London Buses route 17

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Operator Metroline
Garage Holloway (HT)
Vehicle Dennis Trident 2 9.9m / Plaxton President
Peak vehicle requirement 17
Start Archway station
Via Holloway
King's Cross
Holborn Circus
End London Bridge station
Length 6 miles (9.7 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 9-15 minutes
Journey time 29-64 minutes
Operates 04:25 until 01:28

London Buses route 17 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Archway and London Bridge stations, it is operated by Metroline.


Route 17 commenced operating on 3 August 1985 as a Monday to Saturday crew operated route between North Finchley and Kings Cross, with a Monday to Friday extension to London Bridge station, as a replacement for sections of routes 18, 45 and 104. This was the fifth time that the route number 17 had been used on a London bus route.

Although a relatively new route, the route number 17 actually has a very long history over sections of today's route. The 17 can trace its history back to a tram route 17 which commenced on 1 January 1913, when a previously unnumbered service between Archway and Farringdon Street was given the route number 17. It was a very busy and stable service serving the Caledonian Market and saw no changes in the period 1913 until 1933, when the London Passenger Transport Board was created.

London Transport as it became known, soon set about replacing trams with trolleybuses and as from 6 March 1938 tram route 17 was replaced by trolleybus routes 517 and 617, the use of 517 and 617 denoted in which direction the buses traversed the "Holborn Loop". 517 anti-clockwise from Kings Cross via Gray's Inn Road to Holborn Circus returning via Farringdon Street, the 617's clockwise. Both routes were also extended to North Finchley.

On 1 February 1961, in Stage 9 of the Buses for Trolleybuses scheme, trolleybus routes 517 and 617 were replaced by a new bus route 17, operating daily between North Finchley and Kings Cross with a Saturday extension to Farringdon Street, being further extended to Camberwell Green to bolster route 45 via Elephant & Castle. As from January 1967, the 17 was extended on Sundays from Kings Cross to South Kensington Station via Camberwell Green, Brixton, Stockwell, Clapham Junction, Battersea Bridge and Chelsea, the 45 being withdrawn completely on Sundays.

As from 16 January 1971, the 17 became a Monday to Friday, Archway to Camberwell Green service. It was replaced by changes to route 45 and a new Route 263. Seven years later, as part of the "Busplan 78" scheme, the 17 was withdrawn completely after service on 27 October 1978, route 45 being increased and extended to Archway as a replacement.

On 3 August 1985, a new route 17 was introduced after nearly seven years, in which time there was no route 17 in London. The re-incarnated 17 was a Monday to Saturday route between North Finchley and Kings Cross with a Monday to Friday (except evenings) extension to London Bridge replacing the long-standing 18 between Kings Cross and London Bridge. On 11 November 1990 a Sunday service was also introduced between North Finchley and Kings Cross, replacing the 45 between Kings Cross and Archway, making the 17 a daily operation between these points. This situation was not long lived, as three months later the 17 was withdrawn between North Finchley and Archway as from 2 February 1991. Lastly, a small re-routing occurred on 24 April 1993 between Mansion House station and London Bridge via Cannon Street instead of via Southwark Bridge, since which time the route has been a stable operation. The route originally used MCW Metrobuses when it was operated by MTL London until Metroline took over and the route was converted to low floor Dennis Trident 2 operation.

Current route[edit]

Previous route 17s in London[edit]

The route number 17 had been used four times prior to its current use.

There were also in London:


External links[edit]