Touching the 234ARed RF routes

Route 234B

Page last updated 26 December 2014
The Sunday OMO conversion of a section of double-deck route 57A, using buses available from Croydon’s RF route 234A.  The route did not share any of its roads with the 234A, apart from the Purley one-way system.
On a sunny 3 May 70 with its doors open, RF491 has just turned left at Purley, briefly meeting the 234A before heading under the bridge and up the hill to Selsdon.  Note the two styles of 'Pay as you enter' board.
Photo © Colin Stannard, Peter Gomm collection
Dates of RF operation

20 Jul 69 to 20 Jan 73

(total 3 years 6 months, all OMO).

SOUTH CROYDON Garage and SELSDON Farley Road (Sundays)


RF Garages
TC    Croydon
Reason for single-deck operation

At introduction, only single-deckers were available for OMO operation, with RFs available from the existing allocation.


Route history

An element of déjà-vu for the residents of Mitchley Avenue, this route. Originally, route 234 (which was interworked with the 234A using LT Scooters) ran through Purley and up the hill to Selsdon. The 234 was converted to RT operation in 1950 and then RMs on Sundays in 1964. Weekend operation ceased on the last day of 1966, with the Sunday service over the Purley to Selsdon section by an extension of RT and RM-operated Sunday route 57A southwards from South Croydon (on Saturday, the new 115B covered this section).


Same place, different shot.As part of the OMO conversion programme of lesser-used routes, the section of the 57A between South Croydon and Selsdon was itself replaced by the new Sundays-only 234B on 20 Jul 69, using one of Croydon’s RFs spare from the 234A. One imagines that the residents of Mitchley Avenue might have felt short-changed, losing their direct link to Croydon, but perhaps by 1969 few were using the bus on Sundays (neither of the photos shows a busy bus).


Seen at the same spot, but on Christmas Eve 1972, four weeks before the route's conversion to DMS, RF529 also runs TC1 - as all RFs did on this one-bus route.  The Selsdon terminus 'Farley Road' continues south of that cross-roads to Farleigh, long a 'middle-of-nowhere' terminus for some journeys on the 408.

Photo © JGS Smith, Peter Gomm collection


The weekday service on the 234 was next for conversion, but this time the route went straight from RT to one-man double-deck XA operation, using (along with the Addington C routes) the XAs after the trial against Routemasters on the 67. The only crew buses along Mitchley Avenue were then the RTs on Saturday route 115B, which lasted until December that year before replacement, again by XAs but this time on the 234B.


So for over two years, the 234B was (the only route?) operated by both OMO double- and single-deckers. This ended abruptly in January 1973, when the route was taken over on both Saturday and Sunday by DMSs. The XAs were sold to Hong Kong, but Croydon kept its RFs for another 4 years on the 234A.  The Sunday service ended in September 1980; the route itself lasted until August 1982, when it was reabsorbed into the 234, on Saturdays running only between Purley and Selsdon.


RF route in detail, with timing points

SOUTH CROYDON Garage, Brighton Road, Purley Fountain, Godstone Road, Downs Court Road, Mitchley Avenue, Lower Barn Road Mitchley Avenue, Mitchley Avenue, Rectory Park, Sanderstead Church, Addington Road, SELSDON Farley Road



Year Mon-Fri Sat Sun
1970 - - 60 mins
1971 - [XA] 30 mins

60 mins

The route took 21-25 minutes from end to end.
RF allocation
PVR 1969 (Jul): Mon-Fri -, Sat -, Sun 1

PVR 1970 (Oct): Mon-Fri -, Sat [3 XA], Sun 1


Croydon's RF routes in 1969 - 233, 234A and 234B.

1970 bus map © London Transport