Well, March is already upon us - "beware the ides of March as Shakespeare said" and hopefully we will see an improvement in the weather. Photography is not the best at present but we still have a number of pictures from our many contributors.

The hot news of of the week is the order for new coaches to operate The Oxford tube. This is covered below in plenty of detail.

Other news is that Lucketts will join the National Express empire. More details as they become available.

Well, not so much included this week as I ran out time. I have a few requests for help with or Part 2 of my love of buses for the next OBES meeting. Hopefully I'll catch up next week.

Also I am sorry to learn that Steve Knight who runs SKM is not too well at present. I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.


Our next three meetings will be as follows:

Tuesday 10 March " The same but different plus some of my favourites" a talk by Paul Statham

Tuesday 14 April " Nearly 80 years of memories of my personal hobby - buses: Part Two - 1965-1990" a talk by Malcolm Crowe

Tuesday 12 May Annual General Meeting with a social time and, as in previous years,  an opportunity to pass on any surplus items (models, books, timetables etc), and to show photos. 

All meetings will begin at 7.30 p.m. at  The Gladiator Club, 263 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SE. Non-members will be very welcome.


·         Europe’s most frequent coach service – Oxford Tube - set to get even better with 34 new coaches this summer

·         The largest single order of coaches in the history of Stagecoach

·         Introducing the latest technology designed to enhance the customer experience

·         First Solar panels to be fitted to coaches in Oxford

click on picture to see in more detail.
I understand that the fleet numbers will be 50421 - 50454, though as yet this is not fully confirmed.

Oxford Tube has announced plans to replace and expand its fleet with brand new coaches this summer. The £13 million investment, the biggest ever for Oxford, will introduce 34 brand new coaches and is the first major upgrade for the Oxford Tube service since 26 new vehicles were introduced in July 2014. 

Customers of the premium coach service are set to benefit from the latest in passenger comfort with on board features including wireless and USB charging, reading lights and extendable tables complete with mobile device and cup holders throughout. This, in addition to extra leg room and reclining seats, ensures that the service can continue to offer the best customer experience. 

New on board information screens will be fitted and used to keep customers up to date with changes to their journey and estimated times of arrival. Customers will also benefit from the enhanced complimentary WiFi service available throughout.

In addition, the new coaches have been designed to improve the service for those with additional accessibility needs with a more seamless boarding process for wheelchair users. 

Fitted with Euro 6 engines which limit exhaust emissions, the new vehicles demonstrate Oxford Tube’s ongoing commitment to sustainable travel providing an intercity service connecting to many onward destinations and, in a further move to reduce emissions, 5 of the 34 coaches will be fitted with solar panels to deliver greater fuel efficiency. 

The 34 Plaxton Panorama coaches are currently being built in the UK at Alexander Dennis and are due to be introduced into service in the Summer of 2020 and will continue to carry the iconic red branding, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. 

Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire said "We are extremely excited to be able to share this news with our customers and our staff. Our teams have been working behind the scenes to ensure that every opportunity to enhance the customer experience has been taken. Technology has moved forward so quickly and with the improvements being made to on board messaging and WiFi I am sure that both regular and new customers will be happy that we have taken on board their feedback for the new coaches. 

“The new solar panels are an innovative way to look to other sources of energy to power the on board features and part of our overall strategy to offer more sustainable travel options for our customers.

“This year is proving to be an exciting one for the Oxford Tube. We recently introduced our express link via Baker Street and now we’re investing in a new state of the art fleet.

“The new coaches will offer customers the latest in comfort and design features will make the journey even more comfortable, enjoyable and convenient for those travelling with us.”

click on each picture to see in more detail. 

Paul Hawkins visits Glasgow and Liverpool


McGills of Barrhead near Glasgow currently have 2 demonstrators from ADL an E400 MMC (BOOBEE Bus) YX19ONU and a E200EV, LJ68EYO.
The E200EV has ownership legals for Plaxton at Aston South Yorkshire


Merseyside's 15586 in Liverpool Centre on March 4th

Gold 15748 ex Midlands in Liverpool on March 4th.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Taken at Grangemouth February 26th on School work.

E&M Horsburgh ex Lothian Dennis Trident Plaxton President SN53AVV ex Lothian 630,
Volvo B7TL Wright Gemini SN56ABF ex Lothian 761. SN56 ACZ ex Lothian 774.

Blackpool Transport Alexander Dennis Enviro
400 City - SK20AUT third order for this type on a test run on February 28th.

Go Ahead South Coast Alexander Dennis
E40D MMC - HF20CUY out on a test run.

Taken Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh on March 1st 2020

First East Scotland Bright Bus Tours -
Alexander Dennis Enviro 4000 33500 - LK55KKT ex Metroline TE684.33500 - LK55KKT ex Metroline TE684.
Readers may find this link of interest: https://www.allaboutedinburgh.co.uk/candlemakers-row-grassmarket

As ever Gordon has provided some interesting pictures. 

Fleet news and developments

New service 720 advertised by Arriva.

Pleased to advise that we have received the latest Arriva Midland/Shires fleet list. Note that two of the new coaches for the Hemel services are now listed. Just click on the link below.

Enthusiast Fleet 4 Mar 20.xlsx

Pictures from contributors.

Gavin Francis

Temsa 7100 arrives in London with a daytime 758 service on March 1st. Still no branding or fleet numbers!

Temsa 7102 has now entered service on the 758 as seen on the pictures from March 6th taken in GLCS.

WRIGHTBUSPULSAR (VDL SD) 3797 is seen in High Street, Oxford with a 280 service on March 3rd. Note the destination variation.

E400 5459 with a 280 service in Oxford - Of interest is the side advertising for drivers. Taken on February 27th.

Another 280 working, this time it's 5469 again with a further destination variation. Frideswide Square on March 1st.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor pictures taken on February 28th in heavy rain!

Wrightbus Cadet 3537 heads for Lane End with a 48 working from The Eden Bus Station.

This time it's 3537 which now sports a repainted front dash panel but lacking ownership, working a service 30 to Downley.
Our last picture of this bus shown was with a red dash and Hinckley Bus !!!!

The driver of 3700 seemed to have a problem and a build up occurred behind him! 3700 is heading for Booker (Asda).

Tony Bungay who adds "The photo below taken on the 28th in Exchange street Aylesbury, in conditions this February will go down in history for!

Possibly 5466 may or may not be in service, it was coming along about the time Service 8 is scheduled, behind in the background is a now standard livery Enviro 400 working a 300 journey. 

One bus I would love to have got a photo of today, but couldn’t as I was driving the other way, an Aylesbury bound X60, with the destination reading Bus Reversing !!!!!!

E400 5466 is seen in Exchange Street, Aylesbury on February 28th.

Nick Ross writes "An image of Plaxton demonstrator YJ58 FFC currently on loan to Arriva Aylesbury picks up passengers at Stoke Mandeville with a 300 for Wycombe on February 26th 2020."

This is a nice picture as we tend to get more pictures in bus stations, towns and near depots.

In the next issue there will be full details of the new X50 service due to start on March 29th.

Pictures from contributors.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor taken on February 28th.

Thames Travel's 253 branded for the River Rapids is working in Wycombe and seen with  a 36 service.
On the converse 217 has moved to Thames Travel (not 215 as first noted) and has been working the 11 from Oxford to Watlington.
One can imagine that is a surprise to local residents !!
By Thursday, March 5th 253 had returned to Thames Travel and 217 to Carousel

Ex London General 942 is seen leaving the Eden Bus Station with 39 to Totteridge. It still carries its London fleet number on the roof!!!

The Citaros from East Anglia have still not entered service, I am told there is quite a lot of work to carry out before these buses can be used in Carousel service. 

Some interesting snippets from Oxford.

A classic picture of 71, ready for repaint and entry into service from High Wycombe taken by James Freeman.

Pictures from Gavin Francis

Seen with a super rear for Genesis Care, 224 working 2 road by Debenhams on March 3rd.

226 is seen in Magdalen Street East, again with a 2 road working on March 1st.

Hybrid 316 is working a 13 road service in High Street on March 3rd.

Volvo 362 is working a 4 road service to Abingdon in New Road on February 27th.
Oxford Castle is in the background on a fine day!!

368 appears often in these pages and is seen with a Wolvercote service on March 1st with a rear view.

MMC 6078 looks very smart and well presented when working a U5 service in High Street on March 3rd.

Sister 610 is seen in New Road with a U1 service to Harcourt Hill oon February 27th.

This location always produces "leaning" pictures as seen by 662 working 6 road on March 1st.

Citaro 846 is seen in New Road with a working to Elms Rise on February 27th.

Hybrid 309 is seen in this picture of 2 road services at Magdalen Street on February 28th by Ciaran Bird.

Busy about town! 971 is seen turning into Beaumont Street on March 1st by Gavin Francis.

All electric 2903 is seen leaving the depot late in February to take up work in Oxford  taken by James Freeman.

The same bus now in service and seen by Gavin Francis on March 1st at the train station.

204 from the nearside seen at the train station on March 1st by Gavin Francis.

Finally 2059 in Worcester Street and still in green on February 27th by Gavin Francis.
I remember driving this bus as a Park & Ride when new on 300 road!

Following the notes under Carousel, 217 is seen above on Sunday, February 29th at the Kassam Stadium with a Thames Travel working.
This was, I believe, its first day with TT.
By Thursday, March 5th 253 had returned to Thames Travel and 217 to Carousel

Scania 210 is seen in Queen Street with an X38 service on March 3rd by Gavin Francis.

On the same day, 933 is seen with an X2 service at Carfax Corner by Gavin Francis.

Although I have been told that 214 is in service I have yet to see any working recorded or any picture provided. I wonder what is happening?? 

Pictures from Gavin Francis

New to Irish operator Logan of Dunloy registered YN07OPC became ET07MTT is seen at Wheatley on March 2nd with a school service.

Scania Mobipeople Explorer MT19MTT is seen at Wheatley on March 2nd with a school service.


National Express working toward all-electric drive

Now it's all aboard for an all-electric future: National Express has bought its last diesel bus and will have a zero-emission UK fleet within 15 years.

The transport operator said its bus services in areas such as the West Midlands and Dundee will be fully electric in a decade, with long-distance coaches following suit five years after that.

Shown below are the first batch to enter service with West Midlands. Below that is a picture of one of the first on trial at Falkirk's ADL.

 E001 LF20XOA BYD DD LC04S44R6K4000078 AD K426/1 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E002 LF20XOB BYD DD LC04S44R3K4000068 AD K426/2 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E003 LF20XOC BYD DD LC04S44R0K4000075 AD K426/3 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E004 LF20XOD BYD DD LC04S44R0K4000092 AD K426/4 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E005 LF20XOE BYD DD LC04S44R5K4000069 AD K426/5 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E006 LF20XOG BYD DD LC04S44R1K4000070 AD K426/6 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E007 LF20XOH BYD DD LC04S44R3K4000071 AD K426/7 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E008 LF20XOJ BYD DD LC04S44R8K4000079 AD K426/8 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E009 LF20XOK BYD DD LC04S44R4K4000080 AD K426/9 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E010 LF20XOL BYD DD LC04S44R5K4000086 AD K426/10 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E011 LF20XOM BYD DD LC04S44R7K4000087 AD K426/11 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E012 LF20XON BYD DD LC04S44R9K4000088 AD K426/12 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E013 LF20XOO BYD DD LC04S44R7K4000090 AD K426/13 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E014 LF20XOP BYD DD LC04S44RXK4000066 AD K426/14 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E015 LF20XOR BYD DD LC04S44R4K4000077 AD K426/15 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E016 LF20XOS BYD DD LC04S44R6K4000081 AD K426/16 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E017 LF20XOT BYD DD LC04S44RXK4000083 AD K426/17 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
 E018 LF20XOU BYD DD LC04S44R3K4000085 AD K426/18 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands
  E019 LF20XOV BYD DD LC04S44R3K4000085 AD K426/19 H43/30F /2020 West Midlands

E 004 LF20XOD seen on delivery from Falkirk in this picture taken by Gordon Scott on February 28th.


The route from Stansted airport to central London will be the first to switch to electric coaches in a trial.

Dean Finch, the company’s Chief Executive, said "that although electric and hybrid buses cost £150,000 more than a diesel equivalent, they are cheaper to maintain and more reliable.

Environmental targets will account for a quarter of senior executives’ share bonus schemes."

National Express said its UK bus and coach businesses delivered higher revenue, profit and passenger growth

Pictures from Gavin Francis

Seen for the first time by Gavin Francis a Caetano decker working the 403 - Edwards BU18OTA on March 3rd.

A recent delivery, Go NorthEast 7148 is working the 561 from London to Bradford via Leeds on March 3rd by Gavin Francis.

Missing fleet number SH302 this Levante III is used on the A7 to Stansted seen on March 3rd by Gavin Francis.

302 does have a fleet number and is ready to work an A7 service on March 1st by Gavin Francis.

The pictures of Oxford's coaches for NEx 737 below show the re-routing from Milton Keynes arriving via St Giles and  Magdalen Street East.

57 and 59 arriving from Stansted on March 1st and February 28th both by Gavin Francis.

One of the re-routed service from the Midlands now serving Oxford's Gloucester Green is seen above
being De Courcey's MD37 BV17GPJ with a 212 service on March 1st by Gavin Francis.

From Robert Williams, Chief Executive Officer

Reading Buses

679 and 680 ADL Enviro 200MMC 36 seaters arrived on 7 February in base little berry and generic colours. 679 was vinyled on 20 February and entered service on 26 February. 680 has gone away for corrections to the paint colour before entering service.

414 returned to service in Leopard livery on 7 February.

422 went away for repaint into Leopard livery (ex Chris Mears) after being used in service on 29 January, returning on 21 February. It re-entered service on 28 February.

700 went away for repaint into Royal Blue livery (ex Scania demonstrator) on 21 February.

163 finished in Reading on 25 February, and went away for repaint into N&D livery on 26 February.

191 transferred from Newbury (where it was on temporary loan from N&D) to Thames Valley in mid-February.

100 (OP02 ARE) was parked up out of use at GKS on 1 February following withdrawal on 31 January, but was not collected by Optare until 17 February. 

The branding on Leopard 430 which was unique in having “Bracknell” along the top of the windows had this removed in February, rather than January previously reported. 


The first Optare Metrodecker is now due for delivery in mid-March, with the remaining four creeping into April. Fleet numbers 911-15 are allocated.

It is anticipated that demonstrator 899 will move to Courtney / Thames Valley Buses for some of their journeys on the 703, in exchange for 1214 which will return to Newbury following repaint into N&D black, to replace 1105 (Kennections) for disposal. 915 will follow once they have bedded in, releasing 1212 to go to Newbury following repaint into red to replace 1104 (Vodafone) for disposal.

Withdrawals will be 532-5, 1104, 1105.

A recent picture of 899 by Gavin Francis taken on Match 3rd entering Elizabeth Bridge to access the GLCS  

Newbury & District

164 remains on loan to Newbury Kennections, with 176 and 179 covering.

163 transferred in from Reading on 26 February, going directly for repaint into N&D livery.

1401/2 gained Newbury & District lettering on base Reading generic livery in early February. 

Courtney Buses / Thames Valley Buses

192 entered service on the 459 on 3 February.

191 transferred in from Newbury in mid-February for repaint into Thames Valley generic livery. 

Pictures from Gavin Francis.

More current news is that the Trident from London, 18484 seen above, is shortly to return to London taken on February 27th.

Now some of the oldest double decks at Oxford are these early 2014 ADL E400s such as 10069 seen the depot on February 27th.

Nominally a Gold Route, 10435 is see working an S9 to Wantage from the stop in New Road on February 27th.

A bus I know well, having taken it to Showbus when new, 10441 is in High Street with a nr. 1 on March 3rd.

One the more cent MMCs, 10687 is seen with an S5 working ready to leave the stop by The Randolph on March 3rd.

The nr 7 service is worked as part of the S3 roster and as such a Gold Bus is correct - 10787 is seen ready to depart on March 1st.

A sister bus, 10783 however is working non Gold route 2 loading for Headington on March 1st.

Readers may notice the improved destination screen which are a credit to Stagecoach in Oxfordshire. 

Bicester certainly stands out for those not see able to see from a distance,
10785 with an S5 working ready to leave the stop by The Randolph on March 1st.

Working its branded route, S3, 15830 is ready to head for Charlbury on March 3rd.

Route 7 goes to Woodstock, so it serves Blenheim Palace as does the S3. Above 15836 is ready for the off on March 1st.

One of the very newest bus in Oxfordshire is this MMC based at Witney and here working the S2 from Gloucester Green.
The picture was taken during a sunny break in what has been termed the wettest February on record, February 27th.

Looking a trifle travel stained, a Gold branded for route 55 from Swindon to Chippenham but on this day working an S6 service,
15346 is loading at Gloucester Green for Swindon on February 27th.

Now one wonders, which will be the first bus to enjoy a repaint in the new colours?

Obviously the major news is the order for 34 new coaches to join the fleet from June 2020 as recorded above.

A fine picture from Gavin Francis of 50245 waiting its next duty in Gloucester Green on February 27th.

Smaller operators and London developments

Luxury Affordable Coach Hire, Minibus Hire & Film Car Hire

Gavin Francis caught up with the coach below and noted that it had come from Heyfordian. Landmark have a nice website at this link: https://www.landmarkhire.com/

There is a useful fleet profile which says this coach was for the 2018 season.

BJ14KTG is seen in Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria on March 3rd.

Gavin Francis

New Routemaster LT53 with an 11 working by Victoria Coach Station on March 1st. The wrap for Tommy Hillfigger is quite recent.


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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