Issue nr. 211
Wednesday, July 13th 2022


Like many of you I am struggling with the heat, however I hope that I can publish this issue on time!

Another week of excellent contributions with some very interesting items. Steve Knight SKM has provided interesting details of the Stagecoach Bus Commonwealth Games Operation resulting in many moves of buses within the group.

Martin Dowling has visited France and Germany providing some interesting pictures.

Jack Cooper has provided some interesting information and pictures. Some pictures held over from the last issue are contributed by Andrew Webb.

Interesting pictures from London where both Andrew Webb and Gavin Francis have been busy.

Grahame Wareham has continued his story of COMS/OBC buses with fleet number 211. His pictures also record the demise of Scania 211.

The current hot weather has, as recorded proved too much for some vehicles. 

Jack Cooper

On Sunday 10th the Oxford Bus Museum had held a City Bus day at the museum site, this was attended by 668 from the Oxford Bus Company fleet.


The Alton Bus Rally & Open Day will be held on the July 17th at Anstey Park (Alton), after being suspended for a couple of years because of Covid.

There will be several changes to the Carousel network from the July 24th, full details of these changes can be found here - 

South Coast Events from Andrew Webb


Ringwood is a town of 14000, heralded as the western gateway to the New Forest National Park.  Bus stops in Meeting House Lane serve as the hub for the town's bus services, conveniently close to the bustling town centre.  Go South Coast virtually monopolise the local bus scene; the key route is the X3 which operates on a 30-minute headway for much of the week, linking Bournemouth with Salisbury. 

Go Ahead South Coast use these high-quality Enviro 400 MMCs with route branding,
as seen on 1652 collecting passengers on 2 July. 

Occasionally older vehicles stray onto the route, as seen with 1610 on the same day. 

Route X6 also serves the town as part of a circuitous route from Bournemouth to Poole. 

A Scania takes on a new driver whilst passengers wait patiently.

Go Ahead South Coast trade under a variety of brands, including Damory. 

The livery is seen to good effect as Enviro 200 2731 departs on a service to Ferndown,
a nearby town on the fringe of the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole conurbation. 

Town services are provided by the cleverly branded 'Ringo' routes, one Solo being able to cover Ringo 1 and Ringo 2 to offer a 30 minute frequency over the core section. 

On 2 July Solo SR 3832 was entrusted with the routes, seen awaiting departure on Ringo 1. 

The town is also served by the Red Route of the seasonal New Forest Tour network, utilising open top buses to take tourists through the National Park. 

East Lancs Volvo, a convertible open top, wears its 18 years well as passengers alight on 2 July.

Go Ahead retains a small depot in the town, visible from the road just off the Market Place. 

Former Reading Buses Scania 1022 enjoys a day off in the corner of the yard on 2 July.

Ringwood lost its railway station as early as 1935, but the dual carriageway A31 skirts the town, linking directly to the M27 and M3 for quick access to the capital.  It is, therefore, a popular calling point for both National Express.  Lucketts' Solent Coaches, a subsidiary of National Express, have a base at the nearby Bournemouth Airport and so are a natural choice to operate service 035 which calls in as it plies between London and Bournemouth. 

This Levante III is seen whilst heading for Bournemouth. 

Other operators cover selected journeys, for example Chalfont Coaches, who were heading the other way in this view on 2 July.

Bournemouth Rally

Yellow Buses is the modern trading name for a company which can trace its roots back to 23 July 1902 when as , Bournemouth Corporation Transport, it started operating a tram route.  To mark the 120th anniversary the company, now solely operating diesel buses, held a rally in the town's Kings Park on 3 July.  On display were a range of vehicles spanning the history of the company and of public transport in the area more generally. 

Decorated to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee is this Enviro 400 MMC, also promoting the up market suburb of Westbourne. 

Situated on the coast, the town attracts huge numbers of tourists which creates many employment opportunities in hospitality, a sector struggling with a poor reputation for career progression. 

This Wright Volvo carries an advert attempting to redress this perception and highlight the training opportunities available.

When Debenhams left the British high street in May 2021 this left a very large empty shop on a prime site in the Bournemouth Square.   This was quickly reopened as Bobby's, resurrecting the name of the business which occupied the store from 1915 until its sale to Debenhams in 1972. 

This Volvo carries an advert promoting the business as well as carrying a retro Yellow Buses logo
and montage of vehicles around the destination screen. 
The montage features on the current timetable cover. 

For many years Yellow Buses had a reputation as a double deck operator, but has always operated some single deckers as this selection illustrates


Preserved double deckers also featured in the rally.


Despite being competitors on some routes across the conurbation, Go Ahead South Coast supported celebrations by sending vehicles to the rally.


Excelsior, a long-established Bournemouth operator with national reputation for excellence, was acquired by Go Ahead in October 2016. 

The current fleet livery is this two tome blue, as worn by this Jonckheere. 

Many thanks to Andrew for this well illustrated piece. Ed.

The historic buildings of Oxford show up well in the picture of St Aldates on July 8th by Jack Cooper

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

If I counted them correctly the Johnsons coach was one of ten from that company in town
this morning.

The other one is at Osney Mead.

July 11th
Beaumont Street with a Pulham's tour.

City Circle YN22YNO in Osney Mead.

Powell of Havant BX56VUS at Osney Mead.

Provence YN15EJY also in Osney Mead.

     Fleet News and developments   

Jack Cooper

Wrights 3796 is seen in St Aldates working the 280 on July 8th.

E400 4400 is back from repaint as seen in Oxford on July 6th.

5462 is seen at Oxford Station with a 280 on July 5th.

James Allum

Hemel Hempstead and some pics of 3566 getting cooled down.

Tony Bungay

As the subject title says, caught freshly repainted former Derby Enviro 400 sapphire 4400, working early evening local service 9 variant 9A on July 11th.

The sun being in a position to show the newness of the paintwork without the dazzle of reflections.

Graham Mildenhall

Just got off my local 250 service from Upper Heyford in Bicester. Must admit I was a bit surprised to see it was supposedly going to Addlestone via Chertsey when it pulled up!

Seen in Bicester on July 9th BX70GHN working the 250.

Apparently technical problem, side display and rear were correct though. Made an interesting picture though. 

Gavin Francis

Ridley's BV69LPJ seen in Elizabeth Street on July 11th.

Thandi BR21OCX also seen in Elizabeth Street on July 11th with an 046 service. 

Jack Cooper

There will be several changes to the Carousel network from the July 24th, full details of these changes can be found here - 

Gavin Francis

Scania 221 is seen with a 35 road working on July 11th.

Looking trim and tidy 229 is seen with an X40 service to Wallingford on July 10th.

Ex Hybrid now diesel 317 with a 5A service in St Aldates on July 10th.

"The one with a small front fleet number", 360 in High Street with a 3A service on July 10th.

Strong sunlight and 666 with an X3 in St Aldates on July 10th.

Colourful 682 and 689 seen in  high Street on July 10th.

Graham Low

StreetDeck Electroliner. I managed to track it down at Redbridge this evening and attach a few views in case you wish to use them.


The N/S close up shows that it is around three tonnes heavier than a diesel equivalent,
mainly because of the batteries, I assume.

Jack Cooper

At Oxford train station, 13 branded 351 is ready to leave for The J R Hospital on July 5th.

356 shows off one of the Oxford Bus liveries used over the past years working 3 road in St Aldates on July 8th.

restore 368 is seen at Carfax with a 5A on July 6th adding colour to the street scene.

Tourismo 39 seen in St Aldates and Gloucester Green on July 8th.

901 is seen at Carfax with an X3 on July 6th on July 6th.

Sprinter 971 seen at Hanborough station on July 10th.

A nice spread of pictures of 3575 by Jack Cooper

These pictures give a good idea of this bus in and out. 

Jack Cooper

..... some nice pictures from Jack.

Scania 231 in connector livery is seen in St Aldates working an X2 service to Didcot on July 8th.

The two ex Metrobus Scanias seem back in service and 944 is seen above working an X2 at Oxford train station on July 5th.

Gavin Francis

Down from "Brum", tri axle 233 is seen with a 400 service in Buckingham Palace Road on July 11th.

Looking nice and clean 281 is seen in Elizabeth Street with an A6 on July 11th.

Bennetts BD68TXC is also seen in Elizabeth Street with a 460 on July 11th.

Very new Edwards BV22VTY is seen with a 509 service in Buckingham Palace Road on July 11th.

J G Connect is seen  in Elizabeth Street with an A6 on July 11th.

Levante III SH244 is seen with an A1 service in Buckingham Palace Road on July 11th.

A nice update from Gavin concerning NEx operations. Ed.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Robert Williams - CEO

A customer on a Reading Buses night-time purple 17 has praised the driver for his calmness when dealing with some passengers who had become aggressive. 

Kwabena Addo, 45, who is from Reading, has worked for Reading Buses for four years and was described by the customer as ‘remaining amazingly calm’ while making sure a fight did not break out after two customers started arguing during their journey. 

As a result of his action on the night, Kwabena has received a Star of the Month Award from Reading Buses.


A second Star of the Month Award has also gone to a member of the Reading Buses engineering team. 

Dion Bird, 49, also from Reading, has worked for Reading Buses for three years and was nominated by a colleague for his commitment to training staff through his knowledge and persistent hard work as well as performing to a high standard. 

Caroline Anscombe, HR Director, said: “It’s great to recognise two fantastic members of staff from both our driving and engineering teams. Kwabena has an excellent all-round record and can-do attitude, and Dion’s consistent strong work ethic and ability to always take initiative reflect highly on the company.  

“Both represent Reading Buses values and are great ambassadors for the company.”

OCBP sends congratulations to both guys ! Ed. 

Stagecoach Bus Commonwealth Games Operation

Reported inter-company vehicle movements (loans) in connection with the Commonwealth Games operation are:

Stagecoach Yorkshire to Stagecoach East Midlands
MAN/Enviro 300s 22559, 22614/18, 24183/84/85/86 temporarily allocated to Hull

Stagecoach South Wales to Stagecoach South East
ADL Enviro 200s 37168/70/74/77 temporarily allocated to Eastbourne

Stagecoach East to Stagecoach South East
ADL Enviro 300s 27520-22 temporarily allocated to Thanet
Dart SLF 34771/73 temporarily allocated to the Reserve Fleet at Eastbourne

Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire to Stagecoach North East
MAN/Enviro 300s 22887/89/90 initially as CWG cover at Slatyford then as permanent transfers

ADL Enviro 200MMC 11.8m vehicles being modified with additional wheelchair space are:

Stagecoach East Midlands 26255/56/57/58/59/60/61/62/63/64/65/66/67 (Hull)

Stagecoach South East 26237/41/42/45/46/49/51/52/53/54 (Thanet)
Stagecoach South 26298/99, 26300-03/05/07-09/11/21/23 (Basingstoke)
Stagecoach Midlands 26224 (Nuneaton)
Stagecoach North East 26276/77/79-85/88/93 (Stockton)
The Midland Red (South) Limited Operating Licence, held in the West Midlands Traffic Area, was amended in early June to include the authorisation of up to 610 vehicles for the Commonwealth Games operation. This comprises authorisation for 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.

Many thanks to Steve for this information. Ed.

Gavin  Francis

MMC 10442 seen in High Street working the 1 on July 10th.

Gold 10780 with an 8 and 12012 with a 10 in High Street on July 10th.

An interesting development is the arrival of several e200s for use in Oxford, they appear to come from SC South Wales. I think these are connected with the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

36401 is seen working the 700 at Thornhill on July 11th.

On July 13th 36401, 37017, 37025 and 37027 are seen at Horspath depot.

Jack Cooper

Hybrid flagship 12001 is seen with a 10 service in St Aldates on July 8th.

Gold to Blackbird Leys, 15760 is seen at Oxford train station on July 5th.

Dart SLF 34536 was extracted from store at Ely depot in early July and moved to Peterborough, with similar 34834 and 34537 being moved from Ely to Bedford.
Plans are unclear although it could be used to help ‘backfill’ the loss of the Enviro 400MMcs when they head off to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games operation.
A further ‘Local’ repaint is Enviro 400 19574. Enviro 400MMC 10876 was reported to have returned to service during the first week of July 2022 following repairs to damage caused when it hit a tree during the storms in February 2022.

Gavin Francis

Astromega 50269 made it to London on July 9th but had to be recovered due to failing.

Panorama 50429 and 50433 seen at Network Oxford on July July 9th.

Jack Cooper

Still maintaining a pristine presentation, Oxford depot 50432 is seen in Gloucester Green on July 8th.

Graham Low

We went to London yesterday by Oxford Tube. We boarded Van Hool 50274, for the return trip, which I thought promising. However as it loaded at the terminus the engine stalled several times, the lights went on and off, and we were treated to several blasts of very hot air. At the Victoria Station stop the same happened while every single seat was being filled. The driver then told us to get off as there was a coolant leak on the road. Eventually a nearly empty Volvo arrived and took us non-stop to Hillingdon and Oxford. I note from Bustimes that the ex Scottish Van Hools are hardly used. Perhaps it is not surprising that new coaches are being ordered - do you know what type?

I understand that the new coaches are to be Panoramas matching the existing fleet. Ed. 

Gavin Francis

Now approaching 10 years of age, 54216 is seen working megabus service in Buckingham Palace Road on July 11th.

adventure coachlines using YY14AEZ to work an M10 service on July 11th.

Keepings are providing this M10 in Buckingham Palace Road on July 9th.

Orion Travel's OT71BUS is ready to work an M15 on July 9th.

Prospect Irizar YT71GHD with an M22 in Buckingham Palace Road on July 9th.

Quite a large use of contractors now appearing megabus services. Ed.

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

The number of people on the capital's streets considering a new engine for a F35 fighter jet is probably extremely low.  Nevertheless, this has not stopped Pratt and Whitney from wrapping five buses in this advert for an enhanced engine package. 

Arriva's LT972 is one recipient, seen in a gridlocked Park Lane on 9 July
 whilst delayed by a protest march for trans rights leaving Hyde Park Corner. 

Also stuck in the same logjam was Metroline's LT661, newly turned out in an advert for Gala Bingo. 
Maybe a big win would be sufficient to afford a fighter jet? 

More likely to appeal to the average shopper is this new wrap from Thomas Pink for their range of white shirts. 

Another Arriva bus, LT968, pauses at Tavistock Square shortly after leaving Euston bound for Streatham on route 59.

This Fiat with Rohill(?) body was captured on camera turning into Kingsway from Aldwych on 9 July. 
It carries legal lettering for Oxfordshire County Council.

Gavin Francis

Arriva's HV39 is promoting the Elizabeth Line seen here working a 301 service on July 12th.

RML2686 of BRIGITS seen leaving with a tour on July 11th.

Golden Tours are in competition and two of their buses are seen in Buckingham Palace Road on July 9th.

Julia Travel using SC 15035 were also well supported on July 9th.

DLP252 of Toot Bus also have a good load on July 9th.

Gavin also provided a number of interesting new wraps and also Tower Transit being absorbed by Stagecoach London who are renumbering the buses concerned in their fleet numbering scheme

Three recent wraps seen in London in July.

Now renumbered 16980, 16983 and 16993 on July 12th.

On July 6th VN36159 is still bearing Tower fleet numbers.

Caledonian Travel NH15JDH in London on July 9th.

Gavin visited Walthamstow on July 6th.

Grahame Wareham

The penultimate Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 to arrive in Oxford from South Wales was 211 RTH640, arriving in October 1970. It lasted long enough to receive NBC poppy red livery and was withdrawn in August 76, being sold to A. Barraclough, Carlton, Barnsley for scrap along with sister bus 210.


The next new 211 was another of the initial COMS order for Leyland Olympians, delivered as WWL211X in August 1982.

Its first duty was a 290 service to Victoria with a 390 service back, the day after it was delivered.

211 received overall advert colourbus white based livery for Oxford Mail from June 85 until January 87 .

Unusually it was repainted back into standard NBC poppy red livery but with OBC fleet names
and later received the then new OBC red, white and black livery in 1991.

It was repainted into Park & Ride livery in July 1995 -

Then retaining this until sold to Jeffs, Helmdon in August 1999.

On 27th March 2004 211 made a final bid to come back to Oxford Bus for the day when it was 'borrowed' along with ex.204, 207 and 209 to operate football specials as operational cover for the temporary withdrawal of the then Mercedes Citaro fleet. 822-827......( I remember organising this between Nigel Eggleton and Ken Jeffs whilst travelling up to Alexander Palace, London in a van! it was supposed to be my day off!)

WWL211X passed to Weavaway, Newbury for a short period upon withdrawal from Jeffs (Bowen Group) in November2009, finally being sent for scrap to Wigley Carlton, Barnsley in March 2010. 

The next 211 was short lived. It was was the final one of the new Brookes Bus liveried Scania N230 Enviro 400's registered OS09OXF.
Picture by Gavin Francis on April 30th 2011.

It unfortunately caught fire on a return trip from Brookes Wheatley Campus in August 2014.

Then being then stripped for spares and sold locally for scrap the following year. If still in the fleet today it would be an early candidate for withdrawal as a thirteen year old bus!

Gavin Francis

Seen here working 8 road as a QBUSTER on August 29th 2013.

I found this within the Internet which I thought would interest readers.

Bristol VR 102 left the road in icy and snowy weather. UNK. 

Martin Dowling

I've recently been to eastern France and Germany and here are a few photos that may be of interest.   

Metz in France has some interesting buses including some small and narrow 6m long pure electric buses that travel through very tight parts of the historic city centre and also along pedestrianised streets.  These are made by Blue Bus, a French manufacturer of electric buses of all sizes.  They are surprisingly comfortable being quiet and air-conditioned.


At the other extreme they have some double articulated Van Hool Exquicity hybrid 'tram' buses which are 24m long, operating partly on reserved bus ways.  It is impressive how the different sections precisely follow the line taken by the front part. 

The driver does not seem to need to worry about what is happening to the centre and back of the bus when driving it. 
I imagine reversing must be a challenge though!

Koblenz in Germany has a fleet of MAN buses including these gas buses with the AirCon and gas bottles very neatly incorporated in the design of pods on the roof. 

Why has MAN remained such a rarity here?  They are a mainstream manufacturer in Europe.

Finally, here are some pictures taken in Trier, also in Germany.  Trier was a very important Roman town and behind the buses is Porta Nigra, one of the major tourist sights.  It was one of the city gates built over 1800 years ago.

Trier has chosen Mercedes buses for local services, both articulated and rigid. 

The City Tour bus is an UNVI Urbis which, I think, is based on a Volvo chassis

My thanks to Martin for an interesting article. Ed. 


It was good to read about how many Oxford Tube coaches left GG full when the trains were on strike. It reminds me of A time when I was traveling with my father from Oxford to London back in July 2007 and all the coaches were coming up to Headington Shops full. We'd to go to GG and even there we found that the coaches were leaving fully loaded. Like in your photos there was A long queue, although it didn't snake all around the bus station, and we'd to wait 'til we got to the front of it! We later found out that it was because the trains weren't running, hence so many people, A lot of whom were tourists, were using the coach! I think there have been times when you've carried that number of pax since the Millennium: in 2001 there was A concert in South Park and in 2005 there was Live 8. On both occasions A lot of duplicate busses were laid on, resulting in unusual busses running between Oxford and London!

With regards to what Neil Gow said in your latest update about running an item on demonstrators with COMS, I agree that it's A nice idea and would like to see more photos of them following the one of 399 in Queen St. In his picture of 210 why was the bus behind displaying 'SORRY NOT IN SERVICE' when it was dropping off A passenger?

This is because otherwise, even with NOT IN SERVICE some problems can arise as I found out nearly 20 years ago when I was working a relief 5 road service in Blackbird Leys and a very drunken man insisted I take him into the city centre. Ed.

Gavin Francis

This bus appeared at Stagecoach Oxford on July 5th and is seen on November 28th 2016.
We are unaware of what is happening with this bus?

Derek answers this question below. Ed.

Derek Wiggins 


Gavin Francis has provided some interesting pictures of the new trains.

Gavin shows us some details of the new trains. July 12th.