine and 4532 are seen above.

Arriva 3822 at Cressex depot on February 5th unlikely to run again in High Wycombe taken by Malcolm Crowe.

A fine study of DAF 6300 in Wycombe bus station on February 18th by Malcolm Crowe.
These buses seem quite successful on the hills are the town.

Still bearing an Olympic super rear this E400 is working the 280 service on February 21st by Richard Sharman 

Coach Hire

This is a very interesting company with a fine fleet of coaches often seen throughout the Chilterns and Oxfordshire. you can see details of their fleet at the following link.


BM Coaches YJ60GKK Van Hool T917-Van Hool Astronef T9 Park Lane 260212 G Francis
This coach boasts a full width glass roof.


From Noel Clark, General Manager, the latest news: 

The permanent fleet allocation has now been decided, the result of which is MAN/MCV Evolutions 418 & 419 have gone to Thames Travel and Optare Tempos 804 & 806 have returned to Carousel. MAN/MCV Stirlings 415 & 417 are now back from London Bus & Truck after being painted purple for the Purple Route 35 & 36. The branding should be applied this week. Dart/Plaxton Pointer 561 will be withdrawn for disposal in due course. Our surplus vehicles DAF/Plaxton Prestige 481, Dart/Plaxton pointer DPL480 and DAF/Wright Cadet 521 are remaining at Thames Travel.

The fleet list below was provided by Carousel.

Fleet No.         Old F/N         Reg No.           Chassis Body                 Seats        New      Livery         Branding
415                   STL9           AF53GCX       MAN 14.220 MCV Stirling   B38F        2003    Carousel Purple, to be 35/36 branded
416                  STL10          AF53GCY        MAN 14.220 MCV Stirling   B38F       2003    Carousel
417                  STL11          AF53GCZ          MAN 14.220 MCV Stirling B38F       2003 Carousel Purple, to be 35/36 branded
420                  ENV16         RX60DLY     MAN 14.240 ADL Enviro 200 B38F        2010 Carousel
421                  ENV17         RX60DLZ     MAN 14.240 ADL Enviro 200 B38F        2010 Carousel Line 4
422                  ENV18        RX60DME     MAN 14.240 ADL Enviro 200 B38F        2010 Carousel Line 4
423                  ENV19        RX60DMF    MAN 14.240 ADL Enviro 200 B38F         2010 Orange Orange Route 39 branded
424                  ENV20        RX60FKF      MAN 14.240 ADL Enviro 200 B38F        2010 Orange Orange Route 39 branded
561                 DPL423        P423MLE     Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B31F 1997 Purple Purple Route 35/36 branded
751                 P22             YX07HNO    Enterprise Bus Plaxton Primo B28F      2007 Carousel
752                 P24              YX07HPJ     Enterprise Bus Plaxton Primo B28F      2007 Green Countyrider
753                 P25             RK07BNF Enterprise Bus Plaxton Primo B28F          2007 Carousel
801                                     C1 WYC     Optare Tempo Optare         B46F         2006 Carousel Route 4
802                                     C2 WYC     Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
803                                     C3 WYC     Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
804                                     YJ56 WUD Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
805                                     YJ56 WUE  Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
806                                     YJ56 WVS  Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
807                                     YJ56 WVT  Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
808                                     YJ56 WVU  Optare Tempo Optare        B47F         2007 Carousel
809                                     YJ56 WVV  Optare Tempo Optare         B47F         2007 Carousel
871                 MB51            CB51 BUS Mercedes Citaro Mercedes    B42F         2003 Carousel Link
872                 MB53            CB53 BUS Mercedes Citaro Mercedes    B42F         2003 Carousel Link
873                 MBA26          AE61 EWO Mercedes OC500U MCV Evolution B43F 2011 Carousel Link
874                 MBA27          AE61 EWP Mercedes OC500U MCV Evolution B43F 2011 Carousel Link
875                 MBA28          AE61 EWR Mercedes OC500U MCV Evolution B43F 2011 Carousel Link
918                 EVL4             PN02XBZ Volvo B7 East Lancs Vyking H45/23D      2002 LT red
919                 EVL5             PN02XCA Volvo B7 East Lancs Vyking H45/23D      2002 LT red
920                 EVL6             PN02XCK Volvo B7 East Lancs Vyking H45/23D      2002 LT red
921                 EVL7             PN02XCS Volvo B7 East Lancs Vyking H45/23D      2002 Carousel
922                 EVL8             PN02XCT Volvo B7 East Lancs Vyking H45/23D      2002 LT red
923                 L530             G530VBB Leyland Olympian Northern Counties H47/27D 1990     Blue The Blue Bus
924                 L534             G534VBB Leyland Olympian Northern Counties H47/27D 1990     Blue The Blue Bus
925                 L554             H554GKX Leyland Olympian Leyland H47/31F        1991 Carousel
927                 L563             H563GKX Leyland Olympian Leyland H47/31F        1991 Carousel
928                                     R267 LGH Volvo Olympian Northern Counties H47/31F 1997       Blue The Blue Bus
929                                     R269 LGH Volvo Olympian Northern Counties H47/31F 1997       Blue The Blue Bus
930                                     R270 LGH Volvo Olympian Northern Counties H47/31F 1997       Blue The Blue Bus
931                                     R287 LGH Volvo Olympian Northern Counties H47/31F 1997       Blue The Blue Bus

Operational support vehicles

997                                     CE57 DSY Renault Master (panel van) 2 2007 Silver

On loan to Thames Travel

481                DAF981         R981FNW DAF SB220 Plaxton Prestige     B40F         1997             Carousel
521                 DAF54         CB54BUS  DAF SB120 Wright Cadet          B30F         2004             White
                    DPL480          P480 MLE Dennis Dart SLF Plaxton Pointer B31F       1997             Carousel

Permanent Transfer to Thames Travel

418                 EVO12         AE59AWH MAN 14.240 MCV Evolution         B44F     2010            Red
419                 EVO15         AE59AWJ  MAN 14.240 MCV Evolution         B44F     2010            Red


926 L556 H556GKX Leyland Olympian Leyland H47/31F 1991 Red Thames Valley Heritage Livery

From April both our 4 and Arriva’s 62 will be rebranded as “The One” and a qualifying agreement has been signed.

From Paul Dudfield

The Irisbus Agora Lines 471-3, OU55 PUO/V AND RX06 WYU (C1-3WYC) have been sold to  Beacon Bus, Dolton Beacon, Dolton, Winkleigh, Devon. EX19 8PS.

Ex-Carousel Agora Lines now with Beacon Bus OU55PUVF seen in Exeter on January 7th by Paul Dudfield

Ex-Carousel Agora Lines now with Beacon Bus RX06 WYU seen in Exeter on December 3rd by Paul Dudfield

Above are a couple of pictures of the ex-Carousel Agora Lines now with Beacon Bus. Both were taken in Exeter Bus Station, RX06 WYU on 3/12/12 and OU55 PUV on 7/1/13.

From Glenn de Sousa

MCV Evolutions/MAN 14.220’s 418 and 419 permanently transferred from Carousel Buses to Thames Travel. Tempo 804 has returned to Carousel.

Carousel in pictures

Carousel 804 now returned to Wycombe after loan to Thames Travel seen on February 20th by Malcolm Crowe.

Carousel 807 and 875 at Wycombe bus station on February 18th by Malcolm Crowe.


From Glenn de Sousa

At Centrebus, from Harlow (old operations) to Stevenage is Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer 537 (Y257 NLK). Transfers from the closed Harlow operation are two Dennis Dart SLFs 513 (S522 KFL) and 528 (Y254 FJN) to the Centrebus-owned K-Line Fleet.

Also ex-Veolia England Optare Solo 9.2 metre, YN04 LWT, is fleet number 275 and is at the Stevenage depot.

From Mike Penn

I can confirm that Centrebus 113 (L713 JUD), which was new to Thames Transit, is still in service at Luton.  Here is a photo of it taken March 5th 2013.

City Sightseeing Oxford incorporating Guide Friday
CSS operated in Oxford by Tom Tappin

From Glenn de Sousa

Ex-City Sightseeing Oxford (Tom Tappin Ltd.) Olympian/Alexander 51 (MUI 7851) was at Ensign Purfleet (09/02/13)

Oxford bus Tridents 110 and 115 have been purchased for use as open toppers on the City services. They are presently at Bus Works, Blackburn for conversion.

CCS in pictures

CSS 53 in St Aldates on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe.

First 65724 on route X74 in Wycombe on February 18th by Malcolm Crowe.
This bus carries revised branding but I was unable to get a better picture.

From Glenn de Sousa.

First Berkshire are in the process of receiving five Plaxton Presidents from First London, to be allocated to Bracknell. As of yesterday (7/2) only 33181 is at Bracknell. They are to be:

LR02 LYY (33179)

LR02 LYZ (33180)

LR02 LZA (33181)

LR02 LZB (33182)

LR02 LZC (33183)

LZA entered service before or on the 1st February. All the Presidents will go through a full refurbishment and single door conversion, and be painted into the First Lilac Livery (new corporate livery). Just a note: all First Berkshire buses are maintained at the Slough garage.

First Essex have taken delivery of 47401, a brand new Wrightbus Streetlite Door Forward. It is in the new lilac First livery, but unregistered (07/02/13) 

Heyfordian YJ59NNO r 25A Magdalen St East OX 230213 M Crowe



Pictures of recent deliveries

NEx De Courcey MD16 FN62CME seen in Bulleid Way on February 10th by Malcolm Crowe.

NEx East Yorkshire 74 FN62CEA seen in Bulleid Way on February 17th by Malcolm Crowe.

NEx Lucketts FN62CZZ on route A3 at Victoria Coach Station on March 4th 2013 by Malcolm Crowe.

New coaches courtesy "Trident"

FJ13 DZZ     208     Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Selwyns (Runcorn)
FJ13 EBC     209     Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Selwyns (Runcorn)
FJ13 EBD     210     Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Selwyns (Runcorn)
FJ13 EBF      211     Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Selwyns (Runcorn)
FN62 CME   MD15     Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT Travel De Courcey
FN62 CVS             Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Luckett’s (Fareham)
FN62 CVY   X4816 Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Luckett’s (Fareham)
FN62 CWD X4817  Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT    Luckett’s (Fareham)
FN62 CXP  X4818  Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Luckett’s (Fareham)
FN62 CZP X4819   Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II C48FLT     Luckett’s (Fareham)

From Martin White

Don’t know whether you’ve heard but during March NX Ops are to close their Crawley Depot, resulting in some major changes to their operations:

727 Gatwick - Norwich, All operations split between Sipson Road & Stansted with the timetable altered to include Cambridge on all journeys.

747 Brighton - Heathrow, Timetable Alterations. 

787 Heathrow - Cambridge, Timetable alterations.

797 Gatwick - Cambridge, Service Withdrawn. 

025 Brighton - Victoria, Operation transferred to Lucketts Group to be operated by Worthing Coaches.

A3 Gatwick - Victoria, Operation transferred to Lucketts Group to be operated from Lucketts Fareham Base & Integrated with their 030/2 operations.

Also earlier changes already have seen Epsom Coaches 550 Victoria - Liverpool diagram taken back in-house by NEx ops from Sipson Road and retimed & re-numbered to a 540, operating via Manchester on its outward journey to Liverpool, losing the MK Coachway stop & Stoke, return operates as normal; Liverpool - Stoke - MK Coachway - Victoria.

 National Express in pictures 

Travellers Choice PO12 CWG on the 341 by Richard Sharman

Little's of Ilkeston VIL9335 previously Haytons MX56HYZ outside VCS on March 1st by Malcolm Crowe

NEx Parkes HSK644 on route 500 in Sammy's on February 9th by Malcolm Crowe

NEx SCO 53701 route 737 Park End St February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe.

With the demise of Crawley depot the end is in sight for the LK53's, and CY78 is seen on the 025 in Bulleid Way 270212 Gavin Francis.

NEx De Courcey FJ11MLU MD10 with new branding for the little brown book near VCS 060213 Gavin Francis

A breakdown in Sammy's, Victoria is not the easiest to recover as seen above. Malcolm Crowe.
Coaches have to be reversed out as they cannot get the turn out for the exit to Elizabeth Street.

Latest fleet list is to be found at this link. 


All of the new Volvo Hybrids are now in service which due to work prior to entry into service were somewhat delayed. They have been seen on City routes 2, 3, 5 and 8. Reports on their use would be appreciated.

The 2xx series Scanias are now seen on most routes except the 5 where only occasional sightings have been reported.

The coach fleet has seen the removal of wheel trims recently which has not done anything for their appearance.

One is not sure what the reason for this action is?

Citaros 849-862 have all moved to Thames Travel with only 861 and 862 remaining to be repainted.

Withdrawn Scania coaches appear stored near the services at junc. 8/8A on the M40/A40 triangle.

Dennis Tridents 110 (T110 DBW) and 115 (T115 DBW) have been acquired by Tom Tappin for use on City Sightseeing duties and are being converted to single door operation along with part open top conversion.

Trident 107 was noted at Hants & Dorset Trim on February 11th and by February 20th it had been joined by 108. The ALX400s are also being converted to single door and are believed to be going to Hedingham bus. This is not confirmed.


Pictures from Richard Sharman 

Ex COMS B10B with Oxford Playbus, seen at their Offices Repainted


Scania 223 r 4A at Frideswide Sq. on February 21st by Richard Sharman.


Hybrid 368 in plain fleet livery by Richard Sharman on February 21st.


Hybrid 359 passes the Randolph Hotel on route 2B, the date February 21st by Richard Sharman.


Hybrid 366 in plain fleet livery heads along St Aldates on February 21st by Richard Sharman.


Oxford's latest batches of New Buses pass on The High, SC 36764 & Oxford's Hybrid 369 on February 21st by Richard Sharman.


All COMS coaches seem to be currently running minus wheel trims as illustrated by Airline 15 seen on February 21st by Richard Sharman.


Oxford fleet in pictures
All of the new Hybrid deckers are now in service


Scania 16 unloads in St Aldates on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe


Scania 214 passes TT Citaro 854 St Aldates on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe


Scania 224 operates the 3 along New Road on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

This time Scania 225 heads up New Road on a 3 road working on February 14th by Malcolm Crowe

Scania 226 works the X13 up New Road on February 14th by Malcolm Crowe

The final Scania 231 on a 13 road working in Park End St on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Hybrid 351 passes Scania 206 at Carfax corner on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Hybrids 356 and 368 pass in St Aldates giving the front and the back in one view on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Hybrid 356 passes Citaro 870 in St Aldates under the watchful eye of the Tom Tower on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Hybrid 362 negotiates the busy corner at Carfax on route 3 on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Hybrid 365 on a 5 road working heads towards the station on New Rd on February 14th by Malcolm Crowe

Hybrid 369 heads up St Aldates on a 5 road working hotly pursued by an Oxford tube on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Citaro 840 on a 4 road working on New Rd watched over by the tower of Nuffield College on February 14th by Malcolm Crowe

Citaro 842 is seen on 4 road workings, first in Frideswide Sq. and then on the High St on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Citaro 843 seen on a 9 road working at the bottom of Headington Hill on February 23rd by Malcolm Crowe

Plastows (Wheatley)

New here is Volvo B9R / Jonckheere SHV (BX62 BJY), one of two due this year.

Plastows brand new Volvo/Jonckheere BX62BJY at Wheatley depot on February 25th by Richard Sharman

Plastows 2012 deliveries seen at Wheatley on February 25th by Richard Sharman

Pulhams Coaches

Pulhams Optare Solo SR DP12BUS works route 811 at Chippy on January 5th by Chris Maxfield

Pulhams Volvo/Plaxton M409BFG seen on route 853 in Oxford on January 5th by Chris Maxfield
The 853 is a very popular service allowing travellers direct entry to many areas of the Cotswolds.

From Glenn de Sousa

Six Lothian Buses’ Dennis Trident/Plaxton president’s are due for Reading Buses to replace the Optare Spectra's (708-713) on The Green Bus school work. The brand new Scania/Alexander Dennis Enviro 300NG’s (gas buses) will be 401-420. Of these, 401-409 are confirmed for work on the Reading FastTrack routes.

The Trident/Plaxton President’s that are expected here from Lothian Buses are to retain their Lothian fleet numbers. They will be 551/3/7-9/69 (W551/3/7-9/69 RSG).

Red Eagle

Glenn de Sousa writes "The HCC Contracts for routes H13 and H19 will pass from Arriva the Shires to Red Eagle on the 2nd of April." 

Red Line

From Glenn de Sousa

Optare Solo SR YJ12 NRX is with Redline Buses, Aylesbury in the Optare demonstrator livery. It is probably a loan from Optare (it may be for support on the S4/S5 St Albans daytime routes which start in early April. I saw it running out of service in Slough on the A4.

Red Line T375JJC is seen in Wycombe on a 321 working by Malcolm Crowe on February 20th

Red Line Trident Y112LGC is seen on the same route but later on March 5th by Malcolm Crowe

Red Rose

Glenn de Sousa writes "Dart W408UGM has been converted to single door joining sister bus W407UGM in this configuration.

Also it is only the Sunday 353 service that will pass from Arriva to Red Rose on the 24th March."

From Daniel Morris

Having found myself in the employment of Red Rose these days, I hope to provide some interesting news and pictures.

V904KAG has an interesting quirk to it, the centre door has ramp that requires manual deployment.

X523UAT, this picture as far should be the first in Red Rose livery, again also maintaining its centre door where other examples have been converted.

Both pictures were taken at Ley Hill, the Crown PH bus stop, in Ley Hill ( http://goo.gl/maps/rV8Pg )

Both these pictures are for OCBP's exclusive use to do with as seen fit.

the last picture shows a (from what I've been told) a 1970's bus stop, located on Chartridge Lane ( http://goo.gl/maps/aJHLP ), between Chartridge Village and the Lee.

Red Rose Dart MPD Y842TGH works route 275 through West Wycombe with the Golden Ball in the background on March 5th by Malcolm Crowe


Repaints of the Scania deckers are taking place with 15437 the latest to be done.

M A N 22941 in reserve has returned to service.

The three Darts from Cambridge, 33462-4 are to be returned to their home and are being replaced by two Solos including 47394.

Solos 47433/4 (V395KWY and VX51ABF) have replaced 47549/51 (VX07LXZ and LYC) which have returned to Gloucester.


From Richard Sharman 

Dart 33464 on the February 13th on the X9 after Snowfall recorded by Richard Sharman

Former Cambridge Solo 47658 rest's at Witney Depot after working its first Duty with Oxfordshire. It still retains it Drummer Street, Cambridge Permit sticker in the N/S Cab Window.

fleet movements last period
47394 AE56 LUL Optare Solo - Cambridge to Witney
47395 AE56 LUO Optare Solo - Cambridge to Witney
47658 AJ58 RBF Optare Solo - Cambridge to Witney
33970 X978 AFH Dennis Dart SLF - Witney to Swindon
33947 V947 DFH Dennis Dart SLF - Witney to Swindon
47037 KX03 KZB Optare Solo - Witney to Northampton

Currently Banbury has three Enviro 300s 22768/9/70 which has not been reported on these pages so far. The others, 22761-7/71 are still at Oxford.

Witney's allocation of Solos is now as under.


As always there is much of interest in the SC Oxford fleet.

Stagecoach Oxford in pictures

Unusual working - 36769 on route 12 in St Aldates on February 21st by Richard Sharman

Scania E400 15438 works route 3 on High St on its way to the rail station on February 23rd by Malcolm M Crowe

Scania Gold 15758 most unusually works route 1 by Queens Lane on March 1st by Malcolm M Crowe

E300 22761 seen on route X30 in Park End St. on February 23rd by Malcolm M Crowe

Stagecoach In Oxfordshire Dart 34471 seen on route 488 at Chippy on January 5th by Chris Maxfield 


East's Volvo 52485 back on the X5 at Gloucester Green and heading for Cambridge on February 6th by Gavin Francis


From Glenn de Sousa

Stagecoach in the South Downs have 7 Alexander-Dennis Enviro 300s, seating DP44F,  in service on Stagecoach Gold route 51 Chichester-Selsey. Here are their registrations:

27838, GX13  Named Nicolaus Copernicus.
27839, GX13  Named Galileo Galilei.
27840, GX13  Named Sir Issac Newton.
27841, GX13  Named Edmund Halley.
27842, GX13  Named Edwin Hubble.
27843, GX13  Named Sir Patrick Moore.
27844, GX13


Latest allocation changes have been 16223 reserve to de-licensed: 16514 reserve to Northampton: 16555 Stratford to disposal: 16786 reserve to de-licensed: 33397 disposal to Leamington: 33453 Rugby to de-licensed: 34118 Leamington to disposal: 34133 reserve to Rugby: 52567 reserve to Megabus: 53017 Megabus to disposal:

Astromega 50201 continues in service without any rear branding.

Astromega  50207 pauses on New Rd, to allow oncoming traffic, on its way to London on February 14th by Malcolm Crowe

Astromega 50215 is seen on Park Lane at stop 14A as it heads for Oxford on February 26th by Gavin Francis


From Paul Dudfield

The Megabus Interdeckers are regulars on the daytime London-Plymouth round trip. Stagecoach Devon provide drivers so 54210 (SF62 CZN) was in Exeter on 4/1/13 for familiarisation.

SC Devon provide drivers so 54210 SF62CZN was in Exeter for familiarisation on 040113 P Dudfield

West Scotland: With the new Interdecks now in service, Volvo B12Bs 54009, 54012 to 54020 have been stood down, awaiting return to their lessor.

Megabus in pictures

SC Megabus 54201 showing off its special branding near VCS on February 10th by Malcolm Crowe

SC Megabus 54201 showing off it's interior lighting variety as seen by Malcolm Crowe
This is unique to this coach.

SC Megabus Volvo 53029 leaves VCs on the M14 bound for Cheltenham on March 4th by Malcolm Crowe

Opportunity for comparison - SC Megabus Astromegas 50244 and 50237 fuelling at Sammy's on March 4th by Malcolm Crowe
50244 is of course the later TX27 version of the Astromega.

Repainted into full Megabus livery but awaiting branding, Freestones Volvo KX07HDJ leaves on the M16 to Norwich from VCS
on March 4th seen by Malcolm Crowe

An Astromega loading for the 1500 service to Newcastle, always a very popular service on February 9th by Malcolm Crowe

Very impressive branding on Interdecker 54206 around VCS on February 6th by Gavin Francis

54206 seen en route on the M20 by Mark Wakefield.

Citaros 849-862 have all moved to Thames Travel with only 861 and 862 remaining to be repainted.

Citaro 862 on route X2 heads along the Abingdon Rd on February 22nd by Malcolm Crowe
This bus lacks any branding except for the super rear ad remaining from its days with Oxford Bus

Ex Carousel M A N s 419 and 420 are in service in red with Thames Travel fleet names.

Transferred from Carousel, M A N  419 works the 116 in St Aldates on February 23rd by Malcolm M Crowe 

Carousel Optare 804 has now returned to its owner after loan to Thames Travel. 

From Glenn de Sousa

The two MAN/MCV’s transferred from Carousel have both entered service, they are 418/9 (AE59 AWH/J).

By February, plain white ancillary van OV54 GWJ was withdrawn for scrap.

From Steve Gee

Yesterday, 4th March, noted on the Coventry Eastern By- Pass (A46) at about 10:45 was Go Ahead Thames Transit 853, RF56 OXF, heading towards the M6, and I would guess, Evobus.

Thames Travel in pictures

Solo 706 waits time on the 101 in St Aldates on February 23rd by Malcolm M Crowe

Citaro 858 in St Aldates, Oxford on January 19th by Chris Maxfield

Citaro 860 works the X32 from St Aldates on January 19th by Chris Maxfield

Carousel 480 P480 MLE currently on loan to Thames Travel works the 106C on January 19th by Chris Maxfield

From Glenn de Sousa

Uno bus have acquired ex-Connex Jersey Alexander Dennis Enviro 200’s J28941,34198,35157,39797 through Ensign, Purfleet.

Three of the old P reg Dart SLF/Wright Crusader’s have been sold, P664 to DW Coaches. 

The company has an excellent web site which can be viewed at the link below.


The 2012 fleet list can be downloaded at this link:


Neoplan N122/3 W60 OOW (ex NE06 LAN, SF56 TXL, LSK 815) is now registered SF56 TXL and has passed to Collier, Erith, along with W70 OOW (ex NE07 LAN, SF07 FJP, LSK 807).

 Neoplan N122/3 which too has been re-registered to OU07 MVM. Irisbus 391.12.35 / Plaxton YN10 ACU, YN10 ACV, YN10 ADU have all been re-registered to W50 OOW, W60 OOW and W70 OOW respectively.

From Glenn de Sousa

Two new Optare Versa’s are due for the Newbury and District business in March 2013. They will be based at the Greenham depot for local work.

A coach has arrived, FJ57 CCY, to take up duties as the Oxford United team coach. It has been re-registered YUE 338 - a registration previously held by the Tappins (Oxford United team) coach.

 The Tappins ex-YUE 338 has been withdrawn for scrap. 


Arriva launches Sapphire upgrade

Arriva UK Bus is launching a new premium service, Sapphire, aimed at reinvigorating bus usage on key routes in four locations across the UK.

Arriva has invested more than £3million as it looks to the premium service to grow passenger numbers on core routes. Sapphire has been designed to primarily attract non-users but also increase the number of journeys taken by infrequent and semi-frequent users.

The new concept was developed following extensive customer research including surveys, site visits and focus groups.  The research highlighted a number of core customer requirements and the opportunity to improve perceptions of the bus, change the behaviour of non-users and encourage existing users to make more journeys.

Arriva has used this insight to create the new Sapphire service, which aims to fulfil the following core requirements:

The Sapphire launches will see 41 vehicles across four routes, a mixture of new and refurbished, create a service focused on enhancing the customer experience, through features such as leather seating and free WiFi.

Mark Yexley, Operations and Commercial Director for Arriva UK Bus, commented:

“We felt the time was right to introduce the Sapphire brand.  It will certainly offer our customers something different and we hope will tempt more people to try the bus as a result.

“We’ve deliberately selected key routes on our network that offer a potentially longer journey time, so that customers have more time to take advantage of the free WiFi, or to simply enjoy sitting on comfy leather seats!

“The investment is significant at a time when there are plenty of economic challenges out there, although we firmly believe in continuing to try and improve our service offering whenever and wherever we can.”

The first Sapphire service to launch will be in the North West in April (Chester to Wrexham), followed by launches in three additional regions; Midlands (Oadby to Leicester), Shires & Essex (Aylesbury to Oxford), and the North East (Darlington to Durham).

Phil Cummins, Engineering Director for Arriva North West and Wales, was instrumental in arranging the prototype design and layout for the new and refurbished vehicles.  He commented:

“We’re really happy with the final outcome.  The refurbished buses have given already good vehicles a new lease of life and the quality of the materials is excellent.”

The key features of Sapphire include:

Mark Yexley added:

“We certainly hope the upgraded routes will be a success and we’ll be working with our customers to gauge their feedback throughout the opening weeks and months.”

The first Sapphire buses will be delivered in April 2013 in the North West. They will then be rolled out to three other routes, ensuring that there is a Sapphire route in each of Arriva UK Bus’ regional businesses.

Routes and vehicles:

Each is an inter-urban route that offers a long enough journey time for customers to appreciate the added benefits Sapphire offers.

Take a tour (pictures of the Sapphire vehicles): 



One cannot help but feel that this has been inspired by Stagecoach Gold!!

Stagecoach and the OFT

After examining all the details available, the Office of Fair Trading has decided not to refer Stagecoach’s acquisition of Bluebird of Middleton to the Competition Commission and so the deal is expected to go through in early March. The OFT has also decided not to refer the Stagecoach acquisition of the First Group operation at Wigan to the Competition Commission.

Stagecoach rejects Twin America allegations 

Stagecoach (SGC.L) on Wednesday rejected allegations that its U.S. bus joint venture Twin America was anti-competitive after the United States government started legal proceedings against the business.

The British transport group said the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and New York's Attorney General had initiated legal proceedings against Twin America, a joint venture between Stagecoach North America and City Sights, set up in 2009.

Stagecoach said the U.S. bodies were seeking dissolution of the joint venture or they could force the company to sell certain assets. However, Stagecoach said it would "robustly" defend its position.

"Since the joint venture was formed in 2009, the sightseeing bus industry has become even more competitive as new sightseeing bus operators have commenced business in New York and other companies have announced firm plans to do so shortly," said Stagecoach.

"Stagecoach North America, City Sights and Twin America disagree with the position of the DoJ and the New York attorney general and believe their action is unnecessary."

First Group announces £76m bus order

 FirstGroup has ordered 464 new vehicles worth £76m for delivery in the 2013/14 financial year.

All buses will have leather seats and be fitted with Wi-Fi  

This order will bring First’s investment in new buses to around £240m in three years. 

The bulk of the order will be built by Alexander Dennis (222 vehicles) and Wrightbus (179 vehicles).  Volvo Group UK will manage its 37 bus contract for its 7900 single-decker hybrids from its headquarters in Warwick, while Optare will supply 18 Versa's. 

A further eight vehicles will be ordered, but as yet no decision has been taken as to the manufacturer.

Parry’s to close at year end

Multi-award-winning Parry’s International is to close its doors at the end of the year, with founder and owner Dave Parry retiring.

Based in Cheslyn Hay, West Midlands, the business remains profitable.

The vehicles, premises and equipment are all owned outright, and will be sold individually after trading ceases when the last tour, a New Year 2014 holiday, returns.

Managing Director Dave Parry says he wants finish his business - which celebrates 40 years in November - on a high.

It is widely renowned for setting and delivering exceptionally high standards.

While Dave Parry argues that making good profits in coach tour operation - Parry’s sole business - is getting harder, the business is in good financial shape.

Despite the planned closure, Dave Parry expects 2014 to be one of its best years, and says standards will not slip.

His latest new coach - a Starliner - is currently in build and will be unveiled at the UK Coach Rally in April.

Trips & Events


Showbus 2013

The exciting news of SHOWBUS' new venue for 2013 is already out there.  We are taking Britain's biggest bus display to Stratford-upon-Avon in the Midlands, neatly timing the move to commemorate 150 years of Metro-Cammell.  We are celebrating other Midland anniversaries including 90 years since BMMO built their first bus, 80 years since the first Guy Arab appeared, 60 since the Guy London GS and 35 of the MCW Metrobus. With some of the first Darts bodied by Carlyle in Birmingham we celebrate a quarter of a century of the Dennis Dart.

The new venue is not permanent and we will be back at Duxford in 2014 for the Diamond Jubilee of the Routemaster.  However the new venue offers new opportunities besides the obvious chance for those from further afield to visit Showbus.  The general public entry will be much cheaper and we will have the opportunity for rides around the site on a variety of selected entrants.

For those who are coach operators and those whose partners are not overly interested in buses there are the nearby attractions of Stratford, Warwick Castle and the Cotswolds.  An ideal opportunity to combine an excursion to Stratford or Warwick with a layover at SHOWBUS.

There will be a free half hourly bus service between the venue at Long Marston and Stratford-upon-Avon.  We also hope to offer a bookable Cotswold Tour.

We look forward to you joining us at our new venue and hopefully a chance to meet new friends from further afield.

Details are on our website already and will be expanded as we get nearer to the event: http://www.showbus.com/subind1.htm


As the better weather approaches I thought contributions such as this from john Marsh might inspire readers to venture further afield.

From John Marsh

I spent Wednesday this week in a freezing cold snowy Nottingham so thought you might like some of the pictures.

Nottingham City Transport 358 - YJ12GYS 130213 J Marsh 

Nottingham City Transport 360 YJ12GYU 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport 501 - FH51LTX plus tram 201 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport 687 - YN05WFS 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport 743 YN04UJP 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport 904 YT11 LTN 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport 923 YT61FFK 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport 984 YT10UWN 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham City Transport505 FD02SDZ 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham Richard Whitehead YK08EPF 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham Trams 211 and 212 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham Trent Barton 130 M130PRA Trainer305 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham Trent Barton 305 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham Trent Barton 724 130213 J Marsh

Nottingham Trent Barton Mango 438 FP51GXX 130213 J Marsh

Unilink - Premiere Travel Nottingham YN07LDZ ex NCT 130213 J Marsh

I found this most interesting and certainly worth a visit. Variety, quality and much to interest the enthusiast.

Richard Morgan provided some more pictures taken at Winchester on New Year's Day. 

Winchester 2013 Megabus 53028 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 AV KCG627L 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 Crosville TA5 JFM575 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 D113GHY 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 early Lodekkas SDL268 and 5677EL 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 Eastbourne AHC442 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 Guernsey 77 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 LC EPD543V 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 Portsmouth TTP992 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 Ribble 1821 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 RML2679 plus the old un 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 Silver Star 1013MW 010113 R Morgan

Winchester 2013 King Alfred WGC104 010113 R Morgan

And the pièce de résistance of this year's event was the Olympian.

Winchester 2013 King Alfred JAA708 010113 R Morgan

Chris Maxfield has been busy with a visit to Chester and The Wirral to record events leading to the take-over of Frist in the area by Stagecoach.

The pictures show before and after and also include some of the other operators in the area.

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire Rock Ferry Depot Sign 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire Rock Ferry Depot with the old and the new. 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire Chester Depot Sign 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 21262 plus 36807 Chester depot130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 29888 at Chester depot 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 21264 and 21275 Park & ride 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire Chester depot  33411 - 21254 - 21261 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 34597 34602 at Chester depot 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 34597 r 5 Chester 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 36807 in Chester bus station - 130113 C Maxfield

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 28530 & various buses taken over from First - 130113 C Maxfield

And now Arriva and other operators in and around Chester.

Blast from the past ! - Crosville 319PFM r C1 Chester 130113 C Maxfield

Chester Arriva Buses Wales-Cymru 999 CX18EVH r X44 120113 C Maxfield

Chester Arriva Buses Wales-Cymru 2358 V588DJC r 3 120113 C Maxfield

Chester Arriva Buses Wales-Cymru 3141 CX12DSV r 1 120113 C Maxfield

Chester Arriva Buses Wales-Cymru 22630 r 105 130113 C Maxfield

Chester Arriva Buses Wales-Cymru r 1 S248JUA r 1 120113 C Maxfield

Chester Arriva North West - 4489 MX61AUN r 84 130113 C Maxfield
This is a low bridge Wrights Gemini.

Chester Arrowebrook MX07NTT r 51 130113 C Maxfield

Chester Aintree Coachline 861 L1SLT -X52CHJ _ 00-D-70025 and 862 L2SLT X979CNO _ 00-D-70027 Rail Link 120113 C Maxfield

Chester GHA Coaches SL12 r DB6 130113 C Maxfield

Chester GHA Coaches VX51RBO r 82 120113 C Maxfield

Chester Selwyns FJ56PAO 381 · Chester to Newcastle upon Tyne 130113 C Maxfield

And finally a selection of First buses the day before take-over

Chester First 34058 120113 C Maxfield

Chester First 34260 r 5 120113 C Maxfield

Chester First 69314 120113 C Maxfield

Chester First 69489 Park and Ride 120113 C Maxfield

Chester First D158FYM depot 120113 C Maxfield

Chester First now SC 29880 depot 120113 C Maxfield  -  one of the first if not the first to receive Stagecoach fleet names 

S&J 67 will contain a number of pictures taken by Chris on a visit to Manchester & Wigan.

Edgar Tuburcio recently visited Hawaii and sent some nice pictures.

Taken on February 3rd 2013 by Edgar Tuburcio. 


Yesterday I was reading your webpage and it reminded me that the last time I saw you (at the Newbury rally last July) I mentioned that I was hoping to buy a Bristol RELH someday. Well I did! In October I bought ex- Red & White coach reg. OAX 9F. 

I've called her Ruby and she now resides in Oxfordshire and has her own website: http://www.redandwhitebus.co.uk/

Hopefully, Ruby and I will see you at a rally this year.

Jonathan Radley

Buses in the Landscape

From Markov Zorro

Been a little while since I sent some photos to you.  Here's a few in the countryside and the snow, relating to 0006/0046 respectively

Stagecoach Enviro 39699 seen on its regular journey in Duston in Northampton

First Dart 42910 climbs out of Radstock en route to Bath

and if you want some vicarious warmth and vitamin D, here are some classic summer snaps from last year

Arriva North East 4662 climbs out of Sandsend in July 2012 - check the old fashioned windbreaks out

Stagecoach Gold 15768 near Faringdon in May 2012
This really is a nice picture Ed.

Arriva Shires YK57EKG at Stokenchurch in May 2012


A busy day on The High Oxford 230213 M Crowe

Ebdons E13DDN Volvo B12M - Plaxton Paragon new to First Cymru 20538 at Stansted - 230213 G Francis

EBDONS M409TWF at a Brighton rally G Francis

New buses for the 52 - Metroline VWH1409 - LK62DWD r 52 near HPC LON 260213 G Francis

Richardson Travel - SN62APY Park Lane LON 260213 G Francis

Bliss Travel YX08HWF ex easyBus 040313 M Crowe

Harrods RML2621 as been repainted 090213 M Crowe

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

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

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

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

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


Thames Valley - final part now available




ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p

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

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

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

order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close

Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT

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


Newbury & District History now available

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

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

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

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.