Old Kent Road garage reunion

Route 202

The eastern section of the 202 ran down Trundleys Road, seen here,

and Woodpecker Road (beyond the bridge), which has been totally redeveloped.

Photo © Peter Osborn


The 202 dates back to the days of the independent operators in the 1920s, opening up routes not covered by the General.  This short route, 14 minutes from end to end, was not popular with crews due to the monotony and its heavy loadings.  Running between New Cross Clifton Rise and Old Kent Road Canal Bridge via Surrey Docks, the area was full of factories, as well as the low rail bridges that caused the route always to be single-deck operated.
When the operators were taken over by London Transport in 1933-4, operation of the Leyland Lions and Dennises moved into Old Kent Road garage.  These buses were replaced by side-engined Qs in 1936, replaced in turn by RFs in 1952.  Operation of the route moved to New Cross in 1958 on the closure of Old Kent Road, continuing until replaced by the P1 and P2 in 1968.
The full history of route 202 is here.
The Verney Road stand at Rotherhithe Canal Bridge was introduced on the introduction of RFs in 1952; previously buses turned in Rotherhithe New Road.  The location is still satisfyingly industrial.
Photos © N Rayfield (Paul Brophy collection) and Peter Osborn

Hawkstone Road, Surrey Docks.  Not much has changed since the last night of operation in 1968.  One is tempted to think that the crew had given up on changing blinds by then - the bus is heading away from New Cross Clifton Rise.  See the 202 page for more about this section of the route.

Photos © Peter Larkham, Chris Stanley


For many years from 1957, the weekday 202 was a circular service via St James's Road and Southwark Park Road, to serve The Blue market. RF486 turns from the former into the latter, still a commercial area.

Photo © Peter Larkham


and finally:

"I know it came off last month, but I liked the 202 - are you sure I can't do one last rounder?"

New Cross garage on 24 November 1968, a month after the end of the 202.  The RF was unlicensed by then, and it was another year before it went back into service at Bromley.  Why is it on the ramp???

Photo © Chris Stanley