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Twentieth Century


After the First World War and throughout the 1920s there was a considerable growth in the number of buses and coaches serving the Dartford area. The general introduction of pneumatic tyres on public transport vehicles was a great improvement giving a more comfortable ride for passengers. The provision of double-decker buses was also an important development. By the 1930s there were at least eight different bus and coach companies operating routes through and around Dartford. It was estimated in 1933 that some 3,000 buses came in and out of Dartford town centre every week.

Victoria Pullman Coaches ran a service between Dartford and London in 1929. This service was short-lived. However, a major step was the introduction of a Green Line service between Dartford, Ascot and Sunningdale via London; this service was extended to Gravesend in 1933. The local network of London Transport Country bus services was established in 1934 and continued almost unchanged until the 1970s.

The de-regulation of bus services by the government at the end of the twentieth century once again brought a great variety of bus services to the town linking Dartford with surrounding towns and villages, and even linking Dartford with Essex (via the Dartford Tunnel). One of the most popular long-distance services was the 726 coach between Dartford and Heathrow Airport. There was an extensive public campaign to save this service when the future of the route was threatened in the late 1990s. Unfortunately, the campaign was unsuccessful.


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