Know Your Routes: Route 120

W453 BCW on route 120 to Hounslow, Bus Station.

Every now and then at the team, we receive post requests like this one. This post is dedicated to Matthew Seredyn. A former WLTM blogger, however was a great contributor during his time. We hope you enjoy the post!

The 120 runs between Northolt Station and Hounslow Bus Station. On the route, it follows the 140 for quite some time until Yeading, White Hart where it then turns onto Ruislip Road. Passing the ever so busy Greenford High School, it then makes a turn into Lady Margaret Road where it serves a rather unique section of housing which no other bus serves. After about 10 - 15 minutes, the route comes out at the other end of Lady Margaret Road only to find itself in the popular town of Southall. Following the other routes down Southall Broadway, it's now about to pass Southall Station. The route then goes and serves another unique section of residential housing estates through the peaceful Norwood Green. The route soon approaches Heston, and then continues into Hounslow East. Now the end is in sight as the bus shortly then pulls up at Hounslow Bus Station.

W454 BCW on route 120 to Hounslow, Bus Station? The blinds should say Northolt...... Also, the blinds are clearly not in a good position as they are "Unreadable" and this certainly wouldn't be praised by TfL.

The route 120 is operated by London United RATP Group from their Hounslow (AV) garage using a mixture of SP's and ADE's. Other types of vehicles from the garage may also appear on the route frequently. 
Going back around 10 years ago - 120 used a mixture of VP's and VA's. Sadly, I only have photos of VP's running the 120 as VA's aren't as common as VP's nowadays. The route hasn't changed much over the last few years although the frequency has risen.

The reason why is because the route, especially between Southall and Hounslow, was flooded with passengers - And it doesn't help that the bus only came once every 15 minutes. So now the buses come every 9-11 minutes. 

In terms of overcrowding, the 120 was described as Ealing Council's MOST overcrowded route and that changes had to occur to the way the route ran.

Eventually, some of London United's SP's were moved onto the 120 as they had more capacity to move the crowds through. Lewis has happily provided us a shot of one of the early SP's on 120 as the photo demonstrates below.

SP12/ YN56 FBX stands at Northolt Station on the 120.
Copyright LJN 

So then the SP's had now formed up a part of what is today's allocation along with the VP's and VA's. 

Last year, London United successfully retained the contract for route 120 and for the first time in history, as Scania no longer makes Omnicities, they opted for Alexander Dennis Enviro 400's. They did, and still own hybrid versions of this bus but this was the first time they opted for a diesel variant. The buses came in a big batch of 45 buses dubbed as ADE1-45, some containing 12reg and others promoted to 62reg. Not all these buses were for the 120, as the allocation of the ADE's are also shared with routes 81 and 222, 222 having converted to double-deck operation. So this meant the VA's and VP's, most of them, could be withdrawn from service and being sold to other operators such as Sullivan Buses and Ensignbus.  Here shows ADE36 on 120 at the penultimate stop before Northolt Station, Moat Farm Road in the sunset of 23rd April 2013.

YX62 BXF on route 120 to Northolt Station.
Copyright LondonBuses72


YN56 FCF - SP5
YN56 FCJ - SP7
YN56 FBA - SP8
YN56 FBO - SP10
YN56 FBU - SP11
YN56 FBV - SP12
YN56 FBX - SP13
YN56 FBY - SP14
YN56 FBZ - SP15

YX12 FNR - ADE10
YX12 FNS - ADE11
YX12 FNT - ADE12
YX12 FNU - ADE13
YX12 FNV - ADE14
YX12 FNW - ADE15
YX12 FNY - ADE16
YX12 FNZ - ADE17
YX12 FOA - ADE18
YX12 FOC - ADE19
YX12 FOD - ADE20
YX12 FOF - ADE21
YX12 FOH - ADE22
YX12 FOJ - ADE23
YX62 AEW - ADE24
YX62 AGU - ADE25
YX12 FON - ADE26
YX12 FOP - ADE27
YX12 GHJ - ADE28
YX12 GHK - ADE29
YX12 GHN - ADE30
YX12 GHO - ADE31
YX12 GHU - ADE32
YX62 AHE - ADE33
YX62 AOE - ADE34
YX62 ARZ - ADE35
YX62 BXF - ADE36
YX62 BXR - ADE37
YX62 BXU - ADE38
YX62 BXY - ADE39
YX62 BXZ - ADE40
YX62 BYG - ADE41
YX62 BYJ - ADE42
YX62 BYK - ADE43
YX62 BZE - ADE44
YX62 BZS - ADE45

We hope you've enjoyed the post and please, do stay safe! I would like to thank Lewis for allowing me to use his photo.