London Transport
Country Area Routes 304–309

North of the Thames

Last updated 15-2-10*

Route 304 ran between Tyttenhanger and Hitchin (St. Mary’s Square) via Hill End, St. Albans, Sandridge, Wheathampstead, Gustardwood, Blackmore End, Kimpton, Whitwell, St. Paul’s Walden, Chapelfoot and St. Ippolytts. In 1958 it was withdrawn between St. Albans (City Station) and Tyttenhanger, although some journeys were extended south from St. Albans to Colney Street to serve the Handley Page ærodrome. In 1959 certain buses were extended from Whitwell to Hitchin on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. In the 1960s the St. Albans terminus was moved from Hill End to City Station. In 1972 or 1973 service was withdrawn beteen St. Albans and Colney Street, but in 1974 it was extended from St. Albans to Radlett via How Wood. By 1979 St. Albans was again the regular terminus, but some journeys continued on to How Wood Estate. The 304 is one of the few routes—in operation today with Centrebus—which still follows much of the same roads it served all those years ago. The southern terminus nowadays is Welham Green, with a school-day extension to Potters Bar.

304
304 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
The SPECIAL JOURNEYS plates are notable, as they would have been produced for stops along an infrequently-served section of route; in this case to Colney Street.
304 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
It is unusual to see both version of wording on plates for one route.

305
305
305 FARE STAGE
305 HIGH WYCOMBE VIA CHALFONT

Route 305 ran from Gerrards Cross to Beaconsfield following a pretty route through Gold Hill, Chalfont St. Peter, Chalfont St. Giles, Three Households, Butlers Cross and Seer Green. In 1957 it was extended from Gerrards Cross to Uxbridge Station via Denham. In 1959 it was extended from Beaconsfield to High Wycombe via Holtspur, Loudwater Turn and Wycombe Marsh, and three years later further extended to West Wycombe. In 1968 service was withdrawn between High Wycombe and West Wycombe. From 1974 some journeys diverged at Chalfont St. Peter to run to Chalfont Common, replacing the withdrawn 305A service; however, this was discontinued in 1977. In 1976 journeys were added between Beaconsfield and Jordans Village via Seer Green. In 1979 additional service was added between Beaconsfield and Penn via Knotty Green, replacing a portion of route 363.

This “E” plate was obtained from Amersham Garage, but is believed to have been posted in the forecourt of the Uxbridge Underground station.


Route 305A ran between Gerrards Cross and Chalfont Common via Chalfont St. Peter. In 1958 it was extended from Chalfont Common to Horn Hill. In the early 1960s it was extended from Gerrards Cross to Uxbridge Station via Denham. In 1962 additional service was provided between High Wycombe and Wooburn Common via Loudwater. In 1968 the 305A was withdrawn between Chalfont Common and Horn Hill. Like so many of the Country Area routes, it became an early casualty shortly after the time that London Country took over, being replaced in 1974 by special journeys on the regular 305. Interestingly enough, 1974 also happened to be the year when London experienced power cuts where even the most reliable power adapter was no use, resulting in the implementation of shortened work weeks for many.

305A
It is unusual for the suffix letter to be so close to the route number.
305A
305A
As can be seen, there is some damage to enamel of this “E” plate. Green vinyl numbers are affixed to its rear so it could be re-used on route 727.
305A FARE STAGE
305A SATURDAY
routemaster105 writes: “I can tell the story of this plate. As a lad I lived in Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks. Back during the 1960s the 305A on Saturday afternoons made extended journeys from Chalfont Common to Horn Hill Church; a few miles further on where there was a small settlement. The RTs had to do a three-point turn at the junction by the church. Sadly, the service was not well used (Where have we heard that before?) and I actually witnessed the stops being removed by a gang of lads from Amersham Garage and I asked for one of the plates, which was duly forthcoming. I was told that only a few of these [Saturday] plates were ever made. I haven’t seen another one… but value is in the eye of the beholder!”

306 306 - 306A

Route 306 ran between New Barnet Station and Leavesden (Ganders Ash) via Barnet, Arkley, Borehamwood, Elstree, Bushey Heath, Bushey and Watford. During rush hours some journeys ran to Leavesden Works instead of Ganders Ash. The Sunday service ran only between Borehamwood and Leavesden. In 1976 the route was extended from Leavesden to Garston (Bus Garage), but withdrawn between Borehamwood (Ripon Way) and New Barnet. In 1978 the Borehamwood terminus was changed to Stirling Corner. The 306 was operated with RTs from Garston Garage [GR] until converted to long (RML) Routemasters in 1966.

Route 306A is described below.

In the 1960s the 306A was a very rare route to see, and no doubt split “E” plates containing the number are equally rare.


Route 306A began operating in 1959 between New Barnet and Leavesden, following the same routeing as the 306 except for traveling between Elstree and Bushey via Little Bushey instead of Bushey Heath. During rush hours some journeys ran to Leavesden Works instead of Ganders Ash. In about 1960, it was revised to provide just two (reduced to one in about 1970) Monday-to-Friday northbound morning journeys between Borehamwood and Watford. In 1972 or 1973 it returned to its original length from New Barnet to Leavesden. The route was withdrawn in 1976.

306A

307
307
307 FARE STAGE

Route 307 ran on Mondays to Saturdays between Boxmoor Station and Harpenden (Westfield Road) via Moor End, Hemel Hempstead Town Centre, Adeyfield, Cupid Green, Lybury Lane and Redbourn. In 1952 it was extended from Westfield Road to Hyde View Road. In 1957 certain journeys were diverted by way of Lybury Lane Estate, and in 1958 the Harpenden terminal was moved to Masefield Road. In 1964 the route was withdrawn between Hemel Hempstead Station and Boxmoor. In the late ’70s some journeys were diverted from Masefield Road to Markyate.


Route 307A was a “short” for the main 307 service that had a small diversion in Hemel Hempstead. It ran between Apsley Mills and Harpenden (Masefield Road) via Hemel Hempstead, Adeyfield and Redbourn. It was listed on Country Area maps from 1959 to 1973, although I believe it began much earlier, as it is referenced in a 1952 amendment leaflet.

307A

308 CUFFLEY

Route 308 ran from Hertford to Newgate Street via Horns Mill, Brickendon, Bayford and Epping Green. In 1952 it was extended from Newgate Street to Cuffley Station. In 1968 the route was extended from Cuffley to Goffs Oak

This “E” plate probably came from Hertford Bus Station. Over the years the route hardly changed at all which accounts for the weathering, and this plate is exceptionally old.


Route 309 ran between Uxbridge Station and Rickmansworth via Denham, Harefield, Herongate Lane, Mill End, Shrubs Corner and Woodcock Hill. In 1953 or ’54 it was withdrawn between Harefield and Uxbridge, although in 1958 some journeys were extended from Harefield to Hill End. In 1959 the 309 was extended from Rickmansworth to Chorleywood (Green Street) via Mill End and Heronsgate, with some journeys serving Chorleywood (Furze View) instead of Green Street. In 1960 or ’61 the Harefield service was split with buses terminating at Hill End or St. Mary’s Road. In 1977 the route was extended from Chorleywood to Amersham, but by 1979 it had been withdrawn between Rickmansworth and Harefield.

My guess is that the HAREFIELD plate came from Rickmansworth Station where the one-way roads meant buses ran in both directions past certain stops. This is no doubt a rare “E” plate for this rural route, as there would have been few plates at other stops, especially destinated ones.

309 309
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