K11: Kenley Road


Kenley Road was laid out in 1931-2 with no.2 being completed on 24th July 1931 and later numbers approved in January 1932 and completed in the autumn of that year (for example, no.20 completed 7th October 1932). You can view images of the road during construction  here at the Britain from Above website.

A Change in Route

In Spring 1963, the 213 bus route changed from going along Traps Lane and Coombe Lane and began an additional service along Clarence Avenue and Kenley Road. This became the route as we know it now, but not all residents at the time approved of the change.

The change of route was advocated by the Borough of Malden and Coombe for many years. At a committee meeting of the Public Health, Works and Highways Committee of 24th April 1963, complaints were received from 7 individuals and by one letter signed by 25 people. Chairman of the committee Alderman A Hill responded to the concerns by saying: “I can take this back 30 years and remember well the time these people and others like them objected to a public house being built” before going on to be the ones who used it(!). Another member, Alderman A Arbon-Collins stated that “you cannot hold up progress”. Hard to imagine elected members talking in quite the same tone today, or a change in bus route being described as ‘progress’.

Residents were able to negotiate the siting of new bus stops, firstly in a meeting with Kingston Borough Council and the Transport Board, and later through petition direct to the Department for Transport. There was, for a time, a bus stop ‘on the corner’ which was re-sited onto Gloucester Road after complaints that it was ‘dangerous and noisy’.

The new route ran from 8th May 1963.

To end on…

In the initial coverage from the Kingston Borough News, Kenley Road was referred to as Kenley Avenue. In correcting them, a local resident sent this to the paper:

We will walk up the Avenue not a Bus in sight; But we will run Down the Road for a 213 tonight

  • Britain from Above (http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw040758)
  • ‘Kenley Road Residents Angry’, in Kingston Borough News, 24th May 1963 p.1
  • ‘New Bus Service: Complaints Fail’, in Kingston Borough News, 3rd May 1963 p.1
  • ‘Residents Angry at New Malden Bus Run: Kenley Ave Objections’, in Kingston Borough News, 26th April 1963 p.1




On diversion… (44/44A from Newcastle to Dinnington)

As a slight diversion from all things 213, I thought it might be fun to tell you about buses in Newcastle.

Buses in Newcastle are not as good as buses in London. When I lived in Newcastle (which I did for 19ish years on and off), I avoided buses. In fact, I only used them because my boyfriend always lived away from the Metro system we have here, first in a little place called Dinnington and then in the east end of the city, Heaton. (As a second aside, the Metro is super cute with only 2 lines!). I’m sad to say that nearly all buses in Newcastle smell of McDonald’s chips. The other main problem is, they don’t tell you anything once you get on the bus, so if you don’t know where you are going you have to do a guess-timate of where to get off or hope your driver is friendly. This makes bus travel a bit of a hazard, and I only get them up here because my folks won’t put me on their car insurance (a sensible decision, I am blonde and occasionally very ditzy)

The Dinnington bus is run by Arriva. It used to be a 45, but now it’s a 44 or a 44A. It used to run every quarter of an hour, going to half hourly after 7pm. Now it’s half hourly, with one an hour after 7pm. This isn’t good. It also costs £2.20 for a single trip from where I lived to Dinningston, £2.70 from the centre of town. There isn’t an Oyster card system so you have to have cash. They are quite empty, and because they move faster than London buses (less congestion), they are noisy! They do however come in fun colours, Arriva’s buses are turquoise-ish and cream usually, but I also boarded a red ‘United’ double decker this time, which is apparently a modern bus, repainted in celebration of 100 years of the company. Another bus has a huge painted zip on the side, half in red, half in Arriva’s modern colours. You can find out more here: http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/100-years-of-service/ which also tells you about a cool school project to collect stories and poems from the bus. And shamelessly, I’ve nicked the photo from http://northeastbusnews.wordpress.com/.

This is my favourite poem, by Daniel, aged 8:

The Bus Poem
Buses are comfy
Buses are great
Buses are fantastic
Buses are the best
Buses are big
Buses are cool
Buses are warm
Buses are lush
Buses are spectacular

I have also been on a 10A from Ryton to Newcastle run by GoNorthEast (the northern version of Go Ahead London who run the 213 route). They come every 20 minutes even late at night and the driver let me change a tenner with him so that was good, even if the ticket cost over £2.50.

Did you know that Britain (excluding London) is the only country in the world with an entirely privatised / deregulated bus service? More to come on that once I’ve read up a bit.