Many Oxford local readers will be aware, that on Thursday October 25th, following comprehensive news coverage of the story, Oxford Bus Hybrid 307 caught fire whilst working a 35 road service through Kennington. All the passengers were safely evacuated and from pictures published in the Oxford Mail the vehicle was seriously damaged. The paper also noted that this was the third bus fire in the past half year, with an Oxford tube and a Stagecoach Hybrid both also catching fire. However in those cases both vehicles have or will return to service.

In other news, maybe, there is a small price war starting in Oxford on the service to London. Following the price announcement last week on the X90, it has been announced that the Oxford tube will reduce prices and these can be seen at the following link:

This means that there is a significant fare reduction from both companies in the coming months for customers using either service to London. One wonders if this will result in an increase in passenger numbers?

Of course one of the driving elements is the suggested loss of some traffic to the new Chiltern Trains services to London, with another dynamic being the inevitable traffic delays on both the M40 and the A40 from Hillingdon into central London.

Well, by the time you read this, the clocks in the UK will have gone back to GMT. An extra hour in bed on Sunday morning! There is much talk about this bi-annual event coming to an end. Of course one reason for this was to help children going to and from school to be in daylight. I wonder how many readers remember back to the second world war when we had double summer time with the clocks going forward two hours which was said to help the farmers by extending their working day!


Much is being made by the various  companies about the reduction in bus use, partially caused by the loss of so many rural services, following the loss of many government subsidies. This week the CEO of Go-Ahead, David Brown did however comment on the success of the Oxford Bus initiative in launching the PICKMEUP service in Oxford saying "more than 12,000 users have signed up to the app since it the service was launched on June 25th". Indeed as mentioned in these pages, only recently, a further two vehicles are being added in November.

I was trawling through my library of pictures and realised I might not have used this picture, taken by my Grandson on his visit to India in 2016, of a bus in Mumbai. I think it owes its heritage to the Leyland PD series?

Mumbai double deck bus on February 15th 2016 by Daniel Doyle. I think it must have some ancestry from Leyland.

Today, Saturday, as I write this Editorial, I found it very chilly earlier this morning and appreciated, seeing the layer of ice in car windows, why the gritters were out in High Wycombe yesterday! Some of the hills around the town are extremely steep and when the snow falls access is often restricted.

Another small note out of our area is that First Manchester is closing its Rusholme depot which was where Finglands Coaches ran from and dates back to the '20s and '30s. Indeed Finglands at that time ran a coach service from Manchester to London.

ADL to build new Enviro500 fleet for Berlin

An example of the new tri-axle ADL E500's in Berlin. Pictures by ADL.

Alexander Dennis will build a new fleet of Enviro500 three-axle double-deckers for Berlin’s main transport operator, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG).
Leading British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis will build a new fleet of double deck buses for Berlin. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has awarded Alexander Dennis the contract to supply Enviro500 three-axle double deck buses.
The Enviro500 for Berlin will be 13.8 metres long with three doors, two staircases and 80 seats. They will be comprehensively tailored to the requirements of operation in Berlin, and will enhance passengers’ journey experience through new specification features. The first new buses are due to arrive in Berlin in 2020.

An initial delivery of two pre-series vehicles has been agreed. After successful tests and trial operation, the acceptance of a minimum of 70 vehicles is guaranteed. In a further step, BVG’s current plans envisage a fleet of 200 Enviro500 on the streets of Berlin in the near term. The present decision of BVG’s supervisory board allows the order of up to 430 buses from the framework contract. The maximum investment volume is €220 million.

BVG operates around 1,500 buses which last year alone transported 441 million passengers. More than 400 double deckers are used on BVG services in Berlin. This is the largest fleet of its kind in continental Europe and one of the largest in the world.

Dr Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, BVG Chairwoman of the Management Board and Operations, said: “Yellow double deckers are a well-known landmark of Berlin. This tradition will now continue with the buses built by Alexander Dennis. Thanks to the flexible contract we will be able to adjust our purchase volume depending on how the electric bus market develops. It is part of our plan to electrify our bus fleet by 2030.”
Colin Robertson, Chief Executive at Alexander Dennis said: "We are delighted that BVG, as a leading and innovative European transport operator, has chosen Alexander Dennis as the sole supplier of Berlin’s new double deck buses. Our state-of-the-art Enviro500 vehicles offer benefits for BVG, its drivers and its passengers, as Alexander Dennis has already demonstrated with over 17,000 Enviro family double deckers for customers around the world. This new partnership with BVG is a significant step forward in our European expansion strategy.”

Alexander Dennis’s Enviro500 vehicles are the world’s leading three-axle double deck buses, offering fuel efficiency thanks to a lightweight aluminium body structure. An Enviro500 double decker was trialled in service in Berlin in October 2015. Alexander Dennis subsequently participated in BVG’s multi-stage tender process, as a result of which the company has been chosen to supply the new double decker fleet for Berlin.

Having been to Berlin and seen a fleet predominately German this is a significant achievement for ADL.

Stagecoach’s Andy Campbell retires after 50 years

Andy Campbell Managing Director of Stagecoach East, which is based in Cambridge, is to retire in December after 50 years’ working in the bus industry. Mr Campbell has been MD at Stagecoach East - which currently has depots at Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge, Fenstanton and Long Sutton - since 2004. His first job, in 1969, was with Leeds City Transport, which became part of the West Yorkshire PTE, as an apprentice mechanic, rising to Fleet Engineer and then Engineering Director.

 His management career also included spells as Engineering Director at First Mainline in Sheffield and then as MD at First Bradford. Immediately before joining Stagecoach he was Regional Director North West with First Group. 
Stagecoach UK Bus MD for England and Wales, Mark Threapleton, says: “I would like to thank Andy for the excellent work he has done over many years to deliver improvements for bus passengers across the east of England. He has made a valuable contribution to the business and to the local area and we wish him well in his retirement."
Andy Campbell announced his retirement plans to staff at a Long Service Awards dinner earlier this month. Commenting on his announcement he says: “I've greatly enjoyed working with the team at Stagecoach East, and with colleagues across the wider business. The drivers and support staff are a brilliant bunch who are always ready to let you know what they think, and their friendly banter has made coming to work all the more enjoyable over the years.  I may not be running the buses after December, but I’ll certainly continue to use them as a passenger.”

"South Midland Sortie" by David Gray

Volvo Olympian with East Lancs bodywork R358XVX at the depot on October 20th by David Gray. This bus was new to Harris of West Thurrock.

On Saturday, October 20th I travelled on ‘The South Midland Sortie’ a tour using Olympians from the Walters Coaches fleet (similar to the event organised for May).

The information supplied was collated using a leaflet provided.

This time three vehicles were used.
 BUS 1 (P353ROO) – From Walters garage, then direct to Thornhill, picking up in the lay by outside the Park and Ride site, then direct to Oxford Railway Station, picking up in Park End Street outside the Said Business School, then via Hythe Bridge Road, Walton Street, Kingston Road, St. Margaret’s Road, Banbury Road, Marston Ferry Road, Oxford Road, Elsfield Road, Marsh Lane (B4150), Headley Way (B4495), London Road, Bayswater Road, B4027, Pound Lane (the intention was to go via Stanton St John but due to a road closure a diversion was then undertaken via Horton cum Studley) to Walters depot.

Another Volvo Olympian used was P353ROO, seen here at Horton-cum-Studley and taken by David Gray. "353" was new to Harris Bus of West Thurrock in July 1997.

Leyland Olympian F845ENV, at Carterton, was new to Isle of Man Road Transport (BMN88G) in 1988 with picture by David Gray.

BUS 2 (F845ENV) – From Walters depot, then via Wheatley Road, A40, Brize Norton Road (B4477), Burford Road, Monahan Way (B4477), Teasel Way, Trefoil Way, Ash Avenue, Bluebell Way, Monahan Way (B4477), Upavon Way (B4020), Brize Norton Road and Black Bourton Road (for a lunch break). After lunch there was a change in the itinerary but we visited Brize Norton, Black Bourton, Alvesot, Kencot, Langford, Filkins, Buscot, Coleshill, Bampton and then back to Walters depot via A420 and A34. F845ENV was new to Isle of Man Transport Board and later worked for Geoff Amos Daventry.

BUS 3 (R358 XVX)– An amended schedule was implemented for this part of the journey but this was a trip via Kennington to Radley to Oxford Railway Station and return to the depot.
A very enjoyable event (as was the May event) and it gave us the opportunity to take photographs of the numerous vehicles in Walters yard.

OLN65P at the depot seen by David Gray - This is a Bedford with Caetano bodywork and is preserved.

The original itinerary gave a mileage of 143 and even allowing the revised schedules over 100 miles of Olympian travelling was achieved. P353 ROO and R358 XVX were new to Harris Bus for London Transport work. They also spent 15 years with Marshall, Sutton-on-Trent, whose livery they retain.

Fleet List for Walters

 Fleet No   Registration  Chassis Model Body
007 T546 XBX Io 391E.12.35  Bs
012 HDZ  102 Ka S215H  Ka
027 BUI 2782 Au N122/3 Au
035 F845 ENV Ld ONCL10/2RZ   Ld
043 F904 RWP Ds Jv Pn
046 W 4 ENG Sca K124IB6 Ir
048 B 17 MKT Io CC95.18 Ind
52 W771 AAY MAN  18.310 Noge 
055 GK 02 WCY Rt Mtr  Roh
BIG 8732 Au  N122/3L  Au
FIL 2688 Sca  L941B   Ir
IIG 3843 Au N516/3  Au
JIG 8027 Ds Jv  Bf
LAZ 4408 Sca L94IB Ir
SHZ 5751 Io  CC95.9E18F  Ind
VEZ 4460 MB  O404 HC
VJI 3482 Ds Jv Au
WNZ 5493 MB O814D ACI
XIB 3914 Io  391.12.35  Bs
YSU 895 Sca K1241B4 Ir
ABV 665V An NS3N  Wk
B 10 MBD Ds Cr  DMc
D   7 CCW Ka  S250   Ka
D296 RKW Ld  TRC  Du 
F359 WSC Ld ONCL10/2RZ   Ar
G617 BPH Vo  B10M-50  EL 
H809 AGX Ld ON2R50C13Z4   Ld
H179 EJF Ds Jv Co
H552 VAT Ld ON2R56C13Z4  NC
L150 HUD Vo  B10M-62   Pn
L952 MSC Vo YN2RC16Z4  Ar
M812 FUM Ba FHD12-340 Ba
M562 SRE MB  709D  Ml 
N 22 DTS Vo  B10M-66 Pn
HDZ 101 Ka  S250 Ka
P353 ROO Vo OLY-56  EL
R625 GKO Ka  S250   Ka
R626 GKO Ka  S250   Ka
R 14 SCC Sca K124IB4  Bf 
R500 SPK DAF  SB3000   Pn
R663 TKU Vo  B10M-62   Pn
R358 XVX Vo  OLY-56   EL
S 962 NVY MB  O1120L Fer
T  43 BBW MAN  24.350   Je
T465 HNH MB O814D   Pn 
T641 JWB MB O814D Pn
T406 OWA Sca L941B Ir
V335 XDO MB O814D   ACI
MSV 557  MB  01120L Fer
W103 ASB MB O814D  Pn
W202 CDN DAF SB3000 VH
X569 KTG MB O1120L Fer
Y661 NAY MAN  18.310 HOCLR  Mpo 
LX 03 OSC Tbs Tt Transbus
LX 05 BWN Au N122/3 Au
MX 05 BWO Au N122/3L Au
PX 51 LRF Rt Mtr  Walsall Joinery Works
YR 52 MDF MB  O814D  Pn
YR 52 ZKM Au N122/3 Au
SV 54 ELX Au N122/3L   Au
SF 55 HGO MB  413CDI Essbee
WX 57 DPE MB ? Minicoach
Wallingford Coaches  (part of Walters Limousines?)
YN 08 HZH Sca K340 Ir
BD 12 FBG Ford Transit
9547 SN 12 AOU
9548 SN 12 AOV
9549 SN 12 AOW
9551 SN 12 AOY
9553 SN 12 APF
9555 SN 12 APO
9556 SN 12 APU
9557 SN 12 APV
9558 SN 12 APX
YS 02 UCJ Optare Alero
EUF 738L Bedford VAL70 Pn
OLN 65P Bedford J2SZ2 Caetano
LONDON UNITED stored    
DPS30724 SN 55 DVT
  DPS30726   SN 55 DVV  
  DPS30727  SN 55 DVW
Front panel only from M908 OVR (Ds Jv/Au)
Front bumper only from T186 CLO Ds Tt/Ar

All of the vehicles were photographed at the depot with the exception of P353 ROO (at Horton-cum-Studley) and F845 ENV (seen at Carterton). Photo 1513 was ABV 665A (ex 335 KPL) an Albion Nimbus/Willowbrook B--F. I've just noticed that the PSV news-sheet that gave details of the vehicle quoted it as a V-registration rather than an A which I quoted. There was no evidence of any registration being carried incidentally The London United vehicles were reported by PSVC as "gone 7/18" but I'm unsure whether they may have been stored elsewhere or moved directly to the yard.

Ex Oxford tube 50043 and City of Oxford 150 seen at the depot by David Gray.

The Albion Nimbus mentioned in the text and seen on October 20th by David Gray.

One other bit of information which is that Leyland Olympians TIL 6571-3 are believed to have been sold by Walters to JD Travel which I think has an operating base at Culham. I'm not sure what school services they operate but it may be something your local correspondents may find of interest.

From Graham Mildenhall

This seems a delightful bus shelter and maybe worth taking somewhere else?

Was out on Saturday with the dog walking along Camp Road in Upper Heyford and was looking at the steady demolition of the old RAF base and its buildings. Looks like next in line to be demolished is the long standing bus shelter (and timing point) which is now fenced off and carries a notice that it is no longer in use and for prospective passengers to use alternative new stops. Nice sunny day and thought I would take a picture for old time's sake then realised that a Thames Travel Citaro on the 250 was waiting at the temporary traffic lights beyond the shelter - too good an opportunity to miss, the result is attached which you may like to use at some point.


From Paul Hubbert


"photo from Bergen in Norway, from a holiday two years ago." - This really is quite a vehicle! Ed.

BaMMOT Wythall Museum From Gary Seamarks

Gary has provided some interesting pictures from a Twilight event at Wythall Museum on October 27th.

Birmingham Guy Arab 2547 stands next to a delightful BMMO SON 2418, GHA337 pictured by Gary Seamarks.

West Midlands Daimler Fleetline 6600 looking great in the twilight.

Wartime Coventry Daimler CWA6 with Roe bodywork, 366 EKV966.

BMMO own S15, 5056 - 5056HA resplendent in dual purpose livery.

Midland Red 5656 - BHA656C one of the last motorway coaches CM6T which ended its service in white National Express colours.

Midland Red S23 5956 - UHA956H in the final National Bus Company livery.

Not a Midland Red bus but a nice Bristol L5G from Crosville KG126 - KFM775 new in 1950.


Fleet News

No special news from Arriva for this issue.

Scania L94UB with Wright Solar body - 3616 working the 30 Downley Circular on October 23rd by Gavin Francis.

Citaro 3925 working the 1 to Chesham Pond Park on October 23rd by Gavin Francis.



First Solent's 47584 SN14ECA was a surprise on the X74 on October 23rd by Gavin Francis.


First Glasgow's 33213 HB SK68LXB working the 75 on October 18th by Gordon Scott.


Multi use Solo 709 with the 1 on October 23rd by Gavin Francis. 

Chiltern Hundreds Solo 712 with a 103 working on October 23rd by Gavin Francis. 

Recently painted 857 now with Carousel and with a 1A working on October 23rd by Gavin Francis.

Still devoid of branding, Citaro 878 is seen with a 36 working on October 23rd by Gavin Francis.

As will be seen later both 869 and 870 seen in the last issue are currently with Thames Travel having spent a week or so here. 


I am advised that eleven new coaches are on order, these being Tourismos. Also I understand that there are to be three new style Caetano tri-axles for the National Express 737 service.

For the record the coach fleet and suggested PVR is:

Purpose PVR  

3 axle

2 axle














OX White













NE 737




NE737 4





Certainly a lot happening in the near future!

I am advised, only this morning, that the Tourismos are tri-axles, 9 will be branded for airline and 2 in the generic white livery to be used across all services.

They are expected to be delivered in February 2019.

No further news is to hand regarding fire damaged 307, again when such information does become available you will read about it in these pages.

The current revised X90 needs 11 plus probably 2 spares. It is calculated, there will be four less coaches on the PVR on X90 from today.

Tri-axle 72 with an X90 service turns at Carfax Corner on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

Scania 203, now devoid of branding and recently at Carousel, is seen working a 400 service, turns at Carfax Corner on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

Hybrids 313 and 316 are seen working Kidlington services near Debenhams on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

Yellow 683 is seen working the 3 service in Norfolk Street on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

Orange 690 is seen working a number 8 service in Norfolk Street on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

BROOKESbus 373 with a U1 working in Norfolk Street on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

PICKMEUP branded Citaro 838 is seen working a Wolvercote 6 road service seen at Debenhams on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

 PICKMEUP 974 is seen in St Aldates on October 27th by Gavin Francis.


From Phil Southall


Watch this space on the open toppers. I plan to renumber the 2xxx buses into the main OBC series and re-register all of the City Sightseeing fleet with Irish Plates in due course but the plan is still coming together. 201 to 205 will stay as they are and upgraded to Euro 6 engines with 2055, 2056, 2903, 2906 and 2907 retained, renumbered and re-registered once converted to electric. The other open tops are likely to be sold but this is not definite yet.

So far no reports of 201 in service.

Scania 223 branded for river rapids with an X39 working in Castle St on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

connector 623 seen with an X2 service in St Aldates on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

James Freeman sent this quick snap of 621 with a T1 working on October 24th. This maybe the first time one of these new buses has worked at T1.

Float Citaro 869 is seen with a 250 service in St Giles on October 27th by Gavin Francis. 

Arriva VLA40 at WATERLOO STATION is now with Heyfordian but seen here on February 28th 2012 by Gavin Francis.

 Clarkes of London branded in National Express/oui livery BF67WJY with a 6619 service to Amsterdam in VCS on October 25th by Gavin Francis.

New Style Caetano with Scania chassis with an A7 working to Stansted on October 25th by Gavin Francis.

New MMCs for Dundee are seen above on test runs caught in the lens of Gordon Scott.

Motts GT12MTT seen in Oxford on October 27th by Gavin Francis.

Reading's 1209 with a 702 service in Bulleid Way on October 25th by Gavin Francis.

A nice picture of SF54KHV with a 306 working in High Wycombe on October 23rd by Gavin Francis.

E200 YX10FFB is seen in Ivinghoe with a 61 working on October 22nd by Gavin Francis.  


in Oxfordshire

Unusually Hybrid 12004 is seen with a 14 service in St Giles on October 25th by Gavin Francis.

MMC 10671 is seen with a 3 service to Rose Hill on October 25th by Gavin Francis. 


Trident 18155 at Northampton has received an all over advertising wrap for Hits Radio.  


Further Gold-spec MAN/Enviro 300s out of service here and transferred to the Reserve Fleet are 22746 and 22754 from Stroud.    

POPPY BUS - Abellio's LT780 with a 211 near VCS on October 25th by Gavin Francis.