London: New Bus For London enters service on route 24 and takeover of First London is completed

Although out of our "usual" area of coverage, London related posts are usually popular with readers and are amongst the most frequently requested, so with two fairly important changes taking place in the capital last Saturday we've combined both into this special post...

New Bus For London on route 24

Metroline LT9 LTZ 1009 seen operating on route 24 © Chris Rose.

As planned route 24 between Hampstead Heath and Pimlico became the first London bus route to be fully converted to New Bus For London operation, full details of the buses allocated to Metroline for this service are as follows - the vehicles carry select Irish style registrations which match the LT class fleetnumbers - LT09-40 LTZ 1009-40.

The next route to be fully converted to New Bus For London operation will be the Go Ahead London operated 11 between Fulham Broadway and Liverpool Street, on Saturday 21st September.

First London takeover completed

As widely reported Firstgroup announced earlier this year that they would be exiting the London bus scene, this took place officially last Saturday with a mass transfer of vehicles and routes to other operators - as follows;

Well known London operator Metroline take 494 buses to operate routes 18, 83, 92, 95, 187, 195, 206, 207, 223, 224, 226, 228, 245, 282, 331, 427, 487, 607, A10, E1, E3, E5, E7, E9, E10, U1, U2, U3, U4, U5, U10, N18 & N207 from the former First London garages at Alperton, Greenford, Hayes, Uxbridge and Willesden Junction.

Meanwhile the new to London operator Tower Transit take 411 buses to operate routes 9H, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 58, 70, 236, 266, 295, 308, 328, 339, RV1, W14, W15, N26, N28 & N31 from the former First London garages at Atlas Road, Lea Interchange and Westbourne Park.

Whilst Go Ahead owned Blue Triangle take 28 buses to operate routes 193, 368, 498, 608, 646, 648, 652, 656, 667, 679 & 686 - the routes will now be based at Blue Triangle's existing garage at Rainham.

These changes leave First London with just four routes, the 165, 179, 252 & 365 at their last remaining garage in Dagenham - these routes will transfer to Stagecoach London under new contracts in September/October, when that happens Firstgroup will have completely left the London tendered bus market.

The good people over LOTS have compiled an excellent list with full details of which First London buses have transfered over to new operators - you can download the list by CLICKING HERE

and finally... Did you watch episode 2 of The Route Masters: Running London's Roads last night? It was an excellent episode focusing entirely on London's night buses - a must watch for all fans of London buses, if you missed it you can catch it again tonight (26th June) at 11.20pm on BBC Two or watch it on demand on BBC iPlayer!