Latest Update: 30 April 2017

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. 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. Reports for the TLB Editors and communications to Society Officers can be sent by e-mail to "". TLB covers the operations and vehicles of around 120 companies working local bus services in Greater London and the Home Counties in the region roughly bounded by the old London Transport country-bus operating area. Each issue 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.

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, 25, 38, 55, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 242, 243 & 521 stop nearby.

LOTS Meetings and Events

The next meeting is on Monday 22 May: A Joint meeting with the National Trolleybus Association, Chris Holland and Keith Farrow do a presentation on trolleybuses - exact details to come. Future dates are 3 July (AGM) and 24 July (bus rides), then a break until 25 September, 23 October, 20 November and 18 December.

The London Bus (TLB)

TLB 632 was posted on Tuesday 11 April. The closing date for reports for TLB 633 is 5 May and it is due for posting on Tuesday 16 May.

New and Recent LOTS publications:

London Bus & Tram Fleetbook 2017:  **NEW**  (£6.50)  To the usual A6 pocket size, 128 pages listing 12,800 vehicles, all major operators in London and Home Counties plus most smaller bus operators and sightseeing tour companies.
LOTS London Bus Review 2016 (Greater London and Beyond) 
**NEW** (£11.00)   The original London Bus Review, with all the news from last year in London and the Home Counties, with the routes, vehicles, events, adverts, politics, fully illustrated, all in one A4 size book.
LOTS LBM179 London Bus Magazine  Spring 2017: 
**NEW available now**  (£5.00) Principal features are ‘The last years of the red RTs by Mike Rhodes.   A story of many trips around the RT routes in 1976-79 with 50 RT pictures.   Also  ‘London Transport’s what might have beens’ by Barry Turner.  Prototypes, experimental and proposals 1930s-60s  (from LCC tram No 1 to FRM 1)

Other recent issues from other publishers
Single Deck Bus Garage Allocations 1951-1981 (Country RF/Merlin/Swift types – (£25.00).
The companion = SD Allocations 1952-1981 (Central  RF/Merlin/Swift types still available – (£25.00).
First Group Fleetbook 2017 (all UK) from Andrew Woolhouse  (£18.00).
The companion = Stagecoach Group Fleetbook 2017 (all UK) is still available  (£18.00).

Orders can be sent to LOTS Postal Sales at Unit N305 Vox Studios, 1-45 Durham Street, Vauxhall, London SE11 5JH.

See the Sales Page for full list of sales items.



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


Latest news 

Sunday 30 April

1) New deliveries to London have slowed of late although the new E40Ds for Sullivan Buses route 217 (due to be taken over on 3rd June) started to arrive in the past week and would be expected to be used on existing services and rail jobs in the meantime.  The rest of CT Plus’ new E20Ds are now in service,  the latest being the 9.0m examples (1272-82) on route 394.  Still outstanding for entry into service (although delivered some time ago) include 12 of Arriva’s HVs and 14 of Go-Ahead’s LTs.  Abellio has so far received just a few of its new E20Ds (batch 8876-98)  for the 195 and 350 with older Darts and E200s filling the gap for the time being.    
2) The first two of the six Volvo double-decks converted by Vantage Power from all-diesel to hybrid condition are now in service , WVL 94 and 95 at Stockwell, so far they are being used on route 87.   Arriva’s two VLAs and London United’s two VLPs remain to re-appear.  
3) An attempt at route branding has been launched  in the past week on all seven day routes in the Barkingside area – 128, 150, 167, 169, 247, 275 and 462.   Each route is being identified by a colour,  which is appearing on route tiles and timetable panels on relevant  bus stops.   Vehicles will have a large coloured route number plus substantive route descriptions in white on vehicles sides and rear.
4) This weekend marks the service cuts in Central Bedfordshire operated mainly by Centrebus and  Grant Palmer. TLB632 listed most of these, and TLB633 will list a few very minor replacements.  However these are mainly once or twice a week ‘community minibuses’ for shoppers and many villages are left without any  meaningful  bus services.   Threats of withdrawal from 30th April of some main services in the  Maidenhead area by Courtney Buses have been deferred for now, but the local council is to re-tender routes 8 and 16/16A so there may yet be a reprieve.
5) From Monday 26th June RATP Group will transfer Epsom Buses’ TfL routes to London United control but will move the Kingston University contract buses from UMC at Twickenham to Epsom.  The remaining bus and coach fleet of UMC is due to move from Twickenham to LU’s Hounslow Heath Garage and the tours and excursion business of Epsom Coaches is to pass to Gardiner’s Coaches who will continue to run those from a local base.
Friday 21 April.

1) On 20th April TfL confirmed the changes to bus routes in central London, as listed in December 2016 TLB628 page 13, except that the 23 projection to  Wembley remains to be decided.   See the following link, which has links within it to the consultation process.  Although no specific dates are yet announced, 3rd June is pencilled in as a provisional start date for at least some of the alterations.

2) Today is the last day of D stock on the District Line, last units (7032+7007) working train 4, 1454  Richmond to Upminster arr 1623 then 1635 Upminster to Ealing Broadway, arr 1812, then empty Ealing Broadway at 1826 to Ealing Common.

Sunday 16 April

1) A reminder of the Ash Grove (CT Plus) Open Day  next Saturday the 22nd.  If you scroll down this page to the Events listing for 22 April, you can download a PDF with all the timetables for special operations on 6A/6B, 236 and 388, using (respectively)  RMs, RFs and an RT.
2) Arriva Southern Counties’  new Van Hool Astron 14-metre tri-axle coaches (Arriva Nos 9000-03) commenced working on Green Line 758 (Hemel Hempstead- Victoria) in the past week. 
3) From Saturday 15th, Route X26 passed to Go-Ahead London (Metrobus), using some WVLs transferred from Barking and retaining (for now) the East London Transit special livery;  until more can be sourced,  buses from the existing fleet are in support.  Awaiting arrival of sufficient new buses  is route 195 now with Abellio; here just a few new E20Ds had been delivered so E200s and Dart SLFs  from the existing fleet are in support, the Darts having been reinstated after withdrawal from route 235 in early January.

Tuesday 11 April

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:
Route        Current Operator                 New Operator               PVR     Vehicles         
33 (24h)     London United                      London United               18         2010 Euro V diesel single deck
88 (24h)     London General                   London General             23         2015 Euro VI New Routemaster
118            London General                    London General            13          2010 Euro V diesel double deck
170            London General                    London General            20          New Euro VI diesel single deck*
220 (24h)   London United                      London United              25          2012 Euro V diesel double deck
355            Metrobus                               Metrobus                       2           New Euro VI diesel single deck
419            London United                      London United                6          2010 Euro V diesel single deck
470            Quality Line                          Quality Line                     7          2012 Euro V diesel single deck
* 8 vehicles are Euro V built 2010.
Contracts will commence on the following dates:
21st October 2017: Route 220.
11th November 2017: Routes 33 & 419.
18th November 2017: Route 470.
9th December 2017: Routes 88, 170 & 355.
3rd February 2018: Route 118.

Saturday 8 April

1) Saturday 8th, and the planned changes to 26/100/388 and 207/427  duly took effect.  The 427 (now Abellio) and the 388 (CTPlus) now have new E40Hs in use.  Delivery has commenced early of Metroline’s VWHs ordered for routes 17, 120, 260 and 302 from June.  The Original Sightseeing Tour in London  has received four more Ayats Bravo open-top double-deckers.   Metrobus will shortly take two more Volvo B8RLEs for Fastway expansion – these instead of the two extra StreetLites  erroneously reported in the March TLB.
2) From Tuesday 4th April, bus routes of Amber Coaches in Thurrock were passed to other operators on emergency contracts until they can be re-tendered.   Route 11 and 374 are being operated by Ensignbus for Thurrock Council and the 269 by Nelsons (Amber’s parent company) for Essex County Council.
3) RATP-DEV has announced that from 26th June the Epsom Coaches Group will be controlled more closely in conjunction with  London United.  The Quality Line TfL services and local routes in Surrey all based at Epsom should continue unchanged but the group’s coach tours and holidays business is to be closed down after many decades. It is expected that the United  Motorcoaches operation will also close down, although the Kingston University contract services will transfer to Epsom Garage.
4) Purchasers of our 2017 Fleetbook should be aware that after going to print, two batches of new buses for London had their booked registrations scrambled. Tower Transit MV 38216-230 are now LJ17 WSE-F-K-L-W-Y, WRW-X, WSD-N-O-U-V-X-Z.  Hackney CT (CTPlus)  1272-82 are now YX17 NWS-T-U-V-W-Y. E8NJB, YX17 NWN-O-P-R.

For earlier reports refer to TLB or join LOTS!

Forthcoming events

These events are provided as a service to readers, LOTS has no involvement nor responsibility for any event noted below:

(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. 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 

Sunday 30 April: Country Bus Rallies running day at East Grinstead

Saturday 6 May: NLETE Transport Bazaar at Theydon Bois Village Hall. Open 11.00-15.30, admission £3 (acc. children free), refreshments available, no public car parking.  Vintage bus display, some giving free rides around Epping Forest, subject to vehicle and crew availability.

Sunday 7 May: 
HCVS London to Brighton run.

Wednesday 10 May:
70th anniversary of post-war RTs.  Photo opportunity Victoria Bus Station 1045-1100, followed by private road run to Abridge and Leyton Garage for 3RT3s.  Photo opportunities at Abridge (approx. 1245-1315) and Leyton Garage (approx. 1530).  Return run over route 38 departs Leyton approx. 1700.  The buses will not be in service, except that The Classic London Bus Society ( is running a trip on RT191 (pre-bookings only).  Leyton garage will not be open to the public.  More information will be available at

Saturday 13 May:
Faversham, running day using mainly former East Kent buses.  

Sunday 21 May:
A&DMBS Running Day at Staines Bus Station.  See website for programme details:  Staines running day
Feeder buses to the event, subject to availability on the day, as under; they return after the event:

Route 216: Kingston Cromwell Road 0915, Hampton Court Green 0923, Hampton Station 0927, Sunbury Village 0935, Sunbury Cross 0940, Ashford Royal Hart 0951.

Route 218: Kingston Cromwell Road 0915, Winters Bridge 0926, Esher High Street 0936, Hersham Barley Mow 0943, Walton Ashley Road 0950, Shepperton Station Approach 0959, Laleham Church 1006.

Route 353: Amersham Station Hill Ave 0840, Chalfont St Giles 0851, Chalfont St. Peter Church 0856, Gerrards Cross Packhorse 0902, Slough Station Brunel Road 0920, Windsor Parish Church 0937, Old Windsor Bells of Ouzeley 0946

Route 436:  Guildford Bus Station Stop 16 0845, Send Mays Corner 0906, Woking Cawsey Way Stop A 0922, Woodham Black Prince 0937, Addlestone Dukes Head 0945, Chertsey Bell Corner 0952

Route 441: Slough Station Brunel Way 0942, Windsor Parish Church 0959 then all stops via Old Windsor, Englefield Green, Egham and Pooley Green.

Route 460: High Wycombe Bus Station 0848, via Wycombe Marsh, Loudwater, Beaconsfield London End 0909 then via Hedgerley, Farnham Road, Slough Station Brunel Way 0937, then via Datchet and Wraysbury

Route 462: Weybridge Station Stop C 0935, Weybridge Ship 0941, Addlestone Dukes Head 0949, Chertsey Bell Corner 0955

Route 724: Harlow Bus Station 0820, Ware Crossing 0837, Hertford Bus Station 0844, Hatfield Station 0900, St.Albans City Station 0918, Chiswell Green 0925, Garston Garage 0935, Watford Junction Stop 1 0945, Croxley Station 0953, Rickmansworth Station Stop A 0958, Maple Cross 1006, Denham Station Parade 1011

Route 725: Croydon Fairfield Halls Stop KC 0840, Wallington Green Stop GW 0851, Sutton Grove Road Stop S 0859, Cheam Village 0903, Worcester Park Station Stop C 0911, New Malden Kingston Road Stop L 0917, Kingston Wood Street Stop P1 0930 then via Hampton Court and Sunbury Cross,

Bank Holiday Monday 29 May:  Quainton Road, Bucks Railway Centre, Bus Rally.

Sunday 4 June:  Didcot Railway Centre, Transport Rally.

Sunday 4 June:  CBR Running Day at Hertford.

Sunday 11 June: Southsea Common Bus Rally (LSS).

Sunday 18 June: running day on route 406, Kingston to Epsom and Tadworth, featuring a range of buses that have worked the route.  More information will be available at

Sunday 25 June:  London Bus Museum, Brooklands, Summer bus event. 

Sunday 25 June:  Bus rally at Barleylands Farm, Basildon, Essex.

Sunday 2 July:   Reading Buses Open Day (11am-4pm) at Great Knollys Street Depot.

Sunday 9 July:   A&DMBS Running Day at Leatherhead.

Sunday 16 July: Alton, Hants,  major Bus Rally and Running Day (LSS).

Sunday 16 July:  CBR Running Day at Sevenoaks.

Saturday/Sunday 15/16 July  An ‘LT Weekend’ at EppIng Ongar Railway.

Saturday 22 July:  Metroline, Potters Bar Garage Open Day and Running Day.

Sunday 30 July:  Worthing, west end of sea front, Bus Rally.

Sunday 30 July:  Oxford Bus Museum, 50th anniversary Bus Festival.
LT Museum Discovery Tours at Acton Depot –
various dates, 28/29April, 26/27May, 22/23June, 28/29July (all Fris and Sats) - see