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London Transport
Central Area Routes 150–159

Last updated 18-08-06.


Route 150 was introduced in 1947 and ran daily between Barkingside (Old Maypole) and Hainault (Regarder Road) via New North Road. Later that year it was extended from Hainault to Chigwell Row via Manford Way. In 1948 it was extended from Barkingside to Ilford Station via Gants Hill. In 1955 it was extended on Sundays from Ilford to East Ham (White Horse) via Little Ilford Lane and Browning Road. In 1955 it was extended on Summer Sundays from Chigwell Row to Lambourne End, and this became a daily extension in 1958. In 1963 the Sunday service was renumbered 150A, and the Monday to Friday service was extended from Ilford Station to Becontree Heath via Green Lane, Goodmayes and Becontree. In 1968 it was further extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from Becontree Heath to Romford (North Street Garage) via Roneo Corner. In 1969 this extension was diverted at Roneo Corner to run to Hornchurch Garage instead of Romford. In 1970 the 150 was withdrawn again between Becontree Heath and Hornchurch, and a Sunday service was reintroduced in 1971 between Ilford and Lambourne End. In 1973 the route was withdrawn at weekends between Chigwell Row and Lambourne End, and withdrawn completely between Chigwell Row and Lambourne End in 1977. In 1980 the route was withdrawn and replaced by a bifurcation of route 247, although the route returned in 1988 running daily between Ilford and Chigwell Row. From 1997 the route was operated by Harris Bus under the tendering system, but when they folded in 2000 the route was taken over by East Thames Buses, London’s “flagship” operator.

There is a slight mark on the front of this “E” plate from when the reverse was used and the front obliterated by a painted cross (since removed, but still visible in the picture).

Route 152 ran daily between Feltham Station and Mitcham (Cricketers) via Hanworth, Hampton Hill, Teddington, Bushy Park, Hampton Court, Kingston By-pass, Hook, Tolworth, Malden, Raynes Park, South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood. In 1962 it was withdrawn between Feltham and Teddington except during Monday to Friday peak hours, and further withdrawn on Sundays between Teddington and Hampton Court. In 1963 the Saturday service was withdrawn between Teddington and Hampton Court. In 1966 the Monday to Friday service was withdrawn between Teddington and Hampton Court, apart from the peak hour journeys to Feltham. In 1970 it was converted to one-man-operation and diverted at Scilly Isles to Esher (High Street), and also diverted at New Malden to run via New Malden (Police Station). In 1973 it was withdrawn between Hinchley Wood and Esher and rerouted to Hampton Court via Hampton Court Way, with school journeys running to Hampton Grammar School. In 1975 it was diverted between Tolworth and Hook via Red Lion Road and Thornhill Road. In September 1980 it was diverted at Thornhill Road to Surbiton Station instead of Hampton Court. At the same time new route 152A replaced the school journeys to Hampton Grammar School. In 1982 the Sunday service was rerouted away from Surbiton to run to Chessington Zoo. In 1987 it was withdrawn between New Malden and Surbiton / Chessington Zoo and diverted instead to Kingston via Norbiton. In 1991 it was withdrawn between New Malden and Kingston but extended from Mitcham to Pollards Hill.

Route 152 timetable← The last trolleybuses were replaced by diesels on 9 May 1962, and this booklet gives details of the changes and full timetables for the new bus routes. Routes 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 657 and 667 were withdrawn, replaced by new buses 267, 281, 282, 283 and 285 and changes to routes 81B, 116, 117, 131 and 152. This 64-page booklet has the printer’s code “362/677W/22,500 KELLY & KELLY LTD” on the back cover.152 MON-FRI


Route 152A was introduced in September 1980 as a replacement for route 152 school journeys from Mitcham to Hampton when the parent 152 was diverted to Surbiton. The 152A ran from Merton Garage to Hampton Schools on school days and to Hampton Court Station on other days. There were only two morning journeys and two afternoon journeys. The route did not last very long before being withdrawn without replacement in October 1981. It is probably the very last route to have “E” plates made for it, as they had already started to be phased out from 1981 onwards and replaced by stickers.

This plate is likely to have been used on the section of route to Hampton Schools.

Route 155 began running in 1951 as a tram replacement route from Wimbledon to Victoria Embankment via Merton, Tooting, Balham, Clapham, Kennington and Elephant & Castle, and looped either via Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars or Blackfriars and Westminster Bridge. In 1964 the Saturday afternoon and Sunday service was withdrawn between Elephant & Castle and Embankment. In 1966 the route was withdrawn between Elephant & Castle and Embankment except for Monday to Friday peaks, Saturday mornings and Sunday early journeys. However, at the same time it was extended on Sundays from Wimbledon Station to Hersham Station. In 1969 Sunday service was further cut back in the east, from Elephant & Castle to Clapham Common (Old Town), and the western Sunday terminus was changed from Hersham Station to West Molesy. In 1973 Sunday service was withdrawn in its entirety and replaced by a revised route 131. In 1984 Embankment journeys were diverted to Aldwych via Westminster Bridge Road, York Road and Waterloo. In 1986 Saturday journeys from Elephant to Aldwych were withdrawn and the route was converted to one-man-operation. In 1987 it was withdrawn completely between Elephant & Castle and Aldwych. In April 1990 the 155 was rerouted and now ran from Wimbledon Station to Vauxhall Station via South Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, Tooting, Balham, Clapham, Stockwell and South Lambeth Road. Five months later Sunday service was reintroduced to replace part of withdrawn route 88. In 1992 it was converted to midi-bus operation and withdrawn between Stockwell and Vauxhall. In 1996 double-deckers were reintroduced, and operation was extended from Stockwell to Elephant & Castle to replace the withdrawn section of the 355. In 1997 Sunday journeys were converted to midi-bus operation. In 1999 all journeys were provided by low floor single-deck buses, and the southern terminal was changed from Wimbledon Station to Tooting (St. Georges Hospital).

RT 1619
RT 1619 at the Wimbledon terminus, in 1976.
This “E” plate would have come from the Sunday-only section of the 155 west of Wimbledon during the years 1966 to 1973.

This “E” plate could have come from either the 1963 or 1971 occurence of route 156.
This “E” plate likely came from the extension to Remploy Works during the 1970s.
156 MON-FRI -  199 MON-SAT
This plate would have come from a stop in Barking Town Centre and is probably just one of a single pair (of which I have the other in my collection). It is highly desirable as it combines two rather obscure and unusual routes from a very short period: 17 June 1972 (when the 199 began operating) to 10 March 1973 (when the 156 began running on Saturdays).

An early route 156 ran a daily circular service from Morden Station via Sutton and Cheam back to Morden, but it was withdrawn in 1961.

The next route 156 was introduced in 1963 and ran on Mondays to Fridays from Parliament Hill Fields to Clapham Junction via Kentish Town, Camden Town, Hampstead Road, Tottenham Court Road, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Lambeth Bridge, Vauxhall and Wandsworth Road, and was extended during rush hours to Wandsworth (Town Hall). It was withdrawn in 1965 having lasted just two years.

A new 156 was introduced in 1971, running on Mondays to Fridays between Barking (London Road) and Becontree (Chittys Lane) via Longbridge Road and Becontree Avenue, replacing part of route 106. In 1973 it was extended from Barking to Creekmouth (Power Station) via Ripple Road, Movers Lane and River Road replacing route 23C which was withdrawn. Some journeys ran during peak hours to Creekmouth (Remploy Works). A limited Saturday service was also introduced. The route was withdrawn in 1982 and partly replaced by route 87.

Today’s route 156 runs between Vauxhall and Wimbledon but this was only introduced in 1983, after “E” plates had been discontinued.

Route 199 was introduced in 1972 as a localised section of route 179 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Barking (London Road) and Thames View Estate (Abridge Way). The 179 was re-extended to Thames View Estate a few years later and the 199 was withdrawn in 1982.

In 1950, route 157 was running between Raynes Park and Wallington Station via Morden, St. Helier and Carshalton. In 1950 it was extended to Crystal Palace to replace trolleybus 654 via West Croydon, Selhurst, Norwood Junction and Anerley. In 1970 the Sunday service was withdrawn between Morden Station and Raynes Park apart from afternoon journeys, but re-extended back there all day in 1973. In 1988 it was cut back from Raynes Park to Morden Station at all times.



Route 158 began running in May 1950 between Watford Junction and Ruislip Lido via Watford High Street, Bushey, Bushey Heath, Brookshill, Harrow Weald, Wealdstone, Harrow, Bessborough Road, Lower Road, South Harrow, Eastcote Lane, Ruislip Station and Bury Street. Initially operated by RTW class Leylands, they were withdrawn in favour of RT vehicles one year later when the RTWs were transferred to Central London routes after permission from the police following the successful Notting Hill Gate, Threadneedle Street and Shaftesbury Avenue trials. In 1966 the 158 was withdrawn between Harrow and Ruislip Lido and instead diverted over the withdrawn section of route 114 to Rayners Lane Station via Porlock Avenue, South Harrow, Eastcote Lane and Kings Road. In 1970 it was withdrawn between Harrow Weald and Watford Junction, being replaced on this section by new route 182 between Wembley and Watford Junction. Two Monday to Friday morning peak hours journeys were extended to Harrow Weald (Halls Corner) in this direction only. The route was withdrawn in October 1971 and replaced by an extended route H1 from Rayners Lane to South Harrow and diverted 114 via Porlock Avenue.

A new route 158 was introduced in 1981 running on Mondays to Saturdays between Stratford Bus Station and Chingford Mount (Prince Albert) via Stratford Broadway, Great Eastern Road, Angel Lane, Leyton, Markhouse Road, Blackhorse Road and Crooked Billet. In 1991 a Sunday service was introduced. Initially operated by DMS buses, this type was replaced by Titans after only eight months. In 1987 the 158 was withdrawn in early evenings between Crooked Billet and Chingford Mount, and late evenings altogether. In 1991 evening and a new Sunday service were introduced, replacing part of withdrawn route 58A. Operation was also transferred to Capital Citybus. In March 2005 the 158 was transferred to Stagecoach, operating from their Stratford base. The 158 must have been one of the very last routes to have “E” plates made.

This “E” plate came from the bus stop in Stratford Broadway to show that buses were only going one more stop to the bus station. There would have been only two “E” plates like this, and both are in private collections.


RML 2366
Arriva London South long Routemaster RML 2366 [JJD366D] at the terminating stop outside the former Streatham Garage at 7.44 a.m on Friday December 9th, 2005, the last day of regular Routemaster operation in London.
Matthew Wharmby photo; courtesy

Route 159 ran from Streatham Garage via Green Lane to Thornton Heath (Clock Tower), extended Monday to Saturday in the north to West Hampstead (West End Green) via Brixton, Kennington, Lambeth Bridge, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Circus, Baker Street and St. John’s Wood, and in the south to South Croydon Garage on Saturday afternoons, and further on to Old Coulsdon on Sundays. In 1956 the Sunday service was withdrawn, the Old Coulsdon section replaced on Sunday by route 190. In 1964 all Saturday journeys were extended to Croydon Garage. In 1972 the route was diverted at St. John’s Wood via Rossmore Road, Lisson Grove and Abbey Road instead of Lords. In 1978 Saturday service was withdrawn beyond Thornton Heath (Clock Tower). At the same time Sunday service was reintroduced, running between West Hampstead and Thornton Heath (High Street) via Westminster Bridge instead of Lambeth Bridge. In 1988 the 159 was withdrawn between Streatham (Green Lane) and Thornton Heath except for Sundays and Monday to Friday peaks. In 1990 it was withdrawn beyond Streatham. In 1992 the Sunday service was withdrawn, and all service between Baker Street Station and West Hampstead was replaced by new route 139. In 1994 it was withdrawn between Streatham Station and Green Lane. In May of 1999 the route was diverted to run the full length of Oxford Street and terminate at Marble Arch instead of via Gloucester Place to Baker Street, and four months later Sunday service was reintroduced.

Route 159 was originally operated by STLs and LTs from Croydon [TC], Old Kent Road [P] and Streatham [AK] Garages. The type was changed to all RT in 1951, with RTLs added in 1954 when Old Kent Road closed and was replaced by Camberwell Garage [Q]. Croydon Garage withdrew from the 159 in 1956, but Brixton Garage [BN] joined in in 1964. RTLs were withdrawn in 1966, and Brixton dropped out in 1969. Routemasters replaced the RTs in 1970. In 1982 Brixton Garage once again began operating the 159. In 1984 Streatham's allocation was withdrawn when that garage was shut for rebuilding work. Brixten operated crewed Daimlers on the route for a brief eight weeks during early 1985. In 1986 a Clapham Garage [CA] allocation was introduced, but it was withdrawn in February 1987 in favour of Streatham. In July of the same year the Brixton allocation was again withdrawnn and Sunday service converted to one-person-operation using a mix of Olympians and Titans (L and T types), with Metrobuses (M) added the following year. Later the same year long Routemasters (RML) were added and the Titans withdrawn. In January 1990 the Olympians were withdrawn and a Brixton allocation was again reintroduced. Six months later Daimlers (D class) began operating on Sundays. In 1991 the Streatham allocation was withdrawn, followed by Camberwell and the RMLs in 1994. In 1999 a Thornton Heath Garage [TH] allocation began. In 2001 new low floor DLA type buses were introduced. On 10 December 2005 the 159 was ignominiously converted to OPO, ending the last crew operation in London apart from the Heritage Routes.

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