London Buses route 157

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Abellio London 9030 on Route 157, West Croydon Bus Station.jpg
Operator Abellio London
Garage Beddington Cross (BC)
Vehicle Volvo B7TL 10.6m / Wright Eclipse Gemini
Peak vehicle requirement 16
Night-time No night service
Start Crystal Palace
Via Norwood Junction
St Helier
End Morden station
Length 12 miles (19 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 12–20 minutes
Journey time 46-83 minutes
Operates 05:00 until 01:30

London Buses route 157 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Crystal Palace and Morden station, it is operated by Abellio London.


AEC Regent III RT in Morden in April 1973

Route 157 commenced operating on 13 September 1926 as a daily service between Morden station and Wallington (Melbourne Hotel) via Morden Road, Bishopsford Road, Sutton and Carshalton. It was one of five new "Underground feeder" routes (155 156, 157, 164 and 165) that were introduced to connect to the new Northern line station at Morden, which also opened on 13 September 1926. Three single-deck AEC K-type buses were needed to provide the service. This was the third time that the route number 157 had been used on a motor-bus route in London. Just twelve days later on 25 September 1926, the 157 was re-routed to serve St Helier Avenue. The route must have been well patronised as from 18 March 1927 it was double-decked with 3 AEC NS-type buses being allocated.

On 1 April 1931, route 157 was again re-routed between Morden and Sutton, this time via the Sutton-by-Pass (today's Reigate Avenue) and Collingwood Road. This routing was changed again as from 28 February 1934 when it was diverted to serve Angel Hill. Less than a month later, as from 25 March 1934, route 157 became a Monday to Saturday only route when the Sunday service was withdrawn. On 16 January 1935, the routing was again changed, this time it was diverted at Rose Hill via Wrythe Lane and North Street to Carshalton, with the route becoming a daily service again, as well as being extended from Morden Station to Raynes Park via South Merton as from 27 February 1935.

In 1954 the AEC Regent III RT buses replaced the D Type vehicles that had been allocated to the route since 1945. On 4 March 1959 in the first stage of London Transport's trolleybus replacement scheme the service was extended to Crystal Palace, replacing trolleybus route 654. In 1964 Carshalton garage closed, and a new Saturday service was introduced. In 1970 a Sunday service was added to the route, but this didn't last long as later in the year the Sunday service between Morden and Raynes Park was terminated, as only Monday-Saturday and early Sunday morning services were still keeping the original route.

On 12 May 1973, along with the mostly parallel Route 154 (Morden-Crystal Palace via Sutton), Route 157 was converted to One Man Operation with Daimler Fleetlines.

On 25 April 1981, the vehicle allocation was increased to compensate for the withdrawal of Route 154 between West Croydon and Crystal Palace. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, operation of the route involved the garages at Merton, Sutton, South Croydon and Thornton Heath in various and frequently revised permutations, with at least three of them involved across the week at any given period.

Through its allocation at South Croydon from 2 February 1985, the service benefitted from the newer vehicles deployed to that garage, initially new (although ultimately short-lived) MCW Metrobuses in 1985 and Leyland Olympians in 1987.

In November 1988, with the creation of Sutton Bus as a tendered unit, Route 157 settled into single-garage operation, based at Sutton Garage and operated by D/DMS B20 class. From the same date, the journeys beyond Morden Station to Raynes Park were withdrawn, this section of road transferring to Route 164.

In November 1991, Metrobus (M class) vehicles made spare from elsewhere in London began to reappear on Route 157 as they started to replace the D/DMS B20 fleet at Sutton, a process which was completed in Spring 1992.

By 1997, the Sutton Bus brand had disappeared and Sutton Garage was now in the hands of London General following privatisation of the London bus divisions. London General won the tender to continue operating all the Sutton services, including Route 157. The routes were originally going to be operated by refurbished Metrobuses, but the refurbishment project was cancelled, and 58 new Northern Counties Volvo Olympians (NV class) vehicles were added onto an order for London Central. These were delivered in batches between January 1997 and January 1998, with some Metrobuses still retained upon delivery completion.

Upon being re-tendered, Route 157 passed to Connex's Beddington Cross garage on 1 December 2001 with Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2s. It was included in the sale of the business to Travel London in February 2004[1]

Upon being re-tendered, it was retained by Travel London with a new contract commencing on 2 December 2006.[2] Route 157 was included in the May 2009 sale of Travel London to Abellio London.[3][4] The route was retained by Abellio London, with a new contract commencing on 3 December 2011 with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs introduced.

Current route[edit]


External links[edit]