London Transport
Central Area Routes 185–189

Last updated 25-02-08.

185

Route 185 was a tram replacement route introduced in 1951 running between Victoria and Blackwall Tunnel (South Side) via Vauxhall, Oval, Camberwell, Dulwich, Forest Hill, Catford, Lewisham and Greenwich. In 1967 it was withdrawn between Grenwich (Ship & Billet) and Blackwall Tunnel except during Monday to Saturday rush hours and some early Sunday journeys, and it was further withdrawn on Saturdays and Sundays between Greenwich Church and Blackwall Tunnel. In 1971 it was withdrawn on Mondays to Fridays except during rush hours between Lewisham and Greenwich (Ship & Billet). In 1973 it was converted to one-man-operation. In 1978 the route became Victoria to Lewisham only, with just the Monday to Friday rush hour service and some early Saturday & Sunday journeys running on to Blackwall Tunnel. The Blackwall Tunnel service disappeared completely in 1982 with just the rush hour service continuing beyond Lewisham to Greenwich Church. Finally the Greenwich Church rush hour extension was withdrawn in 1987 and the route settled to being Victoria to Lewisham only. In 2001 the route was tendered and won by the short-lived Easylink company, but when that ceased it was taken over by London Buses’ “flagship” operator, East Thames Buses.


Route 186 was introduced in 1952 as a tram replacement route, and ran daily between Woolwich and Crystal Palace via Eltham, Lee Green, Lewisham, Brockley Rise, Forest Hill and Sydenham. In 1957 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Crystal Palace to Victoria via West Norwood, Tulse Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. The route was withdrawn in 1964.

Today’s route 182 was introduced in 1970 between Edgware Station and Harrow-on-the Hill via Canons Park, Belmont Circle and Wealdstone. In 1985 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Edgware to Brent Cross Shopping Centre via Mill Hill and Hendon Central. In 1986 it was extended daily from Harrow to Northwick Park Hospital. In 1995 the Sunday service was extended to Brent Cross.

I cannot be sure exactly where this “E” plate came from, or from which route, but it appears that it might have been from a single stop not served at other times (as no section of route ran only during rush hours), so it may well be rather rare.

186 MON.-FRI. RUSH HOURS

188
188
188-239 MON.-FRI.
This “E” plate would have come from the short section of common road between Waterloo and Euston from between 1975 (when the 239 was withdrawn on Saturdays over this section) and 1982 (when route 239 was withdrawn completely).

Route 188 was introduced as a tram replacement route in 1951 running between Chalk Farm Station and Greenwich (Cutty Sark) via Camden Town, Euston. Russell Square, Holborn Station, Aldwych, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle, Bricklayers Arms, Tower Bridge Road, Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks. In 1958 it was withdrawn on Saturday pm between Aldwych and Chalk Farm. In 1963 it was re-extended to Chalk Farm on Saturday pm, but cut back to Aldwych on Mondays to Fridays except during peak hours. Later that year it was withdrawn on Sundays between Waterloo and Chalk Farm. In 1964 the Sunday service was diverted to Archway Station and renumbered 188A. In 1970 the 188 was revised to run from Greenwich to Waterloo on Mondays to Saturdays, and extended on Mondays to Fridays to Euston Station. A few early Saturday journeys continued beyond Waterloo to Aldwych. In 1971 it was converted to one-man-operation and withdrawn between Surrey Docks Station and Greenwich on Mondays to Fridays except during peak hours. A Sunday service was reintroduced between Greenwich and Waterloo. In 1978 the route was simplified (at last) to run daily between Greenwich and Euston. In 1982 the Monday to Friday service was extended to King’s Cross as part replacement for route 239, but in 1985 this extension was reduced to peak hours only, and was withdrawn completely in 1986 so that it again ran Greenwich to Euston at all times. In 1999 it was extended from Greenwich to North Greenwich Station, and later that year withdrawn between Russell Square and Euston. Since the route has been tendered, it has seen a number of operators running on it: Boroline Maidstone, Selkent, London & Country, South London, Arriva North East, Arriva London North, London General and London Central.

Route 239 was introduced in March 1971, replacing the northern end of route 196. It was a Monday to Saturday service between Tufnell Park Hotel and Waterloo via Brecknock Road, York Way, King’s Cross (Monday to Friday evenings and Saturdays), Euston, Russel Square, Holborn, Kingsway and Aldwych. In March 1975 it was diverted at Tufnell Park Station to Archway Station via Dartmouth Park Hill. The route was withdrawn in September 1982.


Route 188A was introduced in 1964 running on Sundays only between Archway Station and Greenwich (Cutty Sark) via Holloway, Highbury, Islington, Rosebery Avenue, Bloomsbury, Aldwych, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle, Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, Surrey Docks and Creek Road, covering routes 172 and 188 on this day. The route was withdrawn in 1971 after just seven years.

188A MON.-FRI.

189 MON.-FRI.
189 MON.-FRI.
189 MON-FRI

Route 189 was a tram replacement route and ran on Mondays to Fridays between Cannon Street Station and South Wimbledon Station via Borough, Elephant & Castle, Kennington, Clapham, Nightingale Lane, Wandsworth Common, Burntwood Lane and Haydons Road. It was extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to North Cheam (Queen Victoria) via Morden. In 1956 it was withdrawn (except for rush hours) between Clapham Common and Cannon Street. In August 1958 the 189 was withdrawn, and in November the same year the 189A was renumbered 189 and ran daily between Clapham Common (Old Town) and South Wimbledon Station, extended on Mondays to Fridays except evenings and Saturday afternoons to Raynes Park (Junction Tavern), and further extended during Monday to Friday rush hours to Worcester Park Station via New Malden. In 1962 it was withdrawn on Sundays, and also on Saturdays between South Wimbledon and Raynes Park, although re-extended there the following year, between midday and 6:00 p.m., with some journeys continuing on to New Malden. In 1964 it was withdrawn on Saturdays, then in 1966 it was withdrawn during evenings. It was converted to one-man-operation in 1971. In 1973 it was extended from Raynes Park to Esher. Over subsequent years the route contracted considerably, and eventually remained as just a couple of school journeys which are covered by today’s route 689.

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