Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr. 7 - 6th October 2009

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Welcome to issue number 7 which is a few days later than planned due to my work patterns. There is a lot to report in this issue and since I will be unable to prepare a full issue of OCBP for another two weeks, again work commitments,  I am including a number of interesting items including a brief report on Amersham last Sunday. Now that Gavin Francis has returned from holiday he has resumed his contributions which are most welcome.

The weather has really broken today, Tuesday, with heavy rain on the Chilterns and surrounding areas.

Again a lot has been happening over the past week with the apparent increase in capacity on BCC's Line 40 operated by Arriva, more on the new Citaros for uno at Hatfield etc., the reappearance of the Oxford Bus Q buster Volvos on Brookes services, additional Oxford Tube coaches and the transfer of some Stagecoach Oxford's Tridents from Witney to Stagecoach West and some others to the reserve fleet.

As mentioned above I will be unable to produce full News Issue (295) for a further couple of weeks due to work and will only have some time after 16th October. This means that a number of welcome contributions will have to held over until I can get around to publishing said full issue. I will also be attending Coach & Bus Live on Thursday taking out another rest day.

An amusing note for today from Gavin Francis is that as he was leaving Oxford on the 04:10 Tube service to London, yes the 04:10, someone, dressed in black, was taking photos of the coach on the Magdalen Bridge. I wonder who and why?????

Finally in London this morning Gavin noted a builders truck parked opposite the entrance to Bullied Way. This was going to make a turn into Green Line very difficult. He waited to see how a coach of length would get round. The next minute a Terravision tri-axle coach sped into Bulleid Way showing Gavin it was indeed too tight for the turn and it gave the builders truck a hearty wallop but to Gavin's amazement never stopped. He later looked at the coach to see a significant damage to the rear offside. The builders were less than impressed with their truck. What fun I hear you say!!!!!




I notice that one of the Enviro 400s used on the 280 has now appeared with a revised destination display, having the route number on the right. This seems to be happening in several areas of the Arriva in the Shires operation.


Following the transfer of several buses from Stevenage, this week saw one in use on Line 40 between High Wycombe and Thame, a route which suffers from significant overcrowding on daytime services, especially market days in Thame and shopping times in High Wycombe.


These pictures show Dart 3822 and Volvo B6 3298 operating Line 40 on October 5th 2009 and were taken by Gavin Francis.


Andrew Morgan writes "a picture of Arriva 4368 in school bus yellow which is also carried by 4362 and 4363."


The yellow 4368 flanked by Dart 3498 and Volvo 3307 in Stevenage. Picture by Andrew Morgan.


A few interesting photos to hand this week and my thanks to Glenn Knight for his picture of an EVL at Heathrow.

EVL6 at Heathrow on route A40. Glenn Knight.


Whilst at least one of the ex Birmingham Airport buses has been repainted into livery and converted to single door another has yet to be so treated.

AF53GCZ is seen arriving in Wycombe on a Line 1 service - M Crowe.

Two nice pictures provided by Mark E. Lyons of Citaro MN51 on the A40 service in Beaconsfield.

Several ex Arriva Midlands buses have arrived with Excel at Stansted for their services taken over from Trustybus. some are plain white and others in an apparent Telling golden Miller livery.


Now down from Manchester and working out of Stansted for subsidiary Flight Delay Services, this Ayats Bravo is an impressive coach.
Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.

A surprise this last weekend has been the appearance of a Dart on the Luton Rail-Air connecting service. A picture of it in London serv ice has been supplied by Gavin Francis.

Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Picture by Gavin Francis.

Further problems with the Scania-Levante fleet has obliged Stagecoach Oxford to hire in a DAF from South Gloucester Bus.
L99SGB, once owned by Birmingham Coach and running on the 777, is seen leaving Oxford on 2nd October.
Picture by Richard Sharman.

Renumbering is going ahead of the NEx coach fleet and includes even coaches from Kings Ferry now owned by National Express.

A Kings Ferry coach, now C100 running the 025 service from Victoria.
30th September by Gavin Francis.

Another Kings Ferry coach, now C098 and transferred to Gatwick running the 025 today, 6th October. Gavin Francis.

Indeed I am advised by Dave who does the NEx picture site that the following 5 coaches have transferred to NEx at Crawley.
C097 (A 14 TKF)
C098 (A 15 TKF)
C099 (H 8 TKF)
C100 (A 19 TKF)
C101 (H 5 KFC)

One of the reactions to the new First Greyhound service can be seen in Victoria coach Station.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Gary Seamarks writes "had a trip to On A Mission at Soulbury, Leighton Buzzard, last Thurs and managed to obtain what is believed to be an up to date list. The Volvo YSV934 may have either departed or re-registered but was not present. The colours shown were the liveries worn on the day. Makes interesting reading from last visit when they only had 3 buses as opposed to coaches."


601 HYK Iveco 391E Beulas C51FT 01/02 Blueways  Swanage 11/06 White new as FE51 RHF
A647 BCN MCW DR MCW H46/31F 08/84 Coastal Liner Wolverhampton 09/07 Go-Ahead   
A707 THV MCW DR101 MCW H43/31F 04/84 Head  Lutton 04/09 Head  
A978 OST Leyland Olympian Alexander H45/32F 12/83 Stagecoach Fens 03/09 White d/l
B153 WUL MCW DR101 MCW H43/28D 01/85 Head  Lutton 05/09 Head d/l
B821 AOP MCW DR102 MCW H43/30F 11/84 Head  Lutton 04/09 Red  
B898 UAS Leyland Olympian Alexander H45/32F 02/85 Stagecoach Fens 03/09 White  
BYX 274V MCW DR101 MCW H43/32F 06/80 Head  Lutton 04/09 White  
C234 ENE Leyland Olympian Northern Counties H43/30F 06/86 Stagecoach Manchester 04/09 Magic Bus  
C31 CHM Leyland Olympian ECW H42/30F 03/86 MK Metro   04/09 Yellow  
C314 BUV MCW DR101 MCW H43/28D 08/85 Arriva London N 09/05 Leaside Travel  
C365 BUV MCW   MCW H43/30F 10/85 Head  Lutton 03/09 Head d/l
C635 LFT Leyland Olympian Alexander H45/31F 12/86 Stagecoach Lincolnshire 03/09 Stagecoach  
C644 LFT Leyland Olympian Alexander H45/31F 12/86 Stagecoach Lincolnshire 03/09 Stagecoach  
C816 BYY Leyland Olympian ECW H42/26D   Arriva The Shires 03/09 Arriva  
CX03 YHH Ford  Transit Ford M14 04/03 ?   01/05    
D388 XRS Leyland Olympian Alexander CH43/27F 05/87 Stagecoach Scotland 04/09 Stagecoach  
EL08 BUS Volvo B12B Jonckheere C59Ft 04/08 New   04/08 Eurolines  
EU08 BUS Volvo B12B Jonckheere C59Ft 04/08 New   04/08 Eurolines  
F300 DRJ Leyland Olympian Northern Counties H43/30F 01/81 Stagecoach Manchester 04/09 Magic Bus  
FJ06 BPU Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 03/06 New   03/06 Select Motor Racing *
FJ06 BPV Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 03/06 New   03/06   *
FJ06 BPX Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 03/06 New   03/06   *
FJ06 BPY Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 03/06 New   03/06 o-a-m  
FJ55 DYS Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 11/05 New   11/05   *
FJ55 DYT Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 11/05 New   11/05 o-a-m  
FJ55 DYU Volvo B12B Jonckheere C51FT 11/05 New   11/05 o-a-m  
GYE 534W MCW DR101 MCW H43/31F 05/81 Head  Lutton 04/09 White  
H806 AHA Dennis Dominator East Lancs H47/29F 08/90 Arriva Cymru 05/08 Arriva  
KT05 PYG Scania K114 Irizar C49Ft 06/05 Kavanagh Urlingford 06/09 Eurolines  
KT05 PYJ Scania K114 Irizar C49Ft 05/05 Kavanagh Urlingford 06/09 o-a-m  
KYV 635X MCW DR101 MCW H43/34F 09/81 Head  Lutton 04/09 Head  
LMO 190X MCW DR MCW H45/27F 05/82 Mann Gravesend  09/07 white d/l
LWS 33Y Leyland Olympian Roe H47/29F 09/82 Mann Gravesend  01/07 White  
M107 BLE Dennis Dart Plaxton B39F 10/94 Click Skelmersdale 05/09 Metroline  
M503 ALP Dennis Dart Plaxton B40F 03/95 Click Skelmersdale 05/09 Metroline  
M504 ALP Dennis Dart Plaxton B40F 03/95 Click Skelmersdale 05/09 Metroline  
MJI 7855 MCW DR101 MCW H43/28D 06/81 Arriva London N 09/05 Red new as GYE537W
MK56 DON Ayats AE3 Ayats CH42/17Ft 09/06 New   09/06 o-a-m Silver  
N980 ODS LDV Convoy   M16 06/96 Bentley Leighton Buzzard 08/05    
P299 MLD Dennis Dart Plaxton B39F 08/96 Click Skelmersdale 05/09 Metroline  
P417 KSX Volvo Olympian Alexander H51/30F 10/96 Lothian   08/09 Lothian  
P421 KSX Volvo Olympian Alexander H51/30F 10/96 Lothian   08/09 Lothian  
P423 KSX Volvo Olympian Alexander H51/30F 10/96 Lothian   08/09 Lothian  
PUI 3844 Iveco 391E Beulas C49FT 02/01 Blueways  Swanage 11/06 college express new as X638 GJU
YN06 RVE Volvo B7R Plaxton C70F 06/06 New   06/06 o-a-m  
YN07 LGY Scania K114 Irizar C57Ft 06/07 New   06/07 Eurolines  
YSV 934 Volvo B10M Berkhof C49FT 08/97 Abbey Hitchin 06/05   left the fleet
YSV 934 LDV Convoy LDV M16 10/03 New   10/03   new as AE53 ZKC



Oxford Bus have introduced the acquired Volvo B10BLEs from Brighton into service last week.


The buses, including 794, 796 and 797 have been mainly on the 8 or 9. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.


As advised Oxford Bus are now running their Volvo B10Bs on the U1 to provide additional capacity at the start of the Michaelmas term.
642 by Gavin Francis.


At least one of the ex North East Tridents is for sale on the Nigel McCree web site:-


I recently saw Trident 119 on the 300 with a scrolling destination blind. I wonder if this was an experiment or a fault with the screen?


Gavin Francis reports that single door 799 was on 5 road today, is this a first?



Fleet movements in Oxford and Rugby are recorded for interest. We note that 18198 and 18199 have now been branded as an S Series buses.


18198 in Gloucester Green last Sunday - Picture by Gavin Francis.


Oxford fleet movements




Scania E400 - new to Witney



Scania E400 - new to Witney



Scania E400 - new to Witney



Scania E400 - new to Witney



Scania E400 - new to Witney






Dennis Trident - Witney to West



Dennis Trident - Witney to West






Dennis Trident - Witney to Reserve



Dennis Trident - Witney to Reserve






Optare Solo - Banbury to Wales

Oxford vehicles in reserve







P361 DSA

Volvo B6LE -  ALX200



P362 DSA

Volvo B6LE -  ALX200



P365 DSA

Volvo B6LE -  ALX200







Dennis Trident




Dennis Trident



Rugby Megabus




Volvo B12B Exp - New Vehicle




Volvo B12B Exp - New Vehicle




Volvo B12B Exp - New Vehicle



The brand new Megabus Plaxton tri-axle based at Rugby, 54059 is seen above - Picture by Richard Sharman.


The two M A N s which carried overall advertising for southern electric have now reverted to fleet livery.


Tex Banbury


"Pictured are two buses of the three used by Tex Cars & Coaches, Banbury who have recently started Stage work on routes 499/508 and the Brackley Town Services, 499/508. These were latterly operated by SMS at Towcester and the Brackley Town Service was operated by Langston & Tasker."


Pictures and report by Richard Sharman.



Andrew Morgan sent some more pictures of the new Citaros which now show three examples of the rear branding. Mr Stenning has been busy?


314  BF59 NHV
315  BF59 NHX

316  BF59 NHY
317  BF59 NHZ
318  BF59 NJE
319  BF59 NJJ
320  BF59 NJK
321  BF59 NJN
322  BF59 NJO

Pictures by
Andrew Morgan


An interesting picture is to hand of an ex Woottens Lynx.


Ex-Woottens C63HOM Leyland Lynx converted into Education Training Bus - picture by Glenn Knight.




London bendis replaced by rigid two axles

In line with the Mayor of London's pledge the Citaro 530G bendis are being replaced. In the case of the 507 and 521 the replacements are Citaro two axle 530s and this seems to be adding to the traffic. In order to get the capacity there are more buses than before. This has caused quite some queues at Victoria with buses on the 507 tailing back into Buckingham Palace Road. A picture from Gavin Francis illustrates the point.

I learn that in the case of the 38 some 50 plus bendis will be replaced by 80 deckers running every 1½ minutes at peak. Whilst I can appreciate the sentiment behind the move to remove the bendis, I fear that somewhat like the trams before them, albeit years ago, the bendis were real crowd shifters. Now we seem to be creating a banana situation for these routes as keeping schedules will be a nightmare.

I hasten to add this is a personal opinion and one which may not be supported by the operators or of course the Mayor of London.

Oxford - roadworks on The High

Work continues on The High renewing the surface and other work. However the single line traffic system seem to go into chaos in the early evening when the lights seem to get out of phase. Last week on one evening this caused a tailback of waiting eastbound traffic to tail back down St. Aldates. This would have destroyed any form of timetable for east side bus services as many buses were stuck on the wrong side of the lights.

Cyclists in Oxford

Yet again I am regularly made aware of the often complete disregard for the law displayed by very many cyclists in our fair city. They ignore traffic lights, ride on the pavements, ride down Queen Street despite the signs forbidding this practice between certain hours, do not wear any protection and very often wear dark clothing, which without lights, seemingly the norm rather than the exception, is frankly suicidal. Finally and worst of all they ride up the inside of buses and coaches which if the poor drivers so much as get too close, often inevitable, then the aforesaid drivers are to blame. Oh and what about their use of mobile phones and loud music on headphones, the list seems endless.

I realise we should not criticise the cyclist, they have all the rights and we none but ........................

Amersham 2009

Last Sunday saw the annual pilgrimage to Amersham for many elderly buses, mostly of the London variety. A few pictures are shown below to capture the atmosphere of the event blessed this year by reasonable weather.

What bliss, seemingly originally based in our area.

Thames Valley was represented with these two fine Bristols.

Sunday in Wycombe - somewhat deserted save for an RF.
Pictures by Nigel Peach.

Paul Davis writes "I just got back from Peter Cartwright's Amersham Day - another great event. Some more pictures to follow in due course, but the day did yield this Bus In The Landscape shot of RML2412 returning from West Wycombe along the A40."

Picture by Paul Davis.

Canvey Island - 11 October 2009


Don't forget this interesting event next weekend.



Blackpool and autumn approaches.

An update from Geoff Cunliffe


Apologies to those who don't like trams and may not even like Blackpool but I found this article from Geoff most interesting and would like to share it with those who are also interested.


"Now the summer season is almost over, work on the £100m upgrade is gathering pace again. You have already missed your chance for a last ride between the Pleasure Beach and Starr Gate at the south end of the system which is now closed for upgrading.


South of the Tower where the trams will not run this winter.


At the north end of the system, November 8th  (the end of the illuminations) is the last chance to ride the end section of the track between Ash Street Fleetwood and the Ferry. This section is to be closed then for the upgrading of Lord Street and the whole length of the Fleetwood street tramway.


A bus service runs in parallel with the Fleetwood tramway.


The oldest cars in regular use date back to the mid to late 1930s. The new work and fleet may see these cars retired.


There are some newer cars but somehow Blackpool will not be the same without the older trams.

Pictures by Malcolm Crowe.




Once the line reopens, it is unlikely the “heritage” trams (the few that remain) will mix with the new-style Bombardier cars and reach Fleetwood in normal service, probably terminating no further north than Thornton Gate (at best). Of course there is always the possibility of private charters but I don’t think they will be too welcome as it has yet to be sorted out how heritage and new cars can be intermixed."