Complete issue published Saturday, June 29th 2019

Editorial and other items below - Fleet News & Developments to be published later this week


My apologies to readers for this unusual way of producing issue 63, but as already mentioned in 63-1, I was laid up Saturday through Monday with an unpleasant illness which is still hanging on today, Wednesday.

The most interesting local news is the arrival for evaluation of two differing buses, one being used on the Park & Ride 500 service and the other on the 98 in Didcot.

I have a number of pictures of the two buses in service provided by Jack Cooper, Graham Low, Jim Wright and Giles Woodforde which will give readers a fair idea of their service to Oxford Bus & Thames Travel.

The bus on the Oxford Bus P&R 500 service.

100 LJ68CYO  BYD D8UR LC04S24P0J1000001  Alexander J203/1  B33F  11/2018  Alexander Dennis, Falkirk 

First picture of 100, working the 500, was from Giles Woodforde on June 19th.

Graham Low provided three pictures of the bus entering Oxford and then departing on its next journey to Water Eaton on June 22nd.

Jim Wright caught 100 in George Street by the old Fire Station again on June 22nd, note the lack of normal rear view mirrors on this vehicle.

Several pictures were provided by Jack Cooper of the interior, drivers area and other items of interest on June 19th.

We mentioned the rear view mirrors and here's what the outside camera show to the driver.

Another interior shot.

Driving area.

As readers can see this bus has just about everything passengers and staff could wish for.

This time BYD 100 with ADL E200EV bodywork is seen at Water Eaton.

Matthew Searle writes "I attach a photo of Oxford Bus's BYD demonstrator, 100 - LJ68CYO, serving the Oxford Electric Vehicles Forum at the Said Business School today. It has been used on the 500 Park & Ride service."

LJ68CYO is seen in Frideswide Square today, June 26th, during the Oxford Electric Vehicles Forum at the Said Business School.

The bus has certainly made an impression here in Oxford and where there are in service, London, Guildford and other areas have proved very popular. Alexander has a deal with BYD to produce single deck buses for the United Kingdom.

Many thanks to those readers who have provided the pictures above and I see this as an important potential development in Oxford. 

The bus on the Thames Travel 98 service.

800 BF68ZHB  MB Citaro O295 WEB62801623136439  Mercedes Benz   B41F  11/2018  EvoBus, Coventry 

Pictures below are from Jack Cooper and give a nice impression for readers of this latest Citaro design taken on June 19th.

The bus is a demonstrator from Evobus.

The bus is seen in Great Western Park, a large new housing estate west of Didcot centre.

The bus has a striking interior with high backed seats and all mod cons such as WiFi and charging sockets.

800 passes StreetLite 441 in Great Western Park.

Promotional branding on this bus.

Here we can see a clear view of many new houses at Great Western Park. 

Full details just released today, June 26th.

In addition to this news I can now reveal details of a new Science Transit Shuttle to be run by Thames Travel launching on July 15th. My thanks to Phil Southall for this late news.

New Science Transit Shuttle ST1 and ST2 services will be commencing from Monday 15th July 2019. Your X34 service will be incorporated into the ST1 service from this date. Look out for your shiny new buses arriving later this year!

Details of the new Science Transit Shuttle.

Click on the link for timetable details.

Phil Southall adds:

We are ordering three 11.8m (fleet numbers 451-453) and three 8.9m (fleet numbers 511 to 513) ADL E200MMC. All will be in Science Transit Shuttle livery.

The ST1 will use 451 to 453 and the ST2 will use 2 from 511 to 513. The spare 8.9m will also be used to cover 451 to 453. 

However, none of these will be delivered until the first week in September so until then we are hiring three E200MMC from Dawsongroup (details TBC) to cover the ST2 and Carousel StreetLites 403, 405 and 406 will transfer to Thames for the ST1.

Basic vinyls will be applied to these buses in use until September. 

General news.

A COACH carrying 55 tourists was seized at Blenheim Palace last week - police found the driver was not qualified to drive it.

The driver was found to only possess a category B car licence. Anyone driving a bus that has more than eight passengers needs a category D licence instead.

They also found the coach had been driven for the last ten days without a tacho card, a device which records information about driving time, speed and distance to ensure drivers are obeying rules governing how long they are able to drive. 

A tyre was also found to be defective. 

Police said they had seized the bus and issued a 'big fine'. It is not known what happened to the group of tourists.

Coaches have long been a controversial subject in Oxford with some complaining they clog up the roads and park inappropriately in areas such as St Giles. 

DISRUPTION is likely to hamper motorists who use Folly Bridge

 when further critical work to repair one of its arches takes place later this year.

The county council wants to undertake £150,000 work in September and has filed for planning permission for the Grade II listed bridge.

The work will mean temporary traffic lights are installed to control one-way traffic on Abingdon Road, which passes over the bridge.

Maintenance is likely to last between three and four weeks.

The council had wanted to carry out work to the bridge's fourth arch – along with the bridge’s first three which pass over the River Thames – in 2017.


A visit to Italy by Marcus Lapthorn

I have included some links for readers to have a better idea of where they are and what one can see.

We recently spent a couple of weeks holiday in Umbria & Tuscany and I took a few bus shots whilst there. Unfortunately it rained on 11 of our 14 days there, so many shots were taken under gloomy conditions.


Lucca: Shots 505, 506, 511 and 521.



Pistoia is also served by Flixbus !


San Gimignano



The Florence tramway network is an important part of the public transport network of Florence, ... The current network operator is GEST (Gestione Servizio tramviario), a public company owned by ATAF


Florence: Shots 659, 660. 661,663, 666. -

This is a nice way to see the sights with some buses having open sides. Check out the link below.


Perugia is a very hilly place and when one alights from the main line railway trains, one can use the Mini Metro driverless trains to ascend to the city of Perugia. Mini-Metro is a family of cable propelled automated people mover systems built by Leitner Group. The vehicles either run on rails or an air cushion and have either a detachable grip or a fixed grip. It began operation in 2008.  


The Mini-metro runs Mondays – Sundays with a car passing on average every 2/3 minutes, with the following operating hours:

MONDAYS – SATURDAYS 7:00 am – 9:20 pm

SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

This provides much of interest with a lot of variety. Imagine Flixbus to Southern Italy!! Many thanks to Marcus for sharing these pictures with us.

Developments in the West Midlands by Dylan Jones

New generic branding has been applied to Yardley Woods 6893/4, 6912-14, 6943/4 and newer 6968/9. The numbers will be rather strange to readers - 6895-6911 are branded for the 50 in blue, so the first two sets of generics surround the main batch. 6943/4 were delivered as extras with tachographs fitted, and I believe the numbers above them also do (6945-50 at BC). 6968/9 are rather strange - they were apparently extras in this years order for YW, as they didn't have enough Platinums, though I think it’s more to do with general PVR being tight with buses off road etc. Furthermore, the generics can be seen across the depots entire set of routes (bar the single decked 27 which passes under Bournville rail bridge) and this goes for any day of the week.

Here is 6914 at Shirley Station, with a Sunday service 49 to Solihull Station, where it would have interworked onto a 76 to the QE Hospital.
I will certainly be aiming to get more of these off the 50, at locations where Platinums aren’t normally seen!

Now being threatened with withdrawal are the elderly Alexander bodied Volvo B7TLs, based at Acocks Green and West Bromwich.

This is 4275 at the QE Hospital, roughly half way through its 48 journey from West Brom to Northfield. Note that on route X20,
Northfield is a mere 10-15 mins away, but the tour via Bournville, Cotteridge, Hawkesley and West Heath that the 48 takes,
adds around 35-40 mins to the journey!

No prizes for the location of this one! though it is rather significant. 853 is one of two Enviro 200s based at Wolverhampton, the other being 854, that operate the hourly 54 out to Stafford Mon-Sat.

This was taken on a Sunday, so 853 was being made useful on route 81, and 854 was reported on the Dudley-Wolverhampton route 27 too !

A number of the 43xx numbered Dennis Tridents are now seeing out their days in regular service. Most of the 436x set have been relegated to the reserve fleet, though still see frequent use.

Yardley Wood has 4360, 4361, 4364 and 4365, which normally are used on the 18 between the depot and Bartley Green, where 4364 is pictured

A few StreetLites moved in from Dundee are in use on route 10S between Quinton Tesco and Northfield.

This is 431 at the QE Hospital 

755 is the only Enviro 200 left at Birmingham Central, and normally runs the 10S if one of the StreetLites is unavailable. On the 13th June it ventured onto the Pershore Road 45 between Birmingham and Longbridge, as pictured in West Heath. Certainly one of the most noteworthy workings in my area so far this year!


Turning 180 degrees and 4911 passes with a 45 for Birmingham. This represents the large sum of 45/47 branded Enviros that are no longer such.

Four have had adverts applied , 4897 has been painted into crimson livery, and 4905 is this years Pride bus. Rumours suggest that new Platinums are due for these routes, but there is no confirmation from management yet.

West Bromwich have taken delivery of their new Platinums 6970-6993, and as usual they have all had branding applied of some sort.

6979 represents the 82 87 Pink Branded examples, at Cape Hill with a Birmingham bound 82

The Coventry batch of Platinums have had their generic branding applied now too. 6951 is pictured turning into the University of Warwick Interchange with a Coventry bound 11.

This bus is the only of their 17 strong batch to have a Scottish SK registration, the rest being YX registered.

A scene set to soon change is that of Stagecoach Tridents on the Unibus U1 U2 routes, for new MMC400s have been diverted from Northampton. 18106 is pictured at the U1 terminus at Cannon Park, looking fairly tatty but not as bad as some other examples.


To start off, I don’t remember sharing one of these before. Diamond have a large fleet of Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLEs in their fleet, some were received new whilst others have been gathered second hand, like 30880 and 30881 which came from Yourbus, Heanor.

BK10MFX is 30880 and is seen at Bartley Green with a 002 for Merry Hill, which has had numerous brandings applied over the years.

A small development on the Igo front again, for the 38 which Green Bus had taken over is now with Bromsgrove based Kev’s.

They are using this former Somerset Passenger Solutions mini Enviro 200 YX18KVR, as pictured at Cotteridge 

West Bromwich’s Platinums went wandering on Sunday 16th June, taking in the 48 to Northfield, 5 to Sutton Coldfield, 80 and 89 to Birmingham and 45 to Walsall.

This is 6992 with a 48 bound for Northfield

Coventry’s sky blue livery is shown to full effect here by 4840 at the Station with an 8 to Walsgrave Triangle

Rail Replacements over the Easter weekend provided a great deal of interest that I have yet to include! Green Bus’ Volvo B7TL Presidents that were new to TWM were out in full force. Here are Vamooz 302 V102MOA (4102 at TWM), recent repaint/vinyled 395 V95MOA (4095 at TWM) and Vamooz 312 W112DOP (4112) parking up at Birmingham International between their runs to Rugby.

Rail replacements

National Express employed around 6 buses each day (4 from Coventry and 2 from Birmingham Central), as buses were running in pairs. Coventry supplied Warwick Uni branded 6956 on the first day. It is seen with a friend at Tile Hill Station .

Whilst waiting at Coventry Station, I was given a good opportunity to view the Wasps Shuttles. Coachleasing of Nuneaton's 4 Olympians and a former London WVL arrived in convoy for the Shuttles, including specially liveried S634MKH. The others were 623, 627 and 629, the WVL being LX03EDR. They all arrived in convoy at around 1120, and I was surprised to see them all, having not checked previously if a match was on!


Can’t remember if I shared my photo of this in its home town of Burton, so here is Midland Classics heritage liveried 63 SN11BMU arriving at Coventry with a terminating Rail Replacement from Rugby, for London Northwestern Railway


Most of the newer fleet of Enviro 200s and Enviro 400s are going through modifications to make them Euro 6 compliant.

I have included this shot of 4914 and 4835 in front of the skip at Grayson's of Tyseley, where there are normally around 7-15 buses at any time.
Lots of items in there such as an exhaust, radiator and fan system (I’m sure some readers can be more specific than me!)

A lineup of Enviros on another day outside the building - 4899, 4880, 4994 and 4861

I’m sure many of your readers will remember the MCW Metrobus entering service across Britain, possibly not too joyfully either! To celebrate 40 years since the types introduction, Wythall Transport Museum held a display and short running session with numerous WM examples. These are 2462 NOA462X, 2912 D912NDA, 2783 B783AOC, 2764 A764WVP, 2957 D957NDA, 8110 A110WVP and Reading Transport 162 WRD162T.


Looking spectacular was recent restoration 2764 A764WVP, pictured here at Maypole during the ‘happy hour’ where all of the above lined up vehicles took part in a running session between here and Becketts Farm 10 mins down the road, offering simultaneous rides on as many vehicles as visitors wanted. Although never carried by this vehicle, it was chosen due to its distinctiveness over other standard WM liveries. I recommend everyone to their main events if they haven’t been, though not all the Metros above are resident there (2764 living in Yorkshire I believe)

Many thanks to Dylan for his ever interesting reports and pictures on things in the West Midlands.

Nick Ross also sent an image from June 22nd of Diamond Travel's StreetLite, SN68AJG, arriving at Bridgnorth on the 125 from Stourbridge and Kidderminster.


Tony Bungay

I went to the London Bus Museum Summerfest event today which featured some of the oldest alongside some of the newest London Buses.

Some of the vehicles on display were in their to be restored states as well as the workshop being open, the frequent shuttle service to Weybridge station and town was in the main worked by electric and hybrid vehicles giving one a chance to sample the ride qualities of these vehicles.

No doubt you will receive contributions from other viewers, so will have a good selection of images to use.  Sadly not so far Tony. Yours are it!

First photo shows K502 and S454, a collection of restored Thomas Tilling vehicles, and Green Line T Types in restored, being restored and unrestored states.

View in the workshops

BYD 1474,  RT3490? And WH 31128 all Brooklands bound at Weybridge station, heading the other Stagecoach 29102.

Contrasting restored and yet to be restored LT ‘Scooters’

Reading Buses 722 and general views of various London Bus Museum vehicles, trio of unrestored vehicles, RM 3 etc 

and looking towards museum building a snapshot of London bus types!

BYD 1475 and two shots of the Tilling single decker, note it is a petrol/electric according to poster on window,
an early hybrid! In background electric double-decker, and same bus passing new single decker.

Many thanks to Tony for those pictures at The LBM, which apart for the restoration projects, of which there are many, seems to have been an electric show as well.

Gordon Scott with a glimpse above the border

Taken at Alexander Dennis Falkirk 27/6 with Lausanne Switzerland Enviro 500 one on a test run and the other on a delivery run.

These buses might make an interesting option for the Oxford tube, using the rear doors for a luggage area.

Also Nottingham City Transport Scania CNG Gas Bus on a test run.


Taken today second day in service Lothian 1125CE SJ19OZD
Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB.
Seen at East Craigs on route 31 near its terminus.

Last one of second order bus type in white livery and Lothian has had a white livery bus for the last two years the last one 551 a Volvo B5LH Wright Gemini 3 which has now been moved to Lothian Country and is to be painted green and cream soon. Every year they have Poppy vinyls fitted and it runs in this livery for about six months.

Taken today on driver training for new First group open top tours in Edinburgh under Bright Bus Tours Edinburgh.

Dennis Trident Alexander ALX400 - TSU640 ex Stagecoach East used in Cambridge,
seen on the Mound Edinburgh First based at Livingston
depot under First East Scotland tours start on Monday 30th June.

Many thanks to Gordon for some interesting pictures. 

Steam Corner

District Line 150 by Mike Walker

This past weekend saw the London Transport Museum mark 150 years of the District Line with three round trips both days between Ealing Broadway and High Street Kensington using Metropolitan No.1 on the Ealing end and 12 'Sarah Siddons' on the London end bracketing two 4-wheel first class coaches - District 100 and Metropolitan 353 - from the LTM collection and the 4-car "Chesham set" brought up from the Bluebell Railway for the event.







Despite 'Sarah Siddons' losing a pick-up shoe in Ruislip depot (nothing to do with the pyrotechnics at Ealing Common) at the start of the day delaying proceedings by around 90 minutes, the day was a great success with every seat sold at £150 third class and £180 first - Oyster not accepted!

Finally for those more interested in buses!


Also spotted outside West Kensington station between trips was RT8 running a shadow route 28 - a much better class of vehicle than that currently to be found on the 28! Note too what was following it...

What a timeless design the RT was, is and will be.


Many thanks to Mike for some excellent pictures and a glimpse into the past.


Fleet news and developments


Tony Bungay

Optare Solo 2498 returning to it’s garage showing the staff bus message, I have seen a number of different out of service buses displaying this, but never been in position to get a photo, even this one is not brilliant! 


Enviro 5467 nears Aylesbury Bus Station on a return X8 working.

A shot taken on 24/6/19 5468 in Aylesbury lunchtime traffic with 3829 behind working town service 9.

Caught 2990 passing the white swan in Whitchurch on service 60 today (26/6/19), not certain as to when this vehicle appeared at Aylesbury,
but certainly the first time a Versa has been at Aylesbury other than when Hemel based examples appeared on the 500.

Recently repainted 5464 in Oxford road Aylesbury.

Freshly repainted 5467 with a 280 working by the Rail Station on June 28th by Gavin Francis.

There are some service revisions which I hope to note in the next issue.  




Phil Southall notes : StreetLites 403, 405 and 406 will transfer to Thames for the Science Shuttle ST1 starting on July 15th.

There are some service revisions which I hope to note in the next issue.  


The public will now have seen the latest coaches expected for the Airline service when nr 30, on driver training ventured into Gloucester Green on June 4th taken by Jack Cooper.

See the article in the Editorial of a demonstrator working the Park & Ride 500.

Photos by Gavin Francis.

Variety on 5 road with pictures taken on June 28th at Frideswide Square.

204, 604, 608 and 657 make for a change. Some of the branded buses are presently off the road.

375 works a U1 timing looking nice and clean.

Phil Southall advises that even though a vehicle may be shown as working a route on " " it could be down to a change of ticket machine! Hence coach 5 seen as working 5 road this was down to the ticket machine change.

Derek Doling

Surprised to find BrookesBus in Eastleigh Today (Saturday) operating on the Park & Ride for the World Cup cricket at the Hampshire Bowl.  Four in total I think.

So, some Brookes had a trip to the south during the summer break. 607, 613 and 614.
We don't know which the other bus was? 

Photos by Gavin Francis.

Recently converted to open top, 203 is seen with happy sightseers taken on June 28th at Frideswide Square.

2058, once Oxford's 110, is seen in the same location and day.

Just a reminder that buses 969 and 970 should be off fleet yesterday and replacement buses should arrive for service shortly. If any pictures can be provided of 969 or 970 in service in Sutton it would be appreciated.


See the article in the Editorial on a demonstrator and a new routes and buses.

Gavin Francis reports: "I saw TT 855 coming though Stokenchurch village on June 24th heading towards Wycombe with an Engineer driving, wonder if it coming over on loan? On June 28th I saw StreetLite demonstrator SK17HHL which was with Carousel around May 22nd as shown on issue nr 58 !"

Lewis Parker writes "Saw the article last week on the site about Thames needing to rent three E200MMCs from mid-July to September for the Science Shuttle routes, but the company has currently got the demonstrator Streetlite Micro-hybrid, which apparently spent a while up with Arriva Yorkshire recently."

SK17HHL is seen with an X32 service in Wantage by Lewis Parker on June 28th.


Glastonbury has been the event in the past week at VCS with queues running all the way round the coach station, reminiscent of early post war days when operators were unable to cope with demand. One difference in modern times is that nice coaches are used, not the case all the years ago!

Caetano III tri-axle is soon to run to Glastonbury with a G1 special service on June 28th by Gavin Francis.

Lucketts 4824 with another G1 to Glastonbury, this time on June 26th by Gavin Francis.

This year should see cleaner less muddy returning festival goers! Past years have seen mud, mud glorious mud!!

Open Day on Sunday, June 30th

Robert Williams writes to advise about the above event.

This Sunday, 30 June, is our annual open day, all in aid of our charity of the year as chosen by our workforce. We are supporting Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens and we hope it will be another record breaking event.

The open day will include all the usual popular attractions, including rides through the bus wash, vintage and open top bus rides, games and more, including the chance to have your name put 'up in lights' on the front of a bus and some fantastic food.

The event will be opened by the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Paul Woodward at 11am and is open until 4pm.

The day is not only a great way to raise funds for our charity of the year, but its also our chance to show off behind the scenes and demonstrate the hard work that goes into keeping Reading and the surrounding area moving day in and day out.

Thank you to everyone who is volunteering, supporting or simply spreading the word about the event. It wouldn't be possible without you all.

It’s set to be another great day and I’m really looking forward to it. I look forward to seeing you there! Robert Williams CEO.

Picture from Gavin Francis taken in Victoria on June 28th.

763 arrives at Green Line for another run to Legoland.

There are some service revisions which I hope to note in the next issue including the 643 which is shown below and will operate in the afternoons five minutes later.

SK52MPV seen in  Stokenchurch on June 28th by Gavin Francis.

KX05KFF is seen in Stokenchurch on the 28 service which runs through to Ibstone on June 28th by Gavin Francis. 

Mark Turner

Seen on June 25th in Watford Town Centre is a RED ROSE bus, E1RRT, which has been repainted green for service in Watford on route W18. Fleet number would be 50537 once it gets applied to the bus. 




E200 36929 is the latest in the workshop for a repaint at Horspath road.

Picture from Gavin Francis taken in Oxford on June 28th.

10434 and 12001 - the first of the provincial Hybrids, seen working on route 1.

15612, 15620, both of which are due to be replaced in September, with 15963 which was once of three used on the short lived SW1 service.

MMC Gold 10787 is seen with an S9 Wantage service.

36984 with a 14A service passes through Frideswide Sq.

12012 is seen with a number 2 on June 26th. 

Changes for the X5 service are planned.

Previously unreported by us is the repaint of Scania/East Lancs 15403 from Corby Star livery into corporate livery. 

Another Optare Solo transferred to Stagecoach Yorkshire is 47509.

Following repairs Tridents 18151 and 18407 along with Enviro 400 19085 and MAN/Enviro 300 22832 have returned to service at Northampton.

Delicenced from Northampton for repairs is Trident 18153 whilst Enviro 200 36163 has transferred from Northampton to Leamington as a replacement for 36847 which is out of service for collision repairs. 

Picture from Gavin Francis taken in Oxford on June 28th.

Gold MMC's like 10988 are nearly always used now on the S6. 

SKM reports that "The company has confirmed to us that it is the plan for former Megabus Van Hool Astromega 50237 to join the main Oxford tube fleet. It had been on loan from Stagecoach South Wales but is now allocated to Oxford and is due to be repainted in full tube livery.

The Peak Vehicle Requirement for the Oxford tube remains at 20 from an allocation of 25 coaches once 50237 has been returned for service.

We can now confirm that 50237 has now gone to Plaxton at Anston for repainting.

Following last week's report and pictures, now in service with South Gloucester Bus & Coach are former Van Hool sleeper coaches 50302/08 which are now numbered SG46 and 51.

Van Hool Astromega 50238 is now at Rugby being prepared for service.


Smaller operators and London developments

Jim Wright :

Sunday 23 - Ridleys of Kenilworth have at least 8 coaches on June 23rd, including two ex Stagecoach vehicles:  ESK897 ex megabus 54032 & ex Oxford tube OU59AUY. Below are photos at Oxford Train Station.

Pictures by Jim Wright.

Certain items have been held over to issue 64 which I hope will be published on Tuesday, July 2nd