Issue nr. 185
Monday, January 3rd 2022

Black Golden New Year Card With Happy New Year 2022 Stock Photo, Picture  And Royalty Free Image. Image 90911775.

Well here we are in 2022 and it doesn't seem that long ago we were in 2021 or 2020, indeed any other years one is to mention. I hope this is a better year for us all - just keep our fingers crossed.


January 2nd saw many changes in Oxford to the various operators and services. I have tried to cover this in an interesting piece from Brian Bell who visited Oxfordshire on the last day of the old service arrangments.

Brian Bell and his day in Oxfordshire

With a county council inspired rationalisation of routes taking place in Oxford and South Oxfordshire early in the new year, as well as a change of operator for the Didcot Town services,  I decided to have a day in the area last Wednesday, especially as bits of road were coming off in Grove and Wolvercote, and maybe in Didcot too.

Annoyingly the availability of day tickets to cover both areas is rather confusing. The simplest is Stagecoach, who do a day ticket that covers the whole of their Oxfordshire operations. Go Ahead do a South Oxfordshire Day Ticket, which is not valid within the Oxford area, as well as a separate Oxford day ticket. However stupidly, although you can get a joint South Oxfordshire and Oxford day ticket, it can only be brought on the app, and a version that covers their full network including Woodstock is not available for less than a week. All unnecessarily complex in my opinion. Given there is also a separate joint Stagecoach & Go Ahead day ticket for Oxford as well, its a minefield deciding which ticket to get. 

None of those of course were valid on my trips on Whites Coaches' Didcot town services (the penultimate day of operation by them), but as it happens the very friendly driver never charged me anything for the three rides.      

One route I also wanted to squeeze in was Thames Travel (Go Ahead) Science Shuttle route ST2 to Wytham Field Centre. There are no upcoming changes to this route, but it is a very pleasant rural narrow lanes ride, however not running at weekends makes it hard to cover for full time workers like me. Given it also serves Wytham Village, this is a remarkable increase in service for that village, previously only having a weekly bus, albeit withdrawn completely in the big Oxfordshire cuts a few years ago, it now gets an hourly service.

In the January changes, basically Stagecoach withdraws from the Marcham, Abingdon, Greater Leys, Science Park, Minchery Farm and Rose Hill areas, whilst Go Ahead withdraws from the Woodstock, Oxford Parkway and Kidlington areas.  This reduces the competition between the operators, and unnecessary buses on the roads, but is not the end of competition, as the Barton and Blackbird Leys routes will still have both operators.

 There are also some internal swaps within Go Ahead between Thames Travel and City Of Oxford, as well as revised routes around the Didcot, Wantage and Abingdon areas.

I intended ending the day with the H5 from JR Hospital to Bicester, even though realising it would be dark and hard to see much out of a single decker. However the fact it had just started to tip, down put me off the idea. 

 Looking through the changes, it seems that Stagecoach are the losers, but maybe they have more difficulties with driver availability than do Go Ahead ?  Anyway I reckon overall Stagecoach looses 11 buses and Go Ahead gain 3. Of course I had to make assumptions on layovers that may be wrong, and there is no way of knowing how various contracts might fit into all this. 

 Within Oxford I reckon Stagecoach loose 7 bus workings (+3 on 2, +3 on 2A,  -2 on 2B, -3 on 3, -2 on 3A, -3 on 12 and -3 on 16/A) whilst Go Ahead loose 3 (-2 on 2, -2 on 2A, -2 on 2B, +1 on 3, +2 on 2A, +1 on 6, +3 on 5A and -4 on 500).

 Within South Oxfordshire, ignoring off peak only routes 38, 91, 92, 99A and 99C, I reckon Stagecoach loose 4 bus workings (-1 on 34 and -3 on S8) and Go Ahead gain 6 (+1 on 34, +1 on 99, +3 on X1 and +1 on X36).

My day was as follows:

98 THAMES TRAVEL - (15 min frequency) Scania D/D 248 YN55NFG - 0850 Didcot Parkway - 0855 Didcot Broadway

Left on time and arrived 2 mins late due to traffic jams on a diversion, as Orchard Centre was closed for bollard repairs

91WHITES COACHES - (Hourly frequency) Vecta S/D YJ58VBK - 0915 Didcot Broadway - 0925 Ladygrove - 0933 The Oval - 0937 Didcot Parkway - 0940 Didcot Broadway

This was already parked up on the stop (saw it from train arriving about 0840) and driver was having his breakfast. With no layover after 0915 for 5 hours, I guess it was also a legal break. No route number or destination displays are used.

 Left 7 mins late as waiting for a regular to finish her shopping. Only 4 other passengers. Never bothered going into Parkway Stn, but as unaware of Orchard Centre being closed had to reverse back out twice on the round trip. Got back 8 mins late. Driver mentioned that at lunchtime he works the trip in reverse to avoid regular traffic congestion. Thames Travel are taking over the 91, altering the route and adding an extension to the X36 to supplement bits of it.

92 WHITES COACHES (Hourly frequency) Vecta S/D YJ58VBK 0940 Didcot Broadway - 0944 Newlands Ave - 0948 Barnes Road - 0950 Green Close - 1000 Didcot Broadway

Left 8 mins late and got back 6 mins late. Carried 7 passengers including a wheelchair. Many people were diving the driver cards and Christmas presents, whilst on this and the next route he jumped out and delivered cards or Metro newspapers through selected doors. Thames Travel are taking over the 92, but altering it to incorporate the 93, although a new 97 route that was supposed to serve the Park Road area cannot start until a bus gate has been finished.

93 WHITES COACHES (Hourly frequency) Vecta S/D YJ58VBK 1000 Didcot Broadway - 1005 Meadow Way - 1007 Hospital - 1010 Freeman Road - 1015 Didcot Broadway

Left 6 mins late and got back 7 mins late, so I was getting a bit worried about the 9 min connection onto the X36. The Whites driver, in the absence of printed publicity was giving out photocopies of a hand written new 91/92  timetable, with his thoughts of what the new routings were going to be. 

X36 THAMES TRAVEL (30 min frequency) Wright Streetdeck Micro Hybrid D/D 904 (NK20EKO) 1024 Didcot Broadway - 1032 Didcot Parkway - 1046 Steventon - 1053 East Hanney Whitfield Gdns - 1059 Grove - 1111 Wantage.


Great destination displays on these. Just 3 other passengers. Left a minute early, and arrived a minute early, but sat at Didcot Parkway 8 mins, leaving there 5 mins late. Diverted around Orchard Centre road closure 

38 THAMES TRAVEL (30 min frequency, but hourly via Charlton) ADL Enviro 400 D/D 208 (HX09OXF) 1127 Wantage - 1137 Mayfield Avenue - 1138 Grove - 1151 Charlton - 1157 Wantage


Left 1 min late, got back 1 min early. Only 1 other passenger, but no one to or from Mayfield Avenue area that is loosing its bus service. The 38 is finishing but all other sections are replaced by other routes. A confusing route, with two sections covered twice in the same direction. 

S8 STAGECOACH (Hourly frequency) ADL Enviro 400 MMC D/D 10432 (SK15HCO) 1210 Wantage - 1221 Grove - 1227 East Hanney Village - 1237 Marcham - 1251 Abingdon - 1300 Bagley Wood - 1315 Oxford St Aldates

Passing this Gold en route.

Left on time, 11 mins late by Abingdon due to heavy loadings, especially after Marcham, where we also lost time waiting to pass the late running Wantage bound bus before entering the narrow road through the village. About 6 mins late into Oxford but got off at Police Station.     

4A CITY OF OXFORD (30 min frequency) ADL Enviro 400 D/D 302 (HB11OXF) 1320 Oxford Police Stn - 1329 Oxford Frideswide Sq

Had not realised cross city 4 group had been split with a new 15 covering the Wood Farm end. A convenient bus to save rushing through the city centre to George St for the ST2. Left on time and arrived on time. Unfortunately the seemingly correct pdf timetable on the Go Ahead web site differs considerably from the times shown on the computer generated version on the same web site.

ST2 THAMES TRAVEL (Hourly service) ADL Enviro 200 S/D 512 (YX69NVF) 1338 Oxford Frideswide Sq - 1349 Wytham Village - 1353 Wytham Field Centre


Left 3 mins late and arrived 5 mins late due to Botley Road traffic. Only one other passenger to Botley. A highly recommended (m-f only) narrow lanes route at the Wytham end. When first introduced, both this and the SL1 (Oxford to Harwell) used 14 seat Sprinters, and was run by Uno as a non public service.

ST2 THAMES TRAVEL (Hourly service) ADL Enviro 200 S/D 512 (YX69NVF) 1400 Wytham Field Centre  - 1401 Wytham Village - 1417 Oxford George Street Top 

Left 5 mins late, arrived 4 mins late. Only one other passenger from Botley Road.

6 CITY OF OXFORD (20 min frequency) Volvo / Wright D/D 368 (N1OXF) 1435 Oxford Magdalen St - 1448 Wolvercote Clifford Place - 1449 Wolvercote Home Close -  

Left a minute late and arrived on time. Just 6 other passengers, only 2 going to Wolvercote. The terminal loop via Rosamund Road, Clifford Place and Home Close will no longer be served after 2nd January with the route running to a new development at Wolvercote Mill instead. Had not realised the 6 had gone double deck, only having ever seen single decks on it previously. Had also not realised the 6 had only recently been reinstated, having been replaced by an extension of the 35 during the worse parts of Covid. Its actually a very pleasant route, and had only ever done it before on a midibus to Wytham before that came off.

6 CITY OF OXFORD (20 min frequency) Volvo / Wright D/D - 368 (N1OXF) 1454 Wolvercote Home Close - 1507 Oxford Magdalen St East 

Left on time and arrived a minute early. Only 3 other passengers from Wolvercote and just 4 others down Woodstock Road.  Nevertheless from the change it is being increased to run every 15 mins. In both directions on the 6, we passed yellow double deckers on the X5, and the whole service seems to now be double deck. Unfortunately attempts to photograph them were impossible because the Merry Christmas display was always visible.     

16A STAGECOACH (Hourly service plus hourly 16) ADL Enviro 200 S/D 36329 (SN63MBY) 1525 Oxford St Aldates  - 1532 Donnington Bridge - 1537 Florence Park - 1542 Cowley Centre - 1547 Henschel Crescent - 1553 Minchery Farm


Left 3 mins late and arrived 8 mins late due to traffic in Abingdon Road. This is the last 16A of the day (16 omits Henschel Crescent area). The 16/A are being completely withdrawn with only the Cowley Centre to Minchery Farm section being replaced by a new half hourly City Of Oxford 5A that will follow the 16A m-s daytimes and the 16 in evenings and on Sundays. Have never seen a double decker on the 16/A, not sure if there is a reason, but presumably the new 5A might well be double deck. The rest of the 16 is being left to other existing routes, which only run on Mon to Fri, so Donnington Bridge and Florence Park will loose their Saturday services.  The driver of this 16A knew the 16 well, but had never done a 16A, so a passenger had to guide him.  

16 STAGECOACH (30 minute service) ADL Enviro 200 S/D 36329 (SN63MBY)  1600 Minchery Farm - 1610 Cowley Centre 

Left 5 mins late, arrived 4 mins late. The short section only served by the direct 16 route over this section will only be served in the evenings and Sundays in the future on the new 5A. Just about still light by the time I alighted.

3A CITY OF OXFORD (30 min service inc Stagecoach) Wright StreetDeck D/D 684 (Sk17HHO) 1655 Cowley Centre - 1707 Greater Leys - 1710 Kassam Stadium - 1712 Science Park - 1719 Littlemore     - 1729 Iffley Road - 1749 Oxford Station 


Left 1 min late, arrived 2 mins late. Only about 3-4 people aboard at any time. Had planned for the Stagecoach bus half an hour earlier, not realising that both Stagecoach buses were single deck whilst both City Of Oxford buses were double deck. This is one of the routes that Stagecoach are coming off completely. On the stop flags the 3A is shown as "Vaccination Bus" as it serves the vaccination centre at Kassam Stadium. The 3A is also being cut back from Oxford Station in order to allow time to serve more of Greater Leys instead of the 12. As it is, the route through the Greater Leys area is extremely complex, not helped by parts being one way only. Twice during the journey, at Kassam Stadium and at Science Park, the bus serves the same bit of road twice in the same direction. The Stagecoach bus behind this was passed running  about 25 mins late, but all the others were on time. 

ST2 THAMES TRAVEL (Hourly service) ADL Enviro 200 S/D 512 (YX69NVF) 1823 Oxford Frideswide Sq - 1835 University Science Area - 1847 Warneford Hospital - 1852 Nuffield Hospital - 1901 John Radcliff Hospital

Left 1 min early and arrived 4 mins early. Only 3 other passengers. Although this end of the ST2 is not as interesting as Wytham, the bit through the Uni Science Area is not served by any other route. 

14A STAGECOACH (Hourly service) ADL Enviro 200 S/D 36930 (SN63MYC) 1905 John Radcliffe Hospital - 1912 Marston Village - 1928 Oxford Station

Left on time and arrived 1 min early. Only 4 other passengers.

Have never seen a double decker on this route, not sure if there is a reason ?

Very many thanks to Brian for allowing the use of his day and the photographs.

Gavin Francis

Took a bit of finding but a picture of Stagecoach on the 5B almost exactly to the day in 2005.

This shows how the routes have moved operators over the years !


A useful link


2 road - An epitaph to OBC and its predecessors by Grahame Wareham

As a native of Kidlington, on and off and back on for the past 65 years, I write this short piece as an appreciation of its history and operation. 
I regularly rode on it as a small boy, as a commuter, an employee as a fitter, a driver, as a manager, now a pensioner and most of all as an enthusiast.  

Incorporated in November 1879 under the 1870 Tramways Act, the Oxford and District Tramways Company was formed to plan and construct a system of tramways in the City of Oxford.
It was proposed to construct two single lines, the first running lines from east to west, totalling about five and a quarter miles of track.

The first line was to start at the Stations and run eastward via Park End Street, Queen Street, Carfax, High Street and Magdalen Bridge to a terminus at the junction of Cowley and Magdalen Roads,
Whilst the second was to start at St. Aldates, just below Carfax, and run northwards via Cornmarket Street, Magdalen Street, St. Giles and Banbury Road to St. Margaret's Road. 

The second line, that from north to south, was opened on 28th.January 1882 and extension orders were obtained in 1883, 1886 and 1898. These provided lines from Carfax to Kingston Road,
opened on 15th. July 1884, and St. Margaret's Road to Summertown, opened on 5th.November 1898.

On 31st December 1906 Oxford City Corporation took over the system and planned to electrify the operation but received stern objections from Oxford University……….nothing changes! 

30th.December 1913, saw the entry into service of the first motor buses of the tramways company , competing with Morris on the Cowley Road route. Trams going north out of the City lasted to  7th.August 1914,
when the last tram ran on the Summertown route. From this date the tramway track and roads vested in the Corporation under the provisions of the Oxford and District Tramways Act 1914, deposited in
November 1913, but amended in May 1914. Under the amendments the three year time limit was withdrawn and the Corporation regained possession of the track and roads on condition they removed the trac
and reconstructed the roads and granted the Company the exclusive right to run motor buses in the city, which was agreed for a period of thirty-seven years.

Thus, an honorable settlement was reached and in December 1914, a start was made to lift the track, which lasted until about March 1915. 

Service 2 was identified on the motor bus by a coloured lamp in the hours of darkness, in this case green, to denote the route…………early form of route branding! In 1920 the Companies name was changed
to The City of Oxford Motor Services and was split in to two sections, City and Country. All City services and some Country were operated from the then newly opened Cowley Road Garage situated near Cowley Marshes.

Service 2 thus became Summertown, or Cutteslowe Estate in a northerly direction or Headington, initially, extending to the then new Barton East and West estates, followed by Risinghurst and Sandhills estates
in a easterly direction.
These services to Barton and Risinghurst still exist today in the form of services 8 and 9 respectively and are jointly run by OBC and Stagecoach, although Stagecoach have recently come off
the 9 Risinghurst service. Sandhills Estate is serviced by Brookes U1 and Park & Ride services from Thornhill, as well as Arriva 280 Aylesbury services.

The services to Kidlington from the 1920’s were strictly speaking known as Country Area routes and had differing conditions of carriage from the old COET Act of 1879 which at that time prevented Country Area services
picking up after the City boundary inward bound. Kidlington was to be served, much like today, by three main routes around the village known as 93, 93A and 93B, all departing from Gloucester Green Bus Station and
outward via Beaumont Street and St.Giles. The 93 ran main road to Kidlington Station terminating in The Moors and the proceeding back along the Moors to the main Oxford Road via High Street.

The 93A ran northwards along Oxford Road as far as High Street then ran in a clockwise direction via Mill Street, Evans Lane an Bicester Road. The 93B ran the same route in an anti-clockwise direction.
There were 67 departures from the bus station Mon-Sat with 18 on a Sunday. 

From 1st November 1968 the City and Country services were incorporated together where most of the route was duplicated so Service 2 became extended to run to Kidlington taking in the 93 services.





Both directions around Barton



Barton-Oxford-Kidlington Station


via High Street & The Moors



BartonWest-Oxford-Kidlington(Evans Lane)


via High Street & Mill Street (clock)



Sandhills-Oxford-Kidlington (Evans Lane)


via Bicester Road  (anticlock)

This coincided with the introduction of the Company’s first OMO double deckers Daimler Fleetlines 372-  KFC372-381G and the following year’s dual-doored Fleetlines 382-396 MJO382-396H.

 During 1970 the route was also extended eastwards to Aylesbury taking in the 82 services and the 2’s becoming 280/1/2 or 580/1/2 depending which part of the route was being run. 



Kidlington The Moors-Oxford-Aylesbury

via Thame & Haddenham

via Kidlington High St




Kidlington Evans Lane-Oxford-London Rd.Est’s.

via Sandhills & Risinghurst

via The Moors




Kidlington The Moors-Oxford-Aylesbury

via Haddenham Crown

via Kidlington High St




Kidlington Evans Lane-Oxford-Aylesbury

via Haddenham Crown

via The Moors





Harboard Road-Cutteslowe-Oxford-Barton East

via Stowford Road



Harboard Road-Cutteslowe-Oxford-Barton West

via Stowford Road



Cutteslowe-Oxford-Marston-Barton East

via Headington, Stowford Road



Cutteslowe-Oxford-Marston-Barton West

via Headington, Stowford Road

Later on in the 1980’s the routes and route numbers were again simplified to new destinations within Kidlington, which was Grovelands estate via Yarnton Road, Lyne Road Estate via Lyne Road and later Oxford Airport terminating in Langford Lane.


Barton-City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Grovelands)   clockwise


via Yarnton Road, Grovelands, Lyne Mead,


Barton-City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Grovelands)   anti-clockwise


via Evans Lane, The Moors, High Street,


Barton-City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Grovelands) evenings & Sundays


via Evans Lane, High Street, Lyne Mead, Grovelands


Barton-City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Kidlington Airport)


via Yarnton Road, Grovelands, Lyne Mead, Banbury Road


City Centre-Risinghurst


via Banbury Road

From 1995 the services reverted back to 2, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D with the cessation of eastbound services to Thame, Haddenham and Aylesbury by OBC. 


Barton-Oxford-Kidlington-Evans Lane-The Moors-Banbury Road-High Street

21 until 5/11

via Evans Lane, Mill Street, High Street, Lyne Road, Grovelands


Barton-Oxford-Kidlington-Grovelands-Lyne Mead-Langford Lane

21A until 5/11

via Grovelands, Lyne Road, High Street, Mill Street, Evans Lane


Barton-Oxford-Kidlington-Evans Lane-Lyne Mead-Grovelands (eves/Sun)

21B until 5/11

via Evans lane, High Street, Lyne Mead, Grovelands


Rail Station-City Centre-Templar Rd-Kidlington-Grovelands-Langford Lane

from 3/97

via Parks Rd, Banbury Rd, Summertown, Grovelands-Lyne Mead


Rail Station-City Centre-Templar Rd -Kidlington-High St-Moors-Langford Lane

from 3/97

via Parks Rd, Banbury Rd, Summertown, High St, The Moors

Sometime in 1999 the 2D was withdrawn from The Moors in Kidlington and eventually the services were renumbered so that the 2 ran from Barton to Kidlington via Grovelands and returned via High Street and Evans Lane. The 2A was re-routed to run from Oxford Station to Oxford Airport Langford Lane via Evans Lane and return via Grovelands.

Oxford City Routes 2017


City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Grovelands)   clockwise


via Yarnton Road, Grovelands, High Street, Evans Lane


City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Grovelands)   anti-clockwise


via Evans Lane, High Street, Grovelands, Yarnton Road


City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Banbury Road, Lyne Mead)


via Yarnton Road, Grovelands, Lyne Road, Banbury Road


City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Kidlington Airport)


via Yarnton Road, Grovelands, Lyne Mead, Banbury Road


City Centre-Summertown-Kidlington(Kidlington Airport)  (main road)


via Garden City, Oxford Rd, Banbury Rd, Langford Lane

After Transform Oxford both operators OBC and Stagecoach operated the above pattern of services on an ‘every other bus’ principle. From 2019 the 2C & 2D were curtail with the introduction of the OBC 500 and Stagecoach 7 serving Langford Lane on through journeys to Woodstock. 

2/93 road buses through the ages.

Mainly ‘highbridge’ double deck types, 93’s gradually introducing buses with platform doors from 1954 onwards. 93’s were also supplemented by 94 Banbury; 95/6 Bicester and 97 Buckingham through services. Today through services are provided by Stagecoach S4 to Banbury, S5 Bicester, and 7 Woodstock. OBC introduced an extended 500 Park & Ride  service linking Kidlington with Woodstock and serving Oxford Airport (Langford Lane) from 2016.

The 2 ‘road’ City buses had for most of the time a semi-permanent allocation of their own encompassing several vehicle types. The 93 service allocation was a little more ‘elastic’ but was also notable in keeping certain fleet numbers regularly on the route. During the difficult years of 1969-74 when maintenance staff shortages created many vehicle hirings vehicles from Midland Red, Coventry Corporation, Rhondda could be often found on 2 road.

From 1971 dual doored Fleetlines of the 417-430 batch were the mainstay of the route until 1980 when the new batches of dual-doored VRT’s gradually took over and were gradually replaced by ex. LT Titan’s from 1993. From Go-Ahead ownership in 1994 12metre single decks were introduced from 1995 supplemented by Darts until 2005 when Mercedes Citaro’s dominated the route.

From 2010 Oxfordshire CC joint partnership with Stagecoach (‘Transform Oxford’ as it was called) meant that an equal number of buses from each operator were required to cut down the total number of vehicles on each route and Service 2 became Oxford-Kidlington only again (much like Service 93 back in 1968). and an allocation of Scania E400 double decks from OBC and ADL E400H’s from Stagecoach equally shared the same service.

1953 : H924-7 Route 2 (known to have been allocated to)

1954 : H924-7, H939-41 Route 2 (known to have been allocated to)

1957 : H958-63 Route 2  (H952-5 Route 93)

1958 : H924-7, H939-41, H958-63, H964-9 Route 2; H952-5,

1962 : H924-7, H939-41, H958-63, H964-9, 328 Route 2;  H952-5, 325 Route 93

1963 : H924-7, H939-41, H958-63, H964-9, 334 Route 2; H952-5, 325, 332 Route 93,

1964 : H924-7, H939-41, H958-63, H964-9 334, 342-3 Route 2; H952-5, 325, 332, Route 93

1965 : H924-7, H939-41, H958-63, H964-9 Route 2; H952-5, 325, 332, 355 Route 93

1966 : H939-41, H958-63, H964-9; 334, 342-3, Route 2; H952-5, 325, 332, 362 Route 93

1967 : 342-3,368-9 Route 2; H952-5, 325, 332, 362 Route 93

1968 : 325,332,342-3, 362-6/368-9; 372-381, 972-973

1969 : 332,342-3, 362-6/368-9  Anything of 372-396, Anything of 964-79

1970 : Anything of 329-369, 372-396

1971 : Anything of 329-369, 372-396,  904-906

1972-1976 : 213-216; 417-430, Anything of 904-923

1977 : 417-430, 463-469

1978 : 417-430, 464-473

1979 : 417-430, 468-473

1980 : 417-430, 493-510

1981-1992 : 493-515, Anything of Atlanteans 961-5/8-9/75 from 1987

1993 : Anything of VR’s 493-515, Titans 950-3/955-7/9/60,

1994 : VR’s 494,499-400,405,407,412,Titans 965-975

1995 : Anything of Darts 501-520, Verdes 601-620; Titans 959-975

1996-2000 : Anything of Darts 501-520, Verdes 601-620

2001 : Anything of Verdes 601-620, 644-656

2002 : Anything of Verdes 601-20, 629-643, Paladins 644-656

2003 : Anything of Verdes 601/603-5/607-20, 629-643, Paladins 644-656

2004 : Anything of Verdes 601/603-5/607-11/613-20, 629-643/Paladins 644-656

2005 : Citaro's823-7, 839-847823-7, 839-847

2006-2009 : Citaro's823-4/6-7, 839-847823-4/6-7, 839-847

2010-11 : Anything of Scania Enviro 400’s 212-231

2012 : Anything of Scania E400’s 212-225 (allocation shared with routes 3 & 5)

2013-2015 : Anything of Volvo B5LH351-367 (allocation shared with route 5)

2016 :  223,224,225,226,227,228,229. (Route Branded City 2 painted light blue)

2017 :  223,224,225,226,227,228,229. (Route Branded City 2 painted light blue)

2018  : 223,224,225,226,227,228,229. (Route Branded City 2 painted light blue)

2019  : 601,223,224,225,226,365,366. (Route Branded City 2 painted light blue)

2020  : 601,223,224,225,226,365,366. (Route Branded City 2 painted light blue)

2021  : 360,361,362,363,365,366 (Route Branded City 2 painted light blue)


The earliest picture I have in my collection of a 2 road bus is of this 67 FC6473 a 1924  Daimler Y with Strachan & Brown O50RO bodywork seen here in St..Gilessheading towards Summertown. William Morris’s influence clearly carried on the front and the punters in their best ‘ ‘ats n’gaiters’ on the top!                        

©. Pamlin Prints

H120 FWL645 is at the Park Town stop along Banbury Road on its way through to Barton (East) in 1951, not long before being withdrawn from service.                                                                                  

©. R.H.G. Simpson

A 1946 AEC Regent II/Park Royal H308 LWL303 lays over in Gloucester Green bus station outside the Greyhound pub for a return trip to Kidlington in 1951.                                                              

©. R.H.G. Simpson

H852 LWL313, a 1946 AEC Regent II has just arrived at the Magdalen St. West stop, opposite the Randolph Hotel on a through service to Barton in the mid-fifties.                                                            

©. R.H.G. Simpson

A nearly new 1949 AEC Regent III/Weymann H394 OFC394 makes its way along Banbury Road on a very hot day towards the City Centre on a 2 service to Barton (East) in the early fifties.                  

©. R.H.G. Simpson

H881 OFC392, a 1949 AEC Regent III/Weymann is just about to depart Gloucester Green for Kidlington in 1959                                                                                                                                          

©. R.H.G. Simpson 

 A 1951 AEC Regent II/Weymann H903 PWL414 has just arrived in Gloucester Green from Kidlington and the conductor prepares to wind the destination blind for a run back to Kidlington.                

©. R.H.G. Simpson

 A 1953 Park Royal AEC Regent III H926 TWL926 makes its way towards the City Centre through St. Clements on a Cutteslowe Estate working when nearly new.                                                                    

©. R.H.G. Simpson

A 1954 AEC Regent III H943 UWL943 with a Weymann body waits in the exit from Gloucester Green known as Dispensary Road for another trip out to Kidlington.                                                        

©. R.H.G. Simpson

1957 Weymann bodied AEC Regent V 954 954 AJO makes its way through St. Clements on its way to Barton (East) in the early 1960’s                                                                                                                 

©. R.H.G. Simpson

A 1957 AEC Regent V/Park Royal 961 961AJO prepares to leave the Barton (West) terminus in Stowford Road for a trip back to Summertown in 1964.                                                                                        

©. R.H.G. Simpson

AEC Regent V ‘Queen’ H975 975CWL leaving Risinghurst Terminus in a hurry judging by the way the conductor is hanging on whilst trying to wind the blind for the return journey to Summertown. The Summertown terminus was at Harboard Road.                                                                           

©. R.H.G. Simpson

977 977CWL awaits the off to Cutteslowe outside ‘Woollies’ in Cornmarket Street. Normally a ‘1 road’ bus this is one of the famous ‘Queens’ named because they were the first thirty-foot long double-deckers in the fleet and were astonishingly fast!                                                                                        

©. Grahame Wareham 

The 1959 intake of double-deckers reverted to small engine AEC AV470 Regent V’s which were the preserve of most of the country area services. Originally allocated to Chipping Norton, 984 984HFC with Willowbrook forward entrance bodywork, the first COMS double-deckers to be so specified and after 11 years in service were sent to South Wales Transport in exchange for some Leyland Atlanteans of equally elderly vintage.

©. Grahame Wareham

323 323NJO a 1962 AEC Bridgemaster has just arrived outside the City church in High Street from Kidlington to continue to Barton East where it will terminate in WaynefleettRoad.Road..

          ©. Grahame Wareham

335 335RJO, an AEC Renown/Park Royal from 1963 seen fresh from its seven year recertification overhaul outside ‘Woollies’ about to leave for Cutteslowe.

©. Grahame Wareham

The first OMO rear engine double-deckers for COMS were a batch of ten Daimler Fleetlines with attractive 72 seat Northern Counties bodies. Initially the whole batch were used as conventional vehicles on 2 road services until union agreement to use them as OMO vehicles was agreed and they were then transferred to other routes. Here 374 KFC374G is about to turn right from High Street into Cornmarket Street on its way to Kidlington Evans Lane.

     ©. Grahame Wareham

Northern Counties was the preferred body builder for the final batch of Fleetlines delivered in late 1971 and fitted with Leyland 0680 engines. They were great buses for 2 road and had a good turn of speed, you rarely finished late with one of these. Here 426 UFC426K has just arrived in St. Giles from Cutteslowe.                                                

©. Grahame Wareham                                                

427 UFC427K is seen here at Carfax on its way to Kidlington High Street and was one of two buses experimentally fitted with communication radio’s in 1972.                             

©. Grahame Wareham

In the summer of 1973 eight Daimler Fleetlines and one Bristol RE were hired from Coventry Transport for a two month period to help with vehicle shortages due to a maintenance backlog. Here Coventry 80 YHP480J which has been given COMS fleet number C913 in the highbridge series waits at Queens Lane High Street stop to start its journey to Kidlington. The dual-doored East Lancs bodies seated 72.

©. Grahame Wareham

Coventry Transport 97 YVC97K was a single doored Daimler Fleetline and received COMS fleet number  C924 during its short stay at Oxford. It is seen here pulling in to the Summertown shops bus stop at Summerfield Road on its way in to Oxford from Kidlington.                                                             

©. Grahame Wareham

MR907 was the fleet number given to this elderly Daimler Fleetline/Alexander, BMMO’s first numbered 5345 5245HA. Unlike its sister vehicles MR908-910 that were hired from Midland Red this one was not purchased into the COMS fleet so the fleet number 907 remained vacant. MR907 is seen here having just turned into The Moors near the old Kidlington station and having been retrieved from the front garden opposite!

©. Grahame Wareham

   Another ex. BMMO ‘Midland Red’ Daimler Fleetline on hire was MR908 5262HA which is seen outside ‘Woollies’ in Oxford’s Cornmarket Street loading up for Kidlington. After about a year on loan in 1974 it became 908 in the COMS fleet and ended up as a bespoke Park & Ride vehicle.

          ©. Grahame Wareham

Another hiring from BMMO’s Stratford Blue subsidiary is 38 538EUE, a Leyland PD3/4 with Northern Counties H41/32F body, which was no stranger to Oxford having frequently worked the 44 service from Stratford to Oxford, via Chipping Norton. Seen here about to depart from Queens Lane High Street to Kidlington under the watchful eye of the Duty City Inspector. It was hired from 23/7 to 5/8/69.

©. Grahame Wareham

Swindon Corporation’s 91 MMR891 coasts down Oxford’s High Street towards Queens Lane on a 2 service to Barton West from Summertown. The was a Daimler CVG6/ Park Royal H33/28R 23/7 to 6/8/69 and given temporary fleet number SW1. It’s pre-selector gearbox had a reputation of ‘sorting the men out from the boys’ during its stay at Oxford. 

      ©. Grahame Wareham

COMS ex. Daimler Vehicles Ltd Daimler Roadliner SRP8/Plaxton demonstrator 18 KKV800G finds itself doing a stint on 2 road, probably only as far as Summertown as there is a Kidlington bound 2B service following in the form of 394 MJO394H pulling up behind outside ‘Woollies’ in Cornmarket Street………..oh and all with a manual Setright ticket machine!

     ©. Grahame Wareham

NAC415Fwas one of a trio of highbridge Leyland Atlanteans with Northern Counties H44/31F bodies acquired from neighbouring Stratford Blue Motor Services in 1971. Formerly 9 in the Stratford fleet this vehicle received heavy accident damage repairs by Yorkshire Woollen before arriving at Oxford six months after the other two. When new it frequently operated into Oxford on the joint 44 service.


©. Grahame Wareham

213 JDB245F nears the top of High Street Oxford in June 1972 on its first journey fresh out of the paint-shop resplendent in its new colours having been transferred from North Western’s Stockport depot as their former 245. It is a Daimler Fleetline/Alexander having formerly been used on Manchester-Blackpool express duties and now heading on a more mundane journey to Cutteslowe.

        ©. Grahame Wareham

216 JDB248F, another North Western eXpat in a fresh uniform this time heading for Kidlington on a 2A service at Carfax.

©. Grahame Wareham

1977 Bristol VRT/ECW 476 HUD476S still in the old ‘Centenary’ livery……….. and borrowed off 5 road! waits in Grovelands for a trip back to Barton on 31st December 1994 as I had broken down with 500.

©. Grahame Wareham 

Three batches of dual-door ECW bodied Bristol VRT3’s arrived between 1980/1 for specific use on 2’s and 280’s. Here my vehicle for my days duty 501 HUD501W has just been ‘watered up’…………..and so probably had I on  8th April 1982 at Cowley Road Garage!

©. Grahame Wareham

Then the Transport Act announced Deregulation Oxford Bus wasted no time in obtaining extra resources to counteract the competition. A batch of fifteen dual doored 1975 Leyland Atlantean’s with ECW bodies were purchased from Northern General to ‘bolster’ existing services and provide reliability. Here 986 MPT316P heads down The Moors in Kidlington towards High Street on its journey back to Barton.

©. Grahame Wareham

Leyland Olympians were fairly conspicuous by their absence on 2 road as the 1980/1 batch of twenty three Bristol VRT’s were only a year older so served well until replaced by an equal number of ex. London Titans. Occasionally Olympians filtered on to the route and 203 VJO20X is seen here in High Street Oxford outbound towards Kidlington on a 20.

©. Grahame Wareham

Twenty four ex. London Buses Leyland Titan’s were purchased in 1993 to replace the remaining Bristol VRT’s which were by then becoming difficult to maintain through lack of spares. Most of these were allocated to 2 road initially to keep them away from Oxford Station Bridge! Here 970 KYN308X is loading in Cornmarket Street for a return working to Kidlington.

©. Grahame Wareham

During the summer months OBC operated ‘Q Busters’ to cope with the influx of foreign language students who used the vacant university schools. Recently transferred back from Wycombe Bus Co. is former Park & Ride ex. Singapore Leyland Far East demonstrator 999 PWL999W which was my bus for this duty. It’s 83 seat capacity being a godsend on this service seen here in Kidlington Grovelands terminus on 10th August 1999. Happily now preserved. 

©. Grahame Wareham

I jumped at the chance to use 223 CUD223Y/ECW on the final day of Leyland Olympian’s on OBC service on 3rd October 2003. Here I wait at Oxford Airport Langford Lane terminus  with a few enthusiasts on board, including my family on the penultimate trip back to Oxford Station.

©. Grahame Wareham

1995 Plaxton Verde bodied Volvo B10B 604 N604FJO waits at Oxford Airport Langford Lane Terminus in Kidlington to work a 2D service back to Oxford station. This was my last day as a driver before embarking on a seven year stint of Late Shift Engineering Supervisor………….how did I get through that!  16th April 2005.

©. Grahame Wareham

The first four Plaxton Verde/Volvo B10B’s were actually registered by Go Northern prior to delivery to Oxford, they had ordered the entire batch of 32 for themselves!   Here 628 N416NRG I wait in Barton’s Stowford Road terminus for a return working on 22nd February 2005. 

©. Grahame Wareham

Grahame finished on January 1st by saying "I know it is short notice but I have managed to get the remaining 2005 Mercedes Citaros allocated to 2 road with special destinations tomorrow!"

I must thank Grahame for this excellent and comprehensive history of 2 road as it comes to an end for Oxford Bus. Long live the memories !

Jack Cooper

Readers may notice that there is a new destination style for Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel, this is the same font that is currently in use at Carousel.  

On Friday 31st December the last 500 services had run. The last Woodstock to Oxford journey was with 670, departing Woodstock at 19:12 and due into Oxford Rail Station for 20:02. The last Oxford - Woodstock journey was with 670, leaving Oxford Rail Station at 18:52, and arriving in Woodstock at 19:42. Both services crossed in Kidlington around Exeter Hall.

The very last 500 road working by 670

Three of the remaining Park & Ride buses are now debranded and from January 4th are working 6 road.
They will be rebranded in due course as per 662 to 666 but with a green front. 

On Saturday, January 1st the last Oxford Bus Company services had run. 847 had formed the last services, these being the 17:33 2B service to Oxford, and the 18:30 2A to Kidlington.


There was an excellent Twitter thread about the 2 road yesterday which is worth looking at, it was posted on the Oxford Bus Twitter page, as these were individual tweets you may have to scroll down to see the pictures as other things may have been posted since -

Many thanks to Jack for these excellent pictures.

Neil Bridges

I was lucky enough to be rostered the first ever 7 into Oxford Parkway inbound on Sunday, January 2nd 2022 starting from Chipping Norton find attached three pictures -

1st West St, Chipping Norton - 2nd Woodstock - 3rd in Oxford Parkway 

Lucky indeed as it nicely follows the picturesfrom Jack Cooper.from Jack Cooper. 

Graham Low

Stagecoach bus stop on Donnington Bridge (16, 16A , ST1).

Seen on December 27th which seems late to have such a notice posted !

Chris Huntingford

I travelled on the last Oxford Bus Company 2 yesterday (6.30 pm from the city centre, New Year’s Day). It was a smartly turned-out Mercedes Citaro, and the destination board acknowledged this was the last day. The driver recognised the significance of the trip and let us take photographs just before departure. Travelling up to Summertown, it was interesting to be reminded how pleasant those buses are to travel on – they feel like they were made yesterday, not 16 years old.  

Obviously, I’ve made more enjoyable trips, but it was good to just hope that maybe the Omicron variant is the last fling of COVID-19, and that we may have a more normal Spring and Summer ahead. A desire for people to get into town to meet friends and family, and escape sitting in front of a screen all day, combined with many Oxford residents mindful of green travel, means we could see an explosion in bus demand.

Causing some interest the following report was made in the Oxford Mail of January 1st. See if you can spot the deliberate error.

So as all will see much of this issue is devoted to the changes in Oxfordshire and a number of contributions have had to be held over until issue nr 186 in a week's time.

Also my back is still playing up and thereby limiting my time at the keyboard.

I wish everyone a Happy and better 2022   


for all our sakes 

Fleet news and developments

Held over for the  next issue by which time I should have the January fleet allocations. 

It is reported that the company has suspended European-UK services for three months from January 1st 2022.


Phil SouthallPhil Southall

Phil responded to various question regarding the fleet changes from January 2nd.

In answer to your questions: 

  1. 667 to 669 are transferring to service 6 from 2 January 2022. They will be rebranded in due course as per 662 to 666 but with a green front. 
  2. The blue Volvo B5LH are transferring to services 3/3A so Iffley Road becomes the 'blue' corridor (as River Rapids is also blue and moving to OBC). 682 to 685 will be moving to the City 15 so Wood Farm will become the 'yellow' corridor.
  3. Carousel 431 is VOR at the moment requiring a new engine. Once fitted hopefully it can give is some service! 317 is back with us at OBC but has a few mechanical issues that will be fixed soon we hope!

The 5A is a new service for us with 3 PVR that is basically the Stagecoach 16 from Minchery Farm to Cowley Centre and then the 5 from Cowley Centre into the City Centre.

The 5A will use existing red buses for now with no route branding. 

The new X1 will interwork with the X32 in Wantage so will now have a mix of TT branded and Connector branded E400 / Citaro on it. 

We have now also decided that all the ex Konect Citaro are to be scrapped (including 886 and 887). The new regular buses on the 40 should be 869 and 870. 

The allocation on the 11 from next week will be 2 from 844 to 847. X39/X40 will have the existing buses from TT transferred.

Individual notes for each fleet are shown below. 

Kevin Fuller

A few pics of Carousel in Beaconsfield New Town taken on December 30th which I hope will be of use for the next newsletter: 

Mercedes Citaro 877 pauses at the bus stop in Maxwell Road, working a 102 service from Uxbridge to High Wycombe. 

Wright Streetlite 405 is seen heading in the opposite direction, bound for Watford with a 103 service from High Wycombe. 

Also working between Uxbridge and High Wycombe, is Optare Versa 432, with a 104 service. 

These pictures also reflect the changes in and around Oxford.

Gavin Francis

356 seen working 400 road on January 1st.

Ready for the route changes, 360 is seen working a 2B service in Oxford on December 29th.

A  bit of a wanderer, 602 is seen working 5 road on January 1st.

At this time the 8 & 9 will remain orange as seen by 688 in High Street on January 1st.

Citaro 847 is seen in Oxford with the last day 2 road service on January 1st.

This excellent picture of 847 when almost new seen with a 2A in Magdalen Street East on June 18th 2010.
Note the wheel trims which didn't last very long !!

Graham MildenhallGraham Mildenhall

Not the best of pictures but seen whilst ambling between pubs earlier this evening in Kidlington High Street is COMS 361 minus the "2" in the City branding............

Ready for transfer to 3 road on January 2nd. !!

The destination blind on the front was as per the picture incidentally – not working!

Jack Cooper

Still working 3 road on January 1st passes over Magdalen Bridge.

January 2nd, the first day of the X40 running out of Cowley House sees 220 working the X40.

E400 ex Hybrid 317 is seen with a 35 road service on January 2nd.

357 is seen on January 2nd with a 3 road service, now intended to be a blue route.

361 is seen on the  last day of 2 road for OBC in Magdalen Street East minus its 2 in the livery.

On the same day, 682 is seen working 15 road, its new home.

Jack Cooper

Magdalen College makes the background for 33 probably heading for Cowley House on January 1st.

38 is seen in heavy rain in St Aldates bound for Gatwick via Heathrow on January 2nd.

Gavin Francis

Nearing the end of its stay at Thames Travel, 228 is seen in Oxford with an X40 on December 28th.

Jack Cooper

Scania 212 is seen in Oxford with an X2 service to Didcot on January 1st.

The first day of the X1 was January 2nd with 226 and 230 in servic . 

Jack Cooper

Levante III , Oxford's 59 is seen in Oxford with a Stansted bound 737 on January 1st.

Frederick Gough

MMC 10687 was on service 55 Chippenham - Swindon this afternoon.  This and 10686 have returned to Swindon after their short stay back in Oxford.


Gavin Francis

Now repainted and reseated 15756 is seen in Oxford with an S5 service ready for Bicester on January 1st.

Ex West 15767 is seen with a 3 working in Oxford on December 29th, one of the last days for SC to work the 3.

15835 sees 15835 branded for the S3 working an 8 service in Oxford on December 28th.

Soon not to see Stagecoach service 3A is here worked by E200 36931 in Oxford on December 28th.

Gavin Francis 

Returned to Oxford Astromega 50274 is awaiting return to service when seen on December 29th.
Seemingly it got as far as Knutsford along the M6 before it failed and required a tow "home".

Jack Cooper

Panorama 50438 seen turning at Carfax heading for London on December 22nd. 

Michael WadmanMichael Wadman

A few photos of another  lesser-known independent that may be of interest. 

In 1993/4, Swansdown Coaches of Inkpen, near Newbury,
were running two services into Newbury: the 113 from Hungerford and the Thursday-only service 1 from Marlborough.

On 8
th April 1993, the 113 was being worked by YLH 234X, a Ford Transit / Dormobile new to Luxicars of Oxford
(doesn’t look very luxi to me). Therefore by process of elimination Bedford YMT / Plaxton TGS 920W is presumed by to have been doing the 1.

On 3rd March 1994 EAP 911V, a Bedford YLQ / Plaxton new to Alpha Coaches of Brighton, was on the 113,
 and so LYJ 732P, a Bedford YRQ / Duple new to Unique Coaches of Brighton, was presumably working service 1.

All shots taken in Newbury bus station. 

More from Michael is held over until the next issue. 

is held over until the next issue.  

is held over until the next issue.  

is held over until the next issue.  

For December 2021


From Metroline : Volvo B9TL’s LK59CXL / CXB / CWT / CWZ / CXP / FCV / CWR. 

From Stagecoach Midlands : Solos KX57KFZ / KGF / KX58AYF. 

From Axe Valley : Volvo B7TL LF52ZPP 

From Als Coaches : Scania YN56FBY. 


Volvo B7TL LX06DZW : Chiltern Automotive, High Wycombe. 

E400 LK08DXU : Gwynfor Coaches, Llangefni. 

Volvo B7TL YJ51RCU : Hawkes Coaches, Derby. 

Scania’s  YN56FCD / FCF / YN08DHD : Connexions Buses, Harrogate. 

Volvo B9TL’s SN59BFO / BGE / BFX : Als Coaches, Liverpool. 

Volvo B7L EU05VBT : Seven Sisters Bus and Coach, Lewes. 

Volvo B7RLE’s SK07CGG / CFX :  Sanders Coaches, Holt. 

E400s LJ09CCA / CBY / CBO : Finch’s Coaches, Wigan. 

Solo’s KX57KFZ / KGF / KX58AYF    Scania YN56FBX : Galleon Travel, Roydon, Essex. 

E400 LJ09CAA : Coastliner Buses, Blackpool. 

Scania JFZ7001 : Lewis Coaches, Greenwich. 

Volvo B9TL’s SN59BFU / BFV : York Pullman. 

Volvo B7TL Y818TGH : Catch up Independent Voluntary Foodbank, Cardiff. 

Volvo B9TL LK59CWW : Axe Valley, Seaton, Devon. 

Volvo B7TL LX54GZR : GDS Travel, Peterborough. 

Volvo B7TL SN56AWX : Bromley Bus Preservation Group. 

Volvo B9TL’s SN09CUG / CUC : Stantons of Stoke. 

The following to Shelton Motors for scrap : 

Trident SN51SYY   Volvo B7TL LX54GZK 


E200 791 : KleanBus, Maldon, Essex. 

B9TL’s 113 / 114 / 116 : Moving People , Accrington. 

E200 792 : Aintree Coaches.