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The 410 is quite lengthy for a "small bus" route, and the two ends of the route either side of Croydon provide quite contrasting functions. From Wallington to Croydon is traditional "big bus" territory along main roads, formerly covered by former London Country route 403 and more recently by the 407 then the short-lived 400. The eastern end of the route is mostly along back streets that have only come to have a bus service in the last two decades.
The first of these to be served, in 1994, was the Norwood Junction – Crystal Palace section, as part of commercial route 352 by Metrobus; from Norwood Junction the route ran via the present day 356 to Eden Park, then Eden Park Avenue and the current routeing to Bromley. This was replaced by new route 361 when the 352 was diverted to Beckenham and Lower Sydenham. Davidson Road appeared on the bus map in 1996 when it was served by an extension of route 412 from Croydon to Norwood Junction.
The 410 came into being in 1998 when it fused the Wallington – Croydon section of the 400 with the Croydon – Norwood Junction section of the 412; its number is obviously a combination of the other two numbers. The route was extended to Crystal Palace when the opening of Tramlink prompted a re-organisation of local buses.
Running much more frequently than its predecessors, the route has been a victim of its own success. It is unfortunately restricted to small buses due to various tight turns on the eastern end of the route. There are two double runs off Davidson Road (apparently only because it is not practicable to site bus stops on Davidson Road itself), and also narrow roads in the Sylvan Road area. The Wallington end could be improved relatively easily by restoring the 403, but it is actually the eastern end of the 410 that seems to be suffering the most, as it serves quite a substantial population which is fairly remote from other bus services. The Harris Technology College, near Crystal Palace, is also a major source of passengers.
|Photo © William Turvill.|
The current vehicles on the route predominately comprise DWS class Wright Cadet bodied DAF SB120s at the short 9.2m length, supported by a few Dart SLFs. I do not have any photos to hand of the latter but had a good selection of nice photos of DWSs to choose from, so here are three. The first view, above, is of DWS13 (LJ53 NJF) having just departed from East Croydon station with a good load for Davidson Road and Crystal Palace, on 27 February 2009. A second view is also in Croydon, with DWS8 (LJ53 NFV) (spot the fleet number!), looking fresh from a repaint minus the yellow strip present on the other two, racing a tram down Wellesley Road on 7 September 2009.
|Photo © Chris McKenna.|
Finally, DWS6 (LJ53 NFT) is loading at Crystal Palace bus station on 29 July 2008, with a sister vehicle in the background. The route is supposed to operate every 8 minutes, which yields an impressive PVR of 19 buses, on a par with some central London routes. It is currently operating on a temporarily reduced frequency of every 9 minutes, to give buses longer during road works on the route. Any further increase is apparently ruled out because of a lack of road capacity on Davidson Road. As can be seen the buses are dual doored, which in itself loses some capacity.
|Photo © David Bosher.|
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