Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 53 - December 14th 2011

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

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Well, we are now on the run up to Christmas and all that this time of year brings. It is also a busy time for new buses and coaches and we have the first pictures and details of the new Airline fleet for Oxford Bus.

The first of the new Enviro 200s for Stagecoach Banbury are entering service and we now have details fo the eleven new Astromegas for Megabus to be based at Cwmbran.

A smaller local operator, Red Rose, has two new Enviro 300s turned out in their latest livery.

Cyclists again.

I suppose that due to the dark evenings the matter of cyclists without lights takes on a greater importance. So many cyclists now have lights and high visibility clothing and I would not like my comments to be taken as a generalisation on cyclists as a whole. However, entering Oxford last week, I could not help but notice a young man on a rather strange and large cycle turning into Long Wall in the early evening. It was dark and traffic was heavy but this gentleman ignored the red traffic lights and merrily sailed through oncoming traffic, running on green, to save himself following the rules of the road. How he did not get run down I cannot say but if a car driver had done the same all h*** would have broken loose with reports to the police but the "mad" cyclist carried on as if it was the norm'.

What can one say, except to all cyclists please use lights, wear high visibility clothing and follow the rules of the road like everyone else. Or maybe there is some highway code for cyclists that the rest of us are unaware of!

Interesting items under Jottings

In this issue are some items of interest. Motts have taken over Crusader Holidays, Whites have ceased operation on the 63, Oxford tube has been voted best Express Operator UK for 2011 plus details of anew round of green bus funding.

207 - THE last bendi route in London - Gavin and Malcolm at the last day

Friday December 9th saw the end of bendi buses on the streets of London. At their peak a dozen or so routes were operated by Mercedes Citaro 530G artic buses which caused much consternation to road users and parts of government alike.

The present Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, made an election pledge to rid the streets of the capital of these buses when he came to power and this promise has now been achieved.

Whilst the writer can agree that some routes traversed roads which were less than suitable for an 18 metre bus other routes were ideal. A ride on the 207 on the last day showed the speed and efficiency with which these buses cleared the loads and gave most people seats on a busy route. Sitting at the back I did not see any fare evasion, another reason for their demise and passengers seemed quite happy.

Those passengers now travel on increased number of double deck buses on the route, with fewer seats on the lower deck for mums and toddlers, older people and those physically challenged. Loading times have increased with use of double deckers and when sitting upstairs it is easy to get over carried past your desired stop.

I wonder if this is progress? And what will happen to the hundreds of bendi buses now gracing the fields of remote UK still with lots of life left in them?

Gavin and myself took many pictures of that last day which are included for reader's interest. I also include a few taken by Stephen Le Bras on the previous Saturday, one of which shows an ex London General bus working the route, presumably as a replacement for shortage..

Just for the record last bendi to run in London was 11040.

Pictures by Gavin Francis



Pictures by Malcolm Crowe


Pictures taken by Stephen Le Bras on December 3rd 2012


nic public sculpture ‘Hand of God’ by Lorenzo Quinn installed on Park Lane


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 for members per meeting depending on numbers.  For non-members a charge of £2 per head is made.

Next meeting: 17th January 2012 – West Midlands survivors - by Simon Hewings

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:

Upcoming Meetings from February 2012

· 21st Feb Subject TBCby John Burch, deputy operations director of the C.P.T.

· 20th March Bristol Omnibus “the green years” – by Mike Walker

· 17th April Society AGM followed by slides from Ian Thompson’s collection.

· 15th May Working on the buses – by Martin Roberts

· 19th June Clydeside Scottish ‘we tried to run a bus company’ – by George Watson

· 17th July Evening Outing, details TBC

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



The level of contribution to this page by readers remains excellent! Thank you all. 

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - December 14th 2011.


Observations and pictures

From Martyn Pearce ~ Optimumbus

Attached some photos recently taken in Chesham .

Stephen Le Bras writes "Good to see you last Saturday. tube 50205 broke down at Notting Hill Gate in the outside lane and was rescued by a breakdown tender in mid afternoon.

Back to White City and the 207 for its last Saturday of bendy buses. Plenty of choice for me to photograph including ex Stagecoach EA10084, ex demonstrator EA11000 and ex Go 
Ahead MAL85. It only needed an odd Arriva MA and you would have had a full set!. Luckily, there was a beam of sunshine illuminating the road for me by the traffic lights at the exit.
(See pictures above in the Editorial)
Otherwise, it was time to catch up with the renumbered Scania/Irizar on the Oxford service.
Outside London, First route 51 has been revised to run from Staines  to Slough (instead  of Terminal 5). It is routed to avoid the level crossings between Staines and Egham and the 
centre of Windsor. The standard fare has been Dart/Marshall augmented by the odd Solo but one diagram involving a diversion to Datchet seems to produce a Citaro- at least it did
on the first Monday."
Richard Sharman writes to send pictures.
New ADL Enviro 200's for Banbury Depot

Trident 117 is still in use at weekends

Seeing Double!

Oxford's 106 after recent repaint

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire's Coaching Unit in town today.

Whites Coaches operating on the last day of the 63 before passing to RH Buses

Oxford's 108 on the 8
Observations from Adam Green

Luton Airport 

Arriva 3190 which was at Hemel has been Transferred to Aylesbury it was on the 61 

Arriva 4055 all so another bus which was at Hemel was parked up at Luton Airport

Arriva 3173 was on the 12 to Luton Town centre 


Arriva 3314 was on the 3 Parked up in Stevenage Bus Station

Arriva 3311 was on the 55 to Letchworth

Centrebus 596 was on the 22 in Stevenage Bus Station

Centrebus 364 was on the 80 just come back from Hitchin

UNO 567 was on the 625 to Stevenage North Herts College

Arriva 3555 was on the SB4 to Shephall, Broadwater Via the Bus Station

Arriva 3411 was on the SB1 to Poplars 

Arriva 3871 was on the SB5 to Shephall, Broadwater Via the Bus Station

Arriva 3498 was on the SB6 to Bedwell, Shephall Via the Bus Station

Arriva 3322 was on the SB3/SB4 in the Bus Station

Centrebus 392 was on the 390 come back from Ware/Hitchin

Arriva 3306  was on the SB2 to St Nicholas, Martins Wood Via Bus Station

Arriva 3810 was on the SB8 to Lister Hospital

Arriva 4066 was Not In Service

Hemel News from the 5th December

National Express FJ07DVO SH08 was on the 787 to Heathrow Airport

National Express OU10GYN 53704 was on the 737 to Oxford

Arriva  5152 on the 500 to Watford Town Centre

Arriva  3299 on the 52 to High Wycombe

Arriva  3209 on the 3 to Woodhall Farm

Arriva 3568 on the 300/301 parked up in Hemel Bus Station

National Express FJ09DXM 0421 on the 707 to Northampton

Just Go Holidays YN06NZR was going to Lowestoft

Just Go Holidays FM56UOG was going to the Isle of White

Arriva 3459 on the 300/301 to Stevenage Parked up in Hemel Bus Station 

Fleet News 

 Arriva logo

Trevor Wilson writes "Re Arriva Olympians 5147 and 5148 branded for Wycombe Wanderers and Wasps. As per the photos 5147 is branded for Wycombe Wanderers only. At the last Wasps home game Sunday 20th November there was an Olympian from the same batch branded for Wasps only in the same manner as per 5147. So I presume 5148 is the Wasps bus. Have to say 5148 was not in very good condition with battered front nearside dome."

Pictures by Gavin Francis in Wycombe and Stokenchurch.

Mark Turner writes "I noticed either 3176 or 3177 with, I think, a red painted line around so possibly for disposal too. The bus in question has its windscreen missing and also the front registration plate appears to be missing. Can anyone confirm if its 3176 or 3177 ?

I can now confirm its not Arriva 3177 (P177 SRO) that been withdrawn. It's Arriva 3176 (P176 SRO) that got the red painted line around the bus as I have seen 3177 since last S & J page 51.

3177 Was on Route 500 (25th Nov) and on 18th Nov from Watford to Hemel short journey that the 500 does during week days. Also it was on 4/5 in Hemel on the weekend 19th Nov and during the week and was still running on 9th Dec on 4/5."

Neil Gow writes "I was very interested to see the picture of 5087 working route 61 on 23rd May on the OCBP. According to the PSV Circle, 5087 was withdrawn from service at Luton depot. The 61 is of course worked only by Aylesbury so it looks like it has now resurfaced at Aylesbury to join the other two there (5097/5100) which also survived the cull.

5086, also listed by the PSV Circle as withdrawn, was still in service at Luton on 5th November, as were Scanias 3193/3194 which are were also supposedly withdrawn. The Leyland was on route 24 where these buses are often to be found."

I've attached pictures of 5086 at Dunstable and 3194 at Luton.

Adam Green reports:

Arriva London News Thursday 8th December

DLA148 was on fire on the North Circular (A406) on a recent Thursday morning. There were no passengers on the bus.

Hemel News Friday 9th December

5455 was on the 3 Heading into Hemel Town Centre

5152 was on the 2 Heading to Woodhall Farm

3201 is in Hemel at the Moment it was on the 4&5

Pictures by Gavin Francis

Arriva 2401 r 40 Wycombe 121211 G Francis

5141 in Stokenchurch on the 340. 

VDL 3703 had a BIG shunt on 12th December going down Desborough Avenue. Somehow it had collected a parked Audi Q7, destroyed that and the bus was some distance further down the road with extensive damage to the n/s/f.

My correspondent reports “The doors were literally hanging off the thing.”  

City Sightseeing

Steve Doel writes "Wondered if you might like a picture of CSS Oxford 928 taken yesterday morning at the depot. It seems Atlanteans have run their last mile in Oxford and 928, the final CSS Oxford one, is in the corner of the yard await a trip to a new life. Logos & branding removed, this bus was a favourite of mine when working the Oxford tour and will be greatly missed by me."


M&M Coaches, High Wycombe

Gavin Francis
"This is the coach M & M bought from Plastow's.
It came with the cherished plate which is suitable as I believe M & M do work for the W.I.


Martin White writes "New Route A3 Starts Monday 5th December between Victoria & Gatwick Airport ( North & South Term ) running via Vauxhall - Stockwell - Streatham - Mitcham - Sutton ( Town Centre & Station ) - Belmont - Lower Kingswood ( A217 ).

First departure from Victoria is at 00:30 then Hourly throughout the night & day, During the day along with the 025 it will provide departure to Gatwick every 30 minutes.

It is to be operated by NX ops from Crawley Depot with Volvo B12B Plaxton Panthers from the LK53,Batch that are remaining in the fleet that have been lightly refurbished for this new service.

Picture by Gavin Francis.

NEx CY83 A3 second service 051211.

NEx CY137 A3 071211, I wondered how long it would be before the LKs were replaced by the Levantes?
Two above pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

Well out of our area another new service also to start is the 280 Between Leeds & Birkenhead via Bradford - Oldham -

Manchester - Manchester Airport - John Lennon Airport - Liverpool. to be operated by Selwyn's Travel who have taken

Stock of six new Volvo B9R Levantes for the service ( PVR 5 + I Sp. ) 165 - 170 FJ61EWF / G / H / K / L / M, some changes have been made to existing services 060 & 380 / one over the Pennines that I haven't noted yet.

Following the start the other month of the 250 between Ipswich & Heathrow that Galloway's are operating with new Volvo B9R Levantes this has got to be good news that NX are investing in new routes in these current times and hope that it may continue with other new routes to join the network in the future.

Martin adds "Classic Coaches (Annfield Plain, Stanley, Co. Durham) have apparently lost all of their National Express work from January 7th (bar 380/381 diagrams which stay temporarily until March). This would include diagrams on the 040, 310, 324, 326, 380, 381, 425, 435… (total PVR 15) with everything bar the 326 (PVR 2) going to Yourbus.

Not sure who’s picked up the 326 (GNE?).

All down to a disagreement between Arriva/TGM and NatEx – Arriva Midlands have also lost all of their work (again mostly to Yourbus!)."

I am also led to believe that Stagecoach in Gloucestershire will loose the 444 workings early next year. No alternative operator has so far been revealed.


Two of Oxford's Elites meet in Wycombe on the 737. Picture by Gavin Francis.

The first of the new Scania coaches appeared in London Victoria on December 6th  and my correspondent Peter Dyer was on hand to take some pictures. Full details are as follows with thanks to the company web site.

Pictures by Peter Dyer ©

This picture is great as it shows two of the older Scania/Irizars, in the background, which started life as Airline coaches.
The closer of the two, nr 44 was once nr 3 and the original nr 2 BF53OXF is now 43!!

1 AF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876341 Plaxton Panther BP02/01 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

2 BF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876358 Plaxton Panther BP02/02 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

3 CF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876357 Plaxton Panther BP02/03 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

4 DF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876361 Plaxton Panther BP02/04 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

5 EF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876371 Plaxton Panther BP02/05 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

6 FF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876400 Plaxton Panther BP02/06 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

7 GF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876649 Plaxton Panther BP02/07 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

8 HF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876667 Plaxton Panther BP02/08 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

9 JF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876669 Plaxton Panther BP02/09 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

10 KF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876657 Plaxton Panther BP02/10 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

11 LF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876865 Plaxton Panther BP02/11 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

12 MF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876746 Plaxton Panther BP02/12 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

13 OF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876748 Plaxton Panther BP02/13 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

14 PF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876751 Plaxton Panther BP02/14 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

15 RF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876765 Plaxton Panther BP02/15 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

16 SF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876874 Plaxton Panther BP02/16 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

17 TF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876879 Plaxton Panther BP02/17 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

18 UF61 OXF Scania K360EB 1876884 Plaxton Panther BP02/18 C44Ft Dec-11 the airline

Strangely they have not used the "airline" series of fleet number i.e. 51-99 but the "X90" series 1-50. I wonder why?

The new coaches will enter service shortly and then 81-97 will be refurbished and down seated to 44 for the X90. 91 is already reseated.

As a result the current 1-5 have been renumbered. 

42 AF53 OXF Scania K114EB 1846642 Irizar Century 96042 C46Ft Jan-04 espress

43 BF53 OXF Scania K114EB 1846646 Irizar Century 96043 C46Ft Jan-04 espress

44 CF53 OXF Scania K114EB 1846651 Irizar Century 96040 C46Ft Jan-04 espress

45 DF53 OXF Scania K114EB 1846654 Irizar Century 96041 C46Ft Jan-04 espress

46 EF53 OXF Scania K114EB 1846656 Irizar Century 96039 C46Ft Jan-04 espress 

44 and 45 at Gloucester Green on the first day of renumbering, Sunday 27th November,

Red Rose

I saw a new bus at Action lights a few weeks ago and Andrew Webb writesRed Rose MX61BAO parked in a side street in West Ealing but too dark to get a picture.” 

Also new is MX61BAU. 

They are Enviro 300s for a route after Christmas in Hertfordshire. Two more are expected.

Red Rose VU02TPZ r 104 Stokenchurch 051211 G Francis
This route is going along with 105 and 106 and the 275 Oxford service will be rerouted via Bledlow Ridge and Chinnor.
The residents of Stokenchurch will not be pleased as for the first time in many many years they have no BUS service to Oxford.

RH Transport

Richard Sharman reports: 

Acquired in September was Cummins engined MCW Metrobus D938 NDA, new as a West Midlands Travel Timesaver vehicle and more recently with Shoreline Suncruisers, Scarborough.
This is for use on School Services and is numbered 812.
Acquired in September was M470 FJR, a Wrights bodied Dennis Lance SLF,new to Go-Ahead Norths Coastline unit, numbered 607 here. An additional Dart from Fishwicks is 605 which
joins 603/4.
Acquired as a Spare School Vehicle is Leyland Fleetline(Gardner Engined)/Northern Counties 813, this was new as ANA 24T to Greater Manchester, but also serving with Thamesdown
and Bluebird, North Walsham.
Used on College X15 journeys is ex Plymouth Dart 608, this vehicle was latterly used by Plymouth Citybus to promote safer travel at schools/used in their Dennis Dart
children's story books.



· More buses between Bicester and Oxford
· New Gold buses with leather seats, cleaner engines & Wi-Fi
· New commuter journeys from Bicester to the John Radcliffe Hospital via Kidlington & Water Eaton Park & Ride

Stagecoach today announced a range of improvements to its popular S5 route between Bicester and Oxford.

The changes start on Sunday 11 December with twice as many buses running on Sundays and some slight alteration to evening journeys to suite Bicester Village opening hours.

From Sunday 15 January, the improvements really take hold, with more buses, running up to every 15 minutes throughout the day, later weekend night buses leaving Oxford around 3am and commuter journeys direct to Oxford city centre run by 87 seat double deck Oxford Tube coaches.

There will be new commuter journeys from Bicester to the John Radcliffe Hospital calling at Kidlington and Water Eaton Park and Ride then continuing onto Headington and the city centre.

Stagecoach will also introduce new luxury Gold buses featuring, leather seats, cleaner greener engines and free Wi-Fi. The dedicated team of drivers on the route will be enlarged with the creation of several new jobs.

Matthew Cranwell, Stagecoach Bus Manager said “We are carrying many more people from Bicester to Oxford and these changes will help to meet the extra demand anticipated from new housing developments and the redevelopment of the town centre.

He continued “We are particularly delighted with the introduction of direct buses to the JR Hospital which is going to be a real advantage to people living in Bicester and working at the JR”

Delivery of eleven Scania N230UD/ADL Enviro 400 double decks is now complete and they are being prepared for service. These are to Gold specification and will enable the S5 route between Oxford and Bicester to be upgraded to full Gold standards including Wi-Fi. They have detail differences to earlier batches and these include recessed panels containing a hammer to break windows in an emergency, one large single seat at the front nearside lower deck instead of a pair, lighter wall coverings, high visibility side lights, yellow backed rear view mirrors and a better seat "cushion" to some of the rearmost seats.

The upper deck interior showing the high quality of finish on these Gold buses.

Details of the new buses are, note an error was made in the last issue for the last three buses registration numbers:

15752    OU61 AVF

15753    0U61 AVG

15754    0U61 AVJ

15755    OU61 AVK

15756    OU61 AVL

15757    OU61 AVM

15758    OU61 AVN

15759    OU61 AVO

15760    OU61 AUP

15761    OU61 AUR

15762    OU61 AUT

The batch of ADL/Enviro 200s for Banbury have arrived and are entering service. The intended route allocation is shown after each bus. Details are as follows:

        36448    OU61 AUV          S4          

36449    OU61 AUW         S4

36450    OU61 AUX           S4

36451    OU61 AUY           S4

36452    OU61 AVB           500

36453    OU61 AVC           500

36454    OU61 AVD           500

36455    OU61 AVE           500

They have detail differences to earlier batches of this type with an offside centre emergency door, the recessed hammer location all of which can be seen in the pictures below.

Views forward and to the rear on 36452.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 36448 in Oxford on December 7th on the 13.05 S4 by Graham Low 


John Marsh writes "More new Scania E400s for Stagecoach. This time for the X4 Peterborough-Milton Keynes."

SCE 15743 arrives Peterborough for Milton Keynes rX4 26th November, the first day in service by John Marsh

SCE 15743 leaves Peterborough for Milton Keynes rX4  John Marsh



D Wiltshire writes "New buses on 55 ROYAL WOOTTON BASSETT ".

SC Swindon 15736 r 55 osf 281111 D Wiltshire. (Nice branding)

SC Swindon 15733 r 55 osf 281111 D Wiltshire

SC Swindon 15734 r 55 nsr 281111 D Wiltshire

The seven new gold buses for Stagecoach Swindon are being stored at the Thamesdown Transport depot due to space problems at Stagecoaches Eastcott Hill depot they are due to go into service in January.

15763 - VX61FKN

15764 - VX61FJU

15765 - VX61FJV

15766 - VX61FJY

15767 - VX61FJZ

15768 - VX61FKA

15769 - VX61FKB

Attached are a few photos taken at Thamesdown's yard at Barnfield Road. 

SC Swindon new Gold Bus VX61FJY 101211 S Curwen

SC Swindon new Gold Bus VX61FKA 101211 S Curwen

Marcus Lapthorn advises that the 66 route Gold buses will be launched onto the route with effect from week beginning Monday 16 January 2012.

With all the new Scanias fleet numbering is now over-running older buses as seen by this Bristol VR pictured some years earlier on April 4th 2004 by Gavin Francis.


Stagecoach group also scoops Environment accolade at 2011 UK Bus Awards

Stagecoach is celebrating after the Oxford Tube service was named Top Express Coach Operator on Tuesday (29 December) at the 2011 UK Bus Awards.

The popular coach service – which links Oxford and London and is Europe’s most frequent coach service – won the award after being praised by judges for the standard of its operations and its continued success in attracting new passengers.

Stagecoach Group also scooped the Environment Award at the 16th annual London ceremony after impressing judges with the measures it is taking within its UK Bus Division to become a greener business. Stagecoach launched 26 electric hybrid buses in Oxford last year costing £7.4 million.

The company was also runner up in the Marketing Excellence category, for its Stagecoach Gold service, which provides luxury local bus travel in several towns around the country including Witney.

Stagecoach Managing Director Martin Sutton said: “We are delighted to win these awards which recognise the hard work of many of our employees who help provide high-quality, reliable and good value travel for people across Oxfordshire.

“We will continue to embrace new technology as well as trialling new and innovative ideas to attract even more passengers on to our greener, smarter bus services.”

Congratulating all the shortlisted entries, UK Bus Awards chairman John Owen commented: “In these difficult and uncertain times, we’ve been both surprised and delighted by the number and quality of entries for the 2011 UK Bus Awards.

“Over five billion passenger journeys are made by bus every year, and the industry has a huge amount to offer in delivering reduced congestion and carbon emissions. The finalists in this year’s Awards are contributing hugely with their bright ideas and their commitment to customer service. They are paving the way for the future success of an industry which remains firmly at the heart of our national life.


We continue our reports from Dave Robinson on the current movements of the old Skyliner fleet. 

Dawson Rentals, Hellaby

Neoplan Skyliner, KP04 GKE, was taken to Enza Motors, Trafford Park, for M.O.T., 24/11/11. 

Neoplan Skyliner, OX04 BZP, was collected from Enza Motors, Trafford Park, after M.O.T, ( been there since February ! ). However, it quickly failed on the M60, J8, Carrington, & was eventually recovered by, & into F&G Commercials, Barnsley, with a gearbox fault. 24/11/11

Neoplan Skyliner KP04 GKK, was collected from Haytons, Manchester, after M.O.T., 24/11/11.

This is GKK, which had been collected from Haytons, Manchester, after M.O.T., virtually just prior to their collapse & purchase by Selwyn's, Runcorn.

Here is KP04 GJE, a couple of weeks ago, located at our Ventura Coach Sales outlet, Lingfield, Sussex,


Megabus are now moving significant numbers of passengers on services out of London. I took some pictures on a recent Sunday afternoon when a large number of duplicates were operating.

Megabus - heavy loading on Sunday 27th November using a Classic Astromega amongst other reliefs. Picture by M Crowe

Newly arrived Volvo B9Rs with Plaxton Panther 2 bodywork, so far unbranded, are allocated to Rugby.

53636 KX61 GDU Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53637 KX61 GDV Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53638 KX61 GDY Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53639 KX61 GDZ Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53641 KX61 GEK Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53642 KX61 GEU Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53643 KX61 GEY Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53644 KX61 GFA Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53645 KX61 GFE Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus

SC Megabus 53640 seen in Bulleid Way by Gavin Francis.

These are now entering service providing much needed additional capacity on the run up to Christmas.

53645 was delivered from Plaxton's last week.

New double decks for Megabus services in the U.K.

A £4million fleet of 11 coaches have also been ordered for the megabus.com UK network, which now carries around 3 million passengers a year and links 60 locations across the country.

The coaches, which will be delivered between December 2011 and January 2012, will operate on operate on the London to Bristol, London to Cardiff and London- Sheffield-Leeds-Newcastle routes. They will replace 15-metre single deck vehicles currently used on most of these journeys.

Megabus Cwmbran Van Hool Astromegas 

50233 CN61 FAA

50234 CN61 FAJ

50235 CN61 FAK

50236 CN61 FAM

50237 CN61 FAO

50238 CN61 FAU

50239 CN61 FBA

50240 CN61 FBB

50241 CN61 FBC

50242 CN61 FBD

50243 CN61 FBE

SC Megabus 50233 at VH Wellingborough having just arrived from Belgium on December 5th by A Shaw

The Glasgow-London sleeper service is running well with full loads on all journeys.

Not pictured before is one of two Jonckheere coaches used on the service and seen in Green Line, London by Gavin Francis.


megabus.com helps keep Britain moving throughout the festive season

 13 Dec 2011

• Only national transport operator to provide services on Christmas Day

• megabus.com services to run throughout entire festive period

• Near-normal service to operate in England and Wales on New Year’s Day as well as more than a dozen cross-border journeys

Market-leading budget coach provider megabus.com will again help keep Britain moving this Christmas by offering low-cost travel through the entire festive period.

For the third consecutive year, the budget travel operator, which offers fares from £1*, will be the only intercity bus or rail operator to run services for customers on Christmas Day, providing links to 16 destinations across the UK.

Megabus.com services will operate throughout the Christmas and New Year period, including New Year’s Day.

On Christmas Day, megabus.com passengers will be able to travel between London and Preston, Bolton, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry, Watford Gap, Newcastle, Leeds, Woolley Edge, Sheffield, Cardiff, Newport, Bristol, Swindon and Reading.

And on New Year’s Day, megabus.com services in England and Wales will operate virtually as normal. There will also be 12 cross-border services providing links between London and Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Kinross, Ferrytoll, Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as one service in each direction between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Preston, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Rugby.

Also on New Year’s Day there will be three services in each direction between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Tickets for these services can only be booked through www.megabus.com

Ian Laing, megabus.com Operations Manager, said: “We began operating Christmas Day services a couple of years ago and they have proved popular with passengers visiting friends and family across the country.

“Our festive megabus.com services offer people a low-cost way to get around throughout the holidays, helping them to deliver their Christmas presents in person and make the most of the festive break.”

Stagecoach’s Oxford Tube service – which links Oxford and London and is Europe’s most frequent coach service – will also operate services throughout the festive period, including Christmas Day. For more information visit www.oxfordtube.com 

And in Scotland, Scottish Citylink – a joint venture between Stagecoach and transport group ComfortDelGro - is offering late night coach services for Hogmanay party-goers, providing travel from Edinburgh to 10 locations across Scotland after the New Year celebrations in the capital have ended. For further details on the special Hogmanay services as well as Scottish Citylink services throughout the festive period visit www.citylink.co.uk 

The new megabus.com overnight sleeper service, which operates between Glasgow and London, will depart for the last time before Christmas on 23 December, returning to operation on Boxing Day. At New Year the sleeper coach service will operate overnight on 30 December and then again on 2 January. 

The end of Whites on the 63 by George Green 

The Whites Coaches contract for the 63 service came to an end on Saturday 10/12/2011 and the villagers of Appleton waylaid the bus to hold a presentation for the driver, Brian Kilham.

Alan Feast, the transport representative for the parish council, made a speech and presented Brian with money from a collection held in the village shop.

He said that the bus was a community meeting point where people met and exchanged information. Brian knew their names, what they were doing, where they were going, where they lived and would drop them off at their gate.

Eric Auckland, of Longworth Parish Council, travelled on the bus with his fold up bicycle to be at the presentation and also gave Brian a card and gift, before cycling home.

Brian will be missed by everyone for his friendliness and time keeping. The service will be operated from Monday 12/12/2011 by RH Transport who will run a Monday to Saturday service on a slightly revised timetable.


Motts buys Crusader from administrators 

Clacton-based Crusader Holidays is back in business after a deal, completed on Monday 12th December, by Motts of Aylesbury to buy Crusader Holidays from the Administrators.

Roy Finch a senior director with Crusader from the time of Roger Staines and a close friend of Roger and Val Mott has been appointed as Chief Executive of the new operation, which re-opened for business this morning.

As a result, Crusaders’ office staff are now contacting all customers and all planned holidays will continue as booked.

Crusader went into administration on 1 December after a long period of financial difficulty, and employed 34 people, operating 10 coaches. A number of coach operators were subcontracted to run the tours, of which Motts of Aylesbury and Talisman of Colchester were two major suppliers.

Motts Coaches MD Roger Mott said “We are delighted to acquire the business of Crusader Holidays. It is a quality tour operator who we have been proud to have been associated for the past 13 years. It is our intention to continue operating the Crusader brand of quality coach holidays within the UK and on the Continent for many years to come.”

Luke Braham sent pictures he took earlier this year.

Here are some pictures I took at Crusader Holidays open day back in March in the attachment above. The registration numbers below are top row to bottom row.

1) EU06 JBV

2) EU06 JBY

3) EU08 FAA

4) EU08 FAF

5) EU08 FAJ

Motts Leisure Ltd, the holiday arm of Motts Coaches of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, have secured the business going forward of Crusader Holidays based in Clacton on Sea following its administration on the 1st of December.
Motts have had a unique association with Crusader that goes back to 1998 a time when Roger Staines the founder of the company was still actively involved. Following the untimely passing of Roger the company passed to his son Antony, and then through two successive management buyouts to the difficulties it found itself in at the end of November.
Motts who have operated tours and holidays since the 1970s had an innovative arrangement with Crusader in that its continental tour programme was almost entirely Crusader product sold as an agent within its own 155 page brochure and served by a feeder network to either South Mimms or Thurrock services.
Roger Mott, MD of Motts Coaches, stated how delighted he was to acquire the business of Crusader Holidays, "
Crusader Holidays is a quality tour operator who we have been proud to have been associated for the past 13 years. It is our intention to continue operating the Crusader brand of quality coach holidays within the UK and on the Continent for many years to come."
Motts will take over the booking office in Clacton with many of the current staff. Roy Finch a senior director with Crusader from the time of Roger Staines and a close friend of Roger and Val Mott has been appointed as Chief Executive of the new operation which will be open for business from Monday 12th December.

Wellglade buys Felix buses 

Wellglade – which owns Trent Barton – has bought the Ilkeston-Derby bus operation of Stanley-based Felix.

It is taking on the 10 staff and the six buses used on the Ilkeston Flyer and Black Cat services.

Felix, which started its bus operations on the route in 1924, is one of the few remaining pre-deregulation independent bus operators, and is owned by the Middup family.

Felix offered its bus operations for sale some months ago and Trent Barton Managing Director, Jeff Counsell, says he is delighted the two companies had managed to reach an agreement.

The Ilkeston Flyer provides an express service into Derby whilst the Black Cat follows a route via Stanley and Chaddesden into the city centre. Both routes have been operated jointly with Trent Barton for some years.

The assets involved in the agreement – sold for an undisclosed sum - will be transferred at the end of January 2012. Meanwhile Felix will retain its own brand name and continue its coach operations.

Third round of Green Bus Funding

On the day that the Chancellor made his Autumn Statement, Transport Minister Norman Baker revealed that a third round of Green Bus Funding - with £25m in grants - will go ahead.

Making his announcement in front of hundreds of operators at the UK Bus Awards in London this lunchtime (Tuesday) he said: “I have been up and down the country meeting with bus operators and manufacturers, and one of the things they have consistently been asking for is another round of the Green Bus Fund.

“I am therefore delighted to announce that they have got one.

“A further £25m to fund greener buses across England and a welcome boost to jobs and manufacturing.

“This is in addition to the £47m that has already helped bus operators to put 540 new low carbon buses on our roads.

“Great British buses have always been attractive ways to get around, and Britain is fast becoming a world leader in clean, green bus manufacturing.

“This new money will help the industry create even more skilled jobs and get our economy growing.”

£90 Million boost for buses across England

Bus services across England are set to receive £90 million to make them greener, more efficient and easier to use, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.             NDS

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.             NDS

The Government believes that the funding will deliver better services for passengers in a way that will cut carbon and deliver growth.

A new £50 million Better Bus Areas fund is an initiative which will see bus operators working in partnership with local authorities to increase passenger numbers. Successful bids must have the backing of at least one major local bus operator. Bids could include measures to reduce congestion, provide better information to passengers, make improvements to bus stations or encourage people to switch to buses from the car in densely populated urban areas.

The Government is also announcing today a further £10 million to support the development of Community Transport, which will provide funding to 76 local authorities.

Today’s injection of £60 million comes on top of the announcements in the Autumn Statement which provided:

·         £20 million for a third round of the Green Bus Fund, to help bus operators and Local Authorities to buy low carbon buses;

·         £10 million to fit pollution reduction technology to London buses. This is made up of £5 million funding from central Government and £5 million match funding from Transport for London. The new equipment will cut NOx emissions from buses in the Capital by around 400 tonnes – and will also help promote UK jobs in manufacturing and supplying clean vehicle technology.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said:

“This package of bus measures will support growth in our economy by creating better links to work, shops and schools, as well as helping to cut carbon emissions. This huge injection of £50 million for our new Better Bus Areas will encourage partnership working between good local authorities and good bus companies, which will benefit bus passengers.

“In terms of the Green Bus Fund announcement, the UK is fast establishing itself as a world leader in low carbon bus technology, and I am proud to deliver this vote of confidence in our bus building industry. This is great news for jobs and manufacturing in this country.

“The £20 million being provided is in addition to the £47 million that has already helped put 540 new low carbon buses on our roads and demonstrates how serious we are about reducing carbon emissions from transport.”

Local authorities wishing to bid for money from the Better Bus Areas fund will be asked to submit bids in February to allow the Department to award funding by the end of March.

Stagecoach invests £44m in new vehicles for budget coach networks in North America and UK

07 Dec 2011

More than 100 state-of-the-art coaches ordered from Belgian manufacturer

95 double-decker vehicles for United States/Canada and 11 for UK network

Coaches feature greener engines, toilets, wi-fi, power sockets, CCTV

Stagecoach Group announced today (7 December 2011) that it is investing around £44million in a fleet of new double-decker coaches for its expanding megabus.com operations in North America and the UK.

More than 100 state-of-the-art coaches have been ordered from Belgian manufacturer Van Hool for the market-leading budget travel service.

megabus.com offers daily, express coach travel from $1 in North America and for as low as £1 in the UK1.

The 13-metre coaches, which meet the latest Euro 5 emissions standards, will have 81 seats and are equipped with a toilet, power sockets, wi-fi and CCTV.

The order includes a £40million investment in 95 vehicles for the megabus.com network in the United States and Canada. More than 15 million passengers have travelled with megabus.com in North America and the investment follows the recent announcement of megabus.com’s expansion to the southern United States.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Sir Brian Souter said: “The tough economy and rising fuel prices are having a real impact on household living standards and people are looking for ways to save money. megabus.com is the perfect solution to help make people’s pound or dollar go further in these difficult times.

"Many of the people we are attracting, particularly in North America, used to travel by car, so the switch to greener coach travel is better for the planet. This latest investment will also mean we can continue to offer a high quality product as well as great value fares and meet the growing demand for low-cost travel in North America and the UK.”

Low-cost coach services started running out of a new hub in Atlanta, Georgia, to 11 cities in the states of Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida from 16 November. The latest hub is operated under contract by Coach America, a major United States coach operator.

More than 500 new jobs have been created by megabus.com throughout North America and the successful brand now links 72 cities in the United States and Canada.

The new vehicles for North America will be delivered between January and summer 2012 and allow megabus.com to provide more capacity on its growing network. 

Bicester Rail and associated matters by Gary Seamarks

In view of the improvements to the Bicester bus services higher up in this issue this piece from Gary Seamarks will be of interest to readers.

The Present state is that the section between Oxford - Bicester Town is used by Chiltern Trains for a limited branch line service with one train in steam, An upgrade is on the go which will see a through train service between Oxford- Bicester- High Wycombe and Marylebone from 2013 with a new connection east of Bicester onto the old GCR Marylebone- Banbury - Birmingham line, that will increase the service to Hourly. North of Bicester only a limited Bin Liner service of Rubbish trains run to Claydon Junction and onto Calvert on the Old Great Central, that of course is expected to be part of HS2, this line continues to Marylebone via Aylesbury. Claydon Junction to Aylesbury is 12 miles.

Now Between Claydon Junction and Swanbourne Sidings (west of Bletchley) the line is mothballed, 10 miles, on my visit last year trees were growing within the aliment of the track well above my head, this includes the section with such places as Verney Junction and Winslow.

From Swanbourne to Bletchley the line is in much better state of affairs with much of the track in situ and where missing no major growth has taken place.

Bletchley to Bedford is of course in situ.

The missing link to Cambridge would present a different story and is NOT part of the plan, but here goes. The first part as far as the old St Johns is still derelict but not built on. Stagecoach has the section past its Bedford Garage, the next obstruction is crossing Cardington Road where the pedestrian crossing is you then pass to the back of aspect's and priory park, a couple of miles on you need to cross the A421. roughly halfway between Cardington and Goldington Road Junctions. Houses are built on the line at Blunham, Sandy and Potton. Much worse still is near Cambridge where several telescopes are built on the track bed at London Road. Once in the City boundary the route Cuts through Trumpington P&R and is the alignment of the Busway as far as the city Station.

Now some more issues.

Crossing the flyover at Bletchley you cannot access a platform so would need to run up to at least Granby Junction or Milton Keynes and reverse, back to Bletchley. Where another reversal is needed to reach the Bedford line. On arrival at Bedford when a Cambridge service is opened (not in my lifetime) another reversal would be needed at Midland all the way back to St. Johns. Finally the opening date of 2017, is 50 years since 31-12-67 when the line was closed . 

Blackpool latest by Geoff Cunliffe

Geoff Cunliffe has kept us up to date with happenings in Blackpool with their trams.  New ones come and old ones go and the scene changes with each passing day.

Flikr has quite a good page of Blackpool tram, photographs which shows, amongst others, Bombardier 001 at Talbot Square, behind the Metropole and up at Norbreck.

The address is:-


Geoff writes "Herewith a report about a stay of execution for twelve months for the trams of the Lancastrian Transport Trust currently squatting in Rigby Road depot.

Also for your information, I note part of the Blackpool Tram News update of 20/11/11, the most significant part of which, I think, is that 648 has been rejected by Crich.
The web page is at:
Second Flexity Arrives
The second Flexity 2 has now arrived nearly 3 months after Flexity 001, with deliveries originally expected to be every three weeks. This delivery is of 004, since 002 and 003
have been undergoing various tests before being delivered to Blackpool so have been delayed and are therefore not due to be delivered next. Hopefully there are more Flexity’s
awaiting delivery with deliveries currently behind schedule, the next in is scheduled to be 005.
More Trams on the Move
With Blackpool Transport setting a deadline of November for all buyers having to remove their trams from the depot, many trams are starting to move to their new homes.
On the 17th of November Jubilee 761 and Balloon 726 both departed for Fleetwood and are currently stored next to Balloon 710, which are all awaiting their future in the
Fleetwood Transport Museum.
Trams at Fleetwood
With the 2011 season seeing no Cleveleys or Fleetwood service, trams are once again a common sight over this stretch of track now that the tramway has closed!
This is due to testing of the track in preparation for the 10 minute Fleetwood service in Easter 2012 with testing over this section so far including 001, 631 and 648.
With the choice of 648 for testing and after being rejected by Crich, it now seems a slight possibility that 648 could stay in Blackpool to be used as a reserve car which
is also the future role of 631.

708 as it was recently

You will remember Bob Fergusson’s recent email saying that 708 had left Blackpool looking pretty tatty.

I have been prowling round Jason Cross’s web site and have found a couple of photographs of 708 in that state. Given that they are not recent photos, it must have been in that state for a while.

The photos are attached for your interest:


I thought I had seen those Bombardiers somewhere before, and here’s the proof.

1998 working as a Cheltenham Road Train – they were even in the proper green & white livery. Sorry about the quality – they are frame grabs from a video.


I commend the following web page to readers:


It contains periodic updates on what is happening on the system. The latest page, posted yesterday, records the arrival of the third Bombardier and some disposals news.  


Stagecoach’s Oxford Tube named express coach operator of the year

30 Nov 2011 

Stagecoach is celebrating after its Oxford Tube service was named Top Express Coach Operator on Tuesday 29 November at the 2011 UK Bus Awards.

The coach service – which links Oxford and London and is Europe’s most frequent coach service – won the award after being praised by judges for the standard of its operations and its continued success in attracting new passengers.

Perth-based Stagecoach Group also scooped the Environment Award at the 16th annual London ceremony after impressing judges with the measures it is taking within its UK Bus Division to become a greener business. Stagecoach has a comprehensive sustainability strategy and is investing £11million in a range of measures to meet its environmental targets. At its UK Bus Division, the Group is targeting an overall reduction of 6.2% in building CO2 emissions and a cut of 3% in annual fleet transport CO2e emissions by April 2014.

Stagecoach also achieved four runners-up places at the ceremony. In the Top Express Coach Operation category, Stagecoach East Scotland was named as runner-up for its Fife Express operation which links Fife and Edinburgh.

Stagecoach South West’s Torbay depot was named runner-up in the Top National Bus Depot Award while Stagecoach London driver Yvette Tomlin finished runner-up in the Top London Bus Driver category. And in the Marketing Excellence category, Stagecoach UK Bus was named runner-up for its Stagecoach Gold product, which provides luxury local bus travel in several towns and cities across the UK.

Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director Les Warneford said: “We are delighted to win these awards which recognise the hard work of many of our employees who help provide high-quality, reliable and good value bus travel for millions of people across the UK every day.

“We will continue to embrace new technology as well as trialling new and innovative ideas to attract even more passengers on to our greener, smarter bus services.”

The following Stagecoach employees and companies were also Highly Commended at the awards:

Sarah Anderson, Stagecoach East Scotland, Bluebird and Highlands (Young Manager of the Year Award)

Graeme Leslie, Stagecoach Bluebird (Young Manager of the Year Award)

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, Introducing Electric Hybrid Buses (Environment Award)

Stagecoach West, Route 66 (Eureka! Award for Marketing Initiatives)

Stagecoach Group, Stagecoach Smart (Innovation Award)

Stagecoach Bluebird, Jet 727 Service (Making Buses A Better Choice Award)

Stagecoach East Kent&East Sussex, The Canterbury Triangle (Marketing Excellence Award)

Stagecoach West, Greener Journeys (Marketing Excellence Award)

Stagecoach Yorkshire, Creating Passenger Growth in Sheffield (Marketing Excellence Award)

Stagecoach UK Bus, Citylink Gold (Putting Passengers First Award)

Stagecoach East, X5 Service (Top Express Operation Award)

Stagecoach South West, Torbay Depot (Top National Bus Depot Award)

Stagecoach West Scotland, Kilmarnock Depot (Top National Bus Depot Award)

Stagecoach Manchester (Top City Operator Award)

Stagecoach East Midlands (Top Shire Operator Award)

Stagecoach South (Top Shire Operator Award)

Stagecoach West (Top Shire Operator Award)

Frank Tumfo, Stagecoach London (Top London Bus Driver Award)

Congratulating all the shortlisted entries, UK Bus Awards chairman John Owen commented: “In these difficult and uncertain times, we’ve been both surprised and delighted by the number and quality of entries for the 2011 UK Bus Awards.

“Over five billion passenger journeys are made by bus every year, and the industry has a huge amount to offer in delivering reduced congestion and carbon emissions. The finalists in this year’s Awards are contributing hugely with their bright ideas and their commitment to customer service. They are paving the way for the future success of an industry which remains firmly at the heart of our national life.

Malta update by Ian Brown

Arriva buses have been involved in nearly 300 traffic accidents since the new service was introduced on July 3, Transport Minister Austin Gatt told Parliament last month. Arriva Chief in Malta, Keith Bastow was speaking during the launch of an advertising campaign on 75 of its buses urging people to drive slowly, wear their seatbelts and refrain from using their mobile phone while driving.

The campaign, designed in collaboration with the police, follows an internal one the company organised for its drivers in November. The campaign also coincides with the festive season.

“Safety is always high on Arriva’s agenda. Our buses are only a few of the vehicles on Malta’s roads and we must all be aware of the responsibilities we have when we get behind the wheel,” he said.

Police superintendent Martin Bayliss said speed, the lack of use of safety belts and mobile phones were three major causes of traffic accidents in Malta. The police are also worried about the use of mobile phones to send text messages while driving.

Upcoming events

Stagecoach Portsmouth by Matt Cooper 

Traditionally Portsmouth has always ran a 'Santa Bus' and this year is no exception. I attach our schedule for which a specially decked out Enviro 300 operates, with 'the man of the moment' at the helm aided by elf! Normal fares apply and a collection bucket for local charity the Rowans Hospice is also onboard. Well worth a trip or two (although I would say that!)

It always fascinates me where buses end up when they leave the 'big groups' The shot of P853 GND (formally Stagecoach 20853) is particularly interesting to me on two counts! Firstly it operated in Northampton during my time with Stagecoach there. It came to us there from Manchester where it was one of 4 such vehicles swapped for 4 Volvo Olympians (16004-007) The others were sister 20852 (P852 GND) and 20914/5 (R914/5 XVM) Most ended their time with Stagecoach in Bedford whose Megarider details feature on the middle off side windows in the picture on the latest page! Good news for the people of Aviemore!

The second reason being I have an aunt and uncle who moved in the mid-90s to a remote village called Gorthleck in between Aviemore and Inverness and D&E are now their local operator. When they moved there the route was in the hands of Highland Omnibuses who used a Leyland Leopard with Alexander Y type body on the 'busier' school journeys, what a fantastic sight and sound to see thundering down the single track roads of the area!

The B10M / Alexander PS was a good bus (watch the tail swing though!) and is missed by many. From my own experience of driving examples for both Stagecoach and First the ZF gearbox gave a nicer ride than the Voith.

Very sad to see Wootten's withdraw from local bus work. A sign of the times unfortunately but I hope that with the coaching link with Bowens this side of the business has a long future for this well respected local operator. Good to see that Michael has acquired another ex OBC/WBC Leyland Olympian (G231 VWL I believe) Between Wootten's and Alpine of Llandudno most of this batch survive. Always enjoyed travelling on these buses on the 280 service amongst others.

SANTA BUS 2011       

Monday 19th & Thursday 22nd December 2011


Route 23

Leigh Park to Southsea SPP

Strouden Court 09:27, Havant Bus Station (bay E) 09:58, Cosham (Health Centre) 10:15, Commercial Road (stop C) 10:49,

Southsea SPP to Havant Bus Station

Southsea SPP 11:15,Commercial Road (stop D) 11:42, Cosham (Health Centre) 12:06

Havant Bus Station to Southsea SPP

Havant Bus Station (bay E) 13:15, Cosham (Health Centre) 13:35, Commercial Road (stop C) 14:09

Southsea SPP to Havant Bus Station

Southsea SPP 14:35,Commercial Road (stop D) 15:02, Cosham (Health Centre) 15:26

Havant Bus Station to Southsea SPP

Havant Bus Station (bay E) 16:08, Cosham (Health Centre) 16:25, Commercial Road (stop C) 17:04                                                                                       

Tuesday 20th December 2011

Route 21 – 09:40 Havant Bus Station (bay G) to Gunwharf Quays

Via Park Parade 10:00, Copnor Road (Green Lane) 10:24

Route 20 – 11:00 Gunwharf Quays to Havant Bus Station

                             Via Commercial Road (stop D) 11:05, QA Hospital 11:20

Route 21 – 12:40 Havant Bus Station (bay G) to Gunwharf Quays

                             Via Park Parade 13:00, Copnor Road (Green Lane) 13:24

Route 21 – 14:00 Gunwharf Quays to Havant Bus Station

                             Via Edinburgh Road (stop A) 14:15, Park Parade 14:54

Route 20 – 15:55 Havant Bus Station (bay G) to Gunwharf Quays

                             Via Park Parade 16:15, QA Hospital 16:33                    

Wednesday 21st December 2011

Between 09:30 and 11:00 the Santa Bus will be parked in the bus stop lay by near the main entrance at the Q. A. Hospital, all welcome to visit!                                             

Route 39

Havant Bus Station to Wecock Farm

Havant Bus Station (bay D) 12:05, Park Parade 12:12, Waterlooville Precinct 12:53

Wecock Farm to Havant Bus Station

Wecock Farm 13:09, Waterlooville Precinct 13:37, Park Parade 14:03

Havant Bus Station to Wecock Farm

Havant Bus Station (bay D) 14:35, Park Parade 14:42, Waterlooville Precinct 15:23

Wecock Farm to Havant Bus Station

Wecock Farm 15:39, Waterlooville Precinct 15:52, Park Parade 16:18            

Friday 23rd December 2011

Route 21                 Havant Bus Station to Gunwharf Quays

Havant Bus Stn (bay G) 09:10, Park Parade 09:30, Copnor Road (Green Lane) 09:54.

Gunwharf Quays to Havant Bus Station

Gunwharf Quays 10:30, Edinburgh Road (stop A) 10:45, Park Parade 11:24    

Route 39

Havant Bus Station to Wecock Farm

Havant Bus Station (bay D) 12:05, Park Parade 12:12, Waterlooville Precinct 12:53

Wecock Farm to Havant Bus Station

Wecock Farm 13:09, Waterlooville Precinct 13:37, Park Parade 14:03

Havant Bus Station to Wecock Farm

Havant Bus Station (bay D) 14:35, Park Parade 14:42, Waterlooville Precinct 15:23

Wecock Farm to Havant Bus Station

Wecock Farm 15:39, Waterlooville Precinct 15:52, Park Parade 16:18              


North Wales with your Editor

What has become an annual visit to my eldest daughter took place last Saturday and I had the opportunity to record the bus scene in Bangor. Arriva is the main operator with Padarn Bus much in evidence.

I was lucky to catch up with a Wrights saloon painted in the old Crosville livery.
Although a fan of the old days I thought the bus looked rather drab.

There were several routes with letter suffixes and this Solo displays route 67L.

One for "Hotspur" fans, this little Dart was once based at Tottenham and was loading a sizable number of passengers
on route 42 to Llangefni on Anglesey. Now numbered 911 it was once PDL42.

I thought this super rear amusing doubtless making many smile. 2656 was heading for Caernarvon the trunk route 5.

One of the same batch as the Crosville liveried bus above, 2799 is heading for Caernarvon.

Padarn Bus had two vehicles which I managed to picture. They are the one major competition to Arriva in the area.

John Hammond writes "I've attached some pictures of Oxfordshire operators buses at work for the page."

Heyfordian (Tappins) ADL E200 OU08 AYF passes through North Moreton on a 95 working to Didcot.
The contract for the 94/5 passes to Thames Travel from December.

RH Transport Optare Solo MX55 WDJ passes through East Hanney on an X36 working to 'Fast & Direct'.
 This service is one that passes to Thames Travel in December following the Wantage area review.

Whites Coaches Optare Solo YE52 FGZ passes Dorchester Abbey on a 138 to Wallingford.

Whites Optare Solo GX03 CCJ passes through Clifton Hampden on the 97 service to Berinsfield.

YJ11 EJO - An Optare Solo of Heyfordian Travel passes Castle Street whilst on a 104 working to Cuddesdon

PJ02 PZJ - An RH Dennis Trident passes through Summertown on a 700 working to the Churchill Hospital.

L604 NOS - An RH Leyland Olympian passes through Summertown on a 700 working.

R463 LFM - a Mercedes Vario / Plaxton Beaver that has been with Whites Coaches for some time is seen in Castle Street on the 63 service.
The contract for this route passes to RH Transport from mid December.

S6 WMS - a Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M of Worth's of Enstone passes Frideswide Square in Oxford.

Whites, Berinsfield 

Unique 9.7M long Optare Versa, the regular bus on the 97 is seen here passing through Long Wittenham heading for Abingdon.

R405 RMW is a Dennis Dart SLF new to Isle of Man Transport as DMN 22R and was withdrawn by them in July 2011.
 Several of this batch have passed to NextBus in Chippenham for sale or hire,
and this example has appeared in use with Whites Coaches during the W/C 28th November.
By the time I photographed it, it had gained a digital display. Seen here on the 138 passing through Dorchester.

RH Transport

R846 VEC crossing over the 'Newbridge' over the River Thames whilst working an X15 service to Witney.

S251 KNL passes the Plough Inn at Clanfield whilst heading to Bampton on a 19 working from Carterton

Y363 UOM, the former Railbus Mercedes Sprinter heads through Clanfield whilst working on Thursday only service 113 to Fulbrook

Thames Travel

AE57 LYH of Thames Travel works an X32 through Harwell village

SN60 BXW, the ADL E400 hybrid of Thames Travel works on service 32 through Harwell to Abingdon.


Arriva the Shires

A Dennis Dart/Pointer of Arriva the Shires working service 97 between Stotfold & Hitchin is seen at Stotfold Green.

Ex Oxford tube

KP04 GJX - This ex Oxford Tube Neoplan has turned up with Meridian Line of Bassingbourn, Cambs ex Dawson Rentals.

Ex Reading

J788 GHD, a former Reading Goldline Daf/Van Hool coach also with Meridian Line of Cambs and still in Reading livery.  


Adam Green writes "I went to Lincoln on Saturday 3rd December and got quite a few Photos of Stagecoaches Brylaine and a few coaches"

Leicester Forest Parked Up on the Southbound side on M1

Skills - SIL7948 & SIL9543

Glenns Coaches  -  TFG154 & LIL9413

Holmeswood          PN08CMO

Leicester Forest Parked Up on the Northbound side on M1


Blue Iris                 V28LUE

Motts                     MT08MTT

Arriva       4364  -  W364XKX 

Lincoln Bus Station

Brylaine  YJ05JXL on the 105 to Lincoln Bus Station + on the 105 to Boston

Stagecoach  19073 MX56FTF on the 44 to Birchwood Via Doddington Park

Stagecoach  27636  FX10DUA on the 13 to Waddington Via Brant Road

Stagecoach  47462  FX07LJA park up in Lincoln Bus Station

Stagecoach  47273  FX04WFT on the 8 to Ermine Circular Via Newport

Stagecoach  36121  FX10AFJ on the 13 to Lincoln

Stagecoach 36114  FX10AEV on the 27 to the City Centre

Stagecoach 16944  FX06AOF on the 6 to Horncastle  


Craig Miller writes "You may be interested to know that at least one of the four Metroriders lives on:

802 was on Islay but left some time ago. 803 remained in Jersey, not used but converted to diesel and subsequently to a caravan, now broken up I believe. 804 I am not sure about but was exported from Jersey to I don't know where."



Reference to the last page

John Hodgkins, Gabriola Island, BC writes "Despite moving from Buckinghamshire to Canada (via Coventry) I still get to see your page - and notice that Gavin's photo of Y184RCR is credited as a Redline vehicle - I think you'll find that it is actually owned by Red Eagle (not Redline) - a separate company in the group.  Red Eagle now operates the whole of route 333.   Red Eagle is a company owned by Sardar Khan, who I believe is the son of Red Rose proprietor Taj Khan.

Confusing eh?

Red Eagle Y184RCR r 333 Wycombe 081111 G Francis 

Steve Buckley writes "I can provide some information on the two Ex Stagecoach Volvo B10M's photographed by T Maxwell in Aviemore.

20853 P853GND was new to SC Manchester before being moved to United Counties around 2005, along with 20852/914/915. These was originally allocated to Northampton, before moving to Bedford a couple of years later. 20853 was one of the final two B10M's to remain in service there, 20915 being the other, being used regularly as a back up vehicle on the VT99 & X5 and at the time was a regular visitor to Oxford

20855 P855GND was also new to Manchester and was one of a number moved firstly to Peterborough, before moving over to Cambridge. From there it went on loan to Norfolk Green for a couple of weeks before final withdrawal." 


Ebdons T325APP Shepherds Bush on 9th December by Gavin Francis.
This coach was new to Cambridge Coach Services and was later with National Express.

BM Bicester Village YJ60GKK with full wrap for Winter Wonderland on December 5th at Green Line by Malcolm Crowe 

Links & Publications

Newbury & District History now available

Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.

The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.

A Guy Arab on the Oxford service and seen at Gloucester Green.

Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.

The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.

The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.

The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £20.00 for OCBP readers.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.