Some interesting items this week with many thanks to old and new readers for their contributions. I hope contributors will appreciate that it is not always possible to include every picture sent?

This week has seen the Annual St. Giles Fair taking place which results in change to bus routes and pick up points as the outward and inward journeys must avoid St. Giles and use Broad Street instead. This also affects Beaumont Street as well. to add to the problems during this year's fair the western end of Broad Street was closed as the story below reveals.

Buses on diversion after another sink hole opens up in Broad Street

THE second 'sinkhole' to have opened up in Broad Street this year is causing problems on the buses this week.

With much of the city centre already closed for St Giles' Fair, buses are having to 'split' their journeys to get around the problem.

It is believe that Oxford Direct Services, on behalf of the County Council, and Thames Water, are urgently investigating the sinkhole that appeared in Broad Street on Monday.

This is the main bus diversion route around St Giles' Fair, so Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach services are impacted.

Please check the bus company websites for service updates. We will issue a further update once we know more about the cause.

The hole appeared outside Boswell's Department Store yesterday. It is not currently known what has caused the problem but Oxford City Council said its highways team is 'urgently' working on fixing it.

Several bus services that serve the city centre are affected by the closure with some unable to run and others terminating in Broad Street.

Looking westwards along Broad Street with various buses terminating in this square. September 4th by Jack Cooper.

Even the Cambridge service was terminating in Broad Street rather than Gloucester Green. I am wondering if this was unusual as normally these coaches would come along Botley Road?

East's 54302 with an X5 service terminating in Broad St during St Giles Fair and the closure of the through route to Gloucester Green.
Seen on September 4th by David Beynon.

Oxford Bus Company's 500 Park Á Ride service, that runs from the station to Woodstock via Oxford Parkway is currently terminating in Broad Street.

Oxford's 662 and 680 terminating in Broad Street on September 4th by David Beynon.

The 300 Park & Ride, which serves both Pear Tree and Redbridge, is being split. One service is running from Broad Street to Pear Tree while another is running from New Road to Redbridge.

Oxford's 317 on a short working 300 service in Broad Street on September 4th by David Beynon,
and later passing the Sheldonian on its way to Peartree by Jack Cooper.

Stagecoach's S1 and S2 to Eynsham, Witney and Carterton are on diversion, with passengers being told to head to Gloucester Green bus station to board.

Passengers for Stagecoach's 7 service to Woodstock are being told to use the number 2 service from a temporary stop which has been set up in Broad St.

MMC 10681 with a 7 in Broad St during St Giles Fair on September 4th by David Beynon.

The Stagecoach S1, S3 and 7 buses are currently unable to serve George Street.

The S4, S5 and 2 services are still running on the diverted route in place for St Giles' Fair.

15836 with an S3 in Broad Street, this has recently returned from repair after a serious front end accident on the A40 near Witney,
and 15757 with an S5 working both in Broad Street during St. Giles Fair. Seen on September 4th by David Beynon.

Banbury's 28743 with an S4 working in Broad St during St Giles Fair on September 4th by David Beynon.

Bus operators said they believe the closure will be in place for some days.

Indeed as this page was being written the problems still exist. However with the end of St. Giles Fair many buses have been able to return to their normal routes but Phil Southall, Managing Director of the Oxford Bus Company said how fragile the routes in the city were and how it is imperative for Queen Street to remain open.

Visitor to the St. Giles Fair

From Neil Beckley who writes "I have attached a couple of pictures of a bar bus at St Giles Fair which I took tonight. You may have received similar images from others. The vehicle is GNH 261 F, a Roe bodied ex-Northampton Corporation Daimler CVG6. The owners are Oxford Rose and on their website www.oxfordrose.co.uk they say":

Our adventure started in Nov 16 when we found Rosie in Norfolk. She had been lovely looked after by a family but the time had come for her to move on. And so the creation of the "Oxford Rose" had begun. We purchased Rosie and that created our first problem..drive her to Kent to start her transformation!!

 Neither of us had ever driven a 50 year old double decker bus before!!!! The shock of a top speed of 35 mph on the M2 was something that won't be forgotten! 5 hours later we arrived!

GNH261F a Roe bodied ex-Northampton Corporation Daimler CVG6 at St Giles Fair on September 3rd by Neil Beckley.

Fylde Coast interlude by Geoff Cunliffe

Geoff sent a couple of nice pictures of Leyland buses providing wedding transport in his home town of St. Annes. I remember driging 796 on a short term service on the South coast when working for Quantock services around 2000.

Ex North Western Road Car Leyland Tiger Cub 796 LDB796 on September 2nd by Geoff Cunliffe.
This was a very traditional sounding bus with its Albion five speed gear box.

Fishwick's of Leyland had a large fleet of Leyland buses like this lowbridge PD2 boarding guests for the wedding, 5 - 528CTF.

Oxford past history

More history with some great pictures by Tony Bungay

Swindon and District AAE659V, a Leyland National 2 in the then current NBC livery on the 68 in 1984.

Cheltenham and Gloucester bus company - Cotswold coaching arm's AFH198T on National Express 747 duty to Cambridge in April 1985.

United Counties 176 CNH176X working Coachlinks service X32 Oxford-Buckingham-Milton Keynes- M1 to Northampton in 1986.

MIDLAND RED SOUTH's 790 BVP790V at Gloucester Green in April 1988 with the X59 to Banbury.

Stratford Blue -Midland Red South - at Gloucester Green, with an X50 working (despite the blind) in late March 1986.

Red Rover of Aylesbury's ex London Transport DMS's on a hire service in Oxford in the 1980s.

South Yorkshire PTE MAN Bendy Bus 2001 DAK301V on trial with COMS working to Blackbird Leys in May 1982.

I think readers will agree that these are a delightful selection of Oxford links from 30 plus years ago.

Remarks from last issue

Garston farewell

Some of you commented on RML2412 which, in one picture, was said to be at Watford Junction. Sorry Editor's cock up, it was in Hemel Hempstead.

On a brighter note Gavin Francis provided a picture of this bus when carrying out driver training duties at the same spot the latest picture was taken. The two pictures are shown for comparison.

The picture from the last issue by Mark Turner and then the picture by Gavin Francis taken 40 years ago in 1978. Oh happy days!

What happens when summer ends on the Dorset Coast?

A couple of pictures from Tim Edmonds entitled Purbeck Breezers.

"I went to the Swanage Railway yesterday and there was a large crane in the bus park next to the road overbridge at the throat of Swanage station.  It was reuniting an open-top bus with its roof, picking it off a stack of them in the corner.  The buses were those used on the Purbeck Breezer services, which presumably were open-top in the season and were now being returned to normal use.

I've never seen anything like this before.  Is it the normal way that open-top buses are operated?  Any info welcome."

Pictures by Tim Edmonds via Mike Walker.

Operators Fleet News.

The allocations in the Shires seems to have settled down now and with the end of the Derby Rail "Blockade" buses loaned will be returning to their home depots.


      in the North East      

Arriva North East's Sapphire liveried 7524 YX17NNY with an X22 service heading for Ashington, Co. Durham on August 31st by Gordon Scott. 

Oxford Group News

Phil Southall, Managing Director of the Group noted that Scania deckers 206 (Oxford) and 214 (Carousel) are permanent transfers to Thames Travel and will remain in red for the foreseeable future.

Scanias 202-5 and Citaros 837 with 869-870 are float vehicles now and will appear at any of OBC, TT or CAR companies. They are mainly at Carousel at the moment due to a high number of VORs at High Wycombe.

From Ralph Adams

On my way home today, I stopped at Carousel buses. On site were red 203/204, all Brookes logos removed and new vinyls for the front and side for Carousel Buses.

Also on site were Citaros 869/870, both still with Thames Transfer vinyls. I was told these were only on loan.

Alongside the main garage was the overspill parking area. The gates were closed – normally it is open plan. At the back were two Routemasters, one mainly black bus and 112 belonging to Chiltern buses. There was a Carousel bus in front with 203/204 at the very front. This parking area was full of Carousel buses in the past so presumably the vehicle allocation has been reduced.

The new buses for Brookes, were at the time of writing, seemingly still involved with driver familiarisation and 372 seemed to be much involved with this work on September 4th.

372 seen on September 4th at Queens Lane, the first by David Beynon, and then two from Jack Cooper,
the third, an offside view by Graham Low and the final one on Headley Way by Neil Beckley.

Indeed by the time this is published others maybe in service.

The original red buses with livery for Brookes have now all had that branding removed and are appearing around the City and other location in plain red livery.

Some of the Brookes MMCs have now appeared in red as shown below.

603 in red with a 13 working on September 1st by Gavin Francis and two days later working the 2C at Oxford(Kidlington) Airport by Graham Mildenhall.

The red MMCs are appearing on the Brookes services with 605 working the U1 in Castle St on September 3rd by Neil Beckley.

As mentioned above certain buses are "pool" buses for the Oxford Group but can of course, still appear on Oxford routes.

Citaro 837 was working a 6 road service on September 1st when Gavin Francis took this picture.

With regards to SN-AP appearing on a number of coaches we can clarify the situation.

Coach 25 is allocated to the Bristol service and coach 65 to the Birmingham, service and the destination screens will show SN-AP. The X90 service carries SN-AP passengers but at this time the Airline services are not carrying SN-AP passengers. Coach 51 seems to appear on all routes at present and has been seen coming through Stokenchurch on the National Express 737 with SN-AP logos in the front window!

It is seen here on August 27th, before any SN-AP labels had been applied, on an inbound Airline service by Gavin Francis.

46 with the Bristol working on sn-ap at Gloucester Green on August 28th by Gavin Francis.

65 with the Birmingham working on sn-ap at Gloucester Green on August 28th by Gavin Francis.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for those following Thames Travel, was the arrival of three new double deckers for use on services 98 and 99 which serve Great Western Park, a large new housing estate to the west of Didcot. There are very regular services so that residents can use the bus rather than car.

Details of the new buses are as follows:

Volvo B5TL H74F Wrightbus Gemini 3 double deckers in Connector livery:

621 - BN68XRO ® 09/18, body no: AR169, chassis no: YV3T9U22XJA191786
622 - BN68XSO ® 09/18, body no: AR170, chassis no: YV3T9U221JA191787
623 - BN68XTO ® 09/18, body no: AR171, chassis no: YV3T9U223JA191788

A number of contributors have provided pictures of these buses and I hope they will appreciate I could not use all pictures provided?

621 with a 98 service outside Didcot Station on September 4th by Graham Low. The ownership shows Wallingford base not Oxford.

622 and 623 with 98 services outside Didcot Station on September 3rd by Lewis Parker.

622 is seen on an X32 working on September 4th by Simon Caygill.

Other pictures of Thames Travel services hereunder:

206, devoid of branding, seen working a Thames Travel T1 service to Chalgrove on September 4th by Gavin Francis.

During the St. Giles Fair diversions, 864 is seen working a 250 departure from Broad Street on September 4th by Jack Cooper.

Scania 914 is seen with an X40 service to Oxford in Reading's Friar Street on September 5th by Simon Caygill.

251 with an X39 service to Reading at Wallingford Market Place on September 3rd by Lewis Parker.

Ex London General 936 with the 136 to RAF Benson at Wallingford Market Place on September 3rd by Lewis Parker.

Citaro 882 in Reading's Friar Street on September 4th by Simon Caygill.

For a change we have pictures from Gordon Scott of Go North East buses in Gateshead.

Go North East - Volvo B5TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 6308 - NK67ECD is seen whilst operating service X10 on August 31st by Gordon Scott.

Go North East's new 'The Angel' liveried Wright StreetDeck 6325 NK67GNO is pictured in Gateshead on August 31st by Gordon Scott.

Bournemouth's 350 BX65WDF with an overall wrap on September 5th by Gavin Francis.
This is the first time I've seen such an overall wrap.

Edwards BU18OTD, working the 040 from Bristol seen on Elizabeth Bridge on September 4th by Gavin Francis.

Weavaway X70OXF with an 035 service near VCS on September 1st by Gavin Francis. I think this maybe one of the ex Bennett's Mercedes?

Quite a few pictures were provided by Simon Caygill of bus operations in Reading centre taken on September 5th.

Now with its third owner, 534 X399KBV is seen with route 6 departure. This bus was previously with
Blackpool Transport as 349 E16BTS and new to Isle of Man National Transport as 71 MAN93F.

721 works the 6 but is 17 branded seen in Friar Street, Reading.

Orange 903 is out of service when seen in central Reading. 

Red Kite Buses

From Nick Ross

M223SVN at Leighton Buzzard High Street after working the final 1410 162 from Dagnall on August 31st 2018. This was the last ever Red Kite Olympian service bus working as Star travel took over the next day.

The very end of Red Kite service bus operation Volvo B7 at Cheddington after working the 1630 164 ex Leighton Buzzard on August 31st 2018. This ends service bus operation of Red Kite going back to the Totternhoe-Leighton Buzzard 73 in 1998.

Red Kites -banana bus - Y417CFX on last 164 from LB to Cheddington on August 31st by Nick Ross.

in Oxfordshire

Hybrid 12007 is nearly finished an should soon be out and about in Oxford. Picture by Andy Churchill taken on September 3rd.

I liked this late evening shot taken by Frazer Peddle of his charge for the late duty on August 28th, 15752 at Headington shops on route 8.

North East

A nice picture of one of the North East Hybrids, 12066, now also in corporate colour,
 whilst working a 40 service in Newcastle upon Tyne by Gordon Scott on August 31st.

North East 28014 - YN63BXM now in Group colours with a 13 working in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on August 31st by Gordon Scott.
These buses started life in a special blue livery but have now taken a new coat!
These buses are Scania K270UB/Enviro300NG gas buses allocated to Sunderland depot.


The new order for the S6 but still the 66 when this picture was taken on September 1st by Gavin Francis. 10985 and 10982 both in Gloucester Green.

Who is going to be first with a picture following the change to S6?

Loaned 50237 is still hard at work on the Oxford tube services as seen above on august 27th leaving Gloucester Green by Gavin Francis.

At last a picture of 50285 in its new livery and home, Kilmarnock, taken by David Oakley on August 29th. 


Star Travel Optare MA07 BUS at Leighton with the 1040 162 to Dagnall on September 3rd. Deckers no more..... says Nick Ross.

This is, of course, the Solo once part of the Motts fleet and used on the M1 from Stokenchurch to Reading.

So, here we are at the end of another page. Two items have been deferred to a later issue, first that of reports from Canada of Greyhound by Paul Bateson and second an interesting item from Jack Cooper on his work experience with Oxford Bus similar to that undertaken with Stagecoach earlier in the year. I will be working on these items over the coming weeks.