Routes Numbered  178

On 6 January 1952 the 178 bus replaced the 78 tram on the route from West Norwood, Rosendale to Victoria. It was run using RT buses from initially Rye Lane garage (RL). On 2 April 1952 it was transferred to the new Stockwell garage (SW).

In this picture RT 2769. LYR 753 is seen on possibly the first day of the routes operation. The tram rails can still be seen in the road. It only lasted until 19 May 1954 when it was replaced by the 2a which went all the way to Golders Green from West Norwood.

This wasn't the first time a 178 bus had replaced a tram route. On 29 March 1927 L.G.O.C. route 178 replaced  the  branch line from Croydon  to Addiscombe It ran from Katherine Street to Addiscombe, Black Horse using NS buses from  Elmers End Garage (ED). Service ended on 11 October 1938.

The RLH buses were previously used on route 127 which was withdrawn on 19 August 1958. They were re-allocated to Dalston garage (D) to replace RFs on service 208a, (started 30 April 1941) which was then renumbered 178.  The 178 started service on 13 May 1959. This East London route twisted, turned, and went under a number of low bridges. It had to be re routed to avoid some extra low bridges.

The last day of operation of this 178, and the last London RLH buses was on 16 April 1971.  It was replaced by service S3, using MBS type buses, but had to be partly re-routed as the new buses found it difficult to navigate some of the turns. On 23 March 1975 MBS buses were replaced by SMS.

Photographed in the last few weeks of operation on 29 March 1971 in Stratford Broadway.
Photograph. John King.

A Volvo with Northern Counties bodywork, (VN) on route 178, Woolwich - Kidbrooke Station, via Plumstead Common and Shooters Hill Road,  in Kidbrooke Park Road. Just one more stop before Kidbrooke Station terminus. 
6 July 2001.
Photograph John King.

The 178 came to Woolwich on 27 September 1980, it ran from Woolwich to Thamesmead, Alsike Road, alongside route 177 which only went as far as Abbey Wood. it was run from Abbey Wood Garage using DMS buses. Then from 3 January 1981 with MD buses. On 31 October the new Plumstead garage (PD) opened and the 178 was transferred there.

The 192 went from Woolwich to Lewisham via Shooters Hill. Then on 31 October 1981 the route was diverted from Shooter Hill Road into Kidbrooke Park Road, instead of going over Blackheath. On 27 October 1984 the 291 was withdrawn between Woolwich and Lewisham, it was replaced by an extension of route 178. Leyland Titan buses were used (T) The 291 only served Woolwich - Woodlands Estate.  On 16 January 1988 the route was transferred to Bexleybus at Bexleyheath garage (BX). From 19 January 1991 BX was transferred to Central Buses 

Later it was discovered that the railway bridge in Kidbrooke Park Road was getting weak. All heavy traffic was diverted, the 178 went via Rochester Way and Westhorne Avenue with no stopping, to pick up the line of route. On the 8 October 1994 it was terminated at Kidbrooke Way and and was also curtailed at Woolwich. Route 278 ran the other half of the route to Lewisham from the other side of the railway at Kidbrooke Station.

A new terminus was built by reinstating a disused link road, adjacent to Kidbrooke Station. It was named Henley Cross and opened on 20 June 1998 From 23 January 1999 the 178 was transferred to Stagecoach Selkent back at PD. At one time all sorts were used on the route, single and double deck buses, (see Shooters Hill page 2) but now seems to have settled down using V ,VA, and VN types.

Much of the information on these routes was researched by Christopher J. Johnson. Many thanks.

Click here for full list of garages and vehicle types.

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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