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London Transport
Central Area Routes 240–245

Last updated 28-08-06.

Route 240A originally ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Edgware Station and Page Street (Bunns Lane) via Hale Lane and Mill Hill Broadway. In 1951 it was introduced on Sundays and extended from Page Street to Mill Hill East Station via Bittacy Rise. In 1962 it was converted to RF operation, thus ending the last TDs in London service. In 1966 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays and replaced by an extended route 221, and the Sunday service was extended from Mill Hill East to Golders Green via Hendon. The route was withdrawn in 1979.

The marks left from paint once used to cross out the route number when stickers were placed on the reverse are visible, a practice frequently followed as the use of “E” plates declined and stickers were increasingly used.



Route 241 originally ran daily from Sidcup Garage to Welling Station via Foots Cray, Sidcup Station, Blackfen and Hook Lane. In 1958 it was converted to double-deck-operation and withdrawn on Saturdays and Sundays, being replaced by route 51 on these days. In 1963 it was extended from Welling to Woolwich (Parsons Hill) via Wickham Street, Edison Road and Plumstead Common, and further extended during rush hours to Woolwich Road (Victoria Way). In 1964 the 241 was renumbered 51B.

A new route 241 was introduced in 1968 running daily between Victoria & Albert Docks and Stratford via Freemasons Road, Balaam Street and Plaistow, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Manor House Station via Leytonstone Road, Crownfield Road, Leyton Station, Markhouse Road, Forest Road, Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters, replacing part of route 41. In 1973 the 241 was withdrawn between Stratford and Manor House. In 1976 it was diverted at Victoria Dock Road to run to Keir Hardie Estate instead of Victoria & Albert Docks. In 1981 it was extended during Monday to Saturday shopping hours from Keir Hardie Estate to Canning Town (Hermit Road). In 1987 it was withdrawn on Sundays and replaced by route 147. In 1988 it was withdrawn between Keir Hardie estate and Canning Town, and replaced by route 262 over this section. In 1991 it was re-extended from Keir Hardie Estate to Canning Town.

These “E” plates could have come from the original Sidcup route or the Mondays to Saturdays section between Manor House and Stratford. In any event the scond one is more unusual as it shows “FARE STAGE” as well, and that would have only applied to relatively few stops.

Route 242A ran between Upshire and Potters Bar via Waltham Abbey, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt and Goffs Oak. It ran during the ’60s and covered part of the 217 and 242 routes which at that time did not run on Sundays. It was a fairly short-lived route and “E” plates for it are quite uncommon.

This is a nice example of a route that disappeared over 30 years ago and is no doubt much forgotten. Red Sunday-only plates with suffix letters are especially interesting.



Route 243 is one of London's oldest routes and has used a 43-series number since 1914. The route was originally a horse-tram operation in the 1870s and was first numbered in 1914 by the London County Council Tramways as their 43 running from Stamford Hill to Holborn. In 1939, trolleybuses took over and the route was renumbered 543 / 643, running from Wood Green Underground station to Holborn Circus via Bruce Grove, Tottenham, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Dalston, Kingsland Road, Old Street and Clerkenwell Road, looping via Gray’s Inn Road and Farringdon Road (543) or Farringdon and Gray’s Inn roads (643). The route was re-numbered 243 in 1961 when Routemasters replaced the trolleybuses and there were no changes to the terminals until 2000 when the southern end was extended to Waterloo Station to replace Red Arrow route 505. Until that time the route had only operated on Mondays to Saturdays, however it is now an every-day operation. Until the recent introduction of low-floor buses, the 243 had only operated Routemasters and Metrobuses since 1961!

These plates are the less-common “FARE STAGE” type. The marks on the letter “F” of the second plate are not damage but occurred during the manufacturing process.

Route 243A ran to London Docks via Aldgate, but subsequently reverted to Liverpool Street. The main reason for the differing route on Sundays was to serve the Sunday markets in the Shoreditch area, and the arrangement survived right until 2000, the 243A being withdrawn after operation on 13 August after just over 60 years. This route was notable as being the very last of a long line of “Sunday suffixed” bus routes in London, i.e. routes where the Sunday service differed slightly from the Monday to Saturdays and was numbered with a suffix letter. This tradition thus narrowly failed to survive into the 21st century, although a similar but undistinguished arrangement lasted on the 43 until 2005.


245 MON.-SAT.245 MON-SATRoute 245 & 245A leafletTimetable leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of routes 245 and 245A starting 20 January 1973 with print code 1172/37935/30,000. This fold-out leaflet lists 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.
These two “E” plates probably date from the short period when the route was running on Mondays to Saturdays only between Golders Green and Sudbury Town via Cricklewood. This happened for 212 years from 1970.

Route 245 was introduced in 1962 as a replacement for trolleybus route 645 and ran daily between North Finchley and Stanmore Station via Finchley Central, Golders Green, Childs Hill, Cricklewood, West Hendon, Colindale, Edgware and Canons Park. In 1964 it was withdrawn on Saturdays and Sundays and replaced partly by new route 245A. In 1968 the 245 was withdrawn between West Hendon and Stanmore apart from a rush hour extension to Colindale Station. In 1970 it was converted to one-man-operation, introduced on Saturdays and rerouted at Cricklewood to Sudbury Town Station via Tanfield Avenue, Neasden and North Wembley. It was also withdrawn between Golders Green Station and North Finchley. In 1978 it was introduced on Sundays replacing the 245A. In 1992 it was extended during Monday to Saturday shopping hours from Sudbury to Alperton (Sainsbury’s) and in 1996 the Sunday service was similarly extended. In 1998 it was extended to Alperton at all times.

Route 245A was introduced in June 1970, running between Golders Green Station and Sudbury Town Station via The Vale, Pennine Drive, Cricklewood, Neasden and North Wembley. It was operated by SM, SMS and latterly DMS vehicles before being withdrawn in October 1978 when the 245 was introduced daily.

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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.