Issue nr. 235
Wednesday, January
11th 2023


A quieter week but still much to interest readers.

Carousel PMU has hit the headlines with a story of success since launched. Residents near Milton Keynes are feeling cut off after their bus service is withdrawn.

Recent local events including transfers and withdrawals make the news and we have some details of Stagecoach Director changes.

The weather has not been too good with  heavy rain and colder days.

Memories are reminded with the latest from Grahame Wareham regarding the Oxford Bus Olympians. 

High Wycombe PickMeUp : 10,000 in 10 weeks


The PickMeUp demand responsive transport (DRT) service in High Wycombe carried over 10,000 passengers in the 10 weeks from its launch in September 2022, operator Carousel Buses has said.

Introduction of PickMeUp to High Wycombe came after a two-year pilot of the service by sister Go-Ahead Group subsidiary Oxford Bus Company from 2018. In its current form, the service is funded by Buckinghamshire Council via the Rural Mobility Fund. It accepts bookings via both app and phone.

Carousel Buses Interim Managing Director Luke Marion says that the 10,000 rides milestone was reached “ahead of schedule” in December 2022. He adds: “We have experienced a highly positive response to the service, with more than 3,400 people in the area having signed up already.

“We believe it further demonstrates how DRT can play a key role in helping to improve air quality and traffic congestion in the UK in conjunction with traditional bus services.” Go-Ahead adds that it views DRT as something that could “fill gaps on the fringes of towns and cities that are not always well served by traditional, fixed route buses.”

Buckinghamshire Council has found that PickMeUp in High Wycombe has proved popular with commuters in addition to visitors to the town centre, college and hospital.

It operates between 0600-1900hrs Monday to Friday with trips costing between £2 and £3.50, which Carousel says is in line with fixed-route services. The service will form part of the Bus Fare Cap Grant scheme in England between January and March, capping single fares at £2. Via provides the front- and back-end technology for PickMeUp.

     Links to interes readers   

National Express targets coach tourism with Touromo - routeone ( 

James Freeman

My flickr album from the 7th Jan 2023 at Heathrow airport


Toby J France CMILT, CMgr MCMI -Head of Commercial – Leics, MK, Bucks, Arriva UK Bus
writes on local service matters

Toby France

Happy New Year to all !

I was intrigued to note that Peter Cartwright’s interest in where I receive my post has moved on from our head office address to where I spend my weekends.  Perhaps he also has a view on where I choose to holiday – here’s some snaps from recent adventures in the spirit of ‘Readers Visits to outside our area’: 


Of course I could only ever dream of matching Peter’s encyclopedic knowledge of fares promotions offered by London Country buses, being but a nipper when LCBS was broken up in September 1986. 

As he acknowledges, today’s ETMs provide detailed information on passenger boardings.  The advent of contactless payment, smart ticketing, QR codes on paper and mobile tickets, and of course Tap-On/Tap-Off ticketing such as that offered locally by Go Ahead all help to provide richer information on alighting point, frequency of an individual’s bus usage, and where connecting journeys are being made. 

I whole heartedly agree that too many children are transported to and from school by car, and we have worked closely with various schools and colleges throughout my time in the business to tailor routes and timetables to better meet the needs of students and provide additional capacity.  We also work closely with major employers to map the areas from which they draw their staff, working together to encourage modal shift, and can support their recruitment by offering better access to employment from areas with similar demographics but no direct bus service. 

We have looked repeatedly at how to extend the 37 past Maidenhead Station, but sadly the road layout negates being able to do this as well as weaving the convoluted route through the High Street to serve the main retail area without a significant dogleg that cannot reliably be achieved in the time available.  It remains a future aspiration, with inter-modal connectivity and town centre routing both being at the forefront of our agenda as members of the Enhanced Partnership there. 

I can’t pass any judgement on suggestions that may have been made ‘over the years’ by drivers or controllers (particularly as the latter is a role which does not exist within Arriva) but I am pleased to confirm that feedback and ideas from colleagues and customers are always welcomed and never ignored.  If any readers (or community groups) would like to share their suggestions they can do so at 

There is obviously a lot that goes on behind the scenes, the majority of which is commercially sensitive, and I have no intention of debating how entrepreneurial or otherwise one individual may perceive us to be.  There are always two sides to every coin; they have their personal opinion, I have my professional one, and ultimately we need to agree to differ. 

In other news it’s good to see the eight Optare Versas now at home on the Wycombe town network!  These Euro VI buses have been refurbished and repainted prior to transfer and replace a number of the older Citaros which aren’t ideally suited to local work.  Apologies in advance to those who think these newer buses are a ‘downgrade’ as they aren’t in MAX livery!

Michael Wadman

It was very nice to see the return of Poppy Day extras in London last year. On Friday, November 11th London United ran RML880 on route 281 (seen in Tolworth and on the Albany stand at Twickenham), and on Saturday 12th Metroline ran RML903 on route 43 (seen in Islington) and Ensign ran RT624 (in Ilford) and RM25 (on Whitechapel Road approaching Aldgate) on route 25. 


Sadly, Arriva London have decided to disband their Heritage Routemaster operation and sell off the vehicles. RM2217 had a last hurrah when it ran on route 137 on 2nd December, bather belatedly collecting for Poppy Day, seen at Marble Arch.

Residents of Milton Keynes retirement village feel ‘cut off’ after regular bus service was axed

They are angry there’s no public transport into city centre and many say it has left them feeling ‘lonely and isolated’

Britannia Bus MX06VPT working the 440 near Milton Keynes on March 24th 2022 by Thomas Walker
The bus has an interesting history having worked in Manchester with First and then Go North West!
The First origins are seen in the interior picture of MX06VPT !

The dispute with the council arose after Britannia withdrew the 440 service to Shenley Wood Retirement Village because it was underused. The council accused Britannia of not fulfilling 100 per cent of its promised services and reported the company to the Traffic Commissioner.

One resident, Margorie Booth, said: “There are about 300 apartments here at Shenley Wood Retirement Village, and most of the residents are retired. We had public transport when we moved in 12 years ago but, because it was not viable and making money, it was stopped.

And what is even more frustrating is that one of the major bus routes in the area passes by on the main road and could easily do a short detour to the village.

Marjorie added: “We realise it was not a commercial route but what we have been fighting for is one of the existing routes, which pass by on the main road, to take a short detour up Chalkdell Drive to pick up and drop off at the existing bus stops.

“All we are asking for is the bus to travel a matter of a couple hundred yards.”

Marjorie explained the retirement village has been served by a Community Bus which goes to Westcroft every Wednesday, however the bus only has 12 seats and is booked up up in weeks in advance.

“We are supposed to be a modern ‘Jubilee City’ and pay our council tax so I think we should have some transport into our city.”

A spokesman for the Britannia bus company, said: “An all day 440 service, including Shenley Wood, Furzton and Emerson Valley, starting MK and ending at Westcroft, will commence February 27.”

Thomas Walker-Werth wrote in Issue 197 of March 29th 2022 ......................

I went for a ride on the new Britannia Bus service 440 in Milton Keynes today. It started running this week and restores service to the south end of Furzton and Emerson Valley, as well as the Shenley Wood retirement home, with an hourly off-peak weekday service. The Council-funded services to these areas ended in April 2021.  


I read in your latest update that when the 35 is reintroduced it will use teal as per the current city13 service and would like to ask what's going to happen to the buses that were previously branded for the city35 before they combined it with the city13 in September last year? I see that they've retained their maroon livery but have had their city35 branding removed, the same the way the busses that were branded for the city4/4A/4B retain their purple livery but have had their city4 branding removed since the 4/4B are now the 33 with Thames Travel and the 4A for some reason now interworks with the X1 and therefore uses busses branded for that route. I did ask Oxford Bus Company about it and they told me that they only had limited information but they didn't think the changes would last for long. And lo and behold they were right. In my opinion it was A ridiculous idea to combine the 13 and 35 together as it means the whole route now suffers due to the new LTN's in East Oxford that have forced more traffic into other streets such as St Clement's. That was also in my opinion A ridiculous idea as all it's done is moved congestion from 1 area to another. I honestly don't know why they decided to do it, especially since they tried only the previous year combining the 35 with the 6 and that didn't work either, hence they reverted to running them separately the way they did before.

Mark Doggett

In weekly 234, there is a photo of a Berry's VDL stating ex Eavesway. I don't believe that Eavesway have ever run a VDL, is it ex Weavaway?

Keep up the good work the page, very enjoyable. 

     Fleet News and developments   

More comments can be found under the correspondence from Toby France above.

Jack Cooper

Citaro 3021 is seen in St Aldates with a 280 working on January 7th.

Malcolm Crowe

pictures taken at the depot on January 6th.

Various buses at Cressex on January 5th and 6th including the withdrawn Citaros. 

Nigel Peach

I went to Cressex and also Eden Bus Station on Wednesday 4th Jan, so wasn't able to get these pictures to you before your weekly update. The "new" Optare Versas are very much in evidence. Six pictures attached. 

Versa 2954 (YJ61 MHX) 

3923, 2318 and 4212 resting at the depot. 

Versas 2954 and 2955, with possibly now withdrawn Citaros 3042, 3921 and 3916. 

Versa 2952 with withdrawn Citaros 3925, 3921 and 3042 

Versa 2956 in service in Eden Bus Station. 

Citaro 3917 in the bus station - its days must be numbered! 

I also noticed that 3506 was at the depot, presumably withdrawn. Interesting that these eight "new" Versas are only three years newer than the Citaros they are replacing. One other observation - some of the buses I saw parked up at the depot, were still tracking on as being in service, so evidently at that time, some of the ticket machines had not yet been updated. 

Malcolm Crowe

Interesting to note is that Sprinter 956 is at present working PMU duties in Wycombe. Also today (January 11th) 223 is working THE ONE !!!

The depot was quiet on January 6th. 

Jack Cooper

Service 9 last ran on January 7th as shown by 308 in St Aldates.

On January 8th changes saw the return of 35 road as seen with 309 in Abingdon.

316, 354 and 360 seen on January 7th, the last day of 13 road.

604 with an X39 working at Carfax on January 7th.

611 in St Aldates heading for Harcourt Hill on January 7th.

664, 674, 685 and 687 show the variety of liveries applied to the StreetDecks on January 7th.

Mainstay of the  11X are these blue Citaros seen in St Aldates on January 7th.

Lewis Hawkins

City X1 StreetDeck 672 in Lodge Hill on January 6th.



On the 7th the last City9 ran operated with 308 here it is seen at Westgate for the final time.

On the 8th, the City35 makes a return to service after being withdrawn on the 7th of September. Seen at St Aldates and Westgate.

Jack Cooper

Somehow the X90 lives on as seen by 71 next to 32 in Gloucester Green on January 4th.

Tourismo 36 seen in St Aldates on January 7th. 

Jack Cooper

StreetDeck Micro Hybrids seen in Oxford in early January, 905, 907 and 908.

Now elderly Citaro 863 is seen in St Aldates on January 7th.

Still not often appearing in regular service the ex London Gemini 2's are shown by 926 working the X2 on  January 6th. 

Lewis Hawkins

Thames Travel 907 Passing Lodge Hill Working The X2 To Oxford 


On the 10th, Thames Travel 253 was  putting up some unusual destination blinds.

Here it is seen at Westgate, variety is the spice of life. 

Jack Cooper

Oxford's 60 now carries a super rear for UBER when seen in Gloucester Green on January 4th with a 737 departure.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Shaun Tucker

Reading buses at the Select Car Leasing Stadium waiting for the supporters to come out of the stadium after the lunchtime kick off ( FA CUP Third Round Match ) Reading vs Watford on January 7th.


Gavin Francis

Not usual today E11RRT was working route 40 and Gavin's other picture shows the bus with its first owner.

Malcolm Crowe


YX61FZH seen with a 40 in Stokenchurch on January 5th.

Our regular 40 bus, SF66ARV heading for the Bus Station on January 6th.

Nick Ross

rare sunny morning here's Red Rose having replaced Carousel on the 40 to High Wycombe
and their E15RRT picks up a good load at Thame on January 6th 2023.

Martin Griffiths to retire as Stagecoach shuffles top team - routeone (

Jack Cooper

10069 heads for Barton passing Carfax with an 8 on January 7th.

With only a limited number of Hybrids now, MMC 10676 and 10679 are seen in St Aldates on January 7th.

12002 is still in service as seen in St Aldates on January 7th.

12012 was seen i n Gloucester Green out of service on January 2nd.


36984 showing Risinghurst working the extended 14 on January 8th replacing the 9. 

Jack Cooper

MMCs with a difference, 10880 loading for Bedford and 10989 for Swindon on January 4th. 

Jack Cooper

50428 and 50434 ready for London in Gloucester Green on January 4th.

50437 is seen inn St Aldates on January 7th. 

Grahame Wareham

235 G235VWL was the final vehicle of the Alexander bodied Leyland Olympians delivered in March 1990. These six vehicles were fitted with Gardner 6LXCT engines and ZF4HP500 gearboxes and were amongst the last built to this specification.

Their intended use was mainly for the 5 Reading and 280 Aylesbury longer distance services. 

235 was converted to single door as H46/30F in October 1995 and was eventually transferred with the rest of of Wycombe Bus to Arriva The Shires on 13th December 2000 and renumbered 5835.. 

5835 G235VWL was repainted in turquoise/cream in February 2002 whilst still allocated to Wycombe and was transferred to Luton-Dunstable in August 2003. It was allegedly sold to Wootten’s, Chesham in November 2011 along with sister bus 5831 although no evidence of this has been forthcoming since the demise of that company. 

These were a very reliable batch of buses once the initial "roll back" issue in the gearboxes had been modified with the incorporation of a door interlock on the exit doors which cut out the throttle action. This device did prevent further angle drive failures in service.

Malcolm Crowe

Anumber of pictures of 235/5835 when working in Wycombe

235 with Wycombe Bus 1998.

5835 with 301 working on September 15th 2002.

In Oxford Street with a 307 on November 16th 2002. 

Neil Gow

Leyland Olympian 235 (G235 VWL) at Thame with an Aylesbury service in November 1990,

and the same vehicle again as Arriva the Shires 5835 on a Luton town service almost 20 years later in August 2010.


Gavin Francis

Found this picture of ex OBC 225. When in Wycombe it was 5825 but at Showbus in 2004 it was 5881.