Issue nr. 207
Wednesday, March 15th 2022


This week's issue sees reports from a number of Running Days and anniversary celebrations. The weather has been kinder of late as revealed in the many photographs submitted for issue 207.

THE news of the week is that Go-Ahead has sold out to new owners as detailed below.

Lastly a heads up from Grahame Wareham that there will be a convoy of approx. fifteen vintage coaches taking part in the 'Royal Blue' run this Friday, June 17th. They leave Waterperry at 13.40 then through Headington, he assumes, into Oxford for 14.00 then via the Banbury Road through Kidlington heading for case anyone wants to photograph them............Grahame will be outside the pub in Kidlington.........then inside!

A consortium made up of Australasian bus operator Kinetic Group and transport concession manager Globalvia Inversiones has nosed ahead in a race to purchase The Go-Ahead Group after its fifth offer for the business was recommended for shareholder acceptance by the Go-Ahead board.

Go-Ahead Chief Executive Christian Schreyer has described the consortium’s offer for the group as “compelling,” adding that the £648m valuation is “attractive” for shareholders.

If it progresses, the deal will see the Go-Ahead brand retained and the group operate as a standalone subsidiary of the consortium, which will deliver an overall payment of £15 for each Go-Ahead share held. That figure contrasts with the consortium’s first offer for the group in January, which was £9.75p per share.

Should the offer be accepted by Go-Ahead shareholders, it is expected that the acquisition will be completed in October. For it to proceed, acceptance in respect of at least 75% of Go-Ahead shares is required.

The consortium has listed “an opportunity for Go-Ahead to increase its footprint in the UK bus market” as one of the reasons for its interest. It adds that potential to pool expertise would deliver “a leading global multimodal mass transit platform” with a focus on moving to zero-emission.

Managing Directors of Go-Ahead operating companies will be retained under the proposals, as will be the group’s senior management team including Mr Schreyer and Chair Clare Hollingsworth. The group’s Chief Financial Officer is expected to remain with Go-Ahead for a transitional period of up to 18 months from completion of the purchase.

Earlier on the same day that it recommended acceptance of the Kinetic and Globalvia offer, the Go-Ahead board had stated that a rival approach from Kelsian Group – which owns Tower Transit – was something that it would also “be minded” to recommend for acceptance. All parties were thus given access to undertake confirmatory due diligence.

Kinetic runs almost 4,000 buses in Australia and New Zealand across 70 depots. Globalvia operates and maintains 26 infrastructure projects, including 1,800km of highways and 80km of rail and metro lines.

News at the time of publishing is that the Group has accepted the offer. Ed.

The Go-Ahead Group, has accepted a £650m takeover bid from a consortium of the Australian bus operator Kinetic and the infrastructure specialists Globalvia from news reports as at 1300hrs on June 15th.

 Slough 81 Running Day

Andrew Webb

The London Bus Museum staged their fourth route running day, focusing on route 81 which runs between Hounslow and Slough.  The event provided a free supplementary service over the TfL route operated by Metroline, as well as recreating various historic suffix variations to the route.  A variety of vehicles, both modern and older, helped create interest for a range of audiences. 

Carousel sent former London MEC47,
seen here heading for Hounslow along the Bath Road, recalling the days when a London United example would stray onto the route. 

London United provided RML880, seen pausing in the centre of Colnbrook,
a pleasant village virtually at the end of Heathrow's runway. 

Another vehicle that London United may have operated along the route is this Optare Tempo (OT6),
now with Go Coach.  It is seen passing through Colnbrook bound for Slough.

Route 81A was a variation which operated between Hounslow and the long closed Ford Works at Langley. 

RT1705 is seen heading into Colnbrook, whilst later in the day RT2177 pauses at a busy Hounslow West Station.

Route 81C was a very short lived variant linking Slough with Heathrow (or London Airport Central) between January 1968 and April 1970.  Leyland Titans definitely did not work the route as they were still several years away from construction when the route was withdrawn.

Nevertheless Preserved T961 makes a fine sight pausing in Colnbrook.

London Transport's other standard double decker of the 1980s was the Metrobus, a type which regularly worked the route.  M394 and M1069 both represented the type.

ULEZ restrictions meant they were restricted to short workings between Slough and Colnbrook, where both are seen.

Hounslow Garage was one of the last in London to operate Leyland Nationals, so LS30 was a welcome visitor to the day. 

Despite its age it worked the full route through to Hounslow, so is either LEZ compliant or somebody paid the fee for entering. 

It is seen in Colnbrook heading for the metropolis. 

Another single decker type associated with Hounslow garage was the DT Carlyle Dart class.  

started life at the other end of London, but finished its London career on Airbus Direct duties at Heathrow. 

It is another bus falling foul of LEZ requirements and finishing its journey in Colnbrook.   

Hounslow also operated an extensive fleet of Plaxton Pointer 2 Dart SLFs. 

A similar preserved Stagecoach example leaves Colnbrook with a lively group of young enthusiasts on board. 

An older single deck running the route was RF486, pausing in Colnbrook. 

The RF was also used as a Greenline bus, RF600 recreates route 704 passing through Colnbrook with a journey from Windsor to Hounslow. 

The modern version of Greenline is route 703, run by Reading Buses, which links Heathrow with Bracknell via Windsor and Legoland. 

An anonymous Enviro 400, branded for 100 Years of Thames Valley passes through Colnbrook. 

Heading the other way on route 703 is this Enviro 400 MMC  

Reading Buses also joined in the running day.

The company's former Lothian Trident 'Rooftop Bus' is seen on layover in Colnbrook before heading for Windsor. 

The running day also recreated route A1, an express route linking Hounslow West with Heathrow in the days before the Piccadilly Line reached the airport. 

Whilst MBS and SMS buses were the initial allocation, MBA539 is as close a representation as was possible.

It is seen heading for the Eastern Ramp on the approach to Heathrow.

Very many thanks to Andrew for the comprehensive report of this day for enthusiasts. Ed.

Now Gavin has also provided pictures from the day which add to the text above.

Gavin Francis

The above are in the area of Slough bus station. 

The above was taken in Windsor 

Back in Slough with further pictures.

The variety above compliments those from Andrew Webb with thanks to Gavin Francis. Ed.

Stockwell Garage Open Day

Andrew Webb

Go Ahead through open the doors of their Stockwell Garage on June 11th, marking the 70th anniversary of the opening this revolutionary facility and raising over £5000 for charity.  When opened in 1952 it was Europe's largest unsupported roof span, leaving a huge unobstructed space for the operation of 200 buses. 

Preserved Go Ahead Olympian NV170 and RT4777 show the space to good effect
whilst awaiting their next duties on a series of special routes radiating from Stockwell garage.

Also joining the special routes were Go Ahead's RM9 and  Ensignbus' DM2646, both seen passing the garage on the special routes.

The London Bus Company sent Volvo Ailsa V3, unique amongst the type in having a door at the front and rear. 

It is seen whilst operating on route 77A linking the garage with Parliament Square. 

Making an operational debut at the open day was the EP class, a batch of which are due to enter service at Bexleyheath once the power supplies are able to cope!  These differ from other Alexander Dennis BYD deckers in London service in that they have roof top pantographs for charging.

EP3 arrives back at the garage after a run out, displaying blinds for a route it will soon potentially be seen operating.

Jack Cooper

Saturday, June 11th was an open day at Go Ahead London's Stockwell depot, as it has celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. From the Oxford Bus Group fleet we had taken Citaro 880 from Carousel. The open day was attended by around 3,000 people from figures said by Go Ahead London, so was very popular! The building at Stockwell is absolutely beautiful, a design of the past for depots!  

880 was new to Go Ahead London in 2009 as MEC45, to Waterloo depot for the Red Arrow services. A photo opportunity with preserved bendy MAL15 made sense, as like 880, it was new to Waterloo, and I believe the 2009 batch of rigid Citaro's had replaced the bendy's ?

Some further pictures taken by Jack Cooper on the day.

I have also heard that Brighton & Hove are slowly withdrawing their bendy buses from service, as they are due to be withdrawn this year.

Gavin Francis visits Uxbridge

Uxbridge on June 11th to try and get a picture of the 'Lets Do London' VWH some of the new Abellio electrics on the U5 and also Carousel sprinter on the 581.

Let's do London.

abellio 3436 and 3438.

The Carousel Sprinter in Uxbridge - 977.

The route branding seems to have fallen from favour though 2557 still is so adorned.

Abellio 8165 is seen working the U9 once the preserve of Arriva at High Wycombe.

Metroline VMH2571 is seen working the 607 Express service.

TfL Compliance run this VW in an area including Uxbridge.

Jack Cooper

As ever Jack has provided some nice pictures from Oxford.

river rapids 252 is seen in St Aldates with an X40 service on June 12th.

In the same location yellow 684 is working 15 road again on June 12th.

With Christ Church as a background Thames Travel 905 with an X2 is seen heading for Didcot on June 12th.

Philip Bayliss

364 Crossing Magdalen bridge June 3rd at 21.00 hrs

A great picture considering the bus and cyclist were on the move !  

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

Anderson's RE21JVC in St Giles on June 12th.

Barnes YT17FBA and Go South Coast HF17AZC both in Osney Mead on June 12th.

Gavin Francis

Shearings new livery on GIB206 by The Ashmolean on June 9th.

 and in High Wycombe

From Mansfield, Millennium Travel's P20VDL on Jun 10th by Gavin Francis

     Fleet News and developments   


Gavin Francis

Citaro 3010 is seen in Oxford Road working the 48 on June 10th.

A recent and immaculate Scania 3506 is seen in the Eden Bus Station on June 10th.

Sister 3510 now at Aylesbury is seen with an X30 on the same day.

Still in white after many months, 3812 is also seen working the 300 on the same day.

Jack Cooper

E400 5468 is seen passing through Wheatley with a 280 service Oxford bound on June 9th.

Hazel Richardson

Hemel's Jubilee bus 6524 YX17NFA made it's first appearance this morning, June 13th on the 500 four days after the Jubilee celebrations.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen former Arriva Luton 3606 KE55CTK which has entered preservation(photo taken June 1st)

Tony Bungay

Service 500 June 14th, Sapphire liveried  Streetlite 4327.

It is not the first time I have seen one of these on the 500, but the previous time I was unable to get a photo, which was a pity as the vehicle was wearing branding for service 480 if I recall correctly. 

Gavin Francis

.............. whilst in Uxbridge

Unusually on June 12th E200s were used for the X74 including a Trader branded one.

59391 and 69930 are seen in Slough on June 12th.

.... and in Wycombe.

On June 10th a StreetLite 63316 is seen in Wycombe working the X74. 

Gavin Francis

Everydays OU18ZTF is seen near VCS with a Flixbus working on June 9th.

Ridleys are also running for Flixbus with BV18XZR near VCS on June 9th.

Brand new OU22ZXE Neoplan working the 05 and seen in Buckingham Palace Road on June 8th
is owned by Hearns of Harrow Weald.

Turners Van Hool YJ57CXO in Semley Place on June 9th.

Gavin Francis

in High Wycombe on June 10th.

217 and 245 are seen in The Eden Bus Station with 36 workings.

242 is seen back at the depot on the same day.

and in Uxbridge on June 11th.

404 and 879 are seen with 104 workings.

Citaro 882 seen with a 102 service in Uxbridge.

Finally 877 is seen with a 105 service.

Jack Cooper

880 is seen heading for Stockwell in Gerrards Cross on June 11th.

Carousel's depot in Wycombe with variety on June 11th - 409, 882 and 408.

Jack Cooper

Hybrid 312 is seen in Cowley Centre with a 20 road working on June 9th.

Unusually 662 was used to work 4 road on June 12th.

Another surprise on June 12th was 6 branded 668 working 300 road.

It is always nice to have pictures of buses away from their normal routes. Ed.

James Freeman

302 on tow this morning but is didn't come into the depot and another ex london bus in the depot with friends 

Bob Chalmers

Incidentally any news on the 4 & 35 road 'branded' buses - only 303 & 308 seem to be in service at present? 

I notice that 301 is back on 4 road today. No idea where 302 was off to, Ed..

Gavin Francis

Thames 248 is seen at Carousel's depot on June 10th.

Jack Cooper

661 was loaned to Thames Travel on June 7th and used to work the X1.

On June 9th 976 was working the 46 at either end of the route.
This bus is now shown under Cowley House and one presumes that the 46 is now worked by Oxford?

Bob Chalmers

604 on TT X2 service in Ock Street, Abingdon - are TT short of buses again?

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Gavin Francis

..... during his visit to Slough some group vehicles were to be seen.

Thames Valley's 667 in Slough Bus Station on June 12th.

E400 757 working the 703 in Slough on the same day. 

Gavin Francis

Dart FP04CFE is seen with a 28 working to Lane End and Stokenchurch on June 10th.

Newer E200 YX09FMK is seen in The Eden Bus Station with a 160 service on June 10th. 

Jack Cooper

Looking very tidy MMC E20D GW16BUS is working the X20 in St Aldates on June 12th.

Tony Bungay

In our local area, caught this parked up near Aylesbury Rail Station, now in latest Redline scheme,
this fairly elderly Alexander ALX 400 bodied vehicle V185OOE. On the rear destination it still sports the route number 321 !
It just shows what a lick of paint can do. Ed. 

Gavin Francis

E200 YX10BGY working the 275 display a Platinum Jubilee message when seen on June 10th. 

SCW Service 853 will move to Witney on July 18th and will become the S2 some weeks later. 

Gavin Francis

Banbury based 27701 working the S4 in Magdalen Street East on June 9th has acquired a super rear ad.

Jack Cooper

Hybrid flagship 12001 us seen in St Aldates on June 9th still looking smart after 12 years constant service. 

Gavin Francis

Returned from Scotland unused 50268 is being prepared to enter service again with the tube on June 8th.

Sister 50274 is seen heading for London on June 9th when it performed one round trip.

Jack Cooper

50274 again, this time on June 8th looking exceptionally clean and tidy.

Panorama 50433 is seen climbing St. Aldates heading for London on June 9th. 

Gavin Francis

Panorama 50409 is seen by VCS having arrived with an M11 overnight service on June 9th.

Seen in Oxford 54272 is working the M34 rto Newcastle on June 9th.

D5CPW I think this is owned by Watts Coaches and on Megabus work, possibly ex-Parks.

Here are Turners running for megabus in Semley Place on June 9th
 with Irizar CC18WEB.

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Oppo are an official partner of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, using the All England Club colours on this tennis themed advert for a new mobile phone. 

LT538, seen at Euston on 11 June, is one of several New Routemasters carrying the campaign.

Gavin Francis

This wrap is ex-Lothian 575 seen on June 8th 2022.

Another picture of the same bus also taken at marble Arch in 2019.

Evan Evans
Tours used to be run by Redwing but now they are run by Grange Travel.
They also have the coaches with the cherished EE registrations.

Grahame Wareham recalls Oxford's 207

The first 207 in the COMS fleet arrived in June 1970 in the shape of RTH641, a 1959 Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 with a MCW L39/34F lowbridge body, originally James Bros 231 and later South Wales Transport 1231. Unfortunately during its first few days in service allocated to Bicester depot it was involved in a serious accident with an HGV which bent the rear of the chassis frame causing the bus to be written-off as uneconomical to repair. No pictures seem to exist of it apart from the scrapyard image I have attached.

Fortunately the next Atlantean to be received from South Wales, 1238 WTH114, had not yet received a fleet number so this was numbered 207 as a replacement.


The first 207 (RTH641) was stripped of useable spares and was sold to Andersons Commercials locally at Eynsham. The replacement 207 WTH114 stayed in the COMS fleet until October 1973 when it was then sold to dealer TPE of Macclesfield, passing on to Jowitt, Middleton-in-Teesdale and the following year to Anderton of Keighley who ran it for another six years. 

The next generation 207 that arrived with COMS was WWL207X, another of the 1982 order for Leyland Olympians with ECW H47/28D bodywork. 207 retained its NBC liveries and later OBC and Cityline schemes until being finally withdrawn in March 2000 and sold to Jeff's Helmdon at the same time as 204. Jeffs had already received 209-211 as well as 978 TPD118X in October 99. 


The current 207 is a Scania N230/Enviro GF09OXF originally a Brookes liveried bus but now a Thames Travel Connector liveried vehicle.

Pictures of this bus may appear in the next issue from Gavin Francis. Ed.  

Gavin Francis follow up on 206 in the last issue

I thought I would finish off Graham Wareham's article on Oxford 206. 

A picture taken in the early 1970s outside the old Wycombe Bus Station which I think I bought from Vics Clicks.
Seemingly working the London - Oxford service via High Wycombe. 

The current 206 used by OBC started life as a blue Brookes Bus and is pictured in The High Street in 2013. 
Seen on January 14th 2013.

By 2015 was still a Brookes Bus but by now had been repainted red and is pictured on the 2 in Magdalen Street West.
Seen on June 29th 2015. 

It is still red in 2018 and is pictured leaving the railway station on Route 450 to The Common People Festival.
Seen on May 26th 2018. 

Shortly after it lost its Brookes branding and is seen on the old T1 route to Chalgrove in St. Aldates.
Seen on September 4th 2018. 

Finally it moved to Thames Travel not as a Connector liveried bus but in Thames Travel blue and green which I think is its current livery.
Seen on January 15th 2019.

Many thanks to Gavin for these pictures. Ed.

Andrew Dyer

It is a scary thought that this year marks 50 years since I left school and this weekend a gang of us from Magdalen College School had an excellent reunion.

The weekend included a trip to Blenheim Palace and the Oxford Bus Museum (where we were looked after superbly) and only one form of transport was appropriate!

Back in the late 60s if our school playing fields flooded we were taken to Horspath Road sports ground for games afternoon and the transport was almost always Charlton-on-Otmoor Services’ AEC Regent III, OFC 400, driven by their long serving driver Charlie Cartwright.

Sadly neither OFC 400 or Charlie are still with us and so our transport was Charlton Services only decker X39 XAW, an ex-Dublin Volvo B7, ably driven by Max Holder, son of the current owner.

A couple of pictures are attached and  the ‘Class of 72’ had a superb weekend!

Geoff Cunliffe

Without wishing to start a mega-falling out about your last web page and the lovely selection of photos from Les Burton covering the NWVRT Running Day,  can I question the comment about the Panther as an unpopular successor to the National? My memory suggests that the comparison should be with the National’s true successor, the Lynx, and I recall the quote as suggesting the Lynx was the bus the National always should have been. 

Photo is a Preston Lynx outside the Law Courts in Lancaster Road.  

In response I would only say that the Lynx seemed indeed a better bus but I was referring to the Panther as a del around the time. Ed.

Hazel Richardson

Routemaster RML2395 JJD395D seen at Chipperfield common as part of the Jubilee celebrations on June 2nd.

This bus hasn't been on the road for a few years so it was nice it made an appearance.  

Martin Dowling

This is from Twitter and is bus related.  I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's relevant enough to be published!


Greg Hands on Twitter noticed that this stop in Parliament Square across the road from the Houses of Parliament exactly predicted the result of Johnson's no confidence vote - 148 voting not confident and 211 voting for him. 

Robert Chalmers

Interesting about the acquisition of 921 - 927  one wonders what livery 'they' will be in? TT seem to have a bit of an identity issue at the moment - the 'Connector' buses are great - but then you have various 'old' livery buses in green and blue - newer refurbished buses in allover green and still some acquisitions in red. The Milton Park livery is great too. In my opinion they need to sort this out as it all comes across as a bit amateurish. 

Be interesting to hear other people's views?

How right you are. I’ve personally felt that it would be better to have a clean well presented bus and nice driver on time than a rainbow of colours with a shortage of buses and old buses!!

Gary Seamarks

Tyne and Wear on Saturday, June 11th 

up on 06.10 from Stevenage arrive 08.35 Lumo

back on 17.59 from Newcastle arrive 20.24 LNER. 

Even for a 06.10 (05.45 off King Cross) train it was fairly busy, overhead power issues in the Berwick area saw the train turn at Newcastle not Edinburgh, with passengers transferring to the 08.47 LNER service which left packed !.  

Return was with LNER with 2 stops (Darlington and York) as opposed to the non-stop of Lumo, with the LNER train actually 2 mins faster, mainly due to Lumo having a lot of slower speed running across York and the freight avoider, and from just north of Darlington where we caught the 07.08 Leeds Aberdeen up. On return the only checks were between Peterborough and Huntingdon behind a Thameslink. Both trains had plenty of early running which perhaps caused the checks.  

Photos are all Newcastle unless marked with a Gateshead and Sunderland



Other operators


The image of the Azuma's features the following trio, this was their actual runs for Saturday

Note the Lumo 803004, was different than planned due to the power supply issues North of Newcastle that had caused issues but think its agreed these units are putting in some miles. 


07.06 Leeds -Aberdeen 13.18

14.52 Aberdeen -Kings Cross 22.16 838 miles


7.15 York-Newcastle 8.17

8.43 Newcastle -Liverpool 12.03

12.54 Liverpool – Newcastle 16.13

16.43 Newcastle – Liverpool 20.00

20.52 Liverpool – Newcastle 00.11 828 miles


5.45 Kings X Newcastle 8.38

7.13 Newcastle – KGX 10.04 (act 8.53 arr 11.37)

12.18 Kings X – Edinburgh 16.46

17.57 Edinburgh -Kings X 22.26 1322 miles

A nice piece from Gary, thank you. Ed.

Tony Bungay

Hope you are fine, back from the Lake District, nice time lovely place, and on this occasion mainly dry I am pleased to say.

As promised a selection of Bus photos, which you may possibly find of use, though it is some 250 miles away from the Chilterns!! 

Near Rydal house and gardens, 2 Stagecoach vehicles, one partially obscured by the trees, the other Wright bodied open topper bound for Grasmere on Service 599.


In Grasmere number 13801 which will work back to Bowness via Ambleside and Windermere, this service operates on a 20 minute frequency in the day. 

Enviro 400 MMC 10558 sets down on the outskirts of Grasmere, working Service 555 to Keswick, some Stagecoach routes seem to show intermediate destination but after a short break continue on, which I think in the case of this service is Carlisle.

In NBC days Service 555 operated by Ribble run Keswick – Lancaster, the southern part is now numbered 554.

Picking up at Monk Coniston is number 36422 on Service 505 to Kendal. This vehicle will climb the hill and negotiate some narrow in places winding road to picturesque village of Hawkshead  - en route. Most 505 journeys are Coniston – Windermere, extensions to Kendal looking to be positioning journeys.


In Kendal Optare Solo 47130 loads for a trip to nearby Oxenholme which also has a main line station for this part of the world. The vehicle looks to be in very tidy condition for it’s age. 

Also in Kendal is Enviro 15728 in latest livery working X6 to Ulveston, this service like my comments in respect of 555, after a short break in Ulverston continues as the same to Barrow

Enviro 400MMC  10552 loads in Kendal for what will be in places a very scenic journey to Kirby Lonsdale.

At Bowness ferry another Wright bodied open topper, in this case 13806 heading for Grasmere

Also seen in Bowness with the ferry behind is Enviro 10561 heading back to Carnforth
 on one of the few service 755 journeys to serve Windermere and Bowness, some 755 journeys start from Morecambe.

A few more photos you may find of use in order to get a bit of variety. First two are really Bus in Landscape, or my efforts at it!


Aptly on Jubilee weekend, a Platinum Jubilee liveried vehicle (the nearest and only time I actually saw it) and Wright bodied open topper both by Rydal Water. 

In latest livery Mercedes Mini Bus 44009 in Kendal on local service

Same location as 44009 is Optare Solo 47333 in Lakes Livery, again on a local service

Enviro 200 36419 in centre of picturesque village of Hawkshead near the chocolate factory!
And  leaving the village both on service 505 journeys but to both ends of the route. 

In Ulveston near the Laurel and Hardy Museum (for those who are unaware Ulveston was Stan Laurel’s birthplace).

 Enviro 400 15723 on the shorter service 6 Barrow - Ulveston  

Another Bus in Landscape. Again at Rydal Water, service is likely to be 555 to Keswick via Grasmere.

What great pictures, well done and thank you. Ed.