diamond geezer

 Friday, May 23, 2008

Answer to London bus quiz (2)
From tomorrow, the lowest number not used by a London bus route won't be 135, it'll be 218. From tomorrow TfL are introducing a new bus route between Canary Wharf and the City, and they're numbering it 135. This numerical choice makes good sense, it's the lowest number currently available, and this is likely to be an important route. How often have you found yourself outside Old Street station and suddenly wanted to take the bus to the Asda superstore at Crossharbour? Well, from tomorrow, you can. The new 135 also calls in at Liverpool Street, Commercial Road and Limehouse, so you can imagine just how useful it will be. With "135" imminently taken, that'll be every single number from 1 to 200 used. Or indeed every number from 1 to 217. But not 218. There is no number 218 bus in London. Which, from tomorrow, makes 218 the lowest number not to be used by a London bus route. You never know, this random factoid might come up in a pub quiz one day, and then you'll be grateful.
But there was once a London bus route numbered 218. It ran for many decades between Kingston and Staines, out on the Surrey fringes. This was, incidentally, the last bus route in London to be operated by the classic red RF bus. [This fact probably won't come up in a pub quiz, sorry] And then, back in 1986, the 218 was transferred from London Buses to Surrey County Council. The 218 still runs today, once an hour (Sundays excepted), but it's run by Surrey and not by Boris so it doesn't count. London's lowest unused bus route number, as of tomorrow, will be 218.

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