London’s red routes by number

Title: London Bus Routes One by One

Publisher: Key Books

ISBN: 978-1-913870-88-1

Specification: 245mm x 170mm, 96pp, softback

Price: £15.99

It has been cheering in recent years to find several authors and publishers defying a defeatist view that books about the present day lack the appeal of those focused on the decades of older readers’ youth.

Matthew Wharmby has produced several generously illustrated and fact-packed works on London, the area that interests him most and which he knows about in great detail. This modestly priced album follows bigger volumes, mainly for Pen & Sword, on the UK capital’s newer classes of mainly low-floor types.

Part of Key Books’ Transport Systems series, this looks – in numerical order – at the London routes numbered between 1 and 100, and at the operators and types of vehicles operating them on March 31 this year.

In fact, there are 96 routes, as numbers 10, 48, 82 and 84 are out of use. As Wharmby explains, the 10 disappeared into today’s route 23 in what he describes as a “ludicrous convolution” to reduce the number of buses in Oxford Street, while the number 23 was revived in 1992 to replace the western section of the 15. The 82 was effectively renumbered 13 a few years back in a move that preserved some of the identity of the 13 while taking it out of both Oxford Street and Regent Street.

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