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London Buses route 116

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London Buses route 116 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Hounslow and Ashford Hospital, it is operated by London United.

HistoryEdit

Route 116's origins can be traced to 1 December 1924, when route 117A, running between Hounslow garage and Staines via Bedfont, was renumbered as 116A. At the time, each different destination had its own suffixed number and the number 116 was reserved for the summer Sunday variant that ran between Hounslow and Ascot via Staines, Egham and Virginia Water.

There were also summer weekday afternoon extensions to Virginia Water as 116B, and, from September 1927, an all-year Saturday afternoon extension to Egham as 116E. The Ascot extension last ran in 1933, the Virginia Water one in 1935 and the Egham one in 1936. From 8 April 1936 the 116 ran daily between Hounslow and Staines, with an extension on summer Saturday afternoons and summer Sundays to Windsor Castle via Runnymede and Old Windsor. In 1939 the summer extension was only to Old Windsor, and there were no summer extensions in 1940 to 1945.

The Old Windsor journeys were operated on summer Sundays from 25 May 1946 to 9 October 1960. Sunday was the busiest day of the week for route 116, with buses every 6 minutes to Staines and every 12 minutes on to Old Windsor. Buses were not allowed along the un-lit Windsor Road in Runnymede during the hours of darkness, and so the last bus beyond Staines was progressively earlier as the autumn nights drew in.

Route 116 was extended eastwards on weekday daytimes from 9 May 1962, from Hounslow, via Kingsley Road, Great West Road and Chiswick High Road to Turnham Green, and on to Hammersmith on weekday peaks and Saturdays. From 31 December 1966 the Saturday service was only as far as Turnham Green. From 15 June 1968 Monday to Friday off-peak service was withdrawn east of Hounslow and the peak service terminated at Hammersmith Met Station. From 18 June 1969 the Saturday service terminated in Hounslow.

Between 1 January 1967 and 17 August 1969 the Sunday service was operated as route 116A, which ran from Staines to Hounslow and then via Lampton and Heston to Cranford.

On 18 September 1971, the route was converted to driver-only operation, the AEC Regent III RTs being replaced by single deck AEC Swifts, and the weekday peak service was withdrawn beyond Boston Manor Road and diverted to serve Brentford County Court; the turn into Boston Manor Road was difficult and the route was almost immediately diverted via Windmill Road before the Brenford terminal was changed on 20 November 1971 to the Great West Road junction with South Ealing Road. In 1976, the AEC Swifts were replaced with new Leyland Nationals.

On 24 April 1982, the weekday peak extension east of Hounslow was withdrawn. From 29 January 1983, a joint weekday allocation with route 203 was introduced. By now the service beyond Bedfont to Staines was only hourly and buses changed between 116 and 203 at Staines. From 14 April 1984 there was a summer Sunday extension from Staines to Thorpe Park. This last operated on 16 September 1990.

On 9 August 1986, the route was passed to Westlink. On 10 August 1991, route 116 was passed to Tellings-Golden Miller with a fleet of ex Midland Fox Leyland Nationals. The service was extended from Hounslow to Brentford, via London Road, but withdrawn between Bedfont and Staines. After 66 years there was no longer a direct route between Hounslow and Staines.

Tellings-Golden Miller pulled out of bus operations quickly, and route 116 passed to London & Country on 23 February 1992 who ran it using East Lancs Greenways. The route was reinstated between Bedfont and Staines on 27 November 1993. On 31 August 1996, the route was transferred back to London United and withdrawn between Ashford Hospital and Staines. From 1998 the route was converted back to double deck operation using MCW Metrobuses.

In 1999, Leyland Olympians were introduced. In 2001, route 116 was converted to low-floor single deck operation using Plaxton Pointer 2 bodied Dennis Dart SLFs. In September 2006, the allocation was moved to Hounslow Heath (HH) garage. In 2008, route 116 was retained by London United.

On 15 August 2015, route 116 was converted to double deck using brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LHs

On 29 August 2015, route 116 was retained by London United.

Current routeEdit

  • Hounslow Bus Station
  • Hounslow Heath
  • North Feltham
  • Bedfont Green
  • Ashford Hospital

External linksEdit

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