London Transport
Central Area Routes 83–89

Last updated 23-08-10.

This plate was probably used on the Monday to Saturday service to Hanwell in the 1960s and ’70s. By this time most offices no longer worked on Saturdays, so London Transport decreed that day to be a non-working one such that references to it on “E” plates were in red, as with Sundays.
The discolouration and ghosted 83 on this “E” plate was caused by an vinyl sticker being affied to the plate when the service at the stop it came from was changed from Monday to Saturday to daily.
Cup Final May 1st
Bus route 83 was featured prominently in G.R. Morris’ poster for the 1937 Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
© LondonTransport Museum
Route 83 tickets
Four LONDON TRANSPORT BUSES tickets from route 83.
Tickets courtesy jrs232.

Route 83 ran daily between Golders Green Station and Ealing Broadway via Hendon, West Hendon, Kingsbury, Wembley Park, Wembley, Alperton and Hanger Lane, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Hayes Station via West Ealing, Hanwell and Southall. From 1950 until 1953 the Sunday service was suspended in the summer and replaced by route 83A. In 1954 the Monday to Saturday service was extended from Hayes Station to Hayes North. In 1958 the 83 was withdrawn between Ealing Broadway and Hayes North. From 1960 until 1964 it was extended on summer Sundays to London Airport Central via South Ealing, Osterley, Lampton, Hounslow West, Cranford and Harlington Corner. In 1965 it was extended daily from Ealing Broadway to Brentford (Half Acre) via Hanwell Broadway and Boston Manor. In 1968 it was withdrawn between Hanwell Broadway and Brentford on Mondays to Saturdays, and between Ealing Broadway and Brentford on Sundays, and replaced by route E1. In 1969 it was withdrawn on Sundays between Alperton and Ealing and replaced by new route 83A. In 1971 the 83 was converted to one-man-operation on Sundays and extended from Alperton to Ealing Broadway, replacing route 83A. In 1970 it was extended from Hanwell and Ealing Broadway to Ealing Hospital.

The original route 83A was a summer Sundays only (i.e. May to October) service between Golders Green Station and Kew Green via Hendon, The Burroughs, West Hendon, Roe Lane, Kingsbury, Wembley Park Station, Wembley, Alperton, Hanger Lane Station, Ealing, South Ealing and Kew Bridge. It was withdrawn in 1953.

A new Sunday-only 83A operated from October 1969 to May 1971 between Wembley (Empire Pool) and Ealing Broadway via Alperton and Hanger Lane. It was introduced to provide Sunday work for drivers from route 79.

This “E” plate could have come from either version of the 83A. ▶

1916 London General poster for route 84 to St. Albans
A 1916 London General poster encoraging travel to St. Albans via route 84.
1916 route 84 leaflet
The Abbey gatehouse, St. Albans.
Route 84 tickets
Ten different geographical punch tickets from Central Area route 84, from St. Albans to Walthamstow, all with the large (older style) fare overprint. The 1d, 1½d and 2d values are “long” tickets with eight or twelve WHEN WORKING stage numbers, whilst the remaining higher values are without. They were all issued in the 1940s.
Tickets courtesy jrs232.

Route 84 dates to September 1912, when the London General Omnibus Company started working a service from Golders Green to St. Albans. In 1950 the 84 operated between St. Albans Garage and Arnos Grove Station via St. Peter’s Street, Chequer Street, London Colney, South Mimms, Bignalls Corner, St. Albans Road, Barnet Church, Barnet High Street, Whetstone High Road, Whetstone, and Oakleigh Road North and South, with Monday-to-Saturday peak hours and Sunday journeys extended to Walthamstow (Crooked Billet) via Bowes Road, North Circular Road, Palmers Green, Edmonton, Lea Valley Viaduct and Walthamstow Avenue. In 1969 the route was withdrawn beyond Barnet and terminated at New Barnet Station, the withdrawn section being replaced by route 34. At the same time it was converted to single deck one-person-operation, but in 1975 it reverted to double deck buses. In 1980 Monday to Saturday service was extended from New Barnet to Arnos Grove station via East Barnet Road, Church Hill Road, Hampden Square, Waterfall Road and Bowes Road, replacing withdrawn route 261, with some additional peak hour journeys running between Barnet (Chesterfield Road) and Arnos Grove. In 1982 operations were transferred to London Country, and service was withdrawn between New Barnet and Arnos Grove, replaced by new route 84A. In 1986 the 84 was diverted at South Mimms via Cecil Road, Potters Bar Station, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar and Hadley Highstone instead of the direct route via St. Albans Road, although two peak hour journeys (one in each direction) continued to run direct via St. Albans Road. In February 1989 service was extended from St. Albans Garage to New Greens Estate (High Oaks) via St. Peter Street, Harpended Road and Green Lane in the down direction only. Eight months later the route was diverted in St. Albans to City Station via Hatfield Road. In 1992 Sunday service was diverted via the London Colney Savacentre during shopping hours. In 1998 the St. Albans terminal was changed once again, this time to St. Peters Street instead of City Station. In 1993 the journeys via Bignalls Corner and St. Albans Road direct were restricted to single direction only, and were eliminated altogether in 2002.

Route 85 ran daily between Putney Bridge Station and Kingston via Putney Heath, Roehampton, Kingston Vale and Norbiton. In 1958 the Sunday sevice was withdrawn and replaced by an extension of route 14. In 1970 some journeys were diverted to serve the Telegraph Inn. In 1971 it was converted to single-deck one-man-operation, and the Sunday service was reintroduced. The Telegraph Inn journeys were switched to route 85A in 1979, although they returned in 1981, and were withdrawn again in 1990 when the route was tendered and passed to London & Country. It has since been operated by London United and now London General.

Leatherhead by Routes 85 & 105A
On Sundays during the summers of 1921 and 1922, the London General Omnibus Company extended the 85 all the way from Kingston to Guildford via Leatherhead. (This service became route 408 in 1924.) For the summer of ’23 (and possibly ’24) route 85 was diverted at Leatherhead and ran instead to Dorking. This 3" × 6" guide shows all the sights along the way to Leatherhead on the 85 and 105A.
This eight-page booklet was issued for the introduction of new one-man single-deck SMS-class buses to the route (which were in turn replaced by double deck DMS-type Daimlers just over a year later) on January 2, 1971. It contains details of the route changes, a timetable of first and last buses and a fare table. There is also a separate flyer inserted advertising for Bus Drivers who can now earn (including overtime) £29 (or more) and conductors £28.
This timetable notice dated 2.1.71 gives the details of the journeys serving Putney Heath (Telegraph Inn).


Route 85A was introduced in 1961 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Putney Bridge Station and Roehampton (Danebury Avenue) via Putney Heath and Roehampton. In 1973 it was converted to double-deck one-man operation. Journeys to Telegraph Inn were introduced to replace those on route 85 in 1979. The route was withdrawn in 1981 and replaced by route 170.

Route 86 originally ran daily between Limehouse and Brentwood (Yorkshire Grey) via Devons Road, Bow Church, Stratford, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford and Gidea Park. In 1952 it was withdrawn between Stratford and Limehouse on Sundays, and between Chadwell Heath and Limehouse on Mondays to Saturdays, and the main service along Romford Road was left to the 86A. In 1956 the 86 was withdrawn west of Chadwell Heath, while becoming a daily route between Chadwell Heath (Wangey Road) and Brentwood. It was withdrawn completely in August 1958 and replaced by changes to route 87.

However, the plain number was soon to return a year later when the 86A was renumbered 86, running daily between Limehouse (Eastern Hotel) and Upminster Station along its original routeing to Romford, then via Hornchurch. On Mondays to Saturdays it was extended to Upminster Park Estate, but this extension became daily in 1960. However, it was cut back daily to Upminster Station in 1963, but re-extended there again on Sundays only in 1966. In 1968 it was rerouted via Bromley-by-Bow Station instead of Bow Church. In 1970 it was withdrawn east of Romford Station at all times, running daily between Limehouse and Romford. In 1982 it was withdrawn west of Stratford at all times except during Monday to Friday peak hours when it was extended to Bow Church. In 1983 the Bow Church extension was withdrawn, and the daily service was extended from Stratford to Limehouse once again. In 1984 the extension to Limehouse became Sundays only, and during Monday to Friday peak hours it was extended to Bromley-by-Bow Station, but at all other times it terminated at Stratford. It was converted to one-man operation in 1985, and later that year the peak hour extension to Bromley-by-Bow was rerouted to Mile End Station. In 1991 the route was again withdrawn east of Stratford to run daily between Stratford and Romford.

1966 route 86 bus stop notice
A special bus stop timetable display for route 86 to Upminster Park Estate from the northbound stop in Station Road, Upminster opposite the station, dated October 1966. The biro notation in the corner says 31.12.66, which is at odds with the UPMINSTER PARK ESTATE destination and the lack of a SUNDAYS ONLY restriction.
1972 route 86 timetable
The top half of a bus stop timetable panel dated 7.2.72, showing Monday to Friday “up” journeys.
Surprisingly, “E” plates for route 86 are not easy to find, and these being the FARE STAGE version will be even more unusual.

◀ This “E” plate would probably have come from a bus stop at Dagenham (Fords), where some journeys ran towards Rainham and some towards Barking.
Route 87 timetable
◀ This London General Omnibus Company bus stop timetable panel is dated January 20th, 1926. At that time route 87 ran from Streatham (Greyhound) to Purley (Railway Hotel). The opposite side shows times etc. for Sundays and public holiday service.
After the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, route 87 shared tickets with the 23 and 23B. ▶
Route 23/23B/87 ticket

Route 87 ran from Gidea Park (Bob’s Café) to Rainham (White Post Corner) via Main Road, Romford, Becontree Heath, Longbridge Road, Barking, Ripple Road and New Road. Some journeys divert at Dagenham to Church Elm via Heahway, or to Fords Main Works via Kent Avenue. In 1958 it was extended from Gidea Park to Brentwood (Yorkshire Grey) via Harold Wood Station and Brook Street, replacing withdrawn route 86. In 1962 Monday to Friday journeys were withdrawn between Becontree Heath and Brentwood, replaced by new route 287. In 1966 it was diverted at Gidea Park to Harold Hill (Gooshays Drive) via Straight Road and Hilldene Avenue. In April 1969 a new service was introduced to Rainham (Abbey Wood Lane) in addition to White Post Corner. Four months later Sunday journeys were extended in Harold Hill via Leamington Road and Petersfield Avenue to Dagnam Park Drive. In 1971 Sunday service to Rainham (White Post Corner) was withdrawn, and in 1974 Rainham (Abbey Wood Lane) became the terminal for all service. In 1977 the route was extended daily from Gooshays Drive to Dagnam Park Drive. On 6 April 1979 the 87 operated the last regular service RT bus in London. In 1982 it was withdrawn between Barking (Town Centre) and Rainham, but some Monday to Friday journeys were introduced to Creekmouth (Power Station) and some service diverted via Remploy Factory. In 1991 the Creekmouth journeys were withdrawn, and in 1993 it was withdrawn between Romford (Market Place) and Harold Hill. In 1993 the 87 was extended via the North Circular Road to Beckton (Savacentre) except during evenings, but in 1995 this extension was withdrawn, with the route now running between Barking (London Road) and Romford (St. Edwards Way). In March 2006 the route was withdrawn, replaced by a revised route 5.

In June 2006 the number 87 was reused for the renumbering of the 77A between Aldwych and Wandsworth Plain via Strand, Trafalgar Square, Millbank, Vauxhall Bridge, Vauxhall Bus Station, Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction.

In 1950 route 88 ran between Acton Green and Mitcham (Cricketers) via Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Vauxhall Bridge, Stockwell, Clapham, Balham and Tooting Broadway, with an extension to St. Helier (Rose) during Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturdays, and further extended to Belmont via Sutton on Sundays. In 1961 additional Sunday afternoon journeys were introduced to Banstead Hospital. In 1964 Saturday service was withdrawn between Mitcham and St. Helier, and in 1970 the Monday to Friday peak journeys were also withdrawn from this section. In 1974 the Sunday extension south of Mitcham was withdrawn, being replaced by Sunday service on route 280. In 1981 a garage allocation change introduced Sunday garage journeys between Mitcham and Merton Garage via Phipps Bridge Estate. In 1985 Monday-to-Friday evening service was withdrawn between Tooting and Mitcham. A year later regular Sunday service was introduced between Mitcham and Merton Garage. In 1987 the remaining Monday to Saturday journeys were withdrawn between Tooting and Mitcham, but less than a year later the route was extended from Acton Green to Turnham Green via Chiswick Park Station. In April 1990 Monday to Saturday service was withdrawn between Clapham Common (Old Town) and Tooting, and in September further cuts withdrew the 88 between Clapham Common and Merton Garage, and between Marble Arch and Turnham Green on Sundays, and further eliminated service between Oxford Circus and Marble Arch the rest of the week, the withdrawn section being replaced by new route 94. In 1992 the service was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Marble Arch. From 1993 to 1997 the 88 was branded as the Clapham omnibus and operated by single-deck Volvo B10Bs with Northern Counties Countybus Palidin bodywork. In 2000 the route was extended from Oxford Circus to Camden Town via Portland Place, Euston Road, Warren Street Station and Hampstead Road, replacing withdrawn route 135.

◀ RTL1531 [OLD 640] seen in the summer of ’64 at Amen Corner, Tooting, on the Sunday-only jaunt to Banstead Hospital.
Photo from the Bob Turner collection, courtesy of London Bus Routes.

A set of eight punch tickets from route 88 (Acton Green–Belmont). They are all from the immediate post-war sets with large-sized value overprints. ▶
Tickets courtesy jrs232.
Route 88 tickets
This is one of the very earliest style of “E” plates with circular loops on the 8s and no black border at the top and bottom, and made from a more “glazed” type of enamel. The style was designed to be used in the old flat bronze-framed bus stop flags which had horizontal cross-bars in addition to the vertical runners. There was no black edging at the top and bottom, because the plate’s edges were hidden. This design of fixing “E” plates was soon replaced with the boat-shaped flags which were easier to change as there was no need to unscrew horizontal crossbars.
A third line of text (probably  FARE STAGE ) has been officially removed from the surface of this “E” plate. This was sometimes done to avoid the cost or delay in making new plates.
This is the only “E” plate that I can recall seeing that has the word NOT on it! It would have been displayed on stops between Tooting and Mitcham from 1985 to 1987.

This “E” plate dates from 1971 or later, and would have been posted between Bexleyheath and Eltham.
RT3251 [LLU 610] is seen at the stand.

Route 89 ran daily between Lewisham and Welling (Guy, Earl of Warwick) via Blackheath, Shooters Hill and Bellegrove Road. In 1963 it was extended from Welling to Eltham (Well Hall Station) via Bexleyheath, Bexley, Blendon and Blackfen. In 1971 the Sunday service was withdrawn between Bexleyheath and Eltham. In 1978 it was diverted daily at Bexleyheath to run to Slade Green Station via Colyers Lane, with some Monday to Friday peak hour journeys running to Bexley Station, but these were withdrawn in 2000.

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