During the past week we have had Remembrance Sunday and also some activity on November 11th.

Jack Cooper

Abingdon memorial seen on November 7th.

The inevitable reductions in express services are taking place whilst the lockdown is in force, however local and school services continue.

The continuing news, noted under the fleet heading below, is the arrival of the first two new Panoramas and the further arrival of three more in the coming several days. This will doubtless mean the withdrawl of the ex-megabus coaches very soon and Gavin Francis has been busy catching up with their final days!

Above 50250 is seen in Buckingham Palace Road on November 8th leading two of the soon to be replaced fleet of Astromegas.
Gavin Francis took this picture.

I was very lucky to catch new 50422 nearby to my home for some pictures which are shown under the tube heading.
Taken on November 12th, one of the first nice days in recent weeks.

Under Readers Write I am pleased to include two items, one from Mick Payne about Milton Keynes and an interesting reminiscence from Andrew Dyer. 

Once again we are now in full lockdown in England which makes getting out and about much more difficult. I would only caution readers and contributors not to break any rules since there will be people who question if someone should be taking pictures in these difficult times.

Oxford Tube emergency timetable from Monday 16th November 2020


Following the recent government announcements and after reviewing our services we will be running to an emergency timetable from Monday, November 16th. We recognise that the Oxford Tube provides a vital link between Oxford and London and want to take this time to thank all of our customers and staff for your continued support and understanding.


View Oxford Tube timetable from Monday, November 16th here


Readers will note that there is a basic 30 minute service Monday-Friday with some extras on Saturday and Sunday. The Express via Baker Street and Night Services are suspended for the present !

Gavin Francis

....records the lack of traffic in Victoria Coach Station in the past week.

VCS on November 2nd showing two coaches only.

Seen on November 11th just after 9am,  some of the departures shown are services calling at multi destinations!

and seen on November 12th !!

It is notable that when crossing the M40 between junc. 5 and 4 it is rare to see a coach in these times.

Fleet news and developments

Jack Cooper

E400s 5460 and 5463 seen in Oxford working the 280 service on November 6th.

Nick Ross

Arriva's 3603 seen working the F70 near Stoke Hammond on November 2nd.




No changes this week with the fleet. It is pleasing to see that 214 is recording on www.bustimes.org  and most buses are showing their routes.

As mentioned last week 938 is back from repair and so they have a full double deck allocation with 220 and 222 returning to Oxford. Also Citaros 860 and 870 have moved to Thames Travel for Driver Training.

870 seen at Oxford Train Station on November 11th whilst carrying out Driver Training for Thames Travel.
Picture by Guy Watts.

Gavin Francis

884 was used to work the 40 on November 10th in place of 887.
It is seen above with the wrong destination at Stokenchurch and on two occasions failed to operate via Marlow Rd/New Rd.
The driver kept to A40 through Stokenchurch in both directions, one wonders why ?

Here 886 is seen picking up in New Road, Stokenchurch heading for High Wycombe on November 10th.

Malcolm Crowe

Pictures taken at the depot on November 10th.

A line up at Wycombe depot on November 9th.

As mentioned above 938 is back from repair and a fully active member of the fleet once again.
Picture taken on November 9th. 

Route 35

Service Update (city35): Please be aware the planned closure of Kennington Road, from November 13th until 15th, has been postponed until further notice. Your city35 services will be running as normal until the closure is rescheduled.

Some interesting records of the last closure are under Jack Cooper's report below..

One must compliment the company on putting branded buses on their correct routes, an ever increasing improvement.

Ciaran Bird

Branded 225 is seen working 2 road on November 5th.

By November 11th 220 had lost its Carousel branding.

602 was a stranger to the 500 on November 11th when seen in Park End Street.

Jack Cooper

Hybrid 311 is seen heading down St Aldates on a very wet October 30th.

220 seen in Oxford but still carrying Carousel branding on November 6th.

305, 363 and 376 are all seen in Castle Street on November 6th.

StreetDecks 659 and 675 are also seen heading in the opposite direction on November 6th.

As mentioned Oxford Bus is improving very much in ensuring branded buses work on branded routes.
Here 601 is seen in Magdalen Street East prior to a journey to Kidlington on November 6th.

901 is seen in the gathering gloom in Abingdon with an X13 to the J R on November 7th.
These buses really lend themselves to evening photography and look inviting.

Jack writes regarding route 35 and a recent diversion due to roadworks.

Last weekend the 35 was on diversion due to roadworks in Kennington. 

The diversions were as follows 

Wolvercote bound 

All stops until Radley Church, left onto White's Lane, right onto Radley Road, right onto twelve acre drive, right onto Lodge Hill, through Bagley Woods and then followed the S8 route from there to Go Outdoors where normal service was resumed.  

Abingdon bound

Onto the ring road at Kennington, through Bagley Woods, left at Peachcroft Roundabout (having come down Lodge Hill), left onto twelve acre drive, left onto Radley Road, left onto White's Lane and then right onto Church Road in Radley were normal service was resumed.  

This explains why I had pictured 305 going up Lodge Hill, 602 was pictured coming out of White's Lane heading towards Wolvercote.

Pictures taken on November 8th.

Many thanks to Jack for that interesting diversion with detail. 

Interesting pictures of vehicles on a variety of routes.

Daniel Harwood in Wantage

Airline coach 24 seen in Wantage on November 6th.

Citaro 844 is seen in Wantage Market Place with a 33 working on November 6th.

Jack Cooper

GWR wrapped 221 with an X2 service on November 8th.

On a dismal Sunday, November 8th 622 is seen in Abingdon with a 33 service to Wantage. 

Gavin Francis

Gavin caught up with a Heyfordian school bus this week in Stokenchurch. He at first thought if to be one which was in Dublin Bus colours, however it turns out to be another one.

Just taken a picture of what I thought was the Dublin bus liveried Heyfordian bus but it is in fact a different one with the next registration. Must have bought them as a pair.

The two buses seen in Stokenchurch some two years apart. LW51ZMY on October 9th 2018,
whilst the one in white is LW51ZMX on November 9th.

Nick Ross

A bus in the very murky landscape image for you! On November 10th a Marshalls Volvo on a school run is held up in traffic
on the Leighton Buzzard bypass flyover over the canal.

This is one for buses in the landscape.

Gavin Francis

Woods of Leicester operate this Caetano BK14LFW seen in VCS on November 12th.

A lonesome little van also seen in VCS on the same day! 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

With the simplification of the greenwave network which started on Monday, you may have noticed a few subtle changes to help our customers find their way.

Buses 401-404 are now branded as Mereoak park&ride instead of greenwave. Buses 405-409 remain in greenwave livery temporarily, until double deck buses are released from extra school work for Covid-19.
405-7 are intended to become Winnersh P&R buses in the future.

410 and 411 will shortly be repainted into the new ruby livery below. This will give the service a great chance to stand out and show that there is now a dedicated service for Kennet Island. A premium looking bus service which fits alongside the emerald as another precious gem in our routes!

The livery changes notes above. 


Gary Seamarks

Just one random shot, finally caught up with one of Souls E500's on November 6th. This bus was new as 05-D-70010, to Dublin Bus its a Volvo B7TL underneath, at nearly 15 it still looks quite smart.

Souls, Olney Y5BUS ex Dublin Bus VT5 Volvo B9TL/ADL Enviro 500 Yardley Road, Olney.

Coronavirus Update

National lockdown restrictions are in place across England until December 2nd but bus services are running as normal. You should only travel for work, education or other permitted reasons.  

The new tier system has been introduced across Scotland, but if you need to travel, make sure you're up-to-date with what's happening in your area by checking the local government guidance.

We've put in place measures to allow you to travel safely including limiting available seats on buses and enhanced cleaning. Unless you’re exempt, you must wear a face covering throughout your journey. Please avoid busy times, use contactless payment where you can, keep your distance and take your litter with you. Stay up to date on our Coronavirus page.

Many buses have lost their WiFi logos following the decision to remove all but a few services from this facilities.

However there were still some buses recently still carrying the WiFi logo like 11249 on November 9th by Ciaran Bird.
Note this Witney based bus was operating Oxford route 2!!!

Jack Cooper

Early MMC 10432, now 5 years old, is seen with a number 1 at Carfax on November 6th.

Keeping up recent allocations, above is 36928 with a 7 to Woodstock on November 6th.  

Jack Cooper

Interestingly the coaches working the X5 now show Bedford or Oxford which suggests this route is not EU legislated.
54301 inbound and 54303 outbound on November 6th.

Mandy Studley

.... writes spent much of the day seeing just the normal buses but as we were due to leave Ben got to see Bus-Lightyear, driven by Rebecca.

A great picture from Ben Studley with a favourite bus from West.

 E200 37622 working the 853 in Witney on November 10th.

Jack Cooper

Somewhat off route again, 15858 is seen working an S6 near Oxford Station on November 6th.

Ciaran Bird

Another Gold this unbranded 10991 is seen in Park End Street with an S6 on November 11th.

Oxford Tube emergency timetable from Monday 16th November 2020


Following the recent government announcements and after reviewing our services we will be running to an emergency timetable from Monday, November 16th. We recognise that the Oxford Tube provides a vital link between Oxford and London and want to take this time to thank all of our customers and staff for your continued support and understanding.


View Oxford Tube timetable from Monday, November 16th here


Readers will note that there is a basic 30 minute service Monday-Friday with some extras on Saturday and Sunday. The Express via Baker Street and Night Services are suspended for the present !

Fleet List and registrations of the new Panoramas.

Seating is C61/16D with 1 w/c

Courtesy SKM

50421    YX70 LUA  to be T40UBE
50422    YX70 LUD  to be T44UBE
50423    YX70 LUE  to be T50UBE
50424    YX70 LUF  to be T55UBE
50425    YX70 LUH to be T60UBE

50426    YX70 LUJ
50427    YX70 LUL
50428    YX70 LUO
50429    YX70 LUP
50430    YX70 LUR
50431    YX70 LUT
50432    YX70 LUW
50433    YX70 LUY
50434    YX70 LUZ
50435    YX70 LVA
50436    YX70 LVB
50437    YX70 LVC
50438    YX70 LVD
50439    YX70 LVE
50440    YX70 LVF
50441    YX70 LVG
50442    YX70 LVH
50443    YX70 LVJ
54444    YX70 LVK
50445    YX70 LVL
50446    YX70 LVM
50447    YX70 LVN
50448    YX70 LVO
50449    YX70 LVP
50450    YX70 LVR
50451    YX70 LVS
50452    YX70 LVT
50453    YX70 LVU
50454    YX70 LVV

Ciaran Bird

Ciaran caught up with 50421 in Gloucester Green taken in quite heavy rain on

50421 seen in Gloucester Green on November 9th during driver training.

Jim Wright

50421 & 50422 were both outside at Horspath Depot on November 10th . Here are photos of 50422 both sides, one with Wheelchair ramp down presume for driver training. Of note it's got, brought to you by Stagecoach, on the side, none of any previous Tubes had this !

50422 mentioned by Jim Wright above.

Malcolm Crowe

As mentioned in the editorial above I was delighted to catch 50422 on training near my village and took some photos of the interior, engine, luggage and cycle storage for your interest.

The passenger facilities include adequate table space for laptops , a phone charging device and clear passenger information.

Lower Deck.

The wheel chair posistion does not have a seat to be moved as with the older Astromegas.

Upper Deck.

The front seats are great and offer plenty of leg room.

Luggage, Cycle and Engine detail.

The luggage space is height restricted but there is a very safe storage facility for cycles.

Other items of interest for the driver.

One can see the camera for the driver, a cool box with phone charger which is lockable, a nice addition.

50422 seen in Stokenchurch on November 12th. 

Gavin Francis from London on November 12th.

Panorama 50422 was in London on route proving trials and Gavin took a number of pictures which compliment mine from above.

In Buckingham Palace Road

Lower deck entry, staircase, luggage and toilet facilities

More on the lower deck including rear luggage and cycle areas

Astromega re-registrations courtesy Chris Coleman, MD Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.

50261   -   OW14 LJZ
50262   -   OW14 LKA
50263   -   OW14 LKC
50264   -   OW14 LKD
50265   -   OW14 LKE

All of these coaches were finally re-registered by the evening of Wednesday, November 11th.

It will interesting to see other coaches with their new registrations and Gavin Francis has provided a picture of 50262, OW14LKA.

As the new coaches have fleet numbers on the rear this will make it easier to identify them in time to come.
50262 seen in Gloucester Green on November 8th.

Ciaran Bird

50263 seen on November 11th and then 12th November, its date of re-registration.

Other pictures from Gavin Francis include the older ex megabus coaches whose life on the Oxford tube is now time limited.

"Took a few pictures all of Tube coaches. Will try and get as many ex-Megabuses as I can this week as this could well be their last week on the road as with reductions next week presumably they will be withdrawn. Pictures include 50250 and also 50262 with its new registration. 

Had 50235 for my 2nd round trip. What a cracking coach that is, runs really smoothly and is never any problem, could drive it all day every day." 

50250 is seen in Buckingham Palace Road and then Gloucester Green on November 8th.
This coach betrays its origin with the trailer coupling still extant! Also the registration plate shows Western Buses!

My steed for the 2014 Showbus was 50284 seen here at Thornhill on November 8th.

Gavin's first sight of new 54021 in Engineering at Horspath Road depot on November 8th.
I do hope these new coaches retain their wheel trims - please.

Jack Cooper

... provides a couple of pictures of the current fleet seen in Castle Street, Oxford on November 6th.


Revised network on sale up to 10 January - flexible tickets available.

Following the latest Government announcements, we're continuing to operate a reduced network for essential travel.

Please follow the latest government advice and rules around travel for both your region and the region you’re travelling to. To get more information, visit the gov.uk website for England, Welsh government website and Scottish government website. We’ll continue to run services as advertised so that essential trips can be completed, but should service alterations become necessary at some stage – we’ll contact customers directly.

Tickets can be amended by clicking on ‘change trip’ on our home page where you’ll be able to amend your ticket (up to 24 hours before you’re due to travel) for any journey up to 10 January. If you need to amend your ticket for travel after 10 January, please contact our Customer Services Team at enquiries@megabus.com  who’ll give you a redemption code to use on future travel. Due to Covid-19, we have a limited team dealing with enquiries, so please bear with us. They’ll be processing enquiries in travel date order and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our tickets are on sale up to 10 January. So book with confidence by taking advantage of our flexible tickets, where you can amend your ticket free of charge up to 24 hours before you’re due to travel.

The safety of our customers and people is our top priority and we know you want to keep safe too, which is why we’ve added some new procedures so you can travel responsibly with us.

• We’ve limited the number of seats on board to allow for social distancing. You can still reserve a seat if you wish and if you haven't reserved a seat, you'll be allocated one when boarding.
• Please bring and wear your own face covering when in coach stations, at coach stops and when travelling on board.
• We’ve increased our cleaning regime and filter changing schedules for our air conditioning units and use a HVAC filter which is 99.9%* effective against Covid-19.
• Enhanced cleaning regimes are in place on our coaches, coach stations and customer service desks.
• We’ve increased our cleaning regime and filter changing schedules for our air conditioning units.
• Drivers will have face masks and face visors.
• Toilets will be available on the coach, but we recommend using facilities before getting on board wherever possible.
• Anti-bac stations will be available on our coaches.

Thanks for choosing megabus. We’ll see you on board soon.

*99.9% effectiveness against Covid-19 from research conducted by FCL. 

Gavin Francis

Picture taken on November 10th,

Vale Travel, Aylesbury T61NWL Alexander bodied Volvo Olympian ex Dublin bus RV506 99-D-506 seen in Stokenchurch.

Jack Cooper

......picture from Abingdon.

Weavaway have a local route in Abingdon, the 2 to Millett's Farm. YX69NWB is seen on November 10th.


Jack Cooper

......picture from Abingdon.

Whites have this Optare Versa, YJ58VBK, seen in Abingdon on November 10th.

Jack notes "The Weavaway E200 was parked up on the Dunmore Road and the Versa belongs to Whites and has BPS on the rear blind."   


London operators

Gavin Francis

Ward Jones yard was nearly empty on November 13th but they seem to be working on WVL 149 which used to be with This Bus. It has stood in the yard opposite for the past two years since they finished.

Seen on November 13th. 

Michael Wadman

More pics of local operators for History Corner. You couldn’t really call these ‘lesser-known’, on the contrary they were quite well-known at the time, but they have all variously ceased trading, been taken over, or no longer run bus services, since the photos were taken.

Red Rover no 152 (KCR 103P), former Portsmouth Corporation Leyland National,
passing Aylesbury station on service 11, September 6th 1987. 

Red Rover no 137 (SJO 871T), Bedford YMT / Plaxton, at Aylesbury station, 6th September 1987 

Rover Bus Service D823 UBH (formerly D620 PWA), Bedford YMT / Plaxton, at Chesham Broadway on service 52, 2nd August 2nd 1993. 

Rover Bus Service ANM 649L, Ford R192 / Willowbrook, on Flaunden Hill, heading for Hemel Hempstead
 on the service from Chesham in March 1981. This photo by Keith Newton. 

Prestwood Travel APM111T, AEC Reliance / Plaxton, formerly LCBS RS111, in Aylesbury on service 31, July 16th 1997.

Prestwood Travel E902 LVE, former Cambus Optare City Pacer, in High Wycombe on service 308, 16th July 1997

Many thanks to Michael for his weekly contribution, I well remember these vehicles which have now gone nearly without trace except Red Rover which is now somewhat different to those days.

Gavin Francis

Showbus FlyBy 2020 and another picture of RM1368 seen in Stokenchurch on September 27th 2020.


Mick Payne writes with an update of what’s happening in Milton Keynes.

With little warning city route 28 was withdrawn on Saturday 24 October and replaced by a demand responsive service (effectively dial-a-bus as we used to know it). Linking Bletchley and Westcroft District Centre by a roundabout route that took in Tattenhoe, Emerson Valley, MK Hospital, MK City Centre and Shenley Wood retirement village, the former Vale Travel contract service is now provided by ViaVan which uses Mercedes vehicles that appear to have more in common with taxis than buses. A lot of detail can be found at https://www.viavan.com/milton-keynes   but strangely no picture of the vehicles and I have yet to see one in service.

It seems that Milton Keynes Council is to end all bus subsidies next April and Vale Travel chose to relinquish the route 28 contract as of now. The Council says the annual cost  of tendered services is heading towards £5million and demand responsive vehicles will cost half that amount with the benefit that they will be available for evening and Sunday journeys. At least thirteen services appear to be currently at risk. Most of these are operated by Z&S but they also include the Arriva no. 9 Bletchley – Kingston, most journeys to the Open University on Vale Travel no. 11 and journeys beyond Olney on Redline route 21 from the City Centre to Lavendon . The Council state that about 86% of Milton Keynes bus use is by commercial services, primarily operated by Arriva.

Will keep you posted of further developments.

We look forward to more from Mick.

Andrew Dyer writes about Panoramas

Thanks for another great weekly briefing.  I though the new Tube coaches look very nice though of course by no means the first time that Plaxton Panoramas have graced Gloucester Green! I drove this one in there many times and it’s my favourite version of the Panorama design over the years. 

Holder Charlton-on-Otmoor N&S Oadby -  Holder, Charlton-on-Otmoor in Gloucester Green
was former N&S, Oadby - AEC Reliance 2U3RA Plaxton Panorama II coach body new 1965 picture via Andrew Dyer.

I must say that this design was also my favourite and I remember visiting Plaxton to collect the first Bedford VAL 14/Panorama with a similar body and driving almost identical Panoramas when I spent 18 months with Ribble in 1964/5. The design seemed to lend it self to many differing liveries.

Here is 792 on an X31 from Liverpool seen in Keswick in 1965 when new, we had 789 and 790 at Manchester.
The were mainly used on the X40 Manchester-Keswick service which I often drove.
I note from my Log Book for 1965 on May 30th that I had 789 on an X20 Manchester-Coventry service
followed on June 4th by 789 on the X40 Manchester-Keswick service. This duty started at 0922 finishing back in Manchester at 2219 - 9.11 hours work,
indeed on June 15th 1965 I had 790 on the same X40 duty. On that same week I worked for 56 hours with 2 days off
and received a net pay of £12.13s 8d or £12.73 current or about £0.23 per hour !! Wow.
However one could buy a Mini for less than £500 and my bed sit cost me £4.00 per week.

Oh - Happy Days !!

In the last issue Daniel Harwood visited Brighton and Gavin Francis has sent a picture of one the buses picture when it was on demonstration to Carousel.

Working the inevitable 40 service in Stokenchurch, SN64CTU on November 4th 2018.

Jack Cooper

In the last issue we had pictures of First Worcester buses seen during his visit.

First-69456 WX59BZK branded for Salt Road at Worcester depot on October 30th.