Issue nr. 173
Monday, September 27th 2021


A busy week with much to interest readers. Several contributions are from people that I have not heard from in a while. Sadly the recent nice weather seems to be breaking now but stayed fine for Showbus.

One contentious issue this past week have been the long delays to traffic in Oxford due to extensive road works.

This picture of The High shows the affect to bus services on September 22nd by Tony Bungay.

Rallies are a feature of this issue and includes Showbus and 100 Years of United Counties Bus Rally in Northampton on Sunday, September 19th 2021.

From further afield Gary Seamarks has been to east coast around Scarborough and Andrew Dyer with a memory from Andrew Dyer in New Zealand.

The first picture of the day from Martyn Sacaloff

As you may imagine I have received a large number of picture from yesterday's SHOWBUS event. A selection to give readers a flavour of the event are shown below.

Gavin Francis is the first contributor to send pictures and these are included below by operator in groups.

For full details relating to the pictures, if required, use the link below giving an entry listing.

Rally control was provided by Arriva's 4714.

The line up of entries.












Gavin commented "Had a good day at Showbus. A good turnout but I am told by several people quite a few missing." 

Martyn Sacaloff

For a very comprehensive look at the various entrants Martyn has posted these to his Facebook site.

Tony Bungay

Surprisingly Arriva had a heritage liveried vehicle, or have they decided to abandon corporate identity to become more local!!!!!!

Delaine had what was probably a unique line up of ADL E20D MMCs with 21, 70 and 71 DBL plate registrations.

Jack Cooper

Jack went to Showbus with City Sightseeing 202 and took these pictures.

I loved this picture from Jack, nice return of the X90 ??

Catteralls are one of our more local operators and UUI4932 was their choice for SHOWBUS.

Longmile J888LML from another angle at Showbus.

Was this a Royal Tiger Cub? Stratford Blue No 62, HAC628D Leyland Leopard with Marshall bodywork from 1966.

I have many more pictures but time limits what I may include in this issue so I hope to use others in issue 174 next week.

Thomas Walker

From last weekend's United Counties event on September 19th. Both of the Golds are transfers, from Leamington (the e200mmc) and Cheltenham (the e400).

Ex Lincolnshire OVL473, Northampton Crossley 146 and UCOC 952 seen on the day.

The transferred Golds, 15844 devoid of route branding and the E20D 26208 somewhat "off route" !!!  

It matters not who won or lost but how you played the game !

   6 - 1 

Gavin Francis attended the game and Wycombe scored first !

The first coach to arrive was Motts at the City ground, GB18MTT carrying club staff.

This is a great photograph of the City ground during the match. 

Gavin Francis

Not seen so much due to Covid, Irizar 8A1-8743 is seen in Bulleid Way on September 20th.

Services are generally returning to normal now.

Fleet news and developments

Jack Cooper

Citaro 3018 working the 280 is seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.

3797 also on diversion in Becket Street.

Citaro 3030 is seen at the top of New Road with a 280 working on September 23rd.

Nick Ross

Arriva trainer Volvo fleet no 3942 (GK52YVG) parked up in Hemel Hempstead town centre on September 17th 2021

Tony Bungay

Rather careworn 3730 working the 280 in High Street on September 22nd.

3768 looking immaculate on the 500 on September 20th.

Hemel based 6487 and 6523 both working service 500 in Aylesbury on September 23rd and 25th respectively.  

Mike Penn

Centrebus has acquired a batch of MCV Evolution bodied Volvo B9RLEs from Roberts of Hugglescote for busway services in Luton, replacing earlier vehicles. 

Two of them are now in service – 634 (BU16UWL) and 636 (BU16UWN) as seen here on Wednesday, September23rd.

One of the three Optare Solo SRs which were based in Stevenage and had route branding for local service 80 has now been repainted in the new livery. 

327 (YJ16DRV) is seen here in Luton on Wednesday. September 23rd.

Many thanks to Mike for those interesting pictures. 

Gavin Francis

Two of Ridleys fleet seen near VCS with Flixbus services on September 21st.

Nigel Peach

It is unusual to see a StreetLite working the 36 but here is 401 in Flackwell Heath on September 25th.

244 soon to be used on the Showbus shuttle service, 244 is seen in Flackwell Heath on September 22nd. 

Gavin Francis

Scania 219 seen in Magdalen Street West with a 35 service on September 25th.

Jack Cooper

Oxford's 351 is seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.
It is nice to see that the roof is also in the new blue!

Various 5 road services are seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.

606 with a U1 also on diversion in Osney Lane.

Red 662 is seen at the top of New Road with a 400 service on September 23rd.

The Park & Ride 400 services were also running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.
Above is the rear of 674.

901 and 902 are seen in these night shots at Cowley House on September 25th.

Tony Bungay

Coach 22 doing a turn with an 11x, by this time the sunlight was giving reflection and destination display issues
 on September 22nd.

Jack Cooper

A nice picture of coach 32 heading for Heathrow at the top of New Road on September 23rd.

Jack Cooper

Ready for Showbus and seen at Cowley House on September 25th.
3797 also on diversion in Becket Street. 

Martyn Sacaloff visited the dismantling yards in Barnsley.

PVS had ex CSS Oxford 2908 in their yard on September 25th. 

Gavin Francis

Scania 210 is  seen in St Aldates working an 11 route service on September 23rd.

Jack Cooper

622 is seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.

Citaro 845 is seen in St Aldates with an X38 working on September 20th.
The additional picture is just to show the night working destination.

Nick Eustace

Some updates on Heyfordian for you  

In addition to your update date of September 5th, Heyfordian have indeed received four ex Lothian buses, the 4th being SK07CFV 

Two other additions are Neoplan Tourmaster JG12SET which arrived with CX12SET recently but also Tourmaster OU18ZSD 

Here is C18HTL whose appearance belies her 11 year age.
A credit to Heyfordian when seen on September 25th outside the Bicester depot. 

National Express confirms consideration of bid for Stagecoach

Read this article in Route One last week :

Memories of past days with Parks LSK512 seen in Elizabeth Street on June 8th 2017 by Gavin Francis.

Jack Cooper

AA68BUS working the 63 seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Kevin Fuller

I made a visit to Maidenhead on 23rd September, focusing on the town services which are run by Thames Valley Buses. Attached are some sample pictures: 

Optare Solo SR 192 loads at the parade of shops in Wessex Way, Cox Green, with a service 7 for the town centre.
This service runs every 30 minutes - most other town services in Maidenhead are hourly. 

Service 3 to Farmers Way was in the hands of Alexander Dennis Enviro 200MMC 666 in plain white livery,
as it passes along Highfield Lane. 

St Marks hospital is the terminus of the 16 / 16A services between Windsor and Maidenhead,
here route branded Enviro 200 659 is seen, waiting departure time with the 12.05 16A to Windsor. 

Martin Dowling

Reading University Students' Union have organised a free bus service to take students back to their accommodation after late night events at the union on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  The Whiteknights campus is out of town and has a 24 hour bus service to the town centre (route 21).

The new bus 360 links students to areas of east Reading where many of them live in halls or private rentals around Whiteknights Road, Erleigh Road and Wokingham Road.  Reading Buses provide two vehicles for this service.  Details are here

I noticed that in last week's newsletter you had a photo of a First X74 bus 69924 going towards Slough.  The destination board had the double arrow railway logo but also a TfL logo.  Although some TfL Crossrail trains run through Slough it does seem odd having their logo where there is no tube station. 

Jack Cooper

JW16BUS caught at the top of New Road on September 23rd whilst working the X20 to Aylesbury. 

Tony Bungay

As it was a nice day on Tuesday, September 20th, I took Redline's X20, on which there were some eight aboard when I boarded, possibly quite reasonable load for a mid morning journey on a Tuesday these days. It lost a couple of passengers in Thame as well as gaining one, and indeed picked up a number of young people as it proceeded into Oxford. The photo of the Bus Jam shows what appears to be a problem caused by the Traffic Lights here. And this was a lot more apparent on the return journey as the 16.58 from Oxford appeared to be running at least 50 min late. On passing the above mentioned lights, traffic heading for the centre was backed up across Magdalen Bridge and into the roads feeding into the roundabout beyond and up Headington Hill. Before the X20 I was travelling on reached Headington Hill it passed another Oxford bound X20 and indeed as it come up to the roundabout to access the A40 another X20 Oxford bound could be seen. The journey beyond the Magdalen  Bridge side of the lights outward bound eased somewhat by the Bus Lane. Obviously this spills over on all other services, there was quite a gap on Arriva’s 280 with about two in an hour, although on the journey out it of Oxford a number of 280’s were passed not far behind each other. Indeed to comment on your contributor’s comment in the current newspage in respect of photos he took of Service 300 vehicles, on the journey out of Oxford branded 280 vehicles heading in were in the minority!

Incidentally the X20 picked up on this journey a good number of passengers, dropping a number at Headington as well as gaining one or two, a reasonable number alighted in Thame leaving about three beyond there with no further pick up while I was on there. It is noticeable that the number or cars seems to have risen noticeably, obviously a result of Covid and peoples reluctance to use public transport. Indeed when I was waiting for the X20 in the morning to Oxford, I saw three Arriva vehicles working the 280 Aylesbury bound pass me within 15mins, at 10.30ish obviously a spill over from the morning peak!     

I can't remember having a picture of this before, V112LGC branded for Aylesbury Vale Academy on September 25th. 


An announcement released on September 21st 2021 was made in relation to a possible offer for Stagecoach Group Plc. Developments are awaited as this would create an extremely large operating group in the UK. Further details will be provided as they become known.

Jack Cooper

West Golds 10988 and 15968 are seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th. 

Tony Bungay

Stagecoach contrasting liveries - 26864 with older livery 36927 behind and a Stagecoach Gold in the background.

Jack Cooper

Variety of Stagecoach services seen running through the diversion due to the closure of Frideswide Square on September 24th.

E200 36932 caught at the top of New Road on September 22nd whilst working service 1 to Blackbird Leys.
Unusual to see a single deck on this route.

Tony Bungay

MMC 10499 originally with Stagecoach Devon seen with an X5 in St Giles on
 September 5th. 

Jack Cooper

Sparking like new 50426 caught at the top of New Road on September 22nd heading for London - Victoria.

Gavin Francis

Ooops, a bit of damage, 54287 seen being recovered in Bulleid Way on September 21st. 

London operators

Gavin Francis

AA few new wraps to report from Gavin.

LT127 working the 148 with a striking blue and yellow wrap for THE GOOD TIMES GHR on September 21st.

LT12 seen with a wrap for Capital One on September 21st.

Metroline LT460 with a striking wrap for KRAKEN on September 21st.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

As in previous years Go-Ahead London provided a shuttle service from Victoria to the Show and Gavin shows the variety of buses in use.

E400s from the Commercial fleet.

Two open tops in use on September 24th.

Not a Commercial Fleet member WHV11 was also in use on September 23rd.

Stagecoach provides the buses for the Julia tourist service.

13808 is seen at Victoria on September 20th but the logo still includes Cambridge!!!!

Routemaster special service

Seen pulling out of Elizabeth Street on September 21st is RML2556. 

Michael Wadman

Here are a few more shots of lesser-known independent services. 

As part of a major Oxfordshire retendering in the Wantage area in October 2003, Coachman Travel of Swindon won a contract for a schoolday service 67a thence to Wantage. The positioning journeys back from Wantage in the morning and out to Wantage in the afternoon were operated in service.

Former City of Oxford Bristol VRT / ECW HUD 497W awaits departure from Swindon (Fleming Way)
with the afternoon journey on 21st November 2003.

On 27th September 2004 it was being worked by Leyland Titan B108WUV, former London Transport T1108. 

DJ Travel of Mortimer Common started operating a number of infrequent rural services in 2008.

FX03BZL was a Renault Master with Cymric bodywork, and on 6th November that year
it was in Bartholomew Street, Newbury, loading for the return journey back to Mortimer on service 75. 

R & B Travel of Witney started service 45 to Standlake in May 1994.

YNY 591T, a Bedford YMT / Plaxton new to Hills of Tredegar, in Witney Market Square on 13th August that year. 

Hertfordshire County Council’s service PB3 was a very curious operation which provided a weekly shopping service from the village of Ridge, fifteen minutes’ walk down the lane from the Clare Hall terminus of the half-hourly 398, into Potters Bar.

Ford Transit M913 WHJ of Potters Bar Radio Cabs performs the honours in Ridge on 2nd June 1998.

Many thanks to Michael for a most interesting contribution.

Andrew Dyer

A small contribution from the Antipodes! There has been lots of debate about changing Stagecoach liveries (I personally think that the latest ones are dreadful) but yesterday I saw this picture of a new 2002 MAN in Stagecoach New Zealand. 

I have to say that I think it’s the best version of the stripes livery that I’ve ever seen and suits the body style. Photo copyright Michael Jarka.

Gary Seamarks

Locations and notes listed below... 

All Dated September 15th in York, dated September 17th in Scarborough and dated September 19th in Whitby.

East Yorkshire
739 Pickering.

East Yorkshire 809 SA11OBV in Beverley where many buses used to have a "Beverley Bar" roof shape.

1861, FJ58 in Pateley Bridge.

Stagecoach 10742 in Bridlington.

26172 crosses the Humber Bridge.

Transdev 3640, BF67GOC in Ripon.

Transdev Yorkshire Coastliner's Volvo B5TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 3's 3629 and 3632 in Goathland (Heartbeat series Village)

Shoreline Suncruiser
L444SSB new as V517ESC to Lothian seen in Scarborough.

Shoreline Suncruiser L999SSB new as V523 ESC, with Lothian seen in Scarborough.

Harrogate Coach Travel YN05GXB was new to Reading

York City Sightseeing LJ51DKL new to Arriva London North seen in york.

Acklams SA11OBV was new as LSK 878. Volvo B13RT / Plaxton Panther ex Parks of Hamilton

Reliance Y163HRN was new to Burnley and Pendle, a Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown familiar as Oxford Bus had a large fleet.

Whitby Town Tour Y738TGH was new to London Central.

Many thanks to Gary for a report where one can enjoy nice holidays. United used to use single deck Leyland Tigers and Bristol Ls with centre entrance bodies on the seafront service in Scarborough.

Happy days as a boy using the Leyland's to get to Peasholm Park and Battle of the River Plate display.,online_chips:naval+warfare:6le24Q9YZ50%3D&hl=en-GB&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj63-DPq5_zAhVcLxoKHY5bCnYQ4lYoBHoECAEQGg&biw=1341&bih=608

Geoff Wilcock

Arriva's 7426 seen in Whitby on September 23rd.
Either new livery or on off for X93/94 Whitby/ Scarborough service