Issue nr. 227
Wednesday, November 9th 2022


This has been a quieter week for contributions but I am sure there will be much to interest readers. 

Highlights are the upcoming remembrance day with an unusual picture from Chesham, the planned closure of Botley Road at the rail station and more on the meeting of The Oxford Bus Enthusiasts Society next Tuesday evening.

Kevin Fuller has provided an interesting update regarding the recent fire at Slough Bus Station plus Michael Wadman writes about the HCT Group and the 812 and 816 routes.

We have two contributions from Flickr readers of local interest plus some nice pictures for Buses in the Landscape.

Finally Andrew Webb updates us on recent London happenings and Gordon Scott has two interesting pictures from Scotland. 

Frank Brown

Remembrance Sunday, November 13th  is fast approaching and the POPPY MAN holding a white dove returned to his annual spot in Chesham Broadway. Carousel Streetlight 404 on a 1B to Chesham Pond Park Estate forms the backdrop.

Closure of Botley Road

Network Rail has issued an update about its plans to replace the rail bridge over the Botley Road in Oxford, as part of its wider project to expand the station on the western side. Detailed discussions with the county council led to the conclusion that there should be a 12-month closure of the Botley Road to traffic for the duration of the work.

Plans for Botley Road traffic closure set out with Network Rail to reveal more in mid-November (

Thomas Knowles

I was interested in the item relating to the closure of the road at Oxford Station and the way in which passengers would have to alight and re-board another bus on the opposite side of the bridge. 

Three thoughts crossed my mind: 

Firstly, what about the Swindon service? Who will complete the journey on the City side of the bridge. Assuming that a Thames Transit (sorry, Stagecoach in Oxfordshire) bus is used then does it become a joint service or are the registrations for all services in the area now registered under the licence Stagecoach West and Oxfordshire? 

Secondly. Thank goodness that the Tappin's City Sightseeing depot is no longer on Osney Mead! 

Thirdly. If several buses arrive along Botley Road at the same time, turning could be fun! 

Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society 

We write with the sad news that our long standing member Malcolm Smith died a week ago in the JR after pancreatitis. Malcolm hardly ever missed a meeting and will be very much missed.

Our next meeting will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday 15 November at  Rose Hill Community Centre, Carole's Way, Oxford OX4 4HF, when Matt Bullock will give a talk on:

"Recent Photographic Discoveries - Oxfordshire and beyond 1950-1990"

A couple of interesting examples are shown below. 


There is a bar at the centre where we can meet before the talk. 

There is some parking at the Centre and Oxford Bus Co route 3 passes it. The 3A and X40 stop five minutes walk away. 

Everyone is very welcome to come to this meeting. 

Follow up on Slough Bus Station Fire

Kevin Fuller

Following up on the fire at Slough bus station, I visited again this morning, and took the attached couple of photos for you. I was surprised to see all the vehicles still in place! However with a police presence still there, and reports in local press of the cause possibly being arson, I assume that the investigation is ongoing. Thames Valley Enviro 200 671 is the vehicle still on the stand, with the remains of another E200 alongside in the second picture.

Despite that, works have already started on the roof - contractors can be seen in the pictures working from a temporary platform to reach the damaged sections of roof.


The site is now enclosed in wire mesh fencing, and services are using various stops on Brunel Way and Wellington Street, creating some 'different' photo opportunities.

As promised, a few pictures of vehicles / services in Slough, which normally use the bus station, but are currently displaced due to the fire, and therefore now using alternative stops nearby. 

All pictures taken on Saturday 5th November. 

1) Seen on Brunel Way, Thames Valley 676, SN69ZMZ, Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 MMC waits time for its next 15 service to Eton Wick.
In the background, Reading Buses 757 can be seen marooned in the bus station. 

2) Another E200, Reading Buses 680, YY69TNE lays over on the westbound side of Wellington Street before working a route 5 service to Cippenham. ~
This vehicle has presumably been 'borrowed' from Reading to cover for vehicles unavailable due to being involved in the fire. 

3) Thames Valley 797, YX18KNC, an A-D Enviro 400MMC is far from its intended 194 route of Bracknell - Camberley,
as it lays over on Brunel Way between journeys to Heathrow on route 703.

4) Green Line liveried Thames Valley 761, YY15OYC, another E400 calls at the westbound stop on Wellington Street
before heading for Legoland on route 702. 

5) Also westbound on Wellington Street is Carousel's 882, BT09GPE, a Mercedes Citaro, loading with a 103 service for High Wycombe. 

6) Route 81 services from Hounslow are terminating at the Queensmere centre entrance at the eastern end of Wellington Street,
and laying over opposite the Tesco store, Metroline VW1385, a Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL, takes a break before heading back to Hounslow.

7) First 44560, YX63LKV, an Alexander Dennis Enviro 200, prepares to leave Wellington Street eastbound with a 3 service to Uxbridge. 

8) Also on Wellington street but heading west, is First's 69929, BV13ZCY, Volvo 7900 Hybrid, with an X74 service to High Wycombe.

Michael Wadman

The fallout from the collapse of the HCT Group has been much reported, but one little-known casualty has been their route 812, which ran through backstreets of Islington from the terminus at Bridport Place, Hoxton, by the Regents Canal, to a loop near Old Street station, stopping conveniently opposite Wetherspoons. Although it received some money from Islington Borough Council it was mainly funded by the HCT Group themselves as part of their social enterprise programme. As of writing it has not (yet) been replaced. 

The route originated in 2005, back when HCT Group was still Hackney Community Transport, as a group of welfare services for mobility-impaired local residents branded as PlusBus. In 2007 PlusBus was re-organised as two public services, the 812 and an 816 which ran from Clapton Park to Leyton Mills, a retail development on former railway land between Stratford and Leyton. 816 was withdrawn in 2008.

The original vehicles were Optare Aleros; YN54 LLA is seen at the Bridport

Place terminus of the 812, and YN54 LKU on the 816 at Leyton Mills, both on 26
th November 2007. 

The Aleros were replaced in 2010 by Volkswagen Transporters with Bluebird bodies. YX10 AYD was at Bridport Place on 10
th March 2011,
with redevelopment work taking place in the background.

These in turn were replaced by later Volkswagen Transporters, this time with Mellor bodies, in 2017. When I visited Hoxton on 16th November 2019 to ride on and photograph the new buses, I found that the ongoing building work had taken over the stand and drivers were making ad hoc arrangements to layover and pick up. MX67GYH is picking up outside the pubs in Shepperton Road, opposite Bridport Place.


Finally, a couple of shots from the last week of operation. The builders having finished, MX67GYJ is on the Bridport Place stand on 26th August. Passenger loadings for the incoming journey, on which I rode from Old Street: two locals and three gricers – although it was an afternoon journey and the driver said that loadings were better in the morning. As it was a nice day I had a short and pleasant walk along the canal (up-market bijou waterfront apartments and trendy coffee bars: what would the guys who worked on the canal in the nineteenth century have thought?) to Kingsland Road and caught an Overground train home.


Thanks to Michael for a most informative piece. Ed.  

Dick Dapré

I've just added a new (and rather large!) album of photos covering the contemporary (2021/22) bus scene around Oxfordshire. Here's the link:

I hope this is interesting to you and to followers of the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page - to which end, might it be possible to include the link in an upcoming editorial? If so, many thanks.

I always try to add informative captions to my photos, but I'm not local to Oxfordshire and can't pick up on all developments, so I'm always open to comments and corrections!

James Freeman

Some pictures taken at Wheatley services on the M40 

I was mop0st impressed by these two pictures from Jack Cooper taken in St Aldates early in November.

Jack has been taking excellent night shots as seen below in the operators section. Ed. 

     Fleet News and developments   

Once again Arriva vehicles are carrying We Will Remember Them destination screens which is a nice touch. 

Jack Cooper

223 with an X1 service in St Aldates on November 3rd.

305 with a 400 service in Westgate on November 3rd.

361 seen in Westgate on November 2nd.

We have yet to record the 100 service but here is 607 with an X3 service in St Aldates on November 5th. It is branded for the 100 !!

671 with an X1 service in St Aldates on November 3rd.

672 with a 4A service in New Road on November 2nd.

673 with an X1 service in St Aldates on November 1st.

901 with an X3 service in St Aldates on November 3rd.

Jack Cooper

34 and 36 show off various sides at Gloucester Green on October 31st and November 3rd.

Jack Cooper

212 with an X32 service in St Aldates on October 31st.

Another night shot in St Aldates, this time of 224on November 1st. 

James Freeman

This Scania/Higer seen at a Motorway services on October 29th has proved difficult to trace in so far as its operators is concerned.
YN72ZXZ is working a 540 service to Manchester. 

The fleet has acquired fleet numbers above the fuel filler cap and any sightings would be much appreciated.

Jack Cooper

Gold 15834 is seen in New Road with an S9 service on November 1st.

I am told thát 15830 is away for rep[airs and a possible repaint. 

Jack Cooper

50421 - 50425 have now received the cherished registrations of T50/44/50/55/60UBE.

50274 appears to be back in service today after a long spell out of service. 

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Marks and Spencer launched their Christmas campaign this week with adverts across a range of platforms including London's Buses. 

Stagecoach's LT252 and Metroline's LT649 at Tottenham Court Road plus London United's LT76 at Marble Arch
illustrate the variety in this campaign.  LED lights add some festive sparkle to the 'M&S Gifts that give' message.

Fashion brand Kurt Geiger have launched a second campaign on London's buses. 

Abellio's LT158 is one recipient, seen trying to brighten the gloom in Charing Cross Road on 5 November.

Rail strikes scheduled for 5, 7 and 9 November were called off on 4 November, meaning it was too late to run a full service on 5 November.  Ensignbus ran some extras over Stagecoach operated route 25, operating 'shorts' between Ilford and Aldgate to provide limited extra capacity for the much-reduced Elizabeth Line service. 

 Ensignbus ran some extras over Stagecoach operated route 25, operating 'shorts' between Ilford and Aldgate to provide limited extra capacity for the much-reduced Elizabeth Line service. 

Wright Volvo BJ11DTK is seen at Mile End station with a westbound service. 
It is no stranger to the route having worked it regularly when new to Tower Transit as illustrated by this view of it in New Oxford Street on 7 June 2014.

Grahame Wareham

OBC 227 registered E227CFC was delivered in April 1988 in plain white livery for use on Park & Ride services.

It was later given a unibus advert for Hutchins and Green, local Oxford builders
and in 1992 it received a Morrell's unibus advert and then had destination equipment fitted.

In 1995 it was painted into the then new OBC Park & Ride corporate green livery which it carried until June 1999 when it was converted to H47/30F with the removal of the centre exit prior to transfer to High Wycombe. 

In December 2000 Wycombe Bus was sold to Arriva Shires and 227 became 5827 in that fleet receiving Arriva corporate livery in October 2001.


In July 2003 it was transferred to Ware depot but was sold to Ensign Bus in August of that year, quickly passing to Wootten's of Chesham the same month. Wootten's were taken over by the Bowen group in 2011 but by 2013 Bowen's had gone into receivership and the assets disposed of. 227 hasn't been recorded as being disposed of in any form up until the present unless anyone knows different.

I missed out a small piece concerning 227's livery whilst with Wycombe Bus. When 239 was sold in January 2000it sported a Bucks CC funded Travelwise overall advert, so 227 was partially repainted to include a green display area almost the full length and rear of the body but retaining a red front and first window bay. The blue skirt was retained and it ran like this until repaint into Arriva livery. overall advert, so 227 was partially repainted to include a green display area almost the full length and rear of the body but retaining a red front and first window bay. The blue skirt was retained and it ran like this until repaint into Arriva livery.

Gavin Francis

.... provides pictures of the current 227.

When new on April 7th 2011

With more branding on December 24th 2011.

On July 3rd 2013.

Further branding for Wi-Fi seen on April 13th 2015.

In 2016 it gained a blue livery for 2 road seen on March 3rd 2016.

It still carried this on November 23rd 2018.

Seen at the  John Radcliffe on April 16th 2021 it had acquired connector livery in service with Thames Travel.

The next year it still carries connector livery in St Aldates on May 17th 2022.

Nigel Peach

Picture showing what was Wycombe Bus 227, by now numbered 5827 by Arriva, distinctive with its Travelwise advert, taken at the Wycombe Running Day on 26th May 2002. On that day, very unusually, to free up space in the old bus station, they moved most of the fleet out to the college car park in Suffield Road which is where the picture was taken. I think this was the only year they moved the buses out.

Another Oxford 673

Neil Gow

Seeing Bob Chalmers’ picture of 673 in Abingdon reminds me of a somewhat different vehicle numbered 674 I photographed in Abingdon – back in the day when the 600 series was exclusively used for single-deckers. This was a Plaxton bodied Ford R1014, cut down to a midibus in the Midland Red Carlyle Works, which was bought to replace a Ford Transit on the Abingdon town service. It’s pictured in action in March 1981. 323 wasn’t the service number of the Abingdon town service, but a service from Blewbury to Abingdon it would run at the beginning and end of its day. It’s accompanied by dual-doorway Bristol VR 483 which is just arriving on a service 570 from the JR Hospital via Oxford and Kennington.



Gordon Scott

Stagecoach East Scotland YX19 MMF Volvo B8RLE Plaxton Panther in new livery. Note no fleet number this is Plaxton demo not sure if Stagecoach has bought it or here for this batch to be repainted. Was painted black in demo livery.


McGill's Midland Bluebird 6006 YJ09CVN DAF SB200 Wright Pulsar 2 new to McGill's seen in repainted Midland Bluebird livery on X38 Falkirk to Edinburgh.