RF487 outside PBRed RF routes

Route 284

Very short-lived as an RF route, the Potters Bar circular was later to become home for the FRM for five years.
During the brief operation of RFs at Potters Bar, RF487 is seen outside the garage on the anti-clockwise service (so this is before 11am), accompanied by an RT on the 242.  Note the absence of Pay as you Enter signs.
Photo © JGS Smith, Peter Gomm collection, with apologies for reproduction quality
Dates of RF operation
7 Sep 68 to 29 Nov 68
(total 3 months, all OMO)
PB    Potters Bar
Reason for single-deck operation
At the time of introduction, only single-deckers were available for one-man operation.
Route history
RF317 at Potters Bar Garage on 29 Oct 68 passing Potters Bar's RM1994 on the 134.  The RM is 4 years old, the RF16.
Photo © Geoff Ragg
Following requests from the Potters Bar Local Transport Committee, a new OMO local circular route was introduced in September 1968.  Someone in London Transport knew his history - the route number allocated was 284, the number of the former independent-operated route from Potters Bar to Victoria, renumbered 134 in 1934. 
This was the shortest-lived RF allocation as well as one of the smallest and one of the shortest routes - taking 14 minutes per circuit.  A single RF ran in one direction only, providing transport to the station in the morning for passengers in the residential area around Church Road, otherwise running clockwise.


And again ...


Less than three months later, substantial Potters Bar RT route 242 - which had once been a T-operated single-deck route - was converted to OMO Merlin operation in the third wave of the 'Reshaping Plan'.  The MB allocation on 30 Nov 68 enabled replacement of the RFs and the addition of a Saturday service on the 284.  The RFs were delicensed and sent to store in EM.  As an aside, though, the blinds made on 23 Oct 68 (half-way through RF operation) for routes 242 and 284 were marked 'RF'.  Could there have been an expectation that the RFs might stay?
MB355 in the rain
Another of PB's new Merlins, MB355 in the same location.  This bus only worked at PB, for less than 7 years, before being scrapped.

Photo © Geoff Ragg


After three years, the FRM arrived in October 1971, to be cherished by the garage staff during its five years as the sole bus on the 284.  The local authority withdrew funding for the route in late 1976, but the FRM was involved in an accident in September and was replaced by an MB then a DMS until the end on 18 Mar 77.


The tortuous minibus service PB1, from Potters Bar Station to Rushfield, started in March 1977, but did not directly replace the 284.


RF317, the other PB RF



The start date of 7 Sep 68 is significant as it marked the rolling-out of  the first phase of the 'Reshaping Plan', LT's new look for the whole of the Central area, to feature hub and spoke operations with flat-fare standee feeder services to the trunk routes and Underground.  The main changes were at Wood Green (centred on Turnpike Lane) and Walthamstow (the new Victoria Line), where the Merlins that had been in store finally entered suburban service.  Nonetheless, Potters Bar managed on that day to introduce not only a new RF route but also a new RT route in the 298. 


Now after 11am, RF317 is running anti-clockwise on the same day.
Photo © Geoff Ragg

  Incorrectly blinded MB358

MB358 stands outside the garage on 23 Apr 69.  This bus saw only 8 years' service with London Transport before being scrapped.
Photo © Geoff Ragg


Having followed RFs on new route 233, FRM1 moved to Potters Bar to take over another one-bus route, the 284.  Note the multi-purpose blind that no longer shows which direction the service is working.

Photo © John Law, courtesy AEC Southall

It's that bus again
RF route in detail, with timing points
POTTERS BAR STATION, Mutton Lane, Potters Bar White Horse, High Street Potters Bar, Potters Bar LT Garage, Hatfield Road, Church Road, Darkes Lane, POTTERS BAR STATION (anti-clockwise only, Mon-Fri before 1100)
POTTERS BAR STATION, Darkes Lane, Church Road, Hatfield Road, Potters Bar LT Garage, High Street Potters Bar, Potters Bar White Horse, Mutton Lane, POTTERS BAR STATION (clockwise only, Mon-Fri after 1100, also - when MB operated - Sat shopping hours)
1970 bus map © London Transport
The service operated every 20 minutes, with gaps for meal reliefs.  The route took 14 minutes to complete the circuit. 
The 1968 faretable - for the flat fare of 6d - is here.
RF allocation
PVR 1968 (Sep): Mon-Fri 1, Sat -, Sun -

2 RFs were allocated to PB (317 and 487).