London Transport
Central Area Routes 280–289

Last updated 23-03-10.

Route 280 was introduced as an RT-operated route in March 1969 as a replacement for the northern end of route 80 which was converted to one-man operation. It ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Tooting Broadway and Belmont Station via Mitcham, St. Helier and Sutton, with school journeys to Walton-on-the-Hill. In 1974 it was introduced on Sundays running to Banstead Hospital on this day, replacing the southern end of route 88, which had provided the Sunday service between Tooting and Sutton. In 1976 the schoolday journeys to Walton-on-the-Hill were withdrawn and the Monday to Saturday service was extended to Lower Kingswood via Burgh Heath. In 1982 the route was withdrawn between Belmont and Lower Kingswood, with just the Sunday afternoon service running beyond Belmont to Banstead Hospital. In 1985 the route was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Tooting to Wandsworth via Earlsfield and Garratt Lane. The Banstead Hospital journeys were withdrawn in 1986, and the route was cut back further in 1988 from Belmont to Sutton, and the Sunday service was withdrawn. In 1991 the route was again introduced on Sundays and revised to run from Colliers Wood Station to Belmont Station via Tooting, Mitcham, St. Helier and Sutton, and later that year the northern terminal was changed to Tooting (St. George’s Hospital).

280 MON.-SAT.
280 MON.-SAT.
280 MON.-SAT.
The very large numbers on this plate are characteristic of earlier “E” plates.
This “E” plate is an older variety from the days when Saturday was still set in red letters.
This plate would have come from the stop outside Sutton Station where buses to Belmont were on a separate stop from those running beyond. It is a unique plate as it is likely that only one pair had been made for the single stop
And this “E” plate would have been for the regular service.


Route 280A was introduced as a one-man-operated route in October 1976, replacing the 80A. It ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Tooting Broadway and Walton-on-the-Hill via Mitcham, St. Helier, Sutton, Belmont, Banstead, Burgh Heath and Tadworth. In 1979 it was diverted in Banstead via Sutton Lane and Banstead High Street, and also diverted in Tadworth via Merland Rise. The route was withdrawn in 1982 when services in Surrey were extensively pruned, and replaced by a London Country service. It was therefore a rather short-lived route.

I cannot tell much about where the SATURDAY plate would have come from, as the route ran Monday to Saturday and had no Saturday-only extensions. It was suggested that it could have come from short journies on Saturdays that turned at Banstead station, but I dont know if this is correct.

Route 281 was introduced 8 May 1962 as a replacement for trolleybus route 601. It ran daily between Tolworth Broadway and Twickenham Station via Ewell Road, Surbiton. Kingston and Teddington. In 1965 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Twickenham to Hounslow (Bus Station) via Whitton. In 1970 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from Tolworth Broadway to Chessington Industrial Estate via Jubilee Way. In 1978 it was extended on Sundays from Twickenham to Hounslow thus making it daily over this section. In 1987 it was withdrawn between Tolworth Broadway and Chessington Industrial Estate and replaced by new route K2. In 1990 it was extended on Sundays from Tolworth Broadway to Chessington (World of Adventures) via Hook, but this was withdrawn in 1990. In 1999 some school journeys were introduced to Teddington School, but these were renumbered 681 in 2002.

1970 route 281 timetable
This bus stop timetable has the cryptic print date of 24.1.70(2A), which I presume means 24th January, 1970, second amendment.

This “E” plate could have come from either version of the 282.

Route 282 was introduced on 8 May 1962 as a replacement for trolleybus route 602. It ran weekdays from The Dittons to Kingston via Surbiton, with a weekday circular loop in Kingston via London Road, Park Road, Kings Road and Richmond Road. On Sundays buses ran both ways around Kingston, replacing the 283. In 1966 the Sunday service was withdrawn, and the route was gone completely by 1968.

In 1968 1969 a new route 282 was introduced as a single-deck service and ran daily between Greenford (Red Lion) and Northwood Station via Ruislip Road, Yeading, Northolt, Field End Road, Eastcote and Northwood Hills. Some journeys on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and all Sunday afternoons were extended to Mount Vernon Hospital. It replaced the withdrawn section of route 232. In 1975 the Mount Vernon Hospital service was increased to run midday and early evening on Mondays to Fridays, Saturdays except evenings, and Sunday afternoons. In 1979 the route was revised to run at all times to Mount Vernon Hospital, and was also extended daily from Greenford to Southall Garage. In 1986 it was further extended from Southall garage to Hanwell Broadway. In 1987 it was diverted to serve Ealing Hospital. In 1990 the 282 was withdrawn between Ealing Hospital and Hanwell Broadway.

This plate definitely came from the Edmonton route, as the Kingston 283 did not run daily, and the Acton route came after the use of enameled metal “E” plates.

Route 283 was introduced—along with the 282 in the final stage of the trolleybus replacement program—as a substitute for route 603. It ran on Mondays to Saturdays from Tolworth (Red Lion) to Kingston via Ewell Road, Surbiton Station and Penryhn Road, with a circular loop in Kingston via Richmond Road, Kings Road, Park Road and London Road. In 1966 it was extended in Tolworth from “The Red Lion” to “Broadway”. In 1969 evening service was withdrawn. The route was withdrawn completely in January 1970.

A new route 283 was introduced in October 1978, running daily between Lower Edmonton Station and Hammond Street via Ponders End, Enfield Highway, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt and Flamstead End. It replaced the northern end of the long route 279 which suffered from traffic delays. In September 1980 the route was withdrawn, having lasted less than two years.

The 283 returned in January 1983, running on Monday to Saturday between Fulham Palace Road (Lillie Road) and East Acton via Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Uxbridge Road and Blomfontein Road, looping via Byrony Road, Wormholt Road, Steventon Road, Old Oak Road, Ducane Road, Wood Lane and Westway; with a Monday to Friday peak hours extension to Fulham Broadway via Dawes Road, but a month later the extension was operated at all time except evenings and early Saturday mornings. In 1984 evening service was added, and the 283 was diverted at Fulham to West Brompton (Empress State Building). In 1986 operation was transferred to Scan Coaches, and garage journyes were introduced between East Acton and Willesden Junction (Fishermans Arms) via Old Oak Common. In 1988 the East Acton loop was revised, with buses now running via Blomfontein Road, South Africa Road, White City Road, Wood Lane, Ducane Road, Fitzneal Street and Erconwald Street, returning via Wulfstan Street to Ducane Road (except for garage journeys). The following year the route retuneded to London Buses (London United), and the Willesden Junction journeys were withdrawn. Problems with the the length of London United’s Leyland Lynxs resulted several reroutings during the year, including moving the East Acton terminus to Goldsmiths Arms. In 1991 Sunday service was introduced, but the section between Hammersmith and West Brompton was withdrawn and replaced by route 190. In 1992 the 283 was rerouted at East Acton to Golf Estate (The Fairway), and extended from Hammersmith to Barnes Pond via Hammersmith Bridge, Castelnau and Church Road, then three months later the East Acton terminal moved again, to Brunel Road. In 1993 the Barnes Pond extension was withdrawn, and the Hammersmith terminal was moved to the new Bus Station. In 1998 the Hammersmith to Barnes Pond service was restored. In 2000 service was diverted at Castelnua via Queen Elizabeth Walk to the new Wetlands Centre between 0900 and 1800. Also, during that summer service was once again (temporarily) withdrawn between Hammersmith and Barnes because of the closure of Hammersmith Bridge.

◀ This plate could have come from either of the first two routes, but not the latest version as it was introduced after the use of “E” plates had ceased. The 286 is a particularly difficult route number to find.
A journey planner for the present route effective 15 July 2000, featuring an Arriva Dart. ▶
2000 route 283 leaflet

Route 286 was introduced in October 1961, running daily between Raynes Park (Hotel) and Belmont (California) via Worple Road, Wimbledon, South Wimbledon, Morden, Sutton Common Road, Collingwood Road, Sutton and Brighton Road. In 1962 it was extended from Raynes Park to Kingston via Copse Hill, Coombe Lane, Kingston Hospital and Norbiton. In 1964 it was reduced to a Sunday-only service, replaced by routes 57 and 213A on Mondays to Saturdays. It was withdrawn in November of that year.

The next route 286 was introduced in June 1970 to replace the withdrawn section of route 114, running daily between Edgware Station and Harrow-on-the-Hill Station via Canons Park, Stanmore, Uxbridge Road, Harrow Weald and Wealdstone. In April 1985 it was withdrawn on Sundays, and then withdrawn completely in November of that year, replaced by route 209, and a revised 140.

The current route 286 began running in June 1986 to replace sections of routes 108 and 108B, operating daily between Greenwich (Cutty Sark) and Eltham (Southend Crescent) via East Greenwich, Westcombe Park, Blackheath and Rochester Way. In 1994 it was rerouted between the “Dover Patrol” and Shooters Hill Road via Kidbrooke Park Road instead of Rochester Way. Four year later the 286 was extended from Eltham to Sidcup (Queen Mary’s Hospital) via Bexley Road, Avery Hill Road, Halfway Street, Sidcup Station and Elm Road, which replaced a diverted section of route 233.

Route 287 was introduced in 1962 running on Mondays to Fridays between Brentwood (Post Office) and Barking (London Road) via Brook Street, Harold Wood Station, Gidea Park, Main Road, Romford, Becontree Heath and Longbridge Road. In 1966 it was introduced on Saturdays and Sundays, but the Sunday service was withdrawn in 1969, and the route was withdrawn completely in 1970.

◀ This is a difficult route number to obtain an “E” plate for, and this particular one would date from between 1966 and 1969 when the route ran daily, having lasted for less than three years.
This “E” plate came from the last days of operation of the 287 in 1969-1970, after the Sunday service had been withdrawn. ▶


Route 289 was introduced in 1968 and ran on Mondays to Fridays between Thornton Heath garage and Addiscombe (Black Horse) via London Road, St. James’s Road and Lower Addiscombe Road. In 1970 it was introduced on Saturdays. In 1973 it was diverted between London Road and St. James’s Road to serve West Croydon. In 1974 it was extended from Addiscombe to Elmers End Green, and in 1978 it was further extended to Beckenham Junction. In 1981 it was extended from Thornton Heath to Croydon Airport via replacing route 115, and on Mondays to Fridays it was further extended to Purley. In 1985 it was withdrawn between Elmers End Green and Beckenham Junction. In 1991 it was revised to run to Purley at all times on Mondays to Saturdays. In 1993 a Sunday afternoon service was introduced between Purley and West Croydon, and the route became daily throughout in 1994.

The second plate is rather unusual in having the very large numbers that were sometimes used during the latter days of enamel “E” plates. (The early use of larger numbers was coincident with the use of WEEKDAY instead of MON-SAT.)

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