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London Transport
Central Area Routes 140–149

Last updated 19-06-06.

Route 141 was introduced in 1961 as a trolleybus replacement route and ran daily between Winchmore Hill and Moorgate via Palmers Green, Wood Green, Turnpike Lane Station, Manor House, Newington Green and Hoxton. It was extended on Saturdays and Sundays to Grove Park Station via London Wall, St. Paul’s, Ludgate Circus, Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Old Kent Road, New Cross, Brockley Rise, Catford and Downham. It was withdrawn between Wood Green and Winchmore Hill in 1968 and replaced by new route W4. In 1969 a Sunday service was introduced between New Cross and Grove Park, and therefore the route ran in two separate sections on this day. In 1970 the southern Sunday section was withdrawn between Catford Garage and Grove Park. In 1971 a Saturday service was introduced between Farringdon Street and Grove Park, partly replacing the 141A. In 1972 the southern Sunday section was withdrawn. In 1978 the Saturday service was altered to run through from Wood Green to Grove Park, and the Sunday service was extended to Farringdon Street. In 1985 it was withdrawn on Saturdays between Catford Garage and Grove Park. In 1990 the Sunday service was rerouted at Moorgate to run to Liverpool Street Station instead of Farringdon Street. In 1992 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays south of Moorgate. In 2002 the service was rerouted daily at Moorgate to run to London Bridge Station via Bank and Monument. In 2006 it was re-extended from Wood Green to Palmers Green.



Route 141A was introduced in 1961 between Finsbury Park Station and Grove Park via Highbury Barn, Highbury Corner, Islington, Angel, Aldersgate, St. Paul’s, Ludgate Circus, Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Old Kent Road, New Cross, Brockley Rise, Stanstead Road, Catford and Downham, running on Saturdays and Sundays, and replacing the former 179 route. In June 1966 route 141A was withdrawn on Sundays between Highbury Barn and Finsbury Park, with the Sunday service being fully withdrawn on 25th October 1969, leaving the route on Saturdays only until this too was withdrawn on 3rd September 1971. Thus the route was Saturday only for less than two years.

142 ran between Watford Junction and Kilburn Park Station via Bushey, Bushey Heath, Stanmore, Edgware, Burnt Oak, Colindale, West Hendon, Cricklewood and Kilburn. In 1952 it was withdrawn on Sundays between Edgware Station and Kilburn Park, but re-extended there again in 1962, and cut back again in 1963, and again re-extended there in 1966. In 1970 it was converted on one-man-operation and cut back to Edgware Station at all times, except for a Monday to Friday peak hour extension to Colindale (Annesley Avenue). In 1976 the Colindale extension was withdrawn and the service extended instead beyond Edgware on Mondays to Saturdays to Brent Cross Shopping Centre via Burnt Oak, Colindale, West Hendon and Staples Corner, and further extended except during peak hours to Brent Cross Station (which was previously named Brent Station). After less than four months the route was withdrawn between Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Brent Cross Station. In 1993 it was rerouted between Stanmore and Edgware via Stonegrove. The Sunday service has also been extended to Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

This plate will have come from that very short-lived section of route between Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Brent Cross Station, over which there can have been few stops with “E” plates. Obviously it is an astonishingly rare plate, having had such a short life.



As far as I can establish, route 142A was never introduced. It appeared on Cricklewood Garage [W] blind sets towards the end of 1968, and is thought to have been planned as a part-replacement for route 60. Prior to 7th September 1968 the 60 had been Waterloo–Piccadilly Circus–Oxford Street–Edgware Road–Cricklewood on Mondays to Fridays, extended except evenings to Colindale. The plan was to replace it between Waterloo and Marble Arch with new Red Arrow route 505 (which happened), between Marble Arch and Cricklewood with new route 8B (which happened), and between Kilburn Park Station and Colindale Station with new Monday to Friday route 142A (which did not happen). In practice, a parallel scheme to convert part of the 245 (North Finchley–Stanmore) to one-man-operation saw the 251 extended in September 1968 from Burnt Oak to Stanmore. The 245 was cut back to Cricklewood Garage and the opportunity taken to put a peak hour extension on from Cricklewood Garage to Colindale Station. This preserved the link between the Edgware Road and Colindale Station and rendered the 142A unnecessary. If anybody can add to or correct this information, I would be pleased to hear from you.

This “E” plate is astonishingly rare and probably unused as there are very few instances where “E” plates have been actually made for routes that were never introduced. Other examples are 247C, 294, 722A and maybe a couple more.

Route 143 ran daily betweeen Archway Station and Hendon Central Station via Great North Road, East Finchley, East End Road, Finchley Central, Hendon Lane and Church Road. In 1958 it was withdrawn on Sundays and diverted in East Finchley via Aylmer Road and The Bishops Avenue to replace route 58. In 1961 it was extended from Archway Station to Farringdon Street via Holloway, Caledonian Road, King’s Cross and Holborn Circus. Later that year it was withdrawn on Saturday afternoons between King’s Cross and Farringdon Street. In 1966 it was withdrawn completely on Saturdays between King’s Cross and Farringdon Street. In 1968 it was converted to one-man-operation and withdrawn between Archway Station and Farringdon Street, and the rerouting once again reverted to Great North Road. Also, a Sunday service was reintroduced. In 1963 it was rerouted between Archway and East Finchley via Highgate Village. In 1976 it was extended from Hendon Central to Brent Cross Shopping Centre during Monday to Saturday shopping hours. In 1982 the Sunday service was withdrawn once again, but reintroduced again in 1984 between Hendon Central and East Finchley. In 1987 the Sunday service was withdrawn yet again. In 1991 a Sunday service was once more reintroduced between Archway and Hendon Central, and the service was rerouted daily in Finchley via Squires Lane, Long Lane, Finchley Central, Regents Park Road and Gravel Hill. In 1995 the Sunday service was extended from Hendon Central to Brent Cross during shopping hours.



From 1949 route 145 operated weekdays between Ilford and Dagenham via Goodmayes and Becontree, with extensions to Dagenham Dock (Monday to Friday peak hours) and some journeys to Dagenham (Ford Works). At the opposite end a Monday to Friday rush hour extension continued to Chingford via Gants Hill, South Woodford and Woodford Wells. At various times through the years it was operated by RT, RTL and RTW types. In 1963 it was curtailed to run between Ilford and Dagenham, with only school journeys continuing beyond Ilford to Chingford. Sunday service was completely withdrawn in 1969. The 145 was converted to pay-as-you-enter operation with DMS double-deckers in 1974, and to the Leyland Titan (T type) in 1980. It is currently operated by Stagecoach East London.

Route 145A was introduced in 1963, running on Sundays only between Dagenham (New Road) and Leytonstone (Green Man) via Heathway, Hedgemans Road, Bennetts Castle Lane, Becontree, Goodmayes, Green Lane, Ilford, The Drive, Redbridge and Wanstead. It was basically the Sunday 145 renumbered and extended from Ilford to Leytonstone. It was withdrawn in 1966 and replaced by the introduction of the 145 on Sundays and a new 148A.

The exceptionally short life of this plate accounts for its superb condition, and as always, fare stage plates are far less common. This one is of outstanding interest however, as the “FARE STAGE” portion is in black, whereas it was far more usual for Sunday plates to be totally in red.


This particular “E” plate came from East Street, Bromley, where it was seen until around the mid-1990s. It started life as a 146A plate, and therefore it must date from at least the last days of the 146A, and certainly the enamelling is of an older type. The “A” suffix has been officially ground off, leaving a small mark (visible in the picture). Apart from this, there is just slight weathering from its 50-plus years age.

In 1934 Route 146 ran daily from Lewisham to Westerham Hill via Catford, Southend, Bromley, Hayes Common, Keston, Leaves Green and Biggin Hill, with a Saturday afternoon and Sunday branch diverting at Leaves Green to Downe. By the end of 1934 the 146 had been reduced to Saturday and Sunday only, with Downe journeys running daily and renumbered 146A. By 1938 the 146 had been withdrawn entirely, partially replaced by weekday morning journeys on route 89, and the 146A ran daily between Downe and Bromley (Bromley North Station), with a Saturday afternoon and Sunday extension to Lewisham. In the late 1940s the 146A was renumbered 146. The route still runs over the same streets today (although no longer on to Lewisham), and the Sunday service has long since disappeared. It is now a rather short route and there would probably have been “E” plates only in the Bromley—and possibly Hayes—area, and therefore this is a rather rare plate.

Boxmoor by motor bus
London Transport posters featuring a specific bus route are not at all common. This London General poster by “Padden” dates from 1921.

Route 148A was introduced 1n 1955 running on Sundays between Leytonstone (Green Lane) and Dagenham (New Road) via Wanstead, Redbridge, The Drive, Ilford, Goodmayes, Becontree, Bennetts Castle Lane, Parsloes Avenue and Heathway. The route was withdrawn in 1963 having lasted just eight years.


There is a slight mark on the front of this “E” plate from when the reverse of the plate was used and the front obliterated by a painted cross (since removed, but still visible).
The route ran in sections, and there were no through buses, so I believe this plate might have come from the section beyond Waltham Cross when it ran on to Cheshunt and Flamstead End between about 1968 and 1970. Thus it is a very rare plate with this wording and appears to have been short-lived.

Route 149 was introduced in 1961 as a replacement for trolleybus route 649 and ran daily between Waltham Cross and Liverpool Street via Ponders End, Edmonton, Tottenham, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Dalston and Shoreditch. It was extended on Mondays to Fridays to Victoria via Bank, Southwark Bridge, Stamford Street, Waterloo and Lambeth Bridge. In 1968 some rush hour journeys were extended from Waltham cross to Flamstead End via Cheshunt, but the route was withdrawn north of Ponders End in 1970. It was further cut back to Edmonton (Tranway Avenue) in 1971 apart from during Monday to Friday rush hours. It was re-extended to Ponders End at all times in 1978. In 1985 it was withdrawn between Waterloo and Victoria, and further cut back to Liverpool Street in 1991 apart from a few early Monday to Friday journeys to Mansion House Station. It was extended to Waterloo again during Monday to Friday peak hours later that year. It was rerouted at Liverpool Street to London Bridge Station in 1998. In 2004 it was cut back to Edmonton Green when bendy-buses were introduced.

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Click on any of the tiles below to go to images of the “E” plates and the route descriptions for that number series.