Last Tuesday evening, January 22nd, saw many delays in the county and further afield following heavy snow falls. This caused many problems for the local buses and long distance coaches.

Oxford Bus posted on twitter that a number of services were facing problems maintaining their schedules due to very heavy traffic on the M40. Around 2" of snow had fallen on the Chilterns and there were tailbacks between junctions 2 and 3. This also affected Oxford tube services in both directions. Locally High Wycombe was, for a time, gridlocked in all directions. This is in area bounded by hills and steep roads. Indeed Carousel's service 40 running from Thame to high Wycombe in the early evening was hit in the rear by a BMW and the bus appeared to have suffered damage. Interestingly since we have seen a mixture of red M A N/E200s and Solo 713.

By Thursday much of the snow had gone and roads were fine except for the real back roads.

Now the forecast for Tuesday, January 29th one week later is for even heavier snow in the south east ! 

Well, I hope everyone enjoys this issue and please do send your pictures for inclusion.

Climb-down on Oxford zero emission zone plans

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have relaxed their proposals for a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in the centre of the city.

Under the revised plans, an earlier mandate for a phased roll-out of zero-emission capable local buses from 2020 (dependent on work to pedestrianise a central area) has been relaxed to a consideration of measures to encourage their take-up from 2025.

Steps to incentivise adoption of zero-emission capability in other commercial vehicle classes, potentially including coaches, are under consideration for introduction from 2022.

A joint statement from the two local authorities says that this change in policy is based on data that it has collected showing that Euro 6 engines “are performing very well, particularly in buses.”

In 2017, NOx levels in the city centre decreased by 23%, although some monitored locations still exceeded the legal limit. That reduction has been attributed largely to the introduction of more Euro 6 buses.

The new proposals aspire to a requirement for Euro 6 levels of NOx emissions for local buses by 2020, with limited exemptions until 2022. A County Council decision on that plan is due soon. Phase two, from 2025, will further encourage zero-emission capable vehicles in the city centre, with hopes of a full transition to zero emission for all classes by 2035.

Walters Yard at Wheatley & ex London buses

From David Gray

The PSV Circle have detailed further information regarding the disposal of Enviro E40D buses stored at Walter’s Limousines and previously operated by Abellio London.


The disposals to London General were in December 2018, the others (which I reported previously) were transferred to Big Bus in London in November 2018.


For completeness the list of the disposals is as follows:

9547 (SN 12 AOU) London General E43

9548 (SN 12 AOV) London General E44

9549 (SN 12 AOW) London General E45

9553 (SN 12 APF) Big Bus

9555 (SN 12 APO) Big Bus

9556 (SN 12 APU) Big Bus

9557 (SN 12 APV) London General E46

9558 (SN 12 APX) London General E47

I have a correction from a reader regarding fleet numbers and details which will be published next week. The E class mentioned are correctly EN class. Ed. January 29th.


This appears to leave 9551 (SN 12 AOY) as yet unaccounted for.

The London General buses were shown as unallocated in December so their status is unclear. Although they have been transferred I am unsure whether they have been physically collected.

Many thanks to David Gray for that update.

News from the Midlands by Dylan Jones

Since I last contributed some big changes have occurred in my area, with plenty of new buses now in service, and the resulted cascades. Some are detailed below and I have thrown in some other photos of interest. Birmingham Central and Coventry also have some of theirs in service though I have not pictured any yet.

As will be seen from the pictures the West Midlands is becoming a very colourful place now. Ed.

Firstly, here is 50 branded 6902 at Druids Heath terminus on a 50 working.
All of 6902-6914 and 6944, of Yardley Woods' intake are in service at time of writing though 6893-6901 and 6943 are yet to enter service.

A vibrant green livery has been applied to the Pensnett batch for route 9 - these are 6913-6942 although some will be for the X10 and some unbranded ones too.
This is 6924 at Halesowen, the first to carry this new 9 Branding, on its first day carrying it.

6125 is one of a growing number of MMCs to carry the 11 Outer Circle branding.
All of these new brandings are to the West Midlands Bus style applied in Walsall and West Bromwich  on routes 42/43 and 31/32,
 but NXWM seem to have adopted it themselves too! Pictured at Cotteridge on the anti-clockwise circuit.

Another of the 50 branded examples, 6905 with the iconic Selfridges building behind at Birmingham Moor Street.

Rather appropriate for your site, 732 was new to more local operator Weavaway in Newbury.
Acquired with three others, they originally were used in Dundee, though are now split between Pensnett and Acocks Green depots,
for the 28 route and Land Rover Shuttles in the Solihull area.
732 is pictured at Stourbridge having arrived on its designed 28 route from Merry Hill Centre.

731 carries the new crimson livery.

Turning 90 degrees of the previous photo, 6938 is pictured at Stourbridge before departing on trunk route 9 to Birmingham,
prior to any branding, which may be for the X10 when applied.

The elderly Dennis Tridents and Volvo B7TLs are now in sharp decline.

The older Wright Gemini's formerly used on the Outer Circle now roam on various West Bromwich routes. 4515 was the first to appear on route 48
that operates from West Bromwich to Northfield via various South Birmingham locations, including West Heath where it is pictured.

 Older 51 plate ALX400s are the common allocation, some are now withdrawn.

The older Enviro 400s have become quite common on the 50 of late, whilst transfer out of the 15 plates, and introduction of more Platinums is pending
4732 catches the low winter sun at Maypole with a Druids Heath bound Service.

Note 4731 is now in paint, and will be the first of the older design, in the new livery at Yardley Wood depot.

And here is sister vehicle 4734 carrying the new livery. Pictured departing the northern most extremity of Walsall depots routes,
at Lichfield with the 10A service. Introduced as an extension of the previous 10A to Burntwood,
 the route has proven successful, especially the hourly Sunday service that is the only route into the city on said day.

With another in the background, Midland Classic now have 7 Enviro 400s that were formerly used on Tower Transits route 30 in London.
This is 65 SN11BMZ which arrived with an X12 from Burton on Trent.

And a couple of Stagecoach Midlands for that section.

Here is 15674 departing Redditch on Christmas Eve with an X19 to Stratford.

Peterborough is the northern most extremity of the network, historically on a former United Counties Route.
This is 11136 with the Gold X4 to Northampton.

RailAir and the missing rear end graphic - 23605 from from Julian Walker

You probably have several reports and photos - but just in case everyone thinks someone else will e-mail it in, the rear ad. on 23605 is "Newport to New York". 

And even better, I have a photo - please see attached! Taken around mid-day on Tuesday 15th January.


It is interesting that neither correspondent saw it on Friday 18th January. The driver had problems with 23605 when I saw it on Tuesday, and eventually everyone was transferred to the coach behind and 23605 was driven off to the Depot. Perhaps it is the "rogue vehicle" of the batch?  

Thank you for your ongoing work with the Oxford Chilterns Bus Page, I continue to find it interesting and informative.

(Much appreciated Ed.)

More on the Oxford-Swindon route from Tony Bungay

Tony has kindly provided a copy of the timetable page when it was worked as the 466.

Apologies for it being so large but some of the printing was illegible if I left it smaller.

click on the logo to go the web site.

There are two new fleet books from Steve Knight which will interest readers. As ever they are full of information presented clearly and with excellent colour photographs. The first book is one which will interest local readers of this page.

Stagecoach West Fleet Handbook 2019
A6 portrait, 44 pages, laminated card cover
Laminated card cover and illustrated in full colour throughout.
This book covers the Stagecoach West fleet and is fully updated to January 2019.
Stagecoach West currently operates around 300 buses on more than 100 different routes across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Swindon, Herefordshire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol and into South Wales and Oxfordshire. 740 staff are employed with buses travelling 12.8 million miles a year and carrying around 24.2 million passengers. During 2017/18 the company used 7.1 million litres of diesel with the fleet averaging 8.10 miles per gallon.
Stagecoach purchased Western Travel in November 1993, which included the former National Bus Company operations of Cheltenham & Gloucester, Swindon and District and Cheltenham District. The Ross-on-Wye operations transferred from Stagecoach in South Wales in September 2000.
As November 2018 marked the 25thanniversary of Stagecoach ownership, two vehicles have received commemorative 25thAnniversary liveries.
Since the publication of the last edition of the Stagecoach West Handbook, a new depot opened in 2017 at Cheney Manor, Swindon replacing the Eastcott Road premises.
Having started a number of routes running into Bristol in 2016, a new depot at Patchway, North Bristol was established in 2017 at the premises of South Gloucestershire Bus Company. Further expansion in and around Bristol occurred in September 2018 when a number of extra routes in the Bristol area were acquired with the takeover of a substantial part of Rotala’s Wessex Bus operations.
The book details all vehicles currently in the Stagecoach West fleet together with details of liveries, branding and depot allocations. Details are also given of the normal weekday allocation of vehicles to routes.

Go NorthEast Fleet Handbook 2019
A6 portrait, 48 pages, laminated card cover
Laminated card cover and illustrated in full colour throughout.
Produced in partnership with the Northern Group Enthusiasts Club the book is correct to January 2019.
Go North East is the largest operator of bus services in North East England, operating services in Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Northumberland.  With around 700 buses and 2000 staff they operate from ten different depots. Each day 175,000 journeys are made with the award-winning company.
The company can trace its history back to the formation of The Northern General Transport Company in 1913.  As a subsidiary of British Electric Traction, it and its various subsidiary companies became part of The National Bus Company in 1969. 
The company was privatised in 1987, when it was purchased by the then management team, and christened Go-Ahead Northern. During the early 1990s through acquisition of other operators in other areas of the country, what is know today as the Go-Ahead Group was formed. The group has continued to expand through acquisition and new opportunities.
The company makes extensive use of route branding and bespoke route liveries.
The Go-Ahead Group acquired East Yorkshire Motor Services in June 2018 and placed this under the control of Go North East, although that operation remains separate and so that fleet is not included in this book.
The book details all vehicles in the fleet with depot allocations and full details on liveries and branding. There is also a foreword from Managing Director Martijn Gilbert.


Readers will remember Martijn Gilbert who recently left Reading Buses for his new post in the north east! 

Fleet News and developments

From Tony Bungay 

Firstly passengers on the 500, though not for the first time were treated to a couple of more up market vehicles yesterday 19th/1/19 with 6528 passing Aylesbury theatre Watford bound and the next journey in from Watford 6529 heading for Aylesbury Bus Station.


Since last years timetable changes on this route, on 500 journeys I have seen these vehicles do not appear to have been used on it, though I did witness one on Friday 18th.

Other items you may find of interest, if you can open them up and read them a Service 466 timetable from 1982 and if you recall my article on London Country route 394 extensions, a copy of timetable when it was 397 in July 1939! The M – F service didn’t look a lot different to the 1970s/ 1980s, but the Saturday is and a Sunday service to!


By chance the then numbered 394 is also shown, this route is a favourite on Amersham and Districts October running day.

Following last weeks photos of two Enviro 400 MMC Sapphire 320 vehicles on the 500, yesterday 26/1/19 saw Versa 4187 working the 500 with Watford route branding!

It is not the first time these have appeared on this route either.

Picture by Tony Bungay on January 26th.

4819 with a Wycombe Wanderers Park & Ride on January 26th by Gavin Francis.


Southern Counties

Harlow has seven Citaros dating from 2006 which are branded for the 724 as seen below with 3891 entering Uxbridge on its way to Heathrow Airport. The picture is taken by Gavin Francis on January 25th.

As mentioned earlier one of the orange route branded Link 40 M A N/E200's was run into at the rear by a BMW when the weather on the Chilterns was very bad with more than 2" of lying snow on most roads.

Also one of the Chiltern Hundred's branded Solos was involved in an accident in Watford. The bus concerned was 710 working the 103.

Buses lined up in York Road, Uxbridge on January 25th seen by Gavin Francis.

502 with a 581 service in Uxbridge, York Road on January 25th seen by Gavin Francis. 

I've received an interesting picture and some comments from Hugh Jaeger who writes:

"Oxford Bus's allocation of vehicles to routes 2/2A/2B has become rather mixed. When OBC developed route branding a few years ago, it gave this set of routes a group of Scanias with Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodies in a pale blue livery. But after a year or two it replaced two of them with Volvo Wright Eclipse Gemini 2's in pale blue. Then it replaced another with an ex-Brookes Enviro400 MMC in pale blue. 

However there are also frequent substitutions of other vehicles in other liveries. In recent months an ex-Brookes Enviro400 MMC, de-branded but still in grey, one of the 09-registered Mercedes-Benz Citaros in scarlet that I think came from Carousel, and an ex-Park and Ride Enviro400H in plain scarlet, have all appeared on the route on different days. And Volvo Wright Eclipse Gemini 2's in OBC two-tone red are a recurrent sight on the route. 

Usually I take no notice. No operator's route allocation is perfect. I keep noticing Stagecoach running Gold-branded buses on routes that are not Gold, and standard-livery buses on Gold routes.

Then yesterday (Thursday 24 January 2019) I did a double-take and reached for my camera when I saw a Wright StreetDeck branded for routes 8 and 9 working on route 2A. Here for your webpage are a few photographs of it that I took as it called at Harefields on Banbury Road in Cutteslowe, as it made a southbound run to Oxford city centre.

691 with the 2A at Cutteslowe on January 24th by Hugh Jaeger .

Passengers tell me they love route-branded liveries. It does help them identify their bus sooner and at a greater distance. But OBC really does need to ensure it has enough buses branded for each route, and enough spare buses for substitutions that are in a livery that is not route-specific.

GWR wrap 662 with a 5 working in St. Aldates on January 21st by Gavin Francis.

Of some interest is an advert by Ensign for ex Oxford 43 now for sale. 

Citaro 880 works the X38 from St. Aldates on January 21st by Gavin Francis. 

New coaches for National Express are listed below.

BF68LCC  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCE  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCG  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCJ  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCK  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCL  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCM  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCN  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  1/2019  Galloway,Mendlesham 
BF68LCP  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  /2019  Selwyns 
BF68LCU  Sca K410EB6   Co   C59FLt  /2019  Selwyns 

Purple 17 branded 709 YP67XCD worked the 11 seen at Wensleydale Rd Flats @ 1058 on January 23rd, seemingly caused by a shortage of gas buses!


An advert has appeared in the trade press offering Optare Versas for sale. We understand that these could be the four examples with Stagecoach West Scotland at Ardrossan (25218/19/20/21).


I've received some comments from Hugh Jaeger who writes:

"Regarding buses allocated to routes, usually I take no notice. No operator's route allocation is perfect. I keep noticing Stagecoach running Gold-branded buses on routes that are not Gold, and standard-livery buses on Gold routes."

I must add that looking at the pictures each week on this page, Hugh's comments are supported by our illustrations. Ed.

James Freeman sent a quick picture of a Hybrid on the 14 on January 28th.

Hybrid 12013 with the 14A leaves the Rail Station on January 28th by James Freeman.

MMC 10435 with an S5 working by The Randolph on January 21st by Gavin Francis.

Gold MMC 10783 loads a 2A service by Debenhams on January 21st by Gavin Francis. 


From the last issue here is the full list of the new E400 deliveries to this operation. Of significant interest is the use of new E400s on the Cross Pennine route between Carlisle and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

11139  YX68UWN  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30764  AD J434/1  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11140  YX68UWO  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30765  AD J434/2  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11141  YX68UWP  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30766  AD J434/3  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11142  YX68UWR  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30767  AD J434/4  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11143  YX68UWS  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30775  AD J434/5  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11144  YX68UWT  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30776  AD J434/6  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11145  YX68UWU  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30777  AD J434/7  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11146  YX68UWV  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30778  AD J434/8  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11147  YX68UWW  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30779  AD J434/9  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11148  YX68UWY  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30780  AD J434/10  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11149  YX68UWZ  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30781  AD J434/11  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11150  YX68UXA  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30782  AD J434/12  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11151  YX68UXB  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30783  AD J434/13  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11152  YX68UXC  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30784  AD J434/14  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11153  YX68UXD  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30785  AD J434/15  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11154  YX68UXE  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30786  AD J434/16  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11155  YX68UXF  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30787  AD J434/17  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11156  YX68UXG  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30788  AD J434/18  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11157  YX68UXH  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30789  AD J434/19  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 
11158  YX68UXJ  AD E40D SFD938ER4JGX30790  AD J434/20  H45/32F  12/2018  Stagecoach (North West) 

Cross Pennine 11157 for the 685 service from Carlisle to Newcastle with pictures courtesy Lee Wardle. 

Look out for 36043 being transferred from Bedford to Cambridge. Volvo B7RLE 21222 remains at Cambridge with 21224 and 21228 whilst 21226 and 21227 are at Fenstanton.

The ATVBF reports that Bedford-allocated Enviro 200 36044 is another of the type operating from Cambridge, whilst Cambridge-allocated Dart SLF 34422 was reported in use in service last Saturday – a very rare use of a Stagecoach Dart on Citi services operated from Cambridge depot. They do appear occasionally on Fenstanton-worked Citi 5 services.

East's loaned elite SB12NMZ at GG with an X5 working on January 21st by James Freeman.


See under the piece in the Editorial by Dylan Jones.

Enviro 400 19063 at Portsmouth, which has cherished registration 404DCD, now carries Cancer Research UK promotional livery and branding.

Note the new fleet book reviewed in this week's Editorial.


Stagecoach West bus drivers decided to mark the operator’s 25 years in business in their own special way.

They manoeuvred 10 buses into a position which might have baffled those on the ground, but from above spelt out its anniversary in years.

Bill McCartney, Stagecoach West's Swindon Operations Manager, says: “This was a bit of fun and a challenge for the drivers and the drone pilot to get the buses in position and perfectly lined up in what were difficult weather conditions. However we felt it was important to celebrate 25 years in business and a quarter of a century serving the community."

Joshua Sammons writes "In London today and saw 50269 at Shepherds Bush. I took this picture with my new phone and am delighted with the result."

Private operators and London operations.

Pearces OY16JHL by The Ashmolean on January 21st by Gavin Francis.

Flixbus 1401 02-BKR-2 heading for Ghent and Lille by VCS on January 23rd by Gavin Francis.

Gavin Francis caught this LT on the 211 with a wrap for bumble.