Spottings & Jottings nr. 78 - 21st May 2014

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

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



We are now entering a phase of new vehicles when our two main operators, Oxford Bus and Stagecoach receive significant batches of new arrivals.

Oxford Bus will receive FOURTEEN brand new E400 Euro6's for Brookes services. These are to be the very first buses of the new model which has many new features. Body styling will be noticeable as "hip" effect corners will provide a change from the current familiar design.

The new design - familiar but new!

Stagecoach will shortly introduce a new fleet of TWENTY SIX Van Hool Astromega TX27 Euro 6 coaches and more details can be found at the following link.

Full details of the new coaches are eagerly awaited but are promised to be something very special. Obvious differences are the lights, front and back and the change in position of the gear lever and various switches.

Indeed exciting times ahead.

A number of roadworks in the city centre in Oxford have caused some serious traffic delays in recent weeks.

First Park End St access to Frideswide Sq was restricted with diversions for several days and then George Street was closed for several weeks resulting in traffic all being diverted by Beaumont St with bus services involved facing delays and re-routing.

Arriva 3930 on route 280 on diversion when Frideswide Sq was closed 070414 by Gavin Francis

SCO 15535 route S1 on diversion when Frideswide Sq was closed 070414 G Francis

Preparation for closure of George St 110514 M Crowe

OX diversion after closure of George St 130514 M Crowe

OX359 route 3 on diversion past Oxpens 090414 R Sharman

OX364 route 5 on diversion past Oxpens 090414 R Sharman

Also included in this edition are pictures of the various buses used during the recent LT Tube strike.

Go-coach Hire Y825TGH working route 211 during the Tube strike on April 29th taken by Malcolm Crowe.

Ensign RMC 1513 r 38 Tube strike service 300414 G Francis

Ensign RMC1461 r 2 Tube strike service 300414 G Francis

Go London PH fleet E283 YX14RUA on r 11 during Tube strike 300414 G Francis

Go London PVL230 working 11 during Tube strike 290414 M Crowe

And a number of excellent pictures by John Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 Ensign R781CDW route 91 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 Ensign RMC1485 route 15 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 LG NV171 route 11 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 RM1361 - VYJ 808 route 15 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 RML2755 route 29 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 RT1499 route 38 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 RT3238 route 29 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 RTW75 route 29 J Horsman

LT Tube strike 290414 uno 207 route 91 J Horsman

These are just a selection of the buses in use on the strike days. The total list is significant and no doubt many other readers will have pictures of their own.

And... details of the various upcoming events of interest.

Running Days

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

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

From: Peter Cartwright, Running Days Organiser, Amersham & District Motorbus Society

I note that your last bus page in Feb included our 2013 Running Days - NOT the 2014 Running Days details of which are attached (see end of e-mail). Programmes can be purchased in advance through our website or from the Tourist Information Centre in High Wycombe Library at the Eden Centre where they cost £6 ( £7 on the day). (Sorry about the incorrect information. Ed.)

As a group, we organise 5 Running Days per year, Watford, Slough, Uxbridge,  and AmershamWe also attend various events and rallies during the year.  Take a look at our Dates to Remember section to see where we are going.

At each Running Day we have a commemorative model bus for sale for the particular event.  These are a real collectors item and beautifully manufactured.  The models are usually of vehicles relative to that area or services run from that area.

The programmes from our Running Days are also collectors items.  They have interesting articles about vehicles running and historical items of past routes, services and vehicles running around the area as well as full time tables for the day.  The programme is full of photographs of vehicles found both in the past and those running the routes on the day.  Programmes usually run into 30 to 40 pages.  

You can buy your programmes about 1 month before the event click here for ordering information - ordering now available online!! 

If you are a vehicle owner and would like to get involved in one of our events please e-mail us for further details.  Owners receive a commemorative plaque to celebrate the occasion.

10th Slough Vintage Bus Running Day - Sunday 1 June 2014 

Please note that programmes for this event are now available for purchase on line at  or at £6 from Slough Bus Stn Enquiry Office (09.00 - 17.00 Mon -Fri), Tourist Information Office, High Wycombe Library, Eden Centre (Tues - Sat) or by post @ £6.50 from Peter Cartwright, 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE HP13 7NX. 

They will be available on the day from near Stop11 in Brunel Way, Slough (rear of bus station near railway station) at £7 each. 


Dates for your diary

Other Running Days in 2014

Sunday 18 August HEMEL HEMPSTEAD based at bus station, Waterhouse Street

Sunday 6 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station 


Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

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


Next meeting:

The talk is entitled "Buses of Vancouver and Seattle"

by Richard Steddall

17th June 2014

The meetings reconvene at the Whitehouse Pub, 38 Abingdon Road which has now reopened under new management
and commences at 7.15pm.

Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13, 31 or 35 routes stop outside)

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


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

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


When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site 


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


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


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


May I please ask readers to do two things?


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


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


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


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


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

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 21st May 2014


Observations and pictures


Thought you might be interested in this picture of the Zoo Bus, a Volvo Olympian originally new in London, taken in Abingdon market square during ATOM! - Abingdon on Thames Festival of Science and Technology on Saturday 22 March.

Simon Hewings

Binders Yard by Gavin Francis

Popped into Binders Yard 21/4/14 to see what was happening.

RTL 1348 (MXX 71). Have not seen this bus since I photographed it at the RT 50 rally at Finsbury Square in 1989.
It was immaculate then but appears to be a complete wreck now.

RMC 1486.

Harris coaches have this modified Plaxton Paramount.
EIG6124 Volvo B10M with Plaxton Paramount body C57F, this coach was with Riverside Coachways of Telford.
Ex Shearings H938DRJ.

RML 2442 from Timebus. (Just two numbers away from Peter Cartwright's RML 2440) parked just around the corner. Alongside it is RF 512 which looks like it has had a complete body overhaul. Not seen it since I took a picture in Kingston in October 1975.


New vehicles at Heysham Docks on Sunday 20th April

Wright NBFL : Arriva London.

LT189 : LTZ1189 Silver colour scheme

Wright Streetlite MAX : First Beeline (First Berkshire over door and on depot stickers)


+ 6 Vo B5LH / Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 : Stagecoach London (registrations covered up / no fleet numbers).

+ 1 Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 : This was in all over London red with no reg plate

6 Vo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse 2 : First one had Volvo Bus UK legals.


Ralph Adams writes "On the Courtney bus web page, they confirm that 121-124, 126-129 will be operated by themselves having been successful on the latest tenders.

It is also noted that 144, previously tendered, will now be operated commercially by Reading Buses.

No mention is made of the 2 school bus services.

Unfortunately it appears that Thames Travel will not now be operating the other side of Reading, so I trust the staff will all find alternative employment on at least as good conditions.


Completely outside our area, Stagecoach took over Bluebird taking them into First area in the north. Then First took over Finglands in the South. Today, Stagecoach took over JP also in the north, previously in competition with Bluebird and Stagecoach. So small operators disappearing and major groups battling it out."


Alex Horwood writes "Please find attached two photos for S&J 78 should you wish to use them.

The first is Wilts & Dorset's 1574 HW63 FGP seen in use on the X1 to Wantage! 23/04/2014 

The second, Two of COMS' latest coaches 23 and 62 seen at Thornhill on the bank holiday Monday 21/04. 

Gavin Francis was in central Oxford on May 9th and sent some interesting pictures. This was shortly before the long term closure of George St when preparations were being made to use Beaumont Street instead. 

022. New bus stops going up in Beaumont Street.

037. Leeds Festival ad. 

16th May Pictures taken at Beaconsfield Services.

Happy Days YP12NRF at Beaconsfield Services 160514 by Gavin Francis.

Motts Crusader EU08FAA at Beaconsfield Services 160514 G Francis

Motts ET07MTT at Beaconsfield Services 160514 G Francis

Motts FN07NUY at Beaconsfield Services on feeder duty -160514 G Francis

Motts MT04MTT at Beaconsfield Services 160514 G Francis

Gavin Francis

Arriva logo and TGM

As mentioned the other day in another email 5435 SN58 EOG has gained some standard coloured Arriva livery panels.  

On Thursday 3th, 5438 SN58 EOK operated the 50 all day straying from the 280. 5454 SN58 EOA took its place on the 280.  

On Tuesday 22nd April, 5439 SN58 EOF had strayed from the 280 onto school route 650 and a one off working of Blue Route 2.

The following day (23rd April), sister 5439 SN58 EOM has also strayed from the 280 having been put on the 150 to cover for broken down 4490 T490 KGB. Another thing to point out about this is that it is very rare to find a double decker on the 150 due to a low bridge. 5436 SN58 EOH has also strayed on this day and was operating route 60.


Sapphire spares 5454 SN58 EOA and 5455 SN58 EOB will be staying at Aylesbury once the two new Sapphire E400s and are currently thought to be used on the 50 and/or 300.  

3296 X296 MBH has been repainted into fleet livery and has lost its Blue Route 2 branding.


Pink Route 8 branded 0447 Y47 HBT was seen operating the 150 yesterday. This is the first time I have noted a Optare Solo ever operate the route and is far to small for the route. 

Another odd working on the 150 is the use of Sapphire Enviro400 5439 SN58 EOM today (Sunday 4th May) possibly due to Rail Replacement.

(Sadly and maybe with good reason, much money is spent on branding and then one gets used to seeing buses on other routes which questions the wisdom of branding at all. Ed)

Luke Braham

All of the Arriva battery buses are now at Milton Keynes. Here are views in Central Milton Keynes, and of one being charged at Wolverton Agora terminus of route 7.

Graham Low


Arriva 3703 on route 40 in Thame 160414 by Frazer Peddle

Arriva 5438 on route 300 in Wycombe Bus Station on 150514 by Gavin Francis

Arriva 3963 on rail replacement at Hillingdon 040514 M Crowe

Arriva 5457 route 758 Bulleid Way 110514 M Crowe 

Carousel Buses

Carousel 102 and 103 at rest 130414 R Sharman

Carousel Primo 751 at Heathrow on A40 130414 R Sharman

Carousel 10-2 r 336 WYC BS 160414 G Francis 

Mike Penn writes "Centrebus had two new Enviro 200s in service on route 10 at Luton today (May 15th).  They were 567/9 (YX 14 RWU/W) and four more are expected.  I am attaching a photo of 569."


After a strong start on the X9 to high Wycombe Frist has seemingly resorted to using older S registered Darts.

The picture below shows 40956 which started life in Hong Kong with NWFB in 1999, returning to the UK with First PMT in 2001 and subsequently transferring to First Berkshire.

First Berkshire 40956 S344SUX ex-HY 8116 HKG and then PMT on route X9 in Wycombe Bus Station 010514 M Crowe

Not seen so often now, a Citaro on the X74, First ES64035 150514 G Francis

 and Crusader Holidays

Luke Braham reports.

T300MTT has recently been given the registration V700MTT and the Irish registered Olympian (99-D-570) will become T300 MTT when it finally enters service.  

B10 MMT & M573DSJ (4442MT) have been sold to Reynolds Diplomat Coaches, Watford. 

UK06MTT has been sold to North Korea Tours, Brentford.   

Brand new Scania OmniExpress MT14MTT arrived on the afternoon of the 16th April.


Brand new Scania Irizar i6 CT14 MTT arrived on the evening of Wednesday 30th April. I believe it is only 10 meters long.

Quite some interest has been created by South Gloucester with a number of coaches re-registered with SGB or NX registrations!

NEx SGBC NX12AAA Re-Registered from FJ12FXF VCS 300414 G Francis

NEx SGBC NX03AAA Re-registered from LK53KWD 300414 G Francis

NEx SGBC NX02AAA Re-registered from YN55NDZ route 040 210414 M Crowe

NEx SGBC T200SGB ex FJ57KGG route 040 VCS 070514 M Crowe

NEx SGBC T500SGB ex FJ58AKO route 040 VCS 030514 M Crowe

NEx SGBC T900SGB route 040 VCS 070514 M Crowe

And now to more NEx coach pictures.

NEx Edwards BK14LDX r 444 VCS 280414 G Francis

NEx Edwards BK14LDZ r 444 VCS 280414 G Francis

NEx Parks YX14SGZ r 501 at VCS 130414 G Francis

NEx Selwyn's 167 FJ61EWH with new rear wrap VCS 180514 G Francis

NEx SGBC FJ61GZG with new rear wrap VCS 120514 G Francis

One wonders if these two herald an advertising campaign for the Commonwealth Games?

NEx Travel de Courcey MD25 FJ13EAW with recently applied promotion vinyl for the Canine Partners VCS 070414 G Francis

NEx Travellers UD1100 working A6 VCS 300414 G Francis

One of the new Bruce of Salsburgh tri-axle Scanias FJ14GPV,seen on the 539 now carries the Scottish flag on the rear.
Seen at Gloucester Green on April 14th by Richard Sharman.

Luke Braham writes "On the morning of 5th April, Oxford Bus Company 64 UK63 OXF broke down on the corner of New Road and Castle Street in Oxford. At the time it was operating the Airline’s LHR service to Heathrow. The first pictures shows 64 shortly after it broke down at 10:10 with the driver on the radio to the mechanics.


By 10:35, the mechanics had arrived in the form of 998 BD11OGS to help broken down 64. 998 and 64 are shown in the above pictures.  The coach was moved at around 13:30.  

Steve Gee writes "A little while back I emailed you with photo's of OW03OFP and OW03OFS which have been acquired by Catteralls of Southam. Just to let you know that they have both now been given their livery, which is basically white with a yellow & blue line under the windows and two cats between the wheel arches with another cat climbing the front wheel.


I first noted them as such about 6 weeks ago, but have not yet managed any pictures, they can be quite elusive! I think one of them may have been up- seated for school contract work, but I need to verify this.

This coach was fleet number 35 with Oxford. 

The photos were taken just by Catteralls yard at Long Itchington last week. As I hope you can see, the vehicle has been up- seated to 70 seats, and is compliant to current LEZ standards.


I noted one of the pair that Catteralls have, either LFP OR LFS parked along the Southam by- pass today with an Irish reg plate, I need to confirm it but I think it was UUI4921.

Dave Godley writes "Hamilton Gray have gained some Megabus service contracts, including Torquay to London (one trip each way) and Bath to London (4 trips each way) which start on Monday (19th May).

At least five Volvo B12M Plaxton Panthers have been acquired from Oxford to operate the services and are currently being painted into Megabus livery.

In the yard this morning was FB07OXF and EB07OXF in Megabus livery, one in the paint shop (presumably DB07OXF) and BB07OXF & CF07OXF awaiting painting.

Another coach recently acquired by Hamilton-Gray is Volvo B12M Jonckheere SHV SF07XOD, which was new to Parks as LSK830. It has been painted into Hamilton-Gray green livery and re-registered 1434HP.


OX 62 on the X90 at Bag o' Nails 300414 G Francis


OX 64 on the X90 near Victoria train station 300414 G Francis


They were all blue Airline coaches to begin with, now seen are 82, 42 and 4 at rest on 110514 G Francis


Back on the subject of branding, Oxford Bus seem to be now less than concerned about route branding and here we see a Park & Ride on the number 8.
317 in Barton 070414 G Francis


OX 365 on the 400 Frideswide Sq. which has lost its City branding on 100514 G Francis


OX 1574 on the 400 Frideswide Sq. on 170514 G Francis
Brookes branding replaced by OBC vinyl's. 


OX 1576 r 4A Frideswide Sq. again de-branded Brookes Bus on 170514 G Francis


The impending delivery of the new Brookes buses means that many of these E400s will go on to their rightful owners.
However I understand that 1582-4 will remain until the end of the Chiltern Rail contract.
In the meantime, as seen by Gavin and myself on a visit to the Isle of Wight yesterday, a number of elderly ex London PVLs remain in service on the island pending arrival of their "new" buses.


OX 1582 on the CR1, one of three Vectis E400s to remain and seen on the 170514 by G Francis


5 on the LHR picking up at the new stop at Lewknor 120414 M Crowe


829 on the X39 on loan to Thames Travel on 250414 M Crowe


900 on the 5 with revised front branding on 140514 M Crowe


Luke Braham writes "Plastow's Travel of Wheatley have had a new 14-plate coach delivered recently and it was spotted in their depot by myself on the afternoon of 5th April. The coach is registered BU14EHX."

Red Line

Luke Braham writes "Redline Buses have acquired two extra buses. These being Dennis Darts Y251 NLK and VU52 UEG for new route 21 in Milton Keynes which is due to start tomorrow (27th April). They are in the operators green livery still with branding over the top."

Red Line SK52MPU on route 321 in Wycombe BS, with centre door removed, on 160414 G Francis 

Red Rose

New addition for Red Rose, formerly Abellio 8302 by Gavin Francis.

Red Rose P264NRH on the 158 at Wycombe BS on 150414 M Crowe
This bus ran for many months when first acquired in East Yorkshire livery!

More pictures of Red Rose buses appear below under the heading of a visit to Milton Keynes by Gavin Francis.


SCO 15831 on the S3 at GG on 300414 G Francis


East's 53315 on the X5 to CENTRAL CAMBRIDGE on 270414 M Crowe



James May writes "One of only two Volvo B10Ms remaining in service from Winchester depot, 20228 (R228CRW) is pictured on a particularly rare route, even if the LED didn’t come out. 20228 was operating the Tuesday and Thursday only route 36, which operates between Lockerley and Winchester once in the morning, with an early afternoon return and then a repeat terminating at Romsey, before taking on a school service on school days. Good to see these are still about – I thought they’d all gone from Hampshire. "

Stagecoach double Gold bus frequency

Stagecoach South West has announced it will be promoting the recent service improvements to its flagship Gold bus service with two roadshows during half term week (week commencing 26 May 2014).

Responding to passenger demand, Stagecoach has doubled the frequency of the service’s Torquay to Plymouth connection with buses now running to up to every half hour, 6 days a week and an hourly service on Sundays.

The operator has also introduced an earlier, pre-9am arrival, into Torquay to provide improved links for commuters. Last departures from Plymouth will now leave 30 minutes later at 10.30pm to coincide with theatre finishing times as well as providing further late evening connections to Ivybridge.

These changes - coupled with Gold’s well -deserved reputation for stylish bus travel - make the service an ideal way to enjoy a half term day out shopping in Plymouth or soaking up the sun on the English Riviera.

To promote this, Stagecoach will be taking a Gold bus to Torquay, Union Street (27 May) and Plymouth, The Piazza off Royal Parade (28 May). Not only will people have a chance to look around a Gold bus for themselves, they will also be able to pick up a copy of the new timetable, information on visiting Plymouth and the English Riviera plus other giveaways.

In addition, the first 100 visitors to each location can claim their very own ‘Golden Ticket’ – a Family Explorer voucher which gives up to 2 adults and 3 children a day of unlimited travel on the luxury bus service.

Michael Watson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: “Our Gold service has been running for less than a year and there’s already a need to provide even more connections between Plymouth and Torquay. I’m absolutely delighted at how residents have taken to Gold and I hope they enjoy using it to explore Devon during half term week.”

Gold also provides regular connections between Dartmouth and Totnes and, in partnership with Devon County Council; Stagecoach will be running a ‘Summer Sunday’ service along this section of the route from 25 May to 14 September 2014.

A day of unlimited travel on the entire length of the Gold service starts from just £7.50 for an Adult Explorer. For regular commuters, a one week Megarider Gold provides 7 days of unlimited travel is just £26.00. Both of these tickets can also be used for unlimited travel on any of the operator’s other services within Devon.

Customers on board Gold enjoy a ‘5 star’ bus experience with a dedicated team of smartly uniformed drivers, free Wi-Fi and comfortable seats with lots of extra leg room. Stagecoach Gold is also characterised by its ‘Customer Promise’ which enshrines the service standards customers can expect from the company, vehicles and drivers. Details of the Customer Promise, along with the Stagecoach Gold timetable and route map, can be found online at

Luke Braham  writes "On Thursday (03/04/14) evening ex-Oxford Tube 50109 KP04 GJY passed through Aylesbury while working for its new owner, Omega Travel."

Had to loose myself for 20 minutes on April 11th and thought this would make a nice picture!

50204 and 50201 with new registrations on 130414 G Francis

YMS Canterbury T36DFC returns to Oxford Oxpens on190414 G Francis 


See under Oxford Bus for details of a new contractor to Megabus using some Volvos lately off the X90.

Megabus 54213 on ME1 to Paris leaving VCS 030414 G Francis

SC Megabus 54217 passes the Bag o' Nails 300414 G Francis

Megabus from Hamilton MV12OED near VCS 300414 G Francis

Megabus by SGBC LK53KVY near VCS 070414 G Francis 

Richard Smith writes re the ex TT M A N s now in Plymouth. 

"The former Thames Travel Scanias recently entered service with Plymouth Citybus. 

After a great deal of effort I've managed to get the all four Scania's which are shown below.

Richard says "Your site is of interest to me as I lived all my life in Newbury and have now moved to Plymouth, so like to keep up with what's going on up your way."


Unusually E200 507 was on the 25A on 190414 and seen by Richard Sharman.  


Stagecoach still Britain’s best value major bus operator

05 May 2014

Stagecoach has been confirmed as Britain’s best value major bus operator for the third successive time, according to new independent research.

Analysis published by transport specialists TAS1 found that Britain’s biggest bus operator provides regular passengers with the lowest cost weekly bus travel.

Stagecoach weekly travel is on average 12% lower than the next cheapest operator, more than 50% less than bus fares charged in the capital by Transport for London, and up to 60% better value than the most expensive major bus company.

TAS found a week’s travel with Stagecoach was on average just £12.50 – up to £7.45 a week cheaper than other major operators. It means that, even accounting for annual holidays, Stagecoach passengers could save more than £300 a year compared to other big bus companies.

The newly published TAS National Fares Survey 2013 concluded: "Stagecoach continues to offer the lowest fares compared to other operator groups in the UK regions outside London.”

The latest research findings come after TAS surveys in 2009 and 2011 found Stagecoach was leading the way in helping keep transport costs down for Britain’s commuters and other bus users.

The news also follows a major boost for British manufacturing by Stagecoach earlier this month after it unveiled record orders worth over £100million for nearly 570 new greener buses and coaches.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “We know times are tough, particularly for people on low incomes struggling with the cost of living. These are the people who depend on buses the most – whether it is getting to work, finding employment, accessing health, education and training, or spending leisure time with their families.

“We are proud of our extensive record as Britain’s best value bus operator. Stagecoach is also investing record sums in improving the quality of bus travel, helping support British manufacturing and jobs. At the same time, our bus companies are managed locally and they know their local communities.

“Low fares, major investment and a commitment to excellent customer service are why we have attracted more people to our bus services virtually every year for more than a decade.

Rising costs and public sector cuts all put pressure on prices, but we will continue to work hard to keep fares down and get more people across Britain back on board the bus.”

TAS carried out detailed analysis of nearly 1,000 adult, single, day and weekly bus fares for typical bus journeys of around three miles. In addition to Stagecoach, it checked fares set by the other major bus groups (Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express and Transdev) as well as independents and municipal operators.

Comparison of average cost of weekly bus travel







National Express


















London (Transport for London)






Source: TAS National Fares Survey 2013

The TAS report also found that Stagecoach had:

Stagecoach also operates a ground-breaking discounted bus travel scheme for jobseekers. The company launched the country’s first long-term nationwide initiative in February 2013, giving thousands of job seekers across the UK a 50% discount on their bus travel to help them find employment.

Research recently published by Passenger Focus found that for the second year in a row bus passengers using Stagecoach were more satisfied with their service than customers using other national UK operators.

Stagecoach has placed £545m of orders for new buses and coaches for its regional bus operations in the UK in the last seven years. The Group has also ordered more than £100million of new vehicles for its London bus operations since buying the business in 2010. transports guests to mega wedding

May 4th 2014

- fans involve budget coach operator on their wedding day
- Couple benefitted from low-cost fares to help keep relationship alive

Newlyweds Rick and Katie Moynihan are such loyal fans that they involved the budget coach operator in their wedding day.

At their wedding this weekend Rick and Katie used a vehicle to transport wedding guests to their wedding and reception venues.

The couple, who got married on Saturday 3rd May at Inverarity Church, Forfar spent two years travelling every weekend to see each other between their bases in Dundee and Manchester using the low cost intercity travel provider.

The pair started dating in 2008 when they both lived in Dundee, but soon after Katie, who grew up in Brechin, Angus was promoted and moved to Manchester. To keep their relationship alive they committed to visiting each other as often as possible – something that was only made affordable by low cost coach company,

Two years later, Rick, originally from Birkdale near Southport, also moved to Manchester and the couple moved in together.

The couple both still work in Manchester, but have made Marsden in West Yorkshire their home.

The love story continued and the couple and more than 150 guests celebrated their special day in Forfar at the weekend.

As had played such an important and well known role in their lives whilst dating, the couple wanted it to play a part in their special day. So they approached to ask if they could hire a vehicle to transport their guests around.

To mark the occasion, and the role it had played in their relationship, was only too pleased to donate the coach free of charge for the day, to transport guests from the hotel, to the church and to the reception venue.

Katie said: “ has been a huge part of our relationship. Whenever one drives past us we smile and remember all our travel stories, the people we met on it and especially how easy this company made the long distance for us. All of our friends and family know that we spent a huge chunk of our relationship travelling on just to be together. The arrival of the bus at the wedding made them all laugh at the sentiment when it arrived to pick them up!”

Talking about the low fares, Katie continued: “We were always watching the website for the new release of tickets and were buying them months in advance. I don’t think my life will ever be that scheduled again.”

When asked about whether there were any specific journeys that stayed in their mind, Rick said, “In all honesty, it was the uneventful journeys that we can’t remember that we’re grateful for. Our memories from that time are really of being together. Those are the memories made possible.”

Katie said, “Although we now live together, I still use I used it last summer to visit friends up in Glasgow, it’s great!”

The couple also had an extra special guest who met them and their guests at the wedding reception. mascot Sid turned up in his best attire to wish the couple all the best. He greeted guests off the special wedding bus at the wedding reception at Reid Hall.

Rick said, “It was a great surprise to find Sid at the reception, waiting to great our guests. It put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Elizabeth Esnouf, Managing Director for Stagecoach’s UK Coach division said, “We’re delighted that we could help Rick and Katie in this way. It’s always lovely to hear the important part that plays in people’s lives, especially on occasions like this with such a happy ending. 

“We hope that we’ve helped to create more good memories for them on their wedding day and look forward to welcoming them on board again in the future.”

New service 321 by Colin Richardson 

I don't know whether the western part of the above route is in your area? However, I will provide you with the details.


This new route is operated by Britannia Bus which is based in Northampton.

The full route operates seven days a week from Sunday 27th April.  The operates from Olney, Newport Pagnell, M K city centre, Buckingham and Steeple Claydon.  The frequency is hourly Olney to Buckingham and two hourly to Steeple Claydon, but hourly in the morning and evening peaks Monday to Friday.




I understand from David Stewart of LOTS that the service is licensed from 28 April and that the operating base is on an industrial estate in Northampton.


The service has a three vehicle licence.  Some further research will be undertaken on the vehicles used to operate the service.  I will let you know the further developments including vehicles used in due course.  The route number is two route numbers added together - route 1 Olney-Milton Keynes and route 32 Milton Keynes-Buckingham  and route 18 Buckingham-Steeple Claydon (and onward to Bicester)    Steeple Claydon has not had a bus to & from Buckingham on a Saturday for sometime and never on a Sunday before.

The Water Eaton park & ride site is to be renamed Oxford Park & Ride when the new train service from there to London Marylebone starts in summer next year.  Have you heard if there any plans for Oxfordshire based bus companies to operate via the park & ride from the opening date?  

£30m for green buses

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced the main elements of a £500m package of measures, to support the development and use of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) until 2020.

As part of this, £30m is allocated to low emission buses, plus £100m for research and development across all transport modes.

Other parts of the grant will go towards a plug-in car grant, ULE taxis, rapid-charging infrastructure and gas lorry fuelling.

Further details of how the fund will work will be announced by the autumn.


Gavin Francis visited Milton Keynes and his pictures are included below. All taken around the station on May 7th.

Arriva 2443 & 2509

Arriva 3527, 3534 & 3572

Arriva 3735 3920 and 3928

Arriva 5003

Centrebus 232 & 531

Red Rose MX61BAU, OU08EHO and X514UAT

Redline T375JJC

Stagecoach East 18110, 34429, Midlands 15742, 28624 and 39700.

uno 312

Vale Y843TGH

Z&S - EG02DAN, LN51KYU (with single door conversion, LR02BBZ, and MK03YCY.


Well, as can be seen MK is now a veritable hive of various operators and well worth a visit.


Running Days

I have a lot of contributions for this section but must leave most for the next issue as I'm running out of time.

Frazer Peddle writes "Visited Reading on Saturday 26th April."

LK58 EDF at Reading town centre in Greenline guise on route 190 to Bracknell.

Thames Travel Citaro 850 waiting at Friar Street on route X40 to Oxford.

Thames travel Solo 703 waiting inside Reading's old bus station on 142 to Checkerton.

Clive King visited a number of events plus a visit to Skipton and I include three excellent pictures he contributed.

M & D 25TKR South East Bus Festival at the Detling Showground near Maidstone 050414 C King

Rambler of Hastings NG2414 1932 Bedford WLB Economy B20F 190414 C King

Pennine of Gargrave W943ETW in Skipton 190414 C King
The very sad news is that this operator is closing down, directly affected by the lack of contributions from the local authorities for Concessional Travel!!
Maybe not a Running Day as such but a very sad event.

Macedonia double deckers by Roger Woodham

Thought you might find some photos of the double-decker buses operating in Skopje, the capitol of Macedonia, interesting or even amusing. They look like a cross between a real Routemaster and a Borismaster, and are even painted in a shade similar to LT bus red.

Apparently they were manufactured in China ( like many things these days) and over 200 are in service.

P.S. Just noticed they are badged “City Master” on the rear engine cover.


Great Yarmouth and the eastern side of the area by Luke Braham 

Go-Ahead’s anglianbus have quite a large presents with routes 7, 61 and 81 on this particular day. Routes 7 and 61 are interworked and are both operated using a mix of Scania OmniLink’s and MAN EcoCity’s.  The MAN EcoCity’s are the newest buses in the anglianbus fleet with them arriving between December 2012 and March 2013 and were given 62-plates and 13-plates but are part of the same batch.

anglianbus 106 AU62 DWN

anglainbus also operate route 81 into Great Yarmouth and on this day a Optare Solo 957 YN57 HPV and Scania OmniCity 458 YN05 HFH were seen operating the route.

anglianbus 957 YN57 NPV

Since anglianbus was brought by Go-Ahead a few years ago it has been given a new logo in the same style of konectbus and a new livery which is also very similar to konectbus but only two buses have been given this new logo and livery so far and neither of them appeared in Great Yarmouth during my visit. The new anglianbus logo and livery are in the same style as they are now managed by the same area managers and directors.

Great Yarmouth showed two independent operators on this day with one of them being Sanders Services who operate a number of ex-Reading Buses Wright Solars in there orange livery. Sander Services operate route 6 into Great Yarmouth mostly with Scania OmniCity’s.

Sander Services 307 YN53 GEU

Ambassador Travel also operate services in Great Yarmouth with these being route 730 using plain white Optare Solo MX54 WME and National Express routes using a mixture of Caetano Levante’s.

On Saturday 3rd April, I took a day trip down to Great Yarmouth with my family. Great Yarmouth have a number of bus operators ranging from major operators to independents. First Eastern Counties is the seaside towns major operator with buses both in the old and new First liveries. Many of the town services are operated using Plaxton Presidents from the old First London operation and Alexander ALX400s from First Leicester. 

First Great Yarmouth 32061 W221 XBD

Last year First upgraded the Great Yarmouth fleet with a number of these newer buses coming from Connex in Jersey through EnsignBus. most of these came in the form of 52-plate Slimline Caetano Bodied Dennis Darts with a 08-plate Wright Gemini Eclipse and an 60-plate Alexander Dennis Enviro400. These Caetano bodied Dennis Darts were given First’s new livery and are mostly found on town services.

First Great Yarmouth 43864 EG52 FGA

During the second half of last year the First route X1 fleet was renewed with 22 brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400s built at Alexander Dennis’ Scarborough factory costing First about £5 million. These new Enviro400s were given white destinations displays on the front, side and rear of the bus and are in a purple version of First’s new corporate livery with X1 branding. They are at a high specification with free Wi-Fi, leather seats and next bus stop information displays.  All 22 of these Enviro400s are based at the First Kings Lynn depot.

First King Lynn 33813 YX63 LKA

The Wright Gemini Eclipses that had previously worked the X1 were transferred out to other First depots. The 07-plate buses were loaned to First’s Norwich depot before transferring to First Potteries, nine of 58-plate ones were transferred Lowestoft and the other seven 58-plates were transferred to Great Yarmouth. Before they transfer to other depot they were all given First new corporate livery.  

First Great Yarmouth 37574 AU58 ECY

The Great Orme service by Marcus Lapthorn 

Whilst we were in Llandudno, North Wales, last week we enjoyed travelling on a ‘Heritage’ coach tour of the Great Orme. I attach two photo’s of this lovely vehicle and Gavin has kindly sent me a link to the vehicles previous history. 



Buses in the Landscape

Buses in the Landscape, Oxford tube 50208 heads for Oxford on the A40 near Wheatley 090414 R Sharman

Buses in the Landscape under dreaming spires 290314 R Sharman


RT 8 from Ensign on The Wartime Tour of London on May 10th. M Crowe.

Arriva OLT DLP255 LJ51DKA Shepherds Bush 030514 M Crowe

New LTs on the 38 on May 12th by M Crowe

Golden Tours 121 BU14EHR when new 020514 M Crowe

LUL LT136 on the 148 Shepherds Bush 170414 M Crowe

This has to win award for the shabbiest bus in London!!
LG PVL112 r 44 looking very shabby 140514 M Crowe

Routemaster RM Hire RML2727 at Notting Hill Gate 290414 M Crowe

Atlas Coaches Caetano Optimo FJ14GPX in Oxpens 240414 G Francis

Go London E219 wrap for Lycamobile on route 436 300414 G Francis

Kings Ferry BF63ZSZ at Victoria 190414 G Francis

The one everyone wanted!
LT silver Routemasters old and new at Kensington High St 100414 G Francis

Ex Arriva 5940 WESTGATE CAR PARK, OXFORD 080414 G Francis

RM2208 on PH BPR 180514 G Francis

Wot!! No bicycles. A recent picture on Elizabeth Bridge, Victoria by Gavin 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 -

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.