|35px London Buses|
|Vehicle||Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400|
|Length||7 miles (11 km)|
|Frequency||About every 12 minutes|
|Journey time||34-53 minutes|
|Day||4:30am until 1:30am|
|Night||No night service|
|Adult single fares|
| † peak vehicle requirement|
Transport for London •
The 199 has had no less than three incarnations in the Lewisham area, which must be some sort of record. The planners didn't seem to be able to make their minds up, and kept chopping and changing the overlaps between different routes along the Deptford - Lewisham - Catford - Bromley corridor.
The first 199 started in 1958 and replaced route 1 on Mondays to Fridays between Lewisham and Surrey Docks. For continuity it continued via the 1 to Elephant & Castle and Waterloo, while at the south end it continued to Catford, Bromley and Farnborough, allowing the 47 to be curtailed to Bromley garage on Mondays to Saturdays (the 199 ran Mon-Sat). However, such a splitting of routes was ahead of its time, and the status quo was restored in 1964, though with a slight change in that the 1 now ran all the way to Bromley garage.
By the second attempt, the 1 had been shortened again and ran only as far south as Catford garage. In 1985 the 47 (Bromley Garage to Shoreditch) was split as 47A (Bromley Garage to Surrey Docks) and 47 (Downham to Shoreditch), as a way of converting the southern end of the 47 to one person operation. However, that November the 47A was withdrawn on Mondays to Saturdays, and the 1 curtailed to Greenwich from the north, with replacement again in the form of Monday to Saturday only route 199, this time between Bromley Common and Trafalgar Square.
This 199 met exactly the same fate as the first 199, being replaced by an extension of the 1 to Bromley Common from June 1987. But a much shorter 199 was re-introduced from 27 April 1991, from Lewisham to Elephant & Castle, the section of the 1 to Bromley being covered by increasing the 208. This 199 differed slightly by operating via Pepys Estate, replacing the 108B, which was withdrawn. When the 180 was cut back to Lewisham in late 1994, the 199 was extended to Catford garage to maintain the link between Catford and Greenwich.
A re-shuffle of local services on 18 September 1999, when the Jubilee Line opened (or, in fact, a week before it opened), saw the 199 diverted to Canada Water station to feed into the Jubilee Line, rather than linking through to Elephant & Castle. This prompted severe overcrowding on the 1 which never really went away, despite extra buses being laid on the 1 – the 199 change was doubtless political rather than practical.
The last two incarnations of the 199 were both Titan worked, first from Bromley and now from Catford, but the Titans were replaced by new Dennis Tridents towards the end of 1999, to tie in with the Jubilee Line change.
|List of bus routes in London|