Whilst I appreciate that some readers will want to save pictures from the site for their own library I must emphasise that all pictures are COPYRIGHT and as such cannot be used elsewhere with specific written permission.

Equally comments and reports are also copyright to the OCBP and cannot be published elsewhere. As the Editor and Site Owner I believe I enjoy the confidence and trust of many industry figures and please respect views expressed and comments made.

So, I would appreciate discretion and appreciation of the foregoing by all who may read this page!

 Thank you.


A busy period with a number of changes taking place during these days, Carousel acquiring loaned Citaros from , the transfer of some of Carousel's fleet to Oxford and Thames Travel, with new 20 plate buses for Pulhams of Bourton on the Water.

I have been advised of changes within Arriva The Shires operations, which is outlined under the Arriva heading.

Sadly a number of operators, some dating back many years are facing closure or being called to Public Inquiry following operating problems. These are difficult times in the industry and in the recent days, share prices have fallen and the stock markets are facing shortfalls. The Coronavirus has caused many problems including travel restrictions and related checks. It is nigh on impossible to forecast what the future months may bring. Hopefully things will get better in time. One hopes that tourism in the coming months here in the U.K. will not be too affected.

We are now approaching the end of the 69 plate era and 20 is almost upon us. I was delighted to receive some 20 plate pictures from Chris Maxfield which are included in this issue.

Solo SR YJ20AYL taken inside Optares delivery area on February 21st by Chris Maxfield.

The interior of one of the new Solo SR's, again on the 21st by Chris Maxfield.

I wonder how the 20 plate registration will go in this time of drawing the belts in?

Finally for this issue, I have enjoyed leafing through pictures from Cymru Coastliner which has several years pictures from North Wales but also pictures from Aylesbury going back some ten years or so.

I have received permission to use some of these pictures on this page which I hope readers will find of interest. One such bus is an ex Berks & Bucks/Wycombe Bus Leyland Lynx at work in Liverpool!!

Times past in Oxford by Grahame Wareham

Many of you expressed pleasure at the pictures from many years ago added to recent Weekly Briefings. Grahame Wareham has agreed that I can choose some of his pictures which show times past and some rare pictures of interest. For many years Grahame worked for City of Oxford Motor Services and many of his pictures reveal this.

Long before South Midland disappeared into COMS and were run by Thames Valley the company acquired early models of the Bristol RE/ECW coach
and above we see 422 and 423, one bound for London and one for Worcester taking a break at Gloucester Green, Oxford in April 1968.

Coach 1 YFC11R - a Leyland Leopard with Duple Dominant 1 body is seen being made ready to be returned to Duple inn October 1982
for rectification work. The coach was delivered in March 1977 and served for many years on the express services of the company.
When delivered the livery was National Express local coach livery of white and red. Later the 190 branding was added.

Prior to the introduction of the Metroliner double deck coaches on the 190 (X90) etc. the company tried out the Leyland Olympian with ECW body
of a style used for a number of coaches. This was numbered 150 and is seen in Florence Park in July 1984.

Around the same time, 1984, COMS took delivery of some Leyland Tiger coaches with Duple bodies. At first used on
Airport services two coaches, 109 and 110 were later branded for private hire work. 109 is seen above in Edinburgh during  September 1987.

South Midland C422 LJB422E Gloucester Green Oxford April 1968

Paul Bateson spends an hour in Mississauga

On Sunday, February 23rd 2020 Paul spent an hour at Square One, Mississauga with GO Transit Enviro500, MCI D4500 and Mississauga Transit buses. His pictures are shown below.

Personally I had never heard of this city before and found Paul's pictures very interesting. (How to pronounce the name - )

Mississauga is a large Canadian city neighbouring Toronto on Lake Ontario. On the lakefront, Port Credit has shops, a working lighthouse and a marina with a grounded freighter. Multi-use trails wind through the city's parks and woodlands. In the centre, Mississauga Celebration Square hosts multicultural festivals and has a skating rink in winter. A popular shopping destination, the city has several huge malls.

Mississauga Transit 1780 works route 19N on February 23rd.

Three of the large fleet of Enviro 500s in service, don't you love the bike?

For more information about fleets in Canada follow the links below.

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 once again 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. 

I found a very interesting video about the changeover in Manchester from First to Go-North West. I found it well worth watching.

Follow this link and go to North West where you will find the video.


North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Taken today at Balerno on a snowy day.

Lothian route 44.

Volvo B9TL Wright Gemini 832 - SK07CBF and 921 - SN08BYP.

Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3 426 - SA15VTD new as Airlink.

One feels cold just looking at these pictures !

Other pictures just received from Gordon are held over for next week's issue and include some 20 plate buses at ADL, Falkirk.

Fleet news and developments

I am advised that for the time being Milton Keynes will fall under Midlands management. Luton, Aylesbury and High Wycombe will be temporarily added to Stevenage, Ware, Harlow and Hemel under Simon Finnie of Arriva. An interesting change since Hemel Green Line services just moved to Luton!! Interesting times ahead. Wonder if the legal lettering will change?

Tony Bungay

Couple of less usual vehicles to appear on the  X30 this week, on 18/2/20 3539 and on 20/2/20 the MCV Evolution white vehicle, both shots in Aylesbury.


Gavin Francis

A number of pictures were taken on February 24th and these are included below. As one can see it was a very wet day indeed.

Arriva ENS4 at Cressex depot on February  23rd. On wonders why this bus is still unused?

2297 heads for Downley on route 30.

2327 is seen with a 32 service heading to Booker.

2732 heads for Penn on a 31 service to Penn leaving the bus station.

Three of Wycombe's Citaros on a variety of workings in Wycombe.

Three of the older mixture of single decks at Wycombe on local workings.

39xx Citaros around Wycombe and the bus station with 3924 heading for Aylesbury at The Pedestal, West Wycombe.

Oh dear, 4819 looks rather ungainly not in service at the Bus Station. One of very few deckers now based at Wycombe.

Nick Ross

"I enjoyed the last update, plenty there!

Attached is an image of year 2000 vintage Arriva Luton Trident 5425 W425 XKX at Luton Interchange on February 18th 2020, working the 1119 24 from the Hospital."

"Because of the half term holidays up to four Tridents were out on all day services 24,27 and 31 as no school 800 turns to work. Arriva Luton still have 7 of these 20 year old ladies to enjoy! "

E200 44509 is seen leaving Wycombe for Slough on February 24th by Gavin Francis.


Gavin Francis was the first readers to contribute a picture of one of the loaned Citaros form Go East Anglia. He found 427 outside the Wycombe depot and secured a picture of same.

Citaro 427 at Carousel's depot on Sunday, February 23rd.

Gavin also found 423 outside Wycombe depot on February 24th.

Nigel Peach caught up with the two above buses taken from a different angle on February 24th. He and Gavin must have just missed each other!


Freshly repainted and branded 67 with 72 worked the overnight service 102 on Sunday, February 23rd. It also made its first in service 102 journey on Saturday evening before.

A further surprise on February 24th, caught on camera on a very wet day by Gavin Francis, was the appearance of Thames Travel 253 on the 36 and 39. I am advised by Phil Southall that this a temporary exchange for 215 which I had been advised was to move to Oxford!

People long absent from High Wycombe could be excused for thinking the X80 to Reading was still running!!!

75 has just arrived from Heathrow. The rear destination screen shows a difference with 76 below.

76 shows of the new livery as it heads for Heathrow.

I note that 78 is still decked in the original livery with Carousel stickers working the 102 on February 28th.

215 was expected to move to Thames Travel but still has not gone, as of February 27th!

A nice view of the super rear on 216 before it leaves for Chesham Broadway on service 1A.

218 is heading for Bourne End with a 36 working in the centre of High Wycombe.

710 is on its way to the Bus Station with service 1.

Mercedes OC500-LE 875 is seen with a 104 working to Slough.

Citaro 876 is seen leaving The Eden Bus Station with a Link40 service to Thame.

Citaro 877 seen with a 103 service from Watford via Amersham in the centre of Wycombe.

Ex London General WVLs 940, 941 and 942 busy on service in Wycombe. 942 still lacks any fleet numbers!!

Malcolm Crowe

Citaro 878 is  seen with a Sunday 40 working in Stokenchurch on February 23rd heading for High Wycombe despite what the blind may say! 

Some nice pictures have been received from Richard Griffin. He took these whilst on night duty on London Underground before getting his train ready for service at Uxbridge. I have included them under Oxford as it is Oxford Crews who work the night services on the 102.

Richard comments "I may not see X90 coaches at Hillingdon any more, but they certainly pop up regularly in Uxbridge!  As I was preparing to bring my train out from Uxbridge sidings at 0515 on two mornings recently I saw 72 (twice) and 73 as well.

Pictures by Richard Griffin.

It's surprising to me that these night turns are Oxford crews and Oxford vehicles, as they must have a lot of 'dead' mileage.  Come to think of it, I quite often would go up or down the M40 with an empty coach in the middle of the night, the difference being that mine was nominally 'in service'! 

Someone ought to take a photograph of one of these "ghost" X90 workings: an X90 coach with an X90 number plate, driving on the X90 route... but on a 'dead' working?

I see that the Beaconsfield-bound coach was the 0450 service from Heathrow (0520 Uxbridge York Rd), while the Heathrow-bound coach must have been the 0444 from Beaconsfield (0510 Uxbridge York Rd, running a little late!)."

David Gray

By chance David was at Hants & Dorset Trim and obtained two excellent pictures shown below. They were taken on February 26th.

205 is all but ready though still bearing its original registration which will doubtless be changed upon return to Oxford.

Here we can see coach 71 plus two more, unidentified, under preparation for repaint.

Theo Freeman

368 pulling off from Magdalen Street on February 14th

Gavin Francis

As ever a few interesting pictures from Gavin, keeping us up to date.

Jason Kew

Following our theme of branded buses off route Jason has sent the picture below from Thursday, February 27th.

6 branded 840 is seen working the $c in the picture taken in Masons Road by Jason Kew on February 27th. 

As noted under Carousel, 253 appeared on their services on February 24th in temporary exchange for 215.

M&M Coaches use Morrison's to fuel their fleet and above is MC65MMC which is a Temsa MD9 by Gavin Francis on February 24th.

The latest batch of Levante IIIs for NEx is shown below.

BV69KSE Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914423 Co F193043073 C55FLt 12/2019 West Midlands 291
BV69KSF Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914426 Co F193043074 C55FLt 12/2019 West Midlands 292
BV69KSJ Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914433 Co F193043075 C55FLt 12/2019 West Midlands 293
BV69KSK Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914436 Co F193043076 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KSN Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914442 Co F193043077 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KSO Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914449 Co F193043078 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands 297
BV69KSU Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914512 Co F193043079 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KSX Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914519 Co F193043080 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KSY Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914524 Co F193043081 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KSZ Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914529 Co F193043082 C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KTA Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914534 Co C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KTC Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914539 Co C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KTD Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914544 Co C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands
BV69KTE Sca K410EB6 YS2K6X20001914549 Co C55FLt 1/2020 West Midlands

New Optares due next month, the first 20 plates.

YJ20AYK Oe M???? Oe B??F /2020 Pulham, Bourton-on-the-Water
YJ20AYL Oe M???? Oe B??F /2020 Pulham, Bourton-on-the-Water

As mentioned in the Editorial above, Chris Maxfield has provided pictures of the very first 20 plates recorded for our area.

Chris comments: "I was lucky enough to visit Optare last week to collect these Solos for Pulhams.  AYK is a 9.2 metre example and AYL a 9.9 metre.  

They should enter service on Monday which will enable two loaned vehicles to return."

AYK and AYL outside Optares works.

AYK and AYL from the nearside.

The above pictures taken on February 21st courtesy Chris Maxfield.


YX10TAT working a 38 service on February 24th by Gavin Francis.

Very unusual, Gavin Francis saw this ex Red rose E200, W25RRT, working the  321 by the Pedestal in West Wycombe on February 24th.

The 275 to Oxford now sees variety and here YX61FZH is seen leaving High Wycombe on February 24th by Gavin Francis. 

Courtesy SKM

They understand that despite rolling out the new livery at the end of January, the required templates for use in the paint shops to enable repaints to carry the new livery are only just being received. As a result a number of buses emerged in the old livery scheme after the new livery announcement, or in all over white.

I hope some of my readers can provide pictures of buses in the new livery or all white in our area?

E400 10067 worked the 0720 X4 Express to Oxford on Wednesday, February 26th. It then worked the 0850 return to Banbury. Is this the first time this decker, the only one allocated to Banbury, has worked the Oxford service?

Theo Freeman

I do have a few photos for you. Also, I have seen the announcement that Northcord models are doing a SC Oxford gold E400MMC. I was wondering if you have helped with the production of the model like the standard livery one and if you have, so you know when they will be available? I’ve searched the internet but not been able to find anything. 

Something to note, darts 34467 and 34472 were used in the 200 service on Saturday (22nd)


SC Gold 28742 at Magdalen Street

SC 34471, 47833 and 11249 outside Witney Depot (all taken on February 14th)

E200MMC 37401 outside Bicester Village station working the 505

Bill Brown

Bill has given me approval to use this picture of one of Oxford's ex National Express coaches now up in Scotland.

Ex SC Oxford 53701 working the X57 on February 24th, leaving Edinburgh.

Bill writes "I can mind when Duple Dominants Mk 1 & 11 and Alexander T-type Leopards, Volvo Citybuses and P.S's and A-reg Leyland Olympians doing the original X57" 

A surprise at Oxford on February 28th and caught in  the lens of Gavin Francis was this Optare Versa trainer shown below.

Stagecoach Cheltenham & Gloucester Optare Versa driver trainer 25214 CN57BZA which is here as other trainers,
such as the ex London Trident are soon to be withdrawn

Make a note in your diary. The company is planning a family day on Saturday 16th May 2020 which will also see heritage and modern buses operating shuttle services.
The event will raise funds for a local charity and will be centred on Cheltenham Racecourse, which has ample display space but also links with the local steam railway. Plans are still being finalised but we understand initial ideas include a display of preserved and modern buses along with a service of current and preserved buses between the Racecourse and Cheltenham Railway Station.

Another service being considered would be from the Racecourse via Cleeve Hill to Winchcombe and back. Cheltenham’s first tram route and one of the first bus routes (replacing the trams) ran to Cleeve Hill. At Winchcombe there would be another link with the steam railway.

One of the special routes may also include a trip through the bus wash at Cheltenham although there will be no access to any parts of the depot. 

From SKM

After a time in recent weeks a change has been made to the destination display on coaches operating the Express via Bake Street services as seen in the pictures below from Gavin Francis.

Heading out of London at Marble Arch, 50266 on February 25th

Seen at the depot exemplifying the revised destination  displays. These make Express services much clearer to intending passengers.

More from Gavin.

50233 seen at Notting Hill Gate on February 25th.

50237 spent quite sometime on the outbound stop at Notting Hill Gate. 50277 much less.

50283 is seen at the London bound Notting Hill Gate stop.  

Smaller operators and London developments

Gavin Francis

Three coaches from Tranmere on February 22nd, all from different operators. Could not avoid getting an horrific reflection of the ambulance in the team coach.

Now some pictures from London again by Gavin Francis.

Westway's 134 P424KSX at Notting Hill Gate on February 25th. This bus is ex Lothian 424, Edinburgh.

BigBus AN336 at Marble Arch on February 25th which  I wonder how well the lower deck passengers can see out?

Promoting M&M's The Original Tour VXE735 is also seen at Marble Arch on February 25th.

The latest wraps by Gavin Francis on February 25th.

Sonic The Hedgehog wrap on LT617 at Marble Arch.

Arriva's LT732 showing off a wrap for at Marble Arch.

London United LT145 with an Uber Eats wrap seen at Notting Hill Gate.

Another London United, LT640, wrapped for Florida and seen at Marble Arch.

Metroline's VWH2300 with a Zadig&Voltaire wrap by Marble Arch.

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." 

I would note that prices are most reasonable for the photographs, especially if one take the Digital images. 

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