Yes, to all who asked, I did enjoy the break  Sunday, a week ago. I have had time review what is happening from now onwards as we move into the Autumn of 2021.

So, I will be publishing on a Monday evening from this issue onwards. The reason is that I need more time to write and produce the page each week. A number of you send pictures and contributions on a Saturday or even Sunday which results that either I work all evening on Sunday or take more time and publish on a Monday evening. This means that events on a Sunday can be recorded in the latest issue.

Please note that the cut off for inclusion in a current Weekly Briefing will be Sunday midday.

I enjoy receiving all of your contributions and producing this page every week but I am now past the days when I can sit up half the night to finish and publish. I am sure you will all appreciate my comments.

This week we have a lot of things to report from service changes, new services and fleet changes.

Some of the contributions I have had to delay until the next issue 171. I wish to thank David Ive, Paul Bateson and Tony Bungay, Graham Low and Mick Payne whose items will feature in 171. 

Joe Kibble

London council worker's bus odyssey sparks Twitter storm https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-58297172

Click to enlarge all about Aylesbury Bus Station.

At Binders Yard, High Wycombe with Gavin Francis 

uno 285 at Chiltern Automotive for work on August 26th.

RF512 and RM 357 at this location on August 26th.

There is always something of interest to see at this location, no two days are the same !

Stagecoach Gloucester 

We held an event at Gloucester Quays on Wednesday, August 18th 2021, 11am - 3pm, celebrating the introduction of 21 new vehicles into Gloucester.

Our brand-new buses will be on display, so it's a great opportunity to try them out. We'll also be talking to the public about our improved connections between Gloucester and Cheltenham, as we introduce more frequent buses at the end of the month. 

We also have entertainment for customers, including our 'Wheel of Fortune' where customers can win free bus travel and vouchers for coffee and brownies from new local coffee shop, Brew & Bake. We'll have a drawing station for the younger children, where they can colour in their very own bus.



These pictures kindly provided by the  management of Stagecoach West.

Hugh Jaeger

I am sorry I was not there to take photos for you. But here is local news coverage of the event, with the specification of what the buses offer passengers.


My favourite feature is the displays and automated announcements to tell passenger what the next stop is. Buses had automatic next stop announcements in Berlin by the late 1980s and in Vienna by the early 1990s. Trams in Prague have had next stop displays for decades, and  I think have gone through several generations of such display technology. Parts of Britain's bus network seem almost two generations behind! 

Gavin Francis

Epping Ongar Railway RF anniversary event

Gavin went to Ongar on September 5th and his pictures will be included in issue nr 171 next week.

Here is a taster of what Gavin saw. Appropriately local ! Those were the days when Wycombe had Green Line services.

Jack Cooper

The annual Abingdon Airshow took place on Saturday, September 4th, held at the airfield, I have heard there is an RAF Typhoon and the Red Arrows making an appearance, which is a big step up from previous years! I was there as well with Oxford Bus, we took a bus as there has been in previous years.

Pictures of this event to follow in the next issue. 

Oxfordshire Bus Improvement Plan Survey.

Oxfordshire County Council are currently holding a Bus Improvement Plan Survey, for those wishing to complete this survey you can do this online, or there are now paper copies at the Gloucester Green Travel Shop, where you can complete and submit a copy of the survey. The deadline is September 13th.


Other Council areas are also making the same survey to this one advised by Jack Cooper.

Hugh Jaeger

Today, September 4th, I had my first sight of Taj Kahn's new route X20. I attach a photo of an Enviro200 MMC in Redline Buses livery, with route X20 branding, in Park End Street. 

A report in The Bucks Herald says three of Mr Kahn's companies will operate the new service jointly: Red Rose Travel, Red Eagle Buses and Redline Buses.


Looking very smart and clean SW16BUS is seen  in  Park End Street, Oxford on September 4th.

Below is a link to route X20's timetable. To run a half-hourly headway between Aylesbury and Oxford via Thame I estimate it will need four buses in service. I hope Mr Kahn will also keep a spare bus in reserve.


Route X20's timetable mentions neither Haddenham and Thame Parkway station nor Wheatley so route X20 bypasses both places is quicker than Arriva's route 280.

But Arriva X8 route already bypasses the same places in peak hours. Is there enough demand for such an express service off-peak?


Also attached are two photos I took of an Arriva Enviro400, 4401, on route 280 at Oxford railway station. It is in the old Sapphire livery and is branded for route 38 in Derby!

Someone arriving at Oxford from Derby might have to pinch themselves thinking
 that they must have gone to sleep on the train for a long time and arrived back in Derby !!

Andy Churchill


Seen at TruckFest Peterborough on August 29th 2021 a classic Setra double deck Coach (LS51PBS) with legal lettering Showing as GHH coach hirers, Rochdale, Lancashire , it is in use as a accommodation vehicle something a bit different at TruckFest.

This was a Band bus and may still be.


It has been a busy time since deciding only three weeks ago to go ahead with a conventional SHOWBUS display at the Hertfordshire County Showground in four weeks time.  So much to organise in a short space of time and a lot of people to inform about the event. 

I am pleased to report that entries topped 100 this week and expect them to be around double that on September 26th. 

Because of the pandemic we have had to make changes following a Covid risk assessment to ensure the safety of our visitors   The biggest change we have had to make is to restrict entry whilst the buses arrive on site. We have a major concern that the throng of visitors at the gate could spread the virus and mindful that the preponderance of our visitors falling into the most at risk category we would be negligent if we did not address this. .  We simply do not have the resources to control the crowds, park the buses and man the admission gates simultaneously.  That assumes anyone would take notice of our telling them to disperse.  Two years ago I struggled to keep people out of the Parking Reception area. 

Hopefully these arrangements will enable us to provide a safe SHOWBUS this year as opposed to another SHOWBUSflyby, with a bit of luck we will be able to return to normal next year. 

In part to compensate for the reduced viewing time and to minimise cash handling – another Covid safety concern – admission has been reduced from the planned £12.50 to a flat rate £10 cash (no change).  Brochures will be £5. 

For those who do arrive early to get photos out on the road another safety warning.  There is no footpath opposite the entry gate so please find a safer place to photograph from, socially distanced of course.  When buses leave they all have to turn left out of the Showground towards Dunstable so a much better chance to catch them all, though, of course, we will do our best to pose them facing the sun at some point in the day, in the grounds. 

The car park will be open at 0830, especially as the mammoth Redbourn Car Boot plans to be open on the same site in the morning so you can visit that while waiting.  However the dedicated bus services will be timed to arrive for the main opening time of 11am.  There will be a limited number of early bird £25 tickets which will allow entry between 0830 and 0900.  

We have secured catering and all the usual facilities, but the fish & chip and bar buses are laid up this year, but there will be hot food and alcohol for sale. 

Whipsnade Zoo is still only taking prebooked visitors, but UNO are going to run a limited free bus service to the Zoo using one of their BYD electric double deckers, supplemented by some show exhibits.  We also hope to offer free short tours of nearby Redbourn by bus.  Verulamium is also visitable using the Red Rose S99 to St Albans. 

For those wanting to make a weekend of it the Xlusive Fest is on the same site on Saturday afternoon and evening and SHOWBUS visitors can claim £5 off tickets booking via the SHOWBUS website. 

Oldest bus expected at the moment is Mike Sutcliffe’s 1934 Todmorden Leyland Tiger, run a close second by David Whitaker’s 1936 Provincial AEC Regent I.  Ward Jones hopes to being along his locally kept East Kent Tiger coach and local companies Red Rose, Arriva and Motts Travel will be supporting the event as usual.  Two Bedford VALs are expected, a StreetDeck from Diamond NW and a Scania Omnilink from Adventure Travel in Cardiff. A number of Enviros – including all three of Delaines – will take part in the second Enviromania display, the last was ten years ago.  Local bus operators will be publicising their services in the Hertfordshire Hub and we will be celebrating 100 years of United Counties, the company was formed the day before SHOWBUS 100 years ago. 

The growing list of entries is on the website with loads more information – showbus.com/display – and will be available in the lavishly illustrated brochure with a site map, list of trade stalls and exhibits and timetables for all the bus services rounded off with feature articles of Enviros, United Counties and the 50 year old London DMS.

Andrew Webb

The ruins of Scarborough castle stand on the headland at the south end of North Bay
as an East Yorkshire 'Beachcomber' carries holiday makers along the seafront,
pursued by a Shoreline Suncruisers service which competes over the same route.
August 17th 2021 by Andrew Webb.

Now that really is "Buses in the Landscape, thank you Andrew.

Gavin Francis

Well more of a waterscape but a delightful picture.

The Duck is seen passing by  along the River Thames at Windsor in the picture on September 2nd.


Gordon Scott

Pictures taken at Lathalmond Vintage Bus Running Day near Dunfermline on a wet rainy August 21st.

Stagecoach East Scotland 53722 - SV11FSC in Stagecoach first livery.

Lothian and Edinburgh Corporation fleet number 86 old and the new
Leyland Tiger Cub Weymann 86 - VSC86 & Volvo B8 MCV EVO Ra

First East Scotland 36028 - SN05HWT Scania N94UD Omnidekka.

Last shots from Lathalmond Bus Museum Running Weekend. 

Go Ahead North East Volvo B9R Plaxton Elite 7157 - G10VOY ex East Yorkshire.

Merseyside Transport
Leyland Tiger Duple Dominant 4 EKA220Y.

Many thanks to Gordon for some most interesting pictures.

Stagecoach East Scotland Fife
Volvo B9R Caetano Levante 53737 -  BF63ZRV on route X60 Taken at West End Edinburgh 24/08/21 by Gordon Scott.


A double-decker bus had its top deck flattened after it reportedly failed to fit under a bridge in Luton, Bedfordshire on August 31st.

The double decker of Tates Coaches crashed into the underside of a bridge on Hitchin Road in Luton.

Pictures show that the roof of the bus completely recessed down into the top deck seating area - effectively flattening it.

Gavin Francis writes "Bridge strikes are a real problem in this country. I know Stagecoach have spent a fortune on technology all based around GPS and The GreenRoad driving system which sounds an alarm in the cab when the bus approaches a low bridge. It is gradually being rolled out across the group.

The use of masks has been relaxed and in many places such coverings are no longer required.

Coach travel is returning to the streets of Oxford as seen below.

Gavin Francis

Parrys are a good customers of Van Hool and above YD19GUC is seen in Beaumont Street on August 30th. 

Fleet news and developments

Simon Mathieson - Area Managing Director Operations – Midlands, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire

The last weekend a number of vehicles will move in to Aylesbury to allow some of the older buses to leave. 

Coming in will be:   4400, 4401 E400 from Derby - 3729, 3730, 3731 SB200 from Tamworth - 3550, 3778, 3786, 3787 E300/SB200 from Stevenage.  These are likely to be renumbered due to duplication of fleet numbers within the Arriva Midlands fleet. 

Combined with a move of six PVR of the 500 to Hemel depot, this means we can take out a fair few vehicles from the Aylesbury fleet. See the report by Hazel Richardson below. Ed.

We hope to drop out of the fleet:















One x Solo TBC

The Stevenage buses looked like being loans but are to be made permanent – 3550 might be the exception because it is an odd bus for the fleet mix.  3550 likely to stay as a bus to free up some other buses that need to be repainted.

Many thanks to Simon for this update. 

Beds Transport

The end of an era is fast approaching us as Arriva Aylesbury prepares to withdraw it's fleet of nine Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini's, some of the first Wright bodied double deckers produced.

Matt Robinson

It’s the last day of Arriva Aylesbury’s X16 Bicester Village service today (Saturday 4 September). With permission of the Duty Managers I was allowed to take something different, so here is Volvo B7TL 6403 (GN04 UDS) outside Bicester Village Railway Station.

A nice touch on the last day was the use of this ALX400, 6403.

You may have been made aware of some fleet changes currently taking place at Aylesbury. This has seen the withdrawal of a number of our older buses:

All of our Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs (the 40xx series) are due to be withdrawn. 4018/24/5/6 were taken to Arden Park in Milton Keynes last weekend.

4021/2 were non-runners and were towed away during the week. 4020 has been transferred to Colchester and was collected on Tuesday. 4017/9 have been briefly retained as maintenance cover, but will be withdrawn in the coming weeks.

Volvo B7RLEs 3861/4 have also been withdrawn and taken to Arden Park. These buses were new to High Wycombe for local service in the town. Ed.

Mercedes Citaros 3043 and 3924 have been transferred to Milton Keynes, with 3043 already being noted in service on the X60 during the week.

Citaro 3923 and Solo 2498 have also been withdrawn, having their ticket machines removed but are still on site at Aylesbury depot.

I am unsure if this was previously reported but DAF DB250 6042 has also been withdrawn after sustaining serious accident damage near Hughenden Manor a few weeks ago.

I did report this in the issue of the week that the accident happened. Ed.

Joining our fleet are Enviro 400s 4400/1 (YY14 LHD/E) from Derby. These are currently still in the old Sapphire livery with Derby route 38 branding.


Also joining are VDL SB200/Wright Pulsar 3729-31 (YJ57BPZ, BRE, BRV) from Tamworth depot. 3729 and 3730 have been mainly used on the 300 service this week.

The three VDLs (3778/86/7) and Enviro 300 3550 from Stevenage remain in service with us at Aylesbury.

Hazel Richardson

As of Tuesday, August 31st Arriva Hemel garage has taken on six workings of the 500 between Aylesbury and Watford. With this came the arrival of 4 Enviro 400 MMCs

6487 - YY16 YKW
6488 - YY16 YKX
6489 - YY16 YKZ
6493 - YY16 YLD

I have photographed three of them with 6488 photographed on August 31st and 6493 plus 6487 on 1/9/21 in Hemel Hempstead, See below:


Aylesbury garage has also had a few new arrivals with one being 4401 - YY14LHE photographed in Berkhamstead working the 500 on September 2nd.

Many thanks to Hazel for these interesting pictures.

Gavin Francis

Sprinter 1002 working service 9 in Aylesbury on August 26th.

Three deckers in Aylesbury on August 26th, 4024 near the end of its time, 5467 running route 9 and 5469 with a 300.

ALX400 6403 also working the 300 on August 26th in Aylesbury.

During a visit to Windsor Gavin caught up with 3915 in Maidenhead with failed destination screens and a nice piece of paper.
The Citaro  lacks front fleet numbers and someone has had the MB badge but at least the wheels are clean on September 2nd.

GreenLine 768 to Leavesden Studios for Harry Potter. This service is twice a day from each direction and this was the 09.30 departure. Driver kindly set the scroll for me so I could get my picture and be on my way.

Having mentioned the 768, Gavin has provided a picture of 7215 working from Bulleid Way on August 27th.

Mark Wakefield

On August 23rd 2021- a developer was been given the all-clear to knock down a former Arriva bus garage in Garston. The locally listed building in St Albans Road is now set to be demolished by the end of this year

Nick Ross

Arriva Mercedes Sprinter 1008 BF67WGC on an early morning D1 Sandhills turn
on Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard on a dull August 23rd 2021.

Neil Bridges

4400 - YY14LHD on 280 service at Oxford Rail Station 4400 Arriva Midlands Derby based with full route 38 Derby-Sinfin branding

Tony Bungay

Just seen your latest Arriva Fleet News e-mail, sounds like the old livery will be very thin on the ground probably after these developments. 

3787 is already here and was caught in use working the 500
on August 28th.

Other photo just a general view with Red Rose vehicles dominant on Services 7 and 17, 3787 is the Arriva vehicle in the background. 

I don’t know if you subscribe to reading ‘Buses’  magazine. But if not the latest issue carries a feature on the woes of Arriva, much of which we have seen in this area in recent times.

Took these in Aylesbury yesterday, September 1st.

E400 s 6488 and 6528 showing the input from Hemel Hempstead again on Service 500,
when Hemel operated on the route before 320 sapphire vehicles sometimes appeared.

4401 in earlier sapphire livery working somewhat appropriately on Service 280, although only on a short working to Thame.

As a further for 5460, managed to get other angles of this vehicle to show the promotion for the 280 service today.
In addition Arriva are also running a leaflet campaign for the 280.

Richard Sharman

Arriva Derby E400s 4400/1, YY14 LHD/E  moved to Aylesbury depot on Saturday. They are branded for Derby service 38. I suspect they will venture into Oxford on the 280.


Gavin Francis

Ashwood have a nice fleet of coaches as seen at Binders Yard on August 26th. 

Gavin Francis

Gavin visited South Mimms services on his way to Ongar and has provided many pictures for issue nr. 171

A very busy morning at South Mimms interchange for holiday tours by Gavin Francis on September 5th.

Pete Leymann

Photos were taken on September 4th at Murdock Rd depot.

Heyfordian travel have purchased four ex Lothian vehicles as follows, I would presume that will be for school contracts 

Two Wright Eclipse double deckers:

SN08BXP plus BXY

Two Wright Eclipse single deckers 

SK07CFZ plus

Also a second hand NEOPLAN Tri-Axle

Streamline of Headcorn CX12SET Neoplan Tourliner N2216SHD. Upper Bridge Street Canterbury 28.3.15

Many thanks to Pete fro this update and pictures.

Graham Mildenhall

Out with the dog earlier and grabbed a shot of our local route 250 at what was the main entrance to RAF Upper Heyford.

Seen on August 24th working route 250.  

Hadn’t noticed before but note the orange light on the roof at the front. Certainly not on all the vehicles we have here for this service, presumably this is from its Hallmark days at LHR when it may have operated airside?  

Derek Taylor

First Western 36820 one of three vehicles on the service August 29th.
Interestingly the vehicles can be  tracked showing as routes 444 or 555 depending whether they are Bath or Bristol based buses.

Richard Sharman

First Bath provided Bicester Village to Bicester North rail replacement over the weekend using E400MMCs, alongside the normal Bath Uni- liveried examples were Aquae-liveried 36803, YT67XJW and YT67XKC, which I believe is the first time this livery has been seen on rail in the Oxfordshire area.

It is suggested that Thandi have left Flixbus. More next issue.

Fleet news from Phil Southall - Managing Director Oxford Bus Company - Thames Travel - Carousel Buses - City Sightseeing Oxford

Carousel 886 and 887 are still in service with no plans to remove. 

Carousel 243 to 245 are to be painted into a different Red livery as they will largely be used on school services rather than 'front line' services, so we have applied a more simple livery. 

Scania 211 was withdrawn from Oxford Bus Company several years ago following a vehicle fire whilst still on the Brookes contract, it has never operated for Thames Travel. 

Airline coaches 34 and 39 had accident damage on them so have been away at EvoBus to be repaired. 

As for planned fleet changes from this weekend, 214, 219 and 221 should transfer to OBC and we aim to delicence all remaining Solos and MAN single decks along with 871...but we will see how availability goes.

Very many thanks to Phil for that update and explanations. 

Jack Cooper writes "A recent change has been the opening hours to the Travel Shops, the Gloucester Green shop is now open Monday - Sunday 09:00 - 17:00, and the Queens Lane Visitor Information Point 09:30 - 17:00. You can also top up Key cards at Queens Lane, which is a fairly recent change."  

Andrew Webb

Following the lifting of most Covid restrictions in June, Carousel have finally been able to allocate the intended former Oxford Pick Me Up Mercedes Sprinters to routes 581 and 583 which serve the rural hinterland to the west of Uxbridge.  One vehicle interworks both routes each day, with 979 being the allocated vehicle on 24 August.  It is seen arriving in Uxbridge with a journey on the 581.

Gavin Francis

Citaros 860 and 870 are seen working link40 in Stokenchurch on August 24th.

Malcolm Crowe

Citaros 857 and 887 by 242 at the depot on August 25th.

In this picture again from August 25th Thames Travel 935 has been sent to Carousel for service work.

879 and 215 are seen at the depot on September 1st.

The two konectbus Citaros are still in the depot with seemingly no decision on the future when seen on September 1st.

Another Thames Travel Scania 254 is seen in the depot on September 1st. StreetLite 407 still lacks front fleet numbers!

My first picture of 980 in the overflow yard on September 1st looking pristine.

Nigel Peach

As I was walking back home I noticed that 243 was back on the 36 and was on its way to Bourne End. I got home and jumped into the car....! 

Attached are a selection for you to choose from of 243 on route 36 on August 25th, climbing Blind Lane from Bourne End to Flackwell Heath. I noticed from your pictures on this week's update that 243 is painted in a red livery, rather than the "revised two tone livery" that 241 and 242 have. I wonder why!

See the comments on livery by Phil Southall above. Ed.

Two pictures taken at the Carousel depot today, August 31st

Scanias 217 and 215 at the depot.

Orange MAN ADL Enviro 200, 423. It seems this bus is now out of service after it's recent route 337 was replaced this week by new routes 106 and 107.
I had not seen 423 for a long time. It looks smarter than when I last saw it, as it has been repaired some weeks ago after accident damage. 

Sprinter 980 was in the overflow yard. I don't think this has yet entered service since being repainted in Carousel livery.

Gavin Francis

Scania 222 seen in Oxford with a 35 road service on August 25th.

Hybrid 313 is also seen working the 35 but now on August 29th.

366 is seen in Magdalen Street West with a 2A service on August 25th.

MMC s 605 and 614 are seen in service on August 27th and 29th.

Wright StreetDeck variety in Oxford with 651 working 5 road, 662 with 15 road, 663 with X3 road on August 29th
and 669 working the 300 on August 25th.

Grahame Wareham

Thought you might like these shots of OBC 662 on a 2A service on Tuesday, August 24th in Mill Street Kidlington........................I was just opening my front gate to go out!


It's actually not branded for any particular route so its use on a Kidlington service wouldn't seem too out of place.

Jack Cooper 

23 is seen with an 11X service at Queens Lane on August 27th.

Micro Hybrid 374 is seen with a 15 road service on August 31st.

MMC 612 is seen with an 8 road service, passing Brookes on August 24th.

Jack Cooper

632 is seen leaving Gloucester Green with the City Tour on September 4th. 

Gavin Francis

Scania 209 seen in St Aldates with an X40 to Reading on August 29th.

662 seen in St Aldates with an X2 on August 29th.

905 looking immaculate, lovely clean wheels with an X2 in St Aldates on August 29th.

Jack Cooper

Ex B&H Scania 247 in new livery seen in Abingdon on September 1st.

Solo 709 seen in Abingdon with the 33 service on September 1st. This bus is in regular use with TT.

Citaro 849 looking nice and clean in Oxford with an 11 service on September 3rd.

A Citaro, 865, works the ST1 in Broad Street on August 27th.

903, also very clean, works an X3 service in Abingdon on September 1st.

Ashley Toms (Longmile)

Sad news :  J27/28KHT have left the fleet ! And been sent to South Korea to be used as motor homes so they won't be seen around anymore ! 

These are ex Hong Kong and Pulhams I believe? Ed.

I will up date you with new additions. 

We've currently added a 16 seater to the fleet plus a Neoplan tour liner registered J222LML .

Gavin Francis

Kings Ferry BU18YTR working a 401 service on August 27th.

Finally a coach in corporate livery from Parks - BF68LBN - with a 504 service on August 29th.


Acklams of Beverley have been running quite a few workings for National Express
showing HO15ACK - Aug 29th, YX64WBM - Aug 30th and YX66WOU - Aug 29th.


Two Caetano double decks which often work the 040 service seen on August 25th and 29th near VCS,

Horseman of Reading YX68UAZ laying over before another NEx working on August 29th.

JKT Walsall's Irizar i6s GO70JKT again with an NEx working on August 30th.


New coaches to record for this company are listed below.

GB71PUL Vo B8R Pn C??F /2021 Pulham, Bourton-on-the-Water
GL71PUL Vo B8R Pn C??F /2021 Pulham, Bourton-on-the-Water

Ben Studley

Ben and Mandy visited the depot and saw the new coaches.

On August 29th the two coaches are seen in the depot after arrival.

Jack Cooper

Two of the bus fleet are seen in Oxford with service 63 - AA68BUS on August 31st and YX69NZE on September 3rd. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Gavin Francis

..... paid a visit to Windsor and caught up with various group buses on September 2nd.

E20D MMC 670 with a route 9 service in Maidenhead.

MMC 761 is seen in Windsor working a 702 service to London.

Showing off a striking livery for Thames Valley are Solo SR 126 working the 238 in Maidenhead
and MMC E20D 659 with a 16 service in Winddsor.

Newly liveried 795 in Buckingham Palace Road with a 702 bound for Windsor on August 29th. 

Gavin Francis

E200 GX57BXH seen in Aylesbury on August 26th. 

Taj Khan

A photo of our new branded buses start on September 2nd 2021 by Taj Khan on August 31st.

Taj also advises that they will also be offering a promotion fare from the of September 2nd until September 19th a flat fare of £1 anywhere on the X20

Hazel Richardson

Redline also launched their X20 Service between Aylesbury and Oxford. SW16BUS is seen here in Aylesbury Bus station on the first day of the route 2/9/21

Jack Cooper

The Redline X20 has launched this week, I must say the E200 MMC's used on the route do look very nice, although I do wonder if they will receive fleet livery at some point? I heard from someone today that Redline currently have a £1 single fare promotional offer on, I wonder how many passengers will be attracted to use the service, and what Arriva will offer in return! This is correct. Ed.

GW16BUS is seen in Westgate and Speedwell Street on September 3rd.

Gavin Francis

..... visited Aylesbury on August 26th and provides us with a nice selection of Redline buses.



One has to admit that this red and white livery is striking and except for route 4 one must see the bus coming from a distance.
Note the last one, working the 120 service soon to be replaced by the X20.

Paul Coley

A photo taken outside Aylesbury railway station.

Looking very smart, MK63XAT seen with a route 4 service in Aylesbury on August 27th.

Tony Bungay

I expect by now you will have had a number of contributions in respect of Redline Enviro 200mmc on the X20, but despite keeping an eye out since September 2nd, today is the first day I have actually seen the X20.

GW16BUS in Aylesbury with an X20 service on September 4th.

Gavin Francis

..... visited Aylesbury on August 26th and provides us with a nice selection of Red Rose fleet.

A Dart/MCV Evolution came from Avon Buses and is seen here with service 7.

Working the silver Rider service, E4RRT has a nice livery when seen in Aylesbury.

Scania N94UB - East Lancs Esteems E13 and 14RRT working service 10 for which they are branded.

E200 E17RRT is seen working branded service 55 from Aylesbury.

A now elderly member of the Red rose fleet, Y358LCK works service 16 past Waddesdon still looking clean and tidy.

Finally YX10BGY with a service 50 also looks well in its Red rose livery.

One has to admit that the Red Group fleets look clean and welcoming as the group grows in size and presence in Buckinghamshire and further afield.

Paul Coley

A photo taken outside Aylesbury railway station, plus inside Aylesbury Bus Station too.

AE56LWK seen near the station on August 27th.

E13RRT seen inside the bus station on August 27th.

Tony Bungay

Working route 7 in Aylebury we see E11RRT followed by another Red Rose service, the 17, on August 28th. 

Scania/Enviro 400 15767 has been transferred from North Bristol to Oxford in exchange for 15966, which is fitted with seat belts.

Short Enviro 200s 36079/80 have moved to North Bristol from Banbury with 36330 reported to be following :

Transferring to Banbury from Oxford are expected to be Dart SLFs 34829 and 34881 with E400MMC 10438 moving from Witney, whilst Dart SLFs 34467/71 are expected to be withdrawn from service, for disposal, imminently. 


Courtesy from SKM and noted still in service

MAN 18.240/ADL Enviro 300 (2009) B46F 22761 OU09BZR at Morecambe depot

Also still in service with SC Cumbria

47237 KX55RBY 47239 KX55RCF   Optare M850/Optare Solo (2005) B27F once part of the Banbury fleet.

Gavin Francis

During the last few days of August MMCs 10431, 10673, 10684 and 11233 are seen in Oxford City centre.

Gold Scanias built at the same time, 15753 at Horspath, 15761 working the S5 in the city
and 15767 recently transferred from West at the depot.

Trainer M A N 22416 is seen at Network Oxford on August 25th.

Graham Low

I went on ADL E200 36113 of Stagecoach Oxford this morning and was surprised to find myself looking out of the main windows which still advertise saver fares for Manchester and Middleton!! Is this (and the other three from Manchester) only on short term loan to Thames Transit (whose legals 36113 has)? A picture is attached below.

Jack Cooper

I'm sorry but the new liveries do not match that of the Gold as seen by 10786 in Abingdon on September 1st.

Now with its Gloucester branding removed, 15767 is seen in Magdalen Street East with a  service 2A on August 28th.

James Freeman

A different view of Witney's new MMCs 11234 working the S1 and 11252 with the S2 on August 26th.

First original bus of SC Oxford fleet to receive the new livery is 36763 seen here with an S4 working in Magdalen Street East on August 26th.  

Gavin Francis

Now a regular on the X5 into Oxford, 11279 proudly carries a memory of Captain Tom.

Jack Cooper

The X5 still sees the caches branded for the service as 54317 is seen in George Street on August 23rd.

James Freeman

Variety from Bedford working the X5 on August 26th, 10499, 10875 and 11279 framed by the Randolph Hotel.


Chris Lodington

Saturday, August 14th I went to Wellingborough, as the Wellingborough Museum put on a small running day as part of the United Counties centenary celebrations. Whilst there I photographed Stagecoach Midlands Gold E400 15521 (VX09NBD) of Northampton depot, working route X46 Northampton – Raunds.

It recently transferred from Stagecoach West and still bears its route-branding for the 97/98 Cheltenham – Gloucester service on the off-side. The route-branding had been removed from the near side. It bears an appropriate registration for a Northampton based vehicle!

Chris Lodington

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancs. Have just received 15850 – 855 from the same source, which were/are route-branded for service 10, Cheltenham – Gloucester – Lower Tuffley. I believe 15850/851 are for Birkenhead depot, and 15852 – 855 for Preston, 15854 is the only one so far to have entered service, (Yesterday), and so far has visited such exotic places as Bolton, Ormskirk and Blackburn! Quite a contrast to its previous life. Hopefully I will get some photographs of these before too long, and forward them on to you if you wish.

You have just reminded me mentioning Ribble, the company changed its legal name from Glenvale Transport to Ribble Motor Services from July 5th, which is great, but unfortunately not appropriate to the Chester/Wirral operations. In connection with this, E400 MMC 15305 (YN67YKY) of Preston depot is to be repainted into traditional Ribble livery, with the wording ‘Stagecoach and Ribble proud to serve Lancashire since 1919’ between decks. Hopefully it will be out soon, it hasn’t worked since 28 June. 


As a one time member of the Oxford tube I was pleased to see my colleagues raising money recently.

Ready for a Charity Walk on August 17th, a Controller, a driver, Manager Rob Hough and six further drivers.
Well done Guys !

The older Euro 5 Astromegas are still appearing on a daily basis working into London.

Gavin Francis

On August 25th three of the Panoramas are seen in London Elizabeth Bridge led by 50434 with small fleet numbers.

Panorama 50430 is seen in St Aldates framed by Christ Church on August 30th.

Also in St Aldates is 50434 arriving home from London on August 29th.

I must say that turnout of these coaches is a credit to the staff at Horspath, Oxford. I think clean wheels always set off the vehciles to its best.


Stagecoach Megabus/Scottish Citylink

Former Oxford Tube Van Hool Astromega 50267, which had been parked up at Stagecoach East Scotland’s Arbroath depot, has been moved to Stagecoach North East’s Stockton depot although the reason for the transfer is unknown.

Gavin Francis

Astromega 50292 arriving in London with an M20 service on August 27th.

Interdeck 54282 is seen at rest in Bulleid Way on August 25th.

megabus departures with 54271 bound for Newcastle turning out of Elizabeth Street on August 25th.

Hamiltons are still hired in by megabus as seen by Neoplan OU16EVJ on August 27th.

Graham Welford

Ex Sleeper 50308 at Oxford Rail Station with service GP5 to Silverstone on August 29th. 

Gavin Francis in Aylesbury

This operators continues with a small fleet including this Solo SCZ3843 working route 5 which is ex Ulsterbus !

Gavin Francis in Aylesbury

An E200 BU55KBK branded for the K1 Kingsbrook local service seen on August 26th.

E200 MX62GNJ working the 165 to Leighton Buzzard from Aylesbury on August 26th. This came from Merseyside.

London Sightseeing plus Windsor

Gavin Francis

Finally a front view of 13812 seen turning out Buckingham Palace Road on September 3rd.

Gavin Francis

Hard to believe that this was a second world war design for the D day Landings.
Seen in Windsor on September 2nd.

Gavin Francis

Golden Tours are now operating in Windsor as seen on September 2nd with 131 in service.

Gavin Francis

The TO-OT bus as you can see has been used on the Windsor Sightseeing and every expense has been spared on branding,
when I saw DLP243 in Windsor on September 2nd.

DLP268 is seen in Buckingham Palace Road for London work on August 25th.

London operators

Gavin Francis

Nocco wrap LT 480 came along which I thought we have done before so I just took one picture.
Minutes later it's twin came along LT 484 which in fact was the one we have pictures of so should have got more of LT 480.
Pictures taken on August 31st. 

Michael Wadman

Here is the final herd of Buffalos. 

No 36 (F314 RMH), Volvo B10M-56 / Plaxton, in central Milton Keynes on service X66, 29th April 1995 

No 54 (L864 BEA), Iveco Daily / Marshall, outside the old Milton Keynes bus station on service 98, 29th April 1995. 

No 67 (OJD 414R), Leyland Fleetline / Park Royal, former London Transport DMS2414, in central Milton Keynes on service X66, 29th April 1995 

Buffalo sold most of their bus operations to Luton & District in 1995, but amongst those they retained was a small network of Access Bus services in Luton.

No 43 (MIL4418, formerly D316SDS), former Clydeside Scottish Dodge S56 / Alexander, laying over in Luton bus station, and in Park Street on service 55. 

Buffalo also ran coaches. No 30 (URY598, formerly C180KHG), former Ribble Neoplan N122 / Plaxton in Chiltern European livery
adds an unexpected touch of luxury to a Metropolitan Line rail replacement at Wembley Park on 13th June 1998.

Paul Bateson

How nice to have a day out today!  My good friend really surprised me and picked me up at 8.50 am for our drive north to Dwight to find RT 4743.  We stopped for breakfast at a local restaurant prior to the two and a half hour drive north.  It was a good drive although there was quite a bit of traffic and slow downs in places. 

We arrived at the bus at 12.15 pm.  It was pretty easy to find!  I was most fortunate that the owner was working inside the bus together with an assistant.  The business trades as Fish Shack and Funnel Cakes. 


Our contributor, Paul Bateson.

The owner, a nice lady called Tina, made me very welcome and was really interested that I knew the history of the bus.  She did say that it was in rough shape when she purchased the bus in July from its spot in Fergusonvale.  It had to be towed to its new destination although it still has its engine but no transmission!  The lower deck is the kitchen and I am not sure what is on the top deck as the staircase was not accessible. 

I did take a couple of pictures on Thursday when I took a bus ride to Mount Pleasant GO Station and Trinity Common Terminal.  First two pictures in the file.

GO Transit 2505 at the Mount Pleasant GO Station on August 26th.

Brampton Transit's 0624 at Trinity Common Terminal on August 26th. 

Many thanks to Paul for something a little different.

Andrew Boag

Keep up the good work with the Oxford & Chiltern bus page, I’ve been reading it since 1999 when City of Oxford received its first Tridents for Park & Ride services. I’m sure sometimes I’ve used snippets for the monthly news column I write for LOTS.


I was interested to see your comment at the top of your latest news page (nr 169) about the increasing number of front destination displays which show the route number on the drivers side, making the route number harder to see for passengers waiting on the pavement. I attach a letter I wrote to Buses magazine a few months ago which is attached and was published in full. Sadly I didn’t receive any responses and nothing has changed! However a few years ago I did manage to get Compass Bus to agree to change their front displays and all bus operators in and around Brighton usually show the front route number on the nearside.


Your comment about Hanover displays being set to the drivers side because it suits countries that drive on the right is interesting as it implies other countries (or the EU?) do require the route number to be closest to the kerb.

Bus Destination Displays 

During a week in West Yorkshire last summer I was surprised to see front destination displays on First and Transdev buses showing route numbers on the offside, to the left of the destination. Most people identify their bus by the route number and that is what they look for first. In a busy town or city there may be a row of buses approaching a stop or a bus may be obscured by a large lorry. So it makes sense for the route number to be clearly visible from the kerbside where passengers are waiting. Also, some destinations look similar from a distance while others are served by a several services with different route numbers. A nearside number makes approaching buses much easier to identify. Transdev buses in Yorkshire display the rear number on the nearside so why not at the front? It seems so obvious.  

This was recognised way back in the 1970s in an accessibility study by London Transport. New DMSs already complied but the combined single deck displays on MBs, SMSs and RF blinds were altered. Routemasters had offside route numbers but carried additional route numbers beneath the canopy. The only exceptions were Leyland Nationals which all had three track number blinds on the offside. Standards slipped during the 1980s and 90s but now virtually all London buses have nearside numbers on front displays. I remember an East Kent bus driver telling me offside front numbers enabled him to change all front blinds without getting out of the cab.  With LED displays that is no longer a consideration so what are the benefits of offside number displays? Only a minority of stops have real time displays and some people use mobile phone apps, but buses can arrive out of sequence so it is reassuring to be able to see when the right bus is approaching. 

I had always assumed this was covered in the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR). Unfortunately that is not the case, they include detailed descriptions of what can and cannot be shown and the size of the route number, but its position is not specified. However I do recall reading that National Express West Midlands changed to nearside displays after being asked to so by the Department for Transport, which suggests someone there understands the issue. Sadly, that message seems to have been forgotten already by National Express Coventry where buses have reverted to offside front number displays. 

My plea to bus operators is to re-programme LED screens with nearside front numbers. This will help your passengers, especially those with poor or impaired vision. I also hope that when the PSVAR are updated the position of the front route number will be clearly specified. 

Chris Lodington

Also on destination displays.

This needs to be checked, but I’m sure I once heard that in the 1960s, when cars were getting faster, there were sadly many more road accidents involving school children. It was found that many cases were where kids spotted their bus on the other side of the road, and forgot to be careful crossing. 

So it became illegal to have a route number displayed on the driver’s side of a bus.

Corrections to the last Weekly Briefing

Thomas W W Knowles

There is an inaccuracy in your last briefing nr 169 

This refers to Willowbrook bodied Daimler CVD6 CHL 772. The vehicle was new to J Bullock and Sons (1928) Ltd in 1950. Later in the year it passed to West Riding on take over. It was most certainly NOT new to Hastings & District and to confirm what I say, HL was a Wakefield registration series at the time the bus was new.

Douglas Rowley

There are only 4 electric buses at Lothian in green 291 to 294 and not five as stated.

Apologies for these errors. Ed.

Andrew Webb in Lincolnshire

Route 505 serves the Springfields Outlet Centre on the edge of Spalding, an out of town retail development similar in style to Bicester Village, complete with bus station and coach park adjacent to the main entrance.  Former Gold 15618 is seen pausing on 21 August with an early morning journey from Kings Lynn before heading the final mile into downtown Spalding.  On 3 September 20156 it is seen in Oxford ready for another visit to Carterton.


Spalding in Lincolnshire has a network of services radiating out to neighbouring towns and the city of Peterborough, with Stagecoach and Brylaine providing most services.  Stagecoach use some former Gold specification vehicles such as 15619 seen at the town's austere bus station on 21 August before setting out on the 90 minute journey to Kings Lynn on route 505.  By contrast the same bus is seen arriving in Oxford on 29 March 2016.  Its current purple based livery is Stagecoach's interpretation of Lincolnshire's 'Inter Connect' livery which is a network of trunk routes connecting to 'demand responsive' minibuses which serve more rural areas away from the main roads.  A Vauxhall Movano operated by Transport Connect Lincs illustrates the latter.


The former Oxford vehicles also see use on route 57 to Boston where it connects with itself for a bracing trip to Skegness.  A solitary passenger awaits the driver of 15612 at Spalding bus station on 21 August.  On 5 May 2018 the same bus is seen arriving in Oxford.


Many thanks to Andrew for these interesting comparisons.

Martin Dowling

On Morebus route 50 which travels on the Sandbanks ferry.  They use open top Volvo EVoSeti buses and it's a fine way to travel.  Part of the delight is the bus overtaking lines of cars to jump to the front of the queue to get on the ferry. 

Here are a few photos taken from the top deck last Monday for your newsletter if you would like to use them.


Go South Coast's 1706 unloading from the ferry on August 23rd.

To Sandbanks Ferry
On board from Martin Dowling, one seems to be almost there ! Delightful pictures. Ed.