The past week has been worrying in some ways due to the increasing number of people and areas facing lockdown with the seeming upsurge in recent weeks. Indeed reading the newspapers it does seem that car usage is returning to larger numbers especially at weekends, whilst public transport usage remains low.

Oxford's Magdalen Bridge now has new cycle tracks

As an ex bus driver in Oxford for 20 years and fully experienced driving down London's Holland Park Avenue with cycle tracks, where if you are even one inch over the cycle track lane the cyclists ride alongside you banging on the windows, frightening the passengers, this latest debacle in Oxford really does earn first prize. Two buses or coaches cannot pass staying in their correct lanes, one or other must encroach on the cycle lane. Surely use of the cycle lane by motor vehicles is illegal ?

Now they are working on the Abingdon Road, one wonders what Folly Bridge will be like?

I am attaching a number of pictures taken on August 6th by Jack Cooper which highlights the very narrow lanes over Magdalen Bridge and the inevitable "accident waiting to happen" when the University comes back up and there are a multitude of cyclists, many of whom seem unaware of the rules of the road. Traffic lights on red, pedestrians on crossings and the one who flashed round the corner at Carfax, narrowly avoided my Oxford tube coach hit the offside mirror smashing it into the driver's window (which broke) and rode off at the same breakneck speed he had come out of Cornmarket. For one awful moment I though he was going under my coach!

Did the designers of this layout on Magdalen Bridge give this any thought at all ? I am more than prepared to meet them for a discussion. Also how much consideration was given to health and safety??????

Oh and let us not forget the electric scooters and skate boards which are starting to predominate in many areas. They even ride the scooters on the deep London underground station platforms at speed !!!!!!!!

Cyclists deserve safety, consideration, space to ride but not to put their lives in jeopardy or cause endless problems for the motorist who always gets the blame.

A selection of pictures showing the difficulties in the summer vac. Note the vehicle positions !
When cyclists have a cycle track they expect to have sole possession!!
Do the people who design these arrangements ever drive a bus or two to experience the difficulties?

Better news

However a bright note in the week was the introduction by Oxford Bus and Thames Travel of their new StreetDecks. These are easily recognisable due to the very prominent destination displays.

Picture from Jack Cooper.

Further coach services are starting and BlaBlaBus is very obvious in the Victoria area. Many other continental operators are busy now including services to Poland.

Gavin Francis took these pictures of BlaBlaBus and Sindbad coaches now back in London.

Contributors, including Adam Green and Jack Cooper have been moving outside our area providing some interesting pictures as a result.

21214 out of service caught in Skegness and Brighton & Hove 630 at Whitehawk depot both by Adam Green.

The square in Banbury on August 4th  by Jack Cooper.

At the end of this week's page are details of some books and a calendar now on sale from Contributors.

Further contributions this week are from Michael Wadman with a photograph memory of Grayline - Bicester and Julian Walker with pictures of the present and past from the Torbay area.

Tony Bungay  comments on matters Aylesbury which is always interesting, whilst Andrew Webb reports in from Slough.

East  Yorkshire

Recently transferred to Go Ahead’s Oxford Bus Company former training bus 'Hope', Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL, 9915 has since passed on to a local charity there.

I wonder if anyone has pictures of this bus in our area?

First South Yorkshire has taken the initial step towards turning around its business with the introduction of the Clever Buses brand in Doncaster.

Some may remember Nigel's time at Oxford Bus as Commercial Director from 2001 to 2006.

Eight Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B7RLEs have received the identity for route 66, which runs between Bentley and Intake via the town centre. They also have ‘tap and cap’ contactless fare payment technology. A single trip is charged at £2, with a daily cap of £4.70 and a weekly cap of £16.50.

Nigel Eggleton (pictured) took over responsibility for the First South Yorkshire operation in June as Managing Director, complementing his established leadership of the First Midlands business.

At that time, Mr Eggleton pledged to extend successful commercial initiatives from Leicester, North Staffordshire and Worcester to South Yorkshire. It is understood that work is well in hand to create area-specific liveries for the South Yorkshire operation.

The roll-out of Clever Buses in Doncaster is the first part of First’s “promise to improve the look, the feel and most importantly the delivery of reliable bus services in the area,” the operator says.

Many further changes will follow out across Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield under the new regime, it adds.

“The association with ‘clever’ is related to the latest technology that has recently been piloted on buses in Doncaster. It provides easy access for payment by contactless card or phone by tapping, with a cap on how much anyone will pay for travel,” says Mr Eggleton.

“As we start to ease out of lockdown, we want to make bus travel as easy as possible for our customers.”

Continuing good luck to Nigel.

As mentioned in the Editorial above, several areas in the U.K. are now in another lockdown due to the number of infections. This includes Greater Manchester, part of Lancashire and Yorkshire and lately Aberdeen. Of course Leicester and other areas have been in lockdown even longer following spikes in Covid-19.

One positive piece of news is that Oxford Bus will be the operator restarting the National Express 737 service to Stansted and the picture below from Jack Cooper sees their 59 ready for work when pictured last Wednesday.

There are only four return journeys per day so all the current coaches may not be needed ?

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire have applied windscreen strips reminding intending passengers to be safe and wear a mask. Frazer Peddle provided the picture of the detail.

Stagecoach continues to reassure passengers with its latest campaign video.

The 30-second video demonstrates the extensive cleaning measures Stagecoach is taking to give passengers confidence on its buses. It includes footage of staff members performing disinfections of vehicles. The cleaning regime includes deep cleaning, contactless payments and mandatory use of face coverings except for those exempt.

So as one can note operators are all making every effort to attract bus passengers back to public transport. Oxford Bus is even offering free parking to ride.

Park & Ride StreetDeck 674 is seen coming off St Giles with a 300 road service on August 4th by Jack Cooper.


National Holidays brand revival continues under new owner

Work to revive the National Holidays brand is continuing strongly, new owner JG Travel Group has said. Those endeavours include the creation of tours, engagement with coach operators that will carry them out and the appointment of a Trade Sales Manager for the Group.

The National Holidays brand and database was purchased by JG Travel Group from the administrators of Specialist Leisure Group (SLG) in July. Director of Product and Operations Paul Mason now says he is “in contact with 17 coach operators throughout the North East, North West and Yorkshire to establish operating contracts for 2021 tours.”

So interesting times ahead.

DVSA test exemptions

DVSA has confirmed that 12-month test exemptions will be issued to some operators and vehicles. The step is part of plans to help manage a backlog created by a 15-week suspension of testing due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Suspended ArrivaClick service in Liverpool will not return

The ArrivaClick demand-responsive transport (DRT) service in Liverpool that was suspended on 29 March will not be reintroduced. Arriva says the withdrawal is down to the concept “not performing strongly enough in a tough commercial environment.”

Despite that, ArrivaClick on Merseyside has recorded “some successes.” 52% of customers previously used private cars and taxis. That, says the group, demonstrates how “there is a strong need for DRT-style bus services in the UK.”

Interesting news as the Watford service has only just started.

Details of second proposal for coach industry support revealed

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has outlined details of its further proposal to the government for financial support for coach industry. It follows an earlier set of plans that were rejected by Transport Minister Baroness Vere on 15 July.

When submitting revised proposals, CPT has stressed that the matter is of the utmost urgency. “The coach industry cannot survive much longer without further direct government assistance, in whatever form that might take,” it says.

Full details at this link: Details-of-second-proposal-for-coach-industry-support-revealed

This follows on from the article in issue 115 last week.

Another company seemingly at its end is Decker Bus which sent out redundancy notices to all staff last Friday! Also Mike de Courcey Travel would appear not to be operating their NEx diagrams.

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

Michael Wadman has come up trumps with some pictures of vehicles in days past operated by Grayline Coaches of Bicester.

Regarding Gavin Francis’ photo of Solo MX57 BZY in Bicester in OCBP 115, this bus was bought from Redline by Grayline in October 2015 and so was probably on one of their two remaining local bus services, 21 to Chesterton and E1 to Elmsbrook Estate.

They used to run lots of other bus services so I’ve dug out a selection for History Corner. Most of these were taken in the old Bicester bus station, now buried under a supermarket, and unfortunately the livery was somewhat, umm, shall we say uninspiring?

E215 PWY – former Yorkshire Rider Optare City Pacer – 16th March 1999

E512 PWR – another City Pacer, this one from Welwyn Hatfield Line, at Haddenham & Thame Parkway station on 16th March 1999

K623 PGO – Dennis Dart / Plaxton, former Isle of Man Transport CMN 108L – 24th August 2004

KIB 7026 – formerly G963 SFT, Toyota / Caetano Optimo, new to Cam Shipping of Grimsby, in Oxford on service 8A on 15th April 1993

MJI 1678 – formerly M242 JHB, Mercedes 811D / Plaxton new to Glyn Williams of Crosskeys – 24th August 2004 

OV51 OOB – Optare Solo – 24th August 2004

Many thanks to Michael for these interesting pictures and notes. 

An excellent report on restoration of open top service in Torbay area by Julian Walker

As you will see I have sent my next contribution, an overview of the open-top bus operations in Torquay. It's not quite as hefty as last week's rally report but I thought it would be a fitting theme with Stagecoach having restarted their Hop 122 route from 1st August. The route passes my new home in Babbacombe Road so it's good to hear the sound of Tridents again. Not to mention the throaty roar of the PD2/3 as it climbs up the same road. 

Stagecoach South West recommenced its seasonal open-top 122 service between Babbacombe, Torquay seafront, Paignton seafront and Paignton Zoo from Saturday 1st August, following the UK Government's declaration that public transport was no longer restricted to "essential travel only". To celebrate the occasion, I thought that this week's contribution would be a review of the open-top bus services which have operated in recent years.  

Photo 01: Stagecoach recommenced its seasonal open-top 122 service on Saturday 1st August, following the relaxing of Government advice that public transport be restricted to "essential travel only". A limited hourly service operates, using two buses (normally the service uses five buses running at 20-minute intervals). One of the vehicles used on Sunday 2nd August was Trident 18303 "Chirpy", one of five part-open toppers used on the route. Each one is named after a cartoon animal, which was chosen by local schoolchildren. 

Photo 02: Also in the Torquay open-top fleet is 18186 "Swash Buckle", a single fully-open top Trident that was part of the Stagecoach Manchester fleet until it was involved in a de-roofing incident. It is seen on Monday 3rd August descending Babbacombe Road in Torquay on its way to Paignton.  

Photo 03: Route 122 first commenced operations in 2017, on Saturday 29th April. In its first year the route used the same terminus at St Marychurch as route 22, which it was designed to support during the holiday season. For subsequent years the terminus was changed to Babbacombe Downs. Part open-top Trident 18305 "Porter" departs St Marychurch on the inaugural day; the driver has yet to reset the display to Paignton Zoo.  

Photo 04: For the 2018 and subsequent seasons the terminus was changed to Babbacombe Downs; the service commenced that year on 24th march, just one week after the Torbay network have been brought to a complete halt by show and ice! This is one of my favourite photos and shows Trident 18306 "Gary the Rabbit" amongst the Spring flowers on Babbacombe Downs on Monday 16th April 2018.  

The complete Stagecoach South West open-top fleet at Torbay: 

18186 - MX54 LWF - "Swash Buckle" the pirate parrot

18303 - WA05 MGX - "Chirpy" the cricket

18304 - WA05 MHJ - "Cango" the kangaroo

18305 - WA05 MHE - "Porter" the penguin

18306 - WA05 MHF - "Gary" the rabbit

18307 - WA05 MGY - "Freddie" the frog 

Photo 05: Looking at other open-top operations in Torbay, English Riviera Sightseeing Tours has operated this open-top vintage open-top Leyland PD2/3 FFY403 since 2013. The vehicle was new to Southport Corporation in 1947. The 1.5-hour tour with commentary departs Torquay Harbourside daily at 11.00 and 13.30 and usually runs from April to October, although Covid-19 delayed its 2020 start to 11th July. The 11.00 tour us seen ascending Babbacombe Road on Sunday 2nd August.  

Photo 06: Another view of FFY 403 in Torwood Street, Torquay back on Easter Saturday 4th April 2015. The bowling alley behind the bus (the building with the light blue pillars and reliefs) is of interest as it was the former Grey Cars Torquay Garage and Coach Station, and included a small booking office and waiting room next to the vehicle entrance/exit. It closed in January 1971 when Grey Cars was incorporated into Greenslades of Exeter. 

Photo 07: One operation that has not restarted in 2020 is Rail-River Link's 100, which normally runs hourly from Paignton to Totnes from April to October with one return trip a day from Torquay to Totnes. Its purpose is to link the Paignton-Dartmouth steam railway and the Totnes-Dartmouth river boats and enable "Round Robin" circular trips to be made, however the river boats are not operating this year. On good days the service uses open-top Plaxton President-bodied Dennis Tridents that were acquired from Plymouth CityBus but were new to London General. No. 12 (Y827 TGH) is seen between duties at Totnes Steamer Quay in happier times, on Monday 17th July 2017.   

Photo 08 : The Rail-River Link Tridents were acquired to comply with stricter accessibility regulations which came into force on 1st January 2017. Prior to this the company had operated a pair of open-top Bristol VRs on the service.  

Photo 08 shows VDV 138S "Illustrious" (no. 4) at Totnes Steamer Quay on Monday 6th September 2016,
having arrived on the morning journey from Torquay; it was new to Devon General in 1977.  

Another interesting article which may attract readers to visit the area. 

Excursion to Brighton and then Skegness with Adam Green

Adam sent some interesting pictures from Brighton following his visit there on August 1st.

Two pictures from Whitehawk depot showing the not so new and more recent buses with BH&D.

Hove depot is home to some interesting vehicles including ex Oxford Airline's 21 and 25 plus RML 2317.

Lucketts recent Tourismo BV69LTF is seen on Brighton front.

On August 5th Adam was in Skegness and sent a selection of Stagecoach East Midland's open topper at work in the town.

Quite some variety here with three distinct types at work. 16964 which was new to SC Merseyside, two Tridents
and ex Stagecoach in Inverness 19169 !

More to follow in next week's issue.

Andrew Webb reports from Slough.

A visit to Slough on August 3rd, found plenty of variety on the two routes linking the town with High Wycombe. 

First's X74 is allocated route branded Wright StreetLites, as illustrated by 63314 leaving Slough bus station.  Also working the route was 69928 one of the relatively rare Volvo 7900H buses purchased to upgrade the network of routes to Heathrow Airport.


Carousel had three deckers on the 104 route, one ex Oxford Scania and two former Go Ahead London General WVL class Volvos.  WVL196 has Carousel fleet names on a base red livery, whilst WVL240 is anonymous in its former London livery.


The recent announcement that Reading Buses have cancelled the much delayed order for high spec Optare MetroDeckers to upgrade routes 702 and 703 means that the two routes will continue to see a fixed allocation for the foreseeable future. 

Covid-19 related cuts to local services around Reading has released some buses from the 'Emerald Routes' for use on the routes, two of which are seen in Slough on August 3rd.   These were working alongside other Enviro 400s which have worked the routes since Reading Buses took over in late 2017, including 758 which has modest route branding.


In full GreenLine livery is 1212, the Welsh dragon on the number plate a reminder that it started life with Lloyds Coaches of Machynlleth before reaching Reading after a spell with Go Goodwin in Manchester.  It previously operated the route in a garish pink livery for the Vamooz app, as seen whilst preparing for another trip from Victoria on February 15th 2018. (The 703 is operated by Courtney)


Single decker buses have not been a regular feature of the routes since Reading Buses took over (although some coaches were used in the early days), but this anonymous looking Wight Volvo is seen leaving Slough for Bracknell on route 703 on August 3rd.  This is one of a batch which enjoyed an extended break working for Arriva in Malta following a radical reorganisation of the nation's bus network .  Registered BUS369 it is seen leaving the Valetta terminus bound for Bugibba on January 3rd 2015.

This bus is operated from the Courtney depot.

Many thanks to Andrew for some interesting pictures and the informative notes also included. 

A comment from Tony Bungay on branding

I would like to add I felt inclined to agree with you about the costs and benefits? of branding in last weeks newsletter, I personally think it is just another facet of the times we live in now where marketing and image are seen as the defining ideal. It is true as you well know a shabby image conveys a sense of almost cant be bothered, but for most passengers it is more important to them that the bus turns up, gets them to their destination in reasonable comfort and cleanliness, their views on vehicle from my experience are generally if it is obviously brand new or conversely one of a type that they had years ago and suddenly has reappeared that provoke comment. I remember when now long gone Aylesbury independent Red Rover got it’s first Leyland National, a plastic seated ex Nottingham Transport example, one passenger got on and exclaimed it reminded them of an old Green Line, reference I expect to the early LNC class !

Indeed and I recall saying this to you before, having the wrong colour or branded bus on a route can cause people to get on the wrong one or worse miss it. As you say more so in these extremely cost conscious times is a rebranding justified, after all what Bus liveries still attract comment even when applied to new vehicles, Southdown, City of Oxford even the former Tilling group colours!

It is nice to receive comment from readers ! 

Fleet news and developments

Tony Bungay

Two former Sapphire liveried vehicles 3873 on the X60 and behind 3793 on the 150 to Leighton Buzzard in this instance in High Street Aylesbury July 23rd, given the line up of the timetable at certain times of the day, like as seen here they can both come along together going to Milton Keynes!

Lastly not the best picture as it had to be taken in a hurry and at the same time as cloud reduced the light level
Milton Keynes based 4217 leaves on a X60 service on July 31st.

Gavin Francis

E400 5468 with a 280 service at Oxford Station on August 3rd. 

See some p[ictures under the piece by Andrew Webb in Slough above.


Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel have further increased the volume of ultra-low emission buses in their fleets, thanks to a £2M investment in green technology.

The two types of new buses, Oxford Bus 903 by Jack Cooper and Thames Travel 906 by Simon Caygill.
Both pictures taken on August 5th.

The Euro VI buses use the latest micro-hybrid technology to minimise environmental impact. It works via energy recovered under braking being used to help power the bus. Nine Euro VI buses have been added into service, with three in the Oxford Bus Company fleet and six in the Thames Travel fleet. And in a boost to UK manufacturing all the vehicles were built by Wrightbus at Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

The significant investment is part of the Oxford bus Company and Thames Travel’s on-going commitment to introducing the latest green technology to its fleets. A recently published Oxford City Council air quality report revealed the investment is working, with NOx emissions from buses decreasing by half, from 64% of total emissions to 32% since 2013. Buses now contribute less pollution than cars to emissions in Oxford City Centre.

Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel have previously retrofitted 66 buses and five City Sightseeing buses to Euro VI technology. Oxford Bus Company also introduced the first electric bus to the city earlier this year via the City Sightseeing Oxford fleet and have committed to converting more.

The nine new buses will be used on services between Abingdon, Didcot, and Oxford. Plus, on a new newly awarded developer funded contract to provide a fast service from Wantage and Grove to Milton Park and Didcot from early next year. They will also be used to help out with busy shopping days for Bicester Village, primarily at weekends.

All the new vehicles include USB and wireless charging, comfortable high-back seating, and tables for passengers to make their journeys as comfortable as possible. Audio-visual next stop announcements are used, as has been the case for all new buses introduced to the operators' fleets since 2014. Like all buses in the operator’s fleet they also include free Wi-Fi, dedicated wheel-chair and buggy spaces and luggage capacity.

Phil Southall, Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel, said: “This significant investment represents the next stage in our on-going strategy and commitment to introduce more sustainable modes of transport. We have always been committed to being at the forefront of the industry on environmental technology innovation and well over half of our buses are now powered by hybrid technology.”

The new buses took to the road on August 5th and thanks to Jack Cooper, Daryl Major and Simon Caygill we have a number of pictures under the respective operator heading with more to come next week. 

As noted under the Airline heading below coaches 72-78 have now left Oxford for the North East after repainting at Hants & Dorset.  Has anyone seen them in their new area??

 100% wheelchair accessible fleet and driver training

The company has introduced easy access buses across the whole fleet, with changes made to the interior layout of all vehicles to try and accommodate as many different customers’ needs as possible. Every driver also receives Disability Awareness Training. We welcome the testing of wheelchairs and scooters at our depot for those who wish to do so - simply get in touch with us and we'll do our best to accommodate you. You can find out more about the specifications of our buses by looking at our Wheelchair Guidance page.

Citaro 876 was operating the link 40 on Thursday, August 6th.

The new StreetDecks

Daryl Major

New StreetDeck for Oxford Bus Company .

OBC 903 taken at Oxford rail station on August 5th. As of today, August 7th these buses do not appear to have entered service at August 7th.

Jack Cooper


The pictures above give an idea of the buses livery and various destination displays seen at the depot on August 5th.


Other pictures from contributors

Daniel Harwood

Orange 688 passes 669 in Worcester Street on July 28th.

Gavin Francis

301 and 303 working their branded routes on August 2nd.

306 is seen in St Aldates with a 35 road service on August 5th.

StreetDeck 661 working 500 service in George Street on August 5th.

StreetDeck 690 is seen in St Aldates on August 5th with an 8 road working.

So one can see branded buses on their correct roads, well done OBC !

Jack Cooper

352 near Peachcroft seen heading for Abingdon, whilst 364 is seen crossing and joining the A34 near Lodge Hill heading for Oxford.
The date is August 4th.

Citaro 864, in Connector livery is seen leaving the A34 by Lodge Hill on August 4th.

Bicester Village special 662 seen in Pioneer Square and at the Station on August 4th.

An unusual picture of 883 with an 11X service in St Aldates on August 4th.

Park & Ride 665 is seen in The Plain with an 8 road service on August 6th. 

Jack Cooper

Tourismo 32 is seen heading for Heathrow as it passes the The Plain in Oxford on August 6th.


From Sunday, August 9th 2020, we will be making slight adjustments to the airline timetables. The departure times at the terminals will not be affected.  Revised timetable from August 9th 

Coaches 72-78 have now left Oxford for the North East after repainting at Hants & Dorset.  Has anyone seen them in their new area?? 

Just noted on SKM page as purchased by Oxford Bus but I think they will be for CSS. They are from Ensign Bus.

Volvo B9TLs LX60DXC/DWZ: Oxford Bus Co.

These are two buses from City Tour London but are ex Go Ahead London.

London Central WVL372 - LX60DXC
London Central WVL369 - LX60DWZ

Both were London Central when new.


These buses will initially work as Euro 5 but conversion to electric is planned.

Here is WVL372 when working with London Central route 486 in Bexleyheath on August 22nd 2017 by Gavin Francis.

201 at work in Oxford, note the GWR destination both by Jack Cooper.

Electric 2903 seen by The Plain on August 6th by Jack Cooper. 

The new StreetDecks 

Daryl Major

New StreetDeck for Thames Travel. Thames Travel 905 at Wallingford.

Note the striking destination display, ideal for short sighted people. August 5th.

Jack Cooper

904 heading for Wallingford on August 5th.

906 seen negotiating The Plain on August 6th.

Other pictures from contributors

Gavin Francis

Scania 208 is seen with an X2 service loading in St Aldates on August 2nd.

Volvo B5TL chassis with Wright Gemini 3 bodied 623 is seen working an X40 service from St Aldates on August 2nd.

Jack Cooper

Regular on the X2 is Volvo 936 seen here in St Aldates on August 4th.

E200 MMC 451 is seen by Magdalen Bridge with an ST1 service on August 6th. The destination screen shows nicely!

Chiltern Railways liveried 602 is seen by Magdalen Bridge with an 11 service on August 6th. This is a regular in the 11 !!
There are short working to Chalgrove during the day rather than through to Wallingford.

Brookes liveried 604 is seen in Wallingford heading for RAF Benson on August 5th. 

Gavin Francis

Now a sort of standard but here is a Selwyn's leaving for Manchester with a 212 operation on August 1st.

Skills BV66WPD arriving in London with a 450 service on August 3rd.

Travelstar are still operating the 400 service on August 3rd. 

Chris Maxfield

Pulhams have recently taken over the T from Gloucester Minibuses. I have attached a few photos for you.  

I have been the regular driver since we rook the service over and the allocated bus is Optare Solo GL20 PUL. This was new as YJ20 AYL which I collected from Optare. I had BWN for the day whilst GL20 was off the road for it's monthly service.  

YJ20 PUL seen in Bishop's Cleeve with route T on July 11th.

YJ14PUL on July 10th and YJ20PUL on July 6th in Tewkesbury.

Photos were taken in Bishop's Cleeve and Tewkesbury whilst on the stand with Stagecoach. 

Thanks to Chris for some interesting pictures hoping he is enjoying his holiday in Malta! 

National Express Reading service

925 is not now starting until Aug 17th 2020 

More Reading and Courtney pictures in the item from Andrew Webb above.

Tony Bungay

Red Rose Enviro is shown in Friarage Road Aylesbury almost at the end of it’s service 100 journey from Milton Keynes on July 18th.

Red Rose and its independent neighbours are certainly showing a lot of effort to promote their services. 

Neil Bridges with others commented on the use of Witney's 11233 at Oxford with workings on the 700 and 3 routes. Other sources suggest they are short of buses at Oxford!

Picture from Daniel Harwood

Witney depot's 11234 seen working the S1 in Oxford on August 5th.

Pictures from Gavin Francis

More detail of the warning stripe now appearing on Stagecoach buses.

Here is Gold MMC 10786 with a route 7 working by The Randolph Hotel on August 1st.

The Editor's Northcord model arrived today, coincidentally of 10786 working the 7. It is an excellent model.
Pictures by your Editor on August 7th.

Not so many pictures of the rears appear but here 28742 with an S4 working outside The Randolph on August 1st.

Picture from Jack Cooper

Pictures of 11233, a Witney depot bus, working the 3 in Oxford by The Plain on August 6th.

Gold 15834 is seen arriving at Oxford Station with service 1 on August 4th.

E200 36931, working local 26 in Bicester, makes a nice picture with a floral foreground reminding of hot summer days on August 4th.

Heritage livery on MMC 37401 as depart Banbury for Brackley with a 500 service on August 4th.

Similar MMC 37403 is seen at Bicester with a 505 service on August 4th. New 37630 is still hiding in the depths of Banbury depot! 

Pictures from Gavin Francis

MMC Gold 15346 in Gloucester Green with an S6 working on August 3rd.

Here, further round Oxford is 28682 with an 853 service, this bus without any route branding on August 1st. 

Pictures from Gavin Francis

Seen in St Aldates, the current flagship 50261 and then 50278 near the end of their journey's from London.
They look nice and clean except the missing wheel trim on the tag axle of 50261 spoils the appearance ! 

Pictures from Gavin Francis

54607 with warning stripe is seen in Bulleid Way, Victoria on August 5th.

MPT, Manchester are covering a daily return M11 working to London with a fairly new Plaxton coach, ME69MPT.
The coach pictured above in London are pictures from August 2nd and 3rd when Gavin was trying to get good shots of the blinds.
The colours on the front blind are ambitious to say the least! 

London developments

Gavin Francis

Open top tours back - Golden Tours 127 turning to Elizabeth Bridge on August 3rd.

Stagecoach London MMCs showing experimental electronic blinds and the normal one shown on August 4th.

The only Stagecoach electric route so far is the 323 which is run by these 20 plate ADL buses, 29204 seen on August 4th.


For those interested in fleet history of local operators.

Paul Lacey's recent book on Smith's Coaches of Reading 1922-1979 is still available and is currently on offer at £23, inclusive of P&P, original price £30.

Has over 500 monochrome photos and 100 in full colour, so plenty to read and look at, plus full fleet list.

Cheque to Paul Lacey at 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT.

Many readers will doubtless be interested in this 2021 calendar for Malta.