Issue nr. 216
Wednesday, August 17th 2022


An issue with variety and some interesting stories. Many changes will take place in September for our area which I am sure readers will look forward to.

This time we have news of SHOWBUS 50, PickMeUp DRT by Carousel in High Wycombe, Route One annual awards 2022 details and the celebration of 100 years for Worth's Coaches in Enstone, a remarkable achievement.

Oxford Bus comment on their trial of an electric Citaro plus upcoming changes to Brookes Bus/Park & Ride 400 services and we have a Fleet Digest from SKM.

Andrew Webb and Gavin Francis update us about London's bus wraps and Gavin's visit to Romford.

As ever Grahame Wareham has provided a history of COMS 216 supported by Andy Churchill and Gavin Francis whose pictures give a grand tour of 216 in its various guises.

So for  this week I think that we have a lot to interest readers, thanks to all my contributors. 

Martin Isles writes .....

Showbus 50

Less than two months to go to this year’s SHOWBUSflyby & SHOWBUS50 on Sunday's September 18th & 25th.  We have secured more static display space for SHOWBUSflyby in Wycombe and at Brunel and an option to use Thame as a terminus instead of Wheatley.  I will soon be drawing up the SHOWBUS50 display plan and drafting the brochure, a week earlier than usual as it will include both events.  If you are planning to bring a vehicle along please enter as soon as you can so that I can include it in the plan and the brochure.

We have had a lot of interest with this being the 50th and last SHOWBUS.  It is a great pleasure to receive entries from those who have not been for a few years and coming along one last time, with several prewar buses included.  At this rate we could easily hit the 300 mark, which will produce an amazing display for everyone and a great way to end SHOWBUS.

We are making a special effort with the last show.  All those yellow blocks have been painted gold, special “radiator” plaques for those in the Platinum Jubilee display, an improved PA system plus a mobile interviewer chatting to vehicle owners around the site via a portable set up.  We can also confirm that Alan Fletcher will present the prizes which will be autographed copies of the new National Express book and all entrants will receive an Arriva rally plaque.

If you are not able to bring along a vehicle on the day, I hope you can join us anyway for a great day out.  The site is easy to reach from junction 9 of the M1 or by using any of the special bus services: Arriva from Luton & Dunstable, Red Rose from St Albans Stations and from Hemel connecting Aylesbury or Watford Junction or Wycombe via Amersham & Chesham.  Then, thanks to Uno and others, there is a 30 minute free service to Whipsnade Zoo where you can get in for half price by showing your Showbus ticket.  Full details at

I am sure these will be the ones to attend. Ed. 

PickMeUp DRT coming to High Wycombe in September

The Mercedes Sprinters now in Oxford are being transferred to High Wycombe.

The PickMeUp demand responsive minibus transport brand is to make a return when Go-Ahead subsidiary Carousel Buses introduces it in High Wycombe in September, thanks to support from Buckinghamshire County Council.

In High Wycombe, PickMeUp will accept bookings via app and telephone. It will operate around the town on Monday to Friday. Carousel is currently recruiting drivers and a customer services controller for the service, saying that those roles will deliver shift patterns between 0530-1930hrs.

PickMeUp made its debut with sister company Oxford Bus Company in June 2018 as a two-year pilot, but the service was discontinued at the end of that period. While over 300,000 passenger journeys were delivered during that pilot, and the service struggled to meet demand at busy times when congestion hampered average speeds, it did not satisfy the commercial milestones required as no local authority support was provided in Oxford.

On the introduction of PickMeUp to High Wycombe, Carousel Buses Interim Managing Director Luke Marion says:

“The idea of PickMeUp is to provide a new way to get people around swiftly, efficiently and on demand. I hope this will further encourage people to leave their cars at home, help to reduce pollution and further improve connectivity in High Wycombe.”

More details under Carousel below. Ed. 

The 2022 routeone Awards finalists have been announced, revealing some of the most outstanding operators and people in the coach and bus industry.


Celebrating 100 years of service 1922-2022

A story by Grahame Wareham

...........................and talking of Worth's I am just about to go a spend an enjoyable afternoon at Hook Norton Brewery celebrating their 100 years as one of Oxfordshire's most loyal independent bus and coach operators. Makes me feel old to think I have known and dealt with them for nearly half of that time! If there is an interesting photo opportunity to be had I will see what I can do!

Worth's 100 years Celebration at Hook Norton Brewery.




Tribute to Worth's Motor Services 

My wife and I were most privileged to be invited to participate in what was a most notable achievement in the Oxfordshire bus world. 

My connection with Worth's goes way back to 1961 when occasionally we would walk to Woodley's turn near Wootton by Woodstock where we lived to catch the bus into Oxford, especially in the winter when the deep snow would prevent the COMS 44 service from getting to the water tower stop. Along would come a Worth's bus and we would then have to wait for a Worth's bus home again..............and a long walk! In 1970 my interest in Worth's operations grew especially as they were running an ex. COMS AEC Regent V 973CWL and, by now living in Yarnton, I would occasionally travel on this bus into Oxford.


Later on in 1980 whilst now working for COMS I was involved with the sale of TJO56K, COMS last AEC, to Worth's and its repaint at their garage in Enstone...........on a freezing cold January of 1981.

Back in those early days I actually met and spoke to the founder and original owner of Worth's, Thomas, Edmund 'Dickie' Worth (1903-1985), who was a force to be reckoned with from memory! Over my forty one yeas at COMS I sold Worth's over fourteen vehicles from the fleet.............Richard knew where to get a bargain..........(one careful owner, never raced or rallied!), so I think we had a very good understanding relationship to this day! So I have now seen four generations of Worth's commitment.





Your Editor remembers these when new in the Manchester/Cheshire, some were flyers. 

The celebration party was aptly situated within the historic fine ambience of Hook Norton Brewery...........with whom Paul has a strong connection being the liaison officer with North Oxford Branch of CAMRA, and of course enjoys the occasional pint of Hooky! Present as a backdrop were two Worth's .coaches, 'Mabel' their preserved 1957 Bedford SBG/Duple Vega C41F LUD606 and one of their latest acquisitions Y100WMS (ex.YN11AXS) a 2011 Volvo B13RT/Plaxton Elite C57FT. Worth's is quite a large close knit family and very proud they should be. Richard Worth (the current owner and CE of the business..........referred to as 'The Old Chap' by his son Paul) and his wife Patricia were present as it was also Richard's 80th birthday. Both Richard and Pauline were experiencing some health issues but were upbeat in normal Worth's fashion with Richard trying to master his mobile scooter in a few speed trials around the yard! Paul Worth's, the current MD, was unfortunately also suffering some painful mobility issues with his legs but managed to hobble around making sure everyone present was enjoying the evening ably assisted by his sisters Helen and Chrissy, son Tom and daughter Laura who had done a great deal of the organising superbly. It was good to see such a happy and friendly gathering of well known faces, albeit some I barely recognised so apologies if I failed to say hello! Ken Williams and his wife from Confidence of Leicester was a much respected attendee who had purchased many vehicles from Worth's over the yeas

Paul Worth presented some long service awards including two to Steve Hickling, driver and Ted Clatworthy, their resident fitter, for over 25 years service, also a posthumous award to ex. diver Henry Hawtin who lived across the road and worked there from 1928-1987, when he passed away, becoming their longest serving employee. Finally two awards to brothers Alf and Mike Bridges who have achieved nearly 100 years between them.....Mike who started there in 1974 and is still regularly employed on a part time basis. Worth's stage carriage work finished in 2010 when Stagecoach took over their Banbury, Witney and Charlbury services which had been their mainstay around the numerous villages in the valley. Other long serving and ex. Worth' drivers were also present including Dave Roughton, whom I have known for the best part of forty-five years. Mike Bridges deserves a special mention as he is partly responsible for me being involved in bus preservation and currently making headway on his 1957 AEC Regent V/Weymann 194BFC. I have known Mike since he tapped me on the shoulder in Cornmarket Street, Oxford one lunchtime in 1969 when I was taking photographs. Since then I have been involved with many projects relating to bus restoration and would class him as a true friend and compatriot who's loyal attributes has made him one of Worth's worthiest assets! Well done Mike 48 years is in my book a good innings...........and not out! 

All in all a superb evening provided by a long standing bus operator that value its staff, customers and suppliers...............long may they reign!" 

An excellent piece from Grahame with some very nice pictures. Ed.

Electric bus on trial in Oxford as city prepares for low carbon future - Tuesday, August 16th 2022

Oxford Bus Company is trialling an electric bus in service, as part of its preparation for the city’s ambition to transform its bus network to electric.

The Mercedes eCitaro single-deck bus is currently operating on the Oxford Bus Company’s City11X service. Oxford Bus Company charges the vehicle at its Cowley depot.

The latest trial of an electric bus by Oxford Bus Company will help the firm further understand the latest technology available, as it prepares for the planned conversion to electric on city routes within two years in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, Thames Travel and Stagecoach. Earlier this year it trialled a StreetDeck Electroliner vehicle from bus builder Wrightbus, with that vehicle successfully completing more than 2,000km in service on the Park & Ride 300 service.

It was announced in March that 159 electric buses could serve Oxford following a bid for government funding support was approved. Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel, City Sightseeing Oxford and Stagecoach have pledged £43.7M towards the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. The government has committed £32.8M and Oxfordshire County Council £6M. The commitment from bus operators is dependent on the introduction of public policies to reduce bus journey times. 

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company Interim Managing Director, said: “It is important we continue to develop our knowledge of what the current standard of electric bus technology is, as the market is moving quickly. The vehicle we are currently using has a second-generation battery and early indications are it provides a much improved range than earlier versions. We’re looking forward to continuing to road-test electric buses in service so that should public policy allow we will be ready to launch and help deliver Oxford’s ambitious vision to go all electric.”

Last month Oxford Bus Company announced it has installed an electricity substation at its Cowley depot to support the rapid charging of electric buses. In 2020 Oxford Bus Company introduced the first electric bus to Oxford via its City Sightseeing Oxford fleet. It now has three retrofitted electric vehicles in its fleet, which were delivered in partnership with Oxford City Council.

More than two-thirds of the Oxford Bus Company fleet now meet the Euro VI emissions standard, helping improve air quality in Oxfordshire. An Oxford City Council air quality report recently revealed with NOx emissions from buses has decreased by half since 2013. Buses now contribute less pollution than cars in Oxford city centre. 

Steve Knight

The latest news page.

SKM/FID 156 15_08_2022.pdf

     Fleet News and developments   

My sincere apologies if you were unable to access the allocation list when I first published the page, sorry I forgot to upload it. It is there working now. Ed.

Arriva South allocations Period 7 2022

Malcolm Crowe

3812 is a repaint spare and has recently been at Wycombe, it does not seem to have been used in service, at Aylesbury on August 9th.
This picture was taken in The Eden Bus Station on Saturday, August 13th. It seems to have been at Wycombe for several days.

I've sorted out this operator and can now include pictures under the correct heading. Ed.

Gavin Francis

Angel Executive of High Wycombe's ET71AET is seen in Elizabeth Street on August 15th.

Gavin Francis

Ridleys BV70EFS, a Volvo B11R with Jonckheere new to the company in September 2020 operating the 021 Liverpool service. 

Carousel recruiting drivers for new DRT

Buckinghamshire-based Carousel Buses is launching its new PickMeUp demand responsive transport (DRT) service.

The Go-Ahead-owned operator is recruiting drivers for the minibuses to be used on the service and customer services controllers to work from its depot in High Wycombe.

PickMeUp is an on-demand service that will operate around High Wycombe. Travellers can request a pick-up at a ‘virtual bus stop’ using a mobile phone app, rather than being restricted to fixed timetabled routes. A telephone booking service will be available for those who want to use the service but are not able to use a smartphone.

PickMeUp is being supported by Buckinghamshire County Council and the service will be operated by Carousel Buses.

Luke Marion, Interim Managing Director at Carousel Buses, said: “This is an exciting new service for High Wycombe and we’re now looking for people to join us to help deliver the service. Full training is provided and you will be paid while you train. For drivers training does need to take place on full sized PCV vehicles, but once you’ve completed your training the PickMeUp vehicles are much smaller than normal buses, and additionally there aren’t any routes to learn. The idea of PickMeUp is to provide a new way to get people around swiftly, efficiently and on demand. I hope this will further encourage people to leave their cars at home, help reduce pollution and further improve connectivity in High Wycombe.”

Malcolm Crowe

The depot on August 13th with a solitary Citaro sunning itself in the depot entrance.

The overflow yard is always full on a Saturday as seen by these deckers which are having a rest during the school holiday on August 13th.

Matthew Sewell 

StreetLite 407 has now returned to service , normally working the 103 after its repaint from Park & Ride  blue.
Seen on August 13th  in High Wycombe.

Jack Cooper

607 was on loan to Carousel for the 102 on Sunday 7th August. On Sunday 14th August the Oxford working was 608. 

Scania 220 is looking rather drab now and is seen here at the top of New Road with a 4 working on August 15th.

Scania 221 is seen in St Aldates with an X39 service on August 15th.

E400 309 is no longer a Hybrid having been recently converted to diesel and seen here with 35 road service on August 15th.
It re-entered service on August 8th following conversion.

Brightly presented 369 is seen in St Aldates on August 15th with a 13 road service.

E200 599 continues to give daily service working 46 road, here on August 15th in St Aldates.
Gavin saw Blenheim Palace Shuttle Sprinter 971 working the 46 on Monday, August 15th. !! Ed.

Colourful 683 and 690 are seen in St Aldates on August 15th. How bright they look.

Graham Mildenhall

Passed through Oxford city centre briefly earlier (too hot to stay!), noticed a couple of COMS red Brookes buses with “city100” logos.

Not sure what that is? Picture attached of one anyway!

The answer is below. Ed. 

From Sunday 4th September, there will be major changes to the BROOKESbus and park&ride400 services.

The BROOKESbusU1 and the park&ride400 will merge. The new service will enable higher frequency, improved coverage throughout the day and enhanced connectivity for both former routes. Serving Seacourt and Thornhill terminals in full, the new route will extend to Oxford Brookes University's Wheatley and Harcourt Hill campuses but still remain limited stops in the central area. The service will still serve all stops between Seacourt Park&Ride to Harcourt Hill, and Thornhill Park&Ride to Wheatley Campus. Additional stops will be added to serve all Oxford Brookes University requirements.

The BROOKESbusU5, Monday to Friday daytime service linking Oxford Brookes Halls of Residence with Headington campus, will also be revised. This route will be rebranded the 100 BROOKESbusU5 and will extend to Blackbird Leys rather than Oxford City Centre, and to the John Radcliffe Hospital rather than Marston Road. Operating every 20 minutes most of the day, the service will be enhanced at peak times to provide additional capacity for students travelling between Halls and Headington campus.

During the evenings and at weekends, the BROOKESbusU5 will continue to provide Headington campus and Brookes Halls with a service to and from Oxford City Centre. Late night services NU1 and NU5 will remain unchanged.

400 BROOKESbusU1

Harcourt Hill • Seacourt Park&Ride • Oxford City Centre • Oxford Brookes University • Thornhill Park&Ride • Wheatley

100 BROOKESbusU5

Blackbird Leys • Templars Square • Hollow Way • Oxford Brookes University • John Radcliffe Hospital (Monday to Friday daytime)

Oxford City Centre • Hollow Way • Oxford Brookes University (Monday to Friday evenings and Saturday/Sunday all day)

I hope this clarifies what is happening. Ed.

Jack Cooper

Grey Brookes buses 371-376 / 609-614 have received branding for the Park & Ride in addition to their existing Brookes branding. This is in advance of the changes to the Brookes services in September, where the 400 and U1 will combine and will become the 400. Red buses 603-608 have also gained city100 branding, again in addition to their existing Brookes branding. I have not seen if every bus has branding yet, however the majority of ones I have seen have now been branded. 

StreetDecks 373 and 375 show the revised branding now appearing as on August 15th.

Ray Stimpson

I am an occasional reader of your site and thought you may be interested in the attached pictures of a rebranded BrookesBus, reflecting the upcoming merger with the 400 park and ride service.  As a Brookes member of staff with a BrookesKey pass, I have been told I will be able to enjoy free travel on these during September!

376 is seen at Brookes, Headington on August 11th.

Jack Cooper

904 looking immaculate in St Aldates with an X2 to Didcot on August 15th.
How can some depots keep wheels so clean which enhances the presentation and others not? Ed.

Scania 914 looks clean and tidy for a 14 year old bus working to Didcot on August 15th.

874 is now back in service this last week. I also note that on August 17th 840 has replaced 842 at Thames Travel, presumably on loan. Ed.  reports some further Levante III deliveries during this month. 

BV22VSN Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001921602 Co C59FLt 8/2022 Edwards,Llantrisant
BV22VSO Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001921598 Co C59FLt 8/2022 Edwards,Llantrisant
BV22VSP Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001921714 Co C??FLt 8/2022 ?
BV22VST Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001921446 Co C??FLt 8/2022 ?
BV22VSU Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001921512 Co C??FLt 8/2022 ?

Gavin Francis

Hearns YT68LCX are seen operating for National Express with a B1 service in Elizabeth Street on August 15th.


Peter Edgar

You are probably aware that during this week route 40 has been diverted at Kingston Blount to run via Kingston Stert and Sydenham owing to a road closure in Chinnor. 

Attached are two photographs taken around Kingston Stert.

Red Rose Travel 50523 turning into Kingston Stert whilst travelling towards High Wycombe.

Red Rose Travel 50501 Thame bound leaving Kingston Stert.

Red Rose Travel 50523 in Stert Road, Kingston Blount and about to rejoin the normal route.

The Red Rose page on still does not reflect service 40. I wonder why? So if you look at the MAP the 40 doesn't exist on Tuesday August 16th !!! Ed

Adrian Sheppard

West have two new training buses, 22741 which is currently at Stroud. This was picked up recently from Worthing and also 27554 which is currently being converted.

22741 is at Stroud and this is the interior of 27554.

Pictures are courtesy Adrian Sheppard who is Training Co-ordinator Stagecoach West. 

It appears that most if not all the loaned buses have now returned from whence they came and SCO's buses have returned from Birmingham.

When the 853 becomes the S2 I am told that it will use Gloucester Green as its terminus. I have checked the Stagecoach website for the 853 and there is nothing to suggest how long the timetable is valid for and its terminus in St Giles.

Jack Cooper

MMC 10680 is seen in St Aldates with an 8 working on August 15th.
Is it my imagination or have the destination screens become more like a spider ?

It is good to see the Hybrids still giving service operating the 10 as with 12013 on August 15th. 

Ex Gold 15757 is seen at the top of New Road with a number 1 on August 15th.

E200 36926 in St Aldates with a service 10 which may no longer see single decks now the Games are over. August 15th.

Jack Cooper

Also with spiders written destination, 50426 is seen returning from London on August 15th.

5072 sees regular service at present but the use of the other Astromegas is few and far between. Ed. 

We still see the use of hired in coaches for megabus services, a change from days gone by.

Gavin Francis

Prospect Coaches PR71MEG is seen in Elizabeth Street with an M22 on August 15th.

Snowdons are also regular operators for megabus and above SN05DON is seen with a Cardiff service on August 15th. 

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Amongst the tourist coaches passing through Trafalgar Square on 13 August was this Beulas Cygnus MAN from the Heyfordian fleet.

Hot on the heels of the Lioness' success in the Euro 22 competition, three separate campaigns for the forthcomings men's World Cup in Qatar have appeared on the streets of London. 

Travel London's LT603 carries an advert introducing the public to La'eeb, the official mascot of the competition, the name being Arabic 'super-skilled player.' 

He is seen rounding Trafalgar Square on 13 August. 

The advert is relatively unusual in being carried on both New Routemasters and more 'conventional' double deckers, advertisers usually selecting one or the other. 

Another recipient of the advert is Go Ahead's WHV89, seen later in the day at St George's Circus. 

A second campaign is carried by LT726, seen here on the stand at Marble Arch.

A third advert is carried by Stagecoach's 12333, seen here at Paddington on 13 August.

LT71 is one of several New Routemasters to carry this overall advert for IHG Hotels. 

On 13 August it is seen passing over Westminster Bridge, perhaps encouraging a few of the many tourists to book another trip away. 

Metroline's BDE2620 brings a taste of Italy to the capital's streets with this advert for Pellegrino mineral water. 

It is seen on 13 August in the shade of The Shard before another trip to Archway on route 17.


Sky have a network of staff services linking their Osterley headquarters with stations at Osterley, Gunnersbury and Ealing Broadway, operated under contract by Cobra Corporate Services.  As part of Sky's pledge to be net carbon zero by 2030 the buses used on these services have recently been upgraded to ADL / BYD electrics.  Each is decked out in a range of wraps highlighting the environmental credentials of the company.

Three are seen at the Osterley headquarters on 15 August.

The fleet delivered or on order is from

LG22BNO BYD D8UR LC04S24KXN4000001 AD B31F 7/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BNU BYD D8UR AD B31F 7/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BNV BYD D8UR AD B31F 7/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BNX BYD D8UR AD B31F 8/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BNY BYD D8UR AD B31F 7/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BNZ BYD D8UR AD B31F 8/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BOF BYD D8UR AD B31F 8/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet
LG22BOH BYD D8UR AD B31F 8/2022 Cobra Corporate Fleet

Gavin Francis

I went to Romford on August 11th to get some pictures of Route 248 which passes from SC to Arriva on September 24th. With a PVR of 15 it is operated mainly by Scania N230UD Omnicity deckers. This model has now more or less died out in London with only SC and RATP operating a few of them. 

Since I was last there SC now operate electric A-D BYD buses on the 174.
14141 was carrying a wrap for S. Pellegrino. 

 There was a time when each London bus route only had one type operating it but that is no longer the case.

On the 5 today we had the following, E400, EH (MMC), LT, EH (E400).
WVL 454 and 484 with wraps for the new Elizabeth Line.
LT 425.  Used to see this wrap in Central London a few months ago but this one still in service in Romford.

LT 951. With the reduction in services on the EL1 and EL2 spare LTs are now being used on other routes including the 5.

Like most routes although the 248 should be Scania operated E400 19790 found itself on the route today.

ENL111. This is a very limited service which uses only 1 bus and does just 4 round trips a day.

SC London 15019 on 248 to Cranham

August 15th picture.

LT726 wrap was at Marble Arch when I got there this morning.
It's for the World Cup in Qatar so should be no problem getting better shots in the future.

Both these contributors provide some most interesting pictures each week. Thank you Guys. Ed. 

Grahame Wareham

The last in the batch of ex. North Western Daimler Fleetline's was 216 JDB248F and arrived in July 1972. Like the other three of the batch 216 migrated out to the country depots being single doored and was overhauled by Midland Red in July 1975, returning to the fleet in NBC poppy red livery. In 1979 216 was withdrawn and sold to Ensign Bus who then quickly resold it to Lamcote Motors of Radcliffe, Notts, where it lasted until the summer of 1992 when it was dispatched to W, North's of Sherburn in Elmet for possible resale but alas finally scrapped. It's last life with Lamcote's was therefore longer than with both North Western and Oxford together! 

The X60 was a joint service from Manchester to Blackpool. 





"216 was delivered in September 1982 together with 217 and was identical to all the previous deliveries. Spending most of its time on routes west of the City it received the new OBC livery in 1991. In January 1995 it was refurbished and retrimmed to become a Park & Ride bus lasting on these duties until the summer of 1999. Upon withdrawal it had already been earmarked to be sold to Worth's of Enstone and this indeed took place where it spent the next seven years based at there and in September 2006 it passed to Confidence of Leicester at South Wigston where was to spend another eight years until being broken up for spares in June 2014." 

Three lives of 216.

It looked very smart.

The final days of 216 in service.

Andy Churchill

Leyland Olympian 216 (BBW216Y) seen at Carfax in Oxford City Centre and in Park&Ride livery on the 300 to Redbridge in the mid '90s.

Gavin Francis 

When almost new 216  is seen working 5 road on June 18th 2010.

Nearly a year later and new branding has been added on April 30th 2011.

On a wet December 22nd 2012 the bus is seen at Oxford station, a very wet day!

By April 10th 2016, 216 has lost its fancy wheel trims and is seen working 35 road.

Now on my home ground in Stokenchurch the Scania is working the 40 on January 13th 2017

Now branded for Carousel 216makes a fine sight working the 39 on May 6th 2019.

Looking smart in Carousel livery 216 is seen working the 39 in Wycombe on May 6th 2019.

Today the bus is still active in High Wycombe and you can see my picture of the overflow yard under Carousel. Ed.

In the next issue we will have a visit to The Republic of Eire by Andrew Webb with some very interesting pictures.

Here is a taster.

Julian Wells regarding news from Bournemouth

Thank you for using my report on the demise of Yellow Buses in the latest OCBP.  I have some follow-up information (and a small correction) if you have room to include it in next week's issue. 

National Express has taken in-house the contracted coach services that were previously operated by Yellow Coaches. They have however sold on the rest of the Yellow Coaches operation to Xelabus of Eastleigh, who will retain the Yellow Coaches name. Yellow Coaches will continue to operate Private Hires and school contracts in and around the Bournemouth area. 


More Bus recruited over 100 drivers on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th, most were former Yellow Buses drivers although one or two came from further afield. This meant that on Saturday 6th August More Bus were also able to take on routes 18, 33 and 36, which are contracted to the local Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council (a Unitary Authority). However in a twist, the Council then awarded the routes to Yellow Coaches on an emergency six-month contract, to commence Monday 15th August; the Council claimed this move represented "best value".  A disappointed More Bus has now brought forward a plan to operate open-top bus route 12 along the Bournemouth seafront, from Hengistbury Head to Alum Chine. This had been proposed for the 2023 season, but will now commence on Sunday 14th August and will operate for the rest of the 2022 Summer season. 


More Bus has not taken on former Yellow Buses route 3 as it was duplicated by their own M1 route.  To provide extra capacity, the fifteen new Bournemouth University ADL Enviro400 MMCs have been pressed into service on routes M1 and M2. From Monday 19th September additional resources will be allocated to routes M1 and M2 as the University Buses will need to be redeployed to University routes use at the start of the new term. As well as the University buses, over twenty additional vehicles have been resourced from the reserve fleet, and from fellow Go-Ahead South Coast companies Salisbury Reds and Bluestar. 


More Bus will make interim timetable adjustments to the 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 4, 5 and 5A in the light of operating experience and feedback. Two additional vehicle workings will be added to the operating cycle to counter late running. 


It will be interesting to see how More Bus develops in the weeks and months to come, as it integrates the former Yellow Buses routes into its own network. 


Finally, a small error crept into last week's report. The Bournemouth-Somerford route is the 1A, not the 1B; the 1B (and 1) operate between Bournemouth and Christchurch only.  

National Express has taken in-house the contracted coach services that were previously operated by Yellow Coaches. They have however sold on the rest of the Yellow Coaches operation - private hires and school contracts - to Xelabus of Eastleigh, who will retain the Yellow Coaches name.  

The council has now awarded the contracted routes to Yellow Coaches - as you say, what a mess for the passengers! (Although to be fair, they are keeping the same timetables, as indeed More Bus did). There will also be some timetable changes in August and September, and More Bus have brought forward a plan to operate a new open-top bus route in Bournemouth. I will send you a revised report later on. 

Neil Gow regarding Interlink Explorer tickets & Botley Road Bridge

This was raised by Andrew Moore a few weeks ago. Ed.

The issue that Andrew Moore encountered is quite common. It’s the same with Carousel issued tickets. An Interlink Explorer bought with them will scan in the ticket readers of their buses but not Arriva’s, and it’s the same the other way round. But it’s not a problem, you show the ticket to the driver, draw attention to the magic word “Explorer” and they should take it. 

Redline are interesting. They issue then on all their routes and should therefore accept them on all of their routes, whether or not they are tendered/commercial or run into Hertfordshire. Some of their drivers are a bit sticky about accepting other operator’s Explorers though, from what I’ve heard on another group. That said, I twice managed to get an Arriva one accepted on their super fast mid-evening positioning trip on the 321 from Aylesbury-Wycombe (which used to run over to pick up the Wycombe-Chesham late evening contract when they had it) – at a time when they weren’t advertising them on their commercial journeys. 

It’s the same elsewhere too. An Essex Explorer (all operators) ticket issued by Hedingham would work the scanners on Hedingham buses but not those of First Essex – but a cursory glance from the First drivers was all that was required. 

I stated regarding the Bus Ticket enquiry, it is only a possible suggestion rather than hard fact.

Botley Road rail bridge

Mention of the forthcoming works to the Botley Road rail station bridge in issue 214 reminded me of the last time it was rebuilt in November 1979. On that occasion they managed to complete the works in a single weekend. The first picture taken on the Saturday shows the new deck already in place (I never got a picture of the old arch), so I guess some preliminary works must have taken place beforehand. Buses from the west of the city terminated in railway owned land on the west of side of the station, as shown by Daimler Fleetline  412 in the second picture. 

As a result of the works COMS no longer needed special low-height (13’ 5” or less) double-deckers and the 13’ 8” Bristol VRs were renumbered out of the 9xx highbridge series. 901-903 (OFC 901-3H) became 301-303 and the recently delivered two door VRs for city services 924-936 (HUD 474-81S, OUD 482-6T) became 474-486. The latter had already been registered with number sequences matching their new fleet numbers in anticipation of the change. In fact, a certain Mr Wareham drew attention to it in a fleet list of COMS published by the Oxford Bus Preservation Syndicate in January 1978 (which remains to this day one of the best produced fleet list publications I have ever owned)! 

I have seen mentioned elsewhere that this latest re-building of the bridge will allow standard highbridge buses to pass under.

Peter Edgar

Thanks for the latest Weekly Newsletter. 

Thought you may like the attached photograph to show that some of the old Birmingham City Transport does still exist if only on a modern vehicle. Managed to capture this whilst in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games buses recently.

E400 4722 now carries heritage livery for Birmingham City.

Tony Bungay

Just a couple of comments to add, in part to your current News page, and one or two other matters.

I read on the news page a fellow contributor commenting on the Stagecoach participation at the Buses Festival last Sunday. I would imagine this was influenced by (a) the requirements for the Commonwealth Games and (b) the same day there was an event at Silverstone, which entailed a number of yellow signs on the A43 including one for Stagecoach, and driving up to Northampton a number of Stagecoach vehicles passed in the other direction with Silverstone on the destination.

I will emphasise that this is total speculation on my part, so it could well be totally incorrect! But I wondered if your contributors question about problems with interlink Explorer, is down to a misunderstanding when requested

There is an explorer ticket for Hertfordshire called Intalink, which is multi operator valid as shown on the Intalink website. I assume it is Hertfordshire and services that operate into or out of only, I certainly have purchased them on the Arriva 500 and used them on Metroline when they operated the 84. As you yourself noted, you have requested clarification from various operators, so hopefully the problem may be answered.

Another couple of pieces of info, High Wycombe is getting a DRT service operated by Carousel if you had not already heard about.

And although National Express acquired the former Bournemouth Coaches operation, the Yellow Coaches name was purchased by Xelabus I understand, in addition they have now won the operation of a couple of council funded services back in Bournemouth.

Thanks  to these contributors for some answers and comments on recent items. Ed. 

Jack Cooper

 I did enjoy a nice break to Sheringham in Norfolk! Did manage to get a few pictures from outside Norwich Station during my quick 25 minute change of trains there on August 9th.

First Norwich passing the station, 36189 and 36192.

36169 heads for the station working route 25 on August 9th.

StreetLite 63319 seen working the 15A, a GREEN LINE service not to be confused with our well known services from London !

James Freeman