London Buses route 208
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2009)|
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 on route 208
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.2m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||14|
|Night-time||Night Bus N47|
|Length||11 miles (18 km)|
|Frequency||About every 12-15 minutes|
|Journey time||50-83 minutes|
|Operates||04:30 until 01:00|
The 208 is one of London’s busiest suburban routes, providing the main link between Bromley, Catford and Lewisham. It is, increasingly, unusual in operating in two overlapping sections, Orpington to Catford and Bromley Common to Lewisham. Running the extra frequency by way of short workings between Bromley and Catford was tried but was discontinued after about a year. Even between Orpington and Bromley buses can get very busy, especially at school start and finish times, late evening pub-turn-out and Monday to Saturday daytime shopping hours, despite being one of the most frequent routes (every 12 minutes) to reach Orpington, through mainly residential areas.
The route started in 4 September 1982 scheme, replacing route 94 south of Bromley (the remainder becoming the 261) and complementing the 47 between Bromley and Lewisham. There was initially a Saturday extension to Surrey Quays, but that did not last.
Initially Routemasters from Catford garage were used, but they were replaced by new Leyland Titans within a few years. Bromley garage also gained an allocation, the route has been transferring back and forth between the two ever since. Usually both garages have been present, but Stagecoach’s extensive tender losses in the Bromley area in recent years have allowed Bromley garage to take full control.
There have been periods of single deck operation. Leyland Nationals were used for a few years, and more recently LV class Dennis Lances were used between late 1994 and November 1997. In both cases single deckers were completely unsuitable, and mainly used on the quieter Orpington end. In terms of the service structure, there have been relatively few changes, though there was a big frequency increase in April 1991 after the 1 was withdrawn south of Surrey Quays.
On 28 August 2010, the 208 operating pattern changed with a new timetable with all journeys running between Orpington and Lewisham, every 12 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes, 15 evenings and Sundays.
- Orpington Perry Hall Road
- Orpington Station
- Petts Wood Station
- Bromley Common
- Bromley South Station
- Lewisham Station