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London Transport
Central Area Routes 230–239

Last updated 18-08-06.


Route 230 was once a well-known "low-bridge" route running between Northwick Park and Rayners Lane and operated by RLH buses. This route was converted to flat-fare single-deckers (MBSs) in 1969 and re-numbered H1. As that route operated daily, this “E” plate is more likely have to come from when the number 230 was re-used in 1973 for a new service between Stratford and Manor House, operated by Routemasters and running Mondays to Saturdays. I remember when this route was “converted” to good old RTs in the mid-70s during the vehicle shortages. The 230 still runs today, but its termini have wandered to Walthamstow and Wood Green respectively.

During May 1954, route 231 ran between Alexandra Park (Victoria) and Forty Hill (The Goat) via Priory Road, Turnpike Lane, Roundway, Great Cambridge Road, Enfield Town, Chase Side and Lancaster Road. In September 1968, route 231 was withdrawn between Turnpike Lane and Alexandra Park and replaced by new flat-fare route W2. During September 1980, the route was revised to run between Turnpike Lane Station and Brimsdown Station, via Forty Hill, Caterhatch Lane, Hertford Road, Bell Lane and Brimsdown Avenue, with garage journeys extended via Green Street and Hertford Road to Ponders End Bus Garage. In November 1985, route 231 was withdrawn between Carterhatch and Brimsdown and replaced by revised route 191. In June 1987, the Sunday service was extended to Waltham Cross, via Great Cambridge Road and Bullsmoor Lane, replacing route 217 on this day. In July 1998, route 231 was withdrawn between Enfield Town and Carterhatch, and was instead diverted to Enfield Chase Station.

This “E” plate is hand-painted onto sheet aluminum, which explains the slight irregularities in the characters.



Route 232A was introduced in 1973 as part of the 232, diverted to serve the Convent Way Estate. It ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Hounslow (Bus Station) and Yeading (White Hart) via Hounslow West, North Hyde Road, Convent Way, Southall and Greenford, and was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours to Northolt Station. In 1974 it became the main service and route 232 was withdrawn. It was renumbered plain 232 in 1979, and was thus a relatively short-lived route.

This “E” plate is particularly unusual in being the “FARE STAGE” version.

Route 233A was introduced on 4 December 1971—using an SMS initially and DMS latterly—and ran during Saturday shopping hours only between Wallington Station (Belmont Road) and Roundshaw (Neighbourhood Centre) via Manor Road, Woodcote Road and Mollison Drive. It was withdrawn 5 May 1978, replaced by a revised route 233. There have never been many Saturday-only routes in the London Transport network.

For some reason the plate maker felt it necessary to squeeze the letters together—instead of spacing them in a more orderly fashion—giving the impression of condensed lettering for the word “SATURDAY”..



In 1968 route 234A ran from Purley (Old Lodge Lane) to Wallington via Purley and Woodcote Green, with a weekend extension to Hackbridge.

Route 235 was introduced in September 1968 as a localised section for the northern end of route 35. It ran between Chingford Hatch and Woodford Bridge via Highams Park, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead and South Woodford. It was a particularly interesting route throughout its life as from time to time there were a number of special projections beyond the normal terminals, e.g. to Chingford Station, Theydon Bois, Grange Hill Camping Centre and to Buckhurst Hill. The 235 was withdrawn completely during the 1980s, and replaced by new Walthsamstow area “W” routes covering the route in shorter sections.

My guess was that the “SPECIAL JOURNEYS” plates came from Chigwell, as this is the point where journeys went in different directions, and that there may have been different stops. However, Graham Stokes writes, “Given my local knowledge of Chigwell, I never recall there being more than one stop anywhere that the 235 served on its core route up to Grange Farm camping centre from Woodford Bridge, so I would expect the ‘SPECIAL JOURNEYS BUCKHURST HILL’ plates to come from stops in Chigwell Rise and Roding Lane which would have only been served by those special journeys.”

These “E” plates are noteable as the wording on them exist in both a four-line and a three-line version, with condensed lettering for the words “BUCKHURST HILL” when all in one line.


Route 237 ran from Hounslow to Chertsey via Hounslow Heath, Feltham, Sunbury and Shepperton. It was very unusual in being converted from small BL buses to Routemaster operation. It has been worked by Hounslow [AV] and Turnham Green [V] garages.

Back in November 1955, route 239 ran on Monday to Saturday between Romford Station and Gidea Park Plough, via South Street, North Street and Eastern Avenue, being reduced to running on Monday to Friday peaks only from October 1956, being finally withdrawn in August 1958.

The 239 returned in February 1961 as a trolleybus replacement route for the 639 between Finsbury Square and Hampstead Heath (South End Green) via City Road, Angel, King’s Cross, Pancras Road, Crowndale Road, Camden Town, Chalk Farm Road, Ferdinand Street, Malden Road and Fleet Road. In October 1963 it was a Mondays to Fridays route only, being finally withdrawn in January 1970.

The 239 reappeared once more in March 1971 as a Monday to Saturday service between Tufnell Park Hotel and Waterloo via Brecknock Road, York Way, King’s Cross (Monday to Friday evenings and Saturdays), Euston, Russel Square, Holborn, Kingsway and Aldwych. In March 1975, it was diverted at Tufnell Park Station to Archway Station via Dartmouth Park Hill, being withdrawn in September 1982.

Today’s 239 runs between Victoria and Clapham Junction via Victoria Coach Station, Royal Hospital Road, Battersea Bridge, Vicarage Crescent and Grant Road.

239 MON-SATThis “E” plate likely came from the Tufnell Park–Waterloo version of the 239, although it may have also been from the Romford-area route.
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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.