Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 61 - September 3rd 2012

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

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Time has passed by only too quickly and we are nearly at the end of August. Indeed the Olympics have come and gone and we are now in the Paralympics. I have received several sets of pictures from readers of buses and coaches involved in the Olympics and include some below. It was a massive undertaking and seems to have gone off fairly well.

After the Paralympics we will doubtless get back to normal and many are looking forward to this year's Duxford Showbus to be held on Sunday September 16th.

As a taster for the next issue St Giles Fair was held over the past few days and buses were diverted to operate via Broad Street during the resultant road closures.

Your continued support is much appreciated and I hope all enjoy this edition of Spottings and Jottings.

Olympics 2012

London 2012 Logo

Stagecoach registered a specific company to handle the Olympic and Paralympic commitments.

Below are some of the vehicles involved with credits to Gavin Francis who was much involved in this work.

Stagecoach South provided many buses for the event and 27566 is seen near Hyde Park Corner on August 27th.

From South again these two buses from the Pulse route on the South Coast are seen in central London on August 27th.

Gavin has been working on the Heathrow service during the Paralympics and some of the buses used are seen above.

Stagecoach Midlands have provided a whole fleet of ADL buses, intended for Uni services in Leamington after the Olympics.

Red Rose also provided some buses and one of their latest is seen above.

Ulsterbus provided many coaches and for the Paralympics Gavin had the Sunsundegai seen above at Heathrow.

Oxford provided all of their old X90 fleet for Olympic duties and 35 and 45 are seen at the Media bus park on July 11th.

Arriva's new fleet of Citaros was also much in evidence and above we see BJ12YPX on Olympic duties on July 11th.

Abellio 9545 on Olympic work on August 7th by Malcolm Crowe.

Red Rose MX61BAO on Olympic work in Park Lane driven by Roger Charlton on August 6th by Malcolm Crowe.

SC Events 27650 at Marble Arch on August 6th by Malcolm Crowe.

David Percy sent these pictures of the Torch Relay in Northampton.

Two support buses captured by David Percy in Northampton.

The Lloyd's Malta bus when in service in Malta during 2008 by David Percy.

John Marsh sent some excellent pictures, shown below, taken when he visited the Olympics.

A large advert for Corgi's Routemaster in the window of the Olympic Megastore inside the Stadium Olympic Games.

Arriva's VW 1298 on Olympic athletes duty.

Metroline TA640 inside the Olympic Stadium with the Royal Barge at the Olympic arena.

Metroline TA640 inside the Olympic Stadium area.

MetrolineTE1308 near the Olympic Stadium.

MetrolineTE1317 heads north in the Games Lane of the A12.

NEx Coventry 4838 heads north on the A12 past Old Ford and the Olympic Stadium.

Oxford's 29 on the A12 heading south in the Games Lane.

SC 19384 heads north in the Games Lane of the A12.

TGM Group KX59CYE heads south in the Games Lane of the A12.

Thamesdown  WX12GDV and Stagecoach 27582 head north up the A12 at Old Ford.

Ulsterbus REZ9783 heads south in the Games Lane of the A12.

Wilts and Dorset HF12GWY enters the Olympic Park from Wick Lane, Tower Hamlets. 

Thames Valley history final part

The latest book on Thames Valley is now available from Paul Lacey at a special price to readers of £20.00 + £3 post and packing. Just quote the OCBP when ordering. More details at the bottom of this page.

Running days

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.

Dates for your diary

Other Running Days in 2012

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 free for members and for non-members a charge of £2 per head is made.

Next Meeting:

Visiting speaker, Martin Shaw, giving a slide presentation from his incredible collection of local subjects. 

We are back at the Folly Bridge on Tuesday 18th September with  Martin's work has been published in a number of books most recently in the 'City of Oxford 'book published by Presbus publishing a couple of years ago and features some interesting and varied shots. Martin also owns vehicles preserved at the Long Hanborough museum.

Members get into the meeting for free, for any non members the £2 fee applies.

Please note members numbered 101 to 115 inclusive, your society membership expires in September. The committee is working on a way of allowing existing members to make bank transfer payments to the group to rejoin, other members who do not wish to do so can rejoin in advance by post or at the meeting on 18th September. The new membership fee for 2012/3 is £16 per person.

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.

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 - September 3rd 2012


Observations and pictures

Ralph Adams writes "During recent weeks Megabus sightings at Victoria included the following:

Megabus 53030 (Ulsterbus non LEZ coaches have replaced the normal coaches for the period of the Olympics.)

Several Citylink coaches in use, including one to Bristol. (These are Volvo tri-axles on loan to Rugby Ed.)

Freestones operated to two coaches on the Norwich service, one in white in the part Megabus livery (shown in previous editions of S&J Ed.) and one in green with Megabus boldly displayed in the top of the front windscreen.

Edinburgh Coachlines seem to often provide extra service and one service was operated by a Land Tourer coach from Fareham to Edinburgh. Indeed Coachlines have four coaches in full Megabus livery on Scottish services.

Hamilton of Uxbridge provided a 37 seat Mercedes, one of the smallest coaches seen on Megabus services.

I thought First had lost all of its National Express contracts but Scania 23307 was on service 508 but devoid of all branding.

Several Stagecoach E300s have departed being replaced by S registered M A N s from the reserve fleet. 22768 has been reported on route 700 from Portsmouth to Brighton.

The COMS X2 service has been registered from early September by Thames Travel so Didcot will then fall under one key card operator.

Go Ride CIC have won another contract, this time for routes 5A and 55 in Newbury. These will be operated by a minibus which will be very suitable for some of the narrow roads traversed on these services. SN08KND, a VW Crafter converted as a VDL low floor minibus will be one of the vehicles used.

Andrew Webb reports "On recent trips around London have seen a couple of former London vehicles enjoying somewhat different roles in retirement.
A trip to Boston Manor Park (under that  M4 viaduct) found a former MTL London Olympian visiting.  it is now fitted out as a jungle themed playbus.

The former site of the gas holders at Kings Cross is currently undergoing a significant redevelopment, with a new public thoroughfare opened across the site.  Parked on this as a sales / information centre is Chepstow Classic Bus' DMS1800, complete with the revised Ensign Enterprise front end it gained in the 1980s.  It has also gained a third deck in the form of an observation deck on the roof, probably making it the only triple deck DMS!"

Subject: Lulworth Cove

The Dorset village of Lulworth Cove is a tourist honeypot and also very popular with Geography teachers extolling the virtues of the coastal geology (it's a concordant coast) to enthusiastic (?) students.  It was the latter reason that led to me being there on a recent damp Tuesday lunchtime.  A friendly ice cream kiosk occupied my students long enough for me to get some photos. 

The only public service is service 104 which links Wareham with Dorchester via numerous villages at varying intervals during the day.  Some of the workings are operated by Dorset Community Transport, a joint venture between Damory Coaches and Ealing Community Transport.  Vehicles include Mercedes minibuses with unidentified bodywork, as illustrated by this example at Lulworth.  The remainder of the duties are covered by Damory coaches.  On the day of my visit this Solo was in use, still in the livery of Green Triangle buses.  Despite the blind display it was in service! 

A coach park is provided for visiting tour coaches.  Dorset County Council operate a fleet of Irizar Skool coaches, one of which is pictured awaiting the return of it group of students. With 70 seats in a 3+2 layout they make economical vehicles, although space can be somewhat cramped for teachers.

A busy day for coaches in Dorset saw my return booking subcontracted.  Spot on time arrived this smart Plaxton B10M from Royal Blue motor coach.  This is the new company started by Mark Self, formerly of the excellent Roadliner operation in Poole.  He has acquired this and another Plaxton B10M from Beeline in Warminster.  The driver turned out to be Mark himself, who deserves every success given his sheer enthusiasm for the industry.  

Stephen Le Bras writes following a recent visit to London "perhaps one Saturday they might allow Park Lane to be kept open. I was able to access Victoria on the 702 via Sloane Street but honestly the whole area around Victoria station was dead. I decided not to stay but left on a number 11 to Aldwych where I changed to a 15. At Aldgate, I switched to a 25 for the ride to Stratford where I found a reasonable queue for the 308 to Ruckholt Road near Lea Interchange. A US cheer leader explained to her group about all the buildings which we were passing and made a guess about the flag hanging out of one of the village windows.

After two hours of wall to wall buses, it was back to the Royal Albert Hall by 308, 25 (on which I was asked for directions to Tower Gateway-change at Aldgate station!) 94 and 452."

From Marcus Lapthorn

The Thursdays' only 113 route from Faringdon to Burford is now operated, surprisingly, by Pulham's Coaches of Bourton on the Water!

The route was formerly operated by RH Transport with mini buses, whilst Pulham's are using a rather nice little coach on this route now. These photographs were taken at the Swan Inn.


From Steve Doel

A bit of business took me to the Isle of Wight last week and I was able to catch up with some former Oxford coaches. I rode on 7011 (R811 NUD) to Alum Bay on the Island Coaster service, and parked at Alum Bay was 7012 (R812 NUD).


I was out driving Open Tops in Oxford on Saturday 18th July and was delighted to see this lovely old Leopard parked in St Giles.  SRC 45L, PSU4 Leopard / Plaxton Panorama Elite new to Trent, but now wearing livery for 'Classique'. Wasn't that David Dean's operation from Paisley?

From James Allum

Arriva HH 5421 in HH bus station.

Mullany's Buses Harry potter tour bus PN02 XCD at Watford Junction.

Arriva logo and TGM

A new single deck for Arriva the Shires is 3752 - KX12HAA a VDL SB200 with Wright Pulsar 2 bodywork noted at Heysham in early August.

Mercedes Benz Citaros for this operator which were used on Olympic work were registered BD12DHG/J/K and L.

Pete Cabin sent a few observations for Tuesday 17th July 2012 having popped up to Arriva's High Wycombe depot. He writes "All the Scanias have now left the depot, the back row hosting a selection of Volvos as follows: 

      3240 P601RGS -  3245 R603WMJ  -  3248 R604WMJ  -  3849 R369TWR  -  3850 R370TWR and 3852 R372TWR

These buses are all ones which arrived at Wycombe in the last two or three years and so have not had a very long spell at this depot! Ed.

The buses below are not on the boards down at the bus station so I'm not sure if they are transferred or withdrawn.

     3241 R602WMJ  -  3298 R607WMJ  -  3299 R608CNM  and 3851 R371TWR which was in service up to last week.  

3299 R606CNM is back in service and I travelled on this bus today (24.07.12.) on blue route 32.

Change of operators and timetable changes start next week on routes 27 38 39 306 (see Carousel's web site).

By August 3rd Versa 2401 YJ57EKF was still in orange route colours and had also been used on the 37 and 74 routes over the last few days but 2402 JJ57EKG is not on the day to day running boards or the off the road boards and is not listed as spare.

Later Pete Cabin reported  both Versa's have been transferred out of High Wycombe thanks to Dave Stewart for the following information and these buses are at Garston for a repaint into Arriva blue. 2401 YJ57EKF is going to Ware with 2402 YJ57EKG going to Southend.

And today 14.08.12. working the Park & Ride service was DAF/ALX400 DLA301 Y501UGC. Apparently there are three further buses of this type parked up at Cressex depot. These were recently on Olympic duty and I'm not sure if they are just passing through or are a transfer to Wycombe?

Aylesbury provided 5102 G652UPP AND 5447 W447XKX on service 300 High Wycombe to Aylesbury also on 14.08.12.

Have observed these buses today Thursday 16th August. 

6301 Y501UGC. working green route 31.
6303. Y503UGC.working blue route 32.  6303 Y503UGC. working green route 31.

There is one more of this type which I presume will be 6302  Y502UGC and saw 6300 Y524UGC.today on the red route 33 today 17.08.12.

Pictures by Pete Cabin.

Nigel Peach writes "On the local scene it seems very quiet and not much to report. I have heard that Solo 2438 has moved from Wycombe to Hemel.

All the Green Route branded Volvo B7s 3861-67 have now been repainted and lost their branding, except 3865 which I've not seen for about four months (listed in the bus station among the Vehicles Off Road).

Volvo 3457 was reinstated after fire damage some months ago, but I've not seen it at all (also on same list)."

James Allum writes from Hemel saying "Today 02/08/12 Hemel based Trident 5421 W421 XKX was spotted on a rare local running route 3 at Grove Hill, Washington Avenue. Sadly no pictures available due to me passing on another bus (V236 HBH) 3236."

Bernard Lewendon who has returned from some years abroad writes to advise as follows:

Arriva High Wycombe on 9 August.

At the Lincoln Road garage the 7 withdrawn vehicles parked against the fence remain as last month. They are T007, 3240,3245,3248,3249,3850,3852.

Behind them (as seen with binoculars!) are 3299 and 3298.I had thought that 3298 disappeared in May. Did it go or has it always been somewhere around the garage?

A new arrival, first seen today, is Southern Counties 3513 KE51 PVD a DAF with Wrightbus Cadet body.

The two FX4 taxis used for staff transport between the garage and the bus station have both been repainted into full Arriva livery, including the white whiskers. They have registrations P564 SYF and P744 SHX. 

I have not seen the last step entrance bus in Wycombe, 3851, Volvo / Wright Endurance at any visit during the past two months. It looks as though it has gone. Has it been seen elsewhere?

The two Optare Versa's 2401 and 2402 in Orange Bus livery became redundant on July 30 with the loss of local route 39 to Carousel.

On the following Tuesday 30 July, they were both noted on the 32 local route to Micklefield but since then they have not been seen either in service or at the garage. So where are they?

3196 R196 RBM was, unusually, on the 300 from Aylesbury on this day.

From Ian Brown, Hemel.

"Here`s three shots of the aged former London taxis now used by Arriva to transport drivers to and from Hemel depot and the bus station in Waterhouse Street. There appears to be at least two vehicles. They have been re-painted in Green Line livery, promoting the London commuter service,  with `Crew Shuttle` printed on rear. I saw another one in Luton yesterday."


Pictures below by Malcolm Crowe. 

Arriva's 3274 on route 280 in Wheatley by Malcolm Crowe on August 9th.

Now only partially branded for the Green route 3866 is seen departing for Reading on August 8th.

DAF 4490 works the H1 on August 8th.

Arriva Cressex perform MOTs for various operators and other depots.

The end opf Arriva's involvement in the 39 route seen on July 29th.

Pictures below by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 5447 on route 300 in Wycombe by Gavin Francis dated August 16th.

DAF 6303 on the 32 on August 16th,

DAF 6301 showing the single door conversion. 

Noel Clark, General Manager writes "I’m sure you’ve heard that Carousel were successful in the tendering process for the 28/28A/28C (replacing the 339 and 651), 38, Orange Route 39 and 306. Enviro 200s 423 and 424 have both been painted and branded for Orange Route 39, photos attached. The 38 is no longer referred to as Orange Route however most journeys will be operated by one of these two vehicles."


Mike Bennett writes "Seen at The Orchard Centre Didcot bus stops on Thursday July 5th, was an escapee from Carousel Buses. Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties is number 930 in the Carousel fleet; recently acquired from Go North East, but new to London Central.  Apparently it was on it’s last week in service locally."

Bernard Lewendon writes regarding Carousel Buses on 9 August.

"423 and 424 MAN /Enviro 200s were repainted into Orange Route livery to replace the Arriva's. At first they had no fleet numbers but they have since been added. Actually they now both have their numbers TWICE on the front. Neither have their weights shown.

They have worked on the 39 every day since the take over.

472, C2 WYC, an Irisbus Agoraline has not been seen at any time during the past two months.

During the school holidays several double deckers have been parked up in front of the Hughenden Avenue garage.

On this date 928, 929, 930, 931 all in The Blue Bus livery and 921 in red fleet livery were noted."

The two buses in use on the 39 Orange route pictured by Gavin Francis.

Carousel 751 in service at Stokenchurch on July 19th by Gavin Francis.

DAF 976, working for Thames Travel, passes the Oxford Crown court. D Tole.

City Sightseeing Oxford incorporating Guide Friday

Graham Low reports that this Volvo B7TL/Transbus President has been running for Tom Tappin for some days at least.

Grayline, Bicester

Julian Wells writes "some pictures from Grayline, I think you may like a recent purchase, ex Oxford Tube T57BBW, also over the next few days it is likely that Dennis Dart P512RYM will be departing to an operator in Leicester and P507OUG the Optare will also be leaving the fleet.

Mercedes Benz Plaxton Beaver MJI1678 is likely to depart for scrap over the next few weeks and Bedford coach YPB834T departed for a new home about 6 weeks ago."



A new super rear which appeared in July and August but which has since been removed. Malcolm Crowe.

NEx SGBC FJ12FKX on route 737, whilst on loan to Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, seen on August 26th by Malcolm Crowe. 

Andrew Webb writes "as usual Go Ahead London operated shuttle services on Wimbledon Tennis this year (reported on our previous edition Ed.) but an more unusual event was the use of ex COMS X90 coaches running alongside the staple diet of red London deckers."

Roger Knott writes "ex Oxford coaches seen on the Wimbledon Tennis Park & Ride services between Merton College, London road, Morden and the Championships were 30, 34 and 44 at least. The carried the Silvertown Garage code of SI."

Ralph Adams and others have furnished a list of the ex Oxford coaches in use at the Olympics and these are as follows. Note that the 1 plate Scanias have all been re-registered, some of these plates appearing on training buses, see below.

The used at the Olympics carried either London General or Blue Triangle Legals:







A number of these were also used at Wimbledon as mentioned in S&J60 and above.

Ralph Adams advises that all these coaches are ex 'Espress X90' from Oxford and those in white have been recently been re-sprayed white at Hants & Dorset Trim, are being used for Olympics work and will then be sold, except one of the Volvo B12B Jonckheere Mistrals, which will be retained by Go South Coast. Looks like 33 may be the one to be retained(?).

Ex Brighton & Hove training buses 964 and 965 are formally 798 R218HCD and 795 R225HCD - Volvo B10BLE Wrights Renown B45F

These are now 964 L1OXF and 965 P1OXF but it is not known in which order the buses became 964 and 965. - can any reader help on this one.

Oxford's 95 heads towards Victoria on August 27th 2012. Gavin Francis. 

Services to London were curtailed at Marble Arch on certain days, unable to serve Victoria.
Oxford Bus ensured passengers were well informed by having Marble Arch as the final destination.
Well done Oxford Bus!!!

A new book on Go Ahead by Mark E. Lyons


Mark has written a new book as outlined below. I am sure it will be a great book.

"Over the last quarter century the Go-Ahead Group has become one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport.
Its origins lie in the purchase of the National Bus Company's Northern General subsidiary by a management team in 1987
with the newly formed company branding itself as Go-Ahead Northern.
Initial growth in the north-east saw it expand into taxi and pub operations before adoption of the now familiar Go-Ahead name and stock market
floatation saw it expand into Oxford, Brighton and London in the mid-1990's setting the pattern for a focus on urban bus markets that has been
a key feature since.  
The privatisation of British Rail saw Go-Ahead establish itself as a major player in rail franchising, establishing Govia,
a joint venture with French owned Via-GTI (now Keolis), for the purpose.  Today Govia is the UK's busiest rail operator and is well placed
to play its part in delivering a more affordable railway.
During the last quarter century the Group has also diversified into aviation handling and car park management, although it has since
re-focussed on its core activities of local bus and rail provision.  It has also successfully fought of a hostile take-over bid from
the French state-owned C3D.
Unlike other UK transport groups Go-Ahead has a devolved structure with all of its bus and rail companies are locally managed and branded.
This has allowed its subsidiaries to respond to local market conditions whilst retaining the benefits of being part of a larger Group.
The Group is committed to delivering quality services in an environmentally sensitive way, investing in energy saving technology for both
its bus and rail operations, and is the first major UK bus operator to commission a regular, independent customer satisfaction survey of 
its customers.
Packed with informative text and copiously illustrated  this book charts the development of the companies that now form part of 
the Go-Ahead Group from their inception to the present day and shows how the Group is helping to deliver a strong and growing public transport
network as the key to the sustainable future of the UK" 

Red Rose

The company is using fully branded buses on the 275 now but occasionally an odd "new" one appears.

P264NRH looks resplendent in the company's latest livery, whilst working the 275 service between Oxford and High Wycombe.
Seen on August 16th by Gavin Francis.

R H Buses

Richard Sharman writes "RH Buses provided the Shuttle Bus to the Wilderness Festival for the second year running." 


The first of a new batch of gold buses have arrived at Oxford, being 15830 OU12FFT and 15831 OU12FFV. They are Scania/ADL E400's very similar to those now on the S5 route.

Nine Scania N230UD / ADL Enviro 400 to Stagecoach Gold standard, seated as H45/28F like all of the other Gold buses at Oxford and are for the Chipping Norton S3 route with 15838 unbranded as a spare for both S3 and S5 routes. The fleet numbers and registrations follow:
15830 - OU12 FFT 
15831 - OU12 FFV
15832 - OU12 FFW
15833 - OU12 FFX
15834 - OU12 FFY
15835 - OU12 FFZ
15836 - OU12 FGA
15837 - OU12 FGC
15838 - OU12 FGD
All were delivered during late August and three entered service on September 1st.

The under mentioned E300s are on loan to South for the duration of the Olympics.

22761 OU09 BZR MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)
22762 OU58 GKC MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)
22764 OU58 GKE MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)
22767 OU09 BZN MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)
22768 OU58 GKK MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)
22769 OU09 BZO MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)
22770 OU09 BZP MAN E300 - Oxford to South (Olympics)

GRAHAM Gough wrote "Yesterday, 9th July, saw the Olympic torch visiting Blenheim Palace, which drew larger numbers of travellers to Stagecoach Service 242 between Witney and Woodstock than would normally be the case.

The Solo departing Witney at 1345 soon filled, and ‘Sorry, bus full’ was being displayed when the bus arrived in Bladon, just six minutes from it’s Woodstock destination. More muscle was needed, and 15617 was drafted in. The photograph shows the rare sight of a double-decker (and a Gold, no less!) leaving Bladon on it’s final (1850) journey back to Witney.

From Roy Meller

22761  in service with Stagecoach SMS, seen on Worthing seafront, on service 700 "Coastliner" (Brighton- Portsmouth).


Marcus Lapthorn wrote "I was very pleased to see that one of Stagecoach Swindon's 'old stagers' is still in service! I thought that perhaps they had all been withdrawn since four replacement buses had arrived from Yorkshire, but clearly not.

20981 is seen in Faringdon on service 65 to Swindon on Thursday 12 July.  

Five of Swindon Stagecoach's Tridents are on loan to Peterborough, to cover for other vehicles that are on Olympic duties. Partly as a result of this, the remaining Volvo B10M's will see further service until at least September.

These shots were taken on Tuesday 17 July:

One of the last remaining Volvo's (20688), that used to be on the 66 route between Oxford & Swindon for many years.
This particular bus was on the route between Marlborough and Swindon last Saturday, 14 July.
Today it is seen about to start service on the 65 route 0936 departure from Longcot to Faringdon.

Former Yorkshire Stagecoach 21131 leaving Swindon bus station.

Wilts & Dorset X5 departure to Salisbury.

A very heavily laden 20683 coming in on Swindon bus station on the 51 route from Cheltenham.
The driver does not appear to be in Stagecoach uniform.

Scania 15737 on the 66 route to Swindon.

Pic 645 shows former 66 route 22623 on the 7 route to Highworth. Almost any type of bus can end up working on this route.

Two PS's in Swindon Bus Station, a sight becoming more unusual these days.

One of Stagecoach Swindon's older buses (16110) was operating the 1350 departure from Swindon to Faringdon on route 65, Wednesday 1 August. The bus is seen approaching Longcot.

Apparently since the introduction of Gold buses onto the 66 route between Oxford & Swindon, an unexpected problem has arisen. Some passengers for Witney routes are apparently regularly boarding our 66 route buses, flashing a pass card and then complaining when the bus heads off towards Swindon! On Friday evening a lady was asking the driver to be let off on the A 420, where the driver understandably refused to set her down. She was dropped off at the first available stop, not till Besselsleigh! Perhaps passengers should start to check the destination display before boarding!

Once a weekday there is a 65 route departure from Swindon at 1745 for Faringdon via the villages. It is somewhat of a rarity therefore to see a Gold bus on the 65 route, but this is the one occasion when a Gold bus is roistered for this duty. This is taken at Fernham village near Faringdon.

Terry Longhurst wrote saying "Here are some photo's of Stagecoach Oxford Man's on loan to Worthing Garage on the local routes during the Olympics."



The above pictures somehow relate to those under the Olympic above which show the buses these Oxford E300s are replacing.
They are a credit to Oxford as they look virtually new which they are, of course, not.

Mark Lyons also sent a couple of nice pictures of one of these same buses at work on the south coast, number 22761.

Stagecoach Oxford 22761 on Marine Drive, Worthing by Mark Lyons.

Stagecoach Oxford 22761 on Kingsway, Hove by Mark Lyons.


SC Devon 15664 at Exmouth on June 12th by Colin Grafham

London's Park Lane closed for the Olympics on August 2nd as pictured at 0632 by David Allen who was on an early Tube duty.

Tube 50216 loads at Thornhill, whilst working the 0600 express service to London on August 3rd with driver Malcolm Crowe.

Early one morning just as the sun was rising, 50226 waits for time in Park End Street before working the 0624 express to London Victoria.

50207 heads for Victoria on August 27th seen by Gavin Francis.

Gavin caught up with ex Tube 50104 outside Pentonville Prison on September 2nd, now with Silver Grey.

Swallow Coaches visit Windsor and are seen to operate this ex Oxford Tube coach. Picture by Richard Sharman on August 18th.
This was coach 50121 in Oxford!



A further batch of Astromega TD927s is due and will be working on Anglo Scottish services. Two were already at Wellingborough in early August. This batch starts at 50244.

Megabus Coach Changes for the Olympics

Antony Shaw reports:

Coaches on loan to Rugby are :

From Hull 53030/1

From Glasgow 54029/31/32 and a Ulsterbus Scania 

52645 gone on loan to Inverness.

Megabus Plus :

Hull have two Ulsterbus coaches on loan.

Other Changes :

54027/30 are on loan to Rennies. 

SC Megabus 54017 loads for Glasgow at VCs on August 24th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Megabus 53017 approaches Hyde Park Corner on a Manchester-London service on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

An unusual coach on the Megabus services to London was this one with local branding for the X27 caught by Peter Hancock.

Thames Travel took over running the service X2 between Oxford and Didcot from September 2nd 2012. Four Citaros have been transferred from Oxford Bus.

The buses involved are listed below and were new to Oxford Bus in December 2006.

851 OF56 OXF
852 PF56 OXF
853 RF56 OXF
854 SF56 OXF

852 on one of its first journeys on September 2nd in Castle Street.

The same bus in St Aldates, showing the rear branding.

Thames Travel 706 working route 106C along Iffley Rd on September 19th by Gavin Francis.

Thames Travel 917 at Queens Lane on July 19th by Gavin Francis

The Solos acquired from Wilts and Dorset are now appearing in full fleet livery.

Vale Travel

Pete Cabin writes "Not the best photo but the bus was at speed going down Cock Lane, this bus originally came from Liverpool and now used on the 27 is DK57OPY, the colour scheme being different to their other buses which are white & yellow, DK57OPY being all over yellow. possible candidate for a yellow route 27?


This bus works the 48A to Stokenchurch on a Sunday and is seen below turning in a most unusual fashion which was not really safe!!!!


Reversing on to a main road is hardly the done thing!


Arriva to buy Midland

Arriva Midlands has reached agreement to buy the West Midlands operations and assets of ‘Midland’ the trading name of Liyell Ltd.

Midland’s core services include a mix of commercial and supported local bus services. On completion of the transaction, expected to be in late September, approximately 110 Midland employees will transfer to Arriva Midlands under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations. 

Arriva plans to incorporate the fleet of 61 Midland buses into its fleet and operate them under the Arriva brand.

The acquisition does not affect the staff or operations at D&G Crewe, and Green Triangle Buses (SLT) Atherton. 

CC provisionally clears McGill's takeover

The Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally cleared McGill’s Bus Services Limited’s (McGill’s) completed acquisition of the Arriva Scotland West (ASW) in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and west Glasgow, including Paisley.  

The CC “provisionally concluded” that without the acquisition, both McGill’s and ASW would have “continued to provide services,” but although they were each other’s closest rivals, “in future competition between them would have reduced.”

The CC also says the threat of entry into the area by large bus operators located nearby “will provide sufficient incentive for McGill’s to avoid reducing frequencies or increasing fares as a result of the acquisition.”

SNCF branches out into coaching

Paul Corfield wrote that SNCF (French Railways) are to branch out into international coaching with services that will compete with the new Megabus routes offering links from Paris to London and Brussels with a hub at Lille. The services launched on 23 July - just in time for the Olympics.



Pictures by Malcolm Crowe on August 6th 2012.

Cambridge plans for an underground transport system resurfaces

Marcus Lapthorn sent an interesting link on the above subject. 


Foreign Language students blamed for bus problems in Oxford

This article appeared in one of our local newspapers.


Blackpool developments by Geoff Cunliffe

8th. July, 2012:-

Brush car 631 became the latest member of the retained, heritage fleet to see service on the Promenade Tour. It retains its overall vinyl advertisement for Walls ice cream which it was wearing the last time I saw it on the far road of the depleted and somewhat run down tram depot. This day, it was running alongside the Western Train, although the weather suggested a more appropriate choice would have been an open top car.

631 last ran in service on 6th. November 2011 but made several appearances during the winter to test the new track and overhead layout in readiness for the new Bombardiers which re-commenced the tram service at Easter.

15th. July, 2012:-

Tram Sunday, and double deck Balloon 700 (ex. 237) was unveiled in new livery - that of the Bombardiers! It had been moved out of the paint shop in great secrecy, with the only view obtainable by enthusiasts blocked by a strategically moving bus!

Car 700 was one of the batch originally delivered as open toppers, which were covered over during the war, and it was restored to that rebuilt wartime condition and livery in 1996,- and very good it looked with its front twin indicators replaced. Those above the central entrance doors are fixed fakes, permanently showing PROMENADE, although the car was correctly fitted with chrome 237 numbers above the doors. It has been progressively corrupted since then, including fitting the new style front lower dash without cow-catcher or traditional fenders.

An interesting link is shown below. 


18th. July, 2012:-

It is sad to report yet another accident with the new trams, again in Cleveleys. This time an 81-year old pensioner was trying to cross the tracks in her mobility scooter. Trevor Roberts, Managing Director of Blackpool Transport pointed out that “the new trams do not operate any more quickly than the old ones, and they are fully compliant with everything that reflects best practice in terms of modern operational safety features and design, and the stopping performance in an emergency is exemplary.” The pensioner suffered bruises and a graze in the incident.

21st. July, 2012:-

From today, the Heritage Tram Service operates daily and for the next seven weeks (school holidays), two cars will operate every day, hopefully giving a variety of options from those cars retained from the old system.  

17th to 22nd. July, 2012:-

The 141th Open Golf Championships took place at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s Golf Club, and there were several interesting happenings. As suggested earlier, several Blackpool Olympians appeared in special vinyl-wrap liveries to operate a couple of special bus services.  G01 operated every thirty minutes from Blackpool’s North Station to St. Thomas’s Church near the golf course in St. Annes. Service G02 operated every ten minutes from the tram terminus at Starr Gate to St. Thomas’s Church. Full details of the vehicles can be found at the Fylde Bus Blog at http://fyldebus.blogspot.co.uk/

Of the ten available Olympians, only five made it to the end of the week, with the first one making just one appearance on the first day! All have now been retired, although eight of the golf advertising buses are understood to have a future as static advertising hoardings at golf courses retaining their advertising. These are likely to be the ECW examples as 365 is understood to have been earmarked for preservation. (news courtesy of The Fylde Bus Blog at http://fyldebus.blogspot.co.uk/)

Additionally, Stagecoach provided vehicles for an extensive network of Park & Ride services within St. Annes. There were Alexander RL-bodied Olympians and ALX400-bodied Tridents, one coach-seated Scania and another which seems to have had a chequered history starting in London as 2-door and finishing up as an open topper in Lake District special livery. Additionally Warrington provided at least three vehicles, including Volvo B7TL 151, and Wright Gemini bodied 192, which I missed photographing day after day!

The Blackpool Tour, operated with Blackpool Transport City Sightseeing Olympians, actually passed as near to the course in St. Annes as any route and may have been a cheaper option than the special services, although few seemed to have used it.

Everyone got in on the act of providing car parking space. South Shore (Blackpool) cricket club opened its grounds and hired two standard Blackpool deckers, East Lancs-bodied Tridents 333 and 334, to run a specific linking service.

There were coaches everywhere - I bagged just a representative sample comprising Doherty’s Midland Coaches Scania 340KB with Irizar Century body, Holmswood 18.35 with Marco Polo Viaggio 350 body and Manchester-based Bullocks Coaches Mercedes Vario O816D with Optare Toro 28-seat bodywork.

All in all, there was plenty to see and it appeared to work remarkable efficiently - perhaps because traffic management had been passed to the AA to supervise.




23rd. July, 2012:-

Had a ride along the entire length of the new Blackpool tramway from Starr Gate to Fleetwood and return in the company of occasional contributor Jim Tonge. After all the criticism, it is pleasant to be able to report the journey went well in both directions, carrying moderate to heavy loadings, with pleasant crews who were not averse to answering some technical questions about the trams at the termini. The day’s Heritage service was in the hands of Brush car 631 and Balloon 717. If our editor will permit an advertisement, I can recommend a pie and a pint at the conveniently-placed North Euston Hotel by the tram terminus at Fleetwood.

27th. July, 2012:-

Riding through Blackpool at teatime, the trams were, once again, operating far off the scheduled times, with a long gap followed by four cars virtually following each other. The first one had a tremendous, standing load. A former conductor commented in the local paper recently that, with the proper trams, the conductor could control the number of passengers boarding and prevent overloading. With the new trams, numerous doors open when they stop and passengers swarm on to them in an uncontrolled melee.

28th. July, 2012:-

Chaos today as a motorist, driving an MG convertible, struck a lamp post about 6.30am, lost control and spun across the tram track at South Promenade, blocking all Flexities except the first of the day (number 012) from leaving the depot. Blackpool Transport made the decision to use some of the serviceable, widened Balloons from Rigby Road to assist with the shortfall, and 700, 709, 718 and 724 were pressed into service. It was the first use in service this year for the first three aforementioned trams.

Unfortunately the driver of the MG suffered fatal injuries. The tram track was reopened around lunchtime, and the tram service gradually got back to normal. 

9th. August, 2012:-

They still can’t get the trams right. There were no heritage trams running although it was sunny, bright and warm. The service trams were bunching leaving gaps of up to forty minutes on a ten minute frequency! At one time there were eight trams north of Cabin.


It’s not as if it’s a complex, city system - just a single route but they can’t get it right. What has happened to all the extras which used to run between the Pleasure Beach and Bispham, easing loading on the service cars in the town centre and busiest part of the system? They carefully relaid the track at Bispham (twice) with a long centre line to accommodate several short workings turning there.



10th. August, 2012:-

Today saw the first recorded breakdown of one of the new Bombardier Flexity trams. The brakes on 014 failed to work properly and this caused other trams to turn wherever they could to get back into service.


014 was eventually towed back to Starr Gate by fellow Flexity 016.


Surprisingly, about 8pm. a tram was seen heading north around Talbot Square on a short working to Cabin. There is no mention of such a service in the official high season timetable.



13th. August, 2012-

There have been rumours that that illuminated tram, Tramnik One, was to feature in this year’s illuminations for some time. Unfortunately, it will only do so as a static exhibit - in the middle of Gynn Square roundabout!


It has now taken up its position, pointing, maybe for some Freudian reason, in the direction of Dickson Road and the long lost (and lamented) tram route to North Station. It’s not what we originally expected, but at least it still exists.


Picture by Jonathan Niblock and reproduced by courtesy of the Buses Trains Traction Engine and Tram Blog at http://busestractionengines.blogspot.co.uk/ to whom we extend our thanks. The East Lancs bodied Trident with the ghastly contravision advert is 314, one of those originally new to Blackpool which has now collected several second-hand examples as well including the recent Isle of Mann ones.





Trips & Events

Upcoming events

LT Museum 

The Museum's 1938 Art Deco Tube Train and Engine No.12 Sarah Siddons will journey into Metro-land on 9 September as part of the Amersham Heritage Open Day, with heritage buses running between Amersham Station and the Town Centre and free entry to Amersham Museum for ticket holders. A vintage dress-up competition will also take place. Advance booking discounts apply. More information

A report from Malta

Ian Brown writes "I`ve been out in Malta for a while doing some Arriva spotting. Enclosed as attachment are my words plus some pix all taken July this year."

2 bendies. Old habits die hard. Vehicle on right has failed destination system and reverting to using a card with just route number.
Little use for tourists!!

Valletta bus station:
Two of a small handful of allover white vehicles pictured at Valletta bus station.

Mater Dei Hospital
in the centre of Malta. One of the best and busiest places to watch Arriva's operations.

Bristol Vintage Bus Rally - Sunday 12 August 2012 by Marcus Lapthorn





Newbury event by Malcolm Crowe.






Buses in the Landscape

Andrew Cowell writes "I attach a picture of an unidentified Setra owned by a German operator labouring up the narrow road from Edale to Rushup Edge with the edge of Kinder Scout in the background."

My own contribution is this Marble Arch shot!

Ellen Smith YJ57EYS outside Stamford Church on August 2nd by Artful Dodger.

Its that horse again, or horse's head! Marble Arch during the Olympics.


Notting Hill Carnival 2012 produced some special workings as recorded by Gavin Francis.

Mullany's operate this special livery bus on the Harry Potter tour from Watford Junction taken on 14th July by James Allum.

Angel High Wycombe BX61AUL in St Giles on August 18th by Richard Sharman. 

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.


Thames Valley - final part now available




ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p

This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.

All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.

Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so

order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close

Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT

If you are local and wish to collect please call me on 0118 979 4097 and arrange a suitable time, but no casual callers please!


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 £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.