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Carousel Mercedes Citaro MB52
With the SHOWBUSflyby now only three weeks away we have another picture from one of the scenic spots on route, by the Saracen;s Head in Beaconsfield Old Town. The photo features Carousel Buses brand new Mercedes Citaro MB52 (CB52BUS), one of a trio bought with the financial assistance of the British Airports Authority to boost transport links to Heatrhow Airport. The then small independent had pioneered the A40 route, rather like the SHOWBUSflyby along the A40 from High Wycombe, but beyond Beaconsfield to Uxbridge before making for Heathrow. The route was pioneered with ex Armchair all Leyland Olympians and a bold venture, competing with the slower Arriva the Shires service which diverted through the new town. The Citaros certainly helped raise the service's profile and MB52 is seen in plain silver before red vinyls where applied which matched blue, lilac and green ones used on other Heathrow services by Tellings Golden Miller and First Beeline. The photo was taken in January 2004 a month or so after the trio, MB51-53 (CB51-53BUS) entered service. Being the monolithic organisation that it is, Transport for London refused permission for the A40 to carry local passengers beween Uxbridge and the airport, handicapping its viability from the start. Commendably the route survived into Go-Ahead ownership, and competition on the road to Uxbridge was seen off, with companion route 740 serving the new town. Both routes were recently renumbered, along with other Carousel Buses routes to Slough and Watford running between High Wycombe and Beaconsfield to form the "Chiltern Hundreds" providing a 15 minute daytime frequency on the common section, the A40 becoming the 101 and the 740 the 102. The Heathrow section was lost shortly after, but again with BAA help, reinstated in 2020 together with an intended X50 Express from Wycombe to Heathrow via Maidenhead using surplus coaches from Oxford Bus Company's abandoned Oxford - London express route. With the advent of COVID the X50 was still born and the Uxbridge - Heathrow extension has been withdrawn, reinstated and withdrawn again in the space of a few months!
Mercedes Citaros are still common place on the current service, often in plain red and re-deployed from Oxford city services. Together with Carousel's link40 Wycombe - Thame service and Arriva's 280 between Thame and Wheatley visitors will be able to travel by bus the length of the SHOWBUSflyby.
An added attraction nearby is Bekonscot Model Village which is now open, but visitors must pre book.
We have thousands of pictures to choose from for our Picture of the Week but you are welcome to send in your own. If we do not feature it here, it may appear later in our picture gallery.
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Please email to rally @showbus.com with "Picture of the Week" as the subject
See August 30th's picture of the week here.