London Buses route 44
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 on route 44
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||17|
|Night-time||Night bus N44|
|Length||7 miles (11 km)|
|Frequency||About every 10-15 minutes|
|Journey time||37-68 minutes|
|Operates||05:00 until 01:00|
Today's route 44 commenced operation on 1 October 1950 in Stage 1 of London Transport's Post-war "Buses for Trams" scheme, running as a daily service between Mitcham (Three Kings Pond) and London Bridge Station via Tooting, Wandsworth, Clapham Junction, Vauxhall and Borough Market. It replaced tram route 12 which ran from London Bridge to Battersea and Wandsworth and trolleybus route 612 from Battersea and Mitcham, both of which were withdrawn at the same time. The Mitcham terminus was changed to "The Cricketers" on 5 February 1952. As from 5 October 1952, a supplementary service running as Route 44A was introduced between Trafalgar Square and Mitcham (Cricketers) via Whitehall, Westminster Bridge and then via the 44 routing to Mitcham. This supplementary service only survived a few years and was withdrawn after service on 23 November 1958.
After the "Busmans Strike of 1958" passengers numbers fell dramatically and London Transport withdrew or curtailed many services. The 44 was affected at this time when as from 30 November 1958, it was extended on Sundays to Wallington via Carshalton to replace the 77B on Sundays only. It was further extended on Sundays, this time at the other end of the route, from London Bridge Station to Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel) via Aldgate as from 13 October 1963. This Sunday 44 only lasted a year, as the 44 was withdrawn between Mitcham and Wallington after service on 15 November 1964 being replaced by a new Sunday only route 115A. As from 17 January 1971 the route was further cut back on Sundays from Poplar (Blackwall Tunnel) to Aldgate.
As from 17 June 1972, the 44 was converted to one-person operation between Mitcham (Cricketers) and London Bridge Station via Tooting, Wandsworth and Vauxhall, with a Sunday extension over London Bridge to Aldgate. This routing remained stable for sixteen years until 27 November 1988, when the route received another Sunday extension, this time to Sutton Station.
From the late 1980s onwards, it became necessary to shorten routes to counter the effects of traffic congestion. The 44 fell victim to this as from 25 May 1991, when it was drastically shortened to run between Vauxhall and Tooting Station only. The section of route between Clapham Junction and London Bridge Station was covered by a new daily service, numbered 344.
In the most recent change, the 44 was re-routed as from 11 November 2006 at Battersea Park Road to run daily to Victoria via Queenstown Road, Chelsea Bridge, Ebury Bridge Road and Buckingham Palace Road, bringing the route number 44 back to Victoria after an absence of 67 years.
- Victoria Station Victoria Street
- Buckingham Palace Road
- Victoria Coach Station
- Ebury Bridge Road
- Chelsea Bridge Road
- Chelsea Bridge
- Queenstown Road
- Queen's Circus
- Battersea Park Station
- Battersea Park Road
- York Road
- Swandon Way
- Wandsworth Town Station
- Old York Road
- Fairfield Street
- Wandsworth High Street
- Garratt Lane
- Wandsworth Southside Shopping Centre
- Earlsfield Station
- St George's Hospital
- Tooting Broadway Station
- Mitcham Road
- Tooting Station
Previous route 44s in London
The route number 44 had been used six times prior to its current use.
- From 2 July 1912 until 31 July 1912 for a daily Ealing Broadway to Northfields Station service via Castlebar Road and Drayton Green Road.
- From 29 August 1912 until 10 May 1914 for a daily Highgate*, Highbury Station* (via Kings Cross) to Putney Station*, Putney Common* route via Kentish Town, Camden Town, Oxford Street, Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park Avenue, Hammersmith, Fulham Palace Road and Putney Bridge *Termini varied.
- From 29 June 1914 until 4 August 1914 for a daily London Bridge Station to Turnham Green route via London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate, City Road, Marylebone Road, Praed Street, Westbourne Grove, Holland Park Avenue, Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith and Chiswick.
- From 31 January 1915 until 25 April 1915 for a daily Hendon (Upper Welsh Harp) to Kilburn (Queens Arms)*, Kilburn Park Station*, Charing Cross* route via Cricklewood, Maida Vale, Oxford Street and Regent Street *Termini varied.
- From 4 December 1916 until 1 February 1917 for a Monday to Saturday Paddington Green (Horse & Sacks) to London Bridge Station route via Harrow Road, Edgware Road, Baker Street, Oxford Street and High Holborn, Kingsway, Aldwych, Fleet Street, Ludgate Circus, Cannon Street and London Bridge.
- From 28 May 1919 until 22 September 1939 for a Monday to Saturday Kings Cross to Victoria Station route via Euston Road, Russell Square, Kingsway, Long Acre and Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park Corner.
There were also in London:
- Between 1913 and 5 July 1952 a Lewisham*, Eltham (Church) to Woolwich* and Plumstead* Tram route 44 *Termini varied
- Between July 1913 and May 1923 a Cricklewood to Barnet via Golders Green* Tram route 44