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London Transport
Central Area Routes 190–194

Last updated 28-08-06.

← This plate is likely to have come from a stop in Croydon Town Centre which would have been served by short-working journeys terminating there.
Southend Corporation Leyland PD3 MHJ346F, signed “OLD COULSDON” passes under the railway bridge in Marlpit Lane, Coulsdon, on 6 January 1976. The combined bus and coach stop at the left was coded B(C)C(R) by London Transport. →
Jim Collins photo; HLB2
← I was’t sure on this one, but I believed that there was a regular service that turned short on the 190 in Katharine Street, central Croydon (but didn’t know what period), and I thought there was a stop there which may have been either a set down or pick up for them. See the caption below for the correct location.
Ray Rock was kind enough to bring this photo to my attention, which shows RT 1880 [LLU 766] approaching the bus stand in Nottingham Road, South Croydon, where the “SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY” plate came from. The spire of St. Peter’s Church is visible in the background. →
RT 1880

Route 190 was introduced in April 1951 running daily between Thornton Heath (High Street) and South Croydon (Swan & Sugar Loaf) via Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath Pond and Croydon. In October 1952 it was extended to Old Coulsdon (Tudor Rose) on Mondays to Saturdays via Purley, Coulsdon, and Marlpit Lane, replacing route 166A. The service on the 190 to Old Coulsdon became daily in May 1956 when the Sunday service was extended there replacing the 159. The Sunday service on the 190 with withdrawn completely in October 1970, and replaced to Old Coulsdon on this day by route 59. In 1975, owing to a severe vehicle shortage in London, the route was regularly worked by Southend Corporation Leyland PD3s still retaining their provincial blue and cream livery, and the 190 became a much-photographed route as a result. The Sunday service on the 190 was reintroduced in October 1978 replacing the 59 which was withdrawn. In September 1987 school-day-only journeys were extended from Old Coulsdon to Taunton Manor School. However, just eight months later in May 1988 the 190 became a Sunday-only service, and was replaced by route 50. The 190 was finally withdrawn in July 1990, the service to Old Coulsdon provided daily by route 50.

The number 190 has subsequently been used for a route between Fulham and Richmond via Hammersmith.

Route 191 was introduced in 1954 running daily between Chingford Hatch and Lower Edmonton Station via Chingford Mount, Hall Lane and Edmonton, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Lower Edmonton (Goodwin Road) via Bounces Road. In 1958 the Sunday service was withdrawn. In 1966 it was extended from Lower Edmonton to Enfield Town via Nightingale Road and Ponders End. In 1968 it was extended from Chingford Hatch to Chingford Station via Friday Hill, but was cut back again in 1981. In 1982 it was withdrawn between Lower Edmonton Station and Chingford Hatch, but extended from Enfield Town to Carterhatch via Chase Side and Forty Hill replacing route 135. In 1985 it was further extended from Carterhatch to Brimsdown Station via Bell Lane replacing part of route 231, and also introduced on Sundays between Enfield Town and Brimsdown. The Sunday service was again withdrawn in 1987. In 1990 it was rerouted in the Ponders End area to serve Alma Road and Durants Road. In 1994 it was again introduced on Sundays over the whole route.



Route 192 was introduced in 1956 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Woolwich and Woodlands Estate via Plumstead and Plumstead Common. In 1959 it was extended from Woolwich to Lewisham via Eglinton Hill, Shrewsbury Lane, Shooters Hill and Blackheath, replacing route 89A. In 1960 a Sunday afternoon service was introduced between Lewisham and Woolwich, and in 1963 the Sunday service was revised to run all day and extended through to Woodlands Estate. In 1981 the route was withdrawn and replaced by today’s route 291.

For some reason, the numbers are smaller and spaced more widely than ususal on this “E” plate.

Route 193 was introduced with RT buses in 1959 replacing trolleybus route 693, and ran daily between Barking (London Road) and Chadwell Heath (Wangey Road) via Ilford and Seven Kings. It was extended on Sunday afternoons to Hornchurch Garage via Romford and Roneo Corner. Later that year it was extended from Barking to Thames View Estate. In 1963 it was withdrawn between Barking (London Road) and Thames View Estate and replaced by route 179, and was extended daily from Chadwell Heath to Upminster Park Estate via Romford, Hornchurch, Upminster and Avon Road, replacing route 86. In 1966 it was withdrawn on Sundays. In 1970 it was withdrawn between Hornchurch (White Hart) and Upminster Park Estate and replaced by route 248. Full conversion to Routemasters came in 1977, when it was extended from Hornchurch to Hacton Lane Estate. In 1982 it was withdrawn between Romford (St. Edward’s Way) and Barking and converted to one-man-operation by Titans. In 1985 it became one of the first routes to be offered for tender by London Transport and was transferred to Eastern National. In 1986 it was converted to minibus operation and withdrawn between Hornchurch and Hacton Lane, and rerouted to operate instead to County Park Estate via Hornchurch Station, Suttons Lane, Vaughan Avenue, Ascot Gardens, Bevan Way and Hacton Lane. In 1996 it was extended from Romford to Oldchurch Hospital, and rerouted between Romford and Hornchurch via Osborne Road instead of Roneo Corner.


Route 194 leaflet
Leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of route 194 starting 6 January 1973, with print code 1172/3783S/52,000. This leaflet has brief details of the changes and a fare table on the front. Inside are bus stop timetables for the service and on the back are diagrams showing how to use split entrance buses.

Route 194 ran daily between Forest Hill Station and Croydon Airport via Lower Sydenham, Penge, Anerley, Elmers End, West Wickham, Shirley, East Croydon and Denning Avenue. In 1963 the Sunday service was renumbered 194C and diverted via Shirley Way, but the 194C was withdrawn in 1970 and the 194 became daily again. In 1975 the Sunday service was once again diverted via Shirley Way and this time renumbered 194A, and the 194A was withdrawn in 1992, the Sunday 194 being reinstated yet again. In 1996 the 194 was withdrawn between Croydon and Croydon Airport, rerouted instead to West Croydon (Bus Station).

Route 194B was introduced in 1963 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Shrublands Estate and Thornton Heath garage via Wickham Road, Shirley, East Croydon, West Croydon and London Road. It was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours and on Saturdays to Thornton Heath (High Street). In 1970 it was extended to Thornton Heath (High Street) at all times on Mondays to Saturdays. In 1988 it was cut back from Thornton Heath (High Street) to Thornton Heath Garage except during Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday daytimes. In 1990 part of the service was diverted via Shirley Way, and later that year the Monday to Friday midday service was restored to Thornton Heath (High Street). The route was withdrawn in 1992 and mainly replaced by new route 198.



Route 194C was introduced in 1963 and ran on Sundays only between Forest Hill Station and Croydon Airport via Lower Sydenham, Penge, Anerley, Elmers End, Eden Park, West Wickham, Shirley Way, East Croydon, and Denning Avenue. It was withdrawn in 1970 and replaced by the reintroduction of the 194 on Sundays and route 119B.

I believe this is a very difficult “E” plate to obtain, possibly because the route only lasted seven years.

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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.