Issue nr. 230
Wednesday, November 30th 2022


THE news of the week is the arrival of three Citylink Panoramas originally ordered for the Oxford tube. Readers have provided a number of pictures of these arrival 50446-50448.

50446 at Horspath with branding removed on November 26th by Neil Moulton.

National Express have announced the launch of the Levante IIIA featuring a digital camera monitoring system.

A visit to Watford by Gavin Francis features a great variety of buses and the approaching changes of operator for the 142. 

Basingstoke Depot Community Open Day is recorded by David Gray.

Bennetts of Gloucester have taken over a Stagecoach Park & Ride service in Cheltenham.

A service in Leighton Buzzard has been taken over by Centrebus.

Some of the ex London buses have now entered service with Thames Travel

Grahame Wareham remembers Oxford Olympian 230 and others add images of this and previous buses mentioned. 

Levante IIIA trial

National Express is set to trial a digital camera monitoring system (CMS) in place of traditional wing mirrors on the new Caetano Levante IIIA. 

The company will use Stoneridge-Orlaco’s MirrorEye system. It uses two internal monitors – one 15″ monitor mounted to the A pillar and a 12″ monitor mounted to the driver’s side – and two external high-definition cameras mounted in place of the usual mirror brackets. Both monitors use an ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness. A third camera, known as the kerbside view, is expected to be available soon, which will enable a direct view in front of the vehicle.

National Express expects the system to provide better all-round visibility, remove blind spots, give improved night vision and reduce the risk of minor collisions. The removal of traditional mirrors will also decrease drag, improving fuel efficiency.

It joins other features on the Caetano Levante IIIA such as e-driver alerts, which draw drivers’ attention to vulnerable road users and obstructions within the blind spot area. Alerts are sent when radar sensors fitted behind the front wheels detect obstructions.

Two Levante IIIA coaches will be on trial in the coming months with partner operators Clarkes of London and Bruce’s Coaches to run short, medium and long-distance routes.

“The new Levante IIIA represents a step forward in the vehicle’s design,” says Tom Linnecor, Head of Engineering at National Express. “It takes driver technology to the next level by increasing the number of safety features and keeping our passengers and other road users front of mind.

“Working closely with Caetano, the majority of the latest changes implemented have stemmed from feedback from our drivers and engineers. In addition to improved visibility for drivers, the mirrorless coaches will also deliver significant fuel savings. We’re looking forward to getting the Levante IIIA out on the road and gaining as much insight as we can.” 

A visit to Watford by Gavin Francis 

Decided to go over to Watford today. I needed pictures of Rte 142 which changes operator from London United to Metroline on 7th January 2023. This will be the 3rd operator on this route in a little over five years. 

Back in 2017 it was operated by Arriva from Garston Garage and the buses used on it included your old favourite Malcolm 6000 (R.I.P.).

Currently it is operated by LU from Borehamwood Depot and when it switches to Metroline I guess it will be run out of Edgware Garage by Metroline.


Usual mixture of types and liveries of the Arriva buses with both Maidstone and Thurmarston legal lettering.


Also a chance to get some pictures of Mullanys Buses Electric Harry Potter buses. I assume there are four of them as I saw AYA, AYB, AYC and AYD. 


There are more pictures from Gavin's Watford visit under red eagle  under the respective operator heading below. Ed.

Basingstoke Depot Community Open Day

David Gray

This was mainly a community event and featured the launch of Basingstoke's 'Santa Bus' for this year but there were a number of vehicles from other depots.


For families there were a number of events of interest:

The chance to go inside the Santa bus

Trips through the bus wash

Take a seat in the cab

Have your name in lights on the destination screen Children's festive crafts Cake, craft and gift stalls including Stagecoach merchandise


This was a fundraising event with the money going to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance charity.



     Fleet News and developments   

Gavin Francis

Arriva 3985 is a former red London bus.

2327 and 3015 in Oxford Street on November 24th.

4217 and an unidentified Citaro at Cressex depot on November 24th. 

Pete Cabin

3812 YJ58FFA has gone back to Aylesbury and in service today on route 31 to Penn was 3985 GN07DLK not sure which depot it came from Arriva Thameside

GN07DLK (3985) | Arriva Thameside (NF) GN07DLK (3985) ADL … | Flickr

LATE NEWS November 30th.

Arriva 3918 has broken-down in Oxford Street on November 30th.

Kevin Fuller

Some pictures at High Wycombe railway station, taken on the morning of 22nd November.

Arriva 2790, YJ60GGO, a VDL SB180 with MVC bodywork passes the station with a service 33 for Castlefield. 

Wright StreetLite WF LK15FFV, Arriva 2327 makes the turn into the railway station forecourt,
also working on the 33 route between Castlefield and Totteridge. 

Nick Ross

Nicely branded Arriva Enviro 5460 at Leighton station with a 150 on November 28th 2022 .

Robert Homan

As a result of Stagecoach West cut-backs, it was back in time in Cheltenham from Monday 28 November as Bennetts of Gloucester have resumed operation of the Cheltenham Park and Ride service to Arle Court.

Shown is YX70OHK a dual door Enviro 200MMC, in Cheltenham Promenade on the first day of service.
Bennetts also have YX70 OHL in the same livery.

Nick Ross

Centrebus first local workings for a good few year having replaced Grant Palmer on the 36
with FE12LKL seen in Leighton High St on November 28th 2022

Gavin Francis

First 69391 seen in Bridge Street, Wycombe with an X74 service on November 24th.

Gavin Francis

245 and 409 on November 24th.

PMU's 971, 972 and 973 on November 24th. 971 often works the 5xx routes.

Kevin Fuller

Some pictures at High Wycombe railway station, taken on the morning of 22nd November.

Carousel 403, SM65LNE a Wright StreetLite, seen picking up passengers with a 1A service 

Scania / Alexander Dennis Enviro 400, EF10OXF, Carousel's 216 pauses outside the station entrance. 

Mercedes minibus BU18YRP, Carousel 973, is parked between its Pick Me Up trips.

Liveried for High Wycombe Park & Ride services, Wright StreetLite DF 408 SK16GXY collects passengers on its route 8.  

Gavin Francis

Gavin spent sometime at Thornhill on November 27th.

371 and 374 at Thornhill with 400 workings.

609at Thornhill with another 400 working 

Jack Cooper

Oxford Bus and Thames Travel service changes for January have been announced. These can be viewed here -

660 seen climbing Lodge Hill with an X1 and 663 followed by  665 with X3 workings on November 26th.

310 and 311 with 400 road services are seen under the railway bridge in Botley Road on November 23rd.

367 is working a 300 service in Magdalen Street West on November 24th.

610 seen in St Aldates on November 23rd.

651 seen in Frideswide Square with a 5 road working on November 23rd. 

Gavin Francis

37 and 71 on November 27th.

Jack Cooper

34 in Gloucester Green on November 23rd.

37 in Gloucester Green on a wet November 24th. 

Graham Mildenhall

Didcot briefly late last Friday afternoon (25 November) and was surprised to see a Carousel Citaro there operating service 23 to Henley. 

Not being familiar with this route not sure if that’s a regular thing or not but to me it made an interesting picture so have attached a copy which you might like to include on the page at some point.

Jack Cooper

Some of the Thames Travel B9s have been out in service already. 923 and 924 were used on the Polar Express shuttle for the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway. The shuttle running from Didcot Parkway to Wallingford for the Railway. 926 was also tracking on a BB1 yesterday - November 29th.

207 seen climbing Lodge Hill with an X2 working on November 26th.

208 and 226 seen in Frideswide Square with X2 workings on November 23rd. 

511 with an ST2 in Magdalen Street West on November 24th.

Loaned 856 seen under the railway bridge in Botley Road on November 23rd. 

Jack Cooper

Oxford Bus are contracted to NEx for the 737 service and 60 is seen here by St Giles on November 24th. 

Gavin Francis

YK09FMK working the  158 in The Eden Bus Station on November 24th.

NXZ9337 ex MX59NWN working the W4 in Watford on November 26th. This bus is ex Manchester Community Transport.

WX08LND working the W3 in Watford on November 26th. This bus is ex First West of England. 

Gavin Francis

LJ09KPZ is now wrapped in The Campus Link livery when  seen in High Wycombe on November 24th.

This bus came from Arriva London ENL36. 

Gavin Francis

E16RRT seen working the 275 from The Eden Bus Station on November 24th. 

Jack Cooper

West's 15349 seen heading for Swindon is seen in Botley Road on November 23rd.

West's 10991 seen heading for Swindon is seen under the railway bridge in Botley Road on November 23rd
and in Gloucester Green
on a very wet November 24th.

Jack Cooper

Gold 15831 is seen seen under the railway bridge in Botley Road on November 23rd with an S9 service.

10679 heading for its next S5 and then ready to depart on November 24th.

11237 with an S1 in George Street on November 24th.

15835 seen in Frideswide Square with an S3 working on November 23rd. 

36768 with an S4 in Magdalen Street West on November 24th. 

Jack Cooper

10803 seen in Frideswide Square with an X5 service on November 23rd.

10880 comes in via St Giles heading for Gloucester Green with an X5 on November 24th.

Andy Churchill

Malcolm it is confirmed that 10 coaches are being transferred from Scotland to Oxford for the Oxford tube and drivers have been dispatched from Oxford on November 23rd so in due course the tube should have its original intended allocation of 34 coaches, exciting times ahead !

So far noted on way to Oxford are 50446/47/48 which are In Scottish city link livery. They are being debranded prior to use.

50446 debranded on November 25th.


50448 during debranding on November 25th.

Gary Seamarks

Now at Oxford for the tube, taken in Edinburgh in May 2022.

Gavin Francis

50434 picks up at Thornhill on November 27th.

Day two in tube service 50446 picks up at Thornhill on November 27th.

Jack Cooper

Re-registered 50425 seen at Gloucester Green on November 23rd.

James Lambeth

November 26th, was the first day in service at Oxford for former Scottish CitylinkPanorama 50446 / YX21NNH.

50446 seen in a dark Oxford after a long, busy day on the Tube to and from London. 26/11/2022. 

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Just a single new campaign launched on TfL Buses this week, for the Japanese based fashion retailer Uniqlo. 

Arriva's LT728 is the first recipient, seen turning onto Aldwych on 26 November. 

Sightseeing operator Golden Tours has wrapped these two vehicles in adverts for European holiday destinations. 

126 promotes the sunny climes of Valencia,

whilst 143 will appeal to winter sport enthusiasts.  Both are seen at Aldwych. 

Grahame Wareham

Herewith my input for Issue 230 containing a brief history for OBC 230 G230VWL, 

In September 1989 OBC placed a repeat order with Alexander's in Falkirk for six more virtually identical bodies on Leyland Olympian chassis to the previous five 225-229 delivered in 1988. These next six however were for some of the longer distance out of town routes such as Aylesbury and Reading, where these six vehicles tended to be regularly used on. These Leyland Olympian's featured a more powerful turbocharged Gardner 6LXCT engine and a four speed ZF 4HP500 fully automatic gearbox, the first time these had been specified as Leyland no longer had their Hydracyclic GB456 series in production.

These six Olympians arrived in March 1990 and were numbered 230-235 G230-235VWL and featured the new OBC red & white colour scheme with black skirt plus the large Oxford Bus Company fleet names, which stood out very prominently on the lower panels.

First pictures of 230 at ADL, Falkirk in February 1990.

230 G230VWL arrived H47/26D from Alexander's Falkirk in March 1990.

Seen in 1992 and 1994.

In later days at Bonn Square.

230 was converted to single door as H46/30F in 12/97 and transferred to Wycombe Bus Company fleet.

230 was transferred to Arriva The Shires, and renumbered 5830 with the sale of Wycombe Bus on 13/12/2000.

Malcolm Crowe has a picture
Leaving the old bus stato of 230 at Wycombe.

230 leaving the old bus station in High 
Wycombe on April 1st 2000. MC

Gavin Francis has provided pictures of 230 then at Arriva as 5830 based at Aylesbury.

Working  the 280 on April 19th 2008.GF

Now 5830 in Butterwyke Place on July 21st 2008.GF

5830 G230VWL was repainted January 2001 in turquoise/cream allocated to Wycombe; In October 2003 it was transferred to Aylesbury and in December 2008 withdrawn and sold to Ensign

Bus and immediately re-sold to Alpine, Llandudno. It was scrapped in 2015. GW

The current 230 from Gavin Francis.

230 seen on August 2nd 2011 at Thornhill and in the City on September 9th of the same year.

With branding for the X3 on August 7th 2015.

Still with same branding on April 28th 2017 and then Thames Travel branding by May 1st 2017.

By the autumn of 2018 and still in 2020 230 is now in connector livery. 

Now various pictures of buses mentioned in the past few weeks.

Gavin Francis

5825 in Stokenchurch with  the 342 on March 3rd 2004.

July 6th 2004 in Wycombe.

5826 in Stokenchurch with  the 342 on January 30th 2004.

Malcolm Crowe

225 then 5825 in 2002.

227 and 229 with Wycombe Bus.

228 with a 326 on June 17th 2000. 

Allan James/strong>

As a native of Oxford I would like to say how much I enjoy your bus page, particularly the pre 1970s pictures as I moved away from Oxford in that year. Having recently moved to Wales, I have only just caught up with the 'back numbers'.

In issue 227 there is an untitled photograph of WBW 275. I recorded this vehicle with Jarvis of Middle Barton in October 1964.