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London Transport
Central Area Routes 120–129

Last updated 29-08-06.

In 1950 route 120 was running on Mondays to Saturdays between Hounslow Heath and Hayes Station via Hounslow Central, Lampton Corner, Heston, Norwood Green, Southall and Coldharbour Lane. A Sunday service was introduced between Hounslow Heath and Southall (Cambridge Road) in 1955 and in 1958 the Saturday service was withdrawn between Southall and Hayes. In 1960 the Hayes extension was withdrawn, leaving just a peak hour service beyond Southall (Cambridge Road) to Southall (Delamere Road) but this too was withdrawn in 1963. In 1965 the route was extended beyond Southall to Greenford Station via Lady Margaret Road and Allenby Road. In 1976 the route was further extended to Greenford (Bridge Park) during the daytime on Mondays to Fridays and during Saturday shopping hours, but this extension was withdrawn in 1982. In 1987 it was extended from Hounslow Heath via Beavers Farm Estate to Hounslow (Bus Station). The route was withdrawn between Southall (Town Hall) and Greenford in 1988, and the routeing via Beavers Farm Estate ceased in 1990. In 1993 it was extended from Southall to Northolt Station via Yeading. The section of route between Hounslow Heath and Southall had few major changes over the years and therefore the “E” plates tended to be rather old.



Route 121 ran daily between Ponders End Garage and Chingford Station via Southbury Road, Nags Head Road, Lea Valley Road and Kings Head Hill. In August 1948 the Sunday service was withdrawn but reinstated two months later. In 1962 it was extended during Saturday shopping hours from Ponders End to Enfield Chase Station. In 1963 it was extended in Chingford to Royal Forest Hotel, but withdrawn between Enfield Town and Enfield Chase. The Sunday service was again withdrawn in 1966, and later that year it was converted to one-man-operation on Mondays to Fridays only using RF vehicles, but retaining RT-type buses on Saturdays. It was also withdrawn between Chingford Station and Royal Forest Hotel at the same time. In 1980 the route was extended from Enfield Town to Turnpike Lane Station via Oakwood, Chase Road, Southgate, Palmers Green and Wood Green, and also introduced on Sundays between Enfield Town and Turnpike Lane. In 1982 it was rerouted at Ponders End to run to Enfield Lock via Enfield Highway and Ordnance Road, and also revised to run throughout the route every day. In 2000 it was rerouted at Enfield Lock to run to Enfield Island Village.

RT2669 [LYR653] on route 122 loading up at Crystal Palace at the outset of its long haul to the edge of the built-up area at Slade Green, in the summer of 1970. A Swift on route 227 has drawn up behind. The hut to the right offering public telephone, waiting room and crew facilities has long been replaced!
Photo courtesy dublo19

Route 122 ran daily between Bexleyheath Depot and Woolwich (Earl of Chatham) via Bexleyheath Broadway, Crook Log, Pickford Lane, Okehampton Crescent, Wickham Lane and Plumstead. In 1964 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Bexleyheath to Slade Green Station via Colyers Lane, Bridge Road and Hazel Road. It was also extended daily from Woolwich to Crystal Palace via Academy Road, Well Hall Road, Westhorne Avenue, Eltham Green, Lee Green, Lewisham, Adelaide Avenue, Brockley Rise, Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Westwood Hill. In 1970 it was withdrawn between Bexleyheath Garage and Slade Green on Mondays to Fridays. In 1978 it was withdrawn completely between Bexleyheath Garage and Slade Green. In 1988 it was withdrawn between Plumstead Station and Bexleyheath, and replaced by new route 422.

This “E” plate will be extremely rare as it came from a single stop at a terminal working. It is especially unusual as these plates normal said “ALIGHTING POINT ONLY”.


Route 122A was introduced in February 1951 running daily between Woolwich and Erith via Plumstead, Wickham Lane, Okehampton Crescent, King Harold’s Way, Bedonwell Road, Parsonage Manor Way and Bexley Road. The Sunday service was withdrawn in 1956 and replaced by an extension of the 53 to Erith. The Sunday service was reintroduced in 1963 when the 53 was cut back again. In 1964 the Sunday service was extended from Woolwich to Crystal Palace over route 122 via Well Hall Road, Westhorne Avenue, Eltham Green, Lee Green, Lewisham, Brockley Rise and Forest Hill, making the Sunday extension longer than the main route! The Crystal Palace extension was withdrawn in 1969 when the service was converted to one-man-operation. In 1978 the route was extended from Woolwich to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the Sunday service was withdrawn again in 1982. In 1985 it was extended from Erith to Slade Green Station via Manor Road. The route was withdrawn completely in 1988 and replaced by the new 422 and B12.

This “E” plate will have come from the Sunday extension to Crystal Palace between 1964 and 1969.

Route 124 ran daily between Forest Hill Station and Eltham (Southend Crescent) via Perry Vale, Catford, Sandhurst Road, Verdant Lane, Downham, Grove Park, Dunkery Road, Mottingham and Eltham Church. In 1955 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from Eltham to Blackfen (Woodman). In 1959 it was extended on Sunday afternoons from Eltham to Bexley Hospital via Blackfen, Blendon and Bexley. In 1960 the peak hour service was diverted to run to Falconwood Parade instead of Blackfen, and the Sunday service was renumbered 124A. In 1963 the 124 was extended at all times from Eltham to Woolwich via Falconwood, Welling, Wickham Lane and Plumstead. In 1965 the Monday to Friday service was withdrawn between Welling and Woolwich except during peak hours. In 1968 the Saturday service was withdrawn between Welling and Woolwich. In 1972 the peak hour service to Woolwich was reduced to the evening peak hour only, and during the morning peak it only ran to Plumstead Station. In 1977 it was withdrawn completely between Welling and Plumstead/Woolwich. The route was reintroduced on Sundays in 1978, but withdrawn on this day again in 1982. In 1985 it was withdrawn between Eltham (Southend Crescent) and Welling, apart from school journeys to Avery Hill School and one journey in each peak to Welling. Also that year a Sunday service was again reintroduced between Forest Hill and Eltham, with some afternoon journeys running on to Bexley Hospital. In 1987 it was withdrawn between Catford (St. Dunstans College) and Forest Hill. In 1990 the school journeys to Avery Hill and peak journeys to Welling were renumbered 124S.



The original route 127 was introduced in 1961 between Victoria and Waltham Cross via Trafalgar Square, Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town, Holloway, Finsbury Park, Manor House, Tottenham, Edmonton and Ponders End. It was a replacement for trolleybus route 627. The section between Lower Edmonton and Waltham Cross ran on Mondays to Saturdays only until 1966. The 127 was withdrawn between Tottenham Court Road and Victoria in 1968, and the route was withdrawn completely in 1970.

A new route 127 was introduced in the ’eighties between Tooting Broadway and Wallington via Mitcham and Carshalton. It is possible that this plate came from the more recent route.

Route 129 ran from Claybury Broadway to Ilford Station via Clayhall Avenue, Barkingside and Gants Hill. During the 1950s its operation switched back and forth among RT, RTW and RTL type buses. In 1958 Sunday afternoon service was extended from Ilford to Little Heath via Seven Kings and Barley Lane, replacing withdrawn route 25A. In 1963 two Sunday afternoon journeys were further extended from Little Heath via York Road to Chadwell Heath Hospital. In January 1965 the Monday to Saturday service was extended from Ilford to Barking via Green Lane, South Park Drive and Longbridge Road, and the Sunday service was re-numbered 129A. Nine months later the route was withdrawn between Ilford and Barking, being replaced by new one-person-operated route 291. In 1967 the 129 was reinstated daily between Claybury Broadway and Ilford Station, replacing the withdrawn 129A. In 1968 the Sunday service was again withdrawn, and the Clayhall Avenue section was replaced by new route 169C. In 1976 Sunday service was again re-introduced at the same time as the route was converted to one-person-operated DMS buses. In 1977 Monday to Saturday service was extended to Becontree Heath via Green Lane and Goodmayes. Next year Sunday service was once more withdrawn. Two years later Leyland Titans replaced the DMSs. In 1985 westbound journeys to Claybury Broadway were rerouted direct via Clayhall Avenue. In 1987 Monday to Friday peak hours journeys were introduced to Dagenham (Fords Works) via Dagenham East and Ballards Lane. In 1989 route 129 was extended during weeekday days and Saturday shopping hours to RomFords (St. Edwards Way) via Rush Green Road. In May 1992 single-deck RNs replaced the Titans, but the Titans returned just five months later when the Fords Works journeys were withdrawn and the 129 was extended in RomFords from Market to Parkside Hotel. In 1993 Sunday service was re-introduced and one Monday to Friday a.m. journey was routed to the Fords Works. In 1997 operation was transferred to Harris Bus, but in 2000 the route passed to East Thames Buses following their demise. In April 2001 the Fords Works journey was cut back to Dagenham (New Road), however just seven weeks later the up journey was withdrawn, and in December the Dagenham extension was withdrawn completely. In 2004 route 129 was replaced by a revised route 128.

129 129 MON-SAT


Route 129A was a Sunday-only service introduced 1 February 1965 between Claybury Broadway and Ilford Station via Barkingside and Gants Hill. Afternoon journeys were extended via Seven Kings and Little Heath to Chadwell Heath Hospital when the Monday to Saturday 129 was extended from Ilford via South Park to Barking. (Route 129 had been extended on Sunday afternoons to Little Heath from 30 November 1958 as part replacement for route 25A, and further extended to Chadwell Heath Hospital on 12 May 1963. The service east of Ilford was very limited and most of the Little Heath runs worked to and from Ilford Broadway only). Although the 129 extension was short-lived, the Sunday service retained the 129A number until it was withdrawn east of Ilford without replacement and the 129 reinstated daily between Claybury Broadway and Ilford Station from 1 January 1967.

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