If you have any news or pictures please email me: malcolmcrowe@oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk



Perhaps the most significant piece of news, for this issue, is that SNAP operations have been suspended for the time being. It is suggested that they may restart at the beginning of the Autumn Semester but at present staff have been put on notice until a final decision is made, Thus Oxford Bus who run the Birmingham, Bristol and London services will no longer do so. I will keep readers posted on developments.

Originally 25 and 65 were the normal coaches rostered to the SNAP services.

68 in the centre shows the sn-ap display on the blind - picture by Gavin Francis on December 10th 2018.

SNAP was likened to the Uber of the coaching world but seemingly investment for future development is not forthcoming, it is claimed that the bank is not empty as yet!


David Gray records Bournemouth Rally on June 9th 2019

The location was King's Park, Bournemouth (adjacent to AFC Bournemouth's Vitality Football Stadium)

And now a selection of the vehicles attending from David Gray.

Rather splendid Leyland PD3s, however 159 has a variation on a theme concerning the radiator grill!
This, especially with the front exit is replicating the older PD2s which with a full front style.
167 is a later PD3 with only a front entrance in the more modern idiom.

Promising a beautiful trip on a fine day - 184 named "CHESHIRE" is seen on the Coastal Service 12.

A Leyland Tiger Cub (Oh what a lovely badge!) with Park Royal bodywork looks very smart and inviting.

Leyland Atlantean 230 attracts visitors and looks immaculate.

Daimler Roadliner/Willowbrook body nr 55 again beautifully presented for the event.

Another Atlantean, this time looking somewhat careworn is Guide Friday's started life with Southampton Corporation.

In the livery of Southampton CityBus E289HRV is a Leyland Olympian with East Lancs bodywork.

In an interim livery for Southampton City KOW247Y is a Leyland Atlantean.

Yellow Buses H262MFX is a
Dennis Dominator with East Lancashire bodywork.

RM24 and RT4777 represent London at this seaside event.

This Bedford SB Duple bodied coach reminds me of a similar coach I drove up in Cheshire, 148RLG for Godfrey Abbott.
Once one got used to the engine between you and the front seat passengers, it was quite pleasant.

Once with Wallace Arnold, this G plate Volvo/Plaxton is seen in the livery of Tappins Coaches from Didcot.
My wife went to school in Wallingford but lived in Didcot and travelled on every schoolday by Tappins, even all those years ago in orange! (1950+)

Restored to its glory as new, AEC Reliance/Yeates Europa bodywork and a proper number plate!

These coaches were the staple for NEx Ribble's Manchester depot and were used on the NEx services of the day.

Don't you just love "Seaside Special" often from High Wycombe. Bournemouth was quite a long journey in a bus!

So a nice day out for all those who went to the event with weather to match! Thanks to David Gray.

Gavin Francis takes on the second part of his visit to London

Part Two carried from last week. Gavin always gets great pictures which I am sure readers appreciate.

I know it is not a bus but what a gem! Down by The Embankment.

RML 2711 is a feature of the Embankment at this time with a striking livery.

Westminster Bridge is the setting for LT132 on the lengthy 148 route down to Shepherd's Bush.

LT425 is wrapped in a Good Omen advert.

Neat! now LT426 on the 12 heading for Oxford Circus.

Nice weather for The Original Tour's DLP265 looking good for an eighteen year old vehicle.

On a rainy day, RM54 heads over the bridge southwards on a Tour of London by Ensign.

Stagecoach London 13069, an MMC working the 53 towards Whitehall.

Perfect weather for a picture of TA1 working the 12, clearly showing its increased length with tri-axle configuration.

RM1087 seen in London on a Wedding Special

Hounslow West

Now becoming less frequent, these Scanias are being withdrawn by many London operators. SP40028 is working the H32.

Indeed Hallmark are using this Scania LX59COH once 15152 of Stagecoach, often used on the 215.

Citaro MCL30304 is a 2011 version of the model run by London United on the 203.

A much later Wrights 68 plate Eclipse Gemini, VH45307, working the H91 to Hammersmith.

Metroline ADL E400 TE1735 working the 482.

Many thanks to Gavin for a nice selection of photographs. 

Malcolm Crowe adds more pictures from over 20 years ago

I hope you enjoyed last week's pictures and this week again we are showing 20 year old pictures for your enjoyment. I can't help but feel how much things have changed since 1999.

Oxford Bus - COMS

A protest march, about Cats used for experimentation, took place on June 12th 1999 and here the police are seen holding the marchers back.

Buses continued to run squeezing by the people, police horses etc. all on June 12th 1999

Olympian 221 turns into St Aldates on its way to Abingdon.

Volvo 637 exits Queen Street on a 52 service to Blackbird Leys.

Things had calmed a bit when 655 was turning into St Aldates with a 15 road working. This bus was seen in issue 59 now on the Isle of Wight topless!

Ex London titan 950 and the last one to run in Oxford with me driving on the 300 service.

Quite a busy picture with the three parts of Oxford bus in one picture, oh and plus a police horse!

Well here's a great trio of picture of 229, first when in Oxford on June 12th 1999 and the last in Melbourne on March 17th 2018!!
My two pictures and one thanks to Alan Brown.

Volvo 628 was out of the wash and ready to be parked up on April 10th 1999. The overall ad for Citylink was interesting.

During June 1999 new buses arrived including the Park & Ride double deck Tridents and Volvo/Plaxtons for single deck routes.

The pictures below were taken on June 19th 1999 at Cowley Road depot

Newly arrived at Cowley Road introducing a green interior with special seat coverings. These could carry a wheelchair.
However one needed to be careful how big the chair was as I got caught out with a rather larger electric chair which we could not turn round to exit by the centre door!
There were 20 of these buses which gave good service for a number of years before moving to Thames Travel, Carousel and other owners.

A new face for the local routes and provided a lovely ride and were nice to drive. Again Low Floor and easy for passengers.
There were 21 of these very nice buses, 803 above, and I think design was modern and clean.

801, 802 and 805 plus a Park & Ride Trident are prepared fort service on June 19th 2019.


Oxford Bus acquired the operations in High Wycombe which later became owned by Arriva. A few interesting buses were used as seen below.

One of the Marshall bodied Darts, 512, was loaned to Wycombe and is seen here climbing out of Marlow on the 329 on May 25th 1999.

Ex Beeline, F556NJM, when joining Wycombe Bus was 1401 but here was renumbered 301. These Lynx's were excellent buses.
Seen on June 17th 1999 just 20 years earlier than this issue of OCBP!

When there was more than one Open Top operator in Oxford, the Classic tour had some ex Edinburgh Atlanteans - BFS45L above.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

In days before there was a National fleet Numbering  System each "company" used its own system.

On June 12th fairly new M A N /Jonckheere double deck Oxford tube nr 36 negotiates Carfax Corner.

Mercedes minibuses 350 and 352 in Thames Transit livery but with Stagecoach branding are in the overflow parking at Horspath on June 12th 1999.

Ex London Olympians 527, 528 and 529 were acquired to service the Brookes University contract seen on June 12th 1999.

Now 757, this Dart is seen on a 7B service passing through the now Bus Gate under construction on June 12th 1999.

New to Thames Transit 778is seen on a 3 service to the City Centre. Note the Hail & Ride plus Bus Points promotion on June 12th 1999.

There was a large fleet of M A N /ALX300 buses delivered in 1999, many of which had coloured tops relating to the route.
939 is seen on The Blackbird Flyer also promoting SUPER LOW FLOOR. 

Steam Corner from Mike Walker

Yesterday evening's steam passing at South Hinksey – literally as we'd dared hope! 60163 Flying Scotsman was on its way back to Paddington from Worcester with the Railway Touring Company’s Cotswold Venturer whilst 7029 Clun Castle was bringing the empty stock for Vintage Trains’ Oxford 175 Express up from Didcot where the train had been turned ready to work the return trip to Solihull.

Thanks to a delayed northbound GWR service which held 60103 at Charlbury and then it not stopping at Oxford for its planned “pathing stop” we got them both passing at the South Hinksey footbridge. After 45 years of main line steam photography, at last the Holy Grail – if only the sun had been out. It was minutes later!

Pictures by Mike Walker - copyright


Fleet news and developments

Tony Bungay

In the week commencing 27/5/19  caught branded 3922 working Service 8 

3866 in Aylesbury High Street working the intermediate X60 short working to Maids Moreton 

5460 in Exchange Street Aylesbury making a comparatively rare appearance on Service 60

In the rains of last week 3579 and 2787 in Exchange street Aylesbury both on the 150.


Tony Bungay

As I was staying in Pembroke in order to walk some parts of the coast, did not get much opportunity to get many Bus shots, caught First 42884 working the principal Service here Tenby – Pembroke – Haverfordwest – Withybush Hospital with Pembroke Castle behind.




Sorry Guys I am a little behind with Carousel and expect one or more of the ex London Wrights 938-941 have now been converted to single door. If anyone can update me please let me know. 

Phil Southall
No concrete news on Tourismos yet. There is a 'type approval' meeting with DVSA at the end of June so we would hope the coaches start arriving with us from mid-July with a view to getting them into service a the end of July / early August. The piece you did on our new coach was great.

There are now a number of pictures from Gavin Francis of matters "Oxford Bus" over the last weeks.

Coach nr 1 only has a few weeks to go now before it gives way to the Tourismos. Seen on June 9th.

63 seems to see less use than expected but is seen here on June 9th ready for a trip to Gatwick.

Branded for the Abingdon 35 service 309 is laying over near The Westgate Centre on June 9th.

Loading at Westgate for its continuation of the 4 from Abingdon to Wood Farm on June 9th.

Park & Ride 666 unloads customers for the Westgate Centre on June 9th.

Colourful 684 on the 3 with 689 on the 8 seen by The Westgate on June 9th.

Ex Oxford 115 now 2059 passes the Ashmolean Museum in Beaumont Street which makes an interesting comparison with 101 when new.
Seen on June 9th 2019. by Gavin Francis.

Phil Southall

Regarding PMU, we will be losing 969 and 970 to Go Ahead London after service on June 28th 2019. We will then be getting two hired vehicles from EVM (types and vehicles TBC) until we get our two new EVM minibuses like 977/978 at the end of July. These will be numbered 979 and 980.

969 is seen in Central Oxford being one of those with not long for Oxford now. Seen on June 9th 2019. by Gavin Francis.

Chris Huntingford

Should be some interesting opportunities to record a regular bus service from Broad Street, starting mid-July.


Still missing its Mercedes symbol, 869 is seen loading for a run to Watlington on June 12th 2019. by Gavin Francis.


Acklams W30ACK with a National Express 564 service on June 9th and this coach started life as YN08NXO. by Gavin Francis.

BF68LFG with a 540 service parked up on Elizabeth Bridge on June 9th. by Gavin Francis.

National Express's own fleet BV19XOS pulls out of Elizabeth Street with an A3 service to Gatwick on June 11th. by Gavin Francis.

Still awaiting delivery of their new Green Line coaches, 772 is seen on the 702 on June 12th. by Gavin Francis.




Gold on a non Gold route, 10788 with a 2 working on June 11th. by Gavin Francis.

Gold 15759 with an S5 Gold service on June 9th by Gavin Francis. 


Former Bedford Dart SLF 34424 is now in service at Peterborough.
We are expecting the ten former Stagecoach London Scania OmniCity vehicles currently at ADL Anston for single door conversion, to be based at Cambridge. It is understood that they will also allow the displacement of the five Tridents still in use from Cambridge - 18411-15.

The company has confirmed that the 17 new ADL Enviro 400MMCs (11216-32) due for delivery this summer will be for the Unibus services worked by Leamington garage. Previous information received by us suggested they were for Northampton but this is not the case. Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach Midlands said “We are delighted to able to continue our investment in better transport for students at Warwick University and the wider community in Leamington. These 17 buses have cost £3.7 million, and represent a real enhancement with USB charging, a smooth ride and improved environmental engines.

Nick Ross

A photo of Stagecoach Midlands Trident 18405 with a morning service 12 at Brackmills on a damp June 12th 2019. Northampton currently has a sizeable Trident fleet of 17 vehicles.

Astromega 50284 has been absent from service recently but I cannot find out why?

The company – part of international transport group Stagecoach – has partnered with South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach Company Ltd to deliver five new routes across the midlands and south west of England.  

The Bristol based company will operate the new routes as part of the megabus.com network, offering direct links to Heathrow or Gatwick from 13 towns and cities from 1 May 2017.

The news means that megabus.com – which is known for offering fares from just £1* - now provides its first direct links to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, with daily departures to Heathrow from Barnstaple, Cardiff, Bristol, Bath, Gloucester, Cheltenham and new links between Cardiff, Bristol and Gatwick.
A fleet of 26 coaches, which will bear the well known blue and yellow megabus.com livery, will operate the new services from the South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach Company depot in Bristol.

Once Sleeper 50307 and following that with service for Rennies, this and a number of other similar coaches are being transferred
to South Gloucester Bus and Coach to operate a Cardiff-Bristol-Gatwick service offering a luxury service.
This coach was being delivered to SGBC on June 14th by Ashley Cooper who has provided the pictures.

megabus.com Managing Director Edward Hodgson said: “We are delighted to add these latest routes to the megabus.com network. We are excited to be offering, for the first time, direct services to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports, providing passengers the cheapest possible option for travelling to and from these key hubs which are used by millions of people every year."

The seating provided on these ex Sleeper coaches. 


Smaller operators and London developments

Tony Bungay

As some readers may recall many services round here were operated by Geoff Silcox until that operators demise, now a number of services such as the Pembroke Coaster are worked by Pembrokeshire County Council using vehicles like the one in the photo, taken at Freshwater West on 6/6/19.

This service connects various small villages with Pembroke and connects to various points along the coast for anybody wishing to do walks or visit the beach, at weekends this includes access to the army’s Castle Martin shooting range which is open in part. In season it is a daily service and gives a very scenic journey.

Some more coaches visiting Oxford provided by Gavin Francis.

This is a delightful "small" Scania Irizar i6S - Goldline's YN18SVG in St Giles Oxford on June 9th.

Another Scania/Irizar GC67ENG from Guideline and in a livery for the England football team in St Giles Oxford on June 9th.

Linburg L40URG in St Giles Oxford on June 8th  by Gavin Francis.