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London Transport
Central Area Routes 7–9

Last updated 09-08-06.

Route 7 is a long-established central London route and has run between Acton and Oxford Circus via East Acton, Ladbroke Grove, Paddington and Marble Arch for most of the last 50 years. At the eastern end it has reached Liverpool Street and London Bridge at various times, and through the ’80s ran to Richmond via Kew at the western end. Today, the route runs between East Acton and Russell Square. It was worked by Middle Row Garage [X] with RTL, then later Routemaster buses, which it has only recently lost.

A more detailed history of route 7 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).

These “E” plates are presumably quite old as they carry “WEEKDAY” rather than “MON-SAT” or “MON-FRI” lettering.

7 WEEKDAY 7 WEEKDAY FARE STAGE

8
8 FARE STAGE
8 MON-FRI RUSH HOURS

Route 8 ran daily between Old Ford and Kingsbury via Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Liverpool Street, Bank, Holborn, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Maida Vale, Kilburn, Willesden and Neasden. On Sundays the route was extended to Alperton via Wembley Park. In 1957 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from Kingsbury to Wembley Trading Estate, and on Saturdays extended from Kingsbury to Wembley (Empire Pool). The Sunday service was renumbered 8B. In 1958 route 8 was withdrawn outside peak hours and on Saturdays north of Neasden. In 1964 the 8B was withdrawn between Willesden and Alperton and renumbered 8. In 1970 the 8 was withdrawn between Willesden and Neasden except during Monday to Friday peak hours when journeys ran on to Wembley, and except during Saturday shopping hours, although the Saturday extension was withdrawn in 1981, and the peak journeys to Wembley were withdrawn in 1982, thus making the route Old Ford to Willesden Garage at all times. It was extended from Old Ford to Bow Church in 1984. In 1992 it was rerouted at Oxford Circus to run to Victoria via Green Park and Hyde Park Corner, instead of to Willesden, and it lost its Routemasters in 1995.

A more detailed history of route 8 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).


Route 8A ran Mondays to Fridays, and Saturday and Sunday mornings between Old Ford and London Bridge Station via Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and Liverpool Street Station. The Saturday and Sunday services were withdrawn in 1969. In 1984 it was reduced to peak hours only, and was finally withdrawn in 1989.

8A MON-FRI

9


9 EXCEPT EVENINGS
The fare stage plate is a little more uncommon than those without. →

Route 9 is one of London's oldest and most well-known routes and goes back to the start of motor-buses in around 1910. It was also one of the longest users of Routemasters, for over 40 years from 1963. The 9 ran between Mortlake Garage and Liverpool Street Station (Mondays to Saturdays) or Aldgate (Bus Station) (Sundays) via Barnes, Hammersmith, Kensington, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Strand, Ludgate Circus, St. Paul’s, and Bank. In 1970 the Saturday service was withdrawn between Liverpool Street and Aldwych and in 1971 the Sunday service was diverted to run via Cannon Street and Tower instead of Bank and renumbered 9A. In 1978 the 9 was diverted to run daily between Mortlake and Aldgate via Tower and the Sunday 9A was withdrawn. In 1981 the 9 reverted to Liverpool Street on Mondays to Saturdays and the Sunday service to Aldgate was renumbered 9A once again but just for three months as the Sunday service on the 9 was reintroduced to Liverpool Street yet again. In 1987 the 9 was withdrawn between Aldwych and Liverpool Street except during Monday to Friday peak hours, and in 1990 the Liverpool Street service became all day once again on Mondays to Fridays. In 1992 it was withdrawn between Hammersmith and Mortlake except on Sundays, and the Monday to Friday service was cut back from Liverpool Street to Aldwych. In 1997 the 9 became Hammersmith to Aldwych at all times. The route was Routemaster operated for most of the last 40 years, and was traditionally worked by Mortlake [M] and Dalston [D] garages, both of which have long since closed.

A more detailed history of route 9 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).


These split “E” plates would have come from the common section of routes 9 and 9A between Aldwych and Mansion House Station.
9 MON-FRI-9A SUNDAY
This “E” plate would have been used for the first of the 9As as at that time the 9 ran to Liverpool Street on Mondays to Fridays only for a while.
9 MON-FRI-9A SUNDAY
This plate is especially unusual as the Sunday element is shown in black, since normally this would be in red. It is most likely an error, as most examples do have the 9A portion in red like the split plates to the left and right.
9 MON-SAT-9A SUNDAY

Route 9A was introduced in 1971 as a Sunday variant of the 9 running between Mortlake Garage and Aldgate via Barnes, Hammersmith, Kensington, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Aldwych, St Paul’s, Cannon Street and the Tower of London in order to serve the tourist market. It provided the first direct bus route from the West End to The Tower. It was withdrawn in 1978 when route 9 was rerouted to serve the Tower, but the number 9A was re-introduced for three months from January to April 1981 when the main (route 9) service was changed to terminate at Liverpool Street on Monday to Saturday, again for a service to the Tower as an interim arrangement until the 9 once again took over. Route 9A was always operated by Routemasters from Mortlake [M] and Dalston [D] Garages.

These plates could have been used for either of the 9As but, if they’re from the short-lived 1981 route, they will be amongst the last traditional “E” plates to be produced as, by this time, “E” plates were being discontinued in favour of vinyl stickers.

9A SUNDAY 9A SUNDAY FARE STAGE
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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.