Issue nr 277
Thursday November 23rd, 2023

From the Editor

Oxford continues charge to net zero with launch of Wrightbus’s fully electric buses

Finchley Vintage Bus Running Day by Gavin Francis

HS2 diversion for the A418 by Tony Bungay

A day's driving in Cheltenham by Jim Wright

Readers Write with some interesting items this week

Coach Visitors to Oxford by David Beynon

Fleet News and Developments including the new Redline Volvos now in service

Pulhams update on the ex Oxford Interdecks joining this fleet

New ADL E40D start to enter service from Witney

South on Rail Replacement at Bicester

London operations from Andrew Webb

Grahame Wareham reports on his visit to Llandudno

701 at Thornhill on November 18th by Peter Edgar.
The only day so far that these buses have app/eared in service.

Oxford continues charge to net zero with launch of Wrightbus’s fully electric buses

Zero-emission electric buses manufactured by Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus have been launched in Oxford. 

The fleet of 21 StreetDeck Electroliners - the world's most efficient double deck battery-electric bus - has been launched as part of the city’s ambitious drive to achieve net zero by 2040. 

The vehicles have been branded in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and were unveiled at the University’s Headington Campus.

The new BROOKESbus fleet, which is owned and run by Oxford Bus Company, will replace the existing fleet of diesel buses and will prevent up to an estimated 850 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into Oxford per year. On a full charge of power, they can travel up to 300 miles.

It’s Oxford’s first ever electric bus service and the vehicles are expected to be in service by the end of the year. They will benefit not only students and staff, but the local community and visitors to the city. 

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Wrightbus, said: “We are delighted to be working with Oxford Brookes and the Oxford Bus Company in their commitment to offering zero-emission public transport in the city and can’t wait to see even more of our buses in operation.

“Wrightbus’s ambition is to reduce the environmental impact of public transport ​​and we continue to invest in ground-breaking technology as a driver to developing cleaner, more efficient transport solutions.

“We are the only manufacturer in Europe to offer a complete suite of zero-emission buses, with both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell single and double decks.

“These have a vital role to play in decarbonising public transport and in enabling operators, local authorities and governments to meet their carbon reduction targets.”

All of the energy used to charge the buses will be from renewable sources, and a full charge of a bus will take approximately three and a half hours. As electric buses are much quieter than diesel buses, the new buses will emit an artificial sound while travelling at low speeds for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Speaking at the launch event, Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, said: “The launch of these new, fully electric BROOKESbuses is an important step towards our ambition of delivering net zero by 2040, something we know is very important to our students, staff and wider community. We are also very proud that these new buses will be charged from renewable sources.

“We recognise the critical role that the BROOKESbus service plays for students, staff and the city’s community and visitors. In 2022, for instance, we amalgamated the service with some of Oxford’s local Park and Ride Services and provided a much-needed bus route from Blackbird Leys to the University.

“We know the impact of the cost of living on students’ lives. That is why I am particularly excited that this new cleaner bus service offers free journeys for the vast majority of our students.”

Luke Marion, Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company, said: “It’s fantastic to see the first BROOKESbus branded electric vehicles arrive as part of our exciting journey towards delivering an all-electric fleet of city buses. 

“Oxford Brookes University is equally committed to using innovation to enhance sustainability and we’re proud to deliver this milestone for our community via our long-standing partnership.

“Our investment in net zero vehicles and the associated infrastructure will further help improve air quality and make bus travel an even more sustainable option for Brookes students, staff, and the wider public to travel around Oxford.”

Graham Low

The first Electroliners, 702/2, were in service sporadically today, November 18th. Here is 701 at Thornhill on the rare UIB (Brookes University open day special). I

Oxford Bus Electroliners 701/2 seem only to have made brief outings on Saturday afternoon, so I was lucky with the pictures I sent! 


Peter Edgar


I appreciate these pictures from Peter and Graham Low from November 18th. Ed.

by Gavin Francis


On Sunday 19th November 2023 a Running Day was held to mark the 30th Anniversary of the closure of Finchley Garage. It had only been 2 weeks since the Chalk Farm Running Day and with the Ensign Running Day coming up in another 2 weeks these events are coming thick and fast at the moment.

The event took the usual format with buses running over a selection of routes associated with Finchley Garage. Below is a map of the services provided. 

Many of the buses had appeared at Chalk Farm but there were a few different ones. Below are the pictures I managed to capture with my camera. 


A few buses I was not able to record and Nigel Eadon-Clarke has supplied the pictures below to complete the set. 

Insert pics 52922, 52930, 52933, 52959 

An opportunity was taken to line up 4 of the Routemasters which took part in the day. 

Many thanks to Rob Lanham for supplying the above picture. 

HS2 diversion for the A418 by Tony Bungay

From Friday evening 17/11/23 until early morning of 20/11/23, HS2 work required the A418 between Aylesbury and Stone to be closed. This in turn required bus services along this road to have to do lengthy diversions in order to reconnect to their route.

Services in the main affected were Redline 110 Aylesbury – Long Crendon – Thame, Arriva 280  Aylesbury – Haddenham – Thame- Oxford and Redline X20 Aylesbury – Thame – Oxford. 

Arriva 280 was required to travel out of Aylesbury on the A41 towards Bicester before turning off before Waddesdon, taking the road for Chearsley and Long Crendon, though before reaching the former it would turn off again going down a steep narrow in places road to the village of Cuddington, where another turn in the village would soon bring it back to the A418 where it could recommence it’s usual route. Redline 110 would probably operate same diversion, but if serving Cuddington it would have to double run, as Cuddington – Chearsley direct road is also closed!!   

As touched upon the diversion required climbing and descending hills coupled with bends, once on the ridge line, especially on top deck of a double decker, superb views can be had on a road that other than school buses has virtually no bus service. 

The weather for the weekend of these diversions has generally been overcast and wet at times, this coupled with other tasks, meant I only managed to get a couple of photos to record this episode.

Seen at Cuddington.

Both taken in the middle of the attractive village of Cuddington, in failing light conditions, Arriva Enviro 400 5463 and Citaro BD12 DHZ working the 280 in opposite directions. The destination on 5463 lists Stone, but as the HS2 work was just outside the village, that and bus stops until Haddenham are unserved.  Cuddington used to have a regular Arriva service, then numbered the 260, though later renumbered by Buckinghamshire Council as the 110 i think, although not long after renumbering the whole operation of the 110 passed to Redline, The 260 number like the 280 being services numbers when they were both operated by City of Oxford. 

The X20 appears to have operated a different diversion to reconnect with it’s route, showing on as proceeding from Aylesbury and accessing the road to Thame via Longwick. It is fair to add that both Red Rose and Red Eagle whose operating base is the wrong side of the road closure have incurred lengthy diversions and mileage. 

Whether this road closure is a one off or others could occur as a result of the HS2 project remains to be seen, certainly part of the A418 is being diverted slightly to facilitate the trackbed of HS2.

A day's driving in Cheltenham by Jim Wright

Jim Wright

l had an enjoyable day driving, from Cheltenham Railway Station, Town Centre to Cheltenham Racecourse.

I caught Pulhams EE23BUS from Stow to Cheltenham.

My Bus for the day was from Stroud 15531,a very early former Gold Scania, it still has the Original proper leather seats, not the E leather seats.

I had my break at Cheltenham St Margarets depot, a nice old fashioned former Tram depot.

Stored at the back two withdrawn Oxford buses 12005 & 50271.Preserved Bristol VR,19950 & 36134 on Jacks.

Gavin Francis

I noticed you used the picture of the fox at Marble Arch on last weeks page. I first noticed him alongside me whilst I stood by the parking area. He made his way through the parked buses and I thought he was about to come to a sudden end crossing the road but somehow he made it to the centre island. He wandered around there for a while and then remarkably made it back across the road and into the park. I am sure he was disturbed by the sound and lights coming from Winter Wonderland which has now opened. The good news is that with the crowds he should be able to find lots of food lying about.

Graham Low 

Martin Isles

Hate being pedantic, but the pic of Carousel MB53 bus in its “original” livery is not quite right.  The “link” livery was applied in 2009.  MB51 was an early recipient and displayed at SHOWBUS that year.  The trio were delivered in plain silver and then received the red Heathrow decals shortly after.  More pics at – the picture has prompted me to update the Carousel Citaro pages, which will probably be online early next year.

Nick Ross

interesting update today, bet the new X5 operates Aylesbury -Tring via the A41 dual carriageway, fast running!  

Raymond Gingell

 January 2024 has been updated, (regarding the X5 it is now showing Aylesbury to Watford), plus more changes. check the website.

All images

Intalink - Providing the latest bus travel information in Hertfordshire 

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

The Apple pic was taken last Friday in St. Giles

These were all taken today around town and Redbridge.
The Southgate & Finchley one has appeared before in the same place
and the Laguna one was pictured previously in Bicester.

     Fleet News and developments   


Gavin Francis

.............. spent time in Wycombe on November 18th.


............. and in Thame on November 20th.


Jack Cooper

5463 seen in Westgate, Oxford on November 19th.

Michael Penn

Today (Monday) was the first day of some route changes in Luton.  Chief of these was a new limited stop service 721 from Luton to Hemel Hempstead. 

Arriva The Shires StreetLite 3301 (FJ 64 EVB) is seen here at Luton Station Interchange on the first day.


Nigel Peach

Citaro 3920 (BK58 URN) is back at Wycombe, transferred from Aylesbury. Here seen in Flackwell Heath on route 6 to Bourne End.
Its front has very distinct colouring - I wasn't quick enough with my camera to catch it!
3920 is one of just two survivors from a very large batch of 58 plate Citaros (the other one, 3914 is at Aylesbury).

David Beynon

An unusual vehicle for this operator seen in Oxford on November 21st.

Jack Cooper

First 23604 in Reading on November 14th.

First Driver Trainer 66882 in Reading  on November 14th.

Gavin Francis Wycombe on November 18th

245 seen in Bridge Street with a 103.

403 with an X8 in Oxford Road.

859, 882 and 977 seen in Bridge Street.

408 and then 409 are seen working the 28 to Stokenchurch  and Cadmore Common seen by New Road.

Jack Cooper

Open tops resting in Gloucester Green on November 16th.


A picture of the new route 43 worked by 674 on August 1st.


Charles Powell

So I picked up ex Oxford elite I 71 from the trim shop on Friday after her full refurbishment. We also now have ex Oxford 70 which I took over for its refurbishment. 70 hasn’t been painted yet so will be done once she’s been refurbished. 


Here’s some of 70 in our yard and at the trimmers after I dropped it off. There’s a picture of both of them in our yard. It’s the best picture I could get of them together as there was a lot of activity in the yard when I was doing the change over. 



Jack Cooper

442 seen in Wallingford with a 23 on November 14th.

602 showing both sides of the SEE SAW overall branding on November 14th.

692 and 907 at Didcot on November 14th

905 in Westgate with an X2 on November 19th.

922 with an X34 in Newbury on November 14th.

Martin Dowling

The Sunday only route 40C which goes from Reading to Caversham Heights has now been running for several weeks. 

I don't think you have included a photo of it, so here is 927 taken yesterday turning out by Caversham Library.
Unfortunately the destination display has not come out clearly, so you'll have to take my word for it!

Joel Forey

A few photos taken at Didcot Parkway on November 11th.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

David Beynon

The ADL demonstrator outside Reading Station this morning, November 20th, when I was in between trains.


Jack Cooper in Newbury on November 14th

757 in the bus station.

StreetLite variety in Newbury.

Double Decks in Reading and Newbury.

Evaluation variety in Reading.

Thames Valley in Reading.


Gavin Francis

BV73MTE with a 130 in Wycombe on November 18th.

The three new Volvos with X20 services in Thame on November 20th.

YX12AZN and YX63LJE with the X20 in Thame on November 20th.

Graham Low

Three of the Redline Volvo/MCVs were out today and here are three views of one of them. They are being kept clean, unlike some other operators buses today!


Jack Cooper

BV73MTE in High Street with an  X20 on November 17th.

Gavin Francis

Y29RRT with the 40 in Thame on November 20th.

E2RRT is a regular with the 40.

Variety brings E16RRT to the 40 on November 22nd. 

Nick Ross

Red Rose have recently replaced Star Travel on the Bucks CC supported 162 and 167. Red Rose have renumbered the L.Buzzard - Dagnall - Slapton - L.Buzzard route the 163.

Here's the regular vehicle Dart BU05 HFZ at Leighton on November 16th 2023.

Very difficult to track buses and coaches responsible by West, having the overall responsibility for the fleet, as for example 50445 and 50449 are still shown as "6 cities" last in Scotland in March months ago.

The example is shown below: from the current Fleet list – Stagecoach Oxfordshire –

50445 YX21 NNG 20 Mar 11:34 Volvo B11RLET Plaxton Panorama
50449    YX21 NNL 28 Mar 12:02 Volvo B11RLET Plaxton Panorama

50445 has been in service for some weeks now on the Oxford tube.

50445 in service at Gloucester Green on November 2nd. Picture from Jack Cooper.

I wonder why this is, when other large and small companies can resolve this problem immediately ? Ed.

A source within Stagecoach advises that some transfers and new entries have taken place as follows:

11243 - 11245 moved to Oxford.

11748 and 11749 have entered service

11749 in service at Witney on November 23rd.

George Candelin

They were in the Downs Road yard but I got a poor quality photo of the eight new buses 11747 to 11754, the latter rear-end towards the camera.   

Also in the line were 12006 and 10667.    

Jack Cooper

MMC 10669 with a service 1 in Westgate on November 19th.

Distance branded 15988 seen working local route 2 in Magdalen Street East on November 16th.

Solo SR 47834 is seen with an S2 in Gloucester Green on November 16th.

Nick Ross

Trident 18407 in Northampton Drapery with a midday service 3 to Camp Hill on November 15th 2023.
Sadly Stagecoach Northampton are down to around just 5 Tridents in service now 

Jack Cooper

23604 operating a LINK service in Newbury on November 14th.

Joel Forey

I have attached some photos of the Stagecoach South vehicles on rail replacements at Bicester on the 5th,
I did notice there was only one photo of 10434 in la recent OCBP.

Jack Cooper

50426 is seen in Westgate on November 19th.


George Candelin

A pair of WOCT to add variety, parked in Market Square on Thursday.   

Gavin Francis

MK63WZV with the 121 Town Service in Thame on November 20th.

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

No fewer than five new advert campaigns took to the streets of London this week. 

Sega have released 'Sonic Superstars', a new game featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends. 

Stagecoach LT265, back on the road after absence lasting nearly four months,
features Sonic on the side as it awaits departure from the Tottenham Court Road terminus of route 8 on 18 November. 

Miles Prower, better known by his nickname Tails, is the featured character on Arriva's LT740 at Marble Arch on the same day.

At the same location is LT737 which carries JD Sports' Christmas 2023 campaign.

Cost conscious gift hunters with a sense of style can save up to 60% at TK Maxx, a message carried prominently on the side of Go Ahead's LT849. 

It is seen at Portland Place having just crossed the nation's high street at Oxford Circus. 

Blue skies are in short supply at a gloomy Holborn on 18 November as Arriva's LT733 advertises Comfort's Blue Skies fabric conditioner. 

Logos for no fewer than twenty bus operators, manufacturers and suppliers are carried on the skirt of RATP's BCE47017 which has been turned out in the attractive advert to highlight the work of Women in Bus and Coach. 

It is seen at Clapham Junction on 18 November.

  Reader's visits outside our area 

Grahame Wareham

Llandudno with a few pictures

I managed to get a picture of Alpine's latest acquisition, no other than former OBC 96 FF08OXF now registered PFZ2838. This was operated latterly by Merlin Coaches of Dunfermline, it is now up-seated to a 69 seater with the removal of the WC, all carried out by Holmeswood. Also in the yard was XFV257, formerly OBC 85 which I photographed in 2017 before it was reregistered and attach the photo I took at the time.

Our Fleet (

Llandudno sees the well kept and comfortable 58 plate and 14 plate ADL 400's on the service 12 to Rhyl together with newish 72 plate Volvo B8R's with EvoSa bodies on the 5 service to Bangor whilst there are still a few Solo's on other routes. The VDL DAF single decks are now noticeably absent.