A One-Way Ticket, Please

Another short post this one is, whilst retaining all the information you need to know.

A One-Way Ticket

Route 530 was a temporary shuttle route that operates in one direction only, from Holloway Nag's Head TO Islington, Angel via Highbury Corner.

Stick a 5 in front of it: Father of the route at Highbury Corner.
It runs 7 days a week, only during the day about every 10 minutes using Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 (WVN) buses from Go-Ahead London's Northumberland Park (NP) garage during roadworks by Islington Angel. 

The route takes its name from local route 30, between Marble Arch and Hackney Wick which is affected by these works. Originally it was to be called route 543, after another local route 43 and this was shown on some publicity documents originally when the service started back in August 2017, however it has been rectified and agreed that it will be the 530 instead.

The reason behind creating the shuttle was due to water and road works near the Islington Angel junction, blocking through access onto the Pentonville Road which all routes used heading southbound. As a result, diversions and road closures were put in place in one direction, with local residents who were dependent on the 'gone' bus routes requesting that Transport for London (TfL) put on a temporary service TO Angel to maintain the much-needed and used links, particularly during their short commute into the city.

It's not the first time Holloway has had a temporary route this year, earlier around the New Year there was another route numbered 563 that had a journey time of two minutes closer to Upper Holloway operated by the same garage using surplus Alexander Dennis Enviro 200s built in 2011 released from route D8's double decker conversion.

A map of the route, courtesy of the Transport for London (TfL) website.
Operations and Diversions
The one-way route ran from August until November 2017, utilising 3 of Go-Ahead London's spare WVN-class buses. As the areas it serves are primarily in zone 2, the service become locally known quickly, and in particular during the peak period had gained major popularity and wasn't carrying small loadings or even air, in the case of other temporary routes, especially with the lack of one of London's busiest routes; the 43 towards London Bridge being absent along this stretch.

Other bus routes, including the 4, 19, 30 and 43 were diverted along alternative routes, including the 43 following the 271 to Hoxton and Old Street! This made the southbound 43 follow the eastbound 271 for nearly the entire length of it's [the 271] route, bar the small leg from Archway to Highgate Village South Grove. 

The new route in question: the 530.
On the day I went to observe and photograph the route, it was a surprise to see how busy it was. Perhaps because it was the height of the evening peak, around let's say, 5 or 6, that a crowd of about 60 people were standing patiently, waiting in such an orderly fashion by the Highbury Corner bus stop waiting a good 10 or 15 minutes for this bus.

(Holloway Road is traditionally quite congested and there are ongoing roadworks to transform Highbury Corner into a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly junction, similar to those up the road at Archway).

Eventually, a bus, in the form of one of 357's buses [a route in Walthamstow running from Chingford Hatch and into or to the outside of Whipps Cross Hospital, dependent on day of the week] had turned up. Unblinded, unwashed but on a route that was not under the radar. 

In the dashboard, sits a white piece of A4 paper, in Johnston [standard TfL] font reading '530' in big bold letters, with Angel and a London Underground roundel in a smaller size of the same font, below on the next line. The blindset is set to 'Special Service'. Most other buses had the TfL roundel on the number blind with a blank destination set, also utilising the A4 piece of paper.

Other than that, the route's not really that interesting. It only takes 20 minutes from one end to the other, then creates a triangle by cutting through some streets around Islington to get back to Holloway which is probably half that time.

In terms of the allocation, the WVNs were the only buses the route used, although from time to time, until the 257 [Stratford to Walthamstow via Leytonstone] was lost back to Stagecoach London in October 2017, some older Gemini 1 strayed their way properly into the streets of zone 2 once more.
  It had it's uses, but ever since, the buses have returned to normal, and the 530's knell has rung.

Thanks for reading this post and please remember to stay safe!