| image |
A London Central bus on route 171 at Waterloo Station.
|Parent company||Go-Ahead Group|
|Service area||United Kingdom|
|Fleet||Alexander Dennis Enviro400|
Dennis Dart SLF
Mercedes-Benz Citaro G
London Central is one of many operators of London Buses. It was established in late 1988 as one of 12 operating subsidiaries of London Buses Limited (LBL), and was privatised to the Go-Ahead Group in September 1994. It operates four bus garages in Bexleyheath, Camberwell, New Cross and Peckham.
In August 2008, Go-Ahead's London operations took up the new trading name of Go-Ahead London.
Built as a trolleybus depot by the London Passenger Transport Board, this is the only new garage built for trolleybuses. The depot is a large and imposing building, slightly set back from the main road to enable parking on the forecourt, which was used as a terminus for route 122. Bexleyheath closed in 1986, with work moved to Plumstead, Catford, and Sidcup garages, although it re-opened in 1988 under the guise of Bexleybus, a unit set up by London Buses under de-regulation, and had a large and varied allocation from Iveco/Robin Hood's & MCW Metroriders to NC Olympians & Fleetlines. the move to set up the new company to tender for routes backfired, and in the next round of tendering only the B16 was awarded to Bexleybus, whilst London Central won nine. London Central took control of the Bexleyheath routes (including B16) from 1990 instead of 1991 and also took over the garage from Stagecoach London. Lately the garage has had a good utilisation figure, up to 139 in 2001 which necessitated parking in the rear yard and the forecourt. In January 2007, the garage received its first Alexander Dennis Enviro400s for use on route 486.
Route 132 was transferred to London Central's Bexleyheath garage from London General on 7 November 2009. The 132 was Operated by East Thames Buses which was owned by TFL. TFL sold East Thames to Go-Ahead in October 2009 together with its entire service fleet. The 132's allocation of DW & DWL's moved to BX from BV (Belvedere Depot) when the route was transferred over from BV.
On 1 May 2010, routes 321 (part of its allocation), 661 and 669 was moved to this garage.
- Bus types in use
- Dennis Dart SLF 9.4m/Plaxton Pointer 1 (LDP) for routes B11.
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m/Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) for routes 132, 244 and B16.
- Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine 1 (Trainer, NV)
- Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine 2 (NV) for Commercial work, Private Hire and Rail Replacements.
- Volvo B7TL 10m/Plaxton President (PVL/VP) for routes 89, 229, 321, 401, 422, 661, 669 and N89.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m (E) for routes 486 and N21.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro200Dart 10.2m (SE) for routes B11 and B16 to be introduced on January 2011.
- Volvo B9TL 10.4m /Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVL) for routes 229 and 422 to be introduced on January 2011.
- VDL SB120 10.8m/Wright Merit (DWL) for route 132.
Although built in 1914, Camberwell garage was not used as a bus garage until 1919 as it had been requisitioned for the war effort. Once it came into use it was one of Londons biggest garages and also carried out body overhauls in 1940-1941. The garage was bombed during WW2 in 1940 which resulted in 4 buses being destroyed and a further 13 seriously damaged. During the early 1950s the garage underwent modernisation with the welfare & operational block reconstructed and the parking area extended. The new building also incorporated a new pit and workshop layout in a separate self contained block which also undertook heavy maintenance for Walworth Garage, 350 buses in all. The allocation at Q decreased slightly over the years from 165 in 1952 until the closure of Walworth in 1985 increased the allocation to 142. Camberwell was also the home of the three Titans fitted with electronic blinds which were used on the night bus standby duties.
On 1 May 2010, routes 42 and 185 was transferred to this garage.
- Bus types in use
- Volvo B7TL 10m/ Plaxton President (PVL/VP) for route 45 and 185.
- Scania OmniTown 10.7m/East Lancs Myllennium (ELS) for route 42.
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m/ Plaxton Pointer 1 (LDP) for route 360.
- Dennis Dart SLF 9.4m/ Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) for routes 484 and P5.
- Volvo B7TL 10m/ Wright Eclipse Gemini (WVL) for routes 68, 468, X68 and N68.
- Volvo B7TL 10.6m/ Wright Eclipse Gemini (VWL) for route 185.
- Mercedes-Benz O530G Citaro (articulated) (MAL) for route 12.
- Wright Electrocity 10.1m (WHY) for route 360.
New Cross (NX)Edit
Said to be the largest of London's bus garages with space for over 300 buses the garage was originally a tram depot and opened in 1906. In 1952 with the trams withdrawn, the depot was converted into a bus garage. The garage has never been even close to its capacity due to the close proximity of other garages, but has at various times been used to store surplus vehicles. The garage allocation has fluctuated over the years, from 191 in 1966 to 132 in 2001. The garage also houses some of the private hire fleet which is painted in the style of the former London General company. New cross was also the garage for two special services, first in 1972 when it operated en ex-Tilling ST on route 100 and the DAF SB220/East Lancs Myllennium LPG powered buses for the Millennium Dome services M1 & M2. In 2003 the garage also began operating Mercedes-Benz articulated buses on route 436. On 10 October route 321 had converted into a 24-hour service.
On 1 May 2010, route 108 was moved to this garage.
- Bus types in use
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m/Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) for routes 108 and 225.
- Dennis Dart SLF 8.8m/Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) for routes C10.
- Mercedes-Benz O530G Citaro (articulated) (MAL) for route 436.
- Volvo B7TL 10m/Plaxton President (PVL) for routes 36, 108 (evening only), 171, 172, 321, 621 and N171. (Currently undergoing refurbishment)
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m (E) for route 36.
- Volvo B9TL 10.4m /Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVL) for routes 21 and N21.
- DAF SB12010.8m/Wright Merit (DWL) for routes 108.
The new Peckham garage was converted from a local authority maintenance depot and opened in 1994 with a capacity for 75 buses. In 2000 the garage put London's first Volvo B7TL 10m/Alexander ALX400 low-floor vehicles into service on route 63 alongside NC Palatines and Plaxton Pointers. Peckham Garage won bus garage of the year in 2004, although this turned out to be a poisoned chalice for the garage, losing almost half of its work in the next year's tender awards.
- Bus types in use
- Volvo B7TL 10m/Plaxton President (PVL) for routes 36 and 363.
- Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer (LDP)
- Dennis Dart SLF 9.4m/Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) for route P12.
- Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine 1/2 (NV, Training buses)
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 9.9m (E) for routes 37.
- Volvo B9TL 10.4m /Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVL) for routes 63 and N63.