Scania OmniCity on route 65
|Vehicle||Scania OmniCity 10.8m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||24|
|Length||10 miles (15 km)|
|Level||24 hour service|
|Frequency||About every 7-12 minutes|
|Journey time||34-64 minutes|
The 65 was introduced in 1934, running from Ealing Argyle Road (now Scotch Common) to Leatherhead via Ealing Broadway, South Ealing, Brentford, Richmond, Petersham, Ham, Kingston, Tolworth, Hook and Chessington. It was initially operated from Kingston (K) and Turnham Green (V) garages, using STL-class AEC Regents and, after World War II, RTs and RTL-class Leyland Titans. In 1952, by which time only RTs were operating on the route, Kingston's allocation was shifted to nearby Norbiton garage (NB).
In 1966, the route lost its Saturday and Sunday services in favour of a route 65A. These services were restored just two years later, in November 1968, when the 65A was withdrawn. This, however, was just one part of a large reconfiguration of the 65 that also saw the southernmost section between Chessington Zoo and Leatherhead withdrawn (replaced by route 71) and the northernmost section between Argyle Road and Ealing Broadway reduced to Monday to Friday peak hours; a Kingston allocation was also reintroduced.
In 1971, the Turnham Green allocation was withdrawn. Four years later, in 1975, the elderly RTs were replaced by Routemasters, and the 65 was extended from Chessington Zoo to Chessington Fox & Hounds during Monday to Friday peak hours.
The section between Argyle Road and Ealing Broadway was withdrawn altogether on 4 September 1982, replaced by route 273 (now covered by the 297 and E2), and in January 1984 Kingston garage closed, its allocation transferring to Norbiton. In August 1985, a Hanwell (HL) allocation was introduced on Sundays, consisting of longer Routemasters (RMLs), but this lasted only six months before the 65 was converted to one-person operation using MCW Metrobuses, all based at Norbiton.
The section between Kingston and Chessington was reduced to Sundays only in February 1987, and withdrawn altogether four months later. By this time, route tendering had been established in London, and the 65 thus came under the operation of Kingston Bus, a low-cost unit established by London Buses Limited.
In 1990, the 65 was lost upon re-tender to Brentford-based Armchair Passenger Transport. This company was due to operate the route from September of that year, but could not obtain new buses in time, so London & Country took charge on a temporary contract, mainly using AN-class Leyland Atlanteans from distant Croydon and Leatherhead garages.
Armchair finally took up the 65 in January 1991, using a batch of seventeen all-Leyland Olympians plus three second-hand Atlanteans. It retained the route upon a second re-tender, in 1996, and subsequently replaced the ageing Atlanteans with new Volvo Olympian / Northern Counties Palatine IIs. A variety of other buses worked the 65 during Armchair's tenure, including Alexander-bodied Leyland Olympians made spare from the company's loss of route 260, two mk II MCW Metrobuses new to East Kent Road Car Company, and the odd single-decker from the 209, E2 and E8.
On 29 June 2002, eleven years of Armchair operation came to an end as the 65 passed to London United (now Transdev London), using new Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 double deckers based at Fulwell (FW). In August of that year, an N65 night service was introduced, but this lasted only until January 2004, when the 65 itself became a 24-hour service.
In December 2009, it was revealed by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, that the 65 received more passenger complaints than any other London bus route, with some 107 complaints having been made the previous year about the route's reliability.
- Ealing Broadway Station
- South Ealing Station
- Brentford High Street
- Kew Bridge Station
- Kew Gardens Kew Gardens Station
- Richmond Station
- Richmond Bus Station
- Kingston Station
- Kingston Cromwell Road Bus Station
- Kingston Brook Street
- Surbiton Station (Nights)
- Hook (Nights)
- Chessington North Station (Nights)
- Copt Gliders Estate (Nights)
- Chessington World of Adventures (Nights)
- Route 65 londonbusroutes.net
- London Transport Central Area Routes 60-65
- McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. pp. 98–99. ISBN 1-898432-74-0.
- Wharmby, Matthew, The London Metrobus (Ian Allan Publishing, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7110-3377-1
- Aldridge, John (January 2002). "It's the end for Armchair on the 65". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (562): 12.
- Change to night bus services for south west London | Transport for London
- The London Daily News: Route 65 - London's most hated bus service
- London Bus Routes - 65 timetable londonbusroutes.net
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to London Buses route 65.|
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