...... and a Happy Halloween to all my readers !!

From the Editor

This has been a busy period for both Stagecoach and some of my readers. The twenty one new buses, for Witney, are in course of delivery and some have gone into service. I cover the launch with pictures and information from Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. The company is already busy with revised timetables in January after the closure of the X90 and I hope to have more details in the next and subsequent issues.

Interesting times ahead with a report under the National  Express heading about a rerouting of some 444 Gloucester-London service to provide more stops en route.

One of the ways I and Gavin come home from Oxford to the M40 is through Wheatley, which as seen above
was gridlocked on October 28th taken by Gavin Francis. I've never seen it this bad. It must be down to the parking in a narrow road!

The talk now is all about those places that intend to ban diesel cars in the near future. One decision being considered by Bristol could become a reality very soon with London and Oxford also in the pipeline with measurers to drastically reduce emissions. Electric is now much in vogue and most manufacturers are beginning to offer electric models for the coming years.

Oxford Bus trialled a BYD/E200 sometime ago as recorded in these pages.

Indeed in London there are a number of operators who are already using such buses. Gordon Scott visited London a week or so ago and sent some pictures of the present electric offerings to ride on.

Go Ahead London have a number of these BYD electric buses in service with Alexander E200 MMC bodywork.
Here is a recent delivery SEe96 seen by St. Pancras Station.

Optare, has supplied 31 all-electric double deck Metrodecker buses for TfL Route 134 running from North Finchley bus station
 to Tottenham Court Road, which started operation during summer 2019. Above is a 19 plate bus, OME2660 by University College Hospital.
The rear end treatment is unusual with the "porthole" window!

It will be interesting to see which company of our operators in Oxford get the first all electric buses in regular service.


In London with Gordon Scott

As mentioned above Gordon spent a few days in London which has provided some interesting pictures seen below.

I really liked the composition of this picture, I hope readers agree?  LT520 working the 73.

An appropriate picture of BigBus DA229, an E400 converted to open top running the GREEN LINK the bus was originally Abellio 9483.

Go Ahead London's WHV120 seen in the evening light working the 14 to Russell Square.

Bournemouth Transport's 350, a Volvo B8R/Caetano Levante with an 035 service to Bournemouth leaving VCS.
This coach was new to Epsom Coaches and carries an "oddbods" wrap.

Bamford Bus Company has agreed to buy the business and assets related to the former Wrightbus business

Bamford Bus Company has agreed a deal to buy the business and assets of Wrights Group Ltd  in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, with Wrightbus Ltd, Wright En-Drive Ltd and Metallix Ltd. The deal also includes an option to acquire the international division of Wright Group Ltd.

Bamford Bus Company is currently determining the size and composition of the workforce required for its future plans, but the 60 staff retained by the joint administrators have transferred to Bamford Bus Company.

Michael Magnay and Peter Allen of Deloitte were last month appointed as joint administrators to Wrights Group Limited, Wrightbus Limited, Wright En-Drive Limited, Wright Composites Limited and Metallix Limited.

So, I am told, the first priority is to get the buses already in production completed which a number of operators, who have orders, will be relieved to hear.

A significant launch investment of £5 million by Stagecoach

Seen in the picture above l to r: Terry Absalom, Chief Engineer - Martin Gibbon, Operations Director
Karen Coventry, Commercial Director and Chris Coleman, Managing Director from Stagecoach in Oxfordshire.
The launch pictures taken on October 21st were provided by the Oxfordshire Marketing Manager, Laura Grant.

Twenty one of the ADL Enviro E40D MMC buses are entering service from Witney depot on services S1 and S2 to Oxford. These services originate in Carterton and Witney and the S1 routes through Eynsham and Botley whilst the S2 operates direct via Eynsham, the A40 and Summertown. At the other end of route from Oxford, Thorney Leys, Carterton and RAF Brize Norton are served.

The buses are to the latest euro 6 emission specification meaning they will pass stringent new regulations being introduced in many parts of the UK including Oxford City Centre. Customers are also provided with WiFi and USB charging points to each seat. Also provided is next stop information visually and by recorded announcements. The seating is leather in a light shade of grey and blue making a light and airy interior for all travelling. Additionally and for the first time destination information is provided on the rear of the bus.

These new buses are fully DDA compliant allowing access for wheel chair users and also providing "buggy" place.

The pictures below show the launch of these buses by the Senior Management team at Oxford.

Chris Coleman is seen cutting the ribbon to launch the buses.
Readers will note the blue grab poles, coach style seating and the time/date which also shows the next stop information.

Further pictures provided by Gavin Francis show the bright destination screen front and back and the clean lines of these new buses.

The S2 service in Gloucester Green, having arrived and then seen departing to Carterton on October 29th.

Another of the new buses with an S1 service to Witney taken at the George Street, Oxford stop on October 29th.

The rear destinations should prove very useful to passengers approaching their stop from the rear!

Further pictures of these buses maybe found below in the Stagecoach section.


North of the Border with Gordon Scott

This week featuring a report in pictures of the West Coast Motors AIR coaches, these are Panoramas and entered service last week.

The latest offering with pictures below showing exterior and interior shots by Gordon Scott.

Clean, refreshing and inviting, the exterior views of the new coaches.

I have to note how fresh and relaxing the interiors are, The luggage racks are copied from the Oxford tube vehicles delivered in 2014.

Gordon commented on how smooth and powerful the coach was, as he travelled from Edinburgh to Glasgow last Saturday, October 26th. He had chance to get all the pictures you see above and was very complimentary of the design, layout and colours. They are very striking as readers can see.

Fleet news and developments

Nothing special to report this week but Gavin got a nice picture of one of the 758 coaches now run by Luton.

9003-YJ66FHY working a 758 service past MARBLE ARCH on October 25th by Gavin Francis.

Late news from Arriva is:  the following Temsa Safari HD12 coaches are on order to replace all the Van Hools.

The HD12 from Arriva Bus & Coach


980 continues to operate the SS1 for J&J. E400 421 has been working the Link 40 for the past few days as 424 and then 423 are unavailable. This is probably due to servicing or MOT.

Coach 39 has not been seen in service since August 31st and coach 45 has not been in service since October 19th. I'm not sure what is happening but maybe someone can advise?

Gavin Francis has provided a few pictures of Oxford's buses in the last few days.

An excellent line of Oxford Bus vehicles plus a Stagecoach Gold. 662 is working the 500 whilst 673 behind seems to have lost its fleet number.

A fine picture of 601 with a 2B working to Kidlington loading at Debenhams on October 29th. 

The operator seems to be using double decks on the 11 to Watlington, more in recent days. 

A new bus for this company was delivered in  September.  It is an E200MMC

Grant Palmer's new Enviro200 MMC YX69NXK seen in Flitwick on October 23rd by Mark Bowerbank .

YX69NXK  AD E20D SFD9L1ER9KGY17536  AD   B30F  9/2019  Palmer, Flitwick 

Edwards, Llantwit-Fardre's Levante BV67JYE with super rear for OLA by VCS on October 28th by Gavin Francis.
Odd that a coach operator should advertise a "car" service!

Richard Sharman

Richard writes "National Express has changed the timetable of service 444 to operate via new destinations in Oxfordshire.

The service, which is jointly operated by Bennetts Coaches, West Midlands Travel, and Yeoman's Canyon Travel, is revised from Monday 28 October.

It will now serve the following Oxfordshire town's and villages:

However, this change appears to be solely aimed at passengers travelling to or from London. Travelling towards Gloucester passengers are only able to alight the service at the Oxfordshire destinations, and travelling in the opposite direction passengers can only board travelling towards London. So in short, you would be unable to travel from Gloucester to Woodstock and vice versa, which is a shame."

Yeoman's Levante 2 BV67JYG with a 444 working to London on June 7th 2018 by Richard Sharman.
Bennetts Coaches BV67 JYK has just arrived from London and is returning to the depot.

"This is quite a significant development for commuters who live in Chipping Norton, Enstone or Woodstock. They will now be able to travel direct to London(Woodstock being the last stop) with out having to go via Oxford, as some S3 currently do, although not Tuesday to Thursday!

The 444 offers two departures in each direction Friday to Monday, so on these days it is possible to book the 0641hrs from Chipping Norton which will arrive in London at 0845hrs MD/FRI and 0825hrs SAT/SUN. Returning at 2030hrs, which arrives in Chipping Norton at 2224hrs. The Tuesday to Thursday timetable only offers one trip in each direction, which is geared towards passengers coming from London. It departs at 0900hrs and arrives in Chipping Norton at 1109hrs, returning at 1738hrs for arrival in London at 1950hrs.

Other departures continue to serve the A40 corridor from Cheltenham, stopping at Burford and Witney A40 Flyover."

Indeed interesting times ahead!  

Obviously much interest has been aroused in recent days with the new E40Ds entering service from Witney. I am including most pictures received as readers have made a great effort to record the new buses. Indeed 21 is quite a significant number.

11236 is seen in Park Ed Street being overtaken by another 69 plate bus on the Oxford scene. The date is October 25th by Ciaran Bird.

David Gray passed the Horspath Road depot and caught these two new buses in the yard on October 28th.

Gavin took these pictures on October 30th showing new buses waiting to enter service.
They are 11246, 11245, 11250, 11247, 11235 and 11252.

Here is 11248 ready for service and seen October 30th by Gavin Francis.

Again 11250 is seen at Network Oxford parking on October 8th by Gavin Francis.

11247 is seen at Horspath Rd on October 28th by Gavin Francis.

11244 and 11248 are seen being prepared at Horspath depot on October 26th by Gavin Francis.

11234 is seen  boarding in George Street with an S1 on October 28th by Giles Woodforde.

New 11238 is seen on a wet day at Gloucester Green with other services. The date is October 25th by Jack Cooper.

11238 is seen heading off to Carterton in George Street on October 25th by James Freeman.

Trevor Bayliss sent this picture of 11234 loading in George Street on October 25th.

Tony Gaze from Gloucester sent these pictures of the new E40Ds, 11233 and 11236, loading in George Street on October 25th, it was early evening.

From the pictures above the new destination screen are a challenge to some cameras especially in low light.
I hope readers appreciate that I like to use as many readers contributions as possible.

Gold 15619 shows the problems of repainting metallic colours on this soon to be replaced Scania.
The location Magdalen Street East, the date  October 25th taken by James Freeman.
Note the removal of the S1/S1 branding at the rear.

Gold 15537 working an S1 service in George Street on October 30th by Gavin Francis.
One wonders whence these 59 plates Golds are destined ?

Once a regular on the SW1 to London and Oxford tube services, this bus 15966 is now on Witney's allocation.
It is seen by The Randolph Hotel with an S2 service on October 25th by James Freeman.

This highlights the problem of branded buses now being used on the correct route.
Scania Gold 15833 is branded for the S3 but is seen here with a number 2 on October 29th by Gavin Francis.

Here E40D MMC 10673 is loading by the Randolph Hotel for a fast run to Bicester with service S5 on October 30th by Gavin Francis.

Here, E200, 36761 is working an  S2 departure to Carterton from Gloucester Green on October 30th by Gavin Francis.

Ciaran Bird took this shot of 47832 which now bears a super rear for Priory Mildmay who appear someway from Oxfordshire.
Picture taken in Woodstock on October 25th whilst working service 233.  

The second Volvo B10M training vehicle here to be withdrawn from use in recent weeks is 52486. It was taken on suspended tow from Peterborough into storage at Ely depot on the morning of October 28th..

Gordon Scott took this  picture of a new E200 MMC leaving Falkirk works.
It will be 26306 in the South fleet, the picture being taken on October 25th.

Smartly turned out, West's M A N 22378 is on training duties when seen at Horspath depot, Oxford on October 31st by Gavin Francis.

Once new to Oxford tube and now in corporate livery 50285 is seen leaving Glasgow with an X76 Kilmarnock service.
The date is October 26th with picture by Gordon Scott.

Off with old and on with the new, Panorama 50401 is also seen leaving Glasgow with an X76 with an X76 working.
The date is October 26th with picture by Gordon Scott.

Traffic delays in London are not helping the reliability of services. A new cycle lane is being constructed up the A40 towards Perivale and this has caused reduced lane capacity adding time to services towards Oxford.

We await details of six additional tube coaches to be used from January when the X90 service ceases. So far rumour adds nothing to what is actually happening but it appears they will megabus coaches no longer required for service. More news as it becomes available. 

Gordon Scott has provided some interesting pictures for this operator.

Here is a 62 plate Astromega, 50250 with an M9 service to Aberdeen leaving Glasgow on October 26th.

Here is 54207 running round from Sammy's to departure at VCS. This has the refreshed livery and is well presented on October 23rd.

Now carrying its Stagecoach fleet number have returned from SGBC which was taken over by Stagecoach West.
55022 is seen running round to departures having worked in on an M10 service. October 23rd.

Gavin Francis caught an interesting one at Marble Arch.

54208 was working an M12 service when seen on October 25th.

London developments

Colourful buses by Gavin Francis

These late build New Routemasters are seen at Marble Arch working the Arriva 137 on October 25th.

Go Ahead London's WHV125 is seen at Marble Arch heading for Baker Street with a 74 working. What a very colourful wrap!

London United's LT156 with a striking wrap for TSINGTAO working a 27 service to Hammersmith and passing through Notting Hill Gate.
The date was a very wet October 24th!

A POPPY bus for 2019, London United's VH45189 with a 94 service at Marble Arch on October 25th.

Metroline LT650 working the 16 past Marble Arch on October 25th promoting a Netflix programme.

Metroline LT745 heading for Archway with a 390 on October 25th promoting Montcler's "Genius is born crazy".

Just proving how colourful London's street are just now. Many thanks to Gavin. 

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