London Transport
Central Area Routes 255–259

Last updated 10-2-10.

Route 255 was introduced in 1960 as a replacement for trolleybus route 655 and ran daily between Hanwell Broadway and Hammersmith via Boston Manor, Brentford and Turnham Green, extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Clapham Junction via Putney and Wandsworth. It was also extended on Mondays to Fridays from Hanwell Broadway to Acton (Bromyard Avenue) via Ealing Broadway. In 1965 it was withdrawn between Turnham Green and Acton Vale except for a Monday to Friday rush hour service to Hanwell Broadway, and replaced by route 83 over this section. It was extended from Hammersmith to Clapham Junction at all times on Mondays to Fridays, and the route was withdrawn completely on Saturdays and Sundays. In 1966 it was reintroduced on Saturdays and Sundays running only between Hammersmith and Clapham Junction. In 1968 the rush hour service was withdrawn between Gunnersbury Roundabout and Hanwell Broadway. In 1969 the Sunday service was withdrawn. The route was withdrawn completely in 1972.

In March 1979 a new 255 replaced the 254, running Monday to Saturday from South Woodford Station (Daisy Road) to Loughton Garage via George Lane, Chigwell Road, Maybank Road and St. Barnabas Road, returning via Latchett Road, Southend Road, Charlie Brown’s Roundabout, Chigwell Road and Mulberry Way to the Daisy Road stand), thence Roding Valley, Buckhurst Hill, Loughton Way, Loughton Station, Oakwood Hill and Debden. In 1981 service was withdrawn between Loughton Station and Loughton Garage, and at the same time buses from South Woodford were re-routed at Loughton Station via Old Station Road, High Road Loughton, Rectory Lane, Chigwell Lane and Oakwood Hill. This route was withdrawn in September 1982.

The next 255 started in February 1983 and ran between Chingford Station and Hackney Central Station via Old Church Road, Chingford Mount, Walthamstow, Leyton, Lea Bridge Road and Clapton. It operated Monday to Friday (except evenings). It lasted just three weeks shy of two years.

The number 255 was then reused for just 13 months (October 1986–November ’87) for a service between Harlesden (Willesden Junction) and Shepherds Bush Green—extended to Shepherds Bush (Wells Road) after only two months— via Acton Lane, Park Royal, North Acton, Western Avenue, East Acton, Old Oak Road and Uxbridge Road. It replaced a withdrawn section of route 12, and was in turn succeeded by a rerouteing of route 260 from Harlesden to Shepherds Bush via Park Royal.

More recently, route 255 returned in September ’88, running Monday to Friday (except evenings) between West Croydon (Bus Station) and Roundshaw via Waddon, Beddington Farm Road, ASDA Beddington Lane, Hilliers Lane, Croydon Road, Plough Lane and Mollison Drive. In 1990 the service was reduced to Monday to Friday between peak hours, and revised to a circular from West Croydon via Waddon, Beddington, Wallington, Manor Road, Stafford Road, Roundshaw, Mollison Drive, Plough Lane, Beddington, Waddon and West Croydon. In 1994 a bus was added during Saturday shopping hours. The number was retired in September 2006.

The currently route runs between Clapham Common and Streatham Vale via Clapham Park, Clapham South, Norbury, Pollards Hill, Stockwell, Streatham, Streatham Common and Streatham Hill.

Routes 250 & 255 bus stop notice
This bus stop poster, from April 1982, was posted at Loughton Garage. It lists departure times for buses (presumable entering service) to South Woodford Station, and explains that the main service on this route [250 & 255] runs from the stop in Church Hill.
255 MON.-FRI.
This plate was used during the period that the Gunnersbury Roundabout extension ran only during the peak direction traffic flow, and would have been from the westbound direction. It is astonishingly rare to find this type of operation on a London bus route. These two “E” plate would have come from the section between Hammersmith and Clapham Junction in the 1969 to 1972 period. The one on the left dates from the period when Saturday elemnts were also indicated in red. The FARE STAGE plate on the right is a little rarer than without.

256 MON.-SAT.

Route 256 ran from Chingford Mount via Crooked Billet, Markhouse Road, Lea Bridge Road, Millfields, Hackney, Cambridge Heath, Shoreditch, Old Street to Moorgate. In 1969 the route was cut back from Moorgate to Hackney (Well Street) and in 1978 the route was withdrawn completely.

A bus stop timetable panel from May 1982 for journeys from Romford Market to County Park Estate.

Route 256 bus stop timetable

Route 257 was introduced in February 1960 between London Bridge Station and Chingford Mount via Liverpool Street, Shoreditch, Cambridge Heath, Hackney, Clapton, Leyton and Walthamstow, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Chingford (Royal Forest Hotel) via Chingford Hatch, as a replacement for trolleybus route 557. From 1960 until 1964 the route was also extended on Summer Sundays to Chingford (Royal Forest Hotel). It was withdrawn on Saturdays in 1964 and replaced on this day by routes 6B and 256A, but the Saturday service was reinstated in 1966. The route was withdrawn completely in September 1968.

In 1974 a new route 257 was introduced running on Mondays to Saturdays as a circular service from Hounslow (Bus Station) via Hounslow High Street, Staines Road, Martindale Road, Beavers Lane, Salisbury Road, Green Lane, Staines Road, Hounslow High Street and back to Hounslow (Bus Station). It was withdrawn in 1987.

257 poster
◀ These posters were displayed along the trolleybus routes that were being replaced by Routemaster buses, usually on the poles that supported the overhead wiring. As such, they were subjected to the weather. This example is not bad considering it was displayed during January 1960. 257 MON.-SAT.

258 MON.-SAT.

Route 258 was introduced in October 1971 as a new Mondays to Saturdays route in Hertfordshire between Watford Junction and Harrow-on-the-Hill Station via Bushey and Harrow Weald as part replacement for route 182. In 1978 it was extended except evenings from Harrow to South Harrow Station via Bessborough Road and Lower Road, replacing special journeys on route 114. In 1987 the 258 was rerouted between Harrow and South Harrow via Harrow School instead of Lower Road, replacing the withdrawn section of route 136. In 1993 evening service was added over the entire route, and in 1986 Sunday service was introduced.

Route 259 was introduced in April 1961 as a replacement for the 659 trolleybus. It ran between Holborn Circus and Lower Edmonton Station via Holborn, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross, Holloway, Finsbury Park, Manor House and Tottenham on Mondays to Fridays, with an extension to Edmonton (Tramway Avenue) during Monday to Friday peak hours, and further extended via Ponders End to Waltham Cross on Saturdays and Sundays. Return journeys operated southbound from King’s Cross via Acton Street, Farringdon Road, Farringdon Street, Stonecutter Street, Shoe Lane, and St. Andrew’s Street. In January 1966 Sunday service was withdrawn between Lower Edmonton and Waltham Cross, and withdrawn completely on Sundays at the end of the year. In 1970 the route was withdrawn between Lower Edmonton and Waltham Cross except for early journeys to Tramway Avenue, and further withdrawn between King’s Cross and Holborn Circus on Saturday evenings. In 1978 the Saturday evening service between King’s Cross and Holborn Circus was reintroduced. In 1983 the early journeys between Lower Edmonton and Tramway Avenue were withdrawn. In 1985 the 259 was withdrawn during evenings between Holloway and Holborn Circus, and futher withdrawn Saturdays between Manor House and Holborn Circus; however, at the same time it was extended from Lower Edmonton to Hammond Street via Ponders End, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt and Flamstead End, replacing the withdrawn route 279. In 1986 a major revision to the route occurred, with Monday to Friday service withdrawn between Lower Edmonton and Hammond Street except for an evening service to Enfield Garage, with this section covered by new route 359; the whole Saturday service was withdrawn; and the Sunday service withdrawn between Waltham Cross and Hammond Street, but extended from Manor House to Finsbury Park. One year later Sunday journeys were withdrawn, leaving the 259 as a Monday-to-Friday operation. In 1990 the route was withdrawn during late evenings, but extended early evenings from Holloway to Holborn Circus. In February 1992 Saturday and Sunday service was reintroduced, in part replacing parallel route 359 and also route 221 south of Manor House, and northbound journeys were rerouted to follow the same roads as southbound ones between Holborn Circus and King’s Cross; however, the Sunday service only lasted for eight months. In 1993 Monday to Friday journeys were extended from Edmonton Green Station (the former Lower Edmonton Station) to Enfield Garage. In September 1994 a Sunday service was once again reintroduced between Edmonton Green and King’s Cross, with early journeys extended to Holborn Circus, replacing the withdrawn 359. Two months later Monday to Friday morning peak journeys were extended from Enfield Garage to Enfield Highway. In 1998 the 259 was withdrawn between King’s Cross and Holborn Circus, and between Edmonton Green and Enfield Highway. The 259 now runs daily between Edmonton Green and King’s Cross.

259 MON.-SAT.
259 MON.-SAT.
This “E” plate is hand-painted onto sheet aluminum, hence the slight irregularities, especially in the numeral 5.
One of the vinyl sitckers which were used after the manufacture of new enamel “E” plates was discontinued.
This “E” plate would have been used between Edmonton and Waltham Cross from 1966 to 1970.
This “E” plate likely came from in front of Lower Edmonton—now renamed Edmonton Green—Station. The regular service would have turned back to Holborn Circus (presumably by circling the roundabout), whereas the Tramway Avenue journeys would have loaded at a different stop before continuing along The Green and Hertford Road. Also, the word TO was rarely used on destinated “E” plates.
P1 class trolleybus 1702 [GGP702] in Tramway Avenue at Hertford Road, about to start a journey on the 649 to Waltham Cross. The entrance to Edmonton Garage is just visible at the end of the street. The North London Suburban Tramway Company opened its horse-tram depot in 1881. The Metropolitan Electric Tramways rebuilt it for electric cars in 1904, and expanded it in 1907. It was converted for trolleybuses in 1938, then diesels in 1961. The garage was closed in 1986 and subsequently demolished. It is now the site of the Granary Close housing estate. ▶
Photo courtesy of Dave Bradley’s
1702 on route 649
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