London Transport
Central Area Routes 195–199

Last updated 28-01-10.

Route 195 was introduced in 1951 running daily between Stockwell Station and Norwood Garage via Brixton, Tulse Hill and West Norwood. In 1956 it was withdrawn on Sundays and covered by the new route 2B. In 1957 the 195 was withdrawn completely and replaced by an extension of the 186 from Crystal Palace to Victoria.

A new route 195 was introduced in 1959 running daily between Woolwich (Parsons Hill) and Eltham (Well Hall Station) via Plumstead, Wickham Lane, Welling, Bexleyheath, Bexley, Blendon and Blackfen. It was withdrawn in 1963 and replaced by routes 51 and 89.

The next route 195 was introduced in 1965, running between Perivale (Bideford Avenue) and Hayes North via Greenford, Ruislip Road, Allenby Road, Lady Margaret Road, Southall, Hayes Station and Lansbury Drive. In 1966 it was withdrawn on Saturdays. In 1967 it was extended from Hayes North to Charville Lane Estate. In 1968 the route was withdrawn

The 195 was once again reintroduced in 1971 as a daily service using Swifts between Greenford and Hayes Station. It was extended to Charville Lane Estate on Monday to Saturday (except evenings), and continued on to Perivale on Monday to Saturday (evenings excepted). It still runs daily, now covering much of the old route between Ealing Hospital and Charville Lane Estate via Southall and Hayes.

The SPECIAL JOURNEYS “E” plates could have come from any of the three route variations, and would probably have been used for a single bus stops at an intermediate stand working used by odd journeys.


This plate is either from 1950–1957 or after 1974, as the 196 only ran Monday to Saturday between those dates; however, the larger-than-usual numbers and the fact that this tile is heavier than most suggests that it dates from the earlier period.
Very large numbers are characteristic of the earlier years of enamel “E” plates.
Because of the amount of weathering and the use of the word WEEKDAY, this “E” probably dates from the years 1950-1957.
◀ This plate dates from 1974 (or later) after the Sunday service was withdrawn. Unlike the older plates above, the days of operation are now spelled out, since the term WEEEKDAY is rather ambiguous, and many fewer people work a six-day week nowadays. 196 ALIGHTING POINT ONLY

Route 196 was introduced in 1950 replacing route 239 and part of route 68A and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Tufnell Park (Hotel) and Waterloo via Brecknock Road, York Way, King’s Cross, Euston, Russell Square and Aldwych. In 1951 it was extended from Waterloo to Norwood Junction via Elephant & Castle, Camberwell, Herne Hill, West Norwood and Upper Norwood, and also introduced on Sundays between Waterloo and Norwood Junction. The Sunday service was withdrawn in 1958. In 1971 it was withdrawn between Euston and Tufnell Park and replaced by a new route 239. In 1974 it was withdrawn between Herne Hill and Euston and diverted to run instead to Brixton Station, and also introduced on Sundays. In 1985 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours to Kennington, with some early morning journeys further extended to Islington Green via Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Aldwych, Bloomsbury and Rosebery Avenue. It was withdrawn between Brixton and Islington in 1992. In 2005 it was extended from Brixton to Elephant & Castle via Stockwell, Lansdowne Way, Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall and Kennington Lane, replacing part of route 322.

In 1948 route 197 ran daily between Norwood Junction and Caterham Valley via Woodside Green, Morland Road, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley, Kenley and Whyteleafe. In 1971 the Sunday service was converted to one-man operation and renumbered 197B. In 1974 the Monday to Saturday service was similarly converted, and the Sunday service was renumbered back from 197B to 197. In 1984 the 197 was withdrawn between Whyteleafe and Caterham Valley during evenings and all day on Sundays, and in 1986 it was withdrawn completely between Croydon (Katharine Street) and Caterham Valley, replaced by the 197B and a new 197A. In 1987 the Monday to Saturday evening and early Saturday morning service was withdrawn, but this cut was restored in 1991. In 2005 the route was extended from Norwood Junction to Peckham Bus Station via Anerley, Penge, Kirkdale, Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, Dulwich, Barry Road and Peckham Rye, replacing the withdrawn section of route 312.

1973 route 197 leaflet
This leaflet was published in November 1973 for the January 1974 introduction of opo buses to the 197.
1989 route 197 leaflet
A November 1989 farecard for the 197, 197A and 197B.
197 - 197A MON.-FRI.
This combination was extremely short-lived, being in use only from 31 October 1970 to 27 March 1971, along the 2½ miles of road between Norwood Junction Station and East Croydon Station.
This “E” plate would have lasted only three years when the 197 and 197B ran together, and is likely to be an extremely rare combination.


Route 197A was introduced in October 1970 and ran on Mondays to Fridays between Norwood Junction Station and Thornton Heath Garage via Woodside Green, Morland Road, Lower Addiscombe Road, Landsdowne Road, East Croydon, Croydon and London Road, extended during peak hours to Thornton Heath (High Street). In 1973 it was converted to one-man operation and diverted via Cherry Orchard Road instead of Landsdowne Road. The route was withdrawn in October 1978, having lasted three days short of eight years.

In August 1986 the 197A returned as a Monday to Saturday service between West Croydon Bus Station and Caterham Valley via Wellesley Road, Park Lane, South Croydon, Purley, Kenley and Whyteleafe. In 1987 the evening service was transferred to route 197B. The 197A was withdrawn for good in August 1991. During its five years run it was operated by London & Country and then Arriva.

This “E” plate is from the first 197A route.

Route 197B was introduced in 1971 running on Sundays between Norwood Junction and Caterham Valley via Woodside Green, Cherry Orchard Road, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley, Kenley and Whyteleafe, and replaced the Sunday service on the 197. It was withdrawn just three years later in 1974, making this a very short-lived route.



Route 198 was introduced in 1957 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Uxbridge Station and Hayes & Harlington Station via Hercies Road, Hillingdon, Oak Farm Estate, Hayes End and Church Road, extended on Mondays to Fridays to Hounslow West Station via Harlington Corner and Cranford. It replaced part of route 98. In 1958 a Sunday service was introduced between Uxbridge and Hayes, but it was withdrawn later that year. In 1963 the 198 was withdrawn during the off-peak on Mondays to Fridays between Hayes Station and Hounslow West, but it was extended during peak hours from Hounslow West to Hounslow (Bus Station). Later in 1963 some school journeys were extended from Uxbridge to Ruislip Station via Harefield Road and Swakeleys Road. The route was withdrawn completely in 1968 and replaced by changes to route 98.

A new route 198 was introduced as the Thamesmead area expanded in the 1970s as a partial replacement for the 194B, and ran on Mondays to Fridays between Woolwich and Thamesmead Eastern Industrial Estate via Plumstead. It was designed to serve the workers at the industrial area, hence the unusual operating times. Over subsequent years the route changed a little, becoming an all-day service at one stage, but this “E” plate dates from the the earlier years.

A more recent route using the number 198 currently runs between Thornton Heath and Shrublands, again replacing the 194B.

With such detailed wording, this is an unusual example of an “E” plate.


This plate is from the original route 199, as by the 1970s the term WEEKDAY had been replaced by the more precise MON.-FRI. or MON.-SAT.
199 MON.-SAT.
This “E” plate is from the 1970s route 199.

Route 199 was introduced in October 1957 to improve the reliablity of routes 1 and 47. It ran Monday to Saturday between Waterloo and Farnborough via Elephant & Castle, Bricklayers Arms, Tower Bridge Road, Grange Road, Southwark Park Road, Galleywall Road, Rotherhithe New Road, Surrey Docks, Deptford, Blackheath Road, Lewisham Road, Lewisham, Catford, Bromley and Locks Bottom. It was withdrawn in January 1965.

In June 1972 a new 199 replaced the southern end of route 179, operating Monday to Saturday between Thames View Estate (Abridge Way) and Barking (London Road) via Bastable Avenue, River Road and Movers Lane. In 1978 it was extended from Barking to Ilford Station (Ley Street) via Longbridge Road, Fair Cross, South Park Drive and Green Lane, replacing the withdrawn route 291, and providing an evening service between Barking and Ilford. In September 1982 the 199 was withdrawn: the Thames View Estate end was replaced by an extended route 169, and South Park Drive was covered by additional journeys on route 148.

An approximation of the original 199 reappeared for a short time (November 1985 to June 1985), running from Trafalgar Square to Bromley Garage via Aldwych, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle, Deptford, Catford, Downham and Bromley. Once more it was a Monday to Saturday operation, maintaining the connection from Deptford to Lewisham/Catford when route 1 was diverted at Deptford to Greenwich.

Route 199 returned again in April 1991, operating between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham (Bus Station) via Rotherhithe New Road, Surrey Quays Station, Plough Way, Grove Street, Evelyn Street, Creek Road and Greenwich, running on to Lewisham (Riverdale Centre) during the daytime, and garage journeys continuing to Catford Garage. It replaced routes 1 and 108B between Surrey Quays and Lewisham. In 1994 it was rerouted in Pepys Estate via Plough Way to serve St George’s Square, and the whole service was extended to Catford Garage instead of just garage journeys. In 1999 the route was withdrawn between Elephant & Castle and Canada Water.

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