Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr. 30 - July 17th 2010

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

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The past few weeks have seen some momentous events which includes some significant developments within the Stagecoach empire. These include the launch of the Electric Hybrid buses in Oxford, the launch jointly with Park of Hamilton, a new Citylink Gold service in Scotland,  the provision of some 250 double deck buses for crowd movement at the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone and finally the arrival of the first of five new Plaxton elite coaches at Oxford for the National Express 737 service. Additionally all the new Oxford Scania/Enviro 400 deckers are now in service and there is news of several other news worthy events.

Read on!

The most recent event, not overshadowing the Electric Hybrid launch but adding even more to the "clean air" in Oxford is the first of the new Volvo B9R/Plaxton elites which arrived at Horspath depot on Thursday afternoon. This coach is expected to enter service early next week. It is also the first vehicle in our area to have "Alcolock" fitted which ensures that anyone driving the coach is free from alcohol or drugs. These coaches are very futuristic in their design and will add much to the city of Oxford as one of the most advanced coaches on the road today. As a taster one picture is shown below and the rest under the National Express heading. You can read all about the system at the link below.

This issue has much to interest readers and as ever your contributions have ensured and excellent read for all. The first of the twenty six Hybrid Enviro 400s have started to arrive for Stagecoach Oxford and a couple are in use for driver training as I write these notes. As is the custom with Stagecoach they have some introductory wording on each bus to draw the attention of the citizens of Oxford to the green credentials of this new fleet.

Set to become 53701 in the Stagecoach fleet, OU10GYH is seen shortly after its arrival at the Horspath depot of SC Oxford.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Stagecoach launches Britain’s biggest investment in green hybrid bus technology  (As this is a launch of some significance I have given much space to the days events. Ed.)

Jump to top navigationJump to site services

Stagecoach launched Britain's biggest single investment in green hybrid bus technology on 15th July 2010.

The first of a £16m investment in 56 state-of-the-art buses for the UK, with 30% less carbon emissions than standard vehicles, went into service in Oxford.

Market-leading British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis and BAE Systems have provided the technology behind the new low carbon buses, which feature an innovative regenerative braking system.

A fleet of 26 hybrid vehicles will run on some of the busiest city centre routes in Oxford. The historic university city has one of the highest levels of bus use in the UK, with around 50% of all local journeys made by bus.

Stagecoach's major bus network in Manchester will also benefit from 30 new electric-hybrid vehicles from September.

The new vehicles are being part-funded by a £5million support package from the Department for Transport's Green Bus Fund.

Brian Souter, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, said: "This is Britain's biggest single investment in green hybrid bus technology. The new buses have better fuel consumption, as well as significantly lower carbon emissions.

"Greener, smarter bus travel is a low-cost, low-carbon solution to the challenge of climate change. New technology and pro-bus policies are crucial if we are to get people to switch from the car to public transport."

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "Today's announcement sends a very positive message to the industry that newer and greener technology will be at the forefront of our transport system of the future.

"Stagecoach is setting a very positive example when it comes to delivering low carbon transport technology and it is investment on this level that will help us to deliver a more sustainable and environmentally friendly transport system.

"We hope other operators and local authorities will follow suit by taking advantage of the £15 million additional funding for green buses in England I announced just last week."

The new Enviro400H buses were built at Alexander Dennis's manufacturing plants in Falkirk, Scotland, which employs around 900 people, and Guildford, England.

Colin Robertson, Chief Executive, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), said: "We have now had electric-hybrids on trial in the UK for 20 months and they have consistently recorded fuel and CO2 reductions of around 35%. They have also demonstrated their reliability by being available for service virtually 100% of the time.

"We are now well beyond the pioneering stage with electric-hybrids and can lead the world with a transport solution that tackles clean air issues head-on. As a business ADL will continue to invest in further hybrid development programmes and to bring innovative, fuel-saving, low carbon buses to market. The next of these will be a three-door, flat floor, 18-tonne single deck targeted at mainland Europe. It will be launched later this year."

The pioneering hybrid technology, specifically designed for buses, has now built up more than 150 million miles in commercial service. The Enviro400H's regenerative braking system means the buses can run in service without the lithium ion batteries requiring mains recharging.

Rob Lindsay, Director, BAE Systems - Vehicle Systems, said: "BAE Systems are delighted to see our class-leading HybriDrive® technology entering service with one of the UK's premier public transport operators.

"This latest chapter in our successful partnership with Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) clearly demonstrates that the hybrid has arrived in the UK market, and it will undoubtedly prove to be a key enabler for the bus industry as it works to meet the Government's CO2 and emissions targets."

The new buses for Oxford are part of a package of improvements in the city coming later in the year under a partnership between Stagecoach, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford Bus Company.

It includes a new multi-operator integrated smartcard ticketing system, co-ordinated high frequency services on four of the city's main corridors, more seats, better information and faster boarding for bus passengers, as well as safer, cleaner and less congested streets around Oxford.

Meanwhile, Stagecoach Group is working with major public transport groups in the UK on a major campaign to encourage people to make less use of cars and switch to sustainable bus and coach travel instead. The Greener Journeys campaign is targeting one billion fewer car journeys over the next three years. The target could be achieved by switching one in 25 journeys by car to bus and coach, delivering a huge reduction in carbon emissions.

In April, Stagecoach Group launched a new sustainability strategy and £11million investment programme to reduce further the carbon emissions from its transport operations in the UK and North America. The Group is targeting an overall reduction of 8% in buildings CO2e emissions and a cut of 3% in annual fleet transport CO2e emissions.

Earlier this year, Stagecoach Group was awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for its British bus and rail operations. It is the first Scottish-based transport group - and one of only two listed UK public transport operators - to have achieved the stretching carbon reduction benchmark.

The launch which took place on Thursday, 15th July used 12011 and 12014 to convey members of the BBC Oxford News TV crew around Oxford (12014) and the guests from the launch on a short demonstration run (12011) after the official launch and ribbon cutting.

12010 was strategically placed outside the Old Jail Hotel where the launch took place and was also used for many photographs, explanations by Andy Boulton of ADL to interested groups about how the bus works and for the ribbon cutting at the formal part of the event.

A nice touch was the provision of umbrellas for the guests when a short but sharp shower of rain interrupted proceeding. 

An interesting statistic was provided by Andy Boulton of ADL who said that of the three operators trialling these type of buses in London on the 16, 24 and 141 TFL advised that in the last period 100% reliability was achieved on the 16 and 24 and 99% on the 141. This is a significant achievement for a comparatively new type of bus.

Following the launch five buses entered service on route 1 to Blackbird Leys. The first service was worked by 12005.

A general view of the launch last Thursday.

Cutting the ribbon on the launch bus.

Full details of these buses in service at present are given below.

So far received: 

12002-5, 7-14. 

It is expected that 12012 will go to Aldershot for use on services at the forthcoming Farnborough Air Show. 

Being used for training: 

12007 and 12008 

First day service: 

12002, 12005, 12009, 12011 & 12014. 

Entered service with the above on Friday 16th July: 

12003, 12004, 12010 and 12013. 

Further buses are expected following the return to work after the summer holiday break at Alexanders.

Around 50 guests attend the launch, including top people from ADL and the man involved in the livery, Ray Stenning of Best Impressions. I have scanned the leaflets produced for the launch as I feel they explain the working of the Hybrid in a simple way for all to understand.

The leaflet and the new buses in Oxford. Pictures courtesy Stagecoach.

Ray Stenning, whose company Best Impressions were involved in the livery design.

I am pleased to show a selection of pictures received from various contributors which show the buses in service in Oxford.

Two of the buses used for the press and a demonstration run on the morning of 15th July. Picture courtesy Geoff Cunliffe.

12002 and 12009 pass the camera by Carfax on the first day in service. Note that the rear fleet number is in green. Pictures courtesy Geoff Cunliffe.

Your Editor enjoys a first ride in company with two officials from Oxfordshire County Council. Picture courtesy Geoff Cunliffe.

12009 loads for a run to Blackbird Leys on Friday 16th July. Picture by
Gavin Francis.

A number of the new buses for those who like to have a picture of each bus.
12002, 12003, 12004, 12005, 12009, 12010, 12011 & 12013
Pictures by

David Benyon
caught 12014 on its first service journey to Blackbird Leys as seen above whilst picking up at Cowley Centre.

John Hammond snapped 12002 waiting in Norfolk Street to take up the very first service in Oxford with one of these buses. Thursday 15th July 2010.

More on the Beaconsfield Bus shelter stolen!!

From Frank Brown

Dave Jackson wondered what had happened to the Beaconsfield [Old Town] London bound LT era wooden bus shelter? A regular Carousel A40 passenger informed me it had been hit by a vehicle [car?] and demolished ! Wonder what happened to the wheelie bin? Ed.

Pictures by David Jackson.

From Derek Dowling

In your latest issue you have a photo of a bus shelter chained to a wheelie bin taken by David Jackson. I have a website which is somewhat related.

This is a tongue in cheek website dedicated to the humble wheelie bin and really is a load of nonsense. You may wish to give it a mention on your page as there is a section featuring buses and bins.  All contributions gratefully received etc. It is amazing where they keep popping up.

Indeed it is amazing what items are covered by web sites, tongue in cheek or not. Ed.

Other questions answered by Frank Brown

In answer to Nigel Peach’s Carousel queries the [newly converted in-house] open top Routemaster in Baker Street yard is RML2375 [JJD375D] used recently for a film job [running on trade plates]. Likewise the disused Dart, H125 THE originally purchased for a film and never used in service, was required again this time in Army Khaki !  Under the green tarpaulin sheet in the main garage compound is ongoing restoration project RT981 [CSL498 ex JXC9], moved to free up premium workshop space.

The green RF – NLE636 discovered/photographed by ‘hawkeye’ Gavin is none other than the Mayflower PH’s [Penn Road, Hazlemere] RF636,  moved from the cramped pub car park to a larger open air facility in High Wycombe. This RF was posted for sale on e-bay or approach Malcolm Jellows at the Mayflower PH directly if interested.

Comments from Ian McCormack        

I have enjoyed browsing your site and weekly bulletins for a number of years – great work.

I took (literally) a few photos in York and Bournemouth earlier this year.

York is of interest as I think this is still the only place where buses have the vertical standing advertising board? Also the FTR is always of interest.

Bournemouth is always lovely to visit and my parents lived there for several years, offering the opportunity for numerous rides on Bournemouth’s yellow buses.

Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society

Last month the first meeting of the Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society took place and was quite well attended. plans are in place for future meetings to have contributions from members and I will be including details in forthcoming issues of this page.

Indeed details of the next meeting are

Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society

Next meeting: 20th July 2010.

19.00 - 21.30pm

Meetings are held at:


Upstairs Function Room

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road


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

Finally and as always, my thanks to all who have contributed to this issue.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - July 17th 2010.

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.

Some bus drivers do object to their pictures being taken, even though the photographer is taking the bus and not the driver.
So I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
Now that we live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.
It is interesting to note that a change in official attitudes to pictures is changing and even companies will not support bus drivers who are abusive or threatening!


Readers varied contributions

From Bob Stanger 

Once again a very interesting and comprehensive latest edition of the above. Quite frankly I cannot imagine how you find the time to produce it. But of course you do so many thanks. 

I was having my evening meal last Friday having done a days driving with Horseman Coaches when I received a call from Ensignbus asking if I could cover a standby Rail Replacement duty during the day tomorrow e.g. Saturday. 

Nothing unusual so far until a) it was to be at High Wycombe Station and b) it will be using Ensign's recently restored Leyland Tiger Duple Caribbean coach adorned in the former Southend Transport X1 livery. 

What does a man have to do? Well of course the answer was yes and so attached are some photographs I took during the day. 

I was called into service on one run to Aylesbury calling at all stations stopping at Saunderton, Princes Risborough, Monks Risborough and Little Kimble. I quickly realised why it was single deckers only!


I was joined later at High Wycombe by another Ensign standby vehicle however without being disrespectful to 'Dart' owners I think I had the better deal.


Other companies involved in the day were Souls; Chalfont Coaches ( in National Express livery ); On A Mission, Z & S, both single deck buses and coaches; Heyfordian and A & B executive Travel. 

I took the opportunity to sample the local bus scene and also attached are just a few of my shots taken during a long sunny day in Buckinghamshire.


The F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Large numbers of buses were provided by Stagecoach for this annual event, said to be around 250 contributed from many areas of the Stagecoach newwork. George Irvine and Richard Sharman have both sent pictures taken on the day.

From George Irvine.

Buses used on the Park & Ride services.

George's pictures show the wide variety of liveries including some ex A1 Tridents now said to be at Cheltenham.

Coaches used on the Megabus and other services from far and wide.

From Richard Sharman

Buses used on the Park & Ride services.

Richard's pictures show the wide variety of liveries including an ex A1 Trident and Gold Scanias which included ones from Cheltenham.

Coaches used on the Megabus and other services from far and wide.

I am most grateful to these two gentlemen for their efforts.

Stokenchurch Interlude by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.

We can show a number of interesting workings through Stokenchurch which took our fancy in recent weeks.

Is this the first time that the 275 has been double deck worked in recent years? This bus has been around recently being at North Weald. Picture by your Editor.

A selection of other buses working through Stokenchurch. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

London Interlude by Gavin Francis

Many interesting vehicles are seen by Gavin during his travels around London and I record some here for the record.

This selection includes new buses in London, a trainer and some interesting double deck coaches from Beestons, a B&M Golden tours coach and did this M A N 11.220 really come down from the North West?

I was rather taken with this two horsepower carriage Gavin saw entering and leaving "Buck House".
Gavin can be quite a tourist when the mood takes him!

Something of a surprise is this B&M coach which operates a daily service to Bicester Village also offering discounts on the shops there.
This is interesting because The Oxford Tube carries a lot of connecting passengers visiting the village.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.


And so on to fleet news with individual company happenings.

Sadly there has been another bus fire in the Wycombe fleet, this time a Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3213. This is reported by Peter Cabin. Also there continues to be ongoing use of branded buses on the wrong routes with one of the latest occurrences being a 31 Green route branded Volvo on Line 40 to Thame. It must be difficult for the drivers to negotiate the narrow lanes around Towersey.

3864 seen in Stokenchurch on 16th July 2010 by Gavin Francis.

From Glenn Knight

Volvo B6 3298 on the 62 Northchurch leaving Wycombe on July 16th - Picture by Glenn Knight.

Pictured in Hemel Hempstead where a number of elderly Varios have been replaced by incoming Solos from Ware. Also the Solo 2461 which was at Wycombe is now at HH.

Arriva 3863 on 52 from High Wycombe on 7th July by Glenn Knight

Hemel based Enviro 300, 3569 on service 320 on July 11th. Picture by Glenn Knight.

DAF coach 4364 which has acquired a super rear ad for Butterfly world. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Olympian 5136
seen at Hemel Bus Stn on TESCO 101, an usual sight as this service did have a specially liveried Vario. Picture by Glenn Knight.

An import from Ware 2462 on the 550 to Watford taken in Hemel Hempstead on 15th July. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Home based 2482 on the 31 taken in Hemel Hempstead on 15th July. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Another import from Ware, 2490 on Staff Shuttle taken in Hemel Hempstead on 15th July. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Pictured in Watford:

Enviro 400 5456 with new branding for the 320 but working a 321 service on July 7th. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Pictured in Leighton Buzzard:

New Solo
0441 which has been renumbered from 0411 with MK and now working in Leighton Buzzard on July 7th. Picture by Glenn Knight. 

Pictured in Watford Town Centre:

3222  on service W10 on July 11th by Glenn Knight.

3228 on service 320 Rickmansworth on 11th July by Glenn Knight.

Pictured in Luton:

Olympian 5104 operated the 15:55 61 Aylesbury to Luton Airport shown in this picture taken near Luton Airport on July 15th. Picture by Glenn Knight.

Pictured in Aylesbury:

Taken in Aylesbury Bus Stn this well travelled Dart 3834 was on crew shuttle on July 14th. Picture by Glenn Knight. 

From Nigel Peach 

Red Dart 3226 seems to have an identity crisis. When I pulled out behind it yesterday onto West Wycombe Road, it was displaying P & R route 100 on the side, but U9 on the back (it's often on that route as a stand in). 

But when I passed it, it was correctly showing 39 on the front - it was standing in for on of the Orange Versas. 

From Peter Cabin  

I decided to have a trip on the 340 today Saturday 10th July to Stokenchurch but when we arrived at lane end there was what looked like smoke or steam coming from the engine compartment. The driver got out and had a quick look - the bus in question was 3163 N713.EUR. He rung the garage who told him to continue on to his destination and bring the bus back in service to High Wycombe. When I got off the bus all the coolant was spitting out and as he departed for Wycombe you could see the smoke & steam quite clearly. However later on in the day this bus was being used as the staff shuttle bus.

Another fire victim is Dart 3213 R213GMJ as per the photo above taken in July. Picture by Peter Cabin.

VDL 3702, the Park & Ride bus, damaged in a fatal accident in the first month of the year, has disappeared from the Cressex garage. It was not there on Saturday July 10th. Also Solo 2461 seems to have left Wycombe, as it was not up at Cressex or on the running boards at the bus station or on the v.o.r. boards.

Regarding 3853 N413NRG, it's still up at Cressex with a ticket machine and electronic blinds installed.

From Dan Bailey

Here are just a few pictures I have taken over the past few weeks, note that all the 38 new Scanias are gradually getting re-painted!!

Scania/Wrightbus 3614 on the 60 in Clements End, Studham on a Sunday evening working on 20th June. Picture by Dan Bailey.

Enviro 300 - 3567 - working route 2 in Woodhall Farm. Picture by Aron Tibbett.

Freshly repainted 3261 late at night on route 38 and taken in Luton Church Street. this bus is repainted into new interurban livery.
Seen on July 7th by Dan Bailey.


From Glenn Knight

Barkerbus of Roydon A105 FPL Leyland Olympian ECW  Ex-London Country LRC5  seen at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead, offloading French Students. 

See some answers above regarding the identity of the RML mentioned last week.

From Glenn Knight 

Metrobus M1386 preparing for departure on the 651 to Stokenchurch on July 16th - Picture by6 Glenn Knight.

A rare find on 13th July in Watford on Carousel Service 336 was L556 a  Leyland Olympian. Picture by Glenn Knight.


A Dart on the 2C picks up in Stokenchurch on the afternoon of 16th July. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.


From Gavin Francis

Olympian 54 has gained a super rear ad for the local shopping centre "The Clarendon".


This company has gained yet more routes including the 44 and 218 which serve Oxford.

A new Solo is covering these two routes and is seen here on 44. Picture by Peverel.

The same bus but this time on the 218. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Heyfordian have also been using what appears to be a loan Solo on the 103 and 113 as seen above. Picture by Gavin Francis.


Five new Volvo/Plaxton Elites are due for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire and these will replace the Scania/Caetano Levantes presently in use. Details of the new coaches are as follows:

Fleet Number Plaxton Elite
Volvo B9R
1 Chassis Number Body Number Reg Number
53701 Oxford (National; Express) 1 YV3S5P722AA142020 1012.6SAA8630 OU10 GYH
53702 Oxford (National; Express) 2 YV3S5P724AA142021 1012.6SAA8631 OU10 GYJ
53703 Oxford (National; Express) 3 YV3S5P726AA142022 1012.6SAA8632 OU10 GYK
53704 Oxford (National; Express) 4 YV3S5P728AA142023 1012.6SAA8633 OU10 GYN
53705 Oxford (National; Express) 5 YV3S5P72XAA142024 1012.6SAA8634 OU10 GYO


The first of these new coaches was received at Oxford last Thursday afternoon and I am grateful to Robert Williams for sending me some pictures for the page.

The coach seen in the workshops at Horspath after arrival by
Robert Williams.

During the last few days hired coaches have been working the 737 service from Oxford to Stansted. Two of these are seen below.

A Dhillon tri-axle as seen by Gavin Francis works the 0400 arrival from Stansted on Friday 16th July.

A Dhillon coach PG02WYE worked the 0905 737 service from Oxford and it is pictured by Glenn Knight as it passed through Hemel on Thursday 15th July.

Further pictures of interest from various contributors.

One of Lucketts Levantes with a special livery seen in Victoria Coach Station on 9th July by Gavin Francis.

Not everything goes well from time to time and this Transdev Bournemouth was in trouble when seen by Gavin Francis in VCS on July 12th.

I am now awaiting further pictures from the North East of the ex Oxford Volvos when they enter service in the new home area.

Pictures from various contributors.

Various pictures including ones showing Q busters at work on 5 road by Gavin Francis.

Two rears of current fleet members parked in Norfolk St on July 15th by Malcolm Crowe.

From Colin Richardson 

On Tuesday 6th July I travelled on the new Enviro 400.  I was very impressed with the ride.  The seats were very comfortable with deep cushions.  I noted that only a single door is  provided to allow for additional seats.  While seating on a seat at rail station for 30 minutes, I noted that each bus leaving with at least eight people on each journey at a quiet time of 14.00 - 14.30 hrs., with many passengers seating upstairs.  Just as passengers did to Blackbird Leys on AEC Regents and Renowns in years gone by to Blackbird Leys.



Richard Sharman sent pictures of members of the current fleet.

Red Rose

The Olympian decker was used on the 275 on Friday 16th July. There is a picture further up the page.

R H Buses

From Chris Lowe 

Former RH Transport Optare Solo (Y332 HWT) is now in service with Travelmaster in Manchester. It is repainted in an all over maroon livery with gold fleet names and is seen here in this view taken last Wednesday in Manchester's Shudehill Interchange shows it operating on GMPTE tendered service 96 to Simister (Farmers Arms).

A one time member of the RH fleet is now at work in Manchester as seen in this picture from Chris Lowe.


The new Hybrid deckers were launched last Thursday as fully covered in the opening part of the News page above.

The first of five new Plaxton Elite coaches was received on Thursday 15th July and this is covered under the National Express heading above.

From Gary Seamarks 

Have seen latest Page and disagree with Glenn Knights comment on 53614, as far as I can remember it departed Bedford about 25 Feb 2009 in the evening, on suspended tow on a CMG Recovery lorry. Its RTA was Sat 14/2, from where it was taken to a secure pound for Police investigation, they released it to Buckdales who site is about 400 metres from Bedford depot, on the night of 17 Feb it was parked next to St Johns Station in full public view. Buckdales removed it to St Johns Depot at about 8.45 on Weds 18 Feb, when I managed to get photos of it. It was parked at the back of St Johns in the school bus line for all to see until it was removed as above on 25/2, when i was going to pick my wife up from work. Have been round all of Bedford depot this April and can state it was not there. As I pass the site almost daily I  have not seen it since 25/2.s


From Gavin Francis

Missing from recent pages were pictures and a report from Gavin on the appearance of a Scania gold bus on a Megabus diagram to London from Cheltenham. This was quite unusual and worth a mention. Apologies to Gavin for the delay in using his pictures.

SC Cheltenham's 15522 was seen in Victoria on 26th April 2010. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

From Martin White 

Seen in Victoria on a recent evening on the stand was 52436 ( 83CBD ) ready to operate the 18.00 M12 to Huddersfield, now has legal lettering for Midland Red South, Rugby. 

This Coach was new to Rugby depot as 36 R36AKV for National Express then spent some time on the X5 at Bedford before being replaced by the B9R,s, I was later talking to a Megabus driver from Rugby who said that its on loan to cover as a spare for Megabus duties. 

He also mentioned that some of the displaced Volvo B12M's 53xxx from NX work are due to move over to Megabus once the Elites enter service and the cascade of the coach fleet takes place. 

Nothing else of interest on Megabus in Vic whilst there just the usual B12B Panthers.

Some recent sightings in London from Gavin Francis.

The second of the two recently received Astromegas, 50232 is seen in Bulleid Way on July 9th.

Somewhat out of area is this Citylink tri-axle 50437 working the M20 to Edinburgh on July 15th.

Thames Travel

The company has received quite a number of new buses in recent months and two are seen in Oxford below.

The first of a number of Enviro 200s is seen here in the 101 service to Watlington on July 16th by Gavin Francis.

One of the Solos more usually to be found on the new services in the Bracknell area, 710 works an X39 service on July 16th in this picture from Peverel.


From The Company 


For the third consecutive summer, Tiger Line Buses are to introduce a new local bus service, on Monday 9th August 2010! 

The new Tiger Line Service T5 will link Amersham, Chesham, Lye Green, Bovingdon, Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Adeyfield, Leverstock Green, St Albans, Fleetville, Oaklands, and Hatfield. The service will operate every hour, Monday to Friday daytimes, and every two hours on Saturdays. 

The service will build on the success of Tiger Line’s other bus services. Tiger Line have a reputation for providing quality bus services around Chesham and Hemel Hempstead. Nothing is too much trouble for our friendly staff and whilst our buses are not low floor, our drivers are more than willing to assist passengers with shopping or buggies. Our buses are fitted with comfortable, coach-style seating. 

The new route also marks the launch of a new look for the company. Previously, our buses were white with lettering. However, the vehicles intended for this work will be painted in a new livery of mostly orange, with a black skirt. Most buses will be fitted with route branding, showing clearly where we are going, and our fare deals. 

Fares on Service T5 are low, and designed to encourage passengers to travel. We have low single tickets, Day Returns (valid all day), Weekly and Saverstrip (12 journeys for no more than the price of 10). Discounts on the Adult fare are available to Children, University of Hertfordshire staff & students, Oaklands College staff & students, West Herts College staff & students, etc. 

Passengers who purchase a Return or Explorer ticket (but not Roary Rovers) between Hemel Hempstead and Hatfield can come back later on the evening at no extra charge! After we’ve gone home for the night, Uno operate an evening Service 301 between the same points, which will accept our Return tickets, and all Intalink Explorers. 

Our new Roary Rover tickets will allow 1, 7 or 28 days unlimited travel, in the areas of your choice, or even across our whole network! How does £5.00 for a day’s travel anywhere we go sound, good? Well, it gets even better on Saturdays, when you can take two Children free with every Adult Network Roary Rover (daily, weekly, 4-weekly) purchased on that day (or, in the case of weekly/4 weekly tickets, valid for that day). 

This bus journey connects with four main railway lines, various markets, local shops, hospitals, and hundreds of other bus connections. 

This new service will also reinstate links between Hemel Hempstead, Bovingdon and Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Passengers can board our Service T5 heading for Chesham, and change there to Service T1, which takes you straight into the grounds of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, as well as other places such as Great Missenden or Worlds End Garden Centre. 

We currently have four through journeys on our Service T2 between Chesham and Watford. Now, passengers can travel between these points throughout the day, simply by changing buses at Hemel Hempstead. 

Our new timetable leaflet shows all journeys on Service T5, plus connections to/from Services T1 and T2. It also includes details of all our money saving deals, sample fares, and much more. Look for your copy at various local outlets, or download one from Failing that, email or phone 01494 774411 and we will post you one.

The latest issue of Buses records the fact that ex Ulsterbus 1372/5/6/7/84 (UXI1372/5/6/7 and WXI 4384), Leyland Tiger/Alexander Q type buses have been purchased to work this new service.

some recent pictures of the Woottens fleet by Gavin Francis.


Two of the fleet seen first in Oxford and then at Lewknor.

Worth's of Enstone

From Neil Gow 

Further to the closure of Worth's local service commitments, thought you might be interested in this picture of one of their ex City of Oxford Olympians taken in December 2002.


I've also been upgrading the pictures on my own website ( as well - and adding some that I couldn't previously get a decent scan off the print.

Readers should be aware that Worth's are still running their coach operations and offer an excellent service for users around Oxfordshire.

Z&S of Aylesbury

Gavin Francis recorded the double deck coach owned by Z&S which I had not realised but was once owned and indeed purchased new by Eddie Stobart, the famous road haulier.



Major news

Stagecoach named Public Transport Operator of the Year

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Stagecoach Manchester was last night (Thursday 15 July) named Public Transport Operator of the Year at the 2009 National Transport Awards.

The company scooped the prestigious top bus operator award at a ceremony in Manchester’s Palace Hotel after impressing judges with its passenger growth, health and safety record and customer service.

The award marks a double achievement for Stagecoach Group after its Bluebird bus company also scooped the Public Transport Operator (Bus) honour at the 2009 National Transport Awards.

Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director Les Warneford said: “This is a great achievement on its own and to be named Britain's best bus operator two years in a row is a fantastic result. The hard work of our team in Manchester is a great example of the success we have achieved in attracting more people to our greener, smarter services through great value fares, continued investment and good customer service."

Stagecoach Manchester now carries more than 96million passengers a year on a fleet of more than 650 vehicles. The company has achieved passenger growth in both adult and concessionary markets of 23% in the past five years and continues to attract new users through route and ticket promotions.

Since 2006, Stagecoach Manchester has invested more than £44million in around 300 new double decker vehicles and 62% of its bus fleet complies with Euro 3 emissions standards or higher. In line with Stagecoach Group’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the company also buys most of its energy from renewable sources and recycles over 70% of all waste.

Stagecoach Manchester Managing Director Mark Threapleton added: “This award is for every one of our drivers, engineers, cleaners and the rest of our team behind the scenes who work tirelessly every day to provide the best service possible for our customers. Partnership working is also crucial to our success and I would like to thank all our partner organisations for their continued support in our drive to provide first class bus services for passengers in Greater Manchester.”

The National Transport Awards recognise excellence across the transport industry in the UK and Ireland and are organised in association with Transport Times. A total of 20 awards were presented across a range of categories, recognising excellence in transport delivery, travel information and marketing, innovation, walking and cycling, sustainable transport, bus and rail services, accessibility and customer service.

In total, 10 Stagecoach bus and rail companies were shortlisted for nominations at this year’s awards.

Stagecoach has won a clutch of awards within the past year. The company again led the way at the 2009 UK Bus Awards, winning three awards and claiming two runners-up spots. Stagecoach West Scotland won the Partnership of the Year honour at the 2009 Scottish Transport Awards and Stagecoach Group was also named Best Green Travel Provider at the 2009 Scottish Green Awards. 

EU plan for passenger compensation for coach delays


The European Commission is drawing up plans to give coach and bus passengers the right to claim compensation in the event of delays or cancellations.

The aim is to extend passenger rights currently enjoyed by air and train passengers. MEPs want the rules to apply to long-distance as well as local bus transport.

Draft rules were approved Tuesday and negotiations will now start between the EU institutions.

But some member states have insisted national governments should be left to decide whether urban, suburban and regional services could be exempted if covered by a "public service contract" guaranteeing a similar level of passenger rights.

Under the rules, which also apply to passengers travelling by sea and inland waterway, travellers would be entitled to cash refunds for delays or cancellations. They would also get up to £1,800 for lost or damaged baggage and unlimited compensation in the event of a passenger's death in a bus or coach accident.

A Confederation of Passenger Transport UK spokesman warned of a "pretty drastic" impact on local services, with significant increase in costs for operators.

"This is a Draconian proposal and unfairly puts the onus on bus and coach operators even for accidents," he said.

Tory MEP Philip Bradbourn MEP said: "I have no problem with paying compensation for tardy or inferior service but we have our own rules on the amounts to be paid which Europe should not interfere with.

"I am in favour of cross-border coaches falling under the same passenger rights rules as other international transport modes, but imposing this upon local services, many of them run by small operators, is ridiculous.

"It will raise costs to small scale operators, many of whom provide a vital service in rural areas, and push up prices. Far from improving service, it will hinder it and push many operators to say that the liabilities no longer make the service viable."

Green Bus Fund second round

Transport Minister Norman Baker announced this morning (Monday) that the second round of Green Bus Funding – originally announced by Lord Adonis in late March – will now go ahead, and has been increased from £10m to £15m.

The fund is expected to support the purchase of around 150 hybrid and electric buses, by funding the additional capital cost, compared with a conventional diesel bus. Bus operators and councils can bid for the money.

The measure only applies in England, as transport is devolved in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Scotland announced its own green bus fund last month

At the launch this morning, at Vauxhall Bus Station, Norman Baker said: “This investment will stimulate the market for low carbon buses by reducing some of the initial costs for operators and councils.

“It will deliver significant benefits, in particular reducing the impact of road transport on climate change and improving air quality.”

New luxury express coach service to offer first class rail-style travel at economy prices

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Scottish Citylink launched a new luxury express coach service on Monday 5th July, offering passengers the chance to enjoy a first class rail-style journey at economy prices.

Fast, state-of-the-art air-conditioned coaches will match journey times by train, offering bargain fares from just £4*, as well as free Wi-Fi and at-seat refreshments.

The brand new Citylink Gold services will link Glasgow-Aberdeen and Glasgow-Aviemore-Inverness with six services a day on each route.

The 15-metre luxury coaches, which can carry 54 passengers, are equipped with leather seats, mahogany table trays, a servery and toilet. They also feature some of the greenest engines in Europe with low carbon emissions.

The coaches are operated by Parks of Hamilton.

Coach attendants will provide passengers with first-class at-seat rail-style service, providing free hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and fresh fruit.

Journey times between Glasgow and Aberdeen are less than two hours and 40minutes, while services between Inverness and Glasgow will take as little as three hours and 23minutes.

Citylink Gold is the latest offering from Scottish Citylink - a joint venture between Stagecoach and international transport group ComfortDelGro.

Launching the new services, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter said: "We are offering a fast, first-class express coach service at economy prices. With this great package we are taking coach travel to a new level of luxury."

Jaspal Singh, CEO of ComfortDelGro UK and Ireland, added: "Citylink Gold will provide passengers with more than just a journey - it's a great value, comfortable and modern service which I hope will encourage more people to choose coach travel as their preferred mode of transport."

Jaspal Singh, CEO of ComfortDelGro UK and Ireland & Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter

The new Citylink Gold brand also has its own tartan, which was designed and manufactured by The House of Edgar, based in Perth.

Bookings can now be made for the new services, which begin on 12 July, at

Scottish Citylink now carries more than three million passengers each year, offering prices from as little as £1 per journey*.

For further information on Citylink Gold visit



History & Discussion


From Tom Pike 

I to lived close to the Warwickshire/Glos (at that time but went to Shipston school) border and my father drove for Barry’s. With ref to the Meon Valley thing, it was Meon that had financial trouble and Barry’s took them on, gradually phasing out the Meon Valley name. David’s' memory of the coaches is spot on. After Barry died, the company was left to his daughters to run and eventually folded due to financial reasons. It was not amalgamated or anything, just dispersed, and the ground sold off for development.

I would be grateful if anyone has any pictures of Barry’s'.


Upcoming events, Trips & Running Days 

Running days

From Andrew Morgan (RM1368) on the Ridgeway Run

I thought that you might be interested that this years Ridgeway Run had a different route, and, for example it does not go through Stokenchurch. My RM was entered.

(Due to an oversight on my part, I missed recording the recent Ridgeway Run and some pictures received from Andrew Morgan (RM1368 fame) which recorded a most interesting event. Apologies to Andrew who went to the trouble of sending the pictures. Ed.)

The pictures were taken at the final point of the run at Quainton Road and show the variety of vehicles taking part in this year's run.
The first picture shows RM1368 and other London RMs and the second and third wonderful Leyland cheetah with Harrington bodywork, once the pride of Minehead.
Pictures by Andrew Morgan (RM1368).

Peterborough from Andrew Morgan (Herts)

EMBLINGS ex-OXFORD Bristol VR (AUD460R) on 11/07/10 at Wansford station on the Nene Valley Railway on a feeder from Peterborough bus rally the main reason of sending the picture is because I was wondering if any one knows when and or why the windscreen wipers were moved from below the widescreen to above it ?

(This bus is interesting because it started life with city of Oxford Motor Services Ed.)

North Weald 2010

From Marcus Lapthorn 

I attended the North Weald event and hope readers will enjoy some of the pictures I took.

Former Malta bus 364 which was last seen by me at the Valetta Bus rally in Malta on 25 April.
This bus is in amazingly good condition and was driven, without any problems, from Malta through Europe to Kent where it now resides.
It is a Bedford QL dating from 1943! The body is by Sammut and dates from 1974.

Other buses attending this event by Marcus Lapthorn

From Richard Sharman

Richard attended this event and sent a number of interesting pictures.

Buses in the Landscape 

The London Bus Company's Daimler Fleetline DM1052 and a full scale Hawker Hurricane model at North Weald on 04/07/10.
Andrew Morgan (Herts)

Two from Gavin taken in London showing the London Eye and Westminster.

Gavin Francis's picture with not a bus in sight, should be Boats in the Landscape! However I did like the picture.

Arriva the Shires 3283 climbing Byson Hill towards Studham & Whipsnade with Aylesbury Vale in the far background.
Picture by Glenn Knight


Seen in the yard of Grayline, Bicester is one of the ex Oxford Tube coaches now with Dawson Rentals, ex 50117. Picture by Richard Sharman.

seen in Aylesbury is one of the Dot2Dot minis which were until recently held in a compound at Hemel. Picture by Richard Sharman.

A number of Imperial coaches double decks have visited Oxford in recent weeks. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Another double deck coach operator is PPH of St Albans and two of their coaches were also seen at Oxpens recently. Picture by Gavin Francis.

A regular performer in recent weeks on the 853 from Cheltenham has been this Plaxton, M407BFG. Picture by Gavin Francis.

A rather splendid Ulsterbus Irizar PB was caught in Oxpens by Gavin Francis.

Weavaway were also seen in Oxpens with coaches, including one of their ex National Express Neoplans. Pictures by Peverel.



Upcoming Events

Olympian trip in our area on Saturday 24th July 2010

From Chris Martin

I'm writing to you as the provider of all information in the local area via your superb Oxford and Chiltern Bus Page to tell you about a trip I'm running in the area in a couple of months time. Firstly a bit of background; I organise trips for an online group dedicated to Leyland Olympians and we have previously visited Confidence in Leicester, Redfern in Mansfield and Alpine in Llandudno. We concentrate on the older Olympians (eg ECW bodywork) as these are so scarce in service now and our next trip will be based in High Wycombe where Heyfordian will be conveying us around the area for the day, we should ride on four different Olympians during the day and a visit to the Motts depot in Aylesbury is also included. If you would be kind enough to mention our trip on the Oxford and Chiltern bus page we would be very grateful, we tend to attract a handful of "locals" when we run these trips which provide a useful boost in numbers to our Olympian fans which come from far and wide. 

On SATURDAY JULY 24th I have arranged that we will visit Heyfordian for a day of activity on the often overlooked collection of old Leyland Olympians in the fleet there. Following a similar formula to our four previous trips on the old Olympians we will undertake a series of mini excursions around the area stopping on each trip to get our photos of the vehicle.

We will be aiming to ride on at least FOUR different Olympians from the collection of former North East area ECW bodied Olympians. 

The day will start and finish in High Wycombe and we will leave the Heyfordian depot in West Wycombe at 0945, picking up in Castle Street (ideal for rail station) in High Wycombe at 0955. Our first trip will take us out via Great Missenden to the Motts depot in Aylesbury where we have been kindly allowed to visit to see and photograph the vehicles there. We return to High Wycombe via Princess Risborough.

After swapping over buses we will head out through Stokenchurch to the small Heyfordian outbase in Yarnton which is just north of Oxford. This allows us to enjoy a long run on the bus and see and photograph the other Heyfordian vehicles. We will borrow one of the Yarnton vehicles for a trip into Oxford where we will take a one hour lunch break before returning the bus to Yarnton and running back to High Wycombe.

After another change of bus we will embark on a circular tour around Wycombe Marsh, Bourne End and Marlow- this trip will drop off in Castle Street in High Wycombe on the way back at around 1755 and our day will conclude at the depot in West Wycombe at around 1805. Each excursion has been planned so that we have plenty of time to stop a couple of times for photos of the bus away from the depot environment. 

As a courtesy to Motts Travel's helpfulness can I request that a hi-viz vest be worn at all times when within the depot. 

The price for a full day of unlimited travel is set at £15.00 per person, accompanied kids can ride for just £5.00. There is also a concessions fare of £12.50 available to any National Concession Card holder, and passengers who joined us on the Redfern/Johnsons Trip in Mansfield on May 1st can bring their pink leaflets with the discount voucher to claim £1.50 off any of those prices. 

THERE IS NO NEED TO PRE-BOOK, NOR IS THERE A NEED FOR AN "INVITATION", NOR IS THERE A REQUIREMENT TO BE A MEMBER OF THE LEYLAND OLYMPIANS YAHOO GROUP TO JOIN US. Sorry about the shouting bit, there does seem to be some confusion over that point! All you need to do is simply turn up on the day, hop on the bus and your friendly conductor will collect your fare during the journey. 

More information will be posted in the week before the date of our trip, so look out for updates. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have if you e-mail me at

I sincerely look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on this trip, please forward this message onto anyone else who you think may be interested and please cut and paste into other news groups- you don't need to be a member of the Leyland Olympians Yahoo group to join us and the success of these trips depends on getting enough passengers.

The Kemble Steam Extravaganza once again this year, which is taking place at the Cotswold Airport from Friday 6th – Sunday 8th August. 

Record bus and coach displays at South-West's largest festival of transport

The Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza makes a welcome return to Cotswold Airport (previously known as Kemble Airfield) this year from Friday 6th - Sunday 8th August 2010, taking the show in to its 36th year.

The show was originally conceived for steam enthusiasts, but the range of exhibits has grown year on year. It now boasts a huge array of vintage transport, including buses, coaches, motorcycles, military vehicles, classic cars, tractors, aircraft, commercial vehicles, traction engines and historic caravans. A live action arena, interactive demonstrations, rare breeds, shire horses, trade stands and a vintage fun fair along with hundreds of curiosity stalls ranging from Victorian memorabilia, antique sewing and knitting machines to model dolls houses, petrol pumps, vintage garden tools and 1940s – 1950’s home wares makes this three day extravaganza one of the UK's best value family outdoor shows.

Widely regarded as a show within a show, the bus section has grown from humble beginnings to a vintage vehicle rally in its own right. Attracting exhibits from the length of the land as well as from foreign climes as far as china, the line up of vehicles is as colourful as it is impressive.

Buses of every shape, size and configuration will be represented, with highlights including a Bristol built double-decker once operated by Lincolnshire Road Car.  You can also expect to find an array of preserved buses that you would have perhaps once travelled on as a child, such as classic Bedford OBs. The section is certainly a nostalgia trip not to be missed!

John Hitchings of the bus and coach section of Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza says: "Everybody enjoys seeing old buses and coaches because we each remember special journeys made on them. A ride on a vintage bus is a trip heavy with nostalgia."

A free vintage bus service will be operating to and from Kemble railway station throughout the show to connect with selected First Great Western Trains. A courtesy bus will also shuttle guests to the Bristol Aero collection. Formed in 1990, this collection records 95 years of Bristol aviation and space heritage. Based in a large wartime hangar, the collection includes aircraft, helicopters, missiles and engines. For details of the bus schedule, please refer to the website  Buses will depart from outside the main show entrance.

Pictures from last year's event

Admission Information: 

Discounted tickets are available to buy online, please visit

Discounted tickets are also available from Local Tourist Information Centres including: Stroud, Cirencester, Chippenham, Swindon, Malmesbury, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Cotswolds and Tetbury. 

Prices on the Gate:

Adult:                          Friday: £7, Saturday or Sunday: £10, Weekender: £15

Concessions:            Friday: £6, Saturday or Sunday: £9, Weekender: £13

Juniors:                      Friday: £4, Saturday or Sunday: £5, Weekender: £8

Under 5’s free of charge 

Friday family ticket: £18 (2 adults & 2 children)

Saturday or Sunday family ticket:  £25 (2 adults & 2 children) 

Gates open: Friday – Sunday, 10.00am         Public enquiries contact: 01453 890891

All profits donated to the Cobalt Appeal Fund, Diabetes UK & The County Air Ambulance.