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REDBRIDGE & DISTRICT

An East London independent bus operator of the mid 1960s


Please note - this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information


Super Coaches operated for many years from their depot close to Upminster Bridge Station and ran both private hire and a limited number of local stage services using two distinct operating names: Upminster & District in and around Upminster and Hornchurch and Redbridge & District for those closer to London. Operationally as well as single deckers the fleet included three RLH double deckers (RLH 3 from 1965 to 1968, and RLH 15 with RLH 41 from 1965 to 1967), and all three of them were painted in the mid blue and white livery of Upminster & District.

In the 1960s London Transport had recognised that there was a need for marginal bus services within its operating area that it was unable to provide economically. Therefore there was no objection to the grant of licenses to operators who were prepared to run such services. Thus Super Coaches, Upminster started various services - at first principally from residential areas to shops and stations - with emphasis on County Park Estate.  Starting on 17th August 1964 a much longer service was introduced from Chadwell Heath to Woodford Bridge.  This was numbered 19 and used the Redbridge & District fleetname.  It was the longest independent route within the London Transport Central Area at the time. The Redbridge name came from the London Borough through which the route operated. Two vehicles were scheduled for the all day service with four vehicles needed during morning and evening peaks.

From June to December 1965 it was extended from Woodford Bridge to Claybury Broadway.  Base frequency was reduced from half hourly to hourly and the route was curtailed once again to terminate at Woodford Bridge from 3rd January 1966.  Staff shortages were the stated cause, but perhaps the service did not prosper to the extent anticipated as from 2nd April 1966 operation passed to D Young, Clayhall, Barkingside  -  still using the Redbridge & District name.  The route was finally withdrawn on 14th May of that same year after only six weeks operation by Young. 

The local Upminster and Hornchurch routes (the Upminster & District part of the operation) continued somewhat intermittently for some years afterwards under a succession of different operators, including City Coach Lines in 1969, Blue Line Coaches in 1971, Coppins Coaches in 1974, Dorayme Travel in 1976 and finally Bordabus in 1981. 

redbridge times

redbridge cover


Redbridge route 19 RLH


The last day of operation of route 19 on 14th May 1966 sees
ex London Transport RLH KYY515 standing at Fulwell
Cross, Barkingside. The vehicle was on hire to Young of Clayhall from Super Coaches of Upminster (who had operated the route from August 1964 until April 1966).

photo by Derek Persson




Redbridge RF in 1965
Redbridge & District: MLL824 1952 AEC Regal IV MCW B39F, originally London Transport RF287, at Chadwell Heath in April 1965.    
Photo by Mega Anorak

ELM PARK COACHES





Another contemporaraneous ephemeral route in the area was operated by Elm Park Coaches between Romford station and Chadwell Heath station - the latter terminus being only a hundred yards or so from the nearby Redbridge & District terminus in Wangey Road. Operation started on 15th June 1964. Although the route traversed mainly roads not served by London Transport there were picking up and setting down restrictions, as shown by the N/A references in the fare chart below. Eastbound journeys were of longer length to avoid the westbound one way section of Crow Lane. Primarily a peak hours operation a limited Saturday service of four journeys was later added and ran for just three months starting in June 1965. The tickets were unbranded Ultimates. After four years the service was withdrawn on 19th July 1968.

Cover of 1964 Elm Park Coaches timetable
Fare table Elm Park Coaches 1964




Elm Park Coaches timetable June 1964



Further information on other similar operations in and around London can be found in the book

"London Transport Connections 1945 - 1985" by Philip Wallis.  Published by Capital Transport in 2003.



THE

INDEPENDENT

BUS

SOA
SHROPSHIRE

READING
MAINLINE

BIRCH
BROS

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WINDSOR

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