London Buses route 468
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|Vehicle||Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Wright Eclipse Gemini|
|Peak vehicle requirement||25|
|Night-time||Night Bus N68|
|End||Elephant & Castle|
|Length||12 miles (19 km)|
|Journey time||46-81 minutes|
|Operates||04:50 until 01:16|
At 19 miles, Route 468 is one of London's longest routes, operating between South Croydon and Elephant & Castle. Its origins lie in Route 68 which originally ran from South Croydon Garage to Chalk Farm Station.
On 12 March 1994, in line with a policy of splitting long routes into overlapping sections for improved efficiency, Route 68 was split with the southern section operating between South Croydon and Elephant & Castle and renumbered 68A.
In accordance with a subsequent policy stipulating the elimination of suffix letters from route numbers, the service was renumbered from 68A to 468 to coincide with the start of a new contract awarded to Arriva London from 27 April 1999, with operation retained by South Croydon (TC) Garage. (Historically, suffix route numbers were necessary in part due to London Transport red route numbers being limited to between 1 and 300, numbers 301 to 499 being used by green London Country services. However, deregulation of bus services removed this restriction, allowing numbers above 300 on red London area routes).
The service was initially operated by a mixture of Metrobus (M class) and Leyland Olympian (L class) vehicles. Theses were gradually replaced by low-floor-access Alexander Dennis (DLA class) vehicles with the start of the new contract in April 1999.
Upon being re-tendered, on 1 April 2006 routes 468 passed to London Central, operated by Camberwell (Q) Garage with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs. London Central retained the service when re-tendered, commencing a new contract on 2 April 2011.
7 September 2008 crash
On 7 September 2008, a Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL, working the 09:58 South Croydon to Elephant & Castle service, was involved in a collision with tram 2534 of the Tramlink system in George Street, Croydon. One person, a male in his 20s, was killed after being thrown through the top-deck front window of the bus. Six passengers and the driver of the bus were taken to hospital. Two shop fronts and a BMW car were also damaged. This bus was WVL212.
24 June 2011 crash
On 24 June 2011, WVL258, Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL, working the 23:18 Elephant & Castle to South Croydon service crashed into a shop in Denmark Hill, after the driver had a heart attack. Four passengers and the driver were taken to hospital. Thirty people were evacuated from the buildings destroyed by the crash and caused major gas repairs. WVL258 was repaired and returned to service a few weeks later.
Route 468 operates via these primary locations:
- South Croydon
- Thornton Heath station
- Upper Norwood
- West Norwood station
- Tulse Hill station
- Herne Hill station
- King's College Hospital
- Camberwell Green
- Elephant & Castle station
- Media related to London Buses route 468 at Wikimedia Commons