This week has been somewhat quieter than recently and as a result the page is not as large as usual, however I hope you all enjoy my efforts?

We have contributions from Gavin Francis, Jack Cooper, Martyn Sacaloff and Simon Caygill to mention some who have provided photographs.

Gavin Francis

Redline bucks new university shuttle bus YX65RGV is laying over in The Eden Bus Station on February 17th.

Jack Cooper

Jack always seems to get some nice photos with interesting back ground, a few of which are shown below.

663, 679 and 901 all seen climbing Lodge Hill last week between February 15th and 18th.

I liked this picture of 310 in Radley on February 16th.

Martyn Sacaloff

Our first 21 plate bus, SK21FJA seen at Northampton depot on its way to Canterbury for Park & Ride duties on February 21st.

Simon Caygill

Citaro 847 is seen at UTC Oxfordshire, Harwell working the 98 on February 19th.

Jim Wright

This morning, February 21st, Rail Replacement from Oxford to Moreton in Marsh. Oxford bus had 39&40 in use.

Photo 1 of Airline nr 40. 

Swanbrook, plus Pulhams& Ridley has coaches in use.

Photo 2 of Swanbrook YP14HCF which used to be regular on 853.

Well, even in a quiet week we still have 114 pictures for your enjoyment. My thanks to all supporters.

It now appears that we should have some better news on February 22nd with suggestions now of a loosening of the lockdown restrictions. It seems this may help the start of things returning to normal with an increase of customer movements prompting an increase in services and maybe a return of some coaching operations.

Julian Walker writes "With buses to Covid-19 vaccination centres in the news right now, I thought I would report on things here in Devon.  

The NHS has set up two mass Vaccination Centres in Devon, one is at Home Park Stadium in Plymouth (the home of Plymouth Argyle FC) and at the other at Westpoint Arena at Clyst St Mary, to the east of Exeter. Stagecoach routes 9/9A pass Westpoint and since Monday, January 25th have been diverted to serve the Vaccination Centre from first bus until around 21.00 each day, the timetables have been amended slightly to allow for this. This gives half-hourly direct links from Exeter and Sidmouth, and hourly links from Honiton (9), Seaton and Lyme Regis (9A). No special arrangements have been made in Plymouth, but Home Park is only a short walk from Milehouse which is served by a number of Plymouth CityBus and Stagecoach bus routes. 

Vaccinations are also being carried out at the County's four main hospitals - Royal Devon & Exeter, Derriford (Plymouth), North Devon District (Barnstaple) and Torbay (Torquay), all these hospitals have good local bus connections. 

I had my first jab on Monday, February 15th at a GP-led hub which has been set up at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay. I went with my partner and although we had booked slightly different appointment".

Many thanks to Julian for this report. 

Seems that there were problems at The Kassam Stadium last week reported in The Oxford Mail.

Fleet news and developments

I am told that High Wycombe have been asked to ensure inappropriate branding (such as X60) from the Citaros which have carried wrong branding for quite sometime now.

Andrew Webb from Uxbridge

Route 724 is a lengthy orbital route linking Heathrow with Harlow, notionally part of the Green Line network.  The last brand new vehicles to be delivered were Citaros back in 2006.  Incompatible with the new LEZ rules they have been replaced with 'nearly new' E20Ds, some arriving at Harlow as a result of a complicated nationwide set of reallocations to meet not only LEZ rules but also a forthcoming Clean Air Zone in Leicester. 

Green Line branding on the route has been progressively scaled back in recent years, the Citaros being repainted into standard Arriva colours with small Green Line fleet names.  The latest incumbents on the route lack even this, although one vehicle is still branded for route 700 to Bluewater in Kent!  For a lengthy route which offers a multitude of local links it is a pity that higher spec vehicles with more prominent branding are not used.


Gavin Francis with pictures from February 17th.

StreetLite 2328 is seen working a 37 service in High Street.

Recently arrived 2782 and 2783 are seen in Wycombe with local services.

The two Wycombe based Optare Versas 2990 and 2992 both seen with 32 services.

The other bus working the 32 was this elderly DAF/ALX400 4819 seen heading for Booker in the High Street.

Nigel Peach

3700 is the DAF SB200 Wright Commander bodied bus (longer than the other DAFs) recently withdrawn at Wycombe.
However I saw it on Desborough Avenue and then in the bus station, so I think it must be doing staff shuttles.

Nick Ross

Wright Gemini decker 6044 LJO4 LFW on the 1040 Aylesbury - MK  150 service in station road, Linslade on February 17th 2021.
This old  livery must have a limited life span now! 

James Fletcher

Arriva Wright Streetlite 2325 (LK15 FFT) was seen in Reading on a 800 on February 4th.

Gavin Francis

Once again variety for the X74 with E200 44560 and then StreetLite 63315, the last branded for the route!
Seen on February 17th in High Wycombe. 

Phil Southall writes "We have both 1650 and 1652 in the fleet. 1652 is VOR at Cowley House so it is just a simple error when inserting the number into the ticket machine. We therefore have six B+H deckers on loan. 

856 is VOR at Carousel awaiting a new engine. It will be restored to fleet once this is received and fitted. It is SORNed meanwhile. 

424 is SORNed at the moment as it isn't required in the fleet."

This explains and corrects recent information.

 I inadvertently included pictures of 514 when new under Thames Travel when they should have been under Carousel. My apologies for this oversight.

If you refer to the respective company web pages, you will find under Enthusiasts the February fleet lists for each operator.

Gavin Francis

A few more interesting pictures from Gavin taken in Wycombe on February 17th.

Scania 217 is seen  in High Street with a 36 working.

Ex Metrobus 241 first in the bus station with route 36 and then in High Street with a 39.

242 is seen  in High Street heading for Flackwell Heath with a 35.

403 in the bus station and 407 in Castle Street working the Park & Ride service. 408 has been missing since the beginning of the month.

Citaro 870 still bearing ANIMAL  branding seen in High Street with a 104 service.

Ex London General WDL1 LX58CWG is now 938 in the Carousel fleet seen here in Oxford Road working the 27. It is diesel.
This is unusual as it is a VDL DB300/Wright Pulsar Gemini 2, one of two similar buses but the other was a diesel electric hybrid.

Ex PickMeUp Mercedes 979 is presently being used for staff transport in Wycombe.

One of the few times we have seen 870 at Stokenchurch was on February 19th when the bus is seen on its way to Thame
and then on its way back to Wycombe. Does anyone know why this Citaro unlike all the others only shows 40 on the rear blind?

878 and 881 were the two buses in use working the link40 on Sunday, February 21st.

Malcolm Crowe

PMU Mercedes 977 with 713 plus ex 712 now with Chiltern Bus in the overflow yard on February 19th.
Whilst in Beaconsfield on Thursday 713 went by working the 104.

Nigel Peach

Scania 242 is seen in Flackwell Heath with a 36 service on February 18th.

Andrew Webb who writes "Another route impacted by the more stringent LEZ rules is route 581, a Buckinghamshire Council contract offering three weekday services between Denham and Uxbridge.  On Saturday this is reduced to two trips, allowing the bus to work route 582 between Denham and Windsor. 

From March 1st route 581 has a new timetable, featuring three visits to Uxbridge on Monday to Saturday.  On weekdays this will interwork with a revised route 583, linking Iver Heath with Uxbridge twice a day.  Redline who currently operate the 583 do not have any Euro 6 vehicles and so are retreating to operate between Hedgerley and Langley as route 83.  Saturday only route 582 is withdrawn without replacement. 

Currently operating route 581 is this brand new E20D seen arriving in Uxbridge at lunchtime on 20 February.  The route runs in a loop around Denham, possibly explaining why the blind has not been altered.

Picture by Andrew Webb. 

Jack Cooper has provided pictures taken in and around Abingdon in the past week.

Hybrids 306 and 310 working the 35 in Radley on February 16th.

Volvo B5LH Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 364 is seen in Abingdon with 4 road service.

Wright StreetDeck 661 is also seen in Radley with 35 road working.

Freshly repainted and branded 663 is seen in Stratton Way with an X3 service. I note that 665 is also back in service?

Jack notes -  Here are some tweets I have seen of the StreetDeck repaints

https://twitter.com/pompey4ever007/status/1362452694636593153 - pictured in 664 rubbed down and in the distance 665.

https://twitter.com/pompey4ever007/status/1362452539019526145 - pictured is 665, to the right as well as a large amount of the workshop in view.

A sight of Park & Ride buses working the X3 should soon be a thing of the past?
668 climbing Lodge Hill, 671 on Stratton Way and 672 in Oxford Road.

To ones surprise 840 also worked 35 road last week on February 17th.

20 plate 902, a Wright StreetDeck Micro Hybrid, is seen climbing Lodge Hill with a X3 service on February 18th.

James Freeman

More on the 3A from James.

Jack Cooper

I think you may also like this - https://twitter.com/pompey4ever007/status/1358046035155841026 - showing the progress of the Interdecks for Go North East!  

The Go North East Interdecks had entered service as planned on Monday, with all bar 7151 and 7156 showing up on bustimes.org, there are a fair few pictures on Flickr of them in service which is good to see, I wonder what the passenger feedback on them is! 

Here are the links to Flickr where the registrations have been tagged 






I have to say the Interdecks look really smart, and also look as if they are brand new, not bad for coaches that are coming up to 6 years old!  

StreetLite 442 has gained a dedicated MEPC (Milton Park) wrap, I am not sure if you have seen the pictures of it on the Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Carousel enthusiasts group on Facebook? 

Jack Cooper has provided pictures taken in and around Abingdon in the past week of Thames Travel vehicles.

Scania 226 has now returned to service duly adorned with connector livery as seen here in Oxford Road on February 15th.
This bus is till not shown as tracking on www.buslists.org  I wonder why ?

On February 16th 840 is seen working service 45 as was 871, the "bike bus".

Jack writes "840 and 841 have mainly been working at Thames Travel this week, 840 running 45s on Monday and Tuesday, and it working on River Rapids on Friday. 841 had worked 33s on Monday, 11s on Tuesday. Both buses were then at Oxford Bus on Wednesday with 840 running the 4C in the morning then 35s in the afternoon and 841 running 15s in the morning going onto the 11X in the afternoon. 

845 is seen in Stratton Way with a 33 road service on February 15th.

By February 16th 871 was working the 95B seen crossing the bridge at Clifton Hampden.

Wright StreetDeck Micro Hybrids 905 and 907 are seen with X2 services on February 15th and 18th.

Volvo B7TL Wright Eclipse Gemini 937 is seen along the Causeway with a 33 service on February 16th.

James Fletcher

East Lancs OmniDekka 1650 (YN05 GZJ) was seen in Reading with an X39 to Oxford on February 12th.

Simon Caygill

MMC E20 454 is seen at Great Western Park working the X2 on February 19th.

Citaro 849 is seen at Harwell with service 98 looking in need of some tender loving care on February 19th.

Loaned 1650 is also seen at Harwell with a 98 service on February 19th. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

James Fletcher

 My understanding the Scania N280s 701-5 are still withdrawn waiting for work to be carried out however with Covid and Social distancing it seems to have had a delay on things?

Can any reader advise on this please? 

Gavin Francis with a few interesting pictures taken in Wycombe on February 17th.

MCV AE07DZB seen leaving The Eden Bus Station with a 130 service.

Lacking the new livery but still quite tidy, KF52NBN is seen with a 130 service arriving from Aylesbury.

Another recent repaint is MX09HHN a former Maytree Travel E200 with service 130 in the bus station. Maytree was a former operator in Greater Manchester.

Redline have certainly made an impression with their new livery. 

Jack Cooper has provided pictures taken in and around Abingdon in the past week featuring Stagecoach vehicles.

MMC 10676 is seen climbing Lodge Hill with an S8 service bound for Oxford on February 18th.
MMC 10676 I had taken a picture of at Lodge Hill was running 25 minutes late!
The S8 was due to leave the Boundary House at 55 minutes past the hour but passed at 16:15 instead of the usual 15:55! 

Gold MMC 10781 is seen heading down Lodge Hill with a Wantage bound S8 on February 15th.

MMC's 10785 + 10674 were swapped over at Stratton Way on Monday, I am unsure why, given that 10785 drove straight off having been swapped over!

Jim Wright

Gold Scania 15836 at Oxford airport on February 21st.

Martyn Sacaloff in Northampton

M A N 22376 new to Fife is now a trainer.

Loaned Wright Bus Volvos 80082 and 80078 still at Midlands on February 18th. 

Four more Panoramas have been delivered, 50441-44 ready for the re-introduction of services when practical. Four of the older Astromegas 50233, 25, 37 and 50, will be retained for the present making a total fleet of 28.

50271 was due to leave last Friday for north of the border.  

Michael Wadman

There are a lot of independent operators in our area with ‘Red’ in their title. The doyen was, of course, the much-lamented Red Rover. Sadly I was too late for their RTLs and Regent Vs, but I did manage to catch a couple of their later vehicles shortly before their demise, that you published in OCBP 130. 

Then there was, and indeed still is, Red Rose who seemed in their early years to model their appearance closely on Red Rover, adopting a very similar livery and fleetname style. So here are a few pictures of the early years of Red Rose. 

F427 AWD - Iveco Daily / Carlyle, new to Interleasing Truck Rental, Burslem. At Chesham Broadway heading for Ley Hill on 2nd August 1993. 

H389 SYG – Mercedes 811D / Optare, originally an Optare demonstrator, in Watford High Street on route 319 on 25th January 1994. 

M62 MOG - Iveco Daily / Mellor bought new. Only three months old when seen in Watford High Street on 7th January 1995. 

M848 MOL – sister vehicle to M62 MOG, in Watford High Street on 19th November 1995, working the Sunday service on the lengthy service 501 to Aylesbury. 

K540 OGA - Mercedes / Dormobile, in Watford Market Street on local service W20 on 14th April 1996. 

K540 OGA again on 19th January 1999 after repaint into a new livery, in Leighton Buzzard High Street on service 62.

See my flickr account at     https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelwadman/

Thanks to Michael for another interesting selection of pictures.


My review of Heathrow Airport concludes with views from 1972 onwards.  I finished working at Heathrow at the end of 1973 and views in later years were taken when I visited from Canada.  The Piccadilly Line was extended to Heathrow and the bus station area was redesigned with an area for the local bus routes and a terminal for National Express.  My last visit was in March 2018 but yellow-vested officials, including National Express, did not like me taking any photographs and insisted that I leave the area!  I hope that readers have enjoyed these views.  I take this opportunity to thank Malcolm for an excellent web page.

This part of the Heathrow review starts with a series of views taken on February 15th 1972. 

An inter-terminal service was operated by Valliant Cronshaw, Hounslow using ECW-bodied Bristol LS buses.
Former Western National 1673 (MOD 964) was pictured outside Terminal 2.

The rail-air link between Heathrow and Woking was operated by Frames Rickards.
Parked in the lay-over area was HNK 145G, a Plaxton-bodied Leyland PSU3A/4R.

TRK 7F, Leyland PSU3A/2RT with Plaxton bodywork, was operated by Hall’s Coaches of Hounslow
 on behalf of Pan American World Airways.

Hall’s Coaches, Hounslow also operated VYH 48G, a Roe-bodied Leyland Atlantean PDR2/1, on behalf of Trans World Airlines. 
There was a luggage area at the rear of the lower deck resulting in a layout of H45/23F.

Former London Transport RF buses were purchased by Hall’s, Hounslow for use on the inter-terminal transfer service.
Former RF 656 (NLE 656) was pictured outside Terminal 3 on 23 February 1972.

RF buses became a familiar sight at Heathrow.

Parked on lay-over on 23 February 1972 was the former RF 232 (MLL 769) operating on behalf of Pan Am as a crew shuttle bus.

My first visit from Canada was on 17 October 1974 and it was only natural to stop by the central bus station to see if anything had changed.
Elderly buses were still in service with London Transport as demonstrated by RF 400 (MXX 288) on route 223.

Route 140 operated out of Harrow Weald (HD) between Heathrow and Mill Hill Broadway. 
RT 1934 (LUC 14) was seen waiting to depart from the bus station.

New one-man buses were purchased by London Transport in large quantities.
Route 82 replaced the 81B and operated through the Cargo Terminal to Hatton Cross.
This route was withdrawn after the Piccadilly Line extension to Heathrow had opened.
SMS 381 (EGN 381J), Park Royal-bodied AEC Swift, had terminated at Heathrow Central.

Three years lapsed until my next flight into Heathrow. 

On 16 August 1977, I took the opportunity to update my photographs as it appeared there had been some revisions to the layout of the bus terminal
 with construction taking place in the background.
   RT 4721 (OLD 507) was operating route 105.

 RT buses were still holding down the service on route 140 as demonstrated by RT 4800 (NXP 942).

Whyte’s Airport Services was still operating ONK 256H, a Willowbrook-bodied Ford R192,
on shuttle services between the car parks on the north side of the airport and the central area.

One change since my previous visit was the introduction of DMS-class buses on route 223 in place of the elderly RF buses.
DMS 1348 (MLH 348L) was a Daimler Fleetline with bodywork by MCW.

A very busy scene as LS 48 (KJD 548P) boarded passengers for the non-stop express journey on route A1 to Hounslow West Station.

 Route 82 operated out of Hounslow Garage (AV).  Since my previous visit this route had been converted to Leyland Nationals
 as shown by LS 33 (KJD 533P) preparing to leave for Hatton Cross via the Cargo Tunnel.

In an attempt to improve the quality of the Green Line network, London Country Bus Services leased a fleet of Plaxton-bodied AEC Reliances.
The driver of RS 2 (PPH 432R) was issuing tickets to a large number of passengers on the southbound journey on route 727 via Gatwick Airport to Crawley.

BEA merged with BOAC to form British Airways and a new livery was adopted.
This suited the Routemasters as depicted by KGJ 624D in a busy scene adjacent to Terminal 2.

Fast forward from 1977 to 2016!

The bus scene had changed considerably with a new bus terminal, a variety of bus companies and a regular flow of National Express coaches.
It was rather a dull day on 12 December 2016 when BF63 ZSG was pictured heading for the National Express coach terminal.
This coach was a Volvo B9R with Caetano bodywork and operated by Chalfont Coaches, Southall on behalf of National Express.

VSH69921 (BV13 ZCJ) was a Volvo 7900H operated by First Beeline Buses in a livery promoting route 7 between Slough and Heathrow.

London United VH 37 (LJ15 JZD), Volvo B5LH with Wright Gemini 3 bodywork, was operating on route 285.

I decided to take some pictures at Heathrow on 18 March 2018.
I had found a good location for photographing arriving buses but security personnel had other ideas. 
Therefore the only bus snapped was London United SP40171 (YT10 XBU), Scania N230UD OmniCity, on route 111.

Photographs by PAUL A. BATESON 

Kevin Fuller has provided some interesting pictures from more than 20 years ago

In the absence of taking many 'current' pictures lately, I've been sorting through my prints and hope the following is of interest to you and your readers: 

The recent transfer of Brighton & Hove Scania buses to Carousel in Wycombe reminded me of similar transfers back in the mid 1990's, when at least a couple of Mercedes 608 minibuses, Leyland National 2 and Bristol VR's were transferred from Brighton & Hove to Wycombe Bus, which as you recalled last issue, was a Go-Ahead subsidiary until the end of 2000. 

I believe the minibuses saw little use, and didn't stay very long, and unfortunately I didn't get any pictures, although I do remember seeing one in Newlands bus station. There were at least two 11.3m Leyland National 2's, JWV127/128W, which were originally Southdown vehicles and were painted in full Wycombe Bus livery, and at least one Bristol VR / ECW, which was used in service in both B&H and Wycombe Bus liveries. 

Picture 1: JWV128W returns to Wycombe on service 301 through the residential streets of Flackwell Heath, in October 1996.
Subsequently, there was a small fleet of National 2's in Wycombe, although these were ex-London Buses, and of the shorter 10.3m length. 

Picture 2: Bristol VR / ECW EAP999V was also originally a Southdown vehicle, passing to Brighton & Hove upon privatisation in 1986.
This was numbered 1513 by Wycombe, and used in service in B&H livery with 'Wycombe Bus' transfers in the strategic places!
This view in October 1995 shows it at the Flackwell Heath terminus of route 301, pausing before returning to Wycombe bus station. 

Picture 3: The same VR in August 1996, but by now repainted into Wycombe Bus livery, and renumbered 447.
I caught up with it at Penn Pond, end of the 363 route from Wycombe, looking very smart for a 16 year old bus.
Unfortunately, service in Wycombe was only for a couple more months, until October 1996,
although according to internet records, the bus may still exist as a cafe/bar in Wisconsin USA.

Now I wonder if Paul Bateson has any comments on the fate of "999" ?

Richard Sharman has provided some interesting pictures from over 20 years ago.

Chiltern Rover Northern Counties-bodied Leyland Olympian 35, F506 OYW is seen standing in for a Green Line coach on the 290 service to London.
This vehicle was new as a Playbus.

Aylesbury's 652 is seen in Fox FM livery, first in High Wycombe on an X15

....and then departing Oxford on a 280- judging by the exhaust 'clag' covering the nearside fog light,
there was a Leyland National parked in front of it at the depot the night before! 

652 was around 1997 and 35 around 1995/6.

Very many thanks to Richard for that interesting feature. 

Ian Hardy

I refer to the last issue with No 388 (PHO 587G), ex-Aldershot & District AEC Reliance / Marshall, somewhere on service 213, which I think was Alton - Haslemere, no idea where, in 1978. Photo by Keith Newton.  

Looking at Google Streetview, it looks like it is on the B3004 between Alton & East Worldham at Grid Reference SU737384

Gavin Francis

In Paul's Heathrow article interestingly two of the buses still exist. BEA coach MLL740 in preservation and BEA Routemaster KGJ612D now with Timebus. Pictures attached.


Was looking through some old pictures last night and I see OBC were not the first to use Minibuses with the Pick me Up slogan.

Harlow Bus (LCNE) ran this minibus recently covered in a short programme on Talking Pictures
called "Dial a bus in Harlow".
Picture by Gavin Francis on September 28th 1974. (47 years ago!!!!)