Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 46 - June 9th  2011

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

There have been some significant developments since the last issue and these are recorded in the items below.

On the Go-Ahead front news has emerged of the purchase of Thames Travel by the group and full details are included in Jottings below.

Picture by Alex Horwood

Pictures are to hand of the two ex Oxford Bus Volvos now with Go North East looking very smart in their new blue livery.

Our two major local bus companies have been performing well on the stock market and bus travel looks set to grow according to the forecasts.

Changes in Milton Keynes are recorded by Harold Atkins.

On a recent visit to Didcot a colleague and I found several Arriva London Citaro bendis being prepared for shipment to Malta. One of the men working on these was not so happy about pictures being taken, even though they were on a public access road!

Planning for the 2012 Olympics concerning transport is well in hand and drivers are being sought for this work by many of the major companies..

Traffic delays over the weekend and this morning, Monday 6th, have been rather bad and yesterday one Tube journey at least took just under three hours to get from Oxford to Victoria. Delays were caused by resurfacing in Holland Park Avenue, a march in Piccadilly and various other bottle necks. In the late Sunday afternoon traffic on the M40 was tailed back to junction 8A from 4 at High Wycombe. Then this morning the A40 was very congested with a car fire near Hillingdon with delays in both directions. These problems caused delays to all services routing in from the west on the A40 to London.

Late news is of the acquisition of 75% of Woottens Coaches by The Bowen Travel Group. This is covered below under Jottings.

When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site 


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


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


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


May I please ask readers to do two things?


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


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


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


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


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: Tuesday, 21st June 2011

Chris Maxfield on Malta Buses (Pt2)

19.30pm - 21.30pm

Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road



Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)

or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE 


All meetings start at 19.30pm although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.

Future meetings are planned as follows:
July 19th - Evening trip to Reading Buses depot at Gt Knolly's Street.
Aug - No meeting, summer break
Sept 20th - Local slides (1960's 1970's) by Ian Thompson
Oct 18th - South Midland buses by Paul Lacey (visiting speaker)
Nov 22nd - Around Britain by Bus by Graham Low / Chris Bates
Dec 13th - Pictures from the John Law collection (Britain/Worldwide from 1960's onwards) by John Law (visiting speaker).

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



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

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - June 9th 2011.


Fleet News 

Steve Doel of Calne, Wiltshire writes "Whilst driving for Citysightseeing Oxford on Saturday I was delighted to see Nostalgia Travel's Bristol FLF which was operating on a wedding hire. I'm a big FLF fan, 23 years ago I took my PSV test on a FLF (JHK 455C, a FLF6G new to Eastern National which is still alive and well in Holland with Bart Prins). A little later I passed it parked up, so took the opportunity of pulling over and getting a couple of photos - I only had two passengers on board and they were very understanding...!!. Enclosed are a couple of photos.

Later in the afternoon I snapped an Arriva Citaro on the 280, unusual I think as I have only noticed double deckers on there before when I've been driving in Oxford."

Stephen Le Bras writes "On Saturday, 21st May, I noted two unusual 025s at 10am and 2pm. The first was NL52XZV of JG Coaches Heathfield and the second CO75 - FH05 URP, this being a Volvo B12B/Caetano Enigma once in the livery of Virgin for the service between Watford and Heathrow. The 025 service has received new 60 plate Levantes so why the older coaches, I wonder?

Sunday, 22nd May, saw me heading for High Wycombe on RML2676 (a red RML). As we ran through Windsor, two funny moments were noted. A Japanese tourist trying to take a picture of the castle as this darned RML went past, er wait a minute...! Then the look of amazement on the Polish coach courier's face as he headed into Windsor.

The Optare Tempo X1200 demonstrator YJ59NNZ, on loan to Carousel, was arriving on the A40 just as we departed from High Wycombe.

Overall, an interesting day and seeing preserved RT2083 was quite a surprise. 

Richard Sharman notes the following:

Tappins Alizee on Rail Replacement

MK Metro Alizee on NX Service 302, still showing the last digit of its original fleet number above the cab window whilst with Arriva Fox County.
(These coaches had very large numbers over the drivers side window to help with recognition on the M1. Ed.)

A Trident on Stagecoach 66

Going Green for Oxford, a new Barnes Futura
New Stagecoach X5 Panther, 53618, to replace the burnt out coach from two years ago!, this 11 plate Panther has taken the place of the written off coach 53614.

Oxford Trident 105 having some trouble
Sun 29 May

Selwyn's had two Elites running through Oxford on the 303 today, one in each direction,
the Birkenhead bound Elite is seen coming up to Weston on the Green on the A34.
Sat 4th June

RH 713 was used, along with the rest of the Coach Unit fleet on First Great Western Rail Replacement work
this week between Oxford and Moreton in Marsh.

Former COMS Paramount lives on with a fresh coat of paint

Two S5 E400 not on S5's!....one is on the 7's and the other the 31.

COMS Hybrids, highest spotted so far is 312

Thames Travel........Were part of the Go-Ahead Group
The burnt out Cherwell Valley Services near Bicester is nearly rebuilt, in the mean time a temporary building is in use.

Adam Green sent observations from Hemel. 

Arriva 4364 is on the 12 today with 3177,3175,4524 are on the 4 & 5 and Red Line W408UGM is on the H11

Gary Seamarks writes to enclose a picture of TPD 118X ex LC in Bedford taken the other week. It's an NHS walk-in clinic in the area, sadly only camera phone that day... 


Steve Gee writes "ex Tube MAN's that I saw on the M40.  Also T52BBW in white livery with red relief in use with Mitcham Belle seen on 6th June.
Secondly, T43BBW was on the M42, today, all over yellow livery, in use with Airshuttle, based at Oldbury (West Bromwich) in the West Midlands. I saw this one a few months back in that area, but without Airshuttle titles.
Both the ex Dublin deckers with Catteralls were present in their yard tonight as I drove past, so not gone for repaint as I thought, will take my camera with me next time."

 Arriva logo

Adam Green writes "On Friday 13th May 2493 was on the 300/301 to Stevenage and Wycombe Based Dart 3217 was on the 320 to Maple Cross.

3272 has had a engine fire and is parked up in Hemel Garage plus Trident 5458 has had a crash with a taxi in Hemel Town Centre at lunch time on May 18th. 

3370 has been in Hemel but never Wycombe and was on 500 to Watford 18/5/11

Glenn Knight notes: 

3751 YJ08DZA on SB1 this is Ex-Arriva Southern Counties used to run on route 480 Dartford - Valley Drive

3834 M504VJO (ex Oxford) on Staff Shuttle- this operated the 0835 102 Luton - Stevenage 24/05/2011

3890 LF02PVA on SB4 in Stevenage now in interurban
 livery. (This bus was once at Aylesbury and sometimes worked the 300 to Wycombe.)

Pete Cabin writes "....buses that moved to High Wycombe were only loans. They were 3179 S179SRO, 3185 S185SRO and 3489 W489YGS. They are not now listed on the allocation board in the High Wycombe office in Eden Bus Station but I have seen 3171 and 3172 - P671/672OPP still around the town but no sightings of S309/S316JUA. (ex Yorkshire buses)."

3 June 

Some unusual buses parked up at the Arriva High Wycombe garage yesterday, all from the MK area.

3530 NDZ7919
3532 NDZ7921
3536 P424LPG
all Dennis Dart SLFs though quite what there doing there is a mystery?"


Nigel Peach writes "At Cressex, Arriva's final ex Oxford Volvo 3853 is no longer in the row of withdrawn vehicles. Surprisingly, it's place in that line up has been taken by MK based Dart 3530 NDZ 7919.

I think most of the recent influx of vehicles must have been short-lived loans but I think 3171 (P671OPP) may be permanent - it has gained a Wycombe advert on the rear!"

John Hammond writes "Seen in Chinnor this morning on one of the new Arriva tendered services running between Thame & Princes Risborough."

A number of pictures were taken by Gavin /Francis and myself which are shown below.

3401 was taken at Luton Airport by Gavin Francis. It was working the 321 to Watford on May 21st.
The next two pictures are of a bus which started life with Motts and was an ex London Borough playbus and then moved to Arriva.
For many years it was at high Wycombe.
The third picture shows it as it is in 2011, now with McEwens. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Pictures by Malcolm Crowe showing Dart 3178 in High Wycombe, Volvo 3850 on the 340 in Stokenchurch
and finally Olympian 5147 on the 32 in High Wycombe still bearing its Hemel branding some years after transfer!!


Noel Clark, Operations Manager, Carousel Buses Limited writes "You may have had reports of some unusual vehicles operating the Link (A30/A40/740) services in the last couple of weeks. These are demonstrators and not part of the permanent fleet. The Optare Tempo, YJ59 NNZ was here from 20th-25th May. The Mercedes Citaro BF60 0EZ arrived on 24th May and will be with us until 3rd June. Early indications are both vehicles are approximately 30% more fuel efficient than our current Mercedes Citaro MB class vehicles – a significant advance in just 8 years. I think all operators will agree Euro 3 was nothing short of a travesty for fuel consumption, significant advances have obviously been made for Euro 5.

The BMC Hawk, MP56 BUS is here for a trial. It will enter service in early June and if successful will be a permanent addition to the fleet.

Supervisor Dave Oliver took two pictures of the loan buses and the Citaro departed yesterday. (3 June)."

Nigel Peach writes "Optare Tempo Demonstrator YJ59 NNZ was working the A40 route on Mon 23rd May.

I still enjoy reading the S & Js - so much information to take in! It's also great to dip back occasionally to 3 or 5 years back, or even further, to remind myself of what the local scene was like then. How quickly it changes and how quickly I forget what it used to be like! (I wonder how many of you re-read the old pages. Is it worth keeping them on line?? Ed.)

I did manage to get the attached pic of Citaro demonstrator BF60 OEZ which is working for Carousel. But it's a poor picture as it was taken at 8.30pm on a dark Bank Holiday evening. I expect you'll have better examples to use in the next S & J.

STL11 pauses in Stokenchurch on the 2C on May 19th - picture by Gavin Francis.

Greyhound services appear to go from strength to strength and the latest twist to the story is the appearance of a coach with Harlem Globetrotters applied.

Coach 23322 on June 3rd and caught in the lens of Gavin Francis.

Caught in Bulleid Way the same coach is seen on May 19th before working a Southampton bound service by Gavin Francis.

The 702 Green Line service goes from strength to strength and more deckers are expected.
This Volvo Wrights looks very smart when seen on June 5th by Gavin Francis.

An Enviro 200 on the 25A in Oxford. This service was once worked by RH.
Seen on June 4th and taken by Gavin Francis.

Heyfordian took over the 108/118 routes from Motts in early June and Peverel caught up with their new small Solo.
Picture taken on June 8th.

Hedley Shanks writes regarding the two Solos used on County Tendered services until last week saying "We are using MB07 on the contracts around the old M1 service, and MA07 is parked up unlicensed at the moment probably will be put up for sale shortly.

Small bit of other vehicle news,

E153 OMD Leyland Olympian Optare withdrawn & for sale.
MT02 MTT Mercedes 0815 Sitcar Beluga sold to Lewis Coaches, Greenwich.
9775 MT (S150 SET) Neoplan Skyliner sold to Knights Coaches.

4442 MT (M573 DSJ) & 5874 MT (G380 RNH) relicenced from 1st June.

MT09 MTT currently roving around Europe again on celebrity coach trip and then it will record two more 'normal' series of the programme back to back, with only a few days off in between. That will keep it occupied for the whole summer.

With branding on 7th June 2011/

On the 6th June both Gavin and myself took pictures of CT10MTT in plain white. By today it had gained full livery as shown in the pictures below by Hedley Shanks.

Awaiting branding at Stokenchurch on June 6th!!!

The new Sitcar Belugar GT10MTT following branding on June 8th - H Shanks


Service Notes (courtesy Trident Magazine - http://gb-bg.co.uk/ )

As well as the routes noted last month Edwards (Llantwit Fardre) have taken over operation of the 321 Aberdare- Birmingham-Bradford route.

If you are looking for the new Excelsior coaches the 320 Bradford-Poole route is a safe bet. 

Mainline (Gilfach Goch) is taking on National Express contracts including diagrams on the 627 South Wales to Minehead and weekend extras on the 509 Swansea to London (1600 and 1800 ex Cardiff, 2030 and 2230 ex London)

Applegate's no longer operate the Friday / Sunday 318 Bristol – Birmingham extras

New Coaches

FJ11 GKY Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GMO Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GMU Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GMX Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GMY Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GMZ Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GNF Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ1 1GNK Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GNN Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GNO Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

FJ11 GOH Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Edwards (Llantwit Fardre)

919 FJ11 GNP Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Excelsior (Bournemouth)

920 FJ11 GNU Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Excelsior (Bournemouth)

921 FJ11 GNV Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Excelsior (Bournemouth)

922 FJ11 GNX Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Excelsior (Bournemouth)

923 FJ11 GNY Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Excelsior (Bournemouth)

924 FJ11 GNZ Volvo B9R Caetano Levante II Excelsior (Bournemouth)

A variety in rears, showing the later Plaxton elite of Selwyn's as opposed to the windowless Elite of Stagecoach Oxford for the 737.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Selwyn's 146 on the 3903 in Oxford. Gavin Francis.

NEx Burtons YU04XFB on the 010 near London Victoria on May 26th by Gavin Francis.

NEx C050 - FH05 URR a Volvo B12B-Caetano Enigma once in the livery of Virgin for the service between Watford and Heathrow.
Seen by Gavin Francis at Stansted on May 21st.

NEx South Gloucester FJ57KHH once SC44 based at LHR on loan for A6 Stansted on May 21st.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

NEx Excelsior Volvo/Caetano 915 FJ60EHC on the 310 at Oxford. Picture by Gavin Francis on June 4th.

The latest super rear and advertising branding seen on a National Express coach was caught by Gavin Francis
whilst at Victoria Coach Station on June 9th 2011.

Gary Seamarks noted that on May 22nd new Hybrids were parked up at the distribution centre in Leyland, Lancs, awaiting delivery to Oxford. They were :

313-7 - HN, HP,HR. HS & HY11 OXF


Various pictures by contributors.

An interesting development by OBc is the application of very small fleet numbers on the rear nearside corners of the red and blue Scanias.
This can be seen in detail in the picture above by Gavin Francis.

This has happened in the last 10 days or so.

Repainting of the green Tridents appears to be taking place with 108, 110 and 114 all done.
The very smart appearance can be seen in the picture of 108 above.
107 shows the old and now fast disappearing Park & Ride livery.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

A selection of the latest Enviro 400H's now in service up to 312.
305 is seen on the 300 and the latest route to see the new buses is the 500 with 307 and 310 representing this development.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

A revised route is the 23. This was once the X23! Picture by Gavin Francis.
Times can be found at this link: http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/content/doc/cms/city13_X13_X3_23_Timetable_WEB.pdf
A route map at this link: http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/content/doc/cms/city_13_map_web.pdf

Still in service are the four ex North East Tridents, presumably because of the repainting of the Tridents red
and the awaited delivery of 313-7. Picture by Gavin Francis.

My two pictures of 228, once in the rain on May 30th and one of 228 from the rear on May 23rd without those small fleet numbers.
Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

As mentioned above Oxford Bus has also placed small fleet numbers on the rear of its Brookes Bus fleet as seen in this picture taken June 8th by Peverel.

Repainting of the Trident fleet continues and the latest seen is 115.
It seems to be a blushing green lady! Picture taken on 8th June by Peverel.

Oxford's 820 and 821 are now in their new colours for use in the north east as shown in these pictures by G Hunter.

Richard Sharman sent pictures of the fleet activity:

B10M/Jonckheere Deauville 719 recently acquired for School Contracts and Rail Replacement

Trident/Plaxton President 805 seen moments before a downpour of heavy showers

715 is a relatively rare DAF engined Berkhof Excellence seen here on Rail Replacement 
between Oxford and Moreton-in-Marsh whilst the Cotswold line is closed for upgrade. 

Solo 47455 has been repainted in house at Oxford an d looks rather smart.

From time to time during weekends, when traffic is congested in London more than two Tubes end up waiting for drivers rest breaks.
Here five are i9n line at Buckingham Palace Road. June 5th by Gavin Francis.

Dart 33941 recently transferred from C&G to Swindon on the 66 in Oxford on May 20th by Gavin Francis.


It does look odd to see one of the tri-axle Volvos not in Megabus or Citylink livery
Here 54076 from Scotland on layover in Bulleid Way on May 20th by Gavin Francis.

Two more or less identical coaches in Sammy's refuelling operating for competing companies.
May 21st - London by Malcolm Crowe.

Not the usual coach at all, this S reg Volvo is on a Cardiff working. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Bruce SCL SJ54CCN on Megabus. This coach once worked the 539 svc thru Oxford from Scotland. Seen on 290511 by G Francis.

The same coach back in May 2006 leaving Oxford on the 539. Picture by Gavin Francis.

For many weeks we went without rain but this picture SC Swindon 22626 on route 66 in  Park End St Oxford
was taken following heavy rain on May 30th by Malcolm Crowe.



Keith Shayshutt writes "Here's a couple of photos of Swanbrook's 853 Gloucester to Oxford express service that doesn't often feature in these pages. The first photo is taken at Cheltenham and the second just after arrival in Oxford on a Sunday evening. I can highly recommend a journey on this route, it is absolutely delightful. It reminded me of travelling on a Black & White express service from Cheltenham to Oxford many years ago.

Also attached is a photo of the 833 at Northleach. The 833 is a local route operating over similar territory to the express 853, between Northleach and Cheltenham.


Pictures taken at Didcot by Alex Horwood


Woottens Coaches of Chesham join the Bowen Travel Group 

Bowen Travel Group has acquired a 75% interest in Woottens Coaches of Chesham. Operating with similar core values Woottens Coaches will fit seamlessly within the Bowen Travel Group of companies. The acquisition allows the Bowen Travel Group to expand its operating area further into Buckinghamshire and gives Woottens access to a larger range of tours to offer its clients. 

Michael Wootten has been appointed managing director with Alf Moseley, Ronald Graham, Monica Stones and Steve Beech of the Bowen Travel Group joining the board of Woottens Coaches. 

Woottens Coaches, a family business based in historic market town of Chesham was started in 1999 by a partnership between father & son Nick and Michael Wootten. They built the business into one of Buckinghamshire’s leading quality coach operators by fulfilling a need for a coach operator who delivered good old fashioned service and listened to the needs of the client, whilst still maintaining an innovative approach.  

The company is well known locally and its current operations include UK & European tours, day trips, private hire and school contracts; together with a move into commercial local bus operation using the new ‘Tiger Line Buses’ brand. 

Bowen Travel Group CEO, Ronald Graham says “As of today Woottens become a fully participating member of the group and this will allow the group access to an expanded network for coaching and tour operation. I feel Woottens is a natural fit with the existing group and will through cooperation and development lead to further growth in business to the mutual benefit of both Woottens and BTG”.

Two new coaches feature the BTG corporate image.
Pictures by Michael Wootten.

 The Bowens Travel Group have their own website which can be viewed at the following link.


Go-Ahead buys Thames Travel 

Go-Ahead has bought Thames Travel (Wallingford) Limited, based in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

It carries 1.25m passengers per year in South Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, with turnover of around £6m.

Go-Ahead Deputy Chief Executive David Brown says: "Thames Travel is a strong business with a proud tradition of providing high quality services to the local community. We are delighted that the company will be joining the Go-Ahead family.

“With the resources of Go-Ahead behind Thames Travel, the business will be in a stronger position to grow over the years ahead.”

In line with Go-Ahead's devolved business strategy, the company will continue to be run and managed locally. The fleet will retain its existing livery and branding.

Stagecoach fits greener engines to prolong vehicle lifeJump to top navigation Jump to site services


  • £500,000 project launched to fit new engines in mid-life vehicles
  • New Euro 5- engines to pro-long vehicle lifespan and reduce carbon emissions
  • 50 buses to receive engine re-fit over next 12 months

Transport group Stagecoach is to fit new, greener engines in some of its mid-life buses to reduce emissions and lower the company’s carbon footprint.

The Perth-based company will spend around £500,000 over the next 12 months re-powering around 50 ADL Trident double deck vehicles with more efficient engines.

The new Euro 5- engines will replace the vehicles’ current Euro 3 engines, reducing fuel consumption by up to 25% and lowering carbon emissions as well as prolonging the life of the vehicles and providing greater reliability for passengers.

The announcement came during Stagecoach Green Week – an annual week-long programme of events designed to raise awareness of green issues and to promote the environmental, and financial, benefits of using public transport.

Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, Les Warneford said: "Many of the vehicles are around 8-10 years old and are in good condition but require new engines. It makes sense to fit newer greener engines to prolong their life.

"We are working hard to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment. We believe that by continuing to invest in new technology and greener measures, as well as encouraging a more bus-friendly approach in towns and cities, we can attract even more people on to our greener, smarter bus services."

The engine re-power project is the latest in a string of measures being taken by Stagecoach to reduce its carbon footprint as a business.

The Group has launched a sustainability strategy and is investing £11million in a range of measures to meet its environmental targets. The Group is targeting an overall reduction of 8% in buildings CO2 emissions and a cut of 3% in annual fleet transport CO2e emissions by 2014. It follows a reduction in the carbon intensity of its UK businesses of 5.7% in the three years to 30 April 2009.

It is estimated the five-year programme, from 2009-10 to 2013-14, will save a total of nearly 150,000 tonnes of CO2e, with the Group’s annual emissions reduced by around 40,000 tonnes CO2e by April 2014.

Last year, Stagecoach Group was awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard after taking action on climate change by measuring and reducing its carbon emissions. Stagecoach 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. It covers all of the Group’s bus and rail operations in the UK.

Stagecoach is leading the way on investing in greener vehicles and has placed orders for 142 hybrid electric buses in the past year which deliver a 30% reduction in carbon emissions compared to standard vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles are already in operation in Oxford and Manchester and more will be introduced across the UK within the next 12 months.

The company also recently announced a multi-million-pound investment in a hi-tech eco-driving system, by Green Road, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption at its bus division by 4%. The scheme also offers employees the chance to earn "green points" that are converted into financial benefits from a potential £900,000 annual bonus pot.

Stagecoach is also installing a new 'intelligent' lighting system – which uses movement sensors to determine the amount of light required - at six bus depots across the UK. Based on previous trials, it is expected that the system could reduce the energy consumption used on lighting at the six depots by around 40% as a result of the 'intelligent' nature of the technology. This would produce an annual saving of more than 373,000kilowatts per hour (KWh) and save almost 230 tonnes of CO2 over the course of a year.

Bus operators perform well on the stock market 

The weekend’s papers were highlighting the strong performance of Stagecoach which traders are jumping on following a bullish note from J P Morgan. 

Analysts said that assuming the economy does not dip back into recession and a recovery is under way, falling unemployment should drive up revenues for bus and also the rail business.  

Go-Ahead also benefitted from this statement with their share price jumping ahead by 29p. 

Stagecoach shares surged ahead by 9p to 249.1p. 

Certainly on a local basis bus travel is seeing strong growth as people realise the bus makes more sense than the car, especially when comparing costs overall. 

Second price car values are weak and in some cases owning a car does make economic sense, especially when the bus services are frequent and often run through the night. 

New Deputy Senior Traffic Commissioner 

Beverley Bell has been appointed as Deputy Senior Traffic Commissioner by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond MP.

Mrs. Bell will take on the temporary role from 1 June while Philip Brown, the current Senior Traffic Commissioner, is on special leave for health reasons.

She will also continue in her role as Traffic Commissioner for the North Western Traffic Area.

Mrs. Bell was nominated with the consensus of her fellow Traffic Commissioners to take on the temporary role.

The role of Senior Traffic Commissioner gives the post-holder important responsibilities to determine how the Traffic Commissioners perform their statutory functions.

Two sacked after probe into missing bus depot fuel 

SC is investigating alleged thefts from its depot

Two workers have been sacked and two others have resigned following a probe into the alleged theft of fuel at a bus depot.

Bosses at Stagecoach began an investigation at the firm’s Ardwick depot last year.

We revealed how the investigation had been launched amid claims diesel was being syphoned from fuel tanks. Stagecoach has now confirmed that four workers have left the firm.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that two employees have been dismissed and two have resigned following the launch of an investigation into the alleged theft of fuel from one of our depots last year.

"Due to potential legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment any further on this case at this stage."

One source claimed the potential value of the fuel ran into thousands of pounds.

The disciplinary action comes after a string of alleged thefts from Stagecoach depots around the country. Three men were charged with theft and four with handling stolen goods after diesel was stolen from a depot in Scotland last December. And diesel worth more than £500 was stolen from a Stagecoach site in Cumbria in March. 

Newbury services facing axe

TWO popular Newbury bus routes will be axed in August - despite increasing public demand.

The move has been roundly condemned by ward councillors, especially as one route has seen a threefold increase in use.
Newbury Buses, a division of Reading Transport Limited, announced it will cut the number 8/8A (Newbury - Greenham - Tesco) and number 12 (Glendale Avenue [Wash Common] to Newbury) services after August 27.
Meanwhile, 15 staff members from the company’s Mill Lane depot will be made redundant.
The number of buses will also be reduced, although nine will be retained for Vodafone bus routes.
In addition, it is understood that the bus company is in discussions with Stagecoach Hampshire over The Link route connecting Newbury and Basingstoke, while making arrangements for routes 6 and 6A (Newbury - East Ilsley circular), to be franchised, unchanged, to another operator.
District Councillor, Adrian Edwards (Con, Falkland), said axing the number 12 route would affect many people, including some St Bartholomew’s School and Park House School pupils.
Billy Drummond (Lib Dem, Greenham) meanwhile condemned the decision to stop the number 8 service. He said:
“It is a useful service and I have always found the buses to be quite busy. A lot of people don’t have cars, some people have young kids and for this to happen is dreadful.”

Greenham parish councillor Phil Barnett said the service was particularly valuable for the elderly and predicted more people resorting to using private cars. The bus company, which closed the Market Street station office in 2009, cited “unacceptable losses” on the routes as the reason for cutting the services.
This is despite a dramatic increase in riders following the introduction of cheaper fares last year and an increase in the frequency of the service.

However, one bus driver, who asked not to be named, said the move was the “final straw” for staff after two years of troubles, in which workers voted on possible strike action in 2009 over the way the company was being run.

From a total of 279 votes cast, 41.2 per cent (115 people) voted in favour of a strike, while 58.8 per cent (164 people) voted against it.
Reading Transport chief executive officer James Freeman said staff were informed of the decision at a meeting on Tuesday (June 7), adding that despite a threefold increase on the Greenham service, there was insufficient revenue to cover costs.
He said:
“Running buses in Newbury is always problematic and we have had a really good go at trying to make the town services work, as our staff know. But even with three times as many people using the service in Greenham compared to last year, it is still not enough.”
However, West Berkshire Council spokesman, Phil Spray, said:
“It is the council’s intention that no service will be lost as a result of Reading Transport’s decision. We are currently in discussion with other operators to ensure as far as possible services for the public are unaffected.”


Faringdon closure causes problems by Marcus Lapthorn

Between Monday 23 and Friday 27 May the access to the Market Square in Faringdon has been restricted due to roadworks. This has meant that buses could no longer access the Market Square and a replacement temporary bus stop was established in Gloucester Street which is a one way street. The buses then swung round in front of the Corn Exchange to leave the centre of Faringdon via Marlborough Street.

Problems resulting from this included the halting of all traffic in Gloucester Street whilst buses loaded. The next problem was that when buses tried to turn into Marlborough Street, they were unable to do so if vehicles had illegally parked in that street. This has at times resulted in buses being considerably delayed, whilst the driver of the illegally parked vehicles were located. In one case at least, a bus could only continue by going on the old 66 route up London Street and thence onto the A420, as the car driver could not be found!

Blackpool update by Geoff Cunliffe 

The progressive opening of the traditional Blackpool tramway continues as, for the Bank Holiday weekend, the service has been extended north from the Cabin to Little Bispham. This means the service now runs from the Pleasure Beach to Little Bispham. I attach a lousy photograph of double decker 762 today, the first day of the extended service, passing the Manchester Hotel northbound on a dull and windy evening. It really does say “Little Bispham” on its destination blind.

Of course the southern end of the system, from the Pleasure Beach to Starr Gate and the new depot, is complete and finished, although that will not see service cars this season as the stretch has been reserved for testing and familiarisation runs of the new fleet of Bombardier units in readiness for their start in service at Easter 2012.  

The system has still to be re-opened northwards from Little Bispham to Ash Street, Fleetwood. It has been said that, although the new track is in place to the Fleetwood Ferry, the true north end of the system, cars are unlikely to proceed for the last part beyond Ash Street until the new service starts next year.

In a slightly surprise but welcome move, Blackpool Transport has announced that it will now accept any of the National Concessionary Travel Passes on its trams form now on. Up to this year, only passes issued by the Unitary Authority of Blackpool or within Lancashire County Council have been accepted, everyone else having to pay the full fare.

Transport change is underway in Malta!

 Arriva drivers

Arriva is continuing to prepare for the big transport change, and delivering the all new bus service that will transform the way people travel around Malta and Gozo.

In its latest update to the press Arriva announced that driver training is progressing well. Over 530 drivers now have contracts of employment, with more in the process. This includes a number of drivers who Arriva has trained from scratch as bus drivers, including around 15 female drivers so far, and other D licence holders and existing bus drivers, who are progressing through Arriva's professional driver training courses.

Keith Bastow, Managing Director of Arriva in Malta, said: "We are very encouraged by what we are seeing from the drivers during training. There is real commitment and a passion to do the job well."

"We are now seeking to fill the last batch of vacancies for bus drivers, for which we are looking to speak to existing D licence holders. If you are a clean D licence holder and speak English and Maltese and are interested in transport at this exciting time, please get in touch with us on 7938 3891 for an immediate appointment."

As well as practical and theory training covering safety drills, Arriva standards, safe manoeuvres, observation, signals and techniques in eco-driving for the efficient and environmentally friendly use of fuel, more than 300 drivers have now completed customer care training, with the rest to follow in coming weeks. The media were invited into a training session ran by Arriva's new Training Manager Joyce Cassar, where around 20 D licence holders were involved in training on safety, communication skills and customer care, including building positive relationships with customers and providing a good service.

Around 70 drivers have also passed advanced road-craft training to drive the articulated buses.

Mr Bastow also unveiled Arriva's comfortable and professional new uniform. In the summer, drivers will wear a short-sleeved white shirt with Arriva epaulettes, an Arriva tie or ladies' cravat and blue trousers or skirt. In the winter, sleeveless and long sleeve pullovers and jackets will be available. Inspector's uniforms will be similar, with grey trousers, instead of blue, charcoal grey ties and navy suit jackets.

Mr Bastow announced the appointment of Arriva's new Maltese senior management team, who are working with the team of secondees from the UK and Arriva's operations across Europe to put the finishing touches to preparations for the new transport system ahead of the launch on 3 July, 2011. Working with Mr Bastow to lead the team will be Peter Vella who has been appointed to the role of Operations Director, and Patrick Cassar, who will become Finance Director.

The management team also includes, Operations Manager Marco Cachia, Financial Controller Ivan Camilleri, Commercial Manager Thomas Dimech, Engineering Manager Colin Borg-Ginger, Human Resources Manager Pauline Saliba, Training Manager Joyce Cassar and Health and Safety Officer Denis Chircop. As well as being trained on the job, many of them have also been on familiarisation visits to Arriva's operations in the UK. Support staff recruitment for assistant, administration and engineering roles is now almost complete.

Arriva confirmed that more than 850 bus stop poles are now in place. Some bus stops have been relocated to reflect the updated network and some new bus stops are being added.

The new bus stop poles will be fitted at every location by the middle of June and flags featuring colour-coded route numbers will be added over the coming weeks. Flags have been trialled at St Julians and Marsaskala for weight, positioning and visibility checks. The colour-coded route numbers will make it easy for passengers to identify the service they want to take. There will also be timetables at every bus stop so passengers can check what time the next bus is due.

More than 100 bus stops will also have real time information screens showing how many minutes are left before the next bus will arrive.

Mr Bastow said that Arriva is currently printing a 'guide to your all new bus services' which will be mailed to every household in Malta and Gozo later this month. This will contain all the information people will need to take the bus from 3 July, including routes and timetables, tickets and fares, where to buy tickets from and customer care information. A pull-out and keep network map is also included.

Arriva ended by giving the press an exclusive preview of the TV advertisement which will launch on TV screens soon. The 30 second commercial showcases Arriva's new and upgraded bus fleet for Malta, as well as highlighting the work that is happening now to prepare for services starting on 3 July. The voice-over is provided by Carlo Borg Bonaci, who presents the morning show on Radio 101, and will also be used for a radio advertising campaign.

Mr Bastow commented, "It is an exciting time, we are counting down the days to the transport reform. It is time to give Malta an insight into the new transport services, and begin to change the way they think about travelling around Malta and Gozo.

"The broadcast media campaign focuses on the benefits of the new transport services and how Arriva offers an attractive alternative to get where you want to go, whether that is work, meeting family or friends, going shopping or to school, or simply having fun! We promise to change the way you think about bus travel." 

Malta articulated buses by Ian Brown. 

Arriva’s articulated buses would be used on the Airport Express route, a new service connecting the airport with four strategic locations, making travelling easier,
the new public transport service provider said yesterday.
Read more at: 
Pictures of the buses intended for Malta were taken by Chris Maxfield at Didcot.

Changes to services

Changes in Milton Keynes from Harold Atkins

Have you been advised of extensive bus service changes in Milton Keynes effective today, 22 May, resulting in quite a loss for Arriva?

Route Changes

1 (Arriva) Still operates half-hourly Monday – Friday daytimes Bletchley – Newport Pagnell, alternate journeys extended southbound to Newton Longville and Fenny Stratford, and alternately from Newport north to Lavendon and east to Cranfield. The contract for the extensions to Bedford have been lost to Stagecoach East, see services 40 and 41 below, except for 3 journeys Lavendon – Bedford on Sunday only operated by Arriva as 1A.

2 (Arriva) Minor timing changes only.

3 (Arriva) Truncated to operate MK Central Station to Woburn Sands only. CMK – Bradville section replaced by contract 18.

4 (Arriva) Still operates every 7/8 minutes (10 mins Saturday, 15 mins Sunday) daytimes Bletchey – CMK, with alternate journeys now extended through to Wolverton via Two Mile Ash and Greenleys. The 4A extensions from CMK to Shenley Church End are withdrawn.

5 (Arriva) No change except the loop around the Hodge Lea Estate is now covered by the revised 4.

6 No longer exists. Covered in the north by 18 and south by 28.

7 (Arriva) Runs every 15 mins Wolverton – CMK re-routed via the new Oakridge Park estate. Alternate journeys extended to Bletchley rerouted via Shenley Church End and then via the existing route. The 7 no longer serves Greenleys (covered by the 4).The 7A via Far Bletchley and Tattenhoe is withdrawn and replaced by contract 28.

8 (Arriva)No serious changes.

9 The X9 Olney and Lavendon express run by Arriva is withdrawn due to MK Council funding cuts.

10 (Grant Palmer) Revised timetable including some Mon – Fri journeys operated to Ampthill and Flitwick. Journeys via Ridgmont numbered 10A.

14 (Arriva) CMK – Deanshanger – Wicken withdrawn due to withdrawal of funding by Northants. (Deanshanger replaced by rerouted 89 and Wicken by occasional shared taxi). Peak 14A journeys withdrawn due to MK Council funding cuts.

17 (Z&S) Revised to operate two hourly Bletchley – Coachway – Cranfield. One peak journey each way daily CMK – Cranfield as 17A.

18 (Z&S) Now hourly Mon – Sat daytimes with a long diversion through CMK to serve Bradwell Common , Heelands and Bradville replacing most of the north section of Arriva service 3. Full Service is Bradville – CMK – Hospital – Bletchley.

19 (Red Rose) Half hourly Mon – Sat daytimes, hourly evening and Sundays. CMK – Hospital - Bletchley – Newton Leys. This was introduced in February [paid for by developer funding under section 106 planning gain.)

20 (Z&S) Peak local service to Open University withdrawn due to poor usage.

23 (Grant Palmer) Bradville – Great Linford – Conniburrow – CMK – Heelands. The old (27.04.2010) timetable is still in operation but the operator’s intention is apparently to run Wolverton – Great Linford – Conniburrow – CMK commercially but that

his registration was not made in time for the 22 May revisions, but should happen in about 6 weeks.

24/25 (now run by Vale Travel Monday to Friday and Z&S on Saturdays) –(Arrival lost their input on the 25). Hourly circulars Bletchley – Westcroft – CMK – GT Linford – Newport Pagnell – Coachway – Kingston – OU – Bletchley and vice versa.

28 (a new contract service to fill in gaps left by Arriva withdrawals run by Red Rose with input from Redline Mon – Sat and run by Vale Travel on Sundays) Shenley Lodge – Crownhill – CMK – Hospital – Furzton – Tattenhoe – Far Bletchley – Bletchley

29 (revised contract service interworked with the 28 Monday – Saturday by Red Rose and Redline) CMK – Hospital – West Bletchley – Bletchley.

30/31 (Arriva) No change

32 (Arriva) No change

33/33A (Lost by Arriva to Z&S) CMK – Wolverton – Northampton. Rerouted by in Mk and Northants to cover several more villages. Basic hourly frequency remains Monday – Saturday daytimes. Diverted in MK to serve Bradwell Village replacing part of

withdrawn 3.

37/37A (Z&S) Olney – various villages – Newport Pagnell. Contract partly to replace Stagecoach 36 which no longer enters MK Council Area (now runs Northampton – Piddington only) and parts of other local services.

40 (Stagecoach) Won new contract from CMK – Newport Pagnell – Bromham – Bedford, basically hourly.

41 (Stagecoach) This was previously numbered PI Northampton – Bedford but is now diverted via Olney. 40 and 41 together give a half-hourly combined service Bromham – Bedford.

42 (Arriva) Contract service withdrawn, partly replaced by 37/A

43 (Lost by Arriva to Z&S) Hodge Lea – Wolverton – Haversham – Newport Pagnell, hourly off peak service continues.

50 (Langston & Tasker) No change

51 (Arriva) daily peak extension of the 1 from and to Winslow to Bletchley.

70 (Arriva) Luton – Leighton Buzzard – then hourly to CMK. Service all runs by the 70 route via Stanbridge, removing the 69 via Hockliffe which is covered by the Centrebus X31 MK extension and few journeys on the 10.

89 (Stagecoach) CMK – Towcester – Northampton. Diverted via Deanshanger to replace the 14 instead of via Yardley Gobion. Remains hourly Monday – Saturday daytimes.

90 (Centrebus) Potterspury – Yardley Gobion – Cosgrove – Stony Stratford – CMK. Northants contract to connect with 89 at Potterspury and provide a roughly 2 hourly service from Yardley and Cosgrove to Milton Keynes.

91 (Litchfield Cars) Woburn Sands – Salford –CMK) Withdrawn due to poor patronage.

99 (Grant Palmer) School service Bletchley – Woughton Campus gained in emergency when On a Mission went into liquidation and now retained on contract.

100 &

150 (Arriva) Milton Keynes – Aylesbury, minor timing changes only. All the 150s that go to MK now operate non- stop between Heath & Reach and MK station.

630 (Lost by Arriva to Z&S) School service Hanslope – Woughton Campus 


There were some pictures from Alan Voyce but the email has gone missing. If you read this Alan please re-send. Thanks.

Hong Kong trams again from Gary Seamarks 

With regard to the HK trams 168-71 were actually new in 2000, they are unliked locally because the have limited opening windows and as such are hot and humid. 168 looks like the older batch but with an electronic destination display. I have never seen 171 its an aircon tram, so would wander how much extra juice would be need if the entire fleet is as such. the fleet is now 100 % Veolia owned and they have promised to upgrade it but retain the looks we must wait. Think I must have photos of 75 % plus of them by now.

This is 168 of the new trams, 169/70 are identical to each other and we have never seen 171, its believed to be a test tram for air-con and confined to the works, was built about 10years ago. As can be seen 168 had electronic destination and looks like the older units.


Barry in Jersey 

I was on holiday in Jersey at the end of March, and took some shots there. Hope it's of interest and provides a change from the mainland! 

Indeed they do, with a rather different perspective than usual. Ed.

A Connex Enviro 200 seen entering Gorey from the top of Mont Orgueil castle

Seen under mackerel skies at L'Etacq pictured from the German's Atlantic Wall defences 

Another from Mont Orgueil castle

Another Connex Slimbus in St Helier

Connex e200 sneaking in to St Aubin 

A Caetano Slimbus laying over in Gorey

Eric (Enrico Roberto) from Jerusalem
I took this picture in Jerusalem Israel inside the walled city. No copyright exists.

Malta by Marcus Lapthorn 

Visited Malta in May 2011 for one last view of the wonderful selection of yellow buses that still 'grace' the island. The first shock upon arrival was to see that the normal thoroughfare to the city of Valletta from the bus terminus through the City Gate was no longer possible! This was due to the demolition of the City Gate which I understand was built in the 1950's. The closure of the City Gate access route resulted in the authorities routing pedestrians on an alternative lengthy route. If they did not wish to walk, then free shuttle buses were provided to take people from the bus terminus up to the City centre at Pjazza Kastilja. These diversionary routes and shuttle buses all ceased from Sunday 6 May 2011 when the access route through the former City Gateway was reopened.

Photos 340, 348 and 368 show the former Market area now closed off for the building of the new bus terminal bays and associated roadworks. This is the area where numerous Malta buses would previously been parked up during their layover periods.

Photos 367 and 371 show some of the numerous signs that were used to highlight the changes to departure points etc.


In addition to all of this Malta Transport officials were very evident ensuring that everything worked smoothly and they seemed to be doing a very good job. 

Photos 374 & 375 show the closed City Gate and with demolition works in full swing.


Photo 407 shows how the trees have been carefully protected in the former Market area which is being refashioned into the new bus terminus.

Photo 467 shows a King Long on a shuttle bus journey going up to Pjazza Kastilja across Triq-Id-Duka-Ta'-York.

Photo 524 shows the extent of the works being undertaken.


Photos 525, 526 & 527 show the extent of the roadworks in the setting of the historic St. James Bastion.


I tracked down the bulk of the new 172 Arriva buses in the docks on the outskirts of Paola. Unfortunately I was not given permission to enter the site and take photographs but I did manage to take a few shots from the entrance gate.


During the 9 days that I was in Malta I only saw one blue Arriva King Long out each day on driver training. However there were rather more yellow King Longs out each day on driver training duties, with green L plates affixed to each vehicle  

Photos 341 & 369 show the relatively short lived Valetta shuttle bus service.


Both former UK buses of course on the Valletta shuttle service. 

When I was in Malta on May 10 I photographed a former UK coach that was still in service with Arthur & John's coaches. The driver told me that this would be the last week in service for this particular coach (LCY 857) as he would be going to Brighton the following week to obtain the replacement coach. This would be a Scania apparently.


Rally news 

Marcus Lapthorn & Carl Berry from Bristol Harbourside

Marcus writes "I attended the Bristol Harbourside Bus Rally on Sunday 22 May 2011. It was very well organised and lots of interesting buses attended. Here a selection of the shots that I took."


Carl writes "I suspect that you wont be short of pictures of it, however here's NUD105L arriving at yesterdays Bristol Harbourside rally."


Two Museums Running Day in Birmingham by Simon Hewings

Thought you might be interested in some pictures from the Two Museums Running Day in Birmingham last Bank Holiday Monday, which linked Aston Manor with the Transport Museum, Wythall. Weather was wet but there were plenty of people on the buses (and queuing for the cafe's at both museums!) so hopefully all had a good day!

Pride of place went to splendid, newly restored 1950 Birmingham Guy Arab IV 2548 (JOJ 548), which was officially unveiled by Birmingham's Deputy Lord Mayor at Aston Manor.

The day also gave me a first look at newly restored West Midlands PTE Metrobus Mk I 6835 (WDA 835T), which was part of the trial group purchased for evaluation, and was exhibited at the 1978 Commercial Motor Show.


The timetable allowed for scenes of Birmingham Standards and Midland Red D9 queuing up at Aston Manor for custom, so there are some pictures of that.


Other pictures are:

West Bromwich Daimler CVG6 248, 248 NEA leaving Birmingham city centre bound for Wythall

Midland Red D9 5399 (BHA 399C) (taken from the bus behind that wa duplicating it) approaching Dartmouth Circus on its way to Aston Manor

Midland Red, ex Swindon College Daimler Fleetline YHA 283J

Midland Red built Trent SOS SON


A lot of pictures received do not always fall under a specific category and a number are shown below.

The first is from Staines and taken by Gavin Francis. Abellio operates service in the town
and their Tridents are white with a red skirt unlike the ones in London which are red. The date - May 19th 2011.

The next is of Crawley Luxury CLC 145, the registration of which has now been transferred to an ex Oxford espress Volvo.
The picture taken by Gavin Francis on March 27th 2007.

The latter was to be found on Intercruise duties in Sammy's on May 21st 2011.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

The third is of a very colourful Eurolines coach in Victoria taken by Gavin Francis on June 3rd 2011.

Our next picture is of a London General WVL with new overall advertising for Malaysia. Taken on May 26th 2011.

Chelsea Flower show provided a number of buses on the service. The service was operated by a number of PVLs and Routemasters plus one vary smart Dart.
Also one NV (open top) was in use, most having now left the Commercial fleet. Pictures by Gavin Francis on 25th and 29th May 2011.

On one day the heavens opened and we were all caught in the downpour on May26th 2011.
Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Gavin Francis also visited Thorpe Park on May 19th where he found ex LG NV169 on a private hire.
This bus is now operated by Mullany's coaches.

Variety at Stansted in late May and on June 1st taken by Gavin Francis.

A once proud name revived, Yelloway of Rochdale.
Their coaches plied between the north west and the south for nearly half a century.
On a Friday night in the summer as many as 90 coaches would leave the north west for Torquay and the south coast.
Seen in Oxford's Oxpens coach park on May 29th by Gavin Francis.

Traditional Travel runs this smart open top Routemaster which was seen by The Royal Albert Hall in London
by Gavin Francis on June 5th.



Now here’s something to get you all going!!!! 

Richard Sharman sent this link. 


Geoff Cunliffe writes "The mention that the Go-Ahead Group included Wilts & Dorset reminds me of the Wilts & Dorset that people of our generation knew and loved. I attach for you a picture, taken on 11 August 1959 in or near Budleigh Salterton in South Devon, of a couple of LS6Gs with DP41F bodies. 523 JAM 227, on the right, was new in 1952 and 541, JMR 637 in 1953. They remained in service until 1971 & 1972 respectively."

RML2323 by Chris Farmer

Thought you might like to see some pictures of RML 2323,which is owned by a group of enthusiasts based in Essex.

On Monday 23rd May, myself and one of the owners Keith Valla, went out and about in Harlow with the old girl and did a photo shoot, recreating a number of now long gone routes around the Harlow area.

Please find enclosed a few emails with some of the pictures on. Feel free to use any you like in the next page.

When Hedley Shanks thought he was in heaven

I was sitting in the office when i thought I'd died and gone to heaven when RMC1461 came to stay. She is having tachograph repairs prior to going through its' test. Ward Jones have just rebuilt the AEC engine and it sounds sweet. We often get RM, RML, RT, RLH vehicles sent over as Darrell, our tacho man, has become a bit of an expert on fitting, calibrating and or repairing retrofitted tachograph heads. RMC1461 has been lying low in storage somewhere as there is a great deal of dust on the roof & bonnet and a tax disc AUG 09, but she is in fine condition for a forty nine year old, just two years younger than myself! I wish it could stay here forever as I personally think these and the RCL's were the finest Routemasters.


Gavin Francis writes "This is the RMC which Stagecoach had and donated to Cobham I believe. Attached are a few pics of it in service. Only 33 years since I took the first one."


Carterton Coaches in the 1990s by Michael Wadman 

Carterton Coaches GDZ 8449 (formerly A489 POD)

Scania K112 / Plaxton, new to Snell of Newton Abbot

Service 64


13th August 1994

Carterton Coaches GDZ 8449 (formerly A489 POD)

Scania K112 / Plaxton, new to Snell of Newton Abbot

On service X64, which was a summer Sunday variant of the 64 which ran during 1993 (it had also run in 1992 but was operated by Heyfordian). Marketed as the “Fair Rosamund”, it meandered from Oxford to Swindon via every touristy place that it could find. Some idea of the circuitous nature of the route can be gauged by the way in which in headed out of Oxford in totally the wrong direction, via Woodstock.

Oxford station

29th August 1993


Carterton Coaches HFG 451T (formerly APH 519T)

Listed as a Ford R1014 / Duple but obviously with a shortened chassis

New to Hodge of Sandhurst, and still in the livery of its previous operator but one, Autopoint of Herstmonceux

Service 64

Swindon bus station

10th February 1996

Carterton Coaches HFG 451T (formerly APH 519T)

Listed as a Ford R1014 / Duple but obviously with a shortened chassis

New to Hodge of Sandhurst, and still in the livery of its previous operator but one, Autopoint of Herstmonceux

Service 64


6th April 1996 

By the mid-‘nineties, Carterton Coaches’ operation was beginning to look a bit frayed round the edges.

Bedford YMT / Plaxton NDD 113W, in Carterton on service 64, was a former Swanbrook vehicle that transferred to the revived Carterton operation.

Apart from the less-than-inspiring livery, you will note the total absence of any indication that it is operating the bus service to Swindon.

The driver refused to sell me a Wiltshire Day Rover ticket on the grounds that the service was not in the scheme, which was news to Wiltshire County Council who listed it in their leaflet. As a result I was out of pocket by the admittedly modest price of a single to Swindon, Carterton Coaches were out of pocket by the considerable difference between the two, and the only winner was whoever I bought the ticket from in Swindon.

Inside the coach, a notice in felt-tip sellotaped to the bulkhead behind the door informed passengers that the service would not run on a particular date in the near future because of the staff Christmas party! Hard cheddar on anyone waiting for the bus who wasn’t a regular passenger and hadn’t seen the notice.

They deserved to go bust.

Carterton Coaches GLJ 681N

Former Hants & Dorset Leyland National, still in the remains of the livery of its previous operator but one, Damory Coaches

Service 64


25th February 1997

Exactly what about this vehicle is going to tempt someone to leave their car at home and go by bus? Two months later the 64 was taken over by Thames Transit.