Farewell to Alperton

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Nick Larkin reports from the London depot’s last day

After 82 years, the former London Transport garage at Alperton has operated buses for the last time, only to reopen its doors the next day for a special goodbye event. The Farewell Open Day saw examples of the many vehicles based at the depot over the years, including AEC RTs and Rouetmasters, a Leyland RTL and MCW Metrobuses, which for much of the 1980s formed the depot’s entire allocation.

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More recent vehicles returned, some courtesy of new owners, and buses gave rides to Sudbury and Harrow School, Wembley Park and Perivale.

As well as sales stands, the canteen, latterly the Met Café, was serving refreshments, with proceeds going to a local hospice.

The garage has latterly been operated by Metroline, whose CEO, Sean O’Shea. was among the attendees. “This has been a great event though a sad day. I have been involved with this industry for 30 years and fully understand how people feel about the closure. We will have a new garage opening a mile from here in a year of so there is also a sense of moving forward.”

Metroline has sold the Alperton site for £25 million and a 28 storey block of flats will replace it. Among the people unhappy about the closure was engineer John Richards, who remembers the garage, opened in 1939, being built. His grandad, William Little, a council road sweeper, lived opposite the new building. John has visited Alperton regularly over the years, and taken photos. “It’s disgusting to see this lovely building is going to be demolished,” he said.

Service controller Susie Dent said: “We’ve been a family here – everyone says that.”

Employees have been transferred to other Metorline depots.


1939 Alperton Garage opens on 7 June, allocated depot code ON, the last two letters of the name. Fifty-eight AEC RTLs are allocated.
1943 Admin block extensively damaged by bombing on 19 November.
1949 Leyland RTWs arrive but soon replaced by AEC RTs.
1964 Routemasters join the fleet for Alperton’s share of route 18.
1969 One-person-operated buses arrive in the shape of AEC MB-class single deckers, later followed by DMS Daimler Fleetlines.
1975 Building work begins to extend the depot onto former electricity substation land, accessed via a ramp from the main garage.
1980 The first MCW Metrobuses arrive, which would eventually form the entire 74-strong vehicle allocation.
1989 Alperton becomes part of CentreWest which sells out to First in 1997.
2013 Metroline takes over the Alperton operations.
2021 10 September: The last buses leave Alperton. Route 83 had run from the depot for 82 years

Saying farewell. Left to right: Marcelio Padilla, radio controller; Jamie Corscadden (8), Metroline enthusiast; Susie Dent, service controller; and one of the event organisers and driver Liam Tebbit, who has been working at the depot for 30 years. NICK LARKIN












Metroline CEO Sean O’Shea was among the attendees. NICK LARKIN
















Welcome to ‘A ERTON’ Garage. The remaining letters were raffled for charity. NICK LARKIN











AEC Regent III RTs once formed Alperton’s entre depot allocation. NICK LARKIN











Metroline’s own AEC Routemaster, WLT 903, sets off from Alperton Garage on a local trip. NICK LARKIN











Now with Go Coach in Kent, this 2007 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 was new to Metroline. NICK LARKIN











A wide range of classic vehicles was on display. NICK LARKIN











Stalls and preserved buses were housed inside the depot. NICK LARKIN