Issue nr 265
Wednesday August 30th 2023

Check the major changes to Buckinghamshire routes coming by September 3rd

View changes to bus services and timetables | Buckinghamshire Council


From the Editor

A varied week recorded in this issue. Highlights include Airline 71 moving to Pulhams,

Go Ahead buses from Cornwall and Plymouth now working in Wycombe

An ex Xelabus E200 turning up with Thames Travel.

Gavin Francis has provided news on TfL's Superloop and bus and coach transport around The Notting Hill Carnival.

Readers Write includes a response to Toby France's Arriva letter last week.

Fleet News and pictures.

London news and wraps.

Visits to Lathalmond and Belfast.

Superloop - Transport for London (

Gavin Francis


Over the past 2 weekends 2 more Superloop routes have been introduced. On the 19th August former route X26 was renumbered and rebranded as SL7.

Then on Saturday 26th August former route X140 followed suit and became SL9. These were the 3rd and 4th of the Superloop routes to commence operation and all were in effect just former routes with new identities. You could now ride the Superloop from Harrow to Croydon but of course you could always do that with the previous routes anyway. In addition the SL7 meets up with the SL 8 at Hayes.

I went to Harrow to board an SL9 to Heathrow and the first thing I noticed was that not many of them were branded and it took a while on the journey before I saw my first one.


Unbranded BCE 47107 leaves Harrow Bus Station for Heathrow.

Later in the day however I was able to catch up in Harrow with both BCE 47109 and BCE 47084 which had been branded. 

When I got to Heathrow again I noticed that only some of the SL7 buses had been branded. These are some of the oldest buses working on TFL routes including a 58 plate 15 year old one. I am assuming they must be coming to the end of their lives and will be replaced soon. Just about as much of a contrast as you can get with the virtually new electric buses on the SL9. 

WVL 495 and WVL 341 have been branded but WVL 335 has yet to receive its branding. 

Incidentally many thanks to the SL7 driver who whilst unloading at Heathrow waved at me to come to him and gave me a very nice Superloop lapel badge. 

Looking back over the years I remember the X26 has its roots in Greenline route 726 and ran all the way from Windsor and Gravesend. 

SMA1 stands at the old Windsor Garage in the 1970s.

 Also it does not seem that long again that RTs were running the 140 into Heathrow all the way from Mill Hill Station.

Pictured at Heathrow are RT 1934 in 1974, RT 4800 in 1977 (pictures supplied by Paul Bateson) and the final RT on the 140 RT3234 on 14th July 1978.

As yet I do not think dates have been released for the start of the next Superloop route but whichever one it is a new route will appear.

Andrew Webb

The latest route to receive a rebrand into the 'Superloop' network is the X140 which became SL9 from 26 August.  Not all vehicles have received the Superloop branding so traditional red vehicles top up the daily run out for the time being.  BCE47100 and BCE47106 show off the variations as they arrive at Harrow Bus Station on 29 August.  This will be the last rebrand for the time being as other routes in the proposed network are new.


Future developments are awaited with interest. Ed.


Gavin Francis provided pictures of the special 36X service at Vauxhall Bridge on August 28th.


On the way back I stopped at Marble Arch and walked into North Carriage Road where all the coaches for the Notting Hill Carnival were parked up. It was a poor location for photography, coaches too close together, pictures taken against the sun and generally a bit of a problem.



A wide variety of operators had brought people to the Carnival.


Congratulations on your latest update. As always it was A pleasure to read. I especially enjoyed seeing all the pictures of the 275 before it transfers from Red Rose to Carousel later this month. I never knew it had seen such A variety of busses over the years! It's actually been operated by Red Rose for 20 rather than 18 years as they took it over from Arriva in 2003. 

From the Editor.

I did actually get the first Red Rose on July 7th 2003 which is shown below. A brand new Solo, RR03BUS, was purchased for this route.


  RR03BUS Oe M920 SAB19000000001044 Oe 191044 B33F 7/2003 Red Rose, Aylesbury

Above are some of the last Arriva operations in April and June 2003.
Lynx 3070 at Wheatley on April 4th 2003 and 3178 is seen at The Plain, in Oxford on June 13th.

Leyland Lynx H410 ERO was numerically the last Lynx delivered new to Luton and District in 1990 and spent it's first few years on the Luton Airport shuttle service with coach seating before being repurposed onto standard duties. It eked out it's days working at High Wycombe 

My thanks to Alexander for his timely reminder. Ed. 

Peter Cartwright writes  on upcoming service changes in Wycombe.

I read Toby France's announcement last week about Arriva's "Glow Up" of High Wycombe seamless bus services from 3 September 2023 and, as you would expect, I do have some comments. Seamless would also appear to be the wrong word to use in these circumstances. 

I can understand why a simple network is desirable but, unlike the major shake up in April 1980 when Chilternlink was introduced,  there has been no advance discussions with the public nor their elected representatives at Buckinghamshire Council.  At that time there was much publicity and, indeed, a special fares offer on the first day.  This is such an important issue which needs public discussion. 

High Wycombe is an old town which initially grew along the valley of the Wye and, in later years almost all the surrounding hillsides have been or are to be built on. Its industry, initially furniture factories and paper mills flourished in the valley as , over the years, many more factories representing varied industries were built initially in the valley before purpose built estates were built , initially at Sands and Cressex. In recent years, most of the old factories gave way to housing or, in certain cases, to retail.  

For many years, most journeys on many routes were projected before 08.00 to Desborough Park Road enabling factory workers the opportunity to get straight to their workplace. These projections are long gone as are the factories in that area. 

However, new places of employment particularly at Sands, Booker and Cressex have been built and attract workers from near and far and many require workers to be there early. Sadly the new network ignores them completely. 

Crosstown route 32 from Micklefield to Booker is the modern day successor to the 326 - the route between Booker and Micklefield since 1980. Prior to that it plied between Sands/Mill End Road and Wycombe Marsh/Micklefield since 1933 when LPTB took over Amersham & District Route 11 which operated years previously to 1933. 

Why has this crosstown route lasted over 90 , yes NINETY years?   Because there has been a demand for it and there still is.  Now it is to be route 2 from the Bus Station to Sands and Booker ( the western leg) and Bus Station to Micklefield (the eastern leg) .From 3 September the first route 2 from the bus station to Booker is scheduled to be 07.40 Monday to Friday , later at weekends. 

At the height of the holiday season on Tuesday 15 and Thursday 17 August I saw for myself departures from the bus station on routes 32 and 33 between 06.20 and 09.00 and it confirmed my worst fears. 

56 passengers on that Tuesday and 71 on that Thursday would not have a departure to Booker from 3 September and these are people going to work. In September these numbers will greatly increase as people return to work and schoolchildren, particularly those attending Cressex School need to get to school. These figures DO NOT take into account those boarding en route to Booker after the bus has departed the bus station.  Those through passengers travelling west to east are fewer. Does not Arriva and Buckinghamshire Council not realise that large employers like Asda need people at work well before 08.00 and they also work on Saturdays and Sundays? 

The first departure from Totteridge on route 13 is scheduled to be 07.30 - far too late. There needs to be at least one earlier one at 07.00.latest. 

Route 4 to Lane End needs the first journey to start at the bus station so passengers can get to work in Hillbottom Road AND similarly the last two journeys  terminating at Sands at 17.42 and 18.42 need to be extended to the bus station. Surely an opportunity has been missed to divert the 4 via Cotswold Way and Middlebrook Road/Southfield Road in both directions thus replacing route 27 over this section - the 27 is a tendered route.  This would also provide some new useful connections. 

Route 12 during the evenings and all day on Sundays is  routed  TO Micklefield via Roebuck Avenue and FROM Micklefield via St Hugh's Avenue BUT this now means the stop at Hawthorne Road (well used) will no longer be served at these times. People from the Olympic Way area also use this stop as their estate only has an off peak Monday to Friday daytime service.   The bus stops at the foot of St Hugh's Avenue near the Micklefield Road junction need to be reinstated so this is  not too far from Hawthorne Road and obviates the need to walk through the tunnel which is feared by many.

A bus stop also needs to be erected near the Windrush Drive junction so people know a bus stops there - this is not widely known. 

One of Buckinghamshire Council's main objectives is to better integrate road and rail so why is the last 7 from Maidenhead terminating at Bourne End rather than extend through to High Wycombe thus giving travellers on the Elizabeth Line a useful connection home at 20.40.. 

It is true that most boarding is at the bus station but High Wycombe is an elongated town and the rail station and High Street is a considerable walk for many whose ability to walk far is limited. I still believe some crosstown services are needed and, at the moment it is difficult to reach the rail station from some areas. 

A village as large as Flackwell Heath deserves a better bus service and connections and this needs to be looked at in more detail - particularly routing. 

The double decking of routes 800 and 850 and consequently route 11 to Penn is to be welcomed but there are capacity issues on routes 6 and 7 at peak school times as well. 

I first became aware of these changes but not the details on 24 July but, unfortunately local Buckinghamshire Councillors were not consulted nor notified of these changes and they are there to represent their electorate's views. This I am taking up elsewhere. 

I am surprised that my concerns already submitted to Toby France and Buckinghamshire Council have not been acknowledged as yet but local Councillors have acknowledged and expressed their concerns.

Tony Bungay on a related subject.

On the road the other day I followed Arriva Enviro 400 5466 working a 280 journey to Oxford. Nothing at all unusual in that, other than a branded 280 vehicle on the 280 may be!!

Except, and this was what caught my eye, the route branding was absent on both sides! 

On another Arriva matter, UK Rail forum on the Arriva thread carries a report? That DB are in talks with I Squared Capital in view of selling Arriva.

There are also comments regarding the contribution you published from Arriva regarding next weeks changes.

A comment about where are extra vehicles coming from, Double deckers? Does that explain 5466???

Yes pure speculation on that point!!!

Chris Huntingford in positive vein.

“Sometimes it is the human touch that makes all the difference. On a 400 bus in Oxford, we changed drivers at Queen’s Lane the other day. While the first driver collected his bits and pieces, the second driver walked down the bus and said, “I’ll be in the cab soon, and once I’ve set the seat up, adjusted the mirrors and turned on the ticket machine, we will be moving again”. The passengers were astonished by this, and with some saying that for all their future Oxford east-west journey needs, the 400 would definitely now be their go-to option”. 

Jack Cooper

     Fleet News and developments   

View changes to bus services and timetables | Buckinghamshire Council


Gavin Francis

August 23rd saw various workings.

2596 - The destination showing route change warning on August 29th.

August 29th sees more variety on local routes.

Jack Cooper

5465 seen in St Aldates show a useful addition to  the blind for buses on diversion - August 23rd.

Malcolm Crowe

Cressex depot on August 24th.

Gavin Francis

Now devoid of its Queen's Jubilee branding, 63313 is seen with an X74 on August 23rd.

The four new Tourismos for the Airline would appear to be delayed. Ed.

View changes to bus services and timetables | Buckinghamshire Council

Gavin Francis

Carousel took over the 275 to Oxford on August 28th with some interesting buses  purchased to operate this service on August 29th. However Tetsworth is currently not served due to emergency roadworks with services routing via the M40 or Thame inbound.

Ex Go Cornwall Bus 2201 now 431 in the Carousel fleet is seen in Stokenchurch on its first journey
and then it's second in Wycombe on day 1.

Plymouth CityBus 2203 now 534 working various routes on day 1.

Day 2 for the 275 sees 534 (2204) in Stokenchurch around 0720 with the 275.

Double deck variety in Wycombe.

Day one of the extended 103 to Windsor worked by 940 on August 29th.

408 is seen on August 23rd working its regular route 1 in spite of the livery.

461 appeared working the 28 on August 29th, taken over from Redline.

The Citaro's still give good service seen here on August 29th.

In their previous lives the E200s now joining Carousel started life in London with Go Ahead by in 2015.

Bob Chalmers

Seems to be a shortage of X1 liveried buses at the moment - only 672 been working the last couple of days - 602 yesterday and today, 656 on the 24th along with multiple others. 308 was on 300 Park & Ride duties Saturday 5th of August. All makes for nice variation.


Charles Powell

Oxford elite i 71 has been withdrawn from Oxford and is now a Pulham coach. She’s going to be up-seated, fully refurbished and painted into the Pulhams livery. Reg will most likely change but not sure on that yet.  

Jack Cooper

New Tourismo 26 ready for its first day in service on August 23rd.

The ex Hybrids are still giving useful service in the city.

Colour variety is also the current hallmark in the city. Ed. 

Charles Powell

Oxford elite i 71 has been withdrawn from Oxford and is now a member of the family with us at Pulhams.
She’s going to be up-seated, fully refurbished and painted into the Pulhams livery. Reg will most likely change but not sure on that yet. 

I don’t think we are going have fleet numbers as I don’t see why we need them. Anyway I’ll keep you updated with everything that’s going on. 

We also purchased three vehicles from Heyfordian. Plaxton panther YX63NFF and two wright eclipse Gemini's SN08BXP and SN08BXY. 


A brand new arrival on August 29th our first 73 plate.

This is the first 73 plate on OCBP. Ed.

Gary Seamarks

Pulhams in Cheltenham as I made my way home on August 23rd.



Recently acquired 520 working the ST2 in Oxford on August 29th. The bus was previously with Xelabus.

Gavin Francis

LZ08CZY in Stokenchurch working the last 28 on August 23rd.

Red Eagle work the 158 and 333 as seen on August 29th.


View changes to bus services and timetables | Buckinghamshire Council 

Gavin Francis

Redline now work the 643 which runs from Ibstone to Wycombe via Radnage and Lane End.
Seen in Stokenchurch on August 29th, a non school day.
643 - Ibstone School - Royal Grammar School via Stokenchurch, Radnage, Piddington, Lane End, Booker, Marlow Hill Sch, High Wycombe Bus Station – Redline –

It later worked a 130 service along with the others used on August 29th.

View changes to bus services and timetables | Buckinghamshire Council

The company continues to work  the 40 between Thame and High Wycombe.

Gavin Francis

E2RRT on August 23rd on diversion from  Marlow Road, heads for Thame.

Y22RRT seen heading for Wycombe on August 27th making a Sunday change from E2 and E3 weekday regulars.

Gary Seamarks

Few from Gloucester 23/8, a couple of the old S4's now repainted included. The Bus Station has very much of a Northampton, Bedford, Stevenage look to it, perhaps an off the shelf design is now being used. Sun was not kind when we got to Cheltenham mid afternoon, but on the list for a return visit.

A selection of the buses in service/

Dave & Deric

Stagecoach West Fleet Card Period 4 (dated 18/08/2023). There isn’t much to report this time and most is confirmation of what has already been reported. 

As usual, changes affecting Oxford depots are shown with yellow highlight. 

Acquired Vehicles


Stagecoach South












Stagecoach South



For Disposal





For Disposal





For Disposal



Andrew Webb

This Enviro 400 MMC once worked in Oxford but now roams the streets of Basingstoke. 
it is seen leaving the town's bus station on 25 August whilst ferrying crew back to the local garage. 

David Gray

I noticed from Bus Times that all three of the ex-Oxford buses 10433/4//8 were all in service this morning, August 29th, and I took the opportunity to get a few photos, together with a few of the Tridents which are likely to be moved on.


Although all three of the Oxford vehicles had seen intermittent use already in Basingstoke this is probably the first morning that all three were out together on a regular pattern of services.

There were also a number of elderly Tridents in use.


Jack Cooper

10672 with an 8 in St Aldates on August 23rd.

Hybrid 12012 seen in St Aldates with the 1 on August 23rd.
In the past week all six remaining Hybrids have worked the 10, their selected route on the same day.

Graham Mildenhall

New for Swindon's 55 15733 is now based at Oxford as seen on August 25th.

Jack Cooper

Stagecoach 10878 suffered an Ad Blue leak at Gloucester Green on Friday 25th,
with Enviro 200 37212 turning up later that day on an X5!

It worked the 19:00 towards Bedford. I had asked the driver why he had the E200,
and he said that Bedford were short on deckers! 

Nick Ross

Vale Travel's Enviro YX12AEO looking good on rail replacement work at Aylesbury station on August 17th 2023.

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Just one new allover campaign debuted on London's streets this week which advertises Starfield, an action role-playing game in a space-themed setting. 

First to receive the advert is Stagecoach's LT362 which is seen on 26 August approaching Holborn on route 55

Metroline Electroliner WDE2799 is subtly different to other buses carrying the latest 'Zero emission' wrap.  As well as being the only Electroliner to carry the advert, it has been nominally designated the 1000th zero emission bus in the capital. 

The revised message between the decks reflects this status as it arrives at its destination on 29 August.

Gavin Francis

SEe102 works the 100 in Aldgate on August 22nd.

Arriva wraps working the 38 on August 28th.

Go Ahead and Metroline wraps on August 28th.

Then (July 2017) and now August 2023 - Tootbus SP40064.

More Tootbus working sightseeing tours on August 28th.

A wedding special, RML 902 at the Marylebone Registry Office on August 28th.

Evan Evans YD72FFN on August 28th.

FLIXBUS YN72ZRC in Buckingham Palace Road on August 28th.

Gavin Francis

RT 2083 looking immaculate now based in Aylesbury on August 24th.

Michael Penn

The Scottish Vintage Bus Museum | Fife (

Following a visit to Scotland in the last week including a visit to the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum at Lathalmond you might like these photos.

What a fascinating selection of vehicles. Ed. 

Andrew Webb

Public transport in Northern Ireland is almost exclusively provided by Translink through Northern Ireland Railways, Ulsterbus and Metro.  Much of the fleet is manufactured by Ballymena based  Wrights, although other manufacturers feature in the fleet, especially coaches where Wrights have not offered a product for many years 

As the dominant city Belfast is the focus for all three networks.  Metro provide city services across Belfast with most vehicles in a vivid pink livery which certainly stands out on the streets. 

Metro have an expanding fleet of electric and hydrogen double deckers, but conventional diesel vehicles still form the backbone of operations.  2344 is a Volvo B9TL with original style of Eclipse Gemini body which debuted in 2001.  The updated Gemini 2 is on 2361, also a B9TL.  The latest incarnation is the Gemini 3 which is seen on 3132, an example of the Wright Streetdeck and Volvo B5TL 2196. 

All are seen in Donegal Square, a focus for a lot of Metro services.

Single deckers feature less in the Metro fleet, but operate on quieter routes around Belfast. 

906 is an example of several Wright bodied Volvo B7RLEs in use, seen heading away from Donegal Square.

Other full sized single deckers are Optare Versas, 1810 being a typical example.

Optare Solos meet the need for smaller buses, 1999 represents the type as it arrives at Dundonald Park and Ride
with its blind already reset for another trip on the short to Ballybeen Estate.

Dundonald Park and Ride is the eastern terminal of route G1, the dominant route in the recently launched 'Glider' network.  This uses a fleet of Van Hool Esquiciti articulated buses that are designed to look like trams internally and externally.  The driver sits in a separate cabin so tickets are purchased off bus at the bus stops which have been upgraded with tram style platforms to facilitate level boarding. 

3231 is seen leaving Donegal Square wearing the distinctive purple livery used to differentiate the service from 'normal' buses.

Also using a different livery to promote their differences are some members of the hydrogen and electric double deckers currently entering service. 

represents the Streetdeck Hydroliners whilst 3554 is a Streetdeck Electroliner. 
Other members of both fleets carry standard pink livery with discreet 'Zero Emissions' branding.

Belfast is served by two airports with Translink operating links to the city centre under the 'Airport Express' brand. 

George Best Belfast City is the smaller airport and located just 10 minutes ride from the city centre on a fleet of Versas.

1803 seen arriving at the Europa Bus Centre. 

This is also the setting  for 3107, one a fleet of Wright Gemini 3 Volvo B5TLs
which operate the service to Belfast International Airport 11.5 miles north west of the city.