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End of the road for French coach giant Eurolines as company goes into liquidation after 35 years

A French court on Tuesday placed long-distance coach company Eurolines into compulsory liquidation.

After 35 years, the French transport giant will stop operations on Friday, July 24th.

It came after Eurolines was bought out by German group FlixBus last year, but unions have claimed the holding company refused to look for a buyer and is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to axe jobs.

At the end of June, FlixBus asked for bankruptcy proceedings be opened for its subsidiary, but the court requested that the Eurolines continue to operate under court administration for one month.

Flixbus has emptied Eurolines of its substance, is going to regain market share and is now trying to get rid of the employees without paying anything, according to a source who said "the German brand had used the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext."

First an apology, in the last issue nr.113, I inadvertently stated that the MASKEY vending machine was located at Gloucester Green whereas it was and is at The Eden Bus Station, High Wycombe. Sorry Guys!
In the same issue I also stated the wrong seating increase for the Oxford tube which is 37 and not as stated. The page was amended on Saturday morning but they were mistakes which should not have happened.

A number of interesting items included in this issue are the recent Honk for Hope Rally to London which took place on Monday, July 20th. My thanks to Andrew Webb for his welcome contribution.

Ashwood Travel from high Wycombe leads this convoy of coach on the M4. More pictures and full details may be found under the Coach Honk heading.
Picture taken by Andrew Webb from the M4 overbridge on July 20th 2020.

Another significant contribution is from Jack Cooper who provides detail in pictures of the new StreetDeck buses for Thames Travel, again to be found below, this time under Thames Travel's heading.

The shiny front panel of 905 being prepared for service with Thames Travel in this picture from Jack Cooper on July 19th.

Gavin Francis has provided an excellent selection of pictures this week, from High Wycombe, London and Oxford. One that interested me is that London's taxis are also carry Covid-19 stickers. What a change we have seen in the past six months, let us hope that the predicted spike does not happen as we enter winter days, so much effort has been made by so many to try to prevent any increase in cases!

No doubting that every effort is being made to provide public transport for the nation. Taken by Gavin Francis on July 21st.

What shame that when operators provide the much needed ways to get around, even to country villages, that motorists seem unaware that driving too fast on narrow roads can be dangerous. A victim of this, as locally reported, was Carousel's 420, an M A N 14-200/Alexander E200 single deck working the service 40 between Thame and High Wycombe. Damage was quite significant.

The picture of the damage is shown in this picture by Gavin Francis taken on July 19th. The future of this 10 year old bus is yet to be decided !

Graham Low writes "This is a link to government statistics on transport use in recent months. Bus passenger numbers outside London are now around one third of previous levels and around 45% in London. Cycling is well over 100% of former levels, while rail is still very low."


With the publicised facts of people wanting to continue working from home plus the universities still to decide when to "resume normal teaching", so many people shopping on line and the continuing concerns over safety one has to wonder what the future may hold. Following my old career in the aviation business I note the withdrawal of many Boeing 747 passenger aircraft and also the furloughing of the Airbus A380 as airlines adjust capacity to demand. Additionally so many schools remain closed or limited that bus and coach operators who rely on this form of revenue are certainly feeling the pinch.

However let us look on the bright side and hope that things will improve next year.

As a final point of local interest, one notices that Oxford Bus are now getting their branded buses back on to their correct routes, however not so Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, who may be unhappy with the loss of Gold buses for the "Superior - S" routes, illustrated by the picture from Ciaran Bird taken on July 23rd in Woodstock.

Gold 15759 is seen with an S3 service to Charlbury and the MMC 11241 working the 233 to Burford has as shown under the
Stagecoach heading below got S1/S2 branding. Picture from Ciaran Bird.

I don't want to appear pernickety but surely branding costs money? The question must arise, is branding worth the money or maybe all passengers want is a clean bus, with correct destination, turning up on time with a friendly and polite driver. However as mentioned earlier in one issue, I am getting rather elderly now!!!!!!

In previous issues I have highlighted the problems of having a cycle track between the bus shelters and the actual stops. This was also quoted in a recent article in an edition of the Telegraph and I quote :-

"Whilst City Hall rightly looks at ways of promoting cycling and walking, it must also ensure adequate space for motor vehicles. Yet the Mayor seems to have no interest in getting the balance right. His Streetspace plan has limited street lanes and involves shutting entire roads to create cycle lanes and larger pavements. These "temporary" measurers have been rushed through without consultation and are already causing problems on London's streets.

One of the worst Streetspace changes has to busy Park Lane in central London, where a three lane highway has been reduced to one to create and new cycle lane and another one for buses. The inevitable result - massive congestion. Even more ludicrously Park Lane already has an extensive cycle network on its doorstep, with cyclists continuing to cycle through Hyde Park as they have always done."

Not wishing to add fuel to the flames the single lane for other than bus or taxi traffic now takes the queue to enter Park Lane north bound all the way back towards Victoria along the side of the Palace which not only delays the cars but more importantly the buses and coaches which are trying to get people back on board.

It also reminds of when the M40 first opened through to Birmingham, the slow lane of the M40 north east bound dropped into the fast lane of the M42, hardly desirable? That was soon changed thank goodness, now the M42 joins the M40.

Finally, with pictures from Gavin Francis, I have included some overseas operators who run services to London and a visit to Binders Yard near High Wycombe. 

Honk for Hope brings coach industry concerns to London

The coach industry continued the fight for its future on Monday 20 July when the Honk for Hope movement rolled into London.

Around 420 coaches from as far away as Aberdeenshire, Cornwall and West Wales participated in the most vocal and well-attended Honk for Hope UK protest yet. It aimed to convey the industry’s unhappiness with government failure to provide sector-specific support and to articulate the real threat to the wider economy that widespread failures of coach operators poses.

Key to the procession was its routing via Parliament Square. It took several hours for all of the coaches involved to pass. Many drivers elected to make their feelings known to those nearby using vehicle horns. That stopped only on Police instruction – ironically, after complaints from within the Palace of Westminster.

What was clear around Parliament Square is that London is hostile territory for coaches.

Poor signal timings, the devotion of more road space to cycle lanes and road layouts that make large vehicles’ interaction with cyclists difficult are coupled to the wider problem of insufficient parking.

That makes a coach driver’s life in London almost insufferable, says one operator.

More on this can be found at this link : https://www.route-one.net/news/honk-for-hope-brings-coach-industry-concerns-to-london/

An old name leads the Honk for Hope London convoy

Heading the Honk for Hope convoy into London was a Volvo B10M with Van Hool T8 bodywork recently painted into period Shearings livery.
It commemorates the company’s exit from operating after its parent company Specialist Leisure Group ceased trading.

Andrew Webb provided a number of pictures to highlight this event with comments as follows - "The Honk for Hope rally descended on London on Monday.  The full rally headed east from Heston on the M4 shortly before 10:00, taking over 30 minutes to pass my vantage point at Osterley.  In a poignant move, the rally was led by preserved Shearings Van Hool Volvo B10M P306VWR, Shearings being arguably the highest profile coaching casualty of the Covid 19 pandemic.  The coach only emerged from the paint shop on 17 July so is in mint condition.

The purpose of the rally is reflected concisely on the side of York Pullman's Irizar. 

Amongst the modern coaches were vehicles from a earlier generations.  Red Routemaster sent RMA58, revisiting a stretch of road where it earned its keep when delivered new as a BEA coach linking the airport to central London.

Also no stranger to high speed running in an earlier life if RCL2260, still usually very busy in the fleet of the London Bus Company who run one of the few remaining crew operated services linking Epping station with the associated Epping Ongar Railway.


Demonstrating the widespread unhappiness in the industry is the wide range of companies from across the UK who converged on the capital at short notice.  Murray & Son's impressive Neoplan Starliner was one of those with the longest journey, travelling all the way from Glasgow to participate.

Some pictures showing the rally on the M4 passing Osterley.  I took over 250 photos of the event so if you need any specific vehicle please ask, I probably have it!


Fans of the beautiful game were reminded of the importance of the humble coach to the sport by Readybus sending this hi spec Higer Scania which is used to transport the England team to fixtures.


By way of contrast to the noise of the rally, was Heathrow this morning, where this Oxford Airline Mercedes, where the only noise disturbing the tranquility as it headed away from T5, was that of bird song.

Another vehicle which summed up the aim of the campaign was this Van Hool from Yorkshire Rose.


The vehicle which travelled the furthest was this Iveco Kintore-based Premier Coaches in Aberdeenshire, a journey of over 500 miles.

So, very many thanks to Andrew for his record of this event which surely must rank amongst the most unique I can ever remember. Well done to the operators and I do hope someone listens and acts.

VCS is now run by NEx and Gavin Francis has provided some interesting pictures of the effect of Cov-19

Temperature check before passengers can board their service on July 20th.

The concourse over looking some of the departure stands on July 20th.

Jack Cooper has provided some pictures of the reopened shop in Gloucester Green where much effort has been made to ensure the safety of all.

Welcome facilities for Airline passengers by Jack Cooper.

A picture from Jack Cooper on July 19th, a damp day it seems. Gloucester Green not too busy.

His second picture shows things a little more busy with service for Heathrow and Gatwick ready for boarding
 in this picture from Jack Cooper taken on July 21st.

Gavin Francis sent these two pictures of Gloucester Green station taken on July 18th.

Currently the tube tickets have this reminder regarding face coverings - July 21st. 

A much appreciated plan of the revised COVID-19 seating plan on tube coaches is shown with thanks to Stagecoach (Laura Grant).

Window stickers showing the seating arrangements on the service - July 18th by Gavin Francis,

Julian Walker in South Devon reporting on effects of Covid-19

I am Julian Walker, and I have recently moved from London to South Devon, which like Oxford is served by Stagecoach (Stagecoach South West) and Go-Ahead (Plymouth CityBus) as well as a good selection of independents. Malcolm has asked if I would like to contribute from time to time with news of bus services in the local area, which I am happy to do. I shall start with an overview of buses during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

I travelled by train to Plymouth on Monday 16th March, and from the passenger numbers it was clear even then that people were abandoning bus and train travel. As the week progressed more and more bad news emerged, culminating in the order to close down the entire UK economy. Just a week after my trip to Plymouth, the UK was in full lockdown.  

Stagecoach South West responded initially by going to school holiday timetables from Monday 23rd March, whilst Plymouth CityBus moved to a Saturday service with a few amendments to provide services over roads that only usually had Monday to Friday service. However it was clear that with around 85% of journeys no longer being made, a much more drastic reduction was necessary. From the following Monday 30th March Plymouth CityBus went on to emergency timetables, whilst Stagecoach South West moved to a Sunday level of service with a few extra morning journeys for key workers. This left a few surprising gaps in the network; for several weeks there was no 155 service between Tiverton and South Molton, no route 3 between Kingsbridge and Plymouth, and the communities along the 319 route between Bideford and Hartland had no bus service at all. This contrasts with Plymouth CityBus, who simply adopted Saturday timetables on routes that do not have a Sunday service. Although the new schedules were compiled and implemented with commendable speed, operational experience led to a number of tweaks over the following weeks. The Covid-19 situation also put a dampener on Go-Ahead's new Transport for Cornwall operation, which might have been expected to be launched with great fanfare; it commenced as scheduled on Sunday 29th March, but with much-reduced timetables and no ceremony.  

As lockdown measures eased and more people started returning to work, both operators announced enhanced schedules, not because buses were filling up - loadings still remained about 20% of normal - but to enable the new social distancing measures to be observed. Plymouth CityBus went back to a near-normal service from Sunday 31st May, and Go-Ahead also introduced the full Transport for Cornwall network from the same date. Although most Stagecoach subsidiaries increased services from 1st June, South West delayed theirs until Monday 15th, this may have been down to funding issues. Stagecoach also moved to near normal services although a few of the busiest routes such as the 12 between Newton Abbot and Brixham are still on a slightly reduced frequency. A few service changes, that had originally been pencilled in for May, also took place on Exeter city routes.  

Throughout the pandemic, many of Devon's independent operators, such as Country Bus, Dartline, Tally Ho! and Torbay Buses, managed to maintain a normal or near-normal service throughout. Others such as Oakley's and Filers Travel operated reduced timetables until 15th June. Axe Valley of Seaton ceased operating from Saturday 28th March, leaving several small communities in East Devon without a bus service. It was widely assumed they had folded, but surprisingly they came back to life from Monday 15th June with a full service. Community Bus services, many of which were operated with volunteer drivers who tended to be elderly and therefore more vulnerable during the pandemic, mostly ceased operation for the duration - social distancing and capacity issues on the minibuses would have seriously limited their usefulness anyway.  

The attached photos: 


1 - Stagecoach South West Scania/E400 15803 passes Torquay Museum in Babbacombe Road on Friday 20th March whilst operating the last journey on school route 32C from Torquay Grammar Schools to St Marychurch on Friday 20th March before lockdown. This route will not operate again until September. 


2 - Many independents, including Torbay Buses, kept a full service going during the pandemic. Optare Solo CV55 BAU turns into Higher Erith Road on Monday 30th March whilst operating Torquay local service 64 (Castle Circus - Middle Warberry Road) 

I remember staying at a small private hotel in this area many years ago - peace and tranquility as I recall.

3 - Stagecoach South West Dart 34867 shows Bus Full whilst operating Torquay circular route on 6th July - on a bus this size that equated to around ten passengers.


4 - By 15th July I was willing to venture beyond Torbay for the first time since mid-March. Stagecoach South West E200 MMC 37443 in Exeter High Street shows the "Face Coverings must be worn onboard" display that scrolls around with the route information. 

Very many thanks to Julian for his article which shows how other areas of the U.K. are coping. 

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

Gavin Francis made a query in issue 113 about W 17   LDZ9017  7/92    new to London Buses: Mercedes Benz 811D, Wright B26F which I had put a picture on issue 112.

Martin Isles has responded with another picture he took in 2016 saying  "Just seen the piece on MW14 – came across it in Weymouth back in June 2015 – pic attached."

South West Coaches Mercedes 814D Wright registered J656REY.

Michael Wadman writes "In answer to your query about Centrebus Mercedes MW17 (LDZ 9017), it was on loan to LDT (as it was at the time) from March to May 1998, initially at Garston, later at Cressex. Whilst on loan it was allocated fleet number 0117."

Andrew Webb writes "Reading about MW17 has reminded me of the time this bus spent at Greenford.  I moved to live in Greenford in September 1996, at the time only just getting interested in buses.  Remember the vehicle well as it stood out amongst the RW class (Wright bodied Renaults) and MA class (Alexander bodied Mercedes) on the network of E routes and the 282. 

My photo was taken at Greenford Broadway on May 24th 1997, seen starting a journey on service E6.  Noteworthy for two reasons, it was the first day of an extension of the route beyond Hayes to the Tesco at Bulls Bridge and also the day that the E routes were converted to low floor operation.  The driver appears to have miss-set the blind, as the Willow Tree Tesco is a separate branch about half way along the route. 

The vehicles chosen for this were Marshall bodied Dart SLFs from the 'DM' class, with shorter length vehicles being Marshall Midibuses from the ML class.  Whilst they appeared identical to the Darts they were an integral product which proved unreliable in service and moved on from London fairly quickly. 

As was common at the time, a handful of older minibuses were kept on to support the new low floor vehicles and MW17 was one of these.  I cannot remember how long it held on for."

Graham Low writes "Following on from items from other correspondents on buses running between Cheltenham and Oxford, here are two views of Bristol Omnibus Company buses on the 171. Both views are at Gloucester Green."

L8289 (UHY418) is a Bristol LD6G/ ECW H58RD taken in 1961 and 2604 (BHU972C) is a Bristol MW5G/ ECW B45F taken in 1965.

Michael Wadman & Keith Newton 

Just one photo for the History Department this week. Bucklands were based a bit outside our area, in the village of Hurst, just south of Twyford, in Berkshire. They ran bus services to Wokingham, Bracknell, Maidenhead, and one that just crept into Oxfordshire, to Henley-on-Thames. Keith Newton photographed Bedford YMT / Plaxton XDP951T on the return journey from Henley near Cockpole Green, circa 1981.

Picture by Keith Newton.

For those interested Michael Wadman has a flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelwadman/ 

Many thanks for those memories which add much to the page.

David Gray wrote regarding this year's Alton Bus Rally

"Today, July 19th, would have been the scheduled date for the 2020 Alton Bus Rally, so I have been looking through some of my photos from the 2010 event."

Alton Rally July 18th 2010 - pictures by David Gray

Ages Past LSU857.
The chassis of this bus was new in 1946 to Safety Coach Services (S.C.S.) of St Helier, Jersey.
Their plans to body the bus were overtaken by the company’s sale to Jersey Motor Transport, who sent the chassis to Mulliner for bodying in 1947.
It was new with registration number J 6986 and in British European Airways livery for the airport service. It then ran in standard bus livery between 1951 and 1969.
I wonder if anyone as a picture when in service in Jersey in BEA Colours?

Alder Valley Londonlink Leyland Olympian / ECW CH45/28F 1510 B578LPE

Aldershot & District Dennis Falcon/Strachans 282 (POR 428)

Bristol Omnibus: WH1257 (DAE511K) Bristol RELL6L/ Eastern Coach Works.

Cheltenham District Traction Bristol RELL6L / ECW KHW 309E Fleet number 1003.

AEC Reliance Plaxton Panorama Elite II new  in May 1971 to East Kent

 London Country Bristol LHS6L/ECW BN50 GPD318N sometime based at Hitchin and new in February 1975.

New to London Country as their LNC42 (NPD 142L) it was rebuilt as a Greenway in May 1994 and while with Midland Fox, being re-registered JIL 2157.
Whilst driving at Farnborough around 2000 I had the chance to drive a Greenway finding it a rather powerful bus.

Dating from 1958, former Midland Red BMMO C5 780GHA sometimes used on shorter Motorway services, this C5 lacked a toilet featured on the CM5T

Newbury Buses 333 - GPC731N was new to Alder Valley and then to Newbury with Bee Line Bus.

Reading 144 MCW Metrobus / MCW new July 1984.

Stagecoach South 27650 when new, an ADL E300, still working the Coastliner in 2018.

BMR204V is a Leyland-built Fleetline bus with Eastern Coach Works body. It was delivered new to Thamesdown Transport in 1980.

Tantivy Bedford NJM (SB5) Duple C40F new to Mascot Motors Jersey -/84 Jersey as J 40614, passing to Tantivy Blue, Jersey 1/93. This is 7'6" wide!

The pictures make up a little for those of us who miss attending rallies this year. Many thanks to David Gray for providing such interesting shots.


A selection of coaches north of the border by Bill Brown

Bill Brown has kindly allowed me to use some of his pictures taken mainly on Rail Replacement work, some around Cowdenbeath. The pictures are of interest as they show coaches which many readers will recognise from times when they were south of the border.

These five coaches started life at Oxford in 2010 working the National Express 737. Taken in 2017 working around east Scotland.

L50 BAY is a Volvo B9R/Plaxton Elite new to Park's of Hamilton as 290 WE in July 2013.
It later carried KSK 978 and SA63 LKC with Park's before joining the Bay Travel fleet in Cowdenbeath as L50 BAY.
This coach often came to London in its Park's days.

Docherty Midland of Auchterarder's former Parks of Hamilton Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B9R SA13YPG. New as KSK983.

Docherty Midland Coaches of Auchterarder former Parks of Hamilton Plaxton Elite SB63XSR. New as KSK982 with Parks of Hamilton.

These will have been good buys for the private operator.

Fleet news and developments

Pictures from Gavin Francis

StreetLite 2326 seen working a 37 service to Bourne End on July 22nd. To say this bus looks "battle scarred" is an understatement!!

Now this really is some picture, is the bus reversing?? 3569 seen leaving  Telford Way, Downley on its return to Wycombe.
Picture taken on July 19th.

Sister bus 3570 is seen in The Eden Bus Station, this time with an 850 working but also still reversing on July 22nd.
I wonder how long it will be before someone fixes these two buses which came from Derby according to the July fleet list?

Tourismo 7004 seen working the 755 in Buckingham Palace Road (BPR) on July 17th.

Not so much this week after some quite large reports over the past few weeks.

The fleet is still SORN until the schools return in September.

Nothing much has moved of the Chiltern double deck and the other buses behind. June 29th by Malcolm Crowe. 

Pictures from Gavin Francis

BM Coaches waits time at Elizabeth Bridge on July 17th.

Flixbus Van Hool 300 1-STJ-793 seen in Buckingham Palace Road on July 17th.

This time a Setra from The Netherlands, Flixbus 02-BKR-2 in Buckingham Palace Road on July 18th.


News from Phil Southall

From 30 August we will be extending service 1/1A from Chesham to Hemel Hempstead to replace the 105. Carousel won't be serving Pond Park but Arriva will continue to do so. The 105 will operate between Uxbridge and Chesham only and will continue to interwork with the 101. The 104 will operate between High Wycombe and Uxbridge, taking in parts of the 577 on its way and will no longer serve Stoke Poges or Slough. I understand BCC is putting a tender out to cover part of the latter. 

These are interesting developments and one wonders who and what will replace the Stoke Poges and Slough service, connecting as it does with Beaconsfield ?

For High Wycombe the Airline services are still calling at Wycombe Coachway thereby offering a Wycombe-Heathrow or Gatwick v.v. connections.


Pictures as indicated

A surprise showing working the evening short to Stokenchurch was 503 on July 17th by Malcolm Crowe.
This bus comes off the 27 and X8 workings during the day.

503 and 502 at their depot on July 19th by Gavin Francis.

Now with a fleet number and name, 941 is seen in Bridge Street with a 27 working on July 22nd by Gavin Francis.
This bus will probably make the 40 short working at the end of its day.

A surprise earlier this week was that StreetLite 401 was working Thames Travel's nr 11 service. Phil Southall said that was definitely not so, it was at a guess a Citaro and indeed 401 is working from working by the following day. However although 214 is, advised locally, a Wycombe based bus now according to bustimes.org it still based at Didcot. Phil advised me that there a number of reallocation changes in hand at present.

However the latest fleet list for June shows 214 at Wycombe and I think it is 885 not 884 which is "mothballed" !

Carousel_Fleet_and_mothball_list_as_at_June 17 20.pdf



With new vehicles entering service, probably from August 1st this and other lists will change soon.

Unfortunately, the city35A/B services have now been de-registered and will not continue to operate from September 2020 in their current forms.

Pictures from Gavin Francis and Jack Cooper

Hybrid 302 seen working the 4A in the High Street on July 18th by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 312 is seen in Magdalen Street East with a 2 road service on July 18th by Gavin Francis.

Hybrid 319 seen in Westgate with a 9 road working on July 18th by Gavin Francis.

Eclipse Gemini's 356, 360 and 362 working a variety of routes on July 17th & 18th by Gavin Francis.

Gloucester Green is now not so busy and 365 is working 2 road but parked up in bay 10 on July 18th by Gavin Francis.

Wrights 373 working the U1 on July 18th by Gavin Francis.

606 on the 18th and 608 on the 17th both July by Gavin Francis.

Here is 670 working the 500 to Woodstock on July 21st by Gavin Francis.
interesting since according to bustimes.org this bus has been off the road since May 29th ! No doubt a ticket machine problem?

New StreetDeck 901 showing company logo interior position by Jack Cooper.

Pictures from Richard Sharman

BrookesBus 607 offers a newer ride than the normal 300 series E400s for passengers riding service 4 on July 22nd.

BrookesBus 608 is seen in Abingdon operating a X13 to Oxford on July 22nd.

Park & Ride 668 makes a late evening arrival on service 300 to Pear Tree as it passes the BP petrol station on July 22nd.

Graham Low and Phil Southall advise "The staff shuttle Citaros in the Iffley and Abingdon roads buses often now display "11X" and "BMW works" rather than "staff shuttle" without a route number. This makes use of what might have been a very lightly used service."/span>

Phil adds "The 11X is our staff bus converted to a service bus whilst it is using full size buses."

Pictures from Gavin Francis and Jack Cooper

CCitaro 839 at Queens Lane on July 20th by Gavin.

Citaro 843 turns at Carfax Corner on July 21st by Jack.  



Coaches 36, 38 and 32 ready for service in Gloucester Green on July 21st by Jack Cooper.



Pictures from Gavin Francis and Jack Cooper

201 and 203 on July 18th, 19th and 21st by Gavin. Nice to see some customers taking advantage.

2202 in Broad Street captured in the lens of Jack on July 21st.


Great views of the new StreetDecks soon to enter service
Pictures from Jack Cooper

Exterior views showing the smart exterior of these buses.

The cab.

The lower deck interior highlighting new changing technology

The very smart staircase, plenty of light here!

The upper deck, light, airy and quite luxurious !

Little touches of improvement for customers and the rear.

A finally a warning to drivers !

Many thanks to Jack for this comprehensive tour of the new buses!


With new vehicles entering service, probably from August 1st this and other lists will change soon. 


From Monday 31st August 2020, changes will be made to your BB1/BB1A and BB2 services. Unfortunately, the BB1B will initially not operate. This will mean that pupils travelling from Berinsfield will need to catch the BB2 service.

Daniel Harwood

I have attached some photos this week mainly from Didcot.  

I cannot see clearly in the photo, but it looks like Thames Travel's 623 has been named after someone. There is a sticker just above the connector logo.

Connectors 207, 441 and 864 seen at Didcot Parkway on July 20th.

622 and 623 busy about their work probably excited to see the arrival of new and similar buses soon.  Didcot Parkway on July 20th.
I can't make out any name on 623 either!

Ex London Central WVL Volvo/Wrights 935 heading for Wallingford with an X2 from Didcot Parkway on July 20th.

Scania 222 is seen in Greenwood Way with 226 working a 98 near the station both on July 17th.
I am wondering if some of these Oxford branded buses may return following the delivery of the new double decks?

Pictures from Jack Cooper

Scania 224 is seen working a service 98 out of Didcot Parkway on July 21st.

Thames Travel's support van 998 leaving Didcot Parkway on July 21st. 

Pictures from Richard Sharman taken two days ago. 

Thames Travel 209 travels over Abingdon Bridge working service 33 on July 22nd.

Gemini 3 621 awaits departure on service 33 to Wantage from Abingdon on July 22nd. 

867 is seen operating the 41 Abingdon town service on July 22nd, this vehicle is branded for the Culham Science Centre Link.

Picture from Gavin Francis

935 again, this time at the other end of the route in Oxford, St Aldates on July 18th.

For checking on contractors, I found this link rather useful This is especially so now that NEx are dispensing with many of the contractors previously used.


Pictures from Gavin Francis

Levante III from Stansted nr 299 working an A6 service on July 22nd.

Selwyn's BM68AHN at Gloucester Green with a 212 service on July 18th. This service runs via Wycombe Coachway,
one wonders how much it is from Oxford to Wycombe!!

Now five years old, SH207 is working the A4 Heathrow service when seen here in London on July 21st.
This service seems to have some customers as many will not use the Underground.

Start Hill's Levante III SH304 is seen with service 075 heading for VCS on July 21st. This service is from Cambridge.
This route was operated by a different operator until recently?

Stagecoach Yorkshire still appear to be operating for National Express.
Seen above on July 24th is Levante III 54410 working the 561 to Bradford.

Re-Opening of Reading Bridge

We are told SGN contractors worked extremely hard on this scheme and managed to complete their works over the bridge ahead of schedule last weekend. During the closure the Council have been able to do some other utility works and Highway repairs to help minimise future disruptions here. Really good news!

Broad Street Cones

Some readers may have noticed that cones have been placed on Broad Street and Cross Street, between 10am and 6pm, and wondered why they are there. It is understood that this is a temporary measure to re-enforce the no vehicle access/entry and pedestrianisation of Broad Street, Queen Victoria and Cross Streets, until a more permanent solution can be found.

MMC 758 is seen with a 702 working in London on July 17th by Gavin Francis.


Daniel Harwood

I have attached some photos this week from Didcot showing the special buses from Courtney used on the Milton Park shuttles.

MMC 795 is seen at Didcot Parkway on July 20th.

As is 797, a slightly newer MMC from 2018  leaving Didcot Parkway on July 20th.

A rather nice change from the regular pictures of the Reading Bus Group. 


Picture from Gavin Francis

Interesting return of service to London from REGIOJET whose two Irizars 266 and 265 are seen by Victoria on July 21st.
It is interesting to see another country outside the UK using fleet and registration  numbers similar!
265 is heading for Prague.

Pictures from Richard Sharman

Witney depot has been using the recent ADL E400MMCs on the 15 to Abingdon to allow for social distancing.
11238 is seen awaiting departure on its return trip on July 22nd.

Banbury's Midland Red heritage ADL Enviro200 MMC 37401 has spent much of this week making a welcome sight on the S4 to Oxford.
It is seen making a late evening trip into the city at Kidlington on July 21st.

Pictures from Gavin Francis

MMC 10435 in High Street with 10679 and 10682 in Magdalen Street East a few days ago.

A rear view of 11241 in Magdalen Street East showing off the S1/2 branding.

MMC 11252 is seen departing Gloucester Green on July 21st looking pristine without advertising!

M A N trainers waiting to enter service with the Driving School on July 21st. 

Pictures from Ciaran Bird

Another day - another route, 11241 is seen working the 233 in Woodstock on July 21st.

Picture from Grahame Wareham

A nice picture of Gold 15836 seen in Charlbury on July 20th

Picture from Daniel Harwood

15831 seen in Denchworth Road working the S8 on July 17th. 

Pictures from Gavin Francis

Bedford based 21232 leaving Gloucester Green with an X5 on July 18th.

Ready for the off, 21363 leaving Gloucester Green with an X5 on July 17th.

One wonders how long it will be until the coach modifications are complete and the branded coaches will be back on this route? 

Bill McCartney writes "Thought I'd let you know that 20940, pictured in Oxford was not on loan to Oxford. West had a trainee driver on test and we were making use of the Oxford examiner." 

Picture from Gavin Francis

Astromega 50279 is seen in Chain Alley leaving for its journey to London on July 21st.

 Pictures from Gavin Francis on July 24th

Panorama 50401 in London ready to work the early M11 to Scotland.

SID has not left the building !!!!!!!  Interdecker 54285 is heading for Newcastle from Victoria.


Picture from Gavin Francis

From Romania, Setra BR-44TSM is seen waiting time near Victoria on July 17th. 

Swansong of Swanbrook on the 853

Richard Kemble from Bristol writes to say "As this week marked the final week of Swanbrook's 853 service, I rode on the 1100 ex-Cheltenham on Monday (July 20th) and took the attached photo of Scania Levante, FJ07DWP, at Witney. It was good to see that Stagecoach West had printed leaflets with the new 853 timetable which were available on the coach."

The delightful picture from Richard Kemble taken on July 20th in Witney.
FJ07DWP started life with Hayton's of Burnage, Manchester who, following financial difficulties, were taken over by Selwyn's of Runcorn in December 2011.
Swanbrook acquired the coach in 2013 when it started running to Oxford on the 853.

Smaller operators and London developments

Pictures from Gavin Francis

A visit to Cryers Yard near High Wycombe which houses a number of operators seen on July 19th.

Part of the fleet some of which are off the road at present.

Also by the Platinum coaches was RM1962 looking good.

An interesting site to visit !

Two buses of interest outside Ward Jones facility on July 19th.

London from Gavin Francis

E200 8808 working a C10 service on July 17th in Buckingham Palace Road. 

Much more to come Gavin Francis in London the next issue.