delayed until Monday, August 9th for Buses Festival.


This has been a busy week with such varying weather, sun, warmth, wind and rain showers. A lot has and is happening in our world of interest including Buses Festival at The East of England Showground on August 8th, hence my reason for delaying this issue until Monday.

I have written an article for readers on a subject of current interest entitled - The Electric Bus and what we may all miss in the future. I hope readers will enjoy this piece?

I'm always delighted to the web sites name up in lights as shown here by Oxford's 35 at the event - Jack Cooper

As always contributions are being received and we have current, older and interesting items for you to enjoy.


On the local front service improvements are coming and Redline is one company which is introducing an interesting development from September 2nd.

X20 - New express service operating between Aylesbury Bus Station - Thame - Oxford.

The X20 will operate up to every hour Monday to Sunday. The timetable for this service is at the above link.

This is an interesting addition since it will compete directly with Arriva's 280 but will miss Haddenham and Wheatley.


An apology

May I apologise to those readers who may have had trouble accessing the page from the opening page which seems to have locked onto the last issue being 164. I've corrected the error and hope that everyone will not have any further problems.

I also had a request from a reader asking if it was possible to use a larger font. This person concerned was in his latter years and his eyesight was not so good. I looked at the problem and find that when using most browsers you can "zoom" to see the page larger. Just click on tools or similar in the top right hand corner of your browser, pick up the zoom and you can incase the size to a much higher level to suit your requirements.

I hope those two matters resolve any problems readers have?

The Electric Bus and what we may all miss in the future

EVM and Altas team up to achieve zero-emissions mission

EVM’s minibus range never stands still for long, and now the popular Cityline has been electrified from Richard Sharman. 

Pictures from Richard Sharman.

I was interested to read the recent article by Richard Sharman, of Coach & Bus Week, on the growing use of electric buses, whilst watching his posting of the video above on the EVM Electric bus.

This prompted me to think about life before such developments when it was a case of even knowing what bus was coming or passing one’s house in the dark by the fact of the noise it made. This identified the bus in question.

By this of course I mean either the engine or gearbox noise? Often with older buses the sound of the gearbox was often melodious and memorable.

Listening to the video report from Richard, found myself. Listening to body rattles and other such Noises so this did not appear to be what I was used to and I found it rather disconcerting.

Even now in my mind, I find myself still able to hear the difference between a Daimler and a Leyland,  even more so the AEC.

An interesting point is that prior to the second world war (1939-45) most buses had a sound of their own and one could differentiate between makes. This seemed mainly down to the gearbox so that one found a difference between crash, synchromesh and preselect types.

The AEC was a well-known sound since London had a large fleet as well as a number of other cities.

The AEC RT had an air assisted pre select gearbox. Paul Bateson.

The Bedford was more associated with small buses and coaches such as the OB and many war time versions of this type being the WTB. They generally had crash gearboxes which were far from easy to drive.

The epitome of the OB is shown in this picture.

The Bristol often ran with a Gardner engine and with its crash gearbox also had melodious sound in second and especially third.

Typical of the K which was made from the 1930s through to the mid 1950s. Paul Bateson.

The Daimler often had a preselect gearbox which produced a sound in many ways very unique.

This Daimler CWA6 was ex Birmingham Corporation but had moved to Southend and then preservation
when this picture was taken by Paul Bateson.

Dennis were another make which had sounds all of its own on inter war types but later when using Leyland engines another quite distinct sound.

Guy were not so popular pre war but during the war they produced many utility variants, and many fleets received these buses. Probably due to the gearbox when changing gear, a whistle was to be heard.

These were rebodied by Willowbrook in the early '50s. Very harsh ride !

The Leyland was a famous make dating back to pre-first world war (1914-18) and over the intervening years seemed to have developed a sound quite unique to the make. My head can still remember that sound from an early age these noises were always part of my memory. Again, there were differences especially when Leyland introduced gearless buses which had a different sound.

Pre-war and post-war withdrawn Manchester Leyland's remembered from my young days.
2nd from the right is a Leyland PD1 new in 1946. The engine was originally for the Leyland Tank
and was a harsh running sound with a crash gearbox!
5th from the right is a Leyland bodied pre war Titan, the ones with melody !

There were numerous other makes but not produced in such great numbers.

One should also be aware that the smaller models in a range often sounded much different to the large brothers and here I am thinking about the Leyland coaches and small buses which carried many less people.           For example, the Cub had a higher pitched sound than larger buses when moving through the gears.

At these early times I am talking about, there were of course trolley buses, which had sounds akin to electric trains and to we early bus enthusiasts did not have the character of the diesel buses and the many petrol ones.

Trams in early those days had sounds all their own and since so many were elderly produced many strange grinding sounds. The bus was an altogether different beast !

After the second world war in my young and teenage days newer models were coming into service and the synchromesh gearbox produced a much harsher sound. Memorable but different.

The AEC always seemed to retain its melodious sound even into their last front engined buses. However, many other types lost that pre-war melody, but it was still possible to distinguish between most makes.

The best place on the bus to listen to the noise was a couple of seats back from the driver on the lower deck if a double deck was being ridden on.

As time passed by, I grew to enjoy the sounds of more modern buses and coaches and although many of the remembered sounds were somewhat different to those of earlier memories, there was nevertheless a recognisable audible change, seemingly from the larger engines and the more modern gearboxes.

A growing development in the ‘60s and ‘70s were the use of automatic gearboxes providing an altogether stronger sound. I remember the Atlanteans of Ribble, especially the Standerwick “Gay Hostess” coaches which if one returned to the Preston depot in the late evening must have startled the residents around with a distinct howl. This was created by changing down the gears to use the engine to reduce the speed on the steep slope to the Frenchwood depot.

I must explain that the early automatic gearboxes were semi manual in that although there no clutch the gears were changed using a small selector to the left under the steering wheel.

When training on these buses, such as the Atlantean one was instructed to use the gearbox as if one still had a clutch. Under no circumstances was one to race through the gears. Doing so caused inevitable problems with clutch slip and other failings.

Of course, at this time there were still vehicles with crash gearboxes and the models of the late ‘50s such as the Leyland Tiger Cub had such provision making the driving of same a real challenge.

On those Tiger Cubs there was often a two-speed rear axle which was useful on hills, especially when the small o350 engine was running out of puff!

Also, there was a trend towards more gears as on the AEC Reliance’s with six speed boxes, these buses and coaches still having a distinct AEC sound. I do remember the gears being awfully close together and if one was not used to this type, you found yourself moving from 2nd to 5th gear with some dire consequences!

Current types still have a pleasant whine from some gearboxes but with the engine at the rear, the ride somehow does not seem the same.

I have found some videos with good sounds to example what I have been talking about. They are listed below in type and area so you may choose the ones you want to see.

I appreciate that time may restrict what you can view but you will appreciate my  comments.

youtube video references

AEC Regal RF LT   

AEC Regent RT3251  

AEC Routemaster      

AEC Regent III Reading        

Bedford OB                  

Bristol K6B                    

Daimler CWA6               

Bolton Leyland TitanTD1      

IOM Leyland PD          

Ribble Leyland PD3 1775

megabus Astromega      

megabus Panorama  

Oxford Tube 50422 London – Oxford

Those below show a variety of types mentioned at various locations.

Classic Buses in Minehead

Scottish Vintage Bus Museum 21st Open Weekend

Ribble Bus Running Day Lytham Hall 2019      

North Western AEC Reliance MU3RA with Burlingham body from 1955 seen in Altrincham on what was then my local bus route.
These buses sounded very AEC inside but outside the engine restriction seemed to cause the exhaust to protest.
The sound was always as if the governor was being pushed.

Sunday August 8th 2021 at The East of England Showground, Peterborough

Jack Cooper forewarned me that he would be going to the event and has provided his promised photographs. As there were a great number I have chosen those which I feel will interest readers most.

 I will not add much in the way of description as many of you will know only too well what each photographs is. So a PICTUREVIEW of BUSES FESTVAL 2021

A personal favourite of mine is this Carris AEC Regent with Weymann body on which I have ridden many times and also its sisters
when I worked for TAP Air Portugal from 1966 to 1975. These were the mainstay of the fleet in the early years!

As ever Delaine sent their newest bus.

This Fowlers Volvo Plaxton is really immaculate and wins a prize from me. It is a 2017 B8R and its presentation is superb.

This is part of the future for buses from Nottingham looking very trim.

I really like the destination displays on 35 in these pictures !

This E400 from Stagecoach in London is a really excellent offering of what is good and maybe gone now.

Banbury depot sent this ex London E200 resplendent in the latest livery.

Happy memories of my Stagecoach days with this immaculate Sharpes Astromega in Concours turn out.

Very pleased to see this coach restored to Shearings livery, I have driven for them, but this Van Hool is after my time!

Now for those who have read my piece on bus sounds this Dennis is a veritable beast, I always felt they looked up to the job
and as seen last forever as this 1932 bus shows some 88 years on. Wow!!
Dennis Lancet I (MJ 4549) from 1932 with a Short body. 

No event of this nature would be complete without a Bedford OB- Duple coach. Very much a major part of travel after the second world war.

Thornes' OKP 980 is a Beadle chassisless coach utilising running units from a pre-war Leyland TD4 and looking beautiful.

uno sent this brand new Volvo/eVoRa BV21ONO which looks a very smart and serviceable bus to me.

Whippet is mentioned elsewhere in this issue and this E200 ex First and Metroline London is providing good service for its' new operator.

Martyn Sacaloff

Many more pictures can be found on Martyn's Facebook page, link below.

Strange times where some areas or towns are reporting high levels of Covid infection and others a lowering of the rates. The Government has relaxed the travel restrictions and one hopes that we are moving towards a more normal situation in the coming days and months.

I am hearing that the longer distance coach operators are adding more duplicate operations to cope with the passenger demand ! A good sign indeed. 

Fleet news and developments

Kevin Fuller

 2990, an Optare Versa pauses at Bourne End station with the 10.25 Maidenhead - High Wycombe route 37 service on July 29th 2021. 

Tony Bungay

  3867 setting out on a return X60 journey to Milton Keynes, it sports an older style destination/route number arrangement !
Taken on August 3rd in Aylesbury.

2451 on August 7th in Aylesbury unusually working a full 150 service to Milton Keynes.
I have seen them on the 150 before and have sent a photo for the webpage
but these have been on a 150 short working to Leighton Buzzard,
this is first time I have seen them personally working to Milton Keynes. 

Mark Wakefield

Since my last issue 18312 has lost Cambridge branding in favour of London - August 5th.

Last week I included a picture taken at a distance from Mark Wakefield of a new coach for use on Flixbus services by Ridleys of Leamington Spa. For this issue Gavin Francis has caught this coach in London.

Gavin Francis

Tourismo BF21EPA near VCS with service 024 to Coventry on August 4th.

BF21EPA MB Tourismo M/2 WEB41055523001905 MB C??FLt 7/2021 Ridleys, Leamington Spa

Luke Fisher

Linburg's 28 L28URG seen in Peterborough on August 1st working Rail Replacement.

From Monday, August 9th 2021, the free travel offer from the Coachway on Park&Ride bus services 8/X8 on Mondays to Fridays will come to an end and most passengers will need to purchase a ticket. Free travel will continue for Concessionary Pass Holders (at valid times), Chiltern Railways Season ticket holders and NHS Staff.

Carousel is introducing revised and new services one of which will offer a direct service to the Cressex Park & Ride from places such as Wycombe Marsh, Abbey Barn and areas in between.

Timetable *
*If the junction between Abbey Barn Lane and Heath End Road is not open on August 29th, it will not be possible to start the additional journeys until the road is open.  

Frank Brown

 Sprinter 977 (RF68FLC) outside High Wycombe station awaiting departure time for an evening peak 34 Abbey Barn Park journey August 4th.
More details of the 34 can be found above under the Editorial.

Silver 980 (RN19WSV) at the foot of Gore Hill, Amersham on the Hospital Shuttle July 18th.
The shuttle was resurrected for two weekends during July (10/11 and 17/18)
when Whielden Street was again  closed in connection with HS2 work which has now
gone for repaint.

Kevin Fuller

Scania 242 seen at Flackwell  Heath, terminus of the 35, on July 29th.

Seen at Bourne End Station with service 36 on July 29th.

Malcolm Crowe

Sprinters 977 and 979 at the depot on August 5th.

Citaro 857 again at the depot on August 5th. 869 remains on loan to Thames Travel.

Gavin Francis

Recently wrapped 300 is seen working 4 road in Park End Street on August 8th.

Hybrid 303 is seen working 4 road in New Road on August 8th.

Hybrid 306 branded for 35 road is seen St Aldates on August 8th.

Girl guiding wrap 369 is seen working 400 road in New Road on August 8th.

Brookes 371 is seen working the U1 in by Oxford Castle on August 8th.

Jack Cooper

Scania 220 has acquired an AbingdonRDA super rear seen leaving Cowley House on August 8th.

Richard Griffin

As I (unusually) cycled the 19 miles home to Staines from my train-driving job at Harrow-on-the-Hill, I encountered OBC Airline coach

38 on the little buses/cycles-only bridge over the Longford River
between Longford and the Heathrow Perimeter Road near Terminal 5 -- as illustrated!

Jack Cooper

..... advises that a group will be taking coach 35 to Buses Festival.

Tourismo 35 is seen at Buses Festival - East of England Showground on August 8th.

Mandy Studley

Ben Studley ready to join 35 for the trip to Buses Festival.

Jack Cooper busy getting all the pictures at Peterborough.

Gavin Francis

Ex London General now with TT is 942 working the X32 to Harwell Campus on August 4th.
This bus was London Central WVL240 and often worked the 36 by Marble Arch.

Scania 913 is seen with an X38 working in St Aldates, Oxford on August 8th.
This bus still looks immaculate and is a credit to the group. 

New coaches to look out for.

BF21DBU Vo B11RT YV3T2U823KA198205 Co F193043066 C55FLt 7/2021 West Midlands 333
BF21DBV Vo B11RT YV3T2U828LA200984 Co F203043013 C55FLt 7/2021 West Midlands 334
BF21DBX Vo B11RT YV3T2U828LA201049 Co F203043014 C55FLt 7/2021 West Midlands 335
BF21DBZ Vo B11RT YV3T2U828LA201052 Co F203043015 C55FLt 7/2021 West Midlands 336
BF21DCE Vo B11RT YV3T2U823LA201055 Co F203043016 C55FLt 7/2021 West Midlands 337
BF21DCO Vo B11RT YV3T2U826LA201096 Co F203043017 C55FLt 7/2021 West Midlands 338

Gavin Francis 

Edwards BV19XRT with a 502 service in Elizabeth Street, London on August 4th.

Recent delivery SH317 is working the 075 to Cambridge in Elizabeth Street, London on August 4th.

East Yorkshire's nr 3 with service 451 leaving Bulleid Way on August 4th, showing an interesting wrap!

Gavin Francis

Acklams Tourismo BV69LOH seen arriving in London with a 540 from the North West on August 8th.

Daniel Harwood

MCV eVoRa BB70BUS seen in Abingdon with a service 15 on July 26th.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Robert Williams - CEO Reading Buses

August 3rd 2021: Here is the latest arrival from the paint shop, former ADL demonstrator 795, previously on the Milton Park contract and social distancing duties with Thames Valley Buses, now branded for Green Line 702.

Pictures courtesy Robert Williams

On August 9th MMC 795 SN66WLK has been seen working the Green Line 702 in a new Green Line livery. 

Gavin Francis

Gavin did not have a chance to picture this bus which was, as I write this, at Legoland ! 

MMC 1205 has joined 1204 working the 701 from London as seen on August 2nd.

More of the Reading "group" buses can be seen under Readers visits to outside our area below when a number of buses have been loaned to Yellow Buses in Bournemouth. 


S130 - New service S130 operating between High Wycombe - Bledlow - Princes Risborough - Butlers Cross - Aylesbury College

Mention is made in the Editorial about the new service X20 between Aylesbury and Oxford. Buses to be used on this service are some 16 plate E200s from Whitelaws Coaches Limited, which have leather seats and are Euro 6 compliant. The should arrive shortly and will be eventually repainted in a dedicated X20 livery.

Kevin Fitzpatrick

E200 YX61FZH is seen with a 17 service in Bicester on August 7th. This service commenced a week ago.

I am told that they were using a double decker last Friday, if anyone caught any pictures?

Paul Coley

Went out for a quick walk yesterday around Hawkeslade Farm, Aylesbury.

Surprise was the Spryte on route 10, I assume deputising for a regular ELC Scania. There can’t be too many Sprytes in service anywhere these days, this example being quite tidy but in the older Red Rose non-metallic Red base livery. I would assume very much a ‘spare bus’ these days?

Stagecoach announced a joint venture with City Sightseeing and Groupo Julià which will see it operate a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing service in London. This began on May 20th.


Nearly all of the new Scania fleet has now been used in service in recent days, one even appearing working the 98 last week.


Daniel  Harwood

In the gloomy shade of the trees along Bath Street, Abingdon 15830 is seen on July 29th.

Gavin Francis

A now elderly E200 seen in Oxford working the S4, 36761 from Banbury on August 2nd.
This quite a come down from the Gold Scanias which up until recently were branded and used on the S4. (S stands for Superior.)

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Banbury depot appear to be having some staff issues at the moment. Maybe someone else knows more

As I write on August 7th the B5 and B9 circulars are running with one bus each.

... and the Gateway part of the B9 running separate with 10067 (picture above) . 

Meanwhile the S4 is also down to just one bus

Recent Tweet from Stagecoach Oxfordshire

Banbury Operational Service Disruptions - Friday
, August

Due to exceptional circumstances we are unable to operate some services across our Banbury network.

Gary Seamarks

Gary Seamarks

Bedford news, have heard that 54304/6/7/8 are/have left for a new life in Devon ? Falcon ? This leaves Bedford with 14 Elites to cover 13 duties on 99/X5 at present.

10499 has moved from Exeter to Bedford, already available for service. 

A few small changes to Bedford routes at end of month, including a new 72 Bedford-Potton-Biggleswade, this will replace in part the Centrebus operation in the Potton/Sandy area and also available for home to school transport ... more when fully know. 

Cambridge Busway over 10 years

A piece I've put together on realising that the Cambridge- St Ives Busway will have been opened 10 years on August 7th, it opened on a Sunday, and I was lucky enough to be available on its first weekday Mon August 8th to visit, back then just three routes were in operation the A & B were Fens operated and the C Whippet, all ran on the Northern Section, but only the A used the Southern Section, which is restricted to Single deckers, things have moved on a lot until 2020 as can be seen from the list of new vehicles purchased. Post Covid Stagecoach have basically reverted to the 2009 structure for its core routes, with Whippets now only using the Southern Busway for its U.


Scania N230UD/AD E400

15456-65                             AE09GYC/D/F-H/J/K/N/O/P                         H45/28F                               4/09

15197-202                            YN64ANF/P/R/U/V/X                                 H47/29F                               11/14

15211-20                              YN15 KHH/J/K/L/M/U/R/O/P/T                  H47/29F                               8/15

15657-9                                AE10 HFA/B/D                                         H45/28F                               7/10

15812-4                                AE12 CKG/J/K                                         H45/27F                               7/12

Scania N250UD/AD E400mmc

15291-94                              YN17ONA-D                                           H47/29F                               6/17

Volvo    B8L/AD E400mmc

13901-12                              BU69XYB/A/D/C/E-H/K/L/M/J                    H61/37D                              12/19


21221-30                              AE09GYR-Z/GA                 B7RLE                    B41F                                      4/09

21301-10                              BF65WKO/R-Z                   B8RLE                    B44F                                      12/15

21311/2                                BV18YCA/B                         B8RLE                    B44F                                      3/18


21363-8                                BU69XXA-F                         B8RLE                    B44F                                      2/20

All were delivered new for the Busway, 15456-65/657-9/812-4, 21221-30 were new to the Fens operation before it became part of the main Cambus fleet in March 2013.

13905 is seen on Busway Driver Training at St Ives Park and Ride May  21st 2021 at a time when the XLBs were being used on peak services mostly.

13912 arrives into Cambridge on September 16th 2020,
unfortunately a couple of months later it was de-roofed near Cambridge Station, on the restricted section of the Busway, while working off route.

15200 displays the new livery in September 2020, working a Cambridge city route its devoid of guide-wheels.

15201 leaves Peterborough for Cambridge in Dec 2015, the Busway services no longer serve the city, a connection at St Ives is required.

  leaves St Ives for Cambridge, not in service to take up a PM service out of the City in May 2021, while standing in for 13912.

15292 completes its journey into Cambridge in 2019, the B terminated in Drummer St while the A crosses the City.

15458 is seen on the first weekday of the Busway, 8/8/11 leaving Long Stanton with a decent loading while another B arrives.

15460 had been relegated off the Busway when seen in Cambridge in August 2016,
wwearing the greener smarter travel livery that many of the batch carried.

15463 leaves Longstanton on a service for Cambridge on 8/8/11,
alongside the guided track is a path/roadway for emergencies and cyclists.

15465 is seen leaving the guided section as it approaches St Ives,
even with the clear no entry signs both cars and HGVs have attempted and failed to use the Busway.

15465 is seen at Huntingdon Bus Station when almost new, in 2009,
the 55 was the former service to Cambridge that used the A14 for part of the way
aand was often caught in tailbacks. Not the lettering on the bodywork.

15657 was one of three additional buses added for the Busway a year before it finally opened,
the BioBus livery was to denote the fleet ran on bio-fuels.

16170, When the Busway opened the village of Fenstanton was bypassed by the new routes,

so was served by a local route to St Ives, to provide connections it ran though the Park and Ride without running on the Busway. 

21227, delays opening the Busway were frustrating to Stagecoach who placed this lettering on several of the fleet,
as seen here in May 2010, 15 more months would be needed before they were on the track.

21228 is another of the initial fleet that had been cascaded off the Busway by 2018, and were used on longer distance services out of Cambridge.

21229 is seen on the Busway on 8/8/11 where a hands off policy is required once on the track, the speedo is reading 50+ mph. Taken with drivers permission,

21233 is seen on the track in 2014 heading towards Central Cambridge then Trumpington P&R via Addenbrookes Hospital.

21301 is seen in July 2020 while in use by Bedford depot on the X5, 99 routes here at Luton Interchange,
the guide-wheels were taken off while ‘on loan’ to Bedford.

21302 is seen at Cambridge Station in August 2016, this vehicle was an innocent victim in an accident
in May 2019 when it was hit by a car jumping red lights across the northern Busway and destroyed by fire.

  alongside the 12  tri-axle deckers of 2019 a batch of 6 MCV bodied Volvo B8RLEs were delivered to boost the service,
but Covid19 had other ideas and they were loaned to Bedford for several months.

It seems forever now that some of these single decks worked into Oxford on the X5. 

The Whippet part of the Busway is under their heading below.

Martyn Sacaloff

During a visit to Kings Lynn ex Oxford Gold 15618 was caught whilst laying over on August 7th.

Many more pictures of this and other visits by Martyn can be found at: 

Martyn Sacaloff

...... who attended Buses Festival 2021. See his photos on this link:

MMC 10866 seen at Peterborough Railway Station on August 8th heading for Buses Festival 2021.

Gavin Francis

The Euro 5 Astromegas are still be pressed into service - here is 50233 in London on August 4th.

Vaccination tubes !

Chris Huntingford

50247 being used as a "VAC BUS" in Glasgow, see the link above.

Robert Kimuthia

Found this on the BBC News. I think it is also 50247. 

Allocations are still having to use some of the Astromega Euro 5 coaches at busy times on the London service. 

Quite an amount of hired in coaches are appearing on megabus services as the pictures below show.

Gavin Francis

This demonstrator, YX21NPG, with AIRSYM has seen use on the M10 service in the past week.

Applegates have also been busy for megabus as seen with G6EFA above but the Levante, H15EFA,
is displaying a local Applegates route not associated with megabus at all.

Watts Coaches BN64CNJ is seen with an M7 working in London on August 4th.

One megabus coach seen on August 6th was 54275 working the M6A which runs via Heathrow Airport.
Route numbers seem not to be displayed much now, I wonder why? 

Gary Seamarks

Cambridge Busway over 10 years

A piece I've put together on realising that the Cambridge- St Ives Busway will have been opened 10 years on August 7th, it opened on a Sunday, and I was lucky enough to be available on its first weekday Mon August 8th to visit, back then just three routes were in operation the A & B were Fens operated and the C Whippet, all ran on the Northern Section, but only the A used the Southern Section, which is restricted to Single deckers, things have moved on a lot until 2020 as can be seen from the list of new vehicles purchased. Post Covid Stagecoach have basically reverted to the 2009 structure for its core routes, with Whippets now only using the Southern Busway for its U.

  Alongside the Stagecoach services on the Northern Busway,
Whippet operated an Hourly route into Cambridge with a trio of Plaxton bodied Volvos,
as can be seen the liveries were identical but tickets were not multi operator.

An additional trio of Volvo
 B7RLE were purchased by Whippet in 2013 to replace the earlier buses,
BF63 HFA is seen when about a year old.

Whippet were successful in obtaining a contract for the Universal Route to the west and South of the City.

Here BT66MVL is seen in 2019, another of the batch in the background
is about to turn left to enter the southern Busway which is restricted to Single deckers owning to several low bridges.

London operators

Gavin Francis

Arriva's LT4 has now acquired Vodafone livery seen here working the 38 on August 4th.

Premium Transport are using the RML for the London Eye service on August 4th.

Brigit's Afternoon Tea Bus is carrying a good load - RML2546 on August 4th.

Michael Wadman

Some photos this week of Buffalo Bus, who operated services in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hertfordshire in the ‘eighties and ‘nineties. 

No 34 (F154 KGS) – Leyland Swift / Wadham Stringer in St Albans on service 343, November 9th 1993

No 28 (K448 XPA) – Dennis Dart / Plaxton in Watford on service 311, November 9th 1993 

No 70 (TND 440X) – Former Greater Manchester PTE Dennis Dominator / Northern Counties in St Albans on service 343, November 9th 1993 

No 68 (OJD 468R) – Leyland Fleetline/Park Royal, formerly London Transport DMS2468, parked at London Colney Savacentre on  January 21st 1994.
The bit of paper in the windscreen says 844, which sounds like a Hertfordshire CC school service. 

No 46 (URY 598, formerly B572 AVW) –
This Volvo B10M-61 was formerly a Berkhof coach with Kings Ferry,
and was acquired by Buffalo in fire-damaged condition and rebodied by East Lancs. In St Albans on January 21st 1994.

Tony Bungay

In the current edition of Oxford Chiltern Bus page, one contributor commented on the level of service through Saunderton, the timetable photo a bit further along that road, shows the number of journeys at present, got to be the most in at least the past 50 years! For any viewers interested in a bit of history about services on this road, a small article appeared on newspage 46 February 11th 2019. 

Vernon Dyer

Thanks, Malcolm, for using my memory of the Oxford-Bedford route, and thanks also to Tony for confirming it was numbered 7D by Eastern National. I agree it was always 131 under United Counties, and by the way City of Oxford eventually changed their number from 70 to 131. Two things come to mind: 1 - were there also a 7, 7A, B & C, and 2 - isn't it amazing what trivia sticks in the memory for 70 years! 

Reading Group buses go on holiday to the seaside

Andrew Webb

Bournemouth Transport (Yellow Buses) has served the town for nearly 120 years, their distinctive yellow livery being an icon of the resort.  Several recent arrivals to cater for the expected boom in 'staycation' tourists heading south are notable for the lack of yellow. 

Reading Buses have sent six Enviro 400MMCs (781-786) from Newbury and District to help out on route 1A over the summer.  Two are spare from the Vodafone contract, with the remaining four in standard fleet livery.  All have been adorned with "I'm on loan to YELLOW BUSES" and route 1A branding.  The six are seen in Gervis Place on July 31st.


Open top sightseeing buses arguably started during the heyday of British seaside holidays before their popularity waned and operators focused on open top tours in cities.  In recent years the seaside open top bus has experienced a renaissance, with Bournemouth now offering no fewer than four different brands. 

Route 12 has historically been the number reserved for Bournemouth's cliff top route, this year it links Boscombe Pier with Alum Chine using four ex Abellio London Wright Volvo B7TLs converted to open top and branded as 'Buster's Beach Bus'. 

5023 is seen at Boscombe Pier before heading off on another trip. 

Yellow Buses, in partnership with Golden Tours, have started a sightseeing tour taking in Poole and Sandbanks.  Four MCV Volvos have transferred from the company's London operations and received Yellow Buses fleet numbers alongside their regular numbers. 

5096 /121 is seen in Gervis Place.

The Yellow Coaches / Golden Tours joint venture competes directly with the more established Bournemouth City Sightseeing Tour which is operated by Discover Dorset.  A batch of former Lothian Tridents has recently been joined by a former RATP London Original Tour Ayats which retains its previous operators Union Jack livery.


Go Ahead South Coast routes through stunning countryside from Swanage to Bournemouth and Poole see year-round use of open top buses in the 'Purbeck Breezer' brand.  Some of the vehicles are unusual 'convertibles'

Keith Aveyard

Reading buses have loaned six double deckers to Bournemouth for the summer.

Two are the Vodafone fleet's 781 and 782 SN66WRC/D whilst the others are Newbury and District 783 784 785 786 SN16OHA/B/C/D. They carry Bournemouth fleet numbers 1781-6 with some external branding, and are restricted to operating the short journeys on service 1a between Bournemouth and Somerford. 

I took pictures of them in Bournemouth on August 3rd 2021 both individually and in some pairings, so I've attached four pictures that include all six buses.

The Reading/Newbury buses at work on August 3rd in Bournemouth.

I am told that some of this capacity relates to English Language Schools in the town. Ed.

Paul Hawkins

Few photos of the Skegness Seasider open top buses as operated by Stagecoach 

Rocky is ex SC Highlands. All taken on August 4th 2021.