Former London Bus Route 726 - Bromley South Station - Beckenham - Elmers End - Addiscombe - East & West Croydon - Wallington - Carshalton - Sutton - Worcester Park - New Malden - Kingston - Hampton Court - Feltham - Hatton Cross - Heathrow Central.
Last Operated By Tellings Golden Miller. Past Timetables: Jan 2004History:
The 726 was introduced as a variant to sister Green Line route 725, running from Gravesend to Windsor via Heathrow Airport and Slough instead of Staines.
The 726 came under the control of London Transport after the collapse of the Green Line network in the 1980s. London Transport's soon to be sold off and privatised London Coaches subsidiary operated the route from 1992 with route branded '726 Expresslink' DK type vehicles. They featured rather comfortable coach seats, which was unusual in a standard bus body. The route was seen as a success as ridership increased and additonal vehicles had to be ordered to keep with demand. London Coaches operated the 726 from their Wandsworth Garage and was eventually moved over to Northfleet - closer to the routes' terminus at Dartford.
London Transport had vowed to 'get rid' of the route as it acted as a bit of a 'Mill Stone around LT's neck'. London Coaches, that had been struggling to provide the service had given up and the 726 was passed to Capital Logistics and in consequence some services was cut from the timetable.
London Transport had always wanted to cut the route entirely, but it being so useful as providing a connection, not only between most of the SouthEast London and Heathrow, but also a good, fast, limited stop connection between the towns of South London (Dartford, Bexleyheath, Bromley, Croydon, Sutton & Kingston). A compromise was reached where services would only run between Bromley South and Heathrow Airport, this was new service was initiated only 2 weeks before the opening of the imfamous Bluewater shopping outlet near Dartford.
Capital logistics were bought out by Tellings Golden Miller on 1st June 1999, and co-incidentally just after the 726 contract had been awarded to Tellings Golden Miller starting in 2000. Tellings Golden Miller replaced the original London Coaches DK vehicles with 7 low floor ALX300 vehicles. The route also saw operation by Caetano Nimbuses, in both TGM's traditional white based livery as well as a red based livery.
In 2005, Tellings Golden Miller were keen to once again 'get rid' of the route as it was piosed with delays and poor punctuality rates, some being as low as 30%, a personal experience of the of the route was arriving at Bromley South 40 minutes late. The contract renewal that year had more changes to the route up it's sleve. The route was renumbered X26, and services between Croydon and Bromley via Addiscombe, Beckenham and Shortlands were withdrawn. The 'new' X26 was awarded to Metrobus and single door Scania Omnicities were ordered.
Last Updated 28th October 2009