The Editor


After the second break in just a few weeks with public holidays, we are now settling back to a period of calm preceding our summer holidays. Mercedes are now fully geared up to delivering long delayed Tourismos, of which some have been released, notably to Evan Evans in London. This operator has daily tour services including Oxford and Blenheim Palace so a number of you may see these coaches and don't forget the 11 due for Oxford Bus. I mentioned last week these may replace the following coaches presently in use, Phil Southall wrote "1,2,3,4,5,7,9, 51, 52, 81 and 82 will be leaving the company. Coaches 6, 45 and 46 are being retained for now.
Again this is not finalised and could change"
Anyway perhaps readers could keep their eyes peeled to see when these coaches begin to arrive!

David Allen remembers early days of Stagecoach in Oxford - Pictures are © to David

As a driver on Stagecoach many years ago David has provided a selection of pictures from the turn of the century time.

376 circa 2000

922 with a 7A in Kidlington circa 2000

An Olympian on loan to Oxford in the early '90s.

M A N Jonckheere nr 36 brings a new age to the Oxford tube in 1999 seen in Grosvenor Gardens.

In 2006 due to reliability problems with the Skyliners, three Megabus ex tubes were loaned for a period with 50046 seen above at various points of the route.
Having occasionally driven these coaches at that time, I can say that they were very lively and accelerated very fast indeed. Ed.

Astromega 50206 sees the Royal Horse Artillery passing by in 2011

Astromega 50216 is passed by RT191, at that time running The Wartime London Tour - August 20th 2013.

Many thanks to David for a brief glimpse into the past. 

...and David Allen and Neil Beckley report on the Abingdon Air & Country Show on May 5th - Pictures are © to David and Neil

Neil Beckley writes "You may already have received examples of these pictures that I took at the Abingdon Air and Country Show yesterday. 

Oxford Bus Company had a stand and open top 203 and newly liveried for Girl Guides 369 were in attendance.

These pictures by Neil Beckley.

Picture by David Allen.

AXI 2539 is an ex-Belfast Citybus Bristol RE of the Old Coach Inn, Wallingford. It also saw service with Lough Swilly.

Picture by David Allen.

Picture by Neil Beckley.

369 was in service today, May 6th, on the X13 and is seen at the John Radcliffe Hospital." This picture appears under the Oxford Bus heading further down this page. Ed. 

David Gray provides details of service to Bournemouth University and Bournemouth services. Pictures are © to David

An interesting selection of pictures from the Bournemouth area which maybe some of you will be tempted to make an excursion to see.

Fleet details for Go South Coast can be found at this link:

Readers will note the variety of liveries on these "uni" buses which adds to the interest in the Bournemouth and Poole areas.

1608, 1633 and 1634 show off the Arts University inspired livery.

1626, 1631 and 1655 show the colour varieties on the buses.

1627, 1628 and 1632 show further varieties of the standard layout but with bright colours. 

Fleet details for Bournemouth can be found at this link:   part of the RATP Group.

592 is a trainer with the Bournemouth fleet but it has a colourful history recounted below. 

Veolia Transport Transbus Enviro 300 SJ56GCF, was collected from the Stafford Bus Centre on May 29th 2007. Although on a 56 plate, this was actually built in late 2003, and must have sat in a dealers yard for some time before being registered. After repaint into Veolia livery, it was allocated to Lincoln Depot where it was normally found on service 32 (Newark - Ollerton).

527 and 534 now an important part of the fleet.

Nr 12 was new to Bournemouth and is one of 17 Optare Tempos many branded for route 5.

A Volvo B7TL/East Lancs Viking bodied 110, new to Bournemouth in 2004, one of six of this type.

125, a Volvo/Wrights bus which started life with Tower Transit in London. There are six of these buses in the fleet.

189 is a further Volvo Wrights decker new to Bournemouth and one of 19 similar Gemini buses at Bournemouth.

203 is an ADL E400MMC new to Bournemouth in 2017 and one of six in the fleet branded for route 3.

Finally and not unexpectedly the open top, in this case apart open top, good for inclement weather.
435, a Plaxton President bodied DAF, is seen in nice sunny weather and is one of four acquired from RATP London in 2017.

Well from the foregoing I am sure some of you will be persuaded to have a look at these operations on the South Coast of our island home. Many thanks to David Gray for some excellent pictures.

Tony Bungay tells us in pictures how things were in the "last century" at Oxford and the area - Pictures are © to Tony

Some historic photos of as the title says, Oxford and Midland Red South 25 years ago, taken in summer of 1994.

City of Oxford acquired some ex London Transport Leyland Titans, fully repainted 974 in Cornmarket Street and in Queen Street still in London Livery 968.


Midland Red South  Leyland Tiger 92 on Service X40 to Birmingham leaving Gloucester Green, Green Line Leyland Tiger TPL98 on Service 290 to London, the days of Green Line serving Oxford were by now drawing to a close, and in the next year or so would be cut back to Stokenchurch and then withdrawn completely in 1997, the Service along the road between High Wycombe and Oxford being replaced by what had been rebranded as Chiltern Rover 300 and today and for many years Red Rose 275. Green Line had originally reached Oxford as an extension of Service 790 in 1980, this Service had been interworked with Oxford/South Midland 290 between High Wycombe and London Victoria since 1977 with the closure of the the then London Country High Wycombe Garage.

E323 OMG
was the last coach purchased new by London Country North West before their takeover by Luton and District in 1990.
A Leyland Tiger / Plaxton, it was originally numbered TPL 98 by LCNW. It survived well into Arriva years, based in the coaching unit at Garston.

Oxford DAF 133 leaves same place on Citylink 190

Still wearing the traditional City of Oxford livery it first received in 1981 Bristol VRT 476
 is pursued down High Street by pre Stagecoach Oxford Thames Transit Dennis Dart to Blackbird Leys.

Another Green Line Leyland Tiger TP50 leaving Gloucester Green on the 290 followed by an Oxford Tube Coach.

City of Oxford Leyland Tiger 100 in a slightly different CityLink Livery on the X50 to Stratford upon Avon.

The coach mentioned in Tony's article being 100 and registered YPJ209Y started life on the Rail Air Link from Reading to Heathrow. It was transferred to Wycombe and purchased by COMS with the Wycombe Bus company becoming 1757. It was transferred to Oxford in late 1992, staying with Oxford until 1995. It then went to Bennett of Chieveley in the August of 1995 and was re-registered TJI6301. It moved to Heyfordian in September 1998 and was seen in and around High Wycombe with Heyfordian for a few years more.


Being part of Western Travel Midland Red South had now been acquired by Stagecoach, who took over Western Travel late the previous year, For a little while longer the liveries of Stratford Blue seen here on Leyland Olympian 961 ‘Dorothy’ in Warwick the Square on the X16 from Coventry to Stratford upon Avon and Midland Red South liveried 902 in Bridge Street Stratford upon Avon on Service 18 to Leamington remained.

Just as City of Oxford famously never operated the Leyland National from new, Midland Red and the four companies it was split into in 1981 never operated the Bristol VRT from new.

Bristol VRT 940 wearing Badgerline Livery with Stratford Blue fleet names now owned by Stagecoach,
if you can get your head round that! On Service 228 to Studley in Wood Street Stratford upon Avon.

Later both companies would get to operate these buses they missed (avoided)! Secondhand or through takeover.

Leyland National 708 picks up near Banbury Cross on Local Service B5.

Lastly showing the future in Banbury repainted National 624 on local Service B7 in original Stagecoach Livery at Banbury Cross.

I am sure that the pictures will bring memories flooding back, of times earlier, to older readers of this page and surprise younger readers with the variety of operators. Ed.

Gordon Scott keeps us up to date on ADL Falkirk

Relating to the new ADL 500LXB tri-axle double deckers, the total with second order will be 78. 63 will be the bus type and 15 for Airlink. 

The first order are 100 seaters with only one place for a buggy or wheelchair. whilst the second order are to be 96 seaters with two places for buggy wheel chair, the Airlink ones, I have heard, will be 76 seaters fitted with luggage racks.

Recent local press report, which has been ongoing since these buses entered service. sees complaints of one place for buggy and for wheelchair older age passengers finding exit doors to high on exit and a couple of falls and injuries.

Local Councillor and user passenger groups are not happy with new buses. Some stops still causing problems, as exit doors cannot be used, due to road side railings which should have been altered or removed before they entered service. Also complaints from drivers fumes of in the cab area, due to new heating/cooling system, so modifications happening with this.

This is rather unfortunate as I think they look a most impressive piece of kit! Ed.

Taken May 3rd at Alexander Dennis Falkirk.

New Lothian Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis
Enviro 400XLB's from the second order. 1105 - SJ19OYF, 1106 - SJ19OYG and 1110 - SJ19OYM.

Also one built and awaiting painting.

One that may turn up in your area next.

Taken on North Bridge Edinburgh today Border Buses
41901 - YX19OWA
Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 MMC Demonstrator on route X62 arriving in Edinburgh and departing.

Some earlier pictures from Gordon.

Go Transit Canada 8302,  27th May 2016.

Enviro 500 Super Lo Demo, 11th September 2015.

Enviro 400 Open Topper for America, 11th March 2016. 

James Freeman shares some 19 plate coaches - Pictures are © to James

Bakers UB19MTB in Oxford on April 20th

Bay Travel's SJ19VNR seen in Beaumont Street, Oxford on April 19th

Delays to the delivery of MB Tourismos has caused many operators some significant problems
This coach, BV19YJK, is a demonstrator when seen in Oxford on April 20th

Highway's WJ19HPX in Oxford on April 20th

Minsterley have this Scania, YT19EBV, seen in Oxford on April 20th.

Owens new Volvo, YX19MKN, seen on April 20th. 

Premier Transport's Van Hool YJ19AXX in St. Giles on April 1st.

Premium's YD19GPZ seen in St Giles on March 13th.

Reays YJ19AXN, one of five with the company and seen in St Giles on April 17th.

A TMSA Safari HD owned by Ridleys, BV19LLW in Hythe Bridge Street on March 9th.

An Irizar i6,  PO19CXC, with Travellers Choice of Carnforth seen in St Giles on April 17th.

I haven't run an article specifically on new coaches before and I hope readers have enjoyed same? Many thanks to James Freeman for these pictures.


Fleet News and Developments

Having received the latest allocation list from Arriva little seems to have changed in terms of local allocations and the repainting of the 280 branded E400s proceeds apace. Also it is interesting to see the write offs. Some of these are parked up Wycombe (Cressex depot) with others doubtless parked up at other depots. Citaro 3028 was the one destroyed by fire at Hazelmere some months ago. Of interest also is that 2991 which was a repaint spare at Wycombe, replaced by 2992, is now at Hinckley repainted new Arriva blue!


Tony Bungay writes "Managed to get this on the 150 today, 3119 is seen coming into Aylesbury High Street on the last outward journey of the day, the 19.00 to Leighton Buzzard. Appearances of Enviro 200mmc vehicles in Aylesbury have so far been quite rare!"


5463 on May 7th near Aylesbury rail station having worked a 300 service in from High Wycombe, the destination is set for it’s next working, which I think did not actually happen!

One further branded bus somewhat off its intended route is 5461 on the X60 arriving in Aylesbury.

Mark Doggett advised that two new Tourismos for Crusader were seen heading towards Coventry (Evo) on Friday, Arpil 26th so these should be delivered to Motts very soon.

Similar coaches from Mercedes, the Tourismos, like this one from Motts are very late in delivery. 

The reallocated Scania/E400s 220-222 have been moved to Oxford but I cannot say that anyone has seen 219 recently. Please advise me if anyone can advise the whereabouts.

One of the fire damaged Hybrids has been sold to an operator in the north whose E400 had suffered upper deck damage and the Oxford one will be used as a source of spares.

I mention this since two were stored at Carousel's High Wycombe depot.

M A N 424 in orange and branded for the Link40 service is back in service now and so once again the normal allocation to the 40 is 423 and 424. 

It is suggested that thee new Tourismos will delivered shortly and so for the time being, on occasion, one can see a non compliant ULEZ coach on the X90. So on May 5th coach 63 was operating and then on May 6th and 7th coach 65 was on the X90 service.

Due to heavy end of holiday weekend traffic on the M40 an Airline coach was using the Stokenchurch-Lane End routing to avoid delay on its way to Heathrow. To those stuck in slow traffic on the M40 there must be a sense of frustration when an Airline coach is seen crossing the overbridge on the Marlow Road!!

Citaro 870 is now most often seen on 6 road. 838 is long term VOR which is why it has not been seen for a number of weeks. This is the bus with an overall wrap for PICKMEUP services.

Double decks are now used quite often on 6 road and above is seen 356 on May 6th by Gavin Francis.

221 looking resplendent in plain red is seen operating the 2 on May 1st and then the 35 on May 6th both by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 300 was working 35 road on May 5th in this picture by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 354 is seen heading for Wood Farm with a 4A road service on May 6th by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 361 is seen with an X13 loading for Abingdon on May 5th by Gavin Francis.

Fully wrapped for The Guides we see 369 turning on Carfax Corner and earlier loading in St Aldates with an X13 service on May 6th by Gavin Francis.
Looking at this batch of Hybrids seems very reliable.

Still in Oxford but due to go to London General at Sutton, 970 is working hard on PMU service on May 6th by Gavin Francis.

Coach nr 1 is seen setting down on an inbound Airline service in St Aldates on May 5th by Gavin Francis.
This coach is due to leave the fleet when the new Tourismos are delivered.

Coach 71 with appropriate branding is seen setting down in St Aldates on May 6th by Gavin Francis.

The Guides wrap 369 is seen at the John Radcliffe Hospital waiting for time with an X13 service on May 6th by Neil Beckley.

Now with Go Ahead Dublin Citaro 826 is seen in its new training guise by Ian Stewart.

Here recent additions 621 and 623 are often seen in Oxford, mainly on the X2 whereas 622 has not been seen for a little while. 

An interesting picture turned up from Gavin Francis of a Levante I working service 550 from VCS to North Wales. This coach is owned and operated by Llew Jones, Llanrwst registered LJI7211. This registration has been used by Llew Jones on various other coaches. I have noticed when we go up to Bangor for our holidays that the garage on Beach Road is or was used for overnight parking of a Llew Jones NEx branded coach overnight.

An interesting use of rear wrap is this Levante, BV17GPU operated by Mike De Courcey as their MD40 seen by Gavin Francis on May 6th.

Julian Walker writes "Thank you for another interesting and informative Weekly Briefing, I do enjoy reading each one as it comes out.  

In your most recent issue (no. 55) you have a photo of a rather forlorn ex-Stagecoach Optare Solo no. 47271 seemingly dumped at Reading Buses' Great Knollys Street Depot. This is one of six that were purchased from Stagecoach East Midlands in 2016 for use on contracted routes and as service spares, and were renumbered 181-186.  

In 47271's case the renumbering (as 181) was nominal, as it was decided not to refurbish this vehicle but to cannibalise and use it as a source of spares for the other five. Indeed I am surprised it is still at the Depot, I thought it would have gone for scrap some time ago. Of the other five, 182 is now in two-tone green livery and was initially used on the Greenwave routes, but was given new vinyls when Reading Buses won the contract for the Henley Town Services and is now the regular vehicle. 183-186 carry Reading Buses generic livery and can be seen on a variety of routes."

I understand that the purchase of this operator has now been completed. Further details will be advised when available.


From Tuesday 7th May tickets for The Original Tour in Windsor will be available to purchase on-board Green Line 702 and 703 services. This will sit alongside the current LEGOLAND entry ticket offer as a way of adding value for Green Line customers.


MMC 10435 is seen with an S8 working from St Aldates on May 6th by Gavin Francis.
It looks as if the area where adverts go need properly cleaning??

MMC 10680 is seen arriving from Wantage on the S8 and will shortly work an S9 service on May 6th by Gavin Francis.

Gold 15832 is seen working an S8 inbound service in St Aldates by Gavin Francis on May 5th.
This bus looks very tatty, with a fuel overfill, damaged panels and not giving a very good image to the travelling public.

15762 is seen having been recovered to Horspath depot on April 30th by Gavin Francis.
It certainly looks as if its needs a good wash and brush up! 

Open Top Bristol FLF 19952 is currently with Stagecoach East Midlands at Lincoln and will be used for a Lincoln City FC celebration parade on May 5th.

All six Scania/Enviro 400s transferred here from
 Stagecoach West,  15637/39/40/41/42/43 are now in service from Cambridge.

The three Volvo B7RLE saloons at Cambridge, 21224/27/28, have transferred to Fenstanton eliminating the type from the Cambridge allocation. Vehicles sold are Optare Solos 47435-42 and 47911 along with Trident 18343. With the exception of 47911 all have gone to
 Ensign Bus.

Now in service at Bedford are the two ‘Horizontally Challenged’ (short wheelbase) ADL Enviro 300s 36301 and 36302, which were transferred here from
Stagecoach London.


Look out for at least ten Scania Omnicity vehicles joining this fleet from
Stagecoach London 15074/75/78/81/83/85/87/89/90/92 are the earmarked vehicles which will be converted to single door layout and receive the electronic fan modification at ADL before transfer.

Now returned to
Plaxton is Volvo B9R 80041, which had been on loan at Bedford as cover for during warranty work on the Volvo B11R X5 fleet.


New 11301-35 have now entered service at Catford.

Out of service here and pending return to the leasing company are ADL Enviro 400 Hybrids 12324-26 and Wright-bodied Volvo B5TLs 13003/4/11/12/13/16/18/19/22/24/32 whilst Tridents 17838/42, 18220 and 18457 are reported by the company as for disposal.

Moving from Catford to Plumstead are Enviro 400 Hybrids 12261/63/65-70/72-78, with 12262/64/71/82-92 in the miscellaneous fleet here.

Scania Omnicity vehicles sold to Ensign Bus are 15017/80/82/84/88/93/94 and 15124. Ensign has also taken Trident 18456 and Enviro 200s 36303-05.

Scania OmniCitys transferred from West Ham to Plumstead are 15076/79/86/91. Also moving from West Ham to Plumstead are Enviro 400s 19743/45.

Trident 17857 and Dart SLF 34355 have been withdrawn from the training fleet whilst now part of the training fleet here are Enviro 200s 36556/59.
Sold to Lister PSV are Tridents 17857 and 18266/71. 

Provided by SKM, 10030 is seen bearing the last Ribble livery before being fully absorbed into the Stagecoach we know now.
Also this marks 100 years since Ribble Motor Service were formed based on Preston, Lancs.

Andrew Churchill writes "Herewith an update that former Stagecoach Oxford Volvo B9R /Plaxton Elite C48FLT 53704/53705 (OU10GYN/OU10GYO) have been transferred from Stagecoach Midlands at Rugby to Stagecoach South East (East Kent) arriving at the end of March 2019 and are currently in reserve and are in corporate livery with East Midlands Trains branding and have joined sisters 53702/53703 and they have been joined by former Stagecoach East Volvo B9R/Plaxton Elites 53706/53708 (TSV618 ex AE10JSZ, AE10JTU) all these are at Herne Bay depot .

A further update from Stagecoach South East is that the five acquired Volvo B9Rs are for a new coach service linking East Kent with North Greenwich and London and the new service will operate under the 'Stagecoach Express ' brand between Canterbury, North Greenwich which has connections to the capital and the 02 Arena and further details will be announced by Stagecoach in due course and drivers are currently being recruited for the route."

Can anyone provide pictures of these coaches at Herne Bay depot?


Unveiled in Paignton on April 30th was this Scania/Enviro 400, 15893, which has been given a special livery to commemorate the 100thanniversary of Devon General operations.

This picture is kindly provided by Adrian Roberts ©

The return to service at Stroud of Gold-spec MAN/Enviro 300s 22746/48/49/61, following Euro 6 engine conversion, will result in Tridents 17722/28/29 and 18085 being placed into the Reserve Fleet.

Scania/Enviro 400s 15732/33 have transferred from Ross on Wye to Gloucester in exchange for ADL Enviro 300s 27511/17. Former Wessex Bus 8.9m Enviro 200s 36079, 36379 and 36380 are now allocated to Gloucester but 36078 is now for disposal here as are former Reserve Fleet Tridents 18181 and 18321. 

Astromega 50272 has not been seen for a number of months and some have asked where is this coach. Also Johnny Johnson relates that he was following an Oxford tube out of Central London last week and found himself enveloped in clouds of smoke emitting from the exhaust? He wonders if this is a regular feature of these coaches and a friend said, when riding his bike, found himself in a similar cloud and it was difficult to breath!!

Megabus 54289 suitably decorated with poppies and even called Poppy. The coach was working the M10 on May 5th seen by Gavin Francis. 

London & other operators

Marcus Lapthorn writes following his picture, taken at Buckland Lay-by in issue 55 "the two buses seen, including ex London General WVL23 are with Oxford Taxis. 97 Howard Street, Oxford."

Sadly Ralph Adams who is no longer with us knew all about Oxford Taxis! 

This RML turned up in Stokenchurch the other day and Gavin was on hand to record the event on April 30th!

This coach which started life with Parks on Citylink Gold services and then moved to Skills as seen above and is now with a touring company.
The Skills one was taken on February 17th 2016 and the other pictures on May 5th all by Gavin Francis.

Now with Red Eagle, KX05KFF was working the 28 to Ibstone (School Days only) when caught in the lens of Gavin Francis on April 30th.
This bus started life with Central Parking at Heathrow in 2005.

Red Line YX12DKA is ex First 44205 seen on a Schooldays only service on April 30th by Gavin Francis.

With an unknown operator very new Tourismo Base BV19YLJ is seen in St Giles on May 6th by Gavin Francis.

Evan Evans have now got most of their Tourismos as seen in this picture of BV19YHC and YHF in VCS on April 30th by Gavin Francis.

Seen on May 8th 2000, now 19 years ago, MPT316P was promoting new potatoes when it failed at Stokenchurch. Picture by your Editor.
I think this bus was with COMS for a while and was new to Northern?