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London Transport
Central Area Routes 25–29

Last updated 03-07-06.

Route 25 is a very long-established central London route and in 1950 was running between Victoria Station and Becontree Heath via Hyde Park Corner, Berkeley Square, Oxford Circus, Holborn, St. Paul’s, Bank, Aldgate, Whitechapel, Mile End, Bow, Stratford, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Green Lanes, Goodmayes and Becontree. During Monday to Friday rush hours it was extended to Hornchurch Station via Rush Green. The Hornchurch extension was withdrawn in 1958, but an additional shuttle service was introduced between Dagenham East Station and Dagenham (Fords) via Ballards Road during Monday to Friday peak hours, replacing route 193. This shuttle service was totally separate from the main 25 service except for the garage runs. There were no further changes to the 25 until 1969 when the weekend service was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Victoria, although this was reinstated in 1978. The shuttle service to Dagenham was reduced to just a few morning rush hour projections during 1977. In 1982 the 25 was withdrawn completely east of Ilford, being replaced by new route 225. In 1987 the Sunday service was extended from Ilford to Becontree Heath via Goodmayes and Becontree again, and became daily in 1988. At the same time route 25 was converted to one-man-operation, and rerouted on Saturdays and Sundays between Aldgate and Bank via Tower of London. In 1992 the 25 was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Victoria and replaced by route 8 over this section, and later that year a few morning peak hour journeys were again extended from Becontree Heath to Dagenham (Fords). In 1993 the weekend diversion via Tower was rerouted via New Change and Cannon Street instead of Bank. The route now runs daily between Oxford Circus and Ilford Broadway via Bank at all times and is operated by articulated buses.

A more detailed history of route 25 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).

25← The heavy weathering and larger numbers suggest that this is an older “E” plate.
This “PEAK HOURS” plate would have probably come from the short section of route between Dagenham East Station and Dagenham (Fords), and there would have been few bus stops over that section which displayed “E” plates. →
I think this wordy plate probably came from the section of route between Oxford Circus and Victoria. →25 MON-FRI EVENINGS SATURDAY & SUNDAY


Route 26 was introduced in 1970 between Victoria and New Barnet Station via Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Baker Street, Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, Golders Green, Finchley Central, North Finchley and Whetstone. The route was withdrawn between Golders Green and Victoria in 1978, and extended on from New Barnet on Sundays to Barnet, Chesterfield Road. In 1980 it was converted to one-man operation and extended from Golders Green to Brent Cross Shopping Centre on Mondays to Saturdays. The route was withdrawn completely in 1991, and mainly replaced by routes 84A and 326. An earlier version of the 26 ran from Aldgate through Stratford to Leyton.

Route 27 ran on Sundays only from from Archway Station to Hounslow via Tufnell Park, Kentish Town, Camden Town, Warren Street, Baker Street Station, Marylebone, Paddington, Notting Hill Gate, Kensington, Hammersmith, Turnham Green, Kew Bridge, Richmond, Twickenham and Whitton. In 1952 the route was diverted at Twickenham to run to Teddington, and introduced on Mondays to Saturdays. From 1953 until 1965 the Summer Sunday service was extended to Hampton Court via Bushy Park. In 1970 the Monday to Friday service was withdrawn between Richmond (Bus Station) and Teddington and replaced by new route 270, and in 1982 the Saturday and Sunday services were similarly cut back. In 1991 the route was shortened at both ends to run only between Camden Town and Turnham Green, and replaced to Archway by the 135, and to Richmond by the 391. In 1995 it was extended from Camden Town to Chalk Farm (Safeway’s). It has been worked by Holloway [J], Shepherds Bush [S] and Turnham Green [V] garages amongst others, and has seen RT and Routemaster buses.

27 27
The second plate was once for route 27A and the “A” suffix was officially ground off when the suffix was dropped (visible in the picture). Nevertheless, it is especially interesting as the “2” is of the more curved Gill Sans variety rather than London Transport’s Johnston typeface.


In 1949 route 27A ran daily between Highgate (Archway Station) and Teddington Station via Tufnell Park, Kentish Town, Camden Town, Hampstead Road, Warren Street Station, Marylebone Road, Paddington, Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill Gate, Kensington, Olympia, Hammersmith, Chiswick High Road, Turnham Green, Kew Bridge, Richmond, Twickenham, Cross Deep and Waldegrave Road. In 1952 it became Sunday only and was rerouted at Twickenham to run to Hounslow Garage via Whitton. It was withdrawn in 1958.

The next route 27A was introduced in 1965, running on Mondays to Fridays between East Acton (Brunel Road) and Teddington Station via East Acton Lane, Acton High Street, Gunnersbury Lane, Kew Bridge, Richmond, Twickenham and Waldegrave Road. In 1966 it was introduced on Saturdays between East Acton (Du Cane Road) and Teddington. In 1969 it was withdrawn between Richmond (Dee Road) and East Acton and revised to run on Mondays to Fridays only. The route was finally withdrawn in 1970.

This plate came from the second of the two routes as this was the only one to run on Mondays to Saturdays, and even then only between 1966 and 1969. Being a FARE STAGE version it is obviously rather rare, and this is not an easy route to find “E” plates for.

Route 28 ran from Wandsworth Plain to Golders Green Station via Wandsworth Bridge, Fulham Broadway, North End Road, West Kensington, Olympia, Kensington High Street, Notting Hill Gate, Westbourne Park Stn, Kilburn High Road, Quex Road, West Hampstead and Childs Hill, with a limited-stop Monday to Friday peak hours extension from Wandsworth Plain to Kingston Vale (KLG Works) via West Hill, but these journeys were withdrawn in 1958. In 1963 a Sunday afternoon projection from Wandsworth Plain to Putney Heath (Green Man) was introduced via West Hill and Tibbetts Corner, replacing the withdrawn route 168. In 1981 the Sunday afternoon extension was withdrawn. The next year the 28 was extended in Wandsworth to the Arndale Centre, now turning at Wandsworth (Mapleton Road). In 1989 it was converted to midibus operation and marketed as “Gold Arrow”. In 1999 the route was withdrawn between Harrow Road (Prince of Wales) and Golders Green, replaced by new route 328. In 2004 low floor double deckers replaced midibuses. In 2006 route 28 was extended from Prince of Wales to Kensal Rise Station via Harrow Road, Kilburn Lane and Chamberlayne Road, which restored a link lost when route 46 was withdrawn in 1969.

This “E” plate dates from the period 1963 to 1981 and comes from the Sunday afternoon-only section between Wandsworth Plain and Putney Heath .It is hand-painted or stencilled onto a piece of aluminum sheet, instead of the usual enamelled steel.


Route 29 timetable
Route 29 timetable.
This “E” plate probably dates from the period 1970 to 1977 and comes from the section of route 29 between Wood Green and Southgate (now covered by route 121).
In 1949 route 29 ran from Victoria Station to South Mimms (Blanch Lane) via Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross Road, Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town, Holloway, Finsbury Park, Manor House, Green Lanes, Turnpike Lane Station, Wood Green, Palmers Green, Southgate, Cockfosters, Hadley Woods, Potters Bar and Mutton Lane, with a Monday to Friday peak hours extension to Borehamwood (Chester Road) via Barnet Way and Elstree Road. On Monday to Saturday it ran in two sections: Victoria—Hadley Woods and Turnpike Lane—South Mimms or Borehamwod. In 1951 the Borehamwood terminal was changed to the Elstree Way Hotel. In 1953 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday journeys were introduced to Clare Hall Hospital. Monday to Friday service was withdrawn between Potters Bar and South Mimms in October 1956, except for occasional journeys to Clare Hall Hospital, but was restored three months later. In 1968 Monday to Saturday service north of Southgate Station was replaced by new route 298, except for Monday to Friday peak hour journeys which now terminate at Cockfosters Station. In 1970 Sunday service was withdrawn between Southgate and South Mimms, replaced by new route 299. At the same time Monday to Saturday pm late journeys were terminated at Palmers Green (Triangle). In 1977 the 29 was diverted beyond Palmers Green to Enfield Town (Palace Gardens) via Winchmore Hill. In 1990 Monday to Saturday early morning journey to Enfield Garage were introduced following route 107. In 1991 it was withdrawn between Trafalgar Square and Victoria, and the next year it was withdrawn between Palmers Green and Enfield, replaced by new route 329. In 2006 service was withdrawn between Wood Green and Palmers Green and replaced by a revised route 141.

A more detailed history of route 29 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).

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