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Route 325
16 April 2010

This page has been overdue an update for some time as the buses had changed livery twice, as well as changing garage and being replaced by newer buses! But the transfer of the route under competitive tender to Arriva more-or-less forced the issue. East London has had more than its fare share of route changes (and hence updates to these pages) in the last couple of months!

Two views of the new order are provided, both at the route’s western terminus at Prince Regent DLR station. Unusually, it is the only route to terminate in the bus station there. Seen on the stand is ENL50 (LJ10 CSO) on the first Friday of Arriva operation, 12 March 2010. The ENL class of 10.2m Enviro200Darts has been building up quite slowly with Arriva, with routes T31, 491, 166, 184 and now 325 so far the only routes to use the type, deliveries being spread over 3 years to date.

Photo © Brian Creasey.

The second photo, made on 17 March 2010, is at the same location but in service this time, the bus having pulled round the island in the first photo to pick up passengers at the first stop of the circuitous route to East Beckton Savacentre, or Sainsbury’s as it is generally known these days. The bus is actually facing directly away from its destination at this point in the journey! The viaduct carrying the Docklands Light Railway can be seen in the background; this was the first extension to the original network, to Beckton.

Photo © RNAM200.

Since the new registration system began, and indeed the earlier switch to two new issues per year, the excitement of seeing "new year’s" marks fresh out has been somewhat muted, but 2010 marks the clocking over of the first digit of these registrations from 0/5 to 1/6, giving a slightly novel appearance to the plates! Many of the East London changes, including the 325, began on 6 March, the earliest possible date for introducing the new marks with a service change, and the 325 has a full complement.

The 325 was created in the Newham area scheme of 25 September 1993, initially being worked by elongated MCW Metrorider and Optare Starrider minibuses from Upton Park garage. It combined the Prince Regent – Forest Gate leg of route 278 (which was withdrawn) with a new service along Katherine Road in East Ham and a link to the new Savacentre at East Beckton. This made it an (upside down) U-shape!

To begin with there was no Sunday service; that came in 1997, when the route was also diverted to serve the new Showcase Cinema in East Beckton. Buses also served Jenkins Lane and Park Avenue for a time, instead of running non-stop along the North Circular Road as originally, but this has since been abandoned. Operation subsequently transferred to Barking garage and then back to Upton Park before being lost to Arriva. The new contract specified an improved service, with buses now running every 12 minutes, rather than every 15, during the day on Mondays to Saturdays.

See also routes T31, 491, 166, 184

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