London Buses route 118 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Brixton and Morden, it is operated by London General.
Route 118 commenced operating on 18 November 1936 as a daily service between Mitcham Common and Clapham Common via Poynders Road - Clapham Park - Streatham Hill - Streatham Common - Greyhond Lane - Streatham Vale - Rownan Road. It was introduced to partly replace route 5. The route was initially operated by London Transport from their Streatham (AK) garage using AEC Renowns.
By 1950, the route had been extended at the southern end beyond Mitcham Common to Raynes Park, via Mitcham Cricket Green, Morden and Lower Morden, at that time being jointly operated seven days a week by Streatham and Merton garages using STL and D class vehicles respectively.
By 1953, AEC Regent III RTs had taken over and for the next 15 years the route essentially continued unaltered.
On 22 March 1969, the route was withdrawn between Raynes Park and Morden Station as part of a policy of route shortening to improve efficiency and the gradual introduction of driver-only operation. This withdrawn section formed the western end of new driver-only Route M1 between Raynes Park and Hackbridge, operated by Merton (AL) garage whose involvement in Route 118 ceased at this point, leaving Streatham (AK) garage as the sole operator.
From 17 June 1972, the Sunday operation was transferred from Streatham (AK) to Brixton (BN) garage using AEC Regent III RTs. By this time, Streatham were able to convert the Saturday service to AEC Routemaster operation using vehicles spare from the weekday allocations on routes 49 and 159.
From May 1973, Brixton (BN) garage gained a Monday to Saturday allocation as well and by May 1976 the route was fully converted to Routemaster operation, having been subject to a gradual changeover in the interim.
From 28 October 1978, the allocation was transferred to Brixton (BN) garage, by which time it was the only service from that depot using Routemasters, the other crew (driver/conductor) operations on routes 109 and 133 both using Daimler Fleetlines. Even if Daimler Fleetlines were available for route 118, they were never used as their larger size made them inappropriate for use along the narrow Commonside East in Mitcham, a likely factor in the route not succumbing sooner to driver-only operation.
On 27 April 1985, route 118 was converted to one person operation under the second of four major OPO conversion programmes implemented across London that year. Sixteen new MCW Metrobus vehicles were provided for this purpose. The issue of tight clearance along Commonside East was addressed by introducing 'passing points' with appropriate road signage for the drivers and the replacement of one of the existing road-side bus stops with a bay stop.
By the end of 1985, Daimler Fleetlines started to appear alongside Metrobuses for various logistical reasons and continued to do so in increasing quantity until the end of Brixton Garage's involvement.
On 7 February 1987, the route was transferred from Brixton Garage to the newly reopened Streatham Garage. A batch of brand new Leyland Olympian were provided for Streatham's double-deck one man operation services, including the 118. From the same date, Route 118 exchanged routing with Route 137 between Streatham Hill station and the Kings Avenue/South Circular Road junction.
From June 1987, the One man Operation conversion of Route 49 lead to an influx of mostly earlier examples of Metrobuses into Streatham Garage, resulting in mixed ECW bodied Leyland Olympian and MCW Metrobus operation across all their one man operation services.
By 1989, the ECW bodied Leyland Olympians were required elsewhere to cover tendered routes and were replaced by Daimler Fleetlines, resulting in their return to the 118.
On 6 January 1990, Route 118 was withdrawn between Streatham Hill station and Clapham Common, with this section passing to route 60. Route 118 was re-routed to terminate at Brixton Garage off-peak, extending Monday-Friday peak hours to Brixton station, basically just replicating the trunk routes 109, 133 and 159 along this path.
On 10 August 1991, the Sunday service was transferred to Norwood (N) Garage and was converted to single-deck operation using Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Darts.
On 14 March 1992, tendering losses elsewhere in South London forced the closure of Streatham Garage after only five years of renewed operation, resulting in the 118 reallocating back to Brixton Garage and converting to Leyland Titan (T class) operation in the process. (Leyland Titans having transferred from Walthamstow Garage to Brixton and other South London garages from late 1991, ousting almost all remaining D/DMS class vehicles).
On 3 February 1993, the entire evening service was converted to single-deck Midibus operation using Optare StaRiders from Norwood (N) garage. Around this time, Leyland Titans began to be replaced at Brixton (BN) garage by Metrobuses, reverting the 118 in the process.
On 29 January 1994, the service was extended to run to Brixton station at all times rather than peak hours.
On 23 March 1996, the weekday evening service reverted to double-deck operation using MCW Metrobuses from Brixton (BN) garage.
On 31 September 1997, the Sunday service reverted to double-deck operation using MCW Metrobuses and was transferred to Brixton (BN) garage.
On 30 April 2000, the Sunday service was converted to low floor single decker operation using Plaxton Pointer 2 bodied Dennis Dart SLFs.
On 3 February 2001, the route passed to London General operating from their Merton (AL) garage and was converted to low floor operation using Plaxton President bodided Volvo B7TLs.
On 4 February 2006,the route was retained by London General.
On 5 February 2011, the route was retained by London General with brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s introduced.
On 3 December 2016, the allocation was transferred to Croydon (C) garage.
On 28 January 2017, the allocation was transferred to Stockwell (SW) garage.
The route will be retained by London General from 3 February 2018.
Route 118 operates via these primary locations:
- Brixton Station
- Brixton Hill
- Streatham Hill
- Greyhound Lane
- Streatham Common
- Streatham Vale
- Rowan Road
- Manor Road
- Commonside East
- Mitcham Fair Green
- London Road
- Mitcham Tramlink
- Wandle Road