London Transport
Central Area Routes 107–109

Last updated 22-03-10.

Route 107 ran on Mondays to Saturdays from Borehamwood (Drayton Road) to Ponders End (Durrants Road) via Elstree Way, Barnet By-Pass, Stirling Corner, Arkley, Barnet Church, New Barnet, Oakwood, Enfield Chase and Enfield Town, extended during rush hours to Ponders End Station. In 1954 it was extended from Borehamwood to Queensbury via Elstree Hill, Brockley Hill, Watford By-Pass, Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware and Camrose Avenue. In 1957 it was diverted away from Barnet By-Pass to run via Furzehill Drive, Ashley Drive, Balmoral Drive, Chester Road, Warwick Road and Elstree Way. In 1972 it was diverted at Ponders End to Enfield lock (RSA Factory) and introduced on Sundays between Edgware Station and Enfield Lock. In 1977 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Fridays between Enfield Highway and Enfield Lock and replaced by new roure 107A, but in 1979 the 107A was withdrawn and the 107 re-extended to Enfield Lock. In 1982 it was rerouted at Ponders End to Brimsdown Station replacing route 135. In 1984 the Sunday service was extended from Edgware to Queensbury. In 1986 it was withdrawn between New Barnet Station and Brimsdown and replaced by new route 307. In 1993 it was withdrawn between Edgware Station and Queensbury and replaced by route 288.

This plate probably dates from 1972 when the route became daily and was being worked from Enfield [E] Garage with DMS-type Fleetline buses.
107 MON.-FRI.
This “E” plate is from the rush hours extension between Durrants Road and Ponders End Station.
This “E” plate would have come from a bus stop where there was only a limited or occasional service.
Timetable leaflet for the OPO conversion of route 107 implemented on 9 September 1972, with print code 672/2637S/60,000. This fold-out leaflet has 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.

107A MON.-FRI.
This plate must have come from a special stop at a stand working that was not often used, since there was a regular service over the whole of the main route. This combination of wording must therefore be rather unusual, and might have appeared on just a single stop.
This “E” plate would have been posted at stops between Enfield Chase and Queensbury Station between 1963 and 1970.
I believe this plate came from the main trunk of the route (i.e. between Enfield Chase and Oakwood Station) after Saturday service was discontinued over that section in 1950.
The quantity of text on this “E” plate makes the size of the number quite small (only 114" high) and would have made it hard to read unless you were very close (or very tall!).

In 1948 route 107A ran from Enfield Lock RSA to Oakwood Station via Ordnance Road, Hertford Road, Ponders End, Southbury Station, Enfield Town, Enfield Chase Station, Windmill Hill and Slades Hill, with a Sunday extension to Borehamwood (Drayton Road) via New Barnet, Barnet, Arkley, Stirling Corner, Barnet By-Pass, Elstree Way and Shenley Road. In 1950 Saturday service was withdrawn between Enfield Chase and Oakwood Station. In 1954 Sunday service was extended from Borehamwood to Edgware Station via Elstree Village, Brockley Hill and Canons Park, replacing withdrawn route 141. In 1957 the route was diverted at Borehamwood via Balmoral Drive instead of Barnet By-Pass. In 1963 Saturday journeys were extended from Enfield Chase to Queensbury Station via High Street Edgware, Camrose Avenue, Taunton Way and Turner Road, replacing the 107 on that day, but they were withdrawn in 1970 when the 107 resumed running on Saturdays. Also in 1970, Monday to Friday peak journeys were extended from Oakwood to Arkley Hotel. On 3 September 1972 the route was withdrawn. However, from August 1977 through June 1979 at the request of the London Transport Passengers Committee, route 107 Monday to Friday early journeys between Enfield Lock and New Barnet Station, and late journeys between Enfield and Arkley, were renumbered 107A.

A nice specimen of an early London Transport 1d (less than ½p) ticket for route 108.

Route 108 ran daily between Bromley-by-Bow (Edgar Road) and Crystal Palace via Poplar, Blackwall Tunnel, Blackwall Lane, Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, Lewisham, Catford, Perry Hill, Lower Sydenham and Westwood Hill. In 1960 the Monday to Friday service was withdrawn between Lower Sydenham and Crystal Palace and replaced by new route 108B. In 1968 it was withdrawn completely between Blackheath (Royal Standard) and Crystal Palace and converted to single-deck one-man-operation. In 1970 it was extended daily from Blackheath to Eltham Church via Rochester Way and Kidbrooke, and further extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Eltham (Southend Crescent). In 1977 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Bromley-by-Bow to Stratford (Bus Station). In 1978 the route was revised to run daily between Stratford and Eltham (Southend Crescent). In 1986 it was rerouted at Blackheath to run to Lewisham, and replaced to Eltham by new route 286. In 1988 the 108 was extended from Stratford to Wanstead Station via Maryland and Leytonstone to partly replace route 10. In 1989 under LRT tendering the route was operated by Boroline Maidstone, and transferred to Kentish Bus in 1992. In 1993 it was withdrawn between Stratford and Wanstead. In 1997 the route was transferred to Harris Bus, and in 1998 it was rerouted via North Greenwich. In 2000 the route was taken over by East Thames Buses.

This “E” plate will be extremely rare as is likely to have come from a single stop, possibly at Bromley-by-Bow, where buses terminated at certain times.


◀ This plate could have come from a stop at the Blackwall Tunnel terminus, as the service was extended to Bow on Mondays to Fridays except during rush hours and all day on Sundays, and this plate shows the rest of the time when buses turned at Blackwall Tunnel. It is also unusual in that the text on the last line is in two colours. I can’t recall any other “E” plate like this (even if the signmaker did forget to include a space).

Route 108A ran between Eltham (Well Hall Road) and Poplar via Rochester Way, Old Dover Road, Westcombe Hill, Woolwich Road, Blackwall Lane, Tunnel Avenue and Blackwall Tunnel. It was extended on Mondays to Saturdays except rush hours and all day Sundays to Bromley-by-Bow (Edgar Road). In 1951 it was extended in Eltham to Southend Crescent, and revised to run to Bromley-by-Bow at all times. In 1960 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Fridays except during rush hours. In 1968 it was withdrawn between Woolwich Road and Bromley-by-Bow and diverted instead to Greenwich (Ship & Billet) daily, extended to Greenwich Church on Mondays to Saturdays, and further extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Surrey Docks Station. Some early morning journeys on Saturdays were extended through to London Bridge Station. The Sunday service was also withdrawn between Eltham Church and Southend Crescent. The route was withdrawn in 1970.

Route 180B was introduced in October 1960 as Monday to Friday service between Greenwich (Boord Street) and Crystal Palace via Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, Lewisham, Catford, Lower Sydenham, Perry Hill, Sydenham and Westwood Hill in order to provide more reliable timings south of Blackwall Tunnel. In 1968 the Greenwich terminus was moved from Boord Street to Ship & Billet, Monday to Friday peak journeys were extended to Blackwall Tunnel (Delta Works), and weekend service was introduced (Saturday Greenwich to Crystal Palace, and Sunday Blackheath (Royal Standard) to Crystal Palace) because the 108 was diverted to Eltham. In 1970 the Tunnel Avenue section was withdrawn, diverted instead to Greenwich Church and further extended during Monday to Friday peak hours to Surrey Docks Station. A year later Sunday afternoon journeys were extended from Blackheath to Greenwich. In 1978 all Sunday service was scheduled Blackheath–Greenwich. In 1985 the Monday to Friday peak extension from Greenwich to Surrey Docks was withdrawn, and in ’86 all service was withdrawn between Lewisham (Bus Station) and Greenwich. In 1987 a major revison occurred, with a rerouting in Sydenham via Perry Rise and Woolstone Road instead of Perry Hill, (this section was replaced by a diverted route 181), and a Monday to Saturday except evenings/Saturday shopping hours extension from Lewisham to Surrey Docks Station via Brookmill Road, Deptford and Evelyn Street was added. In February 1991 the route was diverted into Pepys Estate, Deptford, now running via Evelyn Street, Grove Street, Grove Way and Evelyn Street, but this diversion was replaced after only eight weeks by new route 199. At the same time all service was withdrawn between Lewisham and Surrey Quays except for Saturday shopping hour journeys. The 108B was withdrawn completely seven months later.

1971 timetable leaflet ◀ This timetable leaflet from 1971 was issued to explain the replacement of crewed double-deck RTs with one-man-operated single-deck SMS buses.
My guess is that this “E” plate came from the westbound stop in Belmont Hill at Lockmead Road, beyond which point journeys terminating at Lewisham turned right into Lee High Road instead of continuing along Lewis Grove. If so, then it would be one half of an unique pair. As an aside, the Rennell Street stand was actually in the junction of Lewisham High Street and Lee High Road, just over a quarter mile (450m) from Lewisham Station. ▶

This “E” plate probably dates from the 1970-1985 period when a daily service was operated on the 109. At that time it was being worked by Brixton [BN] and Thornton Heath [TH] garages using Routemasters and Fleetlines.
“E” plates showing WEEKDAY tend to be rather old, as this expression became ambiguous as more and more people ceased working a six-day week, and was replaced by MON-FRI or MON-SAT as appropriate.
An “E” plate showing both WEEKDAY and FARE STAGE is far less common.
109 MON.-SAT.
This “E” plate likely came from a stop between Kennington and Blackfriars Bridge.
This plate was installed about 23 January 1966, when Sunday service was withdrawn except for a few early morning journeys.
This plate is likely to have come from the stop where, from 1978, the Sunday service terminated, such as the alighting point in Stockwell Road at Brixton. All other stops along the route would have been served by the daily journeys. Thus it is a rather rare and interesting plate for this long-established major trunk route.
Route 109 time-card
A conductor’s time-card for route 109 dated 30th June, from—I believe—the early 1950s.
Route 109 time-card   Route 109 time-card
London General Omnibus Company’s route 109 originally operated from Wooolwich. In 1916 the Penge to Bromley route 112 was merged into it. In February 1919 the 109 was withdrawn, but was reinstated seven months later between Penge (Crooked Billet) and Bromley North Station via Beckenham and Shortlands. In March 1920 it was extended from Bromley to Chiselhurst (Queen’s Head) via Bickley. In May 1921 the route was further extended from Penge to Sydenham via Crystal Palace Park Road. For the 1922 season the 109 made its closest approach to central London, starting from Forest Hill Station. In October 1925 operations were transferred to Thomas Tilling (but buses were not relettered until about 1930). In the latter half of the 1920s the 109 was extended from Chiselhurst to Eltham (Southend Crescent) via White Horse Hill and Mottingham. In 1933 there was one last extension, from Eltham to Welling (Nag’s Head P.H.). The route, which was classified as a Country Area service for its entire life and operated by single-deckers for most of that time, was renumbered 227 in 1934 when the Bassom route numbering system was dismantled. This bus stop timetable panel is marked SUMMER SERVICE 1933 and dated to commence 31st May 1933, so must have been one of the last issued before the formation of London Transport. Both sides are shown, with journeys in the opposite direction printed on the reverse side.

Tram replacement route 109 was introduced in April 1951 as a daily service running between Purley and Victoria Embankment via South Croydon, Croydon, West Croydon, Thornton Heath Pond, Norbury, Streatham, Brixton and Kennington, and then either via Elephant & Castle and Blackfriars, or via Westminster. Buses followed the Embankment loop both ways round. Over the years, the level of service to Victoria Embankment was reduced, and in 1958 the Sunday service was withdrawn apart from a few early morning journeys, which in 1970 became single-deck one-man-operated. In 1978 a daytime Sunday service was reintroduced between South Croydon Garage and Brixton Station. In 1985 the route was withdrawn between South Croydon and Purley, and the Sunday service was withdrawn completely. In 1986 the route was revised to run from Croydon (Park Street) to the Victoria Embankment loop on Mondays to Fridays, or to terminate at Trafalgar Square via Westminster on Saturdays, and the following year the 109 was converted to one-man-operation and the Monday to Friday service was rerouted to Trafalgar Square instead of Victoria Embankment. A Sunday service was again reintroduced in 1989, and the route was re-extended to Purley, although once again cut back to Croydon (Park Street) in 1998. In 1999 it was withdrawn between Brixton Station and Trafalgar Square, this section being covered by the 159.


Routes 109 and 155 ran together between Kennington and Victoria Embankment. This plate likely came from the vicinity of Kennington where the two services split to cross the Thames via either the Blackfriars or Westminster bridges. Needless to say, this is an exceptionally rare one with such specific wording.

Route 155 ran daily between Wimbledon Station and Victoria Embankment via South Wimbledon, Merton, Colliers Wood, Tooting, Balham, Clapham, Stockwell and Kennington, then either via Elephant & Castle and Blackfriars, or via Westminster. The Saturday p.m. and Sunday services were withdrawn between Elephant & Castle and Victoria Embankment. In 1966 it was extended on Sundays from Wimbledon to Hersham Station via Raynes Park, New Malden, Norbiton, Kingston, Hampton Court, East Molesey and Walton-on-Thames. Later in 1966 the Monday to Friday service to Victoria Embankment was reduced to peak hours only. In 1969 the Sunday service was withdrawn between West Molesey and Hersham, and north of Clapham Common. The Sunday service was withdrawn in 1973 and replaced by route 131. In 1984 the journeys via Victoria Embankment were replaced by journeys to Aldwych via Waterloo, and these became Monday to Friday peak hours only in 1986. It was withdrawn completely north of Elephant & Castle in 1987. In 1990 it was rerouted at Stockwell to run instead to Vauxhall Station, and a Sunday service was introduced later that year. In 1992 it was withdrawn between Stockwell Station and Vauxhall, and in 1996 it was again extended to Elephant & Castle. In 1999 it was extended from Wimbledon to Tooting (St. George’s Hospital).

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