London Transport Route 124A

frodshamfella

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I was brought up in the Bexley area and as a kid I remember seeing the Sunday afternoon only 124A to Bexley Hospital. At the Bexley Hospital terminus it looked like the bus would do a turn in the road, I never saw this happen, or it could have continued up to the roundabout over the A2 to continue with its return journey back to Forest Hill. If the bus did turn in the road would this have been an unusual occurrence , as buses tended to use side roads and go round the block so to speak .
 
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PeterC

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Depends when you are talking about and what type of bus was in use. When RT operated it most likely reversed into a side turning, When DMS operated it would have gone forward to a suitable turning place. On StreetView Old Bexley Lane looks too narrow for a U turn.
 

Roger1973

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1962 OS map here shows that the road layout has changed, and looks as though there was plenty of room to do a full circle (almost around the word 'OLD' in Old Bexley Lane) without the need to reverse, setting down and picking up at the shelter on the north side of the road. There is a (now out of print) enthusiast produced book of diagrams of LT country bus terminus arrangements (as far as I know there isn't a central area equivalent) and this confirms that short working 401's did that.

I'm not aware that the arrangement changed after the 124A went OPO, but I can't say that it didn't.

Other u-turns I can think of on the London network -

trolleybuses at Stamford Hill Broadway - not sure if this continued in to bus days or if so for how long;

trolleybuses and later trolleybus replacement routes from the north at Liverpool Street, Bishopsgate - not sure when this ended, but think 149's continued to do it in to the 1980s;

also at Manor House, Seven Sisters Road, from the east (think this lasted quite late - picture, not mine, of an Eastern National VR doing it in 1987 here.)

There is also this arrangement on Waterloo Road for buses to do a u-turn with traffic signal assistance - it's been there at least 10 - 15 years, but not sure when it started. May have been when the Cornwall Road bus stand turned in to the Red Arrow garage.
 

Roger1973

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They are still doing it on the 279.

I didn't realise that - thought they had put a stop to it a while ago (that part of London isn't quite my patch) Looks like it's not quite the same place, it used to be closer to the Underground Station so that northbound buses could serve the stops outside the old LT / MET offices, which would (now) involve crossing three lanes of westbound traffic.
 

Mojo

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There is also this arrangement on Waterloo Road for buses to do a u-turn with traffic signal assistance - it's been there at least 10 - 15 years, but not sure when it started. May have been when the Cornwall Road bus stand turned in to the Red Arrow garage.
There’s a similar arrangement on the A1, Archway Road which came into being in 2017 when the roundabout / gyratory system had one side removed and became two way streets - one of the roads that buses used to wait time on was changed to run the other direction. You can see it here: https://goo.gl/maps/yVza7jNqmGaYGGVQ6

This is one of the many changes which made bus travel slower in the area; whilst the former bus lane started off at the roundabout and carried on much of the way up the hill, the new bus lane is now only available to empty buses that are turning around, meaning that the public services must wait until they have passed the U turn section before they can join the bus lane.
 

AlbertBeale

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There’s a similar arrangement on the A1, Archway Road which came into being in 2017 when the roundabout / gyratory system had one side removed and became two way streets - one of the roads that buses used to wait time on was changed to run the other direction. You can see it here: https://goo.gl/maps/yVza7jNqmGaYGGVQ6

This is one of the many changes which made bus travel slower in the area; whilst the former bus lane started off at the roundabout and carried on much of the way up the hill, the new bus lane is now only available to empty buses that are turning around, meaning that the public services must wait until they have passed the U turn section before they can join the bus lane.

When I was a toddler, living in Putney (c 1950), I was always pestering to be taken across the common to Lower Richmond Road to watch the bus which did a U-turn round a tree in a side-road. It must have been the 22 (assuming the number hasn't changed) - it still does that today I think.
 

frodshamfella

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Depends when you are talking about and what type of bus was in use. When RT operated it most likely reversed into a side turning, When DMS operated it would have gone forward to a suitable turning place. On StreetView Old Bexley Lane looks too narrow for a U turn.

The DMS, I don't remember the RT

1962 OS map here shows that the road layout has changed, and looks as though there was plenty of room to do a full circle (almost around the word 'OLD' in Old Bexley Lane) without the need to reverse, setting down and picking up at the shelter on the north side of the road. There is a (now out of print) enthusiast produced book of diagrams of LT country bus terminus arrangements (as far as I know there isn't a central area equivalent) and this confirms that short working 401's did that.

I'm not aware that the arrangement changed after the 124A went OPO, but I can't say that it didn't.

Other u-turns I can think of on the London network -

trolleybuses at Stamford Hill Broadway - not sure if this continued in to bus days or if so for how long;

trolleybuses and later trolleybus replacement routes from the north at Liverpool Street, Bishopsgate - not sure when this ended, but think 149's continued to do it in to the 1980s;

also at Manor House, Seven Sisters Road, from the east (think this lasted quite late - picture, not mine, of an Eastern National VR doing it in 1987 here.)

There is also this arrangement on Waterloo Road for buses to do a u-turn with traffic signal assistance - it's been there at least 10 - 15 years, but not sure when it started. May have been when the Cornwall Road bus stand turned in to the Red Arrow garage.

From what I recall as a kid, the final stop for the 124A just past the hospital entrance, was a bit of a largish layby type area. The bus shelter was not positioned diagonally to the road, but rather facing back towards Old Bexley Lane.
 

Busaholic

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The Heritage RM service 9H(labelled as a 9 to the public) in its last incarnation did a U turn at the Kensington (Holland Road) terminus, sometimes with passengers on board! The old Crystal Palace Parade terminus (i.e. before the creation of the bus station) saw all routes from the west (2/B, 137, 49, later 249) do a u-turn to face west at their terminal stops.


Reverting to the original subject, I wish I could remember what the terminal arrangements were at Bexley Hospital in RT days, but my only trip there on a bus was at the age of 3 or 4 when the normally circular 132 route provided a special service from Well Hall Station to this mental institution. I can date it to 1951 or 1952 because, owing to a family tragedy, I was sent to live with my maternal grandmother in her mansion flat in Well Hall Road, which had a bay window suitable for a young boy to sit in for hours at a time and led to my early obsession with buses (and trams!) My favourite bus routes were the 132 and tram replacement 182, the latter because of its prewar RTs, but what really excited my fertile young mind were the Sunday afternoon 132s with all via blinds set to black blank, no route number displayed on the side or at the back and the sole display the destination Bexley Hospital. My grandmother had her own mental health issues, so I was both intrigued and fearful when she told me it was the local 'loony bin.' Nevertheless I pestered my grandmother to go on one of these journeys, and it eventually occurred. All I remember was my profound disappointment when the bus didn't enter the grounds of the hospital, being told this was because 'one of the lunatics might escape.' I had a great fear of Bexley Hospital for much of my early years! I suspect we stayed on the bus and returned to Eltham Church. By the way, it well might have been an RTL rather than an RT, that detail escapes me too.
 
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Roger1973

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By the way, it well might have been an RTL rather than an RT, that detail escapes me too

According to Ian Armstrong's website, the 132 (and presume the rest of Sidcup Garage) converted from RTL to RT in May 1955, so would have been an RTL in 1951/2.

From what I recall as a kid, the final stop for the 124A just past the hospital entrance, was a bit of a largish layby type area. The bus shelter was not positioned diagonally to the road, but rather facing back towards Old Bexley Lane.

Old Maps has 1980s maps and it doesn't look much changed from the 1962 layout. The LT 'red book' timetable only describes the service part of the route, and shows the 124A as far as Dartford Road. The terminus working was only included in the route description if passengers were carried to / from the stand, so the 1970s version doesn't make clear whether DMS buses did a u-turn here, or whether they went on either to the roundabout over the A2, or possibly to the triangular bit (also no longer there) just before it to turn.

There have been one or two books published on the subject of LT Sunday routes / variations, which may have more - I don't have one to hand.
 

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