Latest Update:  15 January 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 January.

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.
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)

TLB652 was posted on Tuesday 11 December. The closing date for reports for TLB 653 is Wednesday 9 January 2019 and is due for posting on Tuesday 22 January.

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:

NEW 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 

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.

Wednesday 9 January

London Vehicle Finder had a major disk failure on Monday. Replacement disks were sourced but it appears the wrong disks were shipped. New disks are expected to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday) and it will then take a while to restore data and get the system up and running. Current guestimate is Friday but there are no guarantees.

Saturday 5 January

1) London United has just five Dart SLFs left for route 72 at Shepherd’s Bush while Tolworth has one.  Go-Ahead’s last three Dart SLFs remain at Bexleyheath.
2) The first few of Metroline’s 69 VMHs (B5LH/MCV) arrived via Southampton Docks on 3rd  January.   Most are due for Potters Bar route 134 until their electric buses are delivered later this year.
3) The ‘consultation’ on routes 88 and C2 has now been done and the C2 will be withdrawn, the 88 extended to Parliament Hill Fields and its LTs will be swapped with the EHs from route 87.  A provisional  date is 30th March.
4) Go-Ahead at Sutton Garage is to operate a Demand Response Service using eight M-B Sprinters.  Booking would be via an app, similar to Go-Ahead’s “pick-me-up” operation in Oxford.

Sunday 30 December

1) The See London by Night tour now has its four former Go-Ahead E400s in service in all-yellow livery.  They have been converted to part open-top and reregistered AA51,52,53,54 SEE – but we do need to know which is which to match their previous identities!    
2) First Berkshire is taking new Scania/ irizar coaches in a two tone blue livery for the Rail Air Reading & Heathrow service.  Universitybus is taking a batch of 12-plate Volvo B7RLE/ Wright buses to upgrade route 653 (Welwyn Garden City & St Albans New Greens).
3) Arriva Southern Counties is to put its new batch of StreetLites onto the 480/490, thus releasing older ’Sapphire’ StreetLites to routes 34/35  (Guildford & Camberley).  Staying at Guildford, Stagecoach South’s nine BYD/ADL E200EV electric buses are due to enter service from Monday 7th January.

Saturday 22 December

1) The latest batches of RATP DLEs (10.9m E20Ds) are now running on the 224 and 283 from Park Royal (RP) Garage and delivery has begun of the next batch, due for route 391 at Stamford Brook.   When completed, this year’s  new DLEs will total  81.  Additionally, adding to the seven DXEs (11.5m E20Ds) already here, another batch of 13 is due shortly for route H37 at Hounslow.   Cascading of buses as a result of all this will result in the withdrawal of the last  few DPS class Dart/ Pointers (now mainly on  the 72) at RATP and also should clear at least most Versas and Tempos.

2) LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:
Route       Current Operator                 New Operator                    PVR   Vehicles      
8/N8         Stagecoach East London      Stagecoach East London      28    2014 Euro V New Routemaster
81             London United                      Metroline                               16    2011/12 Euro V diesel double deck
100           Docklands Buses                  London Central                       9    New electric single deck        
205/N205  Stagecoach East London     Stagecoach East London       23  2014 Euro VI hybrid double deck       
209/609    Metroline                               London General                     10   New Euro VI diesel single deck                      
232           Metroline                               London General                     16   New Euro VI diesel single deck
395           Metroline                               London Sovereign                   6   New Euro VI diesel single deck         
490           Abellio West London             Abellio West London             16   2012/16 Euro V/VI diesel single deck
497           N/A - new route                     Stagecoach East London        2   New Euro VI diesel single deck          
H13          London Sovereign                 Metroline West                        6   2011/12 Euro V diesel single deck      
All Euro V vehicles will be upgraded to Euro VI emissions standards.
The above contracts will commence on the following dates:
29th June 2019: Route 8/N8.
27th July 2019: Route 81.
3rd August 2019: Route 232.
17th August 2019: Route 209/609.
24th August 2019: Routes 490 & 497.
31st August 2019: Route 205/N205.
7th September 2019: Routes 395 & H13.
21st September 2019: Route 100.

Sunday 16 December

There are no significant news events to report this week.

Sunday 9 December

1) The 8th December changes in London went ahead as planned with  the 79 and 292 swapping operators, 79 gaining SP-class  Scanias.  At Go-Ahead the 51 is being worked as intended by E400s and WVLs from Orpington, E400s and WVLs  from New Cross on the 178, E400s from MG on the 291 and E400s from RR on the 104.   The former Tower Transit  E400s (batch EN 28-40 less fire victims 33 and 37) are now in service at Orpington while another eight second-hand E400s (EN 41-48) have been acquired from Abellio and are being made ready for service soon.
2) At Arriva the Shires  a partial renumbering scheme is to begin shortly involving about 65 of their buses. This is to eliminate duplication of numbers with their parent company Arriva Midlands.    At Arriva Southern Counties a batch of new  StreetLites is being made ready for service. Most are for Northfleet  to replace existing ‘Sapphire’ StreetLites on the 480/490 and two are for Colchester route 133.
3) For the benefit of TLB readers, the LHRG meeting on 13 December has been moved from Palestra to 55 Broadway. 

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. 

Saturday 9 February: Staines Transport Collectors’ Fair at Hythe Centre, Thorpe Road, Staines, open 10:30-15:30, Admission £3, bus service from Staines Rail Station.

Saturday 16 February: NLETE Enfield Transport Bazaar at  St Paul’s Centre, Church Street, Enfield.  Open 11.00-14.30,  Admission £3 (accompanied children free).

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

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.