Issue nr. 214
Wednesday, August 3rd 2022


And the weeks roll by with much happening of interest during the past seven days. Contributors have as ever provided some excellent pictures and information for this issue 214.

Gavin Francis visited the two Commonwealth Games depots of Stagecoach Midlands obtaining some very nice pictures from Oldbury and Erdington.

The rail bridge in Botley Road will need to be replaced as part of Network Rail’s plans to increase capacity at Oxford Train Station and details are given below.

Stagecoach have announced plans for the future of megabus and other express services in cooperation with ComfortDelGro.

There are some significant changes to services in Buckinghamshire involving both Arriva and Carousel also reported below.

Sad news is that Bournemouth's Yellow Buses goes into administration with the story highlighted below.

This issue contains much to interest readers and I must thank all my contributors. Ed.

Steven Knight

A bumper issue this time with additional images and a list of Stagecoach vehicles known to be be involved on the Commonwealth Games operation in Birmingham.

...... called this morning to advise he has counted a grand total of 572 vehicles from Stagecoach on services to the games. This includes any megabus or hired coaches. He believes he might be missing up to 10 vehicles.
Also he advises that some vehicles are based at Heathrow doing a shuttle from there which may account for the various coaches. The link above gives all the latest regarding what is happening as of today.

Gavin Francis

....... visited the two Birmingham temporary depots on August 1st.

First pictures are at Oldbury Depot. It's entrance is very narrow and not much of the depot is visible. Had to stand on the opposite side of the road to get pictures many of them against the sun.

At Oldbury 10707, 10720, 10803 (normally on X5) and 10921.

11123, 11136, 11176 and 11192.

11562, 10872 (another off the X5 or 99) 26096 and 26245.

26262, 26322 and a general view of Oldbury depot.

Moved to the north of Birmingham and Erdington Depot. This is much more like The Olympic Games Depots. It is on a large industrial estate with just a barred fence around it. You can see what is inside and take pictures through the fence. Stood by the exit at the end of the road to get most of the pictures.

10417, 10419, 10491 and 10578.

10584, 10755, 10771 and 10808.

Oxford's contribution included 10781 and 10788 plus 10902 which when new was delivered to Oxford.

10816, 10821, 10868 and 10869.

10955, 11103, 11118 and a less than well 11150, not everything always goes to plan!!

11152, 11178, 11294 and 11567.

15312, 15344 and  15355.

26006, 26014, 26205 and 26210.

26233, 26238, 26279 and  37166.

44011 and YJ67CZX

Erdington yard pictures.

54287, 59223, BB18WEB and BV17GSO,

I have tried to give an idea of the complexity of operations for the event and the variety to be seen and these pictures from Gavin Francis give provide an excellent report for Stagecoach operations. With the fleet number for each picture readers will be able to see those buses with which they are familiar. Ed.

Martin Sacaloff

........ has provided pictures from Stagecoach Erdington depot on July 29th.

Stagecoach Erdington depot on July 29th 2022  

A MAJOR road into Oxford is to close for a ‘significant period of time’ due to work to replace a bridge.

The rail bridge in Botley Road will need to be replaced as part of Network Rail’s plans to increase capacity at Oxford Train Station, with this leading to the complete closure of Botley Road.

The station is being expanded as it is ‘close to full capacity’, with services being increased from 2024.

A spokesperson for Network Rail told the Oxford Mail that both Botley Road and the station will be closed next summer.

While timings on how long the closure will last are unconfirmed, it is believed that it could be approximately three months.

The Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are currently in discussions with Oxfordshire County Council about our programme of work for the station, which is in the process of being finalised by our contractor, Kier.

“The key period for us on Botley Road will be next summer when we need to replace the bridge.

“This will mean the road and station will need to be completely closed. This is due to take place at the end of July or start of August.

“Ahead of that we will need to do preparation work, including the diversion of utility services. We are currently discussing all this with Oxfordshire County Council to establish best way of doing this.”

Lines in and out of Oxford Station are already set to be closed over four weekends in September and October, to facilitate the second phase of works to increase capacity.

This is currently set for the weekends of September 10-11, 17-18, and 24-25, plus October 1-2.

Buses will replace regular train services.

A county council spokesperson said: “Oxfordshire County Council, as highways authority, is exploring all options in minimising traffic disruption in connection with work due to be carried out to expand Oxford Station later this year and in 2023.

“No decisions have yet been taken, but the work will inevitably impact on users of Botley Road for a significant period of time.

“We are working with Network Rail, and also with Thames Water, who it is hoped can take advantage of the closure to carry out repairs on Osney Bridge and avoid more disruption at a later date.

“We are also looking at using the closure as an opportunity to complete work on the Botley Road corridor, again to reduce future disruption.

“We will make announcements when arrangements have been made and will be keeping residents and road users informed about the plans as soon as we can.

“This project is necessary to improve Oxford’s rail links and will be welcomed by train users as it will expand Oxford Station, enabling more train services to run, as well as increasing the capacity of Botley Road bridge under the railway for road users, including cyclists.”

This will produce some interesting changes to bus routes and we await with interest full details. Ed.


Parks LSK873 seen operating an M20 service from VCS on August 2nd. Gavin Francis.

July 29th 2022

Stagecoach confirms future for its inter-city coach retail operations

Stagecoach has today (29 July 2022) confirmed the future of the retailing activities of its inter-city coach businesses, and Falcon.

Both and Falcon are Stagecoach’s 100%-owned inter-city coach operations. In addition, Stagecoach has a joint venture, Scottish Citylink, with international transport group, ComfortDelGro. The joint venture is responsible for the Scottish Citylink express coach network and branded services to, from and within Scotland.

Stagecoach and ComfortDelGro have now reached agreement for Stagecoach to sell the following businesses to Scottish Citylink:

In return, Stagecoach's share of the Citylink joint venture will increase from 35% to 37.5%.

Around 30 Stagecoach Group employees are expected to transfer to Scottish Citylink as part of the sale. There is no change to the operation of the inter-city coach services themselves.

Stagecoach Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said: "Inter-city coach has a positive future as a greener and better value alternative to the car and as the UK rail network continues to see rising fares and operational challenges. "The agreement we have reached with ComfortDelGro will provide certainty for employees in these businesses, and ensure we can continue to benefit from future growth in the inter-city coach market through our increased share in the Scottish Citylink joint venture."

On behalf of ComfortDelGro, Sean O’Shea, Chief Executive Officer for Metroline, said: “Comfort-DelGro’s 20-year long relationship with Stagecoach in Scotland is set to expand and I look forward to working together to deliver great services for inter-city customers in England and Wales.”

The agreement is subject to certain conditions and completion of the transaction is expected in mid-August 2022.

This should produce some interesting times ahead. Ed.  

Local service changes - Buckinghamshire

Bucks Free Press report of changes in September. Arriva coming off service 1 but replacing Carousel operations on the Bourne End routes, 36 and 37.

As Arriva is the somewhat convoluted direct heir to London Transport Country area operations of old, this means that link with Amersham is now virtually severed. Not quite as Arriva will/or now operate service 336 from Watford, with a handful of journeys still reaching Amersham,

Thanks to Tony Bungay for drawing our attention to this. Ed.

More on this under the two operators headings below. Ed.


Jack Cooper

Here pictures of the model of 601 which I have just had resprayed into red + black cityX3 colours. This was done by the Model Bus Doctor. Also attached are some other repainted Oxford Bus models I have had done. 601 in city2 blue, 603 in BROOKESbus red and 861 in Thames Travel generic.  

Bournemouth's Yellow Buses goes into administration

Sad news are problems for Yellow Bus in Bournemouth as above in the BBC link. Also remember the recent report on the rally in Bournemouth covered in issue 211.

My own happy memory of a day driving a Bournemouth Royal Tiger at Dunster on May 29th 2000. (Gosh over 22 years ago !!!)

Readers can check which buses and coach are participating at the link above.

Jack Cooper

Sunday, August 7th Buses Festival is being held. This will be at Sywell Aerodrome (Northampton).  

Thames Travel 906 is seen at Oxford Station on July 29th by Jack Cooper.
I like the composition of this picture. Ed.

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

Gavin Francis

Golden Tours LF19FYD outside The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford on July 30th.

Pulhams PU21HAM in St Giles on July 28th. 

  Off Piste 

Gavin Francis

A nice item from Gavin for animal lovers !

The Muntjacks were in the BMW factory and had the sense not to run out in front of me!

Thank goodness. Ed.

     Fleet News and developments   

Malcolm Crowe

Wrights 3818 is seen in West Wycombe Road on July 30th working the X30 from Aylesbury.

Dear old 6000 would still appear to be in service at Wycombe, this picture taken on July 30th.

Peter Edgar

Following on from the two photographs that you published this week of ARRIVA HERTS & ESSEX Platinum Jubilee vehicle 6524 here is an offside view taken in Exchange Street, Aylesbury. This appears to be the same nearside as all ARRIVA vehicles that I have seen in the Jubilee livery.

Tony Bungay

Managed to get a few more photos of the Arriva Platinum   Enviro. I know this vehicle has now featured a few times on the news page. As one contributor pointed out this week, the nearside of the vehicle is slightly different.

Hence I was able to get a reasonable view of this side of the vehicle, with Aylesbury theatre behind on 28/7/22 Taken this evening 29/7/22.



Gavin Francis

airsym's YD22BZN branded for BlaBlaCar services seen on July 29th near VCS.

AirSym express YD22BZL, a Yutong also in London with a 1334 service to France on July 30th.

The two coaches are not yet recorded on but other similar coaches are now recorded from May 2022.

Gavin Francis

Solo 20738 is seen by the Stagecoach depot in Oldbury working route 21 on August 1st.

Gavin Francis

Now working the Scottish service, Loch Lomond's Tourismo BV71HYL seen in Elizabeth Street on July 26th. 

Luke Marion - Interim Managing Director

Yes, a demonstrator is on the 11X on August 1st. It is a "new generation" Mercedes eCitaro demonstrator MB21BUS with larger batteries than the last one we trialled. We should have it for a couple of weeks so will be using it on a few of our routes.

Fleet changes at Carousel will be minimal although there will be 971-975 transferred in for the PickMeUp service.

Cumnor Hill Bottom Stop Closure, Cumnor Hill

1st - 9th Aug

From Wednesday 3rd until Tuesday 9th August, the Cumnor Hill Bottom stop on Cumnor Hill will be suspended due to Thames Water works.
This will affect your services travelling towards Cumnor.

During the time of this closure, passengers are advised to use the Elms Parade or Arnolds Way stops as alternatives.
The company apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Gavin Francis

Ex Carousel and now Ipswich Buses- ScaniaN94UD OmniDekka/East Lancs OU54PGZ. Ipswich Coachlines - re registered SGZ6664.

CAROUSEL's OU54PGZ seen in OXFORD Rd HIGH WYCOMBE on September 25th 2014 by Gavin Francis.

Jack Cooper

As mentioned last week the late Sunday journeys on the 102 are covered by Oxford. This week 603 is operating the Oxford Bus based running board.

Malcolm Crowe

Scania 214 is back in service at Wycombe on August 3rd.  

Scania 216 seen at Wycombe depot  on July 30th.

A gathering outside the Wycombe depot and another picture of the overflow yard both on July 30th. 

Amun Bhora

While walking into Oxford on August 1st I came across this Electric Citaro running the 11X, I assume this is a loan vehicle?

As noted above by Luke Marion this eCitaro 899 now has larger batteries. Ed.

The last time this bus was in Oxford on December 21st 2021

Gavin Francis

Scania 223 is seen with an X40 service in High Street on July 30th.

355 is also in High Street with a 3 road service on the same day with 601 just behind.

603 is working 8 road whilst 608 is handling the X3 both in High Street on July 30th.

667 has now gained a super rear for The Ashmolean Museum which is off to the right of picture on July 28th. 

Jack Cooper

667 has gained a super rear for the Ashmolean Museum.

667 seen from the front is working 35 road on July 31st.

Neil Bridges

Some different vehicles on 1's & 5's on July 27th.

I  think this is  the first time I have pictures of 225 and 372 working 5 road. Ed.

Jack Cooper

Frideswide Square in the location for this picture of 205 on July 31st.

In Magdalen Street East 631 is enjoying a good load on July 30th.

Jack Cooper

Tourismo 30 seen arriving in Gloucester Green and then ready for its next run on July 31st.

The elite I Interdeckers are busy with Airline services as seen above by 67 and 69 on July 31st.

Jack Cooper

Once the pride of Carousel, 875 is now resplendent in Thames Travel livery working the recently acquired route 63 on July 26th.

Gavin Francis

Variety for the A6 Stansted service with Levante III 315 and JG Travel's BG65VWX on July 29th.

Again on July 29th, Edwards new BV22VTT and BV66WPN working contracted services for National Express.

Another J G Travel BD18TLO is also working the A6 seen here in Buckingham Palace Road on July 26th.

Clarkes BF67WJN seen in Gloucester Green working a C29 on July 30th.

Kings Ferry appeared to be running to service from Heathrow via Oxford for the games ???
BF68ZFH is seen in Gloucester Green on July 28th.

A smart midi coach, Kings Ferry YG68TKF is seen by VCS on July 29th.

Seems this coach is from Neasden with another NEx working by VCS on July 29th. 

Jack Cooper

Levante NX68TSE is seen working the 160 to Birmingham from Gloucester Green on July 31st.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Robert Williams - CEO


A bio methane powered single deck bus has been transformed into a climate stripes bus. 

For several months Reading Buses has been working closely with the University of Reading whose Professor Ed Hawkins, a world-leading climate scientist, created ‘warming stripes’. 

The ‘warming stripes’ are a means of visually communicating rising temperatures and the threat of global warming for all of our futures and have already been displayed nationally and internationally.  

And now they will be on one of Reading Buses vehicles which Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams said would ‘help to highlight the environmental benefits of travelling by bus.’ 

He said today: “We are delighted to partner with the University of Reading to help highlight climate change. By covering a bus powered by biomethane gas with the climate stripes we are able to offer an extremely low carbon reminder of the climate emergency. 

“This is also a reminder to people that using public transport is one of the easiest ways that they can help to cut emissions. 

“We have even worked with our suppliers to source a new recyclable vinyl to keep the carbon impact of this project as low as possible for as long as possible.” 

From Notices & Proceedings


From: Monks Risborough To: Marlow Hill Via: Princes Risborough, Walters Ash, Naphill. Cryers Hill, Hazelmere Name or No.: 814 Service type: Normal Stopping

Effective date: 05 September 2022

Other details: Monday to Friday (Buckinghamshire school days)

Gavin Francis

Ex Whitelaws E19RRT (GW65GSW) seen at Stokenchurch with a route 40 service on July 27th.

Ex Whitelaws SF66ARW seen at Stokenchurch with a route 40 service heading for Thame on July 27th.

Malcolm Crowe

... with a  different view !

The same bus as above but this time turning into New Road on July 28th.
I think ARV does not have the rear display working?

The service is currently running well with two of the MMCs allocated each day but has as yet not been updated. I see the 275 heading for Oxford each morning when I walk the dog and so far this has been YX10BGK, The only journeys to operate via Stokenchurch are the first oen from High Wycombe and the last one from Oxford. This bus is not an MMC just an E200 and is ex Metroline West ex DE1814 and ex First London ex DML44160.

Dave & Deric 

Here is a summary of the changes on the Stagecoach West Period 3 Fleet Card dated July 23rd: 

On Loan                                54265             Loan to Stagecoach East Midlands (Hull)           to            North Bristol 

Transfers                               10686/87       Swindon                                                               to            Stagecoach Oxford (Witney)

                                              28687/88       Cheltenham                                                          to            Swindon 

Vehicles to Reserve              15349             Swindon                                                               to            Reserve (RTA)

   28744             Stagecoach Oxford (Banbury)                             to            Reserve (Gloucester) – Confirmation 

For Disposal                          47455/555     Reserve                                                                to             Disposal 

Sold/Gone                            18445             Disposal                                                                to            Gone (Stagecoach South for spares) 

Additionally, we’ve picked up the following change to the Stagecoach Oxford fleet additional to those shown above: 

Vehicle to Reserve              15830             Oxford                                                                    to            Reserve (RTA) 

Operation of Service 853 (Cheltenham to Oxford via Witney) transferred from Cheltenham depot to Witney depot on July 24th. As a result, Cheltenham’s 28687/88 have moved to Swindon allowing 10686/87 to transfer to Witney for their operation of Service 853.

Gavin Francis

Currently at Oxford, 15736 is seen above with a 66 working from Oxford on July 17th 2015.

Ciaran Bird

I come bearing photos for you! Not as many this time as I haven't been out and about as much but at least there's something.

Of note, the Scania N230UD/Enviro400s on loan from Bristol to Oxford and Witney respectively. 15835 on a Nocturne Live day and also the rather ill fated 47550 and 47621, its replacement, both seen in Woodstock. As promised, the photo of 15833 on Cornish Road is from my very first driving day at Stagecoach (18th July) on duty 1804. A nice long duty to get the Stagecoach ball rolling for me! This week and next, I'm on night duties before heading back to days the week after.

Scanias 15753 and Gold 15836 at Wootton Turn on June 16th.

On  loan from West, Solo 47550 is seen working the 233 in Woodstock on June 17th.

MMC 10441 is seen at Chippy outstation on June 18th.

At Wootton Turn, Gold 15833 is seen ready to work an S3 to Oxford on June 20th.

Loaned from West, 10686 now transferred to Witney and 15768 both in George Street on July 28th.

MMCs 11244 with a 233 and 11253 with an S2 both on July 29th.

West loans 15765 and 15766 in service in Oxford on July 28th.

Ex Gold seat belted 15966 on July 28th.

E200 37017 working route 8 in Castle Street on July 28th.

Many thanks to Ciaran, who is now driving for Stagecoach and whose pictures show the Oxford operations in good order. Ed.

Gavin Francis

Seen in St Giles by The Ashmolean is 11237 working the 853 on July 28th.
I wonder if the 853 will move its terminus to Gloucester Green ??

Ex Gold 15752 seen after repaint into local colours at Horspath depot on July 28th.

Gold 15760 somewhat off route for the S5 is seen in George Street with 14A on July 26th.

Loan ex Gold 15765 seen in St Giles with an S1 service on July 28th.

Seen in George Street working the S1 is 15768 on July 28th.

Ex Gold 15966 was at the depot on July 30th and so far does record it having worked since its move from Bristol.

Loaned Welsh E200s 36401, 37017, 37021 with 36403 and 37025 working or ready to work in the last days of July 2022.

Loaned to Witney, West Solo 47910 is seen in Gloucester Green with an S2 on July 28th.

Jack Cooper

MMC 10437 is seen with an S3 service on July 31st.

E200 37025 is receive a helping hand from a recovery truck in Gloucester Green on July 26th.

Peter Leyman

37027 was at Bicester outstation this week with 37021 to cover the routes that Stagecoach provide  

37027 surprisingly is fitted with seat belts but is not fitted with a digital tachograph and is also limited to 50mph like the other single deck buses.

So quite baffled why it has had seat belts fitted ?

Photos taken July 29th.

37027 was taken at Bicester outstation for the first run on the H5 route to the JR Hospital from Bicester  

37021 was taken at Kingsmere housing estate Bicester

36403 working the H5 in Bicester on August 2nd ready to depart JR Hospital back to Bicester.

I think there are two of these 2011 buses on loan from wales the other being 36401. 


On the Stagecoach East website, Saturday, July 30th....

Included in today's long list of cancellations...

So that means on a 30 min frequency there will be a  13:55 from Bedford to Oxford and the next one will be at 15:55 and then at 16:55

On the return from Oxford there will be a 16:20 and the next one at 18:20 then 19:20.

Whatever happened to Controllers and service regulation?

Surely the Traffic Commissioners should be looking into this, which is being repeated around the country?



Bedford Bus Station




Bedford Bus Station




Bedford Bus Station




Bedford Bus Station





Bedford Bus Station




Bedford Bus Station




Bedford Bus Station




Bedford Bus Station

Gavin Francis

.... showing how the loss of buses to Birmingham CG has resulted in some unusual visitors from Bedford.

Scania E400s 15989, 15988 and E400 19582 plus 19889 are seen with X5s in Oxford on July 28th.

Local livery 19590 is seen in Gloucester Green on July 29th with an X5.

19573 and 19888 are both working the X5 on July 30th.

Quire a change from the usual retainers for this route ! Ed.

Quite a variety of liveries seen at Horspath Road on July 29th.

Jack Cooper

As if to defy the current allocations, 10879 appeared in Gloucester Green with an X5 on July 31st !!!!!

More in line is 19568 seen in George Street on July 31st. 

Stagecoach Midlands have a special operating licence for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Gavin Francis's picture shows the legal lettering applied to all SC vehicles involved. 

Some odd stop name changes have taken place in London for the tube.

This is on Marylebone Road, the town hall is some way away.

Gavin Francis

Astromega 50272 made a foray to London on July 29th.
This coach has seen very little service sine its return to Oxford !!

Jack Cooper

50428 and 50434 seen ready for service in Gloucester Green on July 27th and 31st.
One has to once again compliment the cleaning staff at Oxford for excellent presentation of these Panoramas. Ed. 

Gavin Francis

....... seemingly now a multitude of contracting operators.

Interdecker 54218 appears allocated to Plymouth as it crosses out of Elizabeth Street to the bridge on July 29th.

New Adventure run this Interdecker, PH17 (B11PLX) working the M7 on July 29th.

Another contractor is ACE TRAVEL who are operating some Scottish services as seen on July 26th.

JB Travel GB20JBT are operating the M12 to Leeds on July 29th.

Once withh Flixbus, Linburg now operate for megabus as above with L28URG on July 30th.

McLean's now work the M20 as seen by NX21MCL on July 26th.
On presumes that the NX registration was for operating National Express services ? 

     London operations    

Gavin Francis

Wraps are now appearing covering tour buses as seen above by Big Bus DA227 for viator, London. July 26th at Marble Arch.

The extra length of the RML can be seen in this picture of  RML2686 on July 29th.

Crawley Luxury are seen in Elizabeth Street with Tourismo 789CLC on July 29th.

Ellis of Perivale Tourismo BV19YGY on July 26th in Elizabeth Street.

Another EvanEvans Tourismo EE9938 also in Elizabeth Street on July 26th.

Well travelled GAL EN6 is seen on August 6th 2012 but is now a driver trainer
as seen in Stokenchurch on July 27th !!!!!!!!!

GAL LT506 showing off the Wizz Air wrap whilst working the 11 on July 26th.

Grahame Wareham

Herewith images of ex. NWRCC Daimler Fleetline 214 JDB246F which arrived at COMS in July 1972 . As with all of this batch of four vehicles they started off working City routes but soon migrated to Country depots to replace the remaining AEC Renown's that were not OMO converted and could be used in the City with the last of the remaining conductors. After their COF overhauls had all been completed by Midland Red's Carlyle Works they received NBC poppy red livery and the later style lower front detachable panel incorporating two fog lamps, similar to that fitted to the 397-416 batch of 1971 Alexander Fleetline's. 214 was finally withdrawn in October 1979 and sold to Ensign Bus who resold it on to Eagle Taxi's of Tunbridge Wells, who were later taken over by Shearings. At that time 214 was then sold for scrap to PVS, Carlton, Barnsley.

Initially the fleet name was changed as seen in August 1972.

Quite quickly it was painted into the 1970's Oxford livery.

Then as National Bus took hold it gained their fleet name style and then all over poppy red by 1975.

Its final days are seen above in the scrap yard.

COMS Leyland Olympian 214 was delivered along with 213 in October 1982 and was used on mainly routes requiring a more comfortable vehicle such as Aylesbury, Reading, Wallingford and routes west of the City along the Botley Road. From September 1884 its poppy red livery was altered by the addition of a unibus advert for Buckell & Ballard Oxford Estate agents followed in September 1986 by a short lived Eagle Star offside advert incorporating a giant eagle vinyl on the offside.............which turned out to be on the wrong bus! It was subsequently hastily removed when reliveried into the new OBC livery in January 1987. The livery was modified to become Cityline in 1994 after the Go-Ahead buyout and in January 1996 a Morrell's Brewery unibus advert was applied identical to that on 202. In September 1998 214 was transferred to Wycombe Bus along with 202 but with a local Oxford advertising contract in place, Morrell's, both were returned and replaced by 220 and 222. By 1999 214 had become a surplus vehicle but had great value in the summer months as a Q-Buster for moving the large influx of English language students to the various schools and colleges along the Banbury Road corridor. During the quieter periods along with a number of other Olympians 214 was hired out to Wilts & Dorset from 7/3/00 to 29/4/00 and again on 16/10/00 to 30/3/01. It then spent a spell at Metrobus at Godstone from 10/8/02 until 20/11/02 where it received fleet number 883. 214 was finally withdrawn in March 2003 and repainted white prior for sale to Wootten's Coaches of Chesham. It wasn't kept by them for very long and was swapped with the Oxford Bus Museum's Leyland Titan 975 which turned out to be in far superior condition than 214. Subsequently 214 has been sold to a Bromley Bus Preservation Group member for future restoration into OBC privatisation livery once some of the chassis welding has been completed .........although it appears nowhere near as bad as one of mine, 239!

Brand new at Cowley Road in August 1983.

It gained advertising wraps in August 1984, July 1999 and August 2001.

Latterly it moved to Woottens Coaches as seen afterwards at Bicester MOD by July 25th 2021.

Gavin Francis

Seen in Gloucester Green on February 12th 1984.
Picture by Paul Bateson.

The current 214 arrived in 2010 and is seen then and in 2013 and lastly on April 16th 2022.

Today, August 3rd 214 has returned to Carousel at High Wycombe where it had been previously.

Michael Wadman

Circle Line no 1159 (H159 EJU)
Dennis Javelin / Duple, new to White’s of Calver On training duties in Swindon bus station,
with an unlikely destination on
April 14th 1999

Circle Line no 1845 (A845 SUL)
Leyland Titan Former London Transport T845 Cheltenham Racecourse Park + Ride service,
officially route 120A although this doesn’t seem to have been displayed on the vehicles often if at all.
Cheltenham (Pittville Street) July 14th 1999 

Circle Line no 1397 (WAO 397Y) Former Cumberland Motor Services Leyland National.
It was a bit of a surprise in 1999 when Circle Line won the tenders for almost all the contracted services in the Forest of Dean,
an area where they had not previously operated. 712 was a WF service from Blakeney  Gloucester bus station July 14th 1999

Circle Line no 1352 (DHW 352W) Former Bristol Omnibus Co Bristol VRT / ECW Service 31 Cinderford (Belle Vue Road) August 11th 1999

Circle Line no 1682 (G682 AAD)
Ex-Cheltenham & Gloucester MB 709D / PMT  Service Q  Cheltenham (Clarence Street) July 14th 1999

Circle Line no 232 “Redwood” (HAH 237V) Former Eastern Counties Bristol VRT / ECW.
The name “Redwood” appears to have been left over from its time with Cambus.
A couple of months after Circle Line won the tenders for almost all the contracted services in the Forest of Dean in 1999,
commercial service 31 that Stagecoach subsidiary Red & White ran in the Forest was transferred to them, presumably for operational convenience.

Gloucester bus station July 14th 1999

It is hard to believe that Stagecoach had a hand in all of this. Ed. 


Matt Cooper

I hope that you are well, it's been some time since I have sent you an email or any contribution for the Oxford and Chilterns page for which I must apologise. I still very much enjoy catching up in events every week and have to say that the time and effort you put in is certainly appreciated. The archive of information built up has to be one of the best and I often find myself jumping back a year or two (or further!) to see what events had happened at that time.  

We are just back from our summer holiday which this year was again in the UK. I just wasn't convinced the problems at airports and ports would have all ended. North Devon it was, Combe Martin to be exact and I'd not explored that area for some 20 years! Great taking my own children to places I had been taken to as a child! Funny how we do that! I think my kids find it equally funny I was actually once a child! My annual leave started a few days before we left and I greatly enjoyed reading the editions on the trip from Stokenchurch to Land's End you made all those years ago.

I attach a couple of pictures of First's vehicles operating around Lynton and Lynmouth. Apologies for the quality as they were taken on my phone, couldn't take the camera out of the bag quickly enough!  

First Group in the area wear very different coats to the standard national liveries applied across the UK (as with the GWR services they provide)

Volvo B7L 37058 departs Lynmouth for Minehead and is roughly on the site of the original Lyndale Hotel which was badly damaged in the famous 1952 flood disaster.

Its great to see the use of open toppers across the country has increased in recent years as they always prove to be popular. I remember travelling on a Grayline open topper in New York in 2006, mid-winter, and the top deck was made up of Brits! The guide thought we were all quite mad but it's an unwritten rule to sit upstairs on such vehicles! I think this vehicle was de-roofed whilst at Bradford others seen had been converted 'less dramatically'  

The other picture is from the top of the hill at Lynton and is perhaps more standard for First. The 'Sunseeker' route is usually operated by this type but with rear section windows removed and painted in a bright yellow and orange livery. A substitution had been made and passes carefully through the town on its way to Ilfracombe.


On an entirely different subject I will post you a copy of my 'Oxford and South Midlands Buses' book which is due to be released in the next couple of weeks. Published by Amberley I had previously compiled one on the Final Years of First Northampton. There is also a Berks Bucks area one in the pipeline too. It's a snapshot of buses around Oxford and the South Midlands (out as far as the Warwickshire / West Mids boundary. I still fondly remember my summer in 2001 working for COMS and sharing a company rented house off Cowley Road! Long hours, hard work but met some great people and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

I forgot to add the Enviro-200 is 44509 and I've also included two pictures of the Lynton to Lynmouth cliff railway which is a fascinating piece of engineering. No delays experienced on those iron roads that day! 

The cliff top railway.

The area has some nice memories for me too. Ed. 

Gavin Francis

Pictures are at Oldbury  of the West Midlands buses which pass through.


Now at Erdington with West Midlands buses passing this point. 

Quite a few WM buses have names which is a nice touch.

David Allen

Just back from Isle of Man. Lots of trains and teams and found a good little transport museum with some interesting buses I though you might like!

These don't seem have changed in the past 76 years ! Ed.

On my holiday visit in 1948 this bus was at the back of Port Erin depot. Ed.




I remember when the double deckers first came in 47/48 the front rows of seats upstairs were roped off as the licence was not for 56 passengers. Ed.

A current member of the IoM fleet.

The link below is a delightful memory of a north east city many years ago. Ed.

Dave has provided an excellent glimpse of the Isle of Man today and it looks well worth a visit. Ed