Apologies that the page is delayed by one day but I was waiting for the opportunity to get something in this week's issue as you will see under the Carousel heading.

Traffic delays on various parts of the network we cover have been getting steadily worse and one has to accept there are far too many cars these days and the dramatic increase in vans delivering all those on line purchases don't help. Equally one cannot help but note the deterioration in road surface standards these days and there are some frightful holes and sunken drain covers in most areas now. High Wycombe is not short of nasty holes in the rad and to my amazement the footpaths and verge in Desborough Avenue are being repaired and the pavement resurfaced, This is causing significant delays to traffic using this route and yet there are still awful holes not attended to. I wonder why and why footpaths are more important than road surfaces?

A Calendar for 2020 from Malta

 For those interested in buses in Malta, I know there are many, I have received advice from Marcus Lapthorn of a Calendar for 2020, for which details of how to obtain same are given below.

The calendar  in question. click for a larger view.

Marcus writes "I have a friend who is the founder Member of the Modelstone Bus club. Peter Gascoine has for a number of years now produced a top quality Malta bus calendar. ‘Malta’s Nostalgic Bus Calendar 2020’ is available from Peter at 3 Ayrefield Grove, Shevington, WN6 8DZ. (telephone 01257 251540.)

Peter does not have a web page nor e-mail. He is happy to take orders over the ‘phone or a cheques can be sent to him. 

The price is £8-50 including postage and packing for a very high quality product.  

The address is – The Modelstone Bus Club, 3 Ayrefield Grove, Shevington, Wigan, WN6 8DZ. Tel’ 01257 251540."

Do mention the OCBP when you order please.

Park & Ride Blue Plaque installed at Redbridge by Hugh Jaeger

Attached are the best of my photos from Redbridge last week. The light was dismal, but under the canopy at the park and ride it made little difference!

The crowd was at least 40 people. There were several speakers. Professor Bob Evans is the Chairman of the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board. Dr. Peter Headicar was Reader in Transport at Oxford Brookes University. Oxford Bus Co MD Phil Southall gave an informative speech telling the history of park and ride in Oxford, and its context in the UK. Lord Mayor Craig Simmons's speech focused on the future of park and ride: how it is likely to develop, as it cannot stand still.

Messer's Evans, Headicar and Southall with the Lord Mayor, Craig Simmons as mentioned above.

Professor Evans noted that "P&R" or "P+R" has become a global brand. In different languages different words are assigned to the same letters, but the concept remains the same. Phil acknowledged the earliest attempts at park and ride in Nottingham in the 1950s and temporarily at Pear Tree in the 1960s, and suggested that both attempts were ahead of their time.

Phil candidly admitted that in the early decades of Oxford's permanent park and ride from the 1970s onwards, at first it was given second-hand buses and was not the luxury operation it has become today. He attributed the change to the Oxford Transport Strategy of the late 1990s, since which time Oxford park and ride has been developed as a premium brand.

Phil said that until recently Oxford park and ride was Britain's largest. It has since been overtaken by Norwich. But between its five park and ride sites Oxford has more than 5,000 car parking spaces, and Phil has 63 drivers dedicated to running his 19 Park and Ride buses.

In the photo with two mayors, the chap standing on the left is Cllr Alex Hollingsworth. Alex is also in the photo of the larger group of speakers, on the right of the group. I am not sure who the other mayor standing next to Craig Simmons is, but I suspect he may be from Abingdon. And I failed to get the name of the two people in the photo with Chris Coleman. One is the OBC driver who took us all from Redbridge to the Town Hall for a buffet. I do not know who the lady standing in the middle is.

Chris Coleman who is MD of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire is on the left.

Flixbus crash in France

Eleven British nationals were among the 33 people injured in a horror bus crash in France on November 3rd. The Paris to London coach, operated by FlixBus, overturned at around midday on the A1 motorway, France’s busiest road. Of the 33 people onboard the bus, 29 sustained light injuries and four were seriously hurt, police confirmed.

If I am correct Flixbus as a company charters coaches from a variety of operators in Europe.


Authorities say 13 French people and 20 foreign nationals were onboard - 11 from Britain, three from the US, two from Spain and one each from Australia, the Netherlands, Romania and Russia.

The injured were taken to Amiens hospital and several other regional facilities. About half of those hurt were expected to be released from hospital shortly.

FlixBus said it was putting in place an emergency contact number and would provide a replacement bus service.

The local gendarmerie on the scene tweeted a photo of the bus on its side with its front window smashed.

The prefecture, which represents the state, said the bus left the road near an exit, but provided no further details.

Pictures from Africa by Nina Purbrick

Nina sent these photographs, first of a bus in Zambia whilst Nina was on holiday there.

“Saw this bus approaching a ferry weigh-bridge  in Zambia near the border to Botswana.”
AVM is a type made in Zimbabwe.

I have spent sometime checking this bus which appears to be a bus built in Zimbabwe. Check the links below.

https://allafrica.com/stories/200711080815.html   and https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Zambia/Botswana or https://www.myguidezambia.com/getting-around

Nina goes on to say that she saw this bus during her tour in South Africa. Again there is a link to the cafe which shows a Bristol double deck they  do or used to have. The red bus in the picture is a Mercedes double decker from Johannesburg as far as I can ascertain.

“Spotted this red bus used as a cafe on the way to Dullstroom in the province of Mpumalanga South Africa”


Enjoy the link and web surfing, I certainly did, most interesting.

Visit to The Oxford Bus Museum by two readers.

Jack Cooper and Theo Freeman both sent pictures of a day in Oxford on November 4th and a visit to the Museum with some interesting pictures. The service bus pictures are shown under the respective company headings.

Ex Park & Ride Trident 113, latterly with Carousel is at the museum where these pictures were taken.
First by Theo and second by Jack.

House's Ford/Plaxton resplendent in the Museum in the distinctive livery used by that company. Picture by Theo Freeman.

An old freind for your Editor, Oxford Bus 605 under restoration at the Museum - picture by Theo Freeman.

Oh happy memories, I am so pleased this has been restored to its Cavalier livery. Picture by Theo Freeman.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

As ever Gordon has provided some interesting pictures from his home area which I think readers will appreciate.

Taken on October 31st in Waverly Princess Street Edinburgh

one of the refurbished Lothian Motorcoaches hire
fleet:  Green Line livery Routemasters RCL 2241-CUV241C.

The second picture is one taken by Gavin Francis in the '60s when these buses were new at Windsor. RCL2241 had been delivered in June 1965!
Gavin says
"this was one of the very pictures I took using my Mother's camera!!"

Taken at Alexander Dennis Falkirk on November 1st and seen
out on a test run. First Group 39481 - Scania CNG Gas Bus Alexander Dennis E400 City.

"Referring to the ten Stagecoach Cambridge Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB's in the yard today the other two were inside." writes Gordon.

Gordon has been busy catching up with the latest batch AD E20D MMC buses now entering service in the border areas. The batch are listed below.

SN69ZNC  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27687  AD K237/1  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZND  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27689  AD K237/2  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNF  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27693  AD K237/3  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNG  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27697  AD K237/4  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNH  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27699  AD K237/5  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNJ  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27703  AD K237/6  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNK  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27706  AD K237/7  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNL  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27708  AD K237/8  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNM  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27714  AD K237/9  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 
SN69ZNO  AD E20D SFDDWCBR9KGY27720  AD K237/10  B38F  10/2019  Borders Buses 

Taken at Edinburgh Bus Station New Craig Of Campbeltown on November 5th.
Seating - 38 or 37 plus wheel chair.

Border Buses Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 MMC seen on route 253 Edinburgh to Berwick upon Tweed.

11922 - SN69ZNO  non branded. 

11915 - SN69ZNF - 253 route branded.

Another picture on November 7th, the first day in service on X95 Edinburgh to Galashiels
Border Buses Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 MMC 11919 - SN69ZNK taken on North Bridge Edinburgh.

I must say that the livery is rather smart and makes these buses appear nice to ride on. Ed.

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

The latest fleet list does, as ever, make for interesting reading. Not too many changes except that the Wright StreetLite EV F electric buses, 2301-2308, have been or are to be withdrawn at Milton Keynes. They are to be replaced by  StreetLite DFs from Arriva North being a number of those buses based in Cannock. I am still awaiting confirmation and any pictures of both types of buses would be much appreciated for the Milton Keynes area. A link to the latest fleet list is shown below.

Enthusiast Fleet at 31 Oct 2019

A VDL250/East Lancs Myllennium Lowlander, 4708, was seemingly badly damaged in a fire near Luton, when it was returning from a school run empty. It was recorded on video at the link below for those who have access to Facebook:


Tony Bungay

A few pictures from Tony which prove interesting.

Photographed this in Aylesbury High Street on November 1st, looking freshly repainted, it would seem like Aylesbury’s branded X8 sapphire vehicles, this Milton Keynes 3878, a former sapphire branded vehicle is now wearing standard fleet livery. Indeed on this day a couple of these vehicles were seen on both the X60 and 150 in these colours, whereas of late sapphire branded Enviro200MMC’s have made frequent appearances.

By chance managed to get a shot of Solo 2451 doing a turn on the 500 route, I do not often see this type of vehicle on this service, so while not the greatest photo it is quite a rare event so far!

"It seems these days any vehicle can be seen working various routes operated by Arriva as seen by the Solo on what is a lengthy trunk route, yesterday I saw a different type of minibus working the X8, but now the clocks have gone back, the darkness and location with the camera I had made photography impossible DAMM!!!!"

A regular now on the 758 is 7004 seen in Bulleid Way GLCS by Gavin Francis on November 5th.

A better picture of 2708 which is being cannibilised at Wycombe have last run for Hinckleybus.
I think its days are numbered now. Seen on November 7th by Malcolm Crowe.

A nice surprise this morning, November 8th, was per www.bustimes.org ex London Volvo 941 had arrived following conversion to single door and a repaint at Hants & Dorset Trim. I determined to get pictures of this bus which has been quite some time in appearing. This is did by following it to the depot where I could get some decent pictures. I am told that 940 is expected next to go followed by 939. The conversion of these ex GAL Volvos are being converted to single door in house and then being sent to H&DT for painting.

So here we have several pictures of 941 on its first day on the road, having worked a BB18 Schools followed by two trips on the 27 and then after a visit to depot it worked a BB18 home time service. These pictures were all taken at the depot on November 8th by your Editor.

The 40 on the blind was my idea!!! it does look very smart after repaint.

The single door conversion has been very well done and it is almost impossible to see where the centre door was!

Another picture of 980, back to work the J&J contract at Wycombe.

More interesting news is in the  pipeline for Carousel and I hope to have details for the next issue. 

Perhaps the most interesting news this week is that coach nr 45 has been involved in normal service work on the X3 and 13 roads. James Freeman managed some pictures of 45 the other evening when it was working a 13 road service.

The X3 is a Q-buster working, the 13 due to a vehicle shortage. Nice comfort for the customers!
Pictured on November 6th by James Freeman.

This coach will be withdrawn shortly but is proving useful at present.

Park & Ride 662 carrying Great Western livery is seen with a 35 road working.
November 3rd by Jack Cooper in St Aldates.

Sister 661 is seen in St Aldates on the same day also on 35 road service.
November 3rd by Jack Cooper in St Aldates.

At long last converted open top Scania has returned completed and repainted by Hants & Dorset Trim.

Seen on November 6th by James Freeman. Note it is re-registered SNZ1104.

CSS 2907 seen entering Gloucester Green on November 3rd by Jack Cooper.

Not much to report in this issue except that double deckers are working ST1, with 214 seen this morning. 

Pictured by Brookes, Headington Mercedes GT18MTT looking just like new. November 3rd by Gavin Francis.

Some issues ago Richard Sharman told us about the revised National Express service 444 which has some additional stops. Richard has now provided a picture of a Bennetts Levante 2 on this service.

BV69KPX  Sca K360EB4 YS2K4X20001911557  Co   C48FLt  10/2019  Bennett, Gloucester 
BV69KPY  Sca K360EB4 YS2K4X20001911561  Co   C48FLt  10/2019  Bennett, Gloucester 

"Bennetts Coaches Levante 2 BV69 KPY is seen on November 1st. operating the first Sunday 444 working on the new route variation at 07.06am, whilst passing through the village of Yarnton. This new variation now serves Woodstock and Chipping Norton on the A44. (Picture in Black & White due to very low level lighting this morning)"

These coaches are brand new!

Pulhams Tourismo PU19HAM in VCS with the 1930 040 relief on October 27th driven and photographed by Chris Maxfield.

New arrival at the company is seen in the picture above. Pictures by Chris Maxfield.
A new shape Temsa MD9. This had only just been delivered having been collected earlier in the day by Andy Pulham.  

From Tony Bungay

The other photo shows a larger Red Rose bus working ex Arriva service 60 while behind though not really visible is the X60 worked by an unidentified Arriva vehicle.
Picture taken on November 5th by Tony Bungay.

New arrivals in this fleet from Ensign Bus are:

Volvo B7TL PA04CYC; ex London United RATP Group (V) VLE21 (PA04CYC) on Route 9:

Scania YN07EYK: ex Nottingham City 942 YN07EYK Scania N270UD East Lancs H51/35F. 

The entry into service of the new S1/S2 buses continues and as I write this 11233-41/3/4 with 11242 almost ready to join them. I believe all 21 are delivered so still a few to come!

Caught by Theo Freeman in Frideswide Square on the S1 on November 3rd.

11243 is seen in this picture from November 3rd in George St taken by Jack Cooper.

A nice picture, by Theo Freeman, of a Hybrid, 12002, still bearing its original livery after nearly 10 years. Seen at Queens Lane on November 4th.

MMC 10681 seen in St Aldates with Thames Travel 622 and an inbound tube - by Theo Freeman on November 4th.

Oh dear, a problem, 10673 is being recovered in Park End Street on  November 4th by Theo Freeman.
And from the rear by Jack Cooper.

Jack Cooper got this picture of recently allocated 10067 leaving Banbury depot on November 3rd.

A further six Gold-spec Scania/Enviro 400s, 15614/15/16/17/18/19, are due to move from Witney to Stagecoach East Midlands where they are due to be repainted into the purple-based Interconnect livery. They will join 15612 already there.

Other examples are due to transfer to Stagecoach Yorkshire Gold-spec Scania/Enviro 400s 15609/10 are now understood to have been transferred to Stagecoach Yorkshire. 

David Gray provides some pictures at the time of new buses for old on the S1 and S2 taken in Witney,

15611 on the S2, with 15615 and 15617 on the S1 and 15619 resting at "home" by David Gray on October 28th.

11233 and 11236 show the new order of things in Witney again seen on October 28th by David Gray.

Not even the old order, the Dart is still proving useful proved by 34471 from 2003 outside the depot!
Again on October 28th by David Gray. 

Gary Seamarks sent some pictures of workings in and around Bedford on November 1st saying "Three from Bedford 1/11/19, the two ex NG on X5, note the straight staircase as opposed to Stagecoach standard, they both came off, 10054 was soon put onto local routes and another E400 was sent out to Cambridge. Also a Kettering MMC on the 50, this does happen on an occasional basis, its the only Midlands route that serves the town, and now interworks with the 49 at Kettering so gives more chance of it happening."

Ex Norfolk Green 10052 featuring a straight staircase, in Bedford and then on an X5 working which I am told didn't get to Oxford!!

Another ex Norfolk Green, 10054 in Bedford.

E400 19890 arrives in Bedford Bus Station.

The Gold on the 50 to Rushden, 11126 seen on an interworked 49/50 service arriving in Bedford.

Many thanks to Gary for these nice pictures. 

Enviro 200 36011 has had its ‘Cancer Research UK’ branding removed, believed to be in preparation for its use as part of the driver training fleet at Peterborough.

In line with several other Stagecoach UK Bus operating companies, the company is programming the destination screens on its vehicles to display a special Remembrance Day message. (19604)

Picture by Steven Knight Media. 

If readers see this display around the  are, do send me pictures.

It is four years since Stagecoach bought Go West Travel, trading as Norfolk Green, whose flagship service is the King’s Lynn-Cromer Coasthopper service. In April 2016 the route was relaunched with new Euro 6 buses and a revised livery.

This followed the decision by Stagecoach to operate the route commercially. Previously it had been contracted during the winter, but when competitor Lynx won the winter services tender, Stagecoach decided to take on all services.

The displaced Oxfordshire Scania/Gold Enviro 400s are destined for cascade to Stagecoach Yorkshire and Stagecoach East Midlands with 15612 already with Stagecoach East Midlands and part of the Go West Travel acquired Long Sutton depot.

ADL Enviro 400MMC 10735 remains on loan here from Stagecoach East Midlands and is operating from Oxford depot.

Once the six Scania/Enviro 400s from the Stagecoach Oxfordshire fleet enter service the Enviro 400s from Hull will be returned and Scania/Enviro 400 15652 should return to Worksop. This will make the Long Sutton allocation all Scania vehicles.

Another Gold-specification Scania/Enviro 400 to transfer here from Stagecoach Oxfordshire 15614, which is being prepared for service and will join the Long Sutton fleet.

Vehicles currently at Long Sutton are: Tridents: 18335/40/41/44/48, 18416 Enviro 400s: 19068, 19684/86/88/89 Scania/Enviro 400s: 15612/52/54, 15808/09/11 Scania/Enviro 300: 28613

The short term replacement fleet for Long Sutton is planned as: Enviro 400s: 19686/87/88/89/90 Scania/Enviro 400s: 15612/52/54, 15808/09/10/11 Scania/Enviro 300: 28613

The projected long-term fleet at Long Sutton is: Scania/Enviro 400s: 15612/14/15/16/17/18/19, 15654, 15808/09/10/11 Scania/Enviro 300: 28613

Picture by Steven Knight Media. 

Nick Ross writes "Tridents 18091, 18112 and 18449 await their next duties at Inverness bus station on a damp November 1st 2019. Inverness remains a happy hunting ground for Tridents on both town and inter urban more rural services"

Picture by Nick Ross. It is interesting to check www.bustimes.org for Stagecoach Highlands.

Another former Leamington Trident to return to service at Northampton is 18106.

AA picture from Jack Cooper of 15347 with 55 branding working an S6 service leaving Oxford on November 3rd.  

Mark Atkinson provided me with a picture of the first Panorama departure from VCS.

Panorama 50408 with the 0830 to Aberdeen on November 4th.

The new Plaxton Panorama coaches introduce a new interior for megabus, enhancing the passenger experience and complementing other recent innovations such as the option for passengers to reserve the most popular seats at the upstairs front and around tables on the lower deck. The 14.5m long coaches fully meet PSV Accessibility Regulations, with wheelchair users boarding the coach through the rear door 

Picture - ADL Plaxton.

A new contributor to the  page is Robert Sheward who caught this Panorama leaving VCS on the M11 to Aberdeen.

 Rugby based 50410 leaving VCS with the 12noon M11 to Aberdeen on November 6th.

Smaller operators and London developments

A recent wrap for Virgin Atlantic seen by VCS was LT509 working route 11 on November 5th by Gavin Francis.

Long Mynd coaches D15TFC carried Shrewsbury Town FC for the game vs Wycombe Wanderers November 2nd by Gavin Francis.

Smartly presented Brigit's Afternoon Tea RM191 heading for VCS on November 5th by Gavin Francis. 

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