London Transport
Country Area Routes 350 - 353

North of the Thames

Last updated 27-03-10.

350
I believe this plate is a particularly old one with the much larger style of numbers, although it is true that the numbers were never of a constant size. However, the extreme weathering suggests that it may date from the earlier days of “E” plates on the route.
350
350 FARE STAGE
350 SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
350 SPECIAL JOURNEYS WARE
Destinated SPECIAL JOURNEYS plates are very rare. Also atypical is the two different sizes of lettering.
RT113
What at first glance appears to be a Central bus on loan to the Country Area on a gorgeous summer Sunday is actually preserved “pre-war” RT113 [FXT 288] at Potters Bar, on running day 2007 (May 20th). A nice touch is the period-accurate B(C)G3 stop flag, complete with ALIGHTING POINT ONLY “G” plate. The bus is in wartime trim, down to the livery with white tips to the mudguards and single nearside headlight.
Matthew Wharmby photo; The London Bus Page in Exile
350
◀ As the 350 and 350A (and later 351) ran together for virtually their entire length, it would be near-impossible to say where these “E” plates came from. However, if the 351s are from the earlier route, they would have come from the relatively short section between Hadham and Ware. ▶ 350-351
350
◀ This old “E” plate (as evidenced by the amount of weathering) is unusual in the use of the word AND between the two route numbers. The usual configuration would have FARE STAGE repeated twice, with a full-width line separating the two routes.
This “E” plate could have come from Potters Bar Station where the 351 terminated and the 350 ran on to New Barnet, although it could also have come from Ware where the two routes diverged. ▶
350 ALIGHTING POINT-351

Route 350 ran in the northeastern portion of London Transport’s Country Area. My 1949 map shows the route running from Bishop’s Stortford to Hertford via Little Hadham and then Hadham Cross passing through Much Hadham… had enough of that! (Honest; there was also Hadham Ford.) In about 1960, the route was combined (as the 350) with the 342 which ran from New Barnet Station to Hertford, and RFs took over for the whole distance from New Barnet to Bishop’s Stortford replacing the RTs previously used on the 350. In 1976 or ’77 it was withdrawn between Essendon and New Barnet.

Routes 350A and 351 are described below.

A more detailed history of route 350 can be found in Kenneth Warren’s book, The Motorbus in London Country (Ian Allan, 1984; ISBN 0 7110 1360 8).


In the 1950s route 350A ran from Hertford to Bishop’s Stortford and served the villages of Hunsdon and Stanstead Abbotts instead of Wareside. In about 1960 the 350 and 350A routes were combined with the 342 which ran from the red bus area at New Barnet Station to Hertford via Potters Bar. It was renumbered 351 in 1974 or 1975 when the “A” suffixes were replaced in favour of three digit route numbers. The 350A actually ran more frequently than route 350, and until the 1970s still retained a Sunday service. Originally RT-operated, the 350A was operated by RF buses for the remainder of its life (after being extended over the 342).

350A
350A
350A FARE STAGE
350A SPECIAL JOURNEYS ONLY
Destinated FARE STAGE “E” plates are particularly unusual; in fact, this is the only one that I can recall. ▶ 350A NEW BARNET FARE STAGE

351
351 FARE STAGE
351 ALIGHTING POINT
These plates could have been used in two different areas and eras of the London Transport Country Area network. They are quite thick and have smaller numbers which I believe indicate that is it “old”. On later plates the numbers were appreciably bigger. I only assume this; there are experts out there that will confirm/contradict me I’m sure. So I think they came from the Harpenden route and not the Buntingford days. Perhaps the later route used “E” plates with larger numbers, therefore completists take note!

There have been a few routes with the number 351 over the years. In 1949 the 351 ran from Uxbridge to St. Albans via Denham, West Hyde, Maple Cross, Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, Watford, Watford Junction, Garston and St. Stephens. By 1954 the route had been extended to Harpenden via Bowling Alley (presumably a facility and not a suburb!).

By 1965 the route had completly changed territory and type of service, becoming a limited stop service between Much Hadham and Buntingford via Widford, Wareside, Ware, Standon, Puckeridge and West Mill as a replacement service for the branch line to Buntingford which closed on 14th November 1964, and as a result every stopping point would have carried an “E” plate.


In 1974 or 1975 the number 351 was used for the renumbering of the former 350A, and ran between Bishops Stortford and New Barnet Station via Bury Green, Little Hadham, Much Hadham, Widford, Hunsdon, St. Margarets, Ware, Hertford, Hertingfordbury, Letty Green, Essendon, Brookmans Park, Little Heath, Potters Bar and Barnet. In 1976 or ’77 it was withdrawn between Essendon and New Barnet.

This “E” plate could have come from a stop at Potters Bar Station.

351 NEW BARNET

352 WEDNESDAY FRIDAY & SATURDAY

Route 352 was an infrequent service providing just a few journeys on Wednesdays and Fridays between Dunstable (Square) and Dagnall via Whipsnade Turn. There was also a Saturday service of just a few journeys which ran beyond Dagnall to Berkhamsted (Bridgewater Road) via Northchurch. The route was withdrawn in 1973.


The number 352 was soon re-used for the renumbering of part of route 318, and ran between Watford and Hemel Hempstead via Croxley, Sarratt, Chipperfield and Bovingdon. Some journeys ran between Watford and Bucks Hill, which had previously been purview of the 318A.

352
352
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