London Buses route 117
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.2m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||8|
|Start||West Middlesex University Hospital|
|Length||10 miles (16 km)|
|Journey time||41-75 minutes|
|Operates||05:30 to 00:34|
Route 117 commenced operating on 16 April 1916 as a Sunday-only service from Heston-Hounslow station via Bedfont and Staines to Egham. The section between Hounslow and Staines would later become route 116. It was withdrawn after 9 July 1916. It ran again on Sundays from 13 April 1919, and was extended on 8 June 1919 to Virginia Water. This extension was withdrawn on 16 November and the whole route was withdrawn after 28 December 1919.
On 2 April 1920 the route was reintroduced on Sundays between Heston-Hounslow station and Virginia Water, and on 30 June 1920 it began daily operation. From 14 July 1920 the Hounslow terminus was changed to Hounslow garage. The section between Egham and Virginia Water was withdrawn on 20 October 1920, but was reinstated in the summers of 1921 and 1922.
Between 27 July 1921 and 3 January 1922 the route had a long eastward extension: via Isleworth, St Margarets, Richmond, Sheen, Putney, and Wandsworth to Clapham Common. On Saturdays and Sundays until 11 December 1921 route 117A ran between Ascot and Clapham Common.
On 4 January 1922, route 117 was reorganised to run daily from Hounslow garage to Egham via Feltham, Ashford and Staines. From 31 May 1922 route 117A ran between Hounslow and Virginia Water daily via Bedfont, and on to Ascot at weekends. From 11 October 1922 route 117A ran between Hounslow Garage and Staines via Bedfont, and on to Ascot on summer Sundays.
Between 11 July 1926 and 10 October 1926, route 117 had another venture eastwards. This time it was just on Sundays and went via London Road, Spur Road, Syon Lane, Great West Road, Chiswick High Road, and Hammersmith, to Shepherds Bush.
On 1 February 1928 the route was extended from Windsor to Slough via Eton. From 11 May 1932 on weekdays the route ran in two sections: Hounslow to Egham and Staines to Slough. On 19 February 1933 the Sunday service was withdrawn between Windsor and Slough. On 1 March 1933 the weekday section between Staines and Slough was renumbered 417 and became a "country" route.
On 14 August 1935, the route ran between Hounslow and Staines daily, and on to Windsor via Runnymede on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. On 30 September 1935 the extension beyond Staines was withdrawn. From 6 April 1936 to 21 November 1939 the route ran daily between Hounslow and Virginia Water. From 22 November 1939 to 1962 route 117 ran between Hounslow and Egham. An extension to Virginia Water (this time numbered 117A) ran on summer Sundays in 1946, 1947 and 1948, and on summer Saturday afternoons in 1946 and 1947. At its peak in the early 1950s, Saturday afternoon services ran 18 times an hour between Hounslow and Staines, with six an hour going on to Egham.1 On weekdays the service was much less intensive, with alternate buses running only as far as Lower Feltham.
In 1962 trolleybus route 657 from Hounslow to Shepherd's Bush was withdrawn. Route 117 was doubled in length to run to Shepherd's Bush on Mondays to Saturdays (the replacement on Sundays was route 81B). At the same time the Egham to Staines section was withdrawn on Sundays.
On 19 July 1975 the Egham to Staines section was withdrawn completely. The Brentford to Shepherd’s Bush section was transferred to route 237 on 28 January 1978 and route 117 was converted to driver-only operation. The Hounslow to Brentford section was not covered in the evenings or at weekends.
On 10 August 1981, the Saturday service was extended to Brentford. The Sunday service followed on 27 November 1993. From 31 August 1996 the service was withdrawn east of the London Road junction with Thornbury Road in Isleworth. Hounslow bus station had severe capacity constraints, and this was the first point east of there that buses could be reversed. On 1 September 2001 the route was extended further along London Road, then via St John's Road and Twickenham Road to West Middlesex University Hospital.
On 9 August 1986 the route was transferred to Westlink. Upon being tendered, on 10 August 1991 it passed to Tellings-Golden Miller with a fleet of ex Midland Fox Leyland Nationals. Tellings-Golden Miller pulled out of bus operations quickly, and route 117 passed to London & Country on 23 February 1992.
Upon being re-tendered, on 31 August 1996 the route passed to Armchair Passenger Transport and withdrawn between Isleworth and Brentford. Armchair successfully tendered to retain the route with a new contract commencing on 1 September 2001. It was extended from Isleworth to West Middlesex University Hospital at the same time with new Plaxton Pointer 2 bodied Dennis Dart SLFs.
Route 117 was included in the November 2004 sale of Armchair to ComfortDelGro. Armchair were awarded a further contract from 2 September 2006. On 6 January 2007 ComfortDelGro merged Armchair into its Metroline subsidiary.
Route 117 operates via these primary locations:
- West Middlesex University Hospital
- St John's Road for Isleworth station
- Hounslow High Street
- Hounslow Heath
- North Feltham
- Feltham for Feltham station
- Ashford station
- Staines station
- Staines bus station