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Back in October 2001, the 179 gained a considerable frequency boost, from 3 buses per hour during the Monday to Saturday daytime to 5 and from 2 to 3 at other times. However, it retained double deckers where in the past it would almost certainly have been converted to single deck at the same time. While by day the route is pretty quiet, it can get very busy during the Monday to Friday peak periods, especially at school times, and so double deckers are probably wise. Nevertheless, the new low floor double deckers had a rather lower passenger carrying capacity, partly because of the low floor layout but also partly because their introduction coincided with a decision to increase legroom on buses for a more comfortable journey.
|Photo © Hans Liljewall.|
Contract renewal 7 years later called for more new buses, and the latest generation of low floor double deckers was drafted in. By coincidence we have two views of the same bus, DN33358 (SN58 CGO), and both in Ilford but heading in opposite directions. The view above is on 31 March 2009, while the second view is on 9 April 2009.
|Photo © Brian Creasey.|
The 179 provides lots of useful links across North East London, running from Chingford into Barking via Woodford and Ilford. However, a lot of the route is relatively sparsely populated, which may explain the low frequencies that had applied and the surprisingly low passenger numbers. The 179 was introduced as a replacement for the north-west end of the 145 in 1964, although a few peak hour journeys on the 145 continued to run through to Chingford, and this remnant remains in the form of school bus 679.
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