London Buses route 2
|Vehicle||Volvo B7TL 10.6m / Alexander ALX400|
|Peak vehicle requirement||24|
|Night-time||Night Bus N2|
|Length||8 miles (13 km)|
|Journey time||38-68 minutes|
|Operates||05:00 until 01:00|
Route 2 was the last West End bus route that was operated by step-entrance buses other than AEC Routemasters. Like most low numbered routes, it was originally a cross-London service, which ran from Crystal Palace to North Finchley, later cut back to Golders Green. During peak hours it extended to Arnos Grove station via Whetstone.
At the time, route 2 ran via Herne Hill and Railton Road, whereas the current service bypasses the area, running instead along the Tulse Hill road over Brixton Hill. In the 1950s a Mondays to Saturdays service numbered 2A was introduced, which diverted from the north at West Norwood to the Rosendale (as route 2 had in the 1930s) and running via Brixton Road, Effra Road and Dulwich Road rather than Railton Road. On Sundays, service 2B from Crystal Palace to Golders Green ran, but via Tulse Hill to cover route 186, which did not run on that day. Later, when route 186 was withdrawn completely route 2B operated daily. Route 2 was also restored to North Finchley, however route 2A lost its Saturday service. In the 1950s, the route was run using AEC Regent IIIs. On 8 February 1956, the first prototype AEC Routemaster ran on route 2 between Golders Green and Crystal Palace and after undergoing modifications the following year, it passed to route 260.
By the 1980s route 2A had been withdrawn completely, and route 2 was increasingly sidelined, being withdrawn north of Baker Street from September 1982, albeit with a summer Sundays extension from there to London Zoo. Route 2B, which was more direct, took on the prominent role, although in 1986 was split with new route 82 replacing it between Baker Street and North Finchley. So route 2Bs buses had room at Baker Street to lay up, route 2 was further cut to Victoria, losing its Sunday service shortly afterwards. From 1988 part of route 2B service was renumbered 2A.
In 1990, route 2 was rerouted in Stockwell via Lansdowne Way. By 1992 routes 2A/2B has become more logical, 2A running from Crystal Palace to Brixton and 2B from West Norwood to Baker Street. The evening and Sunday service ran through as 2A. In October 1992 route 2 was re-numbered route 322 and converted to minibus operation, and route 2B and the evening/Sunday 2A became route 2. The northern terminus was altered to Marylebone station at the same time. The use of the number 2A was dropped completely around a year later. On 29 January 1994 route 2 was converted to one man operation with the AEC Routemasters replaced by Leyland Olympians and MCW Metrobuses.
In 2003, route 2 was withdrawn between Norwood garage and Crystal Palace, in connection with the introduction of the London congestion charge, with the frequency increased. At the same time the northern terminus was cut back to Baker Street to make room for route 453. On 24 March 2007, after much delay, the terminus was once again altered to Marylebone, with Hayes Place a new terminal point.
Route 2 operates via these primary locations:
- Norwood Garage
- West Norwood station
- Tulse Hill station
- Brixton station
- Stockwell station
- Vauxhall bus station for Vauxhall station
- Vauxhall Bridge
- Bessborough Gardens for Pimlico station
- Victoria station
- Hyde Park Corner station
- Marble Arch station
- Baker Street station
- Marylebone station
- "Route 2". Robert Munster. 2005-04-12. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- Reed, John (2000). London Buses: A Brief History. Capital Transport Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 9781854142337.
- Graeme Bruce, J; Curtis, Colin (1977). The London Motor Bus: Its Origins and Development. London Transport. p. 99. ISBN 0853290830.
- Reed, John (2000). London Buses: A Brief History. Capital Transport Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 9781854142337.
- Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7.
- Route 2 Map Transport for London
- Media related to London Buses route 2 at Wikimedia Commons
- London Bus Routes Route 2 gallery
- London Bus Routes Route 2A gallery
- London Bus Routes Route 2B gallery