96
Selkent Scania OmniCity in August 2010
Overview
OperatorSelkent
GaragePlumstead
Peak vehicle requirement23 (January 2019)
Began service4 March 1959
PredecessorsTrolleybus route 696
Former operator(s)Kentish Bus
Bexleybus
London Regional Transport
London Transport Executive
Route
StartWoolwich
ViaPlumstead
East Wickham
Welling
Bexleyheath
Crayford
Dartford
EndBluewater Shopping Centre
Service
LevelDaily

London Buses route 96 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London and Kent, England. Running between Woolwich and Bluewater Shopping Centre, it is operated by Selkent.

History

Route 96 was a tram line running between Woolwich and Dartford. On 10 November 1935, it was replaced by trolleybus route 696 operating out of Bexleyheath garage, along with several other tram routes.[1] Route 696 was replacrd by motor bus route 96 on 4 March 1959.[2][3] It was extended from Dartford to Bluewater Shopping Centre in March 1999. Because the latter is outside of Greater London, it runs express between these points.[4]

On 31 July 2006, a vehicle operating route 96 bound for Bluewater caught fire in Dartford.[5] In 2013, a report from the London Assembly found the route to be among the ten most crowded in London.[6]

There were proposals as early as 2011 to alter the route such that it ran via Darent Valley Hospital.[7] However, this change was delayed as it was deemed necessary to use the Fastrack Busway, and Kent County Council had refused to allow route 96 to use it.[8][9] The route alteration was finally implemented in December 2017.[10][11][12][13]

Having been operated by Bexleybus and Kentish Bus, it has been operated by Selkent out of Plumstead garage since January 1999.[14][15]

Current route

Route 96 operates via these primary locations:[16]

Between Dartford and Bluewater, the bus runs as an express service.[17]

Previous use

The 96 route number has also been used for a non-related route in Chelsea. This route was withdrawn in the late 1950s.[18][19]

References

  1. ^ "60 miles of trolleybus routes". Daily Mirror. 1935-10-26. p. 6. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  2. ^ "Routes 696 & 698". Trolleybus. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  3. ^ The London Bus (5 ed.). Stamford: Key Publishing. 2018. p. 116.
  4. ^ Moth, David (2019), Buses in Outer London Since 1990, Amberley Publishing, ISBN 9781445687858
  5. ^ Teenagers wanted over bus blaze News Shopper 1 August 2006
  6. ^ "Overcrowding on London's buses set to get worse". ITV News. 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  7. ^ "Councillors, democracy and elections". Dartford Borough Council. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  8. ^ "Rescheduling bus route 96 to include Darent Valley Hospital". Mayor's Question Time. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  9. ^ TfL to serve Fastrack for first time Buses issue 752 November 2017 page 23
  10. ^ Improving route 96 Transport for London 11 December 2017
  11. ^ Porter, Toby (2017-12-20). "96 bus route to serve hospital". South London News. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  12. ^ Bull, Tom (2017-12-19). "Bus route 96 to run to Darent Valley Hospital". News Shopper. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  13. ^ Bus service changes Transport for London 1 December 2017 page 7
  14. ^ Large TfL tender round sees Arriva scoop new service Coach & Bus Week issue 1357 28 August 2018 page 7
  15. ^ Latest tendered service awards Buses issue 763 October 2018 page 23
  16. ^ Route 96 Map Transport for London
  17. ^ Marius, Callum (2021-08-12). "The 19 London bus routes that take you outside the M25". MyLondon. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  18. ^ "Council protest over bus services". Chelsea News and General Advertiser. 1959-03-06. p. 2. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  19. ^ "'Waiters'". Fulham Chronicle. 1959-06-12. p. 6. Retrieved 2021-08-18.

Media related to London Buses route 96 at Wikimedia Commons