Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 58 - May 1st 2012

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

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Well, as I write this page, the rain is hammering down on my study window and all thoughts of a day out at Wisley and the new Museum have long receded. I may be accused of being a fair weather "anorak" but the current weather is best seen from indoors.

My inbox continues to see many contributions from readers and I was very pleased to receive a rather prompt reply from Richard Sharman regarding my query on Swanbrook having purchased two Levantes. He was able to confirm this fact and supply pictures which you can see under the company heading below. The query was generated by a comment from Martin Sutton that he had seen such a coach on his way up from Gloucestershire to Oxford.

Carousel continues to provide interest locally and news of further acquisitions by the Go-Ahead group is included in this issue, this time of Anglian Buses.

If anyone got to Wisley let me have a few pictures for the next issue please!

In London one more of the new "Borismaster" buses, LT1 has now entered service and I enjoyed a short ride on this bus. A really impressive machine with no expense spared to produce a truly superb successor to the iconic RT and Routemaster bus of times passed. I am told that a further bus has been received and may well be in service by the time you read these notes. It is said to be LT6. Pictures and more can be found further down this page under Jottings.

In the last issue I wrote about my frustration with the traffic light sequences in Oxford. A reply from Ken Dawes says "As a driver in Oxford for forty years, driving ambulances, buses, trucks and cars and having travelled throughout the UK and the continent, I whole heartedly agree with you that Oxford seems to construct everything to do with traffic flow to either obstruct it, slow it down, or make progress difficult. 

The latest farce is on the Slade in Headington where the bus stop standing area has been extended out towards the middle of the road, not seen anywhere in England! When the bus is at the stop, that’s what all the rest of the traffic does -- STOP. 

When the County Council takes two years to resurface the High Street then you have the answer. 

Make it so difficult for drivers, they will give up!! 

Some of us drive the alternative -BUSES."

A regular update on this event in what concerns transport will be given and the first report is under Jottings below. please scroll down.

Running days

Dates for your diary

Slough Running Day - Sunday 20 May 2012 

Programmes for the above event are now available @ £6.50 from Peter Cartwright, 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE ,HP13 7NX. Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motorbus Society please. The programmes sell for £7 on the day.

This year the event is based alongside the new Slough bus station near the railway station. 

Peter Cartwright - Running Days Organiser. 

Amersham & District Motorbus Society

Nearly nine years ago and on 5 October 2003, RLH48 takes a happy group of enthusiasts on a run to Berkhamsted - Malcolm Crowe.

Running Days 2012

Sunday 20 May  SLOUGH based at Brunel Way adjoining new bus station and near railway station. - see above

Sunday 24 June UXBRIDGE based at Chippendale Way, R/0 The Chimes Shopping Centre, as previously

Sunday 19 August HEMEL HEMPSTEAD based at bus station, Waterhouse Street

Sunday 7 October AMERSHAM based at car park near railway station 


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:

15th May – Working on the buses - by Martin Roberts.
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 May 2012

· 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.



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.


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

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - May 1st 2012


Observations and pictures

Gavin Francis comments "This will soon become a familiar sight again as Metroline have regained the 24 from Go Ahead from November. Cannot remember another case of a company regaining a route so quickly. This will make 5 years or so."


Abellio takes over the C2 today and I just caught one of their new Enviro 400s on crew training last week. M Crowe.

 Arriva logo

Dart 3497 on route 61 at Luton Airport somewhat off its normal nr 9 route in Aylesbury.
I think this must be an unusual working. April 21st 2012 - Gavin Francis.

Dart 3827 based at Wycombe and new to the then Oxford owned Wycombe Bus, hence the Oxford registration, has received yet another
new coat of paint in the latest Inter-urban style used by Arriva. It has lost its red Route 33 livery carried for several years.
Pictured in Stokenchurch on route 40, on April 25th, by Gavin Francis

We see above a number of pictures by Gavin Francis showing its various liveries in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Another performer on route 61, this time a Trident 5447 from Aylesbury, ex Ware and earlier back in 2005 from Arriva Southern Counties.
Here it was based at Southend numbered E5447. seen at Luton on April 27th by Gavin Francis.

Gavin and myself had a busman's holiday on Monday April 30th, taking the 40 into Wycombe.
Our inbound steed was 3703, once a Park & Ride bus but now repainted into Inter-urban livery.
However internally it still carries a full set of Park & Ride cove posters.

We saw a number of Arriva buses in Wycombe and a "highlight" was:
Solo 2438 on the H1 which only carried one passenger during several journeys we saw!

Our return to Stokenchurch was on the 340 service which operates via Adams Park and Lane End.
The service carried only a few passengers and the driver told me it would not be running for much longer
and was being handed over to another company.
Our steed was a coach seated Olympian, 5147, which hit many overhanging branches on its way.
It struggled with the climb towards Lane End changing down two gears to mount the incline.
We were the only two passengers through to Stokenchurch, the other few having left in Lane End. 

The company has produced new time tables for most local services. i.e. the 4, 740, A30 and A40. The only pre Go-Ahead timetables left are those for the 35/36 and 336 routes. The new timetables are rather smart.

I am told that one of the ex Go North East yellow Olympians is now at the Hughenden depot being prepared for repaint. It seems that the PVLs must return to London in time for the Olympics.

Gavin Francis caught one of the PVLs on school duty in Stokenchurch on April 30th.
The time was 08:03 so the early bird catches the worm.

A number of buses were photographed during the morning of April 30th, our visit having been mainly aimed at the recently acquired Tempo fleet.

801 and 803 were seen and I felt it a shame that Oxford style white fleet numbers had been applied
in place of the gold numbers used on the rest of the Carousel fleet.

803 is seen making heavy weather of the turn out of the bus station when it had to reverse to get round.

These buses are rather long wheelbase vehicles with what seemed to be a poor turning circle.
They do however look rather smart, though lacking Carousel branding.

Due to the late arrival of the incoming service, the 336 service above found itself covered by a Volvo decker, 921.

John Hammond reports that S523KFL, a Dennis Dart, has now left the fleet, sold to North Somerset Coaches of Nailsea during April 2012.

The bus stops along the route from Stokenchurch to Lane End and Wycombe still show the 2A and 2C routes
which are now withdrawn. Anyone queuing for a 2A in Lane End would have a long wait.

David Rawsthorne writes "For the record we have ordered 50 new Renault Master minibuses of which over half have been delivered.

They are 14 seaters but we do not sell the seat by the driver.

They are to be deployed on services from Gatwick and anew route from Luton.

The ones pictured were deployed to Stansted for training and familiarisation purposes.

The fleet numbers are 201 - 250 Renault Masters and 300 - 329 are Optare Sorocos but 301 was the one written off in September 2010 after the accident on the M25."

New Renaults 210 and 202 wait time at Luton Airport on April 27th as seen by Gavin Francis.

The two faces of easyBus at Luton Airport on Aril 27th. Taken by Gavin Francis. 

The Citaros of First provide regular services on the X74 from Slough to High Wycombe.
A far cry from the London Transport 441 RTs of earlier years! Pictures by M Crowe.

School buses for Stokenchurch as seen by Gavin Francis.


School buses for Stokenchurch as seen by Gavin Francis.

Once again Motts supported the U K coach rally. Pictured by Richard Sharman


National Express and Eurolines have launched a sales drive with posters and livery changes to doubtless combat the competition from Megabus.

For the U.K. this Great British campaign has started.


NEx Stagecoach East Midlands 59304 recently transferred from Gloucester off the 444 and now working the 560
is seen in Sammys on April 23rd by M Crowe

Once with Arriva classic coaches of Annfield Plain, this Scania/Levante FJ07DWG, was seen in VCs on April 23rd now working out of TGM's Stansted base.

NEx Bruce's FJ57KHU seen leaving VCS for Aberdeen on April 23rd by Gavin Francis. This coach was once SC28 in the Stansted fleet on the A6.
The second picture shows it on New Year's Day 2009 at Stansted Airport before transferring to Bruce Coaches.

Marcus Lapthorn writes "Whilst driving around Nantwich, Cheshire on Monday 23 April I saw white liveried ex COMS Volvo/Plaxton s/d no. 611 running empty! It looked to be in good condition. 

We were having to avoid the M6 as a lorry had gone though the centre reservation resulting in 4 lanes being closed. Added 90 minutes to our journey time home! 

Maybe you have a photo of 611 you could use with this piece on your web site?

611 when in Oxford's service on the 35 on August 22nd 2005 taken by Chris Maxfield.

Gavin Francis also provided some nice pictures of 611 when in Oxford service.

Gavin also took a picture of three X90 coaches laying over in Green Line after their run up from Oxford one morning.
There is never room in VCS and a rather unfeeling traffic warden has been booking coaches left right and centre in recent weeks.
The date April 23rd - Gavin Francis.


Plaistow's have two new Jonckheere Volvos BX12 CVW and CVY which have been branded since this picture was taken on April 8th. M Crowe.


Pulhams Coaches

Another Jonckheere bodied Volvo, this time for PULHAMS - PU12 HAM seen at Lower Slaughter on April 17th by David Stevenson.
What a really smart livery they use, one would not forget their coaches in a hurry.

Red Eagle

Red Eagle now runs two journeys per day on the 339 to Lane End.

Red Line

Red Line continues to run the 321 between Aylesbury and High Wycombe using the now elderly ex London General Trident.
The telephoto shot makes the bus look more like a model than the real thing!

Red Rose

The Dart used on the 275 has gained a dot matrix destination screen over the past weekend.
At least better than the paper stick used until now!


The recent weather is well illustrated by this picture of Gold bus 15756 taken by Richard Sharman.


Andy Gilmour provided some nice pictures of Stagecoach operating Rail Replacement services around Salisbury this month.
The date was April 22nd 2012.


Marcus Lapthorn writes "With the introduction of new buses on the 55 route between Swindon & Chippenham a few months ago, there now follows a service change with effect from Monday 30 April. 

Service X55 - Brand new express service between Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon. Journeys call at all stops between Royal Wootton Bassett and Binknoll Lane but then only stop at Blagrove Roundabout, Swindon Rail Station and Swindon Bus Station resulting in a faster service for commuters. 

I wonder if this may herald the introduction of faster commuter services on the 66 route between Swindon & Faringdon, or Faringdon & Oxford?


George Irvine has provided some pictures of vehicles involved in the Olympic Torch relay work. The main fleet is of Wright Streetlites which will eventually give service in Wales.

Theses new buses will work in the Olympics before moving to Cwmbran Depot

43001 - CN12 AWO
43002 - CN12 ARF
43003 - CN12 ARO
43004 - CN12 ARU
43005 - CN12 ARX
43006 - CN12 ARZ
43007 - CN12 ASO
43008 - CN12 ASU
43009 - CN12 ASV
43010 - CN12 ASX


Ex Tube 50123 now with McEwans Chesterfield and seen on April 21st by Richard Sharman


Waiting to run round to VCs for the night Amsterdam ME2 service is Megabus 53638 on April 19th seen by Gavin Francis.

Holding for a departure gate at VCS is recently repainted Volvo B12BT 54004, now operating out of Rugby.

It is seen on April 26th by M Crowe.

The branding difference in  UK based coaches on the left and European coaches on the right. 


Changes to the timetable for the 853 service between Gloucester/Cheltenham have seen two additional coaches join the fleet. 

Much to our surprise these are from Haytons of Manchester, a company recently acquired by Selwyn’s of Runcorn. The two coaches are Scania/Caetano Levante 49 seaters, registered  FJ07 DWP and DWO and I am delighted that Richard Sharman sent pictures of DWO looking very smart in Swanbrook livery. 

A disappointing point however is that the destinations are not programmed and a board is used to show the route number and destination. 

I was rather pleased that my own M D, Martin Sutton, alerted me to this change and acquisition.  


Pictures by Richard Sharman. 

Another company to receive StreetLites is uno bus whose nr 52 is seen on a 615 working at Hatfield by Gavin Francis. 


Epsom sold to French

RATP announced today the acquisition of the bus company and coach UK HR Richmond, which operates the brands and Epsom Coaches Quality Line in London and Surrey (South London), without specifying the amount of the transaction.

"With a fleet of 85 buses and 25 coaches, the company operates 14 routes on behalf of Transport for Londonet four bus routes in Surrey, but also services for coach recreational services and other delegates," says the statement.

The brand Epsom Coaches will continue to operate as an independent division of RATP group and will be led by Steve Whiteway, promoted to general manager, says the carrier. The acquisition was completed by RATP Dev, a subsidiary whose mission is to develop transportation operations and maintenance activities of the group outside the network operated in the Ile-de-France.

RATP had said last week aim for RATP Dev, located in 12 countries, a 20% growth in turnover in 2012 and a target of one billion euros at end 2013.

Anglian Buses is sold

Go-Ahead has bought Beccles-based Anglian Buses.

The Suffolk firm operates 71 buses on routes from the Suffolk coast to/from and within Norwich, as well as in Yarmouth, Lowestoft and on the Suffolk coastal strip down to Ipswich.

The business has two depots, in Beccles and Rackheath, and 133 staff including 100 bus drivers. It operates a mix of commercial routes and school and local bus contracts.

The business was established in 1981 by David and Christine Pursey, both of whom will now retire.

Andrew Pursey will stay with the business and become Managing Director. The company name and brand will remain in place. 

Developments in MK by Harold Atkins

Harold Atkins, Milton Keynes writes regarding a new Milton Keynes bus timetable which is effective from 22.04.2012.

The changes are as follows:

Arriva service 1

The extensions to Newton Longville, Fenny Stratford and Cranfield are withdrawn. The simplified service runs (weekday daytimes) half-hourly Bletchley – Newport Pagnell extended hourly to Lavendon. Reduced evening and Sunday service between Bletchley and Central Milton Keynes.

Arriva Service 2

Newport Pagnell – Poets Estate, CMK – Westcroft. Diverted via new estate Redhouse Park, but omits Oxley Park. Monday to Friday daytime frequency increased from 20 minutes to 15 minutes. Arriva now runs all journeys on the route including all evenings and Sundays.

Arriva Service 3

Withdrawn. Parts covered by new 11 and 12 and by 300 to Woburn Sands

No changes to 4 and 5 and very minor Sunday timing change to 7.

Arriva Service 8

Operates a circular service from Kingston Centre via Walnut Tree and the south eastern estates then via CMK to Westcroft and a circle of Oxley Park. Arriva operates all weekday services and Sunday daytimes but Vale Travel operates the eastern section of route on Sunday evenings. The 8 no longer serves Bletchley. 8A withdrawn and now part of the revised 8.

Arriva Service 9

A new hourly Monday – Saturday service Bletchley – Kingston Centre part replacing the 8 over this section of route.

Z&S services 11 and 12 (MK Council contract)

Operate Caldecotte – Open University – Monkston – circle of Central Milton Keynes half-hourly Monday – Saturday daytimes, hourly evenings. Alternate journeys operate as 12 via Kents Hill. This replaces parts of the 3 and 8 withdrawn by Arriva.

Z&S Service 17

Operates Bletchley – Woburn Sands - Milton Keynes Coachway via a roundabout route taking in some areas otherwise unserved. No longer goes to Cranfield. 17A CMK – Cranfield withdrawn and replaced by 45.

Z&S Service 18 (MK Council contract)

Bradville – CMK – Bletchley diverts in Fenny Stratford to cover road left out by withdrawal of the 1 from Fenny Stratford caused by termination of developer subsidy.

Services 24 and 25 (MK Council contracts)

Still operated by Vale Travel Monday – Friday, but by Redline, instead of Z&S, and Vale Travel on Saturdays.

Services 28 and 29 (MK Council contracts)

Operated mainly by Red Rose Monday to Saturday with some evening journeys by Z&S, and the 28 only by Vale Travel on Sundays.

Arriva 30/31 – revised timetable.

Arriva 32

Operates hourly Buckingham Tesco and Town Centre – CMK – Bletchley, diverted two hourly in Buckingham via Linden Village and the alternate two hours extended from Bletchley to Newton Longville under contract to Bucks CC. Buckingham Town service The 32 operates between Buckingham and CMK via the A422 and A5, not the circular route previously followed. 32A is replaced on a reduced basis by the 32 and part by new Arriva 130, Buckingham – Maids Moreton.

Souls Coaches 37 / 37A (MK Council contract)

Olney – Newport Pagnell rural service extended to North Crawley due to Arriva withdrawing the Cranfield extension of the 1.

Grant Palmer 45

Commercial Service direct Cranfield – MK Coachway – CMK to replace the withdrawn extensions to the 1 and 17/A. First morning journey out and last journey back extended from Cranfield to Flitwick, now Grant Palmer’s base.

Arriva route 51 – withdrawn between Winslow and Newton Longville one return journey a day. Newton Longville – Bletchley replaced by 32.

Arriva 100/150 Aylesbury – Milton Keynes

Revised stopping arrangements in Central Milton Keynes.

Z&S Service 158 - withdrawn due to cost (evening journeys CMK - Cranfield)

Arriva Service “Platinum 300”

CMK – Coachway – Kingston Centre weekday frequency increased from 20 minutes to 15 minutes, extended from Kingston half-hourly alternately to Woburn Sands (replacing the 3) and Magna Park. This service is entirely subsidised by developers and development agency tariff and also acts as a Park & Ride service between the Coachway and CMK, operated by Citaros. 

Service changes to OCC tendered services from June 3rd from Dave Harrison

Please find attached a summary of changes to OCC tendered services from 3 June 2012. Your correspondent Alex Horwood (last issue) is correct in all except the 700 is not passing from RH Transport to Thames Travel; this service was not part of the review. The 600, however, is passing from OCC Integrated Transport Unit to Thames Travel - Thames no doubt positioning themselves for the imminent tender for the new Hospitals Park and Ride network.

Thames are the biggest winners, retaining all their current work and taking the 114/115/116 from Heyfordian, the 142 from Reading Buses (who had just bought a new Streetlite for it!), the 97 from Whites and the 600 from OCC. Their 130 service is now commercial and is expected to be linked to the 36 - this makes sense as the running time for the two combined services should be just under an hour. The 132 service to Benson and 139 to Henley have been combined into a Wallingford - Benson - Henley service. The 136 to/from Cholsey is improved with a higher daytime frequency, later evening journeys and a new Sunday service (using developer contributions). They will also continue the X32 extensions to Chilton on a commercial basis.

Whites retained their Didcot area work by commercialising most of it and they also retained the 125, 145, Wallingford market day services and Henley town services. Heyfordian lost both their contracts in the review, the 114/115/116 to Thames and the 134 to Go Ride CIC, who will operate a 15 seat minibus every hour with a revised route. The 135 section via Moulsford will be replaced by a limited extension of the Thames Travel 132/133 Goring - Reading service.


Henley, Wallingford and Didcot Area Review

Changes effective from Sunday 3rd June 2012.

Preliminary summary of major alterations – subject to final confirmation of routes and timetables.

Summary of proposed service changes.

NOTE: Although the contracts commence on the above date many changes will not actually be introduced until Wednesday 6th June 2012 as the intervening days are Public Holidays. Only those services that have a Sunday operation will run on Sunday 3rd, and also Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th June 2012.      

36, Wantage – Grove – Milton Park – Didcot

The existing operator (Thames Travel) will continue this services (and associated route X36) on a wholly commercial basis. Revised timetable introduced. The operator intends to run this as a through route (Mon-Fri) with service 130 to/from Wallingford  

46, Drayton St Leonard – Appleford – Abingdon

New Monday, Wednesday and Friday shopping facility replacing the service previously provided by route 97.  Contract awarded to OCC Integrated Transport Unit. Will run from Drayton St. Leonard (on all three days) via Clifton Hampden, Long Wittenham, Appleford to Abingdon (not via Didcot).    

91-93, Didcot town services (off-peak)

The current operator, Whites Coaches Ltd, have declared the majority of this services to be a commercial operation except for a small funding payment to maintain some first and last journeys. No change to existing timetable.

97, Berinsfield – Didcot – Abingdon

Altered to operate between Berinsfield and Didcot ONLY and off-peak service increased (Mon-Sat). Associated commercial school day journeys from Dorchester to Didcot Girl’s School provided by the existing contractor are withdrawn.

Appleford and Drayton St. Leonard will be served by new service 46 – see above. Contract transferred from Whites Coaches Ltd to Thames Travel.

105, Wallingford – Berinsfield – Oxford (single morning peak journey)

The remaining journey at 07.45 from Wallingford is incorporated in the new service 114/115/116 package – see below.  105 number discontinued.

114, Wallingford – Dorchester – Abingdon

Peak hour services broadly maintained and new off peak service, reintroducing a Wallingford – Abingdon link via Berinsfield (Mon-Sat).  This absorbs current service 138 between Wallingford and Berinsfield and this number is discontinued.  Contract transferred from Heyfordian Travel to Thames Travel Ltd. 

115, Wallingford – Berinsfield – Oxford

Morning and afternoon peak journeys rescheduled to and from Oxford absorbing current journeys on Thames Travel service 105 and Whites Coaches/Heyfordian service 115. Contract transferred from Heyfordian Travel to Thames Travel.

Evening peak service amended to run the current 17.30 bus only as far as Sandford and to provide an additional bus at 18.10 to Dorchester (Mon-Fri).

116, Abingdon – Berinsfield – Oxford

Hourly service on route 116 maintained. New contract for services 114,115 and 116 combined, transferred from Heyfordian Travel to Thames Travel.

125, Watlington – Ewelme – Wallingford (off peak)

Continued operation by Whites Coaches but increased from three to four day operation; one shopping journey each way Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday  with an additional lunchtime journey from Watlington on Fridays only. 

126, Chalgrove – Wallingford (Friday shopping service)

Service maintained but will serve Rokemarsh and Berrick Salome instead of Cuxham, Upperton and Brightwell Baldwin. Cuxham will continue to be served by hourly Oxford – Watlington services (101/106) but Upperton and Brightwell Baldwin will have no other public transport except for Dial-a-Ride (no recorded patronage for these villages). Continued operation by Whites Coaches Ltd. Times altered slightly.  

130, Wallingford – Didcot (daytime service)

Main hourly service converted to commercial operation by existing contractor; Thames Travel Ltd.   Some early/late journeys continue to be supported financially by the County Council.  Revised timetable introduced combining the operation with service 36/X36 on Mondays to Fridays. Gives through Wallingford – Milton Park link.  

Note: The Company has advised us that this route will no longer divert to specifically serve Didcot Girls School.

130, Wallingford –Didcot (Friday and Saturday evening service)

This evening service maintained but withdrawn from The Moretons due to low patronage. Operated by Thames Travel. 

131, East Hagbourne- The Moretons – Wallingford (Friday shopping service)

Service continues, operated by Whites Coaches Ltd but journeys retimed. Minor change to routing.   

132, Wallingford – Benson

Broadly hourly service maintained by diverting the Wallingford – Henley service 139 via current route through Benson. Sunday service maintained (as similar through route).  See service 139 below.

133, Ipsden – Wallingford (Friday shopping service)

Service withdrawn as only one regular passenger. Alternative Dial-a-Ride service now available or regular services provided along A4074.   

134, Wallingford – The Stokes – Goring.

Circular operation via Moulsford abandoned (see service 135 below). 

Hourly Wallingford – The Stokes - Goring “community” service proposed by Go-Ride Community Interest Company who will divert service via South Stoke village and serve new roads in Cleeve and Goring.  Awarded as 3 year “experimental” contract to Go-Ride to test if community engagement on a local level can result in an increase in patronage (Go-Ride has already achieved this on their new evening and Sunday service 101). Between Mongewell and Wallingford operates via Crowmarsh instead of Winterbrook (replacing 133 and 139). Operated by Go-Ride instead of Heyfordian Travel  

135, Wallingford – Moulsford – Goring.

Circular operation via The Stokes abandoned (see service 134 above). Very small number of passengers from Moulsford but an off-peak service between Moulsford and Wallingford will be operated in conjunction with Thames Travel service 132/133 (Goring – Reading). 135 number retained, but operates direct from Moulsford to Wallingford via Fairmile (not serving Cholsey village). Operated by Thames Travel instead of Heyfordian Travel.        

136, Wallingford – Cholsey.

Commercial Thames Travel service enhanced with S.106 money from new Fairmile development. Peak service improved and later evening journeys introduced. New Sunday / Public Holiday service (comprising 4 round trips) introduced.

138, Berinsfield – Dorchester – Wallingford (off-peak)

Service withdrawn and absorbed in to new extended service 114 reintroducing Dorchester – Abingdon off peak link (Mon-Sat).

139, Wallingford – Nettlebed – Henley on Thames

Broadly hourly service maintained but diverted between Huntercombe and Crowmarsh via Benson to achieve operational efficiency. Interchange with Oxford services (X39/X40) introduced at Benson Marina instead of at Crowmarsh Church.  

Sunday service continues (as above through operation). To be operated by Thames Travel (as now).  Mid evening journey on Fridays and Saturdays only discontinued due to poor usage. 

142, Checkendon – Woodcote – Whitchurch – Reading

Service continues as per existing timetable and contract transferred from Reading Buses to Thames Travel. Will be affected by planned closure of Whitchurch on Thames Toll Bridge in autumn 2013.    

145, Checkendon – Sonning Common – Henley on Thames

Existing timetable maintained and contract re-awarded to Whites Coaches Ltd.

151-154, Henley Town Services

Existing timetable maintained and contract re-awarded to Whites Coaches Ltd.

800, Reading – Henley – High Wycombe

County Council support for the hourly Sunday service within Oxfordshire maintained. Operated by Arriva the Shires Ltd. 

Other service changes for June 2012.

Service 32 (Abingdon – Wantage)

The journeys on this route supported financially by the County Council since December 2011 will continue unchanged. These are:-

Diversion of Commercial journey at 07.10 from Didcot via Ardington village at 07.41 (M-F)

19.14 Didcot Parkway Station to Wantage (Mon-Sat)   

Service X32 (Chilton – Didcot – Oxford)

This becomes a wholly commercial service provided by Thames Travel Ltd.  

113, Fulbrook – Burford – Carterton – Faringdon (Thursday shopping service)

Re-tendered following premature surrender of contract by existing operator (R.H. Transport).  Awarded to Pulham & Sons Coaches with a revised timetable. .

600, Thornhill P&R – Churchill Hospital (peak hour service) (Mon – Fri)

New contract awarded to Thames Travel – currently provided by Oxfordshire County Council Integrated Transport Unit – Current timetable maintained.

A1, Ardington – Wantage – West Hanney (off peak service, Mon/Wed/Friday)

Re-awarded to OCC Integrated Transport Unit fleet with current timetable maintained.

Blackpool update by Geoff Cunliffe

Herewith the latest three items from the Blackpool paper about the trams. They cover the on-going saga of the Lauderdale Avenue crossing in Cleveleys, and the fact that roadworks in Talbot Road have uncovered the tracks from the Layton route which was abandoned in 1936. There have been mega-roadworks in Talbot Square itself and I cannot satisfy myself that they are compatible with the proposal to extend the new trams back up to North Station. The turn-out points are in position on the Promenade route, you will remember but, knowing how the project has been managed, no doubt they will be in the wrong place!


Coach ban on M4 in London 29th March 

A weight restriction has just been introduced on the M4 in west London by the Highways Agency and, it says “will remain in place until further notice.” 

It is between junctions 1-3 westbound and junctions 3-2 eastbound. 

Vehicles weighing more than 17 tonnes will be directed to follow a signed diversion route between these junctions via the A312 and the A4.

The Highways Agency says that the restriction is a “precautionary measure,” after a scheduled inspection on the Boston Manor viaduct, just west of junction 2, identified a “possible need for maintenance work.”

The restriction is “not expected to increase journey times on the M4” says the Highways Agency, but warns that drivers on the A4 and the A312 diversionary route “are advised to keep up to date with traffic conditions and allow extra time for their journeys if necessary.”

M4 weight restriction toughened 30th March

Hard on the heels of yesterday afternoon’s decision to ban vehicles over 17 tonnes on the M4 in West London; overnight the Highways Agency reviewed its position and toughened the ban to all vehicles over 7.5 tonnes.

The emergency ban comes after an inspection of Boston Manor viaduct, just west of junction 2, identified a “possible need for maintenance work.” No date has been set for lifting the ban.

A signed diversion is via the A312 and the A4, which is expected to be very busy, lengthening journeys, especially at peak times. 


Simon Hewings writes "Finally from me are some pictures from the Aston Manor running day from their new site at Aldridge."

Visiting buses on the day included the following:

ASV 900 - 1949 Dennis Lancet III with Reading Body of Safeway Services

FEA 156 - 1950 West Bromwich Daimler CVG5 / Metro Cammell

JFJ 873 - 1949 City of Exeter 173, Daimler CVD6 / Weymann

RNA 236J - 1971 Daimler Fleetline Mancunian, new to SELNEC PTE

There is also a view of the new site

New site

Finally - having run the last journey of the day to Walsall, ex South Staffs Tramways liveried ex-WMPTE Bristol VRT / MCW 4714, JOV 714P (itself a former Walsall garage bus) is passed by new NXWM Enviro 400 4867.


Simon adds some pictures from a recent holiday to Devon

First are using cascaded Trident double deckers for the two main routes out of Dartmouth, to Torquay and Plymouth, some branded "Mayflower Link" for the latter route, the 93

32859 - Dartmouth

33175 - Totnes

32715 - Dartmouth

For Dartmouth town and park and ride services First uses Solos

53827 - Dartmouth

Over in Torbay, Stagecoach are using new Scania Enviro 400s on its busy 12 service from Newton Abbott to Brixham

15781 - Brixham

15803 - Torquay

To end a couple of pictures of NXWM hybrids. NXWM has 9 of each of the Volvo and ADL versions.

Representing the former was 5502, on display at the Aston Manor running day at Aldridge in April.

On the same day, representing the ADL version, was 5403 seen in Colmore Row in Birmingham.

From VICTOR GACKOWSKI who  recently visited Liverpool and Belfast.

Vic has been travelling and sent some interesting pictures. He writes “…not exactly a bus but it carries passengers by land and sea (well water)."

An old DUKW from the war now called "WACKER QUACKER 8" does a Liverpool City Tour before plunging in to the Albert Dock.


All pictures by Vic proving what an interesting visit this was. 

Your editor rides the "Borismaster"

During a layover in London I sampled the latest addition to the TfL fleet, "Borismaster" LT1. The pictures show my ride on this bus which I found most impressive. No rattles and no unsightly screws etc.


I felt that the finish and comfort was more akin to a coach built machine as the pictures show and brings an altogether new experience for bus passengers. I noticed that people did get on and off at other than recognised stops but then that is the whole purpose of the open back platform. The seats were very comfortable being well padded, something one has grown not to expect on a bus these days.


Andrew Ivett, an occasional reader of your excellent Oxford and Chilterns Bus Page writes "I am currently researching a holiday in southern Germany and found the image in a leaflet about a local railway near Ulm.

It looks like an AEC bus of the type that were operating local services when I first came to Oxford in 1971.

Perhaps you already know of it. It appears to operate a special tour three times a year!"

See: http://www.uef-lokalbahn.de/user/pdf/Flyer_2012_Bildschirm.pdf

Can anyone shed anymore light on the bus in question? 


There will be many pictures and information concerning transport for this memorable event. For this issue George Irvine has taken a number of pictures of the vehicles involved in Torch Relay which is due to start at Lands End on May 19th and finish at the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on July 27th.

Stagecoach is providing the buses and drivers which will carry the torch relay around Great Britain. Updates will follow as George has time.




The torches in their boxes ready for action.


Oxpens Coach Park in Oxford produces some interesting vehicles from time to time.

Atlas Volvo Sunxundegui BX12CVZ, a recent delivery lays over at Oxpens on April 22nd. M Crowe

Bullocks is a well known and long standing south Manchester operator whose Mercedes-Benz Vario 0816D,
Optare Toro C28F was also seen on April 21st by M Crowe.

Edwards are to take over the NEx 201 and 202 services in September and the coaches for these routes have already been delivered.
Therefore it appears that the full NEx branding has been removed so that they can be used on other work until the start date.
Oxpens, Oxford April 21st 2012 by M Crowe.

A nice little coach seen at Oxpens on April 21st was this Van Hool VVE885 of Kenzies.

Another Van Hool in Oxpens on the same day was this one from Westbus, looking very smart.

One often jokes as a driver, when faced with a coach shortage, that the passengers should file up and follow the driver on foot.
I wonder why these passengers were leaving VCS by the coach exit when pictured by Gavin Francis on April 23rd?

A holiday tour coach operator which is gaining a higher profile in recent times is Just Go.
Their KX59LZJ is from Chiltern Travel/Just Go Holidays  and is a VDL SB4000/Hispano.

BM Coaches YJ09CUU in Charing Cross Rd on April 23rd by M Crowe.

Links & Publications

Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures

You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000

One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.

The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.

Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.

Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.

Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

Todays buses - Oxfordshire

This review covers the September 2010 video by Robin Clare Transport. The issue costs £10 and is well worth this small cost for over one hour of buses and coaches in our area.

The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over 18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back memories.

Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.


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.