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London Transport
Central Area Routes 180–189

Last updated 05-07-06.

Route 180 ran Mondays to Saturdays between Lower Sydenham Station and Woolwich via Southend Lane, Catford, Lewisham and Greenwich, extended during Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday afternoons to Plumstead Common. In 1958 the Saturday afternoon extension was withdrawn. In 1963 it was withdrawn completely between Woolwich and Plumstead Common, and rerouted to Abbey Wood Garage via Plumstead and Abbey Estate, replacing route 177A. In 1970 a Sunday service was introduced between Catford Garage and Lower Sydenham replacing the withdrawn section of Sunday route 160A, but it was withdrawn the following year. In 1978 a Sunday service was introduced over the whole route, replacing most of Sunday-only route 180A. In 1984 the Monday to Saturday service was cut back from Lower Sydenham to Catford Garage and replaced by new route 181. In 1985 the 180 was converted to one-man operation, and the Sunday service was cut back to Catford Garage. In 1991 it was rerouted daily at Catford to run to Hither Green Station replacing part of route 36. In 1994 it was withdrawn between Lewisham and Hither Green, and east of Woolwich was altered to run to Thamesmead East via McLeod Road instead of Abbey Wood via Abbey Estate. In 2002 the route was extended beyond Thamesmead East to Belvedere (Crabtree Manorway North). Upon tendering by London Buses, the 180 was operated by Harris Bus (who went out of business) before being taken over by East Thames Buses, London’s flagship operator.



Route 180A was introduced in 1972 and ran on Sundays only between Abbey Wood Garage and New Cross Garage via Abbey Estate, Plumstead, Woolwich, Greenwich and Deptford, replacing part of route 171A. The 180A was withdrawn in 1978, and so had a rather short life.

In May 1952, route 181 ran daily between Victoria and Streatham (St. Leonard’s Church), via Vauxhall, Stockwell, Clapham, Balham, Tooting and Southcroft Road. During November 1955, the 181 was extended to Streatham Garage. The Sunday service was withdrawn in January 1966. The route was withdrawn between Clapham and Victoria during March 1979, and fully withdrawn on 25 April 1981.

Today’s route 181 runs between Lewisham and Downham, via Hither Green Lane, Catford, Bell Green, Lower Sydenham and Southend Lane, running via Lower Sydenham (Sainsbury’s) during shopping hours.

The second “E” plate shows the newer “MON-SAT” wording, after six-day work weeks became less common.



Route 181A was introduced in 1971 and ran on Sundays only between Clapham Common (Old Town) and Streatham Hill (Telford Avenue) via Balham, Tooting, Southcroft Road and Streatham. In 1975 it was extended from Clapham Common to Stockwell Station at all times (instead of just garage journeys). The route was withdrawn completely in 1979.

Route 182 was introduced in 1952 as a tram replacement route running between Woolwich (Monday to Friday rush hours, all day Saturdays and Sundays) or Eltham (Well Hall Station) and New Cross via Lee Green and Lewisham, extended Mondays to Fridays and Saturday mornings to Cannon Street via Old Kent Road, Bricklayers Arms, Great Dover Street, Borough and Southwark Bridge. In 1954 it was withdrawn on Sundays between Lewisham and New Cross. In 1958 it was withdrawn completely on Sundays except for just a few early morning journeys. The route was withdrawn completely in 1968 and the journeys that ran through the night were renumbered N82.

Today’s route 182 runs between Harrow Weald and Brent Cross via Harrow, Sudbury, Wembley and Neasden.

This is a very old plate which accounts for its weathering, and is not an easy route to find “E” plates for nowadays.


183 183

Route 183 ran daily between Golders Green Station and Northwood Station via Brent Green, Hendon Central, West Hendon, Kingsbury, Kenton, Northwick Park, Harrow, North Harrow, Pinner, Pinner Green and Northwood Hills. In 1978 the routeing at Hendon was swapped with route 83 so that it now ran via Hendon Garage. In 1982 it was withdrawn between Pinner and Northwood during evenings and all day on Sundays. In 1987 it was withdrawn completely between Pinner and Northwood except for school journeys to Northwood Hills.

The second plate is one of the newer plastic tiles that replaced the enamelled “E” plates.

Route 184 was introduced in 1951 as a tram replacement route and ran daily between Brockley Station and Victoria Embankment via Peckham Rye, East Dulwich, Lordship Lane, Denmark Hill, Camberwell, Elephant & Castle and Westminster. On Mondays to Saturdays the route served Victoria Embankment via a loop working continuing via Blackfriars back to Elephant & Castle. The Saturday p.m. service via Blackfriars was withdrawn in 1952. In 1966 the Sunday service was withdrawn between Elephant & Castle and Victoria Embankment except for two early morning journeys. In 1971 the Victoria Embankment service was reduced to peak hours only on Mondays to Fridays, and later that year when the route was converted to one-man-operation the Saturday journeys to Victoria Embankment were withdrawn. In 1982 the Monday to Friday peak hour service via Victoria Embankment was rerouted via Queen Victoria Street, Mansion House Station and Southwark Bridge to Elephant & Castle. In 1984 the route was extended from Brockley to New Cross Garage via Avignon Road and Pepys Road. The Victoria Embankment peak hour service was revised in 1985 and part of the service ran via Westminster to Trafalfar Square, and part ran to Mansion House Station via Southwark Bridge. In 1987 the Mansion House service was withdrawn and the route was withdrawn all day on Saturdays and Sundays, apart from some early Sunday a.m. journeys, which were themselves withdrawn in 1988. In 1989 it was rerouted at Brockley to run to Lewisham via Brockley Cross, instead of New Cross Garage. A Saturday service was introduced in 1990. In 1992 the 184 was withdrawn between Brockley and Lewisham, and the early Monday to Friday journeys via Victoria Embankment were cut pack to Trafalgar Square as per the peak hour routeing. In 1994 the route was withdrawn.



Route 185 was a tram replacement route introduced in 1951 running between Victoria and Blackwall Tunnel (South Side) via Vauxhall, Oval, Camberwell, Dulwich, Forest Hill, Catford, Lewisham and Greenwich. In 1967 it was withdrawn between Grenwich (Ship & Billet) and Blackwall Tunnel except during Monday to Saturday rush hours and some early Sunday journeys, and it was further withdrawn on Saturdays and Sundays between Greenwich Church and Blackwall Tunnel. In 1971 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Fridays except during rush hours between Lewisham and Greenwich (Ship & Billet). In 1973 it was converted to one-man-operation. In 1978 the route became Victoria to Lewisham only, with just the Monday to Friday rush hour service and some early Saturday & Sunday journeys running on to Blackwall Tunnel. The Blackwall Tunnel service disappeared completely in 1982 with just the rush hour service continuing beyond Lewisham to Greenwich Church. Finally the Greenwich Church rush hour extension was withdrawn in 1987 and the route settled to being Victoria to Lewisham only. In 2001 the route was tendered and won by the short-lived Easylink company, but when that ceased it was taken over by London Buses’ “flagship” operator, East Thames Buses.

Route 186 was introduced in 1952 as a tram replacement route, and ran daily between Woolwich and Crystal Palace via Eltham, Lee Green, Lewisham, Brockley Rise, Forest Hill and Sydenham. In 1957 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Crystal Palace to Victoria via West Norwood, Tulse Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. The route was withdrawn in 1964.

Today’s route 182 was introduced in 1970 between Edgware Station and Harrow-on-the Hill via Canons Park, Belmont Circle and Wealdstone. In 1985 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Edgware to Brent Cross Shopping Centre via Mill Hill and Hendon Central. In 1986 it was extended daily from Harrow to Northwick Park Hospital. In 1995 the Sunday service was extended to Brent Cross.

I cannot be sure exactly where this “E” plate came from, or from which route, but it appears that it might have been from a single stop not served at other times (as no section of route ran only during rush hours), so it may well be rather rare.


188-239 MON-FRI
This “E” plate would have come from the short section of common road between Waterloo and Euston from between 1975 (when the 239 was withdrawn on Saturdays over this section) and 1982 (when route 239 was withdrawn completely).

Route 188 was introduced as a tram replacement route in 1951 running between Chalk Farm Station and Greenwich (Cutty Sark) via Camden Town, Euston. Russell Square, Holborn Station, Aldwych, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle, Bricklayers Arms, Tower Bridge Road, Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks. In 1958 it was withdrawn on Saturday pm between Aldwych and Chalk Farm. In 1963 it was re-extended to Chalk Farm on Saturday pm, but cut back to Aldwych on Mondays to Fridays except during peak hours. Later that year it was withdrawn on Sundays between Waterloo and Chalk Farm. In 1964 the Sunday service was diverted to Archway Station and renumbered 188A. In 1970 the 188 was revised to run from Greenwich to Waterloo on Mondays to Saturdays, and extended on Mondays to Fridays to Euston Station. A few early Saturday journeys continued beyond Waterloo to Aldwych. In 1971 it was converted to one-man-operation and withdrawn between Surrey Docks Station and Greenwich on Mondays to Fridays except during peak hours. A Sunday service was reintroduced between Greenwich and Waterloo. In 1978 the route was simplified (at last) to run daily between Greenwich and Euston. In 1982 the Monday to Friday service was extended to King’s Cross as part replacement for route 239, but in 1985 this extension was reduced to peak hours only, and was withdrawn completely in 1986 so that it again ran Greenwich to Euston at all times. In 1999 it was extended from Greenwich to North Greenwich Station, and later that year withdrawn between Russell Square and Euston. Since the route has been tendered, it has seen a number of operators running on it: Boroline Maidstone, Selkent, London & Country, South London, Arriva North East, Arriva London North, London General and London Central.

Route 239 was introduced in 1971 and ran between Waterloo and Tufnell Park via Euston, Kings Cross and York Way, replacing the northern end of route 196.

Route 188A was introduced in 1964 running on Sundays only between Archway Station and Greenwich (Cutty Sark) via Holloway, Highbury, Islington, Rosebery Avenue, Bloomsbury, Aldwych, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle, Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, Surrey Docks and Creek Road, covering routes 172 and 188 on this day. The route was withdrawn in 1971 after just seven years.



Route 189 was a tram replacement route and ran on Mondays to Fridays between Cannon Street Station and South Wimbledon Station via Borough, Elephant & Castle, Kennington, Clapham, Nightingale Lane, Wandsworth Common, Burntwood Lane and Haydons Road. It was extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to North Cheam (Queen Victoria) via Morden. In 1956 it was withdrawn (except for rush hours) between Clapham Common and Cannon Street. In August 1958 the 189 was withdrawn, and in November the same year the 189A was renumbered 189 and ran daily between Clapham Common (Old Town) and South Wimbledon Station, extended on Mondays to Fridays except evenings and Saturday afternoons to Raynes Park (Junction Tavern), and further extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Worcester Park Station via New Malden. In 1962 it was withdrawn on Sundays, and also on Saturdays between South Wimbledon and Raynes Park, although re-extended there the following year, between midday and 6:00 p.m., with some journeys continuing on to New Malden. In 1964 it was withdrawn on Saturdays, then in 1966 it was withdrawn during evenings. It was converted to one-man-operation in 1971. In 1973 it was extended from Raynes Park to Esher. Over subsequent years the route contracted considerably, and eventually remained as just a couple of school journeys which are covered by today’s route 689.

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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.