Many apologies for the delay in posting this issue but I confess to being rather taken with the World Cup and the relief last night when England scored that late winning goal.

Apple Maps mapping GG on June 4th by Gavin Francis.

Just as an update on the matter of coach stops in Oxford city centre, the wardens seem to be doing a good job and coaches are now finding passengers waiting in St Giles well before they are due to load and bne on their way as the pictures below show. One picture by Gavin Francis shows the problems of loading left hand drive vehicles.

One wonders why councils don't make provision for the loading of left hand drive vehicles in this age of "Health and Safety" ?

Phil Medlicott returns to Stagecoach

Former Stagecoach Managing Director Phil Medlicott is to re-join the Group from July 1st.

Phil, previously MD of Stagecoach North East, left the company in 2016 to become MD at First Manchester.

Stagecoach previously announced that current Midlands Managing Director Steve Burd is to leave the business in September.

Mark Threapleton, Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director for England and Wales, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Phil back to the business – he has significant experience of the bus industry, across many different parts of the country, and his knowledge and input will be hugely beneficial as we continue to work hard to deliver even better services for our customers in the Midlands.”

Phil joined Stagecoach in 2000 as operations director for Stagecoach South.

Phil said: “I’m really looking forward to returning to Stagecoach where I have spent much of my career.”

Delayed Seacourt Park and Ride expansion means tax payers could face a bill of £160.000.

The long-running planning saga to expand Seacourt Park and Ride cost taxpayers about £160,000 in lost revenue, the city council has said.

The controversial £3.4m development will see a 668-space extension built on the green belt and a flood plain next to the current park and ride in West Oxford.

However, it is still fiercely opposed by environmental campaigners who took their ultimately unsuccessful battle to the Government.

City council planning bosses insist the park and ride expansion is badly needed, especially because of extra traffic brought into Oxford by the re-opening of the Westgate Centre.

Having fought fight off a number of objections in the last year, it has now said work to build the extension will begin in late summer and will take about a year to complete.

As well as the £400,000 planning for the project, the revenue originally budgeted for had the extension opened in April is £160,000.

Tom Jennings, Oxford City Council spokesman, said: “When we produce our budget we have to make predictions about the amount of money we expect to generate in the upcoming financial year.

“We had originally anticipated having the extension to Seacourt Park and Ride open during 2017/18, which would have generated additional income.

“This project has been delayed due to the city council being determined to get this complex and demanding scheme right.”

In March, the Government told the council that it was happy for it to decide whether to proceed with the park and ride expansion.

That followed heated meetings held in December 2017 and January. Last December, the Chair of the West area planning committee Louise Upton tipped the vote in the council’s favour after four councillors were opposed and four were in favour.

In January, members on the planning review committee – held when councillors urged for the decision to be reconsidered – were told to resign by campaigners after the proposal was again approved.

Despite the decisions, opposition to the scheme remains.

The city council will see an 18.3 per cent increase in its parking capacity once the expansion is completed – with a total of 4,317 spaces across Oxford, up from 3,649.

By the time it is complete, it will conclude a planning project dating back decades. The Government refused a smaller expansion at Seacourt in 1999.

From Oxford Enthusiasts

On Tuesday 17 July at 7 p.m. we are invited to gather at Charlton Services depot, High St, Charlton-on-Otmoor, OX5 2UQ for a buffet, a presentation on the history of this long-established operator, and a tour of the depot, finishing by 21.30.Members are free, and non-members will be charged £5 on the night.

Please let Julian Wells know if you wish to come at:

Local observations

From Ralph Adams

Notices & Proceedings were late again this week. 

Heyfordian 499 from Brackley to Banbury will be withdrawn from 21 July. This is due to the dire finances of Northants County Council. It leaves Heyfordian with only one service route 81 which runs one trip on Fridays only. 

OXFORD BUS 300 is having a reduced frequency from 10 minutes to 11 minute frequency.  

Council - City Centre

At Carfax / Cornmarket Street, there is now a six foot display frame showing all buses, all routes, departing for the next 30 minutes. When I looked, it scrolled through four pages with all the departures, including, Go Ahead, Stagecoach and Arriva. 

From Andrew Webb

Nice to see my Walter's photos on your latest update.  I thought I had sent details of the vehicles but they don't show up in my sent folder so here they are again:

White Olympian:   J866TSC

Albion:  no idea  (see below from Ralph Adams)

The tropical windows vehicle is registered B10MBD is a Duple Metsec Dennis Condor new to CMB as fleet number DL41 registered EH9604.  Back in the UK it has also carried G959FVX

From Ralph Adams

The Albion Nimbus has Willowbrook bodywork, when I last saw it, without any fixed seats. Original registration was 335KPL but the last registration used was ABV665A

From Editors research

It was new to Brady, Forest Green (Brown Motor Services) put 335KPL, an Albion NS3N Nimbus with a Willowbrook B31F body into service in July 1959
and it is seen here in the Farnham Road Bus Station in Guildford on his service to Holmbury St. Mary.

 Photo taken by the late John Boylett, courtesy of John Kaye, seen on Monday 31 August 1959 at Farnham Road Bus Station, Guildford

With thanks to David Lang for his permission to use this picture. Please visit his site for many old pictures. 

Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust

More from the Reading Running Day on June 3rd by Gavin Francis

Ages Past LSU857

Devon General 927 but sadly with a replacement registration. It just doesn't look quite right! However very nicely presented.

READING nr 17 - 859DYE

And now! the new Thames Valley with Reading's Solo SR 193.

Those were the days - Preserved Bristol VRTSL/ECW, 105 NUD105L makes a fine sight.

From Tony Bungay

You may find these of interest, all were taken in Aylesbury on 15th of June, 4722 on the 150 leaves passengers in no doubt as to who the vehicle is operated by!  2297 was caught working the 500 to Watford, it is not common to see a Dart working this route on Monday to Saturday.


From Gary Seamarks

A few Leighton Buzzard, the sun was a bit against me ! 

Vintage Darts, the GP one looks really smart for its age and is out frequently !!

Solo 2498 works the D1 in Leighton Buzzard on June 15th by Gary Seamarks.

A now elderly Dart 3839 working the 32 in Leighton Buzzard on June 15th by Gary Seamarks.

DAF 6061 but sadly the blind hasn't come out, seen in Leighton Buzzard on June 15th by Gary Seamarks.

Southern Counties - Hemel depot

Yet again a 320 branded E400MMC seen working the Green Line 758 into London.
As we have only seen Van Hool coach 9000 recently we can only presume that the other three coaches have been withdrawn from this service.
Can anyone clarify this matter?

This operator now offers express cross channel services to a number of European cities.

Now on its way to Frankfurt, Flixbus 300 1-STJ-793 working the 815 leaving VCS on June 14th by Gavin Francis.

This operator continues to operate the X74 between Slough and High Wycombe despite the operator change on the Arriva 74 to Carousel now as the 104, with pictures from Joshua Sammons under Carousel below.

From Gary Seamarks

Some interesting buses with this operator.

Grant Palmer 109 YN08NLF works the 36C in Leighton Buzzard on June 15th by Gary Seamarks.

Grant Palmer 857 Y857TGH works the 36A in Leighton Buzzard on June 15th by Gary Seamarks.

Neoplan OU17ORX in St Giles on June 8th by Gavin Francis.


From Ralph Adams

871 in the Oxford garage on June 9th, minus any fleet name.  (I wonder why? Ed.)

I was delighted to receive pictures from a new contributor, Joshua Sammons, who takes his photos around our area. It was most useful to get some pictures of Carousel in the early days of the Chiltern Hundreds.

StreetLite 401 on a 101 working in Uxbridge on June 6th by Joshua Sammons.

Carousel 873 on the 104 in Slough Bus Stn and then in the Eden Bus Stn in High Wycombe on June 6th by Joshua Sammons.

Citaro 878 (devoid of any branding) on a 101 working in Uxbridge on June 6th by Joshua Sammons.

I have been rather busy and unable to spend time in High Wycombe to get further pictures of the new operation except for a couple below.

StreetLite 408 with revised branding at the depot on June 14th by Malcolm Crowe.

On staff duties 1951 BN17JFV near the depot on June 14th by Malcolm Crowe. 

A fun advert for the recent event at Blenheim Palace.

From Ralph Adams

There was a Citaro with grey patches on the side. Possibly going for a repaint. Identity unknown as it was at the far side of the garage.

Last week 311 had destination X3 Redbridge in the City. As I passed a few minutes later, it was parked at Redbridge. Strange to have such a short working?

Today 310 had the same and a passenger asked if she was going to Abingdon. YES, and promptly changed the destination!

Unable to see any sign of the new minibuses in the garage yet.

Pictures from Gavin Francis

Airline coach 63 works the X90 in Victoria on June 4th.

Scania blue liveried 226 on the airport 2C service - the date June 13th.

Hybrid ex Park & Ride 316 works the 2A on June 13th.

That not so elusive 837, this time working 6 road on June 6th.

Most unusually 842 is seen working the 3B to Rose Hill in Frideswide Square on June 6th. 

From Andrew Webb

Caught up with this former Oxford vehicle today, parked up at St. Paul's, now with Taylor Travel.  Looks very good for a 16 year old coach, now with an operator based in Kent.
(Scary, I drove this coach when new on Heathrow's and Gatwick's. They were lovely to drive! Ed.)

Taylor travel OD02OXF by St Paul's, London ex Oxford Airline seen on June 16th by Andrew Webb.

From Notices & Proceedings June 14th

THE CITY OF OXFORD MOTOR SERVICES LTD, COWLEY HOUSE, WATLINGTON ROAD, COWLEY, OXFORD, OX4 6GA Operating between Oxford Rail Station and Woodstock, Marlborough Arms given service number 500 effective from 14 June 2018. To amend Route and Timetable.

From Ralph Adams

Most of the full open top buses show numbers 29xx but so far none of the part open tops have their new numbers visible. However the Osney Mead location does have a list showing 205x as the numbers. I was told by a driver that all mechanical work is now done at Garsington Road as the 'CS' workshop has been condemned. Last Saturday someone was working on the floor at the Osney Mead base but unable to identify what was being done. No buses were inside.

Launching on 25th June 2018!   Very soon now.

Here at the Oxford Bus Company, we provide lots of bus options to help passengers travel into the City Centre from all around Oxfordshire.  While this useful, some of our customers told us you also need to travel around the Ring Road or to other locations that could be reached more directly without having to change buses in the City.  We’ve listened to your feedback and we’re launching PickMeUp.

PickMeUp is an on-demand ride-sharing minibus service. It will pick you up from a ‘virtual bus stop’ within a short walkable distance of where you are. The intelligent software works out the best way to take you and our other passengers to your chosen destinations. Simply register your credit or debit card, or pay via PayPal and we’ll be with you in around 10 minutes*. You can think of it like a car pool, only bigger - and you never have to drive yourself! It’s cheaper than a taxi and comes whenever you want it.

For a limited period, you can travel anywhere within the travel zone for only £2.50 per journey!

Click here to download the app and get started!

What are the benefits?

Save money! - Every trip costs just £2.50 – no matter how long your journey.

It’s handy! - We’ll pick you up typically within 10 minutes of your booking – or you can book ahead up to 24 hours for single trips if you prefer.

It’s convenient – We’ll collect you from a ‘virtual bus stop’ on any street in the travel zone. You won’t have to walk more than 400m to the nearest ‘virtual bus stop’ and you’ll be dropped off no more than 200m from your destination.

It’s comfortable – you’ll enjoy free WiFi and USB charging points, and supportive high-backed seats in our air-conditioned minibuses

It’s accessible – with wheel-chair and push-chair friendly low floor loading

It’s dependable – the service operates seven days a week, including Bank Holidays.

It’s friendly – We’ll keep you updated via the App

Fleet details are as follows:

Oxford bus – PICKMEUP

Mercedes Benz Sprinter City

Fleet number and registrations are as follows:

971       BU18 YRN
972       BU18YRO
973       BU18 YRP
974       BU18 YRR
975       BU18 YRS
976       BU18 YRT 

If anyone has a trip on this service you may like to comment on your experiences. Ed. 

From Ralph Adams

They would appear to be having considerable vehicle problems with breakdowns if you read their Twitter page.

At 13:00 route 250 was cancelled at the same time, both ends, so both vehicles unavailable.

The Wallingford – Henley service on Thursday, the two consecutive morning journeys both cancelled, then an afternoon service failed at Nettlebed (this from the driver of the next bus picking up the passengers who had waited an hour).

On Thursday 204 on hire, used as a school bus (back at Cowley on Saturday)

On Friday 837 on hire

On Saturday 882 on hire.

The X38 now extended from Henley to Reading. From Reading yesterday, several passengers wanted to catch it to Oxford but were discouraged as the X39 leaving later would arrive before us. I was the only passenger all the way Reading to Henley at 14:00. On inbound had only about two others. The driver informed me the same occurred the previous day. Whilst it is a new TT route, it is a replacement of the X80. However, the students at Henley College do boost the numbers at the relevant times.

The day before the new X38 started, Notices & Proceedings report a change on the route from July. The Wallingford office know nothing about what this will be, obviously done by Oxford.

855 has been repainted in the new pristine blue / green livery. (It should be noted that the rear corners and above the side windows are not repainted. We wonder why Ed. - This from an eagle eyed enthusiast who notices such things!)

June 16th

223 has been transferred from COMS to TT. Previously blue for route 2, it is still blue but River Rapids for X38/X39/X40. This is a result of the PVR increase to ten and we now have three Citaros and seven Deckers – just enough. The branding on the side looks the same as the other deckers apart from the line to Henley now being extended to Reading. None of the other buses that I have seen have yet been updated.

But on Thursday there were three normal livery buses out and only seven River rapids. I have not noticed 252 & 253 recently – are they still around?

Today at least two non River Rapids on the route.

The destinations on the buses were causing confusion as the X38 to Reading via Henley was “overtaken” by the X39 direct, so passengers were constantly being told to wait for the next bus. This has now changed, so from Oxford it shows Wallingford with small letters "for Henley & Reading". The driver changes the destination in Wallingford. A similar change is made on the return from Reading.

Also on loan (or is it a transfer) is 837 again. This bus appears to transfer between Oxford & Wallingford on a regular basis.

Saturday June 17th

Further  TT, 252 and 253 seen today but still had two plain TT livery buses in use. Reason dedicated vehicles not used not known.

From Graham Mildenhall

Have attached a couple of pictures I took on Camp Road, Upper Heyford last Saturday, June 9th, some two months after our local 25A service morphed into the 250.


Interestingly last Saturday saw the use of COMS City liveried Citaro 837 on the route all day but each time I saw it the route number was displayed as 25A, guess being basically a "reserve" vehicle it hasn't been programmed with a 250 display, you may like to include the image on your next update.

From Simon Caygill

Seen recently Thames Travel 441 or 442 on X38 Reading to Wallingford.

Anything goes anywhere.... I've seen ex London Red Arrows now River Rapids, on Didcot schools and (one of ex London Volvos - WVL) 933 etc. on X38 too !

Scania 231 working the T1 in St. Aldates on June 12th by Gavin Francis. I do not think a decker is usual on this route?


Ex London Volvo 933 seen working the X2 in St. Aldates on June 12th by Gavin Francis.

Following from Notices & Proceedings May 31.

THAMES TRAVEL (WALLINGFORD) LTD, C/O COWLEY HOUSE, WATLINGTON ROAD, COWLEY, OXFORD, OX4 6GA Operating between Didcot Parkway Railway Station and Milton Hill, Hill Farm, Truck Festival Site given service number TF1 effective from 19 July 2018. To amend Route and Timetable.

Edwards BU18OTA seen on Elizabeth Bridge on June 4th by Gavin Francis.

One more from Joshua Sammons, a bus which I just missed on a recent visit to the Headquarters of this operator.

Reading (Thames Valley) StreetLite 167 SN14FGP seen in Slough Bus Stn on June 6th by Joshua Sammons.

Some more pictures from this operator.

Reading has withdrawn from the route 2 and two Scanias used on this service are seen out of service at the depot on June 11th by Malcolm Crowe.

223 branded for routes 23 and 24 at the depot on June 11th by Malcolm Crowe.

312, a driver trainer at depot on June 11th by Malcolm Crowe.

535 X401KBV ex Blackpool purchased for football and relief duties seen at the depot on June 11th by Malcolm Crowe.

Loaned demonstrator 899 on the 702 turning on to Elizabeth Bridge on June 4th by Gavin Francis. Seemingly there have been problems with the front blind!

Red Kite Buses

From Gary Seamarks

A Friday in Leighton Buzzard, the sun was a bit against me !

MX08DFV working the 162 in Leighton Buzzard on June 15th by Gary Seamarks
The route is Bletchley - Leighton Buzzard - Stewkley / Edlesborough.

I had a little time to spare, on June 19th, whilst taking my grand daughter to Thame and took the opportunity to visit Red Rose and enjoyed a few words with Taj Kahn the owner.

It seems that the company will operate service 650 from Aylesbury to The Cottesloe School, formerly known as Wing County Secondary School, requiring four buses, one of which - because it goes into Leighton Buzzard - will be a single deck and they plan to use "the beast" - BMC BX56XAH which was thought to have been withdrawn.

I was able to take a number of pictures which I hope are of interest to readers.

Red Rose Y238FJN at the depot.

A selection of buses at the depot.

Purchased for the Watford routes, the two FIATs are now awaiting resolution to problems, one being away at Fiat.
In front of this one is "the beast".

The engineering staff do a lot of work in house as seen in this picture taken on the 19th.

Normally at work in Hemel, this E200 was at the depot for a check. Red Rover and Red Eagle are closely associated. 

An incident occurred in Oxford's High Street, on June 18th, when MMC 10676 failed with an overheating problem. High Street was closed in both directions for quite some while. There was significant damage to the wiring at the rear.

From Gerry Gregory

Feel free to use the attached photo, taken this afternoon, of Stagecoach 15617 on the Bus Page- it shows the bus on diversion at Wood Green in Witney, following the closure of Oxford Hill for roadworks this month.

Gold 15617 with an S1 on diversion from June 7th.

More pictures from Gavin Francis.

Gold MMC 10788 working the S9 on June 11th by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 12008 has returned from paint in standard colours seen on June 18th by Andy Churchill.

From Gary Seamarks

Bedford's replacement buses from various other operating companies, so the repaints of the Kings Lynn intake has started, However there are still a lot of old 'disposal' vehicles on the road though so some things are still changing.

From Steve Gee 

After a couple of weeks, I managed to grab a quick shot of your ex Tube Astromega, OU59AUO, parked on Catteralls depot on June 14th.
It's more square on than I would have liked, but as can be seen,
it still wears some elements of Stagecoach colours and has Catteralls names applied, having lost it's X77 route branding.

The original interdeck Megabus 54201 by VCS on June 8th by Gavin Francis.
There are now 93 of these fine coaches.

The latest interdeck 54293 seen in Victoria working the M7 suitably decorated with the Manchester Bee seen on June 14th by Gavin Francis.

Oxford also sees interdecks as above with 54286 "Blakey" working the M34 to Portsmouth on June 12th by Gavin Francis.

Another interdeck, 54289, this time with suitable decorations and called "PoppY2 leaving VCS for Aberystwyth on June 8th by Gavin Francis.


YY64TYC as seen by Simon Caygill on October 15th 2017.

From out of area.

Golden Tours visiting Oxford with their nr 14 - BX13BZG - adorned with branding for Stonehenge.

New Coaches for SC Western



Vo B11RT  

Plaxton Panorama  





Vo B11RT  

Plaxton Panorama





Vo B11RT  

Plaxton Panorama





Vo B11RT  

Plaxton Panorama





Vo B11RT  

Plaxton Panorama



From Richard Denny

I am the owner of the coach photo that appears in the recent page. It was on its way to Millbrook proving ground and will be fleet number 50401. If you look at my flickr stream (Rick2E) you can view the shot and get the details. There have been many comments on it. I must say that your Spottings and Jottings are a first class read. I once met you at Thornhill when the current Tubes were just a week or two away from coming into service and you kindly allowed me to look inside one....Richard. (What a small world this is - I am delighted to receive such support from so many readers. Ed.)

From Gordon Scott

Caught this Stagecoach Bus 22407 - SP06DBZ MAN Alexander ALX300 driver trainer taken in Falkirk 08/06/18.

Yutong Demo Electric Battery Bus, YK66 CBC taken on Gorgie Road Edinburgh on route 1. June 14th by Gordon Scott.

Lothian 431 new to Airlink, taken at Longestone depot.
I was trying out my new camera lens I purchased from a collection from my workmates at the Airport when I retired.
I took this shot between rain showers this morning !

Stagecoach's 22407 - SP06DBZ a driver trainer taken in Falkirk on June 8th by Gordon Scott.

Editors trip to Bangor, North Wales.

Arriva passing my daughter's house on Beach Road, Bangor.

Arriva Cymru 671 CX58ETY with a 67 to Gerlan on June 9th by Malcolm Crowe .

Arriva Cymru 3175 EX14BXO working a Coastliner 5 service on June 7th by Malcolm Crowe.

Arriva Cymru 3166 EX14BYC from the Coastliner service but returning to depot again on June 7th by Malcolm Crowe.
The use of dual language blinds is of note.

During my visit to the Alpine depot I noted one of the Arriva buses based there, Arriva Cymru 2538 CX07CSO on June 9th by Malcolm Crowe.

Bangor depot line up on June 9th by Malcolm Crowe.

On my way to Anglesey

YJ67FZP A Metrocity in operation on the Bangor to Aberystwyth Traws Cymru route seen on June 8th by Malcolm Crowe.

I was quite surprised to see this Volvo-NCME Paladin ex Stagecoach 20994 (new to Manchester) working for a local operator on schools. June 8th by Malcolm Crowe.

Trip to Llandudno

As many of you will be aware we went to see my eldest daughter in Bangor, Gwynedd last week. Whilst there I took a few local pictures but my main trip was to Alpine Coaches in Llandudno.  I have many happy memories of this town, having spent some childhood holidays in the early '40 there. This was when trams ran from West Shore to Colwyn Bay and at that time were much more frequent than the Crosville buses. We did take one trip Penmaen Head during an afternoon. The bus was a Leyland TD1 with Leyland body (closed staircase) which seemed to rather too often backfire. (Not nice for a small boy!!). So it was strange to see RM999 working a sightseeing tour from the very stop that I boarded that TD1 some 74 years ago !!

Buses at this stop have for so many years leant into the pavement as shown by RM999. Taken on June 9th by Malcolm Crowe. 

Alpine Llandudno

For those interested to see a fleet list please refer to the link below.

I was aware that the company had an ex Oxford express coach and I found it at rest in the depot, Saturday there being no schools. Also I was surprised to find an ex Megabus Volvo tri-axle and several ex Go South Coast Volvo coaches.

The first picture is of once Oxford Airline EB07OXF (87) latterly in grey for the X90.
The tri-axle was new to Bluebird as their 54011. Note that Jones is also owned by Alpine and coaches carry an ALP registration.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was an EVM CABRIO 19 seat convertible open top coach which often works the "Round the Orme" tour but on the day I visited was due to work a wedding that afternoon. The bride and bridesmaids were to arrive a the church in the open top for the great day! Ironically I had seen this coach coming off Anglesey the previous day.

The staff that I met were very friendly and helped to make a very enjoyable morning. Indeed the Engineer in the workshop had worked for Stagecoach in Leamington!

An Olympian selection, still good buses according to the Engineer to whom I spoke. 

This really was a fascinating few days and I could have a great deal more time as there are so many places and vehicles to see.

Seen in London

Current liveries on the Original Tour buses is now varied as seen here on VXE725 turningh onto Elizabeth Bridge on June 13th by Gavin Francis.


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