London Transport Country Area Routes 800-804

London Transport
Country Area Routes 800–804

Town Services

Last updated 06-03-10.

The 8×× numbers were used for the town services as the number of routes expanded, and there was a shortage of spare route numbers in the 3×× and 4×× series. Being local routes there would probably have not been very many of these “E” plates around, as they are likely to have been used just in the town centres or industrial areas.

800-801-802 803-804-805

Route 800 ran as a circular route from Hitchin via Little Wymondley, Stevenage Bus Station, Bedwell, Bandley Hill, Longmeadow and Marymead, Stevenage Bus Station and Little Wymondley to Hitchin. By the late 1960s it had been changed to run from Stevenage (BR) Station via Stevenage Bus Station, then clockwise through Bedwell, Bandley Hill, Longmeadow, Marymead and Stevenage Bus Station, thence to Martins Wood, Sishes End or Little Wymondley and Hitchin.

Route 800 map
800
800
800
800 ALMOND SPRINGS
◀ I imagine that this “E” plate is from Stevenage High Street north of the bus station, where there was likely different stops for the Sishes End and Martins Wood journeys.

800A
1973 timetable for routes 800, 800A and 800B
◀ Route map and timetable for routes 800, 800A and 800B “including journey on route 800C via N.E. Industrial Area” (i.e. Chells, in the London Transport era), dated 3.3.73.
Route 800A map

Route 800A provided rush hours journeys to Stevenage Industrial Area and ran clockwise from Longmeadow via Marymead, Gunnells Wood Road, Stevenage Station and Little Wymondley to Hitchin Station.


Route 800C was a later introduction than the 800/800A, and provided rush hour journeys to the Northeastern Industrial Area in Stevenage from Longmeadow and Marymead.

800C

801

Route 801 ran as a circular route from Hitchin via Little Wymondley, Stevenage Bus Station, Marymead, Longmeadow, Bandley Hill, Bedwell, Stevenage Bus Station and Little Wymondley to Hitchin. By the late ’60s it ran as a circular route from Stevenage (BR) Station via Stevenage Bus Station, anti-clockwise via Marymead, Longmeadow, Bandley Hill, Bedwell and Stevenage Bus Station, thence to Martins Wood, Sishes End or Little Wymondley and Hitchin. The railway station was later moved nearer to the town centre, and the terminus became Stevenage Bus Station.

Route 801 map

Route 801A provided rush hours journeys to the Stevenage Industrial Area and ran from Hitchin Station via Little Wymondley, then anti-clockwise via Gunnells Wood Road, Stevenage Bus Station and Marymead to Longmeadow.

Route 801A map
801A
801A
◀ It must be noted in this example that the route number is actually stuck onto the blank plate, not using cut vinyl as was so often the case in latter days, but another form of adhesive material. This was obviously done in London Transport days, possibly as a means of either economy or speed, but it is very well done and had me fooled until I cleaned the plate.

801C 801C

Route 801C was a later introduction than the 801/801A, and provided rush hour journeys to the North Eastern Industrial Area in Stevenage from Marymead and Longmeadow.


Route 802 was a Stevenage town service and ran during rush hours between Bandley Hill and the Industrial Area via Popple Way and Bridge Road, with journeys continuing on to the bus station and Bedwell.

802
802
The numbers on this “E” plate are somewhat bolder than normal.
802 MON-FRI
This plate is particularly unusual in showing the days of operation. This was much rarer in the country area, and tended to occur only for weekend variations or single days.
802/802B
This plate is particularly unusual in that the line splitting the two routes is diagonal rather than the usual horizontal, and I cannot establish the reason why. This treatment was applied to just this route combination and one other (the 303/303A) as far as I can tell. It also has no black line at the top and bottom, as was the case with some very early plates.

802A
802A GUNNELS WOOD ROAD SOUTH

The Stevenage town route 802A had a very short life. It was created in July 1964 to run from Pin Green—a newly built part of Stevenage New Town—into the Stevenage Industrial Area. My 1965 map shows the route marked as a special journey and, as such, does not appear on the map. A 1968 map shows the route gone with only its brother and sister, the 802 and 802B remaining.

To give you an idea of how rare “E” plates for this route are, the destinated one sold for £509 on ebay in January 2008.


Route 802 was a Stevenage town service which ran only during Monday to Fridays rush hours between Bandley Hill and the Industrial Area via Popple Way and Bridge Road, with some journeys continuing on to the bus station and Bedwell. The October 1969 Hitchin area timetable indicates route 802B ran between Pin Green (Sishes End) and Gunnels Wood Road via Almond Spring, Popple Way and Stevenage Bus Station. There appear to have been three separate terminal points in Gunnels Wood Road: North, the Lay-by, and South (as on the destinated plate for route 802A). The service was effectively an extra “extension” service (to the 800/801) for workers in the Industrial Area in Stevenage as the 800/1 which ran through Pin Green (Sishes End) and only went as far as Stevenage Bus Station.

802B
802B SISHES END

INDUSTRIAL AREA SERVICES

This “E” plate would probably have come from Stevenage, and dates from the earliest days of development of the new town when a large number of route variations ran to the Gunnells Wood Road Industrial Area. Thus this generic plate would have saved the production of a great many individual route plates for routes 800/800A/800B/800C, 801/801A/801B/801C and 802/802A/802B. It would most likely have come from Stevenage Bus Station. The Stevenage local services were RT operated for much of their life.

Unusually, this “E” plate does not have the black edged top and bottom, and I therefore assume it is a much older plate. This is a very unusual wording in my experience, and I have only seen one of these before (so it may be one half of an unique pair). The text is also bolder than normal.


Route 803 was introduced on 21st March 1956 as a limited-stop express service, running on Mondays to Fridays during rush hours between Welwyn Garden City and Uxbridge via New Hatfield, St. Albans, Garston, Watford, Rickmansworth and Maple Cross. I believe the route lasted until the late ’seventies. It was operated with RT-type double-deckers from Garston Garage [GR] displaying white-on-blue destination blinds, the standard London Transport colour for express services, and similar to the “E” plates.

There were only limited stops on the route and so the number of “E” plates would have been small compared to the length of the route, and even fewer with the words FARE STAGE added. Express route plates were not common at the best of times.

803 EXPRESS 803 EXPRESS FARE STAGE

804
The “A” suffix has been ground off (officially) from this “E” plate, and it has suffered some discolouration due to its age.
804 GREAT PARNDON KINGSMOOR JOYNERS FIELDS
Note the minor error on this plate: KINGSMOOR should be two words.
Route 804 map
Route 804 ca. 1965.
804A
The 804 group of routes (Harlow–Latton Bush) were converted to ‘Autofare’ Merlins on 22 March 1969.

Route 804 ran between Latton Bush and Staple Tye via Bush Fair, Tye Green and the town centre.


804A

Route 804A ran in the ’60s from Harlow Mill Station to Latton Bush via Templefields Industrial Area, Brays Grove, Tye Green and Bush Fair. It was a Monday to Friday rush hour service serving the factories.

◀ This London Country timetable for Harlow town services 804A, 805A and 806 dates from October 1976.
804A

804A

Route 804B was a variation of the main 804 town service, running between Harlow (Kings Moor) and Latton Bush via Harlow Town Station. It was a rather short-lived service, introduced 27 April 1968 and withdrawn by 1973.

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