London Transport
Central Area Routes 10–12

Last updated 22-08-10.

Route 10 ran daily between Abridge (Blue Boar) and London Bridge Station via Chigwell, Woodford Bridge, South Woodford, Wanstead, Leytonstone, Stratford, Bow, Mile End and Aldgate. It was extended on Mondays to Saturdays (except evenings) to Victoria Station via St. George’s Circus, Lambeth Bridge and Horseferry Road; and extended Sundays to Elephant & Castle. In 1952 the evening Sunday service was withdrawn beyond London Bridge. In 1964 the route was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays between Woodford Bridge and Abridge except for Monday to Friday peak hour journeys to Chigwell Station, with new route 10A covering this section. At the same time the Sunday morning service was curtailed at Aldgate, instead of continuing on to London Bridge. In 1968 the peak hour journeys were extended from Chigwell to Abridge, but the Sunday service was withdrawn between Woodford Bridge and Abridge. One year later the Monday to Saturday evening service was withdrawn between Wanstead and Woodford Bridge and further withdrawn Saturday evenings between Bow and London Bridge. During 1972 the 10 was converted to one-man-operation, withdrawn completely between Woodford Bridge and Abridge, and between Wanstead Station and Woodford Bridge on Sundays, and also withdrawn between London Bridge Station and Victoria. In 1976 the 10 was rerouted on Mondays to Saturdays to Woodford Wells instead of Woodford Bridge, and was also extended on Mondays to Saturdays from London Bridge Station to Victoria Station via Elephant & Castle, St. George’s Circus, Lambeth Bridge and Horseferry Road. In 1977 it was withdrawn between Wanstead Station and Woodford Wells. In 1978 it was extended to Victoria Station on Sundays, although this was cut back again on Sunday mornings in 1985. The route was withdrawn completely in 1988. Today’s route 10 runs between King’s Cross Station and Hammersmith via Euston, Oxford Street, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner and Kensington.

3d London General ticket
◀ A 3d ticket issued by the LONDON GENERAL OMNIBUS COMPANY LTD. & ASSOCIATED COMPANIES for route 10.
Timetable leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of route 10 starting 28 October 1972, with print code 972/3207S/49,000. This is a fold-out leaflet with brief details of the route and a fare table on the front. Inside are bus stop timetables for the service and on the back are diagrams showing how to use split entrance buses. ►
Route 10 leaflet
10
10 WEEKDAY
10 MON.-SAT.
WEEKDAY was the older term that was used for Monday to Saturday routes, but as a five-day work week became more common it was replaced by the unambiguous MON.-FRI. and MON.-SAT. It is therefore likely that these two plates came from the section of route between Aldgate and Victoria Station.
10 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ABRIDGE
My guess is that this plate may have come from Aldgate Bus Station, which was only served by route 10 on Sunday mornings.
10 WEEKDAY - 11
This “E” plate came from the vicinity of Victoria, where routes 10 and 11 (which is described below) intersected.
10
Once the use of enamel “E” plates was discontinued, London Transport switched to vinyl stickers. It appears that the number was shifted upwards on this one in order to provide space for additional text.
10 MON.-SAT. FARE STAGE - 21 MON.-SAT.This “E” plate would have come from one of only a couple of stops in the London Bridge area, and it’s doubtful that its pair will surface, given that it is also a partial FARE STAGE plate.

London General’s route 21 began running in April 1911 between Finsbury Park and Old Kent Road via Green Lanes, Newington Green, Moorgate, Bank, London Bridge, Borough, Great Dover Street and Bricklayers Arms. Later that year it was extended to Deptford Broadway via New Cross. The following year it was further extended, east to Greenwich (Tunnel Avenue) and north from Finsbury via Harringay to Wood Green (Fishmonger’s Arms), then shortly after to Crouch End. In 1914 the 21 was withdrawn between New Cross and Greenwich, running instead to Sidcup via Lewisham, Lee Green and Eltham, then further extended to Sidcup (Black Horse). In 1915 the route was withdrawn between Wood Green (Turnpike Lane) and Crouch End, but some peak hour journeys were projected beyond Sidcup to Foots Cray (Sidcup Garage). By 1930 the 21B had been absorbed into the main service, with some journeys travelling to Franingham (Bull) via Birchwood Corner and Swanley. In 1942 the 21 was withdrawn between Moorgate (Finsbury Square) and Wood Green as a War-time economy measure. By 1949 the weekday service only went as far as Eltham (Well Hall Station), but Sunday journeys to Farningham continued. In 1956, the Monday to Saturday service between Sidcup and Farningham was withdrawn and replaced by route 21A, then reintroduced in 1962, and withdrawn yet again along this section in June 1968! In January 1971 the Saturday service was withdrawn between London Bridge and Moorgate, and the Sunday service withdrawn between New Cross and London Bridge, with the Saturday service reintroduced between London Bridge and Moorgate in October 1978. From September 1980 the Sunday service was extended from New Cross to London Bridge. In 1983 Sunday journeys were withdrawn between Sidcup and Swanley. In 1988 the route was extended to Foots Cray (Tesco). In 1989 one Monday to Friday morning journey was extended to West Kingsdown. At the same time the route was shortened to run only between Lewisham (Riverdale Centre) and London Bridge Station, extended Mondays to Fridays to Moorgate (Finsbury Square), being replaced to Foots Cray by new route 321. In November 1997 the West Kingsdown journey was withdrawn. In 2002 the 21 was extended on Saturdays and Sundays to run daily to Moorgate, and in 2006 it was further extended daily to Newington Green via Old Street Station, Hoxton and Mildmay Park. During its time, buses ran out of New Cross [NX], Sidcup [SP] and Old Kent Road [P] garages, but is now only operated from New Cross.

10-25Routes 10 and 25 ran together between Stratford and Aldgate, and this “E” plate could have appeared on any of the numerous stops along that section of road.

Route 25 is a very long-established central London route and in 1950 was running between Victoria Station and Becontree Heath via Hyde Park Corner, Berkeley Square, Oxford Circus, Holborn, St. Paul’s, Bank, Aldgate, Whitechapel, Mile End, Bow, Stratford, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Green Lanes, Goodmayes and Becontree. During Monday to Friday rush hours it was extended to Hornchurch Station via Rush Green. The Hornchurch extension was withdrawn in 1958, but an additional shuttle service was introduced between Dagenham East Station and Dagenham (Fords) via Ballards Road during Monday to Friday peak hours, replacing route 193. This shuttle service was totally separate from the main 25 service except for the garage runs. There were no further changes to the 25 until 1969 when the weekend service was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Victoria, although this was reinstated in 1978. The shuttle service to Dagenham was reduced to just a few morning rush hour projections during 1977. In 1982 the 25 was withdrawn completely east of Ilford, being replaced by new route 225. In 1987 the Sunday service was extended from Ilford to Becontree Heath via Goodmayes and Becontree again, and became daily in 1988. At the same time route 25 was converted to one-man-operation, and rerouted on Saturdays and Sundays between Aldgate and Bank via Tower of London. In 1992 the 25 was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Victoria and replaced by route 8 over this section, and later that year a few morning peak hour journeys were again extended from Becontree Heath to Dagenham (Fords). In 1993 the weekend diversion via Tower was rerouted via New Change and Cannon Street instead of Bank. The route now runs daily between Oxford Circus and Ilford Broadway via Bank at all times and is operated by articulated buses.

A more detailed history of routes 10, 21 and 25 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).


10A MON.-FRI.
This “E” plate is for the 1970s version of the route as the 1960s 10A did not have any Monday to Friday sections.
10A MON.-FRI.
This plate would have been posted on stops in Borough High Street from Borough Station to London Bridge, or possibly in the vicinity of Monument Station, for the four years that the second route 10A operated.
Route 10A leafletTimetable leaflet for the introduction of one-person-operation route 10A starting 30 October 1972, with print code 972/32095/29,000. This is a fold-out leaflet with brief details of the route and a fare table on the front. Inside are bus stop timetables for the service and on the back are diagrams showing how to use split entrance buses.

Route 10A was introduced in 1964 and ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Abridge (Blue Boar) and Leyton Green via Chigwell, Woodford Bridge, South Woodford, Wanstead, Leytonstone, Whipps Cross and Lea Bridge Road. It was withdrawn in 1968 and replaced by new routes 167A and 235.

A new route 10A was introduced in 1972 running on Mondays to Fridays between Victoria and Aldgate via Lambeth Palace, Elephant & Castle and London Bridge covering the southern end of route 10, and this was very short-lived as route 10 was re-extended to Victoria in 1976.

Route 21 is described above.


Route 11 is one of the most famous routes in London, and has featured many times on postcards, in films and on television. It ran daily between Liverpool Street and Shepherd’s Bush via Bank, St. Paul’s, Ludgate Circus, Strand, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Victoria, Sloane Square, Chelsea, Fulham Broadway and Hammersmith. In 1970 it was withdrawn between Hammersmith (Brook Green) and Shepherd’s Bush, and in 1983 further cut back to Hammersmith Broadway. In 1986 it was re-extended to Shepherd’s Bush on Mondays to Saturdays except evenings, but cut back again in 1992 when it terminated at Hammersmith (Bus Station). In 1993 it was withdrawn between Fulham Broadway and Hammersmith and replaced by route 211 over this section. In 2003 it was converted to one-man-operation.

A more detailed history of route 11 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).

2d London General route 11 ticket5d London General route 11 ticket1d LPTB route 11/25A ticket
An assortment of tickets for route 11. The first two were issued by London General, while the yellow 1d is an early London Transport offering that was also valid on route 25A.
11
11
For some reason the plate maker felt it necessary to place the numbers as close together as possible on this “E” plate!
11 - 15

Route 15 ran from Kew Green (Sundays), via Kew Bridge, Gunnersbury Lane, Acton, Acton Vale, East Acton, Wormwood Scrubs, Barlby Road, St Marks Road, and Ladbroke Grove (Mondays to Saturdays), extended via Westbourne Grove, Paddington, Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Aldwych, Fleet Street, St. Paul’s, Bank, Aldgate, Stepney, Limehouse and Poplar (Monday to Friday mid-days), being further extended via Canning Town, Plaistow and Upton Park to East Ham White Horse during Monday to Friday peaks and evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. In connection with the Trolleybus Replacement Programme, route 15 was extended from Poplar to East Ham at all times. Nowadays it runs between Paddington and Blackwall Station. Of course, the 15 is now one of just two routes using Routemasters, and this Heritage Route 15 runs between Trafalgar Square and Tower of London.

Split “E” plates tended to be made for specific bus stops where there was insufficient space to display all route numbers on separate plates. This one is notable as the dividing line is not in the middle, making it rather unusual. It would have come from a bus stop between Bank and Trafalgar Square.

11 - 168 MON.-FR. PEAK HOURS

Route 168 was a tram replacement route introduced in 1950 between Wandsworth and Victoria Embankment via Clapham Junction, Vauxhall and Westminster Bridge, running on to Farringdon Street via Blackfriars on Mondays to Saturdays. In 1951 it was extended daily from Wandsworth via Tibbets Corner to Putney Heath (Green Man). In 1953 the Saturday pm service was withdrawn between Horse Guards and Farringdon Street. In 1956 the Sunday service was cut back to Vauxhall, and withdrawn completely in 1958. In 1961 the route was revised to run Mondays to Saturdays from Putney Heath to Turnpike Lane Station, being extended from Blackfriars via Holborn Circus, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross, Holloway, Finsbury Park and Manor House, but the following year the Saturday service was withdrawn between Farringdon Street and Turnpike Lane Station. It was cut back to Farringdon Street again in 1965 when the northern section was renumbered 168A. The 168 was rerouted via Trafalgar Square later that year. The Farringdon Street extension was gradually reduced to peak hours only by 1978, and the route was withdrawn completely in 1980.

The numbers on this “E” plate are the smallest I’ve seen, which is especially curious as there was no need to make the 11 so tiny. The two routes ran together along Whitehall, Strand and Fleet Street.


12
12
The two figures are unusually close together on this “E” plate.
12
12 MON.-SAT. ADDISCOMBE
This “E” plate is of outstanding interest as the destination was not the terminus of the route, so it must therefore have come from a stop which was used by short-working buses.
12 SUNDAY
As the route was worked in sections and there was no Sunday-only portion of the 12, I believe that this plate would have come from the stand at either Oxford Circus or Shepherd’s Bush Garage where journeys terminated on Sundays.
12 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY

Route 12 ran between Harlesden (Willesden Junction) and South Croydon (Red Deer) via Park Royal, East Acton, Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Elephant & Castle, Camberwell, Peckham, Dulwich, Forest Hill, Penge, Anerley, Norwood Junction, Addiscombe and East Croydon. In 1954 it was withdrawn between South Croydon Garage and South Croydon (Red Deer). In 1958 it was withdrawn on Sundays between Oxford Circus and Harlesden, and partly replaced by route 49. In 1960 it was re-extended on Sundays from Oxford Circus to Shepherd’s Bush. In 1972 it was withdrawn between Norwood Junction and South Croydon and replaced by new route 12A. In 1978 it was re-rextended on Sundays from Shepherd’s Bush to Harlesden. In 1986 it was withdrawn daily between East Acton and Harlesden, and between Penge and Norwood Junction. In 1988 it was withdrawn between Dulwich and Penge. In 1991 it was withdrawn between East Acton and Shepherd’s Bush. In 1994 it was withdrawn between Notting Hill Gate and Shepherd’s Bush. In 2004, the route was converted to articulated buses and shortened even further to run only between Oxford Circus and Dulwich, a shadow of its former self.

A more detailed history of route 12 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).

Route 18A was introduced in 1967 between Acton and Kings Cross via North Acton, Harlesden, Kensal Green, Paddington Green and Euston during Monday to Friday rush hours. It finished its days between Acton and Baker Street Station and was withdrawn during 1982. It was never converted to one-man-operation and was RM operated for most of its life from Middle Row Garage [X], only receiving crewed DM buses during its last year.

Split plates are always popular, and this example combines one of London’s most famous and busy central London routes with a more obscure local service. It would probably have come from a stop in the Harlesden area.

12-18A MON.-FRI.
12-39 MON.-FRI.This “E” plate would have come from the common section of routes 12 and 39 between Westminster and Oxford Circus between 1963 and 1974.

Route 39 ran daily between Camden Town and Southfields Station via Hampstead Road, Tottenham Court Road, Charing Cross Road, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Victoria, Chelsea, Battersea Bridge, Clapham Junction and Wandsworth. In 1952 it was withdrawn between Victoria and Camden Town on Sundays. In 1953 it was extended during Monday to Friday rush hours and on Saturdays from Camden Town to Parliament Hill Fields via Kentsh Town. From 1953 until 1957 the summer Sunday service was extended from Victoria to Parliament Hill Fields. In 1958 the Sunday service was withdrawn completely, but reintroduced that summer between Southfields and Parliament Hill Fields. Later in 1958 the Sunday service was withdrawn completely and the service was withdrawn between Camden Town and Parliament Hill Fields, and further withdrawn on Saturday afternoons between Trafalgar Square and Camden Town. In 1961 it was extended from Camden Town to Parliament Hill Fields. In 1963 the Monday to Friday service was diverted at Trafalgar Square to Finsbury Park Station via Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Camden Town and Holloway, and further extended during rush hours to Tottenham Garage via Manor House, partly replacing route 276, and the Saturday service was renumbered 39A. In 1964 the Saturday service was reintroduced on the 39 between Victoria and Southfields replacing the 39A. In 1970 the 39 was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Tottenham. In 1971 the Saturday service was diverted at Battersea Bridge to South Kensington via Fulham Road and renumbered 39A. In 1972 it was converted to one-man-operation. In 1973 it was extended from Southfields to Putney High Street via Tibbetts Corner, and further extended outside peak hours to Putney Bridge Station, when there was less traffic congestion. In 1974 the 39 was introduced on Sundays between Battersea (Parkgate Road) and Putney Bridge Station. In 1978 a Saturday service was introduced between Victoria and Putney Bridge, and the service was extended to Putney Bridge at all times. In 1990 it was withdrawn between Clapham Junction and Victoria and replaced by route 239, and it was also rerouted via York Road and Plough Road instead of East Hill, although this reverted back to East Hill soon after.

12 - 53

Route 53 was renumbered from 53A in 1952 and ran daily between Camden Town and Plumstead Common via Great Portland Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Elephant & Castle, Old Kent Road, New Cross, Deptford, Blackheath, Charlton and Woolwich, extended on Sundays to Plumstead Garage. In 1956 it was further extended on Sundays from Plumstead Garage to Erith via Wickham Lane, King Harolds Way and Bedonwell Road, replacing route 122A on this day. In 1963 it was withdrawn and the 122A reintroduced between Plumstead Garage and Erith on Sundays. In 1981 the Sunday service was diverted to terminate at the new Plumstead Garage at Plumstead Station, and the old garage was closed. In 1984 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Camden Town to Parliament Hill Fields via Kentish Town, but was cut back to Oxford Circus at all times in 1987 when a local C2 route was introduced. In 2003 the 53 was withdrawn between Whitehall and Oxford Circus and replaced by new route 453.

In the 1980s coloured vinyl stickers were used to designate “tourist” routes. They were particularly common in the vicinty of Trafalgar Square, which is one location where the 12 and 53 intersected.

A detailed history of route 53 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in Central London (Ian Allan, 1986; ISBN 0 7110 1568 6).

Bus stop poster from Oxford Street
12-88
◀◀ A bus stop poster for routes 12 and 88 from Oxford Street for north/westbound travel, dating from 1975 or 1976.
This “E” plate would have come from the common section of the two routes, between Shepherd’s Bush and Westminster.

Route 88 ran between Acton Green and Mitcham (Cricketers) via Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Vauxhall, Stockwell, Clapham, Balham and Tooting Broadway. During Monday to Friday peak hours and on Saturdays it was extended to St. Helier, running on to Belmont on Sundays. In 1961 the service was extended to Banstead Hospital on Sunday afternoons. The Saturday service was withdrawn between Mitcham and St. Helier in 1964, with the peak hour service being similarly withdrawn in 1970. It was withdrawn between Tooting and Mitcham in 1987 on Mondays to Saturdays. In 1988 it was extended beyond Acton Green to Turnham Green. The route was further cut back from Tooting to Clapham Common on Mondays to Saturdays in 1990, and soon after was cut back from Turnham Green to Marble Arch on Sundays, and Oxford Circus on Mondays to Saturdays. The Sunday service was cut back to Clapham Common the same year. In 1992 the Sunday service to Marble Arch was cut back to Oxford Circus, and in 1990 the whole service was extended from Oxford Circus to Camden Town via Warren Street Station and Hampstead Road.


12A
12A MON.-SAT. TO CROYDON
12A-194
Route 12A leaflet
▲ This plate is astonishingly rare and would probably have come from a bus stop at Selsdon, from where buses normally started, but a couple of school journeys ran through from Riddlesdown. It is in poor condition owing to significant surface chipping, possibly from having been shot at, but it is an amazingly rare survivor nonetheless.
◀ Timetable leaflet for the OPO conversion of route 12A and replacement of route 54,starting January 6 1973. The print code of this fold-out leaflet is 1172/37755S/25000, and it has brief details of the changes and a fare table on the front. Inside are bus stop timetables for the service and on the back are diagrams showing how to use split entrance buses.
This “E” plate could have come from the common section of the two routes, between Forest Hill and Anerley, or from Croydon where they again intersected.

Route 12A began operating on 8 January 1972 between Peckham Garage and South Croydon Garage via Barrie Road, East Dulwich, Forest Hill, Penge, Anerly, Norwood Junction, Addiscombe and East Croydon. One year later it was extended to Selsdon (Farley Road) on Monday to Saturday and to Riddlesdown (Mitchley Hill) for Monday to Friday school journeys, replacing the withdrawn section of route 54. In 1981 it was withdrawn between Peckham and Forest Hill. In 1982 Sunday service was withdrawn between Croydon (Swan & Sugar Loaf) and Croydon Garage. In 1984 the route was extended from Selsdon via Riddlesdown and Purley to Old Lodge Lane over routes 234 and 234A. In February 1986 the Sunday service was withdrawn between Croydon (Park Lane) and the Swan & Sugar Loaf, but in June it was extended to Chipstead Valley and renumbered 12B. In October the 12A was extended from Forest Hill back to its original terminus of Peckham Garage. In September 1990 the route was renumbered 312. The 12A was allocated to Elmers End Garage [ED] until its closure in 1986, when it was transferred to Croydon Garage [TC]. It was operated by SMS Swifts until they were withdrawn in favour of short Leyland National LSs in 1977.

Route 194 ran daily between Forest Hill Station and Croydon Airport via Lower Sydenham, Penge, Anerley, Elmers End, West Wickham, Shirley, East Croydon and Denning Avenue. In 1963 the Sunday service was renumbered 194C and diverted via Shirley Way, but the 194C was withdrawn in 1970 and the 194 became daily again. In 1975 the Sunday service was once again diverted via Shirley Way and this time renumbered 194A, and the 194A was withdrawn in 1992, the Sunday 194 being reinstated yet again. In 1996 the 194 was withdrawn between Croydon and Croydon Airport, rerouted instead to West Croydon (Bus Station).

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