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Route 159
2 January 2006

The 159 had the dubious distinction of being the last route in London with a main allocation of Routemasters (a small number live on on “Heritage” routes 9 and 15). As had become customary, the last days of operation saw a number of “guest vehicles” in operation, being various old buses with more or less association with the 159 operating supplementary journeys for the benefit of enthusiasts. Your webmaster decided to attend the 159 “celebrations” for the first time, as did the photographer, who in capturing various vehicles ancient and modern “accidentally” managed to include this interloper!

Photo © John Bennett.

The view shows brand new Arriva London South VLA 173 (LJ55 BVE), a Volvo B7TL with Alexander Dennis ALX400 bodywork, at County Hall on Friday 9 December 2005, about to cross Westminster Bridge. Note the photographer on the upper deck – there must have been an RM coming the other way! This was the changeover day, and a special schedule had been devised with the Routemasters being taken off service during the course of the day and replaced by the new VLAs. This must have been one of the first northbound journeys in driver only mode, but, timed at 12.57, the very last Routemaster had already commenced its southbound journey from Marble Arch.

See also routes 9, 15

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