London Buses route 12
|Vehicle||Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
Volvo B5L Hybrid 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
|Peak vehicle requirement||41|
Elephant & Castle
|Length||7 miles (12 km)|
|Frequency||About every 5 minutes|
|Journey time||38-65 minutes|
|London Transport portal|
Route 12 has a long history. In the 1930s destinations between as South Croydon and Brent Cross Station were served. By th 1950s, the route operated between South Croydon and Willesden Junction, although buses from Croydon generally ran no further than Oxford Circus and those from Harlesden no further than Dulwich.
The 12 was shortened to terminate at Norwood Junction in 1972, with new route 12A (later 312 and now 197) taking over between South Croydon and Peckham. On 25 October 1986, the route was reduced to operate only between Penge and East Acton. From 14 August 1988, the 12 was curtailed to Dulwich from the north, capacity being maintained by extending the 78 from Dulwich to Forest Hill and the 176 from Forest Hill to Penge. The western terminal was moved to Shepherds Bush in 1991 and to Notting Hill Gate in 1994.
The route was restructured in 5 November 2004, with the section between Oxford Circus and Notting Hill Gate withdrawn, although it was partially replaced by an extension of route 390 and frequency increases on parallel route 148.
The route has been run from a number of garages. The computer scheduling system developed by London Buses in the 1970s is designed for a maximum of four garages operating on any one route; this was derived from the 12, which had four garages operating vehicles on it at the time.
Double-deck Routemaster buses operated on the route for over 30 years. These were replaced by new articulated single-deck vehicles in 2004. The withdrawal of Routemasters from the route left the type operating on only seven routes in London, and caused the number in use to fall below 200 for the firs time in over 50 years. The last day of Routemaster operation, in November 2004, saw the first appearance of an Ensignbus Routemaster on a London route.
On 5 November 2011, route 12 was retained by G-Ahead London and was converted back to double deck using Volvo B9TL 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 and Volvo B5L Hybrid 10.4m / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2, the PVR was increased to 41 and the frequency was increased.
Cultural significance 
Current route 
- Dulwich Library
- Peckham Rye Station
- Peckham High Street
- Camberwell Green
- Elephant & Castle Station
- Lambeth North Station
- Westminster Station
- Trafalgar Square (for Charing Cross Station)
- Piccadilly Circus Station
- Oxford Circus Station Regent Street
An example of the Routemasters used on route 12, some of which carried route branding.
See also