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London Transport
Central Area Routes 200–209

Last updated 28-08-06.

Route 200 was running between Wimbledon Station and Copse Hill via The Ridgeway and Raynes Park in 1950, and in 1953 was converted to RF operation. In 1962 it was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Copse Hill, and RT buses were introduced in 1965. Later that year it was extended on Sunday afternoons from Raynes Park to Kingston via Coombe Lane and Norbiton. In 1966 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Wimbledon to Mitcham via Phipps Bridge. In 1971 it was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Kingston and converted to one-man operation. In 1981 it was extended on Sundays from Mitcham to Wallington via Hackbridge and the following year it was withdrawn on Sundays between Merton Garage and Wallington. In 1984 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Mitcham to Streatham Garage and the Sunday morning service was withdrawn. In 1984 it was diverted to run to Brixton Garage via Streatham Hill instead of Streatham Garage. In 1986 it became a tendered service operated by Cityrama using blue DMSs and the Brixton terminus was changed to New Park Road. In 1990 the Sunday service was extended from Wimbledon to Streatham. In 1995 the 200 was withdrawn between Mitcham and Streatham and replaced by new route 201 over this section. Since tendering, the route has been operated by Cityrama, London United, London General, Mitcham Belle and Central London.

Q 154
Q 154 [CLE 177] stands in South Park Road, Wimbledon, some time in the late 1940s.
P.F. Winding photo; LSB
RF 321
South Park Road again: RF 321 [MLL 958] in 1965, two weeks before being replaced by RT buses.
Ken Glazier photo; RF


Route 201 ran daily from Kingston (Bus Station) to Feltham Station via Surbiton, Winters Bridge, Thames Ditton, Hampton Court, Bushy Park, Teddington and Hanworth. In 1951 it was withdrawn between Hampton Court Station and Feltham and replaced by route 152. In 1959 RF vehicles replaced the T and TD buses. In 1978 it was diverted direct along Portsmouth Road instead of serving Surbiton Station, and the Sunday service was withdrawn. The route was completely withdrawn in 1980 when Surrey County Council searched for cheaper ways of providing replacement services.

This “E” plate is in poor condition because the top left corner has been bent back with the loss of enamel in the corner. It was definitely produced for the Hampton Court to Kingston route, as the back shows it is much older. It’s a great shame because 201 is not an easy route number to get, as the original route was rather short with relatively few plates.

A new route 201 was introduced between Epping Station and Ongar via North Weald which provided a part-replacement for the Central Line when it was reduced to peak hours only, and later withdrawn completely over this section. Eventually this 201 was withdrawn and the number is currently used for a route between Morden Station and Herne Hill Station via Mitcham, Streatham, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill and West Dulwich.

This “E” plate was probably produced for the Epping–Ongar route, but it could have equally applied to the earlier route.



Route 202 was introduced on Mondays through Fridays on 26 September 1970 between Richmond (Dee Road) and Hounslow (Bus Station) via Richmond, Twickenham, Staines Road, Hospital Bridge Road, Whitton, Hall Road and Bridge Road as a replacement for a withdrawn section of route 203. In 1971 it was converted to single-deck operation using RFs, and in 1972 Saturday service was introduced. In 1977 Bristol type buses replaces the RFs, and in 1980 the 202 was extended to Hounslow (Civic Centre) via High Street and Lampton Road. In 1982 the route was converted back to double deck operation using Metorbuses. Later the same year it was diverted at Hounslow (The Bell) to Heathrow Central (Bus Station) via West Road, Great South West Road, Hatton Cross Station, Stanwell Road, Beacon Road, Heathrow Cargo Terminal and Heathrow Cargo Tunnel, replacing withdrawn route 82, and Sunday service was introduced between Hounslow (Bus Station) and Heathrow. In 1984 Leyland Nationals were added to the allocation, and it was diverted via the new Terminal 4. In 1987 Sunday service was withdrawn, replaced by a revised 223. In 1989 the 202 was withdrawn between Terminal 4 and Heathrow Central, and Sunday service was re-introduced between Terminal 4 and Hounslow. In 1990 it was withdrawn completely, replaced by new routes H22 and H23.

Route 203 was introduced in 1951, running between Hanworth (Duke of York) and Hounslow Central Station via Powder Mill Lane, Hall Road and Bridge Road. Later that year is was revised to run from Twickenham Station to Hounslow Central Station, diverting on Mondays to Saturdays via Hounslow West and Great South West Road to Hatton Cross. In 1952 the Sunday service was cut back from Hounslow Central to Hounslow Garage. Later in 1952 some Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday p.m. journeys were extended from Hatton Cross to Bedfont Green. The Sunday service was withdrawn in 1954. The Monday to Friday peak service was extended from Bedfont Green to Staines (Bridge Street) in 1955. In 1956 the route was diverted to run via Stanwell Road, Stanwell and Town Lane replacing route 162. A Sunday service was introduced between Stanwell (War Memorial) and Staines. In 1969 the Sunday service was withdrawn, with the route running between Twickenham and Staines at all times on Mondays to Saturdays and the following year it was withdrawn between Hounslow and Twickenham on Mondays to Fridays, and between Richmond and Twickenham on Saturdays, being replaced to Twickenham by new route 202. In 1972 it was converted to one-man operation and revised to run between Hounslow and Staines during Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday shopping hours. In 1976 it absorbed the 203A route with the peak hour service being diverted to Ashford Station instead of Staines. These journeys were withdrawn in 1978, and at the same time it was extended from Hounslow to Brentford (County Court) via Isleworth. In 1991 it was again cut back from Brentford to Hounslow (Bus Station). A Sunday service was reintroduced in 1996.

The two Saturday “E” plates will no doubt have come from the short-lived Saturday extension between Hounslow and Richmond from 1970 until 1972.

Route 203-203A leaflet
These two “E” plates will probably have come from the time after one-man conversion when the service ran on Mondays to Saturdays, except during peak hours and Saturday shopping hours, and thus would have been too cumbersome to describe on an “E” plate, hence the use of “SEE BELOW”, referring people to the publicity.Timetable leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of routes 203 and 203A starting 11 March 1972 with print code 172/13763S/28,000. This fold-out 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 203A was introduced in November 1959, running on Mondays to Fridays between Twickenham Station and Ashford Station via Whitton, Hounslow, Hounslow West, Great South West Road, Hatton Cross, Bedfont, Stanwell and Clare Road. In 1972 it was converted to one-man-operation and revised to run between Hounslow and Ashford on Mondays to Fridays, except during peak hours and early morning and evening on Saturdays. In 1976 it was withdrawn and replaced by a diversion of part of route 203 to Ashford Station.

Route 204 was introduced in 1951 and ran daily between Uxbridge Station and Hayes Station via Hillingdon Road, Kingston Lane, Colham Green Lane and Botwell Lane. In 1955 it was extended during Monday to Friday rush hours and on Sundays from Uxbridge to Ruislip Station via Ickenham. In 1961 the journeys to Ruislip were reduced to just a few morning journeys. In 1963 it was withdrawn between Uxbridge and Ruislip but extended instead on Mondays to Fridays from Uxbridge to West Drayton Station via Cowley and Yiewsley, and further extended during rush hours to London Airport Central via Sipson Road. The Saturday service was renumbered 204A. In 1966 the 204A was withdrawn and the 204 re-introduced on this day. In 1970 it was extended on Sundays from Hayes Station to Hayes (Bourne Avenue). In 1971 it was converted to one-man-operation and withdrawn between Uxbridge and Heathrow Airport. In 1979 it was extended from Hayes Station to Bourne Avenue on Mondays to Saturdays. In 1989 the 204 was renumbered U4. Today’s 204 runs between Edgware and Sudbury Town via Burnt Oak, Grahame Park, Colindale, Kingsbury and Wembley.

This “E” plate would have come from the section of route between West Drayton Station and London Airport during the years 1963 to 1970.



Route 205 ran daily between Chingford, Royal Forest Hotel and Hammond Street via Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt and Flamstead End. It was numbered in the 2×× series because this rural route was single-deck. It received RT double-deckers in 1953. It was withdrawn between Flamstead End and Hammond Street on Sundays in 1961, and the Monday to Saturday service was withdrawn completely in 1963, being replaced on these days by the 279. In September 1968 it was withdrawn in Chingford between the station and Royal Forest Hotel, and in November of the same year was diverted at Waltham Abbey to run to Upshire, being replaced to Chingford by the 242. The route was finally withdrawn in 1976, having run on Sundays only for the last 13 years of its life, always using RTs.

Route 208 was introduced in 1971 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Hanwell Broadway and Hayes Station via Southall, Uxbridge Road, Coldharbour Lane and Hayes Town. In 1972 it was extended from Hayes Station to Hayes (Bourne Avenue). The route was withdrawn in 1979 and replaced by an extension of route 204. A previousl route 208 ran between Clapton Pond and Bow, but this route was daily. The current route 208 was introduced in 1982, and ran between Surrey Docks and Orpington via Lewisham, Catford, Downham, Bromley, Bromley Common, Southborough and Petts Wood, but this route was introduced after the use of “E” plates had ceased.

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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.