Issue nr. 253
Wednesday, May 31st


So often I learn much from  my contributors so it is nice to have a "scoop" myself. Having included this bus in a recent issue I think it has indeed been sold. I saw these two in Stokenchurch on May 27th.

RML 896 was on trade plates.

This issue has much to interest everyone and contributions have been significant. Details behind the increase of the PICKMEUP service are shown below.

Some readers have enjoyed days out which are included and there are some very inter3sting readers letters asking great questions.

We also have Buses in the Landscape and coach visitors to Oxford which always provides examples what can be seen in the city's environment and parking areas.

News of local operators is included with some interesting new arrivals and livery changes.

My thanks to everyone for their continuing support. 

Carousel Buses invests in boosting PickMeUp fleet in High Wycombe

Eight new Mercedes minibuses with ultra-low emission Euro 6 engines have been delivered, to expand the fleet, provide passengers with the latest technology, and prepare for plans to expand the operating zone.

The announcement comes after officials from the Department for Transport’s Rural Environment and Rural Mobility Funds visited Carousel Buses’ depot in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, on Tuesday 16th May. The officers met with members of the PickMeUp team and officials from Buckinghamshire Council to learn more about the success of the demand-responsive transport network.

The innovative ride-sharing service enables passengers in High Wycombe to request minibuses to pick them up at a ‘virtual bus stop’ of their choice and transport them to a bespoke destination. It is designed to encourage more people to use active modes of transport to travel.

The Rural Mobility Fund was established by the Department for Transport in 2020 to foster partnerships between local authorities and bus operators to improve transport connectivity in rural and suburban areas. 

Buckinghamshire Council provided the funding to launch PickMeUp in High Wycombe in 2022 after securing support via the fund.

Luke Marion, Carousel Buses Managing Director, said: “PickMeUp continues to go from strength to strength and is a fantastic example of how demand-responsive transport can play a key role in improving air quality and traffic congestion in the UK in conjunction with traditional bus services. 

“We have an extensive bus network in High Wycombe, but there are some areas our traditional service can’t serve due to demand, or location, and PickMeUp has helped fill the gaps. The passenger numbers continue to rise, and with plans to expand the operating zone, we are proud to have invested in the service.

“The support from Buckinghamshire Council and the Department for Transport has been excellent and has made this exciting new mode of public transport possible in High Wycombe.”

Martin Dean, Go-Ahead’s Managing Director, UK Regional Bus, said: “We welcome the further investment from Government and support from Buckinghamshire Council for PickMeUp in High Wycombe, building on the success of the service to date.

“Go-Ahead is always looking for innovative opportunities to meet customer needs, and this service is just one of the ways we are meeting demand”.

Steven Broadbent, Buckinghamshire Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, commented: "We were pleased to host officers from the Department for Transport in High Wycombe today.

“This gave us the opportunity to showcase the success of the PickMeUp scheme, an ‘on-demand’ service bookable by the app and phone, in collaboration with Carousel Buses.

"The ride-sharing buses have proven to be popular, with around 300 people using them per day. The service, which now includes eight new high-specification minibuses, is a testament to our commitment towards a more sustainable and inclusive transportation network for Buckinghamshire."

PickMeUp operates via the free, user-friendly PickMeUp app available on Google Play and the App store, and is also available as a telephone service for those who do not use smartphones. 

It currently operates between Monday and Friday in High Wycombe between 6am and 7pm.

In line with Carousel Buses main network, PickMeUp riders currently benefit from the Government’s £2 bus fare cap, which has been extended to the end of June.    

The minibuses all have USB charging points, wheelchair access, and comfortable high-back seating. 

985, one of the new Sprinters seen at the depot On May 27th by Malcolm Crowe.

Carousel Buses, a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group, employs around 80 people and operates around 45 buses in High Wycombe and the wider Buckinghamshire area. 

Transport Museum Wythall


by Paul Statham

'Last Sunday 21st May,  I went with a friend to the Harrington Gathering at BaMMOT, Wythall  About 20 Harrington-bodied vehicles were assembled, and attached are a selection. 

One of them 750 DCD definitely appeared in Oxford when with Southdown from 1964-73 doing tours such as the Grand Tour of Britain, an 18-day tour ! 

CUF 404 was new in 1936 for Southdown tours and would almost certainly have visited Oxford as well. 

   and The Forest of Dean  

After the rally I drove back home to Witney and picked up my wife and then drove to Tewkesbury.  The reason for staying there was to go the next day, Monday on a bus-trip round the Forest of Dean, which worked like this.  Leave Northway (a suburb of  Tewkesbury) at 0907 service 41 into Tewkesbury.   

This was when I discovered that Gloucestershire does not accept concessionary passes until 0930, so had to pay £1.90 for the first leg.

From Tewkesbury we travelled on service 71 to Gloucester, a fairly standard E20D. We spent a couple of hours in Gloucester,  some of which was shopping for my wife's birthday present, 

Then boarded a 24 service to Cinderford. This was a Scania but in Gloucester University livery.

(photo attached). 

We had about 30 minutes wait in Cinderford and photographed a Volvo B7RLE owned by Willett's, another old-established 'Forest 'Operator.

We then boarded service 746, an E20D going to Ross-on-Wye.  This traverses some very narrow roads,  at one point the bushes were brushing both sides of the bus.  Those of you who remember 'old' coach operators may remember Edward's of Joys Green who operated ex COMS 'deckers amongst other buses and coaches.  the 746 went through Joy's Green but the old depot has gone, the firm's name being remembered by a road called Edward's Close. 

We had time in Ross-on-Wye for a cup of tea then boarded a long-distance liveried Scania on service 32 which goes via Newent to Gloucester which filled up with school kids for most of the trip.


Back in Gloucester, I photographed Pulham's Mercedes Citaro which operates a service to the Hospital and has an appropriate registration. We had about 30 minutes to wait for the 71 to take us back to Tewkesbury. 

When it arrived it was a Gold-liveried Scania and whilst waiting to board I noticed that you could still see where S4 branding had been removed.  I managed to photograph it in Tewkesbury (attached), but it raised 2 questions.  1. according to Buslistsontheweb, it was new to Midland Red South,  so did Banbury operate some S4s, (I don't know), but 2.  My wife heard the driver say 'It's going back this week'   so it is just on loan.  Answers on a postcard please.   

   A day out with Gary Seamarks   

Gary had an interesting day out on Friday. May 26th.

Diary of services taken :

MK1 07.15 Bedford - Luton Stagecoach Bedford

44 09.00 Luton - Stevenage Centrebus

390 10.50 Stevenage - Hertford Centrebus

724 13.35 Hertford - St Albans Arriva Harlow

321 16.35 St. Albans - Luton Arriva Luton

MK1 18.04 Luton - Bedford Stagecoach Bedford 





Perhaps the wrong day to head near the M25/A1/M1 areas, with late running on most services, the MK1 was 30 minutes down into Luton due to roadworks at the A6/A507 junction, delaying it by 20 minutes.

The 44 was ok for timings, the 390 lost a few minutes into Stevenage from the hospital and more time across Ware, the latter due to poor parking and roadworks.

The 724 again due to traffic was about 10 minutes down into St. Albans. The 321 was getting caught in traffic between Watford and St/ Albans and was 15 minutes late back to Luton, the normal return timings for this route is 5 hours !

The MK1 had fallen into chaos, the roadworks mentioned above and looking at tracker Bedfords traffic couple with issues on the M1 in both directions all causing issues, I went for the 18.04 to Bedford it had left MK at 17.33 instead of 16.35 and finally arrived at Interchange at 20.14, the 17.35 was only 14 minutes behind, MK bound services were as bad the 16.15 off Bedford had left at 16.54, due Luton at 17.35 it arrived at 19.10, with the 17.15 off Bedford only 8 minutes behind.

Tracking off bustimes it looks like the following from Luton Interchange, 16.46 to Bedford left at 17.40, 18.04 left at 20.14, and the 19.04 left at 20.18. towards MK the 16.46 left at 17.40, the 17.46 never showed, the 18.46 left at 19.36. Do feel for the drivers on these long routes, the one I came back on had left Bedford at 13.15 and got back at 21.36 ! 

Had 3962 back from St Albans, ironic as we were leaving 24 hours before the Hatters kicked off at Wembley, that I was on it. Perhaps why they won ? 

Michael Penn

In issue 252 you mentioned that two Arriva StreetLites had been transferred from High Wycombe to Luton.  These are 2318/28 (LK 15 FFS/W).  In fact 2318 entered service initially at Luton in April 2015, being transferred to High Wycombe a few months later. 

A photo of 2328, taken last Friday, is attached.

Centrebus has acquired three new Alexander Dennis E20D MMCs for new services at Stevenage.  These are the 390 (Stevenage to Hertford) which started in February and the 907 (Stevenage to Cheshunt via Hertford) which started in April.  These are part of Hertfordshire County Council’s “Connect Herts” initiative.  The 907 is a seven days a week service. 

The new vehicles are 597-9 (YX 23 ORW/Y/Z) although 599 is not in service as yet. 

These are in a special dark blue/purple livery with branding for the two routes. 

The other two vehicles normally used on these routes are recently acquired E20D MMCs 595 (YX 18 KNZ),
which is at present in an all white livery, and 596 (YX 68 URE) which is in the normal fleet livery.

For more details of the initiative see Connect Herts - Intalink

May 31st -As an update of my piece on Stevenage, Centrebus 599 (YX23ORZ) is newly into service today on the 907 route.

Michael Wadman

Interested – and very surprised – to read in OCBP 251 that Stagecoach Oxford have taken over the Parliamentary Rail Replacement Bus Service between West Ealing and West Ruislip, as this service only started in January and has until now been worked by Diamond South East. 

Just to elaborate a little on Mike Walker’s comments in OCBP, the main purpose of Parliamentary Trains as they have come to be known (a resurrected term that once meant something completely different) is to provide a vestigial passenger service over a line that is still required for non-passenger use in order to avoid going through the expensive and time-consuming formal closure proceedings. The Great Central Railway opened its London extension to Marylebone in 1899 but between Quainton Road and Harrow-on-the-Hill the line was jointly owned with the Metropolitan Railway, and this posed operational problems, so they looked for an alternative access to London. Meanwhile the Great Western Railway was looking for a faster route to Birmingham than its existing line via Reading and Oxford. 

So the GWR built a new line which left their existing line at Aynho Junc, south of Banbury, and ran via Bicester; and the GCR built a line from their London extension at Grendon Underwood Junc, north of Quainton Road; and the two converged at Ashendon Jn from where the new line was jointly owned as far as South Ruislip, where it split again, with the GCR heading through Wembley to join its existing line to Marylebone and the GWR heading via Greenford to join its existing line to Paddington at Acton. 

In the ‘sixties BR chose to concentrate services to the West Midlands on the LNWR route from Euston, so the GWR route via Banbury became a secondary line only and the GCR London extension was completely closed north of Aylesbury. Banbury line trains were largely changed to run from Marylebone leaving only a limited service from Paddington. Stopping trains on this line as far as West Ruislip had been transferred to London Transport in 1947 when the Central Line was extended on new tracks which run alongside the main line. 

By the time that BR was abolished, the line between Acton and South Ruislip had been singled and the service from Paddington reduced to one parliamentary train in each direction which ran partly to avoid having to go through the closure procedure for a line that was still required for freight, and partly to retain crews’ route knowledge so that it could be used as a diversion should the line to Marylebone not be available. This arrangement continued under its new operators, Chiltern Trains. 

Thus things continued until December 2016 when the trackbed in the Acton area was required for the new HS2 terminus at Old Oak. The legislation authorising HS2 provided for the closure of Greenford – Acton without going through the usual closure procedure, but did not mention South Ruislip – Greenford, so the train continued to run but was diverted at Greenford down the former GWR branch to West Ealing. 

Come the Chinese ‘flu and the service was reduced to one train from West Ealing to West Ruislip on Wednesdays only, the corresponding up train running as empty stock. Eventually Chiltern decided that there was no way that they were ever going to use this route for diversions and therefore no longer had any need to retain route knowledge, so the train ran for the last time on 7th December last year to be replaced by a bus. According to the timetable the bus should have started the following week but it was apparently affected by the rail strikes and so actually ran for the first time on 11th January and on the first day carried about half-a-dozen gricers, somewhat fewer that were on the very packed last train in December. 

Actually, the whole thing is rather bizarre. For one thing there already is a bus between West Ealing and Ruislip in the shape of TfL’s E7 which admittedly takes 53 minutes instead of the Parliamentary Bus’s scheduled 25 minutes (it actually took about 20) but the E7 runs every twelve minutes and the parliamentary bus once a week. 

For another if you really want to go by train Great Western run from West Ealing to Greenford every half-hour from where there’s cross-platform interchange onto Central Line trains to West Ruislip which run every few minutes, with a total journey time of about 25 minutes. 

In fact, as there is a train service covering the entire journey, it’s hard to see why the bus is required at all. All I can think of is that the legislation may not regard a London Underground train as being a national rail train, although apparently a replacement bus is. 

Anyway, I gather from the photos in OCBP that Stagecoach are starting the service from the bus stop in Argyle Road and terminating on the main road opposite West Ruislip station entrance. Diamond started from outside West Ealing station in Manor Road and terminated in West Ruislip station car park alongside the up platform. Stagecoach are probably wise – neither location is really viable for an Oxford Tube coach!


As is probably clear from these photos taken on the first day of operation, 11th January this year.

Thomas W W Knowles

I am attaching a photograph of a coach that I took in Oxford  on 7th August 1996. 

This really is a long shot, but I have been trying to identify the owner of the vehicle over the years with limited success. However, it occurred to me that one of your readers may have seen the coach and better still may have identified its ownership.

I have had two further bits of information thrown at me; firstly that the BAG part of the registration could/would identify the operator and secondly that it is suggested that this coach was second hand from Finland.

I would be dead chuffed if anybody can help with the positive identification of the vehicle.

Comments requested. Ed. 

Jack Cooper

Stagecoach 15004 and Big Ben in Westminster from another angle on May 24th.

St Aldates always provides an excellent backdrop for pictures in Oxford.
Gold 10786 working the 1 on May 28th.

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

airsym WJ19HRN parked in Beaumont Street on May 26th.

George Candelin

Today's offerings from Peartree services includes a rather nice French Setra EB-970-MB of Transmedtour Voyages.

I also caught the Worthing Coaches NATEX MB Tourismo.   

This was new to Shearings but there is no indication of the current owner.

     Fleet News and developments   

Gavin Francis


The variety from Arriva in High Wycombe still provides much interest.
There seems to be a delay in repainting into the new livery but those that are look very smart.

Jack Cooper

E400 5461 working the X8 in Oxford on May 23rd.

On May 28th 5468 is seen in St Aldates. 

Andrew Webb

First in Berkshire have reintroduced the 'Beeline' name originally used between 1986 and 2001.  The modern interpretation of the image uses purple and orange rather than yellow on buses and a new timetable book.   

Enviro 400MMC 34383, one of several cascaded from Glasgow, shows off the new image
as it departs Hounslow on 29 May with a South Western Railway replacement service.

Gavin Francis in High Wycombe

StreetLite 47690 caught when working the X74 on May 25th.

34380 in Oxford Street with an X74 working on May 25th.

Wright 69401 also working an X74 on May 25th. 

Gavin Francis

215 with a 103 and 223 working the 27 on May 25th.

Variety in Bridge Street with 244, 869, 870 and 881 on May 25th.

Sprinters in service, 974, 977, 985 and 987 in Wycombe on May 25th. Good comparison between batches.

Malcolm Crowe

One of the few Citaros to have super rear adverts if 883 seen on May 27th.

Part of the fleet at rest on May 27th. 

971 has seemingly returned to Oxford for the season having  been released from Wycombe following the delivery of new Sprinters.

Jack Cooper

Driver Trainer 45 in Westgate on May 23rd.

Seen at Carfax, 317, 359, 373, 653, 673, 684m 687 and 902 on May 22nd.

and in Speedwell Street 351, 376, 515 and 690 on May 28th.

Brookes 371 and 372 in Westgate on May 23rd and 28th.

Working in St Aldates 354, 366, 371, 661,665, 666 and 844 towards the end of May.

High Street is the location for 363 and 371 on May 22nd.

Coaches 23 & 25 have entered service today. 24 on May 29th. 

The Airline has also seen a service change today, operating to Heathrow up to every 20 minutes, and hourly to Gatwick via Heathrow. 

The new timetable can be found here - 

During the 20 minute service, departures from Gloucester Green are 

xx:10 - Heathrow 

xx:30 - Heathrow & Gatwick

xx:50 - Heathrow 




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power




Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Airline

bicycle spaces, USB power

The first of the new coaches to enter service seen in Oxford on May 28th.

The current fleet continues although the elite are ending their service on May 31st.

Jack Cooper

Scania 204 seen turning into New Road on May 28th.

631 is seen in St Giles on May 28th with a good load.

Bob Chalmers

I notice in the pics of the reliveried "Harwell" deckers - that Newbury is included in the 'destination' branding - is this a new 'addition to the routes? 

Jack Cooper

622 and 623 have now entered service having gained a wrap for Harwell Campus. This brings the number of Harwell branded buses to seven. 

The increasing numbers of deckers reflects services to Oxford.


The last picture shows Newbury ?

The question is asked "is this bus returning to Carousel as it has retained that fleet name for months now ?
939 seen at Oxford train station on May 27th. 

Gavin Francis

Marble Arch is the location of this A1 service for Luton Airport, 349 on May 27th.

George Candelin in Witney

Variety on May 25th. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley


Changes have been announced to a bus timetable between Reading and London to help improve punctuality on route. 

Some London-bound Green Line 702 buses are being re-timed for punctuality as well as providing an additional late departure on all days of the week. 

Reading Buses say that from today May 29 there will also be an additional late departure of their Green Line 702 service from Legoland towards London. 

Early morning buses from Reading Station will depart slightly earlier and some of these services will also stop at Bracknell Bus Station. 

Some bus times are also being adjusted for punctuality on the route towards Slough and Windsor. 

There will be a new, later service from London to Legoland Windsor Resort and the last few journeys of the day from London Victoria will depart slightly earlier. 

The new timetable – including journey planning - is available in electronic formats on their website and a full PDF timetable will be published shortly. 

Reading Buses add that there will be no changes to their Green Line 703 service. 

Gavin Francis

Working the 130 on May 25th, MX60GKX and MX61BAO.
The second bus was new to Red Rose some years ago.

YX12AXU is still in Bournemouth livery but will be repainted into livery soon.

Jack Cooper

Working its branded route at Carfax in Oxford on May 22nd.

Gavin Francis

When new BGK was with First as seen on April 26th 2011
April 26th 2017 this bus was with Metroline and now is with Red Rose as seen on May 29th.

Dave & Deric

We have just received the Period 1 Fleet Card for Stagecoach West, dated 26/05/2023. 

Here is our summary of the changes. Changes affecting Oxford depots are shown with yellow highlight. 



Stagecoach East Midlands (Driver Trainers


Oxford (Driver trainers)






Out of Reserve


Reserve (RTA)








To Reserve










For Disposal




For Disposal



Oxford (Driver Trainers)


For Disposal

Not yet on the Fleet Card is the imminent exchange of four ADL/E300 between Gloucester and Banbury. We will confirm the fleet numbers next time. 

George Candelin

47832 seen in Witney on May 25th.

Jack Cooper

10440 seen in Speedwell Street with a number 8 on May 28th.


Gold 10780 working the 1 and 36933 with a 10 seen at Carfax on May 22nd.

MMCs 11240 and 11250 turn into Park End Street on May 28th. 

50444 appears to have returned from engineering work on the morning of May 31st. Ed.

Gavin Francis

50425 is seen Oxford bound at Marble Arch on May 27th.

Notting Hill Gate hosts 50422, 50443 and 50446 on May 27th. 

Jack Cooper

Not seen in use every day 50272 is seen in Speedwell Street on May 28th.

The Westgate Centre provides the background for 50425 and 50437 on May 23rd and 28th respectively.

At the bottom of New Road 50433 has very shiny wheels follow2ed by 50448 on May 28th.

50424 leads 50442 down St Aldates on May 28th.

50434 turns into Speedwell Street on May 28th. 

Jack Cooper

Heading for Plymouth with an M34 working 54279 is seen in St Giles on May 28th. 

George Candelin

WX55HZG on May 25th. 

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Beavertown Brewery is a British brewery based in Tottenham, London.  Although now part of Heineken, Logan Plant, the son of Robert Plant, singer with Led Zeppelin founded Beavertown in 2011.  A new advert campaign has recently been applied to several New Routemasters in London. 

Metroline's LT641 at St George's Circus and London United's LT71 crossing Westminster Bridge show off the advert in glorious spring sunshine on 27 May. 

The Which advert first seen last week has two further versions. 

Abellio's LT168 is seen at Trafalgar Square, whilst numerically similar LT768 is seen at Victoria.

The annual Chelsea Flower Show took place between 22 and 27 May.  The event is the first of several which keep Go Ahead London's private hire fleet busy through the summer months. 

As usual service 811 provided a connection from Victoria for green fingered visitors. 

Late on the final day of the show E12 and open top E15 set out from Victoria. 

Platinum Coaches of High Wycombe Mercedes Tourismo is seen at the north end of London Bridge on 27 May. 

London's longest bus route is the limited stop X26 which covers just under 24 miles between Croydon and Heathrow Airport.  The route, along with 607, X69 and X140, is one of four existing routes which will form part of the 'Superloop' network of express routes which will create a circular loop through suburban London.  Go Ahead's WVL336 has recently gained this route branding, rumoured to eventually be applied to all buses on the route.  As it is the only TfL bus route to use single door double decker buses it should be relatively easy to keep on the intended route.  Passengers can currently 'fly to Heathrow' twice an hour, but this will double to four per hour as part of the Superloop plans. 

WVL336 is seen on Northern Perimeter Road on 28 May at the start of another trip to Croydon

Gavin Francis

A variety of buses seen by Gavin on recent visits.



Most London operators have overall wraps as seen above.

Notting Hill Gate shows the variety to be seen.

The open top tour operators get good business when the weather is nice.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 / RHS Gardening

Variety seen on May 23rd.

Jack Cooper

A short interlude in London.