List of bus routes in London
This is a list of Transport for London (TfL) contracted bus routes in London, United Kingdom, as well as commercial services that enter the Greater London area (except coaches). The major operators in the London area are Go-Ahead London, Arriva London, Metroline and Stagecoach London Other operators in London are London United, Abellio London, Tower Transit, Metrobus, Arriva Shires & Essex, Arriva Southern Counties, London Sovereign, Quality Line, Abellio Surrey, CT Plus, First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, Uno, London United, Carousel Buses, TWH Bus & Coach, Blue Triangle, Green Line Coaches, Sullivan Buses and Imperial Buses.
There are also several operators based outside London that run services either wholly or partly within the area. These services connect London with parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
- 1 Classification of route numbers
- 2 List of routes
- 3 Former routes
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 External links
Classification of route numbers
In Victorian times, passengers could only recognise the buses of different fleets and routes by the coaches' distinctive livery colours and line name, with painted signs on the sides showing the two termini to indicate the route. Then, in 1906, George Samuel Dicks of the London Motor Omnibus Company decided that, as the line name 'Vanguard' had proved to be very popular, he would name all lines 'Vanguard' and number the company's five different routes 1 through to 5. Other operators soon saw the advantage, in that a unique route number was easier for the travelling public to remember, and so the practice of using route numbers soon spread.
Historically, bus routes run by London Transport were grouped by the type of service that they provided.
The 1924 London Traffic Act imposed a numbering scheme known as the Bassom Scheme, named after Chief Constable A.E. Bassom of the Metropolitan Police who devised it. Variant and short workings used letter suffixes. The numbers reflected the company that operated the route.
|Route Number||Type of Service|
|1–199||"Central Area" red double-decker services|
|200–289||"Central Area" red single-decker services|
|290–299 ||"Central Area" night routes|
|300–399||"Country Area" north of the River Thames (rural services were operated by London Country Bus Services after 1970)|
|400–499||"Country Area" south of the River Thames|
|701–799||Green Line Coaches|
|800–899||"Country Area" "New Towns" routes|
|Route Number||Type of Service|
|1–599||Day routes, including 24-hour services.|
|600–699||Schoolday services, normally operating only one return journey per day.|
|700–899||Not used for local bus services — numbers reserved for regional and national coach services.|
|900–999||Mobility Services, normally operating one returning journey per week.|
|N-prefixed routes||Night routes.|
|X-prefixed routes||Express routes.|
|Other letter-prefixed routes||Local day routes, including 24-hour services, with the letter(s) denoting the town the bus travels through.|
|24-hour bus services||Route has variable final destinations or starting points|
|†||Transport for London services that cross the Greater London boundary.
Standard ticketing applies throughout.
List of routes
All routes operate in both directions unless detailed.
|507||Victoria Station||Waterloo Station||Go-Ahead London|||
|521||Waterloo Station||London Bridge||Go-Ahead London|||
|549||South Woodford||Loughton †||Go-Ahead London|||
|573||London City Airport||Circular via North Woolwich||Go-Ahead London|
|574||Beckton||North Woolwich||Go-Ahead London|
|588 (Discontinued from 14 December 2013)||Hackney Wick||Stratford City||Stagecoach London|
|599||Canons Hill||Reedham||Abellio London|
The majority of routes in this sequence are run for schools to reduce overcrowding on regular bus services. Their timetables are subject to short notice alteration and re-routing in accordance with school requirements. A notable exception is route 607, which is a limited stop service operating in West London, whose number is "inherited" from the period (15 November 1936 – 8 November 1960), when this route was served by trolleybuses.
These are Mobility Bus Routes. These routes provide a once a week return journey to a local shopping centre where there is no alternative route in the main bus network. The prevalence of low-floor buses across London has reduced somewhat the number of Mobility Bus services.
|Route||Start||End||Day of Operation||Operator|
|931||Crystal Palace||Lewisham||Fridays only||Abellio London|
|965||Tolworth||Kingston||Mondays and Fridays only||London United|
|969||Whitton||Roehampton Vale||Tuesdays and Fridays only||Abellio London|
Night only routes (N-prefixed)
Night bus routes are often related to the day numerical equivalent, normally running the same route but with an extension at either end of the service. This is normally to provide a night service to destinations served by tube or train during the day.
However, in a few cases, services have a route number that has no relation to its daytime equivalent, such as the N5, which operates in a different part of London to the day route 5.
There are also 24-hour routes. Route 65 is classed as a 24-hour service, but unusually has an extension to its night service, rather than the night service being designated N65.
Other routes within the London area
These bus routes are operated with a London Service Permit issued by Transport for London, and are generally routes from towns just outside the Greater London boundary to destinations within. The exceptions are the 812, MB1 and 938, which run entirely within the boundary. Another exception is the 724, which although run by a coach company, it is a bus route.
Coach services are not included in this list.
This list shows some old routes that used to operate but do not exist anymore.
|Route||Start||End||Date of launch||Date of withdrawal||Operator||Replaced by|
|2A||Crystal Palace||Brixton Station||19 May 1954||29 January 1994||South London Buses||2|
|15B||East Ham||Aldgate||1989||18 September 1999||Stagecoach London||115|
|16A||Brent Cross||Marble Arch||31 January 1976||10 October 1997||Metroline|
|22A||London Bridge||Clapton Park Estate||1972||1998||Kentish Bus||149
|22B||Tottenham Court Road Station||Homerton Hospital||1987||28 February 1998||Kentish Bus||242|
|36B||Victoria Station||Grove Park||1958||12 March 1994||Selkent||136|
|45A||South Kensington||Peckham Garage||10 November 1990||2 September 1995||London Central||345|
|59 (1985)||Farringdon Street||Streatham Hill Brixton Garage||1985||29 January 1994||South London Buses|
|68A||Elephant and Castle||South Croydon Garage||1994||27 March 1999||Arriva London||468|
|77A||Wandsworth||Aldwych||3 May 1950||3 June 2006||London General||87|
|84A||Turnpike Lane Station||Barnet Church||1982||27 January 1996||London Buses||184|
|87||Barking Town Centre||Romford Market||Pre 1950||25 March 2006||Stagecoach London||5|
|97A||Chingford Station||Walthamstow Central Station||1981||19 February 2000||First Capital||357|
|115 (1984)||Balham||Forest Hill||1984||1995||South London Buses||315
|129||Becontree Heath||Claybury Broadway||Pre 1950||26 June 2004||East Thames Buses||128
|135||Archway Station||Marble Arch||21 November 1987||2 September 2000||Metroline||88|
|137A||Crystal Palace||Clapham Common||1991||1999||Arriva London||417|
|161A||Petts Wood Station||Woolwich||1953||1994||Selkent||162|
|171A||County Hall||Northumberland Park Tesco's||1986||1998||Leaside Buses||243
|184 (1951)||New Cross||Trafalgar Square||1951||1994||London Central|
|228 (Pre 1950)||Chislehurst||Eltham||Pre 1950||1996||Kentish Bus||160
|235 (1968)||Leytonstone Station||Woodford Wells||7 September 1968||26 July 1996||Grey Green||W13|
|239||Clapham Junction||Victoria||12 May 1990||15 February 2008||Go-Ahead London||170|
|243A||Wood Green||Liverpool Street||1961||2000||Arriva London||243|
|272 (1974)||Woolwich||Thamesmead||1974||1999||Kentish Bus||244
|351||Bromley North Station||Penge||2 March 1991||24 June 2002||Metrobus||354|
|354 (1986)||Bromley North Station||Croydon||16 August 1986||19 May 2000||Metrobus||314
|369||Ilford||Thames View Estate||20 March 1993||20 February 2010||Stagecoach London||EL1
|374||Romford||Harold Hill||20 March 1993||15 October 2005||Stagecoach London||174|
|393 (1989)||Hackbridge||Morden Station||1989||1996||London General||80
|395||Limehouse||Surrey Quays||9 October 1999||29 April 2006||First Capital|
|435||Southall Town Hall||Heathrow Airport Cargo Area||25 June 2005||22 March 2008||First Centrewest||482|
|494||West Croydon Bus Station||Shirley Monks Orchard||10 June 2000||11 June 2005||Metrobus||367|
|501||Waterloo||London Bridge||1968||31 May 2002||London General (Red Arrow)||521|
|505||Waterloo||Shoreditch||1989||19 August 2000||London General (Red Arrow)||35
|604||West Norwood||Stanley Technical High School||5 September 2005||20 July 2007||Arriva London|
|620||Biggin Hill Valley||Charles Darwin School||5 January 2002||21 July 2006||Metrobus||664|
|630||New Addington||All Saints Catholic School||20 July 2007||Stagecoach London|
|689||Clapham Common||West Norwood||2 September 2011||Arriva London|
|726||Bromley South Station||Heathrow Airport||16 Apr 2005||Tellings Golden Miller||227
|805||Heathrow Airport||Northolt||25 June 2005||Bharat Travel||435|
|917||South Croydon||West Croydon||22 June 2011||Abellio London||64
|941||Bedfont Green||Hampton Hill||29 February 2012||Abellio London|
|953||Scrattons Farm||Chase Cross||7 November 2012||First Capital|
|958||Ilford Hainualt Street||Woodford King's Avenue||26 July 2011||First Capital|
|972||Neasden Birchen Grove||Colindale ASDA||22 October 2010||First Centrewest||324|
|980||Colindale||Brent Cross||31 July 1991|
|E4||Windmill Park||Perivale||27 March 1993||24 May 1997||Ealing Buses Line|
|H1||Golders Green||Henrietta Barnett School||18 May 2013||Arriva Shires & Essex||631|
|H15||Harrow Weald Oxhey Lane||Northwick Park Hospital||4 September 1999||Metroline||182|
|H21||Bedfont Green||Sunbury Tesco||2 December 2005||Tellings Golden Miller|
|H23||Heathrow Airport Cargo Area||Hounslow Bus Station||28 April 1990||22 March 2008||London United||423|
|H30||Hatton Cross Station||Heathrow Central Bus Station||1 November 1998||1 May 2004||Airlinks|
|H40||Chiswick Grove Park||Park Royal Asda||9 November 1991||26 May 2002||London United||272
|H50||Hayes & Harlington Station||West Drayton||3 February 2001||22 March 2008||Travel London||350|
|K6||Kingston||Roehampton Vale ASDA||2 December 1989||25 July 1998||Westlink||485|
|P2||Peckham, Bus Garage||Lewisham Shopping Centre||1992||1994||London Central||484
|PR1||Ealing Broadway||Willesden Junction Station||24 March 2007||First Centrewest||226
|PR2||Wembley Park The Paddocks||Willesden Junction Station||15 October 2011||First Centrewest||206
|R62||Hampton Sainsbury's||West Middlesex Hospital||1992||6 May 2006||Tellings Golden Miller||481|
|R69||Richmond||Hammersmith||7 April 1990||11 November 2000||London United||419|
|S2||Stratford||Clapton Nightingale Road||5 July 2008||First Capital||425
|N10||King's Cross||Richmond||29 September 2001||30 January 2010||First Centrewest||10
|N25||Oxford Circus||Harold Hill||26 June 2004||First Capital||25
|N50||Gallions Reach||Trafalgar Square||30 August 2008||Stagecoach London||N550
|N52||Victoria Station||Willesden||8 December 2012||Metroline||52|
|N75||Croydon||Lewisham||19 May 2007||Stagecoach London|
|N77||Tolworth||Aldwych||3 June 2006||London General||N87
|N81||Victoria||Bexleyheath||28 June 2002||London Central||N89|
|N84||Trafalgar Square||New Cross Gate||27 February 2001||London Central||N343|
|N159||New Addington||Marble Arch||28 August 2010||Arriva London||159
|N213||West Croydon||Kingston||4 July 2009||Go-Ahead London||213|
- Charles Klapper (1984) The Golden Age of Buses. Page 64. Routledge, London ISBN 0-7102-0232-6, ISBN 978-0-7102-0232-1.
- "How are bus routes (especially London bus routes) numbered?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 August 2013.
- London Omnibus Traction Society, London Omnibus Traction Society.
- "David Bradley online". Retrieved 11 July 2009.
- "The Reshaping Plan". Red-RF.com. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- Atkin, Michael. "THIS SCEPTRED ISLE", The Guardian
- Carr, Ken, The London Bus Guide. Boreham: Visions International Entertainment, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9570058-0-8.