Steve Knight who is behind SKM has been taken sick with sinus problems, which  I know only too well from my younger days. I am sure we all wish Steve a speedy recovery to better health.

This issue has some interesting items including Oxford's coach 45 has had all its branding removed!

As a city Oxford is to apply for funding  to become an all electric bus city, I wonder how that will affect the Euro 6 coaches in use at present? This follows a recent Government announcement on the subject.

Stagecoach continues to introduce buses in the new colours and Carousel now have all three Chiltern Hundreds Interdeckers in red livery.

Here is coach 76 waiting its next duty at the Wycombe depot on February 14th by Malcolm Crowe.

Commentary from Matt Cooper

Some information for the ever excellent OCBP which is always worth a stop, kettle on, have a brew read and enjoy! 

Very pleased to hear of the new transport links to Heathrow Airport and hope they do well.  We lived in High Wycombe when the X80 was launched.  The changes Wycombe Bus Company introduced from 10th April 1994 saw the end of the long standing X15 route from Reading to Milton Keynes and the X80 section between Aylesbury and High Wycombe was in part a replacement.  The drivers used on the X80 rota were formally in the 'Express rota' which did the longer distance routes and private hire etc.  The publicity was excellent, Best Impressions were doing material for a number of operators serving Heathrow at the time so Wycombe's fitted in well.  However at the same time as Oxford Bus were receiving Volvo B10Ms 156-158 to compliment similar coaches for the X70 airport routes from Oxford Wycombe received former COMS Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tigers 115-117 (A115-7PBW).  The livery looked smart but the service was very under used even on the Aylesbury to HW section.  Not having services through the night or early morning wouldn't have helped the appeal of the route to potential passengers either.  Attached are copies of the timetable and drivers fare chart.

Copies of the timetable and drivers fare chart.

Seeing the revised Stagecoach livery and new vehicles being delivered reminded me it's been some 19 years since the current style was launched and some 18 years since the national fleet number series was introduced.  The latter was very well thought out and a great number of vehicles in many Group companies kept some part of their old fleet number.  The 14xxx series was formally used by Leyland Olympians and the beginning of the series dominated by the batches of United Counties. 

Attached are pictures of Northampton's 14033 (F633MSL) and 14047 (G647EVV) which were on the track at Silverstone
during the F1 weekend in 2007 dropping off marshals and staff.   

Also working that weekend in 2007 was Volvo B10M/Alexander PS 20202 (M202LHP) new to Midland Red South.  This was one of several of this type which came late to United Counties to replace double deckers on some routes across the area. 

This vehicle is now preserved and is back in its original Stagecoach stripe livery.


A note from Alexander relating to the items about past Oxfordshire routes.

I read Hugh Jaeger's query about the history of busses linking Bicester and Brackley on your news page dated  January 21st and would like to correct some mistakes he made.

The service didn't become the X88 and absorb the 88 in 2003, that happened in 2007, I remember reading it on your news page.

The Oxfordshire villages 37 service never existed to the best of my knowledge. The X88 wasn't subsidized before 2007, as it never existed before then.

More on the Rickards coach at High Wycombe by Mike Walker

Following some digging I’ve found that DYX676C was a Ford L30C with a Martin Walter C20C body. 

The service from High Wycombe to LHR apparently started in 1963 and was the first of its kind although I haven’t found a withdrawal date I stand by my late’60’s guess. 

Scotland, Berlin and Ireland from Paul Hawkins

Xplore Dundee and Citylink Paramount's

Now onto more recent stuff Xplore Dundee have introduced a service X90 from Dundee to Edinburgh Airport running approx. every 90 minutes using Levantes.

BF63ZSY - This coach was new to Kingsferry in October 2013 which by then was in the National Express family.
I hope it never gets to London's VCS as someone might think the Oxford service is back again!!!

As well as a new batch of E400MMC to the equivalent of Birmingham's Platinum spec for routes 5,9,10.

The new Citylink Paramount coaches now seem to have a regular M92 Working between Edinburgh and Aberdeen caught at Dundee Seagate Bus Stn.

Nice to see that the twice I've seen it its been a coach branded for the 900 !


Fleets ; Big Bus, City Sightseeing, Stromma and Circle line

       BVG Berlin MB Citaro which Rigid & Full Electric by Paul Hawkins.

BVG Fleet in Berlin use this Solaris urbino 12 Electric again by Paul Hawkins.

Dublin, Irish Republic

Big Bus operation in Dublin uses this StreetDeck partial open top. Seen on a rainy day!

Bus Eireann Expressway Irizar with Gaelic Football wrap for Supermacs which is an Irish burger chain.

Another Irizar, Bus Eireann Expressway SE26 with an advertising wrap for Galway 2020.

citylink with a branded coach  for the Connacht Rugby Team in College Green, Dublin
ready to return to Galway. This is a 2017 Van Hool denoted by the 171 registration,  Ireland splitting the year into two halves, 171 and 172.

Dublin Bus WH1, a Hybrid, seen working service 25A.

Two members of the Go Ahead IE fleet working the service 120.

A very new ayats coach with gobus.ie 192-G-1178 working the Galway-Dublin Airport service. A very rainy day!!

Mortons Coaches have this ex London Scania, 10D132258 which is ex Stagecoach 15131. It works the Ferry Link service
between Dublin Centre and Dublin Ferry Port.

With very many thanks to Paul Hawkins for a most interesting selection of pictures taken in late 2019 (Berlin) and early 2020 in Scotland and Eire. 

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Taken at Alexander Dennis Falkirk on a very foggy February 7th.

Stagecoach London 11351 - SL69XXH Alexander Dennis E40H MMC seen out on a test run.

Taken on February 14th at E&M Horsburgh depot area Livingston. Two Ex Lothian Volvo B7TL Wright Gemini sorry rear shots taken through fence seen below:

753 SN56AAJ & 755 SN56AAO plus e
x Lothian Dennis Trident Plaxton President 630 SN53AAV.
All used on school contract work. 

Gordon visited ADL Falkirk on February 14th.

First West England 39450 - YX69EJD
Scania Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 CBG City seen in Livingston on test run.

This is, in my opinion, a very striking and attractive livery. Ed.

Stagecoach London 11357 - SL69XXP
Alexander Dennis E40H MMC seen at Falkirk out on a test run.

These buses are certainly rolling off the lines now! Thanks as ever to Gordon for his contributions. 

Fleet news and developments

Kinky Mike writes to say that Evolution YJ60GGO was working the 800 Reading service from High Wycombe on Thursday, February 13th. He adds "paper legals read either Arriva Midland t/a Arriva the Shires or v.v. Whichever, it seemed to reassure a lady getting on!"

YJ60GGO with a 32 service on January 23rd by Gavin Francis. No legals can be seen, piece of paper or on hire etc.
A recent picture of this  bus in High Wycombe. 

A terrible picture for which I apologise but it shows 2526, yet again working a 37 service. February 14th by Malcolm Crowe.

The ex Carousel Citaro recently in use on schools contracts seems to have left the fleet. Can anyone update us please? 

I notice that the coaches are sometimes used on local routes, It appears that 67 was used to work the 36 Bourne End service on the morning of February 1st, whilst 68 appeared to work the BB18 then the 27 on February 10th. Then 942 appeared working the BB18 and 27 on February 13th. I wonder if these records are correct?

I visited Wycombe today and was able to secure some pictures of repainted coach 76 and a picture of the depot and a Citaro.

I know the weather is not brilliant but clean wheels make a clean coach????

The yard was rather deserted!

857 looked tidy but oh those wheels!

Regular 423 was off the road today, February 14th and so we were treated to Citaro 878 seen at Stokenchurch. 

Coach 45 has seen regular use on the Airline service in recent days spending most of February 11th on the LHR service. This coach has lost all its branding now and only has OX on each side and it remains allover white.

Devoid of branding except the discreet Ox, 45 is seen on February 9th from Heathrow. - Gavin Francis.

City 35 branded 308 is seen working a 2A service in Magdalen Street East on February 14th by Gavin Francis.

citypride 367 is seen with an X13 working at Queens Lane on February 9th by Gavin Francis.

Chilternrailways branded 602 is seen with a 4A service in Castle Street on February 14th by Gavin Francis.

Red 660 is seen with a 6 road working in Magdalen Street East on February 9th by Gavin Francis.

I was asked about 688 which a visitor to the area said they had seen during their last few trips. I am pleased to say that this bus is now back in service and was seen on February 11th with an 8 road working.

Scania 214 has still not returned to service. No record of this bus has been seen during the early days of 2020.

Thames Travel 209 is seen working the X38 in Norfolk Street on February 14th by Gavin Francis. 

Mike de Courcey's MD32 BV17GOP with a 210 service leaves Gloucester Green for Wolverhampton
on February 14th seen by Gavin Francis.

New coaches are listed below, these being for Mike de Courcey.

MD44 /td> BV69KRK  Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914312  Co   C??FLt  12/2019  de Courcey, Coventry 
MD45  BV69KRN  Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914328  Co   C??FLt  12/2019  de Courcey, Coventry 
MD46  BV69KRO  Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914331  Co   C??FLt  12/2019  de Courcey, Coventry 
MD47  BV69KRU  Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914335  Co   C??FLt  12/2019  de Courcey, Coventry 
MD48  BV69KRX  Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914346  Co   C??FLt  12/2019  de Courcey, Coventry 
MD49  BV69KRZ  Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914349  Co   C??FLt  12/2019  de Courcey, Coventry 

AAnother newish coach is as below for Travelstar, Walsall.

Picture by Gavin Francis on February 14th in Gloucester Green.
NX69TSE  Sca K360EB4 YS2K4X20001913988  Co   C48FLt  12/2019  Travelstar, Walsall 

Additionally and only  being delivered in the past 40 days for National Express own services, i.e. Stansted.

SH249    BV69KSE    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914423  Co   C55FLt  12/2019 
  BV69KSF    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914426  Co   C55FLt  12/2019 
  BV69KSJ    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914433  Co   C55FLt  12/2019 
  BV69KSK    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914436  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 
  BV69KSN    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914442  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 
  BV69KSO    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914449  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 
  BV69KSU    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914512  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 
  BV69KSX    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914519  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 
  BV69KSY    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914524  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 
  BV69KSZ    Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914529  Co   C55FLt  1/2020 

The company is now operating a number of additional services through Gloucester Green such as the 210 and 212 services giving 40 plus movements per day. It should be noted that these services no longer call at High Wycombe Coachway in either direction and the 737 no longer operates via High Wycombe. Thus, for the first time in many years High Wycombe has ceased to exist so far NEx are concerned!!!!! I wonder why??????

Not everything goes well all of the time but at least this coach is at tend or beginning of its work.

This Levante tri-axle is somewhat "CAPUT" when seen by Gavin Francis parked up on Elizabeth Bridge.
BV17GRK from Luton - February 14th.

Gavin Francis caught this smart coach in Beaumont Street on February 14th. See how clean wheels maketh the coach?

New State of the Art buses for Reading with thanks to Robert Williams, CEO of Reading Buses for permitting us to use this report.

Two new, state-of-the-art, midibuses arrived at the end of the last week, one for Lower Caversham (679) and one for the generic fleet (680). They have a host of exciting new features to improve the customer experience and will lift the standards even further for our single deck fleet.

The buses boast:
• wireless phone charging cradles on every seat-back to give our customers a hands-free experience
• media shelves so customers can watch videos on their phone without having to hold them
• our first table and social seating area on a single decker
• sky lights and a glazed rear for a more light and airy feel - giving customers more vitamin D
• a spacious 4-seat rear layout in place of the usual 5.

These pictures illustrate well the features of the new buses.

These are in addition to our now standard (but high spec for most operators!) superfast WiFi, USB charging, coat hooks, light up front logo, next stop announcements and wood effect floors.
Both buses also feature the Alexander Dennis SmartPack which combines automatic engine stop/start with the smart management of the alternator and air compressor. This results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. The engine will usually switch itself off when you apply the handbrake, and then will automatically switch itself back on when either battery is getting low or the handbrake lever is released - the actual brakes release when the accelerator is pressed. You will need to ensure that the vehicle is switched off when leaving it unattended by looking at the display.
A feature that is more for our employees than the public is that generic bus 680 is also our first full-time vehicle to feature the mirror-less “SmartVision” camera system that we trialled during 2019. The aim is to use it in service, monitor it, and then compare to its sister vehicle, 679, which still has normal mirrors. The trend in the industry is that several companies like First Glasgow, Trent Barton and Transport for London have started specifying it as standard, but we want to prove the case for ourselves.

The view from the SmartVision cameras is digitally processed to compensate for lighting, shadows or glare while it is transmitted to the displays, which are mounted inside the cab to eliminate reflections from windows and assault screen. The system offers the driver a normal mirror view at the top of the monitor and a wide angle view in the lower half covering traditional blind spots. Screen brightness adjusts automatically to give excellent visibility day and night. The software removes any distortion from rain drops or dirt on the lens.
Both vehicles are currently being prepared for service. 680 is going to be available for familiarisation for any driver who wants to have a look as it may occasionally appear on any single deck route, but with particular focus for all midibus and Winnersh Park & Ride drivers where it is likely to appear most often. Whilst no special knowledge is needed to use the system, it’s always good to see it before you drive it.

This investment will allow the pink Streetlite to replace an older vehicle inherited with N&D, and provide more flexible options for evening services.

New buses for Reading are listed below:

YY69TNE AD E20D SFDCTAER9KGYA7831 AD  B36F 2/2020 Reading  
  YY69TNF AD E20D SFDCTAER9KGYA7837 AD  B36F 2/2020 Reading   

GGold 10782 with missing dash caused by some maintenance work at Horspath depot on February 10th by Gavin Francis.

Gold E300 28744 is seen by The Randolph Hotel in Oxford loading for its next run to Banbury, this being a FAST X4.
Picture by Gavin Francis on February 4th.

I have not yet worked out why when viewing these buses on www.bustimes.org they are always on the 500???
Above is 28746 also on the X4 at the same point on February 13th by Gavin Francis.

Barrie Gilbert

Pictures of 15964 and 15965 are the first to enter service at Cwmbran depot on Service X3 (Cardiff-Hereford), and attached is a photo of each, taken in Cardiff last Saturday.

Photos by Barrie Gilbert taken on February 8th.


All six of the new MCV eVoRa-bodied Volvo B8RLEs, 21363-68, have now been delivered and are being prepared for service. They represent the second phase of new vehicle investment for Cambridgeshire Busway services, joining 12 ADL Enviro 400XLB tri-axle Volvo B8L double decks that have recently entered service.

The MCV eVoRa vehicles have seating for 44 passengers and can carry an additional 45 standing passengers. They will allow the increase in frequency on sections of the Busway when the service is re-launched next month.

21363  BU69XXA  Vo B8RLE   MCV   B??F  2/2020  Cambus 
21364  BU69XXB  Vo B8RLE   MCV   B??F  2/2020  Cambus 
21365  BU69XXC  Vo B8RLE   MCV   B??F  2/2020  Cambus 
21366  BU69XXD  Vo B8RLE   MCV   B??F  2/2020  Cambus 
21367  BU69XXE  Vo B8RLE   MCV   B??F  2/2020  Cambus 
21368  BU69XXF  Vo B8RLE   MCV   B??F  2/2020  Cambus 

The two BYD/ADL Enviro 400City EV electric buses were unveiled at Cowley Road depot in Cambridge earlier today. Buses 14033/34 have lost the all-over Ocean Green livery in which we believe they were delivered. They are now all over white with green and blue graphics inn the style of the new livery but certainly not complying with the 'Specialist' livery. They will enter service on Cambridge City 6 from next Monday operating seven days a week except for scheduled 28-day servicing. They will remain the only two electric buses at the Cambridge depot as the National Grid power supply will not allow the charging of more vehicles.

This 14013 in the latest livery for Cambus. It was intended for Manchester. Pictures by SKM 

Gary Seamarks

Few shots for you from Cambridge on Tuesday, February 4th. A bit of a spur of moment run out. As can be seen the new Busway deckers are on the road, along with a loaned BYD from Manchester on type training, for info it tips the scales at 13275 kilos.

13905 in service on route B.


14031 on driver training.


21224 that was new at the same time as can be seen is now in the 'new' base livery for the Busway and was another that was in the Smarter Greener colours.
However it seems the AC pod on top may have been missed in the middle?


15463 is one of the initial Busway vehicles form 2009, that was later in the smarter greener livery,
and now is perhaps the sole example to be done in beech-ball.

13811 is seen at work but seemingly not too well supported.

15092 ,  ex London, is seen with a service 5 on the same day, looking very smart indeed.

15953 is seen with a service 13A to Haverhill.

Last but not least is Driver Training bus 34538 hard at work in Cambridge.

Also some X5 news for you. E200's 36936/7 were used on 'shorts to Cambridge on Sunday 9th in the afternoon, along with 37435 which worked a MK short from what I have been told because deckers were banned with the high winds.

Of interest is 36936 worked the last through journey as far as Bedford, and was almost full leaving Cambridge.

A further Scania/Enviro 400 repainted in. the all-over Ocean Green livery is 15812.

Now in use at driver training vehicles are Dart SLF 35211, which has been allocated to Swindon and Scania K114s 59219/20 which are at North Bristol. Volvo B10M (Bus) training vehicle 20280 have been transferred from Cheltenham to Swindon. Former Stagecoach East Trident 18422 has been stood down from the main fleet at North Bristol and is now in the Reserve Fleet whilst Reserve Fleet Optare Solo 47037 is now allocated to North Bristol. Volvo Citybus, 16899; Volvo Olympians 16251/52/53/54/57/59; Mercedes-Benz 814Ds 42059/60 and Scania K340 59221 have been disposed of. (SKM) 

Nothing special to report on this operation except for the introduction of new radios on the coaches, as shown in the picture below.

In full size the pictures shows it to be coach 50246 - by Gavin Francis on February 13th.

Black roof 50235 is seen being rescued by Isis on February 10th in this picture from Gavin Francis.

I am told that the reason for some coaches having red rather than black rooves is because time was at a premium to get the ex megabus coaches into service on January 6th.

Megabus/Joint Venture from SKM

Van Hool Altanos 55002/11; Van Hool (ex-Sleeper) 50308 are back on the fleet strength at North Bristol whilst Caetano Levante 59222 has been transferred to the North Bristol Megabus fleet from the  West Transferred from the main North Bristol Megabus fleet to the Reserve Megabus Fleet at North Bristol are Van Hool Altano 55005/13 and Van Hool (ex-Sleeper) 50303.

Left Hand drive Volvo Altano coaches 55003/06/07 have been transferred to Redwoods Coaches of Hemyock in Devon. The company is shortly to start operating Megabus services under contract . 

Smaller operators and London developments

HARLEQUIN Travel - High Wycombe

Harlequin Travel Yutong YG18ZKD new to the company and seen in Oxford on February 9th by Gavin Francis

Gavin Francis

Of interest is a note from Gavin that the bus seen below was working School Service 643 to Stokenchurch on Friday, February 14th.



When I had occasion to need some photographs recently I was delighted to find just what I needed on The Transport Library Web Site. The collection is significant and if you do use the site please mention the Oxford Chiltern Bus Page.

Robin who runs the site wrote to me:

"I was recently put in touch with a local transport photographic image company called Kezlan Images. They run two sites – the Transport Library and The Transport Treasury. Together they provide over 200,000 images to purchase with both Road and Rail transport from the UK and overseas. I was drawn mainly to the Transport Library as this site has a larger volume of Bus images. In particular they offer the images from J S Cockshott, Geoffrey Morant and also several photographers who left their collection to the Omnibus Society. Started in 2012 the Transport Library started as a way of marketing Russell Fell’s large collection of London Country and London Transport Images. This collection alone numbers around 25,000 and contains a great many shots from the local area. From there though they have picked up other collections plus run a service for individuals and societies to market images on their behalf in exchange for royalty payments. The site is well worth a look as there are images from a wide variety of operators from across the country, so there should be something for everyone. Kezlan Images also buy transport photographic collections, and have started to move into publishing through the Transport Treasury brand. Currently the books they have produced are based on rail subjects, but they hope to move into road matters in the near future." 

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