London Buses route 19

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19
Go Ahead route 19.jpg
Overview
Operator London General
Garage Stockwell (SW)
Vehicle Volvo B5LH 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
Peak vehicle requirement 27
Night-time Night Bus N19
Route
Start Battersea Bridge
Via Chelsea
Piccadilly Circus
Holborn
Islington
End Finsbury Park bus station
Length 8 miles (13 km)
Service
Level Daily
Frequency 7-10 minutes
Journey time 49-83 minutes
Operates 05:30 until 01:00

London Buses route 19 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Battersea Bridge and Finsbury Park bus station, it is operated by London General.

History[edit]

Arriva London AEC Routemaster at the intersection of Tottenham Court Road & Shaftesbury Avenue in August 2004

In 1934 route 19 operated from Finsbury Park to Tooting Bec station with a Sundays only extension to Streatham Common. By 17 October 1956 the Sunday extension had been withdrawn between Streatham and Tooting, although it was reintroduced the following year on 1 May 1957 for a short period until its withdrawal on 16 October 1957.

On 23 January 1966, the route was one again given a Sunday extension, this time to Streatham Bus Garage and by 15 February 1969 the Sunday route was renumbered 19A, which was reverted to 19 by March 1971. The Sunday extension was finally withdrawn on 8 January 1972. Later that year, on 15 July, the Sunday service was cut back to Clapham Junction. This was to provide work for the OPO drivers from route 39 at Battersea Garage on a new route 19A (running between Battersea and Tooting Bec).

During August 1972, the AEC Regent III RTs were replaced by AEC Routemasters. It was not until 5 October 1974 that the Sunday service reverted to Tooting Bec, following the withdrawal of route 19A. During 1975 garage journeys were extended to Tufnell Park, with the whole route being extended further to Archway by 1984. On 3 August 1985, the route was withdrawn between Finsbury Park and Archway (except for garage journeys terminating at Tufnell Park). Battersea Garage (B - Hester Road) closed in November 1985, and the allocation was transferred to Victoria (GM). The Sunday service was converted to One Person Operation on 14 June 1987.

The service was withdrawn between Tooting Bec and Clapham Junction (Monday to Saturday) following the introduction of a new route 219 on 21 November 1987. On 15 April 1989 the route was withdrawn between Tufnell Park and Finsbury Park on Mondays-Saturdays, following the Holloway Garage allocation being withdrawn when that garage took over operation of route 10. Following the introduction of a Sunday allocation from Merton Garage during February 1990, some garage journeys were extended from Tooting Bec to Merton garage. The route was standardised on 25 May 1991 running at all times between Finsbury Park and Battersea Bridge South Side, with all buses running from Victoria Garage (GM). This meant the end of Sunday journeys to Tufnell Park. Repair works to Battersea Bridge during saw services terminate at Chelsea World's End between 21 April 1992 and 7 February 1993.

On 24 April 1993, route 19 became the first Routemaster operated service to be awarded to a company that was not a subsidiary of London Buses Limited following the route being awarded to Kentish Bus after a competitive tender. Kentish Bus painted their Routemasters in a cream and maroon livery with route branding. Following nearly five years with Kentish Bus, operation transferred to Arriva London South in January 1998, with the Sunday service operated by sister Arriva company Grey-Green, Stamford Hill. A departure from the cream and maroon livery saw a return to the traditional London Bus red to comply with a contractual requirement for London buses to be 80% red.[1]

On 25 March 2000 Stamford Hill garage closed, and Tottenham garage took the Sunday allocation of route 19. On 29 April 2000, the Sunday allocation moved south to Brixton, using Metrobuses.

A little over a year later, and after a period of 14 years, the Sunday allocation reverted to crew operation using Routemasters from Battersea. The Brixton allocation was retained for some early and late journeys run off the N19. In August 2002, in preparation for the introduction London congestion charge, the service was increased from 18 Routemasters to 26. The extra buses were released from route 13.[1]

On 2 April 2005 the route was converted to one man operation with 28 new Wright Pulsar Gemini bodied DAF DB250LFs.[1][2][3][4] Although Battersea was able to house all of the Routemasters needed to run the route, the newer and longer buses presented capacity problems, with seven buses being outstationed at Norwood garage. On 28 November 2009, Battersea garage closed and route 19 was transferred to Brixton.

Upon being re-tendered, route 19 passed to London General’s Stockwell garage on 31 March 2012 with new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5LHs and B9TLs.[5]

Culture[edit]

Route 19 has been mentioned at various points in popular culture. The 1978 Dire Straits song "Wild West End" (about the London area of the same name) contains the line "And my conductress on the number 19...". The route is also referenced in the first line of "Rudie Can't Fail" by The Clash. In November 2007, the route was featured in Vogue as "one of the 14 most stylish locations in Britain" [6]

Current route[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. pp. 119, 120, 142, 165, 173. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7. 
  2. ^ Team 19 Relegated London Bus Routes 1 April 2005
  3. ^ Millar, Alan (May 2005). "STL rekindles memories as more Routemasters retire". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (602): 12. 
  4. ^ Stewart, David (2006). London’s Last Routemasters. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-85414-295-5. 
  5. ^ New routes gained following tender successes Bus Talk (Go-Ahead London) issue 10 August 2011
  6. ^ This Is London, No19: London's glamour bus

External links[edit]