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London Transport
Central Area Routes 260–269

261 262 263 263 263 263 264 265 266 266 267 268 269

Last updated 21-08-06.


Route 260 was introduced on 3 January 1962 running daily between Barnet and Harlsden via Whetstone, North Finchley, Finchley Central, Golders Green, Cricklewood, and Willesden, with a Saturday and Monday to Friday rush hours extention to Hammersmith via North Acton and Acton, as a replacement for trolleybus route 660. In 1970 the northern terminus was switched from Barnet to New Barnet, and at the same time was extended Sundays from Barnet via Medway to New Barnet (Chesterfield Road). In 1971 the 260 was withdrawn on Saturdays and weekday evenings between North Finchley and Golders Green. In 1972 the Monday to Friday rush hours extension was shortened to terminate at Acton Vale (Bromyard Avenue). Weekday evening and Saturday service was curtailed between North Finchley and Golders Green, and on Sunday buses ran from Barnet to Willesden Garage.

This “E” plate must have come from the Harlesden–Acton Vale end of the route, and would have applied between June 1970 and October 1978.

Route 261 was introduced in 1961 running on Mondays to Saturdays between New Barnet Station and Arnos Grove Station via East Barnet and Hampden Square. In 1964 it was extended from New Barnet Station to Barnet (Chesterfield Road) via Meadway and Barnet Church replacing the withdrawn section of route 34. In 1978 the route was converted to one-man operation, and in 1980 the route was withdrawn.

A new route 261 was introduced in 1982 running between Orpington (Goodmead Road) and Lewisham via Farnborough, Bromley Common, Bromley, Grove Park and Lee Green. During Saturday shopping hours buses ran on from Lewisham to Brockley Rise. It was converted to one-man operation in 1983, and in 1985 the Saturday extension to Brockley Rise was withdrawn. In 1986 the route was withdrawn between Bromley Garage and Orpington, and further cut back to Bromley Common in 1987. In 1989 when the route was tendered and won by Metrobus, some journeys were extended beyond Bromley Common to Green Street Green with one Monday to Friday journey starting from Pratts Bottom, although this journey was withdrawn in 2000.


262A new Sunday bus timetable leaflet for the one-persopn-operation conversion of routes 241 and 262 starting 29 October 1972, with print code 972/3194 S/41,000. This is a fold-out leaflet with 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.262

Route 262 was introduced in 1966 to replace part of route 26, and ran daily between Leyton (Baker’s Arms) and Stratford via Whipps Cross, Leytonstone and Maryland, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Victoria & Albert Docks via Plaistow, Prince Regent Lane and Connaught Road. In 1968 it was extended daily from Leyton to Walthamstow Central Station, and further extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Chingford Station via Crooked Billet, Chingford Mount and Oldchurch Road. It was also extended on Sundays from Stratford to Victoria & Albert Docks. In 1973 it was withdrawn between Walthamstow Central Station and Chingford. In 1986 it was rerouted at Prince Regent Lane to run to East Beckton (Asda) instead of Victoria & Albert Docks, and the Sunday service was diverted in the Beckton area and renumbered 262A. In 1988 it was withdrawn between Stratford and Walthamstoiw Central and replaced by new route 257. It was extended during Monday to Saturday shopping hours from East Beckton to Canning Town via Cyprus, Strait Road Connaught Road, Silvertown, Custom House and Keir Hardie Estate. In 1989 it was rerouted between Cyprus and Custom House via Woolwich Manorway and Albert Road instead of Strait Road. In 1991 it was withdrawn between East Beckton and Canning Town. In 1993 it was extended from East Beckton to Beckton (Savacentre) via Cyprus and Claps Gate Lane and also introduced on Sundays. In 1997 it was further extended to Beckton (Showcase Cinema).

Route 263 was introduced in 1971, running daily between Barnet Church and Archway Station via North Finchley and East Finchley, extended Saturdays and Sundays to King’s Cross Station via Holloway and Caledonian Road, with early journeys continuing to Farringdon Street via Grays Inn Road. Routemasters were used from Finchley [FY] and Holloway [HT] garages until conversion to one-man-operation with DMSs after only 18 months and, Metrobuses in turn took over in the early 1980s. In 1983 the 263 was extended from Barnet Church to Potters Bar Garage via Hadley Woods, and further extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Potters Bar Station, but it was withdrawn between Archway and King’s Cross / Farringdon Street. In 1986 the service was rerouted to Barnet General Hospital, with only the daytime service on Mondays to Saturdays and some Sunday journeys running to Potters Bar Garage. In 1991 the Sunday journeys to Potters Bar were withdrawn, with the Monday to Saturday service following in 1994. The 263 is now worked by Metroline with low-floor double-deckers.

263I can only presume this “E” plate was from the Holloway, Caledonian Road or King’s Cross area, as the route changed in 1983 when “E” plates were being phased out. →263 SAT-SUN
263 SAT-SUN SPECIAL JOURNEYSThese two “E” plates would likely have come from the short section of route between King’s Cross and Farringdon Street. Both of these plates contain minor errors: the Sunday element is in red—not black—on the one plate, and the wording on the “FARE STAGE” plate could suggest that service is provided on Saturday and Sunday and by special journeys at other times.263 SPECIAL JOURNEYS SAT-SUN FARE STAGE

Route 264 ran daily as a single-deck route using T-type buses from Hersham Green to Sunbury via Hersham Station, Rydens Road, Ambleside Avenue, Cromwell Road, Bowes Road, Hersham Road, Walton High Street, Walton Bridge, Gaston Bridge Road, Halliford Road, Thames Street and Green Street. In 1951 it was extended from Sunbury to Kingston via Hampton Station and Hampton Court, replacing part of route 216. In 1955 the vehicle type change from T to TD. In 1957 it was diverted at Sunbury via Windmill Road and Staines Road West instead of Green Street. In 1958 the Sunday service was withdrawn, and a year later the TDs were withdrawn in favour of RFs. In 1966 one-person-operation was introduced. Ten years later Bristol BLs replaced the RFs. The route was withdrawn at the end of January 1978.

In 1981 route 264 reappeared as a Monday to Saturday route using DMS double-deckers running between Putney Bridge Station and Roehampton (Danebury Avenue) via Putney High Street, Upper Richmond Road and Dover House Road. In 1982 Sunday service was introduced, and in 1983 the DMSs were replaced by Metrobuses. In 1985 Monday to Saturday journeys were extended from Putney Bridge to South Kensington Station via Fulham Palace Road, Lillie Road, Earls Court and Cromwell Road (replacing the withdrawn section of route 74), with southbound journeys from South Kensington diverted via Putney Bridge Station. In February 1987 the route was withdrawn, replaced by the 74.

Today’s 264 began running in August 1985, replacing part of route 64 on Monday to Saturday between (Longmead Road) and Croydon (Katharine Street) via Mitcham Common and West Croydon, with a Sunday extension to New Addington (Homestead Way) via Croham Road, Farley Road, Addington and Lodge Lane taking the place of the complete 64 Sunday service. In 1988 the route was extended from Croydon to South Croydon (Swan & Sugar Loaf) for Monday to Friday peak hour journeys, and to South Croydon Garage on Monday to Friday between peaks and during Saturday shopping hours. In 1990 the route was extended to run at all times between Tooting Broadway and South Croydon Garage. The withdrawn Sunday service to New Addington was replaced by a reintroduced route 64. At the same time Leyland Olympians replaced the D-type Daimlers used until then. In 2003 the 264 was extended from Tooting Broadway to Tooting (St. George’s Hospital) via Garratt Lane, Fountain Road and Blackshaw Road, returning via Tooting High Street. In 2004 the night service previously numbered N264 was incorporated into the daily schedule.

Route 265 ran from Chessington (Copt Gilders Estate) to Kingston via Surbiton, with a weekday extension to East Acton (Brunel Road) via Richmond, Kew Green and Acton. However, no service was provided between Kingston and Kew Green normal hours Mondays to Fridays and all day Saturdays.


266 266

Route 266 was introduced in 1962 as a trolleybus replacement route running daily between Edgware Station and Hammersmith via Burnt Oak, Colindale, West Hendon, Cricklewood, Craven Park, Harlesden, North Acton, Acton and Acton Vale. In 1970 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Fridays between West Hendon and Edgware except for a peak hour extension to Colindale Station, and withdrawn on Saturdays and Sundays between Cricklewood Garage and Edgware Station. In 1976 it was extended during Monday to Saturday shopping hours from Cricklewood to Brent Cross Shopping Centre. In 1978 some Monday to Friday peak hour journeys were extended from Colindale to Mill Hill Broadway Station via Grahame Park Way and Lan Acre. In 1981 it was withdrawn between Staples Corner and Mill Hill. In 1995 the service to Brent Cross was introduced during Sunday shopping hours, and the service now runs daily at all times between Hammersmith and Brent Cross.

The first “E” plate appears to be quite old, as evidenced not only by the amount of weathering, but also by the less-pronounced hook on the numeral “2” and the more-upright “6”s.

Route 267 was introduced in May 1962 as a trolleybus replacement route running daily between Hammersmith (The Grove) and Hampton Court via Turnham Green, Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Twickenham, Fulwell and Hampton Hill. In 1969 the Sunday terminal in Hammersmith changed from The Grove to outside the Metropolitan Railway station, where this “E” plate is likely to have come from. In 1970 the route was extended at Hampton Court from Vrow Walk to the Station. In 1988 the Sunday terminal changed again from the MET station to Butterwick, but this was after the use of “E” plates had ceased. In 1991 the route was withdrawn between Fulwell Garage and Hampton Court and replaced over this section by new route R68, but continues to run to Hampton Court on summer Sundays.

This is obviously a very rare plate, as it would have appeared on just one or two bus stops: outside the MET station, and possible in Butterwick.



Route 268 was introduced in 1960 as a replacement for trolleybus route 628, running daily between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction via Wandsworth, Putney, Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush, White City and Scrubs Lane, extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Acton (Market Place) via North Acton. In 1965 it was extended during rush hours and lunchtimes on Mondays to Fridays from Willesden to Hanwell Broadway via North Acton, Acton, Ealing Broadway and West Ealing. The lunchtime journeys were withdrawn in 1966, and the entire route was withdrawn at the end of that year.

A new route 268 was introduced in 1968, one-man-operated from the start, running between Golders Green Station and Finchley Road Station via Jack Straws Castle, Hampstead Village, Belsize Avenue and Swiss Cottage. The terminus at Finchley Road has more recently changed to the O2 Centre.

Route 269 was introduced in May 1977 between Woolwich and Sidcup Garage, extended to Bromley in November 1985, and withdrawn Woolwich and Bexleyheath in January 1988. Many livery variations visited route 269: originally red London Buses; then the blue & cream of Bexleybus (which eventually reverted to red) from 1988 to 1991; then primrose & maroon (and later green & yellow) of Kentish Bus in 1991 through 1999, and finally back to red of Stagecoach London.

LS184 [THX184S] / Bexleybus 54Blue & cream Bexleybus Leyland National 54 [THX184S] (but displaying its London Buses’ number LS184) on route 269, loading up in Bexleyheath during the autumn of 1990. Already vinyl stickers had superceded enamel “E” plates here. At the top of its concrete post, the bus stop flag—which thanks to the southern orbital Green Line forging its way east of Croydon—is of the “Bus & Coach” variety.
Photo courtesy dublo19
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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.