The summer days are approaching and temperatures are on the rise. Better get the fans in now! Contributions for this weeks issue have provided me with a lot of interest and sometimes looking at and editing the pictures takes me a little closer to places than just hearing about them. I hope this page gives readers a similar experience?

Often new vehicles are arriving around now and the 21 new double deck buses for Stagecoach Witney are expected by August. They will be fully compliant with Euro 6 and offer customers USB, Wi-Fi and next stop announcements (a first for SC Oxfordshire) when they enter service. Further details will be published as they become available.

As readers will see I enjoyed a first look at the new coaches for Oxford Bus last Thursday when nr. 30 BV19YGM had arrived that morning.

Nr. 30 - BV19YGM - C55FLt.

And so, without more a do onto the main articles. 

First of the expected Mercedes Benz Tourismo coaches arrives at Oxford

Last Thursday, May 23rd Phil Southall - MD of Oxford Bus invited me to see the first Tourismo which was to be made available for crew training before the main fleet arrives for introduction into service.

Fortunately the day dawned bright and sunny, though my colleague Gavin Francis does not like these days due to "reflections" which was to prove correct later in the morning.

I arrived in good time to be met by Phil who took me to see the coach which had only just arrived from EvoBus, Coventry. Indeed I was not the first local enthusiast to have photographed this coach as Peverel had espied it on the A34 heading to Oxford as the picture below duly shows.

A well done is in order to Peverel for this "scoop"!

However I was delighted to see the new vehicle in "the tin" to coin a phrase and much enjoyed the pleasing sight of a brand new coach sparkling in the mid day sun.

My first view of to be nr 30 in the Oxford fleet and it certainly looked impressive.

For the technically minded the link below offers an introduction to the Tourismo joining the Oxford fleet. However the coaches are 14 metres long and have MB OM470 Engines and a ZF gearbox. Somewhat different from the specifications described in the link.


Oxford asked for a rear destination blind on the coaches and this had to be fitted as a post manufacture modification.

Internally the coach offers 55 seats with a sunken midcentre sunken loo. The seats can be adjusted widthwise to give passengers extra room!
Drop down tables are also included.
The screens will give an eta at destination and locations en route.

Wheelchair access is with a lift through the centre door only accessible to w/c passengers which reduces overall seating to 47+1.
The first picture shows the stowage for the lift. The second picture shows the main saloon and on the right
seats sliding back or forward to provide room for the wheelchair as seen above.

Gavin will be horrified with the reflections! Locker space is very good as seen in the second picture.

The driver has an excellent work area with navigation and a ticket machine set close to hand.

Phil Southall looks very pleased with the new coach!

For the enthusiast I include the full details on these coaches pertaining to registrations, fleet numbers and chassis numbers.

Shown below are the registration numbers with fleet numbers and chassis numbers. Coaches 30-38 are in Airline livery as per pictures. 39 and 40 are in special Ashmolean liveries.

Seating is C55LfT reduced to C47+1LfT when a wheelchair is carried.

Fleet number & any livery change Chassis Number Registration
OXFORD BUS 39                            Ashmolean Livery       WEB41057523001490 BV19 YGK
OXFORD BUS 40                             Ashmolean Livery WEB41057523001535 BV19 YGL
OXFORD BUS 30 WEB41057523001536 BV19 YGM
OXFORD BUS 31 WEB41057523001537 BV19 YGN
OXFORD BUS 32 WEB41057523001538 BV19 YGO
OXFORD BUS 33 WEB41057523001539 BV19 YGP
OXFORD BUS 34 WEB41057523001540 BV19 YGR
OXFORD BUS 35 WEB41057523001541 BV19 YGT
OXFORD BUS 36 WEB41057523001542 BV19 YGU
OXFORD BUS 37 WEB41057523001543 BV19 YGW
OXFORD BUS 38 WEB41057523001544 BV19 YGX

I very much enjoyed this interlude in my retirement and would like to thank Oxford Bus for their hospitality. Also to Luke Marion for other information.

David Gray records visit to Isle of Wight in May 2019 for Rydabus


I attended last Saturday's event at the Isle of Wight Bus Museum, Rydabus.


As usual a very well organised event with a good variety of buses of various routes. It is also ideal to have the buses lined up awaiting their next service to give an unobstructed view.


I finally managed to get a decent shot of ex Oxford K125 BUD. Also of note was the first rally appearance of the Leyland National since acquisition by the museum.

Once with Oxford Bus and now with the IoW Bus Museum.


Two original Southern Vectis open toppers including "The Olde Girl" with customers enjoying the sunny weather.


Now, from days gone, 565 a Bristol FS6G and 563 an LD6G bring back memories of childhood holidays.


A little Bristol, an LHLS when our photographer gets a cheery wave from the driver. 202 makes a left turn after a short hill climb.


880 is a Leyland National popular with National bus company operations and looking like new on the day.


Not quite Southern Vectis but from that company 806 - FDL927D looks trim for its age. This is an MW6G, powerful for the island services.


A visitor from Bournemouth, JLJ403, a Leyland PS2 with Burlingham bodywork and the summery livery looks well and full.


Another visitor from the mainland, 279 - EMW284, from Wilts & Dorset makes a grand sight for a Bristol L6B with Beadle bodywork dating from 1947.
Gosh that makes it 72 years young!!!!!


Many thanks to David Gray for the look into The Rydabus day on the Isle of Wight.

Michael Wadman shares memories of May 2013

I thought you might be interested in these photos from an old film that I’ve just had printed. Although it’s only six years ago, they’re already quite historic. All were taken on May 18th 2013. 

Whites Coaches’ bus operations are much reduced from their previous levels.
Optare Solo YJ57 EHP is in Wantage on service 38, now worked by Thames Travel. 

I don’t think the Stanford-in-the-Vale Community Bus is still around, or if it is it certainly no longer runs section 22 services,
which came off in September 2016. CE12 CKG is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter / Treka in Wantage on service 83 or 84
 (unfortunately it’s fitted with the type of destination display that doesn’t photograph). 

Following the collapse of RH Transport in October 2012, the X47 service was operated by Ridgeways Coaches of Wantage
until taken over by Thames Travel in June 2013.
VKZ 2292, a Scania L94IB / Irizar new to Holmeswood Coaches as S4 HWD, on layover in Wantage. The X47 was withdrawn in June 2015. 

Heyfordian no longer operate bus services. Optare Solo YJ11 EJU is in Oxford on service 103, which was withdrawn in December 2016.

Gavin Francis asks are ERMs to reappear in London???

After a gap of 17 years it looks like some of the small ERM class of Routemasters are about to reappear in London.

In 1986 London Transport decided it wanted a larger share of the London tour market and transferred 50 RMs into their sightseeing fleet. Of these 20 were converted to open top. By 1990 it was decided that larger buses with more capacity were needed and with their modular construction the buses were split in half and a full-length window section added. With the RML only having a half length window this made the newly classified ERM the longest Routemaster to have been produced at 32ft. The top deck capacity was increased from 36 to 44.

Pictures of ERM 84 and 94 taken in Edinburgh on September 2nd 2009 by Paul Bateson.

Those selected were RMs 80/84/90/94/143/163/235/237/242 and 281. They carried on in service until 2002 when they were withdrawn and sold to Mac Tours in Edinburgh. They were mechanically modified with Cummins engines and Allison gearboxes and continued in service until 2016 being withdrawn a few months before The Disability Discrimination Act came into effect when they were withdrawn.

Lothian Buses have taken 8 of them and have rebuilt them back to very nearly original condition.

Premium Tours operate many day tours from London covering many attractions in South East England, they also run some London day trips using a small fleet of Routemasters. They intend to start operating some new services based at The London Eye again using Routemasters.

Premium Tours ERM 84 and 94 taken by Gavin Francis on May 21st 2019.

Whilst recently in Lewisham I saw former ERMs 84 and 94 passing through in plain red but with Premium Tours legal lettering. Thus it would appear that after a gap of 17 years the ERM class is about to be seen on the streets of London again! 

Following my visit to Bedford, Tony Bungay treats us to the same place in the 1980s

Although a bit out of the area, as you did a bit on Bedford the other week, thought these may be of interest in showing the Bedford scene in the 1980s

Bristol VRT 808 is scene working a school service near Bedford town centre
wearing United Counties then new livery with NBC liveried Olympians in background summer 1986.

AEC Routemaster 701 and behind Olympian 610 working Town Services in Bedford March 1988

Bristol VRT 770 in then new livery with Alexander/Leopard 225 wearing later style NBC dual purpose livery
 in Bedford Bus Station summer 1986

Leyland Tiger/Plaxton 102 leaves Bedford Bus Station on a recently introduced ‘Coachlinks’ Service in Coachlinks livery summer 1986

In Bedford Town Centre on a Town service spring 1988 is Leyland National 526.

If  you use any of these copyright is with the Bus Archive, I have their permission to use some of the pictures on your webpage

Line up in Bedford Bus station various liveries including  the fairly new owners Stagecoach November 1988

AEC Routemaster 707 in Bedford Town Centre on Town Service 101 Summer 1988

Olympian/ECW 601 wearing ‘Coachlinks’ Livery comes into Bedford Bus Station November 1988,

Still wearing Devon General Livery Bristol VRT now numbered 740

A fairly new Volvo/Plaxton 133 wearing Stagecoach livery with ‘Coachlinks’ fleet name November 1988

And lastly Bristol RE/ECW . Purpose 284 leaves Bus Station on Service 180 to Biggleswade Summer 1986

Again copyright is with the Bus Archive

Final selection Malcolm, taken in NBC days, General view of Bedford Bus Station summer 1984, and in Stagecoach era summer 1997.

Bristol RE/ECW DP 215 seems to have acquired a Bristol VR radiator panel!  November 1985.

Recently formed from split of Eastern Counties Ambassador Travel Tiger/Plaxton November 1984.

July 1980 Bristol FS/ECW 709 leaves Bedford Town Centre, the fleet number being shown in the route blind box!
Not a local Service number! Ironically eight or so years later rear platform double deckers would be working local routes in Bedford with fleet numbers in the low 700 series!

A general view of the Bus Station July 1980 with some more Bristol FS vehicles present, operation of these vehicles by United Counties would finish within a couple of months.

Lastly Bristol VRT/ECW  756 leaves Bedford Bus Station summer 1984, the Bristol VR behind with the between Decks advert,
was an Aylesbury based vehicle which was working Service 141 Aylesbury – Leighton Buzzard – Ampthill – Bedford,
At one time this Service continued on some journeys beyond Bedford to St Ives via Huntingdon.

A couple of months after this photo the 141 was cut back to Leighton Buzzard on a two hourly frequency. 

A weekend in Scotland by Gary Seamarks

Gary Seamarks

First bits from Scotland, thought I would lead off with Van Hools! 50286 did not appear but all the other "Killie" ones did including 50285. All are in Glasgow on Mon 20/5.

Two very differing big Plaxtons, we got all of 50401-5 on the X77 Group, 54102 is crossing the old Forth Bridge now restricted to buses only.

Three more stagie, note 26166 is not on the Jet route, even though its a Sunday !, more vehicle shortages !

First in Glasgow with prominent route branding


27549 This was in Glasgow, had worked through from Fife coast !.


1141 is a new arrival from London, fully refurbished inside and out but retains the centre exit doors.



 LX59 is in Edinburgh working for Borders Buses, it looked its age and showed signs of its London Red days at the rear, was a SC in London bus.



LX59CPY is ex Stagecoach London


Ulsterbus 141 SFZ6141 leaves Glasgow.


WRP767J is a long term Lathalmond resident, awaiting the finish of a major restoration, its been there 10 years
and is now looking as good as new, was a UC vehicle from new


Perhaps some of the best last, 



The White Lady made it to the Ribble event on Sat 25/5.

MSF750P is a Seddon with a rather large stick in the cab and fitted with a trusted Gardner engine !

Highland BCS256C at Lathalmond.

Fife represented at Lathalmond by Bristol FS BXA464B.

A real "oldie" with Stagecoach and its heritage fleet is HGM335E. The livery is the original SC livery.


As stated before the quantity of 18/68/19 plate vehicles in the area is amazing, and spread across most fleets, Lothian have more on order as well !


Dylan Jones updates readers on developments in the West Midlands

I have managed to photograph some of the routes taken over by their new operators, giving a taster of the mixed circumstances being experienced by operators who suddenly were called upon the task of replacing the routes. Note that even Arriva Midlands got in on the action, using their Sprinter minibuses in North Birmingham from Cannock depot, though I didn’t picture any - reminiscent of 2012 when they got a batch of 10 new E200s for contracted routes they won, only to sell up to Diamond eventually.

Before NXWM took over route 10S from Birmingham to Selly Oak via many housing estates, I pictured 761 route learning, here at Selly Oak. This is one of 3 Enviro 200s that moved to Birmingham Central for the route, this one from Perry Barr, the other 2 being 755 and 756 from Wolverhampton. The 20 small Enviros are in very high demand at the moment with numerous contracts won from Diamond, and routes like this taken over from Igo. StreetLites 431/5 from Dundee, still in green, now operate this route, with 755 acting as a spare for both BC and West Bromwich depots, who have no spares for their new routes. 756 is now at Pensnett and 761 at West Bromwich.



The previous allocation on the route from Igo were a batch of 4 Optare Solo SRs, also used on routes 10/H. This is YJ67FYU just a minute down the road from that of 761 above. This bus has since been acquired by Ross Travel, in the Featherstone area of Yorkshire.

I don’t have a previous photo of the 10H, but here is 4148, the oldest NX bus in Birmingham operating the route. Pictured at QE Hospital, two buses are needed for the hourly frequency, though double deckers are highly ‘unutilised’ on the route. On my journey on this bus, most passengers had mistaken it for a 23/24 down Harborne High Street - a Minibus would be more suitable, though Volvo B7RLEs have since become the regular allocation on here. 5 of the Y plate Tridents remain at Birmingham Central and can see use on all routes, as well as at least one 52 plate reserve example as I type this

Route 38 between Northfield and Selly Oak runs hourly, using just one bus. Green Bus of Hockley have taken over, often using a former London, dual door Trident. This is 117 YN51KUY arriving at Northfield terminus. Their contract on the route is not due to last much longer as I write this, for it was only temporary

Another shot of the 38 here, this time former NX Dundee President 4112, now numbered 312 in the fleet. It carries the Transdev crowd-funding based livery for Vamooz , as pictured passing along the Bristol Road, Selly Oak, with a Northfield bound service.

Route 145 from Droitwich and Wychbold to Longbridge Station and Rubery, is now operated by Diamond from Kidderminster. The three former Central Buses Optares are regulars, though Scania Omnilinks and Solos are making appearances. This is 30972 at Longbridge.

Igos allocation was arguably a better one, there versions always being smartly presented. Turning around just a few minutes from the above of 30972, YJ18DKY heads back to Droitwich Spa. Igo also has YJ67FYV and YJ68FTO - I haven’t seen any news of their new owners yet.

Route 39 has arguably seen the biggest upgrade, with Bromsgrove based KEV’S bringing in three new MMC200s for the contract. Pictured at Weoley Castle is YX19OTY, the others being OTW and OTZ. The firm has round a dozen service buses, the others being Enterprise Primos and Solos.

Not on the 39, but YY64GVZ was one of three Enviros leased new for the 39 routes. Pictured at Merry Hill, it was operating the 208 from Dudley, a route now withdrawn though did see a short spell under NXWM. The others with suitable 39 lettering were YY64GWA/C, though at the end of Igo, they were often on other routes.

The two Dennis Tridents operated by Igo on schools have been sighted at the Barnsley Scrapyards, and occasionally did Rail Replacements for London Midland. Pictured in 2016 at Sandwell & Dudley was LT02ZZG. One of these buses has since been scrapped in a Barnsley scrapyard.

And finally, YD63UZW one of 4 Solo SRs that Igo bought new for route 19 around South Birmingham, which was I believe the route with the highest PVR from Igo (5 buses at a half hourly frequency) These have been sighted at EnsignBus, and were the first new buses that Igo purchased.

Some final photos on the 31st of March, the day after Igo services were supposed to have finished for the last time. Here are KX14FJY KU52RXR KX15BLF and YK05CDU outside the firms main depot in South Birmingham, at Tay Road, Frankley

And my last photo of Igo was this one of all three of their Metrocitys together outside the depot. These are YJ68FTO YJ18DKY YJ67FYV, and were arguably the most valuable buses in the fleet, but used on a route which simply didn't sustain their investment. The 145 continued with Igo into April for around a week. 

Nick Ross shows us three from Norwich

Three from Norwich for you all taken May 15th

Norwich School 's Olympian R331lhk (former Dublin bus) at the Cathedral bus stop

First 33060 awaits her next turn at the bus station

First 33244 arrives at the bus station with the 21 to Old Catton. 

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Lothian Country 9206 - SB19GKL Volvo B8R
Plaxton Leopard due to go into service end of June
on Edinburgh to Linlithgow and Edinburgh to Bathgate
Express routes.

Shades of Eastern Scottish or SMT

Stagecoach Rennies 54204 - SF62CPU Volvo B11RT
Plaxton Elite i. Ex Megabus and new to Stagecoach West Scotland Glasgow.

First Glasgow 32657 - LK55ACO Volvo B7TL Wright Gemini Heritage Strathclyde's Buses livery. Ex First London, VNW 32657. 

Dennis factory, looking out for new route X35 Falkirk to Glasgow route as X36 Stirling to Glasgow
has two Enviro 300 with gold
fronts and branding in new First livery but none are done yet for route X35.

Caught up with three buses in Falkirk listed below. 

Wright Streetlite Max Wright Demo DRZ9713 on route 5.

Do you think this needs a repaint and some TLC. Volvo B7TL Plaxton President 32225 - LT52WUK.

Taken 23/5 at Halbeath Park & Ride 

Lothian Motorcoaches started Citylink route
on Monday 913 Edinburgh to Fort William using ex London United VL3 FJ11MMF 
Volvo B9R Caetano Levante, there has been a few problems with it this week on its journey.
Replacement coach from Sheill's did the
return journey yesterday electronic problems with FJ11MMF.

Also on a private hire at Alexander Dennis Falkirk
yesterday new to Ratho Coaches Temsa MD9 YJ19AYE.

Three shots shown Lothian Motorcoaches returning to Newbridge depot on Scottish Cup final hire to Hampden local team Hearts and Celtic game on May 25th

Van Hool 9056 - GSJ795, Panther 9005 - SN18CVX also Volvo Caetano Levante FJ11GLY.

Volvo B9TL Wright Gemini 847 - MXZ1757.

Thanks to Gordon for the excellent pictures.


Fleet news and developments

Tony Bungay

3579 a new type of vehicle to been seen in Aylesbury,
again as a result of Milton Keynes working most 150 services,
seen today 25/5/19 in Aylesbury High Street.

Also seen today in Aylesbury is 4018 on Service 500,  a rather standard type on this service.

Did not have much time to get this rather snatched shot of newly repainted 5468,
which was further affected by lowish light levels, hence it is not quite as sharp as it could be! On 24/5/19

5463 heading into Aylesbury on the X8 23/5/19

And lastly Solo 2493 passes the White Swan in Whitchurch on the 60 on 22/5/19. 



Various comments recently about Carousel's ex LG double decks having their centre doors removed. Here is a picture of 941 with work under way at Oxford.

Pictures by Malcolm Crowe. 

Andrew Webb has just noted that the loaned StreetLite SK17HHL was heading up the M1 Leicestershire late this afternoon. He advised within 5 minutes of seeing the bus.

Full details of the eleven Tourismo coaches due shortly are covered in the special article above.

Richard Sharman

Coach 2 heads for Oxford after leaving Heathrow Central.

Coach 46 is seen exiting Heathrow Central Bus Station tunnel towards Oxford.

Workshops at Oxford on May 23rd by Malcolm Crowe.

General view of yard towards Watlington Road on May 23rd by Malcolm Crowe.

Various fleet members in the yard on May 23rd by Malcolm Crowe. 


Richard Sharman

Connector liveried 862 is seen along way from the routes that it is branded for whilst operating the 250 to Bicester. It is travelling along Camp Road in Upper Heyford. The former USAF airbase is currently undergoing a major regeneration.




Richard Sharman

This image of new NX Levante Caetano 58 illustrates how tall they are when compared to a double decker.

Gavin Francis

NEx Edwards Coaches BV17GVA at GG with super rear for Boom on May 25th.

NEx Travelstar European of Walsall's NX17TSE with super rear for Space Invader on May 25th. 


Richard Sharman

Reading Buses Newbury & District unit seem to be helping out on the Bicester Village Park & Ride service again. This was a few Sunday's ago, only one Rotala decker was in use. It would appear a rapid repaint programme has been used on the Newbury fleet as four of the former Weavaway E400MMCs have been treated so far.

Pictures taken on May 5th at Bicester Village - Park & Ride. 



We understand that the 2019/20 orders do not include any Gold-specification vehicles, although some are expected to replace existing Gold vehicles. Does this mean the end of the Stagecoach Gold brand?


Look out for Dart SLF 34471 being stood down into the Reserve Fleet at Banbury and its replacement with Enviro 200 36760 being transferred from Witney.

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire hope that the 21 new buses for Witney replacing the present Gold Fleet will start to enter service in August.

Richard Sharman

Former Oxford E200 36453 is now with Hull depot, where it is seen parked up. 


The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter from Stagecoach West Scotland now here is 44009. It joins 44005/06 which are at Cambridge from Stagecoach South Wales.

Previously unreported by us is the naming of the two Bedford-allocated Volvo B10M training coaches. 52437 is now ‘Buttercup’ whilst 52485 is ‘Daisy’


Bedford-allocated Dart SLF 34424 has been receiving attention at Peterborough. We await confirmation on whether it is a transfer or merely at Peterborough for maintenance.

We understand that former Wessex Bus Enviro 200 36078 has visited Bulwark Engineering for component recovery and was returned to Stagecoach West on May 20thfor disposal.

Dave Allen

Three generations of tubes on Wantage Oxford route.

Skyliner 50125 with an X30 at Grove circa 2006 by David Allen.

50209 again in Grove during 2012 by David Allen.

This was after the X30 had become the S9 and the tube working with 50263 had become the X9, once a day service only by David Allen.  


Smaller operators and London developments

Richard Sharman

One of two recent Sunsundegui to join the Cheney fleet. Seen on the A44 near Peartree.

Three Cheney Coaches are seen waiting to pick up workers from a food factory on Brackley industrial estate.
It should be noted that Cheney have just placed two brand new Mercedes-Benz tri-axle Tourismos in to service in the last couple of weeks,
the first brand new coaches here for some years  .

Gavin Francis notes promotion in Oxford for Gay Pride.

Lloyds Bank with a window dressing!

tube 50267 waits to cross the Gay Pride pedestrian crossing in New Road.

Oxford Bus 367 which has promoted Gay Pride for about one year now. 

And I just realised my spacer bars link with the colours!