Another week and another page! Time is really flying at present. As one page finishes another starts and the contributions keep flowing in. Than k you all !!

Several points of news this week are covered in the latest issue of Route One. (https://www.route-one.net/) giving an insight into events.

Of importance are that Flixbus is to restart on July 2nd using six operators vehicles and serving Birmingham, Bristol, Guildford and Portsmouth amongst others first of all.

The network will initially be resourced with six vehicles from smaller operators, but that number will be added to “quickly” as demand rises, the company says. Flixbus aims to be market leader in the UK by 2025. Bristol-based Turners Coachways and London operator Your Partner In Journey are each involved in providing vehicles for the launch network.

The will give the current major holders of express services something to think about. Indeed will there be enough traffic to warrant three main operators on the above routes? I wonder.


Stagecoach has named its 2020 eco-driving winners in the Christopher Ball Memorial Awards.

Stagecoach Oxfordshire was overall winner for the sixth year running. Its employees showed consistently strong eco-driving performance over the last year. The top depot award went to London’s Leyton depot.

Thanks to the GreenRoad system, which uses a traffic-light style LED dashboard indicator giving feedback to drivers on their maneouvres, Stagecoach has reported a cut of 14% in carbon emissions over the past five years.

I must say congratulations to my old colleagues as UI know how hard it is to follow GreenRoad and its limitations.

Finally Abellio say that Bus Franchising is the only way forward now after Covid-19. I wonder how that will sit with the major operators in Manchester who are not so keen?

A new and convenient way to pay for your travel on our buses.

See details under the Go-Ahead section below.

News of a service change from Richard Sharman


A bus service like no other! 
Our Service 853 has been running for over 30 years!
It serves as the only direct bus link along the A40 and is ideal for days out in any of the vibrant villages along the route. With markets and romantic punt trips there is always something for everyone.  Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, our daily service from Gloucester/Cheltenham to Oxford will provide a great experience. 
The service runs through the beautiful countryside of The Cotswolds via the picturesque small towns and villages including Northleach, Burford and Witney. We are proud to provide a smooth comfortable journey with friendly drivers.

Service 853 - Re-commencing of service 
Following the announcement of the re-opening of some of the leisure and hospitality sectors,
we are pleased to advise passengers that our 853 Service will re-commence on Monday 13th July '20

However from July 22nd this service is being taken over .

Richard Sharman

Stagecoach West have registered to operate service 853 from July 27th 2020. 

Swanbrook will recommence the service from July 13th prior to Stagecoach West taking over operation of it.

Service 853 was already a megabus partner service, details from Stagecoach West about the service are expected in the coming weeks.

Whilst it will be interesting to see what Stagecoach West brings to this route, it will also end over 30-year's of Swanbrook serving Oxford, which will be a great shame.

According to the registration the service will only operate between Cheltenham and Oxford via Witney. Further details in due course.


One thing many will have noticed is the lack of school services and in many cases the vehicles used have been laid up for more than three months.

As we can in the picture above, not only are there a number of Carousel and Thames Travel buses off the road but also the Chilternbus waiting for schools to return.
Not too many weddings now meaning so many uses for buses have been in abeyance.
Nigel Peach also recorded a similar picture on July 1st when nothing had changed.©

Gavin Francis was in Luton on July 1st and noticed two NEx tri-axles coming from Luton and supposed these were preparing for the restarting of services?

Here are two pictures from Jim Wright taken at Gloucester Green in preparation for start up on July 3rd.

I wonder how the passengers will like that?©

One service which is not restarting on July 3rd is the 737 service from Oxford-Stansted via Milton Keynes and Luton. I wonder when it will restart?

Load limitations at the time of taking, June 22nd, seen on this OMNICity at Hounslow West by Gavin Francis.©

I wonder with social distancing rules changing but lockdowns which maybe returning to specific locations how this will all work?

An example of a destination display shown by an Oxford Bus decker with social distancing indicated! July 2nd by Jack Cooper. ©

An interesting collection of pictures from the past for this week's issue which I hope readers will enjoy.

Julian Walker remembers Henley Town services

Thank you for your continued efforts with the Oxford-Chilterns Bus Page, especially in these trying times. Although I haven't contributed for a long time I remain a regular reader, and use the Page to keep in touch with the area now that I have moved to Stagecoach South West territory in South Devon. 

I am writing because it looks like the Henley Town Services 151/152/153, latterly operated by Reading Buses under "Connect-Henley" branding, have fallen victim to Covid-19. They last operated on Maundy Thursday 9th April, and since then have been suspended - the latest news on service levels on the Reading Buses website has them shown as "service no longer runs".   

I attach a photo taken in Henley on 13th January 2012, when the services were in the hands of White's Coaches using incongruously yellow-painted Optare Solos. MX53 FDK is seen in Market Place on town service 151, preceded by YK04 KWE on route 145 to Woodcote, a service that was lost after Oxfordshire withdrew all its funding for bus services a few years ago.

Somehow it doesn't seem to be over eight years ago!  ©

Martin Dowling on further use for old buses

Several schools around Reading are using old buses to create teaching spaces or libraries. Even after the costs of conversion it can be far cheaper than a temporary building or portacabin.  I'm sure that a lot of other schools in your area are using buses in this way.

One example is X229WNO a Dennis Dart which has been converted to create a library on the edge of Caversham Primary School’s playground. According to a school newsletter a temporary building would have cost £150,000 and the bus was £30,000 including all of the associated costs and fitting out.

This bus, made in 2000, originally worked in London for Selkent and then Stagecoach. Later in its life it was painted as a mobile pawn shop for Cash Converters. If you search the web using the registration number you can see lots of photos – I won’t send links in case this email gets caught by your spam filter and there may be copyright issues, but will attach two of my photos of the bus in its present incarnation.

Another bus is at Earley St Peter’s School. I think I sent a photo some time ago of G802GSX, but I can’t find it now. It’s a 1990 Leyland Olympian originally with Lothian Buses and then with Fishwick's of (very appropriately) Leyland where it was converted to a single door.

St Peter’s call it a learning bus. Again the registration brings up a lot of photos. This link is to the company that performed the conversion with photos of the interior and the bus installed in the playground.



A contribution from Nick Ross

Red Kite's M223 SVN passes an Arriva DART in Leighton High St stop with the 162 from Dagnall on August 31st 2018,
the last day of Red Kite local bus operation © 

A section of Haddenham no longer served with Arriva Olympian 5158 on the 280 on April 25th 2005 © 

Ben Christie around High Wycombe and Lane End

Ben remembers when!

Indeed how times have changed, back then Buses to Lane End were every half an hour from around 6am until 7pm then hourly until 11pm. A far cry from the very limited service offered now.


These were made up of alternate Journeys on routes:


338 Wycombe - Sands - Booker Woods - Lane End (today’s route 48)

339 Wycombe - Desborough Avenue - Cressex - Asda - Clayhill - Lane End (today’s route 28) 

Then after 7pm and on Sundays


315 - (Bourne End - Loudwater) - Wycombe - West Wycombe Road - Sands - Booker Hill - Asda & Cinema - Clayhill - Lane End
(a variation of today’s routes 28/32)


Interesting to note that while most daytime services were usually smaller minibuses (the ex London Mercedes/Alexander or Dart Handybuses) there was also the odd Olympian here and there, the routes were fairly varied on fleet allocations but I believe after getting support from the council for the Sunday and evening services one of the stipulations was that the evening and Sunday services (Route 315)was operated by low floor buses so the route became a mainstay of the Dart SLF’s bought new for the 303/313/304 routes (today’s route 33) the more rural route gave them a nice chance to stretch their legs!


Anyway just wanted to air my memories of the service to my home village!


So, below we have a selection of pictures for the types mentioned above.

By Malcolm Crowe.

On August 2nd 1998, 779 had been working the 339, being on loan from Oxford to Wycombe.©

MB/Alexander 715 (March 21st 1998) and 727 (July 19th 1999) both around Wycombe working the 339 to Lane End.©

Wrights Handybus 529, notably called "sheds", seen freshly painted in WBC livery with a 339 on April 1st 2000.©

Mercedes Benz 811D with Reeve Burgess bodywork 703 alongside Lynx 301 in Wycombe Bus Station on July 19th 1999.©

Various types including the new Dart and ex Oxford Volvo B10Bs with an ex Harwell Olympian on June 25th 2000.©

As can be seen there were quite a few changes in a few short years.

MB/Alexander 724 working the 309 on July 16th 1997 by Michael Wadman ©


It is hard to realise that I started doing the then Oxford Bus Page in late 1998 and these pictures were taken out of interest since the page was "Oxford"!!!!


Readers may appreciate a sight of a model bus layout featuring Chiltern Queens

Modelled by Chris Fletcher. I remember driving a Bedford VAL when brand new on a Saturday evening drive in Cheshire.© 

Paul Bateson

Here is a follow-up to me mentioning about finding an ex-Crosville Lodekka. 

I am pleased to say that after 16 years of searching for a missing Bristol Lodekka success has finally been achieved.  Luckily an Ontario resident who had known about this bus for about three years sent an e-mail to Rob Sly www.bcv.robsly.com;  enquiring about the bus as he did not know its identity.  Fortunately he had given Rob the chassis number – 100040 – and this bus was identified as Crosville RFM 419.  Over the years I have had e-mails with Rob, usually reporting my sightings, so it was good that Rob could alert me abut this discovery.  I miss not being able to drive but fortunately my good friend and fellow Brampton Transit retiree, John Romijn, with whom I had resumed meeting and maintaining physical distancing, agreed to take me to Simcoe last Friday.  This location is about 120 kms south west of Brampton.  No wonder I had never found this bus on my own as it is located well off the beaten track.  It is rather derelict as you can imagine after being parked in a field at Gregor’s Auto Wrecking, 1962 Turkey Point Road since at least 2004.  Rather thrilled at finally cracking this one.  I have attached two pictures. 

RFM419 ex Crosville taken on June 19th 2020

Coincidentally at 45 Queensway East in Simcoe is KAG 854 (ex-Western SMT D1373) in use as an ice cream shop trading as Indulge Ice Cream.  This shop had recently re-opened and I must say the ice cream tasted good!

Now there's a place to get your Ice Cream!

Thames Valley's 651 seen in Rockton, Canada on October 19th 1976.

 All pictures by Paul Bateson ©

Marcus Lapthorn

I came across an unusual vehicle in a yard in Faringdon today and attach photos of same. 

Note Airstream route 66 plate on the rear. ©

The Airstream Route 66 was at one time at @The Park in Mawgan, Porth.

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

Two attached shots taken at Barnton Edinburgh - Stagecoach East Scotland now fitted with protection screens for the Covid-19 issue.

Volvo B11R Plaxton Elite,  53809 - YY65SXR
on X60 Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy. Aberhill depot based.

Volvo B13R Plaxton Panther, 554120 - 495FFJ
on Megabus M92 route heading for Edinburgh. Perth depot based.

Fleet news and developments

Services will be changing as from July 5th. Please check your journeys before travel. Check this link: https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/coronavirus/important-service-information---beds-and-bucks/

Malcolm Crowe

I followed 3032 out of the bus station today, it was working route 32. It sounded absolutely awful, rattles and bangs from the engine/transmission sounded like a "bag of spanners" !!!!!! The bodywork was a tribute to Jacob's coat of many colours also.

Even the Red Kite flying above was keeping its distance!!©

From Nigel Peach

Visited Cressex June 26th. For some time the only withdrawn buses there have been 3862 and the red DAF whose number I've forgotten!
These have now been joined by ex Midlands DAFs 2731 and 2735 (both latterly at MK). Sister 2732 is still working at Wycombe.
With 03 plates these are newer than many of those still working in Wycombe! 2735 is in the very old Arriva livery. 

Picture above showing Trainer 9555 (AE56MDF), Citaro 3042 (BV58MLF) and DAF 2731 (BU03HRD).
According to bustimes, 3042 hasn't worked since March. I wonder why, as it is not one of the oldest batch of Citaros.©

A recent transfer from Arriva Southern Counties (Harlow depot I believe) to Aylesbury is 3859 (KE54LPJ)
which has just left Eden bus station for Aylesbury on the 300. The date July 1st. ©

Nick Ross

Buses not welcome here any more, Leighton Buzzard High street bus stops are now a taxi rank!!

Passengers have a long walk, and have to cross a busy road to get their buses in Leighton now.. Progress in Central Bedfordshire!!! © 

Gavin Francis

Surprise working of the X74 by E200 44562 in Trader livery on June 27th.
They have several StreetLites and one wonders why they used this bus?
Pictured in Eden Bus Station by Gavin Francis.©

The three companies within Oxford Bus control have now all introduced this ticketing system shown in the picture below by Jack Cooper.

The machine in place on each bus. Jack Cooper on July 2nd 2020. ©

A new and convenient way to pay for your travel on Carousel, Oxford and Thames Travel buses.

Simply “tap on” the driver ticket machine at the start of each journey ,p. (when you board the bus/coach) and “tap off” at the end of each journey using a contactless payment method (Visa/MasterCard payment card or device using Google Pay or Apple Pay).

The price will be the same as buying an adult single paper ticket on the bus.

The total you pay each day automatically caps to the price of a day ticket for the area that you travelled in, if this is less than the total cost of the single fares. Capping will only work properly if you use the same card or device for all journeys in a day.

This new system will help reduce boarding times too, which is great for speeding up bus journeys.

To use Freeflow, there's no need to register or sign up. Just board the bus using your card or device to “tap on” - and don’t forget to “tap off” when you exit. 

Nigel Peach

StreetLite 402 was running on June 29th for the first time since March 21st . It was running route 8 - that's maybe because it's closer to home for when it breaks down!!

Three pictures attached from July 1st on my first visit to Carousel's depot since before lockdown.

The Carousel overflow yard today (July 1st). I don't think 885 (HF55JYY) has yet seen service at Carousel since it arrived early this year, whereas 884/6/7 are out and about daily. Among the buses in the yard are withdrawn 418 and 419, and Thames Travel 849. 

Malcolm Crowe

Poor 859, looking a little the worse for wear, however the ground is uneven. June 29th.©

423 was resting inside the depot after several days work on Link40 service including last Sunday - June 29th.©
423 was back on the Link40 by July 1st!

Gavin Francis

Scania 216 is seen in Uxbridge with a 101 working on June 29th. Note the blind is incorrectly set up!!©

Ex Thames Travel but long time resident with Carousel, E200 503 is seen working the 580 in Uxbridge on June 29th.©

No news of any increased in services as yet and the coaches for the 105 have now disappeared from the yard and maybe back in Oxford?

Pleased to have contributions from my regulars of the Oxford fleet.

Ciaran Bird

Passing through roadworks in Summertown, 664 is seen with a 500 service on June 26th.©

StreetDeck 690 is seen working a U5 service on June 26th.©

Brookes branded 606 is seen working a 2A service in Kidlington on July 2nd ©

After July 4th Oxford Bus will cease operating the 250 service

Citaro 883 is seen passing through roadworks whilst operating a 250 road service on June 26th.©

Daniel Harwood

Another blast from the past when Hybrid 317 is seen working the 300 down the Woodstock Road on June 27th.©

StreetDeck 674 is seen heading for Woodstock with a 500 service on June 27th.©

Jack Cooper

A neat picture with 300 operating the 300 service on June 28th.©

Wrights 365 seen at The Kassam on June 30th with the blinds set for the 250. Jack couldn't resist this. ©

Hybrid 311 is seen with a 6 road service on July 2nd.©

Another Hybrid 314 working the 4A through Frideswide Square on July 2nd.©

Brookes 373 is seen working a U1 through Frideswide Square on July 2nd. These particular buses have been SORN for several weeks.©

StreetDeck 653 is seen working its' branded route 5 at the top of New Road on July 2nd.

StreetDeck 688 branded for City8/9 is seen working a 2B service in Magdalen Street East on July 2nd.©

For the time being just a memory which Richard Sharman has enabled us to see the development of this service in pictures. The service started in 2018 with a fleet of brand new Mercedes which are shown below.

Apart from the main fleet various other vehicles were used and of course 980 is now at Wycombe again.
Every effort was made to promote the service including a full wrap on a Citaro.©

Now we must wait to see what further developments take place.

Jack Cooper

Heading for Chalgrove with an 11 service on July 2nd is "Chiltern Trains" liveried 602 seen at Carfax. ©

Connector branded 511 is seen with an ST2 working in Frideswide Square on July 2nd. ©

Jim Wright

Jim  writes "this morning, July 2nd, a 908 service maybe to Manchester operated by Selwyns with BM68AHN is seen at Gloucester Green".

Seems they started on July 2nd maybe prompted by Flixbus!! ©

The same coach caught by Jack Cooper by St Giles on July 2nd. ©

Bill Gough - the new Head of Engineering.

Changes to Caversham Routes from July 6th

Once Reading Bridge re-opens, there will be some permanent changes to routes within Caversham to make them more direct and attractive for customers, to work around the proposed Caversham one way system, and to help save time and resources. In summary:

The diversion during the closure of Reading Bridge will also change from July 6th - this means that Station North and South West on all inbound journeys apart from those scheduled to call into the South West interchange before 9am.

Pictures from Bracknell on July 3rd by Gavin Francis

Looking very smart Lion 216 is seen ready for its journey to Reading from Bracknell.

Here is Green Line 1208 heading for Heathrow Terminal 5, also looking smart.

This E200 working the 321 had acquired new destination/number screens but was still in full TfL livery on June 29th in High Wycombe.
The bus was new to London United in 2008,being based at Kingston working local K routes.  Ed. ©

Please refer to this link for changes after June 28th.


Pictures this week from some contributors.

Ciaran Bird

An unusual picture of 10683 working a 2A road service on June 26th. The advert is very dated as a result of Covid-19!!©

MMC 11242 on an S7 service in Summertown on June 26th.©

Gold 15835 is seen working an 7 to Woodstock on June 26th. ©

Ciaran says Gold buses are appearing on the 700 service more often, including 15966.
Above is 15831 seen in Kidlington on July 1st. ©

Daniel Harwood

MMC 10437 is seen heading up Woodstock Road with an S3 to Charlbury on June 27th.©

10439 with a 7 for Woodstock on June 27th.©

Gold MMC 10780 is seen with an S9 service in Grove Road, Wantage on June 27th.©

Gold MMC 10785 with an S8 in Wantage on June 27th.©

15933 is heading for Oxford with an S8 service in Wantage on June 27th.©

Finally Gold E300 28743 is seen with an S4 in the Banbury Road on June 27th. It looks high or low on the chassis front and back?? ©

Jack Cooper

S5 branded 15757 is seen with an S3 working in Frideswide Square on July 2nd. ©

MMC 10672 with an "S5" working oddly in Carfax
on July 2nd. ©

Theo Freeman

Delivered yesterday (July 2nd) is Enviro 200MMC 37630 (YX20ODY). No others are due. It is the first new Enviro 200MMC to be delivered in the new Stagecoach ‘Local’ livery and also the first to have the new grey/blue interior. It has 40 seats. It will be allocated to Banbury and is for the 505 contract which operates between Bicester and Brackley.

Pictures in Banbury depot by Theo Freeman on July 3rd. ©

The fleet here remains fluid but with further vehicles being returned to service. Currently there are 14 Busway Scania/Enviro 400s and three Scania/Enviro 400MMCs operating from Cambridge and 14  Volvo B7RLE and Volvo B8RLE Busway saloons operating from Bedford.

Enviro 200 training bus 36310 is currently at Fenstanton.

Gary Seamarks

It looks like Bedford are taking the following for the 99

53702/3        OU10GYJ/K

53706/8        AE10JSZ,JTU

53716        YN60ACU


They are twin Axle Elites that were used on the M2 between Canterbury and North Greenwich. But were new to NX Workings, since new to Oxford you should be aware of 53702/3,  they are to replace the Panthers, 53612/3/5-7 which are now believed to be for disposal, unsure if within the group or to an outside company . I had heard that 53618 was to be retained as its an 11 plate that replaced the accident/fire damaged 53614 and so is newer that the Elites, time will tell. 

Daniel Harwood

The Woodstock Road sees 21366 and then 21310 working the X5 on June 27th. ©

Andrew Tyldesley

I got a wave from Sid this morning! (June 26th).©
ADL Enviro 400 19435/NK58 FMY still carries its adverts for Megabus - turning from Westgate Road into Grainger Street, Newcastle.

Is it me or has Stagecoach decided to keep Sid???? 

Scania/Enviro 400s 15977/78/79/80 have been temporarily re-allocated from Cheltenham to Stroud.

Two recently repainted vehicles at Gloucester, Enviro 200 36390 and Enviro 300 27719, have been moved from the main fleet to the Reserve Fleet at Gloucester.

Jack Cooper

S6 branded Gold MMC 10988 is seen with an S6 working in Frideswide Square on July 2nd.©

Previously unreported is the allocation of former Stagecoach Oxfordshire Scania/Enviro 400s 15534/37 to Chesterfield and similar 15535 to Barnsley.

Services start on July 6th.

Services started on July 3rd

Megabus Volvo B11Rs 54207/08 which had been at North Bristol (Stagecoach West) are now reported as delicenced with Stagecoach South Wales at Cwmbran.

London operations

Further to last week's pictures from Gavin and in particular the comment on a Southdown at Redhill

Metroline VP516 at MARBLE ARCH on August 17th 2012 by Gavin Francis.
Last week shown operating for Southdown in Redhill.

LK04CRU was Metroline VP516 and often worked the 6 (along Park Lane.) around Marble Arch!

Ian McNeil

Thank you for your reply and the link.  Three of the vehicles are shown emerging from the W end of Oxford Street into the Marble Arch gyratory and the name Park Lane can be see behind the LT on the 390.  Only the NatEx 440 (from Leicester via the M1 and Golders Green) would take the first exit into Park Lane on its way to Victoria; the 390 took exit 3 (effectively straight on) into Bayswater Road and the 6 took exit 4 into Edgware Road.  The 6 blind in both photos showed Oxford Circus as a via point on the route from Aldwych to Willesden.    

Since June 2017 the 6 route now crosses the path of the VP but from Willesden to Aldwych via Edgware Road, Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner and Piccadilly Circus.  The 390 was also rerouted then and now turns left at the photo location into Park Lane towards Victoria, replacing the well-known 73 which terminates at Oxford Circus. (When I first got to know London in the 60s, the 73 ran right out to Hounslow and was being converted from RT and RTL types to RM.) 

Thanks to Ian for drawing my attention to this.

Gavin Francis visited Hounslow West and Uxbridge on June 22nd and then at Uxbridge, Acton Vale, Kensington and Earls Court on June 29th. ©

Hounslow West

I found this interesting because most unusually there is no fleet number on 2016 at Hounslow West.

2017 and 2020 on the same route, interesting combination is fleet number 2020 with a 20 plate. Pity it is not route 20!


London United's DLE30008 with the H98 en route to Hounslow.

Citaro MCL30305 en route to Hounslow working the 203.

Note all 203  services are single deck worked as seen with Scania SP40042 heading to Hounslow.

At the same point SP40048 shows the BUS FULL signs used in TfL areas.

VH45158 is working the H91 seen at its terminus, Hounslow West Station.

VW1385 working the 81 from Slough to Hounslow, a route worked by many operators over the years.

Another full bus seen at Hounslow West working a 222 from Uxbridge - VWH2345 looking very smart.


Not all the buses working the 427 bear route branding as does 2554 and 2557 but not MMC 2571.

Another branded route is the U7 with this older E200, 8570, working route U7.

MMC 8169 is seen working the U9 in Uxbridge, once worked by Arriva (High Wycombe) and rated the best run TfL route at the time.

A memory

As a comparison of more than 20 years ago here is a bus used for the U9 on March 8th 1998 seen at Cressex old depot by Malcolm Crowe.

E200 44566 with service 3 in Uxbridge.

E200 DE1117 arriving with an A10 service.

E200 MMC DEL2145 is seen with a route 331 service which Gavin informs me is a really roundabout route!

An elderly M A N 14/240 - MCV Evolution MM820 now working as a trainer after a hard life on routes in north west London.

Volvo/eVoSeti VMH 2592 seen at the western end of its 607 route. The blue express blinds date back to RT days!

A well known route, the 222, seen in Uxbridge worked by VWH2360.

Acton Vale

Heading for White City, Volvo/eVoSeti VMH 2563 seen in Action Vale.

Kensington, High Street

Heading for Uxbridge, Volvo/eVoSeti VMH 2567 seen in Acton Vale. A far cry from the Citaro bendi's of yesteryear!

Earls Court.

2456 an E400 by Earls Court working the C3.

In a very eye catching livery, driver trainer 9426.

Many thanks to Gavin for some interesting and varied pictures from the past two weeks. Gavin is back to work next Monday and so will have an update on other areas.