Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings nr. 69 - July 3rd 2013

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Well, I am sure many of you must have wondered where the page had got to. I am sorry but things went rather wrong for me during the past six weeks or so. What with work, family matters and the writing off of my car, I found little time to get the page done.

Anyway here is issue 69 better late than never!

Many things have been happening in our area.

Stagecoach have ceased operating the National Express 737 service from the end of June and this service is now operated by NEx Stansted.

Thames Travel have grown dramatically in size with gained contract services as far away as Bicester.

Arriva is getting very close to the launch of their new Sapphire service on the 280 between Aylesbury and Oxford.

National Express have continued with their A1 service from Luton Airport to London and Green Line also continue with their 757 service, albeit with revised connecting shuttles at Luton Airport.

Changes have occurred to a number of Oxford County services with revised operators

Oxford Bus have launched a redesigned web site and improved the seating in a number of Scania double decks.

There is much to read about in this issue and I hope to have another issue in a few weeks thereby catching up with the backlog.

Thanks for your understanding and support during this difficult time and apologies if I missed anything. I will include any such items in the next issue.

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

Other Running Days in 2012

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

Sunday 7 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station 


Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

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

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 - Wednesday 3rd July 2013


Observations and pictures

From Clive King 

Now 30 years old if the civilian plate is to be believed, this Dodge 50 Series with Rootes body was new to the MoD.

It is seen during its regular Wednesday c18.30 call to sell fish and chips to the residents of Kensworth which I think counts as Chilterns
because it is on the backslope of the Whipsnade section of escarpment.
To my certain knowledge, the Dodge has made the same weekly call for at least 21 years.


Facial palsy Dart in use on Carparkz shuttle.


Charging up EGR is one of the two Centrebus ex Brighton & Oxford B10BLE / Wright in the green livery for the University of Bedfordshire campus contract.



Proceeding down Eaton Green Road, Luton, is a VDL SB180 with a MCV body belonging to the Rotala group and operating on the staff contract for Tui, formerly Thompson.

This combination is relatively uncommon with just over 30 of both lengths in service although there are two others in Luton with Luton Borough Council as school buses.


As mentioned on the phone, I encountered this machine for the first time in Northampton on Saturday 11 May.
It is departing Greyfriars Bus Station; hence the strange lighting effect caused by the building looming behind me.
The bus is an unstyled prototype Transbus Enviro 300.


Meridian Travel were using this former Trent Barton Excel on their Service 31 to Kingsheath.

This vehicle had previously seen use in Luton by Rotala on the Thomson staff service.

It was joined in the afternoon by a former National Express Excel of the short variety that started life on Route 211 in London.


This well-presented Olympian soldiers on in Bedford with its "coach" seats and electronic display.



Grant Palmer and many of his former London Darts retain their centre doors as in this example preparing to depart from Bedford Bus Station.

Glenn de Sousa writes "The two new Optare Solo’s for Mullany’s Buses, Watford have been delivered recently. They have been registered YJ13 HJG/K and are in the new Mullany’s livery like the E200’s from Renown. They are to exclusively run on the 318 Flyer, with route branding to be applied soon. 

Mullany’s Optare Solo YJ13 HJK entered service today on route 318, for which it will be fully branded for in the near future. It has rear advertising for weekly tickets starting at £14. Also written on the engine panel is ‘Don't just follow the bus: Catch the Bus!’

At First Berkshire, two Plaxton Panther’s are on order for RailAir. They are to the same spec as the 2012/3 ones. 11 Alexander Dennis Enviro 200’s are due at the Slough depot in Autumn as part of the £76m order. The Mercedes Citaro’s moving to Bracknell will be painted in a yellow based Beeline livery - First says they are bringing the ‘Buzz back to Bracknell’.

One of the Citaros already in the new livery mentioned by Glenn - Picture by Gavin Francis on May 23rd.

This Levante from the Luton fleet was on a Wembley trip on May 7th as seen by Gavin Francis.

All the bollards to the left of the entrance of the airport are branded for Natex to the right they are Burger King. 

Binders Yard
1969 SB5 Duple Bella Vega 7ft 6in , new with Court of Torquay , as CXF257G. Import from Jersey and sold on Ebay in March 2013 for £2495.87 - seen by Gavin Francis on May 6th.

This coach was parked along at Studley Green. It is run by Chiltern Classic Coachlines of Chalfont St. Giles but shows Southern Vectis legal lettering.
As seen by Gavin Francis on May 5th 2013.

May saw a number of new super rears on the Citaro fleet, two of which are shown above by Gavin Francis.

From Mike Penn

I didn’t go to the car park where the passengers were transferred.  I restricted myself to the outskirts of the airport where it’s easier to get photos.  I believe the Primos picked up and set down in the central short term car park, not the normal bus/coach station area. 

You might be interested in the two attached photos which I took in Chester last Thursday on my way up to the Llandudno Festival of Transport.

The first is of Arriva Cymru 4405 (J500 ABW ex CX58 FZS), an Enviro 400 which has been refurbished and painted in the new Sapphire livery for service 1 between Chester and Wrexham.
  It had entered service only a few days earlier.  I assume those being refurbished for the 280 between Aylesbury and Oxford will be painted similarly.
As all the Arriva Cymru vehicles had been re-registered as Jxxx ABW (Arriva Buses Wales) I wonder if the Shires ones will also be re-registered.

The second photo is GHA Coaches N8GHA, originally N603FJO of City of Oxford.  Plaxton Verde bodies must be getting rare now.

From Richard Sharman

The Bicester Village London Service is now so busy a second Mercedes is being used to Duplicate it, since this picture was taken it has been vinyled.

Last of the three East Solo's has arrived at Witney- 47395

Abingdon's Go Ride operates this VW Crafter in Newbury

First Day of Greenwave operation

COMS 965 on Training Duties

Thames Travel in Reading

COMS 231 on Folley Bridge

Go-Ahead Tourist 8202 in Oxford 

Johnsons have two new Scania's operating as Service Spares so they appear on any route, one of the pair is seen here about to work the 270 into Oxfordshire.


Notice put up by Go Ride prior to takeover of the 8A.


47452 seen on the last day of X8 operation by Stagecoach


33464, 47452/4 where the last Witney Allocated Vehicles to work out of Chipping Norton Outstation on the 1st of June 13,
The allocation of the Dart was to cover the X9 which will now be fully worked from Witney.
For interest this meant that Chippy was an outstation for both Oxford and Witney!! Ed.


New X8 times for Pulhams.


Go Ride Alero for the X8A


SOX Line up at the new Downs Road O/S


Pointer transferred to Witney from Banbury

New to Grayline is this Wrights shuttle bus.

Roger Knott writes to give us local news in High Wycombe on May 21st 2013.

ARRIVA dart/Caetano 3529 on route 31 which NIGEL PEACH thought might have gone on your last BUS PAGE. 

Route 33 had a nice variety D/D DAF 6302, Olympian 5147 and single deck Dart/Plaxton 3821. DAF/Cadets 4520 and 4525 and Solo 2496 was working route 48 then onto route 32. 2497 was on the garage. 

It was great to see CAROUSELS Volvos 918, 919 and 920 working as these came from my local LONDON GENERAL garage at SUTTON and I was sorry when they went. 

Passed CREATIVE THEATRE livery OXFORD 52 on X90. 

STAGECOCH 53703 working on NATEX737 failed at HW Bus Station on the 15.05 STANSTEAD bound. 

Arriva logo and TGM

The target date for the launch of Sapphire route 280 is July 19th.

An edict has been made that all the buses being prepared for this must be ready for service on that date. 5435 – 8, 40, 53 have already gone for refurbishment with others to follow.

Indeed some buses have already returned as seen in this picture of 5438 taken quickly from the road outside the depot by H Potter

This promises to be quite an event.

Re the Luton Airport coach and bus services saga. 

The two Primos acquired for the Luton Airport link service are 2600/1 (LF08 DZW/x) Enterprise EB03/Plaxton Primo B22F new in 2008. They are from TFM/OFJ at Heathrow.

Things change on a regular basis and we see that the 757 is still fighting back with new arrangements for connecting the passengers. Two Citaros once used on the 321 are operating service A as seen in the picture taken last Saturday by Gavin Francis. They are believed to be 3908 and 3909 which is shown below.

Indeed the Arriva 61, 100 and 321 no longer serve the airport leaving a big gap for staff travel by public transport. One wonders where the green credentials are sitting now?


Jason Leslie writes to include this interesting link.


This of course is dear old 5127 which featured on my OCBP S&J 65 of February 2013. I travelled on this veteran on the 32 route when she put up a fine perfomrance on the hills around High Wycombe.

Now, if she is still for sale, she is yours for £4000!!!!!


Glenn de Sousa writes to send news and pictures.

Arriva the Shires 2483 YJ07 VRF has an all over ad for MK Carstore.

A few more arrivals to Aylesbury depot since the last issue of S&J.

Another from the 52-reg batch of Alexander ALX400’s is 6008 KL52 CWZ. But 6001 KL52 CWO left Blackburn Bus and Coach in February and I have not seen it yet in Aylesbury.

5940 P613 CAY (reported in the last issue) is on loan from Arriva Southern Counties with another Volvo Olympian 5920 M920 MKM which is seated as H47/30F.

Dennis Dart 3215 R215 GMJ has been transferred in from Hemel Hempstead and seated as B31F.

The two extra Enviro400’s for Sapphire 280 coming from Hemel Hempstead to Aylesbury will be 5454 SN58 EOA and 5455 SN58 EOB and are both at Blackburn Bus and Coach World with the Enviro400’s originally at Aylesbury.

May 10th

Another loan from Arriva Southern Counties to Arriva’s Aylesbury depot is Volvo Olympian 5910 K190 SKR which is normally based at Maidstone.

A Volvo Olympian has came from Arriva Southern Counties and is in ‘death row’ at Aylesbury and is 6211 R211 CKO.

Caetano Compass 10.7m 3529 (NDZ 7933) in Aylesbury depot.

Regarding the ADE400’s for the 280 Sapphire Service:

Today (11/5), SN58 EOF and EOM. EOF was just sitting in the yard awaiting attention, but SN58 EOM has received a repaint with its upper deck seats removed.

At Arriva the Shires in Hemel Hempstead, Optare Solo 2476 YJ07 VPX has received a new livery (cream and dark grey) with special branding for the new Maylands Link services. I understand that the improvement in existing and new routes to the Maylands Industrial area is made possible through the Big Herts Big Ideas scheme - the funding from the LSTF for Hertfordshire. It was from the same scheme that funded the ten new Versa’s at Garston for the ‘Ten’ and the new Enviro 300 KX12 HAE for Stevenage 300/301.

Mark Smith writes to include some pictures.

Arriva 2476 in new livery for route ML1 - Maylands Link - and is seen at Hemel Hempstead bus station

Arriva 3402 on route 5 in Hemel on May 11th by Mark Smith

Hemel bus station with Arriva 2494 on May 11th by Mark Smith.

Hemel bus station with Arriva 3401 YJ57BWA on route 500 dated May 11th by Mark Smith.

Mullany's YJ13HJK on route 318 in Hemel on May 11th by Mark Smith

Bernard Lewendon wrote to include the attached pictures and news, which are of interest.

They are:-

4361 - W361 XKX  DAF SB3000 with Plaxton Prima Interurban body. Believed to be visiting for driver training although there was no L plate on the front at the time I saw it.
(This and other trainers are sometimes used in service hence the removable L plates. Ed.)

And two long time withdrawn buses arranged so that all the passers-by can see them.

 3181, 3852 and 3822

Does anyone else have an interest in the fascinating and ever changing fleet of the Royal Mail?

I have added a picture of a new Vauxhall Vivaro just delivered to Royal Mail.
More than 1000 of these vehicles, made in Luton, are on order to replace the older Ford Transits.

Just an update of local buses.

Arriva. There are five buses at the Lincoln Road garage that have been out of use for some time. The first five listed are unlikely to ever run again.

Dates shown are their approximate dates of last service.

In the picture (taken last week) attached they are from left to right:-

3852           July 2012                      New 1997

3431           October 2012                         New 1996

3181           November 2012           New 1997

3822           November 2012           New 1996

Behind 3181 is 3520 Urbanstar    April 2013            New 1997

Also out of use is 5153 as you pictured in your latest edition. It looks from a distance to still be complete.


Until recently there were four Caetano Compasses dating from 1999. Still in service is 3529. 3530 has not been seen for some time and must be assumed to have been moved away, but to where?

3532 is in service in Aylesbury and 3536 is now a car park shuttle bus at Luton Airport having been painted white and labelled "Carparkz". A picture in this condition would be welcomed if any reader can oblige.

Clive King is happy to oblige with the picture as requested.

For several years Wycombe has had four Dennis Dart SLF / Caetano Compass of 1999.

However, in recent weeks all have now been transferred away.

3529          NDZ 7933  Transferred to Aylesbury.

3530          NDZ 7919  Transferred to Hemel Hempstead.

3532          NDZ 7921  Transferred to Aylesbury.

3536          T424 LGP   To Luton Airport Carparkz, (repainted white) - see above

Also at Arriva, Volvo 5153, S153 KNK, pictured last edition and out of use since November 2012 has disappeared. Meaning that it has been either transferred away or withdrawn.

Pete Cabin writes: 

Unusual to see 3215 R215GMJ on service 300 outbound journey to Aylesbury. According to the fleet list this bus is Hemel based so maybe a transfer. Also noted 3208 R208GMJ and 3210 R210GMJ have transferred to Ware depot from High Wycombe. These GMJ buses are well spread apart now.

It didn’t take Arriva long to use route branded nr. 1 buses on other routes. There was one on blue route 32 on Wednesday 29th May and today 3744 AEO6MBU was on the 850 to Reading !!!!!!

June 10th

More route branded buses on wrong routes, it's amazing how Arriva rotate their vehicles!

070613 saw 3742 AE06XRM on the 31

080613 3744 AE56MBU on the 33

100613 3745 AE56MBV was working the 32

I also note that 3457 W457XKX is back in service at High Wycombe as it was recently unlicenced or withdrawn

5148 S148SNK standing at the back of Aylesbury bus station still with London Wasps logos applied.

On 110613 3865 KE05FMP has returned to service after several months off the road It was put straight onto green route 31. This bus has yet to be treated to inter-urban paintwork and still carries route branding for green route 31.

Arriva 3457 at Cressex after repair and MOT on May 31st by Malcolm Crowe 

Arriva 3217 expired at the top of Aston Hill on the A40 on May 18th and was not seen in service until late June. Picture by Malcolm Crowe

Arriva 3920 on route 280 in Park End St Oxford on May 16th by Malcolm Crowe.

Arriva 4519 takes time at Stokenchurch with a faded ad in it's back window on June 21st seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Some pictures in Milton Keynes taken by Gavin Francis

Arriva 2507 on route 8 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3573 on route 5A in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3731 seen at the Rail Station on June7th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3738 on route 5A seen at the Rail Station on June7th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva Platinum 3928 on route 300 also
seen at the Rail Station on June7th by Gavin Francis.

DAF 34476 and Olympians 5144 and 5150 have gone to ASM Aylesbury for scrap. Shame, the Palatine 2 on Olympian chassis was a lovely bus.

General notes.

Tempos 801/2/6/7 now have branding for “The Red One”. 

M A N s 420/1/2 and 801 had branding for the former line 4. 

Dart 561 has been withdrawn from use. 

Nigel Peach writes "I went to the Carousel garage on Wed 30th May, thinking perhaps I might see the ex Oxford Trident, for a picture. No sign of it but there was a white single decker lurking at the back of the depot. It's not a very user-friendly depot for the enthusiast, and it was too dark to make out the number with the naked eye but I took a photo of it and the flash reflected on the number plate so that when looking at the picture I could make it out as AF53 EUV! This is Thames Travel 401 (a Man 14.220 MCV). I wonder if it is a transfer or just visiting?"

Bernard Lewendon writes "Over at Carousel of the three Stirlings 415/6/7 415 has, at last, received decals for Purple route 35/36 having run anonymously for several weeks. 

417, in similar colours, will probably appear similarly attired soon. 

416 that had not been around since January has returned. With its shiny paint (in normal Carousel colours) it might have had a repaint, but where has it been for the past four months?

I mentioned that Carousel 416 had returned to service from an unknown place. I took a picture of it this morning and a copy is attached.

You will see that it was working on the Purple route 36. A bus without the decals but neither of the two (415 and 417) that now have them were seen today!"

Carousels 928 in the bus station on June 22nd by Bernard Lewendon.


News from Glenn de Sousa


At Courtney, there have been several fleet changes as well as starting to compete with First Berkshire in Bracknell.


The entire YJ57 XW* batch of 8 Optare Solo M950 Slimline’s have been sold:

YJ57 XWM to D&G, Crewe in December 2012

YJ57 XWN to Nottingham City Transport in February 2013

YJ57 XWO to an unknown operator in the UK in May 2013

YJ57 XWP to Nottingham City Transport in December 2012

YJ57 XWR to Nottingham City Transport in December 2012

YJ57 XWS to D&G, Crewe in December 2012

YJ57 XWT to Nottingham City Transport in February 2013

YJ57 XWU to Swanbrook, Cheltenham in December 2012


The following new vehicles have arrived/are on order from Optare:

Optare Solo SR Slimline M720 - YJ13 HJX (Arrived for the Maidenhead Office Park Shuttle)

Optare Solo SR Slimline M720 - YJ13 HJY (Arrived for the Windsor Home Park and Ride Shuttle)

Optare Solo SR Slimline M890 - YJ13 HKW (Arrived for the Maidenhead Office Park Shuttle)

Optare Solo SR Standard Width M970 – on order

Optare Solo SR Standard Width M900 – on order


Two new Hybrid Double Decks (Enviro 400H’s) are on order from Alexander Dennis for the Milton Park MEPC Contract. These are part-funded by the DfT’s Green Bus Fund Round 4.


An Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 10.8m, registered YX62 FDG, was on loan to Courtney for a fortnight or so around the time of the May Bank Holiday. This was used on the SONY Basingstoke contract as due to the decrease in patronage, a single decker will replace the double decker DAF. Courtney have been using their Optare Solo SR YJ62 FMA on the shuttle as well as comparison.


Courtney have been competing since early this year, on Bracknell routes 171/172 and 194 against First Berkshire. This has seen them introduce Lemon/Lime branding for routes 171 (Lemon) and 172 (Lime) using two Optare Solo’s from the batch delivered November – January for RBWM and Bracknell routes. They are registered as YJ62 FMD/E.

Courtney Buses will be introducing a 155A service in Bracknell from July (Details on VOSA). Simon Fisher from Courtney informed me that it would take the same route as First’s 155 except operating via Deepfield Road in both directions to give elderly residents there a link to the doctors surgery at Ralph's Ride. It will leave Bracknell at xx20 and xx50.

This service will be run using an additional single decker that will operate Courtney’s NEW Monday - Friday 194 Peak time service, leaving Crowthorne Ye Old Prince towards Camberley at 0609, and Bracknell Bus Station to Camberley at 0740, 1535, 1640 and 1835.

Courtney will also be increasing the frequency on Lemon/Lime routes 171/172 yet again.


At the heart of your travel needs

Centrebus 232 KX03KYW on route 90 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Centrebus Dart 511 on route X31 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Centrebus 550 on route X31 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.
This bus was with Stagecoach East London working the 366 Ed.

First 10182 Luton Air-Rail Link on June 6th by Gavin Francis.

First LT52WXA on route 71 in Slough in a "new" livery seen on May 23rd by Gavin Francis.
This bus and other Citaros displaced by the new Hybrids will be moving to Bracknell.

First VSH69923 on route 76 in Slough on May 23rd by Gavin Francis.

First 23208 WN04NZU on coach work in London on May 17th by Gavin Francis.

New First Chelmsford Alexander Dennis Enviro 350H 67903 SN13CHX with interesting destination by Gavin Francis.


Heyfordian L108LHL former 16478 Stagecoach Lincolnshire seen in Stokenchurch on school service on May 16th by Gavin Francis.


Glenn de Sousa writes "Motts of Aylesbury’s new Plaxton Cheetah is registered GT13 MTT. I got a quick photo of it whilst visiting a friend opposite Maidenhead’s Commonweath War Graves Commission. It is in allover white with no branding as yet."

I saw this coach earlier this week and it was still without any branding. Ed. 




Big local news is that the 737 Oxford-Stansted via Luton service has reverted to operation by National Express after seven years of operation by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. Two types of coach have, in the main operated this service. First were the 56 plate Scania/Levantes and then from 2010 Volvo B9R/Plaxton Elites.

Gavin Francis drove one of the last services, when I had driven one of the early ones with the Scanias.

Several pictures record the final days of the change over.

Plaxton Elite 53705 ready to leave Horspath Road depot for its final duty on the 737, the 0920 from Oxford, with Gavin Francis at the helm on June 30th.

By July 1st National Express's own Volvo/Levantes were in charge of this service and three are recorded above by Gavin Francis.
They are passing through Stokenchurch on various services.

An odd point is that the coaches, seemingly allocated to this service, are those which were transferred from Sibson Road for the start of the A1 and as such fully branded. Now less than two months later, the branding is removed and the four are on the 737!!!

Also in Stansted on the 30th was this newly branded Levante operated by Silverdale on the 767 ( a service due to totally end on July 19th).

NEx SR115 on the 787 at Luton Airport on June 6th by Gavin Francis.

NEx South Gloucestershire FJ60HYU with recently applied Reading Festival 2013 promotion wrap seen on May 13th by Gavin Francis.

NEx Travel De Courcey MD10 FJ11MLU with new vinyl promotion logos for the little brown book group
in Bulleid Way on May 13th by Gavin Francis.

NEx Travel de Courcey MD27 FJ13EAY on route 420 in Buckingham Palace Road on 23rd May by Malcolm Crowe.
One of the newest Levantes around at the time.

NEx Eurolines service 871 operated by Kavanagh's 07-G-703,  seen in Sammy's on May 26th by Malcolm Crowe.
This service provides a wide variety of coaches.

NEx Selwyn's 167 FJ61EWH showing off its new rear end promotion wrap for the V-Festival 2013 event
seen in Oxford St, London on May 11th by Malcolm Crowe.

NEx Whittles 83 and NEx LA150 in Buckingham Palace Road on May 23rd by Malcolm Crowe.
Many Levantes now have plain white livery or in some cases owners own livery. 

The company has a redesigned web page which is very smart indeed.  http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/

There is a special link for enthusiasts.   http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/about-us/enthusiast/

Ant (Poulton) writes to note "As I'm sure you're aware five OBC Tridents are on loan to Go SouthCoast over the summer, three at Lymington and two at Totton. I've only managed to catch up with one so far which was 116, seen in the attached pic for your use on the O&CBP at Mudeford this evening on the 1720 X1 from Bournemouth to Lymington."

Of note is that the Brookes contract, in which 116 livery appears, is up from renewal and one wonders who will win. It seems that several operators have expressed interest.

Oxford bus have improved the seating on a number of Scania/Alexander E400s, those appearing to be 221-231, most of which operate the longer services to Abingdon.  It seems that head rests have been retrofitted to these buses as can be seen in the pictures below.

OX 225 with high back seats but on the 2B not the Abingdon routes on June 6th by Graham Low.

OX 227 on route 2 still with low back seats on May 11th seen by Gavin Francis.

OX 231 on route 13 already with high back seats on May 12th again by Gavin Francis.

A number of new super rears on the Citaros have made an appearance.

OX 838 on route 35 with new super rear "Ticking all the boxes" seen on May 11th by Gavin Francis.

OX 846 on route 6 with new super rear "Big Savings" seen on May 11th by Gavin Francis.

The coach fleet has also seen some changes, notably the use of destination screens and the change of livery for coaches 17 and 18.

OX 2 and 51 showing an interesting use of destination screens on May24th by Malcolm Crowe.

OX 18 just back from repaint seen on May 11th by Malcolm Crowe. 

Reading buses have a number of new gas buses which have attracted lots of interest from readers and contributors alike. 

from Stuart Curwen:  I have attached a few photos of Reading Buses new Scania/ADL Gas buses 


Attached are two photos of Reading Buses new Route 9 vehicles


Russell Young also wrote on these new buses saying "Heading back from a trip to South Wales, Bristol, Bath on a very sunny 4 June, decided to bail out of the train at Reading on the way home and have a look at the Greenwave’s.  As it was about 1800, I wasn’t exactly confident about finding a decent photographic spot that late, but did."

403 coming up the slip road off the A329 towards the Castle Street roundabout by Russell Young.

Red Eagle

Bernard Lewendon writes "I was in Beaconsfield and saw this Red Eagle Y184RCR, a Dennis Dart SLF / Caetano Nimbus working the route 377 to Loudwater, Tesco.

This is a service that only runs Tuesdays and Fridays and then only three trips each day. It is the only route that has Loudwater as it's destination."



 Edward Neal writes "some pictures of new Redline buses in Cottonmill Estate St. Albans just a few days before the start of the new S4/S5 service are attached."

Redline MX13BCK operates the S4 on March 28th taken by Edward Neal. 

Luke Braham writes "I have managed to get pictures of the recent additions to the Redline fleet but the new Alexander Dennis E200’s have been hard to get pictures of in the depot as the are normally parked under cover in the depot."

Redline Buses MX13 BCK is seen parked under cover in the Aylesbury depot.

Redline Buses ex-Roberts, Hugglescote MX57 UPE operating Sunday service 6A in Aylesbury. 

Redline V119LGC on a once London Transport route 335 in Slough on May 23rd by Gavin Francis.

Red Rose

Gavin Francis took a number of pictures of Red Rose's buses on the various routes.

Red Rose W407UGM on route 28 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Red Rose X523UAT again on route 28 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Red Rose X513UAT on route 275 passes through Stokenchurch - the bus once Transdev DPS513 seen on the 285 - was seen now on May 28th by Gavin Francis.

Red Rose Y238FJN, now the regular bus for this route, on the 63 parked up in speedwell Street on June 18th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Solo 47394 has joined the fleet at Witney and is seen above on an 18 working in George St, Oxford by Gavin Francis.

Of interest is this picture taken at the N E C show some years ago, in November 2006, when this bus was new. Again by Gavin Francis. 


Ken Baker writes "Of the new Scanias, the highest fleet number I have seen to date. 15889 in Barnstaple today." 

Robert Williams writes "Our Routemaster is 12451 (JJD 451D, aka RML2451). Photo attached taken last night on it's first outing to our long service awards. Blinds and adverts still need sorting."




SC East Volvo 53607 works route X5 through MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis. 


Ade wrote "One of Oxford's old buses seen in SC Northampton depot yesterday morning, 19/5. It is 16514."

Picture by Richard Morgan.

SC Midlands 28624 working the X7 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

SC Midlands 27684 works a route 8 Bicester to Northampton (Weston Favell Centre) through Caversfield on May 24th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

SC Midlands 28628 works a route 8 Bicester to Northampton (Weston Favell Centre) through Caversfield on May 16th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

SC East Scania 15751 works the X4 in MK on June 7th by Gavin Francis.


Andy Churchill writes "Here is some latest news of ex-Oxford exiles now residing down south , with the first being that former Oxford tube Man/Jonckheere Monaco 36 T36DFC is now with Kent operator Wilford, Canterbury and is in use on Theatre trips and coach excursions and it still remains in its previous operators livery of Red with Bronze.

At Stagecoach East Kent and East Sussex , following the arrival of the new fleet of 27 ADL E20d at Thanet, has meant that ex-Oxford Mans 22054,22279,22942-22944 have all now moved to Stagecoach in Eastbourne and are all now on fleet strength along with ex-reserve Mans 22947 and 22948.


Also Scania / Levantes 59207/59208/59209/59210 have now moved from Thanet to Dover depot. These coaches were once at East Midlands depots such as Mansfield.

Martin White writes "Had a trip down the coast to Hastings & Eastbourne and managed to get shots of the following ex SC Oxford Vehicles,"

These were 22279 - 22942 - 22946 - 22948 - 33812."

SC South 22279 SP51AMO seen in Eastbourne on May 25 by Martin White.

SC South 22942 OU51WLK on route 51 seen in Eastbourne on May 25 by Martin White.

SC South 22946 OV51KAJ seen on the LOOP route seen in Eastbourne on May 25 by Martin White.

SC South 22948 OV51KAO on route 1 seen in Eastbourne on May 25 by Martin White.


Ade writes "Stagecoach West has taken delivery of three new Scania / Enviro 400 buses for Forest of Dean and Wye Valley services. 15874/5/8 are in service with seven more are due imminently.

15878 is seen at Berry Hill on a local service from Coleford. The former Stagecoach depot is around 200 yards from here but the building has now been demolished. All buses, drivers and routes were transferred to Ross on Wye.

15875 is seen at Hereford Bus Station about to leave for Gloucester on route 32 via Ross on Wye and Newent. 

15878 is seen at Coleford Square about to leave for Gloucester on route 31.


Due to the closure of the main road through Notting Hill Gate, following a burst water main inbound services have been routing via Kensington High Street and Kensington church Street to reach the inbound London stop at The Gate. 

Outbound services after picking up at Marble Arch have routed via Gloucester place, Marylebone road and The Westway to reach Shepherds Bush. 

Thus, Notting Hill Gate to Oxford cannot be served and passengers are asked to go either to Marble Arch (being picked up by London bound services) or to Shepherds Bush. 

This situation is likely to last at least until August. 

Generally the three commuter express services at 0600, 0624 and 0700 route inbound direct via Baker St to Marble Arch.



A further two Megabus Gold sleeper coaches have arrived and are numbers 50302 and 50303. In addition the first of a fleet of left hand drive Van Hool TX21 Altanos, very similar to the Plaxton Elite i's, have also arrived in the U.K. and will enter service in the coming months on the Megabus European services.

An unfortunate incident occurred recently and this is fully reported in the link below.

Delays after bus bursts into flames on M62 (picture)

Huddersfield Examiner

The MegaBus vehicle was engulfed in flames within minutes but it is thought the driver and all the passengers escaped safely. The blaze set a huge pall of black smoke into the sky and across part of the motorway. The drama happened between Junction 24 ...
See all stories on this topic »



Graham Low writes "Here are views of Thames Travel Optare Solo SR 718 on the 25A today - the first day of their operation of this and other Bicester area routes."


Richard Sharman writes regarding the new buses and services being operated by Thames Travel.

SR Demo numbered T1, on loan until last two SR's arrive and seen on the new 24 Service


SR 721 on the 23


720 with a "classic" Solo behind it


707 operating the revised 25 Service that now runs to Kidlington instead of Woodstock.


Versa Demo numbered T2, on loan until last two SR's arrive


SR on the jointly operated 94 Service with long standing operator Charlton Services


718 operating the first 25A Service under Thames Travel on the first departure from the old Upper Heyford airbase towards Oxford.


Claude writes re the new Thames Travel Solo fleet. 

"Thames Travel has new buses in the Bicester area those I spotted were Optare Solos sr's and the numbers are:-

716 YJ13HNW 

717 YJ13HNX 

718 YJ13HNY

719 YJ13HNZ 

720 YJ13HOA 

721 YJ13HOH 

These are blue/green fleet livery and at work on 22, 23 and 25s.

Jay Houlden writes "Attached photo of "Optare Solo 702 at Swindon Bus Station on Saturday 8th June on Route X47".


Alex Horwood writes to bring us fully up to date on the new services. 

The picture of 708 in Swindon on the X47 with a smashed door after hitting a branch, and sending the mirror through the door.

The second is one of our new solos number 717 on the 25A next to our old hybrid

And finally a loaned Optare versa numbered T2, on loan from Optare due to the late arrival of 720 and 721, we had a solo on loan too numbered T1 however I didn’t manage to get a photo of that one.

Luke Braham writes "This morning I went to Bicester to get some pictures of the new Thames Travel Optare Solo SR’s used on the contracts they had won that started on the 3rd June."

Thames Travel 719 YJ13 HNZ is seen operating route 22.

Thames Travel 720 YJ13 HOA is seen operating route 25A.  


First in £615m Rights Issue 

Announcing its preliminary results on May 20th, FirstGroup has revealed it is to place a fully underwritten Rights Issue (three shares for two) to raise around £615m (gross).

The issue price of 85p per New Ordinary Share represents a discount of 62% to the closing price on 17 May 2013, and a 39.5% discount to the theoretical ex-rights price.

The proceeds of the Rights Issue will be used for continued investment in the business and to reduce net debt by paying down borrowings.

In its results for the year to 31 March, turnover was up by 3.3% to £6.9bn, but underlying profits fell by 10.2% to £667m. Exceptional items pushed the pre-tax profit down by 87% to £37.2m.

The re-structuring of UK Bus and problems at its US Student business were partly to blame.

As a result, there is no final dividend payable to shareholders, compared with the 16.5p paid last year.

As the Stock Market opened this morning, on the news First’s share price fell by 15% to trade at £1.90. 

On a more local note you may be interested to learn about reductions in service in Northampton in the link below.


Green Bus Fund winners revealed

Five bus manufacturers and 14 projects are to receive part-funding for 213 new low-carbon buses in England, thanks to the fourth round of the Green Bus Fund (GBF) announced by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker, this morning Monday (31 May).

Included in the order are the first buses from Chinese manufacturer BYD for the UK. The other winners are ADL, Optare, Scania and Volvo.

In total, 31 electric buses will be bought, plus 151 diesel hybrids and 31 bio-methane gas buses

The four rounds of the fund, totaling £87m, will have delivered nearly 1,300 new low carbon buses in England, saving around 28,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The winners, who will add 83 single-decker and 130 double-decker buses to their fleets, are spread across England and include Stagecoach and First Group. The local councils involved include the City of York, Greater Manchester, Nottingham City and Transport for London.

Green Bus Fund Round 4 - Table of winning bids

Bidding organisation                 Where will the buses operate?      Number of buses funded          Grant offered

Reading Transport Limited                 Reading                                             14                                 £185,990
Yorkshire Coastliner Limited                  York                                                 1                                   £71,967
Courtney Coaches Limited                 Oxfordshire                                      2                                  £104,000
City of York Council                              York                                                 2                                  £186,125
First Beeline Buses Ltd, t/a
First Berkshire                                 Heathrow area                                       5                                  £274,042
Transport for Greater
Manchester (Bid 2)                             Manchester                                         3                                  £292,644
Stagecoach North East                       Sunderland                                         17                                 £305,601
Transport for London (Bid 2)                 London                                             4                                  £360,000
Transport for Greater Manchester
(Bid 1)                                               Manchester                                         10                                 £560,480
First York Limited                                    York                                                6                                 £566,434
Selwyn's Travel Limited                         Cheshire                                             6                                 £577,728
Nottingham City Council                     Nottingham                                         15                               £1,517,256
Stagecoach Manchester                     Manchester                                          38                               £2,001,840
Transport for London (Bid 1)                 London                                             90                               £4,640,000

Total                                                                                                           213                           £11,644,107

Luton-Dunstable Busway nears completion

Mike Penn writes "You might be interested to learn that the last beam was laid on the Luton – Dunstable busway recently."

There are more details and a video here:  


Summercourt fire destroys 35 Western Greyhound fleet buses

A fire at a bus depot in Cornwall has destroyed 35 buses - a third of the Western Greyhound firm's fleet.

The fire in Summercourt, near Newquay, broke out at about 01:00 BST on Monday 13th May.

The blaze - the cause is not yet known - is expected to cause "significant disruption" to services in mid-Cornwall, including school buses.

Mark Howarth from Western Greyhound said: "A lot of hard work has gone into Western Greyhound and it's awful to see it going up in smoke."

The burnt-out buses included two brand new vehicles which cost more than £100,000 each, and four of Truro's six park-and-ride buses.

One bus was damaged but is "repairable".

The managing director of the bus firm Mark Howarth said he could see flames
 "leaping in the air".

Significant disruption

Mr Howarth, the company's managing director, told BBC Radio Cornwall: "I could just see flames leaping in the air and, when I arrived, all the buses at the bottom of the yard were completely ablaze.

"The services will be significantly disrupted but we will run as much of them as we can."

He added: "There will be work for the drivers tomorrow."

Incident Commander Guy Herrington, from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Because of the flammable liquids and materials in the buses, the fire took hold very quickly.

"It takes very little for fire to spread from one vehicle to another but to tackle this number of vehicles in one go is rare."

The fire service said more than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze, and strong winds "significantly fanned the flames".

Neighbour Kelly Broderick said the winds meant "you couldn't tell which way it was going to go".

She said: "It was big, there were explosions; it was terrifying, to be honest."

Water from a swimming pool at a nearby house was used by fire crews fighting the blaze.

In Cornwall about a third of services are not operating or have been delayed, although services are running normally in Devon.

Western Greyhound has been operating buses in both counties since 1998.

It describes itself as a "locally based, family-run business".

There was no damage to the depot's offices or workshops and there were no reports of any injuries.

The cause of the fire is being jointly investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

Investigators said they were keeping an "open mind" as to how it started.

More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze

A pictorial tribute at this link.


ITV report at this link.


Western Greyhound - remains removed after disastrous fire taken on May 28th some 15 days after the blaze by Dave Godley

Visits, Trips & Events

Vintage buses at South-West's largest festival of transport

 The Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza,

South Cerney Airfield, Cirencester 

Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th August 2013 

SC Bus & Spitfire9

The Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza, now in its 39th year, will take place once again at South Cerney Airfield, Cirencester. From Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th August 2013 the extravaganza will attract more than 15,000 visitors and raise money for local and national charities. The show has grown dramatically in recent years and is now widely regarded as one of the biggest and best Steam, Vintage and Countryside events in the UK. Attracting thousands of exhibits from all corners of the British Isles, as well as some from further afield ­ it really is the place to see 'The British way of life' at its best, and in a beautiful location in the heart of the Cotswolds. 

The show was originally conceived for steam enthusiasts, but the range of exhibits has grown year on year. It now boasts a huge array of vintage transport, from buses and coaches, commercial vehicles, classic cars and motorcycles through to military vehicles, tractors, engines and historic caravans. A live action arena will be an integral part of the show with interactive demonstrations taking place every day. Our fun fair at the Gloucestershire Steam Extravaganza is one of the finest collections of vintage rides. There is no shortage of thrills and spills that can be found by riding upon the 'electric yachts', the waltzer, the big wheel, the steam-driven 'gallopers' and, of course, the dodgems. The popular Ken Fox Wall of Death will be included in the fairground again for 2013. 

Smaller rides are available for young people as is a traditional arcade and various side stalls. Hundreds of curiosity stalls should also keep visitors engrossed for hours with displays of Victorian memorabilia ranging from antique sewing and knitting machines and model dolls houses to vintage garden tools and 1940s to 1950s home wares. 

The Chairman of the Stroud Vintage Transport and Engine Club, Martyn Slater, says: “The Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza is the biggest of its kind run entirely by volunteers and I am proud to be involved. As well as raising money for local and national charities, our aim is to provide a safe and happy environment for everyone to celebrate our unique transport history, in hope that we can inspire future generations to get involved in the preservation of historic vehicles.” 

Buses and coaches of every shape, size and configuration will be in attendance and while most will be on static display, this year for the first time there will be the opportunity to ride on some of them. Due to popular demand, once again free shuttle bus service will operate around the showground and a selection of vintage buses and coaches will be used. 

Vintage commercial vehicles will also be in attendance with a large selection of British marques represented as well as a sprinkling of overseas manufacturers. More than 140 vehicles are anticipated to arrive, including makes such as Foden, ERF, Bedford AEC, Atkinson, Scammel, Austin and Morris. 

Highlights include our regular Bristol built double-decker once operated by Lincolnshire Road Car. This bus attended every Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza held at Kemble. The oldest exhibit dates from 1938 and has been in preservation for an astonishing 61 years.  EFJ666 is a Leyland Tiger TS8 with bodywork by Cravens and was delivered to Exeter Corporation in December 1938.  The bus was bought in 1950 by renowned preservationist Colin Shears and was the first of many to form what became the West of England Transport Collection based on the old Second World War airfield at Winkleigh in Devon.  Colin was a student at the Royal Agricultural College in 1952 and arranged a tour for some fellow students in this particular bus from Cirencester to Scotland and back.  It has been actively rallied ever since and has recently undergone a major overhaul. 

Possibly the vehicle with the least distance to travel to the event is an iconic Bedford OB bus which resides in Love Lane, Cirencester.  Over 12,000 of these buses were built with only 70 known to survive.

This wonderful example was registered in 1951 by Paul’s Tours of Ryde, Isle of Wight but sold to Alexcars, Cirencester in 1959 where it stayed for three years before being sold back to another operator in the Isle of Wight.  It passed to a convent in London before being used by the Bears Green Youth Club who took it on summer camps to places including Monte Carlo and Barcelona. When the youth club no longer required it, the coach was sold to a scrapyard in Thame, Oxon. The vehicle was rediscovered in 1993, by the owner of Alexcars who was looking for a Bedford OB to restore and happened to visit the scrapyard to find the same vehicle owned by the business 30 years earlier.  The coach was returned to its home in Cirencester where it was rebuilt and returned to service in 2009.  It is still very much an active member of the fleet and is much in demand for wedding hire. 

Also on display is a Leyland Titan double-decker fitted with Weymann 57 seat body which was delivered new to Exeter Corporation in May 1958 as fleet number 60. Exeter Corporation sold its fleet of buses to Devon General in April 1970 and this one was renumbered 260.  It was painted in Devon General red livery in 1974. Following withdrawal from service in 1979, the bus passed to the West Of England Transport Collection at Winkleigh in Devon where it has recently undergone a complete restoration. This is the third year that the West of England Transport Collection has entered a vehicle from their museum collection at the event.  Not only will you be able to see this bus on display at South Cerney, you will also have the opportunity to ride on it around the rally site.

The Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza is a show not to be missed and a great day out for all the family as children can have fun on the nostalgic fairground rides, see the distant Cotswold hills from the big wheel and get their heads in a spin on the waltzers while listening to music from yesteryear.

Reduced advance tickets are available from:

http://www.glossteamextravaganza.com/glou cester-steam-buy-tickets.html

Admission Information: Show opens at 10 am.

FRIDAY                                    Adults - £7/Concession - £6/Junior - £4 (under fives free)

SATURDAY or SUNDAY          Adults - £10/Concession - £9/Junior - £5/Family - £28 (under fives free)

WEEKENDER                           Adults - £15/Concession - £13/Junior - £8/Family - £35 (under fives free)

Notes: Family tickets              Includes two adults and two children.

Weekender tickets                 Includes entry to all three days but no overnight camping.

Discounted tickets are available to buy online at www.glossteamextravaganza.com or from Cirencester Tourist Information Centre, located next to the Corinium Museum. Public enquiries contact T: 01453 890891

A free vintage bus service will be operating around the perimeter of the show site, and to and from Kemble railway station throughout the show to connect with selected First Great Western Trains. For details of the bus schedule, please refer to the website www.steamextravaganza.com

Fawley Hill open day event by Mike Walker


The weekend of 18/19 May saw Sir William and Lady Judy McAlpine opened their estate at Fawley Hill near Henley to the public. This was to celebrate the 100th birthday of Sir Robert McAlpine's No.31 a Hudswell-Clark 0-6-0ST which has been in the ownership of McAlpine's all its life and now operates in retirement on Sir William's private railway in is "back garden".


Normally, this is a private site and visits are by invitation only however for this weekend they really pushed the boat out. In addition to No.31 running on the railway (which includes a fearsome gradient of 1 in 14) an Aveling Porter geared locomotive 'Sir Vincent' owned by David Buck of Fifield was operating in the station yard.


In the fields beyond an extensive fair and rally was held with old-time rides, numerous traction engines, military and commercial vehicles, classic buses and hundreds of cars which must have represented just about every type to have graced British roads since the last war. Of particular interest was the 1927 Guy FBB, Great Western Railway 1298 which has been superbly restored by Collin Billington and is now cared for by the Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust also at Fifield. This is a truly magnificent restoration of a significantly historic vehicle.


Also present were Thames Valley 446 and 748 along with Reading 98. There was also a magnificent Burlingham Seagull bodied AEC Regal IV, a Daimler coach, Gilford AS6, an RF and a pair of Bristol Omnibus vehicles, an MW and an early L although they slipped away early before I got round to catching them. Also of interest was the attendance of the unique 1959 Ecurie Ecosse transporter built by Alexander on a Commer Avenger chassis and displayed complete with two equally well-restored Jaguar D Type racing cars. Showing my age, I can remember having a Corgi model of that as a boy.


All in a great day out which will probably not be repeated in a hurry.


On reflection, I should have hung around in Marlow to shoot 446 passing through on its way home.

A pictorial record of the visitors and the railway.




Seen at Beaulieu by Frazer Peddle.

Frazer writes "photo of an AEC Regent I saw at Beaulieu Motor Museum yesterday (Sunday 19th May). I believe it's owned by a website called "Arrowforce.com".
 It had a description stuck in the window about it's history.


Cheltenham visit by Marcus Lapthorn 

Marcus Lapthorn writes "On Friday 3 May I visited Cirencester and then caught the 1215 route 51 bus to Cheltenham. This was my first ride upon one of the low floor Volvo’s (21133) that were transferred from Chesterfield. These buses have a reputation amongst the drivers as being very powerful buses. There is an unusual interior fitting which is maybe a magazine box that was used when the bus was in the north of England? Does anyone have photographs of these buses when in service in the north?"

21133 by Marcus Lapthorn. 

Stagecoach in Cheltenham

SCW 15525 works the 94U in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

SCW 15530 works the 94
in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

SCW 15845 works the 10
in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

SCW 18084 in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

SCW 18128, once a Witney based bus seen in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

SCW 18312 works the 46 in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

Independents around the area.

AP Travel's MX56AAV works the 861 in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

Astons WX58PFK in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

Bennett's BK10MVM Cheltenham P&R in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

Bennett's Coaches new Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9Rs departs from Cirencester 030513 M Lapthorn

Pulhams KP12BUS in Cheltenham on May 3rd by Marcus Lapthorn

Jersey by Colin Garnier 

Colin writes "As a regular visitor to your great site I was wondering if you might be interested to see a selection of shots of vehicles now in service with CT Plus trading as Libertybus on Jersey.

With a fleet of 33 Optare Solo SR's, 6 Alexander Dennis Enviro 400's, 4 Bluebird Orion bodied Fiat Ducato's, ex Connex Jersey long and Short Caetano bodied Darts along with Plaxton Darts.

All photo are taken by me and hope they are of interest."

Liberty Bus J75241 Jersey ex JMT 27 150513 C Garnier

Liberty Bus J101709 and 46794 Jersey ex Connex 040413 C Garnier

Liberty Bus J122034 101 r 21 Jersey 230413 C Garnier

Liberty Bus J122039 602 and J122023 323 both r 15 Jersey 230413 C Garnier

Liberty Bus J122042 605 Jersey 090513 C Garnier

Liberty BusJ122011 311 nis Jersey 230413 C Garnier

Liberty BusJ122013 313 r 3 Durrell Jersey 050513 C Garnier

Of particular interest to me is the use of the Alexander E400s on the airport service and the number of Optare Solo SR s in service.

I hope that Colin will keep us up to date with developments on the island and maybe some depot shots?

The following web sites may be of additional interest to readers. 




Buses in the Landscape

Paul Dudfield writes "I enclose a few pictures which I hope will be of interest for OCBP, although well out of area."


Somewhere amidst the splendidly over-the-top Baroque architecture of the Michaelertor gate to the Hofburg Palace in Vienna there is a small electric bus coming out. 

This must be the most impressive setting for any bus route anywhere. Wiener Linien route 2A actually goes through one of the entrances to the Hofburg Palace.
I am sorry this picture is a little substandard but the lighting conditions were somewhat challenging. 

The buses used on Wiener Linien route 2A are Rampini model ALE LE, built in Italy.
This picture shows one recharging its batteries from a short length of trolleybus-style overhead at the terminus in Schwarzenbergstrasse .

Despite their small size, the buses have dual doors as in the norm outside the UK. It was photographed on one of the wider stretches of the route.

One from Richard Sharman

Buses in the Landscape OX 231 on Folley Bridge 220513 R Sharman

In the trees by Malcolm Crowe

Gillotts School-Henley on Thames and school buses Whites and M & M 200513 M Crowe


Premium RML2729 VCS 260513 M Crowe

Premium Tours off for the day BPR VIC 130513 M Crowe

Bliss Travel YT13AMK Elizabeth St LON 130513 M Crowe

Ulterbus Tours 128 BPR VIC 230513 M Crowe

Anderson WA13AMU new livery OX St Giles 170513 G Francis

Clarkes YN13EGZ Oxpens 170513 G Francis

Wallingford Coach YN08HZH at Oxpens 190513 G Francis

Westbus with bags at VCS 120513 G Francis 

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.