London Buses route 13

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13
Transdev London bus route 13.jpg
Overview
Operator London Sovereign
Garage Edgware (BT)
Vehicle Volvo B5LH 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
Peak vehicle requirement 21
Night-time Night Bus N13
Route
Start Golders Green station
Via Swiss Cottage
Oxford Street
Picadilly Circus
End Aldwych
Length 7 miles (11 km)
Service
Level Daily
Frequency 7-12 minutes
Journey time 34-66 minutes
Operates 05:30 until 00:30

London Buses route 13 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Golders Green station and Aldwych, it is operated by London Sovereign.

History[edit]

In the 1930s route 13 ran from Hendon to London Bridge with STD-type buses allocated to Hendon (AE) garage.[1] The allocation was split between Cricklewood and Hendon garages. Hendon-Golders Green was reduced to Monday to Friday peak hours and Saturday afternoons only during World War II, then withdrawn completely by the 1950s. New AEC Routemaster buses were introduced to the route in 1963, by which time it was shared between Hendon and Rye Lane garages.[2] In January 1970 the route acquired a Muswell Hill allocation and was cut back from London Bridge to Aldwych, before being extended from Golders Green to North Finchley in 1978, replacing 2B.[3]

On 4 December 1993 BTS Coaches, Borehamwood took over the operation of route 13 after a competitive tender process, one of just two AEC Routemaster routes to pass to a private operator in advance of privatisation of London Buses (the other being the route 19, which passed to Kentish Bus earlier the same year). This resulted in the closure of Finchley garage, as routes 13 was by then its main route. Route 13 was also cut back to Golders Green. This also re-introduced Sunday crew operation to the capital, as BTS did not have sufficient driver-only vehicles to cover the Sunday service. A fleet of RMLs was leased from London Transport and painted in a poppy red livery.[3][4]

Subsequently BTS sold out to Sovereign Bus & Coach, a Hertfordshire operator and formerly part of London Country Bus Services (and later London Country North East. Although other BTS buses gained Sovereign's blue and cream livery the Routemasters remained in poppy red; route 13 was the last route in London to be operated using Routemasters in a colour other than London Transport red. The depot in Borehamwood was sold with BTS moving to the old London Transport garage at Edgware.[2]

The route was not re-tendered until 2000 as no bids were received for the route. Sovereign was persuaded to put in a bid and when the new contract commenced on 1 September 2001 the route continued largely unchanged. The new mayor Ken Livingstone had been elected on a manifesto that included increasing the number of Routemasters in service in the capital. Route 13 was converted back to Routemaster operation on the change of tender with buses that had been rebuilt by Marshall.[3][5]

However, a change of policy saw all Routemaster routes converted back to one-person operation with route converted on 22 October 2005.[3][6][7][8]

On 31 August 2013, route 13 was retained by London Sovereign with new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5LHs.[9][10][11]

Current route[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graeme Bruce, J; Curtis, Colin (1977). The London Motor Bus: Its Origins and Development. London Transport. p. 76. ISBN 0853290830. 
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Tony (June 2000). "The irony that is Edgware". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (543). 
  3. ^ a b c d Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. pp. 8, 120, 156, 165. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7. 
  4. ^ Brown, Stewart J (November 1995). Buses in Britain 2: The Mid Nineties. Capital Transport. p. 154. ISBN 1-85414-181-3. 
  5. ^ Aldridge, John (January 2003). "Any room for small operators in London?". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (574). 
  6. ^ Unlucky 13 Loses its Routemasters London Bus Page 21 October 2005
  7. ^ Routemaster's last hurrah Evening Standard, 21 June 2005
  8. ^ The Future of the Routemaster Icons of England
  9. ^ http://www.lots.org.uk/
  10. ^ Provision of Bus Service 13/N13 United Kingdom Tenders 20 December 2012
  11. ^ Tender news from across London Bus Talk (Go-Ahead London) issue 20 February 2013

External links[edit]