Colindale Running Day

Route 240

Originally London General Omnibus Co route 104, the Golders Green to Edgware route was renumbered 240 in 1934 and continues over almost the same roads today.
RT2958 lays over at Golders Green before departing for Edgware, the Mill Hill bridge having been rebuilt in 1966.  This is the late 1960s and the bus is based at Hendon garage (AE), who provided two RTs for the route on Saturdays only.
Photo © Paul Redmond
EDGWARE STATION via Mill Hill Broadway, Hammers Lane, Mill Hill East, GOLDERS GREEN.  Short workings to MILL HILL BROADWAY will continue to COLINDALE RAF Museum


The unique single-deck London Six LS6 on route 104E (numbered under the Bassom system), also at Golders Green.

Photo © London Transport Museum



The 240 (in conjunction with the 240A and 221) will operate every 10-20 minutes between Mill Hill Broadway and Mill Hill East; other sections will be less frequent. 


Main boarding points

Edgware Station Road bus stop A

Mill Hill, The Hale Hale Lane bus stop B (towards Mill Hill Broadway), bus stop J (towards Edgware)

Mill Hill Broadway bus stop F (towards Mill Hill East) and bus stop D (towards Edgware)

Mill Hill East Station bus stop A


Note that buses will not serve Edgware Bus Station.


Route history

The General’s route 104 was the first to operate the new single-deck LT Scooter in 1931, when LT1001 was delivered to Hendon (AE) and worked the route for three months, before moving to Muswell Hill for the 111 (later the 212).  Later deliveries for the route, later that year, went to Edgware (EW) and Cricklewood (W). 


The route worked in two sections before the second world war, the full route between Edgware and Golders Green being single-deck, due to the low railway bridge at Mill Hill, and a double-deck section between Mill Hill East and Golders Green.


As primarily a single-deck route, the 104 was renumbered 240 in October 1934, when it operated a fascinating mix of buses – as well as the Scooters (including a Sunday allocation from Holloway (J)), Cricklewood allocated one T and the single-deck London Six LS6, with NSs for the double-deck section.  These ran alongside STs from Edgware but were replaced on Saturdays by STLs from Chalk Farm (CF).


RTL1479 blinded for a journey to Mill Hill at Cricklewood garage.

Photo © MikeBeamish


The outbreak of war saw the allocation simplified, with just W providing LT Scooters and STLs.  A diversion via Sanders Way in Mill Hill East was introduced in 1940, meaning the route no longer served the station, which had closed in 1939. 


Edgware Garage forecourt, and RT3802 stands among other RTs, still in a majority in late 1970, with a couple of SMSs.

Photo © Paul Redmond


Mill Hill East station opened in 1867, on the GNR line from Finsbury Park to Edgware via Highgate.  This line became part of the pre-war Northern Heights project, under which the Northern Line would be extended beyond Highgate (the station now known as Archway) over existing steam-operated rail lines.  The line from Finsbury Park had branches to High Barnet and Alexandra Palace, and the plans also envisaged an extension north of Edgware to Bushey Heath.  Steam services ceased in 1939 and were replaced by rail-replacement buses from Finchley Central to Edgware.


The war meant that the Northern Heights project was never completed.  The extension from Archway to High Barnet opened in 1940, and to serve the Mill Hill Barracks the branch to Mill Hill East was electrified and opened, still as a single track, in 1941 – the last element in today’s Northern Line.  The Alexandra Park branch, which passed under Muswell Hill by a weak bridge that forced London Transport to work the busy 212 with single-deckers, continued to operate a shuttle from Finsbury Park until 1954, but the section between Mill Hill East and Edgware never reopened to passenger traffic and closed completely in 1964.  Despite considerable work, including the building of the depot (which later became LT’s Aldenham Works), the extension north of Edgware was never built.


Catch Jay Foreman's video commentary on the Northern Heights project here.  Five points for spying the King Crimson snippet.


Cricklewood's RM1381 stands on the cobbles at Golders Green Bus Station.  It is likely that this is 1970, as it was only in the last 6 months before OMO conversion that Cricklewood had an official RM allocation on the 240, on Sundays only.

Photo Ian Armstrong collection


Returning to the 240, later in 1940 the single-deck section was shortened to run only to Mill Hill Hendon Way, and the allocation for this section moved back to EW.  When Mill Hill East station reopened in May 1941, the single-deck section was extended to terminate there, thus diverging slightly from the double-deck section; the double-deck service resumed its former route in 1944.  From 1945, this single-deck extension became peak-hours only.


From being largely open country in 1930, the area around Mill Hill was now becoming built up and new roads required new services.  In consequence, part of the 240’s single-deck service was extended (using the same Scooters from EW) to Page Street, at the end of Bunns Lane, as new weekday route 240A.  In 1951, the 240’s single-deck section was withdrawn completely and the 240A was extended daily over the new Bittacy Rise and Pursley Road to Mill Hill East station.


Cricklewood had replaced its STLs with RTs in 1948, Edgware replaced its Scooters by TDs in 1949.  The Mill Hill to Golders Green service continued until 1966, with the Sunday allocation moving from W to AE in 1959.  AE worked RTs on that day until replacing them with RMs in 1962; W switched from RTs to RTLs in 1963.  The Saturday allocation also moved to AE in 1965, but this was RT operated.


In January 1966, one consequence of building the M1 through Mill Hill was the lowering of the road under the railway to permit double-deck operation.  This spelled the end of the 240A on weekdays and its replacement by an extension of the 221 from Finchley via Mill Hill East to Edgware, together with the extension of the 240 to Edgware.  On Sundays, the 240A continued in operation, now by RTs, and was extended to Golders Green and covering half of the 240 workings.


A week after the change, the 240 was a victim of an overtime ban by bus staff.  Cronshaw operated an emergency weekday service between Mill Hill Broadway and Golders Green Station until the 240 resumed in March.  The combined allocation from EW, W and AE continued until the route was converted to one-man operation in 1971.


Cricklewood-based SMS233 stands at Golders Green, by now in the late 1970s resurfaced and reorganised.

Photo Ian Armstrong collection


OMO operation was by SMSs from EW and W, until 1980 when both garages converted to Metrobuses.  AE made a brief reappearance on Sundays in 1985 before the route was allocated solely to EW the following year.  2003 saw the route converted to low-floor double-deckers and the route continues to be operated by Metroline from EW.