This picture just about says it all - M40 at junction 5 on Sunday, April 5th 2020 around 10 am by Gavin Francis.

May I add that I have received magnificent support from so many of you and I hope this may continue. Thank you !

Since last Monday things have been much quieter, especially with the suspending of coach services by megabus, National Express, Oxford tube and Reading-Green Line.

Jack Cooper writes: City Sightseeing service suspension notice on Bay 14 and a Tube temporary reduction of service note on Bay 4 - however on the 4th April there were no notices that the service would be suspended the next day. Disappointingly there were no notices advising passengers that there is a reduced service on the S2, S3 and S6 and no service on the X5 and no notice advising customers there are no National Express services running through Oxford - with the office now closed and from what I have heard the office will be closed for 3 months.

Further news about any service changes is to take place on Tuesday, April 14th. Notable is the service to Gatwick is being suspended and coaches will only serve Heathrow. This is hardly surprising since there are very few flights currently operating from Gatwick.

Airline - Hourly service to Gatwick via Heathrow Central Bus Station and Heathrow Terminal 5. Now additionally calling in at High Wycombe, Coachway until further notice. 

Please note, there will be further changes made to the airline service from 14th April 2020. More information (including the special timetable) is available below.

Further changes to the airline service from April 14th 2020

From Tuesday 14th April 2020, we are making further reductions to the airline service as part of our response to the fast-moving COVID-19 pandemic. This will unfortunately mean that the airline coaches will only operate to Heathrow Airport, and will be unable to serve Gatwick. Please see the timetable below for details.

Airline timetable from Tuesday, April 14th 2020

Tourismo 32 is ready for a departure to Gatwick via High Wycombe and Heathrow on April 4th by Jack Cooper

We've made further changes to services 7, S1, S2, S3, S7 and city routes 10, 12 and 16 inc. the 14 to cover a new NHS Staff car park facility at Court Place Farm. Full details and temporary timetables can be viewed here:


Stagecoach Megabus/Joint Venture
We understand that LHD Van Hool Altanos 55004/06/07 are stored at Stagecoach Manchester’s Wigan depot whilst similar 55003/05/13/15/15/16 are stored at Stagecoach East’s Ely depot.

Upcoming Events News

The society has announced that due to the current ongoing restrictions ALL EVENTS planned up to June 30th have been cancelled.

This also applies to many of the other planned events from other Groups and Societies.

I have also heard a suggestion that after this next issue of Buses Magazine, the publication will be suspended until things get back to normal. This reminds me of the very early issues of Buses Illustrated when publication was every three months due to a paper shortage after the Second World War in the late '40s and early '50s


Worcester Street roadworks finished during coronavirus lockdown

Roadworks on Worcester Street, which started in February, have been finished as part of a £210,000 scheme to make roads between the railway station and the city centre safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The work has changed a four-way crossroads at the junction with Hythe Bridge Street into two separated lanes.

The change in the junction layout can be seen in this picture from Gavin Francis taken on March 29th, also how deserted it is now!

When construction first began on Monday, February 10, it caused long tailbacks of traffic but now, as the work has come to an end, the roads are much less used following the lock down.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said the work had been completed on March 25 saying "The improvement works on the Worcester Street and Hythe Bridge Street junction were completed last week.

“The traffic lights are now working. The operation of the new layout will be monitored when road conditions return to normal.

The old crossroad layout was in place since 2014 when the junction was first changed because of major work being carried out in Frideswide Square.

When the changes were first announced, city and county councillor Susanna Pressel welcomed them and added the alterations made in 2014 were a mistake.

At the time, she said the new layout would be a welcome change for pedestrians and cyclists trying to navigate the confusing junction, but added the road would be ‘put back to almost how it used to be five years ago’.

It was also welcomed by the chair of Oxford cycling group Cyclox, Dr. Allison Hill.

London coach operations in lock down from Mark Atkinson

The passenger entrance to VCS on April 7th 2020.

No more departures for the time being - VCS coach exit on April 7th.

Green Line Coach Station, Victoria on April 7th 2020.

Oxford in lock down

These pictures of Cornmarket,, High Street and Queen Street were taken by Jack Cooper on Saturday, April 4th 2020.
Hard to believe that these normally busy streets could be so very quiet.

There are now signs at Gloucester Green telling people to be observe the new social distancing measures -
 taken by Jack Cooper on Saturday, April 4th 2020.

Sadly my limited experience of people, especially younger ones, making an effort at 2 m has been sadly lacking!!! Ed.

More pictures taken on April 4th by Jack will be found under the appropriate company heading below.

Builders plate on the boarding steps of older coaches.

A request from a Plaxton fan - Mark Atkinson

I also attach a couple of pics of my Plaxton collection...At a time where everyone will be sorting Garages, lofts, cupboards and various rooms around the house... if any Plaxton memorabilia is found and unwanted.. it could go to a good home... 

Marks treasured Plaxton coach on February 29th 2020

Letter from Canada by Paul Bateson in Brampton
Brampton Züm buses

Flag Of Canada. 4K. — Stock Video © Hrustalev #84942736

Brampton Transit has reduced its regular service to an enhanced Saturday service, further reduced with some additional route cancellations and now effective Monday, April 13th 2020 it is reducing its services to a Sunday service with route cancellations. 

In my case, my address is served by four bus routes and all have been cancelled so I will have no choice but to walk with physical distancing or take a taxi when I go grocery shopping.


Capacity on each bus is limited to half seated, therefore a 40 footer will take 15 passengers and an articulated bus about 25 passengers.  The articulated buses are used on the Bus Rapid Transit network, marketed as Züm and carry an orange and grey livery, similar to buses in Los Angeles.


A nearby route to where I live serves an important north – south road called Bramalea Road.  This is route 15 that normally carries very good passenger loads with regular 40 footers.  As a result of the reduced service, the route has been converted to “bendy-bus” operation using the Züm buses which has created a strange sight.  Needless to say I just had to get some pictures of this rarity and a walk on the perimeter of Chinguacousy Park to the intersection of Bramalea Road and Queen Street East provided an ideal location for pictures. 


The service is every 30 minutes, 120 minutes a round trip and so I was out for two hours to capture all four articulated Züm buses.”


Paul provides a most interesting item and of note, preceeding TfL centre door boarding is being used in these difficult times. The No Fare is interesting, the company is municipal owned.

Whilst with Paul I would mention a new book just published which shows British Buses Abroad Illustrated. A City of Oxford double deck is also included!!

This publication covers most countries in the world and probably wherever you go will be a precursor to what you may find.
It has been thoughtfully edited with many interesting pictures, two full colour to each of the 114 illustrated pages.
The quality of this reasonably priced book is £12.50 inc. p&p in the U.K.

For your copy follow this link: https://busesworldwide.org/wp/?page_id=48591

Times of Old

In these times of lock down I was pleased to get a number of interesting local pictures from times past and will include a small selection each week. The contributors name is in the detail.

Gary Seamarks brings back some memories

RM1858-858DYE exhibiting the benefits of inflation bags after a turnover on August 11th 1985 by Gary Seamarks. 

More from James Freeman

This week, nearly 11 years ago!

May 19th 2009 sees Levante 59214 heading for Stansted with  737 working.

May 25th 2009 and we are now by Sammy's in Victoria as 54024 arrives at the end of its journey for megabus.com

This coach or one similar turned up at Oxford for use many moons ago, here 52644 is seen with an X5 working on June 24th 2009. 

Matt Bullock remembers those day gone

House, Watlington DUD810 in Hart Street, Henley August 4th 1967 by Matt Bullock.
This really is a superb picture. Ed.

Hart Street in Henley-on-Thames hasn’t changed much in the fifty years since this picture was taken on August 4th 1967. The bus is a Duple Vista-bodied Bedford OB of JRA House, Watlington, heading for its home town.

DUD 810 was new to House in June 1949 and would survive another year; it was sold for scrap in September 1968. Some interesting cars here too, not least the BMW 700 in the right-turn lane with the registration 80 PE, dating it from October 1963. The Catherine Wheel was a coaching inn and dates in parts from the 16th century; it is now a Wetherspoons.

Sometime in the '80s my wide and I joined a trip from the Bull & Butcher in Turville on an outing to Cheltenham Races. The coach used was a Leyland Leopard ex British Airways. I think the coach in question was MNM32V?
It was a great trip but after a long day at the races some wanted to stop on the way back for a drink!

Andrew Dyer remembers the day he took Charlton's KGU239 to Brighton

Greetings from lockdown New Zealand! 

Your contributors have done it again...getting my nostalgic juices flowing. Matt Bullock's picture of Charlton-on-Otmoor Services' KGU 239 going past "The Crown" in the village brought back great memories of working there at various times between 1970 and 1983....and also of the many pints I've sunk in The Crown!

When I passed my PSV test in 1975, KGU was the only ex-London Transport RT Type still in service at Charlton and I was lucky enough to drive it many times in the nine months between my test and it being withdrawn at the end of the year. It was still in pretty good order when it came out of service and was replaced only because it was seen as out of date with no doors or heaters! With hindsight of course I should have bought it for preservation rather than let it go to the Barnsley mafia, but I had no funds then of course!  

My most memorable drive in it was to take a full load of Oxford University students on an end of term booze up trip to Bournemouth....a 200-odd mile round trip, not bad for a 26 year old bus! Somewhere I have a picture of it on Bournemouth sea front. I now have a challenge to find that pic!

Sadly Andrew's picture of KGU is somewhere in his house in the U.K. so we shall have to wait for a sight of same ! 

North of the Border with Gordon Scott - our man in Drum Brae!

Closed Lothian Longstone depot with 142 - SK07CFP Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse parked across entry exit.

Line up of stored buses parked up in the depot yard.

Central depot covering all routes with Covid 19 service cut backs.

Lothian closed Longstone depot now operated by Central depot buses is the only Lothian depot operating.

Lothian 5 - SN13BDF Volvo 7900H on route 30.

Lothian 308 - SN09CUA Volvo B9TL Wright Gemini on route 33. New to Marine depot in full Edinburgh Zoo advert.

Lothian 1057 - SJ18NFH Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3 on Skylink route 400.

The Airlink three axle buses are coming out of service as they do not have bandit screens and are being replaced by Skylink Blue deckers which have screens fitted from Longstone depot.

Lothian Country have the same issue there buses have no bandit screens fitted and are to get Lothian replacements on Thursday with screens fitted.

No sign of Skylink buses on Airlink 100 route today. 

Taken at Drum Brae Corstorphine Edinburgh April 7th

Lothian 1125CE - SJ19OZD Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB on route 31 with one passenger on board in 100 years special livery.
Now that is an attractive livery!

Lothian East Coast Buses are to get 19 Lothian Buses madder and white livery with bandit screens fitted and Lothian Country are to get 11 Lothian Buses madder and white livery with bandit screens fitted.

Lothian Skylink 508LS - SF17VPJ Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3 seen operating Airlink 100 route.

Longstone depot Skylink 434, 498, 508 & 510 all fitted with bandit screens and were new to Airlink. They have replaced 1126 to 1140 Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB,s due to Covid 19 issue.

Taken April 9th on my doorstep Drum Brae, Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

Lothian Skylink Longstone depot based on Airlink 100. These were new to Central depot on Airlink 100 route.

Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3 fitted with bandit screens for driver protection taken on St Johns Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh in use were 434LS - SA15VTN, 498LS - SF17VOO, 510LS - SF17VPL.

It just shows how over the whole of the U.K. with many changes and unusual working happening. 

Fleet news and developments

Nick Ross

Busway fitted Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse 2 KX11OSF 3894 at Leighton Buzzard Tesco's roundabout
with an empty F77 from Bletchley to  Luton on April 2nd 2020.

Adam Green

5462 working the 500 to Aylesbury on April 1st. 

6426 working the 2 to Bennetts End taken on April 6th.

GreenLine are only running the 748 to London in the morning and the return from London in the evening which then runs to Luton in service.

Two photos of the New Coaches 7101-7102 Parked up in Bridge Street Hemel Hempstead.

Nigel Peach noted that in spite of having been SORN in the latest list beloved 2159 has appeared in service thereafter!! "Old Soldiers never Die" !!!!

Significant changes continue with the company and various interesting workings have been seen.

On April 5th Citaro 878 was in use working Link40 at Stokenchurch when seen by Gavin Francis.
This is a well travelled bus now having worked in London, Oxford, Wycombe and Didcot for four different companies !!

Park & Ride StreetLite 409 is seen crossing the overbridge of the M40 heading for Thame on April 7th taken by Gavin Francis.
On that day 408 was also working the service in the early morning and 407 is also a regular!

Gavin has also contributed four pictures in the life of 420.

Then ENV16 - the bus seen when new at Showbus Duxford on September 26th 2010.

As she now is, 420 working Link40 to Stokenchurch today, April 10th 2020.

The bus still looks smart and well kept! 

On April 10th (Good Friday) and April 13th (Easter Monday), your bus services will be running to COVID-19 Sunday timetables. The timetables are available below.

There will be no PickMeUp service on 10th, 12th and 13th April.

Both of our Travel Shops (Queen's Lane and Gloucester Green) will be closed from Friday, April 10th until further notice.

Our Customer Services department will be closed from Friday, April 10th through Monday, April 13th inclusive.

Various contributors have provided pictures of unusual workings during these difficult times.

Jack Cooper

Park & ride 673 is seen above with a 6 road service on April 4th.

Graham Wareham

683 and 655 both on service 2 to Oxford taken in Mill Street, Kidlington, these being the only two OBC vehicles out on 2 road on April 8th.


Giles Woodforde

From Mill Street, Kidlington a different angle.

Taken on April 9th, 658 heads for the City.

683 is seen on April 4th heading for the City. 

A poster at Gloucester Green announcing the suspension of service seen April 4th by Jack Cooper.

Simon Caygill

E200 511 with a 94 service at Didcot Station on April 6th

E200 512 with a 94 service at Didcot Station on April 2nd. Scania 222 is seen behind with an X2 duty.

All coach services are now suspended UK wide.

Gary Nolan

Here's the photo as requested. I assume all training has stopped in the current circumstances?

National Express West Midlands recently announced the arrival of its last diesel powered bus
but have yet to launch the vehicles which will form future orders.
Seen at Solihull on driver training duties is E002 (LF20 XOB) a BYD Alexander Dennis Enviro 400EV, devoid of any branding and looking bland.

Charles Powell

I was pleased to hear from Charles with some nice pictures of Pulhams current operations.

First picture is taken at the Cheltenham Hospital stop on College Road in Cheltenham. Taken April 7th.


Second picture is at Arle Court Park and Ride in Cheltenham. Taken Taken April 7th.


The 99’s are carrying on with a full timetable linking Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General hospitals taking our wonderful NHS to and from work.


Third is in Bourton with YJ57EGV on the 802 and DP12BUS on the opposite side of the road about to depart for Cirencester on the 855. Taken April 8th.


Final picture is again of YJ57EGV about to do a 802 circular around the local villages back to Bourton. Taken April 8th.

Many thanks to Charles for some interesting pictures. 

We've made further changes to services 7, S1, S2, S3, S7 and city routes 10, 12 and 16 inc the 14 to cover a new NHS Staff car park facility at Court Place Farm. Full details and temporary timetables can be viewed here:

stge.co/7cv850z4l1G and  pic.twitter.com/Bm8m62S8sl 

Various pictures now showing the extensive reduction in services.

Jack Cooper

Pictures taken on April 4th.

An Enviro 400MMC at Peachcroft Roundabout in Abingdon - this bus was displaying 34 Wantage.
However the 34 only runs Monday - Friday however the time that I had taken the picture fits in with the time shown on the timetable. 

Gold 10785 on a 7 service to Woodstock laying over at Magdalen Street. 

New E400MMC 11251 on layover at Magdalen Street on an S1 service to Carterton.  

Gold E300 28744 on layover at Magdalen Street on an S4 service to Banbury. 

MMC 10674 on a 2A service to Kidlington on layover at Magdalen Street.   

Gold 15966 on an S5 service to Bicester on layover in Magdalen Street
Fondly remembered for the SW1 service to The Tower of London !! Its sisters are now in South Wales.

New E400 MMC 11236 seen at Gloucester Green before working an S2 service to Carterton.
Note all S1/2 buses now have advert frames showing the advantage of using the bus to Oxford.
 I wonder why the off side ones are a lot further back than other Stagecoach buses?

Gold 15836 seen at Gloucester Green - there were a few buses for the S3 using bay 13 whilst the driver had a break in Oxford.

Charles Powell 

Stagecoach 28746 travelling though Steeple Aston on a Oxford bound S4 on Sunday April 5th 2020.

From Phil Rumsby who has used the service since the late '80s

I’ve attached a couple of photos in case you need suitable material for the Oxford Chiltern Bus Page which I continue to follow. 

The 1815 Oxford Tube departure yesterday evening – my last trip up to London by coach for what is likely to be at least 2 months.
(the driver Paul has given his permission to use this photo) 

My car looking very lonely in a deserted Thornhill Park and Ride car park

This was a typical loading over the last week of service.

I‘ve booked a train ticket to get to work next week. We’re now working 4 on and 4 off and the BBC will pay for hotel accommodation between shifts. It will be very strange not travelling on the coach which I’ve used almost every day since the late 80s.

Very many thanks to Phil for some memorable pictures and comment.

Gavin Francis

Last day of operation on the M40 for some time to come and then a copy of the same coach's duties on the last day showing it was the last coach to operate.

50281 heads London bound along the M40 near junction 5 from the camera of Gavin Francis on April 5th 2020.

I wonder which coach will be back in service first when the problems are over?

Stagecoach Megabus/Joint Venture
We understand that LHD Van Hool Altanos 55004/06/07 are stored at Stagecoach Manchester’s Wigan depot whilst similar 55003/05/13/15/15/16 are stored at Stagecoach East’s Ely depot.

A Cardiff departure from a deserted VCS, 54293-YX67UPY ready to leave on April 3rd.

Last service of megabus - a Plaxton Panorama - on April 5th ready to depart VCS by Mark Atkinson.

megabus fleet at Rugby out of service by April 1st.

Smaller operators and London developments

A new Yutong coach joining this High Wycombe based fleet is shown below.

YK20YRS Yutong ZK6938HQ LZYTCTE67K1058918 Yutong C??F 3/2020 Sprinters, High Wycombe


    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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