Belvedere Transport History

486 bus Lower Belvedere
London Transport Country Buses. 
Service 486. Belvedere - Dartford. seen at Picardy Street, Lower Belvedere. 
RT 3211. KYY 940. 
This is a scene unchanged today, Just the road is solid with cars parked all day for the nearby railway station, plus the fact that the bus doesn't run anymore. Previously the road the bus is parked in was the main road, with a double bend by the station, and trollybus wires round it. 
August 1967. 
Photograph. John King

401 bus Upper Belvedere

Three green buses came to Belvedere, the 491 to Horton Kirby, and 401 (from Upper Belvedere) to Sevenoaks. Only the 401 now runs, it is a red bus and goes from Thamesmead to Bexleyheath only.
This is a 401 RT in the days of London Transport Country Buses, seen here in Nuxley Road, Belvedere. The 401 went from Upper Belvedere (Eardly Arms) to Sevenoaks. However the bus in the picture is terminating at Dartford. 
This road has changed little, it is now one way to allow for cars to park in a solid line down both sides of  the road with just room for a bus to travel down the middle. 
circa 1968 
Photograph John King

491 in Greenline livery

An RT on London Transport Country Buses, seen here in Greenline livery at Picardy Street, Belvedere (near railway station). 
RT 1021. JXN 49 
from Dartford garage (DT). 
Service 491. Lower Belvedere - Horton Kirby. This bus is going to Wilmington. 
circa. October 1968
698 trollybus Lower Belvedere
Trollybus 789 (ELB 789) Class H1 Leyland standard 6 wheel chassis, bodywork by Metropolitan-Cammel-Weymann. 

Seen in Abbey Road, Lower Belvedere, near Elstree Gardens, 

Service 698. Woolwich (Parsons Hill) - Abbey Wood - Erith - Bexleyheath (Clock Tower) 

Circa 1959. 

Does anyone have a picture of trolleybus route 694, Woolwich-Erith via Welling and Bexleheath. This was a Sunday/Bank Holiday route during
the war years. If you have a picture and would like to see it published on the internet please email

For more  pictures of the 696 and 698
and other trollybuses go to, 


While there were lots of Trollybus routes in SW, West and North London the only ones in SE London were those which ran from Woolwich to Bexleyheath. The 698 via Abbey Wood and Erith. Also the 696 via Wickham Lane and Welling.

The trollybuses were originally conceived to replace London's trams, but the programme was halted before they were all converted. The remaining trams were then all converted to diesel buses. The last were in the Woolwich area in July 1952, ( the last tram was numbered coincidentally 1952). Trollybuses followed suit around ten years later. See the South London Trolleybus Proposals

The Central Repair Depot of the LCC Tramways was located at Charlton, and as such, was one of the most advanced depots in the country. It was also used for trolleybuses, and was about two miles from the nearest trolleybus overhead at Woolwich Also the network at Woolwich was cut off from the rest of London's network.

The 696 was converted from the 96 tram which ran to Horns Cross, (near todays Bluewater). it was replaced by a 96 bus which ran to Dartford, but has now been extended to the new Bluewater shopping complex. In 1958 service 96 was a long standing route from Redbridge to Putney. On 20 August 1958 it was withdrawn. Just in time to make its way to SE London in March 1959. The 698 trollybus was replaced by the 229 bus, the route was then extended to Orpington station. A 132 bus also ran from Woolwich to Bexleyheath via Erith. The route then went to Danson Road, and on to Eltham Well Hall.

Previous to London Transport the tram routes were run by Bexley, Dartford, and Erith Councils. Bexley took over the Dartford system after a disasterous depot fire on August Bank Holiday 1917 which destroyed all the Dartford Fleet. During a very short period in the summer of 1914 it was possible to see at Bexleyheath Clock Tower apple green and cream Erith cars, dark brown Bexley cars, standard LCC E/1s on the Sunday extension of route 38 from Wickham Lane and finally dark red and cream Dartford trams. Trams of four undertakings at one location was a rarity in London.

Many thanks to Robert J. Harley for some of the information used on this page.

This page was designed and is maintained by Toby and John King, I would accept any comments or questions  See Index Page

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