Another week and nearly another month end, where does the time go. I am sorry that last week's issue was rather short and sweet and so, I am starting this week's page early in the hope that I can get everything in.

Gavin Francis has been very active over the past few weeks visiting several London points, mainly to catch routes which are due to change operators in the not too distant future. He always takes a significant number of pictures which could more than fill a page with nothing else but are nevertheless very interesting. London's venture into route branding is interesting and is striking. I particularly liked the 607 Express route and the variety of destination displays with any standardisation seemingly missing! Gavin visited Ealing Common (607 pictures), Central Middx Hospital, Central London, Gants Hill and Stratford. Quite a

This week I also include more pictures from Gaydon, mainly of the vehicles from our area. In addition I now have a picture of the new buses for Thames Travel route 99 prior to delivery and devoid of branding.

I also have further pictures of the new Brookes Buses and details of the fleet numbers and registrations. Concerning the question posed in the last issue relating to the significance of the two registrations shown, Andrew Webb was first in with the answer "MBA and LL.M are both qualifications that you can achieve by studying at Oxford Brookes." Well done Andrew absolutely correct whose answer was sent at 1855. I posted at 1849!!
Nigel Peach came second with the correct answers but with an alternative possibility saying "Indeed, I know someone who is currently training at Brookes to become an LLM (a Licensed Lay Minister) in the Church of England.)" Now Guys, that has to be a classic! Third in was Peter McConnell and fourth Paul Bateson from far off Canada. That has to be special as I am sure you will all agree?

Another interesting contribution for this issue was that sent in by Mark Turner who attended the farewell event at Garston Garage on Saturday, August 25th. My heading picture of a line up in the garage seems to say it all, Farewell!!

Recent points of Interest


28 Aug 2018

Stagecoach today (28 August 2018) announced ambitious £56m plans to deliver Europe's largest single investment in electric buses for Greater Manchester.

The first of the planned 105 new zero emissions double-decker buses and associated infrastructure is hoped to go live from summer 2019, delivering a massive boost to local air quality and UK manufacturing, with the new fleet fully in place by early 2020.

Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, has pledged to invest £34.6m in the ground-breaking project, which is backed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Transport for Greater Manchester and other key organisations

The plans are dependent on a bid for £21.5m in support from the Government's recently announced Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which is aimed at cutting emissions and ensuring cleaner and greener journeys.

New Enviro400 EV City vehicles, each with a range of up to 190 miles and capacity to carry around 80 passengers, would be built by the UK's leading electric bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis using battery and power electronics expertise from automotive company BYD.

Multi-million-pound Investment will also be made in delivering infrastructure and power requirements at depot level. Intelligent chargers will be used to limit loadings on the electricity supply and maximise vehicle availability.

Stagecoach is already the UK's biggest investor in hybrid-electric bus technology and has invested more than £1billion in new greener buses over the past decade. The new e-bus fleet for Manchester would significantly outstrip plans recently announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for 68 new electric double-decker buses in the capital.

Transforming the air quality in Greater Manchester is one part of a wider multi-million-pound partnership blueprint developed by bus operators to deliver a step-change in the region's bus network. Working with the Mayor and local authorities, it would deliver more comprehensive services, better value fares, simpler ticketing, an improved customer experience, as well as addressing issues around damaging car congestion which impacts bus punctuality.

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said: "This game-changing initiative is the biggest single investment in e-bus technology anywhere in Europe. It is a clear sign of our bold ambition to transform Greater Manchester's bus network

"Our plans will put Greater Manchester at the forefront of the drive to improve local air quality, and help cement Britain's position as global leader in manufacturing low-emission vehicles. It is also part of our wider partnership proposals to maximise the potential of the bus network to drive the region's economy and better connect its communities.

"By working together, bus operators , the Mayor and the region's local authorities can deliver the quick and sustained improvements we all want to see in Greater Manchester's bus network, building on the major progress we've already made and avoiding unnecessary extra costs to local taxpayers."

Stagecoach's plans would see the new e-buses - which would replace conventional Euro 3 and Euro 4 vehicles - based at its depots in Hyde Road and Sharston. Major charging infrastructure would allow buses to be charged simultaneously, enabling a 24 hour-a-day operation.

The e-bus fleet would operate four key high frequency services connecting Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly railway station, six hospitals and two universities. It would also complement recent public investment in bus priority measures in the south of the city.

Two further high frequency services would be operated predominantly by electric vehicles, supported by existing low carbon certified hybrid vehicles at peak times, meaning 36 buses per hour in each direction would be operated by the new e-bus fleet. The introduction of new electric buses will also enable the cascade of existing low-carbon emissions vehicles onto two routes serving Trafford and Salford.

Around 15-20 buses would be introduced a month from summer 2019, with full roll out achieved by early 2020. Infrastructure works would begin in the autumn of 2018 and be fully completed by spring 2019.

The new e-bus fleet for Greater Manchester offers a 62% improvement in CO2 emissions over the latest low-carbon emission buses and supports the region's Air Quality Action Plan. Overall, the initiative would save 2.6 million litres of diesel a year, reduce annual CO2 by 6,800 tonnes , and cut NOx emissions by 24% and particulates by 20% across the fleet.

Poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the UK each year, with emissions from cars and vans estimated to cost £6bn annually to the NHS and society.

Stagecoach's ground-breaking initiative would also help accelerate the introduction of e-buses across Europe. There are currently around 725,000 buses in operation across Europe, but only an estimated 2,500 of those are fully electric.

Also read about megabus.com 's first 15 years under their heading below.

With thanks to:  Road XS

Why The Closure of UK Bus Routes is More Damaging Than You Think

Buses are the most commonly used form of public transport in the UK with some 4,941 million journeys made in 2016/17.  Despite this, cuts continue to happen across the country – this is a problem for society. 

Despite busses being the UK’s most frequently used form of transport, since 2010 local authority funding for buses has halved and thousands of services across the country have been cut.  Cuts to bus services affect everyone, but especially those with low incomes, the young and the elderly.

In England alone, the young and elderly account for 50% of all the countries bus passengers; children under 16 account for 19%, and those aged over 60 account for 25%.  With fewer and fewer bus routes on offer, this means their transport routes and access are greatly diminished.

England’s lowest income earners also make up 75% of their public transport trips via bus.  Essentially this means the lower income group make up three times as many bus trips as high income earners in the UK.  Across the country, 9% of UK households have low incomes but then have high motoring costs on top.  This makes it even more difficult to drive and many often opt for the cheaper option of the bus, despite rising fares and reduced options.

Without a way of getting where they need to be, these members of our community are essentially cut off.  The cuts highlight the importance of transport networks and how important it is to find solutions to an ever-growing problem.  The knock-on effect of not being able to get to places are increased depression and a decreased sense of well-being through a poorer quality of life.  Believe it or not humans are social creatures and without seeing our friends and engaging in the community our standard of living drops considerably – yes, even though you can now get Netflix and Facetime people half-way across the world! 

As the chart from Buses in Crises above shows, funding has been slowly, and clearly, dropping throughout the country despite increased demand – certainly within London.  Almost half of all bus transport occurs in London.  It’s the rural areas which have been left behind, yet it’s these areas that are the hardest hit and people can quickly find themselves in isolation.

Despite the doom and gloom surrounding decreased bus routes it’s not all cause for alarm.  The British are good at solving problems, and as we highlighted in our report ‘3 Dangers Facing Community Transport’ – technology is one of the most cost-effective tools in solving transport problems, especially transport software.

Transport companies and service providers are starting to switch their mindset and realise that with increasing demand and increased cuts, it’s time to do more with less.  Providers are starting to look at solutions to problems rather than focusing solely on analysing the problem.  This approach is certainly the best way to go.  Already across the country community car schemes are being setup to assist with reduced bus routes, and already members of the public are beginning to share journeys to work to reduce pollution and traffic on the roads.

Anyone who has been travelling about in the mornings since mid-July, will have noticed how much quieter the roads are without the school traffic.  It goes to show you just how effective a drive to work car share scheme could be at reducing traffic and reducing emissions.  Care share schemes also reduce the time it takes to get to places as traffic jams are reduced.

Our recent major upgrade on Road XS had a sole focus of doing more with existing vehicles, people and journeys to reduce overheads and costs and enable transport service providers to optimise their services.

The impact of losing a strong transport network in your local community is far more damaging than the journey itself.  Poor transport networks impact the quality of relationships, quality of care, quality of health and quality of life.  Transport is as important to the economy as the Internet is because without movement, we go nowhere.

So this presents readers with an interesting issue closely related to our interests in buses in the UK. I will add some items of linked interest as the week's pass by.

The first point of interest is that we are told that the ageing population is growing and unless the powers that be do something soon local authorities will run out of money in the not too distant future.

Gaydon 2018 with pictures by Tony Bungay and your Editor

United Counties OVV59R by Tony Bungay.
Tony writes "The United Counties Ford 1014/Duple is a notable survivor, as United Counties only had ten,
Aylesbury had one allocated in the mid 1970s not the preserved one I might add!

The Nottingham contingent by Tony Bungay. The one on the right is a Biogas ADL with latest style bodywork.

Lincolnshire Road Car 705 F105XCW was new to Burnley and Pendle seen by Tony Bungay. The bus is in the livery of Dews.

Leicester and London Metrobuses share the picture taken by Tony Bungay. Sadly not the most successful of buses.

Charlton's B12GPH by Malcolm Crowe. The initials are of Mr Holder who is a Director of Charlton-on-Otmoor Services

A regular attendee at events up and down the country this Bristol VR/ECW DP was originally intended to be used
on the Oxford- London services. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Once the pride of City of Oxford Motor Services, AEC 371 looks immaculate in the renowned Oxford livery of days gone. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Now flanked by a Metrobus and Red rose's ex London Dennis 50532. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

A surprise so far south is Lothian's extended Routemaster now used on tours in Edinburgh. It is unique in its length. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

One of many, RF 627 attending this prestigious event, picture by Malcolm Crowe.

On the last OWN build buses for Midland Red was this S22, 5905 looking sleek and purposeful, picture By Malcolm Crowe.

Reading's Levante 1401 attended showing off the SNAP logo now involved with the company, picture by Malcolm Crowe.
SNAP is also used by Oxford Bus for some of its express services.

Click on the Logo to see what is on offer.

Thamesdown's livery is not forgotten by this Dart 198 pictured by Malcolm Crowe. The name and livery are now of the past having been changed by Go Ahead.

The Midlands contingent had a special place all to themselves as shown in this picture by Malcolm Crowe.

Sunday August 19th was rather dull to begin with quite a lot of cloud obscuring any sun but later in the day the sun did shine making a pleasant end to this annual event. 

Farewell Garston with pictures by Mark Turner

Less than a week later, a farewell event was held at Garston Garage built in the late '40s and early '50s. It is sad to see such a remembered operating centre closing down.

The pictures of the event were kindly provided by Mark Turner.

One of the Arriva buses now displaced and awaiting new owners.

My goodness, preserved RML2456 looks brand new, its fresh coat of paint gleaming inside Garston Garage.

Another RML attending was 2412 seen here at Watford Junction and then at Garston Garage.
These Routemasters seem to lead charmed lives with so many still operational up and down the UK.

One of the last routes to be operated from Garston was the 142 and here is VLW95 proving the point.

Not long now old ladies, the end is almost upon us - several once active buses are seen with the sun shining through the roof of Garston Garage
as if offering some comfort to these stalwart warriors.
Good bye Garston, old friend!


Marcus Lapthorn visited this most interesting site and sent a few pictures of the buses which can be seen at the location. It would appear well worth a visit if you are in the area of Crewe.

A selection of the buses to be seen in this almost a rail heritage centre.

RML2515 looks pristine, almost as if it had arrived from the makers to enter service!

This Leyland National 2 was once used by British Airways as an airside transfer bus - one of which I have travelled on Ed, - B361LOY looks OK
and features an offside passenger entrance door unique to these Leyland Nationals.

Crosville had a significant number of Bristol Lodekkas over the years and 838AFM, a 1957 LD6G, entered service have a long and varied career.
Indeed by 1994 North Western Road Car was using this former Crosville Bristol Lodekka to operate the Northwich Historic Tour, a tour which your Editor travelled on !

A853SUL is an ex London Leyland Titan once billed as London's New Bus for the future. It is now having some loving care and hopefully one day will take the road again.

Marcus Lapthorn also visited the Manchester Museum of Transport on August 17th

A particular favorite of mine is Bristol K5G ex North Western 432. Delivered just prior to World War 2, this Bristol was always based at Altrincham
where your Editor lived. Originally with a 48 seat Eastern Coachworks body 952 (Coach seating up and down) it stayed on after rebodying
by Willowbrook in 1952 as 432 and I must have ridden on this bus many many times over the more than 20 years I used services in the area.
It is now having a full rebuild and will take to the road again soon, I wonder if it will see its 100 birthday?

Two more buses with which your Editor is familiar, especially the Stockport one which was one of the last Leyland PD3s to be built.
The Maynes AEC owes it livery to an ex Demonstrator in Oxford's colours, not quite the same but.....

Many thanks to Marcus for these great pictures.

Yutong has confirmed that it expects to enter the UK zero-emission (ZE) double-deck bus market in 2019.

A very interesting option and one which may just catch on in the now pro-electric lobby in the UK.

Plans are already well in hand for a London-specification model capable of carrying 87 passengers and it will be followed by a one-door version for provincial use.

Hub motors

The battery-electric double-decker will utilise Yutong’s extensive EV experience, with the addition of ZF hub motors to allow a low floor to behind the rear axle. The Chinese builder has placed 65,000 electric vehicles into operation.

The manufacturer promises low energy consumption, permitting a full day’s work to be undertaken without need for intermediate charging.

The first EV ‘decker will be 10.5m long with potential for longer variants later.

Yutong already builds diesel-powered double-deckers for other markets (pictured).
“We are completing design work on the electric double-decker for the UK and a detailed specification will be released in due course,” says Europe and North America Sales Director Roger Zhou 

At the moment, plans call for a prototype right-hand drive bus to be completed in April 2019. UK supplier Pelican Bus and Coach then aims to have the vehicle at Coach and Bus UK later in the year.

Scope for big orders

Mr Zhou adds that fulfillment of large orders for the ZE ‘decker will not be a problem. Yutong’s daily capacity is 400 completed vehicles.
“We see lots of potential for a ZE double-decker in the UK. We have developed the E10 and the E12 to meet both Transport for London and provincial requirements and that will be followed up with the double-decker,” he adds.

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong Bus UK, adds:
“The successful demonstration of our single-deck vehicles, with positive customer reaction, means that the double-deck is the next logical addition to our product portfolio. We look forward to further engagement with operators and local authorities on their requirements.”

Fleet News

Not much to advise at present but some interesting pictures are to hand from various readers. Your Editor took a few in High Wycombe on a late August evening as the shadows were lengthening during August 25th.

Citaro 3013 runs round to operate an 850 service to Reading. Nice to see a bus on its branded route!

DAF 3539 dashes out of the Eden Bus Station on a 34 working to Cressex.

Whilst her sisters have all become training buses in the Shires, 3746 plods on its daily way, this time on a 32 service.

Not for the first time in recent weeks, X8/280 branded 3797 is seen leaving the Eden on a 300 working back home.

E400 5459 branded for the 280 seen on a 500 working in Aylesbury on August 19th by Tony Bungay. wonder what buses were going to Oxford!!

Citaro 3015 BD12DHX in Henley on the 800 on August 28th by Nigel Peach. The super rear is a recent addition.

     Southern Counties      

Hemel Hempstead garage is still failing to roster the branded coaches on the 758 on all duties and 320 branded E400s are still seen in London.

 6526 working a 758 service is seen arriving at Victoria on August 20th by Gavin Francis.

StreetLite 63314 arrives in Wycombe with an X74 working on August 25th by Malcolm Crowe.

First has transferred in some double decks for the X74 whilst the newer StreetLites were much involved on Rail Replacement. The deckders involved wereWright StreetDecks 35186 and 35190 from Leicester and Volvo BT7Ls 37164 and 37165 from Southampton. Pictures of these buses have appeared in earlier editions of OCBP.

An interesting item from the Group's website follows:

Commuters could gain more than 55 extra hours of sleep annually if it weren’t for traffic jams

Commuters build in a 13 minute “traffic jam allowance” to their daily journey to work

Nevertheless, four out of ten have been late for work in the last six months due to traffic jams. A majority of the population favours more investment in public transport as a way to tackle road congestion.

 For those travelling by bus, the “tipping point” of impatience is 20 minutes, 16 seconds.
 The true impact of traffic congestion on quality of life has been revealed by a new poll showing that commuters leave home an average of 13 minutes early every day to allow for jams on Britain’s roads.

A study by polling agency Walnut Unlimited commissioned by The Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s leading public transport operators, highlights the level of inconvenience suffered by road users from worsening traffic and slowing speeds. By building in a 13-minute buffer on every morning journey, commuters are missing out on an hour and five minutes extra sleep a week, or just over 55 hours’ free time annually.

Even with this buffer, many are still late – 40% of road commuters have been late for work over the last six months due to traffic jams, while 18% have been late for a family event. Perhaps the worst suffering are the one in 20 (4%) who admit to being late to a job interview thanks to a traffic jam.

 Official figures show that traffic congestion is getting worse, with delays on A roads up by more than 10% since 2014[1]. Last year, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that congestion would cost the British economy more than £300bn by 2030[i].

Martin Dean, MD of Bus Development at The Go-Ahead Group, said: “Traffic congestion causes frustration, anxiety and inconvenience. It hurts Britain’s productivity as well as affecting quality of life. “Public transport can be a part of the solution to that problem – a fully loaded double decker bus can take as many as 75 private cars off the road, easing congestion and improving air quality. Yet unfortunately we’re seeing many local authorities cutting back on funding for local buses as they face a budget squeeze. “This study shows the true impact traffic jams have on peoples’ lives. It’s in everybody’s interests to get the country moving more quickly.

Congestion affects those who travel by bus as well as those who drive. Go-Ahead’s research finds that the typical bus passenger hits a tipping point of impatience after 20 minutes, 16 seconds in stationary traffic, prompting them to get off and walk. Asked what should be done to improve speeds on the roads, 51% of respondents advocated more investment in public transport, while 30% backed workplace incentives to subsidise bus travel. Only one in five (22%) suggested building more roads.

London General Commercial fleet member visits Oxford.

We are more used to seeing this bus on Wimbledon but it was recently caught on camera by Tim Jones in the Cowley Road.

Stagecoach 36932 overtakes London General 285 SN66WNF in Cowley Rd on August 17th by Tim Jones.

The main item of news for this issue is that the three single decks which have moved across to Hedingham Buses in Essex. They are as follows:

551 AE58PZS  MCV Evolution new to Thames Travel (was C1WYC) now Hedingham 267
552 OU57FKB ADL Enviro 200 new to Thames Travel (was C2WYC) now Hedingham 266
553 AE59AWM MCV Evolution new to Thames Travel (was C3WYC) now Hedingham 268

Pictures would be appreciated in their new home area.

In place, I think, for 914 now returned to Thames Travel Citaros 856 - 859 were transferred in. Pictures of these are to be seen below, thus replacing four for four! 856-859 were delivered in full Thames Travel green and blue as shown in these pages a few issues ago.

856 is seen fully repainted in Carousel red and branded for The ONE! Here it is seen on the Link 40 at Stokenchurch August 24th by Gavin Francis.

Not The ONE but the T1 which 857 is seen working on August 21st by James Freeman. At this time I don't think it had left Oxford.

858 is seen leaving Eden Bus Station, High Wycombe on The ONE A on August 25th by Malcolm Crowe.
Of course the route from Carousel's perspective is the Red ONE!

So far no one has reported seeing 859 and one wonders where it is?

Scania 219 is seen leaving Eden Bus Station, High Wycombe with a 36 working on August 25th by Malcolm Crowe.

Another picture of 858 on arrival at Wycombe depot, the date August 22nd by Nigel Peach.




Oxford Bus has become involved on a new route using SNAP to promote part of this service/ Also involved is the X90 to London where seats can be booked for as little as £4 single. More details can be found on the under mentioned link.

Click on the Logo to see what is on offer.

Two coaches are involved in the route from Bristol to Birmingham via Oxford. These are 25 and 65. In the event of a missing regular coach other coaches are used.

Coach 65 is seen working the Birmingham bound service on August 27th by Gavin Francis. Some of the Airline branding has been removed.

Here we see 46 working the SNAP Bristol route leaving Gloucester Green on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

23 has either retained the Birmingham name or regained it when seen at Gloucester Green on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Variety at Gloucester Green on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Coach 45 is seen standing in for a National Express branded coach when working the 737 on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Ex National Express coach 51 is seen arriving at Gloucester Green on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Blind display changes have taken place and a difference can be seen on 61 leaving for Gatwick on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Blind display changes show an alternative display on 62 leaving for Gatwick on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Oxford's 74 seen in the gathering darkness in Oxford on August 17th by Tim Jones. A nice clear shot, congratulations Tim.

One time Oxford Airline coach nr 47 is now with Plymouth City Coach, another Go-Ahead company in blue and numbered 322. Picture by Martyn Sacaloff.

Bus pictures from Gavin Francis, Graham Mildenhall, Neil Beckley, James Freeman and others.

204, 205 by Gavin Francis with 206 by Graham Mildenhall are some of the last pictures were shall see with them in this livery, taken on the 18th, 20th and 18th of August respectively.

Citaro 837 with a 400 road service near Oxford Rail Station on August 25th by Gavin Francis.

Citaro 838 branded for PICKMEUP is seen working a Thames Travel 250 service but showing 25A on August 11th by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 367 is seen working a 300 Park & ride service on August 18th by Graham Mildenhall.

Brookes blushing red 603 working the U1 at Carfax Corner on August 20th by James Freeman.

Brand new Brookes Hybrid 371 seen at the depot on August 21st by James Freeman.

Citaro 871, the Bike Bus shows off its branding at the depot on August 21st by James Freeman.

Yutong E12-F electric demonstrator YK66CBC now 899 with Oxford Bus works a 3A service iin  High St Oxford by Martyn Searle.

603 freshly repainted red with a U1 service on August 22nd by Neil Beckley. Quite a lot of work has gone into the revised branding on these buses
and they look somewhat tidier than earlier versions.

We heard earlier that 932 was here for driver training prior to the arrival of the new Brookes buses. Seen on August 15th by Neil Beckley.

From grey to red, 604 is seen completed and 606 is in process in this picture by Phil Southall taken on August 22nd.

To be 375, OX68ENG but seen here on test near Ballymena by James on August 19th.

The new Brookes Buses are as under.

StreetDeck extra-long, 11.5m and with 96v HEV hybrid system. 

 Job Number

Fleet number


Livery applied




Business Leader/Systems Analyst












Sports coach/Psychologist









Now readers can see how the registrations match the degrees on offer at Brookes. When viewing the buses one type appears on the offside and the other on the nearside.

The vehicles have 82 seats, with 49 upstairs and 33 downstairs. 

Have interesting spotting on these buses, what a clever use of registration numbers.

Well as can be seen in the above pictures Oxford Bus has been incredibly busy with repaints and new buses over the past few weeks. 

New buses for Thames Travel, for use on the 98 and 99 services are as follows:

621 BN68XRO
622 BN68XSO
623 BN68XTO

This picture was taken by James on August 19th showing the unbranded bus but bearing Thames Travel legals. At the time of positing only 621 had been recived.
As the picture shows these are in Connector livery. These buses seat 74 and are Volvo B5LH/StreetDecks. 

Scania 251 on an X38 working in Henley on August 28th by Nigel Peach.

Chris Maxfield, a long time friend and colleague has sent me some current pictures of the Pulhams fleet.

Part of the current fleet lined up on July 21st.

A big job on July 14th when three tri-axle deckers were required.

Pulhams Lady Donna PU15HAM at Highclere Castle on April 14th 2018.

Pulhams PU15HAM Lady Donna at The Old Swan in Grasmere on May 1st 2018.

Reading 754 with the 702 in Bulleid Way, Victoria on August 29th by Gavin Francis.

Reading Emerald 768 with a 702 service  arrives at Victoria on August 20th by Gavin Francis


YX10FFJ seen in The Eden Bus Station on August 29th by Joshua Sammons.
We are unaware as to which route this was working but I do know Nick Cherry had an amazing picture taken in front of this bus with his usual bus in the background.


Hybrid 12007 is still under going a repaint but otherwise there is little to report here.

Having made a suggestion, to a certain person in Stagecoach Oxford, that it would help for 15966 to have Oxford tube on the blind alternating with the London or Oxford destination,
look what's appeared. Now I wonder? Seen on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Banbury line up ready for the Monday morning run out seen on Sunday evening August 19th by Malcolm Crowe.

E200 36932 is seen working the 1 in Oxford on August 17th by Tim jones.


Gary Seamarks has provided some very interesting pictures of buses in Cambridge, a city we do not often cover but which seems to be very interesting and where Stagecoach is the dominant operator.

Cambridge has a multi coloured Park & ride fleet and here we can see the Madingley Road service with 10790, SN66VZM.

The CitySightseeing services in Cambridge are operated by Stagecoach who have received a fleet of new Volvo B5LH Wrightbus open toppers as seen above with 13813.

IT seems Cambridge is also one to use branded buses on the wrong routes, with Scania 15956 YN14OXG working the 2 on August 22nd by Gary Seamarks.

A picture with some artistic thought, 19591 AE10BXC with the Cit1 on August 22nd by Gary Seamarks.

Busway 21234 AE12CJV with service Busway A on August 22nd by Gary Seamarks.

A pleasant interlude from that other University City which makes one interested to visit soon. Thank you Gary.



The current service 66 is to be renumbered S6 from September 2nd and new buses now being delivered to West's Swindon depot are branded S6. Obviously buses do not earn money sitting around so these new buses have appeared on the 66 in recent days.

The first new Gold, 10982 is seen above working the 66 on August 25th by Gavin Francis.

10988 is also seen with the 66 in Gloucester Green on August 25th by Gavin Francis.

10982 with the 66 this time in Southmoor on August 29th by Paul Hubbert.

Scania Gold 15841 originally for route 10 in Cheltenham but no unbranded for any route is seen working the 66 on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Oh dear, I thought it was too good to be true, 15345, branded for the 55 is seen with a 66 working on August 27th in Gloucester Green by Gavin Francis.


Scotland proves to be a regular resting place for buses and coaches south of the border.

These coaches are now displaced on their branded routes and are expected to be disposed of after Rail Replacement work finishes in Derby.
50217, 50219 and 50225 were once the pride of the Oxford tube fleet. Pictures on August 18th by Jamie Armstrong.

recent transfer to Kilmarnock is 50286 from the Oxford tube fleet seen here in a picture by Chris Maxfield taken at Glasgow on August 17th.
The coach looks a little sick at the back end which appears to have a problem.

The same coach on the same day I believe at Kilmarnock looking again very unhappy - Pictures by Gordon Scott on August 17th.

So far no sign of 50285 has been reported, this being the other coach in Scotland from Oxford!

The Oxford tube sees Gold 15966 with better use of the destination display.

Please keep a look out for the 2009 batch of Oxford tube's latterly in Scotland which are now for disposal.


07 Aug 2018

Market-leading budget coach operator megabus.com is celebrating 15 years of transforming coach travel in the UK.

The low-cost, inter-city travel provider - part of Stagecoach Group – is marking its 15th anniversary this month after starting in Scotland with just three coaches.

Fifteen years ago, in 2003, people who wanted to travel by coach stood in a queue at a coach station and waited to pay the same fare as everyone else. megabus.com transformed the market by lowering fares and allowing people to book in advance online from the comfort of their own home. Fares were based on a pricing model followed by low-cost airlines, allowing people to grab a bargain by booking early.

Now megabus.com is a mainstay of young people travelling to and from college or university or just looking for a great deal to go somewhere new for a day or night out. It’s a transport option that has changed lifestyles and continues to encourage passengers to travel away from their homes to try out different destinations and in turn offers a boost to local economies.

Travelling by coach is of course kinder to the environment too. In fact, every full double deck megabus.com vehicle is 14 times more fuel efficient than the same single occupancy trip by car.

Today megabus.com operates more than 90 coaches to nearly 80 destinations across the UK and carries around five million customers a year. The company’s coaches, which have an iconic livery featuring megabus.com mascot Sid, have become an instantly recognisable sight on Britain’s road network.

In the past 15 years, more than 54 million customers have travelled with megabus.com in the UK, - more than the combined population of Canada, New Zealand and Belgium. The company’s vehicles have travelled around 137 million miles since 2003 – the equivalent to 5,500 around the world.

During that time, Stagecoach has also launched other UK products which can all be booked through the megabus.com website. They include megatrain.com, which offers bargain train travel on Stagecoach’s rail networks, megabusplus.com, an integrated coach-rail service which connects a number of locations in the north of England with London and megasightseeing.com a non-stop sightseeing tour of London with tickets from only £1 each.

Unafraid of pushing the boundaries and trying out new, innovative ideas, megabus.com launched a network to Europe in October 2014 selling the network two years later. The company also launched the megabusgold.com product in 2013, providing luxury daytime coach services in Scotland, England and Wales as well as overnight sleepercoach services, with lie-flat beds, linking 11 locations in Scotland with London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol every night.

The success of the business in the UK has been replicated in the United States where megabus.com has reinvigorated the coach industry in North America, and encouraged millions of people to make coach travel their number one transport choice.

Since its launch in the US in 2006, more than 10 million passengers every year travel with the market-leading brand. megabus.com now covers over 130 key destinations in the United States and Canada and is continuing to attract more and more passengers, many of whom are choosing coach travel over driving or travelling by plane.

Managing Director of megabus.com in the UK, Mark Venables said: "megabus.com continues to be one of the biggest public transport success stories of the past few decades and it continues to grow both in the UK and in the US.

“Over the last 15 years megabus.com has made transport more affordable for millions of people, from families to students and senior citizens. We like to try new things and we’re proud to have pushed the boundaries with megabus.com – we will continue to explore new ways to deliver high-quality, inter-city travel for our customers.

"Over the last 15 years we have regularly introduced new routes around the UK and USA, with about 80 destinations now served across the UK and most recently we have introduced a brand new sightseeing service in London, megasightseeing.com. We're delighted to be celebrating 15 years in the industry and look forward to the next 15."

Over the years, megabus.com has invested millions of pounds in raising the standard of coach travel in the UK and US. All new megabus.com vehicles now come complete with air conditioning, Wi-Fi and electric sockets as standard.

To mark the 15th anniversary, 3,000 anniversary cupcakes were given away at London Victoria, Manchester and Leeds coach stations.

A road show is also visiting the cities of Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol and staff, including megabus.com mascot Sid, will be handing out free slush drinks and candy floss. Members of the public will also be invited to take part in a penalty shoot out against Sid with goal scorers being entered into a prize draw. Another competition will also give one lucky winner the chance of winning £1,500

megabus.com has been a finalist and has won numerous awards over the years, including the Making Coaches a Better Choice Award at the 2013 UK Coach Awards, the Innovation Award at both the 2012 UK Bus Awards and the 2012 Route One Operator Excellence Awards and finalist in 2018 Coach Awards- Top Express Operator and Top large fleet categories and silver in the Coach Marketing category.

London operators

Route branding in London with pictures from Gavin Francis

Metroline VW1569 LK55AAZ route branded for the 607 and VWH2357 LK67CXP also working a 607 at Ealing Common on August 22nd by Gavin Francis.
I thought this was very messy with other buses seen with even more blind variations and maybe proving a point about branding buses?

From Andrew Webb on new style destination displays.

"Stagecoach are currently trialling a new version of electronic blind on selected Enviro 400 MMCs allocated to West Ham for routes  and 474.  The trial is on behalf of TfL with a view to these units replacing the traditional paper blinds still specified on TfL contracts.  As the accompanying photos taken at Canning Town show the new electronic blinds produce a display virtually identical to paper blinds.  11033 on the left has the new display, whilst 11050 displays the paper blinds.  One downside is that the electronic blind does not photograph well with a fast shutter speed."

Photos by Andrew Webb.