History - 1989 to 1993



1989 � London General & South London

1989 was a stable year as far a route changes went. The year was devoid of major route change programmes due to the fragmentation of London Buses into operating units. Titans began to replace the Bexleybus DMSs during the year, with the first few Ts being repainted blue and white, and the rest staying red. The IVECO engine conversion programme was completed during the year, after 201 B20s had been converted.

The first route change to involve the DMS class was the re-introduction of the summer only Lea Valley Leisure bus route 333 on the 27th of May. This route was operated by open top DMS 2291 from Stamford Hill garage, and the route operated until the 24th of September.

The Suttonbus network was expanded from the 3rd of June, when route 200 was taken over from Kingstonbus. It was operated by Metros from an outstation at Colliers Wood, known as AA. From the 3rd of June the new Colliers Wood outstation gained a small Monday to Friday Metro allocation on the 152.

On the 2nd of September Merton lost route 57, on tender, to Norbiton and the route was converted from DMS to M. The DMS class was now considered too old to be used on newly won tendered routes. At the same time Merton also lost its Sunday only allocation on route 156, to Stockwell.

Croydon garage was successful in winning tendered routes 197, 197A, 197B and 403, which started in October. These routes were operated by L class Olympians, as was the reduced allocation on route 50, but the routes were not put onto the blinds of the DMSs at TC.

Changes to the night bus routes took place on the night of the 27th of October, when new route N69, operating from Brixton garage, was introduced.



1990 - Croydon area network

On the 6th of January Brixton lost route 133. London General won the new tender, which was operated by new VC class Volvo Citybuses from Stockwell garage. Brixton made up for its loss with new allocations on route 159 (Sunday only) and route 250. Two new minibus routes were introduced on the same day, the 366 being of interest as Croydon had a Monday to Friday double-deck allocation.

Merton gained a Sunday only DMS allocation on route 19 after a re-shuffle of central London routes on the 24th of February. DMS operation at Bexleyheath also ceased on the same day.

Peak hour only route 389 was taken over by London & Country on the 31st of March, though the route was withdrawn the following month.

Changes to the 88 and 155, on the 28th of April, resulted in Merton operating new route 355. Merton had gained its first Metros in March. London General also gained the 196 from London & Country. Stockwell operated the route; the initial allocation being DMS, with VCs taking over at weekends from the 6th of May. The route was fully converted to VC by July. The late delivery of the VCs caused a DMS shortage within London General. The unusual step was taken of re-instating withdrawn standard DMSs, which had been used at Bexleyheath and Norbiton, to service at Merton. The ex Bexleyheath buses were still in the Bexleybus livery of blue and white. Bizarrely, they had their fronts painted red only and a grey skirt applied. These standards were withdrawn by the 12th of May.


DMS2109
DMS2109 is seen leaving the Colliers Wood base on the 5th of May

The Lea Valley Leisure bus operated between the 27th of May and the 23rd of September, with DMS2291 from Stamford Hill.

The first stage of the Croydon area network took place on the 21st of July. South London had won routes 50, 60, 64 (Sundays only), 250 and 264, which were operated by L class Olympians from Thornton Heath. TH retained DMSs for routes 59, 64 (Mondays to Saturdays) and 194B. Night routes N69 and N78 were transferred from Brixton to Thornton Heath. The allocations at TH were not strict, with Ls being used on non-tendered routes at weekends and DMSs straying onto the tendered routes. TH lost the 109 to Streatham, which gained a small DMS allocation. AK also gained the Brixton Sunday allocation on the 137. Brixton lost its Metros and its allocation on the 250. Sunday only route 190 at Croydon was withdrawn.

On the last two days of route 12B, Sunday the 26th and Bank Holiday Monday the 27th of August, special double deck journeys were operated. The route had been single deck due to a low bridge, but the bridge had since been removed

The second stage of the Croydon area network took place on the 1st of September. The aforementioned 12B, and the Monday to Saturday 12A, were replaced by new route 312, which was L operated from TH, but with the occasional DMS. Route 166 was introduced on Sundays to replace part of the 12B. The Sunday allocation of route 64 was converted from L to DT class minibuses. To balance the allocations, Croydon gained the Monday to Friday TH allocation on the 59, while TH converted the Sunday allocation from DMS to L. LS route 255 at Croydon was converted to DMS at the same time.

The new contracts on the Kingston area network commenced on the 29th of September. The troubled Kingstonbus operation didn�t fair very well, losing the 65, 85 and 213. The 71 was retained and was now fully Metro operated. Route 213 was won by Suttonbus, which received some of the newer Metros to operate it and its offshoot, the 413. The Suttonbus outstation at Colliers Wood gained route 163 from Sutton and some DMSs, which would also appear on route 152.


DMS711
The sun is setting on DMS711, outside Sutton garage, on the 27th of September. It was the last DMS in service at NB and was withdrawn in early October.


1991 � Wandsworth area network

Route 95 was withdrawn on the 2nd of February and the Brixton allocation on route 109 was transferred to Streatham. New opo route 137A was introduced to replace the southern section of the 137, and to replace the route completely on Sundays and in the evenings. The 137A was worked by Streatham on Sundays and by Brixton on Mondays to Saturdays. On the 23rd of February the Suttonbus outstation at Colliers Wood (AA) became an outstation of Merton. AA operated routes 152 and 163 with DMS and M types.


DMS2327
DMS2327 on route 137A on the 2nd of February, oppersite it's home garage (BN)

On the 2nd of March the Sunday allocation on route 156 was transferred from Stockwell to Merton.

The new Wandsworth area network was introduced on the 25th of May. London General was successful in winning all the tenders, which meant the end of DMS operation at Stockwell. Routes 37, 49 (transferred from Merton and Streatham), 77A, 77C, 88 (on Sundays) and new route 337 became M operated at SW. Merton lost its Sunday allocation on route 19 in favour of a new Sunday only allocation on route 22. Routes 44, 77, 163, 219, 280 and new routes 270 and 344 became M operated at Merton, with limited DMS operation. The Monday to Saturday allocation of route 156 was transferred from Stockwell to Merton and the route was converted to DR midibuses. Route 170 was also converted to DR but remained at Stockwell. Streatham also lost its DMS allocation. Routes 118 and 137A were converted to M and the allocation on the 59 was transferred to Brixton, which lost its three Dennis Dominators, all the opo buses at BN now being Fleetlines. The day after, summer only DMS route 333 commenced, and operated until the 22nd of September.

Route 189 at Brixton was withdrawn for the school holidays on the 19th of July, which was to be the last time the route was DMS operated.


DMS2307
DMS2307 in Clapham Park Road on the 18th of July

Route 413 and the Sunday allocation on the 151 at Sutton were converted to MRL minibuses on the 31st of August.

On the 22nd of November Ash Grove and Walthamstow garages closed, resulting in many Titans being transferred to Brixton and Croydon to replace DMSs. The following day school route 345 was transferred to North Street (Romford) garage, which used D 2600, along with Titans. Route 152 was converted to MRL operation on the 30th of November, from Merton garage, and the Sutton allocation was withdrawn.

The last four Fleetlines at Brixton were replaced during December, while Merton was left with only one DMS, which left in January.



1992 � The End

The final year of DMS operation started with the class in large numbers at Sutton, Croydon and Thornton Heath. Stamford Hill had six, including open top DMS2291, for special duties and contract work. Holloway also had two for contact work. D2600 was at North Street for school work and Merton had DMS2406, which was withdrawn on the 20th of January.

The large Thornton Heath DMS allocation was removed in one clean sweep on the 14th of March. Routes 50, 60, 250, 264, 312, N69 and N78 at Thornton Heath were converted from DMS/L to T/L, and the TC and TH allocations on the 59 were withdrawn. Croydon routes 194A, 194B and 366 were withdrawn and the allocations on routes 166 and 194 lost under re-tendering. Croydon gained an allocation on the 109, but the few remaining Fleetlines stayed mainly on the 68, 130 and X30.

The Sutton Fleetlines were gradually replaced during the year until just D2646 was left, its final day of operation being the 18th of June.

Summer only route 333 was operated by DMS2291 from the 28th of June until the 6th of September.

At Croydon, DMS2480 and 2494 were withdrawn, while D2633 became a special events vehicle in October. This left just DMS2438 still in service at the year�s end.



1993 � Finale

DMS2438 worked a special one day only route, the 459, on the 2nd of January to mark the 22nd anniversary of DMS operation. DMS2438 continued in service at Croydon until the 21st of January, and then that really was the end.






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1986 to 1988
1989 to 1993





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