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London Transport
Country Area Routes 805–854

Town Services

Last updated 01-08-06.

805-809 809+

Route 805 ran from Potter Street to Little Parndon via Brays Grove or Bush Fair and Tye Green, Harlow Bus Station, and Harlow Town Station. I am not sure where the Pinnacles journeys ran to, but it may have been in the Eppping area.

805 pinnacles special journeys


Route 805B was one of the Harlow Town Services, and was a school service providing a number of individual journeys. My 1965 timetables shows the morning ones running from Foldcroft to Burnt Mill County Secondary School, from the Bus Station to Latton Bush (Tysea Road) and from Rivermill (Hodings Road) to Passmores School, with return journeys in the afternoon. It is very unusual to have “E” plates with the words “SCHOOL CHILDREN” and I do not know of any other routes where this happened, even for the many other school services in the Country area. Curiously, several examples are known to exist.

The first “E” plate is undoubtedly a very old one, possibly dating back to the very first introduction of the town services in Harlow New Town. Despite the rather poor condition, it shows a most unusual route.

Route 806 ran between Harlow Mill Station and Little Parndon via Templefields, Harlow Town Centre and Harlow Town Station.



Route 807 ran between Letchworth and Stevenage (Bus Station) via Letchworth Gate, Weston and Friends. Another source says that the 807 ran between Epping Station and Little Parndon via Potter Street, Brays Grove and Harlow Bus Station, but this may have been at a later date.

Route 807 map

Route 808 map

In 1965 route 808 provided a limited-stop return journey between Longmeadow (Shephall Way) and Hitchin Hospitals via Longmeadow, Marymead, Bedwell, Stevenage and Little Wymondley on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. On Sundays it ran beyond Longmeadow to Chells.

I am not sure if this “E” plate was for this route, or whether it was for the much later route in the Harlow area.


There may not have been many “E” plates for the 809, so to have one destinated as such is astonishingly rare& (although I am not sure how St. Nicholas fitted into the routeing)—there might only be one other from the other side of the stop flag! It appears that the numbers on the plate had been added by an early form of adhesive lettering rather than the normal enamelling, although I have not tried to remove them for fear of damage. This may have been due to the nature of the route being experimental when first introduced, and it certainly became experimental when it was turned into Superbus. →
Route 809 map← Route 809 in 1965 and 1968.

SM 498 [DPD 498J] operating the original Superbus service and RT 4038 [LUC 197] waiting to perform an 809 journey are seen in this September 1971 view at Stevenage Bus Station. →
R.C. Riley photo; LCBIC
SM498 + RT4038

In 1965 route 809 ran between Hitchin and Pestcotts via Little Wymondley, Stevenage Bus Station and Bedwell. By 1968 it had been withdrawn beyond Stevenage (BR) Station, but had been extended from Pestcotts to Chells. In the ’70s Stevenage Station was moved to nearer the bus station, which became the new terminus for the 809. Soon after, the RTs on the route were replaced by one-man-operated SM single-deckers painted in a bright yellow and blue livery as part of the Superbus experiment where the fares were reduced and the frequency was increased substantially. Needless to say, the experiment was a success and more routes developed on the same principle.

Route 810 ran in Harlow between Old Harlow and Staple Tye via the bus station, Passmores and Stewards.



Route 810A ran during peak hours between Harlow Mill Station and Pinnacles via Templefields and the Harlow bus station.

Route 810B ran during peak hours between Staple Tye and Pinnacles via Stewards.



Route 811 was introduced in 1957, taking over the Tuesday and Saturday journeys on the 801A from Longmeadow to Hitchin, and ran non-stop from the White Lion to Hitchin.

This “E” plate is is particularly interesting as not only does it sport a rather unusual route number in the Country Area “town” series, it is also an example of an blue express plate with just a single day shown. All in all a remarkable survivor

A later route 811 was in the Harlow area and served the Templefields Industrial Area to the north of the town.



Routes 813 and 814 were a short-lived town centre service in Stevenage. These short routes were introduced in 1973 and were renumbered into the Superbus network as route SB3 in 1976. The 813 and 814 were unusual in that the routes had a circular section and that was why they were given two route numbers: 813 for the clockwise service and 814 for anticlockwise. I believe that for much of the day the two routes were worked by one bus which changed route number for alternate journeys.

These “E” plates would have come from a stop on the eastbound non-circular part of the route. Many factors make these rare and desirable plates: short duration, short length, single direction only, two route numbers for one service, and use of the word “VIA”.

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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.