Service update - Important notice
From end of service on 9th January, all Countrywide services are being suspended. This includes routes 701, 702 and 703 operated by Red Rover.
5 new ADL Enviro 400 MMCs entered service in December and January, taking fleet number 6021-5. These are the longer versions and are OG70 CDG/H/J/K/L. All wear the new livery and take the number operated to 11. It is believed at least another 6 are on order for delivery in 2021/2. The remaining 400 MMCs have been renumbered 6015-6020. 6021 is allocated to Chesham for new service 362, the remainder to Aylesbury to conclude the upgrade of service 280.
A single Enviro 200 MMC has also entered service at Chesham, being the longer variant. OG70 GDF takes fleet number 2040 and is also in the new livery. Finally, two new Solo SRs have entered service – one at Chesham (the shortest 7.9m version) and the other at Aylesbury (the longer 9.9m version). Again, both are in the new livery. They take fleet numbers 2030 (OA70 AED) and 2032 (OB70 FRP) respectively, 2031 being reserved for a further 7.9m version due by Q2 2021.
2 new coaches have also arrived, these being used examples for Countrywide fleet replacements. Both are late 2015 Sunsundegui Siderals, to the same spec as those operating in Northern Ireland, having wheelchair access. They take fleet numbers 7025/6 (BF15 KGF/G) and are allocated to Aylesbury.
As a result of the above new vehicles and service reductions, a significant number of vehicles have been withdrawn and sold. These include Dart Strider 2008 (L133 HVS), Optare Solos 2014/5 (YJ56 YGH/NX56 FFR), Dart Capital 2036 (LN51 DVF), Wright Volvo B6 2041 (S686 VOA), Dart Spryte 2055 (V512 EFR); Volvo ALX400 6015 (BU51 RTX), Scania Omnicity 6051/6055 (OY13 STR/HF58 KCE), Hino S’Elega 7025/6 (OJ17 RTF/J), Caetano Levante 7051 (AY62 RRC), Scania Irizar K400 7060-3 (OY63 AYL/OY13 ERU/OM63 RJL/T) and Plaxton Premiere training coach T1 (R813 HWS). The Omncitys are the first decker version to be withdrawn, whilst the E’Elega’s have returned early off lease as they hadn’t been a hit with our engineering staff! They and the K400s were withdrawn directly as a result of the Countrywide service reductions.
There are a number of service changes across our route network from 23rd November. Unfortunately, some services are being withdrawn due to both the current economic uncertainty with the pandemic and a review of passenger numbers. We'd like to thank all our customers for supporting these services. Better news are some new ones are being introduced, whilst and some route numbers will also change. Full details below - click on each notice and it will open in a new tab. Details are also available from drivers. Revised timetables have already been posted on the timetables tab
Please note that the fictional operation that is Red Rover Buses is now dormant. Unfortunately, interest in the hobby has diminished recently and I have taken the difficult decision to take a step back for an indefinite period. Operations may resume in the future, but updates will only be made once services resume.
The first 2 of 3 ADL Enviro 400 MMCs entered service on 6th October, the first new ADL products in the Red Rover fleet for a number of years. RR68 BUS and OY68 RBD(fleet numbers 6035/6) are standard diesel models (with the Cummins drive train), with standard Red Rover passenger features including USB charging points and wifi. CCTV is also now included internally. They are for the gradual upgrading of route 280 (from Aylesbury to Oxford), and will introduce ‘contactless’ payments for the first time on Red Rover services. 6037, the third of the batch (OY68 RBE), entered traffic a week later. They replace Scania Omnicites which have been cascaded to other services from Aylesbury, notably route 323 to High Wycombe. 3 more 400 MMCs are due to enter service by the end of the year, completing the order for all 6.
As a result of the above, Volvo B7TL Wright Geminis 6018/9 (LV06 BZS/T)have been withdrawn and put up for sale. This leaves the final Gemini 1 in service at Chesham (6020), although this will also be withdrawn by the end of the year. Also withdrawn is Izuzi Erga 2002 (TXI 2652), its stay in the fleet having only lasted 4 months! ADL300 Scania 2045 (FX61 HGL)has been sold. Seen at Chesham in a semi-derelict state are Alexander Royale-bodied Olympians 5024/6 (R601 JUB and M909 RFG), so it is assumed these are also withdrawn with their final journey to Barnsley imminent. The remaining Royale Olympian, 5023, has recently transferred to Chesham from Aylesbury.
Chilterns and Aylesbury Vale Tour service 101 commences on 25th July, operating just 3 days per week (Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday) until 1st September. A timetable is available here. It is principally being operated by our 'heritage' buses - open top Bristol RE 2001 (based at Chesham) and has been joined by another open top bus, Bristol VR 2002 (based at Aylesbury). These buses may be replaced at short notice for operational reasons or due to inclement weather.
3 youthful used Citaros have arrived from Go North East will be in service by the middle of July. BX63 BDO/U/V are Euro 5 Citaro 0530Nsand arrived with wifi already fitted. Fully refurbished inside with Red Rover standard e-leather seating and onboard information system, these have also been retro-fitted with USB charging sockets alongside each seat bay. Numbered 3038-40, all have been allocated to Aylesbury. This has meant the transfer out of Volvo Wright Urban Eclipse 2 2070-3 to Bicester, the entire type now allocated there. Withdrawn at Bicester are Dennis Dart SLF 2060 (N202 NNJ)and Wright Urban Eclipse 2067 (OV57 AWA), leaving just 2065 as the sole remaining vehicle of this type in service with Red Rover, from a once strong class of 10. Withdrawn at Chesham is Wright-bodied Volvo B6 2042 (S682 VOA), leaving 2041 as the final bus of the type with Red Rover, and now officially demoted to school bus duties. Replacing 2042 at Chesham is Dennis Dart Capital Marshall LN51 DVF, which came from Z&S in Aylesbury in a somewhat derelict state. 4 month’s work has been spent on the bus, which should finally enter service carrying fleet number 2036 during July.
Red Rover is starting a seasonal open top service using ‘heritage’ buses. Service 101 will commence operation in late July, continuing until early September and will run between Waddesdon Manor and Chesham, via Aylesbury, Wendover and Great Missenden. Exact timetable details are being finalised, but the service will operate on just 3 or 4 days per week initially and will use up to 2 buses. On days where an open top bus can’t be used, a bus from the school fleet can be used. The service is registered as a ‘tour’, so is exempt from the usual DDA compliance requirements and OAP bus passes and other discounted tickets can’t be used. The finish date may be extended a little, depending on how the service is received.
Headlines are orders for new buses for 2018/2019. These comprise 4 ADL Enviro 400MMC double deckers – the first new double deckers for 6 years – to be delivered later in 2018 and early 2019. These will be used to replace the final Mk1 Wright Geminis in the front line fleet. This is a significant change away from Wright as a manufacturer, which has been favoured over the last few years. Whilst the current offering from Wright is comprehensive, they are not things of beauty and Red Rover still likes to operate vehicles that appeal to customers and look as good on the outside as they do on the inside! Red Rover has been impressed with the single 200MMC it operates, hence the decision being made to place this significant order with ADL. As usual, Red Rover will continue to source quality used vehicles too, particularly single deckers. It is understood that enquiries have been placed with GoAhead for some Citaro 2s from their North East fleet – the exact number isn’t known at the moment. However, as with the 400MMCs, these will probably replace the final Mk1 Wright Eclipses in the fleet if they are acquired.
On the subject of used vehicles, further buses have arrived for the ever-expanding school bus fleet. Further contracts have been won for Oxfordshire County Council, in addition to a single one for Bucks, whilst Red Rover has retained existing ones in the latest round of batch tenders. These are all non-public services, so dedicated school contracts only. Hence the use of older vehicles and the continued purchase of these for school work. Acquisitions include coach-seated ECW-bodied Leyland Olympian 5002 (C196 YBE)and 5003 (A963 SYE), a Park Royal-bodied Leyland Titan. This latter vehicle came from local operator Z&S, who have also been using it on local school services. Both received fleet livery before entering service.
Also acquired is Leyland-engined Bristol RE 2001 (SHW129G), with fairly typical ECW bodywork. It’s sister, 128G, was owned as a heritage bus up until around 5 years ago, but this was sold for ongoing preservation. 129G was purchased late in 2017 and has been expertly converted to part open-top by the Red Rover team at Aylesbury. It is for use on a new seasonal open top service (details below), plus private hire work as well. It is understood that an open-top Bristol VR has also been purchased for the service, but this can’t currently be confirmed.
We will be making some changes to our Aylesbury services from 21st November. Details are summarised below, with revised timetables on the Aylesbury Services tab
The first two Hino S’elega Hybrid HD coaches entered service at Chesham in July. 7025/6 are registered OJ17 RTF/RTJ and carry standard Countrywide livery, their leather seating and mobile/USB charging points already proving popular with passengers. The final two will be based at Aylesbury and used for the new Countrywide service, noted above. Also new are the 4 Mercedes Benz Citaro Ks ordered earlier in the year, also at Chesham. The first, 3010 (CH67 RRB) entered service on 1st September, with the remainder 2 weeks later. These are 3011-3 (OB67 FCA-C). They feature tinted glazing and e-leather seating, plus wifi and USB charging points. Initially intended for Chesham and Amersham local services, they will also find use on routes 336 to Watford and 353 between Berkhamsted and Slough.
A youthful used purchase that entered service at Aylesbury is 2072 (BA15 BXS) a further Volvo Wright Eclipse 2, bringing the total in the fleet to 3. Also finally entering the dedicated school bus fleet, after a fair bit of restoration, is 5011 (KKU 120W) an Alexander-bodies Dennis Dominator. Originally with SYPTE and then Mainline/First, it is one of the few First buses to have been sold on for further use.
Volvo Caetano Levantes 7052/5 (YJ07 HJE/SR08 PTO) have been sold, as have Optare Solos 2010-3 (YJ11 EJB, YJ61 JHV, YJ11 EJA, YJ11 EJC)
Updated route maps, using an easier-to view format have been added to the Maps page. These include Aylesbury, Chesham & Amersham and Bicester local services, plus all services from Aylesbury and Thame. Please click here to view or download
To enable Red Rover to continue to offer a sustainable bus service network for Bicester in the longer term, we are taking the opportunity to revise town services. Frequencies on our Citylink service to the centre of Oxford are being increased and the service will be combined with Bicester town services to provide through services in each direction.
In summary, the following Bicester town services will be withdrawn after end of service on 26th June 2017, but with direct replacements:
21 Bicester – Fields Farm/Langford
22 Bicester – Carversfield/Bure Park
23 Bicester – Highfield
Improvements to Citylink 390 commencing 28th June 2017:
Service frequency increased to operate every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday day time between Bicester and Oxford, with a half hourly evening service
Alternate buses will continue from Manorsfield Road to Bicester estates, replacing services 21, 22 and 23 as follows:
Hourly circular service via Bicester North Station, Glory Farm, Langford, Fields Farms and Bicester Village Station.
Hourly circular service via Bicester Village Station, Fields Farm, Langford, Glory Farm and Bicester North Station
Hourly circular service via Southwold, Caversfield and Bure Park and Bicester North Station
Hourly circular service via Highfield and Browning Drive
Through tickets will be available to and from Bicester estates to Oxford and these new through services will offer customers new links to Bicester Village, both Bicester railway stations (for connection to national rail) and also to Oxford.
There are no changes to services 25, 81, 91, 95 or 368
Timetables for the revised services are available by clicking here
In a separate round of tendering with Herts County Council, Red Rover has retained the Tring town service, route 387.
To operate the new 387 contract, a single ADL Enviro 200MMC has been purchased and it entered service in late March. 2040 (OC17 BXS) is the shorter ‘midi’ version, with Red Rover standard e-leather seating and wifi. It also has Altro Transflor wood-effect flooring, something new for Red Rover.
Three late model Wright Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B9TLs have also been purchased and were due to enter service by early May. 6025-7 (BG15 RNO/P/T) have been refurbished with new e-leather seating and wifi and will effectively look like brand new buses inside and out! They are to replace the four Enviro 400s, 6031/2/4/5 (OY09 AYL, OY09 RRB, AN59 AWX and VX07 CYU), which were withdrawn at the end of December and have since been sold. They will be used primarily on route X65 between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes (various deckers have been used on the route since the Enviros left the fleet and prior to the Gemini 2s becoming available).
A couple of interesting used purchases have also entered service. 2004 (M146 VVS) is a fairly rare Dennis Dart with Wright Handybus bodywork (flat screen) and is allocated to Chesham for dedicated school work. It started life with Universitybus (Uno) in Hatfield and has also seen service with Gills Travel. 2003 (S687 YOL) is an Optare Excel 1070, direct from National Express West Midlands. However, it had been standing withdrawn for over 2 years, prior to its purchase by Red Rover. Powered by the standard Cummins 6BT, it has 35 seats and is acting as a spare service and school bus at Bicester. Both buses have had a light refurbishment with standard Red Rover red moquette.
Finally, SF57 EEW is a newer Scania R Series recovery truck that has been added to the fleet to replace the existing DAF 105 unit, which has been sold. It takes fleet number R2.
In early January, two new ADL Enviro 300s are due to enter service at Aylesbury. OM16 AAB/C have taken fleet numbers 2046/7 and both have MAN chassis, which is a departure from the usual Scania or Volvo units which are generally preferred on new buses. As is now usual, both have e-leather seating and wifi. It is likely that these will be the final new ADL products entering service for a while; Red Rover has an option on two Enviro200MMC but it is not believed these are due until later in 2017.
Our first new coach of 2017 should be in service on Countrywide routes towards the end of February. Again, something of a departure for Red Rover in that it is an Asia Aero, with Scania chassis and K360 power plant. It has been reserved registration OC67 RRC, and is due to enter service in early March. It has been given fleet number 7020.
A used purchase from Thamesdown is that of a Dennis Dart SPD, Y197 VMR (2061) with Plaxton Pointer body. It will need some work done to the interior, including new seating, prior to it entering service at Bicester.
East Lancs-bodied Dominator, H82 YEX, which was purchased from Capital and Provincial in August, was found to be in poor structural condition and was sold on without being operated.
In a surprise move, all the remaining ADL Enviro 400s have been put up for sale. OY09 AYL, OY09 RRB, AN59 AWX and VX07 CYU (6031/2/4/5) were withdrawn at the end of December and placed in store at Aylesbury.
Following some market research undertaken Red Rover Buses we are pleased to announce commencement of a new service between Chesham and Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5. Commencing on 22nd August 2016, the following new services will be operated:-
service 456 – Chesham to Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 via Amersham, Beaconsfield, Farnham Common, Slough and Langley
It will operate on Monday to Saturday hourly during the day, with the first bus timed to arrive in to Heathrow just after 8am. The last bus from Heathrow departs at 1822. There is no Sunday service. The service will provide new direct links for shoppers and workers at the airport between Chesham and Amersham with Heathrow Terminal 5.
Fellow model bus operator London & Country will also be commencing their new route. Service 455 (Heathrow – High Wycombe via Slough, Farnham Common and Beaconsfield) on the same date, offering customers a combined half hourly frequency between Beaconsfield and Heathrow during the day, Monday to Saturday. Through a partnership arrangement between the two operators, tickets issued by either company will be accepted by the other, giving our customers maximum flexibility and travel choices. In addition, 10 single-trip, weekly and monthly season tickets will be available from the driver. An app enabling online purchase of tickets will be available shortly.
Timetables for both services 455 and 456 are available by clicking here