London Transport
Central Area Routes 164–166

Last updated 26-01-10.

164
164-164A
Routes 164 & 164A map.
Routes 164 and 164A. Adapted from The Greater London Bus Map.

Roger Johnstone comments, “Interesting stuff. I used to go to school on the 164 (‘RT’ buses), between Banstead High Street (top of Bolters Lane) and Sutton Station, between about 1957 and 1960. Later, having moved house and changed school, I used to go the other way, from Belmont—via Banstead—to College Road (just short of Epsom). Unfortunately I left school and moved out of the home counties in 1968, and—would you believe—never rode in a Routemaster! ([I’m] now commuting to work in Birmingham on an assortment of TransBus/Dennis/Wright Trident 2s, Volvos, etc.)”

D 2535
D 2535 [THX535S] is at the Sutton Station terminus of route 164 on the 27th of September, 1984. Both of these buses were delivered as DMs, and were later reclassified as “D”.
D 2614
D 2614 [THX614S] at Banstead on route 164. The blind has been set for the return journey to Lower Malden, Beverley.
Photos courtesy the DMS Bus Page.

The 1934 bus map shows route 164 running from Morden Station to Epsom Station via St. Heller, Suton, Belmont, Sutton Lane, Banstead High Street, Bolters Lane, Firtree Road, College Road, Alexandra Road and Epsom High Street. It then ran without change for nearly five decades—a remarkable record for any route—until it was withdrawn between Banstead (Victoria) and Epsom in April 1982. The withdrawn section was replaced by new London Country route 418. Five months later the Monday to Saturday evening service was withdrawn between Belmont and Banstead. In 1983 the Monday to Saturday service was extended from Morden Station to Lower Morden via Hillcross Avenue over withdrawn route M1. In 1984 Monday to Friday peak journeys were extended from Lower Morden to Wimbledon Station via Raynes Park, Wimbledon Chase and Hartfield Road over route 156. In 1985 the 164 was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Wimbledon, but all Monday to Friday trips were extended from Lower Morden to Raynes Park. In 1986 Monday to Saturday evening service was withdrawn. In 1988 the route was withdrawn between Belmont and Banstead and from Morden Station to Raynes Park. Beyond Morden it was extended daily to Wimbledon Station via Martin Way, Wimbledon Chase and Hartfield Road, replacing the withdrawn section of route 157. In 1991 it was withdrawn between Sutton and Belmont.


Route 164A was introduced in 1934, running from Morden Station to Burgh Heath via St. Heller, Suton, Belmont and Banstead. By 1938 it had been extended to Tattenham Corner Station via Tattenham Way. In 1979, after 45 years of operation, the route was withdrawn, partly replaced by route 80A. The 164A was always worked from Sutton Garage [A]. In the post-war years it saw D-class utility Daimlers, then RTs, and finally Routemasters before it was withdrawn.

164A
164A
164A
The characters are a little bolder than normal on this plate, which is especially noticeable on the squared-off left point of the 4.
Inconsistencies in spacing between the numbers are particularly obvious in theses “E” plates for the 164A. 164A FARE STAGE
164A FARE STAGE

165
165 ROMFORD HAVERING PARK
This “E” plate would have come from the stop at Rainham Clock Tower in the days when the route terminated there, as buses stood on the north side of the Memorial, facing away from Romford.
1965 route 165 timetable
Route 165 bus stop timetable, dated 18 July 1970.

Route 165 has run between Havering Park (Hunters Grove) and Rainham (War Memorial) via Collier Row, Romford, Roneo Corner, Abbs Cross Road, Elm Park Avenue and Rainham Road since 1950. It saw various intermediate rerouteings over the years, and in 1968 was converted to RML operation as it was a very busy route. It was the only route from Hornchurch Garage to use RMLs. In 1973 the Havering Park terminus was changed to Firbank Road, and it was also converted to one-man-operation, making Hornchurch Garage the first all omo (one-man-operated) garage. In 1975 part of the service was diverted to serve Mardyke Estate during the off-peak on Mondays to Fridays and during Saturday shopping hours, but this section became route 365 in 1988. A peak hour service to Mardyke Estate was introduced in 1976. In 1986 the 165 was extended at Rainham to run beyond the Clock Tower to Abbey Wood Lane. In 1987 the service to Abbey Wood Lane and to Mardyke Estate was revised to run at all times. In 1988 the Mardyke Estate service was renumbered 365, and in 1991 the 165 was withdrawn between Romford and Havering Park.


Route 166 was introduced in 1948 running on Mondays to Saturdays between Chipstead Valley and Thornton Heath Pond via Coulsdon, Purley and Croydon. In 1951 it was extended to Streatham Common via South Lodge Avenue and Streatham Vale. In 1952 it was withdrawn between Thonton Heath Pond and Streatham Common and rerouted to Thornton Heath (High Street) via Brigstock Road. In 1970 it was withdrawn between Croydon and Thornton Heath and rerouted to Beckenham Junction Station via Shirley, West Wickham and Eden Park to replace the withdrawn route 194A. In 1990 it was withdrawn between Shirley and Beckenham Junction and a Sunday service was introduced between Chipstead Valley and East Croydon Station later that year. In 1993 it was revised to run daily between Chipstead Valley and Shirley (Monks Orchard) and rerouted via Bridle Road in Shirley. In 1998 it was withdrawn between West Croydon and Shirley, and part of the service previously numbered 498 was absorbed into the 166, with journeys running beyond Chipstead to Langley Vale via Epsom. The terminus changed to Epsom General Hospital in 2001.

Route 194 ran daily between Forest Hill Station and Croydon Airport via Lower Sydenham, Penge, Anerley, Elmers End, West Wickham, Shirley, East Croydon and Denning Avenue. In 1963 the Sunday service was renumbered 194C and diverted via Shirley Way, but the 194C was withdrawn in 1970 and the 194 became daily again. In 1975 the Sunday service was once again diverted via Shirley Way and this time renumbered 194A, and the 194A was withdrawn in 1992, the Sunday 194 being reinstated yet again. In 1996 the 194 was withdrawn between Croydon and Croydon Airport, rerouted instead to West Croydon (Bus Station).

Route 166 leaflet
Leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of routes 166 and 166A starting 6 January 1973, with print code 1172/3781S/51,500. This fold-out leaflet lists brief details of the changes and has 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.
Routes 166 & 166A, 1970-1985.
Routes 166 and 166A, as they ran from 1970 to 1985.
Adapted from The Greater London Bus Map.
166 MON.-SAT.
166 MON.-SAT.
166 MON.-SAT.
166 MON.-SAT. - 194
This “E” plate could have come from the congested centre of Croydon.

166 MON.-SAT. - 166A SUNDAY
This “E” plate would have come from any of the stops along the common section of the two routes, i.e. just about anywhere between Chipstead Valley and Croydon.
166A SUNDAY
These two “E” plates are for the 1970–1985 Sunday-only route.
166A SUNDAY
Route 166A fare chart

Route 166A was introduced on 7th April 1948 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays from Old Coulsdon (Tudor Rose) to Thornton Heath Pond via Coulsdon, Purley and Croydon. It was operated at first by ST type and later RT type buses from South Croydon garage [TC]. The route was renumbered 190 on 22nd October 1952.

On 31st October 1970 the route number was resurrected for a Sunday-only variation of route 166 which ran from Chipstead Valley (Midday Sun post house) to Thornton Heath Garage via Coulsdon, Purley and Croydon. This route was operated by SMS-type AEC Swifts and then by DMS type buses from 6th January 1973. The route was withdrawn on 2nd February 1985.

A fare chart for the reintroduced route 166A, dated 10.10.70.

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