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The N47 is a close contender with the N89 for London's longest night bus route, running virtually the length of the 47 and 208 day routes with an additional extension at each end. Here, 17585S, a short wheelbase Dennis Trident with Alexander ALX400 bodywork, nears journey's end at the attractive location of Carlton Parade, Orpington, with Priory Gardens to the left, on the morning of 30 July 2006. Since the photo was taken, Stagecoach have sold their London bus operations to Macquarie bank, and the buses are now being repainted into allover red.
|Photo © John King.|
The solitary passenger is most likely catching a train from St. Mary Cray station for an early shift, but the N47 is the only night route in the entire Orpington area. Alternate journeys on the route used to operate via Farnborough and Green Street Green instead of Petts Wood, but in 2000 the routeing was standardised, leaving this area completely unserved. A night service on the 358 has been proposed from time to time to address the complaints that have inevitably followed, but this has yet to become reality (other than on New Year's Day!). The N47 has, however, recently been increased in frequency at weekends, with a bus every 20 minutes since 1 September.
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