London Transport
Country Area Routes 314–316

North of the Thames

Last updated 16-2-10.

Route 314 was a local service in Hemel Hempstead which ran between Hemel Hempstead Station and Apsley Mills via Long Chaulden, Town Centre and Two Waters. For a period there must have been a Sunday variation, but I have no information about it. Please feel free to if you know the answer.

A more detailed history of route 314 and its variants can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in London Country (Ian Allan, 1984; ISBN 0 7110 1360 8).

The second “E” plate has a spelling error, as the correct name should read LONG CHAULDEN! It’s not often that errors were made among the many thousands of “E” plates that were produced.

314 SUNDAY 314 LONG CHALDEN

314A 314A

Route 314A was a local service in Hemel Hempstead, running between Bennetts Gate and Warners End via Belswains Lane, Moor End, Town Centre and Gadebridge. The route hardly altered over the years which accounts for the very old plates.


Route 314B was a local service in Hemel Hempstead that ran between Maylands Avenue Industrial Area and Warners End via Swallowdale Lane Roundabout, Town Centre and Gadebridge.

The second number panel appears to be one of the paper labels which replaced the vinyl stickers that had, in their turn, replaced enamel “E” plates in the 1980s. However, Andrew Colebourne comments, “I’m completely baffled why there should be a sticker for route 314B. I cannot think of where there would have been a 314B route post-1980. There were very few suffixed routes in the Country Area series by that time anyway—The 310A, 310B and 492A are examples—and it would have to be a route which served London Transport bus stops as well. The number 314 was reused by LT in south London, but I’m almost certain that there would not have been suffixed variations; so, if it’s real, it would have to be a non-LT service or something that never actually ran.”

314B 314B

314C

Route 314C ran during rush hours from Long Chaulden to Hemel Hempstead (Maylands Avenue).

This “E” plate is hand-painted onto sheet aluminum, hence the slight irregularities, especially noticeable in the number 3.


Routes 315 and 315A ran in the Country area of London Transport: the 315 between Hatfield and Kimpton via Welwyn Garden City, Ayot Green, Welwyn and Codicote; and the 315A between Hatfield and Knebworth via Welwyn Garden City, Ayot Green, Welwyn and Mardley Hill.

315 SPECIAL JOURNEYS
There were mainly a few peak hour journeys on Mondays to Fridays on these two routes, hence they are not easy routes to find “E” plates for, let alone more interesting ones such as this one with the SPECIAL JOURNEYS wording.
315 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
It is unusual to have both variations in wording on the “E” plates of one route. Additionally, all the text on this plate is off-centre.
315 WELWYN GARDEN CITY AYOT GREEN KIMPTON
This “E” plate likely came from Hatfield Bus Station.
315-315A
This “E” plate combining the routes 315 and 315A is exceptionally rare. It is the heaviest plate I have found so far, weighing nearly 11 ounces (315 grams)!.
315-315A
This one is also a very heavy plate.
315-315A
As with the at the top of the page, this “E” plate also appears to be hand-painted. It dates from the late 1960s.

315A

Route 315A ran between Knebworth and Hatfield via Mardley Hill, Welwyn, Ayot Green and Welwyn Garden City. It was mainly a few peak hour journeys on Mondays to Fridays, with a couple running on to Welham Green. It is not an easy route to find “E” plates for.


Route 316 latterly ran between Amersham and Ley Hill via Chesham. It had once run through from Hemel Hempstead but this had ceased by the mid-60s. In the late ’70s the number 316 was re-used for the Rye House to Enfield Town service previously numbered 310A, running via Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Wormley, Turnford, Cheshunt and Waltham Cross.

In view of their excellent condition, these “E” plates may have come from the more recent route 316.

316
316 SUNDAY

316A

Route 316A ran just a few Monday to Friday peak and lunchtime journeys between Hemel Hempstead and Apsley Mills via Moor End and Two Waters.


Route 316B ran just a few Monday to Saturday peak and lunchtime journeys between Hemel Hempstead Station and Hemel Hempstead (St. Paul’s Road) via Moor End and Town Centre. Looking at the timetable for 1965, it appears that the only Saturday section of the route was at St. Paul’s Road, as the Monday to Friday journeys ran to Blessed Cuthbert Mayne School instead, thus this must be an exceptionally rare plate. Indeed, red plates for the country area are not common, nor are Saturday only plates, and to combine all this with a “B” suffix…!

316B SATURDAY
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