December 2015 saw the start of the withdrawal of London Central’s ELS buses often found on TfL route 42.
Route 42 operates between Denmark Hill, Sunray Avenue & Liverpool Street via Tower Bridge Road
ELS buses were first introduced in Spring 2002 by London Easylink, which operated them from new. August 2002 saw London Easylink cease operating as a bus operator and resulted in the route together with the vehicles being passed onto a new company East Thames Buses (owned by London Buses).
East Thames Buses was later sold to Go Ahead London (London Central) in 2009 and once again the vehicles and contract for route 42 were passed on.
London Central treated the vehicles to a full refurbishment and repaint.
December 2015 saw the first example of this bus type being withdrawn from service. They will be replaced by newer vehicles (SOE type) from an existing route, which was retained with new vehicles.
ELS buses have served route 42 well however, they have had some reliability issues in the past.
It’s surprising the route isn’t being converted to double decker operation. A number of single decker routes in the Greater London area have been converted to double decker operation due to a surge in passenger numbers.
Double deckers are clear to operate on the route and can be found on the route from time to time due to vehicle shortage.