London Buses route 118
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|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||12|
|Night-time||Night bus N133|
|Length||9 miles (14 km)|
|Journey time||34-63 minutes|
|Operates||03:55 until 02:01|
By 1950, the route had been extended at the southern end beyond Mitcham Common to Raynes Park, via Mitcham Cricket Green, Morden and Lower Morden, at that time being jointly operated seven days a week by Streatham and Merton garages using STL and D class vehicles respectively. By 1953, AEC Regent III RTs had taken over and for the next 15 years the route essentially continued unaltered.
On 22 March 1969, the route was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Morden station as part of a policy of route shortening to improve efficiency and the gradual introduction of driver-only operation.
From 17 June 1972, the Sunday operation was transferred to Brixton garage using AEC Regent III RTs. By this time, Streatham were able to convert the Saturday service to AEC Routemaster operation using vehicles spare from the weekday allocations on routes 49 and 159. From May 1973, Brixton gained a Monday to Saturday allocation as well and by May 1976 the route was fully converted to Routemaster operation, having been subject to a gradual changeover in the interim.
From 28 October 1978, Brixton garage took over the route entirely, by which time it was the only service from that depot using Routemasters, the other crew (driver/conductor) operations on routes 109 and 133 both using Daimler Fleetlines. Even if Daimler Fleetlines were available for route 118, they were never used as their larger size made them inappropriate for use along the narrow Commonside East in Mitcham, a likely factor in the route not succumbing sooner to one man operation. In 1979, London Transport Buses was broken up into multiple administrative districts, the South London area (encompassing Brixton Garage and those neighbouring) being designated as Wandle District.
On 27 April 1985 the Routemasters were replaced by 16 new MCW Metrobuses. The issue of tight clearance along Commonside East was addressed by introducing 'passing points' with appropriate road signage for the drivers and the replacement of one of the existing road-side bus stops with a bay stop.
On 7 February 1987, the route was reallocated from Brixton garage to the newly reopened Streatham garage. On 6 January 1990, route 118 was withdrawn from the Streatham Hill Station to Clapham Common section, with this passing to route 60. On 10 August 1991, the Sunday service was transferred to Norwood garage and converted to single-deck operation using Dennis Darts.
On 14 March 1992, route 118 was reallocated back to Brixton garage and converted to Leyland Titan operation.
On 3 February 1993, the entire evening service was converted to single-deck Midibus operation from Norwood garage. On 29 January 1994, he service was extended to Brixton station. On 23 March 1996, the weekday evening service reverted to double-deck operation from Brixton garage. On 31 September 1997, the Sunday service reverted to double-deck operation from Brixton. In April 2000, single-deckers of a longer variation were introduced on Sunday using vehicles spare on that day from Brixton's route 319.
Upon being re-tendered the route passed to London General's Merton garage in February 2001 with Plaxton President bodided Volvo B7TLs introduced. London General commenced further contracts on 4 February 2006 and 5 February 2011 with new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s as part of the current contract.
- Morden station
- Mitcham tram stop
- Streatham Common station
- Streatham station
- Streatham Hill station
- Brixton station