The East London bus scene in 1969 was one of contrast. This was London's industrial heartland with the River Thames bankside dominated by docks, power stations and heavy industry, including the massive Ford Motor works at Dagenham. Inland, dense inner city housing gave way to terraces and vast council estates as you travelled eastwards. The red buses of London Transport held a monopoly relieved only by the Green Line coach routes also run by London Transport. However, in the outer reaches of the Greater London Council area there was a remarkable overlap as London Transport's red buses delved deep into Essex while the Eastern National buses from Essex ran deep into London Transport territory.
Twenty years later, much had changed. The docks and power stations had closed and the London Docklands Development Corporation was transforming the old docks into Docklands. Changes in the bus industry saw London Transport split up in 1970, then from 1985 deregulation led to routes being tendered out and new operators taking them over. This book tells the story of the change in the East London bus scene in the 1970s and 1980s
Malcolm Batten has always had an interest in the local transport scene. After a boyhood of trainspotting, he started taking photographs in 1969. Since then he has recorded the local buses and railways, in an area which has seen enormous change.