London Buses Airbus routes
London Buses Airbus routes describes the dedicated routes run by London Buses and its successors to Heathrow Airport. The routes have the prefix letter A. Currently only one route exists, the A10, with four others having been withdrawn.
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.2m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||5|
|Night-time||No night service|
|End||Heathrow Airport Central bus station|
|Length||8 miles (13 km)|
|Journey time||25-30 minutes|
|Operates||04:30 until 00:25|
The route was inaugurated on 31 August 1996 to link Uxbridge and Heathrow Airport, halving the time it took to travel between them. It also serves the Stockley Park business estate. London Buslines had in fact won the original contract for the route, but was absorbed by CentreWest between this time and the start of operations. CentreWest thus inherited seven Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Darts, among the first low-floor Darts in London, which sported a blue and yellow livery, with a diagonal red stripe. The buses bore the slogan "Heathrow fast...and it is". CentreWest was bought out by First Group in March 1997, and as a result their logo was added to the livery.
In 1981 two Airbus routes, routes A1 and A2, were introduced. Route A1 ran to Victoria and route A2 to Kings Cross via Marble Arch. An attempt was made to launch a route A3, running from central London to Stansted Airport, but this was quickly abandoned, as was a second attempt in 1992. The routes were operated by 16 new MCW Metrobuses, later increasing to 24. They were taken over by London United when London Buses was split into subsidiaries in 1991. London United were reportedly unhappy with their profitability, and considered transferring the routes to the London Coaches operation which was then up for sale, but this did not take place. In 1995 the 36 Metrobuses were partially replaced by 12 new Volvo Olympians fitted with air conditioning.
Also in 1995, a new route called Airbus Direct was launched. This linked Heathrow to nearby hotels, operating on request to a hotel on any reasonable route using 16 early Dennis Darts displaced from other routes.
Following the introduction of the Heathrow Express train service in 1999 the routes' popularity fell, and route A1 was withdrawn. The surviving routes A2 and Airbus Direct were sold to National Express in February 2000. The A2 was rebranded as a National Express Airport service in 2002, but withdrawn in late 2004 as passenger numbers fell once more. Airbus Direct continued, and was rebranded Hotelink and later Dot2Dot, but was sold to Corot plc in early 2009 and finally withdrawn later in the year.
- Airbus - Heathrow Airport to London Airbus milesfaster.co.uk
- Route A10 londonbusroutes.net
- McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. p. 109. ISBN 1-898432-74-0.
- GB BG - the magazine of the GB Bus Group - Volume 3 No. 2 February 2008
- First quits London bus business Bus & Coach Professional 9 April 2013
- Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
- The London Bus Page - 01/01/05 - Farewell to Airbus
- Brown, Stewart J (September 1993). Buses in Britain. Capital Transport. p. 156. ISBN 1-85414-158-9.
- McLachlan p.57
- Brown, Stewart J (November 1995). Buses in Britain 2: The Mid Nineties. Capital Transport. p. 162. ISBN 1-85414-181-3.
- Millar, Alan (Autumn 1994). "Seeing Red: The new bus operators in London". Buses Focus: 61.
- Aldridge, John (November 1999). "Airport surprises". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (535): 13.
- Annual Report Year Ended 31 December 2000 National Express Group
Media related to London Buses route A10 at Wikimedia Commons
- London Bus Routes gallery A1
- London Bus Routes gallery A2
- London Bus Routes gallery A3
- London Bus Routes gallery A10