London Buses route 106
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|Garage||Ash Grove (AE)|
|Vehicle||VDL DB300 10.4m / Wright Gemini 2|
|Peak vehicle requirement||17|
|Start||Finsbury Park Station|
|Length||6 miles (9 km)|
|Frequency||About every 8-12 minutes|
|Journey time||29-55 minutes|
|Operates||03:54 until 01:49|
The history of today's 106 bus route goes back to 19 August 1912 when two new routes were introduced which were later to become the foundation of the 106. New Route 87 ran daily between Muswell Hill (Colney Hatch Lane) and Highgate (Archway Tavern) via Colney Hatch Lane, Muswell Hill Broadway, Fortis Green Road, High Road East Finchley and Archway Road. New Route 88 ran daily between Finsbury Park Station and Clapton Pond via Blackstock Road, Brownswood Road, Lordship Park, Northwold Road, and Upper Clapton Road. Both routes were Underground "feeder routes", opening up previously un-served areas as well as giving connections to the Underground system.
Quite soon after in December 1912, routes 87 and 88 were combined to run under the route number 87 between Muswell Hill (Colney Hatch Lane) and Clapton Pond via Archway, Holloway Road, Nag's Head, Seven Sisters Road, Blackstock Road to Clapton Pond. In the summer of 1913, the 87 was withdrawn on Sundays between Finsbury Park and Clapton Pond, being replaced on that day by a route 111, Finsbury Park to Epping Forest (High Beach) via Clapton, Lea Bridge Road, Whipps Cross and Woodford. This route also ran on certain weekdays during the summer.
The 87 was withdrawn completely after service on 28 March 1914, being replaced in a complicated new scheme, by two new routes, the 106 running Friern Barnet (Orange Tree) and Highgate (Archway) on Sundays and between Muswell Hill (Colney Hatch Lane) and Leytonstone (Green Man) on Monday to Saturday, via Muswell Hill Broadway, Fortis Green Road, Archway Road, Nag's Head, Seven Sisters Road, Blackstock Road, Stoke Newington, Upper Clapton Road, Lea Bridge Road, Church Road, Vicarage Road, Leyton High Road, Hainault Road, Leytonstone Station to Leytonstone (Green Man). The Sunday service between Finsbury Park and Clapton being covered by new Saturday and Sunday route 157 Camden Town to Epping Forest. This was the third time that the route number 106 had been used in London.
Probably due to confusion over the routing of the 106, a new Sunday route 106A was introduced as from 26 April 1914 between Friern Barnet and Clapton Pond. A month later on 25 May 1914, the extension of the 106 from Clapton to Leytonstone was also withdrawn. On the outbreak of War at the beginning of August 1914, many London bus routes were withdrawn, as buses were requisitioned for use by the army. The 106 was withdrawn on Sundays after service on 9 August 1914. On 31 October, it was further reduced, being withdrawn between Colney Hatch Lane and Finsbury Park, the 106A was also withdrawn at this time, leaving the route as a Monday to Saturday route 106 between Finsbury Park and Clapton Pond. More wartime economies led to the route being totally withdrawn as from 30 January 1915 being covered by an extended route 56, which now ran Finsbury Park to Millwall Docks (Isle of Dogs).
On 15 March 1915, the 106 was re-instated and now also took over part of the 56, which had so recently covered it. The 106 now ran daily from Finsbury Park Station to Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel) via the old routing to Clapton then via Hackney, Mare Street, Grove Road, Burdett Road, St Paul's Road and East India Dock Road. The 56 was cut back to run Mile End Station - Millwall Docks. But from June to November 1915, the 106 was again cut back on Sundays to terminate at Clapton Pond. After this period of instability the 106 now settled down to become a very stable daily operation between Finsbury Park and Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel).
For the first time in thirteen years, as from 19 September 1928, changes were made to the 106. The route was extended from Poplar to Becontree via the East Ham and Barking By-Pass, which had been constructed and opened to traffic two years earlier.
106 Group Routes as from 19 September 1928: 106 Finsbury Park - Becontree, 106A Finsbury Park - Poplar. In the summer of 1929, the route was extended on Summer Sundays to Upminster, which necessitated another revision of the suffixes. The 106B became the main daily route, Finsbury Park - Becontree, 106A daily Finsbury Park - Poplar, The plain 106 working Finsbury Park - Upminster on Summer Sundays only.
On 3 October 1934, the newly constituted London Passenger Transport Board instituted its own numbering system, which generally re-instated the situation previous to December 1924. As the 106 had disappeared by this time, the 106A and 106B were renumbered plain 106 running daily Finsbury Park Station to Becontree (Chittys Lane). There was also a supplementary Monday to Saturday service between Finsbury Park Station - Canning Town - Victoria Dock via Silvertown Way which was also numbered plain 106. This service became daily from 27 February 1935.
As a tram replacement measure, as from 17 February 1937 a service was provided daily to West Ham Stadium. These journeys were withdrawn during the war and as a wartime economy, the 106 was also withdrawn evenings between Mile End Station and Becontree from November 1939 until early 1940. The supplementary service to Victoria Dock was also withdrawn after service on 22 July 1941. The 106 then entered into a very stable period of operation until 1958 when on 30 April it was diverted at Becontree via Becontree Avenue.
From 26 November 1958, the Sunday service on the 106 was re-routed to Dagenham (New Road) as route 106A, replacing the 106 and 175 on Sundays. This pattern of services remained stable until 1971, apart from a small diversion of the 106 and 106A along Burdett Road in connection with the introduction of Trolleybus replacement route 277 on 15 April 1959.
From the 1960s onwards, bus services in London were continually reviewed as passenger numbers declined. The Sunday service along the East Ham & Barking By-Pass was considered to be surplus to requirements and was withdrawn in a scheme starting 16 January 1971. The 106 was re-introduced on Sundays, but was cut back to terminate daily at Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel). It was replaced between Barking and Becontree by new route 156. The 175 was increased on Mondays to Saturdays and the 106A was withdrawn.
On 12 August 1972, the route was converted to one-person operation. This heralded the most difficult period of operation of the route ever. In fact this nadir was only brought to an end when the DMS type vehicles, which were unreliable and caused so many problems on the route, were replaced by ten year older Routemaster type vehicles on 31 March 1979. (Passenger usage had diminished so much, that there were only two options available: Withdraw the route completely or improve the service using different (older) vehicles). The second option was chosen and this renewed period of two-person operation lasted for another three and half years, coming to an end with the changes of 4 September 1982.
The development of the Docklands area began to gather speed at the beginning of the 1980s and bus routes in the area were often amended to serve new developments. The first such change to affect the 106 occurred on 10 September 1983, when the Monday to Saturday service (Evenings excepted) was extended from Poplar to the Isle of Dogs District Centre via Manchester Road and East Ferry Road. On 1 July 1984, the service was re-routed between Poplar and the Isle of Dogs District Centre via Marshwall, Limeharbour. From 21 June 1986, Monday to Friday morning journeys were also further extended to Isle of Dogs Asda Store.
On 4 March 1989, the Monday to Saturday service was diverted at Bethnal Green to run to Mile End Gate, although the Sunday service still continued to serve Grove Road, Burdett Road and Limehouse to Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel). On 6 April 1991, things were made more complicated when the evening service on Mondays to Saturdays was re-routed as on Sundays to Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel), being further extrended early evenings to Isle of Dogs Asda Store. This was simplified on 9 May 1992 when the route was withdrawn completely between Bethnal Green and Poplar and once again re-routed to Mile End Gate.
Just over a year later, on 4 September 1993 in the last route change to date, there was a short extension to Whitechapel Station Durward Street.
- Finsbury Park Station Station Place
- Stroud Green Road
- Blackstock Road
- Brownswood Road
- Lordship Park
- Manor Road
- Stamford Hill
- Stoke Newington Station
- Stamford Hill
- Northwold Road
- Upper Clapton Road
- Clapton Station
- Upper Clapton Road
- Lower Clapton Road
- Mare Street (for Hackney Downs Station)
- Hackney Central Station
- Mare Street
- Cambridge Heath Road
- Cambridge Heath Station
- Cambridge Heath Road
- Bethnal Green (Central Line) Station
- Cambridge Heath Road
- Sidney Street
- Stepney Way
- Whitechapel Cavell Street (for Whitechapel Station)
Previous route 106s in London
The route number 106 had been used twice prior to its current use.
- In March 1913 until May 1913 for an Oxford Circus to Petersham route via Shepherds Bush and Kew Bridge.
- In June 1913 until January 1914 for a Tottenham to Richmond route via Camden Town, Shepherds Bush and Kew Bridge.
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