The last issue has provoked a few comments from readers which I will include under the heading "Readers write"

OXFORD residents can now take advantage of the quieter streets with a free sightseeing bus tour of the city’s landmarks.

The offer, which launched earlier this week, is part of the Oxford Mail and Oxford City Council’s Rediscover Oxford campaign, which aims to revive visitor numbers following the lockdown-induced slump.

In a joint initiative with Oxford Bus Company, which owns City Sightseeing Oxford, residents will be able to cut out one free ticket each from the Oxford Mail and Oxford Times newspapers.

The initiative runs until Friday, September 4th and Mary Clarkson, Oxford City Council’s cabinet member for the city centre, Covered Market and culture, encouraged residents to get out and about.

She said: “Before the language schools and tourism took off, this time of year used to be really magical in Oxford."

One of the fleet in Oxford - 2056 has recently had a repaint and tidy up and is looking very smart. Picture by Richard Sharman.


The Managing Director (MD) of Stagecoach’s Manchester operation, Elisabeth Tasker, is to retire

- after coronavirus COVID-19 caused her to ‘rethink’ priorities surrounding work and family.

Elisabeth became MD of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire in 2011 before becoming MD of Stagecoach Manchester in 2016, having started as Operations Director in 2000.

Under her leadership, Stagecoach invested over £37m in new buses and services including the launch of some of the region’s first double-decker electric buses.

Elisabeth says she has ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ her time leading the Manchester team, but that the pandemic has made her realise now is ‘the right time’ to consider retirement.

She says: “I’m very sad to be leaving Stagecoach. However, as with many people, the impact of COVID-19 has caused me to re-think my priorities and I know that now is the right time for me to retire and be able to spend more quality time with my family in Wales.”

Stagecoach Regional Director North Catherine Acton-Brazier thanked Elisabeth for her service and says: “We have been lucky to hold onto Elisabeth for so long given her desire to spend more time with her family in Wales.

“She has made such a valuable contribution to our business and the local community and she will be missed by the Stagecoach team and the wider stakeholder group in Greater Manchester.”

Elisabeth will continue to lead the team in Manchester while a successor is found.

We wish the best for the future for Elisabeth in whatever she chooses to do. Ed.

Upcoming changes

By the next issue I hope to have more on further improvements and changes to operations in our area.

In this issue I am able to provide links to the latest Fleet Allocations lists for Carousel, Oxford Bus and Thames Travel which I hope will provide use and interest for readers.



September 27th 2020


Andrew Dyer

As ever pics on OCBP have evoked memories for me, this time the shots of G101AAD on route 66 reminded me of my 12 years with Cheltenham & Gloucester Omnibus. This one one of a batch of five Gardner-powered Olympians delivered to C&G and they were the only double deckers ordered new during the 'Western Travel' management buyout era. They were allocated to Swindon as their 87 seat capacity meant that on school runs the five buses could replace six old VRs! Other than a sole Olympian bought from South Yorkshire to replace a bus that was written off the only other deckers bought during that era were the GNF xV batch of Leyland Titans purchased from South Midland which turned out to be pretty unreliable ....Harry Blundred knew what he was doing when he got rid of them!!!

Not for the first time I have heard about the Leyland Titan B15 being less than reliable. Although when I drove them at Oxford Bus they seemed OK to me.

Keith Hemmings

Reference the Jack Cooper item on issue 117, Service 30 is a three bus operation.

Two buses start from Swanage 1106/8 and the third bus starts from Dorchester, this is operated by a Damory vehicle.

Many thanks to my friend Keith, we worked together at Oxford Bus some 20 years ago.

Neil Boxford Faulkner

As an ex OBC driver who lived in Aylesbury and now  lives in Blandford and works for Damory I like to keep up to date with the old stomping grounds.

With regards to Purbeck Breezer 30, the route is run by 2 buses a day, one from Morebus in Swanage and one from Damory in Dorchester, the rostered buses are 2 Scania deckers but as Damory only have 1 more liveried Scania (normally 1106)for this route only, when that bus is unavailable we use a Damory decker, normally 1143/4 but 1011/2/3 will be used if needed, the allocation dependent on what's in Dorchester at the time., 

The Damory bus starts on a Dorchester-Swanage about 09.00 and does a couple of Swanage - Weymouth trips and finishes on a Swanage-Dorchester in the evening.

The 40 and 50 as far as I know are run from Swanage with the 60 and 70 run from Poole normally with the 14xx Scania convered to open top.

A slightly different answer on the 30 but still of interest.

Keith Wood

I thought I would drop you a line to add some back story to the image that was in your most recent update – namely the Go Ahead London E200 with a route 718 board in the windscreen. 

The bus is actually operating on route 718. This route is a temporary route covering part of route 118 in Morden due to a road closure that prevents the 118 following its normal line of route along Wandle Road. Bishopsford Road, near to the Mitcham tram stop, is closed whilst a bridge over the river Wandle is replaced. This closure also affects routes 280 and N44 which are also diverted. 

TfL allocate route numbers either in the 5xx or 7xx series for temporary routes and the 718 aligns with the 118 route number that it is partially covering. The 718 itself is a relatively short route that goes from Morden to Rose Hill via Wandle Road (which the 118 cannot serve) and is a one bus operation running every 30 minutes maintaining the link for residents with Morden Station. The route has been running for some while now and is likely to continue until early 2021 whilst the bridge is replaced. This appears to be far longer than originally planned hence the lack of “proper” blinds.  

Whilst writing, I thought I might also submit the attached picture which maybe of interest for your “buses in the landscape” series of images. Taken at Marble Arch earlier today it depicts some of the bronze elephants that are part of a display raising awareness of the plight of orphan elephants (see link below) with a pair of route 30 Volvo B5LH/MCV's operated by Metroline on the stand at Tyburn Way in the background.


Many thanks to Keith for that most useful letter, solves my confusion. The link is most interesting to view.

Philip Gates

Interesting video of new type App based bus service for Sevenoaks Kent 


Thanks to Philip for that interesting item.

I've had some nice pictures this week from my regular contributors and a few are shown below to wet your appetites.

Ex PMU 978 is on loan to Thames Travel to provide a diversion replacement on the 67 route.
Seen on August 18th by Theo Freeman.

Redline's KF52NBN with a 164 working Cheddington on August 18th by Nick Ross.
Nick says "the bus is reflected in the large puddle at Cooks Wharf (nr Cheddington) whilst picking up passengers
with the 1035 Marsworth - Aylesbury via Cheddington, Long Marston and Tring."

This type of picture proves that it doesn't have to be all bus to be interesting! 

George Street, Oxford to be pedestrianised from Richard Sharman

Out of the blue, it would seem, George Street will be pedestrianised for four weeks from the 22nd of August to allow restaurant tables to be set up in the street. The closure is in place daily from 1000hrs to 2230hrs. This news comes just days after the bus gate survey finished with an amazing 7,200 responses, and was postponed until October. George Street is a main artery for bus routes in Oxford and this closure will cause the need for major alterations by multiple operators to accommodate it. Additionally, buses will not be able to use Beaumont Street/ Worcester Street to access Gloucester Green as that junction has just been changed so you cannot turn left!

This picture taken on August 13th clearly illustrates the regular services in George Street due to diverted.

Many companies are now restoring services in the hope that loadings will catch up with the additional capacity. Various changes to schedules appear under operators headings.

Richard Sharman

I was shocked but pleasantly surprised to see a tour coach in Oxford on Thursday.

 Travellers Choice PO20DTY was dropping off German tourists.

So all is not lost yet! Ed.

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

Gavin Francis refers to a bus from our area now in Canada

The bus which is pictured below was referred to in the latest edition of British Buses Abroad - an ex London  Country MetCam Atlantean.

This bus was part of a batch of 30 Metro-Cammell bodied Atlanteans originally built for Midland Red but as London Country were so short of buses at the time they came to them. Numbered AN 91-120 this was AN 110.  

Shown in the original livery applied to these buses when the joined London Country, AN 110 is seen
at Garston depot on May 28th 1977 working the then long route 321.

When freshly repainted in the then latest livery at Amersham depot, AN110 is seen waiting for duty on April 12th 1980.

By June 13th 1980 this bus had been branded for the then popular Chiltern Link a result of the MAP exercise.
It is seen attending a rally at Crawley in that year.

Seen at Blackheath on May 13th 1984 this bus looked somewhat different.

Now with LCNE AN110 is seen at a Showbus Rally.

The one at Blackheath would have been for The London Marathon, the Crawley one would have been a bus rally, The Showbus one I do not know the year. 

I see former SC 17799 is also in France now, East London 17799 at WALTHAMSTOW CENTRAL on March 2nd 2010. 

from Michael Wadman

For History Corner this week I attach a few photos of Motts, mainly from the early ‘nineties when they were a major operator of bus services in the area until they sold most of them to LDT in July 1995 to concentrate on coaching.  

JHE 143W, a Metrobus from South Yorkshire PTE, in Oxford on service 280 – 19th February 1994 

In contrast A859 TCA was a Mercedes L310 / Williams Deansgate, in Henley-on-Thames on 26th March 1994.
Motts had three services in Henley-on-Thames in the early ‘nineties, based on routes originally operated by House of Watlington.
As this was a Saturday A859 TCA was either on the M24 to Watlington or the local M36 to Russell Water. 

OWG 368X, a Leyland Leopard / Plaxton, new to Harold Wilson, Stainforth,
leaving High Wycombe bus station for Reading on service M1 – 16th July 1997 

F648 PLW, a Mercedes 609D / Reeve Burgess, new to Advance Rentals, Hemel Hempstead,
in Brill on service 37 – 16th July 1997 

SUR 283R, Leyland Leopard / Plaxton, in Henley-on-Thames on service M36 – 24th March 1994 

For a while Motts were a regular operator on Underground rail replacements.

641 UTO (formerly LUB 512P) was a Volvo B58-56 / East Lancs rebody, originally a Plaxton coach with West Yorkshire PTE,
at West Hampstead heading for Wembley Park on a Jubilee Line service on 22nd March 1998 

Finally, on one of the bus services that Motts retained after 1995, M971 CVG, a Mercedes 711D / Plaxton,
new to Sanders of Holt, at Reading station on service M1 – 28th June 2003

This was the service your Editor used on his 2008 trip to Lands End using service buses from Stokenchurch with his Concession Pass.

June 2nd 2008 dawned fine and warm and above the then current bus for the M1 is seen
approaching my local stop in Stokenchurch and then in Watlington en route.

There are four links on the page below which take you through my outward and return journeys. Let me know what you think?



A visit to Norfolk with Simon Caygill


Two of the recently delivered ADL MMC buses working local routes in Kings Lynn on August 16th.


An old friend, Volvo/Paladin R912XFC in Kings Lynn on August 16th.


lynx bus fleet list

A very smart fleet of Optare Tempos of which the company has 30 in the fleet, pictured in Kings Lynn on August 16th.

Many thanks to Simon for an interesting snapshot of Kings Lynn.

Newport, Mon visited by Andrew Webb

Andrew Webb

Stagecoach's link to Newport uses Gold vehicles, whilst competitor Phil Anslow prefers to highlight good value fares on their route to Newport.


Phil Anslow buses fleet list

The company also operates other routes to link Cwmbran with its rural hinterland, using both Enviro 200s and Solos.

Anslow's MX14FTV working the 8B, YX16ODA with the 6 and YX17NYP with a 24X  on August 8th.

Passengers heading for Newport are spoilt for choice as the city's municipal operator provides a third service.


Newport's YX12DHP with a service 29B on August 8th.

One must admit, travelling around the country, there are still a large number of smaller companies still trading successfully. Ed. 

One hopes that such articles encourage readers to visit some of these places on occasion.

Fleet news and developments

I expect those who looked at the August allocation list will have noticed that High Wycombe now only has an allocation of three double decks! A significant change from days gone.

Tmsa Safari 7102 is seen with a 757 departure in Buckingham Palace Road on August 17th by Gavin Francis.

Gary Seamarks

Centrebus 513 on a Bletchley Bedford rail replacement at Stewartby on August 20th, this is joint with Arriva MK and has been ongoing since May, hopefully a limited train service will resume next week but buses a bit longer as well been promised.


I am advised that the school service from Stokenchurch to The Royal Grammar School will return with the new term in the next few weeks. 

B M Coaches YJ16EKE is seen working the Flixbus 023 to Manchester on August 17th.

Astromega 295  1-SAG-609  is seen heading for Cologne from London on August 17th.

Similar 300  1-STJ-793  is seen heading for VCS to work service 828, well it is if you stand on your head!!!!!

With thanks to SKM more details on the Oxford coaches being transferred to Go North East.

Refurbishment of the former Oxford X90 Oxford-London Volvo B11RT/Plaxton elite I coaches, 72-78, is being undertaken at Hants & Dorset Trim at Eastleigh.

Originally carrying registration marks in first column, the new registration marks are in the second.

72 X90LDN            OW15WJX
73 X90OBC            OW15WKA
74 X90OFD            OW15WKB
75 X90OXD           OW15WKC
76 X90SVC            OW15WKD 
77 OX15BUS          OW15WKE
78 OX15LON           OW15WKF   

 Go North East fleet numbers await confirmation.

Pictures by Martijn Gilbert can be seen on this link from SKM dated August 19th.:            https://www.stevenknightmedia.com/fleet-news-ramblings   

Service Changes


From Sunday, August 30th 2020. changes will be made to our Chiltern Hundreds 101/102/103/104/105, Route One, link40, 580 and school services


Here is a link to the latest fleet list:

Carousel Fleet_and_mothball_list_as_at_14.08.2020.pdf 


From Sunday, August 30th 2020, changes will be made to a number of our city services and journeys to match the new levels of demand and allow customers to effectively practice social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a link to the latest fleet list:

OX Bus Fleet_and_mothball_list_as_at_14.08.2020.pdf

Giles Woodforde

I've seen this colourful bus in Kidlington before and it seems to have been equipped with a new “silver” destination indicator? .. on the 2 route. At least you can see some of the white destination indicator. Dave, the ever-cheerful driver, put on a special smile for you, even if you can’t see it!

Oxford's 367 on the 2 in Kidlington on August 17th.

 Suzanne Wareham

This time working the 500 service but again Kidlington on August 15th.

Jack Cooper

StreetDeck 371 is seen at Carfax with a U1 service on August 15th.

StreetDeck 901 is seen at the same spot on the same day and on the next day in Abingdon.

Richard Sharman

There is some irony to this image, seen on August 13th.
'A quiet place' advertising board on 667 next to the new advertising boards for the Premier Inn being built opposite Westgate.

902 is seen on the X13 about to head for Abingdon, looking very smart on August 13th. 


From Sunday, August 30th 2020, changes will be made to your River Rapids X38/X39/X40, Connector X2, Connector X32/X33/33, 11, 41, 45, 136 and school services. We will also be introducing a new service 20.

Here is a link to the latest fleet list:

TT Fleet_and_mothball_list_as_at_14.08.2020.pdf

Jack Cooper

Scania 228 is seen in Central Reading with an X38 service to Oxford via Henley and Wallingford on August 18th.

Earlier in the week, 254 is seen at Carfax with an X38 working on August 15th. 

Richard Sharman

935 is seen in St Aldates working the X2 on August 13th.
The Thames Travel Gemini's seem to be particularly visible in the city at the moment, 935 is seen on St. Aldates in the sunshine.

The "old and the new" 207 is seen next to 904 in St Aldates on August 13th.

Theo Freeman

I went out to Reading to do the X38 yesterday and then onto Wantage to do the 67 whilst Thames Travel have PickMeUp 978 on loan due to roadworks. 


Scania 213, last recorded by www.bustimes.org on May 29th is out and about as seen above on August 18th. 

Gary Seamarks

SK15HFP on the W8 in Wellingborough.

Gary Seamarks

One from last week, Wednesday, August 5th, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Working an X20 Stratford upon Avon - Solihull SN65OJB,
Strange there are no logos on the bus?

Richard Sharman

Richard has provide two pictures of Oxford Bus restarting the 737 service now working through to Cambridge.

The 737 service returned to the road last Friday. It is now double-manned and operates to Cambridge.
58 is seen departing Oxford on August 13th.

59 arrives in Oxford after its long non-direct journey from Cambridge again on August 13th.

Gavin Francis

Colour the Coach result seen in London on August 17th.

Llew Jones always used to work a North Wales service but are now seen on the 540 to Manchester on August 17th.

A rather older coach, a Levante tri-axle Selwyn's BV67JXR is seen leaving Gloucester Green, Oxford
on August 18th heading for Manchester with a 212 service.

A NEx West Midlands Levante III, 285, working the 400 to Wolverhampton on August 20th in Victoria.
The use of a paper route number sticker on a fairly new coach is a first for me !!

Mike Stone sent news of the company.

I knew Pulhams were starting a new Stratford-Moreton service from 1st September, but now added to their website are the under mentioned services.

51 Stratford-upon-Avon – Ilmington – Shipston – Moreton-in-Marsh (valid from Tuesday 1st September 2020)

15 – Witney – Ducklington – Standlake – Newbridge – Southmoor – Kingston Bagpuize – Frilford – Marcham – Abingdon (valid from Tuesday 1st September 2020)

19 –  Witney – Ducklington – Standlake – Brighthampton – Bampton – Clanfield – Black Bourton – Alvescot – Carterton (valid from Tuesday 1st September 2020)

63 – Oxford City Centre – Matthew Arnold School – Cumnor – Appleton – Fyfield – Longworth – Hinton Waldrist – Southmoor (valid from Tuesday 1st September 2020)

Well, there are chances for quite a photographic extravaganza, I look forward to contributors efforts. 

Jack Cooper

Whenever I visit Reading these pink buses on the 22 have seemingly avoided my camera so this is a nice picture
of 417 heading for Caversham Heights on August 18th.

When in recent years I have had occasion to visit the hosptial at Coley Park, these gas buses like 418 are the regulars I see.
Here Jack caught the bus in Central Reading on its branded working on August 18th.

Recent E200 MMC 680 is seen in Central Reading displaying the smart Reading livery on August 18th.

These MMCs are really smart buses and here 714 is seen on its branded route in Central Reading.

Sometimes it is an  Emerald bus which works the 702 into London. 774 is seen working the 5 in Central Reading.

MMC 780 is seen working a jetblack service from Newbury.

Now here is a challenge, who can get Reading's 906 next to Thames Travel's 906 in Central Reading??

Theo Freeman

E400 209 is seen in Central Reading heading for Bracknell on thelion service 4 on August 18th.

Jack and Theo had made a joint visit to Reading on that date. 

August 13th in St Giles and Stagecoach East meets Stagecoach West! - taken by Richard Sharman.

Jim Wright

34471 arrived on tow from Banbury, at Horspath. August 20th 

Gavin Francis

It's that bus again, Gold 10786, this time unusually working the 900 service at Thornhill on August 18th.

Grahame Wareham

Early MMC 10437 is seen in Charlbury on August 3rd.

Jack Cooper

MMC 10674 is seen at Carfax with a 10 service on August 15th.

Witney's MMC 11233 this time with a 3A service to The Kassam Stadium on August 15th.

Theo Freeman

Still nothing on 37630. Still needs a ticket machine and destination blinds to be uploaded but last time it wouldn’t start!

Richard Sharman

Witney's 11245 is seen working an S1 turning out of George Street on August 13th.


Service changes from August 30th can be found at this link:


From Sunday 30th August, we will be making changes to some of our services' timetables and routes in order to ensure that we're providing sufficient capacity across our network, ready for the return of schools and colleges and in anticipation for increasing numbers returning to work.

From Sunday, August 30th 2020, we will be altering the X5 route and introducing a new 905 service between Bedford and Cambridge, in conjunction with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

 The new X5 and 905 timetables will be available soon.

What are the route changes?

Customers travelling on services x5 and 905 can buy a transfer ticket which allows them to travel between the two services without paying twice. 

Gary Seamarks

The Elites at Bedford are slowly coming back to life with cab screening fitted, but initially on the 99, I would assume to keep them closer to Bedford if issues, it must be remembered the 99 driver changes take place by running MK Station to Bedford and return dead. Although it requires three vehicles for the service the changeovers mean a 4th is need to cover the dead running.

Gary Seamarks

A few from last week, Wednesday, August 5th, Stratford-Upon-Avon, with 10034 and 11222 (details gained off bustimes.org so hopefully correct)


Then Thursday, August 6th a run out to Kettering, Corby, and Wellingborough.

Kettering is the location of 11130, 15401


Corby for 35225 (at Station) and 39682 at the depot.


Wellingborough for 39699 on an X4, 18108 and 15455 on towns, these are normally Solo routes.


The info board was taken at Kettering Bus Station !

Of note was the X4 is running every 30 mins Northampton to Kettering, then hourly to Peterborough.  

Theo Freeman

Again off route, 15347 is seen in Faringdon with an S6 service on August 18th. 

Not long now before the revised services start at the end of the month.

Astromega 50277 is seen departing to Oxford in Buckingham Palace Road on August 17th by Gavin Francis. 

Gavin Francis

More services seem to be on the move as these pictures show of coaches in and around VCS.

Plaxton Panorama 50408 is seen leaving VCS for Glasgow on August 17th.

Having arrived from Cardiff and Bristol early elite I 54207 in the latest livery is seen heading for a break by VCS on August 17th.

54279 is seen heading for VCS to work a Bristol & Cardiff service on August 17th. 

Gary Seamarks

Uno's 210 on a C11 between Bedford and Milton Keynes at Marston on August 20th.  

London developments by Gavin Francis

Another clear destination shot of a Caetano on the C10 in Buckingham Palace Road.

Variety on the 44, with E126 followed by WSD5 at Buckingham Palace Road on August 17th.

The 170 is generally operated by long E200s as seen in the first picture but on August 18th SE244 was allocated.

Original Tour VXE722 seen in Buckingham Palace Road on August 17th. These services are gradually getting back to normal.

Now availablean>

Stagecoach Oxfordshire Fleet Handbook 2020 (SKM050)
28 pages. Price £5.00. A6 size, laminated card cover. Full colour illustrations throughout.
Full details of the fleet operated and liveries carried by Stagecoach's Oxfordshire fleet which includes operations from main depots in Oxford, Witney and Banbury.
A complete listing of vehicles including registrations is supported by full details of liveries and branding carried together with depot allocations.
Also included are details of the normal, pre-COVID, allocation of vehicle types to routes.

Stagecoach East Midlands Fleet Handbook 2020 (SKM051)
48 pages. Price £6.50. A6 size, laminated card cover. Full colour illustrations throughout.
The Stagecoach East Midlands area includes operations from depots in Hull, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Mansfield, Gainsborough, Worksop, Skegness, Long Sutton and Lincoln.
It is a diverse fleet which has been upgraded in the last year with the cascade of mid-life vehicles from other Stagecoach companies.
More Enviro 400s are expected from Manchester in the coming months and details of these are also included.

Produced with the support of the Lincolnshire & East Yorkshire Transport Review (LEYTR) the book details all vehicles in the fleet along
with extensive information on liveries and branding as well as depot allocations.

Several vehicles in the fleet have received the new Stagecoach livery and examples are included in the full colour illustrations.
Due for publication in October 2020:
Stagecoach East Fleet Handbook 2020 (SKM052)
40 pages. Price £6.50. A6 size, laminated card cover. Full colour illustrations throughout.
 Stagecoach East operates from depots in Bedford, Fenstanton, Cambridge and Peterborough. Investment in 2019/20 has seen 12 tri-axle double decks and six Volvo saloons join the fleet.
The company has faced challenges in returning services to normal post-COVID 'lockdown' as it works to ensure it buses and coaches are COVID-secure.
This means that it may be some months before all required vehicle types are returned to service.
As a result we have taken the decision to delay the publication of this Fleet handbook until October 2020.

The book will detail all vehicles in the fleet along with extensive information on liveries and branding as well as depot allocations.

​The full range of currently available Steven Knight Media books is available from MDS Book Sales, 128 Pikes Lane, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 8EH ( www.mdsbooks.co.uk ).

Books are also available from Ian Allan Bookshop in London  (
www.ianallanpublishing.com ).

If you wish to order direct from Steven Knight Media and pay by cheque you can also do so.
To place a direct order send your cheque made payable to 'Lincolnshire & East Yorkshire Transport Review' to LEYTR Secretary (SKM), 45 Outgate, Ealand, Scunthorpe, DN17 4JD.

Special postal rates apply for books ordered through LEYTR. Just add £1.25 for one book and £1.60 for two books or more. 

Malta Malta Calendar for 2021

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