Another week has passed since the last issue and like so many of us one wonders where the time has gone ?

Many interesting matters are developing in our area with The Oxford Bus Company Group launching a number of new services and improvements as noted below.

Click on the picture for details

Click on the picture for details

There is much more about these and other services under the operator heading in fleet news below.


New this weekend is service 17 from Aylesbury to Bicester.
full details in Fleet News.



Under Overseas Interlude I also review the latest 2021 fleet book from the Malta Transport Society compiled by Chris Maxfield.



London Spirit are a franchise 100-ball cricket side representing the historic counties of Middlesex, Essex and Northamptonshire in the newly founded The Hundred competition

 Gavin Francis

 I have seen this coach a few times. It is wrapped for London Spirit which is one of the teams in the cricket series 'The Hundred' and they are based at Lords. It is wrapped in their colours. Underneath is Clarkes Coaches YT65BYL. All of the teams involved have a wrapped coach. 

Seen in Buckingham Palace Road on July 31st.

I liked the colours and composition of this picture in Milton Park showing Thames Travel 621 with an X2 on July 26th.


Visitors to £2m Marble Arch Mound offered refunds after it is branded London’s ‘worst attraction’

The first visitors to the £2million Marble Arch Mound have been offered refunds after it was branded "the worst" attraction in London.

Some of you may have read about the problems with the Mound at Marble Arch which has s far not been very successful! I have included pictures in recent issues from Gavin Francis showing the progress in the building faze. Below is an update on the matter and lucky scoop from Gavin seen on TV.

On opening day the construction looks more or less ready depending on ones point of view.

The less than impressive entrance to this £2 million attraction on day one, not too many "punters" !

Gavin Francis

Did you see on the report from Marble Arch on Tuesday night the Tube going past ??

So at least the Oxford tube got a nice advert on the first day. 

Current N&P issue 2814

This may interest readers who can see the latest developments in part of our area. It includes changes planned by Reading Buses etc.

Notices & Proceedings nr 2814 - July 29th 2021

A development by Red Rose is included with a service 27 in Bicester from August 31st 2021.


Plaxton design and development over the years

Having received a picture from Paul Bateson taken some Thirty seven years ago I though the comparison would interest readers. The picture from Gavin Francis show that comparison.

The 1984 version of the Plaxton Paramount compared to the 2021 version of the Paramount model.
The 1984 model - XEL24 - is from Paul Bateson taken when this coach was being demonstrated to Grey Green at Walthamstow on February 9th 1984
and 2021 model - Oxford tube 50437 - captured by Gavin Francis at Network Oxford on June 8th 2021.

I thought these items below were of interest to readers and have "promoted" this section for this week.

Vernon Dyer

A fascinating piece by Tony Bungay on the history of United Counties in the July 25th edition. 

As a very young lad (7 years old in 1952) I remember seeing in Gloucester Green a very elderly Eastern National double decker which may have come in from Bedford. Shortly afterwards this route became United Counties and Lodekkas, and Tony's article explains why. It was joint with COMS, of course, and was route 70 with Oxford but 131 with UC - but my memory is of the EN bus showing route 7D. Does this ring any bells with anyone?

Anyway, with your permission, Malcolm, my vote for Part 2!

Many thanks to Vernon.

Tony Bungay

More updates on Buckinghamshire Council Bus changes Website, I think all school services, but notably the S8 the last vestige of Arriva/Luton and District/United Counties/Eastern National to Wendover/Halton Camp withdrawn from 29/8, which I suppose that it’s already effectively finished!

Nice of Vernon to send you some feedback, I am glad he enjoyed the article, like the whole website itself, it gives people information and stimulates their interest in respect of particular areas that they wondered about but perhaps didn’t know a great deal. 

I am pleased to be able to answer Vernon’s question, his memory is absolutely correct the Bedford – Oxford Service was indeed 7D.

This is according to the book by Roger M Warwick who I think it is correct to say has written the authoritive History of United Counties. This being shown in Part 6 which deals entirely with the day Eastern National Midland area was transferred to United Counties, so vehicles, properties and all other facets are covered including a complete list of Routes and service numbers. There is by the way no mention of a Service 70 in this book.

A memory from Paul Bateson

United Counties nr 50 NRP580V seen at Oxford's Gloucester Green on February 12th 1984. It is operating the 131 service to Bedford.
If you want to go to Bedford in 2021 you will need to catch the Stagecoach X5  service.

The Leyland National was very prominent in those now far away times including the National 2 seen above. The design even made it on to British Rail as a railcar. 

In spite of the relaxation of lockdown many people are still wearing masks and seemingly keeping their distance. The news is reporting varying states of increase and concern with operators retaining some restrictions and maintaining a cleaning regime as before.

An example currently in place with the Oxford tube.

However as seen at the start of this Editorial some companies are expanding with new services and offers.

Sometimes, even now, Gloucester Green is very deserted as seen in the picture below.

Here Airline 35 is seen in a deserted Gloucester Green on July 31st.

Fleet news and developments

Gavin Francis


Tourismo 7213 displays the special branding applied to this coach. They now promote Green Line holidays.

Nick  Ross

On July 19th Arrivas 2782 passes the Golden Cross pub stop in Saunderton with an X30 from Wycombe to Risborough.
This stop now sees 4-5 buses per hour!

On July 23rd 3796 arrives at Leighton Buzzard station with an F70 from M. Keynes to Luton. 

Gavin Francis

David Corbel Yutong YK20YTB working the Flixbus 042 to Cardiff on July 31st. 

Mark Wakefield

A brand new Tourismo BF21EPA seen at Ridleys depot on July 29th.


Click the link above to read more. 

Two ponies paid Oxford Bus Company a special visit this week to celebrate the unveiling of a double-decker emblazoned in a riding charity’s branding.
Abingdon Riding for the Disabled Association scooped second place in Oxford Bus Company’s annual Brand the Bus competition.
Its prize was having the rear of a bus wrapped in the charity’s branding to help raise awareness of the local good cause.

When speaking to Oxford Bus during the past week the following information was of note.

Brookes have agreed that their grey buses can be used on other services for the present, thus explaining their appearance of Wright StreetDeck Micro Hybrids on routes including 2 road.

Ex Brighton deckers 243-245 are now intended for Carousel with 243 already repainted red. 248 is presently being repainted. This is enabled by the school holidays.

A new route 34 has started with Carousel as mentioned elsewhere using on of the red Sprinters (977-979) now allocated to this route.

Finally a new fleet list presentation is under preparation.

As mentioned in the Editorial above, Carousel has some route updates including the 34 mentioned above. Also the 337 is to be replaced by the 106/107 Chiltern Hundreds service. This will see the end of 421 and 423 with the company. I am also told that 424 has been moved to a preservationist in London. Thus all the M A N s will end their time with Carousel.

The link below will take you to the latest updates on Carousel schedules.


Frank Brown

Sprinter 978 is seen on July 30th at Wycombe Marsh working the new 34 which is limited at present. The livery is attractive.

Malcolm Crowe

A nearside rear view of 978 at the depot on July 29th.

As a comparison with 243 now with Thames Travel will have the Carousel branding yet to be applied being 242 taken on July 29th. 

Varying changes in schedules are to be seen at the link below.


Gavin Francis

An interesting comparison

Hybrid 300 was Thames Travel 900 when new. 300 is seen in George Street on July 27th
and 900 is seen in St Aldates on March 29th 2012.

Grey MMC Brookes Bus 609 is in St Giles with a 35 road working on July 27th. 

Jack Cooper

I have been meaning to include this for weeks now that the grey Brookes Buses are currently allowed to run city services as well as Brookes services, this is why they have been appearing on various city / Park & Ride services over the past few weeks.

Illustrating the Brookes situation are 372, 613 and 614 on a variety of routes last week.

Recently repainted is also shown on variety of routes last week. 

Varying changes in schedules are to be seen at the link below. This will show you the new night services and also the Oxford United Football specials.


Jack CooperJack Cooper

Scania 212 with a super rear for Driver recruitment on July 26th.

453 is seen working the ST1 by Harwell Campus on July 26th.

In a similar position we see Citaro 866 with a 98 working on July 26th.

906 is seen in Milton Park with an X2 working on July 26th.

247 is the next ex Brighton Bus to enter service, with it making an appearance on the River Rapids today. 

I have also finally got a picture of 243 which was on the X32,
not a very good one mind you as it was taken from the top deck of 602! 

Friday 30th was the first day Thames Travel night buses will be running, the NX2 and NX40. 

 The NX2 runs between Oxford Rail Station and Didcot Parkway Station vis Abingdon, Drayton, Steventon and Great Western Park (instead of Milton Park served by the usual X2 route), the NX2 serves Didcot Orchard Centre before Didcot Parkway, usually the X2 terminates at the Orchard Centre. 

The NX40 runs between Oxford City and Wallingford only. 

Lewis Parker

Saw 246 on July 26th working 98 duties at Harwell Campus’ Terminus, thought some photos may be appreciated.

874 with a very friendly driver on 94 duties, the recent extension to Harwell Campus via Blewbury Hill and Chilton having started in January 2021.
This extension replaces most of the X32 journeys via Chilton, but three in each direction still serve Chilton in the morning and afternoon

709 unusually on 67 duties, this bus was previously based at Cowley House as a spare for the 45/46.
I believe this has recently seen service on the 33 to Wallingford.
The 67 duty (working 67A) operates the daytime 67 and 67C journeys, finishing the day with the last journey of the 38 local service.

Gavin Francis

Chalfonts BX65WCL unusually operating an A6 service to Stansted in Elizabeth Street on July 27th.

NEx own SH291 operating an A1 service to Luton in Elizabeth Street on July 27th.

Skills BV19XPP operating an 440 service to Derby in Elizabeth Street on July 27th.

NEx West Midlands 272 operating a 409 service to Aberystwyth in Elizabeth Street on July 27th.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Gavin Francis

Unusually this Newbury & District bus, 1204, was in Buckingham Palace Road on July 31st.

Seen near VCS on August 1st, 1204 is working the 701 with this Sunday service. 

Paul Coley

Loadings on the Red Line 130 to/from Wycombe seem to be improving (at least at the Aylesbury end) despite Arriva operating a more frequent service. I guess it is either fares and/or service. Red Line seem to stick with their Darts on the service, Arriva with Solos, Citaros, Pulsars…Wright deckers which pretty much replicates most routes from Aylesbury now.

New bus service connecting Aylesbury and Bicester launches this weekend


See the timetable and route below.


Paul Coley

Red Rose are extending their competing service 10 from Hillier Road (Hawkeslade Farm) through to SM Hospital, so will be competing with Arriva on the whole route. 

I have slightly changed the first company report as you can see below. If anyone has views on thios change please let me know.


Another report circulating this week is that for the present the 853 will remain with Cheltenham for the foreseeable future. 

Pleased to note that this past week has seen many more of the new Scanias entering service including 15370, the last of the batch.

Tony Gaze

Scania 15735 - latest repaint into 'long distance livery.  Taken today (July 27th) on route 10 in Gloucester

28688 on 853 arriving in Cheltenham (July 27th)

Tony quotes an interesting link seen below:



 Theo Freeman

E200 36763 has been sent to Nuneaton for repaint and should return some point this week. Short E200 36330 will be attending Buses Festival next week too.

Martyn Sacaloff

A few interesting pictures taken at Northampton can be seen at this link:


Of course scrolling through there are many more pictures taken in this previous week.  

It appears that megabus are hiring in for a number of operations as shown in the pictures below.


Here a Scania from JB Travel of Leeds is waiting time in St Giles, Oxford on July 31st.


Running for megabus Snowdons Interdecker AEZ121 seen in Elizabeth Street, London on July 28th.
New in January 2014 to Matthews, Inniskeen as 141MN219. 

Another picture taken by Mark Wakefield in VCS.

Jim Wright

AEZ121 Easington/Snowdon of County Durham, displaying megabus in Oxford, August 1st.

London operators

Gavin Francis

This afternoon this Plaxton demonstrator was still there after 6hrs. If I had known I would have quickly walked around there and got some more pictures.

 Air Sym

YX21NPG which I think it is operating for Air-YX21NPG which I think it is operating for Air-Sym on July 31st.

Abellio 9481 on May 14th 2016 is now with Big Bus as DA227 seen in Park Lane on August 1st as an open tour bus.

Another new wrap is for Nordic seen displayed by LT620 at Marble Arch on July 26th.

HV301 displaying a new wrap for CANNARAY whilst working the 468 on July 26th.

LT954 is seen in a wrap to visit KOREA passing Marble Arch on July 26th.

City Sightseeing SC 13808 by Marble Arch on July 26th and Cambridge branded 13812 in Buckingham Palace Road on July 28th.

Citaro trainer MEC39 seen in Tulse Hill on July 26th.

Routes due to change operator in the spring of 2022 seen in Tulse Hill on July 26th.
SE242 with a 322 moving to Abellio on April 30th 2022.
WVL380 with a 432 moving to Arriva on April 2nd 2022.

Golden Tours ENGLISH TEA BUS LX07AYZ passes Marble Arch on July 26th.

This design looks good - London United's BCE 47003 in Oxford Street working the 94 on July 26th.

A striking livery displayed by LT766 being a wrap for Chiquita by Marble Arch on July 26th.

This livery suits London buses very well the yellow brightening up an otherwise dull livery, WHD2725 is seen by Marble Arch on July 26th.
Amazing what a yellow line can do !

Finally a nice surprise for those other enthusiasts, a steam train leaving Victoria on July 27th


Michael Wadman

Here are a few more photos of independent operators in our area. 

– this anonymous white Volkswagen LT46/Courtside Conversions belongs to the Milton Keynes branch of Age Concern
– but it’s not a welfare run or a dial-a-ride or anything like that, but a conventional tendered local bus service.
For a while Age Concern Milton Keynes had the contract for local Sunday service 18E
– careful inspection of the lower nearside corner of the windscreen will reveal a rather rudimentary route and destination board on the dash.
Seen at Milton Keynes Central station on July 7th 2002.
I recall that I did actually ride up to the town centre in this thing to save the walk up Midsummer Boulevard. 

Prestwood Travel operated several local bus services in the early years of deregulation.

EPM144V, AEC Reliance / Plaxton formerly LCBS RS144, on layover outside High Wycombe bus station blinded for service 22 on August 2nd 1993. 

E902LVE, a former Cambus Volkswagen LT55 / Optare City Pacer in High Wycombe on service 308 on July 16th 1997. 

APM111T, AEC Reliance / Plaxton formerly LCBS RS111, on Friarage Road in Aylesbury on service 31, also on July 16th 1997. 

Finally, we have the Banburyshire Community Transport Association. I was pretty sure that there was never any such county, but the internet tells me that “the town of Banbury is the centre of an area known unofficially for centuries as Banburyshire”, so what do I know? Banburyshire CTA operated the Cherwell Villager and Kidlington Lynx community buses which ran public services, presumably on Section 22 permits, and the right vehicles didn't always stay on the right services. 

N962NJO – Cherwell Villager Mercedes Sprinter 412D / Crystals in Banbury bus station on April 11th 1998. 

G702XLY – Kidlington Lynx Ford Transit / Dormobile from the London Borough of Harrow in Bicester bus station on 25th March 25th 1999. 

G702XLY again in Banbury bus station on a Cherwell Villager service on August 5th 2000. 

I hope these curiosities are of interest ?

Further pictures from Michael are of Cheltenham & Gloucester operations in the old Stagecoach days.


833 - L833CDG Volvo B6 Alexander Dash on June 30th 2001 which subsequently went to Glenvale, Liverpool then acquired by Stagecoach Merseyside as their 7217

Two ALX220 low floors in Gloucester on January 7th 1999 and January 6th 2000.

A Leyland National 2, HIL6075 previously registered AAE646V fleet nr. 361 in Yate on August 24th 1999.

One from home ! New to SC Oxfordshire as 811 (Thames Transit) but now with Stroud Valleys
as 934 on July 14th 1999 this moved to stagecoach South East as 33811 at Hastings by 2012.
These were generally long lived buses with Stagecoach.

Thomas W W Knowles

Arriva The Shires vehicles taken a few years ago which might be of interest to your readers. The dates are as shown. This was after the take over of Wycombe Bus Company for the Darts. 

Oxford Bus Company Volvo B10M 652 N414NRG moved to Arriva as 3854 when Wycombe Bus was taken over seen on May 21st 2007

In Oxford livery for Wycombe Bus, P525YJO in Wycombe on June 14th 2002.

The same bus in Arriva livery on July 3rd 2007 in Wycombe.

By May 17th 2008 it had gained a red livery for the red route in Wyombe.

Leyland Olympian/NCME Palatine bodied 5157 on May 27th 2001 in Oxford.

Leyland Olympian/NCME Palatine bodied 5161 on August 18th 2009 at Carfax, Oxford.

LJ51 DFE on October 9th 2019 and one asks would you want to drive this???
A more recent photograph in Bletchley.

Paul Bateson

Pictures from 1984

A nice Leyland Tiger/Duple 109 branded for the 190 at Gloucester Green on February 12th 1984.

Another Leyland Tiger/Duple this time from Green Line for the 747 seen in Windsor on March 16th 1984.

More pictures

An interesting LEYLAND LEOPARD/Duple with Colchester spoilt by the painted wheel trims seen on February 22nd 1984.

In the 1980s the Ford Transit minibuses were popular as at the Brighton Rally on April 14th 1984
Ashford Luxury Coaches entered A622HNF seen along Madeira Drive.

Editors Review

This book which is now available proves to be a most interesting volume for those interested or visiting Malta in the coming months. I received a review copy just too late for last week's page but am pleased to be able to comment on this comprehensive book of Malta and Gozo buses plus coaches.

As a part of the world which uses right hand drive vehicles it is not surprising that many of those to be seen are from the U.K. The coaches especially use many ex British coaches for their requirements.

I was amazed at the size of the bus fleet in Malta which includes King Long and Otokar Vectio C s buses in considerable numbers providing much of the local transport. Later arrivals in 2017 are of the Otokar Kent model which were still being delivered in July of 2020.

It is worth noting that all these buses carry BUS *** registrations which run from 001 to 999. however the registrations carried on the tax disc are varying and this  fleet book covers the situation in full detail.

Open top buses are of much interest as they include double deckers from the U.K.  However one point of note is that the text says thy were driven overland to Malta which as this is an island made me wonder if they are converted to DUKWs before dispatch!!

All joking apart for those lucky enough to be able to visit the islands this book is a must to unravel the details of a very large operating fleet.

Well done to Chris Maxfield for his and those of the Malta Transport Society for providing such detailed information. At £12.00 inc. postage and packing the fleet book is a bargain.

Full details of the Societies offering can be found at this Facebook Link:


Ross Newman

July at Purfleet as follows : 


From First Devon and Cornwall : Volvo B7TLs WU02KVF / W732 / 733 / 734 / 735DWX / YJ51RCU / W814/815PAE / KP51VZT / VZW / WAO / WAU / WBT / WCX / WR03YZM / YZT / YZU. 

From Stagecoach South : Tridents SK52USP / MX55KSK / KX06LYU   Volvo B7TL SP05FKH 

From Go Ahead NE : Scanias GX03SSU / SUH / SUU / SUV / SUA / SVF / SVG / SVJ  YN04GJG 

From Avondale : E200s LJ58DWO / DWC. 

From First : Solo YJ60LRN 


Volvo B9TL SK07CBX : York Pullman. 

Scanias GX03SSU / SUH / SUU / SUV / SUA / SVF / SVG / SVJ  YN04GJG: Redfern Travel, Mansfield. 

E200 LJ07 USU  Optare Solo KX57KGA  : Galleon Travel, Roydon, Essex. 

Dennis Dart SN06BPE/ BPY : Avondale, Glasgow. 

Volvo B7TL PG04WHT / WHV : A2B Travel, Newquay. 

Volvo B9TL BV13ZCZ/ BF63HEJ/ BF62UYP/ BF62UYN/ KE12OEY : Atlantic, Manchester 

Volvo B9TL BN61MCX / MXF : Tyrers, Manchester 

Volvo B9TL SN08 BXG / BXH / BXL / BWY : Rodgers, Corby 

Volvo B7TL W732DWX / W814PAE : Buntings Travel, Norfolk 

Volvo B7RLE SK07CGE: Lawsons, Corby 

Enviro 400 SN11BPU / BPV / BPX : Chalkwell, Sittingbourne 

DAF DB250 LJ51DKF / DKV / DJZ : Go North East 

E200 LJ09KPK : Stantons of Stoke 

Volvo B9TL SN08BYB / BXR: Transdev 

Volvo Ayats LX05GDZ : Discover Dorset 

Volvo B9TL SN08BXP / BXY : Heyfordian Travel, Oxford 

DAF DB250 KL52CXJ : Mr D Turunctur, Harrow. 

Scania YT59PBU : XLP Ltd, London. 

The following all to Shelton Motors for scrap : 

Solo YJ13HJY 

Tridents LN51GMU / GKY / SN51SYR / SK52USP / KX06LYU. 

Versa YJ60KGF 

Ensign Fleet .

A “new” open top is 368, a former ADL Enviro 500 test bed now registered for the very first time as 68 EB . Full details are :

Chassis No SFD135GR41GTD1360 marked as DD34 with Transbus/ ADL.  Now O53/29F.

Regarding the Volvo B9TLs sold to Atlantic, Bolton, what was the id/previous operator of KE12OEY please?

It was WB12POT with Golden Tours . They retained the POT registration to go on the new Harry Potter bus.