London Transport
Central Area Routes 116–119

Last updated 23-08-10.

The MON-FRI RUSH HOURS “E” plates are for a rush-hours-only section of the route, which could either be for the peak-hour workings to Hammersmith in the 1960s or to Brentford in the 1970s.
Route 116 timetable panel
This timetable panel dated 20.9.71 for southbound route 116 service to Staines was displayed in Kingsley Road outside the Hounslow Bus station. (There may have been a SEE BELOW or SPECIAL JOURNEYS “E” plate posted on this stop.)
LS1517 on route 116
Westlink’s LS 1517 [THX157X] on route 116.
D. Stewart photo; courtesy London Bus Routes.

Route 116 ran daily between Hounslow Garage and Staines (Bridge Street) via Hounslow Heath, Staines Road, Bedfont, and London Road. Until 1962 on Summer Sundays until dusk it ran on to Old Windsor (Bells of Ouzely), via Egham and Runnymeade according to the London Bus Routes web site, but Roger Dennis informs me that it was direct via Runnymede. In 1962 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Hounslow to Turnham Green via Lampton, Osterley, Great West Road and Chiswick, and further extended during rush hours and on Saturdays to Hammersmith (Brook Green Hotel). (This was all part of the last stage of Trolleybus Replacement service.) In 1966 the Sunday service was withdrawn and replaced by the 116A. In 1968 the Hammersmith terminus changed to the Met Station. In 1969 the Monday to Friday off peak service was withdrawn between Hounslow and Turnham Green, and the Sunday service was reintroduced between Hounslow and Staines. The Saturday service was withdrawn between Hounslow and Turnham Green the same year. In 1971 it was converted to one-man operation and diverted to Brentford during Monday to Friday peak hours, but the Brentford terminus was soon changed to Great West Road (Ealing Road) because of traffic delays turning right from the Great West Road into Boston Manor Road. The route was withdrawn between Hounslow and Brentford in 1982. In 1991 it was extended from Hounslow to Brentford, but withdrawn between Bedfont and Staines, although re-extended there again in 1993. In 1996 it was withdrawn between Ashford Hospital and Staines.

Route 116A started running in 1966 as a Sunday-only route between Staines (Bridge Street) and Cranford (Berkely Arms) via Bedfont Green, Hounslow Heath, Hounslow, Kingsley Road, Lampton, Heston and Cranford Lane, replacing parts of routes 110 and 116. It was a short-lived route, being withdrawn in 1969 when the 116 began running daily and route 111 was reintroduced.

The 116A was a very short-lived route lasting only three years, hence the excellent condition of this “E” plate.


This plate likely came from the Hounslow–Shepherds Bush section (from 1962–1969) or between Staines and Egham (1962–1971).
This “E” plate came from the Hounslow Garage–Brentford section after the 1978 conversion to one-person-opeation.
1d, 2d + 3d London General route 117 tickets
A trio of London General tickets for route 117. They date from before 1908, when the word FARE was omitted from the value overprint.
East- and westbound timetables for route 117 from 1939. At that time one trip an hour continued on from Egham to Virginia Water.

In 1949 route 117 ran daily from Egham Station to Hounslow Garage via Staines, Ashford Road, Ashford, Lower Feltham, Feltham and Hounslow Heath. In 1962 it was extended Monday to Saturday from Hounslow to Shepherds Bush Green via Isleworth, Brentford, Chiswick, Turnham Green and Goldhawk Road to replace withdrawn trolleybus route 657. At the same time Sunday service was withdrawn between Staines and Egham. In 1969 Sunday journeys were extended from Hounslow to Shepherds Bush, replacing withdrawn sections of routes 81 and 81B. In 1975 all service between Staines and Egham was withdrawn, replaced by an extended route 90. In 1978 the route was converted to single-decker one-person-operation, withdrawn completely between Brentford and Shepherds Bush, and reduced to Monday to Friday (except evenings) between Hounslow Garage and Brentford (County Court). In 1983 Sunday afternoon journeys were extended from Hounslow to Brentford. Just eight months later in 1984 the Sunday service was once again withdrawn between Hounslow and Brentford. Service was also introduced to Ashford Hospital, with buses bifurcating at Ashford via Church Road and Stanwell Road. In 1991 Saturday service was extended from Hounslow to Brentford, the Staines terminal was changed to the bus station, and operations were transferred to Tellings Golden Miller. Six months later operation was transferred to London & Country in 1992. In 1993 service was expanded so that the 177 ran daily from Hounslow to Brentford. In 1996 the 117 was withdrawn between Isleworth (Fire Station) and Brentford, and operation was transferred from London & Country to Armchair. In 2001 it was extended from Isleworth to West Middlesex Hospital via London Road and St. John’s Road. For many years Hounslow [AV] and Turnham Green [V] garages worked the route using RT and Routemaster buses.

Route 118 ran daily between Clapham Common (Old Town) and Raynes Park (Junction Tavern) via Poynders Road, Clapham Park, Streatham Hill, Streatham Common, Streatham Vale, Mitcham Common. Morden and Lower Morden. In 1969 it was withdrawn between Morden Station and Raynes Park and replaced by route M1 over this section. In 1987 it was diverted via Thornton Avenue instead of Brixton Garage, and in 1990 it was withdrawn between Streatham Hill and Clapham Common, and extended to Brixton Station during Monday to Friday peak hours. It was extended to Brixton Station at all times during 1994.

Each of the numeral 8s are different on these three enamel “E” plates.

Note that the angle of the top of the 1s on this plate is shallower than normal.
On this “E” plate the spacing is greater between the two 1s than before the 8.
One of the plastic “E” tiles that were used on the Fitch-designed signs introduced by Transport for London in 1993.

I am not aware of any special journeys that were timetabled for the 119, so this plate remains somewhat of a mystery to me.
This plate may have come from West Croydon Bus Station, where there were many destinated “E” plates.
RT1173 at West Croydon - M G Webber
RT1173 [JXC 461] at West Croydon Bus Station sometime before May 1976, when RTs were replaced by Routemasters. Unfortunately the scan doesn’t have enough detail to see if this is indeed the plate to the left.
M.G. Webber photo, courtesy London Bus Routes.

Route 119 ran daily between Bromley North Station and Croydon (Barclay Road) via Bromley South, Hayes, West Wickham, Shirley and East Croydon. In 1961 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from Croydon to Thornton Heath Garage via West Croydon, Waddon and Purley Way, and further extended the following year to Thornton Heath (High Street). In 1964 the Croydon terminus for the main service was changed to West Croydon Bus Station. In 1970 the 119 was withdrawn at weekends and replaced by the 119A on Saturdays and the 119B on Sundays. In 1978 the route was diverted at West Croydon to run via London Road instead of Waddon, and reintroduced on Saturdays replacing the 119A, and revised to run on to Thornton Heath (High Street) at all times. In 1985 a Sunday service was introduced to replace the 119B. In 1992 the route was withdrawn between West Croydon (Bus Station) and Thornton Heath (High Street). In 1996 it was extended from West Croydon to Croydon Airport (Water Palace).

Route 119A was introduced in 1970 running on Saturdays between Bromley North Station and Thornton Heath (High Street) via Bromley South, Hayes, West Wickham, Shirley, Croydon, West Croydon, London Road and Thornton Heath Pond. In 1978 the route was withdrawn and replaced by the introduction of the 119 on Saturdays.

Route 119B is described below.

◀ Saturday-only “E” plates are always relatively unusual as so few routes ran only on that day. ▶ 119A SATURDAY
◀ These two plates would have been used from 1970 until 1978 when the two routes ran together, and they are a highly unusual variation as they contain two replaced suffix routes for different days in different colours. ▶

This is a particularly unusual variation, with the days of operation pluralised. ▶


Route 119B was introduced in 1970 using RT buses running on Sundays between Bromley North Station and Thornton Heath (High Street) via Bromley South, Hayes, West Wickham, Shirley, Shirley Way, Croydon, West Croydon, London Road, Thornton Heath Pond and Brigstock Road. It was converted to Routemasters in 1975 and crewed Titans in 1984. In 1985 the route was withdrawn and replaced by the introduction of the 119 on Sundays.

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