New Oxford Tube coaches to be wheeled in

Oxford Tube coaches are being replaced

Oxford Tube coaches are being replaced

First published in News
Last updated
thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

STAGECOACH has said it will be replacing its entire fleet of Oxford Tube coaches this year.

It is part of what the company says is the biggest order ever placed by any bus operator in Britain – costing more than £100m.

The company will be replacing all of its 26 Oxford Tube coaches, which take passengers from the city centre into London. Stagecoach said the new Astromega double-decker coaches would be “state-of-the-art” and would meet new stringent Euro 6 emission standards.

But the firm could not reveal the main differences that passengers would see on the new coaches.

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We look forward to launching these new vehicles and attracting even more customers on to our greener, smarter coach services.”

It is part of an order for 570 vehicles, which it has placed for the financial year 2014/15 – the largest set of orders the company has ever made.

All of the new vehicles will be fitted with CCTV while more than 350 will also have wi-fi installed.

Stagecoach said the vast majority of the new vehicles would be produced in the UK.

Launched in 1987, the Oxford to London service started out with just seven second-hand coaches, each one with about 44 seats, and the service ran up to every 30 minutes, ending at midnight.

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The service celebrated 25 years in 2012 and now there are 26 double-decker coaches with 87 seats, making 80 trips a day up and down the M40. The 24-hour service runs every 10 minutes at peak times and includes free wi-fi connections.

thisisoxfordshire:

Hugh Jaeger, above, of the Oxford branch of Bus Users UK, said: “The Oxford Tube has been a phenomenal success ever since it was launched.

“The coaches being replaced are only five years old and they have a 15-year lifespan. It is a clear commitment to keeping the service modern and fresh long before one would absolutely have to replace them.”

Stagecoach Group chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “This record investment is a major boost for UK jobs in manufacturing and many other smaller businesses in the supply chain.

“It is also a huge vote of confidence in the future of bus and coach travel in Britain.”

Comments (18)

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6:47am Fri 7 Mar 14

fishstew says...

Oxford mail can you correct this error please.

" before Thames Travel became a Stagecoach company"

Stagecoach Took over "Thames Transit" not "Thames Travel" which is currently owned by "Go Ahead Group"
Oxford mail can you correct this error please. " before Thames Travel became a Stagecoach company" Stagecoach Took over "Thames Transit" not "Thames Travel" which is currently owned by "Go Ahead Group" fishstew
  • Score: 5

7:54am Fri 7 Mar 14

alu355 says...

The existing and new Oxford Tube coaches are Van Hool Astromegas built in Belgium/Macedonia
The existing and new Oxford Tube coaches are Van Hool Astromegas built in Belgium/Macedonia alu355
  • Score: 1

8:33am Fri 7 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

alu355 wrote:
The existing and new Oxford Tube coaches are Van Hool Astromegas built in Belgium/Macedonia
To be fair it only says the vast majority of the vehicles will be made in the UK...

Although even that may not be true. Most UK bus manufacturing is undertaken by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, Scotland.

By the time the deliveries start, Scotland may not be part of the UK.
[quote][p][bold]alu355[/bold] wrote: The existing and new Oxford Tube coaches are Van Hool Astromegas built in Belgium/Macedonia[/p][/quote]To be fair it only says the vast majority of the vehicles will be made in the UK... Although even that may not be true. Most UK bus manufacturing is undertaken by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, Scotland. By the time the deliveries start, Scotland may not be part of the UK. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

1:07pm Fri 7 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

I use the X90 now. The Tube was so unreliable. I was on at least 6 coaches that broke down, usually on the M40 or some really bad place on the A40.
I use the X90 now. The Tube was so unreliable. I was on at least 6 coaches that broke down, usually on the M40 or some really bad place on the A40. EMBOX2
  • Score: 4

1:10pm Fri 7 Mar 14

King Joke says...

'But the firm could not reveal the main differences that passengers would see on the new coaches. '

Maybe because in replacing one set of Astromegas with, er, another set of Astromegas, passengers won't see much difference? The Ox Tube is a great product though and these vehicles are superb, so there isn't much need to change.
'But the firm could not reveal the main differences that passengers would see on the new coaches. ' Maybe because in replacing one set of Astromegas with, er, another set of Astromegas, passengers won't see much difference? The Ox Tube is a great product though and these vehicles are superb, so there isn't much need to change. King Joke
  • Score: 1

2:04pm Fri 7 Mar 14

xenarthra says...

King Joke wrote:
'But the firm could not reveal the main differences that passengers would see on the new coaches. '

Maybe because in replacing one set of Astromegas with, er, another set of Astromegas, passengers won't see much difference? The Ox Tube is a great product though and these vehicles are superb, so there isn't much need to change.
Great for passengers; not so great for cyclists who have to cope with these over-sized Leviathans being chucked round city-centre roads that are far too small for them.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: 'But the firm could not reveal the main differences that passengers would see on the new coaches. ' Maybe because in replacing one set of Astromegas with, er, another set of Astromegas, passengers won't see much difference? The Ox Tube is a great product though and these vehicles are superb, so there isn't much need to change.[/p][/quote]Great for passengers; not so great for cyclists who have to cope with these over-sized Leviathans being chucked round city-centre roads that are far too small for them. xenarthra
  • Score: -4

2:11pm Fri 7 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Larger buses or more of them on the road; the choice is yours. The way to cycle round a 'leviathan' is... carefully. Never attempt to overtake one, on the left or the right, unless you're jolly sure you can get past it. That's how I see it when I'm one of my two bikes.

You can also take your bike to London on one if you wish.
Larger buses or more of them on the road; the choice is yours. The way to cycle round a 'leviathan' is... carefully. Never attempt to overtake one, on the left or the right, unless you're jolly sure you can get past it. That's how I see it when I'm one of my two bikes. You can also take your bike to London on one if you wish. King Joke
  • Score: 2

2:16pm Fri 7 Mar 14

xenarthra says...

King Joke wrote:
Larger buses or more of them on the road; the choice is yours. The way to cycle round a 'leviathan' is... carefully. Never attempt to overtake one, on the left or the right, unless you're jolly sure you can get past it. That's how I see it when I'm one of my two bikes.

You can also take your bike to London on one if you wish.
Personally, I would favour more, smaller buses, but the economics of it are always going to move in the direction of larger buses for popular services. I agree they provide a very useful service. Some of the drivers are excellent - very careful and courteous around cyclists; the one that sat on my tail blasting his horn as I cycled (at about the speed limit of 20 mph) along the shared cycle/bus lane in Headington a few weeks back is a different story (and, to pre-empt any retorts, the alternative on-pavement cycle lane was obstructed by pedestrians, and is in any case too hazardous to be safe to use at 20 mph, especially near the Shell petrol station).
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Larger buses or more of them on the road; the choice is yours. The way to cycle round a 'leviathan' is... carefully. Never attempt to overtake one, on the left or the right, unless you're jolly sure you can get past it. That's how I see it when I'm one of my two bikes. You can also take your bike to London on one if you wish.[/p][/quote]Personally, I would favour more, smaller buses, but the economics of it are always going to move in the direction of larger buses for popular services. I agree they provide a very useful service. Some of the drivers are excellent - very careful and courteous around cyclists; the one that sat on my tail blasting his horn as I cycled (at about the speed limit of 20 mph) along the shared cycle/bus lane in Headington a few weeks back is a different story (and, to pre-empt any retorts, the alternative on-pavement cycle lane was obstructed by pedestrians, and is in any case too hazardous to be safe to use at 20 mph, especially near the Shell petrol station). xenarthra
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Fri 7 Mar 14

xenarthra says...

The issue is less cyclists struggling to overtake these buses (which few would be bold enough to attempt in any case), than with the buses overtaking cyclists on a bend and forgetting that all 14 metres of the bus needs to clear the cyclist before the driver pulls back over to the nearside kerb.
The issue is less cyclists struggling to overtake these buses (which few would be bold enough to attempt in any case), than with the buses overtaking cyclists on a bend and forgetting that all 14 metres of the bus needs to clear the cyclist before the driver pulls back over to the nearside kerb. xenarthra
  • Score: 1

2:25pm Fri 7 Mar 14

King Joke says...

I agree the on-pavement cycle lane in Headington is cr'p for fast, confident cyclists, and that as you've got every right to be in the bus lane the driver should not have beeped you. (S)he was always at liberty to signal right and overtake you in the general traffic lane.
I agree the on-pavement cycle lane in Headington is cr'p for fast, confident cyclists, and that as you've got every right to be in the bus lane the driver should not have beeped you. (S)he was always at liberty to signal right and overtake you in the general traffic lane. King Joke
  • Score: 2

5:32pm Fri 7 Mar 14

alu355 says...

Took the X90 daily for 2 years and the Tube for 2 years. Tube only broke down once (on the first day I took it!), X90 at least 4 times.

Most X90s are older coaches so can understand this
Took the X90 daily for 2 years and the Tube for 2 years. Tube only broke down once (on the first day I took it!), X90 at least 4 times. Most X90s are older coaches so can understand this alu355
  • Score: 0

3:50am Sat 8 Mar 14

The New Private Eye says...

I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price
I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price The New Private Eye
  • Score: -3

3:19pm Sat 8 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

The New Private Eye wrote:
I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price
Erm? Sorry - please tell me where I can get a walk up fare on a train, at peak time, the same price as the coach?!

Last time I looked a peak fare to Paddington was just short of £60.
[quote][p][bold]The New Private Eye[/bold] wrote: I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price[/p][/quote]Erm? Sorry - please tell me where I can get a walk up fare on a train, at peak time, the same price as the coach?! Last time I looked a peak fare to Paddington was just short of £60. EMBOX2
  • Score: 2

8:16am Mon 10 Mar 14

King Joke says...

The weekend train fare is very reasonable - about £19 return with a six-zone Travelcard thrown in, which is a huge bonus if you're travelling to the suburbs. The Anytime Return as Embox points out is something like £65. A weekly season on the train is bl'dy good value at £120 though.

It depends where you're going in London too. If you're going to Baker St or Notting Hill the bus is a better option, if you're going to the Paddington area or somewhere one tube ride away the train makes sense. It's horses for courses.

From 2016 we'll have Chiltern Railways to throw into the mix as well!
The weekend train fare is very reasonable - about £19 return with a six-zone Travelcard thrown in, which is a huge bonus if you're travelling to the suburbs. The Anytime Return as Embox points out is something like £65. A weekly season on the train is bl'dy good value at £120 though. It depends where you're going in London too. If you're going to Baker St or Notting Hill the bus is a better option, if you're going to the Paddington area or somewhere one tube ride away the train makes sense. It's horses for courses. From 2016 we'll have Chiltern Railways to throw into the mix as well! King Joke
  • Score: -2

9:32pm Tue 11 Mar 14

bart-on simpson says...

The New Private Eye wrote:
I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price
Thanks for making us laugh.

Annual season ticket: train £4,670 v coach £1,000
[quote][p][bold]The New Private Eye[/bold] wrote: I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price[/p][/quote]Thanks for making us laugh. Annual season ticket: train £4,670 v coach £1,000 bart-on simpson
  • Score: 1

8:19am Wed 12 Mar 14

alu355 says...

bart-on simpson wrote:
The New Private Eye wrote:
I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price
Thanks for making us laugh.

Annual season ticket: train £4,670 v coach £1,000
My 2 year coach pass = £1938 , coach takes me to Victoria from Headington, journey time approx. 1 hour 45 mins. Runs ever 10 mins peak, 24 hour service including Christmas Day. Can sit down during journey.

2 years of train passes = £9450, would have to get to the train station and then from Paddington to Victoria, journey time 2 hours. Last train around midnight. Lucky to get a seat in rush hour.

Price is a major factor but Paddington station is another, not very central in London.
[quote][p][bold]bart-on simpson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The New Private Eye[/bold] wrote: I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price[/p][/quote]Thanks for making us laugh. Annual season ticket: train £4,670 v coach £1,000[/p][/quote]My 2 year coach pass = £1938 , coach takes me to Victoria from Headington, journey time approx. 1 hour 45 mins. Runs ever 10 mins peak, 24 hour service including Christmas Day. Can sit down during journey. 2 years of train passes = £9450, would have to get to the train station and then from Paddington to Victoria, journey time 2 hours. Last train around midnight. Lucky to get a seat in rush hour. Price is a major factor but Paddington station is another, not very central in London. alu355
  • Score: 2

10:49pm Thu 3 Apr 14

badger77 says...

The New Private Eye wrote:
I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price
Bus is what? £16 regardless of when you buy the ticket? Cheapest i've ever got the train to Paddington was £24 and you have to travel at certain times,
[quote][p][bold]The New Private Eye[/bold] wrote: I don't understand people using the bus to London and sitting in traffic, when for the same price you can take the train. Only an hour into Paddington, and have a day pass for all London's Tubes and Buses thrown in for free, and if three of you travel on the train you can save over £40 compared to the bus price[/p][/quote]Bus is what? £16 regardless of when you buy the ticket? Cheapest i've ever got the train to Paddington was £24 and you have to travel at certain times, badger77
  • Score: 0

8:04am Fri 4 Apr 14

King Joke says...

As per above comments, it's horses for courses.

Can I point out though that if you go to London several times a year off-peak, and use tubes/buses/trains when you get there, it's worth getting a Network Railcard. It's £30, lasts a year and gets you 2/3 off all OP and weekend travel in the South East for you and a limited number of others travelling with you.

An Off Peak Day Return from Oxford to London with Travelcard is only £19 with the Railcard, and let's you travel all round London all day, with no need for an Oyster Card.

I know we're talking about London but once you've got the Railcard the interpretation of 'South East' is very broad, with travel as far as places like Carmbridge (in East Anglia) and Bournemouth (in the South West) included, so days out needn't break the bank.
As per above comments, it's horses for courses. Can I point out though that if you go to London several times a year off-peak, and use tubes/buses/trains when you get there, it's worth getting a Network Railcard. It's £30, lasts a year and gets you 2/3 off all OP and weekend travel in the South East for you and a limited number of others travelling with you. An Off Peak Day Return from Oxford to London with Travelcard is only £19 with the Railcard, and let's you travel all round London all day, with no need for an Oyster Card. I know we're talking about London but once you've got the Railcard the interpretation of 'South East' is very broad, with travel as far as places like Carmbridge (in East Anglia) and Bournemouth (in the South West) included, so days out needn't break the bank. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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