Latest Update:  17 February 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.   

The next meeting is on Monday 25 February: Jon Batchelor, Head of Ops CT Plus,‘A 40-year journey running buses in London and beyond, ranging from conductor and inspector to general manager with a few ‘moments’ in between.
Monday 25 March: 
Alan Osborne, slide show 'Visions of the past'.
Monday 29 April:
Peter Batty, Commercial Director Arriva London, My 40 years in London’s Transport.
Monday 20 May:
An Electric Evening: London’s first generation trams (Eddie Dawes) and British provincial trolleybuses  (John Parkin).
And then Monday 01 July (AGM), 22 July (bus rides), 30 Sept, 21 Oct, 25 Nov, 16 Dec.

The London Bus (TLB)

TLB653 was posted on Tuesday 22 January. The closing date for reports for TLB654 was Wednesday 6 February and it is due for posting on Tuesday 19 February. The closing date for reports for TLB 655 is Wednesday 6 March.

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 LBM186 London Bus Magazine Winter 2018/19:   (£5.00)  Main articles are 'An evening adventure using a 'Rover ticket' and Evolution of the London OMO double decker, Part 2 plus the usual Around & About and letters features.

London Bus & Tram Fleetbook 2018:   (£6.50). 

LOTS London Bus Review 2017 (Greater London and Beyond)  (£11.00).

From Mike Harris, the latest London bus maps:
Greater London Bus Map No.37, 14th April 2018 -  £2.00. 
Greater London Night Bus Map, 14th April 2018  - £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 Firefighters Association.

TLB Extra - Vehicle news of 1952:
(£7.00) (80 pages illustrated)
TLB Extra -  Vehicle news of 1951: (£7.00) (80 pages illustrated)
TLB Extra – Vehicle news of 1950: 
(£7.00) (80-pages illustrated).
TLB Extra – Vehicle news of 1949: 
(£7.00) (96-pages illustrated).
TLB Extra – Vehicle news of 1948: 
(£6.50) (80-pages illustrated)
Recent titles from other publishers:
Stagecoach Group Fleetbook 2018 (all UK)
from Andrew Woolhouse  (£18.00), 204 pages, A5 size with many colour illustrations .

Eastern National & Thamesway, Part 1 tendered services: 64 pages, many colour pictures, (Alan Osborne, Essex Enthusiasts Group) (£12.99)

SEC Fleetlist 2018 (Stagecoach South, B&H, First H&D) slimline 68 pages (£7.50) (SEC)

Sussex Independents 2018, (including Compass, Renown, Seaford & District) A5, 58 pages £6

2018 routes handbook from PHX Publications, three A5s each £2.00 for Brighton & Hove, First H&D, and Stagecoach South

London Transport 2019 bus calendar from Doug Rose. It includes 12 different drawings of vehicles from 1910 (B Type) to the present day (LT type) - one for each month. £12.



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


Latest news 

Sunday 17 February

1) What is presumed to be the first BYD/ E400-CityEV for Metroline was inspected at Holloway last week, although it was not registered nor had any fleet identity.  Otherwise, Holloway is in the process of gaining spare TEHs for route 271 and soon will also start to get some new VMHs to work route 43 until the BYDs arrive in the summer.
2) Since Arriva KT’s 480/490 from Northfleet gained new ‘Sapphire’ StreetLites, the older ones (4263-72) have now moved to Guildford where they have been re-branded for routes 34/35 (Guildford – Camberley). In turn six DAF SB200s have departed for Hertfordshire and four E200s for Colchester, in all ten cases due to replace older Cadets.
3) New Stagecoach E40D smart-hybrids continue to arrive with Selkent;  initially delivered to Bromley they are for Catford routes 54 and 75.  At CT Plus their latest nine E400H-City buses (2539-47) are due shortly, these being for route 20 from 23rd March.

Wednesday 13 February

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:
Route   Current Operator          New Operator                          PVR     Vehicles         
128*      Arriva London North      Stagecoach East London          14         2012 Euro V diesel double deck           
201       Abellio London               Abellio London                          10         2014 Euro VI diesel single deck
364       Blue Triangle                  Blue Triangle                             14         New Euro VI diesel single deck
375       Arriva London North       Arriva London North                   1         TBC
407       Abellio London               Abellio London                          15         Hybrid double deck (details TBC)
627       Arriva London South      Arriva London South                   3         2009 Euro IV diesel double deck
* 24 hour route.
All Euro IV and Euro V vehicles will be upgraded to Euro VI emissions standards.
The above contracts will commence on the following dates:
6th July 2019: Route 375.
5th October 2019: Route 201.
12th October 2019: Route 128.
2nd November 2019: Routes 364, 407 & 627.

Sunday 10 February

1) RATP’s DLE 30332-347 have started to enter service, having been in store for many weeks.   Tower Transit are expecting just seven of its 28 StreetDecks batch WH31101-128) in the next week or two; these will go onto route 25.  The Optare MetroDecker demonstrator OM 1 is now with CT Plus and should appear on routes 26 and 388.
2) In the recent DfT awards to finance ‘zero emission’ buses, twenty Hydrogen fuel cell single-decks are due later this year for Metrobus, where they will replace Volvo B7RLEs on Fastway routes 10 and 20.  Also in the awards TfL will receive 63 electric buses but there is no indication as to type or routes or whether this refers to orders previously announced.

Sunday 3 February

1) Trustybus has acquired two Scania OmniCity single-decks from Cónnexions Buses in North Yorkshire, once of which (YN04GMV) is in NBC poppy red with West Yorkshire fleetnames!     It is kind-of appropriate as the NBC was formed 50 years ago on 1st January 1969.

Tuesday 29 January

1) Arriva’s new StreetLites in the new Sapphire livery did  enter service on the 480/490 from 28th January.  The Volvo B7RLEs at Uno are due at a  formal launch on Monday 4th February prior to entering service on route 653 next week.

Sunday 27 January

1) Optare MetroCity YJ65EOV has returned from Abellio back to Arriva at Croydon, while the Yutong E10 electric YG18CVS has moved from Abellio to Go-Ahead at Camberwell for use on  route 360.
2) At Metroline, Three of the last six VPs that were withdrawn in December were back in service  in the past week, five at Willesden invariably in use on route 460 and VP614 at Harrow Weald.   There are still two VPLs at Holloway. Go-Ahead still has two PVLs running, 284 at Bexleyheath and 296 at Merton.   These are the last Plaxton President bodied buses left in normal TfL service.   (amended item)
3) Fairly soon now a batch of ten new VH class Volvo B5LH/ Wright buses are due with London United at Fulwell. They will be fitted with speed limiters in accordance with varying speed limits on routes 65 and 281.   Meanwhile, RATP’s new DLE30332-347 remain to appear in London, having been stored elsewhere for a month or so.  London United takes over from Courtney Buses the Bedfont Lakes contract services on Monday 27th using SP40019-024 that have been repainted all white. (amended item)
4) The 35 new ADL E40D (smart hybrid) buses due with Stagecoach  at Catford are starting to be delivered.  They will allow older E40Hs 12261-292 to move to Plumstead to replace Volvo B5LHs 13001-032 that are being withdrawn.   Metroline’s new VMHs continue to arrive and to gather in store at Willesden junction Garage pending entry into service on the 113 (EW) and 134 (PB).
5) At this juncture we have no news as to when the Universitybus Volvo B7RLEs will start on route 653, nor of the new StreetLites at Arriva Southern Counties on routes 480/490.   Meanwhile, the new Scania - Irizar coaches did begin around two weeks ago on the Reading- Heathrow service. 

Sunday 20 January

1) Route 228 duly transferred from Metroline to Tower Transit on 19th January using new and used WV-class StreetLites.

Tuesday 15 January

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

Route       Current Operator                          New Operator                    PVR   Vehicles
197            Arriva London South                      Metrobus                              15 New Euro VI hybrid double deck
663            Arriva London South                      Metrobus                              1 2010 Euro V diesel double deck*

* To be upgraded to Euro VI emissions standards.

The above contracts will commence on 31st August 2019.

Saturday 12 January

1) Around thirty of Metroline’s new VMH class Volvo B5LH/MCV buses have been delivered and are being stockpiled at Willesden Junction Garage prior to most being used temporarily on route 134 until the new electrics arrive later this year.

2) First Berkshire is taking nine Scania/ Irizar coaches to re-equip the Reading - Heathrow Rail-Air service. In Slough Stewarts Coaches are to commence a service between Slough Station and the Trading Estate from Monday 14th January, using four Citaros in a green livery.

For earlier reports refer to TLB or join LOTS!

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. 

Sunday 24 February:  Green Line Running Day at Epping Ongar Railway, North Weald. This is to feature local routes using (at least) green RF, RP, SMA, RF, RCL vehicles. The usual 339s run from Epping Station at xx05 and xx35 from 10:05 while a special 718 will run at 10:05 from Chingford Station. All-day rover tickets are £14 adult (buses and trains) or £10 (buses only) with a special £1 fare for children. Details

Saturday 16 March: Transport Collectors Market at Chiswick Town Hall, Turnham Green. (LSS). Details

Sunday 24 March: An ‘A&D MBS RF event’ (40 years since last LT RFs in 1979). Based at The Heights Car Park, alongside Brooklands Museum. Free RF services (from 09:45) on former 218/219 from Kingston to Staines (218) or Weybridge (219), also hourly 215A Kingston & Downside. ‘Country routes 456B, 462, 462B in Staines / Weybridge / Walton / Cobham area. Timetables available at £8 (incl.P&P) from Michael Callard, 68 Hitcham Road, Taplow, SL6 0LZ. Cheques to be made to Amersham & District Motorbus Society.

Saturday 30 March: An ‘RT/RF event’ at Barking (BK) and River Road (RR) Garages, Commemoration of 40 years since the end of RTs at Barking and around 30 RTs have apparently been entered for the event. Free RT services on 62 (Barking & Chadwell Heath) and 23C (BK Garage & Creekmouth). BK Garage part opened with display and sales stands.. Also bus display (mainly RFs) at Go-Ahead’s River Road (RR) Garage. Bus link between BK and RR Garages. (LSS at BK). Details

Saturday 6 April:  South East Bus Festival, Detling, Kent (LSS).The main themes are the 50th anniversary of the formation of the NBC and also the 80th anniversary of LT’s RT class. Details
Go Ahead London is operating route 36X from Victoria Station, 0830, via Camberwell (0842), Queens Road Peckham station (0849) New Cross Garage (0852), Lewisham Station stop E (0901), Lee Green (0906) and Eltham Road, Westhorne Avenue stop EE (0910) arriving Detling at 1000. Returning at 1615. Single fare £9, return £10.

Sunday 7 April: Spring Gathering at London Bus Museum, Brooklands. Theme is end of RTs/RFs in 1979. (LSS).

Sunday 28 April:  East Grinstead,  Country Bus Running Day.

Sunday 12 May:  HCVS London to Brighton commercial vehicle run.

Saturday 18 May:  Faversham, Running Day using mostly ex-East Kent buses.

Sunday 19 May: Whittlesey, Cambs, Fenland BusFest; this is a large running day with many guest buses.