Issue nr. 226
Thursday, November 3rd 2022


Apologies for the delay of a day in publishing this issue.

One item of interest is that Stagecoach are reregistering the first five Panoramas with cherished registrations. We also have the latest Arriva Southern Counties fleet list and allocations for period 10.

We have an excellent report from Andrew Webb regarding EUROBUS EXPO22 with many photographs. Also Bob Chalmers has written regarding traffic and public transport delays in and around Oxford.

Andrew has also visited South Wales providing numerous photos especially from Cardiff.

The 176 route of United Counties had a remembrance run report by Gary Seamarks. Reading Bus report two interesting items and we have some changes for Thames Valley in Berkshire plus some details of a recent fire at Slough Bus Station.

Grahame Wareham with contributions from Andrew Churchill and Gavin Francis record details of COMS and OBC 226. Ensign movements are also reported for October.

Finally Gavin Francis records visits to Oakwood, Marble Arch and Acton Green.

My thanks to all contributors, keepup the good work. 

EURO BUS EXPO - 1-3 November 2022 (

Andrew Webb visited Euro Bus Expo 

The 'Marmite' Award will arguably be awarded to Irizar's ie Tram, the first British example making its debut at the show before heading off to Go Ahead London to work the busy route 358 between Orpington and Crystal Palace.  Despite the name it is an electric bus and does not need rails.  It looks quite like nothing seen on the capital's streets before and will doubtless turn a few heads.


Alongside buying brand new fully electric buses many operators are considering converting older vehicles to full electric as a cheaper and quicker way of reaching 'net zero'.  Metroline's LT11 was unveiled at the show as a prototype for a full electric New Routemaster.   

It is seen before and after its launch.

Alexander Dennis used the show to give the public the first view of their hydrogen powered double decker,
one of a batch destined for Merseyside where it will be used on the intensive route linking Liverpool with St Helens. 

Also on the stand was this Enviro 200EV destined to ply the streets of Dublin. 

Oldest vehicle in the show was this Birmingham Corporation AEC Regent dating from 1931 when it ran on petrol. 

It is part of the collection at the nearby Wythall Transport Museum.

Switch is the new name for Optare, now part of the large Tata conglomerate. 

The Metrocity and Solo have both had electric versions added to the existing diesel ranges,
with demonstrators of both available for customers to view. 

A completely new bus is the E1, currently only available in left hand drive format
as Switch aims for export orders in Europe where its three door layout will prove popular.

Scania's Fencer has been available for a few years but has yet to gain significant orders for either the diesel or electric versions. 

The demonstrator was on display to drum up a few more orders. 

Also on display was Scania's new fully electric chassis, the C248E.

Chinese manufacturer Higer is represented across the British Isles by Harris based in the Irish Republic. 

Several of their models crossed the Irish Sea for the show.

Yutong is another major emerging force from China to enter the British PCV market, including offering the only fully electric coach to see service. 

One of the latest customers is airsym at Heathrow. 

Confidence in the growing battery range means that this Yutong bus will spend its time
 working lengthy routes on the Traws Cymru network in Wales. 

For customers not ready to embrace electric vehicles Yutong offer the GT12 touring coach, an impressive coach with kerb appeal. 

This example will enter service with Ava Coach in Lancashire

Mellor, previously best known for manufacturing minibuses for the welfare sector, have launched the Sigma range of electric buses it hopes will appeal to mainstream operators. 

Examples of the Sigma 7, Sigma 8 and Sigma 10 were on display. 

Also looking to break into the UK market are Austria based eVersum with this electric bus.

My grateful thanks to Andrew for his prompt and detailed record of what was on show at the NEC. Ed.EC.


Gary Seamarks

Images from 'Farewell 176' based on Biggleswade to Bedford route 176' which finished on Saturday October 29th. Grant Palmer taken over from October 31st, all vehicles attending are shown,

757 and 278 were only down to do one return trip, the RE had made the trip down from Merseyside for the event, looks and sounds great.
A former driver's son has the plate from former Biggleswade TBD284G which was attached for some photo's.


Seems issues with new services locally the Stagecoach MK1 has had issues due to impossible timings, not one trip made it back to Bedford on time on the first day (a Sunday) with much late running on Monday, October 31st,Its now the sole route serving the dying Bedford Park and Ride, where the first bus to town is now 08.15 then hourly !, seems that this was delayed this morning on its trip from MK to Luton Airport, Luton Interchange then up the A6 and was about 70 minutes late. Have been hearing of other issues today on the Biggleswade Potton to Bedford with Grant Palmer, but not sure what.

by Bob Chalmers

Re my previous info on the C1 service - think the 'lay over' time at Radley may be down to the individual drivers choice. I saw another 'pending' C1 service bus waiting in the Abingdon High Street bus stop and on  another day a C1 waiting at the Stratton Way stop around 16.10 (20 mins before it was due to depart) - generally the Abingdon Town centre stops are 'heavily' used by all services - so a 'C1' just sitting there for 15/20 mins before it's 'due' departure just adds to the congestion. The Stratton Way 'A2' stop copes with three services regularly X1/2/3 - the stop itself only has space to cope with a maximum of 2 buses at a time. Due to constant traffic congestion in Oxford and Abingdon, often these services are subject to late running and often all three services can be at the stop at the same time. No fault of the bus company - just an observation.

 Re the X1 service - this now seems to be well used and is a definite 'plus' for many people with its 'new' route. It still needs more bus stops in Dunmore Road (are there any updates on these?)

673 in Abingdon on October 28th.

I note with much interest the official announcement that the A420 under Oxford Station railway bridge will be closed for up to a year from the beginning of January. Obviously this work on the railway and bridge has to be done and it must be a major headache for bus operators to plan their arrangements during this time. It sounds like services will run to both sides of the bridge giving a short walk for passengers to change buses on the 'other' side. Timekeeping will be impossible to have direct 'connecting' services, so delays to overall journey times will almost certainly become considerably longer (depending on where you are going). But alas can't see any alternative. The 400 Park & Ride will probably be the worst hit and will presumably have to operate as two separate services. The X1/4A can both terminate either side of the station. The rest of the services heading along the Botley Road will presumably terminate on the west side of the railway bridge - but a large area will be needed for the buses to 'turn round'. The Oxford Mail states that the "Station Grill" will be demolished to make a turning area - but will that be enough space and will the demolition be completed and road resurfaced in time for the closure? And then of course there is all the extra traffic that will presumably have to use Abingdon Road and Woodstock/Banbury roads to access the city centre. Should be an interesting time and a nightmare for the bus companies to organise revised timetables on this scale not too mention rostering of buses and crew. I am sure you will keep us updated as and when you get news.

Have been monitoring the X1/2/3 services running this evening between 5 & 7pm - most are running anything between 15 to 60 mins late! How OBC & TT are able to deal with is ridiculous. The majority of the delays are nothing to do with the buses - simply the volume of other traffic and roadworks that suddenly appeared out of nowhere!! I am lucky as I can track buses on my phone - but there must be thousands of people in the Oxfordshire area that don't have that facility. Appreciate the driver shortage which often gets bad comments on social media - but much of the problem goes well beyond that. I am quite certain that the LTN's and bus gates will just add to the chaos. Just an observation but would be interested to hear others comments on this crazy situation.

Interesting observations regarding a number of matters. Ed. 

     Fleet News and developments   

With thanks to Simon Mathieson of Arriva we now have the latest listing for period 10.

Arriva fleet lists/Arriva SC p 10.xlsx


Andrew Simmonds 

Arriva Herts & Essex 6524 on route 500 on October 26th before Arriva Herts & Essex cease operation on route 500.

Gavin Francis

4217 at The Eden Bus Station on October 29th.

Michael Penn

Volvo B7TL 6403 (GN 04 UDS) has moved from Aylesbury to Luton and is seen in Dunstable Road,
having just left the bus garage for a school run on October 18

An unusual choice as a permanent driver trainer is 9559 (6764MW) which is an Irizar bodied Scania, new to Classic of Annfield Plain as CC53HOL.  It later passed to TGM Group at Manchester Airport and then to Arriva Midlands, whose fleet names it still carries having been with Arriva The Shires since January 2020. 

It is seen in Dunstable Road, Luton on October 18th.

Arriva The Shires has three remaining Plaxton Pointer bodied Darts at Luton.  2211 (SN 03 LGE) came from Arriva Midlands North in October 2017 and has worn this strange hybrid livery for nearly three years, possibly as a result of accident repairs, though both sides are the same.  It certainly looks as though it has been in the wars. 

It is seen in Luton on October 27th.

Now that all the Arriva short StreetLites at Milton Keynes and High Wycombe have been repainted into the latest fleet livery those at Luton are now receiving the treatment, three having been done so far. 

2321 (LM64JNL) is seen in Luton on October 27th.

Gavin Francis

Maybe a little way to go to Castle Donnington for a car, a super rear seen covering 4212
in The Eden Bus Station on October 29th.

Nick Ross

Elderly Arriva Trident 5429 arrives at Luton Interchange with a 29 from Runfold on October 28th 2022

In her distinctive Love Luton livery Trident 5425 rests at Dunstable ASDA after working a 31 from Luton on October 28th 2022

Luton's four surviving Tridents normally work school services but with half term these 2 well looked after vehicles were busy on local services. 

Tony Bungay

An incident involving unfortunately a fatality near Aylesbury Bus Station on 31/10/22, in which a bus was at least involved in part, so I am told, Led the Police to close the area around the Bus Station, meaning Buses had to pick up and set down elsewhere.

Citaro 3019 BD12DJF picks up in Exchange Street Aylesbury on an outward bound 280 journey to Oxford
 from a stop usually used by Arriva X60 and 500 services. 

Michael Penn

Centrebus has obtained three E20Ds from Winson of Loughborough, who ended bus service work in July 2022.  These are 550 (FE12LKL ex XX12PSW), 551 (FL13ACO ex XX13PSW) and 552 (FL13AAX ex  WW13PSW). 

E200 550 is seen at Luton Station on October 25th.  

Gavin Francis

63313 is seen in Wycombe working the X74 on October 29th. 


Michael Penn

Some more photos for you, this time from Bedford today, the first day of the major route changes for the non-Sunday routes. 

Grant Palmer E20Ds 220/1 (YX18KND/E) on routes 72 and 73 taken over from Stagecoach.

Reference is made by Bob Chalmers to the current problems facing bus operation inn Oxford. This is above under the Editorial.

Gavin Francis

Scania 242 is seen in Oxford Street with a 39 working on October 29th. 


Jack Cooper

305 has returned to service after conversion to diesel this week, entering service on the October 25th on the X1. 

A nice picture of 655 in Westgate on October 29th.

602 has gained a super rear for the Brand the Bus competition, which is in partnership with Jack FM. 


I have a few pictures of 305 on the 300 which is now converted to diesel from the 29th of October.

305 working 300 road on October 29th. 

 Bob Chalmers

Wrights 942 in Abingdon on October 28th. 

Gavin Francis

NEx Levante 1 217 seen at Marble Arch working the 409 on October 25th.

Stott's Levante III BV69KPA seen at Buckingham Palace Road working the 561 on October 25th. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Reading Buses



A bio methane powered single deck bus which has been transformed by Reading Buses into a climate stripes bus was the backdrop to Reading Football Club – the Royals – official first team squad photo 2022-23.  

Professor Ed Hawkins - climatologist at the University of Reading who designed the 'conversation starter' climate stripes which are now famous the world over - joined the squad for a photo, along with representatives from Reading Buses and Reading Borough Council, who are both putting sustainability high on the agenda. 

Reading Borough Council, together with Reading Buses, the University of Reading and Reading Football Club are using the opportunity to launch the Council’s four-week Climate Change Awareness Month which begins on November 7. 

The ‘warming stripes’ are displayed on the Reading Buses gas-powered vehicle which Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams said helps to highlight the environmental credentials of using the bus over private transport. 

Said Robert “We are thrilled that Reading FC selected our bus to use as the backdrop of their official team photo this year. The stripes also appear on the sleeve of the Royals home shirts this year. 

“The climate stripes are a means of visually communicating rising temperatures and the threat of global warming for all of our futures and Reading FC incorporated the climate stripes on the sleeves of their home shirt this season to help visually demonstrate to supporters how temperatures have risen in Reading over many decades. 

"It was fantastic to be able to bring four Reading brands together in this way. The stripes are regarded as an effective conversation starter about the warming world and the real risks to humanity of climate change.”


Reading Buses have completed the rollout of a new bolder pink colour scheme for two Caversham bus routes. 

The new bolder pink buses are now running on the 22 to Caversham Heights and 25 to Peppard Common routes. 

CEO of Reading Buses Robert Williams said: “We are often told how important these routes are and wanted to give them a stronger identity.  

“The new look forms part of our ongoing programme to constantly refresh our services, helping to raise awareness of each route and attract more customers. This is especially important following the pandemic as work and travel patterns have changed dramatically. 

“The buses themselves run on sustainably sourced bio-methane, emitting fewer particulates than a diesel engine, let alone the multiple private cars the bus can replace.”

Kevin Fuller

Thames Valley Buses are revising some of their timetables from Sunday, October 30th, and one of the changes is the cessation of route 15 between Eton Wick and Maidenhead; On the positive side, the new timetable shows 12 return journeys per day between Slough and Eton Wick via Eton (versus 10 currently, including 4 which extend to Maidenhead). 

As it happened, all four 'through' journeys were cancelled today (Saturday), which would have been the final day; fortunately, I had been out earlier in the week to record some of the last services on this long established route, run originally by 'Blue Bus Services' since the 1920's, and taken over by the 'original' Thames Valley in the mid 1960s. 

Alexander -Dennis E200 MMC YX67UYN, fleet number 671 was the allocated vehicle this week, so appears in all the pictures. 

On October 24th, 671 heads across Dorney Common bound for Maidenhead  

On October 25th, 671 picks up a healthy load in Eton Wick village. Presumably these people will be walking next week! 

 Also on October 25th, 671 heads back towards Slough, passing grazing cattle on Dorney Common.

Later in the day, 671 is seen leaving Eton Wick for Maidenhead, having just crossed one of the cattle grids on Dorney Common. 

On October 28th, 671 is climbing the M4 overbridge as it heads towards Dorney village on its journey from Maidenhead to Slough. 

On another note, there was a serious fire at Slough bus station in the early hours of Saturday morning, 29th October. At least 1 Thames Valley vehicles appears to be totally destroyed, and a couple of others damaged, including 671, the subject of my pictures.

Our Editor notes regarding the fire at Slough Bus Station, it was a single deck which caught fire and there is a shell of it left. I think it was 667 which there is nothing left of. It had been parked up for over five hours so the investigation is on going. The effect of the fire on the roof spread to 757 which was parked up and now damaged and another Thames Valley single deck bus.  

Andrew Simmonds 

Red Eagle YX10TAT working Red Rose Route 100 i n Aylesbury on October 26th. 

Andrew Simmonds 

Red Line YX13BNV ex Nottingham on X20 on October 26th.

Red Line YJ09KPZ in UniCampus livery on October 26th. 

Gavin Francis

October 29th and 30th saw two unusual buses rostered for the 40 as recorded by Gavin. 

Neil Gow

What is the two digit number above the fuel filler cap of Red Rose SF66ARV? I can’t quite make it out in the picture. A number of Red Rose vehicles have these, but it’s not clear yet if they are fleet numbers. Some vehicles still carry numbers from the old abandoned five digit series, while on  they track with another set of numbers! 

Andrew Webb

Once allocated to Oxford for high profile routes, Scania 15616 now operates in Lincolnshire.  It is seen in Spalding bus station on October 26th whilst awaiting departure on route 505 to Kings Lynn.  The livery is for Lincolnshire County Council's network of Inter Connect branded routes where minibuses connect outlying communities with the larger buses linking the main towns. 

Route specific liveries in the Stagecoach fleet are becoming rarer as the three corporate liveries take hold. 

15613, from the same batch as 15616, now works in South Wales. 

It is seen in Cardiff on October 29th carrying the Stagecoach local livery, contrasting with the stylish Gold livery it wore on April 8th 2015 when it was captured arriving in Oxford.

Another bus to leave Oxford for South Wales is 15754. 
It is seen in Cardiff on October 29th headed for Porth on route 132, and previously in Oxford on April 8th 2015. 

Michael Penn

Cambus (Stagecoach Bedford) E40D 10873 (YX67VDK) on route MK1 which combines the previous routes 81 and 99. 

This now runs from Bedford to Luton Station via the A6, then to Luton Airport and on to Milton Keynes via the M1 motorway junctions 10 to 13 with a stop off in Dunstable Road close to junction 11.  

At long last the long held cherished registrations are now appearing on 50421-50525. Jack Cooper took a picture of 50423 in Gloucester Green on November 2nd.

Fleet list – Stagecoach Oxfordshire – 

Michael Penn

 University Bus 265 (SK72CWG), a new E40D in Cranfield Connect livery for services between Bedford and Milton Keynes. 

Tony Bungay

Not the best photos I regret to say, but you may find them useful, Vale Travel has at least 2 former Bournemouth Yellow Buses Enviro 200 vehicles, I managed this photo of what I assume to be former 2034, judging by number on front panel. I think one of these was in use on rail replacement work Sunday.


     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Call of Duty Modern Warfare II, a Play Station game was released on 28 October.  As part of the marketing campaign this wrap has been applied to several New Routemasters. 

Arriva's LT964 at Hyde Park Corner and Go Ahead's LT873 at London Bridge
present a spooky preview of the game on Halloween 2022.

Gavin Francis

OAKWOOD - October 25th.


Marble Arch & Victoria- October 25th.


Acton Green - October 25th.


Grahame Wareham 

Oxford Bus Company 226 was delivered along with 225 in April 1988 and was registered E226CFC. In plain white livery it was put to work on its intended Park & Ride duties on the Peartree-Redbridge 590 service and later received unibus advertising for Oxford Glass/Oxford Double Glazing. It received destination equipment some time in 1992, also receiving the new larger OBC fleet names with a partial repaint.

226 was repainted into the new Go-Ahead OBC green livery in 1995 and in June 1999 was converted to H47/30F by removal of the centre exit and repainting into Wycombe Bus red livery prior to transfer to High Wycombe.


On December 12th 2000 226 was sold along with all the other assets of Wycombe Bus Company to Arriva Shires and was renumbered 5826 in that fleet. It was transferred to Arriva's Aylesbury depot during July 2004 and frequently appeared back in Oxford on the 280 service. In January 2006 it was back in High Wycombe for a couple of months transferring back to Aylesbury in April 2006.It was later sold for scrap to ASM in Aylesbury in February 2008 after suffering mechanical unit failure and accident damage.

Andy Churchill

Gavin Francis

..... provides pictures of the current 226.

When almost new on  April 7th 2012.

Two years later working 2 road on  April 7th 2012.

Showing an early form of  branding at Oxford Station on May 18th 2014.

By October 6th 2015 blue replaced red for service 2.

Still carrying blue livery 226 is seen in 2019.

Transfer to Thames Travel and a repaint into connector livery by March 8th 2021.

Andrew Webb in South Wales

South Wales has become a stronghold for the Yutong E12 electric bus with both Cardiff and Newport taking examples. 

Cardiff Bus has applied route branding to their examples with separate liveries for routes 27, 44&45 and 49&50. 

Examples oh are seen in Cardiff on 29 October.

A handful of the Yutong's are painted in generic Cardiff livery to allow their use on any route.  Some carry an orange rear, whilst others have a dark grey rear.  

Examples of both are seen in Cardiff on 29 October. 

Cardiff Bus has served the city for 120 years, when trams started operating. 

One Yutong has been painted into this attractive heritage livery with key moments in the company's history outlined along the roofline.

Newport has opted to keep their Yutong E12's in a green livery with branding to promote their environmental credentials. 

Z11, arriving in Cwmbran on 29 October, carries the message in English. 

Z27 carries the same message in Welsh, seen two days later pausing at Cwmbran railway station. 



From First Halifax : Volvo B7TL YN53EOB 

From Arriva London : E200s LX11AWC / AWR / AWO / AVZ. 

From HCT Group : E200 YX17NRO. 

From First Essex : Volvo B7RLE MX05CFU    Trident LK53EZE / LT52WVB / VX54MTY 

From First Eastern Counties : Volvo B7TLs YJ51RAU / RDU / RCO 

From Go Ahead London : E400s LX58CXF / SN06BNY  

From RATP London : Scania’s YT59RYF / YR59FZE / FYT. 

From Stagecoach Highlands : Volvo B9R SV11FFW. 

From Mullaneys Coaches : E400 HP05BUS   

From Cardiff Bus : Scania’s CN57BKF / BKG / BKJ 

From Brighton and Hove : Citaros  BD57WDL / WDE. 

From Stagecoach East : Darts GX04EYK / EYL / EYH   KX06JYK / JYS. 

From First Huddersfield : Volvo B7TL KP51WBJ. 


Volvo B7TL HF05HNC : Sleafordian Coaches, Sleaford, Lincs. 

Volvo B9TL LK59CXA : First West Yorkshire. 

Scania YT59RYD  NK56KHZ : Bullocks Coaches, Manchester. 

Trident LT02ZBZ : Bear Buses, Feltham, Middx. 

Volvo B9TL HF11HCU : Sharpes Coaches, Nottingham. 

E200 YX13BNU : Select Bus Services, Stafford. 

Solo KX51CTE : Coastal Liner, Wolverhampton. 

E400 LK08DXY : Nu-Venture, Maidstone. 

E400s LJ59LZG / LZH / LZK / LZL / LZM / LZN / LZO : First Somerset. 

Volvo B7TL HF04JWE : 

Volvo B9TL LX59DBZ : First Eastern Counties. 

Volvo B7R’s SP07HHX / SP06FVG : Bus and Coach Repairs, Yaxley, Cambs. 

Volvo B9R KX58NCO : New Adventure Travel, Cardiff. 

E200s SN59AXA / KX10DVN : Avondale, Glasgow. 

Volvo B9TL BJ11EBG : First South Yorkshire. 

E200 MX12DZB : Langston and Tasker, Steeple Claydon, Bucks. 

E200s YX63LUE / YX13BNV : Redline, Aylesbury. 

Volvo B7TL HF03ODS : AS Bone, Hook, Hants 

E200 LK58CPX : HGV Training Services, London, W1. 

E200 LK58CTV: Bear Buses, Feltham, Middx. 

The following all to Shelton Motors for scrap : 

Volvo B7TLs : YJ51RRY / HF03ODR / YJ51RRY / YJ51RCU

Tridents : LK53EZE / SN06BNA / AK02POW

Volvo B7RLE MX05CFU.

Darts : GX04EYK / EYL / EYH   KX06JYK / JYS. 


Volvo B9TLs BJ11DVV / DVW : First South Yorkshire. 

BCI 151 : Aintree Coachlines.