London Buses route 44

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44
Go Ahead London route 44.jpg
Overview
Operator London General
Garage Merton (AL)
Vehicle Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m
Peak vehicle requirement 17
Night-time Night bus N44
Route
Start Tooting
Via Wandsworth
Battersea Park
Battersea Park
End Victoria
Length 7 miles (11 km)
Service
Level Daily
Frequency 10-15 minutes
Journey time 37-68 minutes
Operates 05:00 until 01:00

London Buses route 44 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Tooting and Victoria, it is operated by London General.

History[edit]

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from London Bridge to Battersea and Wandsworth and trolleybus route 612 from Battersea and Mitcham, both of which were withdrawn at the same time.[1] The Mitcham terminus was changed to "The Cricketers" on 5 February 1952.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 Mitcham Cricket Green and Trafalgar Square. This supplementary service only survived a few years and was withdrawn after service on 23 November 1958.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 This Sunday 44 only lasted a year, as the 44 was withdrawn between Mitcham and Wallington after service on 15 November 1964 being replaced by a new Sunday only route 115A.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 Green 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 new route 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.

Upon being re-tendered, London General commenced a new contract on 1 June 2013 with existing Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s.[2]

Current route[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Day, John (1973). The Story of the London Bus. London Regional Transport. ISBN 9780853290377. 
  2. ^ http://www.londonbusroutes.net/changes.htm#12

External links[edit]