London Buses route 185
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
|Vehicle||Volvo B7TL 10m Plaxton President
Volvo B7TL 10.6m / Wright Eclipse Gemini
|Peak vehicle requirement||19|
|Night-time||No night service|
|Length||10 miles (15 km)|
|Frequency||About every 10 minutes|
|Journey time||42-90 minutes|
|Operates||4:30am until 0:30am|
|London Transport portal|
The original route 185 ran between Victoria and Blackwall Tunnel south side, via the current route and Greenwich. This bus acted as a tram replacement route, at the time in which the government was trying to phase out the trams.
In 1982 the Lewisham to Blackwall Tunnel stretch was withdrawn, with the exception of peak services to Greenwich Church. In 1987 the part between Lewisham and Greenwich was completely scrapped, in favour of a shorter route. The route only had minor modifications between then and 2001, such as garage changes and the buses changing from RTLs to Titans.
In January 2001 Stagecoach London (Stagecoach Selkent at the time) operation was terminated in favour of London Easylink. However because Easylink did not receive operators licences in time for their own buses, they hired in buses from Stagecoach for a few weeks. Ironically, these buses were the buses that ran on the previous tender. The operation of the 185 then ran smoothly until August 2002, when London Easylink went into liquidation. Blue Triangle was given the task of organising emergency cover at short notice.
A large number of operators were involved in providing replacement services, which operated every 15 minutes instead of every 10 as had been run prior to London Easylink's collapse. London Central and London General provided low-floor Volvo B7TL double-deckers amongst older vehicles, and fellow Go-Ahead Group subsidiary Metrobus also contributed. Independent operators Amber Lee, Carousel Buses, Imperial Buses, Redroute Buses and Sullivan Buses all provided vehicles made spare during the break in school terms; none had previously operated a TfL contracted route. Arriva London's tourist division The Original London Sightseeing Tour operated the route using closed-top MCW Metrobuses. After a month of service, First London and TfL subsidiary East Thames Buses joined the operation, while Stagecoach London operated additional journeys on route 53, which parallels the 185 over the southern section of route.
In December 2002 it was revealed that the 185 was the fifth least reliable service in London. Shortly after this in 2003, East Thames Buses was awarded the contract. East Thames initially started operating with low floor Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Compass buses, but these were soon replaced. Double-deckers were reintroduced; one was involved in a minor accident in November 2007.
On 3 October 2009, East Thames Buses was taken over by Go-Ahead London. Route 185 is now operated by Go-Ahead London, using former East Thames buses having gained a 5 year contract.
Current route 
- Lewisham Station Loampit Vale
- Catford Bridge Station
- Catford Station
- Forest Hill Station
- East Dulwich Station
- Denmark Hill Station
- Camberwell Green
- Oval Station
- The Oval
- Vauxhall Station
- Bessborough Gardens for Pimlico Station
- Victoria Station Wilton Road
See also 
- BBC News | England | Buses recalled as firm goes into bankruptcy
- Passengers stranded as bus firm folds | News | Evening Standard
- Aldridge, John (November 2002). "No blinds needed, it's a 185". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (572): 15.
- Aldridge, John (December 2002). "Guess who's on the 185 now?". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (573): 15.
- BBC News | England | London | 'Worst bus route' named and shamed
- BBC News | England | London | Double decker bus skids off road