Latest Update:  23 May 2020

Society news


TLB April & May 2020
This notice is to confirm that April TLB668s were all bagged up and delivered to the Royal Mail London SW11 last Monday morning 18th May  and the May TLB669s were delivered to the Royal Mail but at a different centre in KT postal area on Wednesday 20th May.    From numerous members’ reports, May TLBs arrived with them on 21st or 22nd but the April TLBs had still not arrived by the 23rd.   We do know that the general volume of all mail has increased considerably lately so we must presume (and hope) that those mailings must be still  “within a high-volume mail system”.   


LOTS Postal Sales
We regret that as our volunteers cannot travel to LOTS Office to process orders, all Postal Sales are suspended until further notice. If you have sent an order since mid-March, it will be processed when Postal Sales resume.

All LOTS Meetings are CANCELLED until 28 September. Conway Hall is closed. The bus rides evening on 20 July is also CANCELLED

Publication of the LOTS Bus and Tram 2020 Fleetbook
has been delayed due to the cancellation of events where it would have been launched.

Following the collapse of the printing company which produces the London Bus Magazine, the forthcoming Spring issue will not be available in March. The company which produces our annual Review has agreed to take LBM191 into production. A likely date for distribution will be posted here when known.

Membership payments

On Friday 13th March five members paid for membership. However, two of those, one for TLB only and one for TLB + LBM, are not traceable as the bank has corrupted their numbers. Can all five who paid into a bank on “Friday 13th March” please get in touch with urgently so that we can find out who you are by a process of elimination..

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. News updates will usually be weekly, by Sunday evening, but if major stories arise we will attempt to announce them sooner. 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 to 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 and it will passed to the correct person.

Note that the TLB Editor has a new address:  

Forthcoming Conway Hall meetings

Doors  open  from 6pm. sales stand from 6.30pm, event begins at 7.30 and is finished by 10pm. There is no charge.  Visitors are welcome, especially from other societies or if you buy something or join as a new member.Meetings are held monthly (except January, July & August) 

Conway Hall is located at Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. Nearest Underground station: Holborn (Central and Piccadilly Lines) Buses: 1, 8, 19, 38, 55, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188, 243 & 521 stop nearby.

LOTS Meetings and Events

Society Meetings:   At Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1.   Doors open from 6pm. sales stand from 6.30pm, event begins at 7.30 and is finished by 10pm. There is no charge. Visitors are welcome, especially from other societies or if you buy something or join as a new member.   

All LOTS meetings are CANCELLED until 28 September. Conway Hall is closed. The bus rides evening on 20 July is also CANCELLED

The London Bus (TLB)

See note at top of this page. TLB 669 was posted on 20 May. The closing date for reports for TLB 670 is 3 June and it is due for posting on 16 June.

New and Recent LOTS publications:

We regret that as our volunteers cannot travel to LOTS Office to process orders, all Postal Sales are suspended until further notice. If you have sent an order since mid-March, it will be processed when Postal Sales resume.

Also note that on the ‘membership’  page of this website is a new membership form. When you are due for renewal you should receive one of these, or you can print the one on the website.  Note that at the bottom of  the form that there is a new way of renewing.  It can be paid directly to our bank account and then you must send the MemSec an email to let him know you have done it.

Please address your orders to LOTS Postal Sales, Unit G16 Lombard Business Park. 8 Lombard Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 3TZ. 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 TLB636. 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!
LOTS’ latest publications, available now:

LOTS LBM191 London Bus Magazine Spring 2020 DELAYED SEE NOTE ABOVE:

LOTS SUP-39A: (£4.50)  **NEW**  This 56-page booklet encompasses the TfL operators’ fleet and garage allocations from SUP36 and a simplified PVR table from SUP37.  Some features are dropped from 36 (eg. Fleets of non-TfL operators – see Fleetbook and occasional features in TLB) while items like LSP operations from 37 are dropped. The PVR tables are now in route order. It also removes much of the duplication of vehicle type codes, garage codes, and which bit of each group runs what. 

LOTS SUP-24I: (£4.50)   The latest LT Service Vehicles Current fleet.

LOTS TLB Extra – Vehicle news of 1954:  (£7.00)  (64-pages illustrated).  

LOTS Review 2018 (£12.00), the definitive account of last year, vehicles, routes and the politics of London and also record of changes in the country areas of the Home Counties.

TLB Extra – Vehicle news of 1953:  (£7.00) (80-pages illustrated).

LOTS Bus & Tram Fleetbook 2020 is delayed.

From Mike Harris, the latest London bus maps:

Greater London Bus Map for 15 June 2019 (2) and a Night Bus Map for 15th June 2019 (£4)
From each edition of the series an amount of the price is donated to a charity.  In this case it is to the Firefighters Association.

Also, in the Historical series -
The 1976 Greater London Bus Map, 10th April 1976 - £4.00
The 1952 Greater London Bus Map, 6th July 1952 (Second Edition) - £4.00

TLB Extra – Vehicle news of 1948 to the 1980s:  (£6.50/£7 each year) (80-pages illustrated)
See the Publications Page for details of LOTS publications or the Sales Bulletin for our current stocklist.



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

Latest news 

Saturday 23 May

1) Yet more changes to bus boarding arrangements from 23rd May:  On one-door single-deck buses plus most (* = but not all) NBfL/NRMs at the middle door, the Oyster readers are re-activated for touch-in.  This restored  a limited amount of fare payments after all London buses were effectively free since 20th April, in turn causing a massive hole in the TfL finances.   (* = not routes 8, 16, 55, 91, 168, 189, 267, 332, 390 at this stage, they should follow soon). 


2) Route 25/N25 duly transferred from Tower Transit to Stagecoach from the night of 22/23 May using new E40D smart hybrids.  The StreetDecks from the 25 have been redeployed to routes 262/308/473, enabling some MV-class B5LH/MCV buses to move from east to west London on route 452.

Sunday 17 May

1) On Thursday 14th terms were agreed between the Government and The Mayor for a £1.6 Billion bailout to keep services running between now and September. It includes several conditions (many of which require some clarification) including reintroduction of the Congestion Charge from 18 May and a commitment to reintroduce bus fares with increases 1% above RPI later, ending the four year fares freeze.

2) On Tuesday 12th May a handful  (from the 25  delivered) of Abellio’s Caetano electrics entered service on route P5 and for now it is just five per day in actual use.  The bulk of the batch should follow into service by or during  June.  The E40D smart-hybrids due for Abellio for when they take route 270 from  30 May have started to arrive although probably only around half will be here by that date. 


3) Most of the E40Ds for Stagecoach for when they take route 25 from 23 May are now here. At Go-Ahead the last of the ‘route 106’ batch of BYD/ADL E400EVs  (Ee 22-37) are now delivered and the follow-on batch (Ee 38-49) for route 230 are due imminently.   


4) At Tower Transit, they have been re-allocating the “route 25” WH-class StreetDecks increasingly to routes 262/308/473.  Meanwhile the eleven VH-class Volvo B5LHs (38101-111) spare since the loss of route 212 have moved over to Metroline where they will be refurbished for eventual use on route 306.


5) The list of single-deck routes now with double-decks, mainly to try to ease ‘social distancing’, has been expanded to route 440 from 16 May. It joins the 112, 313, 325, D6 and W13 plus a part d/d allocation on 95, 200, 428, 487 and A10. 

Sunday 10 May

1) Last week, London routes D6 and W13 joined the 112, 313 and 325 in converting to all double-deck, to try to ease the problem on single-decks with “social distancing”.  Several other single-deck routes have part double-deck operation, for example the A10, 95, 200 and 487.   


2) The very long period over which Optare MetroDeckers have arrived with Metroline was completed a few weeks ago when the last two arrived.  As at this weekend just three remain to be made ready for issue to Potters Bar Garage.  Meanwhile, one Optare MetroCity  electric single-deck has been ordered for route PB1 at Potters Bar.


3) Actual start of operation of the electric single-decks for Stagecoach route 323 and Abellio routes C10 and P5 remains outstanding. The ADL shut-down may affect  a full allocation of new buses for routes 106, 270 and 25, all due over the next few weeks. 


Saturday 2 May

1) By 18th April the last three Dart SLF/Pointers left in TfL service, Abellio 8020/24/37, had been stood down.  Similarly, Go-Ahead’s last eight Volvo B7TLs, 3 at NP, 3 at Croydon and 2 at River Road, had also been stood down,  as have their last Scania  double-decks, 2 at MB and 3 at SI.  The very last B7TLs left in TfL service were Arriva’s VLA 57 and 131 at Barking (DX), 131 coming off on 21 April and 57 on 24 April, both on route 173. They were the last TfL buses with traditional ‘number and via point’ front blinds.     As with the ‘standing down’ lists elsewhere, any of the above could be restored although it must be fairly unlikely in the current Emergency.


2) Meanwhile,  no more Ee class BYD/ADL E400EVs above Ee 13 have yet entered service, no doubt being held back to cover the 106 when Go-Ahead take it over on 6th June.    Abellio’s Caeteno electrics remain stored until the charging infrastructure at Walworth is completed and the take-up of the P5 on 2nd May was covered by E200s of various lengths.


3) In the past week, Arriva route 325 in east London and  Metroline route 112 have converted to double-deck operation. At RATP London Sovereign, all but a small handful of SP class Scanias have been stood down and a re-shuffle of types has seen route 79 get all ADE class E400s and the 183 a number of ADHs.

Saturday 25 April

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



Current Operator

New Operator




London General

London General


Existing diesel single deck


The vehicles detailed above will meet Euro VI emissions standards.


Route 456 replaces current route W10. The provisional start date is 17th October 2020, subject to confirmation.

2) The standing-down of many buses that are now temporarily surplus due to reduced PVRs across the whole bus route network in London during April is around 300 vehicles, not a lot in the context of the overall fleet of over 8000.  One effect was to convert routes like  321, 432 and W7 from Volvo diesels to all-hybrid.  Some LTs at Go-Ahead were stood down, causing routes 21 and 176 to have a main allocation of ‘normal’ hybrids.    In the country areas though, it is at least 40% (often more) of the overall fleets and largely driven by the much more severe cut-back in bus services.  



3) From Monday 20 April when the new passenger boarding system began in London, the need for ‘social distancing’ on board buses became a problem in some cases. Route X26, the only single-door double-deck route in London, had them replaced by EHs.  Arriva route 313 at Enfield was converted to all double-deck to provide extra seats.  Several other single-deck routes that regularly see the odd double-deck anyway (e.g. 95, 163, 164, 190, 200, 256, 296, 396, 487  had a few more.   


Thursday 23rd April


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



Current Operator

New Operator




London General

London General


Existing hybrid double deck


London United

London United


Existing diesel single deck


Blue Triangle

Blue Triangle


Existing hybrid double deck


Abellio London

Abellio London


Existing diesel single deck


All the vehicles detailed above will meet Euro VI emissions standards.


The above contracts will commence on the following dates:


5th December 2020: Route S4.

2nd January 2021: Route 649/650/651.

20th February 2021: Route 200.

27th February 2021: Route 283.

Sunday 19 April

1) From Monday 20 April all boarding of TfL two- or three-door buses is to be at the centre exit door only.  It is meant to decrease the risk of the driver getting Covid-19 from an infected passenger.  In turn it will mean all buses will become free as there is no Oyster reader there.    And yes, it does contradict the recent programme for passengers on the LT class asked to board at the front rather than the centre door!


2) The last two (OME 2679/80) of Metroline’s batch of 31 Optare MetroDecker EVs  have finally been delivered.  However, they are now part of the eight that have yet to enter service at Potters Bar.


3) Still no news of the Caetano electric buses for Abellio route C10 or the E200EVs for Stagecoach route 323 entering service.  

Saturday 11 April

1) In the three weeks since 23 March while all the “virus cuts” were developed,  the bus networks and their frequencies have changed so much as to render almost any timetables unrecognisable.   It is still ongoing, albeit in a much more modest way and in the Home Counties some cuts have been so drastic that quite a lot of small villages no longer have any bus service. 


2) An experiment begins this weekend in London whereby buses on some routes from Abellio Walworth Garage will adopt boarding by the middle door rather than the front. This is to maintain more separation  between passengers and the driver.


3) Some forthcoming changes of  TfL contracts and changes of operator are beginning to unravel.  Routes 67, 106 and 191 were due to change in that way on 25th April but the date has been moved to 6th June.  At present, it is hoped that the next similar changes on P5 and 25/N25 would go ahead on the normal May dates.



For earlier news read LOTS TLB


Coming Events

(LSS) =  LOTS Sales Stand booked to attend

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, I have included them 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. Full national event lists can be found in the April issue each year of ‘Buses’ magazine and at Our website is regularly updated with other events.


Saturday 15 August:
The annual Imber event near Warminster. CANCELLED

Two Garage Open Days from Metroline: on Saturday 18 July at Potters Bar (POSTPONED) and on

Saturday 12 September
at Harrow Weald. Both mark a 90 years anniversary.

The London Bus Museum rally planned for Sunday 13 September has now been postponed until Sunday 18 October