RT3186 at EustonCarshalton 2007

Routes 77/77B

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 collection
Route history
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 87.


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.