LGOC B-type
B340, owned by the London Transport Museum; London to Brighton Run, 2006
Manufacturer London General Omnibus Company
Built at Walthamstow, London, England
Floor type Step entrance
Doors 1 door
Options Various customer options

The LGOC B-type is a model of double-decker bus that was introduced in London on 1910. It was both built and operated by the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC).


B-type buses were built in Walthamstow and replaced the X-type bus. B-type buses were an improvement on the X-type. The B-type had a 34 seat capacity and is often considered to be the first mass produced bus. The first bus began carrying passengers in 1911[1]. By 1913 around 2500 had entered service.

The B-type was designed by Frank Searle, who was chief engineer of the LGOC. It had a wooden frame, steel wheels, a worm drive and chain gearbox. Its top speed was 16 miles an hour, which was above the legal speed limit at that time of 12 miles an hour however some B-types could reach 30–35 miles an hour under the right conditions.[2]

B-types carried 16 passengers inside and had seats for 18 on the uncovered top deck. These outside seats were fitted with wet-weather canvas covers. Electric lighting was introduced from 1912, and headlights in 1913. Before this, it was thought that interior lighting would render the bus sufficiently visible at night.[2]

World War I serviceEdit

A total of 900 of the buses were used to move troops behind the lines during World War I[1]. After initially serving without any modifications they were painted khaki, had their windows removed, and were fitted with 2 inch thick planks to provide some limited protection.[1] Some had anti-aircraft guns attached to them, others were made into pigeon lofts to house the pigeons used for communication along the front.[2] They served until the end of the war when they were used to bring troops home[1]. The Imperial War Museum preserves one of these buses, B43, known as Ole Bill after the contemporary cartoon character.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Livesey, Jack (2007). Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Would Wars I and II. Southwater, 84. ISBN 9781844763702. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Exploring 20th Century London - Buses". Museum of London. Retrieved on 2008-05-30.
  3. "Ole Bill Bus". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved on 4 December 2010.
  • Thackray, Brian (2001). The AEC Story:Part 1. Venture Publications Ltd. ISBN 1-898432-37-6
  • Thackray, Brian (2004). AEC Vehicles: Origins to 1929. Venture Publications Ltd. ISBN 1-898432-44-9
  • Townsin, A. A. (1980). Blue Triangle. Transport Publishing Company. ISBN 0-903839-34-2

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