London Transport
Country Area Routes 345–349

North of the Thames

Last updated 17-2-10.

Route 345 was a special limited stop hospital service. It provided one return journey at hospital visiting times on Wednesdays and Sundays only between Bushey & Oxhey Station and Napsbury Hospital via Watford, North Watford and Garston. Passengers were carried to and from the hospital only, and no other journeys were permitted. The route was eventually renumbered 834 by London Country during the late ’70s.

These are quite rare “E” plates, as they would have appeared only on the few stops served. The route didn’t change for very many years, which accounts for the plates’ age. The second plate is particularly unusual in having only one black character on an otherwise red line!

345 WEDNESDAY & SUNDAY
345 WEDNESDAY & SUNDAY

346
346

In the 1960s route 346 ran between Garston Garage and Kingswood via North Watford, Watford and Bushey to Oxhey Estate. In later years as the estate grew larger, the route ran as a circular at the Oxhey Estate end, with buses going the other way ’round the loop numbered 346A.


Route 346A ran daily between Garston Garage and Oxhey Estate (Heysham Drive) via Kingswood, North Watford, Harebreaks, Watford and Bushey. In latter years it became a circular service running in the reverse direction to the 346.

346A 346A FARE STAGE

346B

Route 346B was a circular route in both directions running Monday to Friday rush hours from Carpenders Park Station via Hayling Road, Sandy Lane and Prestwick Road, back to Carpenders Park Station.

This “E” plate is hand-painted onto sheet aluminum, hence the slight irregularities in the lettering.


Route 346C provided just a couple of limited-stop school-day journeys for Queens Schools in Watford, running between North Watford (Maytree Crescent) and Bushey & Oxhey Station.

346C
This plate is probably hand-lettered, given the unevenness of the figures.
346C
Note the particularly odd shape of the 6 on this “E” plate.
346C SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY

346D

Route 346D provided just a couple of limited-stop school-day journeys between Oxhey Estate (Hallows Crescent) and Bushey Grammar School.

Terry Trainor was kind enough to inform me that “The 346D and 346E ran from South Oxhey Estate to Garston (St. Michael’s School) in the 1960s, not Bushey Grammar. The 346D started its journey from ‘The Grape Vine Pub’ in Prestwick Road. It stopped at ‘The Dick Whittington’, Carpenders Park Station, the corner of Prestwick Road and Hayling Road, and the last stop before St. Michaels was opposite Watermans Close. The 346D began its journey from the ‘Top Club’ Hayling Road, and joined the 346E route at Prestwick Road.”


Route 346E—one of the very few London Transport services with an “E” suffix—provided limited-stop school journeys between Oxhey Estate (Hesham Drive) and St. Michael’s School, Garston. It ran from 1961 to 1973 or 1974.

346E

347 347 WATFORD NORTHWOOD UXBRIDGE

Route 347 ran daily between Uxbridge Station and Garston Garage via Denham, Harefield, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Oxhey, Bushey and Watford. It was extended on Mondays to Saturdays to Hemel Hempstead (Bus Station) via Abbots Langley, Bedmond and Leverstock Green. In Oxhey it ran via Hampermill Lane.

A more detailed history of route 347 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in London Country (Ian Allan, 1984; ISBN 0 7110 1360 8).

I don’t know where the destinated plate would have been posted—anyone have any suggestions?


Route 347A provided an identical service to the 347 between Uxbridge Station and Garston Garage, except that in Oxhey it served the Oxhey Estate.

347A

348
348 FARE STAGE

Route 348 ran between St. Leonards or Buckland Common and Chesham Moor via Braziers End House and Bellingdon, with some journeys extended over the 397 (later route 394) to Tring via Hawridge, Cholesbury, Champneys and Wiggington.

The first “E” plate dates from the late 1960s.


Route 348 became a relatively infrequent circular service from Chesham via Chartridge, Swan Bottom, Lee Common, Ballinger and Hyde Heath back to Chesham. At Chesham Broadway buses would run in both directions, so the VIA CHARTRIDGE plate was for the stop for buses running clockwise, and VIA HYDE HEATH was for the anticlockwise journeys.

These “E” plates are unique as they would have appeared only on the one bus stop.

348 via CHARTRIDGE
348 via HYDE HEATH

348A
348A SATURDAY

Route 348A ran between Chesham (Pond Park Estate) and Tring Garage via Bellingdon, Chesham, Hawridge, Cholesbury, Champneys and Wiggington. It was later withdrawn beyond Chesham Broadway, but then extended to Chesham Moor. I don’t know where the Saturday variant went. This is one of the routes operated by the good old GSs that were at Amersham Garage [MA] back in the 1960s. Latterly RFs were used.


Route 348B ran from Chartridge to Hyde End via Chesham (Broadway), Chesham Moor and Hyde Heath.

348B
348B CHARTRIDGE

349

Route 349 began running on 2 January 1952, replacing Eastern National route 35. It was a works service between Grays and Coryton via Stanford-le-Hope, Corringham and Shell Haven, and was withdrawn by the end of 1968. I believe the 349 was the eastern-most route operated by London Transport.

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