Well, a number of events are now fast approaching, with SHOWBUS a week next Sunday (September 29th), the Coach & Bus Show at the N E C on October 2nd and 3rd with the Banbury Centenary on October 13th. So plenty of opportunity for photographs and reports.

Showbus - all the details

Much has been made in various quarters about the introduction of a new image for Stagecoach but, so far, nothing concrete has emerged. So keep your eyes peeled for any obvious changes and do let me know.

Megabus are introducing seat reservations which is covered under the megabus.com heading.

We are now enjoying an Indian Summer but from next week, if the forecasters are to be believed, we may expect more rain and some strong winds. Let's hope that SHOWBUS does not have a wet day!

Looking brand new, which it was, 511 is seen in this picture by Jim Wright at Oxford Train Station on September 13th.

The six new E200s for Thames Travel are now all in service and I have quite a number of pictures of these in service on their allocated ST1 and ST2 routes. Reports say they are very nice to drive and have that lovely new smell about them in the first days.

Contributions have been excellent during the past week and so there are in excess of 100 pictures included in this week's briefing.

www.bustimes.org has at last been able to show Arriva the Shires fleet numbers etc. instead of 8*** or 9*** as the vehicle details. Now that Stagecoach is also included this makes the facility much more useful. There are still some anomalies but these are minor compared to the correct information available.

The Wycombe Running Day - further comments

I was pleased to hear from Philip Kirk who was, in the '90s, in charge at Wycombe. He writes "Thank you for your excellent bus page. The photos of the red RML's bring back happy memories of my spell as GM at Wycombe Bus Company. I was approached by driver Richard Bond and also by Peter Cartwright to see if we could 'bring home' three RML's for one day in 1997.

The buses were still working on route 14, but London General kindly released them and TFL supplied us with a dolly stop, which we positioned virtually opposite the old HE Garage. Many locals and enthusiasts attended and we ran trips on the 326 and 363.

.....And so began the Wycombe Running Day!"

To add to Phil's remarks, which are much appreciated, Gavin Francis has provided a few more pictures of buses involved in earlier days and at the time.

RT3254 outside Catford Garage on November 2nd 1977 -
© Gavin Francis

RT3254  working an 87 service at Barking on August 19th 1978 © Gavin Francis

RML2412,  with a 363 service at Penn on August 15th 1972 © Gavin Francis

The same RML 2412 by now red on an earlier Running Day © Gavin Francis

Gavin writes "I now know what Nigel Peach looks like !! He sent a picture of RT 3254 which he remembers seeing at Wycombe. It did have a spell as a red RT and may well have survived to the last day. A couple of pictures taken at Catford and Barking attached. 

Also he sent a picture of RML 2412 at Penn Pond. Again my picture of the same bus in the same place 47 years ago. Also another picture of it taken on the same previous running day from my other photos with plenty of enthusiasts, 

I see James Freeman has been in the bushes again !! 

Also Gary Seamarks got around a bit."

Your Editor enjoys a trip around the area

I enjoyed a trip out, with a friend, encompassing Wallingford, Didcot, Oxford and Wheatley last Tuesday and was able to take some nice pictures of the various operators in the area, mainly at Didcot and then Walters at Wheatley. One of family kindly allowed me to take pictures in the yard, which as those you who have been there will know, is a gathering place of many in use and out of use or stored buses and coaches. At the boundary fence one is warned about the dog !!

First to Didcot where a glass of shandy was enjoyed at The Prince of Wales opposite the station. This enabled me to sit in the sun and get a number of interesting pictures. Two main operators have services at Didcot, these being Courtney and Thames Travel.

As a point of note on arriving at Didcot, an A4 chime could be heard and suddenly 60009 "Union of South Africa" with one coach sped through and the picture below is the best I could get!

Readers can just make out the engine obscured for the greater part by the fencing.

Milton Park operates a dedicated Shuttle Bus to and from Didcot Parkway station, offering businesses and private users a frequent, low-cost service. People working at a Milton Park company can have a shuttle bus pass for just £20 a year. Individuals visiting the Park can pay for a single (£2) or return trip (£3). The service is provided by Courtney, now part of Reading Bus, with ADL E400s in a dedicated livery as seen below.


This E400 City example started life as a demonstrator, SN66WLK is seen heading for the station at Didcot on one of the regular services.

A later E400MMC, YK18KNC, is also seen at the same spot, looking very smart.


By far the largest operator in Didcot is now Thames Travel, who share the facility built by Weavaway some time ago. This is quite close to the station and must have reduced dead mileage from when the depot was at Wallingford. There are a good few routes now which, following the transfer of the 250 Bicester service to Oxford Bus, are mainly concentrated on a corridor encompassing Didcot, Wantage, Wallingford, Reading and  Oxford.

I managed a circuit of the depot and got some interesting pictures before partaking of a shandy in the sun! That sun did not make pictures easy at the depot !

Part of the Weavaway fleet still based at Didcot.

Thames Travel 206 and 934 are seen with the sun on their backs waiting for their next duty.

At the station I was able to get a number of pictures of Thames Travel services.

212 was being used on the Staff Shuttle duties during the time I was there but later left on a school service.

Citaro 854 heads for Oxford with an X2 service seemingly a little careworn.

Citaro 864 en route to Wallingford is near Didcot Station with the X2 service.

An old favourite of mine is Scania 914, a sometime visitor to Carousel but with its sisters, now at Didcot, is seen here with a 33 to Wantage.

Some pictures, with the sun in an excellent position were taken in the station forecourt.

Citaro 866, in the connector livery, head a trio of imminent departures, with a 94 service which serves West Hagbourne and Blewbury.

Scania 231, revised size fleet numbers? , is seen with a 33 service to Abingdon from Wantage.

StreetLite is seen with the 98 service which runs a regular trip to Great Western Park housing estate.

Leaving Didcot we headed for Oxford via the A34 and I was able to secure a number of pictures whilst travelling passenger!

Scania 214 is seen heading from Milton Park towards Didcot with an X32 service.

Milton Park has frown considerably since my last visit some years ago and Thames Travel offer an excellent range of services.
StreetDeck 623 is seen with an X2 service picking up for Oxford.

My first personal view of one of the new 11.8m E200s working the ST1 towards Oxford on the A34.

This is a fascinating place located in what I understand was an old quarry. This was latterly used for new car storage by Rover and is now home to Walters Bus and Coach. I was looking through the fence above the yard when a lady stopped and asked if I was a "bus spotter" which is always an interesting question. One feels like a little schoolboy in short trousers with cap to one side with notebook and little pencil!!!! Anyway she said if you want to look round come in which I did. That's when I met the large Alsatian. I was told take a walk round, any questions just ask. Very friendly people unlike Cowley's Yard in Withington, Manchester when I was a lad. You could only peer through the gaps in the hoardings to see what was there and then the dog, a big Alsatian, arrived and barked non stop. Happy memories. They had early Leyland TS2s and North Western Bristols and Tilling Stevens. What a collection.

Anyway on to Walters.

Ex London by Night Trident open top through the fence.

In the yard were a variety of Levantes, 13 plates, which I think were the opening fleet of the Luton service?
I was told that they were stock stored for a finance company.

This now disused Neoplan was once a megabus.com which had been 50149 but latterly with Happy AL's of Merseyside.

Seemingly still in use is BIG8732 which started life as an Oxford tube (50109) which I must have driven many times.

BIG2782 was new as L93OAR to Harris of West Thurrock. It has been used to donate some parts for those Skyliners still on the road.

I am sure we had some pictures of this bus in service but it looks rather past its sell by date now. This was once pride of the Edinburgh fleet as 415.

A Trident ex Wheelers and Stagecoach London 17152, V152MEV, which may still be in use.

Having left the yard I caught this Trident T696KPU heading off for a school run. New to Stagecoach London as 17096,
it had also seen service with Wardle and Wheelers but the livery may be recent, maybe someone knows.

So ended a very pleasant interlude in my retirement which I enjoyed very with thanks to M A for driving me and providing his company.

Dylan Jones takes us on a tour of the West Midlands

Once again Dylan has contributed some interesting pictures of what is to be seen in the West Midlands and also has provided a commentary on each picture.

NXWM took over contracted routes 36 and 99 amongst others after the collapse of Igo Buses. Route 36 runs between Sparkbrook and Heartlands Hospital on an hourly frequency. Two of the vintage 2002 Tridents from Birmingham Centrals ‘Road Ready Reserve’ Fleet have been commonplace, 4363 above showing this. Also in the shot is 832 starting a 99 to Shirley. The pair are captured at Acocks Green.

These E200MMC are certainly proving popular.

Solihull based Silverline Landflight have now taken over route A12 (previously NXWM with E200s). Alterations to routes A3-8 they operate to Cheswick Green, Dorridge, Dickens Heath, Shirley & Wythall have seen two buses freed up, so they have been utilised on the now half hourly A12 between Acocks Green and Solihull. NXWM previously ran it hourly - YW68PFG represents Landflight on the route, as it passes an NXWM example

I’m not sure if I’ve ever sent one of our MMC200s to you, so here is 2208 at Acocks Green on Route 31, though branded for the 4/A, again pictured at Acocks Green.

I was lucky enough to be in Bristol when my local operator was running the G18 National Express ‘Coach service’ to Glastonbury. Here is Birmingham Central's 6948 departing for the festival in Bristol City Centre. Many different locations were observed before I took this, in the hope of getting a First bus in the background. Doing so proved difficult with none in sight above but still a significant shot nonetheless.

A striking livery indeed.

Burton based Midland Classic have applied new X12 Flyer branding to their two 2014 build E200s that were purchased new. This striking new livery from Best Impressions uses a different shade of yellow to the regular livery, and comes after the X12 was truncated at Lichfield. NXWM now cover the route into Sutton Coldfield with their X3 Platinum Service through to Birmingham every half hour.

And on said route is 6808 as it departs Lichfield, showing off the X3/4/5 branding applied to most of these 66 plate Perry Barr based examples

I think that is a nice treatment recalling the old livery.

Arriva Midlands have repainted Citaro 3006 into the classic Midland Red livery. I noted it  in Lichfield, but this more recent photo of it at the Birmingham Bus Bash shows the livery to better effect. It is one of 7 2012 Citaros based at Tamworth depot, that were also joined by a 2008 Sapphire example from Aylesbury at some point.

I bet this never gets allocated to High Wycombe!!

Sticking with Arriva Tamworth, they now operate the only StreetDeck in the original Sapphire livery. 4600 FJ64ETZ features a glass staircase, as well as the usual features, and was pictured in Birmingham with a 110 from Tamworth. It transferred to Tamworth in  February, but after a short spell on Tamworth locals and sporadic 110 use, it didn’t return till mid July after a new engine.

I used to drive for Harpers of Heath Hayes from Cannock on RT's and RTL's plus other types.

Routes 1 & 2 operate from Walsall to Cannock, and were operated by Sapphire StreetLites. Those have mostly transferred to Milton Keynes now, so some readers may have seen them there. This is VDL Pulsar 3759 YJ61FEK arriving into Walsall with a service 1.

Former Stagecoach London Trident 17798 is now preserved in the West Midlands. Here it is pictured on display, with one of its old haunts shown in the blinds (whilst a skeleton actually haunts those photographing it!). This joins 17001, 17368, 17406, 17523, 17524 & 18214 already preserved, plus 17811 which is earmarked for such (being the last one for Stagecoach in TfL service).
The Birmingham Bus Bash was mainly a static display of NXWM buses, and locally preserved ones, though there were a few surprises too. This was organised by a group of enthusiastic employees, some of whom are responsible for the saving of the buses now in the heritage fleet, and for the heritage liveries on modern buses.

Interest for this one may be rather mixed but it relates to Oxfords Pick Me Up service in that it’s owned by the major operator!
This is A1001, a Treka bodied Mercedes 514CDI that has been purchased new for the National Express Accessible Transport venture, which has been formed after the collapse of Accessible Transport Group. This includes the Ring & Ride business, and some City Council contracts, which NXWM are running with white E200s. A1001 carries a new purple interpretation of the West Midlands Network standard design (as used on the Metro [Blue] , joint operated buses [Red] & Trains [Orange/Purple]. Diamond Bus also use a very similar style for their new brighter livery. This is pictured at Longbridge, not far from the once mighty MG/Rover works.

Just two routes can still boast a fleet of branded Dennis Tridents in the region.
The 97 is the one on Birmingham, having 20 with blue branding. This is 4463 at Chelmsley Wood terminus, awaiting the return to Birmingham

And the other one is the Wolverhampton operated 59 between Ashmore Park and the City Centre. This has 8 branded for it with a rather angular green style, and the golden stripes that also feature on the array of coloured brands on their fleet of Volvo B7RLEs. This is 4558 at Ashmore Park terminus, though the route also sees Platinums usage on Saturdays when more are spare, the 59 Tridents straying onto the 27/82 to Dudley, and 79 to West Bromwich usually.

Perry Barr has gained a new batch of Platinums in the recent intake for its 16 and 907 routes. 6994 & 7506-8 carrying red generic branding, 6995-7000 & 7501-05 carrying orange branding, whilst 7509-14 are strangely completely devoid of any extra vinyls. One could assume they are to gain 907 branding, though this is usually done pretty quickly after delivery. This is 7511 leaving Sutton Coldfield with a Birmingham bound 907, which normally utilises most of the unbranded examples.

It looks like The Rotunda on the skyline where I used to work.

Representing the 11 buses branded for the 16, 6997 passes near New Street Station with a 16 bound for the Markets. 2009 Enviro 400s were previously used, which now see use on the 94 between Birmingham and Chelmsley Wood normally, though they were new for one Platinum Route 9 from Birmingham to Stourbridge.

Yardley Wood have gained yet more Platinums after having none until December 2018 when their trunk route 50 was upgraded as such. Buses 7518-38 have been delivered new for the 6 between Birmingham and Solihull initially, after it has outgrown its MMC200s, though they are destined for the Pershore Road 45/47 eventually, once new Electric BYD/E400Citys displace them. Most are sensibly being left unbranded, though the first few have gained generic red branding. This is 7525 at Hawkesley Shannon Lane, with a 35 for Birmingham, which like the depots others double decker routes, is seeing more Platinums now.

Enviro 200 MMCs have now ‘invaded’ the 18 between Yardley Wood and Bartley Green, with 2246 and 2232 seen here bunched at Northfield, with another heading off in the distance. They were new to Acocks Green like the whole batch of 50 for routes 37 and 71/72, which later saw alterations so some moved onto the 6. The 18 has seen double deckers for a long time, even since MCW Metrobuses were still clinging on, and the allocation of these has shocked me. Originally they were to be used on the 2/3 Birmingham-Yardley Wood area routes, though have instead been deployed on the 18. None of the 2/3/6/18 deserve single deckers but this is the result of too many single deckers being operated.

Birmingham Central have gained 3 new ones as top ups for their Platinum routes 23/24, X1/2, X20/1/2 & X70. These are the only new style red generics at the depot, so are easy for me to spot from a distance! This is 7517 at Cofton Hackett terminus of route X20, devoid of adverts.

West Bromwich’ 82/87 branded examples continue to wander onto other routes when spare. This is 6987 opposite Kings Norton Station with a Northfield bound 48. This location is recognisable, by anyone who’s ever visited here ,by the steep gradient which the bus stops are situated upon. Note that 6987 is still carrying its Pink Platinum ads, which lasted just a matter of days in some cases.

Claribels Coaches have a fleet of Enviro 200s and VDL SB200s for use on their routes around Erdington, Sutton Coldfield, Chelmsley Wood, and into Birmingham. YJ56KCV is their oldest bus, and the only to feature a Plaxton Centro body. It’s roller blinds and seatbelts imply it’s use is limited to schools and crew ferry. Pictured in Sutton Coldfield.

Diamond 30951 is one of Kidderminster depots smartest vehicles, as it carries the ‘a new brighter diamond’ livery. Here it arrives into Bromsgrove Bus Station with a 43 for the nearby hospital. Tividale's 30816 is the only other Centro to be repainted as yet, but it’s worth noting that Diamond also have some rather unreliable examples on the MAN 14.220 chassis - several of these have been combusted or crashed!

Many thanks to Dylan for a most interesting selection. I notice so many operators have followed Stagecoach's lead of the Gold Bus offering and are now providing premium services. Obviously Gold was very successful for Stagecoach.

David Gray reports on the annual Open Doors event with buses from The Oxford Bus Museum

The Oxford Preservation Trust and the University of Oxford organise the annual Oxford Open Doors event every September. It is an annual celebration of Oxford, its places and its people and it gave the public the opportunity to see behind the scenes at various locations in the City. 

Once again Oxford Bus Museum provided a selection of buses, some on display and others which operated a circular service around Oxford. 

The vehicles seen were:

AEC Reliance/Park Royal 756 KFC

AEC Regent III/Weymann PWL 413
This is always popular and for readers too young to remember lowbridge buses like this, apt to lean towards the kerb when fully loaded!!

Morris Commercial FF/Wadham 14 LFC

AEC Regent V/Park Royal 956 AJO

AEC Renown/Northern Counties FWL 371E 

14 LFC was on display in Queen Street whilst 756 KFC was parked at Oxford Railway Station.

The three double deckers operated on a circular service every 15-minutes from the railway station. 

The route operated was Railway Station, Park End Street, New Road, Queen Street, High Street to the roundabout near Magdalen bridge, then back along High Street, Longwall Street, St Cross Road, South Parks Road, Parks Road, Banbury Road, St Giles, Magdalen Street, George Street, Worcester Street, Park End Street to Railway Station. 

As ever the Museum volunteers were totally professional and friendly. One nice touch was that one of the conductors handed out tickets to young passengers with the price equating to their age, which was well received by both the children and their parents. 

The services were well patronised with many of the buses, particularly in the middle of the day, nearly full. 

A very worthwhile event aided by pleasant sunny weather.

I was surprised not to have more pictures from this event with only one more of 14LFC from Giles Woodforde which was identical to the one above. Anyway many thanks to David for a flavour of the day and apologies to Giles for not using his picture..

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

An 8.9 metre E200MMC making a test run, presumably for dealer stock as unregistered. It was seen at Falkirk on September 13th.

North East Coachways Peterlee Durham M77NEC was new to Solus Coaches Tamworth as YT12RLY. It does look slightly Oxford tube'ish!

Ferrymill Fm44 SA13YJF was new to Parks Of Hamilton as KSK954. On loan to Stagecoach West Scotland Cumbernauld.  Seen on Citylink 900 Edinburgh to Glasgow.

Another bit of late news my friend stayed later at Falkirk and noted one of the unpainted Stagecoach Cambridge Enviro 400 XLB's in the yard. They are dual door the same as Lothian's type.

Taken on September 18th at Edinburgh Bus Station 

Stagecoach East Scotland Fife last one of eight to enter service.

53738 - BF63ZRX Volvo B9R Caetano Levante ex Stagecoach
Yorkshire National Express. Seen on route X60.

Stagecoach Midland based 54606 - YX68ZRX Volvo B11R Plaxton
Elite i, named Bus ta Rymes on megabus.com route M20 to London. 
It certainly is a credit to megabus.com in its presentation and appearance! It does credit to a 68 plate.

Taken Leith Walk Edinburgh on September 18th.

Esk Valley Coaches Whitby, New YX69LHA Volvo Plaxton Panther.

Readers comments

Giles Woodforde

"I entirely agree with the comments in your editorial. On our once-prestige route (City 2) OBC regularly field a pick n mix range of (usually elderly) different-coloured buses, while Stagecoach run a mix of standard and gold vehicles. 

I would add to your comments - the situation is made worse by the fact that the orange digital destination screens are often difficult to read in any sort of bright light until the last minute before a bus arrives at a stop (OBC seem worse than Stagecoach in this respect). Is the much-better white lettering I have seen in other cities more expensive?"

My sources tell me that the silver is indeed more expensive than the orange previous styles but the price is reducing markedly as more operators are specifying this type. Also it is rumoured that some body builders block the photocell which controls the brightness, this during building and then the brightness is confused. If the photocell is in the dark it reduces the output in bright sunlight.

Now, I am certainly no expert and some would say a "retired old dodderer", but the foregoing seems to make sense.

I would remind readers that I do not intend to criticise operators in any way since cost must be the governing factor in this modern world. 

Fleet news and developments

Note my comments above about the correct details now being shown on www.bustimes.org for Arriva the Shires.

Two of the repainted ad branded 280 route buses at Oxford Station, 5466 and 5461
. Only one bus remains to be repainted and that is 5465 away at present.  

With the arrival of the new buses for Thames Travel 403, 404 and 406 have returned to High Wycombe. Scania 219 is back in Oxford but presently 220 and 222 are retained. I think this maybe because 941 has not yet returned from conversion and repaint.

It seems that for now a double deck is used on the recently acquired route 27, between school runs on route 5. It is usually an ex London dual door Volvo.

I had always wanted to get both branded buses on Link40 in the camera and here they are passing in Stokenchurch on September 14th.
A lucky shot really as one had just left for Wycombe and the other was running a tad late. 

Unusual workings.

513 q.v. under Thames Travel was working the 13 on September 19th.

Surprise working on September 14th was 5 branded 659 seen outside Debenhams with the 300. © Graham Mildenhall.

Again on September 17th 670 appeared with a 4 road working. © Jack Cooper.

I'm sure this is at Rose Hill of 302 on August 1st. © Jack Cooper.

Hybrid 312 on the 3 at Rose Hill on August 1st. © Jack Cooper.

601 in City 2 branding with a 2A waiting time in Magdalen Street East on August 6th.  © Jack Cooper.

StreetDeck 655 with a 5 road service from Oxford Train Station on August 28th.  © Jack Cooper.

Once one of three which were new to Carousel, 871 is now a bike bus for Oxford Bus seen at the depot on September 9th.  © Jack Cooper.

Brookes comparison at the depot with the new and not so new on September 9th.  © Jack Cooper.

Scania 227 in a less happy situation when it is being recovered by Kardos in Magdalen Street East on September 18th.  © Paul Hawkins.

It would appear that coach 2 has made its last working for The Airline as it has not been used since August 27th, not far short of a month. Please let me know if anyone sees this coach.

Tourismo 32 is seen at Gatwick on September 14th. © Jack Cooper.

Ashmolean branded Tourismo 39 is seen Oxford on August 6th. © Jack Cooper.
This coach is presently receiving a body tidy up after a small ding on the M25 in late August!

Newly converted 204 should be back by now. Please let me know if anyone sees it in service.

2059, once Park&Ride 115, which your Editor drove on one occasion on 300 and broke down!!! seen at the Station on August 28th.  © Jack Cooper.

My goodness but these two area very green ! 2907 passes 841 waiting time with a route 6,
in Magdalen Street East on August 28th.  © Jack Cooper.

Open top variety seen at the Station on August 28th.  © Jack Cooper.

I have received many pictures of the new buses with the company for theST1 and ST2. They are all in service now and a selection of the contributions are recorded below. Apologies for those not used.

Anthony Horwood has provided the two pictures for use which I much appreciate. 

The three new 11.8m E200MMCs 451, 452 and 453 at Didcot depot on September 13th.

A nice picture with one one 8.9m E200 missing at Didcot Depot on September 16th.

Graham Low provided two pictures of the new 11.8m buses in service.

452 is seen turning into Donnington Bridge Road from Iffley Road with an ST1 service on September 16th.

On a rainy morning, 453 heads along Donnington Bridge Road making its way into Oxford with an ST1 on September 16th.

Jack Cooper has provided a number of pictures of the new buses.

Seen prior to entering service are 511 and 513 including pictures of the interior as well.
The interior shots show off the usb charging points and the airy ambiance.

James Freeman also provided pictures of the buses in service.

451 and 452 in service on September 16th showing the University and outskirts of Oxford.

511 is seen at Wytham working the ST2 on September 13th.

512 and 513 on the ST2 on September 12th.

I hope readers appreciate too many rather than too few?

The other picture received, this time from Paul Hawkins, is of one of Thames Travel's ex London Volvos working route 11.

Seen in St Aldates, going quite quickly, 935 is coming in from Chalgrove, a short working, on September 18th.  © Paul Hawkins.
This bus worked the 1905 service 11 from Oxford to Watlington on the same day, which returns dead to the Didcot depot
and is on seemingly the same duty today September 19th.

A surprise today, September 19th - publication day - was the appearance of 513, with several journeys, working the 13 from the city to the JR. One can only presume that it had been to Oxford for some purpose and got used ! ??

Banbury's Gold 28746, working its designated route the S4, is seen in in Magdalen Street East on August 28th.  © Jack Cooper.

I notice looking at www.bustimes.org that reliability seems to have improved at Oxford and most buses are on the road at the times I look. If any are off it is usually because they are due an M O T or similar. 

The company reports that the two Enviro 200s recently acquired from Stagecoach London 36309/10, are for conversion to driver training vehicles. The conversion work reported as is being undertaken by ADL at its Anston site in South Yorkshire

Further former Stagecoach London Scania OmniCitys in service at Cambridge are 15085 and 15092.

Now converted for training use with an instructors seat fitted, former Stagecoach London Enviro 200 36309 has been painted yellow and is at Peterborough awaiting fitting of driver training branding.
Following the entry into service of the Scania OmniCitys here, look out for Enviro 400s 19694/95/96/97 returning from Cambridge to Peterborough as replacements for Tridents 18349, 18420/21/22.

Further Enviro 400s could move from Cambridge to Bedford to replace the Tridents there.

The first of the new buses destined for Leamington have arrived. These were first used (without fleet numbers) for the Golf event in Scotland. There are 17 of the new E400MMCs which are in the current livery without any branding other than standard Stagecoach vinyls but will have unibus branding applied at Leamington.

  11216 SN69ZCU  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  9/2019  Midland Red (South) 
  11217 SN69ZCV  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  9/2019  Midland Red (South) 
  11218 SN69ZCX  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  9/2019  Midland Red (South) 
  11219 SN69ZCY  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  9/2019  Midland Red (South) 

There have been numerous fleet changes here which reflect the service changes of August 4th and September 1st which saw the introduction of the new Cirencester College services (the reason for all the Reserve Fleet Tridents going back into the main fleet) and the takeover of West's X5 service and Severn Express service from First. This is the reason for the transfer of Gold-spec Scania/Enviro 400s and MAN/Enviro 300s to North Bristol).

The remains of 36078 have been sold for scrap.

This very nice picture of S6 branded Gold E400MMC was taken on August 6th.  © Jack Cooper.
It is a pleasure to se a picture taken when the lights are on and it does look inviting.

As mentioned above reliability seems very much improved with only 50265 and 50284 not being used in service on September 19th. 50269 was used for training during the day and turned at Horsley's Green after a break. 50279 was also not used in service probably due to maintenance as it did not leave the depot during the day.

First come, first reserved! We’re now offering seat reservation when travelling within England and Wales and between Scotland and England. So whether you want seats together with your kids, to sit with your mates, or want that window seat… you can now kick back and relax in your chosen seat.

The big question… how much will it cost? Well it’s good news! Prices start from just £1* and the seating plan will pop up when you’re booking to tell you how much your chosen seat will be. Easy!

Pictures from Stagecoach.

I must say, as Editor of OCBP, I am most impressed with this development. My granddaughter and her boyfriend use the M34 between Oxford and Portsmouth and, as students, fully support megabus.com

Five Left Hand Drive Van Hool Altano vehicles which had been for disposal here, 55002/03/04/05/06, have been reported by the company as being in the Reserve Fleet at Rugby and being prepared for service.


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