Crosville Route Number Systems

For most of the early period of 'Crosville' route numbers were mainly only used in timetables and were rarely displayed on vehicles. Unfortunately Crosville was noted to be inefficient in the way that vehicle destinations were displayed. Whilst destination display equipment was fitted to many but not all vehicles the company chose to frequently use a display board which was usually located in the front near side window. These destination boards were called 'Widd Boards'.

The 'Widd Board' can just be seen in the front window showing that the bus is going to the Gwrych Castle Entrance

Leyland Titan MG649 (UF7411) was new to Wilts and Dorset in 1932 and came to Crosville in 1952

Photo courtesy of Dennis Kerrison

Following the second world war Crosville had become part of the Tilling Group and this resulted in a more standardised system of route numbers being introduced which began to appear on most Crosville buses. The routes numbers used were numerical and were allocated in groups of 100s which related to the various Divisions of the company.


For a period after 1947, to distinguish the different places served or the various intermediate destinations, a letter was added to the route numbers (e.g. 101A etc.). However In some areas, especially around Crewe, the number of variations could amount to over 13 and the 207 service, for example, had variations between A-P with also W being used for a work peoples service.

Seen at Mold Leyland Titan M96 (EFM605) is showing the variation to the route number

Photo by Sid Smith

From the early 1950s the suffixes did not appear in timetables and the suffix on the destination displays began to be 'blacked' out. Buses and timetables then simply showed the 'generic' route number - which of course could include a number of route variations.

In W J Crossland-Taylor's 'The Sowing and the Harvest' a list was produced of these major routes with their route numbers. This list was updated for a time in the Crosville Handbooks published annually.


A full list of these 'pre 1959' route numbers and services appears <<HERE>>


Also in the early 1950s destination displays were introduced on the new buses arriving that had a separate route numbering involving three separate display tracks each capable of being changed.

Mechanism to display route numbers

At Edge Lane this row of buses shows the pre1959 method of displaying route numbers

Photo courtesy of Dennis Kerrison

In 1959 a new system was introduced that came into effect in July of that year. This new system consisted of an alpha prefix relating to the Divisional area followed by a number between 1-99.

SLB228 (LFM809) at King Street showing a full destination indicating that the journey is to Rhos via Johnstown

Photo courtesy of Tony Moyes

A number of Bristol Ls and Ks were given this method of displaying route numbers using a long roll - different ones for the various Divisions

Nilig is a Farm entrance in the area of Cyffylliog near Ruthin.

Photo courtesy of Tony Moyes

ERG283 (YFM283L) showing the standard destination display (no Via).

Pontrhydfendigaid was the longest destination name used.

Photo courtesy of Tony Moyes