It is one of three new garages opened in 1981 by London Buses at a cost of £3.5 million, it had space for 140 buses undercover and a further 30 in the yard. The roof was unusual in being carried by ten 35-ton triangular trusses, said to be the largest in the UK, supported on reinforced concrete columns. Although technically in Hackney, buses showed "CAMBRIDGE HEATH Ash Grove Garage" on their blinds. The garage on opening assumed Hackney's operation of Red Arrow routes 502 & 513 using brand new Leyland Nationals which had been stored at the garage, and also the entire Hackney and Dalston allocations. Unfortunately Ash Grove found itself in the London Forest operation, and also had a reputation for staff militancy and closed in 1991.
The garage re-opened in 1994 for use of Kentish Bus to house their Leyton area route gains, although they referred to it as Cambridge Heath. It was also used over the years to house stored vehicles for the London Transport Museum, and again in 2000 to store additional RM's that had been acquired to supplement shortages in London.
It also operationally re-opened again in 2000 for use by the London Buses company East Thames Buses which took over the former Harris Bus routes after that company ran into financial difficulties. CT Plus moved into the garage yard to house its routes won in the London area although East Thames Buses have now moved to new premises at Mandela Way (SE1) and were replaced at the garage by Arriva London's new Citaro articulated buses for route 38 following the conversion from Routemasters in November 2005.
Bus types in useEdit
- Dennis Dart SLF 8.8m / Caetano Slimbus (DCS) for route 394.
- Dennis Dart SLF 10.2m / Caetano Nimbus (HDC) for route 153.
- Dennis Trident 2 9.9m / East Lancs Myllennium Lolyne (HTL) for route 388.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 8.9m (DAS) for route 394.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.2m / East Lancs Esteem (DE) for route W13.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro400 9.9m / Darwen Olympus (EO) for route W13.
- Dennis Trident 2 10.5m / Plaxton President (HTP) for route 388.
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