London Buses route 52
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|Vehicle||Volvo B5LH 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
|Peak vehicle requirement||24|
|Night-time||24 hour service|
Hyde Park Corner
|End||Victoria bus station|
|Length||7 miles (11 km)|
|Journey time||35-50 minutes|
|Operates||24 hour service|
Route 52 began in the 1930s, running from Victoria to Mill Hill, and on to Borehamwood on Monday to Saturday peak journeys. The Borehamwood terminus changed several times: in 1951, it was withdrawn from Warwick Road and Drayton Road to Elstree Way Hotel, but extended back on 3 February 1953, and further extended to Brook Road on 3 February 1954.
Another extension took the route to Rossington Avenue on Sundays from 1956. Seven years later this was extended to include Monday to Friday peak workings. In 1967 the Mill Hill terminus was changed from Mill Hill Green Man to the then new Mill Hill Broadway Station. The route was then withdrawn beyond Mill Hill Broadway in 1969, the Borehamwood - Mill Hill section being replaced by route 292. Frequency cuts led to over 2000 passengers signing a petition for the improvement of route 52 in the same year.
Route 52 remained stable as a trunk route from Victoria - Mill Hill Broadway until 1992, when it was curtailed at Willesden to only run Victoria - Willesden. The northern end of the route was replaced by route 302 originally ran between Ladbroke Grove and Mill Hill. An extension from Ladbroke Grove to Notting Hill came in 1993, but in 1998 the southern end was cut back to Kensal Rise. The 52 has continued since that time to run Willesden - Victoria.
In December 1993 the contract to run the route was won by London Coaches, who in July 1994 transferred the route to its Atlas Bus & Coach subsidiary as it had a garage in Willesden, close to the route's terminus. Atlas operated the route with Leyland Titans in a route-specific livery. In November 1994, route 52 was included in the sale of Atlas Bus & Coach to Metroline. Metroline have retained the contract ever since, and now operate the route with Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs.
On 8 December 2012, route 52 was retained by Metroline. A 24-hour service was introduced and N52 was withdrawn. In February 2013, new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5LHs and new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs were introduced.
Route 52 operates via these primary locations:
- Willesden Garage Pound Lane
- Kensal Rise station
- Ladbroke Grove Sainsbury's
- Ladbroke Grove station
- Notting Hill Gate station
- Kensington Church Street for High Street Kensington station
- Kensington Palace
- Royal Albert Hall
- Knightsbridge station
- Hyde Park station
- Victoria bus station for Victoria station
- London Transport (Bus Route 52) (Hansard, 25 July 1969)
- McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. p. 67. ISBN 1-898432-74-0.
- McLachlan p.68
- "Route 52/N52 - award announced 26 April 2012". TfL. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Route 52 Map Transport for London