Waiting for my manRed RF routes

Route 224B

Page last updated 27 December 2014
One of the Uxbridge routes serving West Drayton that, like the 224, featured RFs twice in its history, for two different reasons - first the low bridge at West Drayton, then later when converted to OMO.
The deserted terminus at Stockley Park on 1 December 1976, 10 days before the end of RF operation.
Photo © John Parkin
Dates of RF operation

1 Jul 59 to 8 May 62


16 Jan 71 to 11 Dec 76

(total 8 years 9 months, of which 2 years 10 months crew operation).



RF Garages
UX    Uxbridge

RF409 running the 224B at Uxbridge

Reason for single-deck operation

The low rail bridges at Yiewsley and West Drayton Station restricted routes through Cowley to single-deck.  In 1961, the road at West Drayton was lowered (allowing the double-deck 223 to be extended southward, replacing the 222.  Soon afterwards, the layout at Yiewsley was changed (we don't know how, but the railway didn't close until 1964).  The 224 was not double-decked until 1963, although 224A and 224B were converted a year earlier.  224 and 224B reverted to single-deck in 1971 for OMO conversion.


The final batch of RFs converted for one-man operation were known as the 'Uxbridge' RFs and were distinguished by single glass panel in each door, rather than the two-part on earlier conversions and green buses.  The effect is shown by RF409 blinded for the 224B at Uxbridge.  The picture was taken after the 98 had converted to SMS operation at the start of 1973.

Photo: Peter Gomm collection


Route history

The third member of the 224 group was the Mon-Sat 14T12-operated 224B, introduced in January 1957.  On Monday to Friday it comprised the previous West Drayton short workings of the 224A  extended and on Saturday half of the 224A service re-routed.  On introduction, it diverged at West Drayton via Porters Way to serve the newly expanded Stockley Estate (housing, not industrial), terminating at Mulberry Parade.  Destination blinds described this rather unusually as 'Stockley Estate West Drayton'. 


RF384 at West Drayton

November 1958 brought the withdrawal of the Ts and conversion to TD.  In September 1960, a barrier to double-deck operation was removed when the road under the bridge at West Drayton was rebuilt.  While the road was closed, RFs on the 222 provided the service through Cowley and the 224 group operated only southwards from West Drayton Warwick Road


Despite the lack of 'Pay as you Enter' signage and the old-format blinds, it appears that this picture of scruffy RF384 was taken in late 1976, the only period that the bus was allocated to UX.

Photo © Paul Davis, Ian Armstrong collection


A second low bridge in Yiewsley was altered shortly after, allowing the 224A , 224B and 224C to be converted to RT on 9 May 1962 (although the long 224 was not double-decked for another year).  During the period of closure at West Drayton and from March 1961 until the end of RT operation, the route was operated using the 224A allocation.  There followed a period of stability on the 224 group for the rest of the sixties. 


Wholesale change came on 16 Jan 71.  The headline news was the return of the RFs, this time one-man operated.  In addition, the 224A to West Drayton Mill Lane was withdrawn and was partly replaced by a rerouting in West Drayton of the 224B to Stockley Estate. 


Last day of RFs at UxbridgePartial replacement of RFs by SMSs started at the end of June 1973.   As well as full conversion of the 204, the Sunday service on the 223 and the Saturday service on the 224B were converted.  Both the latter were enhanced to double-deck with DMSs in April 1976.


The end came for the RFs in December 1976, when the 223 and 224B went to DMS and the 224 to SMS.


Sunday working was introduced in April 1978 and the route was renumbered 224 on 31 Mar 79.  After a period of operation by various types including Metrobuses and Nationals, the 224 was replaced in May 1989 by the 223 and U5.


On the last day of RF operation at Uxbridge, RF427 stands at the bus station awaiting another departure to Stockley Estate, surrounded by the types that would replace it.

Photo © John Parkin


RF route in detail, with timing points
UXBRIDGE STATION, Belmont Road, High Street Uxbridge, Vine Street (return via Windsor Street), Cowley Road, High Street Cowley, Cowley Station Road, High Street Cowley, High Road Cowley, High Street Yiewsley, Station Approach, West Drayton Station, Station Approach, Station Road, Porters Way, STOCKLEY ESTATE Mulberry Parade (1959-1962, Mon-Sat)
UXBRIDGE STATION, Belmont Road, High Street Uxbridge, Harefield Road, Oxford Road, Trumpers Way (northbound), Cross Street (southbound) (rerouted from 1962 routing on 19 Aug 73), Cowley Road, High Street Cowley, Cowley Station Road, High Street Cowley, High Road Cowley, High Street Yiewsley, Station Approach, West Drayton Station, Station Approach, Station Road, Swan Road, Church Road, Station Road, Porters Way, STOCKLEY ESTATE Mulberry Parade (1971-1976, Mon-Sat)
Terminal working at STOCKLEY ESTATE: from Mulberry Parade stand, turn via triangle at Mulberry Crescent.
Year  Mon-Fri Sat Sun
1959 48-60 mins 30-60 mins -
1964 60 mins 20 mins -
1969 60 mins * 30 mins * -
1971 30 mins 30 mins -
1976 30 mins 30 mins -
* more frequent Uxbridge - West Drayton

A 1965 faretable for the route (then RT-operated) is here.


1961 bus map © London Transport
RF allocation

PVR 1959 (Jul): Mon-Fri 1, Sat 2, Sun -

PVR 1959 (Nov): worked from 224A allocation

PVR 1960 (Sep): Mon-Fri 1, Sat 2, Sun -

PVR 1961 (Mar): worked from 224A allocation


PVR 1971 (Jan): Mon-Fri 2, Sat 2, Sun -

PVR 1971 (Dec): Mon-Fri 2 (+1 from 204), Sat 2, Sun -

PVR 1973 (Jan): Mon-Fri 2 (+1 from 223), Sat 3, Sun -

PVR 1973 (Jun): Mon-Fri 2 (+1 from 223), Sat 3 SMS, Sun -

PVR 1976 (Apr): Mon-Fri 2 (+1 from 223), Sat 3 DMS, Sun -


1972 bus map © London Transport, showing the loop to cover part of the 224A (in reality, covering less than half the distance to the Anglers Retreat)