Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith, best on Netscape 800*600.
This page created 15th August 2001, updated 20th August 2002.

Details of entry into service

This page is due almost entirely to Paul Watson, from whom most of the data has been lifted (at his request).

Into service: 1970-71

London Transport placed an order for the first batch of seventeen DMSs in 1968, but found itself in a queue. The Fleetline was a popular chassis all over the country. It was to be late in 1970 before DMS1 appeared. London Transport had expected to be able to evaluate the first batch before ordering more, but waits of this magnitude meant that it had to order more buses, 100 in 1969 for 1970, and 250 in 1970 for 1971 - before DMS1 was delivered.

DMS 1 and DMS2 appeared at the Commercial Motor Show at Earl's Court in September 1970, appearing for Park Royal and Daimler respectively (both sporting British Leyland badges for the occasion).
London Transport received DMS 1 immediately after the show, followed by DMS2-11, 16-25 in October, and DMS 26-50 in November, and the missing numbers (except for DMS14) plus DMS 51-72 and 74 in December. They went variously into store or into intensive training as mechanical trainers, driver trainers, route surveyors and decimal currency trainers.

Construction details, DMS1-117.

Their service debut was in January 1970, on routes 95 from Brixton and 220 and Shepherds Bush garages, followed by the 271 from Highgate and the 189 from Merton.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
02 Jan 71 S Shepherds Bush 220 Tooting - Harlesden / Park Royal RM - DMS
02 Jan 71 BN Brixton 95 Tooting Broadway - Cannon Street Stn.(- Aldgate (Sun mkt)) RM - DMS
16 Jan 71 HT Highgate 271 Highgate Village - Moorgate RML - DMS
30 Jan 71 AL Merton 189 Clapham Common - Raynes Park RT - DMS

It was appropriate that three of the routes were in "Daimlerland", happy hunting ground of London Transport's previous Daimlers, while the other, the 271, was one of the routes used in the XF trials. The routes chosen also demonstrated the intention to replace RMs and RTs. The spread of garages also showed that LT had learned some lessons from the Merlin big-bang fiasco (of major reorganisation plus new buses on a large scale).

Conversions continued in March, when Cricklewood converted the 32, followed by route 5 in April at Poplar and West Ham. This used up the remainder of the first two batches (DMS1-117), apart from those allocated to Chiswick for experimenting.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
13 Mar 71 W Cricklewood 32 Kilburn Park Stn - Edgware Stn. RM - DMS
17 Apr 71 PR Poplar
WH West Ham
5 Bloomsbury - Blackwall Tunnel (N) (-East Ham). RM - DMS

Preserved DMS132 at Stoke d'Abernon, RF Running Day, October 1997.

1971-2: the third batch: white band DMS118-367

The batch of 250 buses was delivered between June 1971 and March 1972. They went to a wide variety of routes and garages: some suburban, some through London. It was mostly RMs and RTs that were displaced, although a new move in February 1972 saw the replacement of Merlins and Swifts, allowing these to be redistributed to cover failures elsewhere in the fleet. May 1972 saw two night routes converted (the N85 and N86 from Peckham). June 1972 saw new routes for the class, with Wandsworth's 168B and Barking's 199: the Sunday-only 168B was the same as the weekday 168, but was numbered differently because it used a opo fare-scale!

Construction details, DMS118-367.

DMS132 has been preserved in white-band livery. Here it is at Stoke d'Abernon in October 1997.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
24 Jul 71 BN Brixton 50 Stockwell Stn - Thornton Heath (- Croydon) RT - DMS
24 Jul 71 WD Wandsworth 170 Wandsworth - Aldwych (pks-Euston Stn) RT - DMS
18 Sep 71 FW Fulwell
V Turnham Green
267 Hampton Court - Hammersmith RM - DMS
new DMS
16 Oct 71 WL Walworth 184 Brockley Stn - Elephant & Castle(Sun - Vic.Embankment) RT/RM - DMS
6 Nov 71 BX Bexleyheath 96 Dartford - Woolwich RT - DMS
4 Dec 71 TH Thornton Heath 64 Addington - Tooting Broadway RM - DMS
4 Dec 71 SF Stamford Hill 67 Stamford Hill - London Docks (- Wapping Stn.) RML - DMS
8 Jan 72 TL Catford 124/A Forest Hill - Welling (124) (124pks-Woolwich) - Bexley Hosp (Sun pm 124A) RM - DMS
8 Jan 72 AW Abbey Wood
NX New Cross
177 Abbey Wood - Elephant & Castle (early - Farringdon ) RT/RM - DMS
5 Feb 72 AF Putney 85 Putney Br.Stn - Kingston Stn. SMS - DMS
5 Feb 72 ON Alperton 297 Willesden - Perivale MB - DMS
13 May 72 PM Peckham 78 Shoreditch - Dulwich RT/RM - DMS
13 May 72 PM Peckham N85 Charing Cross - Grove Park Stn RM - DMS
13 May 72 PM Peckham N86 Charing Cross - Brockley Rise RM - DMS
17 Jun 72 CF Chalk Farm 46 Hampstead Heath - Kings Cross RM - DMS
17 Jun 72 BK Barking 179 Barking - Chingford Stn DMS on Sun
17 Jun 72 BK Barking 199 Barking - Thames View Estate new DMS

1972: Park Royal and MCW all-red buses.

Construction details.

It had been intended to keep the MCW and Park Royal batches at separate garages, but that idea did not last even as long as the first MCW allocation: Bromley received a mixed contingent in July for the straggling, U-shaped route 61. But the segregation idea was adopted to some extent: also in July Finchley and Holloway (the old Highgate bus depot, originally Holloway tram depot) gained Park Royal buses for the 263, and when the 213/A was converted in August 1972 MCWs went to Sutton and Park Royals to Norbiton.
Tottenham and Hackney received MCWs in August for the 106, Enfield had Park Royals in September for the 107.
Bow and Victoria received Park Royals for the 10 and 10A in October. Leyton had Park Royals, also in October, for the 55 and 262, while West Ham had some for the 262 and the 278. These included four with experimental two-piece glider doors. Clapton received some Park Royals for the 22A.
In November the far east took Park Royals to Romford North Street for the 247A and Sunday 175 and MCWs to Hornchurch for the 246.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
17 Jun 72 WD Wandsworth 44 Mitcham - London Br Stn (Sun mkt - Aldgate) RT - DMS
17 Jun 72 WD Wandsworth 168B Putney Heath - Vauxhall (pks - Farringdon St.) DMS on Sats
17 Jun 72 WD Wandsworth 295 East Acton - Wandsworth Bridge RM - DMS
15 Jul 72 TB Bromley 61 (Eltham - not Sat)- Chislehurst - Bromley North RT - DMS
15 Jul 72 B Battersea 19A Battersea - Tooting Bec (Sundays) new DMS
15 Jul 72 B Battersea 39 Southfields Stn - Oxford Circus RT - DMS
15 Jul 72 B Battersea 39A Southfields Stn - South Kensington Stn. RT - DMS
15 Jul 72 FY Finchley
HT Holloway
263 Barnet - Highgate (- Kings Cross) RM - DMS
5 Aug 72 NB Norbiton
A Sutton
213/A Kingston Stn - Sutton Garage RT - DMS
12 Aug 72 AR Tottenham
H Hackney
106 Finsbury Pk Stn - Becontree RM - DMS
9 Sep 72 E Enfield 107 Queensbury Stn - Ponders End SM - DMS
28 Oct 72 BW Bow 10 London Br Stn - South Woodford Stn. RT/RM - DMS
28 Oct 72 GM Victoria 10A Victoria Stn - Aldgate (M-F) new DMS
28 Oct 72 CT Clapton 22A Liverpool St.Stn - Homerton new DMS
28 Oct 72 T Leyton 55 Walthamstow - Bloomsbury (- Marylebone) RT/RM - DMS
28 Oct 72 T Leyton
WH West Ham
262 Sundays V&A Docks - Walthamstow RML - DMS
28 Oct 72 WH West Ham 278 Walthamstow - V&A Docks RM - DMS
18 Nov 72 NS North Street 175 (Sundays) Ongar - Dagenham RT - DMS
18 Nov 72 NS North Street 247A Harold Hill - Gants Hill Stn RT - DMS
18 Nov 72 RD Hornchurch 246 Hornchurch - Noak Hill (pks - Gidea Park Stn) RT - DMS

Preserved DM1052 at Chislehurst on 228, 23rd June 2002. Preserved DM1052 at Eltham Well Hall Stn on 228, 23rd June 2002.

The shape of the DMS family became an increasingly familiar sight around the London area during the mid-1970s. This is preserved DM1052, bringing back memories on the 228 on 23rd June 2002.


The start of 1973 saw a major influx of DMSs to the south side of London, with Elmers End and Croydon receiving substantial allocations. In early January they replaced SMS Swifts on the 166/A, 194, 197B, 233/A. The FRM was displaced from its reign on the 234A later in January, and RFs were lost from the 234B. (Meanwhile, Fulwell had displaced RMs from the 90B, Uxbridge had lost SMS Swifts from the 222, and Cricklewood replaced SM Swifts on the 245). The displaced Swifts were used for further opo conversion on more lightly-used routes.

Then began a rolling programme during February and March to replace the Atlantean XAs from Croydon's Addington services C1-4 (the old 130 group). The Atlanteans had all been sold to China Motor Bus Co of Hong Kong.

In March DMSs returned to displacement of RMs and RTs: Putney converted from RMs on the 85A, Barking changed from RTs on the 156 and RFs from the 291. Tottenham and Edmonton both lost RMs from the 259, and gained new shared DMS route 279A.
In April Alperton used spare DMSs on Sundays to convert the 83 from MB operation, but as there were not enough used SMSs as well: a most unusual mixed double/single-decker operation for Central Area. This lasted until December, when additional DMSs at Alperton allowed the 83 to become completely DMS.

Date Garages No. Routes Changes
6 Jan 73 TC Croydon 166 Chipstead Valley - Shirley (- Beckenham Junc) SMS - DMS
6 Jan 73 TC Croydon 166A Chipstead Valley - Thornton Heath (Suns) SMS - DMS
6 Jan 73 TC Croydon 197 Caterham Valley - Norwood Junction SMS - DMS
6 Jan 73 TC Croydon 233/A West Croydon Stn - Roundshaw SMS - DMS
6 Jan 73 ED Elmers End 194 Forest Hill - Croydon Airport SMS - DMS
6 Jan 73 UX Uxbridge 222 Hounslow - Uxbridge Stn. SMS - DMS
6 Jan 73 FW Fulwell 90B Kew Gdns Stn - Yeading (- Northolt Stn.) RM - DMS
20 Jan 73 TC Croydon 234 Selsdon - Hackbridge (M-F) FRM, XA - DMS
20 Jan 73 TC Croydon 234B South Croydon Garage - Selsdon (S&Su) RF - DMS
20 Jan 73 W Cricklewood 245 Golders Green Stn - Sudbury Town Stn. (M-S) SM - DMS
17 Feb 73
- 29 Mar
TC Croydon C1-5 West Croydon - New Addington XA - DMS
10 Mar 73 AF Putney 85A Putney Bridge Stn - Alton West Estate (M-S) RM - DMS
10 Mar 73 BK Barking 156 Becontree - Creekmouth (M-S) RT - DMS
10 Mar 73 BK Barking 291 Ilford - London Road (M-S) RF - DMS
10 Mar 73 AR Tottenham
EM Edmonton
259 Holborn Circus - Lower Edmonton Stn. RM - DMS
10 Mar 73 AR Tottenham
EM Edmonton
279A Liverpool St Stn - Lower Edmonton Stn new DMS
20 Apr 73 ON Alperton 83 Golders Green Stn - Alperton Sun: MB - DMS/SMS

The yellow-door 1973 buses

By the end of March the 1973 batches of buses were coming on stream from Park Royal and MCW, incorporating new features (e.g. side destination blinds) and a new livery, with yellow entry doors and solid white roundels.

Construction details.

The first yellow doored buses went to Finchley in March 1973 for the 221.
They were followed by a number for the Round-London Sightseeing Tour, based at Stockwell. These were part of a regular rolling programme, with new buses going to SW every six months for the Tour, with the "old" ones going to bus duties then in order to qualify for the Bus Grant.
May saw a round of RT replacements in south London, with a number of longer routes each involving two garages: Merton, Sutton, Norbiton, Thornton Heath, Catford and Walworth were all involved.
There was a break then until mid-June, when it was east London's turn, with RMLs displaced from Hornchurch and a chop-up of route 175 to create new shorter routes including the 173 from Upton Park. DMSs also took over part of the 241, the rest being carved off to continue with RMs as the 230.
In mid-July Edgware completed its conversion from RT to DMS with the 292.
During August new DMSs continued to go into store, or out as temporary replacements for failures, in either case being called for their allocated RT replacement duties in September, when Barking's 169/C were converted and extended.
The off-peak SMS-operated 92 was converted in October, using buses from Alperton and Southall, and Turnham Green's 91 also lost its SMSs in November.
Elmers End converted its Sunday operations on the 54 to go with its weekday operations on 194B, receiving new DMSs for these in December.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
24 Mar 73 FY Finchley
WN Wood Green
221 Farringdon St. - North Finchley (- Edgware Stn.) RM - DMS
12 May 73 AL Merton
NB Norbiton
131 Wimbledon - Walton-on-Thames RM - DMS
12 May 73 A Sutton
TH Thornton Heath
154 Crystal Palace - Morden Stn. RT - DMS
12 May 73 A Sutton
AL Merton
TH Thornton Heath
157 Crystal Palace - Morden Stn (- Raynes Park). RT - DMS
new DMS
12 May 73 TL Catford
185 Victoria - Lewishan (- Greenwich Church/Blackwall Tunnel) RT - DMS
12 May 73 TH Thornton Heath
197A Norwood Junction - Thornton Heath Garage (pks - High Street) RT - DMS
16 Jun 73 RD Hornchurch 165 Havering Park - Rainham RML - DMS
16 Jun 73 U Upton Park 173 Becontree Heath - Canning Town (pks-Blackwall Tunnel) new DMS
16 Jun 73 WH West Ham 241 Victoria & Albert Docks - Stratford Bus Stn RM/SMS(Sun) - DMS
30 Jun 73 WD Wandsworth 295A new DMS
14 Jul 73 EW Edgware 292 Borehamwood - Edgware RT - DMS
1 Sep 73 BK Barking 169 Gascoigne Estate (Sun) - Barking - The Glade RT - DMS
1 Sep 73 BK Barking 169C (Sun:)Gascoigne Estate - Claybury Broadway RT - DMS
27 Oct 73 HW Southall
ON Alperton
92 (off pk) Southall - Wembley Empire Pool SMS - DMS
10 Nov 73 V Turnham Green 91 (M-S) Wandsworth Bridge - Hounslow West SMS - DMS
17 Nov 73 AW Abbey Wood 198 Woolwich - Thamesmead Eastern Industrial Estate. new DMS
1 Dec 73 ED Elmers End 54 Woolwich - West Croydon Sun: RM-DMS
1 Dec 73 ED Elmers End 194B Shrublands Estate - Thornton Heath Garage (M-S) RT-DMS

Policy changes during 1973 recognised that there was a continuing role for the open-platform bus in Central London for the foreseeable future. Routemasters would have to be retained. They would have to be overhauled properly, again. The overhaul programme would clash with the planned overhauls for MBS Merlins. The decision was taken to dispose of the Merlins.

Meanwhile there was a rethink about trunk-route one-person operation. RTs still needed replacing, so routes 16 from Cricklewood and 134 from Potters Bar and Muswell Hill (both RM operated) were converted to CREW operation with DMSs as a temporary measure, during December 1973. These had empty afc cabinets and lacked "Pay as you enter" markings. Only five standing passengers were allowed, to allow space for the conductor to operate.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
15 Dec 73 W Cricklewood 16 Neasden - Victoria Stn. RM - crew DMS
15 Dec 73 MH Muswell Hill
PB Potters Bar
134 Potters Bar Stn - Warren St.Stn. RM - crew DMS

Early 1974: omo conversions continue

Croydon set the 1974 DMS conversion programme rolling in January, with the 130 (the new Addington "slow" bus) on Sundays, the 197B on Sundays (which became just part of a daily 197) and the 154. At Bexleyheath SM Swifts gave way to DMSs on the 132. Sutton gained DMSs for the 280.
In northeast London the 144 was converted at Wood Green and Walthamstow, the 277 at Clapton and Poplar, and the N84 (also at Poplar).

The 149 (Edmonton and Stamford Hill) received crewed DMSs in February, while from the beginning of March Cricklewood used some on the N94. Barking saw off their last single deckers when they completed the conversion of the 179 on Mondays to Saturdays, (it was already DMS on Sundays) in February.

In March SMSs were replaced by DMSs on early Sunday morning on route 109 (Thornton Heath). Enfield received DMSs for Monday to Saturday route 191, with spare buses used on route 135 on Sundays only.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
5 Jan 74 TC Croydon 130A Sunday: New Addington - West Croydon Sun:RML - DMS
5 Jan 74 TC Croydon 197 Norwood Junction - Caterham Valley RT - DMS
5 Jan 74 BX Bexleyheath 132 Eltham Well Hall - Slade Green Stn SM - DMS
5 Jan 74 WN Wood Green
WW Walthamstow
144 Ilford Stn - Turnpike Lane Stn. RT - DMS
5 Jan 74 CT Clapton
PR Poplar
277 Poplar - Islington RT - DMS
5 Jan 74 PR Poplar N84 Trafalgar Square - Becontree Heath RM - DMS
5 Jan 74 A Sutton 280 Tooting Bdy - Belmont Stn (M-S) RT - DMS
2 Feb 74 EM Edmonton
SF Stamford Hill
149 Waltham Cross - Liverpool St. Stn (- Victoria) RM - crew DMS
23 Feb 74 BK Barking 179 Thames View Estate - Chingford Stn. SMS - DMS
1 Mar 74 W Cricklewood N94 Liverpool St.Stn - Cricklewood Garage RM - crew DMS
23 Mar 74 TH Thornton Heath 109 early Sunday mornings journeys: Purley - Victoria Embankment SMS-DMS
23 Mar 74 E Enfield 135 Forty Hill - Brimsdown Stn Sun RT-DMS
23 Mar 74 E Enfield 191 Chingford Stn - Enfield Town RT-DMS

A forerunner for the programme to replace the MBS Merlins was seen in March 1974, when DMSs fitted with fare-boxes were used at Edmonton on flat fare route W8. (These DMSs had non-ticket-issuing afc equipment).

Date Garages No. Routes Change
23 Mar 74 EM Edmonton W8 Lower Edmonton Stn - Chase Farm Hospital MBS-flat-fare DMS

Seasonal Route 137A was reintroduced for the summer to serve Battersea Park from the 12th of April. It was operated by Victoria on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays until the 22nd of September.
Also in April Sunday operations on the 23 (Upton Park and Barking) were converted to DMS, and Barking's route 145 went from RT to DMS.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
12 Apr 74 GM Victoria 137A Sloane Square - Battersea Park seasonal
20 Apr 74 BK Barking
U Upton Park
23 Becontree Heath - Aldgate Sun: RT-DMS
20 Apr 74 BK Barking 145 Dagenham - Ilford Broadway RT-DMS

Later in 1974: Takeover from Merlins

The replacement of Merlins gathered steam in May. It had been decided on high that the RMs were to be retained - and overhauled - so the Merlins had to go. That they were unreliable no doubt helped the decision. The use of DMSs on Red Arrow routes was not approved, so Swifts alsohad to be displaced so that they could replace MBAs (although this did not happen as much as expected).

Merton lost all its Merlins in May: routes 152 and 293 went over on the 18th; flat fare route M1 was delayed until the following day to allow the transfer of the fare boxes from the Merlins to the DMSs.

On the 1st of June Alperton lost its Merlins in favour of DMSs when routes 79, 79A and 182 were converted, although the 182 retained SMS operation on Sunday. The next route to lose Merlins was the 282 at Southall on the 27th of July.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
18 May 74 AL Merton 152 Mitcham - Hampton Court Stn MB-DMS
18 May 74 AL Merton 293 MB-DMS
19 May 74 AL Merton M1 Raynes Park Stn - Hackbridge MB- flat-fare DMS
1 Jun 74 ON Alperton 79/A (Perivale)- Alperton Stn - Colindale Stn / Edgware Stn MB-DMS
1 Jun 74 ON Alperton 182 M-S:MB-DMS
27 Jul 74 HW Southall 282 Greenford - Northwood Stn MB-DMS

The DM replaces the crewed DMS

In September the DM buses arrived, with internal changes for conductor operation.

Construction details, DM.
They began to replace the crew-operated DMSs on the 16 at Cricklewood, a process that lasted from 14 September to 3rd October. The displaced DMSs went off to Aldenham to receive afc equipment and appropriate transfers. Most of them would be used for the replacement of MBS Merlins from the Wood Green flat-fare network, so received appropriate fareboxes and flat-fare afc equipment. The first of them back into operation took over the W3 towards the end of September, whilst more were used for the W1, W2 and W4 early in October.

Meanwhile Victoria took off the seasonal 137A as expected in September, and Battersea lost the 19A.

With Cricklewood's conversion over, the DMs started to go to Muswell Hill and Potters Bar for the 134, and to Edmonton and Stamford Hill for the 149, in both cases replacing crewed DMSs. These in turn went off to Aldenham, and were then used to continue the replacement of RTs and MBs: In South-east London Plumstead used them to replace MBs on the 99 and 122A, while Abbey Wood started the new 272. On the western side Southall replaced RTs from the 232A at the end of November, and Hendon kicked off 1975 with the conversion of RT-operated route 183.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
14 Sep 74 W Cricklewood 16 Sudbury Town Stn - Victoria Stn crew DMS - DM
22 Sep 74 WN Wood Green W3 Finsbury Park Stn - Northumberland Park Stn MB-flat-fare DMS
22 Sep 74 GM Victoria 137A seasonal: Sloane Square - Battersea Bridge withdrawn
5 Oct 74 B Battersea 19A Battersea - Tooting Bec withdrawn
6 Oct 74 WN Wood Green W1 Turnpike Lane Stn - Edmonton MB-flat-fare DMS
6 Oct 74 WN Wood Green W2 Turnpike Lane Stn - Finsbury Park MB-flat-fare DMS
6 Oct 74 WN Wood Green W4 Turnpike Lane Stn - Winchmore Hill MB-flat-fare DMS
7 Oct 74 MH Muswell Hill
PB Potters Bar
134 Potters Bar Stn - Pimlico crew DMS - DM
31 Oct 74 EM Edmonton
SF Stamford Hill
149 Ponders End - Liverpool St Stn crew DMS - DM
10 Nov 74 AM Plumstead 99 Woolwich - Erith MB-DMS
10 Nov 74 AM Plumstead 122A Erith - Plumstead - Woolwich MB-DMS
30 Nov 74 AW Abbey Wood 272 Woolwich - Thamesmead new DMS
30 Nov 74 HW Southall 232A RT-DMS
4 Jan 75 AE Hendon 183 Golders Grn Stn - Northwood Stn RT-DMS

1975: DMs replace RTs; DMSs replace Merlins and Swifts

The Northern Heights were the major January recipients of crew operated DMs, replacing RMs and RTs at Holloway (4, 17, 104, 168A, 172, 214, 253, N92), Stamford Hill (253) and RMLs at Muswell Hill (43, 102). Some conversions were for weekends only (see table below). Muswell Hill also had some flat-fare DMSs to replace MBSs on the heavy duty short W7. Cricklewood replaced SMS Swifts on the 245A with DMSs in February. Muswell Hill changed back to RMLs on the 102 just four weeks after they started.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
25 Jan 75 WD Wandsworth 296 Alton East Estate - Wandsworth new DMS
25 Jan 75 HT Holloway 4 Sat: RM/RT-DM
25 Jan 75 HT Holloway 104 North Finchley - Moorgate Sat/Sun: RML-DM
25 Jan 75 HT Holloway 172 Highgate - West Norwood Sat/Sun: RML-DM
25 Jan 75 HT Holloway
SF Stamford Hill
253 Aldgate - Warren St. Sat/Sun: RM-DM (+1RML)
26 Jan 75 HT Holloway 17 Highgate - Camberwell Grn RM-DM
26 Jan 75 HT Holloway 168A Clapham Junction - Finsbury Park RT-DM
26 Jan 75 HT Holloway 214 Parliament Hill Fields - Moorgate RM-DM
26 Jan 75 HT Holloway N92 Trafalgar Sq - Highgate RML-DM
26 Jan 75 HT Holloway N93 Trafalgar Sq - Hampstead Heath RML-DM
25 Jan 75 MH Muswell Hill 102 Golders Grn Stn - Chingford Stn Sat/Sun:RML-DM
26 Jan 75 MH Muswell Hill 43 London Bridge Stn - Friern Barnet RML-DM
26 Jan 75 MH Muswell Hill W7 Muswell Hill Bdy - Finsbury Park Stn MBS - flat-fare DMS
16 Feb 75 W Cricklewood 245A Golders Grn Stn - Sudbury Town Stn SMS - DMS
22 Feb 75 MH Muswell Hill 102 Golders Grn Stn - Chingford Stn DM-RML

The main February emphasis was south of the river, at Walworth and Camberwell. At Walworth DMs took over from RMs on the 45 (and Sunday 12), while at Camberwell MBs were replaced by DMSs on the 42.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
23 Feb 75 WL Walworth 12 South Croydon - Shepherds Bush Sun: RM-DM
23 Feb 75 WL Walworth 45 South Kensington - Hampstead Heath RM-DM
23 Feb 75 Q Camberwell 42 Aldgate - Camberwell Green MB-DMS

Preserved DM1052 under London Bridge Stn, December 2001 The beginning of March was typical for 1975: Hornchurch swapped Swifts for DMSs on the 252, and Croydon exchanged its second-hand RMLs for crew DMs for the haul over the Shirley Ridge to and from New Addington on the 130 group.

Later in the month Brixton exchanged RTs for crew DMs on the 57A, the 133 and the N87. West Ham exchanged its MBSs on the S1 for DMSs, and Stamford Hill was supposed to convert the N83 (although it continued to find RMLs for the duties.)

DM1052 was one of those that ousted RTs fron Brixton's 133 in March 1975. On Sundays it worked on the 57A, and at nights on the N87. Those circular journeys to Streatham did not take it under London Bridge Station, where it is seen in preservation on the Christmas Lights Tour in December 2001. (Photo by Ian Smith).

Date Garages No. Routes Change
1 Mar 75 RD Hornchurch 252 South Hornchurch - Collier Row SMS-DMS
2 Mar 75 TC Croydon 130/A/B Thornton Heath / Streatham - New Addington RML-DM
23 Mar 75 BN Brixton 57A South Croydon Garage - Stockwell (Suns) RT-DM
23 Mar 75 BN Brixton 133 Liverpool St - Thornton Heath (- Sth Croydon) RT-DM
23 Mar 75 BN Brixton N87 Charing Cross - Streatham (circular) RT-DM
23 Mar 75 WH West Ham S1 Stratford Broadway - East Ham (circular) MBS-DMS
23 Mar 75 SF Stamford Hill N83 Trafalgar Square - Tottenham Garage RML-DM

April was a single-decker to Fleetline conversion month. Fulwell unusually converted its shortened Sunday version of the281 from SM to DMS operation. Merlin replacement was now going full-blast, and Bromley received DMS Fleetlines to replace them from the 126 and 138. Likewise Holloway lots its MBs from the 143.

Just over a month later Walthamstow replaced its MBSs on flat-fate W21 with DMSs.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
20 Apr 75 FW Fulwell 281 Twickenham - Tolworth SM-DMS (Suns)
27 Apr 75 TB Bromley 126 Eltham - Beckenham Junction MB-DMS
27 Apr 75 TB Bromley 138 Coney Hall - Bromley North MB-DMS
27 Apr 75 HT Holloway 143 Hendon Central Stn - Highgate MB-DMS
1 Jun 75 WW Walthamstow W21 Walthamstow Central - Chingford circular MBS-DMS

Over the summer the pattern was continued, with RTs or RMs replaced by crew-operated DMs and Swifts and Merlins by omo DMSs. Towards the end of June Holloway completed its conversion of route 4 (Saturday operation had been converted in January).

In mid-July Brixton converted the 109 from RTs on Saturdays, and Fulwell and Norbiton converted the Saturday 285 from SMSs. Walthamstow had another go, this time converting the 276 from MB to DMS.

In August Camberwell turned over the 40 from Routemaster to DM and with Holloway the 172 from RT to DM, while Romford North Street converted the 66B and 103 from SMS to DMS.

At the end of the month Norbiton switched the 84 from MB to DMS, and Stockwell and Wandsworth said good-bye to their RTs on the 172.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
23 Jun 75 HT Holloway 4 RT-DM
19 Jul 75 BN Brixton 109 Purley - Embankment RT-DM (Sat)
19 Jul 75 FW Fulwell
NB Norbiton
285 Heathrow Airport Central - New Malden SMS-DMS (Sat)
20 Jul 75 WW Walthamstow 276 Walthamstow Central Stn - Yardley Lane Estate MB-DMS
3 Aug 75 Q Camberwell 40 East Ham - Poplar - Camberwell Green RM-DM
3 Aug 75 Q Camberwell
HT Holloway
172 Highgate - West Norwood RT-DM
3 Aug 75 NS North Street 66B Leytonstone - Hornchurch Stn SMS-DMS
3 Aug 75 NS North Street 103 North Romford - Rainham SMS-DMS
31 Aug 75 NB Norbiton 84 MB-DMS
31 Aug 75 SW Stockwell
WD Wandsworth
168 Putney Heath - Vauxhall - Farringdon St. RT-DM

In September the DMS-operated 296 was withdrawn.
More night routes were converted during the autumn, including the N97 (Turnham Green), N68 and N88 (Wandsworth), N81 and N87 (Streatham).
Many more Swift and Merlin routes were converted to DMS operation, some at weekends only. These included the 238 at West Ham, 242 at Potters Bar, 125 at Finchley, 231 at Enfield, 239 at Holloway, 299 at Potters Bar, 147 at Upton Park, 181 at Stockwell, E1 and E2 at Hanwell.

Two of the RM conversions were experimental, and later reversed. There was growing concern about the slowing-down of routes converted uing DM Fleetlines. It had been expected that crew operation would not have a time penalty compared with the buses replaced, but there was. High profile routes 24 and 29 were chosen for experimental conversion, with observations and measurements taken at various points along the routes. Chalk Farm's Sunday spares were put to use on the 3.

Apart from them, Croydon's 59 was converted in mid-November from RM to DM, and Wood Green's 123 and 141 in mid-December.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
13 Sep 75 WD Wandsworth 296 Alton East Estate - Wandsworth withdrawn
19 Sep 75 V Turnham Green N97 Turnham Green - Liverpool St Stn RM-DMS
28 Sep 75 WH West Ham 238 Stratford Broadway - Chadwell Heath SMS-DMS (Sun)
28 Sep 75 PB Potters Bar 242 Chingford Stn - Potters Bar (- South Mimms) MB-DMS
19 Oct 75 CF Chalk Farm 3 Crystal Palace - Camden Town RM-DM (Sun)
19 Oct 75 CF Chalk Farm 24 Hampstead Heath - Pimlico RML-DM
24 Oct 75 WD Wandsworth
SW Stockwell
24 Oct 75 WD Wandsworth N88 Wandsworth - Farringdon St. RM-DM
24 Oct 75 SW Stockwell N81 Streatham Garage - Kennington RM-DM
1 Nov 75 SW Stockwell N87 Charing Cross - Streatham - Charing Cross RML-DM
1 Nov 75 FY Finchley 125 Winchmore Hill - North Finchley SMS-DMS (Sun)
1 Nov 75 E Enfield 231 Turnpike Lane Stn - Forty Hill SMS-DMS (Sun)
1 Nov 75 HT Holloway 239 SMS-DMS (Sat)
1 Nov 75 PB Potters Bar 299 Southgate Stn - South Mimms SMS-DMS (Sat, Sun)
16 Nov 75 U Upton Park 147 Redbridge Stn - East Ham (- Royal Albert Dk) SMS-DMS
16 Nov 75 SW Stockwell 181 Streatham Garage - Victoria SMS-DMS
16 Nov 75 TC Croydon 59 West Hampstead - Old Coulsdon RM-DM
7 Dec 75 HL Hanwell E1 Greenford - Brentford MBS-DMS
7 Dec 75 HL Hanwell E2 Greenford - Brentford MBS-DMS
7 Dec 75 WN Wood Green
HT Holloway
29 Victoria - Wood Green RM-DM
14 Dec 75 WN Wood Green 123 Enfield Town - Ilford Stn RM-DM
14 Dec 75 WN Wood Green 141 Wood Green - Grove Park RM-DM (Sun)

1976: more of the same

Cricklewood kicked off the 1976 changes with the closest that the Fleetlines got to Red Arrow operation. They had been considered as Merlin replacements for Red Arrow, but found unsuitable for some reason. Anyway, some DMSs found a home on the 616, Cricklewood's Express route, in mid January. At the end of the month some DMs on the 16 allocation were were used to start a new 16A to serve the Brent Cross Shopping Emporium.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
12 Jan 76 W Cricklewood 616 Cricklewood - Oxford Circus MBS - DMS
31 Jan 76 W Cricklewood 16A Brent Cross - Victoria new DM


From February onwards the improved versions of the Fleetlines began to arrive, with various construction updates and white-top livery. They were now officially Leyland Fleetlines rather than Daimlers.

Construction details, white-top DMS.
The end of February saw another Saturdays only substitution of DMSs for Swifts, on Merton's 57. The same day saw the start of a switch on the 207, when Hanwell's share, in the shape of RMLs, was swapped for crew DMs. (The RMLs of course were cascaded to Central duties, pushing more RMs off to the suburbs to relieve tired RTs.)

The Monday to Friday workings of Holloway's 239 followed in late March, when DMSs took over from SMSs (They alrady worked it on Saturdays). A week later Uxbridge followed Hanwell on the 207.

Uxbridge also featured a fortnight later, when weekend - surplus DMs took over from RFs on the 223 and 224B on Saturday/Sunday..

Date Garages No. Routes Change
28 Feb 76 AL Merton 57 Kingston - Streatham SMS-DMS (Sats)
28 Feb 76 HL Hanwell 207 Uxbridge - Shepherds Bush RML-DM
21 Mar 76 HT Holloway 239 SMS-DMS (M-F)
28 Mar 76 UX Uxbridge 207 Uxbridge - Shepherds Bush RML-DM
10 Apr 76 UX Uxbridge 223 Ruislip Stn - Heathrow Airport Central RF-DM (Sun)
10 Apr 76 UX Uxbridge 224B Ruislip Stn - Stockley Park Est. RF-DM (Sat)

In April Loughton saw its first DMS buses when route 20's Merlins were displaced. DMSs also went to North Street in May for route 66, in place of Swifts. SMS replacements were the order of the day all through the summer, with Stonebridge Park's 112 later in May; Fulwell's 285 (the rest of the week) in June; New Cross' route 70 in early July, with Camberwell's 188 at the same time. Catford's 108B followed in mid-August; Streatham and Merton converted their 249 at the end of the month; and Loughton swapped the 167 in September.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
25 Apr 76 L Loughton 20 Walthamstow - Epping MB-DMS
9 May 76 NS North Street 66 Leytonsone - Harold Wood Stn SMS-DMS
23 May 76 SE Stonebridge Park 112 Finchley - Ealing Broadway SMS-DMS
12 June 76 FW Fulwell 285 Heathrow Airport Central - New Malden SMS-DMS daily
4 July 76 NX New Cross 70 Greenwich CXhurch - Waterloo Stn SMS-DMS
4 July 76 Q Camberwell 188 Greenwich Church - Euston SMS-DMS
15 Aug 76 TL Catford 108B Crystal Palace - Surrey Docks Stn SMS-DMS
29 Aug 76 AK Streatham
AL Merton
8/9 Sept 76 GM Victoria 10A
Victoria - Aldgate
Victoria - Woodford Wells
12 Sept 76 L Loughton 167 Debden Broadway - Ilford SMS-DMS
Preserved DM1052 at Sidcup Stn on 228, 23rd June 2002.

Autumn 1976: omo conversions again

Omo conversions resumed on October 9th, at the behest of Essex County Council: RTs were displaced from the 20A at Loughton. Garage modernisation at Seven Kings saw the 129 converted too.

"New" route 280A at Sutton was a part-replacement for other services that were altered, withdrawn or attenuated.

The Swift replacement programme was still continuing - with some omo RF routes thrown in. Enfield lost both types on 24th October, with the 121 converting from omo RF and the 231 losing Swifts on the days that it had still had them. November 7th saw North Street converting from SMSs on the 294. In December it was Sidcup's turn again, and Swifts went from the 21A and from the 228 on Sundays. Uxbridge finally disposed of the weekday RFs from the 223 and 224B.

Route 228 gained DMSs on Sundays from December 1976. Preserved DM1052 offers a reprise on a Running Day at Sidcup in June 2002.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
9 Oct 76 L Loughton 20A Leytonsone - Debden Broadway RT-DMS
9 Oct 76 AP Seven Kings 129 Ilford Stn - Claybury Broadway RT-DMS
3 Oct 76 BK Barking 169C Barking - Claybury Broadway withdrawn
23 Oct 76 A Sutton 280A Tooting Broadway - Walton-on-the-Hill new
24 Oct 76 E Enfield 121 Chingford Stn - Enfield Town RF-DMS
24 Oct 76 E Enfield 231 Turnpike Lane Stn - Forty Hill SMS-DMS daily
7 Nov 76 NS North Street 294 Lodge Lane Estate - Hornchurch Stn SMS-DMS
5 Dec 76 SP Sidcup 21A Eltham - Swanley Garage SMS-DMS
5 Dec 76 SP Sidcup 228 Chislehurst - Eltham SMS-DMS (Sun)
12 Dec 76 UX Uxbridge 223 Ruislip Stn - Heathrow Airport Central RF-DMS daily
12 Dec 76 UX Uxbridge 224B Uxbridge Stn - Stockley Estate RF-DMS daily

1977: the B20s arrive

DMS2337 on the 213, 6th October 1984. 1977 began quietly. In two ways: firstly there was a hiatus in conversions, and secondly the "quiet" B20s started to arrive at Bexleyheath, displacing older DMSs. They were supposed to be more reliable than the earlier buses, but early experience at Bexleyheath suggested that in practice this would not be the case.

Construction details, B20s.

DMS2337 several years after entering service, on the 213 in October 1984. Photo, used by permission, by Paul Watson.

It was not until the end of February that Fleetlines featured in route conversions, with the long-delayed change of Catford's route 75, that had been coping with a mix of RTs and RMs. Now it was omo, with DMSs.

March saw a revamp in north-east London, scene of the big-bang conversion to omo single-deckers almost a decade earlier. Now Walthamstow converted one of the remaining double-decker routes, with the 123 converted from mixed RM/DM operation to omo DMS and shortened.
Wood Green's 29 changed back from DM to RM, as intended, the timing spurred by a route extension. The released DMs were swapped for Routemasters from route 141. Wood Green also lost the W1, made redundant by service increases on the 144.
Leyton also converted the N96 from RML operation.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
26 Feb 77 TL Catford 75 RT/RM - DMS
19 Mar 77 WW Walthamstow 123 RM/DM - DMS
19 Mar 77 HT Holloway
WN Wood Green
29 Victoria - Enfield Town DM - RM
19 Mar 77 WN Wood Green W1 Turnpike Lane Stn - Edmonton withdrawn
19 Mar 77 NX New Cross
WN Wood Green
141 Wood Green - Grove Park RM - DM
19 Mar 77 T Leyton N96 Highams Park Stn - Waterloo Stn RML-DMS

The Sidcup area saw a revision in May, with the 51 (Sidcup) converted to opo DMS from Routemaster, the 229 shortened, and a new 269 introduced, worked by DMSs from Bexleyheath.
Also in May Enfield started to receive B20s in place of older buses.
June saw Derby-day specials, for which Merton used new DMSs, including two B20s.
West Ham completed the conversion of the 238 when weekday operation switched from SMS to DMS in June, with Upton Park similarly converting the 162.

Further RT routes were converted to opo DMS in July: the 139 from North Street and the 148 at Seven Kings and Barking. RTs were also the target at Enfield in August, where the 217 and 217B were converted, while the 107A and 191 were introduced. Meanwhile Shepherds Bush began to receive B20s. The onslaught on the RTs continued into the autumn, with the 34 (Seven Kings and Walthamstow)converted in September, and Southall's 274 in October. Along with these went Sunday ex-RT workings on the 150 (Seven Kings) and 120 (Southall), while Seven Kings' 212 was also converted, but from SMS operation.

The end of 1977 saw further SMS conversions, at Merton in November (routes 57 and 200), and Finchley in December (route 125).
B20s went to Brixton from November, and Cricklewood in December. All this required a great deal of shuffling to get the older buses for the conversions to where they were needed, while inserting the new buses at their designated garages.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
21 May 77 SP Sidcup 51 Woolwich - Green St. Grn RM-DMS
21 May 77 BX Bexleyheath 269 Woolwich - Sidcup Garage new DMS
20 June 77 WH West Ham 238 Stratford Broadway - Little Heath SMS-DMS daily
20 June 77 U Upton Park 162 Wanstead - Mayesbrook Park SMS-DMS
23 July 77 NS North Street 139 Gants Hill - Dagenham Dock RT-DMS
23 July 77 AP Seven Kings
BK Barking
148 Leytonstone - Dagenham RT/RM-DMS
20 Aug 77 E Enfield 107A Enfield Lock - Oakwood new DMS
20 Aug 77 EM Edmonton 191 Chingford Stn - Enfield Town new DMS
20 Aug 77 E Enfield 217 Turnpike Lane Stn - Upshire RT-DMS
20 Aug 77 E Enfield 217B RT-DMS
10 Sep 77 AD Seven Kings
WW Walthamstow
34 Barnet - Whipps Cross RT/RM-DMS
10 Sep 77 AD Seven Kings 212 SMS-DMS
1 Oct 77 HW Southall 120 Hounslow Heath - Greenford RT-DMS (Suns)
1 Oct 77 HW Southall 274 Hayes - Ealing Broadway RT-DMS
15 Oct 77 AP Seven Kings 150 Chigwell Row - Ilford Stn RT/RM-DMS (Suns)
13 Nov 77 AL Merton 57 Kingston - Streatham SMS - DMS
13 Nov 77 AL Merton 200 Raynes Park - Mitcham SMS - DMS
3 Dec 77 FY Finchley 125 Golders Green Stn - Southgate Stn SMS - DMS

1978: The last deliveries

B20s continued to arrive, Wandsworth receiving an allocation on 19th January.

At the end of January Catford thankfully lost its SMDs - Swifts with blocked-off centre doors - but only received DMSs in return for routes 160, 160A. At the same time more RTs went from Southall's route 120, and RMs from Sidcup's 228, both routes which hitherto had seen DMSs only on Sundays.

The first of February saw the start of a long-drawn-out conversion of route 109 from Routemaster operation to crew DM. Brixton received DMs throughout February, and Thornton Heath had to wait until August for its share.

In yet another bid to speed boarding Multi-ride tickets were introduced on graduated fare routes in Havering. Discounted pre-purchased tickets could be used in singles or multiples on a coarsened fare scale. It didn't change boarding times much.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
28 Jan 78 TL Catford 160 Catford - Welling SMD-DMS
28 Jan 78 TL Catford 160A Lower Sydenham Stn - Plumstead SMD-DMS
28 Jan 78 HW Southall 120 Hounslow Heath - Southall RT-DMS daily
28 Jan 78 SP Sidcup 228 Chislehurst - Eltham RM-DMS daily
Feb 78 BN Brixton 109 Purley - Victoria Embankment RM-DM
April 1978: comings and goings One odd conversion early in April was on Fulwell's route 270, which had only been converted to BL operation in January. Now it was to have full-length double-deckers in the shape of DMS Fleetlines!

On 22nd April Bus Plan 78 began to be enacted, another plan to reduce costs. Routes 54, 89, 151, 192 and 261 were converted to opo with DMSs, and West Ham's share of the 262 went to DM. Catford's Sunday route 160A was replaced by Sunday runnings on the 160. Upton Park lost the 173 to Poplar and Barking lost the 291. A week later Upton Park saw its famous route 101 converted from Routemasters to DM operation.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
9 Apr 78 FW Fulwell 270 BL-DMS
22 Apr 78 TL Catford 54 Woolwich - East Croydon RT/RM-DMS
22 Apr 78 TL Catford 160A Lower Sydenham Stn - Plumstead withdrawn
22 Apr 78 BX Bexleyheath 89 Lewisham - Bexleyheath - Eltham RT/RM-DMS
22 Apr 78 BX Bexleyheath 151 RM-DMS
22 Apr 78 PR Poplar 173 reallocated from U
22 Apr 78 NX New Cross 192 Lewisham - Plumstead RM-DMS
22 Apr 78 AD Palmers Green 261 Barnet - Arnos Grove Stn RT/RM-DMS
22 Apr 78 WH West Ham 262 Victoria & Albert Docks - Walthamstow Central Stn RM-DM
22 Apr 78 BK Barking 291 Ilford - Barking withdrawn
30 Apr 78 U Upton Park 101 Wanstead - North Woolwich RM/RML-DM

Late May saw the last two RT-operated night routes, Barking's N95 and N98 converted to crew-operated DMS.

June heralded the start of overhauls on the MCW-bodied buses, when DMS1449 went into Aldenham for a pilot overhaul.

The summer months saw changes on the 130 at Thornton Heath - as well as the continuing changeover of the 109, plus the conversion of Muswell Hill's 244 from SMS.

Date Garages No. Routes Change
6 May 78 TC Croydon 233A replaced by 233
26 May 78 BK Barking N95 Victoria Stn - Becontree Heath RT-crew DMS
26 May 78 BK Barking N98 Victoria Stn - Romford Stn RT-crew DMS
18 Jun 78 MH Muswell Hill 244 Winchmore Hill - Muswell Hill Broadway SMS-DMS
27 Aug 78 TH Thornton Heath 109 Purley - Victoria Embankment RM-DM
27 Aug 78 TH Thornton Heath 130 Streatham - New Addington RM-DM (Suns)

But 23rd August saw the delivery of the last of London's Fleetlines, DM2646. Until now it had been politically incorrect to withdraw any of the class, but now was able to dispose of a small number of the class that had been sitting around minus essential parts for some time. From now on it was all downhill for the DMS.

Part Four: Service and Decline

Bus Stop Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. histories. photo refs.