London Transport
Central Area Routes 200–203

Last updated 29-01-10.

Route 200 was running between Wimbledon Station and Copse Hill via The Ridgeway and Raynes Park in 1950, and in 1953 was converted to RF operation. In 1962 it was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Copse Hill, and RT buses were introduced in 1965. Later that year it was extended on Sunday afternoons from Raynes Park to Kingston via Coombe Lane and Norbiton. In 1966 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Wimbledon to Mitcham via Phipps Bridge. In 1971 it was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Kingston and converted to one-man operation. In 1981 it was extended on Sundays from Mitcham to Wallington via Hackbridge and the following year it was withdrawn on Sundays between Merton Garage and Wallington. In 1984 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Mitcham to Streatham Garage and the Sunday morning service was withdrawn. In 1985 it was diverted to run to Brixton Garage via Streatham Hill instead of Streatham Garage. In 1986 it became a tendered service operated by Cityrama using blue DMSs and the Brixton terminus was changed to New Park Road. In 1990 the Sunday service was extended from Wimbledon to Streatham. In 1993 the Brixton terminus changed to Brixton Garage, and the following year it was extended on Sundays from Streatham to Brixton Garage. In 1995 the 200 was extended from Streatham Hill to Tulse Hill station via Christchurch Road, Roupell Road and Upper Tulse Hill as a temporary arrangement until new Darts were delivered for new route 201, when the 200 was cut back from Tulse Hill to Mitcham. Since tendering, the route has been operated by Cityrama, London United, London General, Mitcham Belle and Central London.

Q 154
Q 154 [CLE 177] stands in South Park Road, Wimbledon, some time in the late 1940s.
P.F. Winding photo; LSB
T 598
South Park Road again: T 598 [EYK 233] in 1952 after the former Green Line 10T10 coach was demoted to bus work and painted red.
D.A. Jones photo; LT3362
RF 321
Evidently South Park Road was a popular spot with the photographers, as RF 321 [MLL 958] was found there in 1965, two weeks before the 200 was double-decked with RT buses.
Ken Glazier photo; RF
LS57 [KJD557P] loading passengers at Stop H in Upper Green East, Fairgreen, Mitcham, in the late 1980s. This road has since been pedestrianized, and the bank is now a fitness centre.
Photo courtesy London Bus Routes.
This is an especially interesting “E” plate with ALIGHTING POINT ONLY, and will have come from just a single stop at a terminus.
◀ This plate could have come from the 1981 Sunday extension from Mitcham to Wallington. If so, it would have been amongst the last “E” plates manufactured, as by then their use was being phased out in favour of self-adhesive labels.
This “E” plate came from the Sunday afternoon extension to Kingston that ran from 1965 to 1971. ▶

◀ This “E” plate is in poor condition because the top left corner has been bent back with the loss of enamel in the corner. It was definitely produced for the Hampton Court to Kingston route, as the back shows it is much older. It’s a great shame because 201 is not an easy route number to get, as the original route was rather short with relatively few plates.
One of the first timetables for route 201. The Kingston–Feltham–Lampton service—which only began running in 1931—was renumbered from 105 when the single-deck routes were moved into the 2×× series. ▶
1934 bus stop timetable

Route 201 began in 1934 when it was renumbered from 105. It originally ran daily from Kingston (Bus Station) to Lampton via Surbiton, Winters Bridge, Thames Ditton, Hampton Court, Bushy Park, Teddington, Hanworth, Feltham Station, Hounslow Road, Hounslow and Hounslow East. In 1936 it was withdrawn between Hampton Court and Lampton except on Sundays when it ran to Feltham, but full service to Fletham was restored the following summer. In 1951 the 201 was again withdrawn between Hampton Court Station and Feltham and replaced by route 152. In 1959 RF vehicles replaced the T and TD buses. In 1973 weekend garage journeys extended the route from Hampton Court Station to Fulwell Garage via Hampton Court Road, Hampton Hill and Wellington Road. In 1978 buses were rerouted direct along Portsmouth Road instead of serving Surbiton Station, and the Sunday service was withdrawn. The next year one journey in each Monday-to-Friday peak was diverted at Ember Lane to Esher High School via Lower Green. The route was completely withdrawn in 1980 when Surrey County Council searched for cheaper ways of providing replacement services.

By 1983 a new route 201 was introduced as part-replacement for the Central Line when its Epping–Ongar branch was reduced to peak hours only. It ran between Ongar (Two Brewers) and Loughton Station via Tylers Green, North Weald, Epping Station, Ivychimneys, Bell Common and Epping Forest (Wake Arms), with a Sunday extension to Buckhurst Hill Station via Palmerston Road. During evening buses only ran between Epping and Ongar. This service was withdrawn in 1986.

The number 201 has been used since 1995 for a route between Morden Station and Herne Hill Station via Mitcham, Streatham, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill and West Dulwich.

◀ BL28 [KDJ428P] at Hampton Court. At one point in its life this was one of the dozen or so Bristol LHs that were equipped with fareboxes, and it was one of the last survivors, ending its London Transport career in 1998 as a trainer with CentreWest.
Eamon Kentell photo; courtesy London Bus Routes.

This “E” plate was probably produced for the Epping–Ongar route, but it could have equally applied to the earlier service. ▶

1971 timetable booklet
Eight page timetable booklet for the introduction of one-person-operated RF single-deck buses to the 202, Starting September 20 1971. It contains details of the route changes, a fare table and full timetable.

Route 202 was introduced on Mondays through Fridays on 26 September 1970 between Richmond (Dee Road) and Hounslow (Bus Station) via Richmond, Twickenham, Staines Road, Hospital Bridge Road, Whitton, Hall Road and Bridge Road as a replacement for a withdrawn section of route 203. In 1971 it was converted to single-deck operation using RFs, and in 1972 Saturday service was introduced. In 1977 Bristol type buses replaces the RFs, and in 1980 the 202 was extended to Hounslow (Civic Centre) via High Street and Lampton Road. In 1982 the route was converted back to double deck operation using Metorbuses. Later the same year it was diverted at Hounslow (The Bell) to Heathrow Central (Bus Station) via West Road, Great South West Road, Hatton Cross Station, Stanwell Road, Beacon Road, Heathrow Cargo Terminal and Heathrow Cargo Tunnel, replacing withdrawn route 82, and Sunday service was introduced between Hounslow (Bus Station) and Heathrow. In 1984 Leyland Nationals were added to the allocation, and it was diverted via the new Terminal 4. In 1987 Sunday service was withdrawn, replaced by a revised 223. In 1989 the 202 was withdrawn between Terminal 4 and Heathrow Central, and Sunday service was re-introduced between Terminal 4 and Hounslow. In 1990 it was withdrawn completely, replaced by new routes H22 and H23.

Route 203 was introduced in 1951, running between Hanworth (Duke of York) and Hounslow Central Station via Powder Mill Lane, Hall Road and Bridge Road. Later that year it was revised to run from Twickenham Station to Hounslow Central Station, diverting on Mondays to Saturdays via Hounslow West and Great South West Road to Hatton Cross. In 1952 the Sunday service was cut back from Hounslow Central to Hounslow Garage. Later in 1952 some Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday p.m. journeys were extended from Hatton Cross to Bedfont Green. The Sunday service was withdrawn in 1954. The Monday to Friday peak service was extended from Bedfont Green to Staines (Bridge Street) in 1955. In 1956 the route was diverted to run via Stanwell Road, Stanwell and Town Lane, replacing route 162, and a Sunday service was introduced between Stanwell (War Memorial) and Staines. In 1969 the Sunday service was withdrawn, with the route running between Twickenham and Staines at all times on Mondays to Saturdays. The following year it was withdrawn between Hounslow and Twickenham on Mondays to Fridays, and between Richmond and Twickenham on Saturdays, being replaced to Twickenham by new route 202. In 1972 it was converted to one-man operation and revised to run between Hounslow and Staines during Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday shopping hours. In 1976 it absorbed the 203A route with the peak hour service being diverted to Ashford Station instead of Staines. These journeys were withdrawn in 1978, and at the same time it was extended from Hounslow to Brentford (County Court) via Isleworth. In 1991 it was again cut back from Brentford to Hounslow (Bus Station). A Sunday service was reintroduced in 1996.

Route 203 & 203A leaflet
◀ Timetable leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of routes 203 and 203A starting 11 March 1972 with print code 172/13763S/28,000. 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.
Transdev’s DPS567 [SN51SXL] (Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer 2 SLF) at Hatton Cross Station with an unhelpful blind display that is a far cry from the four or five via points that used to grace RTs and Routemasters. ▶
Photo courtesy London Bus Routes.
The “A” suffix has been ground off (officially) from this plate. This was usually done when a plate was needed in a hurry.
This “E” plate likely came from the 1951 Monday to Saturday diversion to Hatton Cross, as the other Monday to Saturday sections of the route were relatively short-lived.
The two Saturday “E” plates will no doubt have come from the short-lived Saturday extension between Hounslow and Richmond from 1970 until 1972.

These “E” plates will probably have come from the time after one-man conversion when the service ran on Mondays to Saturdays, except during peak hours and Saturday shopping hours, and thus would have been too cumbersome to describe on an “E” plate, hence the use of SEE BELOW, referring people to the publicity.
Route 203 & 203A bus stop timetable

Route 203A was introduced in November 1959, running on Mondays to Fridays between Twickenham Station and Ashford Station via Whitton, Hounslow, Hounslow West, Great South West Road, Hatton Cross, Bedfont, Stanwell and Clare Road. In 1972 it was converted to one-man-operation and revised to run between Hounslow and Ashford on Mondays to Fridays, except during peak hours and early morning and evening on Saturdays. In 1976 it was withdrawn and replaced by a diversion of part of route 203 to Ashford Station.

Bus stop timetable panel for routes 203 and 203A from Hounslow to Staines (203 Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturdays) and Ashford (203A Mondays to Fridays and Saturday early morning and evening), dated 17.6.72 when operated by SMS type buses. The timetable for the opposite direction is on the other side.

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