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A major tendering exercise in the Ealing area brought new buses to all the routes involved from 30 May 2009, and it has taken a while for me to catch up with them all especially as I try to spread updates across London. The latest in the series therefore is the E11, which gained new short Enviro200Darts to replace the Marshall Capital bodied Darts previously employed, both confusingly being classified DMS.
|Photo © John Bennett.|
The first photograph shows DMS44417 (YX09 FLW) heading southwards along Kensington Road on the fringes of Northolt, about to cross the Grand Union Canal into Greenford on Thursday 23 July 2009. This is close to the original terminus of the route, which was known as Smith's Farm; the farm itself is behind a wall to the right of the photograph. Across the road is Northala Fields, which contain several man-made hills such as that seen here. The Fields are part of the Greenford and Northolt Countryside Park, and the Northala extension was opened in Spring 2008. Unseen, to the left of it, is another man-made hill with a spiral walkway to the top. Both provide good views across London.
The E10 was created in May 1997 to replace parts of route E4 and E9. Originally the E10 terminated here by going round in a clockwise loop round some side streets. Buses still run round these side streets, though quite why is a mystery as they do not actually stop along them, except for one stop just in from each end, while running direct along the main road would allow them to stop closer to some other side roads on the other side of Kensington Road.
The E4 was introduced in 1992, after the (current) E1-3 and E5-9, taking up a vacant number left when the previous E4 was renumbered H40 (now 440). T route ran between Ealing Hospital/Windmill Park and Perivale Tesco via Hanwell Broadway, West Ealing, Drayton Green, Castle Bar Park ad Elthorne Heights, and thus served neither Ealing nor Greenford town centres. Although routes of this type are becoming more common, it was decided to abandon the E4 in the 1997 Ealing area re-tendering exercise.
In order to maintain a service along the roads through Castle Bar Park and Elthorne Heights the E10 was started. It differed from the E4 by running into West Ealing direct via Drayton Green Road, then diverting off to serve Ealing town centre with a projection on to Ealing Common, covering new ground. At the other end, it was diverted after Greenford Avenue into Greenford. From there it continued to Smith's Farm replacing route E9, ending the unusual two-pronged service structure on that route.
The extension beyond Smith's Farm finally became possible in 2000 after extensive road layout alterations in the Northolt area, and quickly became popular. Some new roads are served, but in addition the E10 took over a local link between Northolt and Islip Manor from route 398, improving the frequency over this section from every 45 minutes to every 20. Buses turn there by way of a roundabout at the end of Islip Manor Road, the tight radius of which limits the route to these short buses.
The next major re-tendering exercise in the area was in May 2002, and brought the network into the form seen today. The E10 was diverted via Ferrymead Avenue replacing route E6, and was also diverted between Greenford and Ealing by a more direct route providing a new quick link to the Underground at Ealing Broadway. It uses Castlebar Road alongside route 297, also providing a link from this area to Greenford for the first time. The route also gained a frequency increase to every 15 minutes, and a full evening and Sunday service was provided. The section of route between Greenford and Ealing Common transferred directly to new route E11 – given the number of changes to the original E10, it might have been better to have the numbers the other way around or even re-use the E4 number, but never mind!
A second photograph is provided, of DMS44403 (YX09 FMD) departing Greenford for Ealing on Saturday 13 June 2009. The web address on the rear bumper is an unusual touch.
|Photo © James Fullick.|
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