Last bus garage open day - Dartford

21 August 2014
  • TIME: 10:00-16:00

On Sunday 7 September 2014, Dartford Bus Garage in Kent will open its doors to members of the public in the last of a series of bus garage open days across London and surrounding areas in celebration of the Year of the Bus. 

Visitors to Dartford Bus Garage, which is operated by Arriva, will get the chance to:

  • Take a 15-minute round trip on a heritage bus from Dartford Bus Garage via Dartford Bus Station and the Market Street stop. There will be departures every 15-20 minutes between 10:00 and 16:00
  • View up to 30 buses including heritage models and Arriva's new Sapphire bus
  • View the Year of the Bus mobile exhibition which tells the story of the London Bus and looks to its future
  • Take a ride through the bus wash
  • Jump up and down on the 'bouncy bus'
  • Get up close and personal with objects from the London Transport Museum collection and find out more about the stories behind them with the handling collection
  • Pick up your free bus-themed family activity sheets
  • Browse the London Transport Museum pop-up shop selling exclusive Year of the Bus gifts, and stalls selling merchandise and bus-related memorabilia

The bus garage open days are part of TfL's celebrations to mark the Year of the Bus, in partnership with London Transport Museum and the capital's bus operators.

All proceeds generated from the Dartford Bus Garage Open Day will be donated to the Transport Benevolent Fund.  


Dartford Bus Garage has a history stretching back to the 1920s and covering two sites, with the first garage built in 1927 on Kingsfield Terrace in Priory Road. It served the people of Dartford and surrounding areas until its closure on 18 January 1986 with a new depot opening at its current location the following day. Between 1963 and 1965, five purpose-built vehicles operated from the garage taking cyclists and their bicycles through the Dartford Tunnel - the Thames Trader Cycle Carrier had seats on the upper deck for cyclists and racks below for their bikes.  

The first bus garage open day in celebration of the Year of the Bus was held at Catford on 10 May and attracted around 3,000 visitors.

Alperton, Stockwell, Fulwell, Potters Bar and Walworth bus garages have all also offered behind-the-scenes access as part of the Year of the Bus celebrations.  

Vital role of the bus

Events and activities are being held throughout 2014 to celebrate the role that London buses, bus drivers and the staff who support them play in keeping the capital moving, and mark a number of important anniversaries.

These include 60 years since the creation of the original and iconic Routemaster, 75 years since the launch of its predecessor the RT-type bus, and 100 years since hundreds of London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War.  

Buses are a vital daily service for millions and one that is very local, with the vast majority of Londoners (95 per cent) never more than 400 metres from a bus stop. 

Buses link homes to jobs, schools and hospitals in every part of the capital.  They are the backbone, and often the forgotten workhorses, of London's transport network.   Further information about other Year of the Bus events can be found at and  

The Year of the Bus is supported by and delivered in partnership with Exterion Media, Abellio, Arriva London, Clear Channel UK, Go-Ahead London, Metroline, RATP Dev UK, Stagecoach, Wrightbus, Optare and Telent Technology Services.

Dartford Bus Garage has 54 buses operating on six routes (160, 428, 492, B12, B13 and B15). There are 172 staff based there.

The garage serves an area from Catford to the west, Erith to the north, Bluewater to the east and Joydens Wood to the south. Even though the depot is based in Kent, only three of the seven routes run into Kent. The rest serve Greater London.