London Buses route 236

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Tower Transit route 236.jpg
Operator Tower Transit
Garage Lea Interchange (LI)
Vehicle Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.8m
Peak vehicle requirement 15
Start Hackney Wick
Via Homerton
London Fields
End Finsbury Park station
Length 7 miles (11 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 8-15 minutes
Journey time 33-49 minutes
Operates 03:55 until 01:41

London Buses route 236 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Hackney Wick and Finsbury Park station, it is operated by Tower Transit.


Leyland National in Stroud Green before working the final route 236 journey from this point in September 1982
First London Caetano Nimbus bodied Dennis Dart SLF in Hackney in September 2009

Route 236 traces its history back to an independently operate route 263, which commenced operation on 1 April 1926 between London Fields and Leyton via Albion Road, Victoria Park Road, Hackney Wick, Eastway, Leyton, Grove Green Road. The service was operated by four small companies, Aro, F.N., Havelock, H.H.G.

The route has always had a rather zig - zag "back street feeling", resulting from "The Restricted Streets Order" under which it was started. On 1 December 1924, a new system of route numbering on London buses came into force under The London Traffic Act of 1924. This made the Metropolitan Police responsible for bus operation and route numbering in London. The new system was designed to make route numbering easier to understand for the traveling public. To stop overbussing of some routes by Independent operators, a restricted streets order was implemented. The 263 being a prime example of how the independents got around this order.

263 group routes at that time: 263 London Fields - Leyton (Essex Cricket Ground); 263A Leyton Town Hall - Leyton (Essex Cricket Ground).

From 6 February 1929, operation of the 263 was taken over by the London General Omnibus Company with the route being extended at both ends to run from Chingford to Finsbury Park. In that year, the vehicle allocation on the route increased from 11 to 19 buses, indicating how well used it had become.

263 group routes: 263 Finsbury Park station - Chingford (Royal Forest Hotel); 263A Finsbury Park station - Leyton (Essex Cricket Ground); 263B Finsbury Park station - Chingford Mount. The 263A becoming the main Monday - Saturday route, with the 263B operating on Sundays. The plain 263 route number was never seen, being only used for journeys for the whole length of the registered route, which never ran. As from 14 December 1932. the route was shortened to run as plain 263 between Finsbury Park (Rock Street) and Leyton (Essex Cricket Ground). The suffixed routes being withdrawn at this time.

This situation remained until 3 October 1934, when the newly constituted London Passenger Transport Board instituted its own numbering system. From this date the route was renumbered 236, all single-deck bus operated routes being numbered 200+ in this numbering scheme. The routing of the 236 remained the same as the 263 between Finsbury Park (Rock Street) and Leyton (High Road) as the terminus was now known, 17 vehicles were needed to provide the service. This was the second time that the route number 236, had been used in London.

On 23 February 1938, the 236 was extended on Monday - Saturdays from Finsbury Park to Stroud Green, replacing the withdrawn route 238 over that section. Wartime economies led to reductions over this section and by the end of hostilities in 1945, buses ran on to Stroud Green only during Monday to Saturday peak times, 23/24 vehicles were allocated to the route at this time. After 12 February 1955, the Saturday Stroud Green service was also withdrawn.

The early 1960s saw many route changes on London's Buses, due to the introduction of the then fashionable "Area schemes" which were largely the result of scheduling limitations that occurred when the "five-day week" for bus crews was introduced. As from 3 March 1963, the 236 was withdrawn on Sundays, being replaced by route 210 which was extended to Leyton (High Road), running Golders Green - Leyton on that day.

In 1968 in connection with the opening of the Victoria line, a large scale re-organisation of London's buses was implemented, the first stage of which occurred on 7 September 1968. The 236 was withdrawn at this time, between Leytonstone station and Leyton (High Road) except for garage journeys onward to Leyton Green. It was replaced over this section by newly introduced route 235.

As part of the reshaping plan of London's Buses which had been proceeding since 1966, increasing numbers of routes were converted to one-person-operation. As from 24 January 1970, route 210 between Finsbury Park and Golders Green was also converted. It was felt at the time, that the route was too busy on Sundays for one person operation, due to the large numbers of passengers traveling to Hampstead Heath on that day. Consequently, the 236 was extended on Sundays to Golders Green and route 210 withdrawn completely on that day, which was a complete reversal of the previous situation.

On 17 April 1971, route 236 was converted to one-person-operation and substantially revised. The service along Victoria Park Road was withdrawn and the 236 was re-routed via Morning Lane to serve Hackney Central and Mare Street. Monday - Friday peak time services via Hackney Wick were also introduced at this time. The 236 Sunday extension to Golders Green was also withdrawn and returned to route 210. Route 236 was the last crew operated single-deck route in London.

In 1982, in an effort to increase use of the route, as well as improving connections with other routes, the 236 was re-routed to serve Newington Green as from 24 April. Later in that year, the route reached its low-point, being severely reduced to only 10 buses. The routing was simplified to operate Finsbury Park to Leytonstone station, the Stroud Green and Hackney Wick extensions disappearing.

On 6 June 1987, the route was extended from Leytonstone station to Walthamstow Central station, being further extended on Sundays as from 18 October to Chingford station via Highams Park to replace route 212. The extension was not very long-lived as the route was severely cut back as from 19 November 1988 to run between Finsbury Park and Hackney Wick, being covered between Hackney Wick and Walthamstow Central by newly introduced route W15 and between Walthamstow Central and Chingford by route 212 which was re-introduced on Sundays.

Route 236 was included in the July 1998 sale of Capital Citybus to First London.[1]

On 24 April 2004, route 236 became a 24-hour service, this was discontinued on 6 October 2012.

On 22 June 2013, route 236 was included in the sale of First London's Lea Interchange garage to Tower Transit.[2][3]

Tender History[edit]

Upon being tendered for the first time, the route passed was awarded to Capital Citybus from 25 April 1992.

Upon being re-tendered, the route was retained by First London from 30 April 2005.[4]

Current route[edit]


  1. ^ Annual Report Year Ended 31 March 1999 FirstGroup
  2. ^ First quits London bus business Bus & Coach Professional 9 April 2013
  3. ^ Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
  4. ^ Bus tender results Route 236/N236 Transport for London 23 September 2004

External links[edit]