London Buses route 4
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||18|
|Night-time||No night service|
|Length||8 miles (13 km)|
|Frequency||About every 10-20 minutes|
|Journey time||43-79 minutes|
|Operates||05:10 until 01:24|
The history of the current route 4 dates back to 26 August 1912, when a route 4 was introduced between Finsbury Park station and Elephant & Castle via Highbury, St Pauls and Blackfriars Bridge. This was the fourth time the route number 4 had been carried by a motorbus route.
At the end of World War I, the route had settled down to operate between Finsbury Park and Bermondsey (Queen Charlotte), to where it had been extended on 27 January 1913. During the 1920s, the 4 was further extended from Bermondsey to Greenwich (Church Street), but this did not last and the southern terminus of the route had reverted to Bermondsey by the early 1930s. Between 1924 and 1934, route numbers 4A and 4B were used for short workings of the full route. On 29 October 1941 a Monday to Saturday route 4A was introduced between Finsbury Park and Camberwell Green.
East and south east London had seen severe bombing during 1940 and 1941. This had led to decline in demand for buses in that area. London Transport responded by withdrawing the 4 after service on 27 October 1942. The 4A suffixed route worked on its own until 11 October 1950, when a route 4 was re-introduced between Finsbury Park and Bermondsey, from which point it was extended to Surrey Docks in 1951.
The "Busman's Strike of 1958" caused the loss of very large numbers of passengers on London's buses. London Transport reacted to the resulting financial losses by withdrawing many routes. The 4A was one, being withdrawn on 19 August 1958.
The replacement of London trolleybuses began in 1959. On 8 November 1961 a new route 4A was introduced on Monday to Friday between Finsbury Park and Waterloo. It covered sections of two other withdrawn routes, the 48 and 179. By the mid-1960s, the 4 and 4A together provided a more frequent service than was needed on most sections. The 4 was gradually reduced, being totally withdrawn on 31 December 1966.
On 27 April 1995, MTL London bought London Suburban Bus and took over operation of the route. They were then themselves bought by Metroline, who continue to operate the route. New Dennis Tridents were bought for the route in 2001.
On 29 September 2012, Metroline retained the contract for route 4.
- Archway Station Junction Road
- Tufnell Park Station
- Finsbury Park Station
- Highbury & Islington Station
- Islington High Street
- Angel Station
- St Paul's Station
- St Paul's Churchyard
- City Thameslink Station
- Waterloo Station Waterloo Road
Previous route 4s in London
The route number 4 had been used three times prior to its current use.
- In 1906 - 1909 for a Gospel Oak, Oxford Circus, King's Cross, Wormwood Scrubs or Shepherds Bush - Putney, Tooting, Wandsworth, Brixton or Herne Hill route.
- In 1910 - 1911 for a Stonebridge Park - Elephant & Castle route.
- In 1911 for a Holloway - Elephant & Castle route.
There were also in London :
- Between 1913 - 1951 a Victoria Embankment - Wimbledon Tram route 4.
- During the General Strike in May 1926 a circular route 4 which operated Harlesden - Tottenham Court Road - Bank - Marble Arch - Harlesden.
- Between 1932 - 1935 a Wimbledon - Hampton Court Trolleybus route 4.
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