London Buses route 197

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Bus for Caterham Valley - - 1158950.jpg
Operator Arriva London
Garage Croydon (TC)
Vehicle DAF DB250LF 10.2m / Wright Pulsar Gemini
Peak vehicle requirement 14
Start Croydon
Via Norwood Junction
Forest Hill
End Peckham
Length 10 miles (16 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 12-15 minutes
Journey time 41-71 minutes
Operates 04:45 until 00:40

London Buses route 197 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Croydon and Peckham, it is operated by Arriva London.


By 1948 route 197 was an established route running between Caterham and Norwood Junction station via Whyteleafe, Kenley, Purley, South Croydon and East Croydon station. On 5 May 1948, the AEC Regent STs were replaced by AEC Regent III RTs.

On 27 March 1971, the Sunday service was renumbered as 197B and converted to one man operation. On 5 January 1974 the daily service was also converted to one-man operation and Sunday services resumed operating as route 197.

Upon being put up for tender, the route passed to National Bus Company's London & Country subsidiary from Godstone garage on 9 August 1986. It was cut back to only operate between Croydon and Norwood Junction with the Caterham to Croydon section taken over by new routes 197A and 197B. On 28 October 1989, route was transferred to South London's Croydon garage.

Upon being re-tendered, the route was retained by Arriva London with a new contract commencing on 3 September 2005. On the same day, the route was extended from Norwood Junction to Peckham to replace part of route 312.[1] Arriva London successfully tendered to retain the route from 1 September 2012.[2]

Letter ending 197s[edit]

There were three letter prefixed numbers of the 197. Although two of them are the same numbers of different times and routes.

197A (1970-1978)[edit]

Route 197A commenced operating on 31 October 1970 between Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction via Thornton Heath garage, Croydon, East Croydon station, Addiscombe and Woodside, Addiscombe, East Croydon, and Croydon Katherine Street. It ceased on 28 October 1978

197A (1986-1991)[edit]

Route 197A commenced operating on 9 August 1986 between West Croydon station and Caterham via Croydon Park Lane, South Croydon, Purley, Kenley and Whyteleafe. It was operated by London & Country, the same company operating the original route 197. The evening service was withdrawn on 27 June 1987 and the 197B served then instead. On 28 October 1989, South London Transport took over the route and on 31 August 1991 the route was withdrawn and replaced by route 407.


Route 197B commenced operating on 27 March 1971 between Norwood Junction and Caterham Valley. It followed the same route as the main 197 route, however because of tight clearances in Addiscombe, it operated via a different toute, hence the 'B' suffix. On 6 January 1973 it was converted to double deck operation. On the 5 January 1974, the main route route 197 was converted to one man operation and also adopted the new route. Hence there was no need for the 'B' suffix with all services operating as route 197.

On 9 August 1986, route 197B was resurrected as a combined route 197/197A route on weekday evenings and early.late trips on weekends. London & Country used Leyland Titan's. On 28 October 1989, South London Transport took over the route and on 31 August 1991 the route was withdrawn.

Current route[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bus tender results Route 197 (originally tendered as 312) Transport for London 20 December 2004
  2. ^ Tender News BusTalk (Go-Ahead London) issue 13 December 2011

External links[edit]