The routes up until the end of RT operation ran largely as
follows: KINGS CROSS (until 1957) or EUSTON, Charing Cross,
Lambeth Bridge (77) or Vauxhall Bridge (77B), Clapham
Junction, TOOTING, Mitcham, Hackbridge, Carshalton Station,
WALLINGTON Belmont Road.
On 15 April 2007, the free service will operate between
Mitcham and Wallington. See the timetable
Main boarding points
Mitcham Cricketers, Hackbridge Elm
Road, Carshalton Pond, Wallington Station.
Merton's RT3186 rests at
its Euston terminus on a sunny Sunday morning.
Photo Ian Armstrong
The 77 group of routes have a long (and continuing) history.
Notable for being the last routes into central London operating
utility buses, they provide the main trunk routes into the centre
for much of inner south London. The 77A gained
fame in 2006 for being the last suffixed route number in
London, finally becoming (in a move reminiscent of the Bassom era)
The routes have always started in central London - originally
from Kings Cross, later from Euston or Aldwych. The main variants
were the 77, running over Lambeth Bridge via Clapham Junction and
Tooting to Mitcham and (until 1981) Wallington, and the
77A which diverged at Clapham to run via Wandsworth to
Raynes Park. Just before the Coronation in June 1953, the
Sunday service was diverted to run over Vauxhall Bridge and was
renumbered 77B; it took until 1959 for the
77A to be transformed on Sundays to the 77C,
this time by virtue of a rerouting over Westminster Bridge. In both
cases, running was also changed on Saturdays from March 1965.
Always a route associated with Merton, the route used D-class
utility Daimlers on their introduction in 1945/6 until 1953,
when they were replaced by RTs. Other garages have also provided an
allocation over the years, including Gillingham Street with
Daimlers, STLs and STDs until 1953 and Stockwell with STDs
(briefly) and RTLs from 1953 to 1964. The route was therefore one
of the few where RTs and RTLs shared the operation for a long
period. Camberwell also ran RTLs on Sundays from 1952 until the
Sunday service was renumbered 77B.
Routemasters from Merton first made their appearance on Sundays
in May 1973 (when the weekend 77B was absorbed back into
the main route), taking over fully at the end of that year.
Stockwell again joined the allocation, at weekends from October
1984, briefly with RMs before Daimler Fleetlines were introduced
the following month. These were initially crew-operated, alongside
Merton’s RMs on Saturdays. The route was converted to OPO with
Daimlers from both Merton and Stockwell on 1 February 1986.