Life is changing in this current world of ours. It seems that, if indeed, when lock down is eased the virus can return. This is seen in China, Germany and South Korea just this week. Of course the outcome of our situation seems to mean that the four major bus groups of the United Kingdom are going is somewhat differing ways. Who can tell what the correct way is, only time!

It does however mean that public transport cannot return to any known normality in the short or middle term as social distancing will now be most important. As a result public transport has to be ready to operate on much lower load factors, this being for Air, Rail, Road and Sea. No Government can possibly continue to fund limitless amounts to keep the world going. So the end result will be much increased fares and costs.

What is presently an unknown factor is how long the virus will be with us and therefore how long it will be before passenger numbers start to return to anywhere near the original figures.

As readers will see below, various changes are taking place and under Covid-19 passengers should only occupy one double seat. That means in many cases revenue will be halved, no wonder share prices in the large company groups are dropping after the P M ' s announcement in the last few days.

I don't want to sound negative but there are problems ahead of us in getting back to some semblance of normality.

Damon Williams

I popped up to the village shop here in Sandford-on-Thames today and saw that the bus stop outside had been duly decorated for the VE Day 75 commemoration.

I thought perhaps you may be interested but I am not sure if the photo is of good enough quality to publish as it is just a quick snap I took on the spur of the moment.

A nice end to this week's Editorial.


Oxford Bus Company will be withdrawing the PickMeUp service after operation on Saturday 20th June, it confirmed on May 11th.

The decision was not taken lightly and comes at the end of a two-year pilot scheme of the innovative ride sharing service. Oxford Bus Company worked hard to establish the service and has exhausted all external funding avenues to make it viable.

PickMeUp was launched in June 2018 as the largest service of its kind in the UK to improve connectivity in the eastern arc of Oxford by complementing traditional bus routes. It enabled passengers in eastern Oxford to summon buses to pick them up on a street corner of their choice, to go to a bespoke destination. More than 38,000 people downloaded the app and more than 300,000 journeys were made on the service.

However, the service did not reach the commercial milestones required to make it sustainable beyond the two-year pilot, even though not all demand could be met.

Oxford Bus Company required third party support from local authorities and the business community to make PickMeUp viable as a three-way partnership. Unfortunately, local authority support was not made available and passenger numbers could not reach required targets as congestion slowed buses down to 9mph just at the time demand was at its greatest. Whilst some businesses have been very supportive of the service, others decided not to support it as they did not see it as their responsibility to do so for the greater good of Oxford.

Oxford Bus Company announced a review of the service and a customer survey six months ago and further explored all funding options but could not find a solution. The company will be doing everything possible to minimise the impact on customers and colleagues. Any unused credit on customer accounts will be
refunded after June 20th .

PickMeUp employs 25 people and Oxford Bus Company are actively seeking to redeploy them to other areas of the business where possible.

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director said: “Unfortunately despite exploring every funding avenue available we have been not able to secure the financial support required to maintain the service.

“We would like to thank everyone who has travelled with the PickMeUp service and our superb colleagues who have worked with us throughout the pilot scheme. It is no reflection on their hard work that we have had to finish operating the service. We are also grateful to everyone who has travelled on the service. I’d also like to thank our corporate partner The Oxford Science Park for its steadfast financial and promotional support, and Horspath Parish Council.

“We are aware that we have many loyal customers who will be inconvenienced, and we are sorry it has not been possible to maintain the service. PickMeUp was a great innovation by Oxford Bus Company, but
unfortunately, we were left with no choice but to withdraw the service due to unsustainable losses and not enough support coming forward. We feel that we have played our part in trying to provide an innovative solution for the City and launched PickMeUp in response to requests from local authorities and the business community to improve connectivity in eastern Oxford. However, regretfully the service did not receive the backing required to make it work long-term.

“We have taken a lot of learning's from PickMeUp and our parent company Go Ahead Group are looking to introduce the service in other areas of the country where it could prove to be more viable. We believe with the right support a ride sharing service can be part of the solution to reducing congestion, but at this stage it has not been successful in Oxford. This may change in the future if congestion management measures are introduced and a Workplace Parking Levy could top up the funding required to make it work and reduce congestion so that more demand can be satisfied. Greater public sector support will be required if this is to come about.”

This is a sad outcome to a positive move in improving public transport in Oxford. However over the years from the early minibus experiments none have lasted the long course. One of the first I remember was The Manchester Minibuses Ltd in 1987.

Manchester Minibuses Ltd began operating a network of minibus routes in the south of Greater Manchester from depots in Wythenshawe & Stockport from 26 January 1987. Its inaugural fleet comprised one hundred and seventy-five Freight Rover Sherpas with Carlyle 18 seat bodywork that entered service between January and March 1987 in a yellow, red and black livery with Bee Line Buzz branding. Manchester Minibuses was sold to Ribble Motor Services in September 1988 and after Stagecoach acquired Ribble in 1989, Stagecoach's Ribble and Frontrunner North West bus operations in Greater Manchester were sold to Drawlane Transport which created a new subsidiary, The Bee Line Buzz Company Ltd, to operate the services. Crosville's depots in Macclesfield, Congleton, Stalybridge and Rochdale were transferred to The Bee Line Buzz Company on 25 November 1989.

Altrincham Interchange in 1988 with two of the Sherpa fleet. The main problem was reliability with these vehicles!

My main memory of this operation in and around Altrincham was how the buses used to follow each other with few passengers on any of the them. Of course this was not at PICKMEUP service but showed how small buses never quite seem to catch on with the travelling public.

Now, a minibus is not in line with present social distancing. Nevertheless it is very sad to see this brave initiative in Oxford ending.

Resurfacing work in Oxford

With the help of Jim Wright we can show you what has been happening in these quiet times to the various bus termini in Oxford over the past few weeks. Gloucester Green reopened on Tuesday, May 12th with the 1830 Airline service to Heathrow being one of the first to use the station.

I'll let Jim take up the story from here.

First photo at 0700 on the morning of May 11th, all resurfaced, tarmac being covered in a waterproof membrane.

By 1100 all finished, drying out, note raised layover bays removed. Just needs bays lining out, as its due to reopen tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 12th, bays marked out at Gloucester Green, but its still closed off!
There are some roadworks in George St. but its still open for S1 only, which is turning round in Broad St.

This road is being used as terminus for S4,S5 & 2&6 using fair diversion. While Magdalen St. East is being resurfaced.

Services 7, 14, S3 & S6 are using Beaumont St. Photo of 15836 on diverted 7.

Update on roadworks Thursday May 14th, Magdalen St. East, resurfaced & finished, needs lining. Magdalen St. West, being scraped/planed.

Oxford bus 688,at Beaumont St. Route 6 is interworked with Route 35,having just come in on a 6,blind set for 35.

I am delighted with the way Jim has recorded events over the past week or so, giving those of us housebound a better idea of happenings. 

Jack Cooper

"This weeks pictures are from July 2018 when Oxford Station was closed for a whilst work was carried out, I believe it was work to the track. The main operator of the service was First with vehicles from their Bristol and Bath Unibus services, with OBC and Stagecoach also helping out. 871 was converted to the bike bus just before the Rail Replacement services began."

"Next week I will share pictures from London, Oxford as well as the Dorset coast from 2018."

Stagecoach E400 10069, First Bath E400mmc 33949 and an unidentified First Bristol E400mmc seen loading/unloading in the current short stay section of the car park. 

A Haywards VDL coach heads off whilst First Bristol  33493 lays over between trips.

Stagecoach 10068 prepares to load for it's next trip to Didcot Parkway.

First Bristol  33498 loads for it's next trip to Didcot Parkway.

First had the best blinds for the Rail Replacement with the GWR logo then the destination of the bus, whereas OBC and SC used Rail Service/Rail Replacement showing on the destination blinds.

Foxstar Optare Solo SR parked up. Looking at the company on Google they are based in Bristol.

OBC BROOKESbus 605 seen in it's grey livery seen on a 500 service to Oxford Parkway.

The 500 had an enhanced timetable as Chiltern were unable to run services between Oxford and Oxford Parkway,
the Brookes buses were used as they were spare during the summer vacation with 601/3/4/5/6/7/8 into City2/Brookes Red livery. 

First Bristol 33493 prepares for a service to Didcot Parkway.

10679, SC 10069 and 36983 prepare for their next trips. 36983 later headed off on an all station service to Banbury.

OBC 679 and SC 36983 laying over. 

Many thanks to Jack for his most interesting contribution.

Nick Ross

A smart looking Grant Palmer Volvo Olympian parked up at Bedford bus station
following an afternoon schools turn and next a 44 to Flitwick on October 19th 2016.
This bus is ex SC Manchester.

Grant Palmer sold this fine vehicle not long after this photo and a Trident now does these turns.

Malcolm Crowe 

One of a batch of fifteen supplied to Greater Manchester Transport. New in November 1979 numbered 4007, it passed with another five to South Midland in 1987, It is seen above at Carfax, Oxford late 1988.  South Midland was formed from part of City of Oxford Motor Services on June 17th 1984 with a management buyout being made on December 19th 1986. They were bought by Harry Blundred's Thames Transit in 1988.

South Midland 701 GNF7V seen at Carfax in 1988 by Malcolm Crowe.

Ian Williamson with more memories of London's buses

I had a feeling that Gavin would be able to find a suitable picture of a green RTL. on last week's page!

His challenge this week will be a little tougher! This is the story of the green pre-war RTs and there were only 7 of them and they were out of service by 1957! 

“Following the London Passenger Transport Bill being passed by parliament, London Transport came into being on 1/7/1933 with responsibility for bus, coach, tram, trolleybus and Underground railway services within its designated area. Work began on the design of a new standard double decker bus in close co-operation with AEC who had supplied the majority of London's buses since before the first war. The new chassis would feature a new bigger engine, pre-selector gearbox and compressed air brakes. Meanwhile LT would produce the body in its Chiswick works.

The chassis was ready by June 1938 but the body was not, so as an interim measure a used TD class unit was matched to the chassis and put to work from Hanwell garage as ST1140. When the new body was finally ready, RT1 was able to enter service in June 1939. LT was clearly pleased with the result and swiftly ordered 338 more but plans were disrupted by the outbreak of war and eventually only 150 more of this style were built with production not completed until January 1942.

At this stage of the war LT's Chiswick works was becoming heavily involved in military production as part of the London Aircraft Production group which also included Chrysler, Duple and Park Royal and also involved the conversion of the planned Underground depot for the Northern line extension beyond Edgware at Aldenham into another unit producing front fuselages for the Handley Page Halifax bomber. In order to ensure the smooth final assembly at Leavesden (better known today as the home of Harry Potter films) of pieces sourced from 8 sites and numerous sub contractors, jigs were used to ensure the "jigsaw" fitted together with ease. This method of production would later be used for the post war RT build as it would also simplify the overhaul process to be introduced at Aldenham.

With the war over, LT decided to leave the supply of bodies to outside contractors and placed initial orders with Park Royal and Weymann for 600 units to be jig built and interchangeable. The first examples arrived in 1947. There were two noticeable differences from the pre-war vehicles – the absence of the rear roof route number box and straight sides to the drivers cab window replacing the previous offside downward curve.

By 1955 the new standard vehicles – RT, RTL and RTW – provided the vast majority of the double decker fleet. A few STLs remained in the Country area and at Hertford garage they were used on the 327 (Hertford – Nazeingwood Common) due to a weak bridge at Broxbourne preventing the use of heavier vehicles. It was realised that the production batch of 150 pre-war RTs weighed only 6-15-0 compared to the post war vehicles 7-10-0. (For younger readers 6 tons 15 cwt. compared to 7 tons 10 cwt.!) Why were the older vehicles lighter? Shortages of materials during the wartime production meant that much of the body frame was built by traditional methods from timber whereas the newer buses were jig built on metal frames. So 7 of these were repainted green (RT36, 62, 79, 93, 114, 128 and 137) and stayed in service until August 1957 when the bridge was strengthened. The garage also had red RT 133 as a staff bus which also occasionally was used in passenger service and thus became the last red pre-war RT in passenger service. The seven green vehicles became driver training vehicles joining some of their red sisters, others of which were used as staff transport particularly for workers at Aldenham works which had taken over some of the functions carried out at Chiswick. They were finally retired – and scrapped – early in 1963.

RT1 is preserved at the London Bus Museum and it is believed 44, 54 and 131 still exist – all are red.”
Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Many thanks for another interesting and enlightening piece from Ian.

Local history by Michael Wadman

Prompted by some of the historical photos that have appeared in your Times of Old feature, and particularly by Richard Sharman’s shot of Tappins’ Optimo, I thought maybe some of these might be of interest. Locations and dates are in the filenames. 

Transit KBZ7145 (new to Alder Valley North as D826UTF) and its friendly driver were, as the blind says, operating the Didcot town service.   

Dart J854PUD was branded and blinded for the Thames Valley Park service but was actually operating route 86. 

G508LWU was a Volvo B10M new to Wallace Arnold. At this time Tappins had a single early morning journey on service 42
 which was otherwise operated by someone else (can't remember who; probably City of Oxford or Thames Transit).
I had to get up in the middle of the night and get a night bus up to Victoria to catch an early coach to be in Oxford in time to record its arrival.
I had no idea what sort of vehicle would be on it, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this.

Well, that makes an interesting conclusion to this weeks memories and thank you to Michael.

Memories from your Editor

Midlands 697 with an X31 service to Northampton leaves Gloucester Green on August 17th 2002 by Malcolm Crowe.

One of a few Dennis/Plaxton Verdes with Stagecoach, 901 seen heading for the station on August 17th 20002 by Malcolm Crowe.

Thames Travel Y877KDP with local Henley service H3 on August 10th 2002 by Malcolm Crowe.

Carousel had three of these Citaros branded for the A40 to Heathrow, seen leaving Wycombe on April 13th 2005 by Malcolm Crowe.
One of these remains at Oxford as a bike bus 871! 

A visit south of the Thames with Adam Baker

A further preview of operations in Guildford, again while out taking the allowed measure of daily exercise. I have captured a few more images of the local buses operating in the area during the COVID-19 period which I thought would be of further interest to your readers – offering another view from a different area of the country.
Comments for each image are noted below and I must apologise for a slight haze/blur in some images, as I was again using my Smartphone on the move.

Image 5a – Sunday 26th April 2020
On Mondays to Saturdays the Bellfields Route is operated by Safeguard Coaches, however, on Sundays and
Public Holidays it is operated by Arriva on contract to Surrey County Council – here GN09AXK (4057), an ADL
Enviro 200 can be seen on Stoke Road in Guildford operating the first trip of the day.

Image 5b – Sunday 26th April 2020
With my last overview I showed views of Safeguard operating town Routes 3s and 5, here I can now share a view
of the other town Route 4 heading along Woodbridge Road in Guildford towards Park Barn – on Sundays it
operates to Park Barn as a Route 4 and returns as a Route 5, Optare Versa YJ64DVY provides this journey.

Image 6 – Thursday 30th April 2020
Stagecoach South has been operating Route 715 to Kingston since 31st December 2016 – seen along London Road
in Guildford heading towards Kingston (only the side blind however showed up slightly blurred), is GX58GNU
(27567), an ADL Enviro 300 based at the Guildford (Peasmarsh) depot – this vehicle however, has spent time at
both Portsmouth and Basingstoke depots before arriving here.

Image 7b – Friday 1st May 2020
Falcon Buses, another recent entrant to the Guildford area, having started serving the town from September 2018
– it's history however can be linked back to Tellings Golden Miller in days of old through it's ownership. Route
28 operates between Guildford and Woking via the villages, here KX60DVO, an ADL Enviro 200 is seen along
Woodbridge Road in Guildford.

Image 7c – Friday 1st May 2020
A bit of a bonus, an Aldershot based Gold liveried ADL Enviro 400MMC, SN66VYH (10763) is seen operating
the KITE route heading towards Aldershot on Woodbridge Road in Guildford – it is very rare that a Gold bus
comes to Guildford, on this day this was one of two operating the route.

Image 8 – Saturday 2nd May 2020
Coachpoint is small Coach Hire company based in Farnborough, Hampshire – this very tidy and smart looking
Wright Solar bodied Scania B2CPX (formerly NK54NWB of Go North East) is seen on layover at Guildford Rail
Station awaiting a Rail Replacement trip to Aldershot & Farnham.

Image 8b – Saturday 2nd May 2020
Another general view of Guildford Bus Station, this view showing a slightly busier view than the one in my last
update – at least 9 buses can be seen in this view, showing 4 of the 6 operators currently operating the emergency
schedules in and around the town.

Image 9 – Wednesday 6th May 2020
Around the Country, there seems to often be many buses that end up heading to a Village known as 'Not in
Service' or it's many permutations, one wonders what it's like to live there! Here an Arriva Optare Versa,
YJ61CHV (4201) is making it's way there with a more artistic design along the London Road in Guildford.

Image 10 – Thursday 7th May 2020
This day would of been the day of Local Elections, which were obviously postponed – however, buses were still
operating, and here another view of Safeguard Coaches Optare Versa YJ64DVY, this time operating Route 5 along
Woodbridge Road in Guildford into the town centre – the tyre depot opposite at this point one of the few allowed
businesses to be open.

Image 11 – Tuesday 12th May 2020
Almost a week on from seeing the last artistic destination display on an Arriva bus, here departing Guildford Bus
Station on local Route 18 to Onslow Village, which is still largely following it's normal timetable is ADL Enviro
200 GN07DLY (3990) – the destination is appreciative of it's customers over recent weeks.

Image 11a – Tuesday 12th May 2020
To date, since the first supplied photo dated Sunday 19th April 2020 (from your Weekly update no. 101), Compass
Bus has escaped my camera – I can now finally supply a view of YX67UYE (4122), an ADL Enviro 200 seen
departing on Route 32 to Redhill from Guildford Bus Station – this is the only Compass Bus route serving the
town or indeed in Surrey as a whole at the present time, with all others suspended until further notice.

Image 11d – Tuesday 12th May 2020
Previously mentioned as being a bit of a bonus to see a Gold liveried bus in Guildford, it now seems these
vehicles are now the vehicle of choice for the KITE Route between Aldershot and Guildford – here seen along
Woodbridge Road in Guildford heading towards the town centre is ADL Enviro 400MMC, SN66VYJ (10764), a
Stagecoach South Aldershot based bus.

Very many thanks to Adam for these contributions which add much to the page even if outside our titled area. 

Buses and Coaches I have driven by your Editor

Further to comments recently about Shearings and the picture I included of my trip to Devon, I am now republishing a piece I wrote nearly 20 years ago on a week's coach tour I took to Great Yarmouth for said company.

Sometime in 1962 I was offered a one week tour to Great Yarmouth by what was
then Shearings Holidays based in Salford.
The livery was red and grey. My steed was a rather new Bedford SB5 with Plaxton C41F bodywork - VBA683

VBA681 Bd VAS1 1038 Pn 612729 C29F 3/1962 Shearings, Salford
VBA682 Bd SB5 89537 Pn 612838 C41F 3/1962 Shearings, Salford
VBA683 Bd SB5 89538 Pn 612839 C41F 3/1962 Shearings, Salford

More memories of buses that I have driven came looking at the picture above. This shows a group of tour passengers on the Shearings tour to Great Yarmouth. Tours started from a depot in Salford, close to the gasworks. I can remember how very pleased we all were to get away from the area and breath some fresh air. The coach above is mentioned in the history of Shearings book and was an early member of the old fleet before Jackson's of Altrincham took over and modern development began.

I remember we went through the Potteries and crossed towards Leicester where lunch was taken at The Odeon Cinema. In those days such places were favourite stops for coach operators. I think the 7 day tour cost about £8 and such tours were very popular with senior citizens of those days.

The coach in question had a Bedford 330cu in diesel and that engine was beside the driver. It was a rather noisy little beast and I think one was better off nearer the back. One did however have a double seat by the driver and this was also popular with passengers. Cases were much smaller by today's standards and one never seemed pushed for space. Top speed was in the low 50s and climbing ability was limited. I do remember as an enthusiast driver how one always wished one could be driving a "proper coach" such as a Leyland or AEC. Such coaches were often beyond the means of the smaller operators and Bedfords' or Fords' were considered quite adequate. Today a comparison might be made between a Volvo and a Dennis Dart. Such vehicles always seem to be working so much harder than their larger brothers. It was ever so with the Bedford. A week away in Norfolk was quite pleasant and I suppose much as now drivers were expected to help with the passengers at the hotel, running the bar was a chore I seem to remember. We fuelled and parked at the local operator of those days, Caroline Seagull Coaches. 

Singapore by Joel Forey

My name is Joel and I've been a regular reader of the OCBP for a number of years.  I've never really thought of adding my own contributions, but this virus and lockdown has given me time to sort through a lot of my photos, and the very interesting section on Hong Kong buses in last week's issue gave me the idea of submitting some of my own photos of buses in the far East.  

Attached to this email are some of my photos of buses in Singapore, taken in March-April 2018.  I hope they are of use to you!

SBS6608J is a Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro manufactured in 2012. 
It is allocated to SBS Transit's Hougang depot and is seen here at Yishun bus terminal on the 4th of April 2018, working service 103.

SBS8877K is a Scania K230UB with locally made Gemilang Coachworks bodywork. 
It's seen here on the 2nd of April 2018, working service 73 to Toa Payoh Interchange.

SG5063Z is a 2016 Volvo B9TL with Wrightbus Gemini 2 bodywork. 
It was delivered to Tower Transit Singapore in March 2016, but was not used and was transferred to local company SMRT buses. 
It was transferred again, this time to SBS Transit, and is seen here here at Yishun bus terminal working service 806,
a local feeder service franchised as part of the
Seletar Bus Package.

is also a Volvo B9TL Gemini.  It was new in September 2016 to SMRT buses, but transferred to SBS Transit. 
It is pictured on the 804, a Yishun area local feeder service.  

is seen here parked out of service at Yishun bus terminal. 
It is a Mercedes-Benz OC500LE with Gemilang bodywork, and it was new in 2009. 
Still in SMRT buses' old livery, and with a rather strange advertising wrap, including the objects on the roof!

SMB1331Z is a 2013 SMRT buses MAN NL323F with Gemilang bodywork. 
Here it is working service 171, a long cross-island service which starts at Yishun bus terminal and ends at Marina Centre, in downtown Singapore.  

a 2013 Man NL323F, is seen here at the end of a line of off service buses parked at Yishun bus interchange. 
The route display is for the 855, a cross-island service terminating at Harbour Front.
Next in the line is SMB5058L, a 2015 Alexander-Dennis Enviro 500 in SMRT buses' "pixel" livery, ready to work the 857 service to Suntec City, in the heart of downtown Singapore.
  Also in the "pixel" livery is the next vehicle, SMB1421Y, also a MAN NL323F, displaying the 171 route to Marina Centre.
The final bus on the line is Mercedes-Benz Citaro SMB157S, which will be working the 853 service to Lorong 1 Geylang Bus Terminal, in the east of the island.

is a relatively rare type, a MAN NG363F articulated bus with locally-built Gemilang bodywork.
 It is one of only 40 built, which were delivered to SMRT buses in 2015. 
It was transferred to SBS Transit in 2018, as the company won the Seletar Bus Package franchise. 
Still in the SMRT buses "pixel" livery here, it has since been repainted into SGBus green livery.

is a 2000 Mercedes-Benz O405G articulated bus with Spanish Hispano Carrocera Habit bodywork. 
It is seen here parked out of service at Yishun bus terminal, and was withdrawn and scrapped in 2019.

is a 2002 Mercedes-Benz O405 / Hispano Habit. 
Seen here on Yio Chu Kang Road, working service 854 to Yishun, it has since been withdrawn and, most likely, scrapped. 
A small number of these buses are still in service, the last step-door buses in service in Singapore.  They are all to be withdrawn by 2021. 
These buses are an amazing experience to ride on!

Very many thanks to Joel for some most interesting pictures in an area we don't often hear about. Somehow quite English and yet not and so far away.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott - our man in Drum Brae!

As ever Gordon has been taking his daily walk and providing us with a record of events north of the border.

May 9th

Lothian taken London Road Edinburgh on route 1. 1055CE - SJ18NFF Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3.

Stagecoach West Scotland Cumbernauld depot.

50411 - YX69LCA Volvo B11R Plaxton Panorama running out of service leaving Edinburgh Bus Station.

May 11th

Lothian Country 584 - SJ67MGV Volvo B5LH Wright Gemini 3 on route 43 to Queensferry. Lothian 584 on loan as bandit screen fitted for driver protection.

East Coast Buses  186 - SN13BFL Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse on route 106. Lothian 186 on loan as bandit screen fitted for driver protection.

Stagecoach West Scotland 50419 - YX69LBZ Volvo B11R Plaxton Panorama on CityLink 900 route at West End Edinburgh
 with Edinburgh Tram following from Princess Street.

Alexander Dennis E200 MMC 26124 - YY18TFX on route X59 in Taylink 99 route livery.

St Andrew depot Bus.
26353 - YX20 OFW on route X55. 

Alexander Dennis E40D MMC Smart Hybrid 11184 - YX19OUJ on route X55.

Taken May 12th at Gyle Centre, Edinburgh.

Lothian 1077CE - SJ19OWP Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB on Longstone depot Skylink 400 route.

Taken May 13th in Meadow Place Road, Edinburgh.

Lothian 551LS - SA15VUB.
Volvo B5LH Wright Gemini 3 on Marine depot route 21
by Longstone depot bus seen in Poppy Scotland livery.

Many thanks to Gordon for his contributions.

Fleet news and developments

Nick Ross

Arriva Luton based and Busway fitted Volvo B7 with the 0912 Bletchley- Luton F77 at Leighton High St bus stop on May 13th 2020  


The company has been running a colourmein competition. You can see the winners at the link below:   

Park & ride 679 is seen with a 2 road service on May 7th by Ciaran Bird.

From the 1830 LHR departure on May 12th services have operated from Gloucester Green Bus & Coach Station. 

Gary Seamarks

A Grant Palmer I got last Saturday a hundred yards from our house !
It's the one that's just arrived that had been with Halton.

Mark Doggett

20 plate vehicles sent in by Mark Doggett taken on May 12th.

This week's update is:

Services resuming from July 1st 2020 are subject to change depending on Government advice

BBC South Drone photo

Robert Williams, the CEO, has provided details of an extremely nice touch from last weekend.

We were approached by the BBC last week as their “Inside Out South” team has been using a qualified drone pilot to capture footage of the region in lockdown. From Oxford's dreaming spires, to the busy streets of Reading and the deserted shops at Bicester Village, they say that the Thames Valley has never looked so empty.

They were delighted when on Wednesday morning we arranged no less than 16 buses to spell out NHS for their fly-by.

The footage was broadcast on Sunday and can be viewed here:

We appear 1m 33sec from the start. 

Here is a rather nice promotion by Pulhams which is a real initiative!

Charles Powell

Pictures are of the main yard and the over flow parking area over the road in Bourton Business Park.  The majority of the vehicles are off the road, including two of the Solos.


I hope these pictures give people a view of the variety of makes and models we have.

Interesting for the variety of vehicles in the Pulhams fleet.

Even 69 plates are parked up.

The Volvo/MCV buses are also off the road.

With no schools work as yet more of the fleet resting!

This E200 is still in use and receiving a deep clean now the way matters are.

Even the Engineering Van is maintained in excellent presentation.

With thanks to Charles for an interesting selection of pictures.

Ciaran Bird

I have more photos for the OCBP which I've taken whilst doing various things such as exercise. 15831 and 10667 both in Woodstock on S3s today. As well as this I have 10071 in both directions on a 700, 10687 and 670 both on 2s and 15761 on S5 around Kidlington on the 7th.

On its regular duty is 10071 with a 700 working on May 7th, going and coming back!

MMC 10067 is seen with an S3 working as it 15836both on May 7th.

MMC 10687 is seen with a 2 working on May 7th.

15761 seen on its correctly branded S5 route on May 7th.

Steve Knight SKM

I have now spoken with Michelle Hargreaves regarding Busway vehicles on the X5. She told me that following the test run last week and a full risk assessment the decision has been taken not to use the Enviro 400XLB Busway vehicles on the route on a temporary basis.

That's sad in a way as pictures would have added much to the page !!  

I'm wondering if you might be able to add this advert to your page over the coming weeks please? We are hoping to grow membership of MTN in the coming months.

 New book just published which shows British Buses Abroad Illustrated. A City of Oxford double deck is also included!!

This publication covers most countries in the world and probably wherever you go will be a precursor to what you may find.
It has been thoughtfully edited with many interesting pictures, two full colour to each of the 114 illustrated pages.
The quality of this reasonably priced book is £12.50 inc. p&p in the U.K.

For your copy follow this link: 

A new Thames Valley book from Paul Lacey


Celebrating the centenary since the formation of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. on 10th July 1920 in a selection of photos from the foremost collection on that operator and its subsidiaries Newbury & District and South Midland and its many competitors./p>

The pages take the reader over the wide area of operations by the ‘Valley during the years 1920 to 1971, and also the variety of vehicles employed from the solid-tyred Thornycroft J-types through to the
final intakes of Bristol chassis, including the various second-hand purchases during the 1959-1971 period, all of which added greater variety and interest.

Within its 144 A4 perfect bound pages are 330 monochrome photos and 100 in colour, previously un-published, each with a fully-detailed caption.

Send your cheque for £23 for this post-free offer to:
Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT
If you prefer to collect your copy please call me on 0118 979 4097 to set up a mutually-convenient time.

Also still available:

Thames Valley, 1920-1930 (cover price £15) £13
Thames Valley, 1931-1945 (£25) £13
Thames Valley, 1946-1960 (£25) £13

Please mention The Oxford Chiltern Bus Page when  ordering.

    When I had occasion to need some photographs recently I was delighted to find just what I needed on The Transport Library Web Site. The collection is significant and if you do use the site please mention the Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.

    Robin who runs the site wrote to me:

    "I was recently put in touch with a local transport photographic image company called Kezlan Images. They run two sites – the Transport Library and The Transport Treasury. Together they provide over 200,000 images to purchase with both Road and Rail transport from the UK and overseas. I was drawn mainly to the Transport Library as this site has a larger volume of Bus images. In particular they offer the images from J S Cockshott, Geoffrey Morant and also several photographers who left their collection to the Omnibus Society. Started in 2012 the Transport Library started as a way of marketing Russell Fell’s large collection of London Country and London Transport Images. This collection alone numbers around 25,000 and contains a great many shots from the local area. From there though they have picked up other collections plus run a service for individuals and societies to market images on their behalf in exchange for royalty payments. The site is well worth a look as there are images from a wide variety of operators from across the country, so there should be something for everyone. Kezlan Images also buy transport photographic collections, and have started to move into publishing through the Transport Treasury brand. Currently the books they have produced are based on rail subjects, but they hope to move into road matters in the near future." 

    I would note that prices are most reasonable for the photographs, especially if one take the Digital images.

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