Issue nr. 225
Wednesday, October 26th 2022


This week sees a reduction in the number of contributions but I believe we still have an interesting issue. I hope readers agree ?

Gavin Francis visited the LBM Transport Fest last Sunday and has taken an interesting selection of pictures to record the event.

He also visited Motts in Aylesbury capturing some nice photographs.

Jack Cooper visited High Wycombe be providing some interesting pictures for this issue showing the variety of buses and operators seen during the time he was there.

Andrew Webb was in Bournemouth and his contribution shows much  interest in the town.

We have two interesting letters in Readers Write which ask some poignant questions, I look forward to your thoughts.

Finally it is of interest to note the seeming increase in the number of wraps covering London's buses.

Do send me your contributions in good time for issue 226 please.

Gavin Francis visits the London Bus Museum Transport Fest 2022
TransportFest 2022 - London Bus Museum

The selection below gives readers an idea of what was on display.


On display inside the Museum 


On display with older pictures of the bus shown

The first picture is by Paul Bateson, the second by Gavin in 2013 and the reborn Public bus now at the Museum.

RMC1461 in 2007, 2011 and now.

DW412 i-on April 26th 2018 and now as 6301 with Arriva Kent and Surrey.

Although the weather was poor in the early part of the day, it cleared up by the time the pictures were taken. 

     Fleet News and developments   

Jack Cooper

visited Wycombe on October 21st and h as provided a useful selection of pictures which show similar buses working a variety of routes which I have used for the record.


All of Wycombe's StreetLites now  have the  latest livery.


2790 working the 33.


The variety to be seen at Wycombe includes bus ranging from 06 to 12 plates.

Wright Pulsar

Aylesbury uses its allocation on the X30 and 300 services.

VDL SB200 Plaxton Centro

These are ex Arriva Sales demonstrators and the white one is a repaint spare.

Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse Gemini

Wright Pulsar Gemini VDL DB250 

These three double decks represent recent arrivals at Wycombe depot.

Alexander-Dennis Enviro400 

No E400s are allocated to Wycombe bjut Aylesbury use theirs on the X30 and 300.

Mark Turner

The Following two Arriva Buses base at Hemel Depot are now been repainted into new Arriva Colours They are as follows:

4189 KX62JNZ
4192 KX62JUT 

Jack Cooper

visited Wycombe on October 21st and h as provided a useful selection of pictures which show similar buses working a variety of routes which I have used for the record.

As readers will see this route, the X74, shows the problem of route branding but does add variety to the scene.

Jack Cooper

visited Wycombe on October 21st and has provided a useful selection of pictures which show similar buses working a variety of routes which I have used for the record.


This shows that in a few hours much variety is to be seen. 978 and 979 are generally used on a contract.
971 is mainly working the Uxbridge 577- 581 routes and still carries the Blenheim livery.

Jack Cooper

673 had returned to service on Wednesday 19th October. The branding is advertising Freeflow - "still buying paper tickets on the bus? YOU TAP, WE CAP!

These pictures taken on October 20th.


A interesting selection of colours for the fleet in Oxford taken on October 18th and 20th.

Thames Travel further ups driver pay and sign-on bonus

Thames Travel further ups driver pay and sign-on bonus - routeone (

Jack Cooper

Citaro 850 is still giving good service seen here with an X32 in St Aldates on October 18th.

Tony Bungay

Not the best of photos hence the subject title, having had some refreshments at the riverside café near Benson last Friday, I come out into a torrential downpour. At the same moment the above appeared, ex London Central Wright Gemini WDL1, now numbered 938 working service 136 to Cholsey come out of Benson village, while River Rapids Scania/Alexander 224? Picked up no doubt some thankful passengers, annoyingly despite the poor light the destination of service X39 did not come out.

938 and 224 on October 21st. 


Gavin Francis

.......recently visited the garage in Aylesbury peroviding some interesting pictures.

The use of CRU for Crusader and MTT for Motts is noteworthy.

The have excellent maintenance facilities used by some other operators.

Jack Cooper

visited Wycombe on October 21st and h as provided a useful selection of pictures which show similar buses working a variety of routes which I have used for the record.

This company operates various routes from Wycombe mainly with Darts. 

Jack Cooper

visited Wycombe on October 21st and h as provided a useful selection of pictures which show similar buses working a variety of routes which I have used for the record.

Redline's main route into Wycombe is the 130 which competes with Arriva's X30. It is served by a smart fleet of buses as seen above. 

Jack Cooper

visited Wycombe on October 21st and h as provided a useful selection of pictures which show similar buses working a variety of routes which I have used for the record.

Red Rose has two routes into Wycombe being the 40 recently taken over from Carousel serving Thame via Stokenchurch and Chinnor.
and the 275 which h as had a variety of operators with a difference in the routing during the day when it serves Chinnor not Stokenchurch.
Also the Red Rose fleet is always very smart.

Stagecoach secures new funding for parts of Cambridgeshire bus network

  Stagecoach secures new funding for parts of Cambridgeshire bus network (

Dave & Deric

Here is our analysis of the Stagecoach West Fleet Card for Period 6 (14/10/2022) 



Stagecoach South (Loan)


North Bristol (Driver Trainer) (Acquired)



Stagecoach Oxford (Banbury)




To Reserve


North Bristol




For Disposal


Cheltenham (Driver Trainer)












Sold to GX06DYW 27517 Preservation Group, Gloucester


























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






Stagecoach West (Gloucester)


Out of Reserve






For Disposal













Jack Cooper

Representing the newest Beachball liveried MMCs are 10671 and 10674 to be seen on most SC routes in Oxford. 

It was noted that recently 50274 has been to South Wales also not seeing service use for many weeks now.

David Beynon

This may interest readers.

Passenger Perspective | Oxford Tube Plaxton Panorama - YouTube

Jack Cooper

The Panoramas still look good as seen by 50427 on October 18th.  

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

A further three new overall adverts took to the capital's streets in the last week. 

Converse, an iconic footwear brand, have launched this campaign.  LT287 is seen at Elephant and Castle on 22 October. 

Naturium is a skincare products company.  Go Ahead's WHV124 promotes their products whilst awaiting time at Hyde Park Corner on 22 October. 

It had been turned short on route 22 owing to protestors at Piccadilly Circus demanding that Britain rejoin the EU.  In the current political climate would the EU accept us? 

A hardy perennial in the advert calendar is The Poppy Appeal which has been carried annually on London's buses since 2012, with the exception of 2020. 

~The first to bloom this year is Stagecoach's 14105, seen here calling at Romford station on 22 October whilst bound for Dagenham on route 174 

Gavin Francis

..... has made several visits to London in recent weeks.

Gavin saw these wraps on October 6th  and 17th.

HCT services were taken .over recently by Stagecoach and their renumbered into the Stagecoach fleet.
12506 at Waterloo on October 17th and 12517 at London Bridge on October 20th.

Not so many wraps covering the open top tour buses.

Coach visitors an d a London United working the C1.

National Express services provide interest at Hyde Park Corner on October 6th. 

Michael Wadman

Although it was fairly early in the morning, the sightseeing buses were already out. 

On Golden Tours’ Blue Route, no 130 (BD16 YEJ), a Volvo B5TL with MCV body; 

and no 117 (BU14 EHM), an older Volvo B9TL also with MCV body.

On City Sightseeing Red Route, East London no 19136 (LX56 EAO), an ADL Enviro 400.

Anyone else think that he squat and rectangular upper-deck windscreens fitted to these conversions really changes their appearance and makes them look rather odd?   

Grahame Wareham

Herewith my input for Issue 225, unfortunately I find I have no images of 225 in its later OBC Park & Ride green livery nor do I have any of it in WBC red livery but I'm sure you'll have some of these from contributors. Paul Bateson does have some of it in its current open top form operating in Melbourne I believe. 

In mid 1987 the newly management led privatised Oxford Bus Company wished to place an order for new vehicles to operate the successful iconic Park & Ride routes. Various makes of vehicle were looked at but the only real contender was the Olympian based on the five years operating experience of 201-224. By the time of the order date ECW had closed their Lowestoft facility and although Leyland were bodying at Workington they were at that time unable to build a low height dual doored body similar to the ECW design. Eventually they did start a low height assembly line but not for dual doored buses and not before the order was to be placed for delivery in the spring of 1988. Also at the time of ordering OBC had purchased the ex. Leyland Bus Far Eastern demonstrator 999 and refurbished it for use on the North-South P&R route, but this was to high-bridge (14ft 6in/4.46m) specification and would compromise the flexibility of the operation (which by now also operated under Oxford Station Bridge on the 595 service for which three ex. Southend Transport Fleetlines were purchased) if more than the odd example was on the route. The ex. LT DMS Fleetlines were by then at the end of their lives with two lost owing to accident damage so OBC opted to look at alternative bodybuilders to to satisfy the specification. The stumbling block seemed to be the dual door low height requirement and only Alexander at Falkirk were, at the time, willing to produce such a small order for five vehicles, albeit with a compromise of a front staircase.

225-229 were to the RL double deck design built by Walter Alexander & Co. incorporating the BET standard double curvature windscreen introduced by BET in 1962. Up until this point Alexander had been reluctant to offer this option due to former contractual agreements within BET/NBC/Triplex preferring to use their own design of product. To get over this issue OBC supplied the windscreens and apertures from which Alexander made the necessary mould modifications resulting in this windscreen then being offered to former NBC operators, including Stagecoach, who had standardized on this windscreen for over three decades. 225-229 were the last Olympians built with Leyland Hydrocyclic gearboxes but these differed from the 1982/3 deliveries in that they incorporated G2 gear control.


The result was that five Alexander RL H47/26D bodied were built in March 1988, 225 arrived in May 1988 in plain white for eventual advert application, for Park & Ride services. It received bespoke advertising for Oxford Courier newspaper in December 88, later having this changed to Morrell's Ales in 1993 when it also had destination equipment fitted for the first time  

In March1995 225 was painted into the new nipper green, blue and white livery and fitted with destination equipment as per 999.  

In 6/99 225 was converted to H47/30F by removal of the centre exit and repainted into Wycombe Bus livery being transferred there during July-September 1999.  

225 was transferred to Arriva The Shires with the sale of Wycombe bus on 13/12/2000. 225 arrived (or arriva'd!) back in Oxford on 18/12/00 for annual MOT duly sporting Arriva livery and numbered 5825! It's MOT test had already been booked in Oxford before the sale of Wycombe Bus to Arriva Shires but it was to appear back in Oxford regularly on the 280 service along with its sisters when they were transferred to Arriva's Aylesbury depot. It was transferred again to Arriva Southend in April 2005 where it was renumbered to 5881.


225 was to lose its roof as when eventually sold out of service by Arriva in the UK, it was converted to open top (047/30F) by Garden of Eden Garage, Ghaxag, Malta in August 2012, eventually ending up in this guise on tours of Melbourne with Melbourne City Sightseeing, Australia and re-registered 8514AO in November 2013. Arriva had operated in Malta for a period using ex. London Mercedes Citaro artics and 225 was shipped with some of them and converted by their body repair agent. As far as I am aware 225 is still operating but has been retrofitted with a Cummins engine and ZF gearbox. 

225 in Malta by Chris Maxfield on March 24th 2009.

Gavin Francis

..... with pictures of Scania 225.

225 between 2012 and 2016.

225 with Thames Travel in 2021. 

Follow up from Readers

David Gray

The disposal of the above was mentioned in the latest Bus Pages and your comment is correct.


I have had a look at PSV Circle records and this confirms CUD 224Y went to Parton, Carlton (dealer) 7/14, for spares and then scrap.


In a similar vein, CUD 221Y which was last operated by Confidence, Leicester was reported sold in February 2021 and is now the Ski Resort Café, Andorra. This may be of interest if any of your readers fancy a holiday! 

Gavin & Paul Francis

Pictures taken by my brother Paul in Canada. You will see RML 2336, interestingly I took a picture of this bus 50 years ago!! at Wycombe Marsh on the 441.

Pictures from Paul Francis in Halifax, Canada.

Gavin's picture of RML2336, November 15th 1972. 

Chris Huntingford

Just wondering if you could extend your encouragement of ‘buses in the landscape’ photography to a wider audience. For instance, maybe Oxford Bus Company could run a competition, and with the winning pictures shown on the screens in the buses. This could bring two advantages. First, it could show the nice countryside many routes operate in, and thereby generate more bus travel to reach such places. Second, maybe it could help with driver recruitment by showing the pleasant places you are likely to get to on a daily basis.

What do readers think? Ed. 

From an interested reader

While it has been happening for some time, I see the Stagecoach X5 is more than one odd journey cancelled, if they continue to do that, especially on the reduced off peak service from next week that will probably kill the service totally.

I recall an instance many years ago when London Country retimed the Saturday Green Line 788 service (it was only one return journey), they advanced the out journey time by 30 mins, but did not alter the roadside timetable for a number of weeks! The predictable result was a noticeable decline in usage, as passengers waited at the stop(s) for a service that never turned up, because it had already gone!

It of course led to the discontinuation of the service on a Saturday the following year, as part of the deregulation network, of course whether it would have been commercially viable had not the above happened is unknown, but it is probably correct to say that helped it on it’s way!

While this is not a case of a cancelled journey, unreliability or perceived unreliability quickly kills the traffic base!  

One doesn’t want to always be seen as a prophet of doom even if sadly many events happening in the bus industry seem to be heading in that direction! Indeed one does try to make comment on perceived observation or past experience/memory ( I was one of those people that waited in vain for a 788 on one occasion)

While in todays society it is all to easy to criticise, without knowing all the facts. Obviously in case of Stagecoach East as with others, fall in passenger numbers/staffing problems/fuel costs are all major factors that reduced service levels are hoped to address. But also is some of this down to Stagecoach being sold to it’s new owners, and their expectation of financial return? Speaking for myself if I was a venture capitalist the Uk bus industry post Covid would be one of the last things I would invest in!

Looking back to the privatisation of the National Bus Company, and you may agree with this view or you may not. At least a couple of the parts of London Country were probably more profitable for the sale of the garage sites rather than the bus operation. London Country South West being one, this later became part of Arriva, by which time most of the garage sites has gone, and the bus operation retrenched, with Guildford being the last portion before that closed. The point being is even nearly 40 years on ,is this the attraction for outside industry investors?

I wonder if any readers have comments to make as the indu,stry is seeming to be going backwards in some ways. Ed. 


For almost exactly 120 years Bournemouth was synonymous with Yellow Buses until the company ceased trading at the end of July this year.  Go Ahead South Coast registered new routes mirroring most of the commercial network operated by Yellow Buses, retaining the same route numbers.  Taking over the network with just a one day gap in service was a significant achievement but means that a variety of vehicles are operated until a more permanent fleet can be assembled.  The lower PVR on a Sunday meant that on October 23rd some of the more interesting vehicles borrowed from other parts of the Go South Coast fleet remained in the garage.  Nevertheless, an interesting selection of vehicles were in operation representing a full rainbow of colours in contrast to the yellow which once nominated the routes. 

Yellow Buses core network featured six routes numbered 1 to 6.  Prime route was and still is the 1 to Christchurch and Somerford with suffixes used to denote variations in routing between the two. 

Enviro 400MMC 1627 is one of a growing fleet branded for the 'Unibus' routes which link the town's universities with the centre. 
Carrying promotion for Bournemouth University it is seen here leaving The Square on route 1b. 

Arts University Bournemouth is the town's other university, specialising in the creative industries. 

1634 is another Enviro 400MMC seen leaving The Square bound for the large edge of town Castlepoint shopping centre on route 4. 

Route 5 connects The Square with the suburb of Kinson.   

1676 is one of the few Enviro 400MMCs in standard More livery, featuring a luxurious specification similar to the batch used on route X3 to Salisbury. 
Just a handful of passengers enjoy its opulence as it sets out on another trip.  

Bearwood is the destination of route 6, another of the town's suburbs.  This Optare Scania was one of a batch delivered for operation on the high-profile Purbeck Breezer routes linking Swanage with Poole and Bournemouth.  Unlike many of its colleagues which are part or convertible open top this one has a fixed roof. 

Now cascaded to the regular More fleet it is seen waiting time in The Square.

Route 3 was the one commercial route which Go Ahead did not register as the existing M1 already covered the same route to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital via Castlepoint.  On 23 October the route was being operated by new Enviro 400MMCs branded for the Unibus network. 

These also feature rear view cameras in lieu of mirrors, as modelled by 1698 as it shows off just a selection of creative careers in The Square. 

Engineering work between Bournemouth and Eastleigh necessitated the provision of rail replacement coach services on 23 October.  The nationwide driver shortage makes covering these duties a challenge with planners having to cast their net far and wide. 

Coaches from Plymouth, Ascot and Aldermaston were amongst those in use, all three are seen at the imposing Bournemouth Central station.

Thank you Andrew for a very interesting piece. Ed.