Spottings & Jottings nr.  85  May 15th 2015

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

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


Somewhat later than usual this issue contains much of interest. Many of you may have been able to visit The London Bus Museum's annual Brooklands event where this year there was plenty of interest for everyone.

Bus service cuts from May 31st

You can read all about this at the following link:

Other news

Of interest for our area was the latest offering from Wrights in the Streetdeck. 11 Streetdecks for OBC are due towards the end of June this year. Liveries still being firmed up. the Streetdecks will be the shorter variety (Brighton's are stretched). Phil Southall, MD of Oxford Bus provided this information.

The new Brighton Streetdeck seen at Brooklands on 19th May 2015.
Pictures by Gavin Francis and Adam Green

A first sighting of one of the old Oxford Tube Astromegas in full Megabus livery was on Saturday 9th May with 50224 leaving Victoria on the M11 to Manchester and Liverpool. I think this service eventually ends up at Holyhead. I am told that 50223 is also in full Megabus livery but certainly 50204 is still in SC livery as seen on 7th May.

50223 makes ready for departure to Plymouth on April 5th seen by Gavin Francis.
See under Megabus for pictures of 50224 now in full Megabus livery.

Road works in Oxford

Recent road works in Oxford have caused significant delays to services and changes to road priorities have added to the problems.

London Road, Headington has now been completely rebuilt and of course resurfaced. This work took many weeks and was a major source of delay. Now that the road is fully opened those delays are minimal.

Work continues around Norfolk Street which now has two way working but the surface if quite poor.

How things were on April 26th with alternate working in Norfolk Street. Picture by Gavin Francis.

How the Square will look in the future. 

However another problem, not helped by the remodelling of Frideswide Square, has thrown up serious traffic congestion. That is in Worcester Street where traffic can now go from Beaumont Street into Worcester St often causing tailbacks to get out of and into George Street and Gloucester Green Bus Station. Indeed a week ago it was taking departing coach services from Gloucester Green more than 45 minutes to get as far as New road on their towards the east of the city !!!!!!!

The pictures above show the congestion at 1400hrs on a Wednesday, one can realise how bad this gets in the peak hours.
And, joy of joys, Hythe Bridge Street is due to close for several weeks very shortly.
The phasing of the lights at each end is poor and we could see a total deadlock in the coming weeks!!

You may wonder how this is linked to Frideswide? Well, before, all traffic from Beaumont Street had to go down Hythe Bridge St. Now it can access Park End St. via Worcester St. which is adding significantly to the congestion. This is, of course, not helped by the exit from Worcester Street car park and the fact that phasing of the traffic lights does not allow sufficient time to clear the traffic in Worcester Street.

All in all difficult times added to by the closure of the A420 which adds to traffic on the Botley Road and the city centre.

Of course when its all finished it should be much improved but wow!! talk about "pain for gain" its not helping public transport in Oxford.

As a final comment, it has often been suggested that coaches should not come into Oxford at all but terminate or pass through the Park & Rides. Great, but what about those with heavy baggage. I wonder what a survey taken from passengers using the several city stops say about lugging their bags onto feeder connections to the Park & Ride, the delays and waiting and with respect Thornhill just could not cope with this idea, anymore than other Park & Rides. Equally what about the commuters, I am sure they would be delighted.

Maybe cars should be more restricted coming into the city, especially as we learn that cars are causing pollution and our buses and coaches now have to be Euro 5 or Euro 6 compliant to access the city to minimise even more the pollution problem. The local bus companies are spending a great deal of money on new vehicles to met the city's restrictions.


Steven Knight Media - SKM Handbooks have recently published a number of new or updated books which are a valuable asset to those interested in Stagecoach fleet, vehicles and history. The covers of the latest books are shown below and link to details of the publications and the SKM website. An important benefit to these books is the regular update of allocations included on the website.



These are really excellent publications and are old fashioned in that they fit in the pocket and are reasonably priced.
Check the link and website above.


Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

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


Next meeting:

19th May – Hong Kong buses - by Simon Ayres

Meeting commences at 19:15. 

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

Meetings are held at:

 The Tree Hotel,

 63 Church Way,

Iffley Village, Oxford OX4 4EY


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

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



When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site 


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


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


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


May I please ask readers to do two things?


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


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


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


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


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

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - May 15th 2015


Observations and pictures

Recent happenings in Scotland by Gordon Scott.

Shots attached taken on an Omnibus Society Scottish Branch tour of Fife covering Stagecoach depots.  

Stagecoach Rennies depot

Trident Alexander 17537 LY02 OAC stripped for parts ex London.

Trident Alexander Enviro 400 19543 SP59 APY in Rennies livery.

Volvo B10M Plaxton Interurban 52355 BHZ 9545 driver trainer ex P255 ASA.

Stagecoach Glenrothes depot.

Volvo B9TL Wright Gemini 16952 MX07 BVC ex First Group.

Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther 54027 SF07 AMV ex Citylink livery now repainted.

And new to Stagecoach Newcastle ex Stagecoach Fife Volvo Olympian 

Alexander RL 16726 N726 LTN now mobile exhibition unit for Edinburgh Zoo. 
Taken in Edinburgh Zoo car park 13/04/15.

Lothian Buses

Edinburgh Zoo overall advert buses.

Lothian Buses had ten buses of this batch when new painted in five Zoo advert on them, they have again won the contract for ten buses two of each to be painted in this advert again.

Volvo B9 Wright Gemini's on route 26 which serves Edinburgh Zoo.

302 SN09CTO Zoo advert Glide to the Antarctic.

304 SN09CTV Zoo advert Hop to the Amazon.

305 SN09CTX Zoo advert Trek to China.

307 SN07 CTZ Cha Cha to Chile Zoo livery taken at Clerwood, Edinburgh.

309 SN09 CUC Swing into Africa livery taken at Edinburgh Zoo.

Lothian's last two Zoo branded Buses are in service now ten buses 301 to 310 

21/4/15 - Alexander Dennis factory this morning at Falkirk.

Managed to catch a shot of this Volvo B5TL Enviro 400 MMC for Stagecoach, I was told on flicker it is 13043 HY14BUS for Dundee. Note extra length.

Shots attached taken last Friday a dual door Volvo B5LH Enviro MMC still to be painted out on a test run.

A dual door Volvo B5LH Enviro MMC still to be painted out on a test run, almost certainly for London.

Gordon writes further (17/4/15) "When I was driving through on the M8 one of the Stagecoach, Glasgow Van Hool Gold sleeper coaches was on the 900 Glasgow to Edinburgh service."

Gavin Francis sent many pictures as usual:

Metroline TEH915 on route 139 with a wrap for London Hybrid buses seen on may 1st by Gavin Francis.

MARCHANTS Neoplan BIG2704 at Stokenchurch on April 19th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva LT345 on route 137 with wrap for Magnum on May 1st by Gavin Francis .

A new London tour operator, City Tour London Y149NLK on April 17th by Gavin Francis.

David Beynon writes "I have attached some recent pictures for your perusal, The Streetdeck demonstrator and the Princess Irizar were taken in Southampton on Monday 20/04 and the others at Oxford Station while on rail replacement work later the same day."

Wright Streetdeck Demonstrator with Bluestar Southampton on April 20th by David Benyon.

incess YR13 POF working shuttles for Anthem of the Seas cruise ship at Southampton on April 20th by David Benyon.
Anthem of the Seas

Various vehicles on Rail Replacement service at Oxford Station on April 20th by David Benyon.

and TGM

Trevor Wilson writes "Following on re the lots of E400 for Arriva North West, I found this very good right up on dartslf forum - 

About three pages long, with photos, and gives more detail and info.  Whilst the article relates to the E400s for route 10B from Green Lane garage, it also mentions the others for St Helens and Bootle depots and at the very end mentions the E400s supplied last year.""

I see there is interest and comment on nearly new VDL SB200 Wrightbus Pulsars from Arriva North West being cascaded to Arriva the Shires.

Apologies in advance if the info I provide below is already known to you.

I also follow a Merseyside based forum from which the following is available:
Arriva North West 2014-2015 orders - -

"The first wave of investment will see 62 ADL Enviro400s go into service across the north west. Each will be fitted to Arriva’s standard spec with e-Leather seating, CCTV and free Wi-Fi. They are intended to reinforce capacity on key city routes, whilst also freeing up the one and two year old single deckers for refurbishment and redeployment elsewhere in its Midlands, south east and north east operations."

"62 Alexander Dennis Enviro400s (Euro V variant)
4584-4594 for Green Lane depot (route 10B) (11)
4595-4620 for St Helens depot (routes 10/10A) (26)
4621-4636 for Bootle depot (routes 52/52A) (16)
4637-4645 for Chester depot (route 10 - Sapphire) (9)"

And then another 47 x E400 later this year
4646-4680 for Green Lane depot (routes 12/13 and 15) (35)
4681-4692 for Speke depot (route 75) (12)

Arriva North West is receiving a large number of new double deckers to reduce over crowding on certain route corridors - route 10 is Liverpool City Centre to St Helens and route 52 is Liverpool City Centre to Netherton.  Chester route 10 is Chester to Connahs Quay and Holywell.

So there are 52 nearly new VDL SB200 being cascaded to other Arriva areas which has been suggested as being a condition of receipt of the new E400s.

For info other routes recently (last year) in receipt of new double deckers are:
375/385 Southport to Wigan - 9 x E400
12 Rhyl to Llandudno - 20 x E400 Sapphire."

Nigel Peach writes "I was wrong about DAF 4429 (S429 MCC). It is not withdrawn (or if it was, it has been reinstated). It was working route 37 today (13th April).

However, similar bus 3444 (R204 VPU) is withdrawn, and is in the death row at Cressex, next to Volvo 3864 (KE05 FMU), which is looking more and more forlorn. I guess its accident damage is more severe than it looks. 

I'm concerned about Wycombe's batch of Volvo B7RLEs. Of the original seven, 3866 disappeared a few months ago to who knows where, 3864 is withdrawn at Cressex looking forlorn. I noticed on 16th April that 3861/2/3/7 were all on the vehicles off road list, leaving only 3865 still in service. (3865 was the one that disappeared for almost a year a while ago with a structural problem.) Does anyone know what the problem is?!

Arriva 3772 (MK12 MXB) has appeared in Wycombe, one of the batch of 27 VDL SB200 – Wrightbus Pulsar B44F buses from Arriva Merseyside. On 28th April it was on "The Blue One" route to Amersham. Attached picture taken on 29th April."

Luke Braham writes "Wright Pulsar 2s 3109 MX12 KWY and 3110 MX12 KWZ have now had there fleet numbers updated to 3769 and 3770 respectively. Both have made appearances on Sapphire 280 in recent weeks due to delayed services. 

Citaros 3920 BK58 URN and 3921 BK58 URO have been repainted and refurbished into Arriva MAX specification and repainted accordingly, just like sister 3919 BK58 URM. These three all carry route 300 branding. Currently Citaros 3922 BK58 URP and 3923 BK58 URR are away for similar treatment. 

Wright Renowns 3264 V264 HBH and 3265 V265 HBH are now allocated to Aylesbury. Once these leave Aylesbury depot they are to become training buses with other from the batch. 

Dennis Dart 3293 V293 HBH has been repainted white and refurbished with new high backed leather seats and is to be used on the Whipsnade Zoo shuttle with an all over wrap.

Dennis Dart 3484 W484 YGS has been withdrawn. 

Both 3769 and 3770 are supposed to be being used on the 300 while the MAXs refurbishments take place but they have been appearing on the 150, 280 and X60 in recent weeks."

 Picture view.

3225 route 40 in Stokenchurch on 100415 by Gavin Francis.

3296 on the 300 in Wycombe on 20th April by Gavin Francis,

3310 route 32 in Wycombe on April 27th by Gavin Francis.

3587 on the 758 in Bulleid Way on April 16th by Gavin Francis.

Recently arrived 3770 on the 300 in Wycombe on April 27th by Gavin Francis.

Recently arrived 3772 on the 31 in Wycombe on April 30th by Gavin Francis.

Citaro 3920 on route 300 in MAX livery in Wycombe on April 27th by Gavin Francis.

3861 and 3864 at Cressex depot graveyard on April 21st by Malcolm Crowe.

3890 at Cressex depot on April 21st by Malcolm Crowe.

Citaro 3908 on the 300 but with 150 branding leaves Wycombe Bus Station on April 21st by Malcolm Crowe.

4072, seemingly a floating spare, works the 757 out of London on April 26th by Malcolm Crowe.

5439, once on the 280 is now seen on the 320 at Hemel Hempstead by Mark Turner.

320 is upgraded to Sapphire by Adam Green

April 18th sees Arriva launch new buses on the 320.

Nigel Peach writes "On 16th April I noticed that Optare Tempos 801/2 have reverted to their original registrations YJ06FXW and YJ56WUB (previously C1/2WYC). Unusually I saw them and 803 in the Eden Bus Station all within a short period of time. 803 though still bears registration C3WYC. Presumably there are two imminent arrivals which will bear these cherished plates.

This morning (18/4/15) I saw Thames Travel's 551 AJ58 PZS (Alexander Dennis Dart SLF / MCV Evolution), which has been transferred to Carousel and is now in shiny Carousel livery."

551 minus branding and fleet numbers on the 740 on April 20th by Gavin Francis.

Dart 480, having had a partial repaint has lost its fleet names etc. April 20th by Gavin Francis.

I am told that two Wright Streetlites are due in June and will be the first new buses for this operator since Go-Ahead took over.

112, still bearing its original registration, seen in Wycombe on route 36 on April 20th by Gavin Francis.

118, with KIG9118 registration on the 36 on April 20th by Gavin Francis.

119 with MIG 9118 in the bus station on April 30th by Gavin Francis.

Noted on April 21st Thames Travel 552 - OU57FKB has now arrived with Carousel in their livery but so far without branding.


Richard Sharman writes "Recent modernisation of the fleet has seen Newer Mercedes Beaver's enter the  fleet along with two new additions to the coach fleet and an ex-Stagecoach VO that has come from the Norfolk Green unit as a Spare for the ex Dublin ALX400."

Stephen Le Bras writes "Some of the Heathrow Citaro's have been Re-allocated to Bracknell, 64031 is seen de-branded operating the 94 to Camberley.


The five new B37F DF Streetlites have all entered service  at Slough with First Berkshire over the last 2 weeks. They are 47665-669 (SN15ACF/J/O/U/V). The five buses replaced are the red Solos 53052/4-7 which are being decommissioned. As a result, the new buses appear mostly on the 1B, 2 and 60 where their extra size is welcomed.


Some of the old Dennis Darts are also being stood down, with replacements hopefully due later this year. 

 and Crusader Holidays

Luke Braham writes "On the afternoon of 14th April, the two brand new Mercedes Benz Tourismo Ms arrived at Motts Travel in the Crusader Holidays livery. They are registered GB15 CRU and UK15 CRU and have Euro 6 engines."

Pictures by Luke Braham


Working a 737 service Oxford's 42 passes through Wycombe BS on April 30th by Gavin Francis.

SGBC FJ08KMX new to Peter Goodward, Manchester seen at Gloucester Green on the 302 on April 24th by Malcolm Crowe.

Stansted's SH197 shows off its super rear for London Air Ambulance on April 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

Go-Ahead subsidiary Brighton & Hove, which has become the first operator to take delivery of production Streetdeck integral double-deckers from Wrightbus, has now put its initial examples into service.

It has ordered 24 buses, at the 11.5m length, seating 81. Having received the first vehicles last month, it has applied branding and they are now trickling into service.

They carry a special green and blue livery for Coaster service 12 between Brighton and Eastbourne.

The interior specification includes high-backed seats, free Wi-Fi, USB charge points, real-time tracking and next stop announcements.

The Daimler-engined integral buses have the narrow top-deck windows, similar to Wrightbus’ New Routemasters, and an angular look, replacing the former Gemini ‘smiley’ front. As part of their introduction, Brighton & Hove invited entries from the public into a competition to name the Streetdecks on the route after local people.

As mentioned in the Editorial Oxford is expecting delivery of 11 of this type but shorter in length.

On April 15th Airline coach 7 worked the 737.

On April 21st Park & Ride 302 was seen working an X13 service to the JR.

352 works on 3 road in Speedwell St on April 24th by Malcolm Crowe.

Citaro 827 works a 4B in Speedwell St on April 24th by Malcolm Crowe.
Interesting that the green livery from its Park & Ride days still show in the wheel arches!!

Citaro 842 works a 4B in Speedwell St on April 24th by Malcolm Crowe.

97 seen at Marble Arch on April 9th by Gavin Francis, note the additional branding on the front.

Citaro 843 on a 4B working in New Rd on April 23rd by Gavin Francis.
As at 14th May 844 and 845 were now in the new livery!

1583 at the train station


Luke Braham writes "Redline’s ex-COMS 90 was used on a school service last week. No picture though as I saw it out the window at my Sixth Form." 


Much coverage has been given to the orders for the group this year and we now await details of what new buses Oxford may expect?

Meanwhile life goes on much as usual. The E300s are looking very tidy but may not have much longer with Oxford as they may not be compliant with the emission regulations now in force.

Oxford helps Yorkshire

On loan to Stagecoach Yorkshire

Scania/Enviro 400 15438 

It has emerged that both Stagecoach West and Stagecoach Oxfordshire have sent different vehicles to Stagecoach Yorkshire, for Supertram replacement work, from those that were expected. Stagecoach West has sent Trident 2/Enviro 400 19128 (not 19129) and Stagecoach Oxfordshire has sent Scania/Enviro 400 15438 (not 15435). 

Oxfordshire Reserve Fleet Dart SLF 33651 is reported to have moved from Banbury to Oxford.

15439 on the X30 in New Rd on April 23rd taken by Gavin Francis.

Witney's 15610 on an S2 working departs of the wrong stand due to congestion.
Seen at Gloucester Green on April 24th by Malcolm Crowe.

The SW1 is no more, having been withdrawn from May 19th. An interesting experiment but poor loadings sealed its fate.

15966, on last day of the SW1, climbs up the cutting towards Stokenchurch taken by Richard Sharman.


Still working out of Bedford, 53618 is seen on an X5 working (with an incorrect destination display - it should read Buckingham for Cambridge!)
leaves Gloucester Green on April 16th taken by Gavin Francis.


West's 15976 on the 66 leaves  Oxford's Gloucester Green on April 16th by Gavin Francis.

Gavin Francis caught up with two of the Skyliner coaches being used by a Band company. He was fortunate enough to get some shots of the interior looking very different to the days when it served the route between Oxford and London!

50120 at Beaconsfield services on May 19th by Gavin Francis.

50104 with interior shots.
These may be the two coaches mentioned some years ago as having been converted in Poland?

More recent pictures of the current fleet.

50279 YJ14LFR in London on April 9th by Gavin Francis.

50266 on Speedwell St heads for London on April 24th by Malcolm Crowe.

On a misty morning at Caversfield, 50268 waits to work the 0720 S5 Express to Oxford - taken by Malcolm Crowe on April 24th. 

The five ex Oxford tube Astromegas, lately on the X25 in Scotland, which have moved to Cwmbran are in service and the first one to appear in full Megabus livery is 50224, caught by Gavin Francis on the May 11th in Victoria. It was thought that 50223 had already been repainted as well but this is not the case, this coach having been seen only last Sunday!!(17th May)

It is understood that the cherished registrations are to be returned to Scotland in due course!

Since the appearance of Belgian registered Astromegas on Christmas reliefs no more have been noted in Victoria. 

Note that two buses have been moved to Carousel, see above.

862 is still on loan, looking rather shabby.


This company has used various buses on the 797 service since inception, probably due to their repainting three Citaros.

This Citaro also appeared at Brooklands on May 19th - picture by Malcolm Crowe on May 15th.

Gavin Francis took some pictures recently on one of his regular London visits.

Solo 412 on the 615 route on May 22nd by Gavin Francis.

Solo SR WS 53 also on the 615 route on May 22nd by Gavin Francis.

Trident TA273 on the 614 route on May 22nd by Gavin Francis.

Vale Transport

One of a variety of Vale buses which work the 48 from Stokenchurch to Great Missenden on Sundays.
This Solo was one of buses once with Anglianbus!



Leading European passenger transport group Arriva today publishes a review of its performance in the 12 months to 31 December 2014 and an update on its prospects for the future.

·         Another year of strong growth across the UK and mainland Europe reflecting recent acquisitions and contract wins

·         Actively embracing the digital world for our customers

·         Continued focus on improving the customer experience and quality of services provided

·         Ambitious environmental targets with an ongoing emphasis to reduce fuel consumption and emissions

·         Opportunities to expand further within the UK bus and rail market

David Martin, chief executive of Arriva said: “We have continued to invest all of our operating cash flow in growing our business over the past 12 months. That positive strategy is reflected in our continued strong revenue and EBITDA growth.

“Our success in the UK and across mainland Europe perfectly positions us to take advantage of transport markets as they advance and liberalise.

“That pace of change is increasing and we are determined to embrace pending EU legislation, including the progress of the fourth railway package, which has the potential to help us deliver further long-term growth and passenger benefits.

“In the UK our bus investment programme is delivering a greener fleet, and includes the introduction of 230 new hybrid buses alongside a growing fleet of electric and gas buses.

“While in UK rail, this summer we will submit an innovative, compelling bid for the Northern rail franchise – drawing upon our experience gained from operating train services for customers across Europe.

“We have seen significant growth across mainland Europe through a variety of contract wins – helping to strengthen our position in both the bus and rail markets – especially in the Northern and Eastern European territories.

“Innovating for our customers is also a significant, ongoing focus. We were pleased with the Department for Transport’s decision to allow CrossCountry to permanently retail our industry-leading advance purchase ticketing solution, while across the whole of Europe our approach to smart ticketing and smartphone technology is making our services more appealing and accessible.”

Customer service and operational performance

·         Continued outstanding levels of customer satisfaction across Europe

·         The autumn 2014 National Rail Passenger Survey showed Grand Central is the UK’s highest-rated long distance train operator with 94% of passengers satisfied.

·         Chiltern Railways was named the UK’s highest rated DfT franchised operator with an overall satisfaction score of 91%.

·         The latest customer satisfaction survey in Denmark showed our rail services achieved a rating of 7.8 out of 10.

·         In the Netherlands customers rated both our bus and rail services at 7.5 out of 10.

Growth and investment in operations

·         Arriva UK Bus announced an investment programme worth in excess of £45million to facilitate a major upgrade of its fleet including the roll-out of more than 230 new carbon efficient vehicles – bringing the total investment in the UK fleet to over £500million since 2008.

o    Electric buses now operating in the Netherlands and the UK

o    Gas buses in operation across six territories including Italy, Denmark, the UK and the Czech Republic

·         Grand Central had its application for an extended 10-year contract agreed by the Office of Rail Regulation. This will enable significant investment in rolling stock and passenger facilities at stations.

·         Mainland European contract wins include:

o    A dual £1.1billion contract in the East and West Brabant region of the Netherlands

o    An £8.4million contract as people mobility partner for the 2015 Expo Milano

o    A five-year contract to operate bus services in Serbia and a further 10-year bus contract in Slovenia.

o    Continued operational progress in Central and Eastern Europe following the 2013 acquisition of Veolia Transport Central Europe. Further growth is expected in 2015

o    Latest eight year contract in Budapest, operated on behalf of the Budapest Transport Authority, began on 1 May 2015

Innovation and technology

·         Department for Transport approved CrossCountry to retail Advance Purchase tickets on the day of travel on a permanent basis.

o    150,000 journeys have been made with CrossCountry using the tickets, helping passengers to secure the best possible prices up to 10 minutes before departure

·         Arriva’s fully integrated mobile app covering its UK Bus operations reached over 500,000 downloads. The app will see new functionality during 2015.

·         Arriva will be part of a London-style smart ticketing initiative which will be launched across England’s largest cities in 2015. The initiative sees all major bus operators involved and represents a multi-million pound investment.

·         Arriva London will operate Transport for London’s first fully electric bus route from September - marking the first order of electric vehicles to be solely funded by a London operator.

·         Arriva Denmark winning the rights to operate the world’s first electric city car sharing scheme, working closely with international partners for the launch in autumn this year. The scheme will be closely integrated with the public transport network.

·         In Italy, our SADEM bus operation is part of a newly-introduced contactless smartcard and real-time information scheme which is benefiting customers in and around Turin.


·         The latest Deutsche Bahn Employee Survey saw Arriva increase levels of employee satisfaction – up from 3.6 in 2012 to 3.7 in 2014. 88% of employees understand their role in delivering excellent customer service, with 67% being proud to work for Arriva.

·         The launch of Arriva’s DRIVE initiative – a leadership programme for senior managers which is equipping our leaders for the future. The programme runs in partnership with a variety of respected business schools and links closely with development programmes within Deutsche Bahn.

New Park & Ride to relieve congestion around the JR Hospital

A NEW park-and-ride site for hospital staff could be created to cut congestion at the John Radcliffe site in Oxford, according to the man in charge of the county’s transport.

In March, health watchdog Patient Voice warned some patients were missing appointments because they could not get a parking space and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted parking difficulties were contributing to the problem.

Now Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith has said highways officers would talk to trust managers about the possibility of a new park-and-ride being created to relieve pressure on hospital parking.

Mr. Nimmo Smith said a possible location for the new car park would be on land near the Marston exit of the Northern Bypass.

He added: “This is just an idea at the moment and council officers will discuss it with the trust over the next few months.

“Clearly, for patients and visitors, there are not enough spaces and some patients have missed their appointments. The site could be used by hospital staff and visitors, and you could then reduce the number of staff spaces at the JR, to create more spaces for visitors.”


Geoff Cunliffe writes "The ten new Blackpool Transport Citaro Euro VI buses have arrived and two are fully branded."

They can be seen on -

Geoff further advises that many of the heritage trams are now out at weekends and are providing a chance of nostalgia! They are even working through to Fleetwood.

However the weather has not been so good.

Trips & Running Days

A trip to Glasgow by Gary Seamarks

Glasgow/Kilmarnock photos are below.

All pictures taken by Gary on April 21st.

First 33903 on the 747 to Glasgow Airport with specific livery.

First 37167 on the X1 leaving the bus station in Glasgow.

First 38209 on the 75 in GLASGOW centre. I didn't know these tri-axles were still in service Ed.

First in trouble at Glasgow bus station.

Parks LSK507 leaves GLASGOW for Strathallen.

15623 on route 11 to "Killy".

15816 on route X36.

15947 on route X44 to Irvine.

18002 on route r X78 to "Killy"

Astromega 50208 on the X76 to "Killy".

54044 on route X76 to "Killy"

West Scotland at Kilmarnock - 50206-16852-16854 & 47718.

SN59AWX G8960 of McGills on the 901 in Glasgow.

BU64MWP G3322 of McGills on the 901 in Glasgow.

The McGill's E400 was the one on loan at SC Oxford a few years back, one of two I think. All others have registration in subject Box. 

For Info the trains we used to Glasgow were 06.23 MK- arr 10.40, return 18.40 arr MK 22.40, fare was £25 up and £18 back booked about 4 weeks in advance via Virgin Trains and included reserved seats. 

London Bus Museum Brooklands 2015

Frazer Peddle sent pictures:


Oxford's 22 parked up

SNB 543 national

LT60 new London Bus from London General.

Optare Excel Safeguard of Guildford

Optare Solo SR Epsom buses.

MD60 Scania MCW it was a very bouncy ride indeed.

Spring Gathering at Brooklands on Sunday 19th April 2015 by Adam Green 

UNO 315-BF59NHX In Greenline 797 Livery

Ex Arriva the Shires 2132-N912ETM

Pictures from Gavin Francis for Brooklands

JT8077 -1937 Bedford WTB with Duple coachwork with John Woodhams Vintage Tours - Ryde - IOW.

BEA half decks MLL740 and MLL738. (I do remember travelling on one of these from West London to Heathrow in the early '60s. Ed)

Classics - RT1 and RM1 side by side.

Experimental forerunner of the RF - UMP227.

Old Oxford bus body, probably dating from 1920's.

Leyland Titan prototype OHV747Y.

LT with Concord.

General view.

2nd Watford Bus Rally on Sunday 26th April 15 by Mark Turner

Watford Rally RMA58 - RML 2340 - RML 2323

Watford Rally at The Junction.


 Penzance running day - April 19th by Tim Hall.

A few pictures from the superb running day here on April 19th (more like June !!)

I went on the leaf green Bristol VR ex Western National 1075 to Lands End and back via Sennen Cove. Later I visited Mousehole on Bristol LHS 1560, also ex Reading Buses 1011 now with First seen in Truro the next day.


Buses in the Landscape

Two former Skyliner Oxford Tubes climb towards Stokenchurch on April by Richard Sharman.

WMPTE comes to Stokenchurch on April 19th by Richard Sharman.


Cheyney N819NHS at Caversfield on 24th May by Malcolm Crowe. 


Reviews of new books

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

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

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

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

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

Please quote the OCBP when ordering. 

Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures

You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website -

One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.

The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.

Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.

Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.

Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

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

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

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


Thames Valley - final part available




ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p

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

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

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

order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close

Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT

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


Newbury & District History available

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

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

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

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.