London Transport
Country Area Routes 340–344

North of the Thames

Last updated 03-11-09.

340 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY

Route 340 ran between New Barnet Station and Welwyn Garden City via Barnet, Potters Bar, North Mymms, Stone House Corner and Stanborough.

As with any “E” plate that shows SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY, it is exceeding rare, as they were likely to have been produced for just a few stops.


Route 340A ran in Hertfordshire between Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, serving Haldens, Howlands, Panshager and South Hatfield. In 1965 the 340A provided just one return school journey between Potters Bar (Ashwood Walk) and Hatfield Technical College via Welham Green. By 1969 this service had been renumbered 340C, so it may have been withdrawn at some point in the intervening years. By the late ’60s the 340A had been revised to run from South Hatfield to Haldens or Panshanger via Hatfield, Howlands and Welwyn Garden City.

Routes 340B and 341 are described below.

340A
340A FARE STAGE
340A WELWYN GARDEN CITY
340A - 340B
340A FARE STAGE - 341 HERTFORD FARE STAGE
This “E” plate likely came from the town of Hatfield. It is hand lettered—which accounts for the irregularities—on a piece of sheet aluminum.

340B WEEKDAY
340B SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY

Route 340B ran between New Barnet Station and Hitchin via Barnet, Potters Bar, North Mymms, South Hatfield, Hatfield, Stanborough, Welwyn Garden City, Knebworth and Strevenage. By the early’60s it had been cut back to Welwyn Garden City (Haldens)—the 303 and 303A providing the service over the withdrawn section—and by 1969 it had been further shortened to Birchwood Estate, Hatfield.

As with any “E” plate that shows SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY, it is exceeding rare, as they were likely to have been produced for just a few stops.


Route 340C provided just one return school journey between Potters Bar (Ashwood Walk) and Hatfield Technical College via Welham Green (originally as route 340A). I believe it was a more regular service in later years, but I don’t think this was a very major route at any time. Also, routes with a “C” suffix were always in the minority.

340C

341
341 MON.-FRI. RUSH HOURS
In early LCBS days the right turn towards Hatfield town centre off the Barnet By-Pass at the Stone House was banned, and the route was diverted at The Comet via Bishops Rise and Cavendish Way. During Monday to Friday peak hours, however, buses ran along the By-Pass to Birchwood Avenue Roundabout and then double-ran back to the Stone House. This plate would have appeared on one of the stops on the Barnet By-Pass.
◀ This is one of a small number of SPECIAL JOURNEYS plates which were probably used on the short extra section which served Hatfield Technical College.
This plate is of special interest as it is destinated, and may have come from just a single stop, possibly at St. Albans City Station where buses ran in both directions, and the stops would have needed differentiation. ▶
341 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY plates are much rarer than plain numbers. This one would probably have come from a stand working somewhere, possibly at Horns Mill where some additional journeys used to run.
341 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
341 HERTFORD

Route 341 was a major trunk route which ran daily between St. Albans (Marshalswick Estate) and Hertford (Bus Station) via St. Albans, Oaklands, Hatfield, Mill Green, Essendon Mill and Bayford Lane. It was originally operated using RT-type double-deckers from St. Albans [SA], Hertford [HG] and Hatfield [HF] Garages, and was one of the last routes operated from the Hertford garage to retain a conductor, probably because it was so busy between Hatfield and St. Albans. In the last years of crew operation, ex-Green Line RMCs (Routemaster coaches) were used which made the journey to St. Albans both warm and very comfortable.


Route 341B ran on Mondays to Saturdays between St. Albans (Marshalswick Estate) and South Hatfield (Northdown Road) via Fleetville, Oaklands, Smallford and Hatfield and Woods Avenue. It apparently replaced the 341A which ran between the same two terminii, but via Fleetville and Smallford.

341B

342
342 FARE STAGE
342 POTTERS BAR BARNET

Andrew Frowd wrote: “I cannot provide you with dates, but in the 1950s the 342 ran from New Barnet Station to Hertford [via Barnet, Potters Bar, Essendon, Letty Green and Hertingfordbury] and was RF-operated. In about 1960, the route [number was withdrawn and the service] was combined with the 350/350A and extended from Hertford to Bishop’s Stortford. The 342 was a delightful ride, and I was saddened to realise that there is no bus service these days between the A1000/B158 intersection [the Great North Road and Kentish Lane] at Brookmans Park and Essendon.”


A later route 342 ran on Saturdays only between Dunstable (Square) and London Colney via Kensworth, Markyate, Friars Wash, Redbourn and St. Albans. The 342 was a variation of the 343 that ran from Dunstable to Brookmans Park.

This plate is rather unusual as it was uncommon for Country Area “E” plates to show the days of operation.

342 SATURDAY

343 343 FARE STAGE

Route 343 ran daily between Dunstable (Square) and Colney Heath via Kensworth, Markyate, Friars Wash, St. Albans and Oaklands. It was extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Brookmans Park Station via North Mymms and Welham Green, and some peak journeys were extended to the AC-Delco Works at Dunstable.


Route 344 was a local service in the Hemel Hempstead area, and ran between Hemel Hempstead Station and Grove Hill via Long Chaulden and the Town Centre.

344 344 FARE STAGE
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