Last Wednesday and Thursday saw the biggest strike take place on the London Underground in a more than decade, as is often the case when strikes take place on the tube or on the railways, extra buses were laid on to help relieve the crowds as well as is possible in such difficult travelling conditions, on this occasion Transport for London commissioned around 200 extra vehicles, approximately half of those were reliefs run by London operators on their own TfL contacted routes whilst over 90 others made up of both modern and heritage buses were subcontracted by Ensignbus to operate additional reliefs on a selection of the busiest routes including the 15, 29 and 205.
Our regular correspondent David Bell braved the London crowds on the main day of the strike (Thursday) to photograph some of the extra vehicles in service around the capital, we focus on some of the numerous heritage vehicles that saw use plus include a couple of modern buses for good measure, hope you enjoy!
As mentioned in the introduction Ensignbus were responsible for organising over 90 extra relief buses during the strike, both modern and heritage vehicles from their own fleet as well as a sizable number hired in from other operators saw use, pictured here on the 205 is Optare Olympus bodied Volvo B9TL PO58 NPP, other 'modern' buses that were noted in use during the strike were mainly from South East based operators but some did come from further afield including Bristol and Newport. (c) David Bell.
On to a selection of the heritage vehicles now, starting with the first of three Routemasters to feature in this post, RM54 LDS 279A is from the Ensignbus collection and is seen here on the 15 (c) David Bell.
Next up pictured operating on the 29 is The London Bus Company RML893 WLT 893 (c) David Bell.
Looking resplendent in Green Line livery is another vehicle from The London Bus Company - RCL2260 CUV 260C (c) David Bell.
A particularly interesting heritage vehicle from the Ensign fleet that saw use was 1979 Scania MCW Metropolitan MD60 KJD 260P which is pictured here on the 15 (c) David Bell.
We finish with a more typical London bus now, with lots of passengers on board route 11 towards Liverpool Street is Go Ahead LT42 LTZ 1042 (c) David Bell.
Many thanks to David Bell for the photographs included in this post.