London Buses route 154
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 9.9m / Optare Olympus|
|Peak vehicle requirement||12|
|Via||Sutton High Street
|End||West Croydon station|
|Length||11 miles (18 km)|
|Journey time||37-65 minutes|
|Operates||04:25 until 02:29|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2014)|
Route 154 commenced operating on 4 March 1959 between Morden Station and Crystal Palace as a replacement for trolleybus route 654. Operation was by AEC Regent III (RT) type.
Operation was initially from Carshalton (CN) Garage but transferred to Sutton (A) Garage upon closure of the former on 29 January 1964. Thornton Heath (TH) Garage also held a Saturday allocation on the route.
At the time, approximately 70% of the route followed the same roads as Route 157, duplicating between Morden and Rose Hill Roundabout via St Helier Avenue, and then again from Wallington to Crystal Palace via West Croydon.
On 12 May 1973, both Routes 154 and 157 were converted to one man operation (OMO) with Daimler Fleetlines (DMS class) replacing RTs. Under this conversion, Sutton Garage remained the primary operator of Route 154, with some involvement by both South Croydon (TC) and Thornton Heath (TH) at various stages.
In 1977, the service was re-routed between Carshalton (Windsor Castle) and Wallington to serve Carshalton Beeches via Park Hill, Beeches Avenue and the entire length of Stanley Park Road, instead of running via Beynon Road, Ruskin Road and Park Lane.
For Route 154, the first significant break from its substantially shared routing with Route 157 came on 25 April 1981. From this date, the service between West Croydon Bus Station and Crystal Palace was withdrawn, replaced on this section by an increased frequency on the 157. Furthermore, between Wallington and West Croydon, the 154 was diverted via Roundshaw Estate and Duppas Hill, replacing Route 233 which was withdrawn entirely.
Under this revised routing, operation was based entirely at Sutton Garage, a situation which has remained to this day. An aside to these changes was the introduction of new Route 254, operating also between Morden and West Croydon, but via Mitcham, Beddington Lane and Waddon. This was a limited service operating Monday to Friday peak hours-only and incorporated into the Route 154 schedule. Buses would arrive at Morden or West Croydon as a 154 with the driver changing over the blinds to 254. (This proved problematic at times as roughly only half of Sutton Garage’s fleet received new blinds incorporating the Route 154 changes and Route 254. On several occasions, drivers were seen ‘chalking-up’ Route 254 on the blank section of the number blind).
However, the aim of providing the Beddington Lane industrial area with a bus service proved to be ahead of its time as Route 254 was withdrawn under the service cuts of 4 September 1982 due to lack of patronage. (The Beddington Lane area has been significantly redeveloped since and now has frequent services by means of Routes 455 and 463, as well as Tramlink).
By the end of 1982, Sutton Garage’s fleet of standard D/DMS class vehicles were replaced by newly overhauled B20 D/DMS vehicles (DMS2247 upwards), which would be the mainstay on Route 154 until late 1991.
In November 1988, in another significant break from Route 157 road-sharing, the 154 was re-routed between Morden Station and Rose Hill Roundabout to serve St Helier Station, running via London Road and Green Lane, instead of St Helier Avenue. This change coincided with the start of the Sutton area local tender unit, branded as 'Sutton Bus'.
From late 1991, as more vehicles became spare across the network as a result of tendering losses, Sutton Garage began to receive second-hand Metrobus (M class) vehicles, which would gradually remove the D/DMS class from Sutton’s routes including the 154.
Like many South London area bus services, Route 154 had not received any brand new buses since the delivery of the DMS class in the 1970s, but that was to change following the privatisation of the London Bus divisions. In January 1997, Sutton Garage (under the control of London General) took delivery of an initial batch of 15 brand-new Northern Counties Volvo Olympian (NV) class vehicles for use on all their double-deck routes including the 154.
Three further batches of NV class vehicles were gradually delivered to Sutton, the last arriving in January 1998 with a total of 58 vehicles in normal service, operating alongside a reduced allocation of Metrobuses that were retained to meet overall requirements.
The 2002 renewal of Sutton Garage’s contracts (covering routes 93, 154 and 213) specified low-floor access vehicles as a condition and so the NV class was replaced after just 4-5 years of service by brand new East Lancs Myllennium Vyking bodied Volvo B7TLs (EVL class). A total of 52 of these vehicles were delivered which initially met the entire vehicle requirement.
In April 2006 however, Sutton’s Route 151 reverted to double-deck operation, for which a batch of second-hand Plaxton President (PVL class) vehicles were provided and these inevitably strayed onto Route 154 as well.
Following the next contract renewal in late 2008 (this time covering Routes 93, 151 and 154) the 52-fleet EVL class at Sutton was replaced by the 54-fleet DOE class (Optare Esteem Enviro 400).
Since completion of their delivery in March 2009, the DOE class has been the predominant vehicle type on Route 154, supplemented mainly by the PVL class officially allocated to the separately-tendered Route 213.
Early in the morning of Sunday 6 April 2014, the back seats of the top deck of a 154 were set alight whilst passing through the Benhill area of Sutton, resulting in it being 50% damaged by smoke. Two teenagers were arrested over the arson.
A month later, on Saturday 3 May, a teenager was arrested after a 154 bus had to be taken out of service after it was incensed. The Morden-bound vehicle came to a stand in Stanley Park Road (Wallington) where it was attended by all the emergency services. 
Reports on both incidents estimated the damage costing between £30,000 and £50,000. The vehicle affected in the April incident (DOE10/LX58CWZ) returned to service in July 2014 and the vehicle in the May incident (DOE26/LX58CXS) returned October 2014.
Route 154 operates via these primary locations:
- Morden station
- Morden South station
- St Helier station
- Carshalton Beeches station
- Waddon station
- Fairfield Halls
- Wellesley Road tram stop
- West Croydon station
- "Bus 'set on fire deliberately' in Sutton". Sutton Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- "Teens arrested after fire breaks out on top deck of 154 bus". Sutton Guardian. 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Teen arrested after passengers forced to flee burning bus". Sutton Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- Route 154 Map Transport for London