Route 211 (Hounslow)
Page last updated 26 December
An unusual example of a route divided up in 1969 - possibly
due to the use of long Merlins - and since reassembled. The
short-lived Hounslow 211 worked a part of the 111, with OMO RFs
Monday to Friday and RTs on Saturday.
RF392 gleams following an
Aldenham repaint in August 1969 (pity about the water filler
cover). It has just left Hounslow Bus Station on its way
Photo Ian Armstrong collection
Dates of RF
23 Aug 69 to 29 Jan 71
(total 1 years 5 months, all OMO)
HOUNSLOW Bus Station and HAMPTON STATION
Reason for single-deck operation
At the time of conversion, only single-deckers were
available for OMO operation (it was another few months before XA22
ushered in double-deck OMO operation in London, on the 233
MBS555 waits at Hounslow Bus Station
for departure on the shortened 111 to Hanworth.
Photo © Paul Redmond
Up to 1964, longstanding route 111 ran from Hounslow (or
Cranford or Heathrow, depending on period) to Hanworth, then onward
to Twickenham, Richmond or destinations beyond (see 290). In mid-1964, it was diverted at
Hanworth to run to Hampton (weekdays except evenings) and
Kingston (Saturday shopping hours). After 20 years of RT
operation, 23 Aug 69 saw it converted (with sister route 110) to
36-foot long OMO Merlin standee single-deckers and cut short at
Hanworth. These were the first examples of
split-entrance buses with afc machines capable of selling coarsened
graduated fares (of 6d, 1/- and 1/6).
Perhaps it was because of the special fare collection
system (the shortened route had only 9 fare stages; see also foot
of page), or because the buses were too long for some of the tight
turns, that the 111 was split, with the section beyond Hanworth
became new route 211, starting from Hounslow and
overlapping the 111 on that section.
The weekday 211 service was provided by OMO RFs,
but Saturdays retained RTs. The use of RTs on Saturdays on a
Monday to Friday RF route at Hounslow was a strange anomaly that
also occurred on the 202 in 1971 and was
caused by the inability to schedule enough Saturdays into the OMO
rotas at Hounslow during that period.
A Saturday RT working
through to Kingston - RT3991 at Hounslow Bus Station is followed by
MBS557 on the shortened 111.
Photo © Paul Redmond
The faretable for route 211 states “a minimum
fare of 1/- Adult (6d. Child) applies from HOUNSLOW Bus
Station on Mondays to Fridays between 1600 and 1830 hours.
(Normal fares apply from HANWORTH ROAD Earl Russell); the
slipboard is just visible on the side of the RF in the photo
above. As with the use of minimum fares elsewhere, the idea
was to discourage short riders from filling the bus and leaving
passengers for Hampton behind.
However, comparing the farecharts for the 111 (here) and 211, it is apparent that some
journeys were cheaper on an RF on the 211 (5d instead of 6d. and
9d. instead of 1/-) than on an MBS on the 111, but these fares were
then not available from Hounslow in the afternoon peak because of
the minimum fare. Other fares were more expensive on the RF.
Although this section of the route was exactly the same, the
fare stages did not correspond, so it is difficult to see some of
the discrepancies unless you have local knowledge.
The MBSs on the 111 lasted until 29 Jan 71, when they
were replaced by SMSs and the weekday 211 journeys were
reabsorbed into the 111, bringing RF operation to an end.
For a further 10 weeks, the Saturday RTs to Kingston
continued, then the 211 was withdrawn entirely on 10 Apr
for Kingston passengers, the number 211 reappeared within six
months as an SMS route to Walton-on-Thames, but that is another
story. Meanwhile, the 111 still runs from Heathrow via
Cranford, Hounslow, Hanworth and Hampton to Kingston, a meandering
Z-shape of a route.
HOUNSLOW Bus Station, High Street Hounslow, Hanworth
Road, Hounslow Road, Bear Road, Swan Road, Hampton Lane, Hanworth
Road, Nightingale Road, Broad Lane, Percy Road, Station Road,
Terminal working at Hampton: from stand on Station Road,
Oldfield Road, Percy Road.
The route took 28 minutes from Hounslow to Hampton.
The faretable for the 211 is here.