London Transport
Central Area Routes 277–279

Last updated 13-2-10.

1974 rouyte 277 leaflet

January 1974 leaflet for the conversion of the 277 from crewed RTs to one-man operated DMS buses.

Route 277 was introduced in 1959, running daily between Smithfield and Cubitt Town via Islington, Dalston, Hackney, Victoria Park, Mile End, Limehouse and West Ferry Road. It replaced trolleybus 677. In 1961 it was extended on Sundays to Poplar. The Saturday service was similarly extended in 1964, replacing route 56 on that day. In 1966 the Sunday service was withdrawn betwen Islington (Angel) and Smithfield. In 1969 the Monday to Friday service was extended to Poplar, making it daily over this section. The Sunday service was further cut back from Islington to Mildmay Park from 1971. In 1974 the route was converted to one-man operation, and the service was withdrawn between Cubitt Town and Poplar, being replaced over this section by new route 277A. It was re-extended to Poplar in 1976 and the 277A withdrawn after road widening took place. In 1982 the evening service was withdrawn between Islington and Smithfield on Mondays to Fridays, but the Sunday service was extended to Islington. In 1989 the 277 was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays between Limehouse and Poplar and replaced by new route D7. The following year the route was diverted at Balls Pond Road to run to Highbury & Islington Station. In 1991 the service was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Limehouse to Canary Wharf, and the Sunday service on to Poplar was cut back to Canary Wharf in 1993. In 1994 the 277 was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Canary Wharf to Leamouth, with the Sunday service being similarly extended in 2003.

Route 277 in 1970
The Central portion of route 277 in 1970. Adapted from the The Greater London Bus Map.
277
With its extreme weathering, this plate could well be over 50 years old!
277
277 MON.-SAT
Obviously an error as MON is followed by a full-stop but SAT is not!
277 MON-SAT
277 SAT.-SUN.
I believe this “E” plate is exceptionally rare, and came from the single bus stop in Southgate Road between 1971 and 1982 which was served by buses starting from Mildmay Park on Sundays and part of the Saturday service. I have only seen one other similar plate and it is in a private collection.

277A 277A SUNDAY MON.-SAT. SPECIAL JOURNEYS ◀ This “E” plate would have been used on the extension section between Mile End and Hackney. It is particularly unusual in having the main route number in red, but some of the qualification is in black. I can’t readily recall any other plates in this style.

Route 277A was introduced in January 1974, at the same time as the 277 was converted to DMS one-man operation, with RT vehicles running daily between Poplar Baths and Mile End Station via Cubitt Town, Millwall Docks and Limehouse. During evenings, early Saturday mornings and all day on Sundays, the route was extended beyond Mile End over the 277 route via Victoria Park to Hackney Station. The reason for the route’s introduction was because larger modern buses could not negotiate the approaches to the very narrow bridge crossing the entrance to the docks along Preston’s Road. This bridge was eventually rebuilt and the problem disappeared, and so the 277A was withdrawn in August 1976. Thus it was a relatively short-lived route, lasting less than three years.


Route 278 was introduced in 1960 to replace trolleybus 678, running daily between Victoria & Albert Docks and Wanstead Flats via Freemasons Road, New Barn Street, Balaam Street, Plaistow, Upton Lane, and Forest Gate, extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Chingford Mount via Cannhall Road, Crownfield Road, Leyton and Walthamstow. In 1962 it was diverted via Forest Lane instead of Wanstead Flats, and the Sunday service was rerouted to Stratford and renumbered 278A. It was then extended from Chingford Mount to Yardley Lane Estate in 1965. In 1968 the route was cut back from Yardley Lane Estate to Walthamstow Central Station. In 1973 it was withdrawn between Leyton (Grange Park Road) and Walthamstow. In 1976 the 278 was extended from Leyton to Walthamstow Central, and further extended to Chingford Mount in 1977. In 1981 it was diverted at Forest Lane to Stratford (Bus Station), but a service to Walthamstow Central was retained during Monday to Friday rush hours. In 1982 journeys were extended from Stratford to Stoke Newington via Hackney Wick, Hackney and Amhurst Road, and the peak hour service to Walthamstow was withdrawn. In 1984 service was withdrawn between Stratford and Stoke Newington, and diverted instead to Limehouse via Bow replacing route 86 over this section. In 1985 the 278 was extended from Victoria & Albert Docks to North Woolwich via Silvertown. In 1987 it was extended outside of peak hours from Limehouse to Aldgate via Stepney East, East Smithfield and Tower Hill, but this extension was withdrawn just nine months later. In 1988 the route was diverted at Victoria & Albert Docks to East Beckton via Strait Road and Manor Way instead of to North Woolwich. In 1991 it was introduced on Sunday afternoons between Stratford and Limehouse, but this was withdrawn later the same year. The following year it was rerouted in Beckton via Cyprus Place. In 1993 the route was finally withdrawn after an amazingly varied history running to a great range of places in East London. It is a route which would be fascinating to see drawn on a map.

Route 278 leaflet
◀ Timetable leaflet for the one-person-operation conversion of route 278 starting 28 October 1972 with print code 972/3196S/49,000. This fold-out leaflet lists 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. 278 MON.-FRI. PEAK HOURS
278 MON.-SAT.
This plate could well be 45 or more years old.
278 MON.-SAT. STRATFORD BUS STAION
This “E” plate came from one of the two stops in the Stratford one-way system.

279
279 MON.-SAT.
With its larger numbers, this “E” plate is likely from the trolleybus replacement route.
279 MON.-SAT.
With its heavier weathering, this “E” plate is also likely from the trolleybus replacement 279.
279 MON.-SAT.
This plate could either date from 1978, or could equally be from earlier in the 1970s for the southern end of the route which ran differently on Sundays.
279 MON-SAT
Whereas this plate is most certainly from the later era when LT was less fastidious about such things as correct punctuation.
279 SUNDAY
279 MON.-SAT. - 279A SUNDAY
This “E” plate came from the common section of the two routes, north of Islington.

Route 279 was introduced in 1961 as a replacement for trolleybus route 679 between Smithfield and Waltham Cross via Islington, Highbury, Holloway, Finsbury Park, Manor House, Tottenham, Edmonton and Ponders End. On Saturdays it was extended to Flamstead End. In 1966 it was withdrawn between Ponders End and Waltham Cross on Mondays to Fridays except during peak hours. In 1970 the whole Monday to Friday service was extended from Ponders End and Waltham Cross to Hammond Street. In 1971 the Sunday service was diverted at Islington via Goswell Road and Barbican to West Smithfield. In 1973 Sunday service was withdrawn south of Finsbury Park and replaced by new Sunday-only route 279A between Lower Edmonton and Liverpool Street. In 1976 the Sunday service was extended from Waltham Cross to Hammond Street, partly replacing routes 205 and 205A. In 1978 the 279 was withdrawn completely on Sundays, and between Waltham Cross and Hammond Street on Mondays to Saturdays, being replaced by new route 283, but in 1980 was extended back to Hammond Street when the 283 was withdrawn, and cut back again in 1985. In 1987 the route was converted to one-man operation and in 1992 the Sunday service was reintroduced. In 1996 the 279 was revised to run daily between Waltham Cross and Holloway (Nag’s Head), and in 2004 was withdrawn between Holloway and Manor House.


Although there was an earlier route 279A which ran from 1961 to 1971, this plate is for the later route which was a Sunday-only operation introduced with one-person-operated DMSs in 1973 between Lower Edmonton and Liverpool Street via Seven Sisters, Manor House, Finsbury Park, Holloway, Islington, Angel and Barbican. It diverted from the weekday 279 to serve Barbican. In 1978 it was converted to crewed Routemaster operation and extended north to Waltham Cross via Ponders End. It was converted to Metrobuses in 1987, and was withdrawn in 1992 when the parent route 279 was reintroduced on Sundays. Operation has been from Edmonton [EM], Enfield [E] and Tottenham [AR] garages.

279A SUNDAY
279A SUNDAY
279A SUNDAY
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