Route 280
18 May 2001

The 280 was formed in the 1960s to take over what was then the northern section of route 80/80A between Sutton and Tooting via Mitcham. Initially some peak buses started from Walton-on-the-Hill, thus paralleling the 80A into Sutton, the main service starting from Belmont. The route shifted northwards slightly to run between Sutton and Wandsworth, and was withdrawn on Sundays, being covered on that day variously by routes 88 and 44. The 1991 Wandsworth scheme saw it chopped north of Tooting once again, this section needlessly duplicating the 44 and 270, while it was instead restored to Belmont, replacing the 164. In Tooting the terminus was now at St. Georgeís Hospital, just west of Tooting Broadway, and that has remained the arrangement since.

Photo by John Gillespie.

Seen at the Hospital on 3 January 2001 is London Generalís PVL 99, W399 WGH. The route is the responsibility of Merton garage (AL), not far off the 280 route, and a new contract from July 2000 required new low floor double deckers. In practice these were intermingled with the outstanding order for the May 1999 contracts, joining the 47 already at Merton for the 44, 77 and 270. Indeed PVL 99 is one of those, but the additional order can be seen in that the last 12 delivered to Merton (144-155) are X-registered, the rest W, and are fitted with forward staircases. Further variety is now provided by the batch obtained for route 118, also at Merton, having forward staircase and DDA-compliant blinds, of which more on a later page perhaps! However, there is still a very tight allocation with just 4 spare PVLs at AL, and Metrobuses therefore remain prolific on all the routes.

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See also routes 80, 88, 44, 270, 164, 77, 118

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