Spottings & Jottings nr. 81 - November 30th 2014

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

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Well, sometime since the last issue, mainly caused by work times not helping getting the page ready. Here it is and I hope it has been worth waiting for.

A great deal has been taking place with new deliveries, new routes and many changes.

It is not often that companies introduce new express routes into London, such is the dominance of established routes.

Stagecoach took a bold decision to introduce such a route from November 8th. The SW1 runs from Carterton and Witney via Thornhill Park & Ride to The Tower of London with stops on Marylebone Road, Park Lane, Victoria Street and the Embankment. Initial results have been most encouraging and one wonders what the future holds for this venture.

This picture of the first departure from Carterton, using Scania Gold 15966, was kindly provided by Carole Stevens.

Oxford Bus have started a new route 600 from Pear Tree Park & Ride - Oxford University Science Area - Oxford Brookes University to John Radcliffe Hospital. The service runs from morning times after the peak until the late afternoon before the main late peak It is being operated by Citaro buses.

These two pictures show the new service which runs via Parks Road and Long Wall and were taken by Gavin  Francis.
I believe that this is the first time a regular local service has run over these two roads other than the open top services.

Various events held in recent weeks are recorded in this issue including Coach & Bus Live which took place at the N E C earlier this month and other events including a recreation of RTs working route 11 in London.

EURO BUS expo 2014 latest Megabus Gold sleeper 041114 M Crowe
Gooid pictures are quite difficult in this location due to an excess of lights and reflections.

RT buses recreate full Route 11 with RT1 near Victoria 021114 G Francis
The weather was not helpful to participants and Gavin reported getting rather wet!!

There have also been large deliveries of new coaches for National Express services including a batch of two axle Levantes for South Gloucester.

Perhaps one significant piece of National Express news is that Oxford Bus will take over operation of the 737 service from Oxford to Stansted. It is not known what coaches will be used as yet but some sources suggest that tri-axles from the North East may be used. It is also suggested that one of the Scanias off the Airlines services may be repainted white as a relief if required.

The foregoing added to the fact that Oxford Bus has a further eight Plaxton Interdeckers on order for delivery in early 2015 and the Stagecoach X5 is due to convert to 14 metre Volvo tri-axles in the next few weeks is expected to result in the removal of the layover bays in Gloucester Green.

This could impact on coach parking in Oxford, especially since Oxpens coach park has now closed. One wonders how the operators are expected to manage and does Oxford want tourism?

Canadian developments.

Paul Bateson passed some photos to me via Gavin Francis. They are most interesting and show new Enviro 500s entering service near Niagara Falls about now,




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:

Check with the website please. 

Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road



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

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


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 and for your patience in waiting for this issue.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 30th November 2014


Observations and pictures

From Matthew Taylor


Something seems to of happened at Fort William / Portree and Stagecoach have stopped running the 914, 915, 916 Citylink services.

J50WCM ex FJ56OBT with WCM on a 914 service at Glasgow taken by M Crowe on September 22nd.


Ex Stagecoach Oxford's 59211 now with WCM can be seen at the link below:


Ex Stagecoach Oxford's 59214 now with WCM can be seen at the link below:


They have been taken over by a joint venture between West Coast Motors and Shiel Buses of Archaracle. The Levante's are used by West Coast Motors, and Shiel Buses have gone down the route of some rather nice looking Jonckheere's. They have a Shiel Buses Silver on the front, and Citylink yellow on the back I presume West Coast Motors will do the same with the Levante's, similar to how their Irizars are painted.


The distance of the routes require the coaches to overnight somewhere, and West Coast Motors I'm not sure if drivers are also overnighting or whether they have come up with the Rapsons / West Coast arrangement of everybody driving each other's buses. I shouldn't imagine the Levante's will stay white for long on Highland winter roads.


From Richard Sharman

Charlton Services has recently purchased a newer Vario to operate the 94 Service.


P835 FVU, is the second B10M/PS operating with Charlton.  Although this one has a none standard typeface used on the fleet name vinyl rather than the more traditional style normally used.


First Worcester(Midland Red West) has painted two vehicles in Midland Red heritage livery to celebrate operating the 144 Route between Worcester and Birmingham for the last 100 years.



From Mark Turner  

Pictures of buses I took of buses in Watford Town Centre on 25/10/14.

Arriva 3969 LT63UMN r 500 Watford 031114 M Turner

Arriva 3419 r 324 Watford 031114 M Turner

Arriva 3911 BV58MLE r 324 Watford 031114 M Turner

Arriva 6237 r 500 Watford 031114 M Turner

Arriva The Shires 2497 YK57FHJ r 500 Watford 031114 M Turner
(This bus was once used on the 40 from High Wycombe to Thame.)

The new Streetlites used on the 321 and seen by Mr Turner in Watford.

From Gavin Francis 

Went up to Binders Yard on November 12th and then back via Wycombe.

Ashwood Travel have two of these ex China Bus Dennis Condors, previously owned by Weavaway.
 I think their last owner may have been Greys of Ely?

Now owned by Cliffs Coaches is this one time East Yorkshire Mercedes Optare Prismo, P271 NRH ex TD Travel Bridlington. 

No legal lettering on this bus but with a route number of BB12 could this be with Carousel?
TPL254 LN51KYK r BB12 WYC 121114 G Francis.

This wrap open topper went past VCS yesterday. I assume it still belongs to Big Bus? The only sign I have is the fleet number on the front.


Then went into VCS and in came a four day old tri-axle for Kings Ferry operating for Stagecoach on 007. I think driver said they had 3 of them. Strange choice as they have always had Levantes lately and with the new tri-axles for the A6 could have bought Levantes on the back of those. 

Then a driver off the 11 said that LT60 had been painted in General livery and was operating as SW309. When I got back to London in the afternoon the first northbound 11 I saw was 308 so just waited a few minutes and along it came. Not sure if the livery really suits this style of bus.

Also got a better picture of the Abellio poppy bus.

From Gordon Scott

Edinburgh operator Lothian has put 25 new Volvo B5 Wright bodied buses 407 BN64 CPU into service on Monday on local route 3 taken in Dalkeith on November 27th.

From J Curry


As you may already be aware 5454/55 have moved to Gillingham for the upgrade of route 101 to Sapphire, I'm not sure if these are loans or transfers?


 From Colin Richardson.


After the above date (2 November) the following routes have been altered.


Route 2 - revised times


Route 3 - revised times

Route 5 - revised times with evening journeys added on Mondays to Saturdays


Route 8 - Revised times on Mondays to Fridays


Route 9 - Revised times at Mondays to Fridays at peak times


Route 32 - Buckingham - Central Milton Keynes - Newton Longville withdrawn - see Routes 50 & X60


Route 55 - Revised times on Mondays to Fridays for evening peak journey, so only one bus now required Route 50 - Revised times with journeys extensions to and  from Ivanhoe now transferred to Route 61


Route 50 - Revised route and times  - The Horwoods - Winslow - Newton Longville - Bletchley - Milton Keynes 
Only operators Monday to Friday by Z & S Transport Route 60 and new Route X60 - Route 60 service reduced to 2 hourly each day
and still serves Maids Moreton 2 hourly with one journey each way Maids Moreton to Buckingham return only operated by Redline.

Route X60 - Aylesbury via A413 via Winslow, Sheep Street to Buckingham  then via old route 32 to Central Milton Keynes Train Station - service hourly through each Mondays to Saturdays operated by Arriva and with extra journeys between Buckingham to & from Central Milton Keynes on Friday & Saturdays evenings only operated by Stagecoach East via Deanshanger with Northamptonshire County Council support.


Route 61 - Revised times except off peak journeys each day - one return journey provided by Luton Depot, the first time that depot operated on the route for over forty years.

Route 70 - Revised times on some journeys each day Mondays - -Saturdays


Route 110 - Revised times and operator - Arriva to Redline Routes 131/132 - Revised times to some journeys - Mondays -Fridays journeys on Route 32 transferred to Route 132 with connections to & from Central Milton Keynes all journeys operated by Redline.


Route 150 - Revised times on Mondays to Saturdays


Route 280 - Revised times Mondays to Saturdays to cover for road works in the Headington area over the next year.  One extra bus added to cover for traffic delays.

Route 300 - Revised route and times of last journey from High Wycombe.  It will operate via normal and not Saunderton on Mondays to Saturdays


That is all the changes that I am aware of on the above date.

Our thanks to Colin for the comprehensive update.


From Steve Gee 


Noted on the A45 heading towards Birmingham today (30/10/14) was Arriva Shires Volvo B7RLE, Wrightbus 3883 KX11PVE from I think, Ware Garage. It was passing Tollbar Island, Coventry at around 10:20, and was I believe route branded for the 310 service?


I have now seen Arriva Shires vehicles here on the A45 three times in the last six weeks or so, two being Volvo saloons and one an Optare Solo off Milton Keynes by reason of it's route branding, but 3883 today is the first one I've managed to positively identify. I wonder if they are intercompany transfers or in the case of the Solo heading for a dealer.


From Adam Green 

3915 Arriva Max Livery on the 150

HRZ6498 Demo Bus on the 7 to Wolverton

34423 on the 99 to Luton Airport 

Solos 2496 and 2497 ex High Wycombe, now in service at Hemel.

 I saw TA162-KN52NDL-Ex TGM Near the Marlow’s Shopping Centre on Friday 24th October 2014.

From Luke Braham 

A comprehensive report from Luke including many details on the new Arriva MAX service (60/X60) from Aylesbury to Milton Keynes.  Our thanks to Luke.

It has been announced that new route X60 between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes via Winslow and Buckingham is to be to Arriva MAX specification. I would assume that it is one of the first Arriva MAX routes outside of Arriva North East?

I have also included a copy of an advertisement for the route that has been featured on the Arriva the Shires official Facebook page that you may be interested in.  

Ex-Watford Citaro 3915 BV58 MKO was the first to go for update and arrive back in the base colours of the Arriva MAX livery with sister 3916 BV58 MLL next away and back by the 2nd November. I would make a guess that another Citaro will go as the X60 has a PVR of three buses.  

MAX route X60 was launched in Kingsbury Square in Aylesbury on the 27th October between 10am and 3pm.

The new route X60 was launched at Kingsbury Square in Aylesbury between 10am and 3pm. In attendance was MAX liveried Citaro 3917 BV58 MLN but without any branding. At the launch event, there was a table full of 60/X60 pens, timetables, Pink Route 8 sweets (which was odd!) and much more. Arriva were also running a competition where you had to name a town that the X60 would stop off at along its route. There was also a cardboard version of a Citaro in the MAX livery. The only different between the two Citaros was that the cardboard one carried what I am told might be what the X60 branding will look like. The branding is said to be applied to the buses on/from the 30th October.

On the 30th October, MAX route X60 branding was applied to Citaros 3915 BV58 MKO and 3917 BV58 MLN and they were put straight back into service. Pictures of the pair can be seen with there newly applied branding before the X60 route began a few days later.  

The route began on the 3rd November.

As the branding for the buses had not arrived for application, the only indication of the new look was created by a cardboard model on display!! 


The other to arrive was Ex-Watford 3917 BV58 MLN which arrived on the 24th October to MAX specification. Luckily, I was at the depot when 3917 arrived back from refurbishment to MAX specification.  

3917 is seen shortly after arriving back in Aylesbury in the base colours of its Arriva MAX livery. It has spent most of its time on the 150 but has been seen on other routes such as the 300 and 500.



3916 BV58 MLL had arrived back at Aylesbury by the 1st November.

They were used on the 150 and 300 most of the time before the X60 started yesterday. They did also see use on the 280 as my parents saw 3917 on the 280 on the 31st October.  

Another two Citaros have arrived at Aylesbury during the past week. One of these is Ex-Watford 3932 BD12 DHK which was the first to arrive on the 19th October. 3932 still carries its Arriva fleet livery with 321 branding.  

Ex-Watford Citaro 3932 is at Aylesbury now and allocated to the 280 but seen working the 300 to High Wycombe on 24th October. 3932 (the 321 branded 12-plate) is expected to be used on the 280 until ten new Enviro400s arrive in the New Year. 


It should be noted that on the morning and evening of the 25th October MAX Citaro 3915 BV58 MKO was used on Sapphire 280.


3915 showing detail of the nearside branding.

3492 was involved in an accident where an elderly person had a seizure while trying to leave Stoke Mandeville Hospitals car park and ended up hitting the accelerator instead of the break. The car then went through the car park barrier and straight into the bus. None was harmed in the accident. I’ve included a picture of the damage of 3492 I saw on Facebook that you may want to look at.

Dart 3492 W492 YGS has been written off with accident damage.

All the pictures from Aylesbury by Luke Braham.

Arriva pictureview

Yet another very elderly Dart has arrived at Wycombe from Southern Counties.
Arriva 3224 on the 40 at Stokenchurch on November taken by Gavin Francis.
This bus was based at Sheerness with several others and can be seen in the link below.
One presumes that the reason behind the arrival of several old Darts at Wycombe is because in the early spring of next year
it is suggested that the 40 will be cut back to Stokenchurch and not serve Thame, thus cutting off a useful and popular link.

Seems that Hemel is short of coaches as on recent occasions service buses have worked the 785.
Arriva 3971 on the 758 arrives at Green Line, Victoria on October 20th seen by Gavin Francis.

Yet another, 3973 at Victoria on October 29th seen by Malcolm Crowe.
The names on these buses add a little colour.

Arriva 3298 on route 30 leaves the bus station in Wycombe on October 10th seen by Malcolm Crowe.
This bus had been based at St Helens in 2013 as seen in the link below.
As long ago as 2009 this bus was based at Llandudno Junction depot.

Arriva 4365 on L duties near Wycombe de[pot, Cressex on November 26th seen by Malcolm Crowe
In 2009 this coach was based at Hemel and would have worked the 758!!!! 



Trident 101, now reregistered VAZ9101, is seen working the 740 on October 10th by Malcolm Crowe.
(I well remember taking this bus to Derby Day back in around 2001 when I was driving for Oxford Bus.
Of course it was still in Park & Ride green and stood out against the London General buses on the special route. Ed.)

Ex Oxford Tridents have been re-registered 

101       -           VAZ9101

102       -           SNZ1102

102, now registered SNZ1102 operating the 36 on November 12th seen by Gavin Francis.
102 carried SNZ102 for a few weeks (any pictures????)

103       -           SNZ1103

104       -           SNZ1104

111       -           NLZ5111

111 seen on school duties, by Malcolm Crowe, on October 10th already re-registered

113       -           MIG7113

116       -           LIG9116

118       -           KIG9118

118 on the BB16 school route seen in the bus station by Gavin Francis on 21st November.

119       -           MIG7119

120       -           DXZ7120

104 is away been converted to single door and is replaced by 112 T112DBW. 


Volvo BT7Ls 918, 919,920, 922 (PN02XBZ, XCA, XCK, XCT), the last three to Ensign Bus. 

(When received I remember reports that they were exceptionally heavy on fuel, especially with the hills around Wycombe. Ed.)

The Primos surface in Weston. 

From David Smith. 

Thought you might like to see Primos 751-3 have turned up with Crosville Motor Services, Weston-super-Mare.

Crosville Weston YX07HNO , a former Carousel Plaxton Primo, hard at work with Crosville in Weston-super-Mare on November 3rd by David Smith.  


Other news

Carousel (ex Thames Travel) 502 lays over in Wycombe Bus Station on November 12th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Gavin Francis writes 

415 and 417 have been restored to fleet. They had been on loan to Thames Travel. 

However two Mercedes, 873 and 874 have been loaned to Oxford Bus – see below. 

Carousel on hire to Oxford 874 on route 6 on 27th October by Gavin Francis.

My LOTS book confirms TPL 254 is on loan.. We would have seen it a lot of the 82 in Victoria.

They also say DART P480MLE has been returned from being a static office for a year to be in service in a disheveled condition!

The Dart mentioned above seen in the bus station on November 26th by Malcolm Crowe.

A very interesting item has been received from Trevor Wilson

Just been reading the X1 bus blog - - which relates to the First Eastern Counties X1 Peterborough-Kings Lynn-Norwich-Great Yarmouth-Lowestoft and currently run with 22 ADL E400 double deckers every 30 minutes.  Previously the route was worked by Volvo Geminis (from new) and prior to that a 'collection' of various aged Volvo single deck coaches.  My interest in this route -  worked in Norwich for about 6 months prior to the Geminis appearing.  [I apologise in advance for 'summarising' the service as the eagle eyed who view the timetable will note assorted variations!] 

John Marsh caught up with one of these buses, 33816, in Wansford Village during the Peterborough Bus Rally last July.

The author (Gerardtcc) quotes bus mileage averaging 100k for each of the now a year old ADL E400s.  The author asks the questions "I wonder if there are any other UK bus (not coach) fleets which clock up huge figures like these ? Do let me know if you have any ideas." 

(I think the Oxford Tube coaches which clock up around 1,000,000 kms over their 5 year life with this service may well equal or exceed these mileages. Ed.)

For info here is the mileage being quoted - taken from different parts of the blog - my italics - apologies for the font size which I appear to be unable to downsize. 

Thanks to Ryan and Des we can now confirm the mileages on the Enviro 400s based at Lowestoft. As at October 21/22 these were as follows :
33818 110820
33819 099283
33820 106572
33821 109559
33822 098786
33823 102116
33824 102936

Mileages of the King's Lynn based buses at start of duties on 30/9/13 taken from hub meters or * odometers were as follows :
33803 092416*
33804 102932
33805 106598*
33806 107033
33807 101694
33808 110404
33809 095163

Meanwhile, let’s not forget the Yarmouth based Geminis which still work the route and take a look at how they have been accumulating the mileage since they left King's Lynn.
We will take as examples 37576, 37578 & 37579. Here are their mileages when they left King's Lynn and again this week 

 37576 03/10/13 560655.  16/10/14 614791
37578 6/10/14 559474.  16/10/14 606496
37579 05/10/14 576132. 14/10/14 626081

 So to save you calculating for yourselves, this means the mileages run in the last year - give or take a week have been
37576 54140
37578 47000
37579 49950

New bues.

33810 105070
33811 113432
33812 114308*
33813 100277
33814 102743
33815 108414
33816 103440
33817 106445

For more pictures of these buses see my OCBP link below.



From Luke Braham

A quick update from Motts for you. 

E28 UNE, E29 UNE, KSK 965, KSK 966 and 6247 MT (M617 ORJ) have all been withdrawn and are currently being stored at the premises of J & L Travel in St Leonards.  

E25 UNE has also left the fleet.

The UNE buses came from Shearing's and were some of the last Leyland Tigers!!!!  Ed.

A number of changes have resulted in new operators.

 National Express operations is to commence a new service from Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street, London. The new A8 service will operate via Mile End and Whitechapel, running every 30 minutes. The current A9 service will run directly to Stratford. Operation of the 737 service between Stansted and Oxford is due to pass to the Oxford Bus Company from Monday 19th January, the same day the A8 is introduced.

New coaches continue to enter service.

South Gloucestershire Bus & Coach

A number of C48FLT Scania K440 EB4 / Caetano Levante IIs have arrived, for use on National

Express contracts:

Picture by Gavin Francis on November 28th.

Allocation changes:

C142 Start Hill to Sipson Road
C143 Start Hill to Sipson Road
C170 Start Hill to Sipson Road

National Express pictureview

Once part of the new fleet for the A1 to Luton Airport, Kings Ferry is now operating FJ13EBN
as seen on October 27th by Gavin Francis.
(Seems that following the success of Green Line in restarting services into Luton airport the NEx fleet was found to be too large!)

NEx Sibson road operates a contract service for the BBC following the closure of Wood Lane.
NEx 8356 on the BBC Contract - carrying Children in Need branding - seen on November 6th by Gavin Francis.

National Express coaches operating to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports now carry easyBus branding.
NEX Lucketts Fareham x4812 FN62CFG on the 025 near VCS with easyBus logo on October 20th by Gavin Francis.

NEx Selwyn's 170 FJ61EWM on the 304 Weymouth-LPL service
advertising the Liverpool International Music Festival seen at Gloucester Green on October 30th by Gavin Francis.

South Gloucester's T700SGB is recovered after a "ding" at Victoria by their low loader truck on October 29th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Readers will remember that, apart from the four E400s used on the Chiltern Railways contract, two remained for sometime after the others had already gone on to southern Vectis.

Ian Rivett advises that 1579 and 1580 arrived at last on IOW on 6/10/14. 

Graham Low writes "Unusual sights recently in Oxford include a Thames Travel E200 on the 94 and a Carousel Mercedes/MCV branded "city" on the front dash and working on the 6. 

I guess that you are now aware that 900 is on long-term loan to Oxford rather than purchased. I am not clear about which of the 20 buses due for Gyrodrive have actually had this fitted. Buses for November states that 206 and one of the new E400 MMCs are so fitted. In the same article it is said that there will be eight more Elite i Interdeckers, eleven double deckers for 2015 and two new buses for Thames Travel. "

Ian Kirby writes "Thought you might be interested in the photograph of former number 88.  It is with Hamilton, Bow but is in Hamilton-Gray fleet livery rather than Megabus and has not been re-registered yet.  It is seen in Bristol City Centre on 24th October 2014 on Majestic Tours duty."

I saw this coach in London around the same time. Ed.

Picture by Ian Kirby

Luke Braham writes "I have managed to track down another ex-Oxford Bus Company X90 Plaxton Panther. This one being ex-90 KB07OXF and was found a little closer to home than its sisters as it is now part of the Redline Buses of Aylesbury fleet. I believe they have brought it to update their current fleet of coaches as they have done with their buses. It was seen in their depot on the 24th October."

Picture by Luke Braham

Oxford Bus pictureview

Loaned Citaro BP14FJZ numbered 821 working route 6. It is rumoured that this bus was intended for Thames Travel!!
It replaces the Citaro of TT badly damaged in a collision with a car.
Pictures by Gavin Francis on 25th November.

Carousel 874 on loan for the 6 now replaced by 821 above. Picture by Graham Low.

873 seen on the same route on October 15th by Richard Sharman.
This must surely be the ultimate use of route branding not on its intended route!!!!

Hybrid 362 unusually on the X13 in St Aldates on October 15th seen by Richard Sharman.

OX 366 on "non hybrid" route U5X in St Aldates again on October15th seen by Richard Sharman.

New E400 604 turns into St Aldates, out of service, on October 15th seen again by Richard Sharman.

Moving to New Road, Richard caught 613 on the U1X, another route variation for this Semester.

Looking decidedly careworn 842 is seen in Magdalen St East on a 2 road working by Gavin Francis on October 23rd.

Loaned 900 is seen on  500 road loading for a trip to Water Eaton on October 23rd and captured by Gavin Francis.

Frazer Peddle writes "Please a find a few pictures I took at Reading on Friday 10th October."

ADL e200 YX64 VLV new about a month ago on the Loddon Bridge route

ADL e400 demo seen hiding behind a scarlet e400 hybrid..

Greenwave 402 trying to negotiate road works in the town. 

Road works have been a constant appearance in Reading in the last few years with the major re-vamp of the train station.


Can anyone provide an updated fleet list for this company please?


Alan Roberts writes "I have an interest in buses, especially in Oxford, as a user and in the past as a driver with various local companies and "frequent" your pages

I thought you might be interest in this if you haven't already learned of it from someone else. Route 10 City Centre to JR hospital  via Cowley has been my daily route for the past 5 years or so. In that time it has always been a single deck route and the one occasion one of the then new hybrids appeared I deliberately went the "other" way round the route just for the novelty. This was, I believe, covering a breakdown.

This past weekend I found another decker (Stagecoach 10068) on the route and did the same thing. Between Cowley and the JR I noticed 10069 and 15343 also on route 10 and later in the day 10071.

Finally going home in late afternoon I was waiting at Cowley Centre. There obviously hadn't been a bus for a while judging by the queue when 10068 and 10069 turned up together. I let the queue get on the front bus and joined a few from the back of the queue on the second one. While waiting to leave 15343 pulled in behind. Leaving Cowley Centre we waited at the traffic lights at the Swan  - 10068, 10069 and a couple of cars behind 15343 - when 10071 came round the corner heading into town.

I wish I'd had a camera to catch the sight. I've no idea why route 10 had the deckers over the weekend but this morning everything is back to normal."

10069 on route 10 at the J R Hospital on Sunday 23rd November taken by Malcolm Crowe.
(These 700 branded buses are being used on the days off on the 10.)

Stagecoach pictureview.

15965 on driver training duties on October 25th on the SW1 with 12353 SN64OHC a new Hybrid at West Ham depot taken by October 25th.

15966 at the Embankment Pier drop off point on October 19th by Malcolm Crowe.

Risk assessment trials on the S3 at Stonesfield on October 14th with 15996 by Malcolm Crowe.

15994 and 15995 on the 8 on October 15th by Richard Sharman.

Two new super rears on 36768 and 36770 seen in Oxford on October 15th by Richard Sharman.


I recently had to attend a Train the Trainer course for CPC in Cambridge and here are a couple of pictures I took.

18292, a 2001 Trident of the Huntingdonshire fleet, seen on October 22nd.

M A N 22328 at Cambridge depot on October 22nd.


Following my recent visit to Scotland I have had some pleasant exchanges with fellow enthusiasts north of the border. One who has been a good contributor is Gordon Scott.

Below are some of the excellent pictures he has sent with more to come.

Gordon writes "I am going through to Glasgow next Sat, and I will check out update on Van Hool Coaches operating there. Shots attached two of new Stagecoach Scotland East route X7 Coastliner Perth to Aberdeen of new one of eight 54231 YX64WBT Volvo B11R Plaxton Elite i coaches taken in Canal Street Perth. I had a run on this service on Tuesday from Perth to Dundee, very nice coaches."


Gordon also provided numerous pictures of the ex Oxford tube Astromegas taken some weeks ago.

50204 at the X25 Abronhill terminus on 17th October.
Readers may remember that this was the coach I took to Kilmarnock some months ago.

50222 and 50224 also at Abronhill on October 17th.

50209 at Ayr depot on the 19th October.

50216, 217 and 218 again at Ayr depot on the 19th with a rear shot of 216.

50202 at Kilmarnock on the 19th.

50205 and then 50206 seen at Kilmarnock depot on the 19th.

All the above pictures by Gordon Scott.

If any readers can help with a picture of a Guy UF/Alexander coach (ex London service) fleet number KG968 which goes back to 1964/5, I would appreciate same. I drove this coach from Manchester to Glasgow and back when working for Ribble. 


Oxford tube coaches work on the S5, running two services each morning from Caversfield into Oxford.
50282 is seen heading down St Giles on the morning of the 15th October.

Steve Gee writes "Megabus Volvo B12B, 54006 CNO7BAV was on the A38 near Burton On Trent last week. It is now with Ridleys of Leamington Spa and was in their livery. . Will attempt to get a photo, as Ridleys are fairly local to me but might take some time..."

Megabus 53645 on service to Portsmouth in St Giles Oxford on October 27th by Gavin Francis.
This type of coach now seems to run this route.


Megabus by Hamilton Gray HG17 HIG5337 working the M6 near VCS on November 28th by Gavin Francis.
Notice that full livery is now applied.


Aberdeen based Astromega TX27, 50246 works the M11 homebound on November 7th taken by Gavin Francis.


Megabus Interdecker 55007 works the ME2 to Amsterdam on October 31st from VCS. Taken by Gavin Francis. 

Seems there are two new buses ordered for this operator in 2015.

Travel de Courcey with logo-jaguarlogo-landrover

Mike de Courcey has a number of National Express operations but a big surprise when I went to the NEC Coach & Bus Show was to find they operate a number of contract services for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) between Birmingham Airport Car Parks and advanced design and engineering centres at Gaydon and Whitley

Mike de Courcey 101 FJ57KHZ is ex NEx SH20 and seen on the M40 services near Gaydon for JLR on November 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

Vale Transport

Vale Y982TGH on the Sunday's only 48 in Stokenchurch and a picture of this bus in London Central service, both by Gavin Francis.


An interesting picture of this operators past buses appears at the link below.


MCV 123 bodied heavy duty option

The UK heavyweight 12 metre single deck market has declined markedly in importance over the years in the face of rising sales of midi and lighter weight alternatives but there remains a level of demand, mainly for more topographically challenging routes but also for specialist applications where robustness is paramount, such as guided busways.

Prior to Euro6, Volvo met the demand with the low entry, rear engined, B7RLE chassis. Euro6 has necessitated a change of power unit and, unlike the double deck range which downsized from a nine-litre unit to the five-litre D5K used in both the  B5LH and the B5TL, the B7RLE has become the B8RLE, equipped in this instance with the 7.7-litre D8K.280 unit producing 280hp at 2,650rpm and peak torque of 1,050Nm at 950-1,700rpm. Both 320hp and 350hp outputs are also available from the D8K but these are to be found in the B8R coach range.


First in Worcester launch heritage liveries


Marking a century since the launch of the bus service between Birmingham and Malvern that was later to become the 144, First Midland Red has unveiled two buses in recreations of earlier livery styles.

It was on 29 August 1914 that the Midland Red first offered a through service from Birmingham to Malvern three times daily, though in reality passengers were required to change buses at Bromsgrove. The service, then numbered the 25, was initially jointly operated with Worcestershire Motor Transport though it had to sell out after the War Department commandeered its buses and declined to take Midland Red’s Tilling Stevens vehicles. From 7 November that year Midland Red began operating direct from Birmingham to Great Malvern and from 1916, when another operator ceased running because of a lack of vehicles, on to Malvern Wells, a total distance of 38.5miles – no mean feat for the buses of that era.

From 1922 onwards double deckers were used on the route which in May 1925 was renumbered the 125 and eventually, from 11 May 1928, became the 144. By 1935 the entire length of the route enjoyed a 20 minute frequency from Sunday to Friday, with a 15 minute frequency on Saturdays, a timetable that remained the same for the following 28 years. From 1954 to 1971 a total of 15 buses were required for the route on every day except Saturday when 20 were needed, these coming from the allocations of Digbeth, Bromsgrove, Worcester and Malvern depots. Bank Holidays saw additional buses drafted in from other depots. A round trip took five hours. After 1971, Saturday services were cut to every 20 minutes and Sundays to every 30 minutes.

In October 1976 when Malvern depot closed, the 144 was cut back to Worcester and Leyland Nationals replaced the double deckers. Apart from a brief period in 1979, the 144 has run only as far as Worcester since then, varying provision beyond that to Malvern having included the 344 and later the 44 services which were at one time provided by Mercedes minibuses.

MetroBus revealed: How Bristol's new transport system is likely to look

A section of Cumberland Road showing a new toucan crossing across it. 


Mr Ferguson insisted that the guided bus, which was originally known as the Bristol Rapid Transit system, should not be built on the Harbourside and run in front of the M shed.

As a result, the transport link between Ashton Gate and Temple Meads station will follow a new route, which will take in the Cumberland Road/Avon Crescent junction to Redcliffe roundabout via Cumberland Road, Commercial Road and Redcliff Hill.

THIS is the first glimpse of how Bristol’s multi-million-pound MetroBus transport system is expected to look. Plans for the contentious bus route have been resubmitted to the city council following the intervention of Bristol mayor George Ferguson.

The link is the first of three routes which will cost an estimated £200 million.

Scores of comments on the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads section of the MetroBus network have been submitted as part of a consultation process on the plans. A public inquiry has also been held into the scheme.

Consultation will now move to the formal planning stage, which means all comments and views on the application have to be through the planning process.

The final scheme will include three interlinked bus routes – Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, the North Fringe to Hengrove Package and the South Bristol Link.

The system will be operated with modern, low-emission vehicles and have right of way over other traffic on sections of the route.

Stops will provide electronic real-time-information displays, fast boarding and smartcard ticketing.

A public inquiry was held in summer 2012 – and the Transport and Works Act Order was granted last month.

This year, following concerns raised by the mayor about the impact of rapid-transit buses on the Harbourside and crossing Prince Street Bridge, a review of alternative routes was carried out by the city council.

This review recommended a route between the junction of Cumberland Road/Avon Crescent and Redcliffe roundabout as the best alternative to using Prince Street Bridge and the Harbourside.

It is this section that is the subject of the latest planning application.

The section of the route between Cumberland Road and the Long Ashton park-and-ride facility has not been changed.

There are also hopes that a new passenger transport interchange will be built at Temple Meads railway station.

The new interchange will link the railway network, MetroBus and Greater Bristol bus network.

In previous years there had been hopes that Bristol would get a tram system.

But the local authorities involved were unable to come to a compromise over the route.

New Routemaster in  heritage livery

Keith Wood, Resources Manager for GO-AHEAD LONDON has sent some interesting pictures saying "Thought you might be interested in these two shots of LT60 following its makeover into "General" livery and should appear in service next week. The bus has been painted as a contribution to the Year of the Bus which is now drawing to a close - hope you like... 


Have you seen any of the sculpture trail buses around London? Quite a few good looking ones around. The only one that actually represents a bus is plonked outside Palestra

 (TfL bunker number 1 ;-0 )."


Other Routemaster models


Trips and Events

RT's run  the 11 one Sunday in November by Gavin Francis.

Gavin got rather wet on November 2nd taking the pictures you see!!



RTW335 at Wisley on the 4th April 2004. Somewhat different to the last picture above.

All pictures by Gavin Francis.

Great Western Heritage Weekend by Mike Walker 

Here's a selection of pictures from the Great Western Heritage Weekend sponsored by FGW. The buses are probably self-explanatory with the exception of the GWR Guy which doesn't venture out too much and was being a little temperamental yesterday - it doesn't like traffic lights (Who does?!). It is a 1927 Guy FBB with Vickers B32R body built in 1927 and allocated to the GWR's Penzance services. It was withdrawn by WN in 1931 and sold via a dealer in Truro to a private buyer at Perrenporth. After few couple years on the beach head as a caravan it was towed up to a cliff top and became a chicken house come office. It was "rescued" in 1972 but it wasn't until Collin Billington purchased it in 2000 that restoration began, taking 11 years. It is simply superb - I got a ride to Eton and back. The bus shots are either at Slough station or in Eton.



One of the shots show Collin Billington (in uniform) and Ward Jones exchanging handshakes to mark the change of ownership of TV 446 to the Thanes Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust after 43 years in Ward's care. Like the Guy, it is immaculate inside and out.

Other buses.



The railway pictures show the specials operating as part of the event. On both days, the Great Western Society's Steam Railmotor no.93 operated up and down the Brentford branch out of Southall - the very route it had worked when new in 1908-09. It is a self-propelled car with a small vertical boiler above one bogie which is in effect a 0-4-0 engine. It ran in this form until 1934 when the power unit was scrapped and the coach rebuilt as an "ordinary" autocoach for push-pull working. Ultimately it ended up as a yard office in South Wales until rescued by the GWS who intended to restore it as an autocoach. However, years passed with nothing being done until, inspired by other steam "new build" projects, they decided to build a new power unit from scratch and return the vehicle to its original form and glory. This was its second "main line" outing having been used on the Looe branch in 2011. It's also visited several heritage railways.



In addition FGW operated 5 trips on Saturday round the Greenford Loop in and out of Paddington using the stock from the 'Night Riviera' sleeping car train (it includes three seated coaches) topped and tailed by 57604 'Pendennis Castle' and 57605 'Totnes Castle'. The former is FGW's "celebrity" loco and carries pseudo-GWR style green livery etc. There were also special services both days on the Colnbrook branch from west Drayton to a point just south of the M4/M25 interchange. These were worked by 150002, one of the original pair of Class 150 Sprinters normally used on the Reading - Basingstoke line. Special authority had to be given to allow them to operate east of Reading.


Windmill Bridge is halfway down the Brentford branch and is unique as it has three levels with the Grand Union Canal (middle) and Windmill Lane both crossing the railway at the same spot. I shot this out of the back cab of the Railmotor hence the smoky image! 


An interesting link for old Oxford pictures.

 A question

From Alan Coulson.

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

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

I could accept to my e.mail address from which i could copy photo or i could cover any costs re postage. Any information be gratefully accepted.

Whilst i Google Chinnor i noticed on page Jeffways.

Bob’s 1st. coach was KKX28 bought 2nd from Fred Stratton of Redby coaches of Sunderland Bob and Fred were friends Bob would drive for Fred and Fred would help out Bob on his milk round. My query is my notes state Fred had this coach in 1946 then to Bob in 1948. As i bid to trace history with no access to records i have been told that coach was new to Jeffways and Station Taxis in 1947 of High Wycombe  as the dates dont seem to add up i ask could you confirm any history  I have side on photo which has a J  motif on coach  on reading about Jeffways and there history plus take overs J & P  i see a link  re J Jeffways.

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

I thank you for any help.

From Chris Whitehead

I’m doing some research on Hambleden between the wars, and wonder if you could help me with details of buses that served the village during that time.

From Keith Shayshutt 

I wonder if you could help me with a little bit of history?

I'm puzzling how the 280, Aylesbury to Oxford, came into Arriva hands. I remember it in the late 1970s when it was COMS operated from Aylesbury outstation. I recall that there were around 4+ DDs parked at the UCOC depot. UCOC then became Luton & District. And the outer ring of COMS operations became South Midland and were subsequently divided from COMS.

Harry Blundred (Transit Holdings) acquired South Midland and then Stagecoach acquired Transit Holdings. So, logically the 280 should now be with Stagecoach but it isn't and I can't remember the chain of events that caused it to pass the Luton & District and subsequently Arriva.

Do you remember any of this detail? Perhaps if not, this question could be posed in the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page as some readers may well remember this important piece of history.



From Bob Telfer 

Keith suggested you'd be interested in the attached photo, showing two evidently very long-standing bus stops situated on the B4027 near Stanton St John, not far out of Oxford. I was there in the summer and this picture was taken on 16 July. The shelter is used by Heyfordian's 108 but I'm not sure that the stop across the road is used at all, although you’ll see that both have timetable display cases.


I don't know whether this kind of stop plate is as rare in Oxfordshire these days as it would be in most other parts of the country. Would they have been installed by COMS? Is my recollection that Midland Red also used this style of plate in the Banbury area also correct? 

Finally a really lovely piece of history - 100 years ago. 

Ali Hough found a postcard in her grandfather's belongings. Here it is and thanks to Ali and husband Rob.
Cowley Road in 1914.

Buses in the Landscape


London -New Routemasters by Gavin Francis.

LE LT302 r 453 Marylebone 241114 G Francis

LG LT54 r 11 overall wrap for You Tube 241014 G Francis

LG LT189 Euro 6 version BPR 071114 G Francis

LUL LT77 r 10 wrap for UGG 241114 G Francis

LUL LT120 r 148 White City 061114 G Francis

Metroline LT100 r 390 wrap Strato60 241114 G Francis

SCL LT269 Wrap for Poppy 131114 G Francis

SCL LT271 and 272 on route 8 Silver 131114 G Francis

Stagecoach's LT269 have the Poppy wrap applied at West Ham on October 19th. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.
It took four men nearly all day to complete!!

Other current Warps

LUL ADH12 r 94 - overall wrap for Westfield - 061114 G Francis

LUL TLA23 r 94 - overall wrap for Thailand - 061114 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 -

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.