Issue nr. 206
Wednesday, June 8th 2022


A number of items of interest in this issue include Brookes Bus changes from September, current and upcoming local service changes and a departure from the Go-Ahead Group.

There are various additional H M The Queen's Platinum Jubilee and some pictures from the top of Carfax Tower in Oxford.

There seems to be a significant unrest on the horizon regarding pay  with a number of Unions planning days of strikes, the railways and the underground to mention two.

One item to mention from our buses and the recent Jubilee celebrations, Stagecoach in Oxfordshire seemed to stand out as one of the only local companies not to have some form of acknowledgment. One wonders why?

I believe that there is much in the issue to interest followers and as ever I thank all my contributors. 

BROOKESbus service changes from September 3rd 2022

A bit of late news as it was announced yesterday.  

From September there will be changes to the Brookes network.  

The U1 is withdrawn, and replaced by an extended 400 which will serve Wheatley Campus and Harcourt Hill.  

The U5 will only operate at evenings and weekends, operating between Oxford City Centre and Headington Campus.  

A new 100 service will be introduced connecting Blackbird Leys and the JR Hospital via Cowley Centre, Hollow Way, The Slade, Old Road and Headington Campus. This is similar to the old Brookes U4 service. 

The NU1 and NU5 will continue to operate as they have done.

With thanks to Jack Cooper for this late information. 

Brookes branded Wright StreetDeck Micro Hybrid 371 seen in Wheatley with the present U1 on June 6th - Gavin Francis.
I wonder what will happen to the branded buses?

A Luton visit

by Ryan MKDS - Fan

Attached are some images of my trip to Luton on the morning of June 4th, which includes an image of National Express route 737. Once again I do apologise for the image quality most of the images were taken with my phone's camera zoomed in.

Arriva show one of the oldest with a more modern bus both at Luton Airport.

Grant Palmer are a feature of the Luton area and also run Amazon contracts.

Oxford Bus operate the 737 on behalf of National Express as seen by 57 in Luton.

Stagecoach run through to Luton Airport from Milton Keynes with service 99. 

   Current and upcoming local service changes 

Brian Butler

As from June 5th, Arriva have amended their timetable on the Aylesbury - High Wycombe corridor as follows:- 

The 300 is reduced to half-hourly but this is compensated by the reintroduction throughout of the X30, also every 30 minutes.

So there will still be four buses per hour in the revised timetable, but we now have the rather odd situation where there will be six buses per hour (including Redline's four 130s) on the main road via Saunderton, which is relatively sparsely populated, but only two via the more populous Lacey Green, Naphill and Hughenden.

Tony Bungay

On Bucks County Council website a couple of changes are shown for services 280 and 500, but more of interest is the return of service X30, which will be half hourly between Aylesbury and High Wycombe, this is being done at the expense of a reduction in frequency on service 300. So while the main points will still retain a 15 min frequency  on Arriva services as well as those of Redline. The more populated section between P Risborough and High Wycombe via Naphill will see a reduction, raising the question is this such a sensible move?

A more surprising and positive move is also mentioned on the website with both Arriva 280 and X60 operating a Saturday service for bank holidays Thursday and Friday, while most operations are to a Sunday timetable. 


Martijn Gilbert to leave The Go-Ahead Group

Go North East (GNE) Managing Director Martijn Gilbert is to leave The Go-Ahead Group. He will take up the role with FirstGroup as MD of its Hull Trains and Lumo open-access train operating companies in September.

A concurrent reorganisation of responsibilities by Go-Ahead will see Go North West (GNW) MD Nigel Featham assume the same role with GNE after Mr Gilbert’s departure. Mr Featham will retain his leadership of the Manchester business. Go-Ahead will recruit an Area Director for the North East, who will report to Mr Featham.

In a further change, East Yorkshire Buses will no longer report into GNE. Instead, it will be accountable directly to Go-Ahead. As a result, current East Yorkshire Area Director Ben Gilligan will be promoted to Managing Director of that business. All the changes at Go-Ahead will occur in August.

Mr Featham has previous experience of running buses in GNE’s area. Between 2011 and 2019 he was Arriva’s Regional Managing Director for its operations in the North East and Yorkshire. He brings copious industry experience to the expanded role.

Go-Ahead MD for UK Regional Bus Martin Dean has congratulated Mr Featham and Mr Gilligan on their appointments. “Nigel is doing a fantastic job at GNW, turning around the performance of the Queens Road depot and leading our participation in Manchester’s bus franchising process. 

“He has many years’ experience in the North East and is the ideal person to lead our business in the region. And Ben Gilligan has successfully integrated East Yorkshire Buses since we acquired the company in 2018. 

“Go North East is a special company within the Go-Ahead Group. It is where our business originates, and I would like to extend my thanks to Martijn Gilbert for his leadership over the last four years. 

“Achievements under Martijn’s management include introducing the North East’s first fleet of zero-emission buses, working with local authorities on successful funding bids, and delivering an outstanding daily service to passengers.”

Readers will remember that Martijn was CEO of Reading Buses prior to joining Go-Ahead. Ed. 

A delightful picture taken from The Carfax Tower on May 31st by Jack Cooper. 

  Fleet news and developments 

I am pleased to include the latest Arriva allocation list for the southern region and my thank to Paul Swann of Arriva for this regular update.

Arriva fleet lists/Arriva Enthusiast Fleet 6 Jun 22.xlsx

Gavin Francis

E400 5465 is seen boarding passengers in Wheatley and also showing the display for The Platinum Jubilee.

Tony Bungay

No doubt you will receive a fair number of photos over the next few days with buses from various operators sporting suitable messages.

I caught these two on Arriva vehicles 3871 and 3876 yesterday, June 1st in Aylesbury both on service X60,

3871 unfortunately for the photograph was facing direct sunshine, so is slightly bleached out.
30 seconds after the bus had gone the sun was partially covered by a bit of cloud!

Luke Marion - Interim Managing Director

We have acquired a total of seven ex Go Ahead London Wright Volvo B9s, all of these are upgraded to Euro 6 and will be going away for refurbishment, including door conversion before they are used in our fleet.

The vehicles we have acquired are : -

WVN18 - this will be fleet number 921

WVN24 - this will be 922

WVL345 - this will be 923

WVL346 - this will be 924

WVL347 - this will be 925

WVL348 - this will be 926

WVL349 - this will be 927

The pictures have been provided by Gavin Francis.

These will be for Thames as these are highbridge vehicles.

Picture by James Freeman on June 1st.

As you can see from the picture we have been completing minor body repairs before sending these away to Hants & Dorset for the larger work to be carried out.

And yes, all of 873-875 will be being repainted into TT livery.

I can also advise that we will be acquiring two new E200 MMCs for the 46 service. The first of these will be arriving soon and the second is due later in the year. In the meantime we will have a loan E200 MMC from Dawsons to support the contract.

317 and 661 were loaned to Thames Travel on June 7th.

Many thanks to Luke for that informative update.

Jack Cooper

Introduced for the Queen's Jubilee this weekend was a special destination blinds which were uploaded onto all Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Buses and Coaches on the 1st June, with City Sightseeing following the next day. 

671 seen on June 1st in High Street, Oxford. is showing times one hour ahead of the actual time.  I don't know why? 

Gavin Francis

219 seen working the X40 in Westgate but with The Platinum Jubilee scroll on June 3rd.

311 with the same scroll on June 3rd.

656 is seen in Oxford Train Station with the Jubilee scroll on June 4th.

679 and 688 in Westgate also with the Jubilee scroll on June 3rd.

Jack Cooper

222 and 658 at the Train Station both with Jubilee scrolls on June 1st.

671 and 686 also both with Jubilee scrolls on June 1st.

From The Carfax Tower

From a high view point we see 367, 663, 683 and 842 on May 31st. 

Richard Chalmers

667 on 'turn round' in Ock Street Sunday afternoon 5th June - diverted because of the town centre road closures
 due to the 'bun throwing' from the town hall - a unique event that attracts 1000's -
the X3's and 35's have to use Ock Street and return using the Spring Road mini roundabouts - so an unusual sight for a '6 road' bus!!

Gavin Francis

Now returned from Edwards and gaining Airline logos once again, 67 is seen leaving Gloucester Green for Gatwick on June 4th.

Jack Cooper

37 and 71 are seen departing Gloucester Green on June 1st. 

Gavin Francis

E400s 202 and 205 seen at Oxford station with Jubilee scrolls on June 4th.

Jack Cooper

198 seen at Oxford Train Station on June 3rd. 

Gavin Francis

These pictures of 905 taken on June 3rd shows how the company took advantage of the displays of these fine buses to celebrate.

Jack Cooper

Scania 246 is seen working the X2 in St Aldates on June 4th.

Full advantage is taken of the increased display for The Platinum Jubilee scroll adorning 908 on June 3rd.

From The Carfax Tower

From a high view point we see 905 with an X2 on May 31st. 

James Freeman

Mercedes 0500 873 is back from repaint into Thames Travel livery seen at Cowley House on June 1st.

Gavin Francis

National's own 326 is seen in Buckingham Palace Road on May 31st working an A1 Luton Airport service.

Edwards are one of the biggest contractors as seen with BV19XRP with a 509 service on May 31st.

Now that Clarkes have been acquired by NEx their coaches such as BF67WJX can be seen on south coast services here on May 31st. 

kingsferry are also gainfully employed on such services including the 007 to Dover on May 31st.

Referring to the comments by Richard Sharman below Weavaway using IRZ818 are also employed for 160 workings
as seen above on June 4th. 

Richard Sharman

updates us regarding operations through Oxford.

National Express diagrams serving Oxford have become much more interesting in recent months, with perhaps the biggest presence they have had in the city for many years. 

The 210 service from Wolverhampton to Heathrow and Gatwick via Oxford seems to be doing well, and as such it has 13 departures in total per day, a recent operator addition to the service is Bennetts Coaches who work in from Gloucester at 0230hrs as a 444, stopping at Gloucester Green at 0420hrs before completing its journey to Heathrow T5. The coach then work's three trips on the 210 before finishing in Birmingham at 2000hrs and running dead back to Gloucester. Travelstar and West Midland Travel complete the operators on the route.  

Service 160 from Poole to Birmingham via Oxford has seen a number of operators of late, with Parks of Hamilton's Plymouth depot appearing alongside Travelstar European. But now Yellow Coaches has returned to the NX network and started on the 160 on 27 May, again alongside Travelstar European, meaning that NX-owned Lucketts is no longer on the 160.  

Yellow Coaches 8052 is seen on the second day of it operating the 160 (May 28th),
the Levante 2 itself has returned to the NX network, having previously been wrapped for FlixBus with Whippet Coaches!

Tony Bungay

At least 2 Red Rose vehicles were seen sporting similar messages, the photo of the Enviro 200 on local service SR1 was taken either a fraction too late or early to capture the message! Have enclosed the photo all the same in case you feel it may be of general interest.

West outsources training for 150 new bus drivers

Stagecoach West is to recruit 150 new bus drivers over the coming 12 months, with the operator having taken the decision to outsource the necessary training in a departure from its previous policy of in-house licence acquisition.

The business has appointed training specialist HGVC to handle the process, describing the decision to contract the task to a third party as beneficial to both efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

HGVC has already implemented what it describes as a bespoke training solution to deliver three new drivers per week to Stagecoach West. That includes hiring dedicated trainers and the purchase of vehicles.

Says Stagecoach West Operations Director Martin Gibbon: “As people continue to return to the office and enjoy the freedom we have all missed during the pandemic, we have seen an increase in demand for our services across several routes.

“While this comes at a time where we are seeing the impact of Brexit, the pandemic and staff sickness on our driving teams ease, we recognised that we needed some support to meet the needs of our customers.

“HGVC really stood out to us in its willingness to hire new staff and provide vehicles to train the drivers we need, making large scale driving licence acquisition more efficient and cost-effective.”

Dave & Deric

We have just received the Period 1 Fleet Card for Stagecoach West. Here is a summary of the changes.

Transfers                   25214             Gloucester (Driver Trainer)             to         North Bristol (Driver Trainer)

                                 34829             Swindon                                     to         Stroud

                                 37008             Stroud                                       to         Cheltenham

Out of Reserve           34619             Reserve                                     to         Gloucester

                                  27553/54       Reserve                                      to         Gloucester (Converted to Driver Trainers

                                  47686/88        Reserve                                      to         Swindon

To Reserve                 34786               Stroud                                      to         Reserve

                                  47553             Cheltenham                               to         Reserve

                                  54265             North Bristol                             to         Reserve

For Disposal             34682                Swindon                                    to         Disposal

Sold/Gone                34597                Disposal                                    to         Gone

                                 34618                Disposal                                    to         Gone

                                 34785/88           Disposal                                    to         Sold to Crystal Travel Ltd., Milkwall, Gloucestershire

                                 35193               Disposal                                    to         Gone

                                47242                Disposal                                    to         Gone

                                47549/52/57//58/96              Disposal                 to         Gone

Additionally, we’ve picked up the following changes to the Stagecoach Oxford fleet:

To Reserve                12003/07                         Oxford                               to         Reserve

    36113                              Oxford                               to         Reserve (then to Banbury)

  50267/68/69/71                  ex Fife Scottish                    to         Reserve

50268 is already at Oxford and I am told that the others are being prepared for return to service by other West locations. Ed. 

Gavin Francis

Gold MMC 10782 is seen working a 2 service in Oxford on May 31st.

Gold Scania 15835 will not be heading for Blenheim Palace despite the branding but to Barton on June 3rd.

Jack Cooper

From The Carfax Tower

Again on May 31st two examples of Stagecoach are 10675 and Gold Scania 15760 both working route 1.

Peter Leyman

Hope you are well? I caught Stagecoach Oxford Scania 15758 parked up at Bicester outstation the other morning and noticed the company logo is slightly bigger on the front of the bus than the other Scania’s that have had the new livery applied. I don’t know weather this is a one off but even the Scania’s that have transferred to other depots like 15754 & 15838 have also been applied with smaller logo on the front of the vehicle. 

15752 was still parked up at Horspath road this week waiting to be sent off to have the new colour scheme put on so it will be interesting to see what happens with her.(logo size). 

Also I get the feeling now that Stagecoach Oxford have had the go ahead for the electric buses order, that the Scania’s time in Oxford will be coming to end because they are the oldest double decker in the fleet apart from the hybrids (2010) and that they are being put into the new livery so that they can be distributed across other depots when the electric buses arrive. Just a thought. 

Photos taken 

15758 at Bicester outstation on April 30th.

15753 at Oxford Magdalen Street East on April 26th. 

Gavin Francis

Distance liveried 10804 is seen leaving Gloucester Green for Bedford with an X5 service on June 3rd.

Sister bus 10879 proudly displays a Jubilee scroll in Gloucester Green on June 3rd. 

David Beynon

This picture is not as good as I would have hoped but it shows 50422 in need of assistance in Gloucester Green on June 5th.

A bit later Isis were heading back towards town presumably to rescue a 10 route hybrid which had failed at the bottom of Cowley Road.

Gavin Francis

Flagship of the tube fleet is 50421 seen in the afternoon sun in Gloucester Green on June 2nd.

Another picture of 50422 further into recovery at Gloucester Green on June 5th.

Jack Cooper

Panorama 50426, looking less than a year or so old in Worcester Street with a London service on June 3rd.


The latest Fleet Card from Stagecoach East Scotland has confirmed that four vehicles are being transferred back to Stagecoach West - 50267/68/69/71. 

Gavin Francis

OVK902 (SF07YTR, LSK873, H4KFJ) Snowdon's coaches of Liverpool
a Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther on hire to ex Parks of Hamilton on May 31st. 

London operators

Gavin Francis

These pictures are of Arriva EA1 operating the 319 from Sloane Square on May 31st.

 Go Ahead London operate a variety of NRMs in wraps or special colours.

Philip Bayliss



Double jubilee at the Oxford bus museum

Thanks to Philip for a nice record. Ed.

Grahame Wareham

As we are now celebrating issue 206 I attach some images of COMS 206 back in 1970 when WTH113 joined the fleet from South Wales. It lasted five years in the Oxford fleet and went on to become Derby 62 in March 76 for a few years longer. Again another Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 with Weymann lowbridge L39/34/F bodywork new in 1960 to James Bros, Ammanford as their 237 in 1960, later becoming incorporated into the South Wales Transport fleet as 1237 in 1962.


The new 206 era from 1982 saw VJO206X arrive on Saturday 12th June from ECW Lowestoft and by 18.00 it had been PDI checked prepared for service and I was then driving it on 570G running card (JR Hospital-Redbridge P&R shunts). In October 95 206 received a unibus painted advert for Rosie O'Grady's pub which was situated in Park End Street................which I may add, served excellent beer! It spent its last few months from September 98 working as a Wycombe Bus allocated vehicle before being sold in 2000 and joining some of its sisters with Hedingham Omnibuses L313 in Essex. From 2011 it was then operated by LC Cars, Leyton (Ladycars), on the Palmers Colleges contract in Grays finally succumbing in 2013 when their contract was terminated. It was latterly purchased for spares retrieval by Bromley Bus Preservation Group and in September 2016 I was given the chance to acquire various parts to aid the restoration and future of my Olympian fleet in exchange for various other useful parts that were surplus to my needs. So at least the front panel of 206 still lives on and is destined to be used on Ribble 2112 JFR12W which I own and also has an Oxford connection..............(on display at Cowley Road Garage 1981 Centenary open day)!

Images of COMS 206 VJO206X and latterly being dismantled.

The newest vehicle to have 206 as its identity is a Scania N230 Enviro 400 originally purchased as part of the new Brookes Bus contract in 2009 but now operating as part of the Thames Travel Connector fleet from its Didcot base and in its thirteenth year! (No photos of this from me I'm afraid Malcolm) 

Also images of the following:- 

L181 TWL181 at Gloucester Green as Coronation Bus in 1953.

445 PJO445P at Blenheim and other locations.

Jubilee Buses 

During the period 1/3/77-15/3/77 and 11/10/77- 21/10/77 445 was loaned to Alder Valley for use on Reading services. In exchange Alder Valley loaned their 922 FBL114K, a Bristol VRTSL2/ECW to Oxford.

Alder Valley 922 FBL114K at Cowley Road Garage whilst COMS 445 PJO445P was on loan to AV Reading depot
c R L Young.

104 was received back to OBC in early 2003 repainted in the appropriate gold and purple livery courtesy of ADL at Anston where warranty corrosion rectification had been undertaken, thus providing an ideal base for the golden jubilee livery. It was a bit of a surprise for some at OBC to see it in this scheme but after all it was a coat of paint no matter what colour!


Unfortunately I was not able to contribute any pressure to bear to persuade a similar gesture for the Diamond Jubilee although I did try a bit harder towards the Platinum event but failed in my efforts,

Very many thanks to Grahame for his valued contribution.

Michael Wadman

Solo 47557 in Cheltenham on September 12th 2009.
According to Dave & Deric above this bus has just left Stagecoach. 

Ross Newman - Ensign

Ensign vehicle movements in May as follows : 


From Go Ahead London : E400H SN61DAO 

From Tower Transit : E200s YX11AFN / AFK / AFV / AFY / AFZ / AFO / AFU / AGO. 

From Rotala : Scania N94s YV03RBF / PZX / PZZ. 

From First Eastern Counties : Volvo B7RLEs MX05CHD / KX05MHK  

From Brighton and Hove : Mercedes Citaro’s BD57WDC / BP57UYH / UYJ. 

From Ashcroft Academy : E400 LJ09OKO. 

From Newport Transport : E200s YX12DHM / DHN / DHO. 


Scania JFZ7002 : Lodge Coaches, High Easter, Essex.

Volvo B9TLs LK59CXH / CXJ : First South West, converted to half open top.

StreetDeck SN64CTV : Vision Bus, Bolton.

E400 LJ09CCK : Hulleys, Baslow, Derbyshire.

Scania’s YT59RXR / RYN / RYC / SFU : Bullocks Coaches, Manchester.

Volvo B9TLs SN59BGO / BGY : A2B, Luton.

Volvo B7TL LJ05BLF : Barway Services, Ely, Cambs.

E200 LX09AZJ : Trainforgroup, Canterbury. 

E200s SK07DZN / LK56URO : Guru Travel, Birmingham 

Volvo B7TL LX54GYY : DM Motor services Tockwith 

Scania YT59RYB : Young Urban Arts Foundation, London. 

Volvo B9TL SN59BFY : Langston and Tasker, Steeple Claydon, Bucks. 

The following all to Shelton Motors for scrap : 

Mercedes Citaro’s BD57WDC / BP57UYH / UYJ. 

Volvo B7RLEs MX05CHD / KX05MHK  

Volvo B7L LX05HSC.

Thanks to Ross for that update. Ed. 

Alexander writes concerning Oxford Bus Golden Jubilee bus from the last issue.

Congratulations on your latest update. As always it was A pleasure to read. I especially enjoyed seeing photos of gold busses from the queen's golden jubilee in 2002 as 1 of them, Park & Ride Trident 104, which I remember from when I was younger. It was delivered in standard Park & Ride livery, along with the rest of the 101-120 batch then painted gold for the jubilee in 2002. It wore that livery for about A year when it was painted into standard The Oxford Bus Company livery, which was red, blue and white at that time. As it was an ex P&R bus it only had A scroll for those routes, as was the case with all of the P&R Tridents' scrolling displays at that time so it was given A temporary display for the 5 before being fitted with A digital display, as the entire batch of Tridents eventually were.

This picture of 104 at Cowley Road depot is from Grahame Wareham. 

Thomas W W Knowles

The piece on previous Jubilees prompted me to look out a photograph that I took on 2nd June 1977 when Lancaster City Transport launched their Silver Jubilee bus. This already elderly Northern Counties bodied Daimler CVG 5 had survived since it had been needed to transport inmates from Lancaster prison to their work stations. 466 (NTF 466) is being watched by my Deputy George Stevens and my Chairman Councillor Jack Smith at Morecambe's Battery stop. The bus operated, when available, along Morecambe Promenade between Bare (Happy Mount Park) and Heysham Village. Happy days!

I hope you can use the image of this splendid vehicle. (Very pleased to do so. Ed.) 

David Beynon

This is a vehicle which First H & D recently acquired from First West Yorkshire and was seen in Southampton earlier on June 3rd.


Sunday, June 5th 2022 - NWVRT annual Open and Running day.

Les Burton provides interesting pictures from this event.

I found these pictures interesting as I come from the area covered and drove for various companies in the north west in the '60s.

Examples of high capacity double decks on Merseyside. I well remember Wallasey FHF451
which was at the 1958 Commercial Motor Show and was the first Atlantean to enter service in the U.K.
For enthusiasts at that time this bus was a dramatic development from that to which we had all become used to !!

The type developed through the years and could still be seen new into service at the end of the last century.

A late model classic Leyland PD2, this time with St Helens in their traditional livery.
The Ribble PD3 was an attempt to provide an alternative to the Atlantean which in the early days was not wholly reliable.

The Leyland National was heralded as the bus of the future and the later Panther was not as popular.

Foden made an attempt to enter the double deck market in the middle decades of the 20th Century but were not wholly successful.

The Volvo/Alexander PS was popular. mainly with Stagecoach and were a very reliable bus to operate.

The Bristol VR and Leyland Tiger Cub were popular in the '50s and '60s.

The Routemaster was one of London's most successful buses and can still be seen in various service types more than 50 years later.

A more modern double deck is exemplified by the ex Ensign double deck.

I spent many happy hours driving these Leyland Tiger Cubs for Melba and Ribble. Very workman like vehicle
I never having any breakdowns with such types.

Arriva were represented with this E400 Jubilee decorated bus which was a bright addition.

With many thanks to Les Burton for these most interesting pictures.