London Transport
Central Area Routes 78–79

Last updated 01-01-10.

Route 78 ran daily from Shoreditch Church to Dulwich (Plough) via Liverpool Street Station, Aldgate, Tower Bridge, Dunton Road, Old Kent Road, Peckham Park Road, Peckham, Peckham Rye and Barry Road. Originally operated by RTs from Nunhead [AH], Dalston [D] and Old Kent Road [P] garages, RTLs also ran on the route from 1954 to 1968. Routemasters first appeared on the 78 in 1963 on Sundays only, moving to Saturdays as well in 1969. In 1972 the route was converted to one-person-operation with DMS type buses, but these were replaced with Scania MDs in 1980. The 78 was converted from Scania MD to single-deck Leyland Nationals in 1981, and the following year double deck Leyland Titans ousted the LS class. In 1988, after almost 40 years of running between the same termini, it was extended from Dulwich to Forest Hill, partly replacing the withdrawn section of route 12. In 1990, under the tendering process, operation was transferred to London & Country on a two-year contract using Leyland Atlanteans and hired Fleetlines from South Yorkshire. In 1994 it was withdrawn between Peckham Rye and Forest Hill, now turning at Peckham Rye (Eastern Arm). In 1995 it was operated by Londonlinks, and in 1997 it moved within the Cowie group to Kentish Bus. In 1998 it was transferred to Grey Green, then to Arriva London North East in 1999. In 2000 the 78 was extended from Peckham Rye to Nunhead (St. Mary’s Road) via Nunhead Lane.

78
78
78 DULWICH
This “E” plate would have come from the bus stop in Aldgate High Street where buses in both directions passed the same point, and thus it will be exceedingly rare.
78 SUNDAY
The 78 is not an easy route to find on “E” plates, and being a red Sunday plate is of particular interest. It would have come from the section of route between Aldgate and Bishopsgate, where on Sundays the route had to run via Dukes Place and Bevis Marks, as the normal routeing via Middlesex Street was impassable owing to Petticoat Lane Sunday Market. In later years this routeing variation ceased as buses were rerouted daily along Dukes Place and Bevis Marks, avoiding the need for a different routeing.
This astonishingly rare plate would have come from a stop in Bevis Marks, which was used on Sunday mornings by buses towards Shoreditch as they could not use Middlesex Street owing to it being used for the Petticoat Lane Market. There are a number of different wordings for this message and all are equally rare.
 ▶
78 SUNDAY BEFORE 4.00 P.M.

79
79 MON.-FRI.
79 MON.-SAT.
79 MON.-SAT.
79 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
“E” plates with the wording SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY are rather rare as they usually were made for specific stops.

A leaflet for new “Pay-As-You-Enter” double-deck buses from June 1974 for route 79 & 79A.

Route 79 ran daily between Colindale Station and Alperton via Canons Park, Kingsbury and Wembley, with some Monday to Saturday journeys extended to Northolt (Target) via Hanger Lane, Western Avenue, Perivale and Greenford. Later in 1949 the Northolt journeys were extended to Northolt Airport. In 1952 the Northolt journeys were transferred to route 79A, and the 79 was rerouted at Alperton via a loop to Perivale (Dawlish Avenue). In 1956 the Sunday service was withdrawn, and in 1966 the Saturday service was withdrawn. In 1968 it was withdrawn between Alperton and Perivale, and the following year it was converted to one-man-operation and extended during peak hours from Alperton to Northolt (Target). In 1972 it wa extended from Colindale to Grahame Park Estate. In 1973 it was extended from Grahame Park to Burnt Oak Broadway and a Saturday service was added. A Sunday service was introduced in 1975 between Burnt Oak and Alperton. In 1978 the Northolt journeys were extended from the Target to Northolt Station. The route was withdrawn between Alperton and Northolt in 1980. In 1983 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Alperton to Willesden Junction via Park Royal, and in 1984 it was extended on Sundays from Alperton to Ealing Broadway. The route was withdrawn later that year. The current route 79 is the old route 79A renumbered.


Route 79A ran weekdays between Edgware Station and Perivale (Dawlish Avenue) via Canons Park, Queensbury, Kingsbury, North Wembley, Wembley, Alperton and Bilton Road, with some Monday to Friday rush hour and two Saturday journeys extended to Northolt Airport. Starting in 1954 on Saturdays and Sundays the 79A ran in an anticlockwise loop through Perivale via Aintree Road and Bideford Avenue, returning along Horsenden Lane and Bilton Road, and the service to Northolt Airport was cut back to Northolt (Target Inn). In 1956 the Sunday service was altered to run in both directions around the Perivale loop, but two years later the Sunday service was withdrawn. In 1966 the Saturday journeys beyond Perivale to Northolt were withdrawn. In 1968 route 79A was withdrawn between Alperton Station and Northolt except for Monday to Friday rush hour journeys, and replaced by new route 297. In 1969 the Northolt journeys became lunchtime only, and the remainder were transferred to route 79. In 1973 it was withdrawn between Alperton Station and Northolt. In 1980 it was extended from Alperton to Willesden Junction via Mount Pleasant, North Circular Road, Park Royal Trading Estate, Twyford Abbey Road and Acton Lane. In 1983 it was withdrawn between Alperton Station and Willesden Junction and replaced by route 79, and also rerouted in Kingsbury via the Mall. In 1987 the 79A was renumbered plain 79 when it was transferred to London Buslines

79A WEEKDAY
Since the 79A had both Monday to Friday and Monday to Saturday sections, one can see the inadequacy of the WEEKDAY designation.
79A MON.-FRI.
Newer plates clearly spelt out the days of operation.
79A MON.-SAT.
79A MON.-SAT.
79A SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
This “E” plate would have come from the section between Alperton Station and Northolt after the service was reduced to lunchtime only in 1969.
bus stop notice
A special bus stop timetable display for routes 79 to Colindale (weekdays) and 79A to Edgware (weekdays) posted at the northbound stop in Bideford Avenue, Perivale at Dawlish Avenue for buses starting there, dated 11 October 1961.
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