Buses in Bromley
Thursday 10th January 2013
Prepared by Ian Smith, 20th January 2013
I missed out on the Bromley Classic Bus Running Day in December 2012, as I was unwell. But early in January 2013 family matters took me to Bromley briefly. So on Thursday 10th January I was heading home. I chose to go via Bromley, to look at the contemporary bus scene. So I caught a Dart SLF - Metrobus 275 - on the 336. The little bus was packed, with several buggies and every seat taken and a good standing load. It headed into Bromley, dropping off and picking up at almost every stop, to Bromley North, where it pulled into the crew-change stop just by the bus stance.
A Mercedes-Benz Citaro, new to the 227, squeezed round the corner past the little MPD to reach the bus stance.
Optare Versa 4213 of Arriva Kent & Sussex showed that red livery really is not needed to operate the 402, a traditional Bromley green route, as it headed out on the 402 through the shadow of the Bromley North tower block.
A much older item of rolling stock emerged next, in the shape of 2003-vintage OmniDekka 473, heading for Croydon on the 119.
It seems that the 227 is not exclusively Citaro: long EnviroDart 36310 came out to head for Crystal Palace.
I crossed the road outside Bromley North Station. A pair of East Lancs-bodied Darts scuttled across behind me into East Street: 257 on the 138 to Coney Hall (despite the R1 side-blind), and 233 on the winding 367 route to West Croydon.
Another Citaro passed by on an incoming 227, and Omnidekka 943 trundled past on a 261 bound for Farnborough Hospital,
At the big junction of Tweedy Road, Widmore Road and Kentish Way I paused to watch the buses (there's a surprise!). The pair of Darts on the 138 and 367 made the right turn from Tweedy Road into Kentish Way, closely followed by Omnidekka 933 on the 320 to Biggin Hill Valley.
I went west along Widmore Road towards the Market Place. A pair of new EnviroTridents (10149, 10153) came along on southbound 208s to Orpington. But Stagecoach still has plenty of older Tridents, exemplified by 17971 heading east on the 269 to Chislehurst and Bexleyheath.
Similar Trident 17448 was approaching the end of its journey as it disgorged passengers into The Glades at the United Reformed Church stop. Omnidekka 440, having journeyed from the west from Croydon was right behind it on the 119.
The red single-decker that came bustling eastwards from Bromley Market was not an RF on the 227 but an OmniCity on a 358 heading for Orpington, having wound a circuitous but busy route from Crystal Palace. EnviroTrident 10148 headed for Lewisham on the 208.
I walked down the almost deserted High Street, now a pedestrian-only zone. It always makes me think of CRL4, which I first saw here when it was deployed on the 704. Not today.
A route that IS still operating is the 126, albeit only between Bromley South and Eltham. Arriva Kent Thameside's Dart SLF 3296 bustled up the south end of the High Street before being banished to the Kentish Way. It doesn't have long to go on the 126, which is being taken over by Metrobus in the spring.
Further down the High Street towards Bromley South a 61 pulled up beside me, powered by an EnviroTrident , 19835. Sister 10140 climbed the bank over the railway on a Lewisham-bond 208.
It was nearly half-past nine, when I would be able to use my OysterCard with Senior Railcard to get a cheap ticket to Victoria. It had been an interesting half-hour through Bromley, with a sighting of most routes and most types of rolling stock in current use in the town. Others I saw but could not photograph for one reason or another (mainly being in the wrong place).
Happy New Year!
All photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.