Updated Saturday, March 14th


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 has not been the best in recent days but we still have a number of pictures from our many contributors.

A timely reminder:  British Summer Time commences at 1.00 am on Sunday, 29 March 2020 and all clocks and watches must accordingly be put forward one hour at that time.


It is the first of five open-top City Sightseeing Oxford buses, owned by the Oxford Bus Company, that are being retrofitted to electric power. The funding to convert the buses was provided to Oxford City Council from the Government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund. In total £2.2M was secured and is being used to retrofit local buses to ultra-low emission Euro 6 standard, in addition to the electric conversions. Oxford Bus Company has so far completed 65 of its 71 vehicle upgrades under this programme.

It forms part of a strategy to reduce air pollution in Oxford, which has seen Oxford Bus Company invest £350,000 into upgrades. This included an investment of £80,000 to install the charging equipment for the City Sightseeing Oxford buses, including an innovative battery storage system to harness the energy produced by solar panels on the depot roof.

Over the past two years, Oxford Bus Company has conducted several trials of single decker electric buses on its services. The most recent of these being a BYD single decker electric bus which was used on Park & Ride service 500 and to provide a special Park & Ride service to the Oxford EV Summit, in summer 2019. In the 1990s, four electric Optare MetroRider minibuses were trialled for several years in Oxford.

The bus upgrades are part of the Oxford Bus Company’s strategy to be as environmentally friendly as possible. It is also part of Oxford City Council’s commitment to continue to reduce levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the city. In Oxford city centre there has been a 36.8 per cent drop in NOlevels at roadside over the last decade. A key contributor to the reduction has been the Low Emission Zone for buses, which was introduced in Oxford city centre by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council in 2014. In January this year, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council announced the final draft proposals on the Red Zone for the UK’s first city centre zero emission zone, which could begin in December 2020.

Phil Southall, City Sightseeing Oxford and Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “This is an exciting landmark day in Oxford’s journey towards improving air quality in the city via the introduction of more sustainable modes of transport. We’re proud to deliver the first electric double decker bus in the city in partnership with Oxford City Council. We have always been committed to being at the forefront of the industry on environmental technology innovation and over half of our buses are powered by hybrid technology.

“At this stage, battery technology is not yet advanced enough to power buses for a full day’s service on the majority of our routes. However, our City Sightseeing Oxford service runs for fewer hours per day and for lower mileage than our other services, and so we’re delighted to be able to convert these buses. Over time, our whole fleet of City Sightseeing Oxford buses will be either zero or ultra-low emission, and our entire fleet of vehicles will be upgraded to ultra-low emission standard.”

Dignitaries including Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cllr Tom Hayes, Cllr Ian Hudspeth and Cllr Yvonne Constance attended the launch. The group travelled from Oxford City Centre to the Oxford Bus Company depot in Cowley on the new electric bus. At the depot they were shown the charging points, batteries and solar panels that are being used to generate and store the electricity used to power the vehicles.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “I am thrilled that Oxford’s first electric open-top double decker bus has arrived in Oxford. 2020 is the year that we will see the start of the Oxford Zero Emission Zone - the UK’s first city centre Zero Emission Zone. I am delighted by working together with Oxford Bus Company; we can introduce a more sustainable bus fleet to Oxford. Cleaner buses mean that we will have cleaner air and improved health for everyone living, working, and commuting in the city. I am looking forward to seeing more electric buses on the roads of Oxford in the future.”

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The delivery of this new electric bus comes at a time when our councils are determined to take concerted climate action to cut vehicle air pollution and expand the provision of bus services with our Connecting Oxford plan. The expansion of electric bus provision for tourists and residents in Oxford is a clear sign of our commitment to offer our residents a clean and environmentally sustainable future.”

City Sightseeing Oxford, is part of a global network of operators which provide open-top tours in more than 100 locations around the world. City Sightseeing Oxford operate one hour guided open-top tours of the city. The tour takes in more than 20 of Oxford’s best tourist attractions. Each bus is fitted with multi-lingual recorded commentaries in 13 different language

Towards the end of this month Oxford's Airline services add a  new option as detailed under the Oxford Bus heading below.

This should provide a very useful service for many customers, including those arriving by train at High Wycombe station, reviving a service recently mentioned in these pages dating back to the mid 1960s and 70s! The coaches provided offer a comfortable journey and also serve stops in Maidenhead.

Chris Lowe has provided a selection of Electric Buses now entering service in Manchester 

Attached is the first photo I took, this one being 14001 which was the first to arrive at Sharston and is captured here on January 24th. It had just been looked over by the engineering staff and the opportunity was taken for this quick shot.

Attached is a photo of 14028, also in Sharston Garage but this time an offside view of one parked up taken on February 15th.

Attached is a photo of 14008 taken on their first day in service on Sunday, March 1st, with this example captured on Yew Tree Road in Fallowfield operating on service 111 from Southern Cemetery to Manchester Piccadilly.

As a note this service started in early 1987 as service P11 between Manchester Piccadilly and Southern Cemetery using GM Buses Little Gem minibuses, eventually replacing services 48/49 which followed the majority of the same route. The 111, has also been numbered service 11 before becoming the 111 and has featured a variety of vehicles.

Another first day photo also on Sunday, March 1st and we see 14028 captured on Palatine Road in West Didsbury operating on service 43 to Manchester Airport.

A photo taken last Wednesday morning (March 4th) and we see 14030 on Alexandra Road South in Whalley Range operating on a morning peak journey on Service 85 from Chorlton to Manchester Piccadilly.

A photo taken this morning (Sunday, March 8th) and we see 14032 on Upper Chorlton Road operating on service 86 from Chorlton to Manchester Piccadilly. This was one of the pair which operated on driver training duties at Cambridge before finally arriving in Manchester a week ago on Friday.

Both 14031 and 14032 operated for the first couple of days in plain all over green with no branding applied, but however by mid week both had been fully branded as seen here. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any photos of them in plain green.

Final photo to be sent, and here we see 14020 also taken on Sunday, March 8th, this time on another odd journey being operated by Stagecoach Manchester’s electric buses. This one is seen here turning from Cambridge Street onto Burlington Street with Manchester Dental Hospital behind in this shot operating on service 101 from Manchester Piccadilly to Wythenshawe.

Doubtless of limited interest but I used to use the 101 in my college days when it was operated by 45** Daimlers !!!

Northern Counties bodied Daimler CVG5 4538 at Sharston garage getting ready to work a 101 service in the early '60s.
Picture by Chris Roberts.

Many thanks to Chris Lowe for a selection of excellent pictures.

Some research by David Gray

I was doing some research on another query and came across this photo which I took in Exeter on July 15th 2006 which may be of interest. 

18054 (KX 53 VNE) and 18055 (KX 53 VNF) (pictured) went to Stagecoach Devon on loan in May 2006 whilst 18051 (KX 53 VNB) and 18053 (KX 53 VND) followed in July 2006. All returned to Oxford in September 2006.

Gary Seamarks and his Showbus book - The Woodburn & Duxford Years

This book should prove very interesting for  those who are Showbus aficionados.

Between 1982 and 2015 Britain's largest bus rally was, with the exception of 2013, held at two sites. Firstly the stately home of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, then moving in 1993 to IWM Duxford near Cambridge. Modern and preserved buses and many in between appeared over the years, with some of those new in 1982 being in the ranks of the preserved movement by 2015. Many one-offs appeared with operators showcasing their latest vehicles. Back in 1982 the scene was very different with most service buses in public ownership and Leyland the major bus builder; by 2015 most were in private hands and the Leyland name is now history. All images are in colour and offer a wonderfully nostalgic look at one of the highlights of the UK's transport calendar.

The book will be available from sellers such as MDS Books, Amazon and W H Smith at prices ranging from £11.99 to £14.99

Cheltenham Festival 2020 from Tony Gaze

Some pictures of Stagecoach's operation for this years Cheltenham Festival.

Stagecoach  Oxford in Cheltenham 10th March (First day of races)
 11233 and 11245 from Witney.

Below are a list of buses participating in this year's event with photos where appropriate.

Stagecoach East: Scania/Enviro 400s 15657/58/59 (3) 

Stagecoach London: Enviro 400s 10116, 10332, Enviro 400MMC 11043 (3)

Stagecoach Manchester: Enviro 400MMCs 10405/29/43/619/25, 11254/55/56, Tridents 18358/60/61/85/411/12,
Enviro 400s 19031/37/38/41/43/44/50/52/54/60/61/70/86 (27)

Stagecoach North East: Enviro 400 MMCs 10636/37/41/52 (4)
Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire: Enviro 400 10015, Scania/Enviro 400 15681, Trident 18140 (3)

Stagecoach South: Enviro 400MMCs 10893/967, Scania/Enviro 400 15988, Enviro 400 19885 (4)

Stagecoach South West: Enviro 400MMCs 10493/695, Scania/Enviro 400MMC 15308, Scania/Enviro 400 15792 (4)

Stagecoach East Midlands: Enviro 400MMCs 11192/93/94/95 (4)

Stagecoach South East: Scania/Enviro 400MMC 15328, Scania/Enviro 400s 15773, 15904 (3)
Stagecoach Wales: Scania/Enviro 400s 15754/838, Tridents 18008/79 (4)
Stagecoach Yorkshire: Scania/Enviro 400s 15662/829 (2)
In addition, Stagecoach Midlands supplied Enviro 400MMCs 11228/32 for Tuesday evening, but these might vary from evening to evening. 

Ray Ramsey on  Diamond coaches

Diamond Coaches of Rushden are to cease trading on April 26th 2020. So many operators are closing the doors recently! 

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

February 9th

Taken today at Balmoral Hotel Princess Street Edinburgh

French Rugby Team Coach MAN picking up team after Murrayfield Scotland and France game yesterday.

Taken at Edinburgh Bus Station.

New Alexander Dennis E20 MMC for Border Buses
on route X62 & X95 Scarborough built.
12001 - YX20ODK on X95 and 12004 - YX20ODP on X62.

March 13th

Alexander Dennis Falkirk factory.

New Stagecoach London Alexander Dennis E40D
MMC Smart Hybrid 11371 - SK20 AZC seen out on a test run and return with new camera type mirrors fitted.

Also taken today 11364 - SL69 XXY seen out on a test run with standard type mirrors fitted.

So within the same batch some are fitted with camera mirrors, others not!!

Fleet news and developments/strong>

Paul Swann of Arriva

Two of our new Temsa coaches arrived as shown below.

77104 arrived on 10 March 2020.

Gavin Francis caught 7104 in GLCS on its first day in service.

7101 on 12 March 2020 

The coaches for the Stansted work will be single axle Mercedes Tourismos they will be numbered in the 72xx series and are in the Southern Counties fleet but will be serviced at Luton hence the numbers so they do not clash.

Some pictures from Malcolm Crowe

Wright bodied 3732 is seen in the High Street, Wycombe on a local service.

Citaro 3030, again in High Street. As this bus climbed the steep road it was heading for, the noise from the engine/exhaust was something to behold!!!
It certainly sounded a very poorly bus!!

Half Year results 2020 for 6 months ended December 28th 2019

A surprise working the overnight 102 on March 10th was Airline coach 21 which was showing under the Carousel allocation on the day in question!

I was pleased to receive a further picture from Richard Griffin of coach 63 at Uxbridge with the 102 on March 10th. I think Richard just missed nr 21 !!!

Nat Collins

An unexpected arrival for the rail replacement blockade, starting Monday, March 9th, is coach 69, being run out of Metrobus’s Crawley depot for the blockade between East Grinstead & Three Bridges/Lingfield

At last the loaned Go East Anglia Citaros are entering service in High Wycombe. Saturday, March 7th saw 887 working the 104 as my pictures below show.

887 in the town centre.

887 on its way  back to Uxbridge showing the offside destination screen on these buses.

Then 886 entered service on Monday, March 9th again on the 104.

Fleet details of these ex Go East Anglia buses are:

Carousel Registration Previous
884 HF55JYX 421
885 HF55JYY 422
886 HF55JYZ 423
887 HF55JZE 427

Malcolm Crowe

I caught 78 at the stop in High Street on March 7th with a 102 working from Heathrow.

940 in the same street with a 35 working, Malcolm Crowe.

Road works in the centre of Wycombe on March 9th caused many delays, especially for bus services leaving the Eden Bus Station.

Jack Cooper

Happy Saturday! Have some pictures of a massive Chicken on the side of 602 (yes 602 being my bus this morning did make my day). 

Recently coach 40 worked the National Express 737 contract.

Nat Collins

An unexpected arrival for the rail replacement blockade, starting Monday, March 9th, is coach 69 being ran out of Metrobus’s Crawley depot for the blockade between East Grinstead & Three Bridges/Lingfield.

Jack Cooper

602 working the 3A in Oxford on March 7th by Jack Cooper.

Gavin Francis

Hybrid 312 is seen with a 4C working to Dean Court. It is in High Street, Oxford on March 7th by Gavin Francis.


Click here for the timetable of the X50

Average travel times (subject to traffic conditions):

  • High Wycombe Bus Station to Heathrow Terminal 5 - 60 mins
  • High Wycombe Bus Station to Heathrow Central Bus Station - 75 mins
  • Maidenhead Rail Station to Heathrow Terminal 5 - 25 mins
  • Maidenhead Rail Station to Heathrow Central Bus Station - 40 mins

Click on the thumbnail to see the full size image

The coaches you will travel on with ample luggage space and all comforts such as W.C. WiFi Reclining Seats etc. Picture by Jack Cooper. 

Simon Cayhill

I get back to Didcot station from Reading at 16.55 most days and now light do get chance to see and photo station or top of station road, the usual 94 driver said 871 only allowed to do certain routes 94 136... as only Euro 3 engine

878 now transferred to TT is seen at Didcot with a 94 working on March 4th by Simon Caygill

As mentioned above by Simon here is 871 with TT branding, again with a 94 service this time on the 3rd. Simon Caygill.

Quite some discussion about 206 and suggestions that it is working from Oxford on route 6.
Above we can see this bus working the X32 by Carfax on March 7th by Gavin Francis.

Latest arrival for the Motts fleet is MT20MTT seen by Mark Doggett on March 9th.


Paul Hawkins was at ADL Falkirk last week and caught this new bus for West Midlands heading out of the factory.

This one is E012 seen on March 11th by Paul.

Paul Hawkins was at ADL Falkirk last week and caught this new bus which is we understand for Manchester and as yet unregistered. Pictures taken on March 11th.

Another bus seen is 11359 for London's route 25. Note Camera mirrors.

The company has borrowed two training vehicles from Swindon as shown below.


Late News

 The three MAN/ALX300s from Stagecoach East Midlands, 22416/17/18, are understood to be at ADL Anston for conversion to training buses.

Just now, Saturday March 14th, I received this picture of 22417 which arrived on Thursday last. With thanks to Neil Bridges.

22417 - FX06AVG having arrived at Horspath late on Thursday, March 12th. It will now gain branding I expect?

This pictures shows two members f the Oxford training fleet, 20936 and 52424 at Network Oxford by Gavin Francis.
These are now withdrawn. I took 20936 when newly arrived for training to Newbury some years ago. (MC)

I am advised that a  new ADL E200 is expected for service 505 - Brackley to Bicester. No further details are, as yet, available.

In this picture we 34466 (to be sold) - 18469 (for a donation) and 15533 due to go to South Wales (Cwmbran).
Picture taken on March 7th by Gavin Francis.

Here we have 15613 which is due to go to SC East Midlands in the near future. Picture on March 7th by Gavin Francis. 

SKM have provided a number of nice pictures of the Cambus tri-axle decker 13902 now in service. The branding is complete.

Pictures copyright to Steven Knight Media. SKM.

Two Scania/Enviro 400s here, 15924 and 15930, are being painted in to the amber yellow ‘Stagecoach Long Distance’ livery.

See the specific article above regarding The Cheltenham Festival. Pictures are from Tony Gaze in Gloucester.

Also note the loan of training buses to Oxford who are awaiting the arrival of their newly converted M A N s. (above)

In the next few months not much is expected to happen on the tube as they will be preparing for the arrival of the new Panoramas in late May early June.

Here Gavin Francis caught a nice picture of 50235 before leaving for Gloucester Green to work a all stops service
but he put up the Express service display for the record on March 7th. Of course these older ex megabus coaches cannot work the express!!

Later in the day he snapped 50246 with an Oxford bound old route working.

Van Hool 50289 is seen after working the M11 from Scotland on March 7th by Gavin Francis.
I note that Sid has not wholly left the building yet!!!

Smaller operators and London developments 

Gavin Francis

Our first picture of a Caetano for London's Abellio seen above with familiarisation duty on March 7th. GF. 

Nick Ross and a blast from the past

Preserved Badgerline Leyland Leopard PWS492S at Midsomer Norton on March 7th. 


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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