History - 1983 to 1985

1983 - Golden Jubilee

1983 was London Transport's Golden Jubilee year. DMS 1933 at Thornton Heath was re-classified DS 1933, as it would be used on crew and opo routes, and repainted into a 1933 livery.

DS1933 drawing by Ian SmithDS 1933
DS 1933 in 1933 style livery - drawing by Ian Smith.

D 2629 at Croydon was painted into a brown and cream livery to commemorate 100 years of Croydon Corporation and 50 years of London Transport, gaining the nickname �The chocolate box�. D 2593 at Sutton gained a gold relief band and also operated at Croydon and Merton. These three buses were all based in Wandle District, but DMS 1983 at Chalk Farm was not selected for any special treatment.

D 2593 - drawing by Ian Smith
D 2593 with gold relief - drawing by Ian Smith.

The first route changes of the year occurred on the 29th of January when new DMS route 283 was introduced at Shepherds Bush garage. The Fleetlines in Abbey District were being replaced by new Metrobuses, with routes 85 and 264 at Putney being converted from the 25th of February until the 9th of July. In Selkent district the Fleetlines were replaced by new Titans, Bexleyheath garage undergoing conversion from the 7th of March until the 21st of July.

Route 137A operated on Easter Sunday with DMSs from Battersea, while the following month Battersea lost its Fleetlines. The stronghold of the DMS was now Wandle District, and changes in South London on the 23rd of April saw route 60 converted from RM to DMS, route 190 converted from RM to DMS on Sundays only, routes 77B and M1 withdrawn and new DMS route 156 introduced. Route 93 was converted from crew D to opo D / DMS and there were allocation changes on route 157. On the same day Holloway lost its allocation on route 263, with the route operated by Metros from Potters Bar.

Route 39 at Battersea went over to Metro in May, between the 6th and 27th. The last route to be DM operated, the 18, started to be operated by newer buses on the 27th of June. Westbourne Park received Metros and 6 Titans for a trial, similar to that carried out at Sidcup the previous year. The last day of DM operation at Westbourne Park was the 19th of September, after which DMs were then only used on the Round London Sightseeing Tour. DM 2559, however, was transferred to the service vehicle fleet in September for use as a mobile survey unit. After Bexleyheath had been converted, new Titans started to appear at Catford, on the 25th of July, though this phased conversion was not completed until the following February.

In Abbey District, Shepherds Bush started to replace its DMSs with Metros on the 31st of August. The displaced B20s went to Wandle District to replace the Standards. This conversion was completed by the 23rd of November. Also during November, New Cross recieved Titans and Wandsworth gained Metros for DMS replacement. Both phased conversions were to last into February 1984. In October, DM 948 was converted to open top at Aldenham as a demonstrator for bus sales, while the following month DM 1102 was also converted. By the end of the year the standard DMS was all but gone from service. Thornton Heath still had its special events bus, DS 1933, eleven Fleetlines at New Cross were still to be replaced, Holloway still had a D and a DMS, and Croydon had two standards left in service. One of these was DMS 2205, which was to out last all the others due to its experimental Maxwell gearbox.

1984 - London Regional Transport

London Regional Transport was formed on the 26th of June and took over from the London Transport Executive three days later, this being part of the government�s plan to abolish the G.L.C.

On 4th of February new Sunday only route 127A was introduced as a replacement for the 234A, with DMS at TC, while the 127 was transferred to TC and converted from LS to DMS. At Sutton new DMS route 151 was introduced and route 213A was renumbered 213. The conversion of the DMS routes at Catford and New Cross was completed on the 13th and 20th of February respectively. After the withdrawal of the Standard non-B20 buses at New Cross, only DS1933 at TH and DMS2205 at TC remained in normal service. DS1933 was delicensed on the 5th of March but was later re-licensed for use on the Wimbledon Tennis service. DMS2205 was retained due to its experimental Maxwell gearbox. The progressive conversion of the DMS routes at Wandsworth to M was completed on 21st of March.

DMS2337 at Worcester Park Station on 20-9-84

On the night of 13th of April ten new night routes were introduced, three of which were DMS operated � N2 and N11 at Victoria, N78 at Brixton and Thornton Heath. Brixton lost its allocation on route N87 and at Stockwell the route was converted from crew to opo DMS. The N92 at Holloway was also converted from crew to opo DMS.

Holloway started to convert its DMS routes to M on 8th of May, the routes affected being 104, 214, 271, N92 and N93. This gradual conversion was not completed until the following March. Two open top DMs, 948 and 1102, were allocated to Catford for use on the Thames Barrier sightseeing route.

D2634 at Finsbury Square on 1-9-84

DMS 1 was donated to the London Transport Museum in June. From the 4th of July the Round London Sightseeing Tour began to be operated by Metrobuses that were also used on Victoria�s new night routes, N2 and N11, from the 12th. This conversion was completed on the 1st of August. The next route to lose its DMSs was the 46 at Chalk Farm, the phased conversion to M starting on the 30th of August and finishing on the 27th of October. Route 190 at Croydon, which was already opo DMS on Sundays, started a progressive conversion from RM to crew D between the 19th and 27th of October. Also on the 27th of October the rebuilt Norwood garage re-opened and Streatham garage was closed for rebuilding, with route 249 being transferred to Clapham garage and converted to M. At the same time TH lost its allocation on route N78.

Route 77A at Stockwell started a phased conversion from RM to crew D on 16th of November, with this conversion still ongoing at the end of the year. Three days later Brixton started a phased conversion of routes 50, 95 and N87 from DMS to M. The displaced buses were used to start the conversion of routes 109 and 133 from RM to crew D.

On 1st of December route 77 at Stockwell started its conversion from RM to crew D on Saturdays and Sundays. The following day, route 159 at Brixton was converted from RM to crew D on Sundays only.

1985 - Tendering

From 1st April a new subsidiary of LRT was formed: London Buses Limited (LBL). Aldenham and Chiswick works became part of Bus Engineering Limited (BEL), another subsidiary of LRT. During the year advert frames were fitted to the B20s, which resulted in the nearside blind box being panelled over. After the withdrawal of the last B20s at HT in March, the class was wholly operated in Wandle district, with the exception of the open toppers and private hire buses in Selkent district. Two special liveries were lost, when DS1933 was sold and D2629 was repainted red during the year.

A large route change programme occurred on 4th of February. Many routes were converted to opo, including the 190 at TC which was converted from crew D to opo DMS Mondays to Saturdays, the route already being opo DMS on Sundays. New route 59, DMS at TH, was introduced and resulted in a curtailment of route 109 and the withdrawal of the Sunday only route 166A at TC. TC gained the Sunday allocation of route 157 to make up for its loss on the 166A. Brixton gained a Saturday allocation on route 159, which was crew D operated. BN already had a Sunday crew D allocation on the route, though this was to be short lived as, by the 31st March, the BN allocation was back to RM. On the same day, experimental vehicles at Stockwell were introduced on the Monday to Saturday only route 170 and on the 44 on Sundays, replacing DMSs, although the following month DMS2377 (newly fitted with a more modern dashboard) joined the experimental vehicles at SW. Metrobuses were introduced to Croydon from 14th of February on routes 127, 127A, 130, 130B, 157, 166, 190 and 197, though all these had a mixed DMS and M allocation, however. Croydon was destined to keep its DMSs to the end. The progressive conversion of the Holloway routes from DMS to M was completed on 21st of March, the routes in question being 104, 214, 271, N92 and N93.

The second large route change programme occurred on 27th of April. At Elmers End garage the Sunday only allocation on route 54 was lost in favour of a new Sunday only allocation on route 75. Also at ED, new Sunday only DMS route 194A was introduced. At Croydon, DMS route 234 was withdrawn and replaced by an extended route 127. The allocations on route 293 were changed, Merton gaining a new Monday to Saturday allocation and Sutton losing its Monday to Friday allocation, this serving to make up for an increase of work on the 280 at Sutton. The 155 at Merton was also converted from RM to crew D.

The first routes to be put out to competitive tender were started on the 13th of July. One of these was the 81, which, having been won by London Buslines, was operated using secondhand ex-London DMSs in a yellow livery!

The next round of route changes was on 3rd of August, with more routes going over to opo, one of them being the 77A at SW, which was converted from RM to DMS and the experimental types. Crew Ds at SW also started to be used on the 77. DMS2456 was also returned to SW during the month, following a major body rebuild/modification at the Chiswick experimental shop.

The last big route change programme of the year was on 2nd of November, although the only conversion to involve Fleetlines was the 133 at BN, which was converted from crew D and RM to opo D and M.

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