Dartford Transport History

DMS 197. JGF 197K Service 96. Woolwich - Dartford, at Market Place, Dartford.
2 February 1975.
Photograph. Steve Thoroughgood

Service 96 started as a tram operated by Dartford Council, and then Bexley Council Tramways. It was numbered 96 when taken over by London Transport. As part of the tram replacement programme in the 30s. the 96 and 98 trams were converted to trolleybus operation. The services became route numbers 696 and 698. At the end of trolleybus operation the service reverted to route 96. this time diesel bus. The 698 was replaced by extending a couple of different bus routes. In the 96 tram days the service went beyond Dartford to Horns Cross, (near to toady's Bluewater). The trolleybus and bus services only went to Dartford. Since the new Bluewater shopping complex opened in a disused chalk quarry near Greenhithe, the service has been extended there. So going back to almost the original destination of the tram.

The 96 went to the very outskirts of the red central bus operations in Dartford. all other routes were London Transport's Country Bus Service, with green livery. This later became London Country. The country bus service came into London only as far as Bexleyheath and Belvedere.

London Country RF Dartford

This picture is of a London Country RF in  High Street Dartford, not far from East Hill. 
RF 594 NLE 594. Service 452, Dartford - Longfield - West Kingsdown. 
May 1968. 
Photograph. John King

A green Country area bus in the same place as the above picture, in May 1968. 
RML 2322, on service 480. Erith - Dartford - Gravesend.
Photograph. John King

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