Route 221 was introduced on 8
November 1961 as part of stage 12 of the trolleybus replacement
programme, replacing routes 521 and 621 between North Finchley and
Farringdon Street. For the first two months, until stage 13,
Finchley depot (FY) ran both buses and trolleybuses, and
during this period Wood Green garage (WN) provided a minority
of buses on Saturdays for the route. For stage 12, both
garages received new Routemasters that had been in
After a short period of FY-only
operation, a WN allocation was reintroduced in March 1962, on
Sundays only until 1966, when the balance of allocation began to
shift in WN's favour.
RM1207 works from WN in the
late 1960s. This bus was scrapped in 1983.
Photo © Paul
In 1966 the route was extended to
Edgware on Mondays to Saturdays via the 125 from Finchley to
Mill Hill East and in replacement of the 240A which
was withdrawn on those days.
The route was largely
RM-operated until conversion to one-man operation (with DMSs) in
1973. For a short period from December 1966 to September
1968, one RT was scheduled from FY at the weekend; in 1970 and
1971, RMLs also worked at weekends from WN.
In 1980 and 1981 respectively, FY
and WN replaced DMSs with Metrobuses. Finchley withdrew from
the route in 1986. In 1992 (apart from one early journey,
which continued until 1996), the route was cut back to Turnpike
Lane Station, the present terminus. Metrobuses were replaced
by low-floor double-deckers in 1999.