Another issue in a time that none of us has been exposed to before. The mid issue update was well received and I appreciate those who have submitted photographs and news. My email box has been quieter than usual but in itself presents a challenge to me in producing an interesting page.

Most companies are now operating reduced level services but one development which is of concern, is that a number of operators are facing difficulties and some have "let go" a number of employees who have expressed their anger and frustration at this outcome. It does seem that looking to the future things will never be quite the same ever again !

In this issue under the Covid-19 section readers will see that our local companies are reducing services further from Monday, March 30th, a not unexpected turn of events!

One of my readers has expressed his frustration at self isolation which is becoming very boring ! Well I would note that apart from this weekly page, there are many interesting flickr and web sites to enjoy and look back on the history of our hobby. Maybe some of you may like to submit a few words on their fondest memories and favourite buses or coaches?

Seems my Facebook/Messenger account has been hacked by someone called Andrea Wilson making a friendship request. I am told this person, probably not Andrea or female is a HACKER. BE AWARE

Finally I woke this morning to the news that even out in the car, you can now be stopped by the police and asked where you are going? why are you out? etc etc. Difficult times indeed.

well keep smiling and lets do what we can, I hope you all enjoy the page? 

Martin Dowling takes us to Luxembourg

You asked for contributions and I have some not very good photos mostly taken from my Luxembourg  hotel window while I was self-isolating myself prior to leaving.  These are taken on the weekend of16th/ 17th March. 

Buses has the first couple of rows taped off and drivers only opened doors further back.  From 1st March this year all public transport in Luxembourg has been free so there were no issues with not selling tickets. 

That weekend there was a large rail replacement service going on as both lines into Belgium were closed for maintenance.  One going north through Troisvierges and the other west to Arlon.  The buses were Mercedes, Setras, MANs, Volvos and Ivecos and possibly some others.  You or your readers will probably be able to identify those that are not immediately obvious. 


The quality of the photos is not very good and I won't be in the least offended if you chose not to use them.  I'm with a friend during this time so do not have access to Photoshop to improve or crop the pictures I'm afraid. 

The photos are from 13th-15th March.








Slightly off topic are some photos of the new CAF trams.  The roadworks you can see in the bus pictures are connected with an extension to the line to go to the station.


Photos from Luxtram

Photos by Martin Dowling.

Luxembourg becomes the first country in the world to offer free public transport to everyone.

In fact, it also becomes the first country in the world to offer free transport services to both residents and visitors. The government has, much to the surprise of all, introduced the free public transport system as a measure to reduce dense car traffic. Reports state that the move will also affect approximately 40 per cent of households, and help them save around 100 Euros per year.

Reportedly, this move comes in the wake of a wider plan aimed at reducing congestion. The most used form of transport in the country is private cars which, during a 2018 survey, revealed that cars accounted for 71 per cent of leisure and 47 per cent of business travel

Referring to this development, the Minister of Mobility and Public Works Francois Bausch describes it as the social icing on the cake of the global strategy for a multimodal revolution. The idea behind this move was also to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor as well as reduce congestion. Luxembourg has more cars per capita than any other country, and only one in five commuters use public transport.

As regarding the possibility of abuse of the said move, the Mobility Minister added that every passenger must be able to produce a valid passport or ID card, or else they might be banned from the public transport at any time. With this move, it is expected that apart from encouraging people to shift to a more sustainable choice, it will also help transform the attitude of the entire population toward public transport.

Many thanks to Martin for the pictures and comments which provided an interesting article and for all of us to know more of this interesting place.

Up in north Scotland with Nick Ross

Nick Ross sent three interesting pictures saying "3 from Scotland before the virus restrictions struck the Highlands. The pictures are Stagecoach North Scotland (Highlands/Bluebird)

Enviro 19558 and single 37259 at Inverness bus station, March 16th

Trident 18337 at Muir Of Ord after working the 118 from Inverness and Charleston Academy on March 16th.

Dwarfed by big snow drifts minibus 44020 descends from Cairngorm Mountain with a 31 to Aviemore on March 17th.
This a must for Buses in the Landscape!

Most companies are by now running drastically reduced services and any relying on airports for their traffic will be unhappy to see the large cancellations of flights.

For example on March 27th Luton (89% cancelled) and Stansted (86% cancelled) so nearly devoid of any flights at all. London City has 100% cancelled.

Gatwick is retaining a few flights with an 83% cancellation rate on March 27th but Heathrow only has a 36% cancellation rate as of March 27th. This may be set to change in the coming days however as more airports worldwide close to all or certainly international flights.

Most other airports throughout the UK such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and in Scotland Edinburgh and Glasgow are in the "same boat".


We are continuing to analyse our services and we are planning to further adjust timetables on several routes from Sunday 29th March to match supply to the current demand and preserve the longevity of the Company. This means that we will be providing a base-level service on most of our routes, allowing key workers and those who need to make essential journeys (such as to access essential supplies) to continue travelling.

The times of the first and last bus journeys will operate to normal Monday-Friday timetables.

The exception to this will be park&ride300 and park&ride500, which, unfortunately, will be suspended until further notice. A park&ride bus service will still be available from Seacourt and Thornhill Park&Ride sites. Redbridge and Oxford Parkway Park&Ride sites will continue to be open, however, they will not be served by park&ride services. Passengers wishing to use these sites will be able to catch the cityX3 and X2 services from Redbridge and city2 service from Oxford Parkway as alternatives.

Pear Tree Park& Ride will be closed from Monday 30th March.

If key workers believe that our reduced timetables don't meet their needs, we are encouraging them to contact us with the details of the journey they are trying to make, and we will do our best to help. Further details are available below.

The situation in relation to COVID-19 is fast-moving and this may mean further changes. As soon as these are confirmed, we will communicate the information to our customers.

We will aim to publish all of the special timetables on this webpage by the end of the week and we will announce on social media once these are available.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE REFER TO THIS LINK:       https://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/covid-19/

Also for Thames Travel click on this link:                        https://www.thames-travel.co.uk/covid-19/

Also for Carousel click on this link:                                 https://www.carouselbuses.co.uk/covid-19/


As the situation has changed for the UK since Monday we have also carefully considered the level of service running and will be making further changes as follows from Sunday  29th March 2020.

Route 1 – Monday to Sunday frequency reduction with a combined daytime frequency  with Oxford Bus Company of every 20 minutes, with early morning journeys operating Monday to Saturday Click here for timetable from 29th March

Route 2 – Monday to Sunday frequency reduction with a combined daytime frequency of every 20 minutes, with early morning journeys operating Monday to Saturday, Click here for timetable from 29 March

 Route 3/ 3A – Monday to Sunday frequency reduction with a combined daytime frequency of every 15 minutes, with added early morning journeys Monday to Saturday. Click here for timetable from 29 March

 Route 8/9 – Monday to Sunday frequency reduction with a combined daytime frequency of every 15 minutes, with some added early morning journeys Monday to Saturday. Click here for timetable from 29 March

To further support customers at this difficult time Stagecoach will temporarily accept Oxford Bus Company tickets on its services 1,2,3,3A and 8 during the operation of the special timetables. Oxford Bus Company will also accept Stagecoach tickets on the City2, City3, City3A, City5, City8 and City9 routes. The increased ticketing flexibility will enable customers to travel on the next available bus, rather than waiting for the bus of a specific operator.

View the Oxford tube timetable from Monday, March 30th 2020

Gavin Francis has provided a picture of Thornhill Park & Ride on Friday, March 27th.

Following further government advice to STAY AT HOME and only travel if your journey is essential, we will be revising timetables across Beds & Bucks areas from Monday, March 30th.

There are also changes to some MK services (X60/150) from tomorrow, Saturday, March 28th.

View timetables at:                     arrivabus.co.uk/coronavirus-bb

At National Express, we take the welfare of our customers and employees extremely seriously and are doing everything we sensibly can to keep them safe, including:



Blackpool cuts tram services to deter visitors from Geoff Cunliffe


Blackpool trams have been suspended in an effort to deter people fro visiting the resort, the town's council has said.

Council leader Simon Blackburn said the service would be replaced by the number one bus service, which meant the authority could "concentrate on those people who need to use the buses".

He added: "We normally try to make Blackpool as appealing as possible to visitors, but we are now in a situation where we want to discourage people."

He said parks and the town's promenade would remain open for the moment, but urged people to follow government guidelines about social distancing.

The company announced on the morning of March 25th, that it has shut down its manufacturing operations. It is, however, still supporting operators through its After Market and Service operations.

Richard Sharman has provided a picture which is appropriate to these times of STAY ATY HOME.  Taken on Saturday, March 21st in Queen Street, Oxford.

It is probably now even quieter. Seen above at 11:00hrs on the 21st.

March 23rd 2020

We'd like to say thank you to our fantastic NHS staff by offering them free travel on our local bus service as of today

What a nice gesture from this operator who carries out a lot of work for National Express. A also nice to have a positive report.

Another positive mention today is an article in The Daily Telegraph headed Government pulls out all the stops for buses to keep services on the road at the link below: 


BT Openreach – the organisation that maintains the UK PSTN & ISDN infrastructure which supports traditional (non-IP) based telephone lines, along with ADSL and fibre broadband connections – announced on Tuesday that it had closed its overseas call centre due to a lockdown in India. This has now restricted all orders and faults to key critical services until at least June 1st.

I mention this as we all rely on Broadband and other connections, so fingers crossed!

So, not everythingis doom and gloom, though just how long it is going to be before we start getting back to normality is anyone's guess ! is doom and gloom, though just how long it is going to be before we start getting back to normality is anyone's guess ! 

Richard Sharman reflects on Oxford "Lockdown"

Richard wrote to send an interesting selection of pictures showing Oxford nearly a week ago heading for Lockdown.

Empty City-

Saturday 21st of March represented the last full day of bus and coach service operation across the country as operators started to drop the level of service to match passenger demand.

These pictures from Oxford city centre on the 21st demonstrate just how eerily quiet things were, and this was before lock down instructions were may by the government.


The main Oxford operators were not the only ones suffering from a lack of passengers. 3798 and 5464 meet at the top of the High Street, empty. RICHARD SHARMAN

National Express-

The 737 is not one of the services currently running. Ed

The move to divert airport services 210/ 212 through Oxford means that National Express now has a significant presence in the city, something that has been lacking for many years when you compare how many services called into Oxford during the late 1990s.

Both the 210/ 212 services depart and leave through St. Giles and then use Banbury Road or Woodstock Road.
Travel de Courcey's MD15 departs for Wolverhampton with a friendly wave from the driver.

Travelstar's NX18 TSE arrives from Wolverhampton on the 210 service whilst heading for Gatwick. RICHARD SHARMAN

Bruce's Coaches lightly loaded BV66 WPF departs for the long 539 run up to Edinburgh. RICHARD SHARMAN

Oxford Bus-

71 caught me off guard, not realising that it had been recently painted!. RICHARD SHARMAN

Despite the situation, a handful of passengers were still enjoying the delights of Oxford aboard 201. RICHARD SHARMAN

Whilst the Enviro400s are now seen on the majority of tours, 2055 is also still in use and is seen on Sunday 22nd of March. RICHARD SHARMAN

Tourismo 35 heads for Heathrow with many empty sits on 22nd of March. RICHARD SHARMAN

Stagecoach Oxford-

A rather clean looking 10676 departs Oxford on an S3 with no passengers at 11am on a Saturday morning. RICHARD SHARMAN

10670 sports a very appropriate advertising board for for 'A QUIET PLACE PART II' whilst awaiting time to take up a S5 service. RICHARD SHARMAN

Witney's 11241 sports the new nearside and rear advertising boards for the S1/2 services. RICHARD SHARMAN

A smart looking 50233 departs London with a friendly driver at the helm! RICHARD SHARMAN

A sign of the times, the driver of 10435 is seen wearing PPE as he turns into St. Aldates. RICHARD SHARMAN

11238 departs Botley Road for Witney, having been fitted with advertising boards.
This vehicle is still devoid of fleet names on the front panel, despite returning from accident repair a good few weeks ago now.
It is of interest that the yellow dash band is showing a red line above, not usual! Ed

15837 is seen outside of a deserted Westgate centre on Sunday 22nd March. RICHARD SHARMAN

50273 is seen, minus its upper windscreen Oxford Tube vinyl, at the back of the Westgate on 22nd of March. RICHARD SHARMAN

Stagecoach West-

Recently refreshed 15968 departs Botley Road for Swindon.
Swindon depot's vehicles used on the S6 always seem well turned out, despite the semi-rural nature of the route.

Thames Travel-

The driver of 229 wears full PPE, including a face mask, whilst operating an X38 to Wallingford. RICHARD SHARMAN

A tidy looking 254 turns into St. Aldates on an X40 to Reading. RICHARD SHARMAN

622 demonstrates how modern the Thames Travel fleet is now as it heads for Wallingford on the X2. RICHARD SHARMAN

The driver of 229 wears full PPE, including a face mask, whilst operating an X38 to Wallingford. RICHARD SHARMAN

Very many thanks to Richard for some excellent pictures.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Lothian Buses stored at Lothian Motorcoaches depot at Newbridge due to COVID -19 virus cut backs from Monday morning, March 23rd services reduced.

I was tempted to try a panoramic combination but chickened out!!!! Ed.


Taken at South Gyle Business Park Lothian 587 - SJ67MGZ Volvo B5LH Wright Gemini on Skylink 400 route this was new as Skylink Blue livery now bus standard livery.

Lothian 1059 - SJ18NFL Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3 on route 1 normally single deck route taken 23/3 strange working with buses running empty due to COVID - 19.

Wright Street Air Electric buses were on route 1 when new but all but one 287 is the only one running now as all are out of service Electric faults and rumoured to be converted to diesel power due to Wright Bus now finished.

Taken on the afternoon of the 25th when out for my half hour fresh air walk - nobody near me showing quiet local !

Corstorphine Edinburgh Lothian 1073 - SJ19OWH
Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB on local 31 route running very empty. 

This road is normally very busy surprised to see these three axles still in service when Lothian took a lot of the two axle stored out of service for current issue, you would think it would be better to store the three axle type.

Many thanks to Gordon for his contributions which are doubtless proving difficult now that we are not allowed out other than for a constitutional !

Fleet news and developments

A quiet week and with the Lockdown OPPORTUNITES ARE LIMITED for photography and reports.  

Emergency timetables will be introduced on many Arriva services in Beds and Bucks from Saturday March 28th (Milton Keynes) and Monday March 30th (Luton, Aylesbury and High Wycombe).


We will, hopefully, have more detail next week as there are significant changes to the organisation of Arriva, now to Arriva Midlands North and Arriva Midlands South


Service changes valid from 29th March 2020 until further notice

In summary, our services will be revised from 30th March and they will operate to the following frequencies from Mondays to Saturdays, with a normal service on Sundays: