Issue nr. 261
Thursday, July 27
th 2023

From the Editor

The recent days have proved interesting for followers of Stagecoach in Oxford.Several transfer have come from South and in return four MMCs have moved south in exchange.

Gavin Francis covers PENNFEST and we have A 20th Anniversary of Carousel Buses held at Beaconsfield from various readers.

The new X34 and X35 services of Thames Travel have started and we have some pictures from Newbury of an X34 on the first day from Hugh Jaeger.

Redline and Red Rose have been busy repainting their ex Bournemouth E200s with all those at Red Rose now completed and two of the Redline ones back in service.

Due to a lack of personal time, this issue is one day late and also some of the pictures lack titles. 

PennFest 2023

The Pennfest event took place last weekend with Reading once again providing its Gas Buses to operate the service from Wycombe, caught by Gavin  Francis.

421 and 431 in Wycombe on July 21st.

405, 406 and 407 in Wycombe on July 22nd. 

A 20th Anniversary of Carousel Buses held at Beaconsfield
from various readers

Gavin Francis

On Sunday 23rd a Running Day was held at Beaconsfield Old Town. The theme was the 20th Anniversary of the formation of Carousel Buses. 

A wide range of routes was operated extending as far as Amersham in the north, High Wycombe in the west and Slough and Heathrow to the south. 

There was also a range of weather from heavy rain through to bright sunshine which seemed to change every few minutes. 

Below is a selection of the buses and routes which were used on the day. 

A nice variety as recorded.

Jack Cooper

Jack's pictures are in Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross and Heathrow.

Kevin Fuller

Beaconsfield, but here are a few from me anyway, if you want to use them in the newsletter...



I realise there are some repeats but it gives the widest range of possibilities. There are more Carousel pictures from 2004 in the Memories section below. Ed.

Hugh Jaeger'

You will know that Thames Travel's new and revised routes and timetables started this week. I went to Newbury on 24 July to photograph the new route X34 on its first day.

It was a gloomy Monday, with rain for much of the morning, and dark grey sky all day. But I am calling it a bright day for people travelling between Newbury, Harwell and Didcot!

I photographed buses on route X34 as well as I could in the low light. Please feel welcome to share any or all of the attached photos on your website. I have posted more photos in a new album on Bus Users Oxford's Facebook page. Your readers are most welcome to visit the page, and follow to BU Oxford on either Facebook, and/or on Twitter


At Newbury, the new X34 shares departure Bay D with a set of routes including the 6 and 6A. These are low-frequency local services that West Berkshire DC subsidises, and which serve villages either side of the A34 as far north as West Ilsley.

Jack Cooper


Bob Chalmers

New/revised timetables/routes started this week (although some not tracking on 'Bustimes' X34/35) but working on the Oxford Bus app. Seems the X34/35 interlinked at Didcot. But good to see a direct service to Newbury again. 

I am grateful to the above readers who have provided an excellent record o/f this new service. Wd. 

Bob Chalmers writes about problems on the A34

Interesting day - Lodge Hill Oxford bound in the morning closed (gas repairs) - all services going through Kennington. Then the A34 between Milton and Oxford closed in various places (accidents) - so X32's via Drayton and Abingdon  and then main road through Nuneham Courtney closed (accidents) so X40's via Abingdon too - add the usual congestion along the Abingdon Road, Oxford and all bus timetables seem to be in total chaos.

Good start to the 'summer holidays'  

Chris Huntingford and a new service in Faringdon

“A very interesting new bus route is about to start. Operated by Stagecoach on summer Saturdays, the new route will run in two two-hour circuits from Faringdon back to Faringdon, covering a vast number of towns, villages and tourist spots. Here: 

or for the timetable, here:  “

Who will be first to provide pictures ? Ed.

Hugh Jaeger asks for answers on old services

I have an Oxfordshire County Council bus map from 2010 that shows routes 6 and 6A used to go as far as Harwell Campus. Routes 6 and 6A were low-frequency. I think they served Harwell Campus four times a day on weekdays, and once on Saturday, but I may be wrong ? 

Do you, or any of your website's readers, know in which year those two routes were cut back to West Ilsley? I ask for historical interest, in order to be able to say that route X34 is the first bus service between Harwell and Didcot since whatever year it was ? 

Do you, or any of your website's readers, know the history of bus services between Newbury and what is now Oxfordshire before routes 6 and 6A? I ask because I wonder whether there has ever been an hourly service, six days a week, over this corridor before. Before Didcot grew so large, I can imagine there may have been either a Newbury – Abingdon or Newbury – Abingdon – Oxford bus service. But if so, was it ever hourly?

The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway lost its passenger service in 1962, and was closed in 1964. There may have been a "bustitution" service after BR withdrew passenger services. But as far as I know, the DN&S never had an hourly passenger service, so I doubt whether any bustitution was hourly, either.


Some of the enthusiasts who read your website will know far more bus history than I do. I would be grateful to them for their relevant knowledge. My guess is that an hourly bus, six days a week, linking Newbury with Harwell Campus and Didcot, is unprecedented.

We look forward to reader's responses. Ed.


     Fleet News and developments   

Adam Green

Commander 486 at Luton Garage

Gavin Francis


Jack Cooper

E400 5464 seen in St Aldates with a 280 service on July 18th.

Paul Coley

Another great online read with he last issue and now some pictures from Stoke Mandeville on July 19th.

Arriva Citaro 3920 was around half full, but typifying these buses now looking quite shabby
and, I assume, up for early withdrawal (as it’s sisters have already gone).

Doesn’t really too much for whatever brand or image Arriva is trying to portray to passengers, I think. Having spent it’s entire 15 year life at Aylesbury (and I guess Wycombe too), I wonder how many times it has done a round trip on this route? Allocated to the (then) 323 at the start, it has probably done thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of return journeys on arguably a pretty tough service for any bus.



Adam Green

Centrebus's 726 727 728 729 on Loan to Luton from Leicester.

Gavin Francis

Taken on July 22 and 26th in High Wycombe.

This week 69928 has been used on RA2. Ed. 

Graham Low

The new GoAhead logo on the door of OBC Tourismo 40.

Ryan Jones

SE86 Parked up at Luton Airport Parkway Station along with FN62CEU. 

Gavin Francis


Pictures taken on July 21st, 22nd and 26th July.

Malcolm Crowe

Pictures taken on July 25th.

Bob Chalmers

688 on X1 duty today (686 yesterday) - always good to see 'strangers' in the area.

I assume it was 212 that was involved in the "thermal incident" (fire) at Nuneham Courtney on Saturday (from the pictures) - suspect the bus will be withdrawn and used for spares maybe? - looked like a lot of damage to the rear - but full praise to the driver apparently.


Jack Cooper

Ex Oxford Bus Company 78 (OX15LON) seen along the Embankment in London on July 20th,
It is now with Angies Tours.
Angies Tours | Coach Hire Lowestoft

Pictures taken on July 18th.


They caught up with a destination mistake which should not happen.

I suppose rain is currently most appropriate ! Ed.
672 heads for the station on July 21st.

Richard Sharman

Working an Oxford duty with a 400 service  226 on July 19th in High Street.

Bob Chalmers

Assume it was 212 that was involved in the "thermal incident" (fire) at Nuneham Courtney on Saturday (from the pictures) - suspect the bus will be withdrawn and used for spares maybe? - looked like a lot of damage to the rear - but full praise to the driver apparently.

Jack Cooper

875 seen in Henley on July 23rd.

and at their depot on July 22nd.

Working for Thames Travel for TruckFest, MEC18 on July 22nd.

Citaro 865 seen in Wantage with a 67 service on July 22nd. 

Richard Sharman

Grayline Coaches

Grayline SK19EYJ working the 24 in St. Giles on July 19th.

The Bicester-based operator has devinyled Wrightbus StreetLite WF SK19 EYJ that was formerly wrapped for service E1 in Bicester, and placed it into service on OCC route 24 from Bicester to Oxford via Weston-on-the-Green.

Gavin Francis

National express coaches pass Waterloo on July 18th. 


Gavin Francis

Various members of the fleet working the 130 in Wycombe on July 21st, 22nd and 26th.

Ex Bournemouth E200s YX12AEW and YX12AGY seen on July 21st and 26th both recently repainted.

Paul Coley

The Redline Enviro YX12AEU is a newly-repainted ex Yellowbuses machine, and was almost full on July 19th.

Richard Sharman

YX12 AZN keeps Yellow Buses alive, in Oxford of all places!. July 19th.

It looks like it will be going for repaint in the coming weeks, but until then it provides a good reminder of the former Bournemouth operator.   

Gavin Francis

Not a regular working the 40, Y22RRT, on Sunday July 23rd at Stokenchurch.

E3RRT along with E2 are regular weekday performers working 40 as seen on July 26th. 

Dave & Deric

Period 3 Fleet Card from Stagecoach West dated 21/07/2023. 

Here is our summary of the Period 3 changes. As usual, changes affecting Oxford depots are shown with yellow highlight. 

Acquired Vehicles

15989/992 *(see note below)

Stagecoach South




























Out of Reserve










For Disposal




For Disposal





For Disposal







10433/34 *(see note below)



Stagecoach South



For Disposal





For Disposal





For Disposal





For Disposal



 *There is currently an exchange of vehicles taking place between Stagecoach West and Stagecoach South. These are the only ones confirmed by the Fleet Card so far.


Scania's 15989, 15990, 15992 an 15993 have been swopped with Worthing/Chichester for 10433, 10434, 10436 and 10438 increasing Oxford's Scania fleet.

Andy Churchill

Further arrivals at Oxford today 25/07/23 from Stagecoach South are Scania / E400s 15990 and 15993 both in distance Yellow Coastliner 700 livery. 

Graham Low

15990 in yellow ex South still with 700 Coastliner branding in service working the 1 on July 26th. 

Are the two Scania's ex Stagecoach South forerunners of some more of these buses? I'm still not sure about the livery!

James Lambeth


Seen at Oxford rail station on the penultimate Blackbird Leys trip of the day is recently transferred Scania E400 15989 / YN64 XST,
previously at South's Portsmouth depot and carrying a special Poppy Appeal livery.
19/07/2023Seen at Oxford rail station on the penultimate Blackbird Leys trip of the day is recently transferred Scania E400 15989 / YN64 XST,
previously at South's Portsmouth depot and carrying a special Poppy Appeal livery. 19/07/2023. 

Richard Sharman

E300 27714 is seen on Magdalen Street, ready to return to Banbury on the S4, but there is something missing from this shot.

The Odeon cinema, which opened on 1st of January 1924 closed for good on the 5th of June, marking another closure in the city centre, following the likes of Burger King and the Clarendon Centre shops. 

New to Witney depot, 15966 seems to have now settled at Oxford,
having been an inter depot transfer within West from the 24th of May 2023.

A quickly grabbed shot of E400 10069, which has recently been tidied up after looking rough for some time,
this includes the fitment of the current Stagecoach branding.

Former Stagecoach South 15992 is seen passing through Yarnton on a late evening trip back to Chipping Norton on the S3,
with these transfers carrying 'distance' livery.

They are probably best suited to the S routes rather than the city. It is ironic that this batch have moved here given that Swindon is running sister vehicles into Oxford on the S6.  

50271, 50272 and 50274 still make the occasional foray to London in recent weeks. 

     London operations    

Gavin Francis

abellio's 1535 and 1537 recent arrival to the fleet on July 18th.

Imperial SL69XMV at WESTFIELD on July 18th.

Metroline VMH2566 with an SL8 Superloop service on July 18th.

Stagecoach London City Sightseeing 36368 and 36369 seen near Waterloo on July 18th.

Travellers Choice YT23HYC passing Waterloo  on July 18th.

Kingsferry BF23CKK near Victoria on July 18th.

Interior upper deck pictures of a new E400 showing the modern deckers, a far cry from the deckers of yesteryear.

Carousel Buses remembered from 20 years agobr /> by Gavin Francis

Carousel operated a wide variety of buses through the years and below is a selection from the very early days including GYE598W which was present on the day held in Beaconsfield.


Pictures taken in High Wycombe during 2004 showing the then current fleet. 

Gordon Scott

Stagecoach Highland Inverness depot have a Scania K320IB4 MOBI People 3 by 2 seating painted in Stagecoach Bus Type livery fleet number 59001 - YT23BKD. It was on a M90 Inverness to Edinburgh Citylink working last Friday and a friend of mine managed to get photos of it but I cannot pass these shots on sorry. I will try and catch up with it myself and pass shots on of it. 

Stagecoach East Scotland Perth Depot.
Van Hool Astromega 50265 - OW19 LKE taken on Queensferry Road Edinburgh on M90 Citylink Edinburgh to Perth. 

Stagecoach Highland Scotland Inverness Depot.
Volvo B11RT Plaxton Elite i 54205 - SF62 CPV  taken on Queensferry Road Edinburgh on M20 Edinburgh to Inverness.

Graham Low

Here are recent views:

47086, an aged Solo in good condition at Barnstaple.

19106 a recently converted 400 open topper at Croyde in a new "Wave" livery. 

Matt Cooper

Been a busy run up to the family holiday which we are on now in Woolacombe in Devon. In years past the holiday park ran a selection of open top 'old timers' between the main sites 'up the hill' at Woolacombe and the beach, including AEC Regents, Bristol VRs and latterly an ex London Dennis Trident. None exist now, perhaps not deemed as cost effective which is a shame. Thankfully Stagecoach operate route 21C nearby linking Croyde with Barnstable using modern open toppers. I like that numerous operators have bought this tradition back in recent years and from the services I have seen both here and South Devon (Torquay area) these are popular with the public, usually involving a significant campsite/caravan park.  

Whilst travelling between Woolacombe and Barnstaple back at Easter time a bus caught my eye located in a pub car park. It must be the bus but '6th sense' as I thought it was an ex Luton & District bus. I didn't have time to check then but high on the list during this holiday was confirmation if I was correct. I was! F636 LMJ, new as 636 in 1988 and latterly Arriva the Shires 5086 is now painted red, looking rather shabby and evolved from a double decker to a 'double pecker'!

After the Woodpecker pub whose car park it occupies and is owned by rather than any cheeky references to Viz magazine!  

One of three similar L&D vehicles to feature coach seats (636, 641, 654) after a short stint at Luton the bus spent the majority of its life at Hemel in the handsome green /grey livery which originated with LCNW. Latterly at Luton and downgraded with bus seats the vehicle was finally withdrawn in 2011. Most of the F and G reg batch made over 20 years service so we're definitely good investments at the time by the independent L&D management team of the time.  

Don't people you know (or family members) always find it odd and surprising when you can tell a vehicle found in such a manner as if finding an old friend?! Just a bus isn't it? Is usually the comment!  

The other is of an Enviro 400- bodied Scania (closed top standing in for open top) loading at Ruda Holiday Park, Croyde Bay for Barnstaple. 

Tony Bungay at the Lakes

In Keswick Bus station on the long but scenic 555 is Enviro 400mmc 11578 which is fairly new,
Stagecoach have obviously decided to keep the attractive ‘Lakes Branding’

Again at Keswick Bus station is 11578 and behind former Stagecoach East London 17506
now converted to Open Top, as can be seen from the clouds not the most desirable place to sit that day at times!

Another principal route to serve Keswick is the X4/X5 Penrith – Workington,
seemingly mainly operated by double deck vehicles, this journey featured Enviro 200MMC 26005 new to Fife Scottish.

Heading away from the Bus station to Penrith is Scania 15723 

Also heading away from the Bus station another nearly new Enviro 400MMC 11576

Service 555 from my limited observations seems to be worked by Lakes liveried vehicles,
in this instance current bus liveried Enviro 400MMC 11150 is doing a turn.

Another open top vehicle used on the 78 service to Seatoller is Enviro 400 19161, the vehicle has been reregistered with former RM217 registration.

Stagecoach Gold Scania 15225 loads in Keswick on it’s way to Penrith,
by this time late afternoon the rain had started to fall, having been torrential down in the South earlier.

Sadly the destination failed to come out on this photo of Optare Solo 47722 as it proceeds through the village of Portinscale
 on service 77 to Buttermere via Catbells. The dark clouds held off raining for a number of hours! 

Well the foregoing articlles provide an interesting look at bus operators outside our area. Ed.