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Route 50
14 October 2008

In the previous version of this page I noted that the 50, then running between Croydon and Streatham, had once run further north to Stockwell, and commented that such an alignment could be useful today. Now, just that has come about! We will come back to the history further on, but here are examples of the present rolling stock on the route. The scheduled type is the VDL DB250LF/Wright Pulsar Gemini combination, of which DW35 (LJ53 NJF), from the first batch, passes along Wellesley Road, near West Croydon bus station, on 9 October 2008, at least one passenger making the most of the Indian summer!

Photo © Adam Murray.

Further along Wellesley Road, nearer East Croydon station, heading the other way, is DLA178 (W378 VGJ), one of the earlier DB250LFs bodied by Alexander, on 13 November 2005, displaying what was then the northern terminus of the route, Streatham Hill Station. Contrast the cramped via blind display, hard to read even at this proximity, with the much larger, albeit less informative, information on the DW above.

Photo © James Fullick.

The 50 has had quite a complex history, and here is a summary.

The 1998 changes were said to be ‘to improve reliability’ by shortening the route, though this has to be nonsense as the section was replaced by a southwards extension of the 60, which shared the Streatham Common terminal of the 50 and was thus just as long. As I understand it, the real reason for those changes was actually to extend the 60, in order to provide a direct link from Coulsdon and Purley to the Mayday Hospital in Thornton Heath, the main hospital in the area, which the 50 does not serve – finally answering complaints that had been pouring in ever since the 190 was withdrawn 10 years previously.

The terminus of Streatham Common introduced in 1988 also seems a bit of an odd place to terminate buses from the south, just short of the major destinations that can be found in Streatham proper – but the residents living off Melfort Road, for whom the 50 is their local bus, had to wait 15 years to have this link fully restored.

Chronologically168Line 2
See also routes 60, 133, 289, 255

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