Sullivan Hoppa

Metroline lost the W9 to Sullivan Buses, one of two routes to do this move in 2017. The other one, the 217, moves later in June 2017.

Sullivan Buses AE23 on Route W9, Southgate Station
Sullivan Buses AE23 on Route W9, Southgate Station (© Aubrey)

Another slightly lagging blog post, but we are all pretty busy people!
On 4th February 2017, Sullivan Buses took over Route W9 from Metroline with new Enviro 200MMCs with stop-start technology.

Sullivan Buses AE20 on Route W9, Southgate Station
Sullivan Buses AE20 on Route W9, Southgate Station (© Aubrey)

These buses replace Enviro 200s from Metroline which were delivered mid-contract (as part of a batch with the 234). Those buses had replaced DSDs (Darts) cast-off from the 206. Metroline had run the route from Potters Bar for just under 17 years before Sullivan took over. This route is the first of two to leave Metroline at Potters Bar for Sullivan Buses at South Mimms.

Sullivan Buses AE12 on Route 298 passes AE23 on Route W9, Southgate Station (© Aubrey)

Currently, both of the full-time daytime routes that Sullivan Buses operate (the 298 and W9) cross paths at Southgate Station. The existing 298 Enviro 200s have blinds for the new route gains, and at least one of them have already been on the W9. The buses for the 298 are being refurbished to have the same moquette as the Enviro 200MMCs on W9, and the future buses for the 217.
The interior is of the style similar to the ones seen in CT Plus's new Enviro 200s, as well as many Enviro 400City buses with Arriva and CT Plus. This interior is devoid of company references, and is more "London-like".

Sullivan Buses AE23 on Route W9, Southgate Station
Sullivan Buses AE23 on Route W9, Southgate Station (© Aubrey)

Therefore, Southgate Station is a shared dwell point. The changeover point for the W9 is at Chase Farm Hospital, and Sullivan are running the route fairly well, running most buses on time.

The W9 is a local linker between Southgate, Winchmore Hill, Highlands Village, Grange Park, Enfield and Chase Farm. Starting out as an experimental minibus route, only W9 and P4 out of the original 4 introduced in 1972 still exist today. The section between Southgate and Enfield has been pretty much constant throughout its life, but between 1982 and 1991, W9 replaced Route 244 to Muswell Hill. That section is now the 299 (Muswell Hill-Cockfosters). At the same time, it was extended to Chase Farm Hospital. It was one of the few routes to be tendered to a non-LBSL unit, operating with Eastern National (Thamesway), which was part of the Badgerline group. In the 1990s, this was one of many local linker routes to gain "Hoppa" branding. This eventually became First Capital before moving to Metroline in 2000.

Evening Sullivans
(© Aubrey)

The W9 seems to have settled down with Sullivan Buses, and now with a new iBus office in South Mimms, Sullivan can prosper with the highest amount of TfL routes they've ever had in the two times they had a foray into TfL tendering. It does seem that Sullivan Buses are here to stay as a TfL bus operator, and not just school buses.


  1. Hi, I am thankful to you for sharing this awesome article with this helpful knowledge.

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  2. I really like the bus services of European and American countries. There buses are always neat and clean. Asian countries should also bring the improvements in their bus services.


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