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London Central
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A London Central bus on route 171 at Waterloo Station.

Parent companyGo-Ahead Group
HeadquartersMerton
LocaleSouth London
Service areaUnited Kingdom
Service typeBus
Routes49
HubsBexleyheath
Camberwell
New Cross
Peckham
FleetAlexander Dennis Enviro400
Dennis Dart SLF
Mercedes-Benz Citaro G
Volvo B7TL
Volvo Olympian
DAF SB120
Volvo B9TL
Scania OmniTown
OperatorGo-Ahead London
Web sitehttp://www.londoncentral.com/

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.

GaragesEdit

Bexleyheath (BX)Edit

As of November 2009, the Bexleyheath garage (BX) holds 150 buses, and runs London bus routes 89, 132, 229, 244, 321, 401, 422, 486, 661, 669, B11, B16 and night routes N21 and N89.

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.

File:BX garage.jpg
Bus types in use

Camberwell (Q)Edit

File:Q garage.jpg

As of January 2008, the Camberwell garage holds 217 buses, and runs 42, 45, 68, 185, 360, 468, 484, P5, 24-hour route 12, express route X68, and night route N68.

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

New Cross (NX)Edit

File:NX garage.jpg

As of November 2006, the New Cross garage holds 149 buses, and runs London bus routes 21, 171, 172, 225, 436, C10, school route 621, 24-hour route 36, 108 and 321, and night routes N21 and N171.

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

Peckham (PM)Edit

File:PM garage.jpg

As of November 2006, the Peckham garage holds 66 buses, and runs London bus routes 36 (nights) , 63, 363, P12, 24-hour route 37 and night route N63.

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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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Template:London bus operators Template:Go-Ahead Bus Companies

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