diamond geezer

 Friday, May 23, 2008

Answer to London bus quiz (1)
The lowest number not used by a London bus route is 135. There is, currently, no number 135 bus trundling around the streets of the capital. There's a 1, and a 2, and a 3, and every other number up to a 134, but there isn't a 135. There is a 135 in Manchester (it's bendy), there's even a 135 in Sydney (in Manly), but there isn't a 135 in London. There used to be a 135 here, though. London's last 135 ran between Archway and Marble Arch (ooh, very arch-y) between 1987 and 2000, after which it was withdrawn and replaced by other services. And there used to be a different 135 before that, shuttling around the Enfield area, but that was withdrawn in 1981. So there's no 135 in London today.
A couple of years ago the lowest unused London bus number wasn't 135, it was 129. The original 129 ran for decades out Ilford way, but this service came to a premature end in 2004 when the 128 took over instead. So "129" was going spare in 2006 when TfL needed a number for a brand new route in Greenwich. This particular reincarnation of the 129 travels indirectly from North Greenwich bus station to the Cutty Sark, making it one of the shortest bus routes in the capital. There are plans to extend the 129 to Peckham later this year, so this might finally become a more useful bus to catch. But, with the number 129 now plugged, London buses' lowest gap is at 135.

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