The London Bus Page In Exile

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Random Routes – 273

Filed under: Companies, Equipment, Routes, Service Changes, Uncategorized — londonbuspageinexile @ 7:43 pm

Selkent Enviro200Dart 36004 (LX56 DZY) at grove Park, 11 May 2007
It’s an elusive sort of route, the 273, its most recent upgrade bringing it to only every twenty minutes rather than every thirty – but at one point it disappeared entirely for three years!

In the late 1980s a large number of second-echelon routes in south-east London went over to minibus operation, some being rerouted through isolated estates, and the 273 was introduced to capitalise on this trend, building on a Christmas-only route numbered L1. Commencing at Lewisham, it introduced buses to Manor Park near Hither Green and to the Horn Park Estate off the Burnt Ash Road south of Lee, terminating at Grove Park. SRs from Catford were used, later to be joined by the MWs that had taken over the 124 (plus new offshoot 284) at the very end of 1989. However, it was withdrawn in 1991, only to make a comeback in exactly the same form three years later. SRs were still going at Catford, though they were replaced in 1998 by three MBs – O.814 Varios with Plaxton Beaver 2 bodywork. In 2002 the contract was lost to First, whose Orpington Buses subsidiary had to run its DP-class Darts (and later DMS-class Dart SLFs) a considerable way from St Mary Cray to reach the 273 roads, and perhaps with an eye to this the routeing was amended to incorporate a long extension over the parts south of Chislehurst that never really worked as part of (successively) routes 161, 161A or 162. Thus the route now terminates at Petts Wood Station – just in time for the contract to change hands again and go back to Stagecoach Selkent at Catford. A dedicated fleet of Enviro200Darts is now in use, exemplified by 36004 (LX56 DZY) at Grove Park on 11th May.



  1. “After a period with standard Mini Alexander Darts, a dedicated fleet of Enviro200Darts is now in use”

    Haven’t Stagecoach used E200Ds since they reacquired the contract or are you including First in the above statement?


    Comment by Simon — Wednesday 16 May 2007 @ 9:18 pm

  2. You’re quite right – I’d forgotten the DMSs. I had to write much of this from memory as I realised I’d not got any historical research items to hand while I was writing the post!

    Comment by londonbuspageinexile — Wednesday 16 May 2007 @ 9:34 pm

  3. The DMS Darts with First are Marshall Capital bodied examples, First not operating any Alexander Darts within their London fleets. ELBG may have put the occasional Alexander Dart out on the 273 since taking over the route, but I can’t confirm or deny this.

    Comment by ANDREW WEBB — Friday 18 May 2007 @ 5:48 pm

  4. The 273 used to be a Routemaster route out of Southall garage in west london

    Comment by Steve Palmer — Monday 21 May 2007 @ 1:48 pm

  5. There was an Pointer bodied Dart out on the 273 over this past weekend. I have not seen any ALX200 bodied on the route.

    Comment by Martin Clitheroe — Monday 21 May 2007 @ 5:19 pm

  6. It’s also worth noting that you say “a considerable way from St Mary Cray to reach the 273 roads” but their garage was only along Poverest Road and you’re virtually at the Petts Wood terminus

    Comment by Martin Clitheroe — Monday 21 May 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  7. I meant it was a long way away until the extension from Grove Park into the area.

    Also, the Southall-operated 273 never operated RMs – it began as an RT route and then converted to SMS not long after. Still, Steve’s point illustrates the widespread re-use of numbers in London and that today’s number 273 was still available by the time the route was reintroduced. For instance, the 215 of today (introduced 1988) is the same route as its precedessor 276, withdrawn in 1982, but the 276 number had been re-used in the interim to number what we know today as the Stoke Newington to Newham (was Beckton) service.

    Comment by londonbuspageinexile — Monday 21 May 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  8. I used this route yesterday from Hither Green – what a strange place to board the bus! No bus stop sign as such, just a timetable on a lampost! Also, it’s strange that you have to walk into the road to board as the stop is in the middle of the car parking spaces at the station – mind you I do like little routes like these

    Comment by Russell — Friday 25 May 2007 @ 11:51 am

  9. just agreeing with Russell on #8. some small routes have some hail and ride sections even though the timetable is posted on lamposts. It really does make passengers find it had to board buses.

    If your living in Edmonton and along the 491 route going from North Middlesex Hospital – Waltham Cross. Down Galliards Road they have hail and ride sections with their timetables posted on lamposts and you see cars parking at the hail and ride sections of the route and the drivers don’t know where it is safe to stop.

    Comment by Dean — Thursday 23 August 2007 @ 12:10 pm

  10. Привет.
    Продаю персональный сертификат WebMoney за $99.
    Можете проверить: WMID 322973398779 Redfern
    Всё чисто, не одной жалоб. Сделан на утерянные документы. Всё законно.
    Если нужно, то есть сертификаты ещё.
    Стучацо в личную почту на Вебмани.

    Это не спам. Не пишите на мой WMID жалобы в арбитраж Вебмани.

    Comment by reetUlces — Friday 5 October 2007 @ 11:59 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: