Issue nr. 208
Wednesday, June 22nd 2022


Well, a  busy week with quite a  number of items to report. My contributors have been very busy including trips to the north of Scotland, a "Royal Blue" running event through Oxford and a new bus for Oxford Bus and the return of another Astromega tube to Stagecoach in Oxford.

We have pictures of the buses working the route 46 of Oxford Bus.

Paul Hawkins  has sent pictures of the autonomous bus being used in trials and Ciaran Bird has provided interesting pictures from the past weeks in the Oxfordshire area. Also Mike Penn has sent pictures from Cardiff and also a rally of old buses on Barry Island.

Grahame Wareham and family have provided pictures of the "Royal Blue" during its various stages as well as another history of Oxford Bus fleet number 208 to coincide with this issue. These are supported by pictures from Gavin Francis of both 207 and 208 history.

The rail strike provided a "heavy" day for the Oxford tube who had good passenger loading but traffic delays not helping.

Finally I am advised that Paul O'Callaghan has returned to the U.K. and is working again with Stagecoach. This is in connection with upcoming Commonwealth Games operation from two operating centres around Birmingham Paul was Operations and Engineering Director for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire for many years.

A very late report of interest is concerning the closure of the present Stevenage Bus Station this coming Saturday from James Allum.

Stevenage Bus Station to close on Saturday next

James Allum

Today, Wednesday June 22nd, I visited Stevenage Bus Station for the final time before closure this coming Saturday Night after the final departure. The brand new state of the art Stevenage Interchange opens Sunday Morning from the first departure.  

Took some photos and the weather was wonderful for my final visit to this ever changing Hertfordshire town.


Also Arriva Stevenage's celebrity bus 4288 was on site doing a promotion as Arriva Stevenage especially are desperate for drivers!

The contribution is very much appreciated and although late for the issue I felt it important to include this. Ed. 

   Memories of Royal Blue  

Grahame Wareham

These were my images taken outside the Red Lion in Oxford Road Kidlington on Friday 17th............before I went in the pub!


Taken by Suzanne Wareham at Parkway



Brian Daniels

Herewith some images you may wish to use taken by Brian Daniels whilst stationed along the Magdalen Bridge/Longwall section on Friday, June 17th.


Finally some older pictures from Grahame.

Grahame Wareham

Thought you might like to include these with the ones I have sent you as a comparison............seems like yesterday!


With many thanks to the Wareham family and Brian Daniels for some excellent coverage of the day's event. Ed.

  Gavin Francis visited Ealing on June 20th 

Gavin Francis

Cobra Corporate Service SN67XBF with Sky Shuttle Service S3 in Ealing.

National Express operate the University of West London special services with 8375 and 8377 seen above.

RATPs offering for the Platinum Jubilee is BCE 47070 working the 65 in Ealing.

The same operator has all this type working the 65 with 47081 and 47145.

A nice contribution from Gavin Francis who took a large number of photographs on the day. Ed. 

Ciaran Bird

Stagecoach MMC 10681 is seen to the south of Blenheim with a route 7 service on May 7th.

Hugh Jaeger

............................. now working route 46 for Oxford Bus

 E20 599 YX22OGN on loan from Dawson Rentals working route 46 in Sworford Lane, Wheatley on June 22nd.
Not a route for a double decker !!!!

Jack Cooper

StreetDeck Micro Hybrid 901 is seen with Christ Church Tower as a background in St Aldates on June 15th.

Nick Ross

....................... from the Highlands

Stagecoach Highland Enviro 400 crosses the River Ness at Inverness with the 1314 17 from Tomich on June 7th 2022. 

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

BV22WPF MB Tourismo M/2 WEB41055523001890 MB C53Ft 3/2022 Barnes, Swindon

Beaumont Street

Osney Mead  

The Yutong was nicely situated in Keble Road on June 21st.

Belle Coaches BC60BEL in Broad Street on June 22nd.

Jack Cooper

Chariot BU18YRV is seen in St Giles on June 13th.

Also seen in the same location, Dochym Bus SBE6740A on June 19th and EuroWelcome BU16GZH and Hunters PO18EEY both on June 13th. 

     Fleet News and developments   

Gavin Francis

Seen in High Street, Oxford 5462 which is named after an Olympic athlete  was working the 280 on June 17th.

Michael Penn

Arriva The Shires Wright StreetLite 2321 (LM 64 JNL) is seen on the 28B to Panatonni Park.

This  is a diversion of the existing 28 route to serve the vast new industrial area adjacent to the new junction 11A of the M1 motorway.  There are five journeys scheduled for the early morning on weekdays and three for the late afternoon.

Nick Ross

A failed Arriva Mercedes 1009 BF67 WGO on a tow truck at Leighton Buzzard station on June 14th 2022,
 no doubt off for some much needed maintenance! I spotted this returning from Scotland. 

Ciaran Bird

ALX400 X37XAW outside the Ashmolean in St Giles on May 16th.

Michael Penn

Grant Palmer 713 (GP 55 BUS ex SN 08 BYC) is a Volvo B9TL ex Lothian Buses. 

It is seen on busway route Hi (yes, it really is letter i) to the new housing development near Thorn, north of Houghton Regis. 

Luke Marion - Interim Managing Director

On day one of the 46 we used 513 and 514. Bicester Village have requested a double decker on the BV Shuttle this week, due to the impacts of the expected rail strike. 

he long term plan for the 46 is that two new E200MMC vehicles will be purchased for this. The first of these, fleet 515 arrived with us on Thursday and is now prepared for the road. This is YX22OJZ. While we await the second new bus, (516) - which is in build at Scarborough - we have 599 with us, on loan from Dawson Rentals. This is YX22OGN. We expect this to be with us until around November and this has also been prepared for the road.

Hugh Jaeger

This week I have photographed both of Oxford Bus Company's new Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMCs on the newly extended route 46. Attached for you to publish on our website if you wish are photos of them in St Aldate's, Florence Park, outside The Bull in Great Milton and in Sworford Lane east of Wheatley, emerging from the bridge under the former Wycombe Railway. 

Andy Morison tells me that Oxford Bus Co bought the pair at short notice, hence the plain white (or Blanc!) livery. He tells me they will be branded soon. I will try to photograph them again when they are. 

I am puzzled that the new buses' fleet numbers are not in sequence. One is 515, which fits the existing series of short wheelbase Enviro200's. But the other is 599! 

You will have the answer above from Luke Marion. Ed.

I have also photographed two other short-wheelbase Enviro200 MMC's on the route. They are the Bicester Village shuttle, and one in Thames Travel Connector livery that usually runs on route ST2. If you would like to use any of them, I can either email them to you or you can download them from Bus Users Oxford's Facebook page, where I have posted all the photos in a new album for route 46.

A quiet week with no specific news to report at the time of going to press. 

Ciaran Bird

The very last OBC 4C on May 6th.

Daniel Harwood

.... made a special journey to get this picture for the page.

Seen in Castle Street on June 21st, 599 is loading a 46 working.

Gavin Francis

Oxford Bus city fleet 364, 369, 608 and 687 are seen on June 17th. 

Jack Cooper

301 has been converted to diesel drive, and is the latest conversion from hybrid.  Seems 302 is to follow !

604 and 607 are on the Isle of Wight for the festival. They have been tracking on the Southern Vectis page on

604 -


... and some pictures of the latest additions to the fleet se3en on 20th and 21st June.

New E20 MMC 515 is seen at St Aldates and Chatham Road

599 is seen at St Aldates

Scania 214 is seen with a 35 road service in St Aldates on June 15th.

Scania 219 is seen with an 11 road service in St Aldates on June 15th. Not normally a double deck working these days.

Converted Hybrid to Diesel 301 is seen with a 4 road service in St Aldates on June 18th.

Blue 3 road 366 is seen in St Aldates on June 19th.

OXFORD PRIDE wrap 367 is seen at Carfax with a 13 road service on June 13th.

StreetDeck colour variety for 668 route 6 and 682 route 15 both on June 19th.

Jack Cooper

Tourismo 35 is seen climbing up St Aldates with a Gatwick service on June 19th. 

Gavin Francis

Long serving 198 is seen in High Street on June 17th.

Jack Cooper

Ex London open top 200 is seen in St Aldates on June 19th. 

Gavin Francis

Citaro 862 looking clean and tidy is seen in High Street on June 17th with an X32 service.

Jack Cooper

You will read about 207 further below and here it si still in service on June 19th.

Citaro 855 with an X32 working in St Aldates on June 15th.

Heading the other way is 864 working the X1 in St Aldates on June 15th.

StreetDeck Micro Hybrid 904 is seen in St Aldates on June 19th. 

Langston & Tasker

Ciaran Bird

In  Bicester E200 L20LNT is seen working its dedicated route 18 on June 13th.

Congratulations for 50 years of service, very much one of the most recognisable brands in the U.K. Check the link to see the development of this organisation.

Gavin Francis

Bennetts BV67JYL is seen in bright sunshine at the junction of Elizabeth Street with a 444 service on June 16th.

Ciaran Bird

On June 5th The Queen's Platinum Jubilee event took place at the Oxford Bus Museum

abellio Beddington Depot's ADL Enviro400 MMC SmartHybrid 2022 (SK20 AZL),
as well as Go-Coach Hire's 8345 (YX66 WFF).


Ciaran Bird 

The very last Pulham's 63 at Frideswide Square on May 6th.

Jack Cooper

Contribution to the X20 is varied and above we have GW16BUS on June 19th and YX65RGV on June 15th. 

Neil Bridges

I see Rotala are pushing the boat out on the X50 on Sunday is a massive come down from an E200 or a MMC200. 


Paul O'Callaghan has re-surfaced with Stagecoach. He has been added as a Transport Manager on the Midland Red (South) Limited licence that is held in the West Midlands Traffic Area.

Several additional Transport Managers have been added to the licence, including Bill McCartney - who was Ops Manager at Swindon - in connection with the Commonwealth Games operation.

We should start to see a number of inter-company loans start to take place imminently to backfill for vehicles that will be needed in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games operation. Whilst Reserve Fleets will be used locally there will be a need for these inter company loans to cover.

Stagecoach Midlands has authorisation at two operating centres in the Birmingham area to cover its Commonwealth Games operation. the additional authorisation for a maximum of 610 vehicles covers up to 269 vehicles at the Birmingham Road, Oldbury B69 4FF site and up to 341 vehicles at the Chester Road, Birmingham B24 0RD site.

Paul Hawkins

Stagecoach Autonomus Bus

Forth Bridge Services at South Queensferry with the vehicle on trade plates and no fleet numbers applied.
Two men and a load of computer equipment

Many thanks to Paul for these interesting pictures, maybe of what the future holds for all of us. Ed.

Ciaran Bird

Ex Oxford 10687 on an S6 at Frideswide Sq. on May 6th.

Ex Oxford 36109 in Swindon on May 16th.

In Oxford are 28684 and 37616 working the 853 and 37626 in Cheltenham.

Ciaran Bird 

A few pictures around the A34 exit for Kidlington on May

10779 working an S5 on May 5th.

Ex Gold 15753 at Wootton Turn in the new livery on June 8th.

10780 also at Wootton Turn later that day, including the Sealink logo on the blind, which should be National Rail but it's the wrong way round!

Solo 47658 outside the new Park View estate in Woodstock on June 10th.

On June 14th 11234 SN69ZDR spotted on route 233, normally operated with Optare Solo SRs

On June 15th Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace saw a trio of Stagecoach Enviro400 MMCs on the shuttle service after the event.
These were 10684 and 10788 from Oxford, as well as 11241 from Witney.

A day around Banbury and Bicester on June 13th

10067 with the 500, 27703 with an S4 (This bus is still not registering with
36108 with a B9 and 36111 working local service in Banbury.

36768 with a B5, 37403 and 37405 both with a B3 and 37630 with the 500.

There are more new livery buses at Banbury than any other Oxfordshire depot. Ed.

Gavin Francis

MMC 10685 working the 8 is seen in High Street on June 17th.

MMC 11244 is seen in George Street with an S1 service on June 16th.

Training M A N 22418 is seen at Network Oxford during training on June 16th.

Jack Cooper

Two MMCs pass in Magdalen Street East on June 19th being 10434 and 10677.

Gold Scania 15831 seen in Magdalen Street West working a 7 to Woodstock on June 19th.
This bus shows well the difficulty in matching metallic colours.

The one remaining Gold S4, 28744 seen in Magdalen Street West working to Banbury on June 19th.

Ciaran Bird

Distance liveried 10803 is seen working an X5 in Bicester on June 13th.

Jack Cooper

Distance liveried 10872 in Magdalen Street East on June 13th with anX5 working. 

Gavin Francis

Astromega 50269 has now returned to Oxford for service to London seen on June 21st.

Astromega 50271 is seen ready for work on June 16th and it subsequently appeared during driver training in Stokenchurch.

Jack Cooper

As ever looking immaculate 50437 is seen in St Aldates on June 19th heading for London. 

Gavin Francis

Interdeck 54276 is seen in Elizabeth Street on June 16th. Most coaches are now in the revised livery.

Ciaran Bird

On May 19th a 53 seater Volvo B11R / MCV EvoTor was on demonstration at Worth's Coaches for a few hours.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and not only managed to photograph it
but also have a ride on it to Chipping Norton and back!

     London operations    

Gavin Francis

Bliss Travel this Irizar YT68LCY for contract work in London seen on June 16th. 

Gavin Francis

Just called into Binders Yard and ex United Welsh 308 was in there. It went onto become Thames Valley 620.  

Also attached a picture of the same bus also in Binders Yard taken 16 years ago!

Update with pictures of 207. 

Firstly another Vics Clicks one taken in Wycombe in the early 70s 

Then as a Brookes Bus 

Then repainted red. 

Then to Thames Travel and Connector Livery. 

Grahame Wareham

...... refers to Oxford Bus (COMS) 208

The weeks now seem to be romping past as it doesn't seem that long ago I was scanning my slides for issue 207.

COMS had the distinction of eventually operating the first Leyland Atlantean to enter service with a commercial operator. I think Wallasey's no.1 FHF451 was completed first but anyway at least that got preserved as is indeed still with us.

COMS 208 RTH637 started its life as James Bros of Ammanford 227 later being absorbed into the South Wales Transport fleet as 1227 in 1962.

The images show 208 in original COMS 1970's style livery and later poppy red NBC corporate style. 208 was sold to dealers Twell's of Ingham in 1975 but by then it was approaching twenty years old which was too old for this unmodified Atlantean which was also out of its COF. It was eventually sent for scrap when Twell's ceased trading. 


It migrated east to Oxford in June 1970 and was the second of the MCW batch, although built at Weymann's at Addlestone, to enter service in Oxford.

These elderly Atlanteans all still had their original centrifugal clutch gearbox flywheels which had long been superseded by the fluid flywheel variety, thus they were not the most reliable or popular buses to drive.

"I can well remember carrying out some gearbox and engine removals when I worked for a private contractor before I joined COMS in 1974 and working on these Leyland's was a longer job than with an AEC so I wasn't particularly fond of Atlanteans either in those days. One thing that always intrigued me about the design was that the radiator was directly bolted down on top of the gearbox which used to vibrate to such an extent that the radiator tubes would fracture with very hot results! I actually manufactured some rubber pads to place between the two components to try and help the loosening of the mounting bolts which did seem to help. Anyway enough of my mechanical reminisces!"

The next incumbent of fleet number 208 was a 1982 Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R which arrived at Oxford that July.

Although marketed as Leyland's there actually wasn't much Leyland about them, apart from maybe the gearboxes and axles, as the chassis were assembled in Bristol and the bodies at ECW Lowestoft! They were however a very trouble free vehicle and with the correct routine maintenance were one of the most reliable buses that COMS purchased in those modern times.


208 migrated from NBC corporate livery into both OBC variants before being adorned as an overall advert for the OBC Freedom Card............"At least the bus was more reliable than the Magnetic Card Validators which issued and read the Freedom Cards, they didn't last very long!" 208 lasted until December 2002 in the Oxford fleet when it received a plain white repaint and was sent to Thames Travel on hire for a period before it was eventually purchased and ran for another five years before it went to meet its maker with Geoff Ripley, Carlton, Barnsley where it was scrapped. 

Once again I have no images of the current Thames Travel 208 but I'm sure you probably have some from your younger contributors. Gavin has provided same ! Ed. 

Gavin Francis

Shown below further 208 pictures.  

The oldest one is as an Olympian in GG and is one Paul Bateson sent me. 

As a Brookes Bus in Park End Street. 

Then branded as a Q Buster 

Then became a red City bus in Frideswide Square 

and finally in St. Aldates on a Thames Travel Route

It then passed to TT and was painted in Connector livery which I think it still is.

Many thanks to Gavin for his additional contributions. Ed. 

Michael Penn


Last weekend (June 11th and 12th) I took a trip to South Wales, partly to visit the Barry Island rally and partly to catch up on events in Cardiff.  Cardiff City Transport currently has in service 36 Yutong electric buses, all in various route branded liveries, plus 4 ADL Enviro 200 MMCs in a white livery.  I believe these are on hire.  As well as these they have a number of secondhand vehicles from various sources.  One thing that puzzled me was the lack of a bus station.  I thought that the site of the old bus station was to be redeveloped, including a new, smaller, bus station.  When I last went, three years ago, the site had been completely flattened but now the whole site seems to have been built upon with a lot of high rise buildings and no space left for a bus station.  Meanwhile all the buses pick up on surrounding streets with one road being used for layovers.

Photographs are as follows:

Cardiff 406 (CE71YCK), 409 (CE71YDD), 424 (CE71YXJ), 432 (CE71YXT), 435 (CE71YDC) and 436 (CE71YXV) – all Yutong electric buses. 

436 is in the traditional Cardiff Corporation colours with a listing of dates of various events over the last 120 years along the sides, starting with the first electric trams in 1902.  These are in Welsh on the offside and English on the nearside.  It was photographed at the Barry Island rally.

Cardiff 118 (CE 63 NYR) – a Mercedes Citaro.

Cardiff 145 (CX 11 FZR) – one of 12 Mercedes Citaros acquired from Isle of Man Transport and was originally registered KMN 209L.

Cardiff 273 (YX 21 RVL) - ADL Enviro 200 MMC which is one of four of this type on hire.

Cardiff 352 (YT 10 UWK) – one of 8
Scania N230UD OmniDekkas acquired from Nottingham City Transport.

Cardiff 551 (CN 17 BGK) - ADL Enviro 200 MMC – I’m not sure what the livery represents.

Cardiff 744 (GN 59 CLF) -
Scania N270UB OmniCity.

Cardiff 771 (WX 57 TLY) - Scania K230UB/Wright Solar acquired from Go South Coast last year
but was originally in the Thamesdown fleet.

The following were photographed at the Barry Island rally.

The rally was slightly disappointing with a diminished number of vehicles compared with previous years, presumably because of the current economic situation.  At least the weather was good.

Cardiff 773 (WX 57 TLV) - Scania K230UB/Wright Solar acquired from Go South Coast last year
but was originally in the Thamesdown fleet.  This is now a driver trainer.

Red & White 37019 (YX 63 ZTS) – Enviro 200 in heritage Red & White livery.

Preserved ABO 434B – a Neepsend bodied Guy Arab V new to Cardiff City Transport
which was converted to open top in 1976.

Preserved AHU 803 – a 1934 Bristol JO5G rebodied by Bristol in 1947.  It was new to Bristol Tramways.

Preserved CN 06 GDY – a Scania N94UA “bendy bus”.  Cardiff City Transport withdrew all their bendy buses in January.

Preserved PAX 466F – a Massey bodied Leyland Titan PD3/4 new to Bedwas & Machen UDC. 
It later served with Stevensons of Uttoxeter and MK Metro!

Preserved RTH 931S – a Bristol VRT/SL3/501 with convertible open top ECW body.  It was new to South Wales Transport.

Preserved WNO 484 – an ECW bodied Bristol K5G.  It was converted to open top by its original owner,
Eastern National for the 1966 season, but withdrawn in 1974 with accident damage. 
It was sold to South Wales who repaired it and placed it in service.  It was painted in Silver Jubilee livery in 1977.

Preserved WTG 360T – a Bristol VRT/SL3/6LXB with an Alexander convertible open top body which was new to Cardiff City Transport. 
It later served with Solent Blue Line on trips to the New Forest towing a trailer for bicycles.

Very many thanks to Mike for these interesting pictures. Ed.

Nick Ross

Stagecoach Highlands Enviro 400 19038 stands at Fortrose on the Black Isle with a terminated 26 1606 Cromarty - Inverness.

The vehicles mirrors had hit a tree causing the branch to swing back and smash the glass in the passenger doors. To their credit Inverness depot sent a rescue bus out within 30 minutes on June 8th 2022

Stagecoach Highlands 3 surviving Tridents remain busy, 18337 is about to work the 1230 27 to Dingwall from Inverness Bus station on June 9th 2022.

Stagecoach Highlands Enviro 300 offloads hordes of hill walkers at Glenmore with the 0922 37 from Aviemore to the mighty Cairngorm on Jun 7th.

Many thanks for these interesting pictures. The ALX400s seem to live on forever!! Ed.