As noted in the previous issue there are changes ahead on many service and under Covid-19 you will see that the Oxford tube is increasing services from Monday, August 31st providing a much enhanced service offering.

Other developments are to be seen under operator headings.

An overcast day greets new Thames Travel StreetDeck 907 on its way to Wallingford at Didcot Parkway.
Picture by Simon Caygill on August 27th.

Additionally a number of operators have either succumbed to the virus or are reducing staff. Some of these are detailed below under Covid-19 update

The 70 plate period from September 2020 to February 2021 is almost upon us and below are some of the very first 70 plate vehicles for Tappins in our area.

YN70YLX Sca K320IB4 Mobi C59F /2020 Tappin
YN70YLY Sca K320IB4 Mobi C70F /2020 Tappin
YN70YLZ Sca K320IB4 Mobi C70F /2020 Tappin

Who will provide a picture of the first 70 plate bus or coach for the page?

Martin Isles updates us on Showbus

This is the one off reminder about the 2020 SHOWBUS event.  Normally I send out reminders around this time each year to ensure your entry gets listed in the brochure, but the interaction with programme sellers, cash handling and COVID has made this too risky and the brochure will instead be available to download on line for free this year. 

Two major changes since my initial email, the first of which about half of you would have been notified, we found out that the A40 through Tetsworth just south of Wheatley has been closed for some long overdue repairs in the midst of sending out the initial invitations!  Actually this is a happy occurrence as we will follow the signposted diversion via Thame, but taking a slightly shorter and prettier route through Thame town centre, which is also a great venue for spectators to view the proceedings with plenty of facilities available to them. 

Secondly we have been lucky enough to be able to relocate the SHOWBUS TRADERS VILLAGE to High Wycombe’s historic Market Place, slap bang in the middle of the town.  The Town Council are hopeful the Flyby will bring visitors to the town centre and traders should enjoy a bonus number of shoppers.  To enhance the atmosphere in the town centre, the flyby will now go through the town centre, rather than follow the A40 which literally flies over it.  From the London direction buses will drive through the Market Place on the High Street, each pausing briefly for photos.  

Hopefully next week the delayed issue of Buses magazine will give the event some publicity, but over sixty vehicles have now officially entered, which suggests a probable turn out of over a hundred. Those already booked in cover the usual diverse SHOWBUS spread including some which will feel at home, like Thames Valley Bristol K 446 and Oxford Dennis Loline II 304 through to others which will be alien to the area, like Go-Ahead London’s Borismaster LT60. 

Entry forms and full details are of course on the showbus.com/display website so I hope you can come and join us for the likely only 2020 bus fun day out, either with a bus or as a spectator.  

Oxford Tube: London to Oxford & Oxford to London Coach


with a 12 trip ticket

Whether you’re travelling from Oxford to London or returning from London to Oxford, the Oxford Tube is a great value option, providing frequent departures to the cities.

Oxford Tube coaches are currently running up to every 15 minutes during peaks, delivering a very reliable service for commuters or those looking for a day out in the Capital or University city of Oxford. You can view the Oxford Tube timetable online to start planning your journey.

Social distancing measures are in place on board our vehicles with reduced capacity implemented in line with government guidelines. Whilst our drivers enjoy interacting with passengers, we'd like to remind customers that unless you are exempt, a face covering is now a legal requirement for travel on public transport. Click here for more information.

The Oxford Tube is fitted with free 4G, Wi-Fi, USB power sockets and more legroom for a comfortable journey every time.

Take the coach to London or Oxford and buy your tickets for your journey here.


This company terminated all operations as of Monday, August 24th with other operators taking over or being contracted to provide replacement services. I understand that National Express had terminated their contract with the company who had 37 coaches dedicated to NEx services. Services are already being operated where needed by other operators. Also they were contracted to run shuttles at the NEC and staff transport for JLR.

More details can be gleaned from the link below:


Steve Gee also commented that this was on BBC Midlands News with a loss of 180 jobs.

Another company to cease trading are Angus Travel and you can read more at the link below.


Steve Gee also noted that the BBC news mentioned were Johnson's of Henley in Arden who are proposing to make 78 redundancies.


That is interesting as most unusually the company was operating Rail Replacement services from Hillingdon to Uxbridge last Sunday as the picture from Gavin Francis shows below. There appeared two of these low floor buses were in use. A long journey from Henley-in-Arden to Hillingdon!!

Johnson's YW68PBX on Rail Replacement at Hillingdon on Sunday, August 23rd - Gavin Francis.

These job losses and problems for operators must be causing much stress for those involved. I do wish them well in these difficult times.


We referred last week to the closure of George Street for an experimental period of time. Below are pictures taken by Gavin Francis to illustrate the "success" of this move.

Sunday, August 23rd 2020 taken around 1130hrs on the day!!

Tuesday, August 25th taken just after 1300hrs - lunchtime!!!!

I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions. 

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

Mentioning the service uplift for the Oxford tube I thought I would share again with you a picture showing one of the first Astromegas on Westminster Bridge. Enjoy.

2009 Astromega 50224 is seen heading across Westminster Bridge on February 21st 2012 taken by Robert Hall.
A few little alterations and this could be one of the red roofed ex megabus Astromegas due to take the road on August 31st !!!!!!!!
© - Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.

Michael Wadman

I’ve dug up some shots of some of the more unusual services in the area. 

In recent years we’ve seen an increase in the number of rural services that are operated by community buses, but conversely the long-standing Stanford-in-the-Vale Community Bus seems to have disappeared, or at least it no longer runs section 22 services, which came off in September 2016. CE12CKG, a Mercedes Sprinter with Treka body, was in Wantage on 18th May 2013, on service 83 or 84; unfortunately it’s fitted with the type of destination display that doesn’t photograph.


One community bus that is still operating is the Hedgehog, or more formally the North Cotswolds Community Association, based in Mickleton, but they no longer operate a service into Oxford. On 25th March 1999 M740 FEW, an LDV 400 with Jubilee body, was at St Giles on their 4th Thursday of the month service from Willersey.


Oxford Contract Vehicles were primarily a taxi company trading as 001 Cars but they also ran minibuses and even a couple of coaches, and they briefly operated bus service 7B to Cutteslowe. L746 RVW was an Omni new to Chelmsford Community Transport, in St Aldates on 5th August 2000.


Abingdon Mini Coaches ran Didcot local service 141 from February 2002 until June 2003. Route-branded Iveco 49-10 / Mellor L486 HOE, ex-Coventry City Council, at Didcot Parkway on  22nd February 2003.


Finally, in the running for the title of the least frequent regular bus service in the area, Bakers of Enstone’s service 9 from Ducklington to Swindon which by the late ‘nineties only ran on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Saturdays before Christmas (although it had previously been monthly). Leyland Tiger / Plaxton FAC 12Y, new to Shaw’s of Bedworth, awaits departure from Swindon with the return journey on 7th December 1996. I rode on this as far as Brighthampton (where the timing point was a pub that was no longer there) from where I caught Steve’s Travel into Oxford.


As ever, thanks to Michael for another selection of interesting pictures and details. 


Fleet news and developments

From Arriva Beds & Bucks

We’re making it easier than ever to connect with the people and places that matter to you by launching a new app and website on August 25th.

Take a peek at the exciting new app by watching the video: youtube.com/watch?v=dfGA34 Find out more: arrivabus.co.uk/new

From Paul Swann

The following returning to Southern Counties this weekend. (August 29th)

3567, 3569 & 3570 from High Wycombe to Hemel Hempstead 

3857, 3859, 4082, 4086 & 4230 from Aylesbury to Harlow

Paul Coley

Great page as ever. some photos I took on August 22nd. while have a cycle around Aylesbury are shown below. Some of the photos aren’t great because of the light, plus I was using my phone, too!

3797 shown ready to leave the depot at Aylesbury.

Decker 4027 is now withdrawn but 1002 is still listed as being in service.

3864 and 3030 are seen in the depot yard.

4017 and 4025 are seen alongside two trainers at the depot. 

From Paul Swann

Temsa 7105 is Transferring to Telford  

The Following Stansted Coaches are entering service on Luton GreenLine work

BV20HRC         7201
BV20HRF         7204
BV20HRM        7209


BV20HRO       7211
BV20HRP        7212

BV20HRR        7213

Tourismo 7204 seen at Luton depot on August 26th. Courtesy Arriva the Shires. 

Diamond StreetLite 30067 GN14LPL in Stratford upon Avon on August 14th by Ciaran Bird.
I think it is working to Redditch on the X19.

Flixbus operator BM Coaches YJ16EKE, has now acquired Flixbus logos and is seen with an 023 service to Manchester on August 27th by Gavin Francis. 

A new contributor this week is Owain Morgan from Oxford Bus who has provided some interest this week.

He writes " I thought I’d make you aware of some developments here at the Oxford Bus Company.  

In readiness for our service changes this weekend, we have updated the destination blinds across the fleet, with what we hope is a ‘fresher look’. I have attached a number of photos, a few of which were taken during the arduous yet rewarding task of updating them overnight on August 26th! 

Credit should go to Andy Morison, Glenn De Sousa, Alex Horwood and Lewis Nagle for their assistance and recommendations with these blinds. In fact, eagle-eyed spotters may notice the uncanny resemblance on the airport symbols to those of Carousel’s old A40! 

Perhaps your valued readers may indeed spot them “out in the field”? "

Very many thanks to Owen for his contributions.

Gavin Francis has provided some pictures of the changed destinations displays in service on August 28th, see under Oxford Bus below.

An update on allocations has been provided by OBC. Work is planned on fleet presentation at Carousel due to all the vehicle moves and will be focused on this in the autumn.

Solos 709, 711-713 will be returning to Carousel and held in reserve. One vehicle will temporarily be used on the staff shuttle contract from next week to assist with social distancing.

These two Citaros have turned up in the last few days and as advised by OBC they are at Carousel
 as emergency spares for school duplication work. 842 and 845 are seen on August 24th by Malcolm Crowe.

Today, August 28th. 845 is working service 1A to Chesham as reported by Jack Cooper.

At the depot in High Wycombe on August 24th were 980, 939 and 859. Picture by Malcolm Crowe.

As revealed above the company is refreshing their destination displays. Gavin Francis caught 310, on August 23rd, with a "transitional" display since updated.


Services are currently using Beaumont Street due to the closure of George Street as reported in the last issue.

Gavin Francis on August 23rd

317 and 678 head out of Beaumont Street to make their pick up on the regular stop in Magdalen Street West.

670 is seen passing The Ashmolean with a 500 working.

MMC 606 is seen with a southbound 300 working turning into Beaumont Street.

StreetDeck 902 is seen at Queens Lane with an X13 working on August 25th.

Brand new 903, first day in service was August 24th, working the 0628 to the JR, seen on the 25th in St Aldates heading for Abingdon.

Gavin Francis on August 28th

Gavin was on hand in Magdalen Street West to take pictures of three Oxford Bus vehicles showing the new blind displays.

Taken on a wet Friday, August 28th by Gavin Francis.

Ciaran Bird

StreetDeck 661 is seen with a 500 working north of the City on August 20th. 

Oxford Bus advise as under:

"Interdeckers were in use on Airline services last weekend since Rail replacement used for Tourismos last Sunday only (August 23rd) and was simply because interdecks cannot easily get around the rail replacement route. May happen again for future Thameslink or Chiltern rail work."

This is useful information and Gavin Francis has provided pictures of these coaches.

I am told that 69, 70 and 71 were in use of which 70 and 71 are shown above in Gloucester Green on August 23rd by Gavin Francis.
Gavin advised that 71's blind had not been changed Gatwick on departure.


Some Tourismos were in use as shown by 36 leaving Gloucester Green for Heathrow. 

Numerous pictures of various vehicles including the latest StreetDeck to enter service, 907. 908 is also on the road.

Daniel Harwood

221 is seen leaving Didcot Parkway on August 22nd.

623 is seen leaving Didcot Parkway passing 904 on August 22nd.
I saw Thames Travel's 623 again and the name on it is "Neville Burden."

906 is seen leaving Didcot Parkway on August 22nd with an X2 service to Oxford.

Brand new 907 seen heading for Wallingford in Stratton Way, Abingdon looks very trim and only one day in service on August 26th.

Daniel said he only missed 908 by seconds.

Simon Caygill

A wet day in Reading reflects on E400 254 with an X40 service to Oxford on August 27th.

Gavin Francis

MMC E200 511 is seen turning out of St Giles into Beaumont Street on August 24th heading for Wytham (a name from Morse!!)

So, 909 is the only one outstanding now.

StreetLite SM19KKT is seen waiting time in Oxford with a 250 working on August 25th by Gavin Francis.


Michael Penn

You might be interested in these two photographs.  They are DAF DB250s (LG52DCY and LJ03MVD) owned by Masons of Long Marston.  They were new to Arriva London but came via Holmeswood Coaches. 

They are used on a free shuttle service between Bletchley bus station and Bletchley railway station which is necessary because Buckingham Road is closed due to the rebuilding of the rail flyover. 

This is part of the ongoing work to re-establish the East West rail line between Oxford and Cambridge.

Taken on August 20th. 

Nick Ross

Presumably a recently delivered Trident to Masons of Cheddington climbs onto the Leighton Southern bypass en route to the Keynes early on August 24th.

Now that is one for "Buses in the Landscape" !  

As ever Gavin Francis has provided a few pictures of National Express operations in London.

Now with Woods of Leicestershire ( part of Kings Ferry) BV66WOY was new to Johnsons Bros of Worksop and seen on trans Pennine services rather than London.
It did operate the 350 from Liverpool to Stansted when new. It was working the 440 service when seen in London on August 25th.



The two links will give you an idea of its operations.

Selwyn's are currently a National Express contractor and above BV67JXS is seen on Elizabeth Bridge, Victoria awaiting its next duty.
The date is August 25th and the destination was of some amusement to its crew!!


Interesting times ahead for National Express who are busy changing contracts and operators giving much added workings to see.

    Now part of National Express

Heading for VCS, Kingsferry BF68ZFL is seen in Buckingham Palace Road on August 27th by Gavin Francis.

Daniel Harwood

This week I have a photo from Cheltenham.

I really liked this picture as it also include a Smart car as well as Solo YJ06YSU on August 20th.
For those who don't know your Editor also has a Smart Car!!!!!

Simon Caygill

Black when wet does reflect the background and above 787 is seen in Reading with a nr. 1 service to Newbury on August 27th.

Following the cancellation of the order for six Green Line Metrodeckers from Optare, some 15 plate ADL/MMC E400s are being branded for this route as seen below.


760 now sports a revised Green Line livery and is seen in Buckingham Palace Road on August 28th by Gavin Francis.

Paul Coley

Red Line already operates two different services in to Aylesbury. Red Line have continued with their services along the same routes and have, recently increased frequencies on some. Pictures of the depot are shown below.

As the photos show there is considerable variety at Redline and it appears that quite a number of extra deckers have been acquired.
The pictures were taken on August 22nd. 

Paul Coley

I needed to get a photo of the Star Travel depot, as I suspect many of the older Solos will go now that they have de-registered two of their three Aylesbury town services from late September. The 3 and 5 had been suspended for COVID-19 but they have obviously decided to call time on these. Unless they are to register different services, that will leave them with the 5A only to Berryfields.

Still quite a number of vehicles were seen at the depot on August 22nd.

A few more photos from the Star Travel ‘yard’. Couldn’t get to the ones parked at the back. They also have a couple stores in the Vale Travel yard in Gatehouse Road, but most are here. The ones parked up haven’t moved for months and, with them deregistering two of their three Aylesbury town services from the end of September (routes 3 and 5), I guess most will be sold?

A general view of the yard with numerous buses in the picture taken on August 27th.

Those of you who linked to my 2008 issues including the trip from Stokenchurch to Reading on Motts M1 will recognise this little bus!

Many thanks to Paul Coley and a reminder of the link to the Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/Oxford-and-Chilterns-Bus-Page-2128361400713291/?ref=page_internal

Check this link for service updates.



Dart SLF 34471 and Enviro 200s 36761/72 have transferred from Witney to Banbury following a peak vehicle requirement increase there.

Two vehicles remain delicenced here, Optare Solo 47736 which remains at an external contractor in Crewe for engine work and Enviro 400MMC 11235 which is at ADL Harlow.

Gavin Francis

Gold 10780 working the 7 in Magdalen Street West on August 23rd.

Gold 10780 working the S3 in Beaumont Street on August 24th.

Due to the closure of the George Street, the S3 picks up northbound in Beaumont Street on August 23rd.

The 900 seems to have been upgraded to Gold buses as seen with 10785 at Thornhill on August 25th.

Ex Witney 11233 is seen working a Gold S9 to Wantage in St Aldates on August 25th.

The S1 is currently terminating at Gloucester Green and these pictures show this operation between August 23rd and 25th.

Is it worth mentioning about Gold buses on non Gold routes? 15756 working route 1 on August 25th.

E200 36927 waiting time by The Ashmolean with a 14A service to the J R on August 24th. 

Gary has provided some interesting pictures from Bedford to go with the report below.

Gary Seamarks

The new X5/905 timetables are now online, in short not a lot has changed on the Oxford side except a change of vehicle will be required if crossing Bedford.

Between Bedford and St. Neots no route changes, then from St Neots to Cambridge a loop into Cambourne is made, then it no longer serves Madingley Road Park and Ride but will continue across the North of Cambridge on the A14 and come off a Cambridge Regional College, followed by the Science Centre, these stops are near the Busway, and will only be served on Weekdays till about 18.30.

Numbered 905 this route will use E400 MMC's for which 10874-81 which are appearing on loan from Peterborough, plus 11279/80 that have been at Bedford since late 2019, E400's 19698/700-6 are in the process of moving to Peterborough in exchange. It would seem these are only loans until more suitable deckers arrive, what these are at present is not known, perhaps something to 'gold spec'

X5 and 905 timetable link

So it seems that the days of these buses on the X5 are now drawing to an end.
21363 and 21365 heading in opposite directions, east and west with X5 services on August 21st.

Panoramas of the recent and old returning in Bedford on August 21st.

21364 is seen with local working route 1 in Bedford on August 21st.

The X5 will, from August 30th, operate half hourly between Bedford and Oxford v.v. including Sunday but then with later starts and earlier finishes. It is understood that the coaches branded for the X5 will be used.

An X4 branded Gold MMC, 11131 with service 50 into Bedford on August 21st from Gary Seamarks.

busway 21310 is seen heading for Cambridge on August 23rd, a week before the through service ends by Gavin Francis.

Gary Seamarks

Few from Skegness on August 24th, it was not a bus bash so limited shots, the Lincoln one was taken from the window in the chip shot, sadly only shot I got. Note the use of Cleethorpes ones in "skeggie" also.

16943 working the Tour Lincoln not moved to "skeggie" but the bus was!!

16962 and 16965 busy in Skegness.

19169 busy in Skegness on August 24th. Note the registration once a popular combination with Tillingbourne Buses!
Indeed the company formed part of Metrobus following its demise.
19169 (SV57BFP) was a Dennis Trident with Alexander Enviro 400 bodywork operated by Stagecoach in Inverness until it had an argument with a low bridge.

Ciaran Bird

unibus 11217 is seen in Stratford-upon-Avon working a service 15 to Leamington on

Daniel Harwood

This week I have some photos from Cheltenham.

Gold 10903 working route A to GCHQ on August 20th.

In Cheltenham Bus Station, Gold 15850 is seen with a 98 working to Gloucester on August 20th.

Recent MMC 37620 is seen on service A in Cheltenham Centre on August 20th.

E300 28685 is seen with service 853 in St Giles, Oxford on August 20th. 


With the upcoming service uplift some of the ex megabus coaches may need to be prepared for service, many of these having been SORN since early spring.

Here are some of them parked at Network Oxford on August 25th caught by Gavin Francis.
(not all are ex megabus.)

50265 is seen in Gloucester Green sadly lacking a wheel trim on the tag axle. Pictured by Gavin Francis a day earlier the 24th.  

Paul Coley

Two pictures of the Z&S depot in Aylesbury on August 22nd. 

Gavin Francis with London developments

Go-Ahead only own 2 of this model VHP 1 and VHP 2. Saw VHP 2 today at Herne Hill. Don't know much about this model.

Volvo SRM B5LHC on route 37

The Volvo B5HLC with the SRM (two-door, one-staircase New Routemaster) bodywork in service on route 37.

There are only two Volvo SRM B5LHC’s; they are (fleet numbers) VHP1 and VHP2 operated by Go-Ahead London.
According to London Vehicle Finder, VHP1 and VHP2 launched into service on 1st August 2018.
Checking the Volvo Bus website, there are no recent news stories about the Volvo B5LHC with the SRM bodywork.

These pictures were taken by Gavin in Herne Hill on August 21st.

Abellio's LT684 is seen leaving Crystal Palace on August 21st on its journey into London (Whitehall) on August 21st.

Arriva DLA621 now in use in London as a driver trainer seen on August 21st a Herne Hill.
KL52CXB, CWN and CWP are still in operational fleet at High Wycombe!!!

I think the 410 was a London Country bus route now operated by Arriva, ENS27 seen at Crystal Palace on August 21st. 

LT 278 seen in Great Central Street, Victoria with a 453 southbound on August 21st.

GAL WS124 r 227 at Crystal Palace on August 21st.

Quite a new conversion is this 12 plate E400, DA234 seen at Victoria Bus/Train Station on August 21st.
This bus was new to Abellio London as their 9554. SN12APK.

BlaBlaBus operator Thandi with TH19NDX is ready for Paris in VCS on August 25th.

Tours are back to Harry Potter using new Volvo tri-axle/MCV 80 seat bodywork seen in Bulleid Way on August 25th.

125 is seen from rear in Buckingham Palace Road on August 23rd.