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Route 297: Willesden to Ealing Broadway (Timelapse Video)

Route 297 runs between Willesden Bus Garage and Ealing Broadway Station, serving Wembley, Alperton and Perivale in the process.

The route is operated by Metroline from Perivale Bus Garage. The route is 9 miles long and has a Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR) of 16.

Ex-Metroline Demonstrator VWH1469 BF63HDG having just completed a trip from Willesden.

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London Recap - July 2015

July is typically the month that signals the start of a lot of things, garage open days, where many enthusiasts can come together to appreciate the hobby on one-accord, similar to a church choir, or the peak in the hay-fever season which makes carrying tissues essential , not forgetting the joys of having a stream flowing from your nose. But here at the Circle of London, this July signalled the ever closer one millionth hit, something which really justifies the work we do and our levels of consistency. Typical of July, the bus scene was booming with action, so lets take a look and see what July had for us to offer.

With Hampton Court Flower Show and Wimbledon Tennis overlapping this year it meant that some extra vehicles would be needed to run both services.
Hampton Court Flower Show Shuttles:

NV171 (Now preserved by the Bromley Bus Preservation Group) was returned to its former owner to work on the Hampton Court Flower Show Shuttles and is seen in glorious weather in the village of East Molesey on 05/07/15 (Taken by Kristian Lake)

Former Metroline VW1469 is seen powering along the Hurst Road alongside the River Thames having been acquired by Go-Ahead London along with Ex Arriva VGD1. (Taken on 05/07/15 by Kristian Lake) 

Wimbledon Tennis:

Meanwhile at Wimbledon, a number of the Enviro 400's which had been used on the Route 135 for the past month (covering until Enviro 400 MMC's arrived) where pressed into service with out blinds in the case, on the various shuttle services to and from Wimbledon Tennis, they have since moved on to a number of other garages around London to cover for roadworks and refurbishments. (Taken on 05/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

Latests NBFL Adverts:

LT97 is seen at Marble Arch on the Route 390, this was one of the first buses to receive the new bPay advert livery (Taken on 05/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

Green Bus
LT538 is seen on Park Lane at Marble Arch while working on the Route 73 to Victoria. (Taken on 01/08/15 by Kristian Lake)

Tube Strike Extra's:

This month saw the biggest Tube Strike for over 10 years and it was reliant on extra buses being provided to move as many people as possible, in reality around 100 extra buses where provided and here we see two Stephensons of Essex Optare Olympus's at Holborn while working on the Route 25. (Taken on 09/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

Potters Bar Garage Open Day
The first garage open day of year traditionally takes place at Metroline's Potters Bar Garage located just outside the LT boundary zone, even though two TFL bus routes operate there. It is also a short ride out of Barnet on Metroline's Commercial Route 84/84A and you may even be lucky enough to get a TP/TPL, a dying breed in TFL land now.

Brief Garage History
The Garage itself celebrates 85 years in operation this year, having been opened back in May 1930. The Garage has seen many different types of buses over the years and this year it hold the largest number of buses in its history (171 buses based at PB with 10 outstations at South Mimms)

Arguably the main attraction for many people was the brand new Wright Streetlite (exclusively revealed here a few weeks), it has now been branded for the new Route 714 to Luton Airport which it should see use on. (Taken 11/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

DES794 a recent repaint into Commercial Colours is seen blinded for the Route PB1. (Taken 11/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

As with all open days, inside the garage was filled with heritage vehicles and stalls. (Taken 11/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

Not all of the garage was open to the public as PB has a lot of buses running in and out all day for driver changes. (Taken 11/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

As part of the open day, Sullivan Buses also operated three tours to there bases at North Mymms and South Mimms, showing off the various buses which where not out on a big Rail Replacement job that weekend.
ALX 5 is seen alongside DPS575 at Sullivan Buses North Mymms Engineering Base. (Taken 11/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

TAL123, TPL927 and TN1 are seen at Sullivan Buses South Mimms Base. (Taken 11/07/15 by Kristian Lake)
Metroline Transfers

Metroline West VP476 is seen negotiating the mini roundabout at Uxbridge Station following its transfer to its new garage. 
Following the introduction of up to 34 VWHs at their Willesden Garage, Metroline took the opportunity to rehouse 9 of these vehicles to 'west' garage Uxbridge to help oust the TP class there although some have remained temporarily for the London Overground/Underground shuttle Route 558 which will run from Cricklewood.

As detailed in our CELF Centre Part 50 post, the introduction of MMs on the E8 commenced on the 29th of July with the first journey completed by MM783. At present 5 MMs have transferred from West Perivale to the nearby Brentford base following the early double-deck conversion of Route 90. Little is known about whether they will form the basis of the up and coming tender bid for the route, however their introduction to the base has been supplemented by some DEs from Cricklewood.

Introduction of Stagecoach Enviro 400 MMC's Diesels from NS

July has seen the introduction of seven Diesel Enviro 400 MMC's at Stagecoach's Romford North Street Garage for the route 498 recently won from Go-Ahead London. (Taken 20/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

Introduction of Stagecoach Enviro 200 MMC's Diesels from NS

Another recent tender win for Stagecoach at Romford was the Route 499 between Gallows Corner and Heath Park Estate, won from Arriva Kent Thameside. (Taken on 31/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

Introduction of Go-Ahead Wright Streetlites

A surprise introduction this month was these brand new Wright Streetlites, fitted with Damiler Engines and Flywheels. They will be gradually replacing the slightly older vehicles which will be returning to Wrightbus. (Taken 25/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

The final farewell to the DLA class

It is expected that July will see the end of the operational fleet of DLA's in London, with only two remaining at Palmers Green as School Buses and three south of the river at Thornton Heath. However as the schools have now finished they are likely to be withdrawn any day now. Contrary to this, Garston will continue to operate small numbers of the class, however, they are not technically, 'DLAs' as they are numbered in the Arriva Shires fleet system. (Taken 25/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

End of Month Tender Changes
Uno - Route 383

We have also seen a new company start to infiltrate TfL services this month, Uno or University Bus took over the Route 383 between Barnet and Woodside Park from Metroline. Using Brand New 8.8m Enviro 200's. 602 is seen at High Barnet on the first day in service. (Taken 25/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

London Sovereign - Route 326

Another company expanding this month is London Sovereign as they take over the Route 326 between Barnet and Brent Cross which will use refurbished Enviro 200's from London United. One such bus DE16 is seen on Station Road near New Barnet. (Taken 25/07/15 by Kristian Lake)

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Route 303: Edgware to Colindale Superstores (Timelapse Video)

Route 303 runs between Edgware Bus Station to Colindale Superstores, serving Mill Hill and Grahame Park in the process.

The route is operated by Arriva the Shires from Garston Bus Garage. The route is 4 miles long and has a Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR) of 6.

Arriva 5448 SN08AAE having just completed a trip from Edgware.
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