Spottings & Jottings nr. 97 - 12th August 2016
updated and corrected 13th August 2016

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

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Well the fatal day has come and gone, as on 20th July, and a couple of days after, some 54 bus services in Oxfordshire ceased to operate. This, as a result of swingeing cuts in transport funding by Oxfordshire County Council. Hugh Jaeger has sent a letter published under Jottings further down this page but suffice to say that a number of areas are left without provision of any bus services. Whilst so many now have cars and often use bicycles, children have school bus services, what of those who do not ?

The elderly, who have worked, paid taxes rely on such services, as do many others who are not blessed with the where with all to have a car. So not having a car, these people are left to try and fend for themselves. Whilst concessionary travel is one of the major revenue problems on tendered services,(seemingly Oxfordshire pay 37p in the £.) so that many such services are used by concession holders, the overall traffic situation is not helped by more cars using our road networks every year. One wonders if the time is fast approaching when a brave government is going to have to do something to restrict car use in city and town centres?

One can imagine the outcry any such restrictions may raise but one only has to witness the inevitable and increasing traffic problems, on all but the most minor roads, to realise that something has to be done.

This bodes well for public transport and the future developments when, maybe, services are restored to rural areas, providing, not only the ageing population but also an increasing number of working people and students, who will thank operators for providing services which now have ceased to exist.

I could foresee a time when the vast majority of cities and towns, have out of town car parks and shuttle buses running people into the centres. Oxford is, of course, a prime example of the success of such services and an example of this helping long distance commuters is provided by Thornhill Park & Ride where many users actually catch services to London and the airports as well as the city centre.

This reduces traffic on the motorways but the future must hold some form of bus/coach priority to further encourage car users to take the bus ! The M4 bus lane towards London from Heathrow was a success for sometime but the use by the then Prime Minister's car to beat the jam did not help and it has now disappeared. The buses/coaches with three, four and five times as many people as the cars they join in the jams must bear the delays and discomforts as well.

During the 2012 Olympics the "Olympic Lanes" on the A40 were open to London coach services and an excellent reliability was established. How improved services would be today if such a lane existed and on time journeys were possible. One often feels, as a coach driver, when people ask "how long will the journey take?", that such a question is tempting fate and something will happen to delay the service!!

The future holds great possibilities, if only someone has the courage to take the "bull by the horns" and solve this traffic dilemma !

The inevitable delays on the M40, London bound, every Sunday evening or end of bank holiday.

Regatta launch

I had booked an appointment with Carousel in Marlow on the first day of their new X80 Regatta service between High Wycombe and Reading via Marlow and Henley and I was not disappointed.

The branding is excellent and even on that first morning loading were very good for a brand new service. Three buses had been prepared for the service being StreetLites 403-405.

I wnet to Marlow to record the service thorough the town and took up post by Platts Garage, where Oxford Road faces West Street.

Carousel 404 on West Street - Marlow works the X80 1142 departure on 25th July.
Two ladies were sitting in the bus shelter waiting, I expect, for the Arriva service but seemed delighted to take this nice red bus!
The lady on the pavement seems to be saying "have a good journey, dear" to her friend.

A 1930 4.5 litre Bentley came from the Henley direction, to take four star fuel at Platts, which made a nice background for 405 coming the other way.
This service was also spot on time and made the turn into Oxford Road for its pick up.

403 shows off the near side branding

The outer of the timetable for the service.

Climbing out of the Thames Valley.
An hour later I was waiting for the next service from Marlow into town and was surprised to find Citaro 871 working this service.
It, nevertheless, had a full and correct destination display and was making a spirited effort on this steep roadway.
I learned later that a driver had taken the wrong bus instead leaving only 871 instead of 403.

There is no doubt that this competition is what deregulation was all about and the public can receive a better service as a result. 

NEW University Shuttle Bus Service


Andy Churchill writes "The university of Oxford has announced at the end of April 2016 that a new shuttle bus service is to be introduced on the 18th July 2016 which will link the key science campuses around Oxfordshire.


The shuttle bus service will link the University of Oxford's science area in Parks Road with the Old Road campus in Headington, close to the hospitals where the uni has numbers of both students and staff based and the Harwell Science and Innovation campus. The route will be known as the 'Science Transit Shuttle' and will run every 30 minutes on weekdays between and and will be run by an Oxford newcomer UNO of Hertfordshire a subsidiary of the university of Hertfordshire. The shuttle bus will initially be for the use of university students and staff and Harwell campus but the long term plan is to open it to the general public while funding is being sought from the government local growth fund to secure buses which will be Zero-Emissions for the service.

The latest news regarding the UNI Shuttle service is that another O licence number being (PH1145881) has been applied for under the name Universitybus Ltd , in the western traffic area for a 10 vehicle operation in Oxford, we await further news and details."



KM64OEC on the Science Transit Shuttle on 22nd July by Gavin Francis.


Major rail route closure brings significant replacement bus service to Oxford

Hinksey Flood Alleviation scheme - 30 July to 14 August

The rail network advised the following:

Flooding in the area has notably increased since 2009, impacting homes and businesses, as well as the safe running of trains.
From the end of July 2016, during a 16 day line temporary period of disruption, we will be:

The design for this scheme has been developed in collaboration with the Environment Agency to ensure that our works do not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere but also to "future proof" any subsequent works the Environment Agency may undertake to alleviate flooding in the wider area.

As a result of this work dozens of buses and coaches, from a large number of operators, have been shuttling passengers to and from Oxford train station. Beckett Street car park has been used to head up this operation and many pictures were taken over the period by Gavin Francis, some of which are included below.

The variety of operators on this contract can be seen in the pictures above.

As can be in the pictures here the operators were from far and wide.
First Bristol, Edwards of Llantwit Fardre, Lucketts, NAT from South Wales and more locally Pulhams all had vehicles involved.






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.


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

On 5th July the society took a trip to Bicester for a visit to Grayline. Marcus Lapthorn has kindly sent some pictures from this visit.


From old to new!

The coach on the left was once with the Oxford tube.

I believe that this was the coach used to transport members.

I am sure that this was most enjoyable visit!


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.


Well, just an apology to make with regard to this issue. Contributions have been so high that I have run out of time to include all in this issue.

I have held those, not included, over to the next issue in September and hope those affected will understand.

I do very much appreciate the contributions, without which, this page would not be so well read and enjoyed.

Thanks to all.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 12th August 2016



Observations and pictures

Angel Exec K16AET in STOKENCHURCH on 6th July by Gavin Francis.

Another picture of Golden Tours new Volvo B5TL, which may have been built as a stock vehicle by Wrights,
seen on Buckingham Palace Road on 9th July by Gavin Francis.

Ouibus Dutch registered 64-BGK-6 on the Brussels route turns on to Buckingham Palace Road on 7th July by Gavin Francis.

Although RATP has had these buses for a while we have not featured them on these pages so far.

Original Tour of London YLY599 LO15OLS on Buckingham Palace Road on 14th July by Gavin Francis.

Swindon updates by Derek Wiggins

Following on from recent news, Akcess only operated route 60 on Fridays and one other route which I think was the 91.

APL were short of drivers and handed back to the council, routes 42 and 43 from Calne to Marlborough but got two other routes back.

Routes 42 and 43 wwent to Thamesdown who obtained two white E20D buses. These are:

108 YY16YJE named Peacock
109 YY16YJF named Nightingale

Nightingale seen at Marlborough on 17th June by Derek Wiggins.

The route started on 31st May but the two new buses were not available until a week or so later. Older buses were used pending the arrival of the two E20Ds.

Pulhams route 64 ceased on 20th July due to OCC cuts.

Go Ride route 90 ceased on 23rd July being replaced by West Berks Council Connect 47 on 25th July.

The International Air Tattoo this year saw Stagecoach use buses from many other depot - South provided 18194, 18311, 18510 and 18511, South West sent 17006, 17010, 17038, 17055 and 17670 with London sending 17792,17793,17829,17830,17835,17846,17867,17868 and 17869. WEST had OLYMPIAN 16128 plus 18017,18314,18377 and 19108 plus privately owned G103AAD.

Most buses used the old Eastcott Road garage for storage. On Sunday morning I saw a large number of WEST route 10 branded buses and LONDON Tridents on the Shuttles.

Stagecoach West at Fairford - L-R 17670-17006-17038-17868-17793-17792-17869-17835-17829 seen on 28th June by Derek Wiggins.

Route 98 at Didcot by Mike Lewis

Mike writes "I have taken two photos of different double deck buses on the 98 route in Didcot that you might be interested in for your Oxford bus page

One is B9905[f/n] T186CLO, a Dennis Trident still in the livery Of McGills of Scotland, I don't know if Walters own this or it is just on loan. The second one is H809AGX Leyland Olympian that was new to Metrobus but came from Village Coaches in Sussex in 2015. This service both times I have seen it has brought two unusual vehicles on this service which is run by Walters of Forest Hill.

The photo of the McGills Trident was taken was 3rd August and the Olympian was today 11th August, notice the enthusiasts upstairs on the Olympian, the driver was also friendly as well.


Other pictures

Some of may know Dave Spencer who runs a site offering bus videos from all over the country.
He was in Wycombe on 5th August with his camera and I am sure will provide an  interesting record of the days comings and goings.
His site may be found at

Late news, already alluded to elsewhere in this report, is the arrival at Wycombe of some Citaros in MAX livery. Nick Cherry caught one on  crew training yesterday in Eden Bus Station.

It is understood that this is for the 800/850 to be "MAXED" shortly as an answer to the Carousel Regatta.

Arriva 3012 BJ12YPX on driver training 11th August by Nick Cherry. This bus has come from Tamworth.

Decker on the 150 again! 6000 is an unusual site on the 1345 Aylesbury - Milton Keynes in Leighton High St on July 7th 2016.
At 14ft 3in clearance this decker had to take the Southcourt road diversion in Linslade to avoid the 13ft 9 low railway bridge in Linslade.
Picture by Nick Ross.

Pete Cannon noted on 19.07.2017 "inbound towards High Wycombe at Wycombe Marsh 4517-KL52CWJ suffered a breakdown and 3868-KE07EVXcame to the rescue. The mechanic didn't do anything but drove off with 4517 leaving the driver with 3868 who took it out of service back to Wycombe bus station!"


"Then to my amazement the other side of the road 4525KE030UM also broke down outbound on service 37 to Maidenhead."

Oh dear, not the best of days for Arriva. Sadly they are not on their own and there seem to be a lot more breakdowns these days, I wonder if its down to the complications of modern engineering and electronics? 

Gavin Francis notes a Citaro on the 280 in Wheatley on 24th July seen below.



White coach 4072 was back on the 757 today. Gavin remarks saying "look at the brackets holding the engine cover. I think a farmer maybe missing a couple of brackets from a fence!"

Further pictures by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3019 on the 280 near Frideswide Sq on 23rd July by Gavin Francis.
This would appear to have transferred from Tamworth.

4713 has arrived at Wycombe having previously been at Wigston and is seen here on 5th August on a 37 working - picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Luke Braham has sent quite a report on matters Arriva - "Aylesbury are to begin two new services as of the 4th September. One of the new services is the X30 between Aylesbury and High Wycombe with the other being the X8 between Thame and Oxford with it serving Aylesbury twice in the morning and twice in the evening.

Route 300/X30: There will be a revised timetable on this service with one bus an hour operating as route X30 between Aylesbury and High Wycombe this would have previously operated as a route 300. The X30 will serve Princes Risborough and Saunderton and enter High Wycombe along the West Wycombe Road. The addition of the X30 service is not expected to affect the PVR of the 300. A timetable for the new 300/X30 service can be found at the following link on the Bucks CC website:


Route 280/X8: There will be a revised timetable on the 280 with a few additional journeys with the introduction of new route X8. The X8 will operate every hour between Thame and Oxford omitting Wheatley. There is  two early morning journeys on the X8 which will start at Aylesbury through to Oxford which will also omit Haddenham before serving Thame with their also being two return journeys from Oxford in the evening in a similar fashion. The X8 will also operate as a ‘Sapphire’ service along with the 280. A new timetable for the 280/X8 service can be found at the following link on the Bucks CC website:

With the introduction of route X8 on the 4th September, Wright Pulsar 2s 3796-8 FL63DWW/X/Y have been sent from Arriva Midlands’ Thurmaston depot to refurbishment to Sapphire specification. Once completed they are expected to transfer to the Aylesbury depot. 3767 attended Showbus in 2014 with Arriva Midlands which I have included a photo of the bus representing Arriva Midlands at the event.


Alexander ALX400 6004 KL52CWT is now a High Wycombe based bus with similar 6280 Y522UGC transferring to Aylesbury in return.

Alexander ALX400 6013 KL52CXE has been withdrawn with accident damage and is now a source of spare parts. East Lancs Lowlander 4741 PN52XRS is currently on loan as a replacement for the withdrawn 6013.


Optare Solo 0447 Y47 HBT has been withdrawn with Dart 3839 KE53NFC transferring in from Luton depot. This was once one of the Darts based at High Wycombe for use on the TfL contract for the U9.

Mercedes Benz Citaro ‘bendy bus’ BL52ODK is parked up in the depot as a source for spare parts along with ex-London Plaxton Presidents DLP85 LJ51ORL and DLP89 LF02PKE. This bus after service with Go Ahead London worked for Red Rocket - Blackpool on a Manchester Express service. See link below.


Mike Penn writes regarding transfers etc. saying "I didn’t know about 4713 (see above) but there are at least five others with Arriva The Shires.  6061/2 (FD02UKP/E) have been at Aylesbury for some months and were renumbered into the Shires sequence.  Later ones are 4712 (FE51YWK) and 4722 (PN52XBG) at Luton and 4741 (PN52XRS) at Aylesbury, all retaining their Arriva Midlands fleet numbers.  4712 of these is the only one in the old Arriva livery.  The Aylesbury ones work into Luton on the 70 on occasions.  The Luton ones work on the 24H amongst others, this being important as it uses Sundon Arch, the lowest bridge in the area navigable by double decks, albeit only low height ones.  Despite these arrivals the three remaining Olympians are still in use, all having been seen in normal service this week.

I might add that there  are also two ex Arriva Midlands Wright StreetLites in Sapphire livery at Luton for the 321 service which is now run by Luton garage now that Watford is confined to the TfL operation.  They are 3301/2 (FJ 64 EVB/C).

There is also an ex Arriva Midlands Wright bodied DAF at High Wycombe.  This is 3705 (BF52NZR)."

Nigel Peach notes "Re 4713, of course, the reason this bus was chosen to move to Wycombe was because of its Oxford registration number (YWL)!"

Nigel adds "A friend told me that Volvo 3872 (KE07 EWC) has moved from Wycombe to Tamworth. He saw it on the Scotbus website, which can be found here:

More Arriva pictures

Arriva 3452 on the 31 leaves Eden Bus Station on 25th July by Malcolm Crowe

Arriva 3871 on the 850 in Oxford Rd - Marlow
on 25th July by Malcolm Crowe

Arriva 3932 in MAX livery but not route branded works the 300 on 25th July by Malcolm Crowe
The "word on the block" is that such buses are being drafted in to make the 800/850 a MAX route!!

Arriva 4516 on the 31 Eden Bus Stn terminator on 25th July by Malcolm Crowe

Arriva 4525 in Eden Bus Stn on the 33 on 25th July by Malcolm Crowe

Arriva 6300
 in Eden Bus Stn on the 32 on 25th July by Malcolm Crowe. It does look somewhat battle scarred!

Arriva 3777 on the 7 in Bletchley on 30th July by Nick Cherry.

Arriva 5008 in Bletchley on 6th August by Nick Cherry.

Arriva Wright Streetlite loan HRZ 6498 on Route 7 in Bletchley on 30th July by Nick Cherry.

When I drove for Oxford Bus in 1999 these Tridents were delivered new for the Park & Ride services and at the time were dual doored.
I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams that one day they would be changed so much and be operating a service to Stokenchurch.
This one often works the school day service in the afternoon to our village, looking I must say, rather smart when seen on 8th July by Gavin Francis.

E200 422 seen from a different level on 8th July by Gavin Francis.

Now this is interesting from two points, one that it is in an advertising livery for the smartphone ap. Second it is on a once a day return working to Ibstone.
This is for school children and links a village otherwise not served by any regular bus services. Obviously the morning service works in reverse.

Nigel Peach writes "On Tuesday (19th July), Oxford Buses' 838 (X8 OXF) was working Carousel's A40 route. With new route X80 starting on 25th July, they'll need to draft in some extra buses. Actually 838 would be particularly appropriate, especially if you re-space the registration number X80 XF !

I went to the Carousel depot this evening (Sunday 31st July) in the hopes of seeing any buses branded for the new X80 route, or maybe a Citaro on loan from Oxford. I didn't see either, but I attach two pictures. 

The first shows green 502 and white 504 together. (I was taking the photo through railings and was so intent on not getting the railings in the picture that I failed to notice that it is off centre and doesn't get all of 502 in. It's also a bit dark - not the best one I've taken!)


I then drove past the depot to turn round and was surprised to discover that Carousel now have an open area beyond their building where many buses were parked. (You will probably tell me that it's been like it for months, but it was the first time I'd come across it!) 

The second picture shows 419 which has at last received fleet names. It has been plain red since returning from Thames Travel a year or two ago and it has irritated me that it has looked so anonymous! It looks a lot smarter now, though interestingly it has not been branded for Red Route 1 like its sister 418."


Other pictures of Carousel

Carousel 401 on the A40 Wycombe on 5th August by Malcolm Crowe

Carousel 403 on the X80 at Wycombe
on 5th August by Malcolm Crowe

Carousel 407 on the PR1 at Wycombe
on 5th August by Malcolm Crowe

Carousel 423 and 503 on the 39 in Wycombe
on 5th August by Malcolm Crowe.
An interesting point is that I understand the company has been trialling Solos on this route and as such 423 and 424may return to "red"!

Carousel 505 on the intermittent 28 in Wycombe on 5th August by Malcolm Crowe. I think these are really smart little buses!

Unusually on 11th August, Gavin Francis caught this interloper, on what is normally a new blue P&R duty,
Citaro 871 seen turning out of New Road, Stokenchurch on its way to Wycombe.

Seems that First are having problems on the 702 service from Victoria and heir Green Line liveried double decks are often replaced with various other buses from local servcie. Is this a result of the transfer of this route to Slough? I wonder!

To illustrate the point above, here we see 33179 in Bulleid Way on 11th August taken by Gavin Francis

Flixbus are, of course, operating services into Victoria and a further selection of coaches used are featured here. Flixbus was Mein Fernbus established by two young men and follows current practice of hiring coaches from various operators to run services. Hence the Megabus deal which is planned for three years.

Thois coach is Belgian registered and is very similar to those used by Megabus from the same country.
1-EVU-770 on Buckingham Palace Road on 7th July by Gavin Francis.

 This VDL coach is French registered !DZ-580-YJ on the 700 Buckingham Palace Road on 9th July by Gavin Francis.

Flixbus BN-UR-516 on Buckingham Palace Road on 16th July by Malcolm Crowe. This coach is registered in Bonn, North Rhine, Westphalia!
It would appear very new as it does not have any branding as yet.

Flixbus-Staff Cars Lommel Belgium, 1-EVU-770 on Buckingham Palace Road on 16th July by Malcolm Crowe.

Heyfordian has a number of elderly coaches used on school services. Most have cherished registrations somewhat hiding their age.
Here we have DXZ 4630 on a school service in STOKENCHURCH on 6th July taken by Gavin Francis.

Another similar coach is DXZ4634 seen again in Stokenchurch on school service 914 on 8th July again by Gavin Francis.

Motts of Aylesbury Alexander "Q" type bodied Volvo B10M M455TCH which is ex Trent 55 seen i n Stokenchurch after working
a school service from Watlington to the village on 8th July by Gavin Francis.
This must be one of the oldest vehicles in regular use in the Motts fleet.

Luckett's of Fareham 484808 on Elizabeth Street branding for FREE ONBORAD ENTERTAINMENT seen on 8th July by Malcolm Crowe.

National Express's own SR140 FJ12FYR with advertising for UK Scouting near VCS on 16th July by Malcolm Crowe.

Edwards FJ12FXC, one of several of this company's coaches which have been debranded and yet are still used on NEx services,
 seen by VCS on 8th August by Gavin Francis.

21 seen on day two of the new BHX operation passing through Banbury on 3rd July by Richard Sharman.

Various coaches once the mainstay of services on Oxford Bus are turning up in service with other operators. The one featured below was on the X90 route having started life on the Airline services. It was used during the 2012 Olympics and is now with Aldermaston based TK Coaches as seen i n the series of pictures by Gavin Francis.

Coach 33 in three differing roles all by Gavin Francis.

Confidence Leics - L154HUD at TODDINGTON GLOS and WAR RAILWAY on 10th July by Derek Wiggins

With a variety of buses suitable for use on the Park & Ride services, from time to time, something unusual turns up!
On 6th July, Scania 222, was out on 300 road with a less than perfect offside front corner!



E200 MV59ASX is seen on layover between trips on the Marlow Bottom service on 5th August by Malcolm Crowe.

Red Rose 50514 on the 28 in Bletchley on 6th August by Nick Cherry

Red Rose 50502 MX61BAU in High St, Oxford on the 275 on 11th August by Nick Cherry.



10669 nearly ready for service.

A new batch of MMC E400s is arriving as I write and these are listed below. The total delivery is for 21 but we only have up to 10679 listed so far.

Registration Chassis number Body number Seating Delivered Fleet Nr.
SN16OYO  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19031  AD G415/1  H45/32F  8/2016  10667 
SN16OYP  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19032  AD G415/2  H45/32F  8/2016  10668 
SN16OYR  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19033  AD G415/3  H45/32F  8/2016  10669 
SN16OYS  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19034  AD G415/4  H45/32F  8/2016  10670 
SN16OYT  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19035  AD G415/5  H45/32F  8/2016  10671 
SN16OYU  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19036  AD G415/6  H45/32F  8/2016  10672 
SN16OYV  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19037  AD G415/7  H45/32F  /2016  10673 
SN16OYW  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19038  AD G415/8  H45/32F  8/2016  10674 
SN16OYX  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19039  AD G415/9  H45/32F  /2016  10675 
SN16OYY  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19040  AD G415/10  H45/32F  /2016  10676 
SN16OYZ  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19041  AD G415/11  H45/32F  /2016  10677 
SN16OZA  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19042  AD G415/12  H45/32F  /2016  10678 
SN16OZB  AD E40D SFD912BR2GGX19043  AD G415/13  H45/32F  /2016  10679 

It is intended that these buses will enter service on routes, 2, 3, 8 and 9. They have revised interiors including blue leather seats with orange trim and headrests plus Wi-Fi and power points.

10674 and 10677 just after arrival at Horspath Road and the upper deck interior showing the revised seating.

Martin Sutton and Andrew Churchill report  "The following surplus vehicles post-OCC cuts are heading for Cumbria. That leaves the four 14-plate Solos at Witney- 47451 and Solo SRs 47831-4; the two Oxford 10-plates going to Banbury for B2 and B10 and 47658 coming from Banbury to Horspath Road for service 26 at Bicester."

Solo 47736 on the 17C on the penultimate Sunday of Stagecoach operation. Picture by Gavin Francis.

47736 in the workshops being prepared for transfer to Banbury - 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.

47735 to be transferred to Banbury and 47395 ready for transfer to Carlisle on 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.

47735   OU10 GFE   Optare Solo – Oxford to Banbury
47736   OU10 GFG  Optare Solo – Oxford to Banbury
47658   AJ58 RBF    Optare Solo – Banbury to Oxford



Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria




Optare Solo to Cumbria


Later this month 21 E400 MMCs are due for Oxford.

Vehicle in reserve:



Dennis Pointer Dart

at Oxford

MMC 10432 on an S3 working during the recent TV programme Countryfile which was made at Blenheim Palace,
generating a major increase in passengers and creating significant traffic delays.


MMC 10439 on the 3, one of the routes due to receive the latest batch of these buses.


Andy Churchill writes "Scania E400s 15994 and 15966 (YN64XSY/YN14PKZ) were loaned to Stagecoach South West between the 10th and 12th June 2016 for the Torbay Air Show mainly on the park and ride shuttle services to the Paignton seafront. Several Stagecoach fleets such as Cambus, Cheltenham and Gloucester, Midland Red South and London also provided buses for the operation."


(Did anyone get pictures of this? Ed.) 

Silverstone F1 - 10th July 2016

As always Stagecoach provided shuttles and Megabus services to the 2016 F1 at Silverstone and above we see three buses provided by Oxfordshire.

The GP8 Megabus runs from Oxford on the Sunday and here 54077 is working this duty, taken by Richard Sharman. 


Variety on the X5 often happens. Whilst 53613 has been branded for service 99, 53618 is in basic SC livery. Pictures by Gavin Francis.
53618 was the replacement coach for one written off in a bad accident on treacherous roads some winters ago.
It is often seen on the X5 filling in for a normal tri-axle Volvo. Pictures by Gavin Francis.




Note that the timetables have changed for the 66 from Swindon to Oxford.

Swindon's 15731 on the 66 but branded for 55 as seen on 2nd August by Gavin Francis.
This use of non Gold buses and wrongly branded buses seems a feature of this 66 route!

South West

Sister to a batch of Oxfordshire based Gold's, 15932 seen at Paignton, Devon on 4th July by Frazer


Still active in June, in spite of new coaches, ex Tube 50102 was still around with Omega, in early June, as shown by Gavin's picture by Oxford train station.

NAT often provide capacity for Megabus and can be seen around Victoria.

NAT Interdeck YN13GDF lays over on Elizabeth Bridge on 22nd May as seen by Gavin Francis.

Mark Atkinson sent this picture of a recently rebranded Volvo tri-axle now on Megabus services. 54077 on 9th July.

Oh dear a Megabus in trouble at Victoria. I wonder if does not like its Flixbus sticker!!

Due to absemnce of a normal Astromega this "Sleeper Coach" is currently working the M10 Cardiff service in day configuration.
50311 seen in Bulleid Way on 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.

One of the Plymouth based Interdeckers, 54267, on a Paignton working from London, on 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.



The company suffered as much as any operator in the recent County Council funded bus cutbacks as seen in our pictures below.

701 on the T2 on last day of this service, 23rd July by Gavin Francis.

706 in the last weeks of the 44 and 218 services in July16 by Richard Sharman.

707 operating in the final few Week of the 63 service in July16 by Richard Sharman.

718 and service changes now see SRs now operating on not just Bicester Routes in July16 by Richard Sharman.

However main line services continue to be successful and much effort is put into maintaining a good service.

914 has had a recent Repaint and Tidy Up seen in July by Richard Sharman.

One should note that the T1 Watlington service is now extended to Chinnor via Lewknor on a number of workings. This thus gives connections to the Oxford Airline and Oxford Tube services.

 The timetable can be viewed at the link below:

From these timetables a connection for London can be achieved in both directions on a near hourly basis throughout the day. 



Letter to the Editor

from - Hugh Jaeger - Chairman, Bus Users Oxford 

At Bus Users Oxford it's the end of more than a year of campaigning against Oxfordshire County Council making some of the most extreme bus cuts in Britain. We didn't achieve as much as we wanted! Last week OCC ended all bus subsidies except Section 106 payments, and as a result wiped out 54 bus services in one stroke.

BU Oxford will now campaign for services to be restored to communities that now have no bus as a result of these cuts. We are also encouraging people to use those routes that operators are trying to continue in some form without subsidy. "Marginal" routes such as Heyfordian 81, 103, 108 and 118, Pulhams X8 and X9, Stagecoach 15, 19 and 20, and a lot of Thames Travel routes in Oxfordshire need all the support they can get! 

In Oxfordshire ENCTS pass holders account for only 19% of bus passengers overall, but on Oxfordshire's subsidised routes they were nearer 70% of passengers. Oxfordshire CC remunerating operators for ENCTS trips at a rate of only 38p in the pound has not helped the viability of those routes. 

BU Oxford wants to broaden the demography of less-profitable bus services in Oxfordshire. Therefore we are using our Twitter and Facebook accounts to promote some of these routes. The average age of social media users is early 40s on Facebook and late 30s on Twitter. It's about time I learnt how to use Instagram and WhatsApp to reach really younger age groups! 

You will know that Thames Travel has revised several of its services and launched a new one, a revised route 17 to serve Jericho and Walton Manor. I rode it on the first day. Attached are a few of my photos in case you want any to publish on your Oxford and Chiltern Bus website.

Taken by Hugh Jaeger on 25th July, the first day.



Readers of issue 96 will remember the visit by Gavin and myself to the Isle of Wight. I thought you might be interested in a few more pictures taken by me on the day.

On our way to the Hovercraft terminal we passed a couple of interesting buses.
South's 10009 on the 700 in Portsmouth and First Solent 63066 - SK63KKG Starlight allocated to Southsea again in Portsmouth
both taken by me an d note Gavin was driving. (7th June)

When we arrived at Clarence Pier the two morning service of National Express arrived to pick up for their services.
Lucketts X481948 FN62CZP for LHR and FN62CEY for London on 7th June.

I mentioned in issue 96 that the older Hovercraft were being replaced around August time by new craft.
One is seen above at Ryde after we arrived on 7th June.

We took the 3 service from Shanklin to Ventnor on Scania 1146 seen on arrival and passed sister 1147 en route on 7th June.

Southern Vectis really does provide an excellent way to see the island and we always enjoy our annual visit.
The buses are well presented and very clean, in spite of the narrow roads and often tight timings!

Gordon Scott took a trip to Italy and provided a few interesting pictures for this issue.

ATV MAN Lions City bendi-bus 2739 taken in Bardolino Bus Station on 7th July by Gordon Scott.

ATV MAN Lions Regio 2621 seen leaving Bardolino Bus Station on 6th July by Gordon Scott.

A Janssen Van Hool from Wittmund in Lower Saxony, WTM-J542, in Garda Italy on 5th July by Gordon Scott.

Bardolino is a commune in the Province of Verona in the Italian region Veneto, located about 130 kilometres west of Venice and about 25 kilometres northwest of Verona. 

It's always interesting to see vehicles from other parts of the world. Thanks to Gordon Scott.

Running Days

7th Alton Classic bus & country pub running day - Saturday 16 July 2016

by Marcus Lapthorn


I had not been to Alton for this particular running day before, in previous years having attended the ABR&RD which takes place on the Sunday following. 

I have attached photographs of the Saturday event organised by the Hants & Surrey ‘Bristol RE’ group.

Photos 2 and 5 show POD 830H on route 12, being driven beautifully by a charming young lady.
This bus was new to Southern National, moving on to Devon General, ‘Tally Ho’ and then into preservation. 

Photo 7 has VDV 122S on route 62.New to Western National, then Southern National, First Bus, Chepstow Classic Buses and then into preservation. 

Photo 8 has OPC 26R at Alton turning into the parking up area by the station. It is a Leyland PSU3/4R with Duple Dominant body.
It was new in 1976 to Safeguard of Guildford, then Baileys Coaches of Folkestone, Wealden PSV (dealer), Emblings coaches of Guyhirn and then into preservation. 

Photo 9 AFM 105B was new to Crosville, then to a band in Chester, then Northern Bus and then into preservation.

Photo 10 – XHK 221X - new in September 1981 to Eastern National as no. 3116, then to Badgerline and then ‘A bus’ of Bristol.

Photo 11 – AAP 651T – new to Southdown, then Brighton & Hove, Wycombe Bus, Fishwick, Alpine Travel and then into preservation. 

Photo 12 – PPM 210G – Seen as the ‘Control Bus’ at Alton having recently passed its MOT. Formerly with Southdown/BH &D. 

Photo 13 – FLY 755J – Seddon Pennine 4 with Plaxton Elite body. New to Essex Motorways, then ‘Wish you were here travel’ Suffolk, Watts of Leicester. 

Photo 14 – HDL 25E – New to Southern Vectis, IOW. 

Photo 16 – AAE 647V – New to Bristol Omnibus Co in 1980, then Stagecoach and then into preservation.

Photo 17 – TCD 490J – Bristol RESL with Marshall bodywork new to Southdown in 1970,
then Cullinan Coaches, Wealden Beeline, Sussex Bus, Blue Lake and into preservation in 1999. 

Photo 18- RAH 681F – New to Eastern Counties in 1968, then Cambus, Milton Keynes City bus, Busways Travel and into preservation in 2012. 

Photo 19 – BFX 666T – New to Hants & Dorset in 1983, then Wilts & Dorset, Damory Coaches, into preservation 2008-11 and then back to Damory Coaches! 

Photo 21 – POI 2190 – New to Ulster bus in 1977 -  RELL with Alexander (Belfast body). Withdrawn in 2000 and straight into preservation.

Photo 24 – EAP 984V – New in 1980 to Southdown, then Sussex Coastline Buses, into preservation in 1998.
Back into commercial use in 2007 with Village Coaches of Findon and back into preservation in 2012.

A very nice report from Marcus with some interesting vehicles. Ed.

A report on a trip to Scotland has had to bee held over to the next issue due to pressure of space and time. Sincere apologies to Gary Seamarks.

There will also be a report on a trip to the Isle of Man by Marcus Lapthorn.

Buses in the Landscape

A very nice picture by Nigel Peach capturing an unusual viewpoint of the A40 as it runs alongside the Rye on July 31st.
A First StreetLite working the X74 is seen heading eastwards towards Wycombe Marsh and the M40 on its journey to Slough.


London in pictures by Gavin Francis

Go Ahead LG PVL224 on route 739 to WIMBLEDON on Buckingham Palace Road on 7th July by Gavin Francis.

LT130 with a wrap for Magnum on the 148 on 11th July by Gavin Francis.
"The eyes have it!" Look carefully at the eyes and you'll see they change according your angle of view.

LT780 with a wrap for TANQUERAY working route 211, now fully served by New Routemasters, seen on 11th July by Gavin Francis.

Other pictures

A long way from home, Mountain Goat of Windermere's M60ATS in Frideswide Sq Oxford on 23rd July by Gavin Francis.

Whittles - now part of Johnsons - 23 YX62FLC in Frideswide Sq Oxford on 23rd July by Gavin Francis.

Abellio LT788 on the 211 on Buckingham Palace Road on 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.
LTs in the 8xx series are now seeing service on the 16.

London buses new and not so new outside VCS on 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.

Excelsior 623 BG15RPO outside VCS on 23rd July by Malcolm Crowe.


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