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Another route that has done quite well is the 450 in South London, although this was able to benefit from slightly larger vehicles in the latest contract renewal September 2006. However, instead of providing extra capacity, the extra length was used to provide an extra door, and indeed they have 5 fewer seats than the previous vehicles! PDL125 (LJ56 ARF) was seen about to turn into West Croydon Bus Station to load passengers for the journey to Crystal Palace and Sydenham when brand new. Since this photo was taken, the allocation has been transferred from Thornton Heath (TH) to Beddington Farm (CN) garage, in a swap with route 289.
|Photo © Adam Murray.|
The 450 is also of similar vintage to the 192, having started in 1993, serving some hilly but hitherto unserved areas north and south of Croydon. Buses ran from Crystal Palace via Spa Hill, Thornton Heath and Bensham Lane (passing near the rear of Mayday Hospital) into central Croydon. From there buses served the length of Pampisford Road to Purley, then taking over route 412 to Old Lodge Lane, providing a quicker service from this area into central Croydon. Buses ran every 20 minutes with 6 Darts transferred from the 412.
In 1996 the emphasis of the route shifted northwards. New route 455 replaced the 450 south of West Croydon, also replacing infrequent route 255. At the north end, the 450 was extended from Crystal Palace to Lower Sydenham (Savacentre), replacing part of route 306 (route 202 also being increased in frequency). Buses also deviate to serve Sydenham Hill Estate. This was the first route for many years to cross Crystal Palace, although route 186 (basically an amalgamation of present day routes 122 and 432) did in the 1950s – most routes from all directions have tended to terminate there.
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