Latest Update:  16 August 2019

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. 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, 171, 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.   

There is no meeting in August.

Monday 30 September: Russell Young 'From ChipVan to BurgerBus', a circular tour around Britain from and back to Liverpool South Parkway
Monday 21 October: Bob Palmer - Pure Nostalgia Part 5.
Monday 25 November: John Parkin, UK trolleybuses evening.
Monday 16 December: - to be advised

The London Bus (TLB)

TLB660 was posted on Tuesday 13 August. The closing date for reports for TLB 661 is Wednesday 4 September.

New and Recent LOTS publications:

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 Bus & Tram Fleetbook 2019 (£7.00): Now enhanced with summaries of more operators that cannot fit in the main text and a return of London Dial-a-Ride but still pocket-sized A6.  It includes no fewer than 12,418 vehicles and is now available on sales stand and from Postal Sales.  **new**

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.  **new**

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

LOTS LBM188 London Bus Magazine Summer 2019:   (£5.00)  Main articles are Reverse Turns” and “Remembering the last RFs and RTs” plus the usual Around & About and letters features.

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 

Friday 16 August


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



Current Operator

New Operator




N/A (new route)

Tower Transit


Existing single deck (details TBC)


N/A (new route)

Abellio West London


Existing double deck (details TBC)


London United

Abellio West London


New Euro VI hybrid double deck


Abellio West London

Abellio West London


2017 Euro VI hybrid double deck


* 24 hour route.


The above contracts will commence on the following dates:


7th December 2019: Routes 218 (Hammersmith to North Acton) & 278 (Heathrow Central to Ruislip).

11th April 2020: Route 427

27th June 2020: Route 285.

Tuesday 13 August

1) The last dozen Stagecoach Trident/ALX400s have been stood down gradually over the past two weeks, leaving two at Leyton.  Their last day is due to be this Friday 16 August – so watch LVF, should be on the 215 or 275.


2) The intention is to introduce at least the first three of the new Optare MetroDecker EVs onto route 134 next Monday 19th. 

Sunday 11 August

1) The prototype ‘London’ version of the Caetano e.City Gold electric bus is now with Abellio at Walworth Garage. It is not expected to appear in service but is being used for familarisation prior to the eventual delivery of 34 of these buses for routes C10 and P5. 


2) With the recent standing down of the last pair of Stagecoach Trident/ ALX400s at Romford and Bromley, there are just five left that have continued into August, two at Leyton (normally on routes 215 or 275) and three at Plumstead (usually on the 472). It is likely that these will cease passenger operation very soon now, perhaps in the coming week.   Meanwhile, Metroline still has two Trident/ ALX400s (TA642 and  648, usually on the 210) and two Volvo B7TLs (VP549 usually on the 302 or 460 and VP614 usually on the 140).


Sunday 4 August

1) Saturday 3rd August sees the 209 restored to the south side of Hammersmith Bridge to appease passengers who wanted the link restored and then to walk over the bridge;  a new number 378 covers the Mortlake to Putney Bridge link.   Metroline will work this arrangement for just two weeks as London General take the 209/378 from 17th August.  This latter change marks the point when Go-Ahead introduces to the routes new E20Ds  SE293-303, these being the  first in London to omit wing mirrors in favour of cameras. He new EHs (328-343) due for route 197 later in August also have that feature. 


2) Friday 9th August is the day when Stagecoach LTs on routes 8 and N8 go over to all passengers boarding at the front door and all alighting from middle and rear doors. Other routes should follow later.   One hesitates to make any further obvious comments!!


3) The first four (Nos 1662-65) of 28 StreetLites due at Arriva Southern Counties at Hemel Hempstead arrived in the past week. Fairly evidently a lot of change will be occurring to the local fleet in the coming month or two. Also at Hemel are three (4008-10) of the acquired former Tower Transit E200s, these covering for the transfer out last weekend to Milton Keynes of three of the VDL SB200/ Plaxton Centros (3741/5/6).  

Sunday 28 July

1) This weekend marks the transfer of the 81 from LU to Metroline and 208 from Stagecoach to Go-Ahead.  The 81 was one of the first four routes to be tendered from 13 July 1985 by London Buslines and after 10 years has been with Westllnk/ London United since 1995.  Over recent weeks different batches of VWs have been switched into Harrow Weald to allow slightly newer ones to operate the 81.  Lately Metroline has been busily swapping identical TEs between Uxbridge and Greenford and DEs between Cricklewood and Greenford.


2) This weekend also sees Abellio routes 195 and 207 move into their new garage at Great  Western Park, Southall, joining the six E-routes that moved in on 6th July and bringing the GW allocation to around 100 buses. That makes space at  Hayes (WS) for the 350 and U5 to move back (from Fulwell) to be much closer to their routeings.   


3) This weekend also sees frequency increases beginning in the suburbs as routes 66 and 175 gain more buses.  More modest frequency upcounts are due in the Croydon area in coming months on routes 60, 127, 130, 154, 289, 314 and 466 and are planned nearby on 249 and 432.  In the country areas  this weekend also sees changes to Arriva services at Harlow, Watford, High Wycombe and Aylesbury, all of which were detailed in TLB659 (July issue).


Wednesday 24th July


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



Current Operator

New Operator




Tower Transit

Stagecoach East London


New Euro VI hybrid double deck


Metroline West

Metroline West


2013 Euro V hybrid double deck*


Tower Transit

Stagecoach East London


New Euro VI hybrid double deck


Metroline West

Abellio West London


New Euro VI hybrid double deck


London General

London General


2015 Euro VI diesel single deck


* Already upgraded to Euro VI emissions standards.


The above contracts will commence on the following dates:


7th March 2020: Route 282.

21st March 2020: Route 482.

2nd May 2020: Route G1.

23rd May 2020: Route 25/N25.

4th July 2020: Route 425.

Sunday 21 July

1) Now that Metroline has twelve electric BDEs in service on route 43, a few of the ’temporary’ VMHs at Holloway have begun to move to Greenford (to begin completion of the route 607 allocation) and West Perivale (to start to replace some SELs on the 297). Some BDEs have had their offside glazed staircase panels covered by T-shape adverts.   Also at HT, some of the loaned Arriva ENS-class E200s have moved to Potters Bar with more DEMs coming the other way for route 393.  Meanwhile, DEL 2597-2612 that arrived “in error” in March, remain in outside store at Perivale (PV) Garage awaiting a decision on any future use.  August will see around 50 DE-class E200s becoming surplus when routes 232, 209 and 214 are lost to London General.

Sunday 14 July

1) Two new orders for London were announced on Friday 12th, both for electric buses for delivery in the first quarter of 2020. Abellio will take 34 x Caetano   e City Gold single-decks for routes C10 and P5  and RATP 29 x BYD/ADL double-decks (similar to Metroline BDEs) for route 94. 


2) 13thJuly saw the start of a new route (301), a great rarity in London, between Bexleyheath and Woolwich via  Abbey Wood and Thamesmead.  The same day was when two new garages opened for business, one being an outstation of Dartford at Erith for route 99 and the other  by Abellio at Great Western Park, Southall (code GW). 60 buses for routes E1, E5, E7, E9, E10, E11 moved in, while the 195 and 207 are due to follow on 27th July.  To their credit, Abellio had GW garage codes on the buses from the first day.


Sunday 7 July

1) The first five electric BDE's, ADL Enviro 400EV-City entered service on route 43 on Monday 1 July and a few more joined them later in the week.

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 17 August: The annual Routemaster event at Imber, near Warminster, Wilts. LOTS members are invited to travel on the London Bus Museum's RMC1461. Details here.

Sunday 18 August: A&DMBS Route re-creation day (304/364/383 RFs) based at Hitchin, St Mary's Square. EVENT CANCELLED

Sunday 1 September: A&DMBS running day based at High Wycombe Bus Station

Saturday 7 September: NLETE Enfield Transport Bazaar at St Paul's Centre, 102 Church Street, Enfield. Open 1100-1430. Admission £3, accompanied children free.

Sunday 8 September: Epping Ongar Railway RT/RF Celebration Running Day. Details here.

Sunday 29 September: Showbus at Herts County Showground at Redbourn (LSS)

Saturday/Sunday 28/29 September: LT Museum open weekend at Acton.

Sunday 6 October: A&DMBS running day based on Chesham Broadway

Sunday 20 October: 'Transportfest' at London Bus Museum, Brooklands.

Saturday 2 November: ATS at Borehamwood (LSS)