Issue nr. 228
Wednesday, November 16th 2022


A rewarding week for the Editor with some very  nice contributions from a number of supporters.

Andrew Webb has provided an account of the Lord Mayor's Show plus some recent wraps in London. More correspondence and news is featured regarding the rebuilding of Oxford Station and the Botley Road bridge.

Carousel are having success with the new PICKMEUP operation. In addition we have some great pictures from local operators.

Grahame Wareham provides history of COMS 228 and Kevin Fuller catches up with 227 when at Wycombe.

This week we have some interesting letters for Readers Write.

Finally Jack Cooper has visited Bournemouth and local areas with some interesting pictures. 

Lord Mayor’s Show (

Andrew Webb

Dating back to the 13th Century, the Lord Mayor's Show is a colourful pageant through the Square Mile in November each year. 

A regular participant in the show is this former Mersey Bus Alexander Olympian which has been fitted out as a travelling Art Gallery. 

Driving for Change is a project aiming to help the homeless.  One of the buses it uses is former London United Scania SP15. 

Also appearing in the show was Arriva's RM2217.  All three are seen at the start of the procession passing the Museum of London.

Also featuring in the show were two horse drawn buses.

Ensignbus operated two heritage vehicles as extras over route 25 on 12 November with fares donated to the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal. The Lord Mayor's Show meant the buses could only work between Ilford and Aldgate.  

RT624 is seen at Stratford Bus Station, whilst RM25 is pictured arriving at the edge of the busy town centre. 

Botley Road and Oxford Rail Station rebuild

Bob Chalmers

So I see this week they have now announced that the Youth Hostel by the railway station is also to be demolished early next year to make space for a new 'west' entrance to the new station. Fine - makes sense (assuming they find alternative accommodation) - but it is a big building and will take a lot of time and additional space to clear the debris. The demolition equipment, lorries to remove the debris, and additional space needed to accommodate this will just add to the congestion in the area. So how are they going to fit in a 'turning area' for the the buses whilst this is all going on? And there's the 'Station Grill' too - all this work going on at the same time will surely just make the situation totally chaotic at the west side of the bridge. Seems like last minute panic 'planning' to me. Surely all the demolition work and resurfacing needs to be completed first before there is any thought of closing the bridge - and that isn't going to happen by 9th January?? If you add in the proposed new Ltn's too - we'll who knows what 2023 will bring too that part of Oxford. 

Peter Edgar

Attached are two photographs taken yesterday 10/11/22 of the railway bridge in Botley Road, whilst I appreciate many of you readers will be familiar with this location I thought there may be others who don’t. As has  been discussed recently this is the area of Oxford Railway station that is to be drastically changed over a 12 month period commencing early next year by the replacement of this bridge with a new one roughly in the position where the buses are in the photographs.


Go Ahead advise "PMU Wycombe is progressing well and we are now seeing an average of around 45 journeys per vehicle per day taking place, which is encouraging. We understand from our partners at Via that this is the best performing of the "Rural Mobility Fund" funded pilot projects, which is good to hear." 

Nick Ross

A Marshalls coach crosses the Grand Union canal on the Leighton Buzzard by pass on November 9th 2022 

A very smartly branded First Midlands Volvo B7 crosses the main road to enter Bromsgrove bus stand on November 10th 2022. 

     Fleet News and developments   

Kevin Fuller

I was in Marlow for a couple of hours last Saturday afternoon, 5th November and took the opportunity to get some photos of the Arriva 800 / 850 services passing through, all in the hands of Mercedes Citaro single deckers: 

3917, BV58MLN, carrying 'MAX' livery splashes through recent heavy rain on the A4155
 as it leaves Marlow with a Reading to High Wycombe 800 service. 

At the other end of town, 3010, BJ12YPV heading in the opposite direction, pauses to set down on its way to Reading. 

In Dean Street, 3015, BD12DHX pauses to pick up passengers en-route to High Wycombe with an 850 service from Reading.

Richard Sharman

It would appear that late running departures from Oxford on the Arriva 280 service that are doing Thame shorts have this destination option for if they are having to turn short at the M40 services.

Tony Bungay

Appeared in Aylesbury this week is 4759, seen today 9/11/22 working Service 150 from Milton Keynes,
unfortunately the main destination has not shown, though the side display is featured.

Later that day in a virtually deserted Aylesbury Bus Station, this retired Dennis Dart SLF 3101 was seen parked up,
there were no other Arriva vehicles present on the bays behind to provide a contrast in livery styles.

Paul Weal

Grant Palmer has recently taken on deregistered Stagecoach routes 72 & 73 in the Biggleswade area. As a result operation of Leighton Buzzard town service 36 has passed to Centrebus to free up driver resources.

I enclose two photos which may be of use. 

Grant Palmer 212 YX12DHG is in Wing Road Linslade during the last week of operation.

Centrebus 552 FL13AAX  was formerly WW13PSW in the Paul S Winson fleet. It is seen at Southcott Village. 

Malcolm Crowe

215 is pictured in the yard last Saturday but has since been removed from

432 is seen at the depot on November 12th.

242 also at the depot on November 12th.

The Sprinters have a rest over the weekend and all the blue ones were inside the depot with the red ones outside. 

The company advises "514 suffered some engine damage in an incident back in August and we needed some hard to get hold of parts from ADL before we could get it back on the road. I'm pleased to say that these parts finally arrived last week and this bus is now in the workshop being prepared for service once again." 

Graham Mildenhall

Noticed your comment about the lack of record of the city100 in Oxford so as I was off today and in the city I had a ride up to Cowley to get a few pictures. 

Attached are 604, 603 and 608 all taken at Cowley Centre (Templars Square as they call it these days),


and I then rode on 604 to the JR Hospital terminus where it is pictured again along with 608.

Hope this rectifies the previous lack of content!

Two new routes ridden today – that doesn’t happen very often in Oxford. 

Jack Cooper

The company remembers them - November 10th.

Pig and Bob

On Monday and Tuesday the X3 and 400 were both doing unusual workings with 658 being on the X3 and 670 on the 400. 


Today the 3A had an unusual working which was 668 heading to Cowley after picking some people up at Westgate


Richard Sharman

A selection of Oxford Bus Company vehicles sporting the 'Lest we forget' destination.

Thames Travel's 210 is seen making a rare appearance on the 5 to Blackbird Leys.  

I am advised that the first two vehicles of the 921-929 batch will start going into service this week, so readers should see these on the road shortly.

Graham Mildenhall

Whilst at the JR Hospital this pm (11 November) waiting for the ST2 Connector to arrive, when the ST2 arrived with a scrolling blind display “lest we forget” so have attached pictures of both. Two new routes ridden today – that doesn’t happen very often in Oxford.

Then the ST2 arrived with a scrolling blind display “lest we forget”. 

Jack Cooper

943 is seen in St Aldates with a X32 on November 10th.

David Beynon

The mystery Scania in this week’s update may well turn out to belong to Weavaway as I saw YN72ZXX in Oxford on 04 October in all white with their titles and I was under the impression that they were getting three of them. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley


An environmentally friendly bus fleet which provides an alternative to the car has earned Reading Borough Council and Reading Buses a place on the inaugural UK Net Zero 50 List. 

Both Reading Borough Council and Reading Buses are now urging as many people as possible to vote for them in the People’s Choice Award before voting closes at 12 noon on November 15. 

The winner will be announced at the Net Zero List Reception on November 16. 

The list, which coincides with COP27, represents the top 50 individuals, initiatives, products and services helping the UK reach Zero Net. 

Reading Borough Council and Reading Buses have been recognised in the Net Zero Public Sector category for their proactive approach to investment in bus priority infrastructure and municipal ownership of an environmentally friendly bus fleet, to deliver attractive public transport alternatives to the car, cleaner air and lower carbon emissions in Reading. 

As the first-ever of its kind, the Net Zero 50 list will showcase the work already underway, the 50 most inspiring individuals, initiatives, products and services that are driving forward decarbonisation across the UK.

Said Robert Williams, Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been included on the UK Net Zero 50 list, and would be delighted if we were also selected People’s Choice Awards.  

“We operate a fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles and take pride in being locally owned and locally managed from Reading. Our company ownership model means that we are solely focused on providing the best possible service to the people of the area.  

“This initiative truly recognises that reaching net zero is everyone’s responsibility.” 

Votes for the People’s Choice Award can be cast at 

The ticket machine s have still not been updated to show route 40 !

I was asked about "fleet numbers" apearing over the filler caps but these not in anyway refer to the fleet numbers used on

MMC E20 SF66ARV with a service 40 on November 10th. 

Tony Bungay

On a different note, again you may have already heard, a tread on Uk rail forum website reveals that Stagecoach has put a number of it’s Heritage fleet vehicles up for sale, including from the initial list Stagecoach Midlands former E.C.O.C Bristol FLF. 

Tony Gaze

A small selection of photos from Cheltenham town centre (Pittville Street) for the weekend race meeting (11-13/11/22) 

I wasn't over there for long so not sure how many vehicles were being used 

10945, 10949 and 10967 from South

11233, 11234, 15752 and 15758 from Oxford

Rest s
eemed to be made up from the local fleet (Gloucester, Cheltenham and Bristol)

28744, last of the ex Banbury 'golds' to enter service in Gloucester
on service 12 to Quedgeley (08/11/22)

Graham Mildenhall

Whilst at the JR Hospital this pm (11 November) waiting for the ST2 Connector to arrive, Stagecoach 10678 pulled up at the stop, something didn’t seem right.  

Took me a minute or two to realise why – old livery, new style logo and fleet name!

Jack Cooper

MMC 10674 seen at Carfax working route 8 on November 10th.

Now 12 years old and still in original livery, 12012 is seen at Carfax with 10 on November 10th.
Whilst until recently at least six of the Hybrids could be seen working the 10, this is no longer the case.

Richard Sharman

Gold 10788 is seen wearing its poppy whilst basking in the winter sun on St. Giles.  

Astromega 50272 appears to be still in South Wales for repairs. 


Tony Bungay

Visiting the Aldenham Transport Spectacular, actually held in Borehamwood, I managed to get Sullivan Buses Enviro 200 AE8 working Service 306 with matching branding, in less than ideal lighting conditions in Borehamwood High Street. This vehicle was new to Go Ahead London as SE43. The livery this vehicle wears matches the lineage of Route 306 with its London Transport Country area/London Country history! 

Tony Bungay

A few months ago you asked if I had seen the brand new Enviro 400MMC that Z and S had taken into stock, although seen a couple of times, photography was not possible, even the photo today was a spur of the moment opportunity, so not as good as it could be of this seemingly rather elusive vehicle. Certainly a very upmarket School Bus!

It seems in true Bus fashion, you wait ages to get a photo  of the above, then a day or so later another opportunity occurs. The Z & S Enviro 400mmc was caught just after daybreak, by Aylesbury Rail Station on Friday 11th November.

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Coinciding with the World Travel Market held at Excel between 7 and 9 November is this overall wrap for British Airways.  Stagecoach's LT382 shows the offside of the advert whilst the nearside is modelled by Metroline's LT756.  Both are seen at Tottenham Court Road on 12 November. 


Also seen at Tottenham Court Road on the same day is Abellio's LT166 which has received this wrap for Armani.  Like the Marks & Spencer Christmas campaign it utilises LED lights to add some festive sparkle. 

The effect is best seen after sunset as illustrated by Stagecoach's LT388 at Old Street. 

Grahame Wareham

Herewith my input for issue 228. OBC 228 E228CFC was delivered in May 1988, the penultimate member of the batch, from Alexander's Falkirk, in plain white livery foe the eventual application of Barclay's Bank unibus advertising. Spending its life on Park and Ride duties it received new advertising for Banner Homes in 1992 and also received the larger Oxford Bus Company fleet names. In 1995 it was repainted into the new Go-Ahead Nipper Green Park & Ride livery, and later fitted with destination equipment.


Conversion to H47/30F for transfer to Wycombe Bus 228 was the last to be completed in June 1999.

On 13th December 2000 228 was sold with the Wycombe Bus business to Arriva Shires & Essex and was repainted into Arriva corporate livery in January 2001 and numbered 5828, It was repainted into an Oxford Blue base colour but retaining the Arriva livery on the front, before receiving overall advertising for Swan FM, the successors to Chiltern Radio and Mix 107 FM, in September 2002 .In September 2004 it was transferred to Arriva Southend where it was renumbered 5882. It was finally withdrawn in April 2005 and sold to Krazy Kidz Party Bus in Chatham. It was still in use in March 2022. 

I have no images of 228 in Arriva ownership Malcolm although there is plenty on the internet, the same applying to the current 228 with OBC!

More on 227

Kevin Fuller

Following last weeks notes by Grahame Wareham regarding OBC Leyland Olympian 227, attached are three photos that I took during 2001, whilst it was working in High Wycombe, in the Travelwise livery: 

2nd February, with an anonymous destination screen, at Downley before returning to Wycombe with a service 310. 

6th March with a 301 service in Fennels Farm Road, Flackwell Heath, on what must have been bin collection day in that area! 

10th March, in Bridge Avenue, Maidenhead, waiting time before departing with a 316 service to Wycombe. 

Bob Chalmers

Confusion over bus stop displays and actual services

I note on a Facebook page (although I don't actually use it) - today, there is a huge set of negative comments towards OBC and their 'sudden' cancellation of services. This is a difficult one but I can understand passengers frustration. My understanding is - the times etc shown at individual bus stops are not actually controlled by the bus companies themselves, but another organisation that the council use. So, if a bus arrives at its destination and then goes 'out of service' (for any number of legitimate reasons) - this information is not known by the bus stop display operators - and this just adds to the confusion for waiting passengers. If you know where to look on the Internet, you can usually find more accurate information - but a lot of people won't know this and understandably blame the bus company for 'false' info. A difficult problem to resolve - ideally let the bus companies provide the correct information to the bus stops - but I suspect this would be a major logistical operation. The article in question was mainly referring to Oxford - Abingdon services. I have witnessed this first hand, so can totally relate to the complaints - problem is, many people believe the bus stop displays rather than me, when I try to explain where 'their' next bus actually is. Bit of a nightmare all round really.

The company web site has some response

Queens Lane Stop K1

15th Aug 2022 - 31st Mar 2023

From Monday 15th August 2022 until Friday 31st March 2023, between 0930 hrs and 1530 hrs Monday to Friday, the Queens Lane K1 stop will be suspended due to roadworks. This will affect your services travelling towards Cowley.
During the time of this closure, passengers are advised to use the Queens Lane K2 or K3 stops as alternatives.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Another point to take into consideration - Road Works. I can only speak for area's close to me (but suspect currently similar situations exist all across the area) - there have been traffic light control single traffic operation in Dunmore Road, Abingdon (affecting the X1 service) ever since mid August - only meant to last around 4 weeks - but still going on. Today they now have similar 'popped up' in Wootton Road near Abingdon College. No doubt essential work, but just adds to the delays to bus services. Understandably, you wouldn't expect passengers in Wantage or Oxford to know this unless they travel through those particular areas - it's pretty much a 'no win' situation for the bus companies.


Chris Huntingford

"Some weeks back, one of your readers commented on how changing routes can create unexpected consequences. 

Most days I use stop T2 on the High Street. Recently, it is very noticeable that every time a number 8/9 pulls up, at least one person will come running down the High Street waving their arms for the bus to be held. Most catch it, but sadly not always. 

So why this sudden change in last minute behaviour? The answer is that the U1 no longer stops at stop T2, and since merging with the 400, now leaves from G6 on St Aldates. What happens is people waiting at G6, and needing Headington, see an orange 8/9 go past Carfax and run for it. 

Carfax area to Headington must be one of the most popular journeys in Oxford, but the starting point is now split, which is incredibly frustrating. 

With the slightly lower post-COVID19 frequencies still operating, I would imagine the 400/U1 could also stop at T2 without causing undue delays on the High Street. But would passengers already on board object to two stops being so close, and perceive the service as slow? I wonder what readers think?" 

Bournemouth - Your Official Bournemouth Guide

Jack Cooper

Hopefully a few interesting pictures this week, mostly from my break away to Poole. I have also added a different link for photos from the top deck of the bus, which I thought might be interesting showing my bus journeys this week? 

On Monday I had travelled down to Poole from Oxford using service Buses. This journey had started on the Stagecoach S6 to Swindon before taking the Salisbury Reds X5 from Swindon down to Salisbury. After a break in Salisbury I had taken the More X3 to Bournemouth. Bournemouth to Poole is on the m1 / m2, which is at a frequency of every 3 minutes. My final journey being on the 4 to my hotel. 


Bus trips on Tuesday were more local. Starting off from the hotel on the 3 to Poole Bus Station, then taking the m1 to Bournemouth. From there I ended up taking the 51 to Sandbanks walking along the seafront back to Bournemouth. My next journey was back to Poole on the m2 before taking the 40 to Swanage. After some time in Swanage I had taken the X50 to Bournemouth, before the m1 to Poole and the 9 back to my hotel. 


My final day away was Wednesday, where I was making my way back home, starting off on the 4 to Poole Bus Station, and then an m2 to Bournemouth. From there I had taken the X1 to Lymington, where I had taken a break. The next journey was with Bluestar on the 6 to Southampton. At Southampton I had taken the 1 to Winchester, and then taken a Cross Country Train back to Oxford from there. 


Unfortunately I didn't manage to take any pictures in Southampton, as I decided to make the trip on the 1 whilst it was still light(ish), however I do intend to go back soon for photos. 

Salisbury Reds 1571 which I had pictured on Monday has had an incident on Friday, causing damage to the upper deck.  

Salisbury Reds 1571 / 1573 were one of the Enviro 400s loaned to the Oxford Bus Company when new, so maybe you or Gavin may have a picture of them in service at Oxford?  

The Purbeck Breezer 50 is currently suspended as the Sandbanks Ferry is away for a refit. As a result it has been replaced by the 51 which operates between Bournemouth Square and Sandbanks, and the X50 which operates from Bournemouth Square to Swanage limited stops via Poole. The X50 also operates between Swanage and Studland. The timetables and more information can be found here. 


Views from the top deck


I have also attached a picture of the leaflet racks in the More shop in Poole Bus Station which I thought looked quite nice! 

This took me back to my 2008 journey from Stokenchurch to Lands End. Happy memories !  Ed

Gordon Scott

Lothian 562 -  SA15 VUM Volvo B5LH Wright
  Gemini 3 in full Poppy Scotland advert. Taken at Heriot Watt University Campus on route 35 Ocean Terminal to Heriot Watt.