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Last Regular British Horse Bus Service

By the turn of the century, the number of London horse-buses peaked at 3736. Most were two horse vehicles, although the large red 'Favourites' with 48-seats ran in the morning from Highgate and Islington into the City, but were excluded after 10am because of their size. Express journeys with four-horse teams pulling ordinary garden-seat buses ran from some of the suburban points into the City, the last such bus, operated by Thomas Tilling, ran on 16th March 1912 from the foot of Balham Hill to Gracechurch Street. The last LGOC horse-buses had already run on the 22nd December 1907 and by 4th August 1914, when Thomas Tilling ceased to run on the Peckham Rye to Honor Oak route, the horse bus had disappeared from the streets of London. By this time the tram and the train were serving most parts of the country, offering cheap workman's and return fares, which were not available on the horse bus.

Outside London, however, the horse bus continued to run, particularly in rural areas. What is generally regarded as the last urban horse bus service in the country was that of Howe & Co., between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Gateshead, which made its final run on Saturday 13th June 1931, marking the end of the horse bus as a means of urban transport.  However, the last regular horse bus service in Great Britain continued to run between Wickhambrook and Newmarket, in Suffolk, on market days only, until 1932.

Information derived from

Last Modified Thursday 05 May 2011