Travel London

Travel London
Travel London
A Travel London Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini bus, incorrectly blinded for route 156.
Parent National Express (2004-2009)
Briefly NedRailways (2009)
Founded 2004
Defunct 2009
Headquarters Battersea
Locale London, Surrey
Service area London
Service type Urban and interurban bus services
Routes 36
Fleet 411
Web site

Travel London was a bus operator in London which was originally a subsidiary of the National Express Group. In May 2009 the company was sold to NedRailways, now called Abellio. In October 2009, it was rebranded as Abellio London.[1]



Travel London came into existence in its current guise when National Express bought Connex Bus (established in UK in 1996, a division of French owned transport corporation Connex) in 2004. Ironically had taken over an existing operator Limebourne Buses which had actually taken over the original Travel London when that was sold.

In 2005 NEG expanded again with the takeover of the London Bus operations of Tellings-Golden Miller as well as 15 Surrey County Council contracts. Travel London is the sister company of Travel West Midlands and Travel Dundee.

Following the acquisitions of Limebourne, Connex Bus, Tellings-Golden Miller, Wings Buses and Link-Line, Travel London had a wide operating area within Greater London and Surrey. The company operated contracts on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), Surrey County Council, and Kingston University. Operations are split between three registered companies.

From early September 2007, the Surrey routes operated from Byfleet under the Travel London (West) license depot were re-branded as Travel Surrey.

On 11 November 2007, National Express Group announced plans to re-brand their UK bus service companies under the National Express identity. The new name National Express London was meant to have be unveiled in 2008, however the plans never materialised before the sale

In February 2009 there were news reports speculating that the National Express Group were in negotiation to sell Travel London to Singapore based ComfortDelGro Corporation, the parent company of Metroline, which has substantial London Buses contracts in North and West London.

Speculation continued fuelled by the fact Travel London won some significant TfL route contracts (including 407 and 414), which could have been gained on a low price with the idea the buyer would have to run the routes.

In May 2009, it was announced that National Express Group had agreed to sell Travel London to NedRailways, a subsidiary of NS Dutch Railways, for a price of £32 million. The sale included 66 routes, 36 of them TfL tendered services in London and the others Surrey County Council and Kingston University routes. All vehicles and premises used were sold, and all staff transferred to NedRailways.[2]

Travel London Ltd

Bus 9402, an Alexander Dennis Enviro400, running route 452 from Queenstown depot.

Travel London Ltd operated the garages at Beddington Cross, Queenstown (Battersea) and Walworth Road, operating 66, 82 and 98 buses respectively (246 in total) when the company was renamed. Beddington Cross ran London Buses routes 3, 152, 157, 434, G1, P13, and night route N3, and was opened by Connex in 2000 to house their newly won route 3. Queenstown ran routes 35, 156, 211, 452, C3, 24-hour route 344 and night bus N35. Walworth Road operated routes 40, 100, 129, 188, 343, 381, C1, night routes N343 and N381. Walwoth Road is a very historical depot, originally being a site acquired by the LCC for electric trams. It was known as Camberwell Tram depot until 1950 when, after buses arrived, it was renamed to avoid confusion with Camberwell bus garage.

Travel London won the contract for London Buses route 407, starting from 31 October 2009. This was used as the launch of the new Abellio name.

Bus types used

When the name was changed to Abellio, various types were operated:

Travel London (West) Ltd

Bus 8847, an Optare Solo, in Surbiton operating Kingston University route KU2.

Travel London (West) Ltd operated the garages at Fulwell and Byfleet, the Byfleet depot latterly under the Travel Surrey name (from September 2007). Respectively, they operated approximately 94 and 50 buses — 146 in total. Fulwell ran London Buses routes 235, 481, 490, H20, H25, H26, R68 and R70. Byfleet operated Surrey County Council tendered routes 218, 400, 426, 438, 441, 446, 451, 461, 471, 472, 513, 514, 515, 515A, 555, 557, 564, 566, 567, 570, 571, 572, 574, 637, 662, 663 and 690. Fulwell garage also operated Kingston University routes KU1, KU2, and KU3, until the contract was lost to Tellings-Golden Miller's Heathrow operations in 2009.

Bus types used

When the name was changed to Abellio, the following types were operated:

  • Dennis Dart SLF 8.8m/Alexander ALX200 for routes 481, H20 and H26.
  • Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m/Alexander Dennis Pointer for routes 490 and R68.
  • Dennis Dart SLF 10.8m/Alexander Dennis Pointer for route R70.
  • Dennis Dart SLF 8.8m/Alexander Dennis Pointer for routes 481, H20 and H26.
  • Dennis Dart SLF 10.8m/Caetano Nimbus for route 235.
  • Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m/Caetano Nimbus for route H25.

Additionally, the Travel Surrey fleet was nearly all Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer, expect for one East Lancs Spryte bodied Dart SLF, and a Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 for route 400. The Kingston University contract was run with Optare Solos and Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s, wearing the same livery as Travel Surrey.

Travel London (Middlesex) Ltd

Bus 8471, a Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus, at Brent Cross on route 112 out of Hayes garage.

Travel London (Middlesex) Ltd operated one garage in Hayes. It ran 19 buses, and ran London Buses routes 112, 350, H28 and U7.

Bus types used

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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