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London Transport
Central Area Routes 250–259

252 254 256 257 259 259 259

Last updated 14-02-06.

Route 252 was running in 1949 between Romford Station and Romford (Birch Road) via Mawney Road. It was extended to Collier Row (Lowshoe Lane) in 1958. Later that year it was extended from Romford Station to South Hornchurch via Elm Park Avenue and Coronation Drive. In 1960 school journeys were extended in Collier Row to Stapleford Gardens, and in 1970 they ran to Turpin Avenue, where the whole service was extended in 1971, although this was cut back again outside peaks and on Saturdays to Lowshoe Lane. In 1974 the route was extended to Havering Park on Sundays, but again cut back in 1982. In 1984 it was extended from South Hornchurch to Hornchurch (White Hart) via Airfield Estate, and further extended in 1986 to Gidea Park Station. In 1990 school journeys were extended from Collier Row to Chase Cross. In 1991 it was withdrawn between Hornchurch and Gidea Park again, and in 1996 it was withdrawn between Collier Row and Chase Cross. This “E” plate will have no doubt come from one of the school extension section, and thus will be relatively rare, as are most “SPECIAL JOURNEYS” plates.



Route 254 ran from Loughton Station via Oakwood Hill, Debden, Rectory Lane, Loughton, back to Loughton Station and then on via Valley Hill to Buckhurst Hill Station. On Mondays to Saturdays it continued on via Roding Valley and Woodford Station to South Woodford Station. For much of its life it was operated by RF vehicles as it ran under a low bridge. It has long since been withdrawn.

A more recent 254 ran in the Beddington area, but this was a long time after the use of “E” plates ceased. Today’s route 254 runs between Aldgate and Holloway via Bethnal Green, Hackney, Stamford Hill and Manor House.

Route 255 was introduced in 1960 as a replacement for trolleybus route 655 and ran daily between Hanwell Broadway and Hammersmith via Boston Manor, Brentford and Turnham Green, extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Clapham Junction via Putney and Wandsworth. It was also extended on Mondays to Fridays from Hanwell Broadway to Acton (Bromyard Avenue) via Ealing Broadway. In 1965 it was withdrawn between Turnham Green and Acton Vale except for a Monday to Friday rush hour service to Hanwell Broadway, and replaced by route 83 over this section. It was extended from Hammersmith to Clapham Junction at all times on Mondays to Fridays, and the route was withdrawn completely on Saturdays and Sundays. In 1966 it was reintroduced on Saturdays and Sundays running only between Hammersmith and Clapham Junction. In 1968 the rush hour service was withdrawn between Gunnersbury Roundabout and Hanwell Broadway. In 1969 the Sunday service was withdrawn. The route was withdrawn completely in 1972. Since that time there have been a number of routes using the number 255, one in the Loughton area, one between Chingford and Hackney, and currently between Stockwell and Pollards Hill.

This plate was used during the period that the Gunnersbury Roundabout extension ran only during the peak direction traffic flow, and would have been from the westbound direction. It is astonishingly rare to find this type of operation on a London bus route.
This “E” plate would have come from the section between Hammersmith and Clapham Junction in the 1969 to 1972 period.


Route 256 ran from Chingford Mount via Crooked Billet, Markhouse Road, Lea Bridge Road, Millfields, Hackney, Cambridge Heath, Shoreditch, Old Street to Moorgate. In 1969 the route was cut back from Moorgate to Hackney (Well Street) and in 1978 the route was withdrawn completely.

257 poster

Route 257 was introduced on 3 February 1960 between Chingford (Royal Forest Hotel) and London Bridge Station via Chingford Hatch, Chingford Mount, Walthamstow, Leyton, Clapton, Hackney, Cambridge Heath, Shoreditch and Liverpool Street as a replacement for trolleybus route 557. It was withdrawn on Saturdays in 1964 and replaced on this day by routes 6B and 256A, but the Saturday service was reinstated in 1966. The 257 was withdrawn completely in September 1968.

These posters were displayed along the trolleybus routes that were being replaced by Routemaster buses, usually on the poles that supported the overhead wiring. As such, they were subjected to the weather. This example is not bad considering it was displayed during January 1960.


Route 258 ran Mondays to Saturdays between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Watford Junction in Hertfordshire via Harrow Weald and Bushey. Originally SMS class Merlins were used, then later LS class Nationals.

Route 259 was introduced in 1961 between Holborn Circus and Edmonton via Kings Cross, Holloway, Finsbury Park, Manor House and Tottenham, replacing trolleybus route 659. On Saturdays and Sundays the 259 was extended to Waltham Cross. From 1966 the Waltham Cross extension was reduced to Saturdays only. The northern terminus changed from time to time, and the route has now settled between Kings Cross and Edmonton. Routemasters no longer ran on the 259 after 1973.

The second “E” plate is hand-painted onto sheet aluminum, hence the slight irregularities, especially in the numeral “5”.
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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.