London Transport
Central Area Routes 70–73

Last updated 09-08-11.

London General’s route 70 operated between Hampstead Heath (South End Green) and Harlesden (Jubilee Clock) via Swiss Cottage, St. John’s Wood, Warwick Avenue Station, West Kilburn and Kensal Rise, then to either Harlesden (Willesden Junction Hotel) or—during Monday to Saturday peak hours, Saturday afternoons and summer Sundays—to Kew Green (Coach & Horses) via Harlesden Station, North Action, Acton Central and Acton Town Stations. From noon to 14.00 Monday to Friday buses turned at Action (GWR Station).

Route 70 was reintroduced in 1951 as a replacement for tram route 70 and ran daily between Greenwich Church and London Bridge via Deptford, Surrey Docks Station, Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Waterloo Station via Southwark Street and Stamford Street. In 1952 the Sunday service was withdrawn but restored a week later, and again withdrawn in 1953! In 1954 the 70 was extended from Greenwich to Eltham (Southend Crescent) via Blackheath and Kidbrooke, and extended during Monday to Saturday peak hours from Waterloo to Victoria via Lambeth Bridge, although the Saturday peak extension was withdrawn in 1956. In 1960 it was withdrawn between Greenwich and Eltham on Mondays to Fridays, and between Waterloo and Victoria apart from peak hours. In 1963 the Saturday service was withdrawn between London Bridge and Waterloo, and further cut back the following year to Surrey Docks apart from some early journeys. In 1966 the remaining Saturday service was withdrawn completely, and in 1968 the Monday to Friday peak extension to Victoria was withdrawn, leaving the route as just Greenwich to Waterloo on Mondays to Fridays. In 1970 it was converted to one-man-operation. In 1971 some early morning journeys were diverted over London Bridge to Monument Station. In 1978 it was revised to run daily between Lewisham (Riverdale Centre) and Victoria via Deptford and the existing route to Waterloo, then over Westminster Bridge. In 1980 it was withdrawn in Lewisham between the bus station and Riverdale Centre. In 1982 it was withdrawn between Surrey Docks Station and Lewisham. In 1985 the Saturday and Sunday sevices were withdrawn. Later the same year it was revised to again run daily from Peckham Garage to Rotherhithe Station via South Bermondsey, Surrey Docks and Redriff Road, and extended on Mondays to Fridays to Victoria. In 1987 it was again withdrawn on Saturdays and Sundays, and the route was totally withdrawn in 1988.

Today’s route 70 runs between South Kensington Station and Acton (High Street) via Kensington, Notting Hill Gate, Queensway, Westbourne Park Road, Ladbroke Grove, Du Cane Road and East Acton.

70
“Dorking: Route 70”; a 1926 poster designed for the London General Omnibus Company by Walter E. Spradbery.
©London Transport Museum
70
70
70 MON.-FRI.
70 MON.-FRI.
A second line of text has been officially removed from the surface of this plate: PEAK HOURS ONLY (or possibly RUSH HOURS). This was sometimes done to avoid the cost of or delay in making new plates.
70 MON.-FRI. RUSH HOURS & MIDDAY
I can’t recall seeing any other “E” plate with this wording. However, this one would have been displayed between October 1963 and September 1968 on the Waterloo–Victoria section of the 70. Before then this section was a conventional morning and evening peak extension beyond the all-day terminus at Waterloo. The service in the middle of the day (roughly 12.00–14.00) was added to meet the increased demand at lunch time from office workers in the Albert Embankment and Millbank areas for travel to and from the shops and eating places in Victoria Street. Like the peak service, this supplemented the all-day service on route 46, and it may have also replaced short workings on that route. In 1968 both the 46 and 70 gave way to Red Arrow 507. (Thanks to Brian Polley for the details.)
70 EARLY A.M. JOURNEYS
◀ This unusual “E” plate probably came from one of the stops served by the early journeys to Monument Station.
70 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
◀ This is a rare “E” plate as it might have come from just a handful of stops served only by odd journeys, such as at Monument Station where just a couple of early morning journeys ran.
Unusually, this is a very thickly-enamelled “E” plate which accounts for the extra chipping, it probably being a tight fit in the runners. ▶
70 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY

71
71 FARE STAGE
71 MON.-FRI. SPECIAL JOURNEYS SEE BELOW
This is very unusal wording to find on an “E” plate, and the MON.-FRI. notation is somewhat superfluous.
71 MON.-SAT.
71 MON.-SAT. RICHMOND
This “E” plate dates from the period between 1968 and 1972 when the 71 only ran to Richmond on Mondays to Saturdays.
71 SUNDAY AFTERNOON
These two SUNDAY AFTERNOON plates were among those used for the Kingston–Richmond extension after 1975.
71 SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Unusually, the number and the word SUNDAY are off-centre on this plate.
71
A double-sided London General Omnibus Company bus stop timetable panel dated June 1924, listing services for routes 71 (Finsbury Park–St. Albans), 82 (Golders Green–Hatfield) and 85 (Golders Green–St. Albans). The reverse side shows only route 85.
71
Nearly a half-century newer, this timetable dated 12.3.72 is for down journeys to Leatherhead. The return service to Richmond is on the other side.

Route 71 ran from Richmond (Raleigh Road) to Kingston via Petersham, Ham Common, Lock Road, Tudor Drive, Park Road and Kings Road. In 1951 it was extended from Richmond to Hammersmith (Brook Green Hotel) via Lower Richmond Road, Chiswick Bridge, Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Road, replacing part of route 111. In 1958 Sunday service was withdrawn, partly replaced by new route 90C between Hammersmith and Staines. A year later the Saturday service was extended from Kingston to Sunbury Station via Hampton Court, Hampton Station, Harfield Road and Sunbury Village, replacing 216 short workings. As part of Stage 7 of the Trolleybus Replacement Program, in 1960 the 71 was extended from Hammersmith to East Acton (Erconwald Street) via Shepherds Bush, White City and Ducane Road, providing a new Monday to Saturday service from Hammersmith to Hammersmith Hospital as part replacement for the 628 and 630 between Hammersmith and DuCane Road. In 1964 the Saturday extension frow Kingston to Sunbury was withdrawn, and in ’66 the route was withdrawn between Hammersmith and East Acton, replaced by a rerouting of route 72 at White City via Ducane Road instead of Westway. In 1967 the 71 was replaced between Richmond and Hammersmith by new Monday to Saturday working of the 90C, and was rerouted between Tudor Drive and Petersham via Broughton Avenue and Sandy Lane instead of Lock Road and Ham Common, and the Richmond terminal was changed to Dee Road. In 1968 the route was extended daily from Kingston to Leatherhead (LT Garage) via Villiers Road, Surbiton, Hook, Chessington and Malden Rushett, replacing the parallel Monday to Friday 65 and Saturday–Sunday 65A betwee Hook and Leatherhead. In 1972 Sunday journeys were extended from Kingston to Richmond. From 1974 to 1979 Monday-to-Friday peak hour shorts ran between Richmond and Ham. The Sunday service was also withdrawn in 1979, replaced by new route 265. For 16 months in 1979–1980 the 71 was curtailed between Petersham (Fox & Duck) and Richmond due to road subsidence. Later in 1980 Sunday service was reinstated, the route was extended daily from Surbiton to Chessington Zoo via Hook (replacing part of route 265), and Monday to Friday school journeys continued on to Chessington (Fox & Hounds). On Mondays to Saturdays journeys detoured via Richmond Hill between Petersham and Richmond. In 1987 the 71 replaced the withdrawn 65 between Kingston and Chessington, operating daily from Chessington Zoo to Richmond and extended during Monday to Friday peaks to Fox & Hounds. In 1990 the Richmond to Kingston (Clarence Street Bus Station Monday to Saturday days, Cromwell Road evenings and Sundays) section was replaced by new route 371, and the Chessington terminal became World Of Adventures at all times. Throughout the 71’s existence different routeings existed through the Ham Estate and in Kingston.


In 1934 route 72 was a short weekday-only route running between Hammersmith Station and Putney Heath via Hammersmith Bridge and Castelnau, turning via Roehampton, Putney Heath, Dover House and Upper Richmond or vice-versa. By 1938 it was operating daily and had been extended to Tolworth via the Kingston By-Pass and Tolworth Rise. In 1950 the 72 ran from East Acton to Esher (High Street) via Westway, White City, Shepherd’s Bush, Hammersmith, Barnes, Roehampton, Kingston Vale, Kingston By-Pass, New Malden, Tolworth and Hinchley Wood. In 1958 it was extended during Monday to Friday rush hours from East Acton to Park Royal Stadium, partly replacing route 17 which was withdrawn. Later in the year it was withdrawn on Sundays between Tolworth and Esher. In 1959 the Sunday service was diverted via Du Cane Road instead of Westway and renumbered 72A, thus the 72 was withdrawn on this day. In 1966 the 72 was rerouted along Du Cane Road and reintroduced on Sundays, replacing the 72A. Later tha year the journeys to Park Royal were withdrawn, and the Saturday service was withdrawn between Tolworth and Esher. In 1970 it was diverted at Scilly Isles away from Esher to run daily to Hampton Court Station, replacing part of route 152, and certain journeys were extended to Hampton Grammar School. In 1972 it was extended during Monday to Friday peak hours from East Acton to Brunel Road. In 1973 it was withdrawn between Tolworth and Hampton Court/Hampton Grammar School and replaced by the 152 over this section. In 1975 it was extended on Sundays from Tolworth to Chessington Zoo, but this extension was cut withdrawn in 1982. In 1983 it was extended during Monday to Saturday shopping hours from Tolworth to Kingston via Surbiton, but this only lasted until 1984. It was again extended from Tolworth to Chessington Zoo during the summers of 1985 to 1989, and all year through from 1989. In 1991 it was withdrawn south of Roehampton, and extended at all times to Brunel Road.

Ten route 72 punch tickets
Ten route 72 geographical punch tickets, all with the later style smaller number overprint, in values ranging from 1d to 1′-. These were produced in 1952 after the end of normal use of geographical tickets in order to prevent fraud during a proposed closure of Hammersmith Bridge for repair, but were never used for their intended purpose as the work was completed more quickly than expected. The tickets are (obviously) in unused condition.
Tickets courtesy jrs232.
Route 72 bus stop timetable
Bus stop slip timetable for route 72 dated 24.1.70 with print code 1269 4164 P 4400 (10 ch) 200. These used to be posted on stops where the service was considered to be frequent. It gives a description of the route from East Acton to Hampton Court Station, and such useful (?) information such as the service interval is “about every 10 minutes”, Roehampton to Hampton Court every 30 minutes, and the last bus times at six timing points.
72

This timetable dated 20.10.73 is for up journeys to East Acton.
72
72 FARE STAGE
72 SUNDAY

73
73 MON-FRI RUSH HOURS & SAT RICHMOND
73 SUNDAY
73 SUNDAY
This “E” plate was likely produced in the mid- to late-1970s, when London Transport’s stadards were slipping and neatness was evidently not a requirement for new signage.
73 SUNDAY HOUNSLOW
My guess is that this “E” plate came from a stop in the street outside of Hammersmith Station, as during the ’70s the 73 terminated at Butterwick Bus Station on weekdays.
73 TOTTENHAM GARAGE JOURNEYS
For most of its life the 73 has been worked by Tottenham [AR] Garage and this plate would have come from one of the northbound bus stops between Stoke Newington and Tottenham for the considerable number of buses that used to be extended over that section. It is astonishingly rare to find an “E” plate showing the name of a bus garage.
73 - N89 NIGHT
Another extremely rare “E” plate is this one with two differently-coloured backgrounds. It would have come from the short stretch of Oxford Street between Marble Arch and Gower Street where routes 73 and N89 ran together. I would imagine that London Transport avoided making split-background-colour plates as far as possible owing to the additional complexity.
3d route 73 ticket 5d route 73 ticket

A pair of tickets for the 73, dating from the mid-1930s as evidenced by the LONDON PASSENGER TRANSPORT BOARD imprimateur.
Route 73 tickets

A selection of ten different geographical punch tickets from route 73, all with the later style smaller value overprint. Values range from 1d to 1′-, and they were produced in the early 1950s. The purple ticket with the red X surimposed under the value is an Early Morning Single.
Tickets courtesy jrs232.
Route 73 timetable panel

This timetable panel was posted on the southbound route 73 bus stop in Shepherd’s Bush Road at Hammersmith Broadway (which I believe was the terminal point at that time). It is dated 16.5.66 when the route was operated by Routemaster buses.

Route 73 is a very long-established central London route and in 1949 was running daily between Stoke Newington and Richmond via Newington Green, Islington, King’s Cross, Euston, Court Road, Oxford Street, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Kensington, Hammersmith, Barnes and East Sheen. In 1958 it was extended on Sundays from Richmond to Hounslow Garage via Twickenham, Warren Road and Whitton, and later that year it was extended to Hounslow daily. In 1966 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Fridays between Hammersmith and Hounslow, except for a peak hour service to Richmond, and was withdrawn on Saturdays between Richmond and Hounslow, and replaced by new route 33. In 1970 the Richmond extension was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays. In 1978 the Sunday service to Hounslow was cut back to Twickenham Station, and in 1982 the remainder of the Sunday extension was curtailed at Hammersmith. In 1988 the route was diverted at Hyde Park Corner to run to Victoria Station at all times, with new route 10 taking over the Hammersmith service. The 73 is probably one of the most famous, long-established and busy routes in London, and now runs to Seven Sisters Station at the northern end. In 2004 the route lost its Routemasters. It was one of the first non-trolleybus replacement routes to receive them 1962, but has now succumbed to bendy-buses.

Route N89 was renumbered from 289 in 1960. It ran from London Bridge Station to Southall (Brent Road) via Bank, Holborn, Oxford Street, Marble Arch, Lancaster Gate/Notting Hill Gate, Shepherds Bush, Acton, Ealing and Hanwell. In later years the N89 was diverted to serve Paddington Station, and latterly was diverted at Southall Town Hall to Uxbridge via Hayes End and Hillingdon. The route has now been absorbed mainly by route N207, running between Holborn and Uxbridge.

Previous page Next page
Click on any of the tiles below to go to images of the “E” plates and the route descriptions for that number series.
Clicking on any stop flag will return to the home page.
Stops
“E” Plates
Stops
Stop Flags
Maps
Maps

Stamps

Advanced Search
Advanced Search
Sources
Sources
Bibliography
Bibliography
Links
Links