London Transport

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Routes 395 and 395A were long-established Country Area routes running very short journeys between Hertford and Ware. The 1949 map shows both routes sharing the terminus in Hertford Bus station, along with another 20 routes, of which no less than 11 headed off together along Ware Road and past Hertford Garage [HG] (which provided the allocation for these routes) before entering Ware where—how often do you get to write that!—they scattered into northeast Hertfordshire. The 395 provided a very limited service on Mondays to Fridays between Hertford and Ware (Fanshawe Crescent) via Ware Crossing—a journey time of just 14 minutes!—whilst the 395A carried on through town to Musley Hill. The 1969 map shows extensions to both routes westwards to just outside Hertford at Sele Farm Estate (although only a couple of 395 journeys ran beyond Hertford Bus Station), a place I presume was built in the post-war housing boom and needed transport to bring its inhabitants into town. They both trundled through Heretford before joining another 13 routes heading for Ware. The 395 finished in the town centre but once more the 395A poked its head northwards slightly to Fanham Common, again I presume to serve a new-build estate. Type allocations were RTs and RMCs, before single deckers took over the routes in 1977. With a maximum route length of four miles, I would not think there would have been many “E” plates for these two routes.

395
The heavy weathering and larger numbers suggest that this “E” plate is quite old.
395
395 - 395A HERTFORD NORTH STATION SELEFARM ESTATE FARE STAGE
This is an astonishingly rare plate for a number of reasons: apart from being a split “E” plate—and a Fare Stage at that—not only does it have two destinations shown, but one of them is shown incorrectly as SELEFARM in one word, rather than the correct SELE FARM. As if this variety wasn’t enough, it must be one of the only plates that has no fewer than seven lines of text and numbers—surely there cannot be any others? In any event, this is an outstanding plate from a particularly scenic part of the Country Area.
395 - 395A
◀ Split “E” plates were used to indicate routes in busy locations where a large number of routes converged, and enabled bus flags to be used to the full. With the density of routes in the Ware area, I would guess that this plate featured perhaps in Hertford Bus Station, along the Ware Road, or in Ware town centre.

395A WARE FANHAM COMMON

Route 395A was a local service running around Hertford. It was the main daily service between Hertford (Bus Station) and Fanham Common. A couple of journeys on Mondays to Fridays, and the whole service on Saturdays and Sundays, ran beyond Hertford via Hertford North Station to Sele Farm Estate. Both the 395 and 395A were operated by RMC Routemaster coaches on Mondays to Saturdays until they were converted to one-man-operation in the ’70s, although the Sunday service had been operated by RFs for some time.


Route 396 operated up in the north east corner of the Country Area, from Epping Station to Bishop’s Stortford via Harlow. RT-operated from 1948, including at one time a red-painted Craven on loan, it operated from Epping Garage [EP] until closure in 1963, when it transferred to the new Harlow [HA] facility. The 1960s saw the occasional RMC and RF, and the route was part-converted to RML in 1966. A much-shrunken, one-bus-a-week operation ceased running early in 2005.

396
396 FARE STAGE
396 ALIGHTING POINT ONLY
There was a stop in Station Road, Epping, immediately before the station that was an alighting point only for the routes (339 and 396) running to the station. Passengers could only board the 381 to Coopersale Street/Toothill there.

397 FARE STAGE
Judging by the amount of weathering on this “E” plate, it could be quite old.
397 FARE STAGE
Note the subtle difference in the number 3 on the two FARE STAGE plates.
397 - 397A SPECIAL JOURNEYS
SPECIAL JOURNEYS plates are relatively uncommon, so this split “E” plate is one of the more difficult variations to find.

Route 397 ran between Passmores and Bishops Stortford via Harlow town centre, Old Harlow, Sawbridgeworth and Thorley Street.


Route 397A ran between Passmores and Bishops Stortford via Harlow Town Centre, Templefields Industrial Area, Harlow Mill, Sawbridgeworth and Thorley Street.

397A
397A
This plate dates from the late 1960s when the route ran between Harlow (Pinnacles) and Bishops Stortford.
397A SPECIAL JOURNEYS

397B
397B SPECIAL JOURNEYS

Route 397B ran during Monday to Friday rush hours in Harlow between Passmores and Pinnacles.

The 397B is a most difficult number to find “E” plates for as it was such a short route.


Route 398 ran from Quill Hall Estate to Beaconsfield (Saracens Head) via Amersham Station and Coleshill.

FARE STAGE plates on short routes such as this are astonishingly rare, as there were few stops along the route which had “E” plates at all.

398 FARE STAGE
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