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Selkent, or the South East London & Kent Bus Company Ltd, is one of many operators of bus services contracted to Transport for London. It is owned by Australian investment bank Macquarie Bank as part of the East London Bus Group.

Selkent shares its headquarters with sister company East London on Clements Road in Ilfordmarker.


Selkent (South East London & Kent) began as an operating district of London Transport in the early 1980s, before becoming one of the 12 operating subsidiaries established by London Buses Limited in late 1988. In the early 1990s, it was among the first of the LBL subsidiaries to completely cease operation of the Routemaster.

With the privatisation of the LBL subsidiaries in 1994, Selkent was acquired by the Stagecoach Group along with East London. It was subsequently renamed Stagecoach Selkent, and took up an all-over red livery. In November 2000, Stagecoach decided to rebrand its London operations simply as Stagecoach London, with buses receiving 'Stagecoach in London' fleetnames and a new livery incorporating the group's blue and orange swirls.

When Stagecoach sold its London operations to Macquarie Bank in 2006, the Selkent name returned, as did the sprig-of-hops logo used by the company during LT and LBL days. All-over red livery was also restored.


Selkent has three bus garages.


This garage runs London bus routes 61, 208, 227, 246, 269, 314, 354 and school routes 636, 637, 638 and 664.

Its current peak vehicle requirement is 88.


Bromley garage was opened by the London General Omnibus Company in April 1924. Built at a cost of £23,000, it was originally designed to house 60 buses, although the plan was to ultimately enlarge it to take an additional 40 when operations required it. Under an agreement reached between LGOC and Thomas Tilling, the garage was allocated to Tilling's use, along with Croydon and Lewisham, resulting in Tilling-type vehicles being the mainstay of the fleet until 1949, when the final petrol-engined STL-type double deckers were finally superseded. This was made possible by the hire of 17 AEC Regents from Leeds City Transport. Between 1972 and 1979, Daimler Fleetlines joined the RT, running alongside them. Routemasters were not introduced to Bromley until 1975, but were soon replaced in 1984 by Leyland Titans. With regards to single deckers, Bromley first housed RFs, arriving in 1952, which were gradually replaced by MB and SMS type vehicles between 1968 and 1971. FS type minibuses were operated from 1972 until the BS type replaced them in 1976. These were in turn replaced by BLs in 1978. In 1977, the venerable Leyland National replaced the last of the SMSs, and ran alongside the BLs until 1985, when Bromley became the domain of Nationals and Titans. In the early 1990s, Bromley became the home of Carlyle-bodied Dennis Darts (DT class) and MCW Metrorider/Optare MetroRider (MR/MRL class) midibuses. After the takeover by Stagecoach, the fleet at Bromley was standardised on the Dennis Trident 2 and Dennis Dart. In slightly more recent years, a plot of land on the opposite side of the side road (Lower Gravel Road) was developed in to an open yard for storage of the larger number of generally longer, taller, wider vehicles required for today's operations.

Bromley garage is also the first garage to receive refurbishments to all of its Trident fleet. Currently 17280-17289 have been carried out. It is likely that the programme will be finished in summer 2008.

Bus types in use


This garage holds 121 buses, and runs London bus routes 47, 124, 136, 178, 199, 273, 356, 380, P4, school routes 624, 658 and 660, Night routes N47 and N136.

Current PVR is 104.


Catford Garage was opened in 1914 by the LGOC, but was requisitioned a year later and did not re-open until 1920 when Thomas Tilling's Lewisham operation moved there due to space constraints at his other garage. Originally coded L, for Lewisham, it was changed in 1924 to avoid confusion with Loughton. Thomas Tilling got an agreement in 1923 to double the size of Catford and to open a new garage in Bromley to cope with the new housing estates that were springing up around the area. The roof has had to be raised twice, first in 1930 to enable double deck buses to use the garage and again in 1948 to accommodate RTs. By 1954 TL was operating some 194 RTs, the last disappearing in 1978. TL has done considerably better than most garages in numbers over the years, especially since de-regulation, having an allocation of 122 buses in 1994 rising to around 160 in the early 2000s. The current allocation is 121 low floor vehicles.

Bus types in use


This runs London bus routes 51, 96, 99, 122, 177, 291, 386, 469, 472, 24-hour routes 53, school routes 601, 602, 625 and 672.

The current PVR is 162.


Plumstead is well sited to serve the growing area of Thamesmead, and was built in 1981 to replace the existing Plumstead and Abbey Wood garages and was intended to be called Thamesmead. Built to hold 185 buses at a cost of £6M, when opened in 1981 it had an allocation entirely made up of MCW Metropolitan, and by 1983 had changed entirely to Titans. PD has never quite reached its capacity, although in 2001 it had grown to 159 and today's allocation is 189. The garage was home to 35 Mercedes Benz articulated buses that worked on route 453 between 2003 and 2008.

Bus types in use

See also


  1. About Selkent

External links

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