Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr. 31 - August 6th 2010

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

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

Well, what a few weeks there have been, bringing much news of happenings in our neck of the woods.

Buckinghamshire coach operator "On A Mission" (click this link to read details.) went into receivership at 9am on August 2nd, details of which can be found under Jottings lower down this page. Several National Express routes have changed operator, Transport Malta has chosen Arriva (Malta) Consortium as its preferred bidder, Ashok Leyland is set to buy a 26% stake in Optare making a most interesting reversal of a situation from many years ago when Leyland started manufacture in India in cooperation with Ashok and two accidents on the M40 and M25 involved coaches from our area of coverage.

On the service front First is set to change the nature of its Slough-Wycombe service, introducing a revision in the next few weeks and going express as the X74. The 377 service which serves Beaconsfield is now in the hands of Z&S, the original operator, Magpie, losing out to the new operator.

53704 in The Eden Bus Station, High Wycombe on 23rd July. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Since the last issue the five new Elite coaches, operated by Stagecoach, have entered service on the 737 from Oxford to Stansted and more Enviro 400 Hybrids have entered service in Oxford. Indeed Oxford could now be called Enviro 400 City as there are six differing versions of this type operating in the city. Indeed if you count the 28 branded ones from Stratford which appear on the S3 on Sundays one could almost claim SEVEN.

In another home following transfer!
An Oxford Bus in Gateshead Metro and a North East Trident in St Aldates, Oxford. Pictures by Ray Parnaby and Gavin Francis.

The first pictures of the ex Oxford Bus Volvos, now in service in the North East, are to hand in their striking yellow livery and in contrast four of the ex North East Tridents have reappeared in Oxford service fully garbed in a coat of green for use on the 300 and 500 P&R services. This was something of a surprise as it was believed that they were leaving the fleet. It just goes to show that there are still surprises in this modern day world of high speed communication.

News is also contained in this issue of another special day when we will see the Hemel Hempstead Running Day on Sunday 15 August 2010.  (click this link to read details.) This was a great event last year and well worth attending. Details may be found further down this page.

Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society

Last month the second meeting of the Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society took place and was 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.

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 per person per meeting depending on numbers.

Next meeting: 21st September 2010. tbcf

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 - August 6th 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 "Harry in a box"

I have spotted a 1979 Olympian in grey/Silver and Blue quite a few times lately, firstly in Stewkley and then again in Aylesbury. Untaxed, though maybe its changing service? Bus was very smokey too.

From Alexander

Yesterday 22/7

S3 branded bus on S5

Queen's St was closed due to A gas leak in 1 of the shops. Busses had to be diverted. Routes 3 and 7C were picking-up from Castle St and running via New Rd, Park End St, Hollybush Row, Oxpens Rd, Thames St, Speedwell St and St Aldate's. Route 300 was diverting via Castle St, Old Greyfriars St and Speedwell St and stopping at Castle St. The 8 was diverting via St Aldate's but I didn't see what others were doing or no any more about what the 8 was doing.

From James May

I’ve recently visited Oxford – on Thursday – and managed to grab many many photos. They are all online at

From R Sharman

Launched on the 19th of July where five Scania/Enviro 400's for route 28 operated by Stratford Depot.
Picture by Richard Sharman.

These are the first new deckers for Warwickshire since 1998 when they had a batch of S-ANH Volvo Olympians.

Four are branded for the 28 and one remains unbranded as a spare.

The T KPG batch of Tridents they replace are being de-branded before going back into service.

Also pictured is a Solo new to Cambridge and two recent cascaded Olympians.

From Alan Drake

Living in Kettering I don't get much chance to contribute to your pages but following the piece on Z&S's ex Stobart coach I thought you might like to see these. First in her full Stobart livery when she was new and I also saw her in Amboise in the Loire valley having some belts seen to in June 2006 when with Z&S.  Many thanks for your great site.

From Gavin Francis

Gavin reports seeing two of the old Oxford tubes on the Western Avenue, the latest being ex 50102 this morning, August 6th. I wonder who is operating them? He saw the one, 50117, the one reported at Grayline a few weeks ago earlier this week. 

Premium Tours have now branded and added a rear ad to one of their RMLs. With the flags its almost a copy of Arriva Round London. 

Not sure what Health and Safety think of this in VCS. However plenty of chances for diversions on this route! 

Must be a first? I think an Enviro had failed at Magdalen Street and this was the nearest bus available on 26th July. Picture by Gavin Francis.

(I brought this bus back from Cordwallis @ Eynsham on 29th July after some rectification work! Ed.)


From Ray Parnaby, Tyne & Wear

Can I start of by saying what a great site the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page is and that I have been a avid reader for many years. I'm have attached a few photos that may be of interest to you for your site:

Ex Oxford Volvos now at work in the North East with the backdrop of the attached pictures taken at Gateshead Interchange shows the Gateshead Trinity Square car park in which Get Carter was filmed in, which is currently in the process of being demolished. It has been a marmite type of building in the North East, you either love it or hate it. I for one like it for it history, it's just a shame it fell in to disrepair.

5152 - T802 CBW - Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown - Go North East (Ex-Oxford Bus Company) (Rear) - Saltmeadows Depot 15-07-10

5156 - T806 CBW - Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown - Go North East (Ex-Oxford Bus Company) (Rear) - Saltmeadows Depot 15-07-10

These are from this collection if you wish to explore:-

DSCF2302 shows 61004 - NK05 RWO - Designline Olympus - Stagecoach in Newcastle (Quaylink) - Gateshead Quays, Baltic 17-07-10 (The last day of SiN operation on the Quaylink)

More on the last day of the Designline can be found here:-

From Russell Young

One of two ex Reading Buses Optare Excels running with JPT (Middleton, Gtr Manchester) in Market Street, Manchester City Centre on Friday 23 July 2010.

From Peverel

A few newbies and surprises so far this week. 

Firstly, I saw 902 which, despite apparently having left the fleet (according to a member of this group along with 903), has re-entered service sporting a full P+R paint-job. Very nice and shiny indeed. 

Three new hybrids have hit the road in service - 12012 was seen Tuesday, 12007 & 12008 were both seen today - both minus their introductory 'training bus' adverts and 'green credentials' stickers.

And, my photo of an Elite - 53704 this evening - which crept up behind me and I was lucky to get such a clear shot. I also managed a shot of 53702 by the Ice Rink this morning - not in service on the front - but I'm afraid I was caught unawares again and my photo is a tad blurred. So it goes - another better one will follow in due course. 

And finally Malcolm, my daily walks past the coach park today revealed on old friend visiting - up from the South Coast. Nice to see it's still plying its trade.


Two slightly different photos on Fri; Firstly, caught a double deck Red Rose laying over in Speedwell St, and later, a Motts vehicle that seemed to be instead of the ever-present MA07BUS. Again, I could be wrong, but this did appear to be in service....


This morning (Sun) I popped into town to get the 10am S3 - which I was sure would be one of Stratford's Enviro's.

Tuesday 3rd August

First up, as you will already know the Hybrids started on the 7 on Sunday (I first saw one then anyway) but it was Monday when some new ones were trotted out for their first service runs. I saw four on the day, 12001 (GGA) 12015 (GHF) 12016 (GHG) & 12018 (GHJ) - both 12001 and 12015 were running today (Tues 3rd) on the 1.


More park and ride's have re-appeared re-painted - looking splendid as well. 908 & 909 pics are enclosed as well.


Two more photo's of the rather nice Elite's are also included plus, a first for me, visiting the Coach Park on Monday was the first Plaxton Elite I've seen for an operator other than NatEx/S.Coach (although I'm sure their are many more out there already). I enclose the photo as it makes a nice contrast I think.

All the branded 1's seem to have now lost their branding, as have all the 7A/7B branded M A N s - which can currently be seen on just about any route.


Stokenchurch Interlude by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.

First picture of a new Elite in Stokenchurch taken by Gavin on the first day of operation on the 737.

On Sunday 1st August I was just lucky to catch two passing in the village with Gavin driving the one headed for Wycombe!. Ed.

Red Rose seem to be using this ex Stagecoach Alexander PS on the 275 most days now. August 3rd on the A40. Ed.

London Interlude by Gavin Francis

Many points in London now have cycle hire points and this one is located on Elizabeth Bridge near VCS.

A whole new era of spotting can take place as each bike has a fleet number.
I wonder where they start and finish? Is there a number 1? I've got 16923 and 11284!


And so on to fleet news with individual company happenings.

From Glenn Knight

Arriva the Shires Volvo Olympian S651KJU, based at High Wycombe, has been re-numbered to 5162 from 4651 and has also had a LED destination fitted.
21/07/2010 by Glenn Knight.

P216LKJ has transferred from Garston to Luton, 3261/2/8 and 3601/2/3 have gained Interurban livery on repaint at Luton.

Taken at Dunstable "Asda" 22/07/2010, 3262 Volvo B10BLE Wright Renown. Glenn Knight.

On 25/6 Luton based Volvo B10BLE 3268 appeared on the 15:38 60 Luton to Studham and is seen at Studham "Red Lion". Glenn Knight.

From James Allum

Does anyone know what’s happened to Arriva Hemel based 2179 in the all over Tesco livery, it has been out of service for a while and I've noticed various buses on the 101 Tesco bus including a Solo this morning (03/08/10). (I believe it has or is being sold Ed.)
Arriva Hemel East Lancs Spryte 3171 is now back in service after being involved in a crash a few weeks ago in Hemel, the front bumper has been painted over and there is no Arriva logo or wording on the front.
APPEAL: Does anyone have photos of the following Hemel based vehicles before they moved on or have been repainted: P175SRO Arriva 3175, V234HBH Arriva 3234, P673OPP Arriva 3173 and R181VBM Arriva 2181 in the route 2 and 3 Hemel branding before it got repainted and lost its branding.

If anyone does please email me.

Much interest was found in the appearance in London of various buses involved in location work on a new film. The buses were provided by Steve Burns.

From Nigel Peach

Bollywood comes to town by Nigel Peach

I was very interested indeed to see the picture of Carousel's M1386 on the latest page "on July 16th", because yesterday (18th), I took this photo of it and another Metrobus at the yard. I was very surprised to see 1386 has been repainted in this "City Stop" livery. I've no idea the identity of the other Metrobus "LT9810". (I think Glenn might have his dates mixed up. My apologies on our behalf if so. Ed.)

What is "City Stop"?! Would this be for more filming?  

Frank Brown was good enough to answer my previous questions re Carousel. I wonder if he knows the answer to this!

Nigel goes on to say:

I happened to see Steve Burns at the depot yesterday (24th). He told me that the unidentified bus was bought for a film and M1386 (C386BUV) was used as a double. In the film (a Bollywood one!), a car drives straight through the bus. The film company didn't want to keep the bus, so it is now in the yard with a big hole in each side! Steve says the bus will likely end up scrapped. He did tell me the number - I think he said M1322, but I'm not sure. 

Two buses were freshly painted for this work. Nigel Peach.

M1386 C386BUV had the nearside cut out for a stunt in a film from what I have been told a car drives through the side.

From Glenn Knight

Taken in H. Wycombe 21/07/2010 

From Andrew Morgan who saw the filming in London.

Andrew writes "Two pictures, the first one of a unknown bus company to me of CITYSTOP LT9810 (ex-LONDON TRANSPORT M1312), an MCW METROBUS M1312 (C312BUV) parked in a side round near Tower Hill and the other of what maybe now ex-Carousel METROBUS M1386 and VOLVO B7TL EVL7 behind it ???"

Both taken on 17th July by Andrew Morgan (Herts).

Later Andrew wrote "I do know about CITYSTOP,  it is a false name being used in a Bollywood film called Ra.One. I am not sure if M1312 was a bus that had a VW 4x4 smash through it as shown in the Daily Star around the 19th July. I do not know if Carousel M1386 and EVL7 were used in filming or not ?  It also looked like M1386 had been repainted ?"

As we now know it was 1312 used for the stunt work and 1386 acted as a double but is expected to return to service. Ed.

From Stuart Harvey

EVL4 gained an electronic destination display a few months back. The end of the school year has seen the following occur;

STL10 now carries 'Carousel' fleet names on the sides.
STL11 has lost its blue skirt and now is overall white
VWL232 now carries fleet names on the front and sides

Finally a question; does anyone know why the AL's are not allowed to operate on the A30/A40/740 group anymore, given they are LEZ compliant? The last time I saw one on the group of services was early June.


Quicker journeys for route 74 passengers

Route 74 journeys operated by First will become X74 from 28 August 2010, saving at least 10 minutes compared with current journey times.

This follows the recent announcement that the Government's Kickstart funding for improving the Slough - High Wycombe corridor has been withdrawn.

"Our idea for quicker journeys between High Wycombe and Slough formed the foundation of the original Kickstart bid", explains Matthew Wooll, Revenue & Marketing Manager at First. "We want to make sure customers still have the opportunity to experience a better service, even though no public money now exists to get it off the ground."

The X74 will by-pass Beaconsfield in order to reach the end of the route more quickly. Journeys on route 74 operated by Arriva will continue to serve Beaconsfield every 30 minutes, and there is no change to the evening and Sunday service.

Click on the link below to see the new timetable.

X74 timetable (opens in new window)

This is an interesting development as Arriva now have Beaconsfield to themselves on this routing, though still competing with Carousel in the area.


Luton Airport: First Capital Connect have two recent additions T3FCC 10180, T4FCC 10181, T5FCC 10182 which are Volvo B7R Wright Bendi-bus in full Train-2-Plane livery. These buses have come from service in Bath where they were painted orange.

Picture by Gavin Francis.

Pictures of these buses can be found at the following link:

They were reregistered in Bath before transfer to Luton!!

They have replaced the ex Irish Citaro bendis and it would appear the last of the Wright Street Cars.


In the last issue I reported an incorrect fact as drawn to my attention by two readers, sorry Guys!

From Ken MacKenzie

The Heyfordian white Solo V114DCF featured in S&J 30 is an ex Reading and been in the Heyfordian fleet since 10/09 and is not a loan vehicle.

From Robert Williams

Heyfordian V114DCF is one of two Solos acquired from Reading Transport in October 2009 and is not a loan vehicle.

From Nick Eustace

I've been an avid viewer of your site for some time and thought you might like this shot of one of Tappins Van Hools fresh out the paint shop at Heyfordian in Bicester wearing its rather splendid new livery. They currently have the Berkhof decker being sprayed so will hope to have a picture next week when it is done.

From David Fuller

I wondered if you or Steve Warwick were able to assist me on the below queries:

- In early June, Heyfordian informed me that they are in the process of updating their fleet, and I wanted to know if any of the Wycombe based vehicles are being put into the new livery / re-upholstered over the school summer holidays or later this year. If so, can you provide registrations of those? 

- Secondly, my dad was looking for a new fleet list of the Bicester based vehicles. The newest he could find was 2005. Would you be able to compile one? 

Reply to

Pictures from David Fuller


Heyfordian 2185NU on route 103 at Cowley Centre on July 27th. Gavin Francis.

The new Elite coaches, operated by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, entered service on the 737 from 21st July and a number of pictures have been received from readers.

From Gavin Francis

Gavin's first chance to work on the new coaches came on Sunday 1st August when he took this picture of 53705 at Luton whilst on his way to Stansted.
Interesting to note is the Silverdale coach on the 767, this company recently took over the 767 from Veolia.

From Glenn Knight

Glenn was able to ride the new coaches on the first day in service when he travelled from Luton to High Wycombe on 53701.

53701 OU10GYH a Volvo B9R Plaxton Elite heading towards High Wycombe from Luton Airport at 15:30 and then in High Wycombe leaving for Oxford on 21st July.

From Andrew Webb

One of Stagecoach Oxford's impressive new Plaxtons, 53702, heading for the layover area at Stansted after arriving with a 737 around 12:30 on July 30th.
Picture by Andrew Webb

From Andrew Harvey-Adams

Whilst up at Luton Airport this morning I managed to see your new Volvo B9R / Plaxton Elites. Picture by Andrew Harvey-Adams

From Graham Low

A view of Stagecoach B9R/Elite 53703 taken on 26/7 at Gloucester Green. They are look very striking.

Picture by
Graham Low

From Richard Sharman

A new Elite, 53705,  leaves Oxford. This view shows the striking rear end of these coaches.

General news on NEx.

From Ian Brown, Hemel. 

A recent e-mailed NX Interim business results states that NX is to roll out vehicle tracking technology on coaches in September. Also, volume and revenue up slightly in competitive market.

From Martin White

Have heard that as from Monday 2nd August South Gloucester took over operation of the 403s from First Somerset & Avon, this will be interesting as one working each way was covered by a First Devon & Cornwall vehicle working off the 504 Penzance - London in the evening and returning next day to work the 504 11:30 London - Penzance, this used to save a vehicle being sat in London all day and has happened since Badgerline days!!.


Have also heard that Stagecoach Mansfield have now completely ended their NEx Diagrams with the single 450 Mansfield - London - Mansfield diagram passing to Silverdale and the two other diagrams on the 350 Mansfield - Liverpool - Cambridge & Cambridge - Liverpool - Mansfield passing to Johnsons Worksop who are currently operating it with two 04 plate vehicles waiting delivery of new Levantes.


How are the new Volvo B9R Plaxton Elites forming on the Stansted’s, have you or will you get the chance to try one out as your no longer on the NEx rota, are you enjoying yourself on the Tube, have looked out for you in Vic when I’ve been around that way.


From Gavin Francis


Gavin caught up with an interesting coach on a National Express working, the 090 which is used as a positioning run by PETER GODWARD COACHES



This coach is interesting because it was a Scania demonstrator Irizar Century bodied YN08MOA proclaiming itself a "New wheelchair accessible vehicle" and seen in Southend being used by Chalkwell Garage & Coach Hire Ltd on 28th May 2009. It was later in use by PETER GODWARD COACHES on rail replacement in Billericay in May 2010 and has now appeared in full NEx livery on the 090.

One of the latest 10 plate Levantes in use by Silverdale an d now appearing on the 767. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Silverdale FJ10EZU showing super rear ads now appearing on various NEx coaches 010810 by Gavin Francis


30 June 2010


New Vehicles (updated info): 212-8/21-31 all entered service during 6/10.

219/20 entered service in 7/10.

Disposals: 401/2/8: Plymouth Citybus 6/10

801-810: Go North East 6/10

Note this corrects my earlier reports that 811-813 would also go north, sorry I was misinformed. Also 902, 903, 908 and 909 have not left the fleet as can be seen below.

From Graham Low

Oxford Bus Co Trident/Plaxton 902 has just re-appeared in Park and Ride livery, as shown in these views in St Aldates today (24 July). I have seen no OBC buses with route numbers applied as part of their branding recently. Most are still branded "city", except P&R and the Scania N230UDs.

From Ben Stoves

805/8 T805/8CBW Go North East Fleet 5155/8. These will be branded "Blaydon Racer"
Pictures can be seen at Simply Bus Photo's
From Ray Parnaby

Many pictures of the ex Oxford volvos can be found on Ray' site :

From Andrew Webb

I have attached some photos for your excellent page.  Four show some ex Oxford Volvos, now hard at work with Go Ahead in the Newcastle area.  A local enthusiast mentioned that they had only been in service a week or so when I photographed them on 26 July.  Newcastle and the surrounding towns are well worth a visit, Go Ahead appear to have abandoned the corporate livery in favour of special liveries for each route so there is plenty to photograph.

More pictures supplied by various contributors.

From Gavin Francis

Double deck variety from The Oxford Bus Company as seen in recent weeks.

From John Hammond

John caught up with 903 on trade plates, seemingly on test prior to returning to service. Picture in Headington on 27th July.

From Michael Bennett

Mike found 902 in use on the 500 on July 31st.

From Richard Sharman

Richard was up at Water Eaton on July 27th and sent this shot of the rear of 902 giving detail of the branding.


From Glenn Knight 

Red Eagle Buses T/A Redline Buses R701 YWC Ex-Stagecoach Manchester 32351 taken at the Aston Clinton depot.

Redline Buses A8 HOF  ex-M730 KJU taken at Latimer Park on private hire. 

SN53LWR displaying "The Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page". A nice touch from Glenn Knight.

Red Rose

From Glenn Knight 

P264NRH operated the 22:20 61 from Luton Airport.

From Marcus Lapthorn 

One of your contributors recently said that G104AAD was the last remaining bus of that type still in service with Stagecoach Swindon. That would appear not to be the case as I saw G101 AAD in service in Swindon on Friday 16 July.

Stagecoach Swindon continue to have problems with the 66 route M A N's as I passed a broken down 22624 on the A420 at Besselsleigh at about 1740 on Tuesday 20 July. 


Today may be a historic first for the 66 route (Swindon to Oxford), as all six allocated vehicles were today of the correct vehicle type that should be allocated to work on this route - i.e. the infamous long wheel base M A N's! 22620/1/2/3/4 and 6 were all operating on the route (at least they were in the morning!)

From John Scotford of Chippenham

I attach a photo of Stagecoach Oxford 12012 displayed outside the BAE Systems 'hall' at the recent Farnborough Airshow. It was an exhibit, rather than used in service, I was told that on trade days some hybrid electric E200s were used on on-site shuttles.


The chap visible on the edge of the photo is a BAE Systems chap who has spent the last seven days there talking about the hybrid electric drive in the back of the E400. 

A chap from Alexander-Dennis turned up whilst I was talking to him and said he expects to deliver it back to Oxford on Monday or Tuesday. 

From Ian Hardy

I though you might be interested in this for your excellent Oxford & Chiltern website:

On Saturday 24th July 2010 I visited the Farnborough Airshow and Stagecoach Oxford 12012 OU10GHA, one of the new Hybrid AD E400 double deckers, was on the BAE Systems stand (BAE Systems were involved in the propulsion system for it).

Unfortunately I did not manage to get a photograph of it as it was not positioned very helpfully, and I was with two people who were at Farnborough to see aeroplanes and not to look at uses!!!

From Gary Seamarks

50202 T44 UBE on July 26th taken on Park Lane, London in a British summer!

From Gavin Francis

Weekend Tube services have had their terminus changed whilst work is taking place on the building at Green Line.
In the picture above 50201 is laying over in Vauxhall Bridge Road.

The new Hybrids are in full service with the latest deliveries appearing on the Kidlington services.

I believe that all the new Hybrids up to 12022 have now been delivered.

The E300s are now minus any route branding and are appearing on various routes, as shown above by work on the 31 and S5.

Megabus variety with latest Astromega 50232 on a Manchester service and an older Volvo B12BT on the Newcastle service.

New Solo 47736 a work on the 17.

The Oxford Levantes have, of course, been replaced by new elites and four of the five are shown here awaiting their fate.

One of the new Stratford Enviro 400s appeared on the Sunday S3 working on July 28th.

From Richard Sharman

Some nice pictures of the new Hybrids from Richard.

Showing a screen not seen that often is 15435 in Oxford.

Now expected to be seen more often an Enviro 300 works the S5 on July 30th.

With S & T plate M A N s being withdrawn from service the oldest M A N s will be these 51 plates.

Variety in Stratford including an ex Manchester Olympian.

From Peverel

Latest Hybrids to enter service and seen on August 2nd by Peverel.

An old friend seen in Oxpens by Peverel. Once 50036 in The Oxford Tube fleet.

Star Travel 

From Glenn Knight


K108 SAG Dennis Dart Plaxton

YG52 DAD Optare Solo

T458 BNN Optare Solo



From James Allum

Something for all the readers to look forward to is the start of a brand new service for Tigerline. The route T5 starts this month and will run from Amersham/ Chesham all the way to Hatfield Rail Station via Hemel Hempstead. I personally wish Mr Wootten all the best for this new route and I look forward to travelling on it.

From Michael Wootten


Michael confirms latest Leyland Tigers for work on the new T5 acquired from Ulsterbus are as follows:
1992 - Leyland Tiger (Volvo engine) - Alexander Q DP53F 

W69 WXI 4384

W68 UXI 1377

W67 UXI 1376

W66 UXI 1375

W65 UXI 1372


Seen here on arrival at Lye Green from N. Ireland.


W69 - WXI 4384 entered service on August 4th on service T2.


From Glenn Knight


Pictures of the new repainted Tiger Lines for T5


Leyland Tiger Alexander Belfast DP53F Ex-Ulsterbus W65 UXI 1372 Ex-Ulsterbus 1372


 W65 at St. Albans Town Hall promoting new service T5 on August 4th.


Worth's of Enstone

From Matt

Just for clarity from latest OCBP, Worth of Enstone have not ceased trading, they have just stopped stage operation. 

For the record, their current fleet is as follows: 

IUI 6722

Volvo B10M-60

Plaxton Paramount 3200 III C57F


Independent, Horsforth 6/94 (F464 WFX)

KAZ 2755

Volvo B10M-61

Plaxton Paramount 3200 III C57F


New 3/89 (F322 MFC)

LUD 606

Bedford SBG

Duple Vega C41F


New 7/57 (not roadworthy)

XSK 144

Volvo B10M-61

Plaxton Paramount 3200 III C57F


New 10/88 (F396 HFC)

G637 BPH

Volvo B10M-50

Northern Counties H45/31F


Arriva Yorkshire West 766 5/06

L154 HUD

Volvo B10M-62

Plaxton Premiere 350 C55F


City of Oxford 54 3/01

P200 GTA

Volvo B10M-62

Plaxton Premiere 350 C53F


Warren, Neath 2/08


Volvo B10M-62

Plaxton Excalibur C53F


New 7/98


Volvo B10M-62

Plaxton Excalibur C53F


New 8/98


Volvo B10M-62

Plaxton Prima C57F


New 11/99


Volvo B10M-62

Plaxton Prima C57F


New 4/00


Mercedes-Benz 1223L

Ferqui Solero C35F


Bicknell, Godalming 9/06


Volvo B12M-62

Joncheere Mistral 50 C53F


New 1/04


Volvo B12M-62

Caetano Enigma C53F


New 2/06


Z&S Aylesbury

With effect 27th July Z&S took over the 377 service between Hazelmere – Beaconsfield-Loudwater from Magpie Travel.


Major news

On A Mission no longer on a mission!

The coach company On A Mission is no longer in business having entered receivership on August 2nd at 0900hrs.

It is always sad to tell of the collapse of a company and now the unusually-named On a Mission, originally based in Milton Keynes but is now in Soulbury, near Leighton Buzzard, has collapsed. From an initial fleet of four in 1999, the company had has around fifty vehicles and the front-line coach fleet was renewed regularly. Among this operator's claims to fame was becoming the first UK independent to run a Eurolines service to mainland Europe and operating the team coach for the MK Dons football club.

All their vehicles returned to the depot on August 2nd and operations ceased.

All bus routes stopped running with immediate effect. Notices placed on the MK Council website informed readers that the 44/44A would not run.

The company also ran coaches on Eurolines services/National Express and these were:-

Two new Volvo B12BTs/Jonckherre are EL08BUS and EU08BUS both in. Eurolines colours plus other coaches as required.

Picture by Gavin Francis taken on 12th July.

The owners of these coaches are quoted as Ellaway & Bjelobaba. It is said that Jason and Rebecca Ellaway with long-time friend, Milan Bjelobaba, ran a luxury coach-hire company called On A Mission Coaches, in Soulbury.

An interesting history of the company’s love of cherished registrations is to be found at:

Other vehicle pictures can be found at:

Report from an interested correspondent

I heard about the collapse earlier this morning (3rd August). I have been watching their operation for the past few months and it has been obvious to anyone who has seen the state of the buses that all was not well. I spoke to Bucks County Council two weeks ago about some of the buses being used on their contracts and they were 'aware of the situation and were working with the operator to improve the unacceptable level of breakdowns'. One of their recently acquired Titans deposited most of it's coolant over a two mile stretch all over my car (it was pouring out!) and, on the same day, I saw one of their ex Lothian Olympians broken down in Bierton (Aylesbury) on it's run in to the town prior to a school contract. In recent months rather than repairing buses, they just seemed to be buying more to honour contracts and a number of vehicles had been parked up in their and adjacent yards in various states of repair.  I am sure that whilst finances may have caught up with them, the Vehicle Inspectorate wouldn't have been that far behind. Whilst they brought some enthusiast interest locally, I don't think they really did the image of the industry any favours at all. 

It does leave Bucks CC with a rather large headache - most of the buses were employed on BCC school contracts, with OAM operating some 'grouped' contracts at both Cutteslow School (Wing) and Sir Henry Floyd School (Aylesbury). These, along with the Milton Keynes University contract, I am guessing used around 15 buses per day. It will be interesting to see who is able to step in (and with what) at very short notice and cover these. 

I went past the depot outside Soulbury this morning and the yard was full of buses and their, strangely, immaculate fleet of coaches. It seems they also had a couple of Eurolines contracts as a couple of coaches were wearing this livery. Some hulks of buses had already been removed from other yards and there was also a wrecker parked up outside no doubt waiting to take others away. The yard was also full of drivers, fitters and their families - aside of anything else, they employed a fair few staff who are now looking for work, no doubt - this is the saddest part of any company collapse.  

Below are some photographs taken over the past month or so......I think they speak for themselves. I have put some more on a Picasso web album - if anyone would like to see some more.

Ex Lothian Olympian seen in Fowler Road, Aylesbury on commercial service 51


Ex Stagecoach MagicBus Olympian about to take up a duty on commercial service 51 outside Stoke Mandeville Hospital


Assume this to be an ex Reading Titan


Not disguising too much about it's previous owner, seen in Wing


A rear view of the same bus showing the overall sad state of the buses being operate


This ex Leaside Metrobus sounded awful in the final weeks, but was used daily!


Another view of the same bus


Recently acquired from Ensignbus - again, sounded awful


Ex London Metrobus


Another bus not disguising it's previous owner. This was one of two owned, the other was parked up out of use before the end of the school term


I am sure Arriva were delighted at seeing this bus daily in Aylesbury - seen entering Soulbury


Another ex Arriva/London Buses Olympian, turning in Soulbury to take up a school contract in Milton Keynes 




Ex Travel West Midlands Metrobus, arriving from Milton Keynes in Soulbury, just off service from their commercial service 44/44a


A further ex Arriva bus - this one a Dennis Dominator, assume from Arriva Midlands

Which one would you catch to Wolverton Agora?


Another interesting report from a correspondent.

I am sure that you have already received confirmation that On A Mission went into receivership on Monday 2 August. Please remember that there were two O licences - Jason Ellaway and Milan Bjelobaba T/A On A Mission, VA 24, and On A Mission Coaches LLP, VA 20.

There was a phoenix application in N&P for Ian Foster T/A Total Transport Solutions, VA 34. Mr Foster was a manager at On A Mission and the transport manager on the application was Jason Ellaway, one of the partners. The address was the same as On A Mission. It is understood that this application was withdrawn prior to receivership.

Two Eurolines coaches left Victoria for Amsterdam on Monday morning but were stopped at Dover and Eurolines hired in Buzzlines to complete their journeys. Service 44/A did not operate on Monday.
It is understood that a start was made on the repossession of the Scania coaches.

The On A Mission luggage trailer was noted in the corner of Marshalls' yard in Leighton Buzzard.
Amey will now have to deal with the large number of Buckinghamshire school contracts formerly operated by On A Mission or sub-contracted through On A Mission to Marshalls, Howletts and Langston and Tasker.
Interestingly, On A Mission had been awarded funding under a government initiative to source c6 hybrid single decks for Milton Keynes College and local bus work.

Transport Malta has chosen Arriva (Malta) Consortium 

Transport Malta has chosen Arriva (Malta) Consortium as the preferred bidder to run the new public transport service. Arriva was selected as the preferred bidder following a tendering process that was based on technical parameters as well as financial bids.

Arriva brings to Malta, expertise and professional management, as well as €47 million investment in a sector where it is sorely needed. Arriva has far exceeded the minimum expectations set out in the tender published by Transport Malta, which required as a minimum buses that were not older than 15 years and a minimum Euro III standard with air conditioning and accessibility for persons with disability.

The fleet being provided by Arriva will:

• cost €35 million at the start-up of the new service;
• include 230 brand new Euro V buses;
• include an additional 86 buses all with Euro V engines that are between 2 and 7 years old;
• ensure improved accessibility and comfort: the entire bus fleet will be wheel-chair accessible and air conditioned in addition to the improved safety standards of contemporary bus design that only a fraction of today’s bus fleet is equipped with;
• the new vehicles will include 13 electric-hybrid vehicles that will be used to provide services in historically and environmentally sensitive areas including Valletta, Cottonera, Attard and its surrounding villages, Victoria and a number of routes in the Gozitan countryside;
• be air-conditioned and equipped with on-vehicle destination and ‘next stop’ electronic displays;
• be washed every day to retain the highest standard of cleanliness but specialised equipment will be used to re-cycle 95% of the water;
• be strictly maintained and undergo daily technical checks in accordance with international engineering standards.

This will mean that Malta and Gozo will be equipped with one of the youngest, most modern and most environmentally friendly public transport fleets in Europe. Quite apart from this, a new bus fleet will in and of itself signify an improvement to the quality of our air.

Arriva (Malta) undertook in their submission to make their Malta project a model of sustainable development. Their target is to increase bus passengers by 54% over current levels of use by the end of the 10 year contract term but also undertook to reduce the carbon footprint of Malta’s bus operation by 15% in 2017 over 2011 numbers.

The reduction from the carbon footprint of today’s bus operation is almost inestimable given that the average age of the bus fleet before the changeover to the new system is of over 30 years which will be going down to less than 2 years overnight when the new service starts.

Arriva (Malta) undertook to provide all the services on the extensive network required by Government in the tender process. In addition to this, Arriva undertook to provide night services connecting various destinations around Malta on a 24-hour basis on weekends all year round and all week during the summer months.

The preferred bidder also undertook to employ around 1,100 people in Malta’s public transport operation, more than double existing numbers, creating new jobs for hundreds of people never before connected with the transport industry.

The consortium undertook to introduce contact-less smart cards, several new ticket vending machines as well as operate through agents throughout Malta and Gozo to ensure easy access to their services for tourists and locals alike. In addition the new operator will provide extensive passenger information, with information panels on each stop, route information on all buses, publications, on line information and a call centre. Passenger information will also be provided on around a 100 electronic bus stop displays that are coordinated with vehicle tracking technology that will inform bus passengers in real time on bus arrival times.

Minister Austin Gatt said that “we are a step closer to the reform the country has been hoping for. It is wrong to assume that we can bring about this massive change without investment, both public and private. We do believe however that the rewards the country will reap will go beyond the monetary. Cleaner air, reduced congestion, increased accessibility and improved mobility will be a social, economic and cultural reform that will go far beyond the narrow but highly visible difference made by a new bus fleet on our roads.”

Ashok Leyland to buy 26% stake in Optare

India’s second-largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, Ashok Leyland (part of the London-based Hinduja Group) has agreed to buy a 26% stake in Leeds-based Optare.

The money - £5m before expenses - will be raised by the issue of new Optare shares, which the board is recommending that shareholders should approve at a General Meeting on 16 August.

On the announcement, Optare’s shares fell by 12.5% to 5.3p, reflecting the expected dilution of existing shareholdings and end to speculation of an outright takeover.

News of a potential partner for Optare was revealed earlier in the year, with a deal originally expected to be announced by the end of June.

Under the deal, Optare will “be a part of Ashok Leyland’s global strategy for buses,” says the firm.

Optare says that the deal is “expected to further benefit Ashok Leyland in its endeavour to accelerate technology, new product development and to address new markets.”

While Ashok Leyland will have access to Optare’s technology (including its bus range which “will appeal to several global markets”) in turn, Optare will “seek to improve its competitiveness through access to Ashok Leyland’s lower-cost supply chain.”

Ashok Leyland will have two representatives Optare’s board.

Optare CEO Jim Sumner says: “We are delighted, and firmly believe that in Ashok Leyland we have found the perfect strategic partner to help Optare realise its full potential by providing best cost sourcing, technology sharing, new distribution channels and joint product development activity.”

Two freed from easyBus following M25 crash

July 29, 2010

TWO passengers had to be cut free by fire crews after an airport bus flipped over on the M25 near Redhill, leaving four people injured.

The easyBus mini-coach - carrying a driver and four passengers - spun 180 degrees, landing on its side and facing oncoming traffic, following a collision with a black car shortly after 4pm on Wednesday.

A woman in her 40s had to be cut free from the bus and was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, with serious leg injuries.

A couple in their late 20s or early 30s, who were also on the bus, were taken by ambulance to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

A 54-year-old man, thought to be the driver of the black car, was also taken to East Surrey with minor head and chest injuries.

An easyGroup spokesman confirmed the bus, a 19-seat Optare Soroco travelling from Gatwick Airport to Fulham Broadway, was carrying a driver and four passengers when it crashed just to the west of the M23 intersection.

He added: “easyBus's immediate concern is for the wellbeing of the passengers, and driver and we will co-operate fully with the emergency services.”

The clockwise carriageway was closed for almost seven hours between junctions 6 and 8 (for Godstone and Reigate) while crews worked at the scene, causing tailbacks of more than five miles back into Kent and leaving thousands of rush-hour motorists stranded. 

Three fire engines, seven ambulances, two paramedic responder cars, the London Air Ambulance and police units all attended the scene.

Articles with pictures can be found at the links below.

Two coaches crash on M40

Monday 19th July 2010

Five people suffered minor injuries this morning following a crash involving two coaches on the M40 near Banbury.

The accident happened at 5.10am on the southbound carriageway between junction 12 at Gaydon and junction 11 at Banbury.

One coach travelling on the M40 hit the other which was parked on the hard shoulder.

Five people were treated at the scene for cuts and bruises and taken to the Horton Hospital in Banbury.  

Oxford Park & Ride services now running in the evenings.

Taken from The Oxford Bus Company Web Site.

Service changes from Sunday 25 July 2010

Heading into Oxford at night?

We’re making changes to our Park&Ride services to save you the hassle of finding a space and paying the high City Centre parking charges.


We are introducing a new Monday to Saturday evening service operating every 30 minutes until approximately 23:30 from Oxford City Centre. The service will operate to the daytime route between Redbridge P&R, Oxford City Centre and Pear Tree P&R.

As a result of this improved service, all Saturday services will operate a through service between Redbridge P&R, Oxford City Centre and Pear Tree P&R.

This service change means passengers returning to Redbridge P&R in the evening can now use the 300 service instead of the cityX3 service. also increasing the frequency of the Sunday daytime service to every 12 minutes between 11:00 and 17:00.


We are introducing a new Monday to Saturday evening service operating every 30 minutes until approximately 23:30 from Oxford City Centre. The service will operate to the daytime route between Thornhill P&R, Oxford City Centre and Seacourt P&R.

This service change means passengers returning to Seacourt P&R in the evening can now use the 400 service instead of the city4 service. Similarly, Thornhill passengers returning in the evening can now use the 400 service instead of the X90 service.


We are increasing the frequency of the Saturday daytime service to every 15 minutes between 09:00 and 18:20.

Please click here for the full timetable

Headington Roadworks - Bus Stop temporarily relocated 

From Monday 10th May, Park & Ride 400 services heading towards Thornhill will be unable to use the Headington stop (just beyond Osler Road junction, outside Starbuck’s). All Park & Ride services towards Thornhill will therefore observe the city 8/9 stop (outside Allen & Harris).

Blackpool Trams update by Geoff Cunliffe

I am pleased to be able to report that Blackpool trams started running again as far as Fleetwood from 26 July - not, regrettably, to the final destination of The Ferry but to Ash Street, the end of the reserved track and beginning of the main street which is being upgraded for the new Supertrams due in 2012. You may remember that the opening of the stretch from Cleveleys to Ash Street has been delayed many months because of vandalism and the theft of the copper overhead wire (more than once). Much to the relief of the Fleetwood retailers, the service has been restored as much as it can be for the moment. 

For the main, daytime service, there are three trams per hour from the Pleasure Beach to Ash Street, Fleetwood, with a similar number of short workings timetabled to terminate at Thornton Gate. One would expect a number of additional untimetabled cars to run between the Pleasure Beach and various intermediate points, e.g. Talbot Square, Cabin, Bispham, Little Bispham and Cleveleys depending upon passenger demand. Of course, many of those which used to provide these duplicates have now been sold, including a double decker which has gone to Beamish in Sunderland colours complete with Shop At Binns adverts above the destination boxes and each end. 

First tram out in a morning leaves the depot at 0325, and the last one returns at 0055. The timetable can be found on the Blackpool Transport web site at 

The entire system will close again for further upgrading work at the end of the illuminations on 7 November. 

The most southerly stretch of the system between the Pleasure Beach and Starr Gate will not reopen until Easter 2012 for passenger use. Track laying on this section is virtually complete, including the reinstatement of the Starr Gate turning loop, and it my guess, and my guess only I must stress, that this section will be used for testing the new cars given their new depot has been built, contentiously, at Starr Gate, and for driver training and familiarisation.  

(Sorry no picture of a tram at Fleetwood - yet)

Pulham's of Bourton on the Water by Geoff Cunliffe

A delightful operator based at Bourton-on-the-Water, Pulham and Sons Coaches Limited (“Pulham's”).  

First may I refer you to their excellent website, which contains a multitude of information.  It does, however, lack an enthusiasts fleet list, but one of unknown date can be found under the section of Independents Operating in Gloucestershire page of UK Bus Fleet lists at the following address:-

Pulham & Sons (Coaches) was established in 1880, and is one of the longest running coach operators in the United Kingdom. They are based at Station Road Garage in Bourton, from where they currently operate some 22 routes, some supported financially by Gloucestershire County Council. To cover this, they have a fleet of 28 vehicles, mostly Volvo coaches but also including Optare Solos and a recently acquired Plaxton Cheetah bodied Mercedes.

Prior to the Volvos, they were faithful Leyland/Plaxton users with Leopards and Tigers, even for routes like their Moreton-Cheltenham 801, where drivers, certainly until recently, used hand operated Setrights and gave change from the traditional leather money bags. A regular user told me that he was impressed by their time keeping which he has found to be exceptionally reliable.

They seem to be the sort of operator beloved by enthusiasts. Many of their services are only one or two days per week and may have only one or two journeys per day. Several services support the Tuesday market at Moreton, and a Friday only service links Moreton to the Tesco at Stow. Some services, intriguingly, operate more in one direction than the other, suggesting that the fleet progressively becomes gathered in some obscure little Cotswold village. Their timetables, on their web site in PDF format, have delightful idiosyncrasies such as “Stops on request on Tuesdays and Fridays only”, “Calls by request to set down only” and “Places served in reverse order and/or on opposite side of the road”.

As their name suggests, they do more than run local bus services. As the Cotswold’s premier coach operator, they boast a modern and efficient fleet, offering luxury coaches with air-conditioning, servery and washroom facilities, refrigerator, DVD & CD players, PA system, and comfortable reclining seats with ample leg room. They are involved with private coach hire and have an extensive programme of day trips reaching to Bath, Windsor, Canterbury, Eastbourne, the Peak District, Chester and York to name but a few. Continental work is also undertaken.

I called in at their garage a couple of weeks ago and offer you the following “tasters”:-

A general view of Pulham’s premises from Station Road, Bourton-on-the-Water.

A couple of Pulham’s vehicles pictured on the car park across the road from their garage.

GL05 PUL a Van Hool C49Ft bodied  Volvo B12M at the entrance to their garage.

A line up consisting of GL52 PUL, a Plaxton C57F bodied Volvo B7R,  A22 NRO, a C53F Plaxton Paramount 3200 bodied Volvo B10M-56, NDD 672, a Volvo B10M-62,
VDF 365, a C50Ft Plaxton bodied B10M, and HDF 661 a C53F Plaxton Paramount 3200 Volvo B10M-60 plus GL05 PUL in Pulham’s yard.

For anyone interested in such independents, Pulham’s is well worth a visit.

From Gavin Francis

Gavin took a few pictures of Pulham's coaches in Oxford recently.

ODF561 and XDG614 seen in Oxpens on 27th and 17th July respectively.

History & Discussion


Driving chassis from the manufacturers by Geoff Cunliffe

I have been doing some ferreting around following the items in S&J No.29 about bus chassis either on test or being delivered to bodybuilders by drivers clad in greatcoats, goggles, gauntlets, bobble hats and looking generally like terrorists about to pounce. 

There are some photographs from Commercial Motor of a Leyland Tiger chassis on test in Snowdonia on the following web page:-  

They are not brilliant but they are the best I have been able to find so far. Indeed the crew of two (unusual - perhaps one was the Commercial Motor reporter) do not seem to be overdressed for the jaunt.

Sorry to deluge you with emails at the moment but I am returning, if I may, to Martin Dowling's notes in S&J 29 to which I have already referred. 

There is a good photograph of Bristol RE chassis on the Bath Road in April 1978 on flickr at Sorry the photo is not in Reading as Martin remembers them, but it's better than nothing.

A Crossley by Michael Wadman

I think that this is the only Crossley that I’ve ever photographed. It’s certainly the only Crossley that I’ve ever photographed in service. 

Quantock Motor Service’s EVD406 seen at Minehead in 2008. Picture courtesy M. Wadman.

Former Baxter’s of Airdrie Crossley DD42/7 / Scottish Commercial seen above in Minehead on Quantock’s Running Day on 24th May 2008


Programming displays by Glenn Knight

This weekend I’m programming all of Redline destinations Flip-Dot & LED, would you mind if I
put The Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page on the destinations of our buses and send a picture into you. I have attached a sample which I copied from Hanover edit rough idea of what i will look like. The LED is for our Transbus Dart & MPD Dart 262 (which will be at Showbus in September) and the Flip-Dot for the Marshall Darts.

On Aug 2nd I start with Woottens / Tiger Line  just some casual work Revenue Inspecting.

Digital destination blinds From Ralph Adams

Digital destination blinds can be changed to interesting words. On Tuesday morning, one was Fish & Chip special, seen again on Thursday evening, and another one was This is a .........bus.     Presumably they have been used to convey some of the many students around at present.


Trips & Running Days 

Trips & Rallies

Olympian trip on Saturday 24th July 2010

by Chris Martin

The trip itinerary went as follows;  

1st vehicle was 7209RU (ex C266XEF) which we had West Wycombe to Aylesbury running via the town centre, up Amersham Hill then through Four Ashes, Prestwood and Great Missenden up to the Motts Travel depot in Aylesbury. Motts were very helpful, former Dublin Bus Olympian KSK965 (previously 93D10160) was brought out of the line so we could get great photos of it and similar KSK966 (previously 93D10166) which was next to it. More recent ex Dublin Bus Volvo Olympians 99D491, 99D487 and 99D492 were parked in a row in ex-service condition awaiting preparation for UK use, the fleetlist we were given also showed similar 99D488 which wasn't present. I can forward you a copy of the fleetlist if you would like one, there are 58 vehicles on current fleet strength there. Rare Optare bodied Olympian E153OMD was moved around the yard for us to get pictures and they very kindly agreed to take us on a short ride around the fringe of the town centre on this vehicle during our visit. We then took Heyfordian 7209RU back to High Wycombe running back via Princess Risborough. 

2nd vehicle was 7298RU (ex C265XEF) which we had from West Wycombe to Yarnton via Stokenchurch following the A40 all the way then taking the Oxford Northern bypass. Upon arrival at Yarnton we changed over buses so that we could take a short ride on 7958NU (ex B245NVN) from Yarnton to Oxford for our lunch break. Whilst changing over buses there was a chance to photograph some of the RH Transport fleet including 809 L604NOS, an Olympian recently purchased having been last operated by Stagecoach Lincolnshire entering that fleet when they took over Road Car. 

During the lunch break Confidence, Leicester A502EJF was seen on a private hire duty- quite a lengthy run for such a veteran. The City Sightseeing operation also had Olympians MUI7853 and MUI7854 (previously Dublin Bus 90D1012 and 90D1010) in action along with one Leyland Atlantean. 

After the lunch break we took 7958NU back to Yarnton and then reboarded 7298RU for the journey back to West Wycombe making two photo stops on the way. 

4th vehicle (5th if counting the bonus ride on E153OMD!) was on board 8216FN (ex B253PHN) which we to on a circular route from West Wycombe running via Loudwater, Beaconsfield, Bourne End and Marlow back to West Wycombe. This bus developed problems when idling which may have been due to a fuel blockage or air in the fuel lines, the bus struggled to get power when pulling away after stopping and felt like it was not going to make it- our driver Steve bravely carried on and completed the trip back to West Wycombe without suffering a complete breakdown. 

During our riding at least two Northern Counties bodied Olympians from Carousel were seen in the bus station and various Northern Counties bodied Volvo Olympians working for Arriva were seen, at least one each previously in their fleets at Leicester, Luton and Watford. 

As you can see this is the trip from an Olympian point of view, we had 17 passengers on board and I think it fair to say a good day out was had by all. 

The Heyfordian group have other Olympians, 8548VF (ex B255RAJ) was out of service at Bicester pending engine attention, FIL7664 (ex AEF227Y) and B739GCN were also reported to be at Bicester. 2185NU (ex B246NVN) is the sole double deck bus in the Tappins, Didcot fleet and wears their orange livery. 

From David Fuller

I write to say I have enclosed 10 photos I took on the Olympian trip on the 24th July (which I found out about via your page). It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and saw many interesting vehicles. I just wondered if any of these pictures are good enough to be featured on your page? (For the Heyfordian pictures see under that operators heading above. Ed.)

All the new liveried Heyfordian vehicles, I photographed at Yarnton, the other two were at High Wycombe. (I read recently C7 HTL was formerly YC02 CHJ, and it now appears to have black leather seats as well as having been re-registered).  

We visited the Motts depot, and although many of the more modern coaches were in use, I enclose a few taken.

Green Line 80th birthday from Peter Edgar

Attached is a selection of pictures taken at Marble Arch / Bayswater Road celebrating 80 years of Green Line services. 

The event organised by Cobham Bus Museum provided a limited service on route 715 to Cobham Bus Museum, and Guilford using a variety of past, and present vehicles.

The event took place on Saturday July 17th 2010.

RFs on parade

RTs present as shown above

Variety from the Routemaster family

Well know RP90 was also on parade

Old and newer T class vehicles showing Green Line as it was.

Alton from Malcolm Hyland

Hants & Surrey RE Group 1st running day at Alton - Saturday 17th July.

Owning an RE, Steve Warwick and I decided that this event was a must to go to. Initially we thought that we would be a static exhibit but soon we were allocated a diagram to cover a non attendee.

What a superb day it was and it could justifiably have had pub crawl in place of running day as its title. In fact the routes were deliberately devised around real ale inns. Loadings were good all though the day and it was obvious that a lot of people had studied the timetables, which allowed for refreshment stops of adequate length. The routes themselves probably had little to do with old or existing routes, as extensive use was made of one track lanes.

I have attached some photos of our 1644 at some of the pubs together with the other REs there on the day. An ex Trent Leyland National also appeared. Alton station is not the largest of areas for bus use and occasionally the days' service buses got held up behind the REs. There is also a shot of Hampshire Bus 18527, one of those displaced earlier this year from Southdown’s coastal service 700.

At the end of the day the decision was made to repeat the running day next year, hopefully attracting more REs. A note in the diary now is recommended to all.

From David Benyon

Some pictures from the Alton event

The above pictures give a good idea of the wonderful vehicles on display bringing back many happy memories I am sure.

The Worthing Bus Rally from Marcus Lapthorn

Photos taken at the Worthing Bus rally on Sunday 25 July 2010.

Not unexpectedly Southdown was predominant.

Modern "Southdown" represented by this preserved Dart in SC stripey livery.

National in the early days

When coaches WERE coaches. What wonderful back ends.

Far from Aylesbury, RT604 goes to the seaside!

Buses in the Landscape 

From Keith Shayshutt

Here's a photo I took on Sunday 25 July 2010. It features a Lucketts National Express coach working the 0915 027 from Worthing to London and  is photographed outside the historic former Worthing Dome Coach Station.

Oxford but rather picturesque added to by the floral display. Picture from Gavin Francis.

Oxford variety. Picture from Gavin Francis.

Barry sent this picture of an M A N on the 66 in a tree lined road.

Paul Dudfield was on holiday by Lake Lucerne and caught up with this Citaro which is on coffee break, a nice display and maybe a nice idea after all that' is above!!!
I am looking forward to some more of Paul's holiday pictures and I wonder if any local operator might take up the screen idea?



From Nick Eustace

A few pictures taken on the A34 of interesting coaches passing through the region


Eavesway YJ08EAP on A34 010810 Nick Eustace

Jumbulance YJ58FJD on A34 010810 Nick Eustace


Two interesting visitors to Oxford in recent days. Pictures by Gavin Francis.

An immaculate RML on wedding duty on The High 30th July. Picture by Richard Sharman.

Coach parking space in Oxpens have been at a premium in recent weeks and an overflow location has been used by Norfolk Street. Picture by Gavin Francis.

An unusual foreign decker caught in Oxpens by Gavin Francis on July 27th.
The coach is operated by KVG Kahlgrund from Schöllkrippen Germany.

Upcoming Events

Hemel Hempstead Running Day - Sunday 15 August 2010

OR BY POST £5.50 including postage from Peter Cartwright, 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE HP13 7NX


Programmes can also be bought on the day at Hemel for £6. 

There are two feeder services in the morning on route 316 from Marlow, High Wycombe, Hazlemere, Amersham Old Town and Station

One journey on Route 353 from Windsor, Slough, Gerrards X, The Chalfonts, Amersham Stn

as well as services from Aylesbury, Dunstable, St. Albans/Hatfield etc.

Route 719 will operate from Swanley through SE and Central London before running express from near Brent Cross via the M1

Route 725 will operate from West Croydon, Sutton Worcester Park, Kingston, Yeading, Ruislip etc

Route 750 will operate from Staines Stn then fast to Denham, Maple Cross, Rickmansworth, Croxley, Watford etc

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.