London Bus Routes – Arriva London Route 279
Route 279 commenced on 26th April 1961 running between Smithfield and Waltham Cross (Mon-Fri/Sun) or Flamstead End (Sat), as a direct replacement for trolleybus route 679. The route was allocated AEC Routemasters running from Edmonton Bus Garage.
The 279 extended on Saturdays from Waltham Cross to Hammond Street Rising Sun on 27th February 1963, before receiving a further extension to Hammond Street, Smiths Lane in July 1964.
Sunday morning journeys between Waltham Cross and Lower Edmonton Station were withdrawn in January 1966. Withdrawal of Monday to Friday off-peak journeys between Enfield Bus Garage and Waltham Cross also took effect in December of that year.
With the route being fairly stable for the past four years, 24th January 1970 saw the introduction of Monday to Friday services to Hammond Street, with a further Sunday extension on 18th September 1971. This change saw the route terminate at West Smithfield, although this changed again to Liverpool Street Station on 9th September 1972. Six months later, on 10th March 1973, A reduction in the Sunday service was implemented with the withdrawal of the route between Finsbury Park and Liverpool Street, except for early morning journeys to Holloway, Nags Head.
The Sunday service was amended again in April 1976 to serve Hammond Street, matching the rest of the week. Yet, this extension only lasted over two years until the route was cut back to Waltham Cross on all days.
The continued trend of changing the Northern terminus of the route continued for the next nine years, with Hammond Street re-instated on 27 September 1980 before removal again on 3rd August 1985.
The AEC Routemasters that had operated the route since it began were replaced by MCW Metrobus one person operated buses on 26th September 1987 after serving continuously for over 26 years.
The 1990s saw the withdrawal of services between Holloway, Nags Head and Smithfield, except for weekday journeys before 7am. This service continued until April 1996, when the 279 was cut back to Holloway 7 days a week. After only 12 years in service (compared to the 26 years of the AEC Routemaster), the MCW Metrobuses were replaced during the conversion of the route to low floor Plaxton President bodied DAF DB250LF buses, themselves being replaced by Alexander Dennis Limited ALX400 bodied DAF DB250LF buses on 17th October 2009. The final (so far) change to the vehicle allocation came on 15th October 2011, when brand new Alexander Dennis Limited Enviro400 buses were introduced.
On the 16th October 2004, Route 279 finally settled down to the route that exists today, when it was cut back from Holloway, Nags Head to Manor House Station.
Route Visual Video – Filmed on October 11, 2020