London Transport
Central Area Routes 160–163

Last updated 26-01-10.

Route 160 ran daily from Catford (St. Dunstan’s College) to Welling (Guy Earl of Warwick) via Rushy Green, Brownhill Road, St. Mildred’s Road, Westhorne Avenue, Middle Park Avenue, Kingsground, Eltham Hill, Eltham High Street, Westmount Road, Rochester Way, Welling Way, Bellegrove Road and Welling High Street. In 1963 the Sunday service was renumbered 160A. In 1978 Sunday service was reintroduced between Catford Garage and Welling as part of Busplan 1 (an excercise in standardising routes and withdrawing suffix letters). However, in 1982 the Sunday service was once again renumbered 160A. Three years later Sunday service was reintroduced once more, and this time extended from Welling to Bexleyheath Garage via Bexleyheath. In 1989 the route was withdrawn beyond Eltham (Southend Crescent) except for Monday to Friday afternoon school journeys which now ran on to Welling Corner via Falconwood and Westwood Lane, but these were withdrawn after only 14 months. In 1996 the 160 was extended from Eltham to Sidcup Station via New Eltham, Southwood Road, Green Lane, Chislehurst, Perry Street and Queen Mary's Hospital, replacing part of withdrawn route 228. In 2006 the 160 was rerouted between St. Mildred’s Road and Catford via Verdant Lane, Sandhurst Road and Sangley Road to terminate at Catford Bridge Station.

Route 160A is described below.

Route 126 ran between Beckenham Junction Station and Eltham (Southend Crescent) via Wickham Road, Hayes Lane, Westmoreland Road, Bromley South, Burnt Ash Lane, Grove Park, Mottingham Road and Court Road. In 1951 it was extended daily to Plumstead Common (Woodman) via Rochester Way, Hook Lane, Welling and Edison Road. In 1963 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays between Eltham and Plumstead Common (terminating at Eltham Well Hall Station), and withdrawn on Sundays between Welling and Plumstead Common. In 1968 the Sunday service was extended from Welling to Bexleyheath Garage and converted to one-person-operation. In 1978 it was withdrawn between Eltham and Bexleyheath and replaced by route 124 over this section. In 1985 it was extended from Eltham to Woolwich via Well Hall Road and Shooters Hill Police Station. In 1989 it was withdrawn between Eltham and Woolwich, terminating at Southend Crescent on Mondays to Saturdays and Eltham Station on Sundays. It was also rerouted between Mottingham and Grove Park via Dunkery Road instead of Grove Park Road. In 1990 it was altered to terminate at Eltham (Southend Crescent) at all times. In 1994 it was withdrawn between Bromley South Station and Beckenham Junction. In 2000 the stand in Eltham was changed to Eltham High Street.

This plate could have come from any stop where the 160 and 160A ran parallel, although in those days “E” plates were usually only fixed to stops in busy areas such as town centres. So this plate is likely to have come from Catford, Eltham or Welling.
160 MON.-SAT. - 126 SUNDAY
This plate would have come from a stop between Eltham and Welling, likely from a stop in Eltham High Street as the routes were travelling in the same direction (via Welling Way). However, what makes this plate so unusual is that it is split in day type order rather than route number order, and I can’t recall any other examples like this, so it is an astonishingly rare plate.


Route 160A was introduced in 1963 as a Sunday-only service between Lower Sydenham Station and Plumstead Garage via Southend Lane, Catford Garage, Catford, Middle Park, Eltham, Eltham Park, Rochester Way, Welling Way, Bellegrove Road, Welling, Upper Wickham Lane and Wickham Lane. In 1968 it was diverted between Eltham and Welling, now runngin via Riefield Road, Lingfield Crescent, Millbrook Avenue, Sutherland Avenue, Buckingham Avenue, Falconwood and Hook Lane. In 1970 the route was truncated at both ends, now running between Catford Garage and Welling (Nags Head Lane). In 1978 it was withdrawn, but reintroduced in September 1982 for a period of 10½ months.

161 161

Route 161 ran daily between Woolwich (Parsons Hill) and Chislehurst (War Memorial) via Eltham and Mottingham. It was extended during Monday to Saturday rush hours to Sidcup Garage via Perry Street and Foots Cray, and during Monday to Friday rush hours to Greenwich Church via Woolwich Road. In 1958 the Saturday service to Sidcup Garage was withdrawn apart from garage journeys, and in 1960 the Monday to Friday rush hour service was cut back from Greenwich to Woolwich Road (Victoria Way). This was further cut back in 1971 to Charlton Station. In 1980 the use of route number 161A was discontinued, and so a Monday to Saturday service was introduced on the 161 beyond Chislehurst to Petts Wood Station. In 1984 the Sidcup Garage extension was revised to run at all times, but in 1985 was reduced to just garage journeys, and then in 1988 back to Monday to Friday peak hours, and later that year just down to school journeys! At the same time the Charlton extension was withdrawn. In 1991 it was diverted at all times at Chislehurst to run via Bickley to Bromley North Station, and the Sidcup and Petts Wood extensions were withdrawn. In 1994 it was withdrawn between Chislehurst and Bromley. In 1999 it was extended daily from Woolwich to North Greenwich Station via Woolwich Road and Bugsby’s Way.

This “E” plate would probably have come from a bus stop in Woolwich after the 1971 cut-back.
The heavy weathering and the use of the phrase WEEKDAY instead of the actual days of service suggest that this plate is quite old.
161A MON.-SAT. 161A MON.-SAT.

Route 161A was introduced in 1953 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Petts Wood Station and Woolwich (Parsons Hill) via Chislehurst, Mottingham and Eltham. It was extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Greenwich Church via Woolwich Road. In 1960 the Monday to Friday rush hour service was cut back from Greenwich to Woolwich Road (Victoria Way). This was further cut back in 1971 to Charlton Station. In 1980 the 161A was discontinued, and route 161 took over the Petts Wood service for a few more years.

Route 162 was introduced in 1960 running between Stratford and Little Heath via Plashet Road, Green Street, Upton Park, East Ham and Barking, replacing part of trolleybus routes 689/690. In 1961 it was rerouted at Barking to run to Mayesbrook Park on Mondays to Saturdays, but the Sunday service was left unchanged and renumbered 162A. In 1965 the 162 was diverted at Upton Park to run to Wanstead via Forest Gate on Mondays to Fridays, with the Saturday service being renumbered 162A. In 1970 a Saturday service was introduced between Wanstead and Mayesbrook Park and in 1971 it was converted to one-man-operation. In 1991 it was withdrawn between Barking Garage and Mayesbrook Park and the route was withdrawn completely in 1993.

1978 route 162 timetable
◀ An April 1978 bus stop timetable poster for route 162.
This plate shows no days of operation, and is therefore likely to date from the route’s earliest period when it ran daily for the short time between February 1960 and October 1961. ▶
162 MON.-SAT.
My guess is that this “E” plate came from between Barking and Mayesbrook Park from the 1961–1965 period.

163 MON.-SAT.
163 MON.-SAT.
All three of these “E” plates came from the section between Plumstead and Embankment.
1965 Alterations leaflet1965 Alterations leaflet
This ALTERATIONS TO BUS SERVICES Starting on 27 January, 1965 leaflet covers routeing changes in the Vauxhall, Albert Embankment and Waterloo Station area. The leaflet has six pages and includes first and last buses and service intervals for the 163 and 168, and a map of the revisions. It also includes details of the changes to route 156. It has a print code of 1264/3530G/15,000, indicating that 15,00 copies were published in December of 1964.

Route 163 was originally introduced as a tram replacement route in 1952 and ran Monday to Saturday from Plumstead Common to Victoria Embankment via Woolwich, Greenwich, New Cross, Peckham, Camberwell, Kennington and Westminster. In 1965 it was extended on Mondays to Fridays through to Parliament Hill Fields via Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town and Kentish Town, replacing route 156 over that section. The route was withdrawn in 1970.

Route 163A was introduced in 1959 and ran on Sundays only between Plumstead (Woodlands Estate) and Camberwell Green via Plumstead Common, Woolwich, Greenwich, Deptford, New Cross and Peckham, with early morning journeys extended to Kennington. It replaced the Sunday service on the 163 and provided a new Sunday service to Woodlands Estate. In 1963 it was diverted at Plumstead to Abbey Wood, and the early journeys to Kennington were withdrawn. The service to Woodlands Estate was replaced by a Sunday service on the 192. The route was withdrawn in 1966.

This is a nice example of an “E” plate for this route which only came in a Sunday variation.

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