London Transport
Central Area Routes 60–65

Last updated 17-03-10.

As there has generally been little change to the main 61 service, which accounts for “E” plates for this route being rather difficult to find and this one being very old and weathered.
This plate is rather interesting in probably being one of of a single pair carrying the notation SEE BELOW. It may have come from the terminal stop at Bromley Garage which would have only been served on Sunday mornings between 1957 and 1966.
1972 route 61 leaflet
Leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of route 61 starting 15 July 1972, with print code 672/25025/35,000. This is a fold-out leaflet with brief details of the changes and a fare table on the front. Inside are bus stop timetables for the service and on the back are diagrams showing how to use split entrance buses.

LS386 [BYW386V] at Bromley North. The B(C)E3G3 stop flag has “E” plates for the 61 and 269, as well as a “G3” HEADSTOP plate. Also, note the unorthodox setting of the route number blinds.

Photo courtesy London Bus Routes.

Route 61 ran daily between Eltham (Well Hall Station) and Bromley Garage via Eltham High Street, New Eltham, Green Lane, Chislehurst, Orpington, Crofton Road and Locksbottom, extended on Sundays to Bromley North Station. In 1956 the route was diverted in Chislehurst via Edgbury and Belmont Lane. In 1957 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Bromley Garage to Bromley North Station, but this section withdrawn on Sunday mornings until 1966. In 1972 the 61 was converted to one-man operation and the Saturday service was withdrawn between Chislehurst and Eltham, and replaced by route 227, but the Saturday service was restored to Eltham in 1974. In 1986 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays between Chislehurst and Eltham and replaced by new route 61B. In 1991 the Sunday service was also cut back from Eltham to Chislehurst.

Famous as the last RT-operated route, the 62 ran daily between Little Heath (Haw Bush) and Chadwell Heath (Wangey Road) via Goodmayes, Barking, Lodge Avenue, Woodward Road, Gale Street and Valance Avenue, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Chigwell Row (Maypole) via Whalebone Lane. In the summer of 1950 and 1951 the Sunday service was also extended to Chigwell Row. In 1952 the Monday to Saturday service was diverted at Hainault to run via New North Road to Barkingside (Old Maypole). In the summer of 1952 and 1953 the Sunday service was renumbered 62A as it continued to run to Chigwell Row, but it reverted to 62 in the winter. In 1954 it was extended on Mondays to Fridays from Barkingside to Ilford Station via Gants Hill. The summer renumbering of the Sunday service continued from 1954 until 1957. In 1956 it was withdrawn between Gants Hill Station and Ilford between peak hours. In 1958 the Sunday service was not reinstated for the winter and the 62 became Mondays to Saturdays only. In 1959 it was diverted via Rose Lane and Billet Road to serve Marks Gate Estate. In 1960 the 62 was withdrawn between Little Heath and Barking and diverted instead at Upney via Upney Lane and Longbridge Road to Barking. The service to Little Heath was replaced by new route 162. In 1966 the Saturday service was extended from Barkingside to Ilford. In 1968 a Sunday service was introduced between Barking and Ilford, with one journey each way diverted via Whalebone Lane North to serve the cemetery. In 1969 certain Sunday journeys were extended from Barking to Creekmouth Power Station, and the Monday to Friday service was extended to Ilford at all times. Some peak and midday journeys on Mondays to Fridays were rerouted via the Hainault Industrial Estate. In 1972 it was withdrawn between Barkingside (High Street) and Ilford between the peaks on Mondays to Fridays. In 1972 it was diverted on Mondays to Saturdays in Barking to terminate at the Gascoigne Estate. In 1974 the journeys via Hainault Industrial Estate were withdrawn owing to parked cars. In 1977 it was withdrawn at all times between Barkingside and Ilford. In 1979 it became the last route to be worked by RTs. In 1982 it was withdrawn between Hainault (The Lowe) and Barkingside. In 1986 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from Hainault to Gants Hill Station. Later that year it was withdrawn on Sundays between Marks Gate and Hainault. In 1990 it was withdrawn between Marks Gate and Gants Hill but extended Monday to Saturday shopping hours to Collier Row (Clockhouse Lane), although this extension was withdrawn the following year. The route now runs between Barking (Gascoigne Estate) and Marks Gate.

RT Farewell Calvalcade tickets
These posters were displayed inside buses in the weeks leading up the the retirement of London’s last RT buses.
RT Farewell Calvalcade tickets
A pair of souvenir tickets from the RT Farewell Calvalcade which ran on 7th April, 1979.
This “E” plate would been displayed on stops between Barkingside (High Street) and Ilford Station from 1972 to 1977.
This “E” plate would have come from one of the few stops on the short section of diversion around the Hainault Industrial Estate which operated from 1969 to 1974 and was withdrawn suddenly due to the inability of buses to traverse the roads owing to parking problems.
Note that there is no & symbol before MIDDAY which would normally have been present. In addition, the number is bolder than usual on this plate.
This “E” plate came from a stop in Barking town centre, and is notable as it carries the name OBAN ROAD which dates it prior to the building of the large Gascoigne Estate which now covers the area from which this small road has been obliterated.


Route 62A was introduced in 1952 running on summer Sundays between Little Heath (Haw Bush) and Chigwell Row (Maypole Inn) via Barley Lane, Goodmayes Lane, Longbridge Road, Barking, Ripple Road, Lodge Avenue, Becontree, Porters Avenue, Valence Avenue, Chadwell Heath, Whalebone Lane and Romford Road. In 1958 it was also introduced on winter Sundays. In 1960 it was withdrawn between Barking (London Road) and Little Heath and replaced by new route 162. The 62A was withdrawn in 1968 and replaced by the introduction of the 62 on Sundays.

Route 63 commenced operation from Nunhead Bus Garage [AH] in 1949. It ran daily between and King’s Cross Station and Honor Oak via Farringdon Road, Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Old Kent Road, Peckham and Peckham Rye. In 1954 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Honor Oak to Crystal Palace via Lordship Lane and Upper Sydenham, with the Sunday service similarly extended in 1960. In 1961 it was extended from King’s Cross to Parliament Hill Fields via Kentish Town replacing trolleybus routes 513 and 613. In 1963 the Saturday and Sunday services were diverted to Hampstead Heath and renumbered 63A. In 1970 a Saturday and Sunday service was reintroduced, with the route terminating at King’s Cross except on Sunday when it continued via Camden Town to Hampstead Heath, although this Sunday extension was withdrawn in 1972, lasting only two years. In 2003 the route was replaced by new route 363 between Honor Oak and Crystal Palace, thus reverting to what it was in 1949. It now operates from the new Peckham Garage [PM] in Blackpool Road.

Route 68 is described below.

MD 74
In 1976 the MD class displaced Routemasters from route 63. MD74 [KJD 274P]—one of 164 MCW Metropolitans with Scania running gear—is parked outside the Old Times furnishings shop in Rye Lane, Peckham (a road shared with route 37), approximately 100 yards from Peckham Rye British Rail station. (Thanks to Dan Gaze for identifying the location.)
Capital Transport photo; LTB78
This Sunday “E” plate is likely to have come from the King’s Cross–Hampstead Heath section which only ran from 1970 to 1972.
This “E” plate would have come from the bus stop in Grays Inn Road at King’s Cross, where terminating buses stopped at a different point from those running through to Parliament Hill Fields or Hampstead Heath, hence the addition of the word ONLY.
This split plate would almost certainly have come from a stop in the Camden Town area when both routes ran there, as I don’t believe they stopped together at Elephant & Castle. This is likely to be an exceedingly rare combination of routes on a single “E” plate, probably having lasted only from 1961 until 1963.

63A SAT. & SUN.

Route 63A was a relatively short-lived weekend service that ran between Crystal Palace and Hamstead Heath (South End Green) via Upper Sydenham, Lordship Lane, Honor Oak, Peckham Rye, Peckham, Old Kent Road, Elephant & Castle, Blackfriars, Farringdon Road, King’s Cross, Royal College Street, Crowndale Road, Camden Town and Chalk Farm. It operated from October 1963 to January 1970, when it was replaced by seven-day-a-week service on the 63.

Route 64 ran daily between Addington (Featherbed Lane) and West Croydon station via Selsdon Park Road, Addington Road, Selsdon, Croham Road and South Croydon. In March 1959 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Elmers End garage via Norwood Junction and Anerley, with some school journeys continuing to Eden Park Station via Elmers End Green, but the service was cut back to West Croydon again in July. In 1960 it was extended from West Croydon to Wimbledon Stadium via Mitcham and Tooting to partly replace trolleybus route 630, but was cut back to Tooting Broadway in 1961. In 1964 it was withdrawn on Sundays between West Croydon and Tooting, but re-extended there again in 1966. In 1987 it was extended from Addington to New Addington (Salcot Crescent) and withdrawn between Thornton Heath Garage and Tooting Broadway, and also withdrawn completely on Sundays and replaced by route 264 on this day. In 1988 it was extended during Saturday shopping hours from Thornton Heath Garage to Thornton Heath (High Street), but cut back again to Thornton Heath Garage in 1990 when it was also reintroduced on Sundays.

Front and back of a February, 1938, bus stop timetable panel for route 64. At the time this local Croydon area route had a journey time of 25 minutes and a maximum fare of 5d (2p). Unusually, it has an overprint at the top
With the compliments of
W. Jennings, Newsagents & Bookseller
18, Station Road, West Croydon
1938 route 64 timetable1938 route 64 timetable

This “E” plate may have come from Ealing Broadway, where the rush hour service had a different stop from the terminating journeys.
◀ This route 65 timecard for service K83 on Mondays to Fridays is dated 31/1/83, so it would have been from the last schedule to operate from Kingston Garage [K] before closure (for the first time). It is the laminated style of card, not pasted on a board.

Route 65 ran between Ealing (Argyle Road) and Leatherhead (LT Garage) via Cleveland Road, Ealing Broadway, South Ealing, Kew Bridge, Kew Road, Richmond, Petersham, Ham Common, Kingston, Villiers Road, Surbiton, Brighton Road, Hook, Chessington and Malden Rushett. It was operated by Kingston [K] and Turnham Green [V] garages, using a mix of RT, RTL and STL buses. In 1966 the Saturday and Sunday service was withdrawn, replaced by route 65A. In 1968 the weekend service was reintroduced, but the route was withdrawn between Chessington Zoo and Leatherhead (replaced by a revised route 71), and between Ealing Broadway and Argyle Road except for Monday to Friday peak hours, which was replaced by new route 273. In 1975 some Monday to Friday peak hour journeys were extended in Chessington from the Zoo to Fox & Hounds. At the same time the 65 was converted from RT to Routemaster operation. From May 1979 to September 1980 the route was split in two in Petersham between River Lane and the Fox & Duck due to road subsidence. In 1982 the Ealing peak hours extension was withdrawn. From 1986 the route became one-man operated by M-class Metrobuses. In February 1987 Monday to Saturday service was withdrawn between Kingston and Chessington Zoo, with Sunday journeys following four months later. Under the tendering system operations were transferred to London & Country in 1990, then to Armchair Travel in 1991 and London United in 2002. In 2004 the N65 night service was renumbered into the daily schedule.

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