|Founded||1 April 1989|
|Service area||South London|
|Service type||Bus services|
|Fleet||Alexander Dennis Enviro200Dart
Alexander Dennis Enviro400
Dennis Dart SLF
London Central commenced operating on 1 April 1989 when London Buses was divided into 11 separate business units. In September 1994 it was sold to the Go-Ahead Group. In August 2008, Go-Ahead's London bus operations all took up the new trading name of Go-Ahead London.
London Central operates four bus garages.
Built as a trolleybus depot by the London Passenger Transport Board, Bexleyheath is the only new garage built for trolleybuses. The depot is a large and imposing building, slightly set back from the main road to enable parking on the forecourt, which was used as a terminus for route 122. Bexleyheath closed in 1986, with work transferred to Catford, Plumstead and Sidcup garages.
In 1988 it re-opened under the guise of Bexleybus, a unit set up by London Buses under de-regulation, and had a large and varied allocation from Iveco/Robin Hoods and MCW Metroriders to Leyland Olympians and Daimler Fleetlines. The move to set up the new company to tender for routes backfired, and in the next round of tendering only route B16 was awarded to Bexleybus, whilst London Central won nine.
London Central took control of Bexleyheath garage and routes in 1990. Lately the garage has had a good utilisation figure, up to 139 in 2001 which necessitated parking in the rear yard and the forecourt. In January 2007, the garage received its first Alexander Dennis Enviro400s for use on route 486.
On 7 November 2009, route 132 was transferred to this garage.
On 1 May 2010, routes 321 (part of its allocation), 661 and 669 were transferred to this garage.
Bus types in use
- Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.2m (SE) for routes B11 and B16
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m (E) for routes 89, 132, 229, 422 and 486
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m / Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) as logical spares
- Scania N230UD 10.8m / Optare Olympus to be introduced on routes 661 and 669 from 2014 
- Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Plaxton President (PVL) for routes 132, 401, 661, 669 and as trainers 
- Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Wright Eclipse Gemini (WVL) for route 625
- Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVL) for routes 229, 422, 658, N21 and N89
New Cross (NX)
Said to be the largest of London's bus garages with space for over 300 buses New Cross garage was originally a tram depot and opened in 1906. In 1952 with the trams withdrawn, the depot was converted into a bus garage. The garage has never been even close to its capacity due to the close proximity of other garages, but has at various times been used to store surplus vehicles.
The garage allocation has fluctuated over the years, from 191 in 1966 to 132 in 2001. The garage also houses some of the private hire fleet which is painted in the style of the former London General company. New Cross was also the garage for two special services, first in 1972 when it operated en ex Tilling ST on route 100 and LPG East Lancs Myllennium bodied DAF SB220s for Millennium Dome services M1 and M2. In 2003 the garage also began operating Mercedes-Benz Citaro articulated buses on route 436. In January 2005 route 36 ceased to be operated by Routemasters with one man operated double deckers taking over.
On 29 September 2012, the Bexleyheath allocation for route 321 was transferred to garage.
Bus types in use
- Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.8m (SE) for route 286 
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.2m (E) for routes 36 and 436
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400H 10.2m (EH) for route 436
- DAF SB120 10.8m / Volvo Merit (DWL) for route 108
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m / Alexander Dennis Pointer (LDP) for route 225
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.8m / MCV Evolution (ED) for route 108
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.8m / Plaxton Pointer 2 (DP) for route 108
- Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Plaxton President (PVL) for routes 108 and 321
- Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Wright Eclipse Gemini (WVL) for route 129 
- Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVL) for routes 21, 171, 321, N21 and N171 
Although built in 1914, Camberwell garage was not used as a bus garage until 1919 as it had been requisitioned for the war effort. Once it came into use it was one of London's largest garages and also carried out body overhauls in 1940/41. The garage was bombed during World War II in 1940 with four buses being destroyed and 13 seriously damaged.
During the early 1950s the garage underwent modernisation with the welfare and operational block reconstructed and the parking area extended. The new building also incorporated a new pit and workshop layout in a separate self-contained block which also undertook heavy maintenance for the adjacent Walworth garage, 350 buses in all.
The allocation at Camberwell decreased slightly over the years from 165 in 1952 until the closure of Walworth in 1985 increased the allocation to 142. Camberwell was also the home of three Leyland Titans fitted with electronic blinds which were used on night bus standby duties.
On 1 May 2010, routes 42 and 185 were transferred to this garage.
On 1 September 2014, route 624 and the Mandela Way allocation of route 658 were transferred to this garage.
Route 42 will be transferred to this garage from 20 September 2014.
Bus types in use
- Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 9.4m (SE) for route P5
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.1m (E) for route 345
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m / Plaxton Pointer 2 (LDP) for route 355
- VDL SB120 10.4m / Wright Electrocity (WHY) for route 360
- Volvo B5LH 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WHV) for route 12
- Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Plaxton President (PVL) for route 45
- Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Wright Eclipse Gemini (WVL) for routes 68, 185, 468, 624, 658 and X68
- Volvo B7TL 10.6m / Wright Eclipse Gemini (VWL) for route 185
- Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVL) for routes 12 and N68
Peckham garage was converted from a local authority maintenance depot and opened in 1994 with a capacity for 75 buses. In 2000 the garage put London's first Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL low-floor vehicles into service on route 63. Peckham won bus garage of the year in 2004, although this turned out to be a poisoned chalice for the garage, losing almost half of its work in the next year's tender awards.
- Companies House extract company no 2328565 London Central Bus Company Limited
- Bus tender results Route 625 Transport for London 18 March 2011
- Bus tender results Route 658 Transport for London 18 March 2011
- Forthcoming planned services changes londonbusroutes.net 28 May 2014
- Bus tender results Route 621 Transport for London 15 December 2006
- Bus tender results Route 621 Transport for London 28 September 2011
- Forthcoming planned services changes londonbusroutes.net 24 March 2014
- Bus tender results Route 286 Transport for London 21 November 2013
- Bus tender results Route 68/N68 Transport for London 12 August 2005
- Bus tender results Route 468 Transport for London 12 August 2005
- Bus tender results Route X68 Transport for London 12 August 2005
Media related to London Central (bus company) at Wikimedia Commons