The 77 survived a recent proposal to withdraw the route in connection the opening of the Jubilee Line extension. The intention was to split it into two overlapping sections, with one section from Tooting to Vauxhall numbered 447 and one from Clapham Junction to Waterloo, continuing to London Bridge to replace the P11 (or 381 as it is now), numbered 377. In addition the 447 service would have provided a new link from between Lavender Hill and Vauxhall via Queenstown Road and Nine Elms.
This plan was dropped — what would the residents of Tooting have made of “Route 77 is being withdrawn because of the Jubilee Line Extension”?! — but there was then a plan to renumber the route to 272, to match with the number 270 on the common section between Tooting and Earlsfield. Either way, in due time route 77A would have been able to lose its suffix, thus eliminating the last suffixed London Buses route. But this plan, too, seems to have been quietly dropped, at least for the foreseeable future.
Interestingly, there is apparently a new plan — as yet unfulfilled or confirmed — for a new 437 between Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. This sounds very like a resurrection of part of the 447 proposal, with the revised number being suspiciously similar to the 137, which also runs down Queenstown Road.
The 77 and 77A are both well established routes, although both have shrunk at both ends. Now the two only have a short section in common, between Clapham Junction and Vauxhall, whereafter the 77 runs to Waterloo while the 77A crosses the Thames and runs to Aldwych. But the routes used to continue running parallel via Lambeth Bridge, Aldwych and Euston to Kings Cross. At the other end an additional service ran under the number 77 from Tooting via Mitcham and Carshalton to Wallington — essentially the 127 route.
|Photo by John Gillespie.|
Here London General’s PVL 110 (W401 WGH) loads in Clapham Junction on 4 October 2000 on its way to Tooting. On the way, the 77 provides the only bus service along Earlsfield Road.
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