Spottings & Jottings nr.  92 - 9th February 2016

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

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A number of issues have taken place or are imminent in matters affecting our area of interest.

The first is that Oxfordshire County Council will, on February 16th, vote on continuing support for tendered services within the county. It is widely speculated that they will cease all support, leaving many people without any bus services. Country, evening and Sunday services are variously threatened and the outcome is awaited with apprehension by operators and travellers alike. Some of the tendered services can be found at the link below.

One of the services under threat is the 18, with Solo SR 47831 operating same on 4th February seen by Gavin Francis. 

Secondly, roadworks continue in Oxford and the rebuilding of the Westgate continues to affect bus services in the city centre. We are led to believe that Thames Street passing Oxpens is to be remodelled when these aforementioned works are complete with calming measures for through traffic, seemingly not unlike Cowley Road. Also I have read that Queen Street is to close in connection with the rebuilding which will doubtless add much traffic to otherwise heavily used routes in the city. The Westgate works saw a new road opened for buses and other traffic moving through from Speedwell Street to Castle Street. This road actually collapsed shortly after opening causing serious traffic delays in the city centre. As the pictures below show, taken by Gavin Francis, the road reopened and is now in regular use.

The original road with major works on the right of the picture, showing Oxford's 823 on the 4C route, the date 18th January.

The new route with a footbridge showing an number of local buses negotiating this route on 4th February 2016.

Given coverage further down this issue is a report on the opening of the Wycombe Coachway, now in full operation.

Travelstar of Walsall BF63ZSR on the 210 at Wycombe Coachway on the first day of operation, 18th January by Paul Goodwin.

Finally a trip to return a Megabus Gold Sleeper to West Ham gave the opportunity to see several brand new Hybrids at that depot awaiting entry into service.

Megabus Gold 50304 at West Ham with your windswept Editor on 27th January, taken by Mark Atkinson.

Stagecoach London's 13098 and 13102 being prepared for service at West Ham on 27th January by Malcolm Crowe. 

Changes to DDA requirements affect single decks from January 1st. mean that a number of operators still using non-certificated buses with an MGW of below 7,500kg on local service work. The DVSA says the agency is “at the early stages” of three investigations into non-compliance with PSVAR. All single-deck buses used on stage carriage service must comply with PSVAR from 1 January 2016, and all double-deckers by 1 January 2017. Coaches on scheduled routes must be compliant by 1 January 2020. In all categories, vehicles used on ‘closed door’ contracts are not subject to PSVAR.

Running Days

Icebreaker Running day


The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society ran their first Icebreaker running day on January 1st 2016.


A selection of preserved buses operated on free services from Newbury Bus Station into West Berkshire plus a display of collectors trade stands was available at Newbury Methodist church hall.


Services ran to Thatcham in the west, Hungerford in the east and a loop northwards to Chiveley via Hermitage. The event was well attended and photographs by Frazer Peddle of attending vehicles is shown below.

Thames valley Bristol GFM 882, a bus new to Crosville in North Wales.

 Oxford Bristol VR NUD105L and T311SMV

RM 2208 "Rocky the Routemaster"

Reading bus 809 claret spritzer at Thatcham market place

New to China Light and Power as FC7535, imported by Kinch of Minety and became J34KHT and then sold onto Pulham's as their PUI9430.

Ex London OJD54R

Two more local buses, New as an Optare Demonstrator is this Optare Vecta bodied MAN M957VWY. It ran as Reading Buses 814 between 1995 and 2003, before passing to Islwyn
and KPA369P, an Alder Valley National braded for Kennet Bus.

Ex Oxford 513 on New Year's Day.

Icebreaker 2016 HEK962, an AEC Reliance 2MU3RA which was new to Smiths of Wigan in 1961 when it had a 41 seat Plaxton body, later rebodied in 1974, on service to Hungerford.

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:

February 17th starting at 19:15

Guest speaker is Richard Morgan with
"More than 50 years of bus photography"

the location of the meeting

The Tree Hotel

63 Church Way




 The Tree Hotel is about 5 minutes walk from bus stops on Iffley Road served by frequent bus service number 3 (jointly operated by Oxford Bus/Stagecoach).

 For the walking route from the nearest bus stop, here is a MAP 

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 - February 9th 2016



Observations and pictures

Gordon Scott has been busy with his camera and has sent several interesting pictures.

"Three shots attached taken last week of New Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC's for Stagecoach in Plymouth one in standard livery and the other in Park & Ride livery seen on test runs taken at Falkirk,
SN65 NZU,NZT and SN65ZHH."

The pictures show 10461, 10460 and 10493 all taken at ADL Falkirk on 21st January by Gordon Scott.

"Shot attached taken at Alexander's of new Enviro 400MMC 10470 - SN65 OBC for Manchester one of three seen today on a test run before delivery taken at Falkirk factory."

10470 ready for delivery to Manchester on 29th January by Gordon Scott.

"On a trip to Glasgow on 29th January, raining for a change, I caught up with one of five Stagecoach West Scotland New Volvo B11R Plaxton Elite i's for Dumfries depot for X74 Dumfries to Glasgow route. Three shots attached taken at Buchanan Bus Station Glasgow seen arriving and leaving today 54261 - YY65 SXZ."

Very impressive branding shows 54261 looking glistening in the rain - Gordon Scott.

"Stagecoach Midland Megabus Rugby depot 53638 & 9 KX61GDY & GDZ at Glasgow on 050216 having arrived at local truck and bus paint contractor, Kings of Grangemouth just of the M9 near Falkirk, to be repainted for further use. Another six arrived this afternoon (5th February)  and a total of ten are to be used by local Stagecoach operators in current livery. They are Volvo B9R Plaxton Panther's and were used on the Megabus European routes from new when these European routes first started." (note – the legal owner on 53639 is shown as SC South Wales, Cwmbran! Ed.)

53638 and 53639 on 5th February taken by Gordon Scott.

8th February I caught up with Stagecoach West Scotland Glasgow 54128 YX63 NFT, a Volvo B13R Plaxton Panther in Young Scot Awards livery taken on 900 Edinburgh to Glasgow route, taken at Drum Brae Edinburgh about 5 minutes from my home.


Photos from P Hawkins

Optare Solo SR for the Wee G Services G1 and G2 on 23rd January by P Hawkins

54260 on the X74 to Dumfries on 23rd January by P Hawkins

and TGM

Pete Cabin writes "just to confirm that 3837 3838 3839KE53NEU.NFC.NFA. are all at Luton now."

On 25thy January 2525 LK15FFS was working blue route 32 and was on its way to Booker when I saw it just after 12.00.

Tony Bungay writes "On a different matter, having seen mention of former Aylesbury Sapphires reappearing in the town on the 500, there are another two that also appear on the route in a scheme that looks to my mind to be a combination of “Sapphire and Max liveries”

Photos are taken in Aylesbury and Hemel Bus Station

Luke Braham writes "Optare Versa 2965 YJ60 LUB left Aylesbury a week after it arrived for repaint. Sister 2966 YJ60 LUD took 2965’s place at Aylesbury. By the 12th January, 2965 was back in service after repaint but at Hemel Hempstead depot. 2966 is seen operating route 300 in Aylesbury having arrived from High Wycombe."


An second East Lancs Lowlander to arrive with The Shires from the Midlands is 6062 FD02 UKE which is also allocated to Aylesbury depot. This has come from the Midlands where it operated in the Wigston and Market Harboro' areas with fleet number 4719.


Other Darts to arrive at Aylesbury from the Midlands are 3280 Y262 YBC, 3288 Y383 HKE and 3284 Y384 HKE. Darts 3296 X296 MBH, 3297 X297 MBH, 3485 W485 YGS, 3486 W486 YGS, 3487 W487 YGS and 3497 W497 YGS have all been withdrawn. 3485 and 3497 have been noted at Arriva Midlands’ Wednesfield depot with Renown's 3261 and 3262.  Y383HKE and others operated for Arriva North Midlands in the black country area. Prior to that they appear to have been with Metrobus in the Croydon area!! Y3873HKE was new to Metrobus in August 2001 along with others in that registration batch.

Some rather elderly Darts that have appeared in Aylesbury. - 15 years young !!

"Wright Renown 3266 V266 HBH has returned from DDA conversion at Arriva Midlands. It is believe this was carried out at the Derby depot. Sister 3267 V267 HBH is still away."


Four of the new StreetLites showing off their livery and names. Gavin Francis.

2964 on P&R duties on 12th January by Gavin Francis.

3921 on 300 duties on 12th January by Gavin Francis

6242 lays over at Wycombe Wanderers ground on 5th February by Gavin Francis

6286 on a 74 working on 12th January by Gavin Francis. It is not usual to find a decker on the 74.

Green Line 4102 is recovered by Lantern on Buckingham Palace Road on 4th January seen by Gavin Francis.

Gavin Francis writes "Did you know the 40 goes to every 30mins between Wycombe and Stokenchurch from 1st February?"

On the new Stokenchurch terminator on 9th February, P&R branded 403 is seen arriving and departing the village.
Caught in the lens of Gavin Francis.

I am sure local people will be pleased to see this improvement.

ex Thames Travel 553 is now a regular bus on the 40, seen at Stokenchurch on 12th January by Gavin Francis.

Unusually Solo 710, also ex Thames Travel ex Wilts and Dorset and new to Britannia Parking, Bournemouth is seen waiting to pull out of New Road, Stokenchurch
on its way to Thame on route 40, seen by Gavin Francis on 21st January.

Various other members of the Carousel fleet seen in Wycombe on 12th January by Gavin Francis.

Another ex Thames Travel bus, 911, is seen here, working the 36 but with a failed destination screen and arriving at Wycombe Bus Stn on 12th January by Gavin Francis. 

Luke Braham  writes "While on my way home from Sixth Form this afternoon, I stumbled across Wright Crusader P235 APP parked up in the local Tesco car park in a livery for ‘Youth Space’(a local youth centre organisation). Upon research of the vehicle, I have found out that it was part of the Carousel Buses fleet and was one of a pair that entered the fleet in around January 2009 from National Express."

Youth Space P235AAP on 1st February by Luke Braham. 

Nigel Peach writes "Carousel took over the Wycombe Park and Ride service on Monday 1st. Attached is a picture of 403 adorned with the appropriate logos. This and 404/5 will be running the service until new StreetLites are delivered in the Spring in a special dark blue livery."

5th February by Nigel Peach, 403 is seen on the revised P&R1 - hxh.

Stephen Le Bras writes "I have caught up with your latest news report 91 and I can add that 4 Enviro 200s (44530-33) from the Solent area have replaced 44502-5 at Slough which have returned to Wales. All the old Darts have been withdrawn by the December 31st deadline for pre 2000 year saloons. Two or three Tridents remain at Slough for rail replacement on the GWR line."

First 33179 on the 702 in Victoria on 14th January by Gavin Francis.


First 63314 on the X74 in Wycombe on 12th January by Gavin Francis.


First VSH69934 unusually on the X74  in Wycombe on 12th January by Gavin Francis. 


Having run an all company owned A6 service since 2007, except for times of emergency, it is now a case of variety of coaches and operators. Prices as low as £5 single are offered as the route sees significant competition.

This coach is now owned by London United, as their SL2, when it was seen by Gavin Francis it was laying over between trips on 26th January.

CHALFONT's WA61AKU also on an A6 working heads round to departures on 3rd February as seen by Gavin Francis.
This coach was more often seen on midlands and welsh destination services.

National Express variety

Edwards FJ60HXX in VCS on the 507 on 31st January by Gavin Francis.
The branding is of interest and it is a coach not often seen away from its intended route.

EYMS 79 YY63OEK with new super rear in VCS on 26th January by Gavin Francis.

Another variety of branding on Luckett's of Fareham's x4812 FN62CFG with colour advert in VCS on 26th January by Gavin Francis.

New coaches for NEx in the midlands
92 (NX65 WAA) Volvo B8R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)
93 (NX65 WAE) Volvo B8R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)
94 (NX65 WAJ) Volvo B8R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)
95 (NX65 WBD) Volvo B8R / Caetano Levante C48FLT)

We now await the first Levantes with 16 plate registrations which may take the road from March 1st. 

Oxford continues about its business and we have a few nice pictures of day to day life for this company.

Coach 82 has acquired an advert for the Oxford Playhouse, seen in GG on 17th January by Gavin Francis.

Once intended for Southern Vectis, E400 254 is now part of the Oxford Bus fleet and seen here on its regular route, the 500 on 18th January by Gavin Francis.

Seen on 4th January, 314 not equipped with additional luggage space, is seen on a 500 working in the city centre by Gavin Francis.

E400MMC 604 is seen on a U1 working at Frideswide Square on 18th January by Gavin Francis.

660 waits to enter the road works in Castle Street on 18th January by Gavin Francis.

Finally we see 822 on a 400 P&R working, again on 18th January by Gavin Francis.

An ex Oxford Paladin now with a promotional owner seen in Aylesbury on 12th January by Ralph Adams.
The bus is registered K118BUD and was from 2000, nr 644 in the COMS fleet having previously worked for London General (Clapham Omnibus) on the 88. 


A new arrival with the company is this Jonckheere, BT65JHH, caught in the lens of Gavin Francis, as it waited at St Giles to turn into Beaumont Street on February 2nd.


Apart from the move of three Solo SRs to Witney from Banbury, one has moved to Oxford for use on the routes requiring a Solo. This is 47834 which sometimes appears on staff bus duties. However a surprise addition to the Solo fleet at Oxford is a loan buis from Optare, this being YJ61JHV, seemingly the last built before production switched to the SR model.

Allocation changes
47452 Witney to Banbury
47453 Witney to Banbury
47454 Oxford to Banbury
47455 Oxford to Banbury
47658 Witney to Banbury
47831 Banbury to Witney
47832 Banbury to Witney
47833 Banbury to Witney
47834 Banbury to Oxford

SCO YJ61JHV working a staff shuttle on 13th January taken by Gavin Francis.

Ralph Adams writes "Seen recently working as a staff bus for Stagecoach, is YJ61 JHV, an Optare Solo M780 licensed 12/2011 to Connect, Jarrow.

It is painted red roof and grey below, not in my opinion very smart with just Stagecoach on the front. It has illuminated destination blind with Not in Service displayed. I do not know if it is taxed as a bus.

It was the last M780 Solo to be built before the start of the SR range - there were other Solos built but of different sizes."

MMC 10439 on a route 9 in Castle Street on 4th January by Gavin Francis.

Scania E400 15995 pauses in the remodelled Frideswide Square on an X30 bound for Wantage. 4th January by Gavin Francis.
The area provided for buses to board is very limited and delays to other traffic caused on many occasions.

Ex Oxford with South East 22945 Eastbourne to reserve. The M A N 18-220 s are fast disappearing now.

Scania 15762 loads in the city for an S5 service to Bicester.


The new depot in Swindon is due to open officially on February 28th.

Carl Berry writes re the bus station ".....things have changed there in recent months. The temporary entrance arrangement from last autumn has now finished and things have reverted to the previous arrangement. There is, however, a slight change as the car park that previously dominated the scene has now vanished (in fact it's now difficult to see any evidence it was ever there!). 

Here is Stagecoach's 18450 (VU06KFO) in the much brighter bus station on 29th December 2015. The Dart is parked in the are that used to be under the car park and the pile of rubble is where Swindon Corporation bus garage used to be.

18450 on the 7 in Swindon during January 2016 by Carl Berry

Marcus Lapthorn writes to note "An interesting piece about route 66 in 1974 would probably be of interest to your readers."

South West - Plymouth

54319 YY65VXU crew training in Bristol on the new Falcon service to Plymouth on 15th January for Carl Berry.

The South West Falcon is a brand new coach service connecting Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Bristol Airport and Bristol City Centre. Starting on 14 February, the Falcon will fly up the A38 and M5 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There will be a range of tickets including singles returns and weekly passes. Return tickets are valid for up to 28 days and all tickets can be bought direct from the driver.


To celebrate the launch of Falcon any journey will cost just £1 between 14 and 27 February*

Follow the link to the website for more information

or download the timetable here


23rd March 1999 was a red letter day in the history of the Oxford Tube, marking the launch of a fleet of custom built double deck coaches for the prime Oxford-London service.

 The launch took place in Gloucester Green market area and a marquee was provided and the first coach unveiled from a haze of mist as seen in my pictures below, taken on the day,

The girls were an added bonus for those attending !!

It was with pleasure that I received pictures taken by Gavin Francis when 36 visited Oxford recently in a most well cared for condition, which is a credit to its present owner. Its owner tells me that an interior trim is planned as after 17 years it does look a little careworn.

YMS Travel is based in Canterbury and this pictures shows the old and the new.

Looking as good as new, 36 poses for the camera in St Aldates on 17th January taken by Gavin Francis.

Ralph Adams writes as follows:

South West 

"The new Megabus fleet due to operate out of Plymouth has also started to arrive with 54264- 69 YY65VXF/G/H/J/K/L Volvo B11RT Plaxton Elite Interdeck coaches already noted. Some of these may still be operating out of Rugby at the moment but carry SC Devon legal lettering so will join the local fleet.

We have some pictures from contributors which show the new coaches in service.

Megabus 54264 en route to Manchester runs around to departures at VCS on 18th January as seen by Gavin Francis.

54265, the bus named after Archie, waits time of Elizabeth Bridge before setting off for its new home depot of Plymouth on 2nd February by Gavin Francis.

Megabus 54273 in Bulleid Way and not one destined to serve out of Plymouth waits its next duty on 25th January by Gavin Francis.

Once a stalwart member of the Oxford tube fleet, 50221 is seen running round to departures near VCS on 18th January by Gavin Francis.

Van Hool Interdeck 55001 is seen going to load for Amsterdam on 18th January by Gavin Francis.

Plaxton Interdeck 55028 parked up in Bulleid Way on 26th January taken by Gavin Francis.

Hamilton-Gray have now been displaced on various services to South West England but still fill in as required.
HIG5727 on a Megabus working at Victoria on January 17th by Gavin Francis.

Watts Coaches from South Wales use YN12CZK on a Megabus working in VCS on 26th January by Gavin Francis.

Sadly all is always going to plan. Seen on the 4th January by Gavin Francis.

Six more Scania Touring coaches have been added to the French Megabus fleet at Lyon, as additional services were being added to the network from 3rd February: Paris to Dijon and Paris to Rouen and Le Havre

West Ham is the London servicing point for the south and northbound sleeper services and when we took back 50304 on 27th January, see above, quite a sight greeted us on arrival at the depot. Three other Sleepers being serviced.

Quite a lot of fleet movements have taken place recently with three Citaros moving from Carousel to TT. They are normally used on the X2 service. I am told that this is only temporary to meet emission requirements in Oxford city.

Thames Travel 874 at Didcot on the X2 on 16th January by Tim Hall.

When 874 was seen in Oxford it was on the X39 ahead of 864 on the X32 in St Aldates on 16th January by Gavin Francis.

863 waits to enter the Westgate area inbound on an X32 working on 18th January seen by Gavin Francis. 

Pete Cabin writes "Vale Travel have used several different Darts on their route 27 to Lance Way & Cotswold Way for the last few days. Y803TGH Y892TGH Y803TGH Y844TGH have been used as the regular bus, an E200 DK57OPY, is off the road with gear box problems"

A fleet update reveals the following:

N     YX65 RWV Alexander Dennis E20D / Enviro 200 B39F
N     YX65 RWW Alexander Dennis E20D / Enviro 200 B39F
Both at the South Midland operation
N                 YX65 ZJK Volvo B8R / Plaxton Leopard C70F
N                 YX65 ZJN Volvo B8R / Plaxton Leopard C70F
N                 YX65 ZJO Volvo B8R / Plaxton Leopard C70F
With the Tappins operation
D                 YX62 EDO Alexander Dennis E20D / Enviro 200
D                 YX65 EDP Alexander Dennis E20D / Enviro 200
Returned off lease


ADL development as a single-door Enviro E400 City debut's for Blackpool 

Council-owned Blackpool Transport has become the first operator to buy the single-door version of ADL’s 10.5m Enviro400 City, launched at Coach & Bus Live in October 2015.

Described by ADL as a “breakthrough” order, the 72-seaters follow the delivery of 19 two-door hybrid versions to Arriva London.

Blackpool has chosen the bus, with its striking ‘London look’ styling – including a glazed staircase – to launch a high quality town route.

Its £2m investment in 10 Euro 6 Enviro400 City ‘deckers will see the them ‘fully loaded’ with E-leather seats, wood-effect floors, Wi-Fi and USB charging points, ‘next stop’ visual and audio announcements.

Mechanically, they come complete with fuel saving ‘smart accessories’ and stop-start capability.

To be delivered in the summer, they will have 27 seats downstairs, and 45 upstairs.

They will operate on the high profile Palladium service (route 9), between Blackpool town centre and Cleveleys, replacing five Volvo Olympian double decks and five Optare Solo midi buses.

Blackpool Transport MD Jane Cole says“The introduction of these leading-edge vehicles forms part of our on-going investment in modern buses. Our aim is to enhance the customer experience, provide value-for-money and encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport.

“The ADL City bus is a stunning, high performance, eco-friendly vehicle that sets the pace and reinforces our commitment to continuous improvement and further enhancement of the passenger experience.”

Oxford Parkway - developments

I forwarded the comments from your latest OCBP on Oxford Parkway by Brian Bell, to a colleague at Transport Focus who in turn forwarded it to Chiltern Railways. They’ve found time to respond to Brian’s observations as follows:

The observations made by your correspondent are most certainly valid. On the 25th October (which was opening day) not all of the signs had been installed, which would explain why the author felt the wayfinding left something to be desired. Now that the station has been opened for some time, more signage has been installed which should now have addressed this. 

With regards to the bus drop off point, the concept was to have all the buses (park and ride and the 500) use the same bus stops. These are located in the centre of the car park so as to be accessible to both park and ride and station users. However, following feedback, we are working with the Oxford Bus Company (who provide the 500 service) to see if the 500 buses can be re-routed to the front of the station. 

On the subject of the platforms, both lines are bi-directionally signalled at Oxford Parkway. The majority of trains depart from the platform on the northern (Up Marylebone bound) side of the station because of the position of the crossovers just to the east of the station. As you can see from the diagram below, these enable you to cross a train from the Down Main into the Up platform, but not to cross a train from the Down platform to the Up Main. Consequently, if you departed trains from the Down platform, they would have to run on the wrong line as far as the switches east of Bicester Village station. This would prevent you from running a train on the Down. 

Once again thank you for the feedback, they are very sensible points and where we are able to make changes to improve matters we will certainly do so.

"In addition, I would further clarify the train stopping arrangements at Parkway. Trains terminate at the eastern end of the station because they operate on DOO (Driver Only Operation) and as a consequence the leading driving cab on departure has to be aligned with the platform TV monitors so the driver can ensure the doors are clear before and whilst closing them. These monitors are, at present, only located near the platform ends, Having additional ones at the mid-point would introduce sighting issues for the starting signals. 

As Chiltern point out most of the trains do depart from the north side platform to avoid a “cornfield meet”. However there are three daily trains which are scheduled to run in the “wrong” direction (or “Bang Road” as it’s called in the trade) and that is the morning loco-hauled service to Marylebone and the return working of the evening train from Marylebone. The other is the empty stone train to Acton (6V01) which reverses out of Banbury Sidings and by running “Bang Road” back to Bicester it avoids the possibility of making a mess on the crossover between the main lines – this really is the reason! Once the line extends through to Oxford (now pushed back to September 2016) 6V01 will run via Oxford and Reading eliminating the back-up move. 

The Chiltern guy has overlooked that the line directions have changed. Between Gavray Junction and Oxford Parkway it is now Up towards Oxford and Down towards Bicester. This is because when the line is extended to Bletchley the through route created from the West Coast Main Line to the Great Western will be Up all the way."  

Mike Walker writes "Further to our recent exchanges about the buses at Oxford Parkway we now have a result. From Chiltern: 

“As a solution to this problem, Chiltern’s proposal will provide a temporary bus stop, outside the station building in the current ‘Drop Off’ area, to be in operation until Chiltern extends the line through to Oxford in December 2016. 

The rail replacement buses will use the stop to drop off passengers only, and pick up those who are waiting there, before proceeding to the Park & Ride facility to wait until their scheduled departure time every 15 minutes. From 1900 onwards, buses will wait at the temporary bus stop, as from this time onwards the Park & Ride building is closed, and is hence an inconvenient and inappropriate place for passengers to wait for bus connections.” 

You might like to update the previous comments before sending out the next OCBP."

Wycombe Coachway opens for service

Andrew Tyldsley writes "Confirmed as opening on Monday 18th - all services to use stand B except 737 towards Oxford use stand E."

Paul Goodwin of Bucks County Council writes "A couple from this afternoon, from the Camera stop A is overflow for National Express, stop B is Normal stop for National Express, Stop C is for the New Park & Ride that starts on 1st Feb. and D is for a couple of school services. The last picture is the temporary stop for the 737 Oxford services. This is in place until the Exit signals are brought on line to avoid the Oxfords u-turning Handy X Roundabout. A couple of shots of the 210 to Gatwick."

I asked Paul about congestion potential leaving and re-joining the M40 at junction 4 and he responded "Re additional timings for coming off the M40, yet to be worked out. Most of the ones I saw today were 5-10 minutes early arriving so they have time to spare. I guess on a normal peak 10 minutess, off-peak possibly as low as 5 minutes."

Finally Pete Edgar writes "Attached are a few photographs I took this morning of the new Coach Way at Handy Cross. I must say I was a little disappointed with what I saw, it all looked very cold and uninviting but I guess its early days. What I did think was strange was that the 737 service to Oxford did not use the main concourse but a separate stop away from the building on stand E."

Pictures from Pete Edgar

Travel Star European FJ61GZA picks up on the 210 at Wycombe Coachway  on 18th January

A general view of the new station.

Temporary stop E used by the 737 Oxford bound.

Pictures from Paul Goodwin

Chalfont WF63LTE on the 460 at Wycombe Coachway on 18th January

Travelstar - Walsall BF63ZSR on the 210 at Wycombe Coachway on 18th January

Oxford 43 on the 737 at Wycombe Coachway  on 18th January

Oxford 51 on temporary stop E on its way to Oxford on  on 18th January

Paul's general view of the new facility.

I look forward to further pictures of the Coachway as extra services start calling and of course the Carousel PR1 uses the station.


 This vehicle is now in preservation, after service with Nu-Venture Aylesford, Kent.
There is Facebook page dedicated to its preservation, look up 'M64 VJO Preservation'
Photo by P Gates.

Lodekka in Canada.

WILTS & DORSET 612 at CARRYING PLACE-ONTARIO-CANADA on 10th October 2015 taken by Paul Bateson.

As the same bus once was.


London in pictures by Gavin Francis

RML2546 on the Afternoon Tea service.

Arriva LT538 with wrap for Pepsi on 14th January.

Go-London LT479 with wrap for TRESimme on 14th January.

Go-London LT503 is recovered by Sovereign on February 1st.

Golden Tours have wrapped some Harry Potter buses in a revised livery seen on 30th January.

A pair of Astromegas by Peter Dyer.



Publications and Links.

This published produces various fleet books with a lot of useful information such as liveries, route and allocations. Whilst the price might by some to be considered high the benefit which many other publications do not have, is the regular updates to allocations and a weekly report on what happening.

The three latest books are shown hereunder with a link to SKM's web site. Here you can order the books and look at what is on offer.

Another useful link, not related to SKM is hereunder where you can catch up with all the latest PCV registrations as well as historical ones going back to the 1940s.

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