This past week seems to have been quieter than of late. The rally season is coming to an end and the short days and long winter nights start in earnest next Monday. Don't forget the clock go back ONE hour at 0200 on Sunday morning. Heh, that's an extra hour in bed !!

The new buses for Witney continue to arrive and some may go into service shortly. These are expected be 11233,4,5 and 6. A YouTube video suggests Monday, October 28th as the day!

Witney's 11237, 11234, 11235 and 11242 seen at Oxford depot on October 22nd by Gavin Francis.
One can see that 11234 and 11235 are branded and ready to go.

Fire rips through Diamond Bus depot in second blaze

Five more vehicles were also left damaged by the blaze on John's Lane, Tividale, at 12.45am on October 23rd.

It is the second blaze which has damaged vehicles in a Diamond Bus depot in recent weeks.

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen billowing into the sky in the early hours.

A total of 10 firefighters from the Black Country rushed to the scene at the off-site depot, over the road from the company's HQ, following 14 999 calls.

a spokesperson for Diamond Bus, said: "We can confirm that a fire occurred at the Diamond Bus depot located at John’s Lane, Tividale at around 1am this morning.

At this time, it is difficult to confirm whether seven or eight vehicles have been affected due to the extent of the damage. The same site had suffered from an arson attack a matter of weeks ago, where a number of other vehicles were also damaged. We will be working with the authorities to establish if CCTV is available to assist identifying the cause of this latest incident."

The company had repaired damaged fencing after the previous attack and were in the process of improving securing.

It comes after a total of 15 vehicles were destroyed by the blaze – causing up to £150,000 worth of damage. 

A Routemaster which might have seen The Quatermass Xperiment !

Forgive the pun but as a youngster I remember the series on TV in the early '50s! The man's arm started to become a sort of vegetation! Well, Gavin has found a Routemaster in London and also seen in Oxford which is something much better, if you enjoy good food at good restaurants.

This bus, once London Routemaster RML2434, has grown a lots of vegetation to promote the opening of two news restaurants for the group. The RML was once an Arriva RML working the 38 as Gavin's picture shows and prior to that a green RML based at Garston near Watford as another picture shows it with 306 on the rear blind. Now as can be seen in the pictures below it has changed somewhat and comes from  Dublin where it has been since exported in 2007.

2434 in June 1972 and then in January 2005 - pictures by Gavin Francis. ©

click on the logo to see details of the Restaurant

These up to date pictures taken by Gavin show the bus now used for promotion of The Ivy in London and Oxford.

Pictures by Gavin Francis taken on October 23rd 2019. ©

Wanderings in the North West with Paul Hawkins

Paul recently visited Liverpool and Manchester sending us a number of interesting pictures shown below.


If you click on the link readers will be able to see the various routes in the Merseyside area.

4586 and 4590 display two differing liveries, the green and cream relates to Merseyside as it was.
Although it shows brown in the picture I think 4590 is actually black.

These two buses, 10534 and 15588 show variety in the Stagecoach presentation.


If you click on the link readers will be able to see the various routes in the Greater Manchester area.

Until recently in Derby but following the collapse of yourbus this Citaro is now seen working a Rotala 36 service between Manchester & Bolton.

Working the more direct service from Shude Hill, Manchester to Bolton are two Wright StreetDecks on route 8. 

Displaying the livery for Go North West is ex First Bus 33844.

On a through working of route 41 from Sale to North Manchester is 33850 with the Bee used after the Manchester Arena bombing by most Manchester operators.
The E400 is still in First livery but with Go North West stickers!

Go Cornwall Gone North West 74013 - WA12ADV - one of the first two to go north!
The Volvo B7RLE Wright buses with Plymouth Citybus are heading North to Manchester where they will be joining Go North West,
at the former First Manchester depot recently taken over by Go Ahead.

A very recent arrival in Manchester is the new E40D MMC 11260 seen working a 201 service.

Once a pride of Oxford for Stagecoach, one of the first batch of Hybrids in provincial SC - 12018 is seen in Manchester, now its home!

A livery rumoured to have a limited life in Stagecoach - Magicbus 19180 on the 147 route popular with students.

This report from Paul Hawkins is for me, an ex Mancunian very interesting. How things have change,  since as a child the 50 I remember with Leyland TD5's of Manchester Corporation Transport Department MCTD, became the 41 under GMT and is now a Go Ahead route!!! Time Travellers might find it very confusing if the 1940s people could go forward to the 2020s!!!

Steve Gee's record of Royal Leamington Spa

"I said a couple of weeks ago, that I'd get some pictures of current operations in Leamington, with the new AD40D deckers on the University services. I managed to get out yesterday (Saturday) 20th and took the following, all on The Parade"


A40D 11223 SN69ZDD Route U1 to Warwick Gates


One of the old Unibus vehicles, 10033, KX12GXB on the X18 to Stratford on Avon


 AD E200 36942, SN63KFY on the 665 to Napton


One of the batch transferred from Stagecoach Wales 37169, YX64VNN on the cross town 67 service to Sydenham.


Another ex Stagecoach Wales saloon, 37175, YX64VNU on the cross town route 1 to South Farm. This used to be operated by Gold spec Optare Solos.


18398, KX55TLY, ex Northampton on the X18 but new to Oxford for the launch of their S5 services to Bicester in 2008.

The rear end of one of the new Stagecoach A40D's, 11225, SN69ZDF


11221, SN69ZDA, on the U1, to Warwick Gates.

National Express West Midlands A40D Platinum standard 6966, YX68UST, on route 11 to Coventry, via the University of Warwick.

Johnsons of Henley in Arden YY15NJK,on the 77 from either Kineton or Fenny Compton


"I think this pretty well represents the current scene in Leamington. I think the old Unibus vehicles are probably being retained, at least one has gained standard Stagecoach livery, 10041, KX12GKX."

Very many thanks to Steve for this most interesting report.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Gordon has provided some interesting pictures of recent arrival on the Scotland stage!

Seating capacity for new Megabus Plaxton Panorama coaches. 

87 seats - Lower 22 seats and Upper 65 seats. 1 Wheelchair use now 79 seater,  8 seats removed on floor rail fold up for wheel chair access. 

Astromega 50247 is seen passing Panorama 50411 in Perth on October 13th


New NCP Long Stay Glasgow Airport two of three Electric Buses taken today at Glasgow Airport. Alexander Dennis BYD Enviro 200 EV. LF69UXL and LF69UXR.

LF69UXL  BYD D8UR   AD   B23D  9/2019 
LF69UXM  BYD D8UR   AD   B23D  9/2019 
LF69UXR  BYD D8UR   AD   B23D  9/2019 

The increasingly popular BYD/ADL electric buses are now serving Glasgow Airport Long Term Parking with NCP


West Coach Motors operate a shuttle service between Edinburgh Airport to Buchanan Bus Station Glasgow and v.v. New coaches have been introduced as shown below. They are Volvo/Plaxton Panoramas and look very smart indeed.

YX69LHH  Vo B11RLE   Pn   CH??/???  10/2019 
YX69LHJ  Vo B11RLE   Pn   CH??/???  10/2019 
YX69LHK  Vo B11RLE   Pn   CH??/???  10/2019 

Gordon Scott managed to capture a couple of pictures showing the new coaches at Edinburgh Airport.

Two of the three coaches now in use on the AIR route seen by Gordon Scott on October 24th. The link below shows more.

Urban Transit Fleets in Canada

click on the logo above to visit the web site.

Paul Bateson, who provides pictures both past and present, has asked me to let readers know about a recent publication which he is involved with. Having studied this book I must say that it is very comprehensive indeed. It takes readers on a visit to Urban Transit Fleets in Canada, with 64 pictures in colour of the vehicles, providing the reader with an excellent idea of the fleets involved. There is also much more information on the operations, buses and of course fleet lists. Especially useful if anyone is intending a visit to Canada. You will also find the many  pages on heritage operations, including tramways extremely useful.

A better idea of what the book is like.

If you have Adobe Acrobat open this link to order: Order Form_2019 SSG_MEB.pdf

Isn't it surprising how much detail there is worldwide about buses and transport for people who follow this subject.


Fleet news and developments

Tony Bungay

Enjoyed your report on Midland Red 100 at Banbury, have to say you were a braver man than I that day, which unfortunately was marred by heavy rain. I regret to say I ‘chickened out’ that day, which was a pity as it would have been nice to have done the bus trip to the nearby picturesque villages.

A couple of shots you may find useful, one an unidentified Enviro 400 working back into Aylesbury in failing light, not a great shot I agree, but perhaps a bit atmospheric and a reminder dark evenings are here.

October 9th at 1920hrs.

The other is 3011 arriving in Aylesbury on a lunchtime journey, branded for the 800/850! Do not often see  so many unrepainted High Wycombe Citaros on this service now, let alone a Henley – Reading branded one - taken October 22nd

Seems my comments on branded buses for specific routes goes unheeded! Ed.

Oscar Longman

These new service changes on the www.buckscc.gov.uk   website, thought they seemed particularly interesting, especially a 250 service to supplement the 150.


I expect we will have some pictures of the new service 250 in the future?

An unusual view of 5462, in the new sapphire livery, loading at Oxford Train Station on October 20th by Gavin Francis.

I note that Mercedes mini 980 has returned to Carousel as of last week on October 14th working the SS1 as seen on www.bustimes.org using its actual fleet number ! 

Hugh Jaeger

StreetDecks on non-standard duties 

Did you see some of the unusual bus arrangements for the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday 13 October? I saw a "Park & Ride route 410" on Woodstock Road. And at least two route branded StreetDecks were deployed on the "wrong" routes. 

Seen are photos I took of buses branded for routes 3 and 8&9 working on P&R 500 and passing through Summertown.

Many thanks to Hugh for those pictures which add to those from earlier weeks.

Unusual workings noted on October 22nd:

Park & ride 675 made some trips on the 35B/35 but I think should be the 3B/3 which could be a ticket machine error? This was on Tuesday, October 22nd when Citaro branded 4 - 847 worked a trip on the ST1.

www.bustimes.org really does provide some interesting workings to look out for!

X90 coach 69 is parked up in an unusual point in Gloucester Green when Gavin Francis took this picture on October 19th.

Scania 205, looking rather battle scarred, is seen loading for Kidlington with a 2A service on October 19th by Gavin Francis.

Gay Pride 367 is seen working a 400 service in Frideswide Square on October 20th by Gavin Francis.

MMC 607 is seen with a U1 service in Park End Street on October 20th by Gavin Francis.

StreetDeck 674 is seen  near the Rail Station on October 20th by Gavin Francis.

Now ready for service, 204 is seen completed by Hants & Dorset Trim. 

On October 22nd E200MMC 513 was seen working the 98 service in Didcot. 

Gavin Francis

This is the latest customer service offering from VCS. Not sure how many people go there to get keys cut. It is outside the toilets but the staff tell me nobody has ever asked them where to get a key cut.

Picture by Gavin Francis.

The new E200s for Thames Valley's services around Slough have now arrived.

676  SN69ZMZ  AD E20D SFDCL1ER9JGY17121  AD J245/1  B41F  10/2019 
677  SN69ZNA  AD E20D SFDCL1ER9JGY17124  AD J245/2  B41F  10/2019 
678  SN69ZNB  AD E20D SFDCL1ER9JGY17125  AD J245/3  B41F  10/2019 

So far I only have one picture, kindly provided by Robert Williams CEO, taken at the Reading depot on October 11th, after arrival. However the link below the picture will show this bus in service in Slough.


Oscar Longman

These new service changes on the www.buckscc.gov.uk   website, thought they seemed particularly interesting, especially the transfer of service 50 and 55 Monday to Saturday to Red Rose.


The Managing Director of Oxfordshire, Chris Coleman, can be seen talking about the new buses being introduced on the S1 and S2 Witney Carterton services. Click on the youtube link below.


The old and the new for Witney services. Seen by Gavin Francis in the last few days. 15609 and 11239.

Steve Gee

"A pair of the new AD A40D vehicles heading south on the M40, just after midday last week, near Banbury., one of which was 11237, SN69ZDU. I'm assuming they were on their delivery run. I think the batch at Leamington are numerically immediately before the Witney vehicles. " 

The transfer of Enviro 400 10067 from Oxford to Banbury took place on Saturday October 19th.

Theo Freeman sent these two pictures of 10067 in Banbury depot.

Theo writes "Oxford's E400 10067 was transferred to Banbury on Saturday and will be used on the 500 service to provide extra capacity for Middleton Cheney School." 

Unconfirmed from official sources is that the transfer of Long Sutton depot and its work, primarily the 505 Spalding-King’s Lynn service, to East Midlands will take place this coming weekend.

The current Long Sutton allocation, maintained at Peterborough, is:

Trident/ALX400 18335/38/40/41/44/47/48, 18416/18

Trident 2/Enviro 400 19017/47/68

Dart SLF 34426, 34530

The maintenance arrangement at has meant that whilst Long Sutton has its own allocation vehicles from the Peterborough allocation have been used to allow for maintenance and repairs to be undertaken. In the image from Gareth Hale a number of Peterborough-allocated Enviro 400s can be seen parked up at Long Sutton.

Open Top Bristol FLF 19952 is expected to return here from Stagecoach South this week.

Former Norfolk Green Enviro 400s 10054 and 10055 are now both in service at Bedford, with Trident 18423 now stood down and expected to go into storage at Ely imminently

Nick Ross

Sadly Stagecoach Bedford's fleet of four tridents are expected to be transferred away very soon as yet more Enviro 400s arrive. Here's Trident 18423 at Hitchin on October 17th after working the 1100 9A from Bedford.

Picture by Nick Ross in Hitchin of 18423.

There appears to have been a change of fleet strategy here and the expected cull of Tridents has not happened. Instead following the allocation of new Enviro 400MMCs 11216-31 to Leamington similar 10726-33 have been ousted and transferred to Northampton where they have displaced MAN/Enviro 300s 22832-39 which have been delicenced. At Leamington Tridents 18103/06/28/99 and 18322 have been transferred to the Reserve Fleet but there is a suggestion that they may be reinstated to service at Northampton.

Returned to service here after repairs are Enviro 200s 36847 (at Leamington) and 37064 (at Northampton) and Dart SLF 35181 (at Kettering for the Corby outstation fleet).

Reserve Fleet vehicles returned to main fleet use are Enviro 400 19087 at Kettering and Dart SLF 35184 at Rugby. Delicenced during the last month for repairs is Scania SLF 15402 from Kettering.

Several vehicles have been sold with Dart SLFs 34593 and 34642 going to A H Hardwick whilst Ensign Bus has taken Dart SLFs 34628, 34823, 35183 and 35223 along with Optare Solos 47044, 47050, 47339 and 47402. Also sold is Volvo B10M training coach 52526. 

Left hand drive Van Hool Altano 55007 has now moved from store at Wigan to Rugby for preparation to return to service.

Smaller operators and London developments


Notes that the Rugby coach, shown in last week's issue is owned by Truronian, "there is a clue - it says so on the side !"

GB Tours Oxford worked by P&O Lloyd of Bagillt, Wales  BG64UZU seen by Gavin Francis on October 20th in St Giles.
If readers view P&O Lloyd's website they will see that this is quite a large and interesting company which uses many Tourismos.

The New Routemasters are always appearing in overall wraps and someone must be making a lot of money from this.
These two are in Buckingham Palace Road on October 19th by Gavin Francis.

Theo Freeman sent a nice picture of one The Oxford Bus Museum's vehicles.


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