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London Buses route 286: Map


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London Buses route 286 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in Londonmarker, United Kingdommarker. The service is currently contracted to Arriva Southern Counties.


The 286 has its roots in old route 108A, which started in April 1944 as a Monday to Saturday rush hours service from Well Hall Roundabout to Poplarmarker, and soon gained a daytime service and an extension to Bowmarker (Seven Stars) in line with the 108. A Sunday service was added a couple of years later, and a further extension to Eltham proper, with a terminus at Southend Crescent, was effected in 1950.

Meanwhile, route 228 (Chislehurstmarker to Elthammarker via Sidcupmarker and Avery Hill) was given an ambitious Monday to Friday extension to Surrey Docksmarker via Rochester Way, Westcombe Hill and Greenwichmarker, as well as a 228A version diverting at East Greenwich to the South end of the Blackwall Tunnelmarker — North Greenwich as we call it now. Needless to say, this brought in a large measure of duplication with the 108A, so in 1969 the routes were rationalised with the 228 becoming Chislehurst — Eltham again and the 108A running from Eltham to Surrey Docks (Greenwich Sundays) and yet further during peak hours to London Bridgemarker.

At the same time, the 108, which now reached as far south as Lower Sydenhammarker, was cut back to Blackheathmarker (Royal Standard), leaving the section south to the 108B (Crystal Palacemarker to Blackwall Tunnel), this being introduced at weekends to cover. However, within a year the ends were swapped round again, with the 108A withdrawn, the 108 extended to Eltham and the 108B diverted to Greenwich (Surrey Docks during rush hours). The 185 provided an alternative route from Catfordmarker and Lewishammarker to the Blackwall Tunnel during rush hours.

The section of 108B west of Greenwich was withdrawn in 1985, but a re-think in 1986 produced the 286, almost recreating the 108A of 1969-70 from Eltham to Greenwich. The 108B was cut back to Lewisham, and the 108 diverted to Lewisham to cover. Although initially double deck worked, the 286 quickly fell into the hands of Optare StarRider minibuses from New Cross garage. The route was a surprise award to Transcity Coaches of Sidcup starting on 11 July 1992, which bought some new 9m Dennis Darts for the route.

Transcity was bought out by Kentish Bus in 1993, with the vehicles repainted from Transcity's green (with yellow relief) to KB cream and maroon. Subsequent sale of the original Plaxton bodied Darts to Metrobus in 1995 resulted in Northern Counties-bodied Darts taking over, and these lasted until 1998 when they were replaced by new 10.7m low-floor Darts in the turquoise national Arriva livery. Those buses have recently been ousted, transferring to routes 370 and 477 where they replaced Darts that were newer but did not have the particulate traps needed to comply with TfL's new Low Emission Zone starting next year.

The new vehicles were part of a package of changes linked to the withdrawal of circular routes 228 and 328 — the descendants of the 228 mentioned above. In 1986, the 228, once again Eltham to Chislehurst via Avery Hill and Sidcup, was extended from Chislehurst back to Eltham via the former 61/61B route via New Eltham, making it circular. Initially A and C suffixes (for anticlockwise and clockwise) were used to distinguish the directions, but the routes became the 228 and 328 on 16 January 1988 when their garage (Sidcup) closed and the routes transferred to independent operator Boro'Line Maidstone. But the 228 and 328 were withdrawn, the 286 extended to replace them as far as Sidcup (Queen Mary’s Hospital), via Avery Hill, a similar extension to the 160 replacing the western leg. This re-creates the 228 as it was in the 1960s, apart from the short sections between Chislehurst and Sidcup and between Greenwich and Surrey Docks.

They have now been replaced as part of a new contract by new Enviro200Darts.


Sidcup - Avery Hill - Eltham - Kidbrooke - Blackheath - Greenwich

Sidcup Queen Mary's Hospital (loop via Frognal Avenue, Fognal Place and hospital roads) - Chislehurst Road - Elm Road - Station Road - Sidcup Station - Halfway Street - Avery Hill Road - Avery Hill - Bexley Road - Eltham High Street - Well Hall Road - Eltham Station - Well Hall Road - Rochester Way - Kidbrooke - Rochester Way - Shooters Hill Road - Stratheden Road - Blackheath Royal Standard - Westcombe Hill - Westcombe Park Station - Westcombe Hill - bus-only link road - Woolwich Road - Trafalgar Road - Romney Road - Nelson Road - Greenwich Cutty Sark

Greenwich - Blackheath - Kidbrooke - Eltham - Avery Hill - Sidcup

Greenwich Cutty Sark - King William Walk - Romney Road - Trafalgar Road - Woolwich Road - Combedale Road - Westcombe Hill - Westcombe Park Station - Westcombe Hill - Blackheath Royal Standard - Stratheden Road - Shooters Hill Road - Kidbrooke Park Road - Kidbrooke Way - Kidbrooke - Rochester Way - Well Hall Road - Eltham Station - Well Hall Road - Eltham High Street - Bexley Road - Avery Hill - Avery Hill Road - Halfway Street - Sidcup Station - Station Road - Elm Road - Chislehurst Road - Sidcup Queen Mary's Hospital

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