Well, as expected, we experienced quite a snowfall here on the Chilterns and there were reports of cancelled bus services in our area of interest. One of the main problems of High Wycombe is that it is built over an extremely hilly area and as usual residents living above the A40 at Downley, were having to leave their cars on the lower roads, as access to their houses was very limited.

In Oxford some pictures from Alex Nobel show that areas of the city boundaries proved inaccessible for buses and short working were introduced.

From Alex Noble

Some pictures taken on February 1st in the snow, in the Girdlestone Road are are seen below: 

303 with a 4 to Abingdon picking up at Warren Crescent stop by Alex Noble.

Brookes Uni 610 PK64OXF with a U5 on Old Rd by Alex Noble.

Citaro 846 HF55OXF at Wood Farm by Alex Noble. The destination Elms Parade is not often used.

Note that the 4A and 4C (and the U1) were being turned short at Elms Parade - can't imagine that blind setting gets used often?

From Jim Wright

Stagecoach 15752 at Wootton turning circle, terminus S3 short Woodstock's, on February 1st we had 3-4 inches of snow previous night.

Snow certainly hit Oxfordshire as this picture of Gold 15752 is seen at Wootton Turning Circle by Jim Wright.

Normal terminus, for 7 & S3, though we didn't serve Cornish Road Estate in Chipping Norton all day, Charlbury was served from 1032 after risk assessment.

The main roads were kept clear and services to London were only taking around an extra 10 minutes to reach their final destinations. Some slow running on the M40 was necessary as only two lanes were open on Friday, February 1st, though many regular car commuters seem to have chosen to stay at home.

Picture courtesy Phil Southall of Oxford Bus who is seen in the picture with Luke Marion.
I think the bus was 977. 

PICKMEUP has been shortlisted in the Transport category in the Smart Cities UK Awards 2019.

It has also been shortlisted in the annual European Transport Ticketing Global Awards in the Most Innovative Customer Serving Operator category.

Sustainability charity Ashden has long listed PickMeUp in the Air Quality Within Cities category for the prestigious global annual Ashden Awards.

Representatives from Ashden will visit and assess all organisations on these long lists before finalising its shortlist, with Oxford Bus Company due for a visit next month.

Previous winners have included the city’s Low Carbon Hub.

Blackpool Tower camera sees all

From Geoff Cunliffe

I thought you may like to know I have discovered a webcam which is mounted on Blackpool Tower looking south along the Promenade. 

It seems to work 24 hours per day. The Promenade is virtually closed at the moment because of the new tram link being installed at Talbot Square. Thus the Promenade is very quiet although some  buses use this stretch to reach their Market Street terminus. The camera also shows the trams which are unaffected by the roadworks and, besides the normal, modern Bombardiers, it will also show the Heritage fleet on their weekend workings.  

May be worth keeping an eye on it. It can be found at the following URL:- 


Costa Rica from Paul Bateson

I have taken a look at the pictures on your web page from Costa Rica.  I am no expert but the best I can do is suggest that the coach with number plate 2114 is Chinese-built and 2752 carries a Marcopolo body.  My experience in Costa Rica is stopping off in Puntarenas where I have captured pictures of local and intercity buses.  My photographs are on my flickr page under Costa Rica.


This will give readers some idea of buses and coaches in Costa Rica.

Times past by Paul Bateson

Paul has given me permission to use some of his large collection of pictures which will, I hope, interest readers of how it was in the 1960s.

Bristol RELH 2043 KHW312E working route 466 to Swindon ready to leave Gloucester Green on July 1st 1968.
This coach was new in June 1967. © Paul Bateson.

City of Oxford AEC Swift 631 GJO631F leaving Gloucester Green for High Wycombe on July 1st 1968. © Paul Bateson.

Reading RailAir Bedford VAM/Duple LJB419E at Heathrow on February 18th 1968. © Paul Bateson.

Reading 53 CRD153C in Reading on February 18th 1968.  © Paul Bateson.

Thames Valley Bristol LS/ECW 711 HMO857 outside a Wycombe depot on September 22nd 1968.  © Paul Bateson.

Now Aylesbury, Thames Valley Thames Valley 685 HBL87 with an 80 service to High Wycombe on July 1st 1968. © Paul Bateson.

Red Rover RR5 KGK624. once RTW124, with a local service on July 1st 1968.  ©
Paul Bateson.

LT Green Line RMC1516 516CLT on the 708 at Hemel Hempstead on July 1st 1968. ©
Paul Bateson.

LT Green Line RF187 MLL567 at Reigate ready for High Wycombe on March 26th 1968. ©
Paul Bateson.

There will be more of these pictures over the coming weeks. 

Feedback on the last issue

From Dave Stewart

Re the E400s from Abellio to London General (incl. some from Walter’s yard),  there is an error  in your 28th Jan report  in fleet numbers although it is an easy mistake to make:    

They are  class EN (not E).  The main class of E400s from 2006-14 are indeed E-class,  the plain E referring to buses bought new.   Those that are second-hand are EN.    

The batch bought in early  December 2018 from Abellio’s redundant stock  (most if not all stored  at Walter’s) are EN 41-48 in order SN12 AOS/T/U/V/W, APV, APX, AUO,  in order ex Abellio  9545-49/57/58/44 respectively. Also note that registrations AOU and AUO are in that list – take care!    All eight are allocated to Orpington Garage and EN41-46 are in service with 47 and 48 still being prepared.  EN 48 (SN12 AUO ex 9544) is actually an unusual  vehicle.  It was a Euro-VI engine prototype and has an extended rear end to accommodate the larger Euro-VI engine   (the others being Euro-V).

From David Gray

Regarding the fleet numbers this appears to be a typing error in the news-sheet - other acquisitions from Abellio are certainly EN class.


9551 went to Sullivan, South Mimms (fleet number E50) in June 2018. I have just seen this on a news-sheet which I am working on for PSV Circle.

From Gary Seamarks

Unsure what's happened at Bedford but Yesterday (MON) and Today (Tues) most of the day three deckers have been on the Bedford-Cambridge section most of the day with a Panther also, yesterday it was 53615 which is 99 branded. will keep and eye out over the next couple of days. 


Have a look at www.bustimes.org some sections are better than others, Bedfordshire seems to have total coverage, with a map showing where the vehicles are, running time or not etc and fleet number, the boxes are also livery colour which picks up the elites well.

Sorry Oxfordshire and others not as well covered at present.

Fleet News and information

From Paul Swann - Fleet Planning Manager

Just to let you know that the E400’s on the 280 are starting to be repainted in the new colours first one 5459 is currently away .

Re dropping branding two are coming back in Standard Colours but that is for the PVR reduction on the route in February

Max is being dropped as a brand but Sapphire continues.

From Nigel Peach

A recent addition to Wycombe depot is 3604 (KE55FBX), another of the batch of Wrightbus Solar bodied Scanias, previously based at Luton. 

One of the 800/850 branded Citaros, 3009 (BJ12YPU) has been repainted into the new livery, therefore losing its branding. I saw it on Sunday 27th. It was on the 800/850 route! 

I attach a picture of Trainer 9558 (AE56MDV), on Tuesday 29th. It's an MCV Evolution, previously 3747 and based at Wycombe.

Arriva 9558 Trainer at the Eden Bus Station on January 29th by Nigel Peach.

From Jack Gannon

High Wycombe 02/02/19

Another Optare has recently been transferred to the Wycombe depot - Optare Solo 2479.

Arriva ex-sapphire spotted in the bus station (see above under Nigel Peach.)

Also spotted an X60 bus coming into the bus station not in service - likely transferred to the Wycombe depot from Aylesbury.

Arriva 3917 working the 300 with X60 branding
at the Eden Bus Station.

Wycombe Marsh and a papercast bus display by Jack Gannon.

Pictures of Arriva on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

 2757 with a 30 at the Eden Bus Station.

Versa 2991 leaves the Eden Bus Station with a 33 service.

Citaros 3038 and 3039 at the Eden Bus Station still with 150 branding.

3532 is seen leaving with a 32 service and a bit missing at the back off side corner at the Eden Bus Station.

3700 with a 34 service in Desborough Road.

3926 slightly under the weather at the Eden Bus Station.

DAF 4819 leaves the Eden Bus Station with a 33 service.

DAF 6000 leaves the Eden Bus Station with a 41 service to Great Missenden.

5462, branded for the 280 heads outward along the Oxford Road. Sorry it's a bit fuzzy.

From Ralph Adams

Carousel Citaro 876 seen going down St Aldates, Not in service, on 22 January.

StreetLite 404 heads for Uxbridge from the Eden Bus Station on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

M A N 421 heads for Chesham with a Red One from the Eden Bus Station on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

Solo 711 arrives on a 103 from Watford at the Eden Bus Station on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

Solo 712 on the Sunday 40 service at Stokenchurch on March 3rd by Malcolm Crowe.

M A N 420 with a through service to Thame passing Stokenchurch on March 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

From Phil Southall

Yes, we are doing well on publicity. We actually won one of the awards mentioned last night at the global Transport Ticketing awards and we will be putting some PR out about this shortly. Wendy (copied) should be able to send you a photo of Luke and me together from our files. 

On the damaged bus at Carousel, I do believe that it was 424 but it has now been repaired and is VOR for MOT.  

Both 969 and 970 are still with us here for the time being but are two of the eight that Go Ahead London has acquired for its new DRT operation that TfL are funding and was in the latest LOTS Newsletter. This will be based in the Sutton area. 970 is still operational here on PMU whilst 978 is on loan to Carousel. 969 is not currently in use.

970 seen at the Oxford Bus depot on January 29th by James Freeman. 

I had asked Phil about the new timetable for the X90 which states that White City of a request stop.

Regarding White City, if a customer going into London wishes to alight they simply ask the driver to stop. For passengers wanting to board heading away from London they simply indicate to the driver that they wish to board by sticking their hand out! So quite simple really. 

From Ralph Adams

Service van, new BV68YMT. It appeared to have logos for Oxford Bus & City Sightseeing – too fast to see a fleet number. Has BD11OGS (998) now departed and City Sightseeing YM66GOP?

CS also have a publicity van YC15CHN. 

Reported purchased by Ensign From City of Oxford :

Scania K360s:

MF61OXF      41
PF61OXF       43
LF61OXF       44

Scania 41 devoid of branding awaits departure to Ensign on January 29th by James Freeman.

From Theo Freeman

I was in Oxford on January 27th and took some pictures as shown below.

662 (GWR wrap) on the 6.

City Sightseeing newly converted E400 202 at Gloucester Green.

Pictures from Gavin Francis

662 seen again on February 3rd on 6 road.

Citaro 870 again 6 road , this time on February 1st.


Baker Street Road Closure – X90 (February 8th-10th 2019)

From 19:00hrs on Friday 8th until 15:00hrs on Sunday 10th February, X90 services towards London will be unable to serve Marylebone Road stop due to roadworks. During this time, passengers are advised to use the Praed Street tour stop which will be served as an alternative. We apologise for any inconvenience. X90 services towards Oxford will be unaffected.

I am told that 206 is still devoid of branding.

An excellent picture of a new East Yorkshire Caetano III, 5 BF68LFB with a 448 service on January 31st - © John Abbott.

From Ralph Adams

A comment by LOTS that 1401 / 1402 MAY have left the fleet. Any knowledge anyone? 1411/12 are still on loan from Simon Weaver (confirmed by email from him).

Robert Williams has confirmed that 1401 with Newbury & District and 1402 is kept for National Express relief and both are still with Reading buses. 

FJ06URR, once with Red Rose with a 654 on the hills above Wycombe on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

SN51TCK with a 334 leaves the Eden Bus Station for Speen on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe. Apologies for the focus!

Y184RCR with a 331 service to Chinnor "over the tops" leaves at the Eden Bus Station on February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

From Ralph Adams

Stagecoach - Thames Transit annual results.

The figures are made up to April 30 2018 and needed to be published by 31st January 2019. They just met the timetable with postings on 28 January (typical of most companies)

Turnover was up 2% on last year at £36,411,000 but gross profit was down by 26% at £3.194.000 and net profit only £2.705.000. Whilst the income has increase slightly, the profit is less than half the figure of 2 years ago. 

On past experience, COMS and other group companies will be published end of March for the year ending 1 July 2018. 

From Theo Freeman

I was in Oxford on January 27th and took some pictures as shown below.

E400 Gold 15836 (needing attention at Park End St)

E400 Hybrids 12003 and 12008, both on the nr. 10 route. A nice picture as one is in corporate livery and one in Hybrid.

MMC 10673 on the S5 in Magdalen Street East.

Pictures from Gavin Francis

A cold and snowy February 1st with Gold 10787 on the S5 in Magdalen Street East.

Hybrid 12013 with a 14 service in George Street on January 28th.

The company has inspected one of the new Lothian Buses Volvo B8L/ADL Enviro 400XLB double decks, which have 100 seats and can carry 131 passengers. SG68LCA was at Cowley Road depot in Cambridge for the last couple of days and it is believed has been tested on the Busway. Its’ stay in Cambridge was short and it returned north later last week.

Confirmation this is Lothian f/n 1063, spotted on the A14 yesterday January 29th. (Brian Girling)

Update from SKM

It did a trip from Cambridge to Fenstanton depot on January 30th. On the following morning it went to Volvo at Ely for removal of the guide wheels and should currently be heading back to Scotland. I missed getting any photos.

Did anyone get a picture of SG68LCA during it's short stay in Cambridge?

A further Optare Solo SR to receive corporate livery is 48033 at Bedford, whilst former Cambridge City Sightseeing open top Trident 17274 is currently parked up at Cowley Road depot.

Volvo B9R 53611, which had a green/blue version of the Stagecoach livery and had been used as a spare vehicle for the Falcon service, has been repainted into corporate livery and is now part of the training fleet at Plymouth.

Readers will remember this coach as one of this batch used on the X5 from Cambridge for a number of years.

From Theo Freeman

I was in Oxford on January 27th and took some pictures as shown below.

tube 50274 to Victoria leaving Gloucester Green

50271 at Gloucester Green (showing boarding screens)

Megabus 54602 "Isla Smiler" with the M34 northbound working in Oxford on February 1st by Gavin Francis.

Other operators

From Ralph Adams

Whites of Culham - have six Solos / Versa in withdrawn condition. I was told that they are mainly plastic and the scrap value of the metal is less than the cost of the disposal of the plastic so dismantlers do not want them.

From Jim Wright

Worth's of Enstone - have a new coach SJ16CVL Volvo Sunsundegui, a new body for them & it looks like it's a rear engined coach, which l think is a first for them as they always brought mid engined coaches.