London Buses route 34
|Garage||Potters Bar (PB)|
|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.2m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||22|
|Night-time||No night service|
|End||Walthamstow Central station|
|Length||12 miles (19 km)|
|Journey time||38-71 minutes|
|Operates||04:30 until 01:30|
Route 34 commenced operation on 3 October 1934, when the London Passenger Transport Board, which had been responsible for London's buses since 1 July 1933, revised its route numbering system. Route 34, which was actually a re-numbering of route 604, ran daily between Whetstone and Stratford via Palmers Green, Walthamstow and Leyton. This was the second time that the route number 34 had been used on a London bus route.
Also introduced on 3 October 1934, was a 34A, a daily service which ran between Stratford and Chingford Mount with an irregular Monday - Saturday extension to Chingford. This route was a re-numbering of route 511.
Lastly the 34B, also introduced on 3 October 1934 was a Monday - Saturday peak hours route between Lower Edmonton station and Walthamstow via Lea Valley Viaduct and the North Circular Road. This route was previously numbered 167 and was historically part of the 76 group of routes. It remained closely linked to the 76 throughout its lifetime.
In 1936, the route ran from Whetstone through to Walthamstow and Stratford at an impressive 5 minute frequency most of the way (every 3¾ minutes on Saturdays). On 17 February 1937, route 34 was withdrawn between Leyton Green and Stratford. The route 34B journeys to Stratford, which had been introduced in 1936, were also withdrawn at this time.
As a wartime economy measure, the 34A was withdrawn after service on 31 October 1939. At the same time, the 34B was extended from Lower Edmonton station to Brimsdown via Ponders End, replacing journeys on route 69.
After the war, buses were running from New Barnet via what is now route 326 to Whetstone, and the section between the Crooked Billet and Stratford had been given over to the trolleybuses. Later, the route was extended into Barnet and to Chesterfield Road (present 184 routeing) and by the 1970s the present direct route into Barnet via Barnet Hill had been adopted, the route via New Barnet then covered by part of the 260. At the other end, buses had been restored to Walthamstow and Leyton, reaching Leytonstone from 16 June 1973. Later the route was curtailed to Walthamstow Central station.
Major rebuilding of the North Circular Road in the mid 1990s had quite an effect on route 34. As well as the building of the Woodford-Barking link, most of the road between Hanger Lane and north Walthamstow has now been upgraded. Just a few bottlenecks around Neasden, Finchley (Henly's Corner, where it crosses the A1) and New Southgate-Palmers Green remain to be done. The result is a very good road, with lots of new flyovers and underpasses constructed. Route 34 does not stick to the primary road.
However, during the construction, traffic congestion was very heavy, and it was decided to split the route into sections. It had been every 15 minutes Barnet to Walthamstow, but the new sections were Barnet to Edmonton and Arnos Grove to Walthamstow, every 20 minutes each giving a 10-minute service on the overlap. Some of the worst congestion was around Edmonton, where a huge underpass under Silver Street station and Fore Street was built. Once the North Circular works were completed, the 34 was retendered, with quite a big improvement in that buses would run every 10 minutes throughout - i.e. the overlap frequency throughout the route.
- Barnet Church
- High Barnet station
- New Southgate
- Arnos Grove station
- Palmers Green
- Edmonton Cambridge Roundabout
- North Middlesex Hospital
- Silver Street station
- Upper Edmonton
- Angel Road station
- Walthamstow Central station bus station