Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The 420 and 421 Routes - not

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Bus routes that don't exist are growing in number as we move along.  We suspect that when there is a new route they usually work from the lower end of the available numbers:  there were only 3 non-routes all the way from 1 to 300.  Though when they extended the 10 they called it 390, though 310 was available.  Strange...

Anyway, the 420 used to figure on bus lists as a London Country bus, but is now clearly a Surrey bus, run by Metrobus with the funky electronic display on the front which tells you that it goes from Sutton to Redhill (or, of course, Redhill to Sutton).  Apparently in 2010 it was renamed the 820, which had been its number for school journeys since 2004

There was also a 420, a red bus, but not a Red Bus, if you follow me, which ran to Bluewater.  We Ladies who bus are always aware of the huge privilege of the Freedom Pass, but particularly so when we read how complicated other concessions are, especially  outside London 

There are several 421s.  Here’s a Kent one

Speaking of Freedom Passes, as we so often do: you may remember that when the Freedom Pass  for TfL services in London was extended to ‘all hours of the day and night’ rather than ‘after 09.30 like on the railways and elsewhere in England’, the reason the Mayor gave was ‘so that people could get to their hospital appointments’

Only one of us has ever felt ill on a bus, and that was half way along Oxford Street, and not serious.  But a bus is not a bad place to fall ill, since many buses run to and from and around hospitals. We have visited a startling number over the years of the project.  Some of them are destinations in their own right, and are on the front of the bus, like the West Middlesex Hospital, where both the 110 and 117 start or finish.  Another 'alighting only' and start point is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, destination of the 244, 291 and 469.  Hospitals can be useful places to change buses, since they have convenient facilities, and are good for people watching.

Sometimes buses call without terminating:  St Helier being an example

Other hospitals happen to be at places where buses go:  the Whittington at Archway, for example, or University College Hospital at Warren Street. 

It’s as well that buses do serve hospitals, since car parking at hospitals ranges from impossible to extremely expensive.  Though both at the Whittington and UCL there is plenty of cycle parking.


  1. Lewisham, King's College and St Thomas' (south of the river) all are on multiple routes but do not have their own bus stands like Ealing, and Queen Elizabeth's Woolwich for example. The overspent and possibly doomed Queen Mary's at Sidcup has terminating services and St George's has a rather untidy clutch of useful routes which lurk. And so on..

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