London Transport
Central Area Routes 230–239

Last updated 24-11-09.

Route 230 ran between Northwick Park Station and Rayners Lane Station via Kenton Lane, Christchurch Avenue, Wealdstone, Headstone Drive and North Harrow. Originally operated by STLs, it was well-known as a RLH low-bridge route. It was renumbered H1 in 1969 and converted to flat-fare single-deck MBSs.

In June 1973 the number 230 was reused for a new Monday to Saturday service between Stratford (Bus Station) and Manor House via Angel Lane, Leyton Station, Markhouse Road, Forest Road, Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters, mainly replacing the withdrawn section of route 241. In 1977 it was diverted via Leyton Green instead of Church Road, now running via Leyton Station, High Road Leyton, Leyton Green, Bakers Arms and Forest Road. In 1981 the route was extended from Manor House to Finsbury Park Station, and also diverted at Bakers Arms, now terminating at Whipps Cross instead of Stratford. A year later it was withdrawn during the evenings, but also extended from Whipps Cross to Leytonstone (Green Man) via route 262. In 1987 the 230 was once again diverted, this time at Seven Sisters to Wood Green Garage via West Green Road and Turnpike Lane Station. The following year it was rerouted in Walthamstow via Bakers Arms, Hoe Street, Walthamstow Central Station, Selborne Road, South Grove, St. James’s Street, Blackhorse Road and Forest Road. In 1992 another rerouting ocurred: at Seven Sisters via Tottenham High Road, Phillip Lane and Turnpike Lane Station instead of West Green Road. An in 1996 evening and Sunday service was added, and the 230 was once again diverted; this time at Whipps Cross to Upper Walthamstow (Bisterne Avenue) via Wood Street. Some may remember when this route was “converted” from Routemasters back to good old RTs in the mid-70s during the vehicle shortages.

As the first route 230 operated daily, these “E” plates are more likely have to come from when the number 230 was re-used in 1973 for a new service between Stratford and Manor House, operated by Routemasters and running Mondays to Saturdays.

230 MON.-SAT.
230 MON.-SAT.

This “E” plate is hand-painted onto sheet aluminum, which explains the slight irregularities in the characters.
Route 231 omo leaflet
A 12-page timetable booklet dated 18 September 1971 for the SMS conversion of route 231. It contains details of the route changes, a fare table and full timetable. Inserted inside is a separate flyer advertising for Bus Drivers who can now earn (including overtime) £31 (or more).

During May 1954, route 231 ran between Alexandra Park (Victoria) and Forty Hill (The Goat) via Priory Road, Turnpike Lane, Roundway, Great Cambridge Road, Enfield Town, Chase Side and Lancaster Road. In September 1968, route 231 was withdrawn between Turnpike Lane and Alexandra Park and replaced by new flat-fare route W2. During September 1980, the route was revised to run between Turnpike Lane Station and Brimsdown Station, via Forty Hill, Caterhatch Lane, Hertford Road, Bell Lane and Brimsdown Avenue, with garage journeys extended via Green Street and Hertford Road to Ponders End Bus Garage. In November 1985, route 231 was withdrawn between Carterhatch and Brimsdown and replaced by revised route 191. In June 1987, the Sunday service was extended to Waltham Cross, via Great Cambridge Road and Bullsmoor Lane, replacing route 217 on this day. In July 1998, route 231 was withdrawn between Enfield Town and Carterhatch, and was instead diverted to Enfield Chase Station.

Route 232A was introduced in 1973 as part of the 232, diverted to serve the Convent Way Estate. It ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Hounslow (Bus Station) and Yeading (White Hart) via Hounslow West, North Hyde Road, Convent Way, Southall and Greenford, and was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours to Northolt Station. In 1974 it became the main service and route 232 was withdrawn. It was renumbered plain 232 in 1979, and was thus relatively short-lived.

Timetable and fare leaflet for the new bus route 232A service. Effective 6th January 1973, it has print code 1172/3791S/12.000.

232A MON.-SAT.
These two “E” plates are from the 1974 to 1979 period when the 232A ran daily.

233 MON.-SAT.
This “E” plate is from the 1970s (Croydon) route 233.

Route 233 originally ran from Finsbury Park to Wood Green via Wells Terrace, Stroud Green, Stapleton Hall Road, Ferme Park Road, Middle Lane, Priory Road, private road through Alexander Park grounds, Bedford Road, Bridge Road, Buckingham Road and Station Road, but by 1949 had been extended to Northumberland Park Station via Lordship Lane, Perth Road, White Hart Lane, Creighton Road, High Road Tottenham and Northumberland Park. It was operated from West Green garage [WG] using Q-type buses until 1953 when the RF-type was introduced. In 1955 RTL double-deckers were introduced between Muswell Hill and Finsbury Park, and three years later the entire route was converted to double deck operation. In 1962 West Green was closed and the allocation transferred to Wood Green [WN] with RTs. The route was converted to one-man flat-fare operation and renumbered W3 in September 1968.

The number 233 was reused in May 1969 for a new Monday to Saturday route between West Croydon (Bus Station) and Roundshaw via Wellesley Road, Park Lane, Duppas Hill Road, Stafford Road and Mollison Drive. It was operated from Croydon Garage [TC] using one-man-operated RFs. In December 1969 it was converted to double deck operation using XA-class Atlanteans or the experimental FRM front-entrance Routemaster. In 1971 single-deck SMS-type Swifts took over the route, but it returned to double-deck DMS-type in 1973. In 1976 it was extended Monday to Friday except peak hours from Roundshaw to Wallington Station (Belmont Road) via Foresters Drive, Sandy Lane South, Stafford Road, Woodcote Road and Manor Road. In May 1978 it was extended to Wallington during Saturday shopping hours, replacing withdrawn route 233A, and in October it was extended during Monday to Friday peaks as well. In 1981 the 233 was withdrawn, replaced by diverting route 154 via Roundshaw.

Route 233A was introduced on 4 December 1971—using an SMS initially and DMS latterly—and ran during Saturday shopping hours only between Wallington Station (Belmont Road) and Roundshaw (Neighbourhood Centre) via Manor Road, Woodcote Road and Mollison Drive. It was withdrawn 5 May 1978, replaced by a revised route 233. There have never been many Saturday-only routes in the London Transport network.

For some reason the plate maker felt it necessary to squeeze the letters together—instead of spacing them in a more orderly fashion—giving the impression of condensed lettering for the word SATURDAY.



Route 234A ran from Wallington (Belmont Road) to Purley (Old Lodge Lane) via Manor road, Woodcote Green, Foxley Lane, Purley and Brighton Road. In 1950 it was extended from Wallington to Hackbridge (Elm Road). In 1966 service was withdrawn between Wallington and Hackbridge except for p.m. peak journeys and on the weekend, but this cut was restored in 1970. In 1978 the route was withdrawn between Wallington and Hackbridge on Mondays to Fridays, and rerouted on Saturdays and Sundays via Park Lane, Carshalton High Street, Carshalton Station and Nightingale Road. In 1981 it was extended from Hackbridge to Streatham Garage via Hackbridge Corner, Cranmer Road, Mitcham and Mitcham Lane, replacing the withdrawn route 115. The 234A was withdrawn in February 1984, replaced by routes 12A, 127, 127A and 200.

Route 234B was introduced in 1969 running on Sundays only between South Croydon Garage and Selsdon (Farley Road) via Purley and Riddlesdown using just one RF replacing the withdrawn section of route 57A. In 1970 it was introduced on Saturdays replacing route 115B between Purley and Selsdon using XAs. In 1973 the route was converted to DMS on both days. In 1980 the Sunday service was withdrawn without replacement, and in 1982 the remaining Saturday service was withdrawn.

Routes 234 & 234B bus stop timetable
◀ Bus stop notice from February 1981 for Buses 234·234B to Sanderstead and Selsdon. It indicates that the main 234 and all 234B services run from point “L” in Purley Road, suggesting that this sheet was posted at South Croydon Garage?
This “E” plate will have come from the period between 1980 and 1982 when the route ran on Saturdays only. There were very few Saturday-only routes, and this one was particularly short-lived. ▶

Older “E” plates—as evidenced by the amount of weathering seen here—often had larger numbers.
This “E” plate will have come from the section of route between Chingford Hatch and Chingford Station between 1978 and 1981, and thus is rather rare and short-lived. It is notable that the word SUNDAY is in black rather than the usual red.
This double-sided sheet dated 3rd October 1934 (for WINTER 1934-1935) lists the 19 journeys provided by this service, at intervals varying from (approximately) 40 to 80 minutes. (On bus maps it was marked as service irregular.) The reverse shows trips in the opposite direction.
These “E” plates are noteable as the wording on them exist in both a four-line and a three-line version, with condensed lettering for the words BUCKHURST HILL (but larger route numbers) on the latter. My guess was that they came from Chigwell, as this is the point where journeys went in different directions, and that there may have been different stops. However, Graham Stokes writes, “Given my local knowledge of Chigwell, I never recall there being more than one stop anywhere that the 235 served on its core route up to Grange Farm camping centre from Woodford Bridge, so I would expect the SPECIAL JOURNEYS BUCKHURST HILL plates to come from stops in Chigwell Rise and Roding Lane which would have only been served by those special journeys.

The first London Transport route 235 was a short—a journey time of only 16 minutes—short-lived—it was withdrawn in 1935—weekday-only route between Banstead (Victoria Hotel) and Cheam Station.

The number was immediately reused for an even shorter—14 minutes: 2.1 miles/3.4 km—weekdays-only service between South Croydon (Swan & Sugar Loaf) and Selsdon via Croham Road, supplementing route 64. In 1940 the evening journeys were withdrawn due to blackout restrtictions, and the remaining service followed sometime later.

From October 1955 the 235 ran between Richmond Station and the top of Richmond Hill (Friar Stile Road) via Church Road. It operated Mondays to Saturdays, and on summer Sundays from April 1956 until the end of the 1960 season when it returned to Mondays to Saturdays only. The 235 was a one-bus operation from Twickenham garage, always running an RT as duty number AB1. The route had a total length about one mile, but at least four (and possibly five or six) stops in Richmond town centre had “E” plates. Upon withdrawal in February 1966 (due to strikes) the service was transferred to Continental Pioneer Ltd. who operated it—normally with an RF, but sometimes using an ex-Thames Valley Bristol or a manual gearbox Ford—until September 1980, when it was replaced by a diverted route 71.

Route 235 in 1970

Route 235 in 1970. Adapted from The Greater London Bus Map.

The next route 235 was introduced in September 1968 as a localised section for the northern end of route 35. It ran between Chingford Hatch and Chigwell Station via Larkshall Road, Highams Park, Wood Street, Bakers Arms, Leyton High Road, Leytonstone, Grove Green Road, Green Man, Wanstead, Hermon Hill, South Woodford and Woodford Bridge. Some Monday to Friday peak hour journeys ran beyond Chingford Hatch to Chingford Station via Friday Hill, and during peak hours it was also extended beyond Chigwell Station to Buckhurst Hill Station. From January 1976 buses terminating at Chigwell Station were extended to Grange Farm Camping Centre, except at times when buses were running to Buckhurst Hill. From April the same year some journeys were extended beyond Grange Farm to Theydon Bois via Abridge, replacing the withdrawn 167A. Later that year the journeys terminating at Woodford Bridge were extended to Claybury Hospital. In 1978 the Sunday service was extended beyond Chingford Hatch to Chingford Station, and half the service was diverted to Claybury Hospital. In 1981 the route was withdrawn between Leytonstone Station and Chigwell/Theydon Bois/Buckhurst Hill/Claybury Hospital, and rerouted at Chingford Hatch to run to Chingford Mount. In 1982 it was extended from Leytonstone to Woodford Wells via Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Woodford. In 1985 it was rerouted between Wanstead and Woodford via Hermon Hill instead of direct via Hollybush Hill. In 1986 it was extended on Sundays from Woodford Wells to Yardley Lane Estate via route 179 to Chingford Station then over former route 242, but this Sunday extension was withdrawn the following year. In 1989 it was reduced to one schoolday-only journey in each direction between Leytonstone and Woodford Wells. The 235 was withdrawn completely in 1996.

Bus stop timetable for route 237, dated 17 June 1967.

Route 237 was a single-deck route running from Hounslow Garage to Chertsey Station via Hounslow Heath, Harlington Road West, Feltham, Lower Feltham, Vicarage Road, Sunbury Cross, Sunbury Village and Shepperton. Originally worked by LTLs (and a couple of Ts on Sunday), it was converted to RFs in 1953, and then to one-man-operation in 1965. Bristol BLs replaced the RFs in 1977, but were swept aside by Routemasters in 1978 when the route was withdrawn between Sunbury Village (Three Fishes) and Chertsey, but extended from Hounslow to Shepherds Bush Green via Isleworth, Brentford, Gunnersbury, Turnham Green and Goldhawk Road. At the same time a Turnham Green [V] allocation was added, which lasted until 1983. In 1987 one-person-operation returned, this time with Metrobuses. These were replaced by Olympians when the route was transferred to Stamford Brook (also [V]), operated under the Riverside Bus name. In 1996 the 237 was withdrawn between Hounslow Heath and Lower Sunbury, replaced by new route 235. Stamford Brook garage was also closed that year, and its allocation transferred back to Hounslow. In 1998 the contract was transferred to Armchair, who used Palatine II bodied Olympians on the service. In 2003 new low-floor Alexander ALX200/Dennis Dart SLF buses were introduced.

Plates with the wording SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY are rather rare as they were usually designed for specific stops.

239 MON.-FRI.
239 MON.-FRI.
It is likely that this plate came from the Moorgate to Hampstead Heath route between 1963 and 1970, when it ran on Mondays to Fridays only.
This “E” also plate came from the trolleybus replacement service in the l960s.
239 MON.-SAT.
This plate likely came from the Tufnell Park–Waterloo service, although it may possibly have been from the Romford-area route.
This “E” plate almost certainly came from the Tufnell Park–Waterloo version of the 239.

Back in November 1955, route 239 ran on Monday to Saturday between Romford Station and Gidea Park Plough, via South Street, North Street and Eastern Avenue, being reduced to running on Monday to Friday peaks only from October 1956, being finally withdrawn in August 1958.

The 239 returned in February 1961 as a trolleybus replacement route for the 639 between Finsbury Square and Hampstead Heath (South End Green) via City Road, Angel, King’s Cross, Pancras Road, Crowndale Road, Camden Town, Chalk Farm Road, Ferdinand Street, Malden Road and Fleet Road. In October 1963 it was a Mondays to Fridays route only, being finally withdrawn in January 1970.

The 239 reappeared in March 1971 as a Monday to Saturday service between Tufnell Park Hotel and King’s Cross via Brecknock Road and York Way, extended during the day on Mondays to Fridays to Waterloo via Euston, Russell Square, Holborn, Kingsway and Aldwych. In March 1975 it was diverted at Tufnell Park Station to Archway Station via Dartmouth Park Hill, then withdrawn in September 1982.

In 1990 the 239 number was reused for a route running on Mondays to Saturdays between Victoria Station and Clapham Junction via Royal Hospital Road, Battersea Bridge and Vicarage Crescent. A Sunday service was introduced in 2001; however, the route was withdrawn completely in 2008 and replaced by an extension of the 170 to Victoria.

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