News

Latest Update:
15 June 2024
(Meetings and Events - just a reminder that the AGM will be held on Monday)

On this page:

Society news

This page gives up-to-date major news items to supplement our monthly newsletter, •The London Bus• (TLB). Items noted here will be incorporated in the next issue of TLB in greater detail. Reports more than a month old and already reported in TLB are deleted. Each issue of TLB is typically 40 pages containing references to around 300 routes and 1000 vehicles, together with the business and political news, the publicity output of the companies, forthcoming exhibitions and rallies, and much more. To get the full picture, why not join now? Go to the Membership Page for details.

If you need to contact us with anything to do with membership, subscriptions to TLB or LBM and queries over postal sales, email lotsmemsec@gmail.com and it will be passed to the correct person. Reports for TLB/LBM or queries to other society officers can go via the TLB Editor lotstlbeditor@gmail.com and it will be passed to the correct person.

For queries about Postal Sales, please email lotspostalsales@gmail.com. This E mail address may also be used for ordering from Postal Sales if wishing to pay by direct debit bank transfer - for details see Page 1 of the Sales Bulletin.

Meetings and Events

We meet at The Gallery at Alan Baxter, 77 Cowcross Street, Farringdon. A three minute walk from Farringdon Station* (Met/Circle/H&C lines, Elizabeth line and Thameslink).

Doors open at 6pm, meetings start at 6.30pm and finish at 8pm, then Q&As and sales stand but all out by 9pm when the venue is locked.

Booked dates in 2024 are 17 June (AGM), (revised date) 30 September and 18 November.

*Exit from Farringdon station (Met side), turn east and go up Cowcross Street until you reach the Leon restaurant. Opposite there is a passageway, cross the cobbled courtyard to the far right corner and go down the stairs to the basement meeting room known as 'The Gallery'. We would advise that you do not drive to the venue, parking space is rare and charges apply for 24 hours. There are several coffee shops and a Wetherspoons on Farringdon Road.

The London Bus (TLB)

TLB 717 was posted on Tuesday 14 May. The closing date for reports for TLB 718 is Wednesday 5 June and it is due for posting on Tuesday 18th June.

New and recent LOTS publications

For queries about Postal Sales, please email lotspostalsales@gmail.com. This email address may also be used for ordering from Postal Sales if wishing to pay by direct debit bank transfer - for details see Page 1 of the Sales list.

Please address your orders to LOTS Postal Sales, Lombard Business Park, 8 Lombard Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 3TZ. Orders are processed weekly. Make sure that the 'Postal Sales' name is included prominently, so we can give the order the best attention. An updated Sales List was included with May 2023 TLB705. You can use this list to order, or a letter is perfectly acceptable, and so is the Sales List printed off from our website. In each case, please don’t staple cheques to the form – they really won’t get lost by us but might be when the banks try to process them electronically.

Recent publications available now:

London Bus Review 2022 Greater London and Beyond (£17.00).
A4 glossy, 80 pages, 135 colour photographs with extensive captions. This is the ORIGINAL annual Review made with about 50 years’ experience.

NEW LOTS London Bus & Tram Fleetbook 2024 (£8.50).
FBK

NEW SUP 39D Transport for London's Bus Operators Fleet Allocations and PVRs - March 2024 (£5.50).
TfL operators' fleets with garage allocations and a simplified PVR table.
SUP39

SUP24J Service Vehicles current fleet April 2023 (£5.00).

NEW London Bus Magazine No 207, Spring 2024 (£6.00).
Main articles are a photographic record of 50 years of Showbus by Tony Wilson, a history of Green Line route 727 by Richard Moseling and anecdotes from a London Transport canteen by Jeff Morss.

From Mike Harris: the latest Greater London bus maps
New editions of the Greater London Bus Map dated 13 April 2024 are now available for (£2.00) and a Night Bus Map for 13 April 2024 (£4.00)
From each edition of the series an amount of the price is donated to a charity. In this case it is to the Architectural Heritage Fund. Copies are available from www.shop.busmap.co.uk and from the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

See the Publications page for details of LOTS publications or the Sales Bulletin on the Sales page for our current stocklist.

Vacancies

Nil.


Non-members may wish to look at a sample issue of TLB.
Hopefully this will whet your appetite for joining LOTS!


Industry and general news

Major news items to supplement our monthly newsletter.

Wednesday 12 June

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

Route

Current Operator

New Operator

PVR

Vehicles

49

London United

London United

15

Existing electric double deck

233

Metrobus

Metrobus

7

New electric single deck

New electric vehicles may enter service after the contract start date, dependent on infrastructure and/or vehicle delivery timescales.

The start and end dates for the above contracts are detailed in the following table:

Route

Contract Start Date

Contract End Date

49

7th September 2024

3rd September 2027

233

22nd February 2025

20th February 2032

Sunday 9 June

1) Stagecoach London route W11 from Walthamstow Avenue garage (AW) went electric on Saturday 8th June, using the allocated batch of Switch MetroCity EVs 67013-67022.

2) The first of Stagecoach London's Volvo BZL/MCV double-deck electrics are now in London. An initial batch of 40 is due, to work routes 58, 277 and D7.

3) The last two Scania OmniCity buses at RATP Dev came off service in late May, as did Sullivan's final three. This leaves just four examples on school routes with Uno, plus the trainers and tour buses at Stagecoach London.

4) There are no planned TfL route changes next weekend (15th June).

Thursday 6 June

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

Route

Current Operator

New Operator

PVR

Vehicles

161

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

16

Existing hybrid double deck

181

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

13

Existing diesel single deck

299/389/399

Sullivan Buses

London General

8

New electric single deck

423

London United

London United

7

Existing hybrid double deck

482

Transport UK West London

Transport UK West London

8

Existing hybrid double deck

672

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

4

Existing diesel double deck

New electric vehicles may enter service after the contract start date, dependent on infrastructure and/or vehicle delivery timescales.

The diesel and hybrid vehicles detailed above will meet Euro VI emissions standards. 

The start and end dates for the above contracts are detailed in the following table:

Route

Contract Start Date

Contract End Date

161

15th March 2025

15th March 2030

181

15th March 2025

10th March 2028

299/389/399

1st February 2025

30th January 2032

423

1st March 2025

25th February 2028

482

22nd March 2025

17th March 2028

672

7th September 2024

3rd September 2027

Saturday 1 June

1) Having mentioned it only last week, route 86 has now been converted to (almost) fully electric operation using the Wright StreetDeck Electroliners delivered last November (82015-82048). The route has a Mo-Fr PVR of 30, one of the highest.

2) At almost the opposite extreme, Stagecoach London route 379 (Chingford to Yardley Lane Estate, with a PVR of 2) has started using its allocated Switch MetroCity EVs (45009-45011). Taken over from Go-Ahead London in March, the route latterly used diesel E200s.

3) Cascading of diesel double-deckers from the 86 may have seen off the last of Stagecoach London's Scania OmniCity buses. Unless any re-appear next week, Plumstead's 15076 was the last in use. There are still 23 of the type in use on sightseeing tours plus 4 as trainers.

4) There is a bit of a lull in planned route changes over the next few weeks. From Monday 10th June, schoolday routes 639 and 670 pass from RATP Dev to Transport UK. Although the routes run between the same two terminals (using one bus each), they will be operated by different garages, with Battersea (QB) taking the 639 and Fulwell (TF) the 670. Route changes pick up again from late June and into July.

5) The former LT/LCBS garage at Guildford closed again on 25th May, when Stagecoach South moved its allocation back into Peasmarsh. Stagecoach had only used the site since 2022, following its closure by Arriva at the end of 2021.

Thursday 30 May

LBSL intends to enter into a new contract for the following route with the operator listed below:

 

Route

Current Operator

New Operator

PVR

Vehicles

B14

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

7

New electric single deck

New electric vehicles may enter service after the contract start date, dependent on infrastructure and/or vehicle delivery timescales.

 

The start and end dates for the above contract are detailed in the following table:

Route

Contract Start Date

Contract End Date

B14

29th March 2025

28th March 2032

Tuesday 28 May

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

Route

Current Operator

New Operator

PVR

Vehicles

121

Arriva London North

Arriva London North

22

Existing diesel double deck

153

London General

Metroline

9

New electric single deck

160/660

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

14

Existing electric double deck

180

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

17

Existing electric & existing hybrid double deck

278

Transport UK West London

Transport UK West London

12

Existing hybrid double deck

290

London United

London United

7

Existing electric single deck*

W6

Arriva London North

Arriva London North

9

Existing diesel single deck

* Certain journeys will continue to be operated by diesel vehicles.

New electric vehicles may enter service after the contract start date, dependent on infrastructure and/or vehicle delivery timescales.

The diesel and hybrid vehicles detailed above will meet Euro VI emissions standards. 

The start and end dates for the above contracts are detailed in the following table:

Route

Contract Start Date

Contract End Date

121

1st February 2025

28th January 2028

153

1st February 2025

30th December 2032

160/660

21st September 2024

17th September 2027

180

5th October 2024

1st October 2027

278

7th December 2024

3rd December 2027

290

5th October 2024

1st October 2027

W6

1st February 2025

28th January 2028

Sunday 26 May

1) BYD launched its new BD11 double-deck electric bus model with an event at the London Bus Museum (Brooklands) on 21st May. Two examples of the complete bus plus a chassis were on display, and the type is the first to use Lithium Iron Phosphate 'blade' batteries, claimed to be thinner and safer.

2) After several months of delay, Arriva London's route 307 was finally able to switch from partial electric operation to full, using ES1-16 allocated to Enfield (E) garage. Stagecoach London route 86 from Romford (NS) is still in progress, with up to 10 electrics each day from a pvr of 30.

3) Route E6 passed from Metroline to Transport UK on 25th May and has been operated by the planned WrightBus GB-Kite electric single-deckers from the start. 7 of the allocated batch (1713-1724) have been delivered and used so far, with the numbers made up by the transfer to Dawley Road (DH) of 5 of the earlier batch (1701-1712).

4) Conversion of Go-Ahead London route 39 to SEe-class electric single-deckers from Putney (AF) is ongoing, although only a couple of examples from the allocated batch (SEe313-328) have so far been used.

5) The only TfL route changes next weekend (1st June) are contract renewals on routes 253/N253, 254 and E3, all staying with their current operators and buses.

Friday 24 May

The current contract for route 432 will now terminate early on 4th April 2025. This route will therefore be added to the 2025 - 2026 Tendering Programme in supplementary tranche 913A.

Sunday 19 May

1) Delivery of Transport UK's second batch of Wrightbus GB Kite single-deckers has started. 1713-1724 were ordered for route E6, which Transport UK takes over (from Metroline) on 25th May. Most of the outstanding Electroliner double-deckers (3087-3102) have also arrived, while six 1-month old examples (3059-3064) have temporarily moved from Batteresa (QB) to Twickenham (TF) and are being used on the 111 to provide cover while the original batch (3001-3030) go through warranty work.

2) Arriva is considering closing its garages at Aylesbury and High Wycombe, potentially as soon as 27th July. The company said there will be no immediate impact on services, though they listed 22 routes that Arriva would no longer work. Go-Ahead-owned Carousel Buses quickly responded to say it was ready to step in and cover most of the routes if the closures go ahead.

3) SEe-class single-deckers continue to enter service with Go-Ahead London. The three ordered for the 439 (SEe329-331) are now at work from Croydon (C) but are mixed with the earlier batch (SEe243-259) and hence also appear on route 450.

4) As well as route E6 passing to Transport UK, next weekend (25th May) will see route E1 taken over by Metroline (ex RATP). It will be worked by Greenford garage (G) using existing fleet VW-class diesel double-deckers.

5) Go-Ahead London's Me class Optare MetroDeckers are still off the road following the fire on Me12 in January. Most are now parked up at the former Plough Lane Garage. Other electric buses out of use are Arriva London's EMC class of Optare MetroCity single-deckers. Latterly on route 312 from Croydon, most are now parked at the Beddington Lane storage site, with an uncertain future.

Wednesday 15 May

Proposed new route 310 will be added to the 2024 - 2025 Tendering Programme as Tranche 896A.
Route 969 will be moved from Tranche 941 of the 2025 - 2026 Tendering Programme to a separate tranche (941A).

The Tendering Programme is revised as shown in the following tables:

2024 - 2025 TENDERING PROGRAMME

Tranche

Routes

896A

310.

899A

414.

903B

125.

907A

335.

908A

55/N55, 56.

908B

308, 397, 488, W16.

908C

677.

909A

415.

911A

U5.

912A

617, 629.


2025 - 2026 TENDERING PROGRAMME

Tranche

Routes

921

67, 106, 231, 327, 491.

921A

304.

924

230, 425, 499.

925

105/N105, 285/N285, K1, K2, K3.

927

N5, N20, N550, N551.

928

166, 293, R9.

929

73/N73, 139/N139, 390/N390.

930

60, 312, 405, 412/685, 434, 466.

931

224, H12.

931A

495.

932

D6, D8.

933

202, 319/N319.

934

246, 352, 354, 356.

935

165, 179, 193, 252, 256, 347, 365/N365, 385.

936

144, 318, 324, 699.

937

173, 174, 296, 496.

938

649/650/651, 673, 674, 675.

939

403, 654.

940

12/N12, 453/N453.

941

H25.

941A

969.

Tranches 942 to 953 inclusive remain as per the original programme.

Monday 13 May

The current contracts for the following routes will now terminate early:

55/N55 (QC77201): termination date 28th February 2025.
56 (QC77202): termination date 28th February 2025.
304 (QC62603): termination date 6th June 2025.
308 (QC77401): termination date 7th March 2025.
397 (QC77601): termination date 28th February 2025.
415 (QC77701): termination date 7th March 2025.
488 (QC77301): termination date 28th February 2025.
677 (QX77902): termination date 14th March 2025.
U5 (QC78001): termination date 21st March 2025.
W16 (QC77502): termination date 7th March 2025.

These routes will therefore be added to the Tendering Programme in supplementary tranches 908A, 908B, 908C, 909A, 911A and 921A.

Sunday 12 May

1) Conversion of route 276 to electric is virtually complete, using Stagecoach Volvo BZL single-deckers 66026-66044. It would appear that 66038 and 66039 have swapped identities, being registered LJ24 ZKR and LJ24 ZKP rather than vice versa as originally planned.

2) The only significant route change this weekend (11th May) saw route 481 pass from RATP Dev (FW) to Metroline (AH), using some of the VWH buses (ex-Tower Transit) recently released by the loss of route 306. The 481 is unique for a TfL route in that it has two operators. The two school-day only workings remain with Transport UK, using buses off the 111.

3) Go-Ahead London Ee244 - one of the pair in 'Go-Ahead Women' blue livery - has moved on from Bexleyheath (BX) to Orpington (MB) and is being used on route 353.

4) Metroline route W7 is now almost fully electric, using WDE-class buses latterly in store. Likewise Go-Ahead London route 152 is now almost fully switched to SEe-class electric single-deckers.

5) The last few Scania OmniCity buses on TfL work are refusing to lie down. RATP's pair at Hounslow are still on the H98, while the seven with Stagecoach (at Plumstead and West Ham) are also still going. There are seven further examples of the type with Sullivans and Uno but they are primarily confined to school routes.

Thursday 9 May

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

 

Route

Current Operator

New Operator

PVR

Vehicles

41/N41

Arriva London North

Arriva London North

19

New electric double deck

170

London General

London General

18

Existing diesel single deck

329

Arriva London North

Arriva London North

14

Existing hybrid double deck

444

London General

London General

12

New electric single deck

669

Stagecoach Selkent

Stagecoach Selkent

2

Existing diesel double deck

H28

Transport UK West London

Transport UK West London

11

Existing diesel single deck

K5

London United

London United

6

Existing diesel single deck

 

New electric vehicles may enter service after the contract start date, dependent on infrastructure and/or vehicle delivery timescales. The diesel and hybrid vehicles detailed above will meet Euro VI emissions standards.


The start and end dates for the above contracts are detailed in the following table:

 

Route

Contract Start Date

Contract End Date

41/N41

1st February 2025

30th January 2032

170

7th December 2024

6th December 2030

329

11th January 2025

11th January 2030

444

8th March 2025

5th March 2032

669

5th October 2024

1st October 2027

H28

22nd February 2025

18th February 2028

K5

6th July 2024

2nd July 2027

 

Sunday 5 May

Please note that SUP45A (London Bus Garages - Allocations and Routes) is now out of stock and can no longer be ordered. A new edition is planned for later this year.

For earlier news read The London Bus (TLB).

Coming events

These are publicised as a service to the readership; LOTS has neither any involvement nor responsibility for any event noted. Many events have admission fees, which are included where they have advised, you should check with organisers or websites before attending if costs worry you. We usually confine this listing to events with an expected London bus interest or within easy reach of London.
(LSS) = LOTS' Sales Stand expected to attend.

Sunday 23 June
Summer Festival, London Bus Museum, Brooklands. Free bus 462 from Weybridge Station and High Street. Entry £23.30 on the day.

Saturday/Sunday 20/21 July
RM70 Chiswick, celebrating 70 years since the first Routemaster bus appeared.

Sunday 21 July
Alton Bus Rally and running day. 10:00-16:00.

BH Monday 26 August
Brands Britannia car show and bus rally at Brands hatch, Kent. Entry fee.

A national event list can be found here.