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Route 69
4 February 2010

The 69 number originates from the 69 tram, which followed the same route the 69 bus does now but only between Canning Town and Stratford. By the 1940s most of the current route was covered by a variety of trolleybus routes, including one numbered 669, but by the 1960s these had been replaced by the 69 motor bus, a very important route running from North Woolwich to Chingford; the section north of Walthamstow has subsequently become the 97.

Thus the route became North Woolwich - Canning Town - Stratford - Leyton - Walthamstow, with the route steadily getting busier the farther north you got. It was only recently that the route was diverted away from North Woolwich to run to the City Airport instead a harmless enough move, given the introduction of new route 474, though its purpose eluded me as few new links were created yet a lot of extra mileage is now run in the area.

The previous photos on this route were well out of date the vehicles had left London, low-height double deckers all gone, livery has changed and City Airport is no longer served! The City Airport section was withdrawn when the new DLR branch opened, leaving the local service in the hands of the 474. Long wheelbase Tridents are still the norm though, Leyton until recently having had a monopoly on the type. One of the newer examples is 18254 (LX04 FYY), demonstrating the forward door position favoured by Stagecoach (who owned East London when they were ordered) as it stands at Canning Town bus station waiting time on 5 December 2009.

Photo © Mark Adoko.

See also routes 97, 474, 48, 55, 56, 58

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