A very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year 2019 to all my readers

Christmas in London when Routemasters' reigned supreme - both by Tony Bungay


So here is the Christmas issue, "39 steps"!! which I hope provides pleasant holiday reading?

I hope Father Christmas will bring you everything you asked for and that you will have an excellent time with lots of turkey or if you are Vegan maybe a nice nut roast. The past 10 days have been busy for me with the annual Christmas visit to my eldest daughter in Bangor, North Wales which was not blessed with much in the way of good weather. In fact on more than one of the days it blew a howling gale and rained as if forever!

I did notice that Arriva were still prominent in the area and that the T2 Traws Cymru was still operating as can be seen below.

Lloyd of Machynlleth's Optare YJ67FZP on the TrawsCymru T2 at Bangor on December 16th by Malcolm Crowe .

Service T2 timetable

The TrawsCymru T2 service provides a direct service between the University towns of Bangor and Aberystwyth seven days per week. The T2 also serves the key centres of Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Dolgellau and Machynlleth, passing through some stunning Welsh scenery. Town, mountains and coast all in one unforgettable journey. The service is operated by Lloyds Coaches which operates bus and coach services in mid Wales. It is a small family-run independent firm. The company is based at the old Crosville bus depot opposite Machynlleth railway station. It was established in 2001.

The T2 operates on a two hourly basis from Bangor in the morning increasing to hourly in the afternoon.

Additionally I  noticed a T3 service operated by an E400 near Corwen on our way home which looked very interesting. This service operates between Wrexham and Barmouth following a delightful routing.

Service T3 timetable

Lloyds' TrawsCymru SN15ETE with a T3 working in Wrecsam on July 1st 2017 by Gobbiner.


19 Dec 2018

I discover that this sale includes the North American Megabus operations. Ed.

Buckinghamshire History by Tony Bungay

I thought this would provide holiday reading and will prove interesting and prompt some memories from older readers?

From Tony Bungay

I  Know you have taken a well earned break from doing the bus page! You may find the above appropriate for the next, though as you can see from the vehicles perhaps historical is a more worthy heading!

But they do show the Christmas lights in Oxford and Regent streets, as photos were taken on colour negative film on a tripod, they perhaps are not as sharp as one would get with the super iso settings that can be found on todays digital cameras!

Seen above in the heading

Something for the historical page, as the header suggests theme is infrequent or occasional services,.


The two shown here are firstly the London Country 394, this service generally run between Chesham and Tring via a number of villages including Cholesbury and Wigginton and over the years has probably used different route numbers. Even so the number of journeys operated declined over that time, so by the mid seventies it was a couple of journeys a day except Sundays which predictably were none.

With the advent of the Chilternllnk  MAP project for High Wycombe and Amersham in April 1980, in probably an effort to encourage more custom the service had two journeys extended from Tring to Berkhamstead a couple of times a week, and from Tring to Aylesbury on Wednesdays only. I think sometime later this shopper service to Aylesbury was increased to Wednesday and Friday.

The service nearly always seemed to be BN worked and the photos taken in Aylesbury show Aylesbury bound vehicle coming up Walton street past County Offices  (a shot no longer possible as traffic now goes down instead), past the now demolished Civic Centre and on a drab November outside the vale park, photos taken late 1983 to 1984.

The two United Counties vehicles are shown on service 537, this service again provided one return journey between Aylesbury and Northampton via Winslow – Buckingham – Towcester on Wednesday and Friday only, the Leyland Leopard/Duple 165 is shown on the outskirts of Aylesbury in September 1983 it may have had one passenger aboard!

It would have been hard to imagine that just over three years earlier the above places had been linked by a seven days a week service, although only four journeys did the full route each way with I think two on Sunday as services 336/337, the Aylesbury – Buckingham section was basically hourly as it was also served by independent operator Red Rover.

From September 1980 as a result of an MAP project in Northamptonshire, the 336 became Aylesbury – Winslow – Buckingham/Akeley only and the 337 became a two return journeys between Buckingham- Towcester and Northampton on Wednesday and Friday only with theoretical connections between the two at Buckingham should anybody want to travel through. I use that term as the wait was between 40mins and an hour!  If I remember timetable correctly.

The following January the main Aylesbury – Buckingham service was renumbered 536, and in March 1982 the 337 again returned to Aylesbury and became the 537 with the days of operation as already stated and an intermediate journey between Northampton and Buckingham and back, between Aylesbury and Winslow the service followed the main road like todays X60, a rather odd point about the timetable was it departed Aylesbury on the first journey at the same time as the 536! Though in reality it seemed to run about 15mins behind, so on the journeys I used it hardly picked anybody up between at least Aylesbury and Winslow as the 536 was just ahead, and a similar state of affairs occurred on the return!

This service lasted until August 1985, the area  north of Akeley being sparsely populated until Towcester apart from a village called Whittlebury which I seem to recall  was as compensation for the withdrawn 537  served by a diversion of the 338 Oxford – Bicester – Brackley – Towcester – Northampton.

With the split up of United Counties, the 536 became operated by Luton and District(Aylesbury Bus) and from October 26th 1986 was renumbered 66  and over the following years those journeys that continued to Akeley disappeared. Todays Arriva 60/X60 have retraced a small bit of this route as they now go hourly Monday to Friday, two hourly Saturdays to Maids Moreton.

The Leyland National, 533, again on the return journey is shown in Buckingham in May 1985, the coach alongside belongs to at the time a local company called Paynes Coaches, whose garage was accessed through a tight arch to the left of the National. Since then that sight has been redeveloped and is housing I think called Paynes Yard.

FOOTNOTE to my previous feature on service 394, I should have concluded that bit by saying that the service ceased to be operated in its entirety by London Country and briefly the North West successor from October 26th 1986. The service being taken on by Red Rover but the occasional extensions beyond Tring were not perpetuated.


This is another route that was restricted to a few journeys Mon to Friday, London Country North West introduced service 561 in September 1987 and made use of a vehicle between school contract runs.

The route run from Tring  to Aylesbury Broadfields (Tesco)  via Aston Clinton and Aylesbury town centre, the use of the number 561 was interesting as a United Counties later Luton and District service also used the road between Tring and Aylesbury with that number until October 26th 1986.

The AN is seen here on a midday journey to Tesco in Aylesbury Kingsbury Square about a month after the service started. This service was the only time a London Country AN class vehicle appeared in Aylesbury on a regular service, though I understand later on in the short time this service run a Leyland National was used.

The service itself was withdrawn in early January 1989  at the same time as the closure of the Aston Clinton outstation where it was based.

More in route 66

From Andy Churchill

Continuing the route to Swindon here is Oxford-South Midland Bristol VRT 490 (EJO490V) in full NBC poppy red seen in Faringdon market place heading for Swindon, this is at least 38 years ago! How times have changed.

I have more on services in the West Midlands which I have held over for a future issue.

Finally I received a picture from Les Burton of two buses I was much involved in helping to preserve in the late '60s. Oh, happy Days!

Salford's 511 and Manchester's 4127 in the early days of preservation. 

Operators Fleet News

From Nigel Peach 

To more mundane matters. Arriva in Wycombe seem to be transferring a few buses in and out. The website I look at regularly: 


gives the following changes for November, some of which affect our area (with my comments in italics): 

2212 Telford - withdrawn
2495 Aylesbury - High Wycombe
(I haven't seen this in Wycombe yet)
2704 Telford - Cannock
2730 reinstated at Telford
4518 renumbered 2785; 3735 renumbered 2788   (
I think 4518's new number should read 2758. Academic really as it's being cannibalised at Cressex! According to your previous list, 4517 will be 2757.)
2990; 2992 Hinckley - Wigston
2991 Hinckley - High Wycombe
3928 renumbered 3028 and withdrawn
3615; 3616 High Wycombe - Milton Keynes
3619 High Wycombe - Aylesbury 
(I had noticed I'd not seen any of this batch lately. I wonder why they have gone!)
3743 Tamworth - Cannock
3763 Cannock - Derby
3806 Thurmaston - Tamworth
3839 Aylesbury - withdrawn
(one of three new to Wycombe, painted TFL red and used on Uxbridge local route)
3867-3872 renumbered 3927-3932
3869/3929 Tamworth - Telford
3908 Aylesbury - High Wycombe
4025 reinstated at Aylesbury
4213 Derby - Wigston
4707 reinstated at High Wycombe
6008 renumbered 4828
6309 reinstated at Aylesbury

Andy Churchill writes "Here is some news about the renumbering's of some Arriva vehicles and are thus : "

Wright Streetlite

2518 LK15FFS is renumbered 2318

2525 LK15FFT is renumbered 2325

2526 LK15FFU is renumbered 2326

2527 LK15FFV is renumbered 2327

2528 LK15FFW is renumbered 2328


3912 BV58MLF is renumbered 3042

3913 BV58MLJ is renumbered 3043

3927 BG59FCX is renumbered 3027

3929 BG59FCZ is renumbered 3029 (This was operating the 34 on Saturday, December 22nd. Ed.)

DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 

4517 KL52CWJ is renumbered 2757

DAF DB250/Alexander ALX400s 

6004 KL52CWT is renumbered 4824

6010 KL52CXB is renumbered 4819 

MAN/MCV Evolution 

3746 AE56MDX is renumbered 2757

These are those allocated to High Wycombe and in use at Wycombe is DAF DB250 / East Lancs Lowlander 4707 (Y707XJF) and also at Wycombe is Optare Versa 2991 (YJ09MKE) from Barwell , Leicestershire.

Pictures from Gavin Francis.

A recent transfer into Wycombe is Versa 2991 seen on the 34 on December 11th.

Once a Wycombe based bus, 3864 is seen on an X30 service in WYCOMBE on December 12th.

Seemingly an Aylesbury based Citaro branded for the 150, 3908 is however seen working a service 1 on December 12th.

4025 and 4026 are seen on the 300 service in WYCOMBE on December 11th.

Reinstated 4707 seen working the 37 in WYCOMBE on December 11th.

This bus flits between Aylesbury, Luton and Wycombe and is seen with a 31 service on December 11th.

Southern Counties 6526 branded for the 320 service, yet again, seen on a 758 working in London on December 20th.  

Three of the fleet of Scanias now at Wycombe include 217, 220 and 216 in the yard on December 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

Elsewhere you will see multi branded Solo 709 in Oxford.

Of interest is the appearance of Solo 709 on the 3A, indicated only by a sticky label in the front and side windows. (Shades of Arriva in Wycombe who at one time seem to have sticky route labels galore!) However the branding and as reported in the latest issue of Buses for 709 is that it can work for any Oxford Group company. Gavin Francis caught this picture on Thursday, December 20th. He noted that in the evening rush hour the 3A Oxford Bus working had a yellow 3 branded bus on the service.

Solo 709 made an unexpected appearance on the 3A on December 20th by Gavin Francis.

Neil Beckley reminded me of further news that Hybrid 304 caught fire near the Eastern By-Pass on Tuesday, December 18th last, being reported in The Oxford Mail on the day. The report can be viewed at the link below.


Some interesting news is to hand regarding the X90, which recently introduced a 30 minute service throughout each day. Effective January 6th but subject to approval by TfL, OBC is intending introducing additional stops, in and outbound at Park Royal and White City Estate. Nothing further is available as yet but I hope to have more news in due course.

Regarding the older white multi-route use coaches originally on Airline services 45 remains in service with 41 to 44 currently stored out of use. 43 is stored at Carousel at this time, seen below on December 18th by Malcolm Crowe.


From Gavin Francis

OBC 71 is back on the road after its fire with a new rear ad.


Looking through November Buses Fleet News I see Dews of Somersham have sold ex-OBC 630/3/8 to York Pullman. From the Editor "Is anyone able to provide pictures of these buses at York Pullman?"

These pictures were taken by Gavin in 2007 when Oxford was changing its livery to all red.

75, 68 and 72 seen at GG with destination variety on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

Scania 205 seen with a U5 working on St Aldates on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

MMC 601 with a 2A service by Debenhams on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

661 seen on the 35 in St. Aldates on December 23rd by Gavin Francis.

An evening shot by Gavin Francis of Park & Ride 670 working 8 road on December 20th.

City 3 branded 683 is seen, unusually on the 4A on December 11th by James Freeman.

Scania 204 is seen with a 5 road service in St Aldates on December 12th by David Gray.

657 SL15ZGJ branded for 5 road is seen with a problem at the train station on December 12th by David Gray.

Citaro 840 with a 6 road service near the Randolph on December 12th by David Gray.

Animal branded float spare 870 with TT lettering near the Randolph on December 12th by David Gray.

From Phil Southall

You should have notice PMU bus 977 is in service now so 969 is out of use.

977 ready for service on December 8th by James Freeman.

977  RF68FLC  MB   EVM   M15  11/2018 
978  RF68FLX  MB   EVM   M15  11/2018 

From David Gray

In thinking of 201 VAZ 9101, seen in Oxford recently, it is interesting that it has Tom Tappin legal lettering.

I recall the VAZ 9101 registration was previously carried by Dennis Trident Alexander T101 DBW when it was with Carousel Buses.

Gavin Francis has provided some pictures when this registration was on Trident 101 at Carousel.

CAROUSEL's 101 VAZ9101 on the 36D in DESBOROUGH AVENUE, HIGH WYCOMBE on November 4th 2015 by Gavin Francis .

Another picture of 101 registered VAZ9101 on the 40 at STOKENCHURCH on April 28th 2016 by Gavin Francis.

Finally at the end of its service with Carousel, 101 is seen VOR in the yard on December 5th 2016, again by Gavin Francis.

From Theo Freeman

Oxford Tour ALX400 2058 at GG

OX CSS 2058 T110DBW leaving Gloucester Green on December 22nd by Theo Freeman.

Ralph Adams reports "206, previously red is now in blue / green livery – seen with the X38 approaching Lower Shiplake on Friday, December 21st.

214 is the last decker in red. I was told that it had gone to be prepared for repaint."

From next month three buses will be based at Reading's Knollys Road depot with six drivers based there to work these vehicles.

Red 214 working the T1 in St Aldates on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

Green and blue 209 with an X32 in St Aldates on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

David Gray reports seeing 870 with Thames Travel lettering operating route City 6. A picture of this can be found in Oxford above.

Edwards Coaches of Llantwit Fardre's BV17GUC on December 23rd by Gavin Francis.

The Southsea service is loading well in VCS on December 16th by Gavin Francis.

From Neil Beckley

Reading 520, V524ESC, an ex-Lothian Trident seen near the Butts Centre on 15th November 2018.

in Oxfordshire

Ralph Adams reports "ADL E400 12007 is now in standard corporate livery, previous green hybrid livery recently observed. Also the Tridents at Bicester were there for only a short while. All have now gone. I believe that Stagecoach MAY be involved at the weekend but no pressing need at present – obviously 10067-71 are available at weekends."

Hybrid 12007 with a 10 service in St Aldates on December 23rd by Gavin Francis.

SC West's 20280 Training bus on loan to Oxford at the train station on December 12th by David Gray.

From Gerry Gregory

"Seen at the Nuffield Orthopedic Hospital on the afternoon of December 12th. "

Gold 15759 working the 700 on December 12th by Gerry Gregory.

From Theo Freeman

Stagecoach Dart 34471 at Banbury bus station.

Stagecoach E300 Gold 28743 on the B6 in Banbury both on December 22nd.


Ray Ramsey reports "To provide cover whilst the fleet Volvo B11R/Plaxton elite coaches receive modifications at Plaxton’s Ely depot, Volvo B9R/Plaxton elite SB62NMZ is currently on loan at Bedford depot for use on the X5 Cambridge-Oxford service."

However this registration is un-searchable on Google so something is wrong! I am also told that the planned 54208 has now gone to Bristol instead. So only solution is to keep a watch at Gloucester Green to see what turns up! Ed.

Gary Seamarks writes "Took a ride out on Thursday, December 20th to see the 53 before it comes off on Saturday December 29th between Wootton-Marston-Cranfield University, the extension from Wootton takes an hour round trip and is hourly, so in effect one bus. 

Dart 34425 forms the 12.20 departure to Bedford, it left empty but picked two up in Shelton, which will be unserved after December 30th.

E400 19701 is seen in Marston going out and back, with 19890 captured at Wootton turn, but deckers were empty.
Note 19701 still has City branding from its days allocated to Peterborough, where it left over a year ago.

The UNO shots were of WS60 at Cranfield, it left a few minutes before the 53,
the Citaro is on the C12 a four times a day one-way loop from Cranfield that also carries very few passengers.

Current 53 timetable


Thanks to SKM the following information is to hand "Now being delivered and due to enter service in January are nine electric ADL Enviro 200EV 10.8 metre long saloons for the Guildford Park & Ride service. They have been allocated fleet numbers 29101-09. The carry standard Stagecoach livery with ‘Guildford electrics’ and ‘glide park&ride’ branding. The buses have a range of 150 miles and will be recharged each evening."


"MAN/Enviro 300 training bus 22741 had now received branding on its training livery."

Picture by Colin Ashcroft.


From Carl Berry

I suspect you'll have received a better picture of this however just in case here is Cheltenham and Gloucester's 15638 SF10CCU in Gloucester depot on Sat 16th in a livery to celebrate 25 years of Stagecoach West. Apparently 6 are being done in total (one at each depot). The Editor says "No, so far no better picture received and thank you."

Picture by Carl Berry. 

Other areas


Citylink Gold 50312 with the 900 in Edinburgh on December 18th by Gordon Scott.

Again seen in Edinburgh, 54134 is seen with the 900 and Christmas branding - nice!! on December 18th by Gordon Scott.

Current low fare offers on season tickets on the tube.

From Gavin Francis

"Looking through November Buses Fleet News I see Ashcroft, Widnes have withdrawn T37BBW." This was coach 37 then 50037 in the National numbering scheme as seen in pictures by Gavin below. Ed.

McEwens T37BBW was 50037 is seen at SHOWBUS DUXFORD on September 16th 2007 by Gavin Francis.

Gavin also comments that Megabus 50237 is still with Oxford pending the return of 50281 which is away having fire damage repaired.


SC Megabus 54289 on the M7 Poppy December 10th by Gavin Francis.

SC Megabus 54602 with the M15 in Bulleid Way on December 10th by Gavin Francis. 54601 and 54603 are based in Ayr on local express services.

London & other areas of interest 

From Neil Beckley

A question on this ex London United Dennis Dart DPS725, SN55DVU, seen in Didcot on December 10th. I don't know if this is now with a local operator as I have seen it a couple of times in Didcot?

From Nick Ross

Former Red kite local legend P262VPN parked up between Aylesbury school duties on December 13th 2018. This was one of five Red Kite Volvo Olympians sold to Masons of Long Marston for use on former Red Kite school turns such as the 673 from M. Keynes. This vehicle when at Red Kite was kept busy between school turns on the 162 L. Buzzard - Dagnall local service bus duties taking grannies and enthusiasts across the Buckinghamshire countryside. Alas at Masons the vehicle simply out-stables between her school turns and Star Travel's Optares now work the 162.

Recent wraps in London

Abellio LT632 works the 211 with a wrap for JOHN LEWIS on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

Go Ahead London LT478 works the 11 with a wrap for MERRY MIXES on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

Golden Tours 102 with wrap for Alice in Winterland seen in Bulleid Way on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

The Original Tour VLE619 with a wrap for Ready to Rock  on December 10th by Gavin Francis.

An unusual MMC in London is London Travel Fitzrovia SN18KLO at Elizabeth Bridge on December 16th by Gavin Francis. This is one of two with this company.

Next issue, nr 40 - Monday, December 31st 2018.