Delayed until Thursday, August 9th 2018


Many apologies for the delay in publishing this week's page, mainly due to the heat which made sitting at my computer less than desirable!!

Quite a busy week with a trip to Derby with Gavin Francis, mainly to see what buses and coaches were in use on the Derby blockade, much more to be done than at the recent Oxford works as can be seen in the pictures below.


Also this week is news of problems within Frist Group  which may or may not see the break up of this large multi modal operator. The news hereunder relates to matters First.

First Group rumours on break-up possibilities by rivals!

Company competitors seem to be circling the wagons regarding the possible break up of struggling First Group, if such a thing is to happen.

Some of those in the know have suggested that state-backed Italian operator Trenitalia may be looking to swallow First’s UK rail operations.

It is also suggested that maybe other UK operators might be interested in some of FirstGroup’s UK bus operations.

It appears First Group has appointed consultants to assess options relating to the US bus subsidiary Greyhound.

Wolfhart Hauser became executive chairman in May after former chief executive Tim O’Toole quit following full-year losses exceeding £300 million.

Interesting times ahead as this Group has been at the forefront of the British Transport industry for many years now. Only time will tell.

Bus written off by drunk teenagers

A bus owned by Pulham and Sons Coaches has been written off after two drunk teenage joyriders crashed it in the Cotswolds.

Courtesy Route ONE

A CCTV camera recorded Harry Atley, 19, and Thomas Bloomfield, 18, taking turns to drive the single-decker nine miles, from Tetbury in Gloucestershire to Malmesbury, Wiltshire before crashing it. Both were thrown into the windscreen, which smashed. The operator says the teenagers' actions have cost them £100,000 because of a big increase in insurance premiums. The judge ordered them each to pay £10,000 compensation to Pulham's at £400 a month. They were each sentenced to eight months’ detention suspended for a year, disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

A day out in Derby to see the Rail Blockade and the buses involved in moving passengers to Chesterfield v.v.

One main reason for going to Derby on August 2nd was that we were aware the some ex Oxford tube coaches had moved down on loan from Stagecoach West Scotland and one wondered how the operation was developing. Regarding the ex tube coaches we were aware that 50201, 50206 and 50225 were on loan and also a number of Arriva buses from our area were involved. The contract was being operated by Stagecoach and all the staff working on the operation were decked in Stagecoach high vis. vests. When we engaged in conversation with one gentleman, it transpired that he was Arriva Northern Rail and he lived near Preston! The number of passengers moving were somewhat less than those seen at Oxford but we were told that during the week of publication for the OCBP would be much busier. Below you will see a selection of the vehicles involved but first, here is list of buses, on loan for Rail Replacement work, provided by Paul Swann, Arriva's Fleet Planning Manager, which are much appreciated.

Derby are operating Rail Replacement work till early Sept.

14 buses have been transferred in:

3764,3772,3773,3774,3775,3794 From Thurmaston
3129 from Luton
3342,3343 from Milton Keynes
3792,3793 from Telford
3795 from Cannock
2536,2537 from Shrewsbury
3930,3932 from Aylesbury are at Tamworth for Derby Rail Work
(these two were replaced by two Arriva red deckers VLA8 from Tottenham and VLA122 from Grays on loan for use on the 500 service)
4708,4714 from Luton are covering at Milton Keynes
4018,4020,4026 are covering at Thurmaston
1005,1006 from Southern Counties at Telford

1007,1008 from Southern Counties at Shrewsbury

4015 Volvo B7 now at Aylesbury

Other vehicles are covering at their own depots due to School Holiday bus reductions During this period there may also be some strange workings

Late news was:

The two Shrewsbury Solos returned home 2536,2537
 and have been replaced by two Southern Counties Sprinters 1007 and 1008 at Derby.

You will find a few of these buses in the pictures below.

Pictures of the buses and coaches involved in the Rail Replacement services are shown below by Gavin Francis & Malcolm Crowe


East Scotland's 54064 & Megabus 54060 on Rail Replacement work in Derby. GF

West Scotland's 50206 on Rail Replacement in Derby.
Interestingly further down the page you will see more of these ex tube coaches still going strong after four years in Scotland. GF

Ferry Hill Motors FHM45 SA13YJZ on Rail Replacement in Derby. This coach was new to Parks and is now a loan vehicle with FHM. MC

Johnsons 7JBT & P3JBT on Rail Replacement in Derby. MC

Notts & Derby 763 YN08CWV on Rail Replacement in Derby. These buses started life on the Skylink service to Leicester. MC

Megabus 50235 and East Scotland 54064 on Rail Replacement in Derby. The handling staff all wore Stagecoach purple or yellow high viz. slips
as can be seen in the pictures, even though many of them came from other companies including Northern Rail.  MC

Megabus 54048 on Rail Replacement in Derby. MC

West Scotland's ex tube 50201 now VCS391 and 50206 still OU09FMY on Rail Replacement in Derby. MC

All in all, it was a very interesting visit to Derby and further pictures of buses more familiar to us are shown below taken by Gavin Francis. These pictures were taken on the other side of the station.

Arriva 3129 YX17NND on Rail Replacement in Derby loaned from Luton.

Citaro 3930 BD12DHG on Rail Replacement in Derby on loan from Aylesbury depot.
Two red London double deckers were loaned for a few weeks to cover for this and 3930.

StreetLite 3343 FJ64JYP loan from Milton Keynes seen in Derby Bus Station, first by Malcolm Crowe and then Gavin Francis.
This bus did not appear to be on Rail Replacement work.

Whilst in Derby time was spent watching the buses serving the community

When I last visited Derby, some 40 years ago one could see buses in the liveries of Trent, Barton, Derby Corporation and some coaches from North Western, Ribble and a few other operators. This time things were somewhat different. Coaches were from National Express but bus services were run by Trent Barton (in a wide variety of route liveries), a subsidiary Finch bus ( part of Trent Barton), Dunn Line (part of Rotala) and RATP. What made the difference was the wide choice of routes and specific liveries making a rainbow of colour in a well designed and adequate bus station. Nearly all routes ran through the bus station with very few picking up at on-street locations. Also present and operated by Trent Barton was the Red Arrow Derby-Nottingham v.v. service which runs every 10 minutes throughout the day. The link below will take you to the Trent Barton Red Arrow timetables.

Again pictures by Gavin Francis & Malcolm Crowe taken at Derby Bus Station and in the city area. GF
Much has changed since I last visited Derby and they certainly have a superb bus station.

Services are run by a number of companies including Arriva, Bowers, The Wellglade Group and Yourbus.

Wellglade comprises Trent Barton, Kinchbus, Notts & Derby and TM Travel. It is not always easy to see who owns who and what is where but this added greatly to the interest. For those wanting more information there is an excellent fleet list at the link below:

Details on Yourbus can be found at the link below.

Arriva 3563 YR58SSX works the 20 by Derby Bus Station.
These Scanias seemed very popular with Arriva Midlands. GF

Wrights 4220 with the F1 by Derby Bus Station. GF

Bowers run High Peak who operate the Trans Peak Buxton service with a nice fleet of ADL E200s seen at Derby Bus Station. GF

Kinchbus' 913 BX64WJD operating the Skylink Leicester service in Derby. GF

trentbarton operates the redarrow with these Volvo/Plaxton tri-axles such as 80 YX65ZHK by Derby Bus Station GF & MC

It would appear that these older coaches are used to cover any delays to the main 10 minute service.
75 FJ10OXR in Derby Bus Station GF

Another strikingly branded service is the MICKLEOVER run by these well turned out ADL MMCs such trentbarton 106 YX66WLR GF
The colourful destinations are nice but on one or two buses they screens were partly failing.

MANGO is another branding for services running to MICKLEOVER as seen by trentbarton Solo 448 FE02KDU GF

swift is another branding, this for service to Uttoxeter and Ashbourne as seen by trentbarton 736 FJ09BXA. GF

Demonstrator Citaro BT66TZE is with Kinch and used to work the Skylink service, seen at Derby Bus Station. MC
This bus had also been with Pulhams !!

This branding is used on the Chesterfield service as seen by trentbarton 740 FJ09BXE MC

The comet is another branding shown by trentbarton 747 FJ09XPF MC

The sixes also used colourful branding and an odd route numbering scheme - here 6.3 to Ripley on trentbarton 692 FJ55BZU MC

Now we have the nines this time to Mansfield as 9.3 with trentbarton 152 YX66WLZ in Derby MC

click on the logo

With many thanks to Gavin who did the driving and provided an excellent day out.

Changes to bus services

5 September 2018

Service BB14 Carousel Buses: Carousel will be withdrawing this schoolday service. Passengers travelling between Flackwell Heath and Marlow Hill Schools are advised to use the 36B.

Service BB16 Carousel Buses/325 Chiltern Bus Company:

Schoolday bus route BB16 from Marlow Bottom and Marlow to Marlow Hill Schools has been withdrawn by Carousel Buses. Bus service 325 operated by Chiltern Bus Company will replace this.

We are advised that Chiltern Bus Company fares will be similar to those charged by Carousel. Chiltern Bus Company can be contacted at: 

Service 653: Aylesbury to John Colet School and Wendover to Aylesbury Schools coach park. This service has been withdrawn. Please see Redline's 50 and Arriva's 8A for replacement journeys.

3 September 2018

Service 80 Akeley - Buckingham, Bourton Meadow School - Tingewick - Brackley, Waynflete College
This Stagecoach operated schoolday only service is extended to serve Akeley. No change to the rest of the route or timetable.

2 September 2018

Service 4, Aylesbury - Berryfields: 
This service, operated by Redline Buses, will now operate between Berryfields and Aylesbury only. Timing changes between these locations but no change to frequency. For buses to and from Elmhurst and The Coppice please see service 14 below.

Service 11/11A Aylesbury - Lavric Road - Prebendal Farm/Southcourt:
This service previously operated by Star Travel, will now be operated by Redline Buses. There are timetable changes including a slight reduction in the number of peak time journeys. Off-peak the 11/11A buses will operate every half hour combined as previously.

Service 14 The Coppice - Elmhurst - Aylesbury:
This new service, operated by Redline Buses, replaces the withdrawn section of route 4. The route will run Monday to Saturday up to every 30 minutes.

Service 55 Aylesbury - Wendover - Amersham - Chesham:
The 1250 journey from Aylesbury will now terminate in Amersham instead of Chesham. The 1345 journey has been retimed to start from Chesham at 1340 and will divert to serve Tring Road Wendover (for John Colet School early finishes). The same journey will then go on to operate via Bedgrove instead of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Service 103 High Wycombe - Amersham - Watford:
Following the completion of the redevelopment works in Watford, this service will revert to the former route in Watford town centre. Certain journeys will also resume serving Cedars Village.

Service 335/353 Amersham/ Chalfont Common - Gerrards Cross - Stoke Poges - Slough:
Minor timing changes to accommodate changes to the start and finish times at Chalfont Community College.

1 September 2018

From this date the following services previously operated by Red Kite, will instead be operated by Star Travel. There are no other changes to the routes and times:

154 Newton Longville - Aylesbury
162 Bletchley/Dagnall - Leighton Buzzard
167 Ivinghoe - Leighton Buzzard
174 Dagnall - Edlesborough

The Redkite operated 1630 journey from Leighton Buzzard to Cheddington on service 164 will be withdrawn. There are no changes to the Redline 164 timetable.

With thanks to Oscar Longman for drawing my attention to the foregoing.


Quite a lot going on with this operator with odd workings and different buses being drafted in to keep up with others leaving.

MMC 3108 has finally left Wycombe and was seen by Gavin heading northbound along the M40 last week.

Aylesbury has proved most interesting with the loan of two London VLA's to cover the Citaros loaned to Derby for Rail Replacement work. I had wondered about these red deckers and if one had got to Wycombe. I am pleased to say that Luke Braham wrote:

"In regards to the red Volvo double deckers at Aylesbury, VLA8 LJ03MXY and VLA122 LJ05BKV were loaned to Arriva Aylesbury to cover the loan of Citaros 3930 BD12DHG and 3932 BD12DHK to the Midlands for use on the Derby rail replacement contract. It is believed that the Volvos were taken out of service when the timetable changes took place on the July 29th.  As asked in the last issue, VLA8 LJ03MXY did make it onto the 300/X30 on the July 18th despite the pair mainly being allocated to route 500 for their stay.

Picture by Luke Braham

On July 29th, route 8 was extended to Western Turville and Wendover as previously mentioned. I have included a few photos of the service on the first day of the extended service taken just outside Western Turville. These photos include Solo 2493 YJ57 EJD and ALX400 6003 KL52 CWR. The service has seen a mixture of single and double deckers operating it."


Very pleased to hear from Luke again who always makes excellent contributions.

Nigel Peach writes "At Cressex today (Sun 5th) I saw 6305 in the "death row", so maybe that's what has been replaced by 6000. (6305 had only been at Wycombe a few months - ex Aylesbury!)

6300, 6301 and 4518 at Cressex depot withdrawn on August 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

Also there was 4722 (PN52 XBG) an East Lancs Lowlander. I think that spent a few days in Wycombe about a year ago before heading off to Aylesbury.

I haven't seen 3746, the last remaining MCV for a long time. Maybe it's gone to be a trainer like the rest from that batch."

2297 at Cressex depot on August 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

6309 and 6004 at Cressex depot on August 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

A couple of 280/X8 pictures in Thame last Monday, August 6th by Malcolm Crowe.

See above regarding changes to various Carousel services from September.

A number of interesting working have taken place since the last issue.

Citaro 869 turned up working a 1 service on August 8th seen by Oscar Longman.

Very unusually, Citaro 878 appeared on the Link 40 service seen at Stokenchurch on August 3rd by Gavin Francis. It stayed on this route all day.

Again unusually, 221 worked an early evening short service 40 to Stokenchurch on August 4th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

The regular buses on the Link 40 are the two orange M A N/ADL E200s 423 and 424, with the former seen at Thame on August 6th by Malcolm Crowe.

Even more unusual was the use of 215 on the Thames Travel 38 Wantage Town Service on August 3rd by Lewis Parker.

Lewis says he has seen 215 several times and I asked the powers that be and was advised that there will be regular occasions when exchanges take place across the "Oxford Group".

I saw this bus back in Wycombe two days later!

The new Hybrids for Brookes are to 371-376 with OX68*** plates due in early September. The Hybrid demonstrator pictured in issue 21 is for driver training purposes and is not expected to see revenue service.

I suppose the surprise of the week has been the appearance of 662 in a wrap for GWR trains. Even more surprising has been its use on the 500 to Water Eaton, rather the home of Chiltern Trains !!!

This picture is from Amun Bhomra of it working the 300 on August 7th.

Wrap 662 with a 500 working on August 5th by Daryl Major

Airline 25 with an X90 service in Bulleid Way, London on July 31st by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 310 works on 5 road on August 7th by Gavin Francis.

See above for Carousel 215 working the Wantage town service.

Demonstrator 899 has seen more frequent days in service displaying the livery to be used on the five new buses due shortly.
Pictured on July 31st by Gavin Francis.

Nick was in a hurry and didn't stop on his way from Oxford to High Wycombe with the last 275!
Also of note was the use of a Red Eagle bus on this Red Rose service on August 7th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Red Eagle YX10FEP works the new service 61A on July 30th by Luke Braham


Whilst in Thame on August 6th I saw this Dart, SN51TCJ ex London United DPS588 with a 110 service. By Malcolm Crowe. 

I visited Red Rose last Monday and had a pleasant chat with Taj Khan, the owner, who remembered that he had worked for Red Rover, a long ago established Aylesbury operator. It seems that he liked Red Rover so much that he modelled Red Rose on that company following their livery in the early days of "Rose".

Two double decks have been acquired from Bournemouth for the upcoming 650 route and they are seen in this line up at the depot.
Buses are Y238FJN-Y359LCK-E3RRT-HJ02HFF-HJ02HFD-W496WGH and W495WGH on August 6th by Malcolm Crowe.

in Oxfordshire

CountryFile Live took place at Blenheim Palace last week and I have a few picture relating to this event.

West's 15980 loaned for the event is seen at the  Caravan site bus stop at Blenheim palace for CountryFile on August 7th by Trevor Bayliss of Stagecoach.

Andy Churchill wrote "15977 (YN14OWU) and 15980 (YN14OWX) have come in on loan from Stagecoach West at Cheltenham depot arriving on 1/08/18 to provide additional capacity on the S3 and 7 routes for CountryFile live from 2/08/18 and both are in the uni of Gloucester livery."

West's 15977 15980 seen parked at Oxford depot on August 1st by Frazer Peddle.

Gavin Francis also took some detail pictures of the two buses on August 4th. 


Daryl Major writes that new Gold buses have arrived in Swindon for the Oxford service which is to become the S6 from 66, to match other Oxford Gold services.

West's 10982 with revised S6 branding at Swindon depot on August 5th by Daryl Major.


A picture from Gary Seamarks revives memories of buses once in Oxford. He also saw 15996.

On a trip by Gary he saw SCWS 15994 YN64XSY working the X34 into Glasgow Bus Station on July 24th.

Of some interest, following the pictures taken in Derby, Gary Seamarks produced a series of pictures of ex Oxford tubes still at work in West Scotland on the X76 and X77 routes. They look well cared for and are now nine years old. Is it really 4 years ago that a colleague and myself took 50204 and 50214 to Kilmarnock? All the pictures below were taken on July 24th by Gary.

Above are 50202 (on the X71), 50205, 50207 and 50208 on the X76.

50211, 50214, 50215, 50216, 50217 and 50219 all on the X77 with now shows destination Fenwick for Ayr.

Well, that's quite a big issue which I hope readers enjoy? I have held over some items for the next issue which I hope will be on Tuesday, August 14th.