Three further south east London bus routes going electric after TfL tender award

Three further bus routes in south east London are turning electric with the awarding of new contracts.

Arriva have lost out on operating routes 99, 269 and 401.

All will transfer to London Central operation with a total of 34 new electric buses across the three services.

Route 401 at Belvedere

These awards follow a tender announcement for the new Superloop route SL3 this month which will see the short term use of New Routemasters end in early 2025 and new electric buses introduced.

Route 269 runs alongside part of the SL3 express route running between Bexleyheath and Bromley.


Route 99 runs between Bexleyheath and Woolwich via Abbey Wood and like many Arriva routes in the area was often the recipient of old, hand-me-down buses.

Arriva have often come in for criticism not only for old buses used on their routes but poor maintenance.

The 99 layover at Woolwich

The 401 runs between Thamesmead and Bexleyheath via Belvedere.

All three electric services commence on 18th January 2025.

Arriva woes

Arriva have lost three services from Dartford garage compounding previous losses. In addition, outside of London have also given up on running the Fastrack service which serves Dartford and fast growing areas in north west Kent.

Go-Ahead will operate that service on behalf of Kent Country Council again with new electric buses.

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

7 thoughts on “Three further south east London bus routes going electric after TfL tender award

  • Arriva will just continue to lose more and more routes, DB wants to sell it off. I think Arriva should restructure because this south east London isn’t working for them, they are only using old buses when we see the other operators coming with newer buses.

  • The new electric buses are good news for drivers and passengers on routes 99 269 401 and SL3.
    However, electric buses are taking ages to be delivered and enter operation with bus operators a cross London.
    We need more electric bus builders and more factories making the batteries the buses need here in the UK also creating more jobs in the bus industry.
    We also need bigger bus garages so there is more room for the electric buses to be parked at charging points required to charge the buses.
    Route 358 is still waiting for it’s new electric single decker buses known as I.e. trams to be introduced. These have been delayed by quite sometime why charging systems are put in place.
    We need more investment in the bus industry in the UK so more electric and hydrogen buses can be produced to meet the demand for new buses.

  • The sale of Arriva has already been completed.

    Running empty electric buses to/from Dartford garage to the 3 routes would have wasted a lot of the charge on the batteries.

    They are also handing back route 335.

    • What is their strategy?

      Giving up Fastrack and losing many SE London routes doesn’t bode well?

  • So long Arriva. Your clapped out heaps won’t be missed.

  • I agree Chris L.
    There was so much dead mileage on route 335 running empty to and from the Arriva Dartford Garage to Kidbrooke Village to start. Always thought route 335 should have been longer perhaps running towards New Eltham or Sidcup for example from North Greenwich Station. Pethaps London Central will now run the 335 route from their Modern Whaf Garage near North Greenwich..

    • The problem for Dartford Garage is that Kent County Council have reduced subsidies across the county. It has relied on TfL work to keep it open. The move to electric buses makes it more uneconomic than before. Arriva has a nearby depot at Northfleet.

      The 335 is carrying good loads as it is and any extension would mean the Kidbrooke passengers wouldn’t be getting their seats.


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