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London Transport
Lettered Routes P–W


Last updated 12-07-06.


Route P1 was introduced in 1968 as a one-man-operated flat-fare single-deck route, using MBSs replacing part of route 202. On Mondays to Saturdays it ran a circular service from New Cross (Clifton Rise) via Trundleys Road, Surrey Docks, South Bermondsey, Galleywall Road, St. James’s Road, South Bermondsey, Surrey Docks and Trundleys Road back to New Cross. On Sundays it ran from New Cross to Old Kent Road (Canal Bridge) via Trundleys Road, Surrey Docks and South Bermondsey.

This plate would have come from just one or two stops which were only served on Sundays. It is especially interesting as the “P” is smaller than the number.

Route P3 was introduced in 1970 as a one-man-operated flat-fare double-deck route using XAs, replacing the 173 which ran as a circular route in both directions from Peckham Garage via Peckham Rye and Nunhead and back to Peckham. In subsequent years it was extended to London Bridge Station and has now disappeared, beeing replaced partly by today’s route 343.



Route P5 was introduced in the 1970s. It now runs daily between Elephant & Castle and Nine Elms (Patmore Estate) via Walworth, Brandon Estate, Myatts Fields, Loughborough Park Estate, Brixton, Bedford Road, Clapham North and Stockwell.

It is very rare to find “E” plates for the P-prefix routes as they tended to be short routes with relatively few bus stops that carried “E” plates. Therefore, this one is astonishingly rare.


Route S1 was introduced in 1969 running daily as a circular service from Stratford via Upton Park and East Ham back to Stratford. It was a flat-fare route and replaced route 272, which was itself a trolleybus replacement route replacing routes 689 and 690. The S1 has long since been withdrawn and replaced by changes to other services.


The S2 was a short route and largely served unique roads, so the use of “E” plates would have been limited to the few stops that it shared with other services. It is a rather uncommon plate nowadays.
The lettering on this “E” plate is in a bolder face than normal.
Route S2 booklet
Flat-fare buses ventured into Clapton and Bow beginning 18 April 1970 on new route S2.

Route S2 was introduced as a lettered flat-fare route in 1970 to replace route 208 which had been worked by crewed RFs. It ran daily between Clapton Pond and Bow (Seven Stars) via Urswick Road, Homerton, Hackney Wick, Victoria Park and Old Ford. In later years the S2 was extended to Bromley-by-Bow Station, and more recently has been further extended to Stratford bus station. It has also been extended at the other end to Clapton (Nightingale Road).

Route S3 was introduced in 1971, running on Mondays to Saturdays from Stratford (Maryland Station) to Hackney Wick via Carpenters Road. It was later extended to Maryland. The S3 was a flat-fare route and replaced part of route 178 which was London’s last RLH low-height double-deck route. The 178 had run from Clapton Pond, but the new MBS vehicles on the S3 were too long to negotiate some of the roads on the old routeing. The S3 was not very successful and was replaced with an improved service on route 276 which provided more links. Since the S3 was a very short route only a few bus stops displayed “E” plates, so plates for this route are very uncommon.

Route S3 booklet
This leaflet was issued by London Transport to announce new route S3 to start on 17 April 1971 “with new-type buses”.
The lettering on this “E” plate is somewhat uneven, suggesting that it may have been applied by hand.
This plate has been officially altered to show “MON-SAT” on a strip below the number which had been added over whatever wording was there previously.

Route W3 was a 6d (212p) flat-fare route that ran from Finsbury Park to Northumberland Park via Stroud Green, Hornsey, Alexandria Palace, Wood Green and White Hart Lane. In 1968 it operated Sunday through Friday, but Saturday service was introduced by the end of 1969. In 1974 the fare went up to 4p, and then increased another 1p the next year.

Route W3 in 1970. Adapted from The Greater London Bus Map.

W3 route map

Route W4 was introduced in 1968 running between Turnpike Lane Station and Winchmore Hill via Wood Green and Palmers Green, replacing part of route 141 as part of the Wood Green flat-fare scheme. For a period of time it did not run between Wood Green and Turnpike Lane during rush hours to avoid traffic delays. The route has long since been withdrawn.

The second “E” plate is particularly unusual in that it has part of the wording in brackets, also in a smaller, condensed type face.



Route W8 was introduced in 1969 as a flat-fare route operated by MBS single-deckers, replacing the 128 which ran between Chase Farm Hospital and Edmonton Green via Gordon Hill, Enfield Town and Church Street. It was extended from Edmonton to Picketts Lock in the early ’70s to serve the new Leisure Complex, and received DMS double-deckers around 1975.

This plate is most likely to have come from the bus stop at Edmonton Green bus station where buses ran through in both directions, but serving different stops. It is therefore a very rare plate.

Route W21 was introduced as part of the Walthamstow flat-fare scheme in September 1968, and ran as a circular service from Walthamstow Central via Chingford Mount and Highams Park in both directions. It was withdrawn around 1980. It is a very rare plate nowadays.

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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.