Completed on Thursday, August 16th


Well, another week passes by and here we are again. Following our visit to Derby I am pleased to advise that Martyn Sacaloff also visited the following Tuesday and provided a picture of ex tube 50225 which we had missed.

West Scotland's 50225 is seen loading for Chesterfield in Derby on August 7th by Martin Sacaloff.
What is interesting is that whilst the three ex "tube" Astromegas are away their places have been taken in part by the arrival of the new Plaxton Panoramas
for use on the X76 as seen below in the pictures from Gordon Scott.

Monday, August 13th saw the entry into service of the first batch of the new Plaxton Panoramas with West Scotland specifically for the X76. This is at a time when two current "tubes" are also entering service - 50285 and 50286 - on the same X76 route. I have asked permission from ROB6688 on Flickr to use pictures of 50286 in Cumbernauld depot but sadly he has not responded to emails and requests on Flickr so I do not have these pictures for you at present. (I never use pictures without permission).

However Gordon Scott has provided excellent pictures of 54101 on its first day in service last Monday. These are shown below.

These pictures were taken on its arrival into Glasgow Bus Station and then ready for departure to Kilmarnock. August 13th by Gordon Scott.

Gordon also took pictures of 40403 on the same day at the same location.


I alos have a Plaxton picture of the upper deck interior of 50401 taken at an earlier date.

Courtesy Plaxton.

These coaches seat 65 upstairs and 22 down making 87 passengers in total and have twin doors and twin staircases. Indeed very similar to the Van Hool Astromega !!

Monday August 13th was a day for changes and new. Oxford Bus now have on trial the Yutong Electric single deck bus which seats 39 and has an unladen weight of 14412 kgs, quite heavy for a 39 seater! For interest Gavin tells me that a London RT (the classic) weighed in at just over 7 tons !!! It mans that two RT could carry 112 passengers seated and many are still running today some nearly 80 years later.

readers were hot of the mark with pictures sent to me, James Freeman being the first, second place went to Graham Low and hot on his heels was David Beynon. Well done guys !!

Numbered 899 for its stay and working the 3A the Yutong is seen in Speedwell St being passed first by 846 and then 662 on August 13th - James Freeman.

The end of the route is Oxford Science Park and James sent the picture above on arrival at that location.

Later in the morning Graham Low saw 899 gliding quietly along Henley Avenue, doubtless emphasizing its qualities. By now the sun was shining through!

899 loads at the high Street stop on its way to the Science Park this time seen by David Beynon.

I have to congratulate all three gentlemen on this achievement, which has to be a record for the OCBP in nearly 20 years. Well done to all.

Gavin Francis sent me pictures of the recently full wrap branded 662 in GWR livery which appeared recently. It is replicating the front end of the new Class 800 trains.

Is this passenger puzzled by the turnout of this "bus" ? - he looks very concerned - 662 is seen heading for Blenheim Palace via the Chiltern Trains station of Water Eaton !
The pictures were taken on August 11th and one wonders if maybe this is ideal for the Rail Replacement services in the future?

Jack Cooper also came in with a late fourth for the day when he sent me pictures of the first Brookes MMC to be debranded. Jack is presently on work experience with Oxford Bus. Readers may remember a special page I did for Jack when he carried out work experience with Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.

605 seen in the yard at Oxford Bus following its debranding. One now has to look forward to its new branding and livery.
This must have been a significant challenge to the person or persons who did the work. Pictures by Jack Cooper on August 13th.

The final piece of news for the Editorial this week is of the closing down of the London City Tour on Friday last week and the continuation of its operation by The Original London Sightseeing Tour (OLST) so that passengers with tickets can use their tickets, started the next day. Gavin once again comes to the party with pictures of the two operators. City Tour was the fourth operators and recently of course Megabus has also started a tour.

LONDON CITY TOUR BF60UUH in Waterloo Road was ex Metroline VW1851 seen on March 29th 2018 by Gavin Francis.

OSLT VLE615 in City Tour's livery on August 13th by Gavin Francis.

Other news

Remember the fuss about coach parking in St. Giles, Oxford?

It has not gone away as the picture below shows. Surely a City the size and importance of Oxford should have better public transport resources? Left hand drive coaches always prove tricky as if we don't want to offer safe unloading which St. Giles is not!

And the City claims to help cyclists! There isn't that much room especially if it is a left hand drive!!! The date was August 8th by Gavin Francis.

Where can I unload, was the driving asking? For the second time a Megabus coach is seen on a private hire in Oxford - August 11th by Gavin Francis.

Surely visitors are important to Oxford and deserve better than is presently offered? Even the coach station is woefully small and local buses rely on street loadings and do not have a proper bus station like places far less important than Oxford.

Tamworth Open Day on August 5th by Dylan Jones

Here are the older vehicles that attended the Tamworth open Day event celebrating 90 years of Tamworth Depot and 100 years of Midland Red on the 5th August. I thought some photos of this event may be of interest with Arriva Midlands now serving your area technically (as Shires doesn’t exist) and Midland Red being northerly to Oxford. The event featured many buses that had links to the town, some being big surprises to me, and some of the regular Arriva fleet were also in service.

The D9 and S16 - excellent buses. Who remembers D9 open top doing London sightseeing tours?


These were also lovely buses and sometimes got as far as London if they had DP seating.



A big surprise to see this Leyland National 2 back on the road after being preserved in 1999 and seeing little use in the Rally scene since then. This bus would have operated here on the 825 from Stafford via Rugeley and Lichfield from its Cannock base i believe.

Here are the other newer vehicles in attendance, the current Arriva fleet that I saw in service.

Arriva 3003
and bendi 5002 with 4020 all currently in service.


Last based at Telford depot, this rare East Lands bodied Scania L113CRL was the last of its type operated by Arriva, its last use being as a crew bus. 3468 is now in preservation locally and is pictured pulling around onto Corporation Street to operate a service.


I remember similar buses new in Manchester and they gave an excellent ride.


I will be at Banbury depot next Sunday to join their entry to Gaydon and remember well when Banbury was a Midland Red garage! Ed.

There are some more pictures to come but time is my enemy !!

Skegness open top variety by Gary Seamarks

Gary writes "I took a trip to Skegness on Saturday August 11th and pictured all 11 open toppers in 100 minutes, Rocky was the awkward one liking to appear out of the sun!!.

What a change with no E200, E300 of E400's except Rocky!, Volvo's rule here ! Note: 16964/6 are ex First bus vehicles, and 17013/5/6 have arrived from the Lakes service."

I wonder where it is also possible to get a whole allocation of eleven buses in 100 minutes! I love the inventiveness of Stagecoach with the liveries, clever as children will say I want to ride on just the one the haven't been able to! Maybe there is a lesson here for other places? Ed.

These three buses came from Cumbrian when replaced by new Wrights part open toppers in the Lakes. They were new to South East London in 1999.
17013 - S813BWC (Teddy) : 17015 - S815BWC (Sunny) : 17016 - DAZ5455 was S816BWC (Sweetie).

17673 - BLZ1423 (Candy) was T373FUG from Hull : 17675 - WOI3001 (Pierre) was T375FUG : 17676 - PIW4456 (Sandy) was T376FUG.

17677- WOI3002 (Shelly) was T377FUG in Cleethorpes; 17678 - PSU443 (Salty) was Grimsby & Cleethorpes V378EWE: 19169 - TIL7901 (Rocky) was
SV57BFP at Inverness where it had a deroof accident sometime in 2015.

16964 YJ04FZE (Rolly) new to First Leeds as 32457: 16966 YJ04FZG (Milly) new to First Leeds as 32459 recently with SC Chester & Wirral.

So these buses have a history all of their own and holiday makers may not realise that they could have ridden on the same bus in the town where they live.

Two more fleet books from SKM bring the fleets of East and East Midlands up to date at a very affordable price. You can also update the books at:

This is a really useful reference for fleet movements. The download shows fleet changes for the whole of Stagecoach UK.

Other updates are published on the SKM site under Fleet News Ramblings.  It really is a great site and the updates and ramblings are free!!


Stagecoach East Fleet Handbook 2018
A6 portrait, 48 pages, laminated card cover

Laminated card cover and illustrated in full colour throughout.
This book covers the Stagecoach East fleet and is fully updated to August 2018, 
The Stagecoach East fleet has seen investment in recent years in double deck vehicles for the Cambridge Park & Ride and Peterborough Citi networks as well as new open top double deck vehicles for the Cambridge Sightseeing operation.
In April 2018 the former Norfolk Green operation based at King’s Lynn was closed down and a new depot established at Long Sutton.
Most of the King’s Lynn-based vehicles have been retained in the fleet and re-allocated to Bedford and Long Sutton. At Bedford, this has allowed older vehicles to be taken out of use.
The book details all vehicles currently in the Stagecoach East fleet together with details of liveries, branding and depot allocations. Details are also given of the normal weekday allocation of vehicles to routes.
Stagecoach East Midlands Fleet Handbook 2018
A6 portrait, 48 pages, laminated card cover

Laminated card cover and illustrated in full colour throughout.
This book covers the Stagecoach East Midlands fleet and is fully updated to August 2018, 
Stagecoach East Midlands continues to manage a diverse fleet which is operated in Nottinghamshire, Bassetlaw, Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.
The company is a keen user of network and route branding, which sees a great variety on the liveries carried by buses here. Stagecoach East Midlands is also a keen supporter of community projects and several vehicles carry special liveries. 
The Seasider operation continues at Skegness and Cleethorpes with additional vehicles joining the Skegness operation this year.
Vehicle investment has continued since the last edition of this book with both new and mid-life vehicles being allocated to the fleet.
The book details all vehicles currently in the Stagecoach East Midlands fleet together with details of liveries, branding and depot allocations.

For more information:


I have had to hold over an article on Greyhound in Canada until the next issue.

Fleet news

Notices & Proceedings

If you want to see new or amended services in our area you can refer to the under mentioned link:

First of all I am pleased to have a picture of Wycombe's 3108 in L:eicestershire from Martyn Sacaloff. This is pleasing as I had asked if someone could provide such a picture.

3108 with an X3 by Leicester Kildare Street with a service to Market Harboro' on August 13th by Martyn Sacaloff.

Gavin Francis as ever provided an interesting picture of a Wrights decker on the X30, this bus had been Midlands 4017 LJ51DFO branded for the ONE from Uttoxeter to Burton on Trent in an earlier life. Strange that Midlands had a "ONE" service like Wycombe's ONE - red or blue!!!

4017 now registered UUI2913 with an X30 to Aylesbury leaving the Eden Bus Station on august 10th by Gavin Francis.

Gavin commented "Just doing a bit of filing and the picture of First 37165 you took in Slough is the same bus that was at Cobham Gathering when it was brand new in 2007."

More than eleven years separate these two picture by Gavin and Malcolm.

Nothing special to report except that 914 has certainly returned to Thames Travel (see under TT).

970 with the SS1 Staff Shuttle on August 10th in High Wycombe by Gavin Francis.

"14 heads into high Wycombe on a 35 service on August 10th by Gavin Francis.

As mentioned in the Editorial the Yutong Electric bus entered service on Monday last on the 3A to Oxford Science Park.

I can also advise that regarding the Brookes MMCs the following is an update on the current situation with the MMCs.

601 is to be blue (not sure which route), 602 undecided, 603 now back and in red, 604 (?) 605 ready for repaint, 606-610 expected to be red but with Brookes branding. 202-205 to be open top and 206 a spare city bus.

So keep your eyes peeled for MMCs in a different livery and new Brookes 371-376 due to arrive around August 20th but will not enter service until September 1st following a launch at Brookes.

There is to be a new timetable for the X90 from October 29th with a 30 minute frequency on all days from both ends. No further details at present. (Info from LSP Bulletin)

202 on 5 road in St. Aldates on August 9th by David Gray.

662 on 13 road in St. Aldates showing off its GWR wrap on august 9th by David Gray.

839 looking very spruce on a Saturday 6 road working showing "Wolvercote Roundabout" - I wonder why? August 11th by Gavin Francis.

Most unusually an X90 coach was operating an LHR service on August 15th when Gavin Francis caught 82 loading in Thornhill.

I like different destinations and here we have MMC 609 with a U5 to CLIVE BOOTH HALL on August 15th by Gavin Francis.

These city 3 branded buses are still striking as seen by 682 on August 15th by Gavin Francis.

The Electric trial bus, 899 is seen heading up The high with a 3A service on August 15th by Gavin Francis.

973 busy on The High on August 15th by Gavin Francis.

Quite a few changes are planned for the beginning of the new school year on BB services and timetable changes on most other services. There is a new service 99 to watch out for in Didcot.

Ralph Adams writes as below following his visit:

Mr Trencham went through details and was very helpful.

Citaros 856 – 859 all left – gone to Carousel in red livery

Citaros 869 & 870 are now both at Wallingford

Another one double deck bus expected.

Route 99 will have one of 441/442 and the second bus on 98 will be a decker to cover heavy loadings at peak times. The 99 driver will be advised to take a good book with them as it will not move for 30 minutes every hour off peak.

Route changes from 2 September involve many routes but changes all very minor, (Mentioned above)

The X40 at 7:00 withdrawn  (buses at 6:50 & 7:10 so no great loss) which previously ran the duplicate on X34 also withdrawn as loading on the 8:08 have reduced so one bus can cope.

The spare bus now runs as X2 Wallingford at 6:40 arriving Oxford at 8:27 produced a better morning service from Drayton etc. It then returns at 8:42 from Oxford, again filling a gap in the present service.

All of this requires a lot of new paper timetables for very few actual changes. 

861 shows off its Fostering in Oxfordshire wrap at the setting down stop in St. Aldates after arrival on a T1 service on August 9th by David Gray.

As mentioned earlier 914 has returned home and is seen in Reading on an X38 working on August 7th by Malcolm Crowe.

Surprise on the 250 on August 11th was PICKMEUP 838 showing 25A - Gavin Francis.

Lewis Parker writes:

New Service Connector99,

Renumbering of Route32a into ConnectorX33/33

Extended Connector38

When Gavin and I went up to Derby we saw to interesting coaches on the M40 northbound.

FJ60KYS heads north on the M40 on August 2nd by Malcolm Crowe. This was a loan coach to Oxford Bus when they first started the 737 as shown by the fleet number 50 !

This is an Edwards Coaches vehicle, FJ11GNF on M40 northbound on August 2nd by Malcolm Crowe.
With the new Caetanos now in service its days with Edwards may be numbered?

1209 with the 702 in Bulleid Way, Victoria on August 9th by Gavin Francis.

Following my picture in the last issue Nick had his own bus back on August 15th when seen in High Street by Gavin Francis.

Seen in last week's issue, Red Rose Y158NLK was DLD180 seen above in CALEDONIAN ROAD on August 21st 2012 by Gavin Francis.
These buses always appeared shabby to me and the red paint seemed to weather very badly.


in Oxfordshire

Andy Churchill also provided two items of interest. The first was the preparation, of Stagecoach Hybrid 12007, for painting into corporate livery. 12008 was the first and the remaining Hybrids at Oxford are to follow suit.

12007 undergoing body overhaul prior to repaint on August 8th by Andy Churchill.

Now some readers may have read about or remember that Gold 15836 had a serious accident when working an S3 service some months ago. This bus has returned from repair and it being prepared to return to service.

Immediately on return to Oxford 15836 is waiting for full branding and servicing before re-entering service. Seen on August 8th by Andy Churchill.

As the expression goes otherwise "all quiet on the Western Front" with just a few pictures from Gavin Francis.

MMC 10670 with a number 3 on Magdalen Bridge with a PICKMEUP close behind on August 15th by Gavin Francis.

Coincidentally the following MMC 10671 is seen with a number 8 service on The High on August 15th by Gavin Francis.

And a couple from David Gray.

MMC 10682 at the train station with an S3 working on August 9th by David Gray.

MMC single deck 36984 with a 3A service picks up in Sandford on Thames at Heyford Hill Lane on August 9th by David Gray.
I imagine the young man is thinking have I got enough money?


Andrew Webb writes "I Visited Swindon on Monday and came across this vehicle on driver training.  Seems some changes are planned for the Swindon - Oxford route."

Well, you can find out about it here:

Here's the bus Andrew mentions, 10982 brand new driver training on August 13th by Andrew Webb.

So, no we must wait and see what the launch date is !


Now branded and repainted for the X76, 50239 MSU466 is seen arriving in Glasgow on August 13th by Gordon Scott.
Note the destination display has been upgraded to a new colour!

Also branded and repainted for the X76, 50243 CN61FBE is seen arriving in Glasgow on August 13th by Gordon Scott.

Even north of the border odd buses work wrong route as seen by 10917 with an X76 in Glasgow but branded for the 11 Ardrossan-Kilmarnock route.
August 13th by Gordon Scott.

Until recently these tri-axles were used on the X76 but are now being transferred to the X77, 54340with an X76 in Glasgow but no unbranded.
August 13th by Gordon Scott.

Now, the new order, 54339 with full X77 branding in Glasgow on
August 13th by Gordon Scott.
This sees the demise of the ten or so ex Oxford tube coaches used for the past four years on the X77.

Scoop of the week is of ex tube 50286 resplendent in Stagecoach livery with X76 Glasgow-Kilmarnock branding taken in Cumbernauld depot on August 9th. Thanks to Ross McGarvey.

50286 on August 9th.

Further ex tubes now working the Rail Replacement services in Derby are X77 branded 50217-50219 doubtless released by the entry into service of newer coaches for that route.

Megabus loan 50237 showing its dual branding as it leaves London's Buckingham Palace Road stop on August 11th by Gavin Francis.

Ralph Adams visited Weavaway in Newbury on August 10th and reported as follows:

Bova. There are eight operated but I only had six listed. There are WA64CWW & WA64CVW  plus WA64CWX and WA64CVX and WA64CVY & WA64CWY with finally WA64CVZ and WA64CWZ.

Most of the 70 seat school buses have left. RA15OBV, YX65ZJN and YX65ZJO have all gone leaving just YX65ZJK

All three Olympians are VOR – R178EVX, R835OVN & R140EVX

The five Mercedes / Unvi buses I thought were MB 81x are actually MB Atego

Also acquired are ex Edwards Mercedes- Levantes:

FJ60 KUH  MB  Co  C49FT
FJ60 KUK  MB   Co  C49FT 

Gavin Francis caught this Abingdon coaches (Weavaway) in Gloucester Green on August 11th heading for Boomtown Fair with an S8 working.