Issue nr. 222
Wednesday, October 5th 2022


A quiet week for contributions concerning local operators. With Gavin back and Lewis Nagle having promised some pictures plus Jack Cooper hopefully not too busy our next issue will have more for those following local fleets.

However Andrew Webb, Gavin Francis and Tony Bungay have provided various items of interest to add to this issue.

Route One reports that the average price of bulk diesel fell slightly in September, but poor performance of sterling against the dollar as the month ended led to a late uptick, according to figures compiled by trade body RHA.

The same journal also reports that HCT Group ceased trading and entered administration on Friday 23 September, bringing an end to the social enterprise after it “ran out of road.” Neville Side, Martha Thompson and Mark Thornton of BDO LLP have been appointed joint administrators of the business. 

This was in fact a small benefit to your Editor as I was able to complete this issue with time to spare. 

40 years of driving buses and coaches – Part IV
by Gavin Francis

Firstly to correct an error in my previous article the buses pictured at West Ham Depot are of course StreetLites and not Solos as I stated. Many thanks to my old friend Mike Walker for pointing this out and putting me “Wright”.

So the two weeks of The Olympics soon passed by and to be honest considering the complexity of the operation the transport side seemed to me to run very well with very few real problems. Towards the end the demand for buses was reducing as the number of events declined until eventually the closing ceremony on the 12th August 2012 arrived. After that it was just a question of doing lots of airport runs from The Athletes Village out to Heathrow.

At the depot buses and drivers were starting to return to their home depots many of them with a long drive in front of them whilst many other drivers were using the train.

It was at this time I was asked to come back to work at The Para-Olympics so as there was a 2 week gap between the closing ceremony and the opening ceremony of The Para-Olympics I moved out of Emily Bowes and went back home for a week.

The 2 weeks allowed time for The Olympic Stadium to be restructured and also it would be necessary for all the single decker buses to have seats taken out and additional wheelchair positions put in.

Each bus had the seats removed from the front section and 6 wheelchair spaces installed as well as having seat belts fitted on the remaining seats

This time it was to be a change of both depot and accommodation for me. The transport this time was concentrated at West Ham Depot (BDA) which was located right alongside the Stagecoach West Ham (WH) depot although as far as I know there was not interaction between the two.

Virtually all the buses used were single deckers and again there was a wide range of liveries

My new home this time was again to be Student Accommodation this time just along the road from Caledonian Road Underground Station. Somehow this time I ended up with late shifts getting home in the early hours of the morning. Surely this time it would be somewhere quiet but no my room was right alongside a building site and every morning at exactly 08.00 drills, diggers and anything else which would make a noise started so not third time lucky..

Throughout The Olympic Games period many companies particularly those who were sponsors of The Olympics used London buses for advertising particularly as wraps. The most prolific of these was Adidas. They chose to wrap virtually every LT on Rte 38 with a series of designs. I believe they came new painted black and then the vinyls were applied. When the promotion finished they were then repainted into London bus red.

Other sponsors who also wrapped buses were Visa, Vodafone and Samsung Galaxy all of him had many buses adorned with their advertising.


The 12 days of the Para-Olympics soon passed and it was time for the closing ceremony on 9th September 2012. The following days were spent again with lots of runs to Heathrow and the whole transport system was gradually run down.

The whole time spent at The Olympics was a great experience and the highlight for most drivers must have been if they had the chance to carry a Gold Medal winner. I saw pictures of drivers with Gold Medals around their necks and in team photos on their bus.

My highlight moment was when I carried Yolane Kukla an Australia swimmer who had just won a gold medal in the 4x100 Freestyle Relay. It is surprising how big and heavy the medals are.

So the time came to finish, the depot was already being taken apart as it was virtually all temporary buildings. I have passed this point many times since on the Jubilee Line to Stratford and it is difficult to image it was once a very large bus depot serving The Olympics.

It was time to go back home and to life on The Oxford Tube. By 2022 Stagecoach had been awarded the transport contract to run the transport at The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and again they asked for drivers to go there. I was tempted but as I was not sure I would not still be with Stagecoach then I decided not to apply. I did however have a day visiting each of the two depots and it did bring back lots of happy memories.

To be continued… 

London 37 running day

Andrew Webb

Modern day route 37 charts a course across inner south London, linking leafy Putney with grittier Peckham via the gentrified surrounds of Brixton.  It can trace it roots back to 1912 and has, at times in its 110-year history, reached as far west as Hounslow.  It is, therefore, apt that London Bus Museum chose this route for its latest running day on 1 October, advertising a 7-minute frequency to supplement the regular 10-minute service operated by Go Ahead London. 

Enthusiasts and members of the public were treated to the sight and sound of the different variants of the RT family. 

RTL554 and RTL1105 , are both Leyland variants, each carrying a good load at Brixton Town Hall bound for Peckham. 

RT113 is one of the oldest of the type to survive, entering service before World War 2. 
At the request of the owner it carried only limited passenger loads.  It is seen sparkling in the autumn sunshine at the same location.

Representing the once ubiquitous standard RT is RT4779, seen running through Brixton bound for Putney.

Never a 'country route', the use of RT3491 added a splash of colour to the otherwise sea of red dominating the route.

Selected early and late journeys started or finished at Hounslow, RTL554 is seen for a second time in Brixton headed for Hounslow.

The Routemaster, another type synonymous with the route also worked some duties. 

RML2735 is owned by Hendy And Pendle Charitable Trust, operators of the annual Imberbus service over the Salisbury Plain.

Branding for the route is clear on the side as it turns at Brixton Town Hall.

RM1397, a standard length example is seen at the same location.

At first glance Go Ahead London's Enviro E15 would appear to be working on the TfL contract.  The digital blind and lack of top deck roof exposes it as a member of Go Ahead's Commercial Services fleet which joined the running day to allow passengers to enjoy an al fresco view of the route.  It is debatable if an open top tour of Brixton would be a long term commercial success, but for one day it carried a good load through Brixton.

Bob Chalmers

A screenshot taken from the morning of October 4th around 10.15 of the chaos in the Kennington/Ring Road area after the burst water main at Heyford Hill. Some 20+ buses (many off route) - no hope of keeping to any sort of timetable today!!

October 4th saw a burst water main affecting many services.

The time has now finally arrived for us to bring our regular bus updates to an end and this is the last edition of Fleet Digest that we will be producing. The analysis of various documents has become more time consuming and it was never our intention to turn it into a full time activity!

A big thank you to everyone who has supported us by providing information and images, your contributions have really been appreciated.

Whilst we will also step back from providing fleet movement information on our Twitter feed for specific Stagecoach fleets we will still post strategic information, and inter-company transfers.

Thank you all for your support.
The link below will take readers to the last issue.

SKM Issue 158 - October 1st PDF

     Fleet News and developments   

Arriva made cuts in and around Watford / Hemel Hempstead which changed/ lengthened routes and people unable to get to supermarkets/ shops etc.

Arriva now changing the 500 from Aylesbury so that to get to Watford there is a change at Hemel Hempstead now required.


David Smith

7209 shows off its special destination display  on September 30th.

Mark Turner

Arriva 2495 which was at High Wycombe is now At Hemel depot & been regularly used on Route 9 in Watford since it moved depots.


Withdrawal of service 34

September 20th 2022 onwards

With the introduction of PickMeUp service in High Wycombe from Tuesday, September 27th, service 34 was withdrawn from the end of service on Monday, September 26th.

For customers travelling between High Wycombe and Wycombe Marsh, alterative journeys operate on Chiltern Hundreds 101, 102, 103 and 104. For journeys elsewhere along the route, customers are advised to use our new demand responsive service, PickMeUp. For more details please visit

Malcolm Crowe

971, seen on October 1st, retains its Blenheim branding but has been working the 577/583 routes.

Citaro MB53 now in private preservation with Lewis Nagle was also at the depot on the same. 

Bob Chalmers

On its first day back in service after its 'makeover' - 672 in Wootton Road, Abingdon at 7.30 this morning, October 5th - two more to go.

Jack Cooper

353 seen in Abingdon on September 27th.

I was wondering about the C1 shown here in Abingdon on September 27th. Ed.

Jack Cooper

31 and 37 seen in Gloucester Green on September 28th. 

Jack Cooper

Citaro 863 in connector branding is  seen working the 33 on September 27th.

908 showing its Didcot Connections branding in Abingdon with an X2 on September 27th. 

Langston & Tasker
   Langston & Tasker – 

Nick Ross

Langton and Taskers Enviro LN20 LNT works the Buckingham - Bicester day in day out. Here's the 1615 to Bicester at Buckingham Bus stand on September 29th 2022

David Smith

I took this photo, while on route to Wicked Tuesday evening, of the Black livery National Express coach, on the A6 route.

Jack Cooper

Oxford's 59 has gained a super rear for Harry Potter when seen in Gloucester Green on September 28th. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

David Smith


Nick Ross

Red Rose's Y359LCK passes Twyford (Bucks) with the 16 1240 Aylesbury - Marsh Gibbon on September 29th 2022.Because of Oxfordshire CC apparently unwilling to fund the Oxfordshire section into Bicester the 16 has for a good while terminates at tiny Marsh Gibbon in Bucks rather than Bicester  


Stagecoach drivers have completed a one, two, three at the 2022 Bus Driver of the Year (BDoY) National Final, held in Blackpool over the weekend of 1-2 October.

Dave & Deric

Here are the promised details of the Period 5 (16/09/2022) updates from the Stagecoach West Fleet Card.









Stagecoach Oxford (Witney)










North Bristol (Driver Training)


Cheltenham (Driver Training)








Stagecoach Oxford (Banbury)





Stagecoach Oxford (Banbury)








To Reserve









Reserve (RTA)











For Disposal



































These are the other changes we have found relating to the Stagecoach Oxford Fleet 






Tony Gaze

Haven't taken any for a while as the services have dropped significantly

Gloucester depot has a new sign!

15871 in its' 'Newent School' livery

In Cheltenham, Swindon's 15974 on the 51 to Cirencester (then Swindon)

From October 30th the company is stopping the twice weekly shopper buses serving Chipperfield/ Kings and Abbots Langley to Hemel Hempstead. 

Grahame Wareham

Well we are more or less at the half way mark with the COMS/OBC Olympian history now here at 222.

222 CUD222Y was another of the December 1982 deliveries not licenced until January 1983. It was put to work on the same duties as all other Olympians and served the City for 20 years.


In August 1991 it was fitted with a Gardner 6LXCT engine and tachograph and repainted into the OBC new livery of red and white with black skirt.

In November 1998 222 was transferred to High Wycombe returning to Oxford in April 2000.

Wilts and Dorset received 222, together with 214 on loan from 7th March 2000 to 24th April 2000 and 16th October 200 until 30th March 2001. It then had a short spell with Truronian of Truro from 3rd April to 21st June 2001 reverting to Q Buster duties in Oxford for the summer months of 2001-2003.


222 received a repaint for Showbus 2003 when it also received new Oxford Bus fleet names, a prospective customer had expressed an interest in buying it so I drove it there with a view to making a sale, however the interested party didn't appear so back to Oxford 222 went.

Further interest shown at Showbus by another operator secured 222's future and was collected the next day from Oxford by Ford's of Althorne! Ford's converted 222 to H47/32F and operated it until 2010. 

Then it was sold to Woottens Coaches at Chesham.

After Woottens went into receivership as part of the Bowen's empire 222 seemed to disappear off the radar so it is presumed scrapped.............unless anyone knows different but by then Woottens had reportedly acquired 235 from Arriva as well as their existing ex. OBC Olympian 228 so it would be interesting to find out for historical completeness."

Andy Churchill

Leyland Olympian 222 (CUD222Y) pictured on Service 541 heading for Rose Hill
probably not too long after being delivered.

Gavin Francis

These pictures show Scania 222 which is still in service, now being some 12 years old.



The Scania seen between 1983 and 2022.

Paul Bateson

Seen in March 1983 by Paul, working out of. St Aldates.

Malcolm Crowe

During 2000 I was driving part time for Oxford Bus and these are some photos taken that year.

Seen in Wycombe depot on April 15th 2000.

The pictures in service with X3 was when  I was driving the duty on June 7th 2000.

This was the pre computer allocation board in Cowley Road depot on July 9th 2000. 222 is shown as spare. 

Martin Isles with a follow up to SHOWBUS 50

Thanks for the lovely pictorial of buses at SHOWBUS.  I had just trawled through Twitter looking at folks photos and decided the Southend Routemaster hadn’t made it, but clearly it did.  I was imagining the Astromega sitting on its own alongside a load of red Routemasters!  Having gone to great lengths to park them together I haven’t yet seen a picture of the duo! 

I do need to correct Andrew Webb describing the event as starting at a “Rag Week” at Brunel Polytechnic.  There was never such an institution, Brunel was the first of six colleges upgraded to Universities back in 1966 along with Bath, Aston, Loughborough, Bradford and Surrey.  The event was part of the University’s community festival. 

Tony Bungay laments Arriva’s Hemel Jubilee bus not appearing.  It was scheduled to appear but following Her Majesty’s passing the bus was unwrapped before SHOWBUS.  We also lost Metroline’s Jubilee bus as TfL decreed all Jubilee buses be unwrapped and though it did appear, Brighton & Hove’s Regency Route bus had lost its Jubilee decorations. 

I hope you are keeping well.  Certainly SHOWBUS ended on a high.  First time ever we sold out of programmes.  The sting in the tail was that it left me with Covid, but thankfully feeling better today.

SHOWBUS International display    

Gordon Scott

Caught up with Stagecoach East Scotland Fife yesterday

First repaint into yellow distance livery of 54501 to 54519 batch. 54501 YX18 LHL Volvo B8RLE Plaxton Panther LE 
taken in Princess Street Edinburgh on X55 Edinburgh to Dunfermline in new livery.

Yorkshire - part 2 from Tony Bungay

  York tourist map
Click to see full size

A visit to York - part 2 by Tony Bungay

Yorkshire Coastliner Wright StreetDeck 3653 heads eastwards through the city walls,
as can be seen the pathway on the walls affords a different perspective for Bus photos!

A general view looking towards Rougier street, with an Electric Optare MetroDecker in the foreground,
and a First York single decker and E400 of Yorkshire Coastliner on the Zap service heading towards it’s York Terminus of Clifford Street


In what is now the older East Yorkshire livery is Enviro 200 381 in Leeman Road, not far from either the Rail Station or National Rail Museum,
working Service 45 to ultimately Bridlington, though as with many longer distance services the intermediate point is shown more prominently.


First York Volvo/Wright 69360 proceeds along Museum Street working Park and Ride Service 

In fading light (yes the evenings are drawing in) East Yorkshire Volvo/Wright wearing the latest livery
 and looking very smart for a 2009 vehicle, loads in Stonebow on Service X47 ultimately to Hull



Former London Transport AEC Routemaster RM 1101 at York Railway Station, where it commences it’s Ghostbuster Tours,
apologies for including this twice, but gives a more clear view of the fleet name!


York Rail Station forecourt is the stop for many services including Yorkshire Coastliner services from Leeds to Malton then either Pickering – Thornton le Dale (site of yesterdays Bangers and Cash series) with some extensions to Whitby, or from Malton to Scarborough.


Wright StreetDeck 3629 being bound for an evening journey as far as it’s base at Malton.


Alongside is Yorkshire Coastliner (York and Country) Optare Versa 207, new to Harrogate and District as 277, working service 22 from Ripon.  This I assume is the modern day version of United Automobile service 142 to Ripon which I travelled on in 1988 in a Bristol LH. 

A general view from the City Walls looking towards the City, with a selection of First York vehicles all Volvo Wright working City services,
lead Single decker is 69276 and behind is Double deck 37248. 


 For anybody who chooses to zoom in a lone female cyclist looks especially vulnerable sandwiched between two Double deckers. 


As can be gathered much of First York’s fleet is now fairly elderly, but I hear in the past week it has been announced that 44 Electric vehicles will be coming into the fleet, which I would imagine will make most if not all First York’s fleet Electric.  


From the same viewpoint Electric Optare MetroDecker 39511 on a Park and Ride service, passes single deck 69276. 


I took this rear view of Volvo/Wright 37246 heading into Rougier Street, as although it is advertising for Grand Central,
it is a touch ironic to feature another Bus companies Logo!

A different perspective of Articulated Citaro 11102 as it turns into Station road and heads for the City Centre.

Part 3 follows in the next issue. Ed.


Gavin Francis finds himself in Birmingham

Having spent a pleasant three plus weeks in Florida Gavin was due to fly home to Gatwick last Saturday but had not  planned for a Hurricane ! So last Monday, Gavin and his wife had to delay their return until Monday when they were flown to Manchester and took the train back home. So whilst waiting at Birmingham Moor Street station for the next Marylebone service Gavin naturally took the chance for a few pictures just outside.


The above were a selection of the buses to be seen on October 3rd. 


Purfleet in September as follows …..


From Metrobus : Scania YN56FDO 

From First Essex : Darts SN03WME / WX05RUW   / B7RLEs  MX05CBU / CDN / CBU / CKD    Tridents LK53EZC / LT52WXK / LT02ZCA / LT02ZBZ 

From HCT Yorkshire : E200s YX15XMJ / YX65RHF. 

From Cardiff Bus : Scania CN57FKD 

From RATP London : Scania YT59SGX 

From Dawson Rentals : E200s SN59AXA / KX10DVN / YX11HPL / AEC 

From Mullany's Coaches : E400 HP06BUS   E200 AE56OUM. 

From Brighton and Hove : Mercedes Citaros BP57UYK / UYE / BL57OXP / OXN. 

From Metrobus : Scania YN56FDO. 

From Rotala : Scania YT13WKZ. 


Streetlites  HF14BXA / BWZ / BWY / BWW / BWX / BWU / BWP / BWO / BWV / BWN / BWM   HF13FZT / FZS / FZR / FZP / FZO / FZN / FZM / FZL : Rotala 

E400s LJ59LZE / LZF / LYT / LYU / LYV / LYW / LYK / LYO / LYP / LXR / LXS  : First Essex. 

Volvo B9TL LX59DAA : First Eastern Counties. 

E200s YX65RHK / RHO : First Worcester. 

Scania’s YT61GOU / GPX : Grant Palmer, Dunstable. 

Scania’s YT61GOX / GPZ : Atlantic Travel, Bolton. 

Scania YT61GPY : Rodgers Coaches, Northampton. 

Scanias YT61GPE / YN56NDO : Redfern Travel, Mansfield. 

E400 HP06BUS  : Shiel Buses, Fort William. 

Scania CN57FKD : PC Coaches, Lincoln. 

E200s YX61EMV / GN07FDE : Stantons of Stoke. 

Volvo B9R KX58NBO : New Adventure Travel, Cardiff. 

Scanias LFZ8054 / 8056 / Y8YEL : Lewis Coaches, Greenwich. 

E400 LJ09CCF : Delaine Buses, Bourne. 

E400 SK07DYB : Chalkwell, Sittingbourne. 

Volvo B7TL HF04JWG : Fowlers, Holbeach Drove, Lincs. 

Volvo B7TL HF04JWJ : Squarepeg, Leeds. 

Scania’s YT59SFK / SFV / SGU / SGO / YT09ZCL : Newport Transport. 

Volvo B7RLE MX06VPG : Warwickshire Travel, Coventry. 

Volvo B7TL HF03ODU : Mr Jonathan Hawkins, Dartmouth, Devon. 

Volvo B7TL HF03ODS : AS Bone and Sons, Hook, Hants. 

Darts  AE56OUM / SN03WME   Trident LK53EZX  : Hardwicks, Barnsley 

The following all to Shelton Motors for scrap : 

Mercedes Citaros BP57UYK / UYE / BL57OXP / OXN. 

Tridents LN51GOA / VX54MTV / MUB / LK53EYR 

Volvo B7RLEs : MX05CBU / CDN / CBU / CKD / CDV  Dart WX05RUW 

Volvo B7TLs : YN53EFJ / KP51WBO