This site is about Arriva's DX Garage (Barking). The 78 is my favourite route from Arriva at the moment. London Bus Routes: 78, 128, 135, 173, 212(School Jnys), 275, 462, 651, 667, 673 and 675 come from this garage.Lets start with the 78. The 78 has been with Arriva since the route started which is more than 15 years. It goes from Shoreditch (Calvert Avenue) to Nunhead (St. Mary's Road) via Peckham. The 128 runs from Claybury Broadway to Romford Station via Ilford. This route began on 20th March 1993 and provided a Monday to Saturday service between Romford Station and Ilford (Roden St) The 128 was enforced as it replaced the 129 between Romford and Becontree Heath. The route was operated from Barking Garage (BK) by East London using Titans. By the 4th December 1993 the operation was transferred to Romford North St Garage (NS). During 1995 the operation was transferred to Stagecoach East London using the same type of buses. Later on the 19th July 1997 stagecoach lost the contract to Harris Bus and they decided to introduce a Sunday service. The 128 was now operated from Thurrock Garage (WT). 25th March 2000 Harris Bus lost of the contract to East Thames Buses and they operated the 128 from their garage at Ash Grove (AG). They used a variety of double Decker buses. On the 25th June 2004 the route was extended from Ilford to Claybury Broadway as the Route 129 was withdrawn. On the 15th October 2005 East Thames Buses lost the contract to Arriva London and they now operate the 128 from their Barking Garage (DX) using low floor double deckers called VLA type. The average journey time is between 44 and 67 minutes, the frequency Monday to Saturday is every 12 minutes, Sunday and evenings every 20 minutes. Route 135 began on 24th May 2008, being the first route to connect The City to Docklands. The route parallels the DLR running via Limehouse, Westferry, Canary Wharf, Heron Quays and Mudchute stations before terminating at Crossharbour, Asda. The 173 runs from Goodmayes (King George Hospital) to Beckton Bus Station via Becontree Heath. The 212 is currently contracted to First Capital and Arriva London North (school journeys). 275 runs from St. James Street Station to Barkingside via Woodford. The 275 has been operated by a succession of modern vehicle types for the past 15 years or so, yet none of those vehicles were purchased specifically for the route, all being cascaded from other routes! In its last months with London Buses, it went from Titan to single deck LS class Leyland National operation (as a result of moving from Walthamstow to Leyton garage), before being lost to Eastern National in 1986. EN, as was common in those times of financial limitation, used some old Bristol VRs, but at least this allowed a reversion to double deck operation. Eastern National was split in two in July 1990, and the London operations, including the 275, were passed over to the new Thamesway company. However the 275 was lost to Grey Green from March 1992; to begin with, Grey Green drafted in some modern but unusual East Lancs bodied Scania double deckers. The Grey Green fleet was later absorbed into the general ‘Arriva London,’ and the famous grey and green colours have given way to red with modern cream swoosh. I was under the impression that the route was going to get new low floor single deckers as part of its contract from February 2000, but this has not occurred, even though the route received an appropriate frequency increase at that time. Instead, contract renewal in March 2005 saw new low floor double deck buses specified – but again, instead of them being put on the 275, they were delivered to Tottenham garage (in some cases after temporary use on route 19), with other low floor double deckers being cascaded across to Barking. This is no doubt to aid standardisation, as the latest buses were Alexander bodied whereas Barking had Wright bodied vehicles. The 462 was Awarded to Arriva on 6th July 2006. The 651 goes from Chase Cross to Romford Station via Havering Park. The desire by the Mayor/Transport for London for a fully low floor bus operation by the end of 2005 created a bit of a problem with some school routes, where the cost of new vehicles, especially late in the contract, could be hard to justify. In the case of the 649 and 651 this resulted in Blue Triangle surrendering the contracts early. The 649 had been particularly interesting having seen regular National Greenway operation for a while – the last London route with this feature. Along with the 649, it was also the last to see Titan operation. The 667 runs to West Hatch School (Chigwell) and from Ilford (Hainault Street). The 673 goes From Warren School (Whalbone Ln Nth) to Beckton Bus Station via Route 173 (Becontree Heath). The 675 runs from St. James Street to Woodbridge School (Woodford) via Route 275 (Woodford). The 678 used to come from DX and is now coming from East London Bus Group's WH (West Ham) Garage. TIP: All route that start with "6" is a school bus except for 603 and 607 (EXPRESS SERVICE). also route 103 used to come from DX. Operation of the 103 has been shuffled about rather over the years ever since County Bus won the route back from 1 September 1990. The company operated it from its Grays base, with standard ThameSide branding, using a batch of fourteen single door Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympians, LR 101-110/112-115 (H101 GEV etc.). However, following a management shakeup at County, the contract for the 103 was very quickly surrendered, and Grey Green stepped in to take it over from the following January. The nearly-new Olympians were transferred, re-numbered into Grey Green sequence as 401-410/412-415 and gradually repainted into the company’s grey and green colours with orange relief. At the time, Grey Green was the only bus operation within the Cowie group, but subsequently Cowie decided to expand its bus work. The first major expansion came with the acquisition of the Leaside and South London divisions of London Buses, and soon after the company also purchased County Bus, thus bringing the 103 back under the same ownership as its former operator! The route was one of two (the other being the 4) surprisingly re-awarded one the basis of existing step entrance double deckers in September 2000, at a time when nearly everything was being awarded with low floor vehicles. However dual door vehicles were specified, so the H*** GEV Olympians were replaced by visually identical dual door Olympians that had come to Arriva with Kentish Bus, part of British Bus, and subsequently used by Arriva London North, the former Leaside, at Tottenham garage. Further type changes occurred towards the end of the contract, and the 103 has now had its fourth type change in barely a year! First the ex-Kentish Bus Olympians were replaced by Volvo Citybuses displaced from central London routes, allowing the Olympians to be converted into driver trainers, then Arriva sold all the Citybuses and the 103 was converted back to Olympians, this time Alexander bodied vehicles displaced from the 253 by new vehicles. Another round of new contracts commencing from 15 October 2005 saw Arriva lose the 103 but win route 128. The new buses for the 128 started arriving early and were pressed into service, but mainly on route 20 to preserve them from the inevitable vandalism on parts of the 103. Consequently slightly older Eclipse Geminis were used on the 103 for its last couple of months with Arriva. Now at Stagecoach/East London the route has been converted to Trident, seemingly mainly short wheelbase ones. The 20 was at DX but got transfered to EC (Edmonton).
S173 JUA ADL 973