Colindale Running Day


Leyland Titan PD2 double-decker (8' wide)
Bus planned for operation: RTW75
RTW320 was a trainer at Cricklewood by the time of this photo, but stills carries blinds from Willesden, from where it would have run to Edgware.
Photo Chris Stanley collection
The 500 members of the RTW class were London's first eight-feet wide double-deckers, delivered in 1949 and 1950.  Like the South African trolleybuses before them, they were initially banned by the Metropolitan Police from central London and from roads with tram tracks, so went to garages such as Edgware (for the 142), Tottenham, Alperton and Southall. 
However, the extra width of the gangway made them ideal for heavily-trafficked routes, and in 1950 London Transport persuaded the police to permit a series of experimental workings through central London.  The experiment was a success and the RTWs became the mainstay of trunk routes like the 6, 8, 11, 14, 15, 22 and 24.
Having proved the concept, the RTWs were followed by the Routemaster at 8' wide.  Once the RMs had filled their first role of replacing the trolleybuses, it was inevitable that they would start replacing the RTWs, which they did from 1963 at Putney until 1966; the last in service being RTW467 on route 95 on 14 May 66.
However, the RTWs proved useful in training Routemaster drivers, and 130 continued in this role in both Central and Country Areas for a further four years, until the last was sold in 1971. 
In the Edgware area, the RTWs had two phases of operation.  Edgware Garage had an allocation for the 142 from 1950 to 1952, after which they moved to the central London trunk routes, but still reached Edgware on the 18, worked by Willesden and Middle Row.