Last week's page attracted a number of positive comments which makes the effort worthwhile. So this week we have maybe a little les but still interesting. Pictures are included of the three new short E200MMCs for Thames Travel which were delivered last Friday. These short ones are for the ST2 and as you will see they look very smart.

512 seen a the depot shortly after delivery on September 6th taken by James Freeman.

The further pictures of the High Wycombe event are made the more interesting as Gavin Francis has provided a few photos he took many years ago showing two of the buses involved this year!

Noting www.bustimes.org Oxford now shows all operators - i.e. Arriva, Oxford Bus, National Express and Stagecoach. One can now also follow the coach services to London and the airports to be aware of how things are going. It is not always perfect and sadly Arriva out of Aylesbury and High Wycombe do not show fleet numbers which makes their operations less interesting. So strange that Luton Arriva shows their buses and coaches clearly. I wonder why this is, maybe some hidden agenda of both Aylesbury and High Wycombe???

Not long now to Showbus and I really hope to be able to attend this year and meet many of my readers.  https://showbus.com

In the past week we have had a number of interesting closures in the Oxford area. First Thornhill Park & Ride was closed for several days for buses and coaches, meaning that operations reverted to stops on the main A40, whilst the surface of the operating area was resurfaced. The original surface has had problems virtually from day one, with temporary fixes being done. I think that the designers did not allow for the weights of the coaches using the facility - just my opinion guys! Gavin Francis took one picture of an Oxford tube using the A40 stops instead of Thornhill.

The second closure was an annual one of St Giles in Oxford for the fair event. An obvious result was the appearance of Megabus M34 service in Gloucester Green. Of course also local services had to use Broad Street on diversion. James Freeman has supplied two pictures taken on the Sunday, September 8th and Monday, September 9th, of the M34 in Gloucester Green.

54272 worked the Sunday service and 54281 the Monday service, seen by James Freeman.

Finally, in this Editorial, questions are posed and commented on regarding the use of route/area branded buses on alternative routes. I would question is the cost of branding worth the money? Surely people want a clean on time bus or coach, comfortable crewed by a pleasant and polite person?

 I wonder who will comment on this?

More pictures from the High Wycombe Running Day by Nigel Peach

Gavin Francis provides some pictures of buses seen last Sunday which were, when in service, allocated to High Wycombe. I have included these where appropriate.

Nigel writes "I attended the High Wycombe Running Day and I attach some pictures. The sun wasn't always in the right place and so I'm not happy with all of them!"

They are:

RT3254 (LLU 613) at Wycombe. I remember this bus is one of many that were transferred from Romford to High Wycombe in the mid 1960s when cascaded from Green Line work (probably when the RCLs entered service).

The bus is pictured at the turning triangle at West Wycombe.

An overview of the bus station taken from the top deck of RML2412. (Sorry about the reflection!)

RML2412 (JJD 412D) at Penn Pond. I remember the excitement of seeing this bus new at High Wycombe garage in February 1966.

GS13 (MXX 313). I don't think this bus ever saw service at Wycombe.

RF26 (LYF 377) at the Micklefield terminus of route 326.

"The driver apologised that the blind had jammed, and nobody had any steps for him to climb up and fix it! I remember this bus operating the 711 to Reigate back in the 1960s. The first 25 RFs were only used for private hire and were sold very early in their lives, so I always regard this as the first RF numerically!

This bus was standing in for n RML which was unable to attend on the day (I think due to mechanical failure).

I notice that I am in Gavin's picture of RML2412 going past Primark. I'm in the front seat upstairs, looking straight at the camera, but I apologise that I wasn't smiling!! "

Gavin Francis

Had a few spare minutes so started filing the pictures from the Wycombe Running Day. Came across these 2 old ones of RML 2412 at a similar event many years ago when it was still working in London with London General. One is outside the old garage and the other at Woodside Road North, Micklefield. I do not have a date for these as they are just scans of prints. I wonder if any of your readers know, probably Frank Brown will as I think it is a young him in the white shirt and blue jeans in the garage picture.

Gavin Francis's pictures from many years ago when RML2412 was involved in a running day.

Noticed MB 90 used at The Running Day was a High Wycombe bus as attached picture taken 45 years ago !

MB90 is seen outside WYCOMBE GARAGE on August 25th 1974 by Gavin Francis. 

I am indebted to the two gentlemen for some interesting pictures.

Gary Seamarks and his travels in recent days

There are a number of interesting pictures from Gary Seamarks relating to his travels on a week's holiday.

On Friday, August 30th.

Bletchley, mostly a train bash but few in town in evening peak.

Arriva 4722 on the trunk 5/6 route, should be a Sapphire branded bus on this route .


2303 working a service 7 recharges its batteries in the bus station at Bletchley.


Saturday, August 31st.

A day at Great (not so now) Yarmouth,  with the two faces of First Bus, these three "old timers" were on local routes, along with a similar batch of other past their sell-by dates.


While the X1/X11 Lowestoft-Great Yarmouth - Norwich trunk route had a mix of Gemini's and E400's up to about 12 plate.


Note that W219XBD is a Volvo B9 that was new to Leicester despite its BD for Northants !   32905 was the only open topper seen and to prove Barbie One survives, these three with a combined age of almost 50 years were still active on Saturday afternoon. the upper deck front and roof on 32206 look a bit worse for wear !!

Sunday, September 1st.


Rail replacement at Bedford, to Luton till lunchtime finds this Centrebus E200, the coaches were on an EMR replacement between Bedford and Corby/Leicester.


Tuesday, September 3rd


Couple from Bedford on Tuesday, with the only UNO decker in the new livery (as of now)




Plus to prove the Norfolk Green livery lives on 37437 is seen on the 53, this is the one www.bustimes.org showed as working a short X5 a few days earlier. 



Wednesday, September 4th.


Few from Birmingham on Weds 4th, most taken outside Moor St Station.


I remember, when working in Birmingham with an office in the Rotunda, I could see Moor Street Station, then a terminus in the early 1970s, the bus scene was very different from 2019.


DAF ALX400's 4289 and 4290 on the 5 to Solihull, now some of West Midlands older buses.


Another Solihull service, this time a 4 operated by one of the first E200MMCs to enter service in the UK, 2214 The name "Kirty" is puzzling?


E400 4911 named Jessica is seen on 61 service to Frankley with some significant overall branding.


One of 69 E400MMCs delivered in 2019, 7502 delivered in June, is seen with a 16 working from Hamstead, near to West Bromwich.
A service every 6 minutes is very frequent and shows how National Express West Midlands serves its operating area.


Thursday, September 5th


Thursday and onto Reading, these are all non Reading transport, note the Arriva route branding, always good to catch something off route !,

Citaro 3038 is seen leaving Reading with its service to High Wycombe. Hope no one has boarded for Milton Keynes buy mistake!!!


Thames Travel's 223 is seen leaving Reading with an X39 operation to Oxford. These services are branded River Rapids.


In more familiar Thames Travel livery, Citaro 860 is working an X39 service to Oxford.


Citaro 881 in Oxford red but with Thames Travel fleet names and "river rapids" branding works the X38 to Wallingford via Henley.
As this is a longer routing than the x39 and to resolve EU driving time rulings, the destination states "for Oxford".


We actually did see all the First Air coaches, but one was replaced at Heathrow, assume as its a 24/7 service.

The lighting is just perfect for this picture which compliments this livery in a delightful way.


All the town's fleet, a far cry from my first visit's in the 1980's when VR's Metrobus and Titan ruled !. Route branding at the extreme !!!


Built as a demonstrator, DD16GAS, is still with Reading after around two years. It is seen here on route 3.


"little oranges" route 13 is operated by 8.9m E200 133 seen near Reading Station.


Unusually this time the 13 is operated by Wrights 905 again close to Reading Station.


Reading's 533, in a special livery for Football Special but seen here working a service 9 to Whitley Wood.
These second hand buses were purchased specifically for the F services.


One of five gas powered buses Scania 703 is heading for Turnham's Farm in bright sunlight!


One of 17 CMG Scania E400's delivered in Purple branding for the 17, 706 has since been given a wrap for heart radio and is seen working the 21.


Reading took over most of the bus operations of Weavaway and a number of the 12 MMCs delivered in 2016
have been moved to the jetblack operation of route 1 to Reading. Now 791 is seen on that service.


806 is seen  in the generic livery sported by a number of the towns buses, provides an alternative bus when a branded bus
for a specific route is unavailable then a generic bus can be used.


Reading has two training buses, 2002 Plaxton Pointer Darts 312, seen above and 313. This bus is apple and was London United's DPS641.
The other bus, 313, is called blackberry in an appropriate livery!


Sunday, September 7th.


The final two, taken at the Black Country Museum at Dudley, they have a fleet of some half a dozen buses and some trams but those shown below were the only two running on Saturday September 7th. note that DKY735 was a Bradford Trolleybus, and never worked for Walsall, a note inside states this fact.

The two buses running when Gary visited. Click on the logo above to visit the web site.

Gary Seamarks adds "Latest rumours from Cambridgeshire state the Busway Tri-axles are not due until the New Year, at least five ex London Scania's are now on various Cambridge routes from the batch of ten, I cannot see me going across to Cambridge this year now !"

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

During my holiday these pictures were taken on 3rd September Kyle Of Lochalsh. Stagecoach North Scotland Portree depot based.

Mercedes Benz Sprinter City 45, 44018 -  BV66GUD
on route 55 ex Stagecoach East Kent.

Volvo B7 Plaxton Profile Interurban 53294 - SP07HHY
New and ex Stagecoach East Scotland route 51.

Many thanks to Gordon for these interesting pictures.

Nick Leighton visited Inverness and the area

The pictures were taken September 5th.

Trident 18112 on route 8 from Raigmore at Inverness's busy bus station.

Enviro 200 27590 passes Nigg's Energy Park with the 1345 service 29 from Nigg Ferry to Tain.

Trident 18124 at Dingwall working the service 25 at 1645 Inverness to Evanton.

Many thanks to Nick for these pictures.

Fleet news and developments

Gavin Francis spent a few hours in High Wycombe last week and provided us with a selection of pictures he took on September 6th. As many will know, Arriva is tending to remove route branding except for the Sapphire services such as the 280 Aylesbury-Oxford service. So the ensuing photographs highlight the problems with branded buses when it produces a difficult situation for the allocators to ensure the right buses find their way on to the correct branded route.

High Wycombe has become quite a Citaro depot but also has some rather elderly members of its operating fleet.

Solo 2497, in the latest livery, is seen leaving the Eden Bus Station working a 37 to Maidenhead. Sadly these Solo's on repaint lose their Optare badges.

2757 (KL52CWJ) a DAF SB120/Wright Cadet with a 32 service to Micklefield, is somewhat likes Jacob's Coat of many colours.
Maybe life is not easy for the engineering staff at Cressex and these buses are nearing the end of the lives with Arriva.
Indeed three similar buses from this era are already withdrawn including 2758 at Luton, which is now on charge of The Shires Head Office.

Similar DAF SB120/Wright Cadet 3537 is seen leaving the Eden Bus Station working a 31 to Penn Pond, with the latest fleet name on the front.
This bus and 3539 are said to be on loan from Arriva Southern Counties having started life with Arriva London as DWL41.
By the end of its London service it had become a trainer and then by 2015 had moved to ASC Kent&Surrey in Chatham.
3537 as a Trainer in London service
The mileage must be to the moon and back!!!!

A Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban 2 3864, in the latest livery, is seen arriving from Aylesbury with a 300 service.
Six of these buses were new in 2005 (3861-3866) to High Wycombe for the 31 service branded as such with green flashes.
Arriva 3864 seen in FROGMOOR - HIGH WYCOMBE on April 19th 2006 by Gavin Francis.
Since leaving Wycombe they have been to various depots, 3862/5 now at Luton, with the other four at Aylesbury.

Citaro variety from Gavin Francis

Check out the branding, route and livery, much interest is provided in these photographs.

Rather off route, 5461 is seen in Glenister Road, Wycombe with a 300 service to Aylesbury.
Why freshly paint and brand a bus for a route and then send it on another?
Maybe Arriva are promoting another way of getting from High Wycombe to Oxford ???

The next pictures from Tony Bungay go even further!!! Is there to be a service from Aylesbury to Derby??

A fine picture of Derby's 3578, a Scania-OmniCity with an X60 service from Aylesbury to Milton Keynes, still some 82 miles providing you use the M1!!!!
The Arriva allocation list for September 5th advises this bus is at Derby ?? This picture was taken on September 6th.

On a short working to Hemel Hempstead, 5469 (280 branded) is seen leaving Aylesbury on September 6th.  

Gavin Francis spent a few hours in High Wycombe last week and provided us with a selection of pictures he took on September 6th. With the new buses arriving for Thames Travel services ST1 and ST2 it is only a short while before the three StreetLites, 403/4/6 presently with TT find their way back to their home.

One of the double decks loaned from Thames Travel, 219, is seen with  a 36 service to Bourne End is seen leaving the Eden Bus Station.

Displaying the revised livery now that the Park & Ride has become the 8/X8, 407 is seen leaving the Eden Bus Station.

9939 was operating the newly acquired 27 route when seen by Gavin on September 6th. Bay 18 is the platform long enough to ensure safety of dual doors.
(940 was on this duty on September 11th.)

These Mercedes, like 874, of which Carousel has three have proved stalwart performers on the 104 service to Slough.

Ex London General 941 is still away being repainted but is, we understand, due back shortly. Then 938-940 will be converted to single door in turn and repainted.

A last minute addition is Mercedes 980 which is now in service on the J&J contract as expected.

980 seen on September 11th by Malcolm Crowe at the depot, alongside Link40 424 which had started the day on the 40, to be later replaced by 419.
Taken on September 11th by your Editor Malcolm Crowe.

A quiet week  but it seems that 46 is now back on the road and working the airline services with 45

Citaro 841 is seen working 6 road on September 5th by Gavin Francis.

Oxford are now working the 250, normally it seems with 869 as the regular bus. 

Training Bus 962 seen in Kidlington on September 3rd by Ciaran Bird.

James Freeman caught 979 now decked in full branding on September 6th.

A momentous week for the company with the arrival of the three 8.9m E200MMCs, 511-513 and I am pleased to have pictures from Andy Morison of 511 and 513 at Watlington Road being prepared for service.

511 seen in these pictures courtesy Andy Morison. The date was September 6th.

And 513 from Andy on the same day.

On Wednesday, September 11th, 512 was recorded working the ST2, maybe its first day in service.

Now the end of this week sees the arrival of the 11.8 buses which will be mainly used on the ST1. The 5xx series are 8.9m and the 4xx series are 11.8m.

YX69 NVE               511

YX69 NVF               512

YX69 NVG              513

YX69 NVH              451

YX69 NVJ               452

YX69 NVK              453

II wonder who will be first to provide pictures of these new buses in service ? I am sure I will have pictures of 451-453 after delivery.

We seem not to have had any picture of renumbered route T1 to 11. This picture shows 861 working this service on September 5th.

Dennis Prentice

A couple of pictures from Dennis taken at Didcot Station make a nice end to this week's report.

A wet day sees 221 loading for service 33 to Wantage on September 8th.

933 was also working the 33 on September 8th and again is seen loading.

BX65WDF Bournemouth Transport 350 bearing a wrap for "oddbods" seen on September 5th by Gavin Francis.

54407 BV19XPK, is a recent delivery to SC Yorkshire and seen working the 564 to Halifax on September 5th by Gavin Francis.

The two recent second hand additions to this fleet were caught on camera by James Freeman some weeks ago.

SJ16ZZT is seen passing Thornhill on July 18th.

SJ16ZZU seen in Beaumont Street on July 6th. 

James Freeman provided an unexpected picture of the latest additions to this fleet.

YX69NWA  AD E20D   AD   B??F  9/2019  Tappins, Didcot 
YX69NWB  AD E20D   AD   B??F  9/2019  Tappins, Didcot 
YX69NWC  AD E20D   AD   B??F  9/2019  Tappins, Didcot 

Theo Freeman

Not much to report this week. As with 37401, it was on the road all week except the 4th of September as the near-side rear panel had been hit. I am told this has now happened on the off-side but much worse! Reserve Dart 34471 has been moved from Banbury to Witney as a spare. Do you know when the new buses are being delivered? We would like one to come down to the Banbury 100 years celebrations.

As with photos, I was in Oxford again on Friday (September 6th) and saw standard Stagecoach E400MMCs 10684 on an S9, 10442 on a 7 and 10679 on an S5, all within 15 minutes of each other! Also, Oxford Bus E400 316 on 500s at Oxford Rail Station  and E400 224 on 2A's



Gavin Francis has also provided a few pictures.

Gold 10784 is seen working route 7 turning from St Giles into Beaumont Street on September 5th.

A nice picture of 12006, one of earliest Hybrids with Stagecoach, now adorned in the current standard livery,
seen on September 5th in St Aldates on route 10 by Gavin Francis.

Two Golds on the S1 load in George Street, with 15838 now being allocated to Witney. September 5th by Gavin Francis.

Recently repainted into Oxford tube livery, 50237 is seen basking in the sun at the terminus in Buckingham Palace Road on September 5th by Gavin Francis. 

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