Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 47 - June 29th  2011

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

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The Oxford Smart Zone is announced as three main companies push ahead with joint services in a new era for bus travel in the City. Leaflets are available from both Oxford Bus and Stagecoach outlining the changes and benefits of the new system. Buses are already carrying advertising for the Smart Zone and the whole set up has been very well presented. The Oxford Times for Thursday 22nd June carries a front page story on the changes.

Bus travellers around Oxford will be able to use one ticket on main Oxford routes from next month, in a move bosses say will cut city centre bus traffic by a quarter.

Stagecoach and the Oxford Bus Company with Thames Travel will co-ordinate their timetables and ticket operations from Sunday July 24, the first scheme of its kind in the UK.

The smartcard system will mean “one ticket, any bus” for passengers, with the main city routes effectively being served by one major bus network.

SmartZone offers joint ticketing deals on Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach and Thames Travel routes within Oxford. Existing cards can still be used.

46 double-deck buses have been bought for £12m for the launch for both firms. Bus company bosses said this, along with joint timetabling, will take hundreds of bus movements from city centre roads.

Effective July 24, passengers on routes from Blackbird Leys, Rose Hill, Kidlington, Barton and Risinghurst will be able to board the first bus that arrives, operated by either company.

Timetables will be overhauled, with services from Blackbird Leys and along the Cowley Road scheduled every three to four minutes, from Kidlington every five minutes, from Barton every six minutes and from Rose Hill every seven to eight minutes.

The deal is the first of its kind to use powers under the Local Transport Act 2008, designed to allow councils and bus operators to work closely together. Oxfordshire County Council is behind the scheme.

Two MD s enjoy the prospect of coordination in Oxford.

Oxford Bus Company Managing Director Philip Kirk said: “The three partners in the agreement have been working together to deliver a better bus network with lower emission vehicles and easier access.

“It’s good news for Oxford and for people using buses in Oxford.”

Stagecoach Managing Director Martin Sutton said: “The new timetables and smarter ticketing option will make a huge difference to passengers, giving them access to a much bigger bus network and the flexibility to get on the first bus that comes along, as well as offering good deals.”

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Oxford is leading the way in providing better local transport services by using a partnership approach and making use of smart ticketing technology.

“This scheme will deliver greater flexibility and better services for passengers, reduce congestion and cut carbon.”

Rodney Rose, County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said the move complemented the council’s long-term plan to pedestrianise the city centre.

Various contributors have sent in pictures showing the branding now bring applied to city buses and these are shown below.

Picture by Gavin Francis

Picture by Richard Sharman

Picture by Graham Low 

Other items of interest covered in this issue are of developments in Stagecoach to produce an even greener company, more on developments in Malta, an update on matters Blackpool, Arriva purchasing a Staffordshire independent and Stagecoach boss being knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list!

Also we have to note that some operators, who enjoy route branded buses, seem unable to get the right buses on the right routes.

Variety at Stokenchurch. The 737 service to Stansted is being operated by a coach on hire from South Gloucester
but the main interest lies in the Arriva 40 and 340 both being operated by buses branded for High Wycombe local services!!
The date was Tuesday, 28th June 2011. Picture by Gavin Francis.

National Express is really going to town on its super rear advertising on its coaches and on a historical theme, Geoff Cunliffe remembers Carlisle in 1958.

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, 19th July 2011

Evening trip to Reading Buses depot.
check the link below for travel details

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:
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 29th 2011.


Fleet News 

 Glenn Knight reports

Stagecoach East:

AE11FMF  on X5 to Oxford (replacement coach for 53614)

R699DNH  in Kettering

X705JVV  in Kettering

Z&S Buses

EG02OAN on 33A to Northampton from MK. 

Grant Palmer

Y857TGH in Bedford on 44, note it still has LC blinds!

Richard Griffin writes "After a day of driving Met Line trains out of Harrow yesterday (June 15th), I was driving my car home along the A312 Parkway.  At 2323hrs I saw 2x Oxford Tubes and 1x X90 Espress all displaying "Oxford" and heading north over Bull's Bridge.

They must have diverted out of London via the M4 and were now regaining the A40 -- no idea why, though at a guess the A40 might have been closed at Gypsy Corner?"
Richard Sharman pictured


Oxford's 315, only recently into service works the 300 to Pear Tree.
A tricky Situation for the Tube.
Richard adds "T42 BBW was South Bound M1 yesterday (25/6) in Coachmaster livery(yellow) but with Air Shuttle, Birmingham vinyls in Top Windscreen."

Adam Green writes "Yesterday 21st June, I went to Heathrow Airport and got a photo of 2419 in Hemel on the 101 Tesco Service. This bus has come from MK. I also took a photo of 3804 parked up at Harrow Bus Station on the H19"


DPS519 was on the H11 around Harrow

3751 from Stevenage was on the 300/301 on Monday got a few shots  

Red Rose has an Ex Go Ahead London Dart LDP129 has been on the H11 & H10 recently. 

Arriva Citaros 3910,3901,3905 all spotted at Heathrow yesterday on the 724.

Graham Low notes "I have not seen a Stagecoach Hybrid on the Bicester route before today - picture at Magdalen St today, 23rd June, attached.


Also a few views of the remarkable publicity for the coordinated services from 24 July - on an OBC Scania - have two Go-Ahead operators and Stagecoach ever cooperated in this way before?

Trevor Wilson writes "Re Chelsea Flower Show and "one NV (open top) was in use, most having now left the Commercial fleet." One convertible NV now for sale at Ensign Bus - http://www.ensignbus.com/Sales_Volvo_Olympian-98R.htm"

Stuart Curwen writes "London United's VA46 R946YOV was on a private hire in Swindon on Friday attached is a photo of this bus leaving Swindon Bus Station." 

We have a nice selection of buses involved in this year's Wimbledon event. The pictures at Southfields are taken by Gavin Francis on Tuesday June 28th, shortly before violent thunderstorms called a halt to play and nearly caught Gavin out! The third PVL picture, 264, below is actually taken at Marble Arch, all the others at Southfields.

One notices that no NVs were seen in service and apart from the Routemasters the show is all PVL!

On a light hearted note this Smart car was seen around the Lawn Tennis club!!!
I saw a Smart car in London the other day and wording saying "Smart Arse" was located in the upper brake light area!! A nice touch!
All above pictures by Gavin Francis. 

 Arriva logo

Glenn Knight reports: 

Arriva Stevenage:


W457 XKX 3457 painted into Interurban livery

W498 YGS 3498 painted into Interurban livery with SB Route Branding

A real find at Luton was this ex COMS Leyland Olympian now 5835 G235VWL in the Arriva fleet on service 31 in Luton.
This bus is now 21 years old and must be nearing the end of its Arriva life?

S160 KNK 5160 at Luton Airport on 61

Seen at Luton Rail Station on service 70 to MK P195 LKJ 3388 this based at Leighton Buzzard Out-Station (AY/LB) ex- Arriva Southern Counties 3195,
a long way from its original home at Maidstone!

Richard Sharman reports: 

Arriva continue to operate a varied allocation of vehicles on Route 16 Bicester-Aylesbury, latterly mainly operated by Varios, it now features European's, Darts, Citaro(rare), Prestige's etc.
This Pointer was new to Garston Depot but had been with MK Metro since 2009 but now at Aylesbury.

As mentioned earlier there seem to be some problems for Arriva to get branded buses on their branded routes. 
Gavin Francis took some pictures earlier this week to illustrate the point.
Some interesting pictures including an ex Maidstone Dart on the 300 and a 4/5 branded Hemel bus on the 52.

A super rear has been applied to Citaro 3913 branded for the 321 and seen at Luton airport by Gavin Francis on June 22nd.
The changing face of the Green Line 757 service. all the Van Hool tri-axle fleet is to be painted in the livery seen in the fourth picture.
All taken by Gavin Francis.
This bus has been transferred to High Wycombe as seen in the picture in a line above.
This picture by Gavin Francis and taken on April 30th 2010 in Milton Keynes.

Another example of branded buses on the wrong route. Versa 2401 is seen Stokenchurch on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

A one time stalwart at Hemel 3171 has now moved to high Wycombe and is seen on the 340 in Stokenchurch on June 17th.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Right route for right branding, 3821 is seen in Wycombe Bus Station on June 17th by Malcolm Crowe.

Cressex yard on June 23rd showing the line of withdrawn buses which line the boundary fence.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe.


Noel Clark writes "The latest updates for Carousel are Dennis Dart DMS6 (R706MEW) and Leyland Olympian L510 (F510NJE) have both gone to ASM (Aylesbury) for scrap.

New additions to the fleet are two Plaxton Primos. Fleet numbers are P22 (YX07HNO) and P24 (YX07HPJ). One of this pair will be painted green for BCC Countyrider services and the other in our normal fleet livery."

Waiting for its MOT at Arriva's Cressex depot, this is one of the recently acquired Primos. Picture by M Crowe.

I am told that the older Primo is now performing well and encouraged the company to purchase two more.

Noel adds "Also photos of the Mercedes OC500LE/MCV Evolution demonstrator. Whilst the OC500LE chassis shares many components with the Citaro
 it is a separate chassis product from Mercedes, the notable difference being the only engine option available is the 12 litre six cylinder Mercedes OM457. 
This is optional on Citaro, the standard being the 6.4 litre six cylinder Mercedes OM906 unit. 
This vehicle performed well with impressive fuel consumption figures and has now returned to Somerbus." 

Pictures by Noel Clark of Carousel.

An in service picture of the BMC bus by Gavin Francis.
It may now be seen on the 35 route.

Glenn Knight writes re:

Centrebus Harlow:

LN03AYL - 541 - recently repainted from Trustybus livery

HJZ 9929 505 ex-Woods of Leicester 

Thought you might be interested, found your page:


After Googling GJZ 9574, spotted on Google maps street view, looks like it is now in San Francisco, go to "530 Kearny Street" and look south.

Thought it was strange seeing a open top bus while messing about on my phone looking at pictures in San Francisco.

Lee Skillen

It is worth a look for sure enough there is the old bus from Oxford. Ed.

The Greyhound service is running well and to add some further interest one of their Southsea coaches has acquired branding for the Harlem Globe Trotters.

Picture by Gavin Francis.

I was stuck on the M40 for an hour or so last week when a tyre blew out on my Tube.
I was able to get this [picture of a Citaro on the X74. Malcolm Crowe.

Gavin Francis sent some nice pictures.

A tiny Solo now being used on the recently acquired 108 route in Oxford.
I wonder if this is a temporary loan or will it remain for this service with branding?

One of last years deliveries works the 218 from Oxford to Wytham

Seen in Stokenchurch on a school service, C13HTL was once YC02CHJ and was acquired from Shearings in March 2009.

Heyfordian 7209RU on school route 896 Stokenchurch on June 22nd by Gavin Francis


Stephen Le Bras writes "With the demise of another bit of Veolia, four more operators are receiving new coaches (65 B9R/Levante).

Rotala, De Courcey (MD11,13- FJ11GMG,GKF reported) and Epsom (who have two for two diagrams out of London at 7am and 8amn - FJ11GLF,GMV).

Finally Whittle are to take some of the ex Veolia routes out of the Midlands. Coach details awaited."

Gavin Francis sent a number of interesting pictures:

NEx C115 FJ60HXY on route 025 at VCS on June 15th.

Cliffs Coaches W898MDT on the NEx G15 to Glastonbury in Oxford on June 23rd.

Chalfont's WA57JZV on NEx route 446 at VCS on June 15th.

Edwards FJ11GMO on NEx route 509 at VCS on June 16th.

NEx is really taking advantage of the rears of their coaches and applying branding to almost every coach in the fleet.

South Gloucester come to rescue of many NEx operators and have recently had two tri-axles working out of Stansted as seen above.

Two operators preferring the Plaxton Elite to the Levante are Stagecoach and Parks with examples from their fleet seen above.

Yeoman's had their pink Levante on the Glastonbury services last week and it is seen near VCS.

I also took some pictures in Victoria of NEx operations as seen below.

Kings Ferry operate one journey per day on the 007 and one of their Mercedes/Levantes is seen on that working in Sammy's after arrival.

I also caught the pink Levante, this time on the once daily 445 service from VCS to Hereford.
I was told that the livery is being kept for the time being as it features in the I-Spy book!

Above two pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Changes to routes and the fleet are recorded above but one noted Volvo B10BLE 794 and one other returning to Brighton last week. It is also noted that new Hybrids 312, 315, 316 and 317 at least are now in service. However at least one B10BLE, 796, was still in service on Monday 27th!

Various pictures by contributors.

Trident 112 was still in green when pictured on June 16th by Gavin Francis.

Another Trident, this time repainted red, this 114 looking very spruce again on June 16th. Gavin Francis.

Almost certainly on one of its first service duties after delivery, 316 is seen on the 500 to Water Eaton on June 16th - Gavin Francis.

315 this time on  the 300 on June 19th - Richard Sharman.

Things do not always go well and there is much frustration when a bus needs recovering.
315 was seen on June 28th being recovered by Kardos in Oxford. Richard Sharman noted teething troubles!

Trident 115 looks very smart in its new red livery with a rather spectacular Ashmolean ad on its back! Richard Sharman.

Cerney Kilbee sent in a nice picture of an Oxford Trident taken in the early evening near Blackbird Lees.

Red Eagle, Aylesbury

Andrew Morgan writes "Here is a pic taken today (17/06/11) in Hemel of Red Eagle Dennis Dart SLF on Red Rose route H11 (taken over from Centrebus from 31st May) it was new to Blue Triangle."

Red Rose

Gavin Francis writes "Herewith picture as promised. It is operating the 104. It is former Go-Ahead LDP 129 which I am ashamed to admit I do not have an in service picture of."

Gavin also sent a picture of another recent acquisition to the Red Rose fleet, another ex LG Dart.
The destination slip board is in a rather classic thirties style!

Richard Sharman writes "Pictured being collected from Arriva Bus and Coach, West Yorkshire are Wrights bodied Dart R845 VEC, to be numbered 605 
and MAN/EOS L530 EHD to be numbered 714.
The Dart was new to Fishwick's and joins two others from the same batch already on fleet. Both vehicles have been hand painted at Arriva."

Details of the companies involvement in the Smart Zone services is recorded above.

Cerney Kilbee sent a picture of a Trident out on the 1 - 14th June 2011 18199

Richard Sharman notes a surprise working on the X5 from Oxford around 16.15 on Friday the 17th of June, being one of the recently transferred B10BLE/Wright Renowns from the R ... HNK batch that where new to Huntingdon & District under Blazefield ownership!

Richard says "These are normally worked between Northampton and Bedford but I dare say these will creep onto the X5 when needed, as will the new E400's just delivered there."


A batch of new ADL Enviro 200 Dart 4 single decks were delivered in late April

36257 VU11 BUE : 36382 VU11 BUP : 36387 VU11 BTE : 36391 VU11 BTX : 36258 VU11 BUF : 36383 VU11 BUV : 36388 VU11 BTF : 36392 VU11 BTY
36259 VU11 BUH : 36384 VU11 BUW : 36389 VU11 BTO : 36393 VU11 BTZ : 36260 VU11 BUJ : 36385 VU11 BSY : 36390 VU11 BTV : 36394 VU11 BUA
36381 VU11 BUO : 36386 VU11 BSZ 

One of the older Darts now appearing in other areas of the West operation.

Pictures by Marcus Lapthorn.

The Neoplan Skyliners, replaced on the tube in 2009 are now beginning to appear with other operaters as already mentioned in these pages. Recent sightings are shown below.

One of Omega's Skyliners, once 50105 in the tube fleet, seen in Oxford on June 21st by Gavin Francis.
He was told that it works a weekly service from Oxfordshire to Loch Lomond! Quite a trip and a lot of high mileage.

As mentioned in an earlier page, B M Coaches have acquired four Skyliners and here we see ex 50111 in London on a student job.
Picture by Malcolm Crowe on June 19th.


Gavin Francis sent a number of interesting pictures of current Megabus vehicles and some Stagecoach main fleet coaches working Megabus services.

Two Aberdeen based Astromegas working services out of London.

A very long way from home and its normal route 52627, Carlisle based, is seen in London Victoria on June 16th.

Another similar coach this time from Yorkshire - working on Megabus, 52633 is noted as for disposal but works on Megabus to VCS.
June 15th 2011.

A regular in London is 54033, nominally based at Rennies and working the M20 to Perth.

A Eurolines service to Berlin loads alongside a Megabus departure for Cardiff on June 19th. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.


Picture taken outside Christ Church College by Gavin Francis.

From Richard Sharman, a rare visit by a solo to Oxford.


Andrew Morgan writes saying "Here is a picture taken today (20/06/11) of a odd uno working of Scania Omnidekka 203 (UH55 UNO) on the 601 in Welwyn Garden City bus station

I think it is because DAFs 201 (YJ53 VBN) and 202 (YJ53 VBO) are on hire to Stephenson's of Essex at bury St. Edmunds after they took over the routes from BURTONS when they went bust, plus from 1st August Sullivan buses route 330 is going hourly and running in peak times on non school days. So far the following buses have been used on the 330 unless anyone knows of any others ?

AE1 (7:24 from Hatfield station and full day on Good Friday)

AE3 (7:24 from Hatfield station only, at least once)








RM1069 (Good Friday only)

RML2272 (Good Friday only)

RML2428 (route first day and Good Friday only)





The two hybrid Solos are said to be based on the SR solo and orig. due Feb/Mar time, so are a bit late plus uno are getting new radios and new ticket machines.

A better picture of the uno 700 service on its way to the bus station at Stansted Airport on June 24th by Gavin Francis.


Stagecoach wins Scottish Transport AwardJump to top navigation Jump to site services


Transport group Stagecoach is celebrating success at the 2011 Scottish Transport Awards.

Stagecoach Bluebird’s JET 727 bus service, in partnership with Aberdeen City Council won the Best Bus Service title at the ceremony held in Glasgow last night (Thursday 16 June).

The JET 727 service was launched in August 2010 and is the only direct public transport link between Aberdeen City Centre and Aberdeen Airport. The service carries around 16,000 passengers per month.

In addition, two Stagecoach employees were commended in the Frontline Employee of the Year category. Stagecoach Bluebird Admin Supervisor Iris Durno and Bus Station Controller at Stagecoach West Scotland, John Telfer, were both praised for their excellent standard of work.

In total, Stagecoach companies and employees were nominated for nine awards at the event.

Stagecoach UK Bus Regional Director Scotland Sam Greer said: “It’s great to be recognised at these awards. The JET 727 service has proved to be a great success and is a worthy winner of the award. Much of that success is down to our excellent partnership with Aberdeen City Council.

“We are continuing to provide good-value, high-quality bus services across Scotland to help attract even more people on to greener, smarter travel.”

Aberdeen City Council Enterprise Planning and Infrastructure convener Councillor Kate Dean said: "Fast, reliable and comfortable public transport links between the city centre and the airport are absolutely vital for an international city like Aberdeen. I am delighted that we were able to work so well with Stagecoach to launch what has been an extremely successful and popular service."

Stagecoach has won a clutch of other awards within the past year. At the 2010 UK Bus Awards, the company won three awards and claimed four runners-up spots. Stagecoach Manchester was also named Public Transport Operator of the Year (Bus) at the 2010 National Transport Awards and the Group won the Travel and Transport Award at the prestigious 2010 Green Business Awards.  

Brian Souter is knighted

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter, 57, has been awarded a Knighthood “for services to transport and to the voluntary sector” in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced this morning (Saturday).

Commenting on the Knighthood, Brian Souter said: “Having started my career in public transport as a young bus conductor, I am delighted to receive this prestigious honour.

“However, the achievements and innovations would not have been possible without the dynamic Stagecoach team who support me and I accept this award on their behalf.

“It was particularly gratifying for me to see the work of the Souter Charitable Trust being acknowledged which is a fitting tribute to my wife Betty and her team, who never seek publicity but do amazing work.”

Also, Wright Group founder William Wright, 83, has been awarded a CBE for “services to the bus industry in Northern Ireland.” He was awarded an OBE in 2001.

Arriva buys D&G’s North Staffs bus ops 

Arriva Midlands has bought the North Staffordshire operations of D&G Coach and Bus Ltd.

With a fleet of 30 buses, D&G Bus employs 62 staff in Staffordshire. Its core services include dedicated school buses and local bus routes.

Following the acquisition, which will be completed in early August, D&G's name in Staffordshire will be replaced by Wardle Transport, another local business that came under the Arriva wing in late 2010.

David Reeves, Managing Director of D&G Bus, founded the company in 1998.

He says that the reductions in concessionary travel reimbursement payments to, along with Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s decision to withdraw its subsidy to supported bus services, as part of the reason for the decision to sell.

“As a small bus operator, our long-term viability in Staffordshire and the Potteries was uncertain.

“Given these reductions, I see the Arriva offer as an opportunity to ensure the future for the excellent staff employed by the company.”

D&G Bus will continue to operate as a separate business from its base in Crewe, which is not affected by the sale of the North Staffordshire operations to Arriva.

Stagecoach to blend own biofuel on site in UK first Jump to top navigation Jump to site services


Stagecoach has become the first UK bus company to mix its own biofuel on site using a new bio-blender installed at its Kilmarnock depot.

The introduction of the high-tech kit will see around 100 buses in the west of Scotland operating on up to 40% biofuel which will be mixed on site.

The Perth-based transport group has invested £75,000 in the new technology and has also worked closely with Argent Energy in the delivery of the project. The blender was supplied by Fuel Additive Technology (FAT) Biofuels while the pump was manufactured by Solution Specialists Limited (SSL).

Currently, the vast majority of Stagecoach’s 8,100-strong bus fleet operates using a mix of 5% biofuel and 95% standard diesel. The new bio-blender will enable buses at Kilmarnock depot to run on a greener mix of up to 40% biofuel and 60% standard diesel.

The bio-blender has a computerised control unit which allows trained Stagecoach staff to set the blend of fuel that is required as this can change dependent on the air temperature.

The new initiative follows the launch of the UK’s first bio-buses in Kilmarnock in 2007 – nine vehicles which run on 100% biofuel made from used cooking oil and other food industry by-products.

The bio-bus project, which also allows customers to exchange their used cooking oil for discounted bus travel, has reduced CO2 emissions from the vehicles by 80%, saving more than 2450 tonnes of carbon. More than 70 tonnes of used cooking oil has been recycled at East Ayrshire Council’s recycling plant since the start of the scheme.

Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, Les Warneford said: “We have had great success in Kilmarnock with the bio-buses which have helped us reduce our own carbon footprint and attract more people on to greener transport. The installation of this bio-blender means the rest of the vehicles at the depot can now run on up to 40% biofuel, making it one of the greenest bus fleets in the country.

“We are working hard to become a more sustainable business by introducing new technology and trialling new ideas, and we look forward to attracting even more passengers on to our greener, smarter bus services in the west of Scotland.”

The blended biofuel will be used in vehicles serving routes in Kilmarnock and Irvine as well as Service 11 to Ardrossan and express services to Glasgow.

The bio-blender initiative 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.

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.

Most recently, Stagecoach launched a fleet of 11 buses in Lincoln that operate on biomethane, derived from household rubbish and animal waste and could reduce carbon emissions by up to 40% as well as cutting fuel consumption.

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 has also 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.

During the company’s recent annual Green Week, Stagecoach launched a £500,000 project to fit new, greener engines in some of its mid-life buses to prolong the life of the vehicles.

The company 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.

Stagecoach Group plc – Preliminary Results for the year ended 30 April 2011

Jump to top navigation29/06/2011

Business highlights

Financial summary

Year ended 30 April

Results excluding intangible asset
expenses and exceptional items*

Reported results





Revenue (£m)





Total operating profit (£m)





Non-operating exceptional items (£m)





Net finance costs (£m)





Profit before taxation – continuing
operations (£m)





Discontinued operations (£m)





Profit before taxation (£m)





Earnings per share (pence)





Proposed final dividend (pence)





Full year dividend (pence)





* See definitions in note 25 to the condensed financial statements

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive, Sir Brian Souter, said:

“We are seeing growing demand for our bus and rail services in the UK and North America, with further evidence of modal shift as consumers look for better value and more convenient transport alternatives to the rising cost of motoring and increasing road congestion.

“The strong results we have achieved across the Group are the result of our successful organic growth strategy. We are focused on providing value-for-money products, continuing to invest heavily in our networks, and harnessing the power of the Internet, new technology and social media to attract new customers and make it easier for people to access our services.

“We look forward with confidence to the year ahead. Public transport is central to supporting economic growth and meeting the global challenge of climate change. In the UK, high quality public transport will be at the heart of the successful delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We believe the outlook for our bus and rail services is positive.”

Blackpool update by Geoff Cunliffe 

At long, long last, Blackpool is returning to normality. A vast majority of the central part of The Promenade opened today (21st. June) to two way traffic for the first time since last November. Just one small section remains closed behind The Metropole Hotel, but this is expected to open this Friday. However, Councillor Fred Jackson, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said that the new road layout outside the entrance to The Tower was “very unusual” and motorists and pedestrians would have to “share the space as nobody has right of way. It works very well on the Continent”. I just hope somebody has told the local taxi and bus drivers. The length has a 20mph speed limit and there is room only for a narrow, single line of traffic in each direction whereas previously there were two lanes in each direction at 30mph. It is a disaster waiting to happen and could only have been designed by a professional! I am afraid we shall see a serious accident within the week.

The fact the road is open means that almost all of the circuitous bus diversions have been removed and, although the stops seem to have been reduced, routes have returned to normal after nearly eight months.

On the tramway front, cars are still limited to Little Bispham at the north end of the system. Unfortunately somebody found a Victorian sewer in the midst of the track upgrade in the middle of Cleveleys and this has delayed the project considerably.

Word on the streets is that Bombardier are going to “demonstrate” one of their new trams in September. A curious choice of words.

The disposal of the Centenary class of cars is expected to create a large loss as thousands have been spent on their rebuilding in recent years. One, 644, (picture attached) is to go to a local farmer who has diversified and offers a wide range of family attractions at his Rossall base. 648, the one to retain its original design of front, is to go the Crich. Heritage double deck “Balloon” 700 has widened, all glass doors fitted so it work to the system’s new loading platforms and a new front ‘skirt’ in place of its traditional bumper and lifeguards. My mole says it looks awful!

There is also a rumour that at least one of the heritage trams will be repainted in that strange burgundy livery that the new fleet looks as if it will wear. What happened to traditional green and cream? Too old fashioned for the trendies I suppose.


Arriva has launched a web-based journey planner, called 'My journey' that will enable passengers to familiarise themselves with the new bus routes and plan in advance the journeys that they are interested in taking, as the population in Malta and Gozo prepare for the start of Arriva operations on 3 July, 2011.

Keith Bastow, Managing Director of Arriva in Malta, said: "We are committed to giving our prospective customers every assistance they may need to get to know how to arrive at their chosen destination. Thanks to the 'My journey' feature on www.arriva.com.mt you can find out not only what route you will need to take but also the estimated travel time to get to your intended destination."

There is a choice of planning your journey either by selecting the town/village you want to travel to, or by using the new route number, Mr Bastow explained.

The journey planner is simple and easy to use, with prompts to guide you. For example, select the town/village option, then select either Malta or Gozo, you then input where you want to leave from and the final destination you would like to travel to, from the drop down lists provided. Finally add the date and time of your trip and press 'go'!

The Journey Planner will then give you the option/s that match your request. Click on the option you want to find out more and the journey planner will show you a diagram and the information related to the journey, including departure and arrival time, key towns and villages which the bus will pass through, and details of the stops en route. Clicking on the towns along the route enables you to view the individual bus stops and the time that the bus is scheduled to call at these stops. This diagram clearly indicates when you may need to change the bus to catch a connection from one of the interchanges.

For full route and times information, web users can download a route map and timetable relevant for the routes or send an e-mail to enquiries@arriva.com.mt Those without internet access can contact Arriva's Customer Care Centre on 2122 2000 for guidance.

"All this information is consistent with and complemented by information on our buses, with displays and voice announcements to indicate the next stop," Mr Bastow said.


This weekend Arriva will continue its road show, heading to Ta' Qali near the National Park on Sunday between 11.00 and 15.00. Arriva's team will be meeting with people to show them the new buses, talk through what the new services will mean for local residents and answer any questions.

The following additional road show dates have also been confirmed, with further dates planned for release in due course:

Buses to serve in Malta

Following the recent contract signing for Arriva to operate bus services in Malta, Arriva London staff have been working behind the scenes to get some of the buses ready for the journey across the Mediterranean.

Mick Stretten and Ian Hoy
Mick Stretten and Ian Hoy, the Arriva London maintenance standards auditors, Ian Hoy and Mick Stretten have been giving the bendy buses,

previously stored at Ash Grove and Edmonton garage, a pre-delivery anti prohibition check.
This includes all the safety systems as well as braking and electrical items

 Bendy bus from route 38 going to Malta
Bendy bus from route 38 going to Malta. Before the trip to Malta the 46 buses will be taken to Oxford for a full refurbishment which will include a re-paint in Arriva livery,
an exhaust after treatment to bring them up to Euro 5 standard, air conditioning, real time passenger information and ticketing system
and 23 vehicles will be converted for airport services, which includes extra racks for luggage.

The bendy buses will make up part of the 264 buses in the fleet for the contracts set to start in July 2011.

As part of the contract signing ceremony two Arriva London driving instructors, Steve Gannon and Jana Sladkova were invited along to give an insight into what it is like to work for Arriva.

Steve said:” We were really proud to be asked to represent Arriva, everyone was interested in how we operate and the whole ceremony was shown live on Maltese television. ”

Steve will be one of a number of Arriva staff seconded from the UK to Malta to help set up the operation.


Seems to match up with the list of those still down as in service in London from earlier in the thread.

And to bring that up, MAs allocation:

MA1 - Bootle (Stored)
MA2-4/7/8/11/5-8/20/2/6-31/4-9/42-57/9-99 - Still with London
MA5/6/13/4/9/21/3/4/32/3/41 - North West
MA9/10/2/25/40 - Midlands
MA100/2-21/4-57 - Being prepared for Malta
MA101/23 - Malta (Type Training)
MA58/122 - Written Off

And a later page in the same thread has details of Arriva bendi buses on Merseyside



Ex London Bendi-Buses for Arriva North West

Trevor Wilson writes:

6005 MA5 BX04 MXB - Airlink
6006 MA6 BX04 MXC - New Livery
6010 MA41 BX04 MYH
6013 MA13 BX04 MXL
6014 MA14 BX04 MXM - Airlink
6019 MA19 BX04 MXT
6021 MA21 BX04 MXV
6023 MA23 BX04 MXY
6024 MA24 BX04 MXZ
6032 MA32 BX04 NDD
6033 MA33 BX04 NDG

New Livery = For Runcorn and have a larger Wheelchair area where the centre door has been removed.
Airlink Livery = For Speke with the large luggage rack where the centre door was.


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

Malta Historic Vehicle Trust building at Hal Far 

Marcus Lapthorn writes "On my recent trip to Malta I met up with Johann Tonna at the Malta Historic Vehicle Trust building at the former Hal Far airport.

I attach a number of photos of some of the vehicles that are currently stored there. The only bus there at present is the former 1956 Malta Medical Health Dept., Bedford A4LZG/Mulliner (Mighty Master) that originally carried the registration number 17000. Johann co owns the bus with James Schembri. Restoration work is on going and searching the world for spare parts is an ongoing issue! (Space precludes me from including these pictures in this issue. Ed)

My visit to Malta in May 2011 was my last chance to see the wonderful yellow bus fleet, that has so many former UK buses still in use."

Rally news 

Marcus Lapthorn writes "I attended the Associated Motorways Cheltenham Coach Station rally on Sunday 5 June 2011. The weather & light were none too good unfortunately. A very good selection of coaches were on view and some were used for trips out into the surrounding countryside.

Photos 10,11 & 12 show a 1950 Portsmouth Aviation bodied Bristol LL6G. I was especially interested in this bus as my late brother had worked for a time at Portsmouth Aviation. This is the only survivor of two very rare coaches that were new to Hants & Dorset and this was its first rally outing. It gave us a very lively ride around Cheltenham and seemed to be in fine fettle. A very powerful coach that can bowl along at a max of 60mph! 

When I sent you this picture earlier I forget to give you the story.

HOT 339 is owned by Connie Barton of Banbury and as you can see it is now in the livery of Tanners Coaches of Sibford Gower, near Banbury. It was new in 1948 to Graceline Coaches of Winchester, then Browns coaches of Forrest Green. Then converted to a caravan and toured all over Europe for 10 years! Current owner found it in a poor condition in Portugal and carried out restoration over a 7 year period. It now looks superb! 

Have you seen this around before? 

Warminster Vintage Bus running day will take place on Sun 9 October 2011." 

The pictures:





Buses in the Landscape

John Bristow writes "I thought that you might be interested in the attached photo as Veolia have now ceased operations in the Swansea area (and, I gather, elsewhere). The South Wales landscape is a fantastic background for bus pictures!

On 4 May, two Veolia vehicles meet at the lonely interchange point at Cilibion on the Gower Peninsular in South Wales."


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

Two photographs from Christchurch, New Zealand from Marcus Lapthorn for the page. The photographer is Alan Voyce.

The tour bus scene in London just got bigger. A new operator has come on the scene in the form of Golden Tours.

The Tridents are gradually being branded and I hope to bring pictures of the full branding in the next issue.

There are also four Volvos with Visionaire bodywork, very similar to those used by Big Bus.
Above pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Here we have some of the other open toppers to be seen in London in 2011.
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Several buses in London have gained this overall advert for Click.
Pictures By Gavin Francis.

Seen in Stokenchurch this tri-axle Irizar was once in the fleet of Flights Travel Group. Picture by Gavin Francis.

A rather special graphic on a coach in London. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Two ex London single deckers seen at Binders Yard, High Wycombe on June 19th by Gavin Francis.

Routemasters galore at Binders Yard on June 19th from Gavin Francis.

An unexpected find on  the 19th was this ex Southern Vectis Lodekka in the livery and fit of Top Deck Travel - Gavin Francis.

Woottens pick up in Stokenchurch by Gavin Francis.
This livery will disappear now to be replaced by the new corporate livery.

The two different faces of Premium Tours seen in VCS on June 23rd by Gavin Francis.

Some very nice pictures from John Marsh.

Fowlers Volvo B10M/Plaxton Paramount A10WHF at Walsingham on June 18th.

Lees of Durham Volvo 891FUO in Walsingham on June 18th

Norfolk Green's 313 YJ09LBE pauses in Walsingham en route Fakenham on June 18th.

Finally and still with the rain coming down, Parrs of Garston near Liverpool, an Iveco Beaulas 83TWC passes through Walsingham on June 18th.

Neil Gow notes with reference to the OBCP 19th November 2006:

Malcolm writes as follows:

Wingrove / Surmans of Chinnor

I have attached 11 photos taken by Vic Zealey in either 1972 or 1973 at Chinnor. Vic never was one to worry too much about photographic niceties such as shadows but if at least we have some shots. These were taken on two separate visits (at least).

1189 PP Bedford / (I'm not sure about the body)- ought to know but it escapes me. Help please someone?
(This is a Plaxton Embassy style body as far as I know Ed.)

This registration is now on an AEC Reliance/Duple Dominant II Express of a more recent vintage - but still pretty interesting these days - and in service with Baldry's Coaches of Holme Upon Spalding Moor. Does anyone know the original registration of the AEC (pictured at http://www.flickr.com/photos/47067978@N04/5082998763/)

Carlisle, 1958 by Geoff Cunliffe

I always used to feel sorry for the people of Carlisle as, for many years; Ribble appeared to maintain the services in its northern outpost using the oldest vehicles in its fleet.

Then in 1958 came the Sentinels which were new, different and potentially interesting. Given I was due to enjoy a holiday with my parents based at Keswick, it was too good an opportunity to miss, so I journeyed to the border town with my camera.

In Keswick itself, I captured one of Cumberland’s low bridge bodied all-Leyland PD2/12s with that curious two-track route number arrangement (image 181), a PSU1/13 Royal Tiger fitted with the early and rare, ECW “droop corner” windscreens (image 177) and a couple of Tigers, the PS1/1 being Burlingham-bodied Ribble 2250 whilst the Royal variety, a PSU1/15, was Cumberland 345 with Leyland’s own C41C body. (Image 182). Isn’t it funny how enthusiasts tend to be fascinated by the minutiae of their hobby? I have always been curious about the fog lights on these Leyland bodies – Ribble ones had a deep front skirt enclosing the fog light whereas everyone else seemed to have a shallow one with a separately mounted unit.

Anyway, off to Carlisle. True the town service seemed to be maintained principally by rebodied 1938 TD5s (image 170), although the highbridge configuration made them by slightly unusual for Ribble at that time.

Carlisle bus station produced what I was after with both STC4 & STC6 Sentinels in service with Ribble (images 171 &172 respectively).

Four other vehicles caught my eye whilst I was at Carlisle bus station and I have recently been in contact with our helpful editor recently whose encyclopedic knowledge has helped to identify them fully.

They were Cumberland 58 (image 173) and 200 (image 175), a couple of PS1 Tigers bodied respectively (we think) by Massey Brothers and Burlingham, the latter being coach seated, and Cumberland 292, an ECW rebodied 1938 Titan TD5 (image 174). Incidentally, returning to my pet subject of Royal Tiger fog lights, the photograph of the Massey-bodied PS1 just shows part of the front of a 1951 Ribble Royal Tiger coach, 812, with the deep skirt and enclosed fog light.

Finally I spotted United BG14, PHN 409, a Bristol L5G (image 178) which had been converted for OMO with the front entrance and widened, angled cab side window.

Clearly there were many other buses at Carlisle but, in the days before digital photography, you were very selective about what you took. All in all, it was an interesting visit and I am pleasantly surprised how well the original colour slides have scanned.

I am sure we all look forward to more of these excellent vintage pictures from Geoff. Ed.