London Buses route 185
|Vehicle||Volvo B7TL 10.1m & 10.6m / Wright Eclipse Gemini|
|Peak vehicle requirement||20|
|Night-time||No night service|
|Length||10 miles (16 km)|
|Journey time||42-90 minutes|
|Operates||04:30 until 00:30|
The original route 185 ran between Victoria station and Blackwall Tunnel south side, via the current route and Greenwich. This bus acted as a tram replacement route, at the time in which the government was trying to phase out the trams.
In 1982 the Lewisham to Blackwall Tunnel stretch was withdrawn, with the exception of peak services to Greenwich Church. In 1987 the part between Lewisham and Greenwich was completely scrapped, in favour of a shorter route. The route only had minor modifications between then and 2001, such as garage changes and the buses changing from RTLs to Titans.
Upon being re-tendered, on January 2001 the route passed from Selkent to London Easylink. However, because London Easylink had not received operators licences in time for their own buses, the Selkent buses were hired for the first few weeks. On 21 August 2002, when London Easylink went into liquidation. Blue Triangle was given the task of organising emergency cover at short notice.
A large number of operators were involved in providing replacement services, which operated every 15 minutes instead of every 10 as had been run prior to London Easylink's collapse. London Central and London General provided low-floor Volvo B7TL double-deckers amongst older vehicles, and fellow Go-Ahead Group subsidiary Metrobus also contributed. Independent operators Amber Lee, Carousel Buses, Imperial Buses, Redroute Buses and Sullivan Buses all provided vehicles made spare during the break in school terms; none had previously operated a Transport for London contracted route. Arriva London's tourist division The Original London Sightseeing Tour operated the route using closed-top MCW Metrobuses. After a month of service, First London and TfL subsidiary East Thames Buses joined the operation, while Stagecoach London operated additional journeys on route 53, which parallels the 185 over the southern section of route.
In December 2002 it was revealed that the 185 was the fifth least reliable service in London. On 5 April 2003, East Thames Buses commenced operating the route on a permanent basis. East Thames initially started operating with Caetano Compass bodied Dennis Dart SLFs, but these were soon replaced.
- Lewisham station
- Catford Bridge station
- Catford station
- Forest Hill station
- East Dulwich station
- Denmark Hill station
- Camberwell Green
- Oval station
- The Oval
- Vauxhall bus station
- Bessborough Gardens for Pimlico station
- Victoria bus station
- London Buses Route 185 London Bus Routes
- BBC News | England | Buses recalled as firm goes into bankruptcy 21 August 2002
- Passengers stranded as bus firm folds | News | Evening Standard
- Aldridge, John (November 2002). "No blinds needed, it's a 185". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (572): 15.
- Aldridge, John (December 2002). "Guess who's on the 185 now?". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (573): 15.
- BBC News | England | London | 'Worst bus route' named and shamed 2 December 2002
- Go-Ahead Acquires East Thames Buses Go-Ahead Group 30 July 2009
- Go-Ahead buys East Thames Buses Bus & Coach Professional 3 August 2009
- East Thames Buses Go-Ahead London
- Route 185 - award announced 01 July 2009 Transport for London 1 July 2009