The OPO conversion was bitterly opposed and certainly slowed down this extremely busy route, but back then we didn’t think there was anything much worse for a route than one-man operation – now of course it’s been dealt the ultimate blow with its conversion to articulated buses. The one time I tried these things out on the 207 shortly after its conversion, the bus became grossly overloaded by only the second stop, on a Sunday afternoon, and I had to stand in discomfort for 45 minutes – never again.
Further back, of course, the 207 was known as the 607 and fielded trolleybuses, and before then it was trams, the possible revival of which that is being fought over with some vigour in the locality. I don’t mind either way, given that Croydon has shown that trams can be a useful addition to bus services without detracting from them, but I think that to avoid the overcrowding that now plagues Tramlink, any future trams will have to be double-deck, if anyone even builds such a thing.
Speaking of the 607, the one ray of light in the 207’s demise (which has also seen it split into two over the years and the western end, still thankfully operated by double-deckers, renumbered 427), has been the express route which covers the old 207 in its entirety but only stops at major points along the Uxbridge Road. The Olympians that provided comfort more appropriate to an express route have unfortunately given way to the stiff-seated TNLs cascaded off Uxbridge’s bit of the 207, but if you want to head west in a hurry you needn’t bother with the 207 any more.
At the end of Metrobuses’ thirteen years on the 207 is Acton Tram Depot’s M 337 (EYE 337V), seen drawing up to Ealing Hospital on 18th March 2000. This garage replaced Hanwell, which with Uxbridge in partnership, shared the 207 from its inception with RMs, via upgrading to RMLs, four years with DMs and then seven more years of Routemasters. The 427 is now its sole responsibility.