Thames Travel Reorganise
Monday 4th saw Thames Travel simplify many of their vehicle workings to help make their services more manageable in the light of ongoing congestion and various sets of roadworks in both Reading and Oxford. For the majority of the day buses on the company's key services X39/X40 now stay purely on those routes, previously having interworked in Oxford with routes 101/6 since July 2011, and before that the 144 in Reading.
Unusually (for Thames Travel) there haven't been any timetable changes to enable this but there are still a few journeys which interwork with other things out of necessity, particularly at peak periods. Overall it has also led to a much more predictable vehicle allocation for those looking for specific vehicles. The recently transferred Mercedes Citaros are concentrated on the X39/X40 Reading - Wallingford - Oxford, X2 Oxford - Abingdon - Didcot and X32 Oxford - Didcot - Harwell services, whilst two of the Scania OmniCity double deckers regularly appear on the 32 Wantage - Didcot - Abingdon, and the Scania OmniTowns tend to be based in Bracknell.
Standardising the fleet a little, Carousel's two MAN / MCV Evolutions transferred to Thames Travel last month. So far these have mostly appeared on Wallingford based routes.
419 in St Aldates, Oxford on 22 February 2013. Thanks to Graham Low for this photo.
New First Livery Arrives in Reading
First Berkshire are in the process of receiving five additional ex-London Dennis Tridents which are being converted to single door and wear the latest lilac First Corporate livery. It is not yet clear whether these are to replace the five older examples which are still dual door and in London red, or for something else.
33181 on what may have been it's first day in service on 1 February 2013. Thanks to Brian Coney for this.