please empty your brain below

What is the periphery of London as defined by the outermost ring of connecting TfL services?
This is DG at his very best: an utterly meaningless but absolutely fascinating post.
Great post. Luckily it's not the day of the Imber service as the inclusion of Warminster etc could have triggered another Shetlandesque cartographic debate.
A very interesting post. Maybe someone could do one for the 70's, when the polygon was quite large.
And the inverse, the innermost not TfL stations (I mean Motspur Park not Wimbledon)
David, I don't think the Imber bus is actually operated by TfL, despite it appearances.
The summer extensions into deep countryside were common in my childhood (Epping Forest, Knockholt, Old Windsor). Strange that the Chartwell 246 is the sole relic.

Dartford is an interesting one, as "London" buses always served there as the logical terminus of routes like the 96, but were extended to Bluewater once the shopping centre opened, indeed the shopping centre has contributed financially to this I believe.

The 96 now utilises the Dartford fast track route AND serves the main hospital for the area, it's an interesting situation that by far the most frequent bus route serving the major hospital of a town outside London is a TfL one.
Mikey C, there is a similar situation at Ashford Hospital (Surrey) where the 116 and 203 provide a better service than the local Surrey buses.
When extended to Reading, the polygon west of Chesham would roughly follow the Chiltern hills, accoding to the last diagram. IMHO it's actually pretty fitting, somewhat indicating the geographical limit of the commuter belt. And definitely better looking (?) then pre-1961, when the polygon stretched all the way to Aylesbury.

The polygon was probably the largest in 1933-35, when both Verney Junction and Brill were nominally tube-served.
An interesting post, thanks DG.

One possible significant future extension eastwards is along the Greater Anglia line from Shenfield to Southend Victoria. It’s a suggestion put forward to the Transport Secretary by the Chief Exec of Southend Airport, which is owned by the Stobart Group, as part of the options to beef-up the services of the smaller airports in the South-East.

I think that CrossRail1 rolling stock has already been run between Sheffield and Southend Victoria, so the idea is not so far fetched.

It would bring CrossRail and TfL to the seaside. But all this was put forward before the recently announced delay to CrossRail1, so I doubt that realistically, a service extension will be happening anytime soon.
I have often wondered how quickly you could navigate the edge of Greater London using services on the 'London's Rail and Tube services map. The trouble is working out the definition. I am sort of thinking (going clockwise) Moor Park, Hatch End, Stanmore, Edgeware, Elstree & Borehamwood, Mill Hill East, High Barnet, Hadley Wood, Cockfosters, Crews Hill, Enfield Town, Turkey Street etc.
There are almost certainly subtleties and edge cases.

Related but different is to do a loop as far out as possible in which case it's Rayner's Lane to West Hampstead to Gospel Oak to Barking to West Ham to Canning Town to Woolwich Arsenal to ... Acton Town to Heathrow to Hayes and Harlington to Ealing Broadway to Ealing Common to Rayners Lane.

You can probably see what I'm getting at but again there are probably precise rules that need defining and you are going to get an equal but different loop defined if you start at South Ruislip (from Greenford in one direction and Marlybone in the other). Which loop is better?
Is Oyster acceptabliity a TfL service? If it is then the polygon needs to stretch down to Gatwick...

dg writes: No

I'm wondering if TfL fares are actually charged on the 465 all the way to Dorking. I remember once travelling by 131 beyond Kingston towards Hampton Court and it had signs on it saying Surrey fares applied beyond a certain point.

dg writes: Yes

Curiously there is a Surrey travelcard for the northern area of the county. It's not valid on TfL routes though it is valid on a service run by London United for the council. Confusing...
If it hadn't been for Failing Grayling, the Overground would now have reached Sevenoaks, significantly improving on Southeastern's miserable performance by offering Oyster's lower fares and staffing the relevant stations full time, thereby improving security and reducing fare evasion.

Sadly, Grayling vetoed it for blatant party political reasons.
ap we often travel on the 465 to Dorking from either Kingston or Surbiton to make good use of our travel cards. When we first used this service it actually started from the Fulwell Bus Garage in Stanley Road, Teddington.
As for non London hospitals with better TfL service than local add Epsom Hospital.

The local paper keeps getting stories about locals wanting to be zone 6 including their MP who when he became Transport Minster then turned that down. One Mr Grayling
This gets me thinking about places that used to have TfL (or LRT, or LT) bus services that no longer do. (The opposite of places like Dorking and elsewhere in Surrey, where TfL have taken over what used to be London Country routes.). And how they would impact upon the shape and area of the polygon...

Ongar used to have LT buses (route 247B most recently). I'm not sure if the old route 347 (or 247 before that) between Brentwood and Romford, via Warley and Shepherds Hill might have expanded the area covered a little. While the old R6 for a time linked Orpington with Sevenoaks. Long ago the 84 to St Albans was a proper LT service (which was indeed, like Slough, shown as an inset on the old LT bus maps). Would summer buses to Thorpe Park (from Staines) have necessitated an expansion of the polygon, or the 219 to Weybridge, or the 218 via Walton-on-Thames. I think the the routes in Surrey to Walton-on-the-Hill might just have fitted within the current polygon though.... Also, ah the X99 forester, which for a time (post-deregulation in 1986) linked Harlow to Basildon would have led to a big expansion in area, too.
Who remembers the 374 to East Tilbury, and I think the 489A to Meopham, not to mention the 409 to Forest Row beyond East Grinstead, and half a dozen routes to Guildford, and didn't the 305 go to West Wycombe, and especially the 807 to Letchworth, and the 331A dog-legged at Hare Street didn't it, and I definitely rode to Chipping Ongar on the 339, what a polygon, happy days.
In its halcyon days, London Transport used to run green buses out to distant places such as Tunbridge Wells, East Grinstead, Crawley, Guildford, Hemel Hempstead, Tring, Luton, Hitchin, Stevenage and Bishops Stortford.
@ Dominic H

Surely the R6 route never went anywhere near Sevenoaks?

dg writes: Trust Dominic. It did.
Although the trains are still run by GWR for now stations like Taplow are already staffed by TFL rail employees.
"I'm wondering if TfL fares are actually charged on the 465 all the way to Dorking."

They are now but, as with the old 131, 'twas not always thus. Awkward, actually, as the nearest Oyster top up point to Dorking is several miles away in Leatherhead

The London Country bus area extended from Northfleet to Aylesbury, and from Hitchin to Crawley

@Toby - difficult to define such an "innermost" polygon - there are, after all, two non-TfL served stations within the Square Mile itself - Essex Road is probably the next innermost to produce the minimum three points needed to define a polygon!

The innermost on SWR isn't Motspur Park but Queenstown Road.
It takes a special kind of pedant to reply to Gerry by showing Gerry a link to the same map Gerry provided in his original comment.
John Styles, Elstree & Borehamwood is in Herts, so the last station in London on that line is Mill Hill Broadway.

ATB and Gerry, the LT Country area (which ran green LT buses) was mostly outside London, but many of its routes entered outer London (eg at Bromley, Croydon, Kingston, Uxbridge, Enfield and Romford) and indeed there was a garage at Romford (RE). The LT Central area was mostly inside London, but did have garages outside London at Loughton (L), Potters Bar (still in use) and the old UX shed on Oxford Road in Denham.
Marvellous, both post and comments. I didn't understand ten per cent of it, but it has a beauty all of its own.
The 800+ buses move us into outer space, as they were introduced to cover the New Towns of post-war south-east England. Crawley, Letchworth, Stevenage were among the lucky beneficiaries.
Looking further into the future, Crossrail 2 will move the Cheshunt node of the polygon further out, at least as far as Broxbourne and probably further to Hertford (or even Harlow or Stansted).
Night buses have certainly been removed from some part of London and beyond which to get them. Now for example Bexleyheath/Erith is as far as they go in SE London, whereas previously they went to Crayford and then over the Kent boundary into Dartford and even for a while Gravesend.
Completing John Styles' Loop

Woolwich Arsenal - Crayford - Hither Green - Petts Wood - Beckenham Junction - West Croydon (by tram) - Wimbledon - (Fulwell) - Richmond - Turnham Green - Acton Town

If crossing over yourself is allowed, insert Fulwell - Twickenham - Feltham - Barnes - Richmond
It is slightly wrong.Oyster pre paid is available on Southern & Thameslink services to Merstham,Redhill,Earlswood,Salfords,Horley,& Gatwick Airport.The map needs to pushed furthe south of Redhill down the A23 towards gatwick.
Glad to see a few have mentioned the extent of LT's red and green buses. To see the current polygon superimposed on the historic LT 'special area' would be quite revealing!

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