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 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, Carousel Buses, TWH Bus & Coach, Blue Triangle, Green Line Coaches, Sullivan Buses and Imperial Buses.
TfL-sponsored operators run more than 500 services.
Non TfL-sponsored operators run 36 principal services between parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex on the one hand and London on the other and one local council sponsored service each in the boroughs of Bexley, Barking and Dagenham and Hackney (extending into Islington).
- 1 Classification of route numbers
- 2 List of routes
- 3 Temporary routes
- 4 Former routes
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
Classification of route numbers
In Victorian times, passengers could only recognise an omnibus (latin: for everyone) of an owner and route by the coach's distinctive livery (colour) 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 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.
Bus routes run by London Transport were grouped as follows.
The 1924 London Traffic Act imposed numbering known as the Bassom Scheme named after Chief Constable A. E. Bassom of the Metropolitan Police who devised it. Variant and short workings for many decades used letter suffixes. The numbers reflected the company that operated the route.
|Route Number||Former 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||Regional and national coach services.|
|900–999||Three mobility services within TfL, detailed below|
|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 a key area the bus travels through.|
*Except 603 and 607, which are normal day routes.
|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||London General|
|521||Waterloo Station||London Bridge||London General|
|541||Prince Regent Station||Canning Town, Keir Hardie Estate||Docklands Buses|
|549||South Woodford||Loughton †||Docklands Buses|
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.
Route numbers from 900 to 999 represent Mobility Buses: these provide a once a week return journey to a local shopping centre from relatively low density neighbourhoods where there is no alternative route in the main bus network. The number of Mobility Buses routes have declined because low-floor and wheelchair accessible buses run on all London Buses routes, except for the heritage route.
|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, there are a few N-prefixed route numbers that have no relation to their daytime equivalents: the N5, N20 and N97 all operate in a different part of London to their respective day routes, and the N550 and N551 (which provide night service on parts of the DLR network) have no corresponding daytime routes.
There are also 24-hour routes, which run day and night but usually with a lower frequency during the night hours. The vast majority run the same route at all times. 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.
Non-TfL bus routes in Greater London
These bus routes are not contracted to TfL and are therefore not 'London Buses'. All but three run from the villages and towns outside Greater London to destinations within (the exceptions are the 812, 938 and MB1, which run entirely within the boundary). They are painted in a colour chosen by the operator, so are not necessarily red like London Buses, and most of them do not accept Oyster cards. These routes are operated with a London Service Permit issued by TfL so they are recognised by TfL bus maps and appear on TfL bus stops.
Route 724, run by a coach company, is a bus route.
This list shows some old routes that used to operate but do not exist anymore. Services withdrawn before 1994 are not listed.
|Route||Start||End||Date of launch||Date of withdrawal||Last operator||Replaced by|
|2A||Crystal Palace||Brixton Station||19 May 1954||29 January 1994||South London||2|
|9A||Mortlake||Kensington||18 July 1992||7 March 1997||London United||209|
|15B||East Ham||Aldgate||4 March 1989||18 September 1999||Stagecoach East London||115|
|16A||Brent Cross||Marble Arch||31 January 1976||10 October 1997||Metroline||189|
|22A||London Bridge||Clapton Park Estate||28 October 1972||28 February 1998||Kentish Bus||149
|22B||Tottenham Court Road Station||Homerton Hospital||22 November 1987||28 February 1998||Kentish Bus||242|
|36B||Victoria Station||Grove Park||26 November 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||2 February 1985||29 January 1994||South London|
|68A||Elephant and Castle||South Croydon Garage||12 March 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||24 April 1982||27 January 1996||Cowie Leaside||184|
|87 (1934)||Barking Town Centre||Romford Market||3 October 1934||25 March 2006||Stagecoach London||5|
|97A||Chingford Station||Walthamstow Central Station||31 January 1981||19 February 2000||First Capital||357|
|115 (1984)||Balham||Forest Hill||24 April 1984||29 April 1995||Cowie South London||315
|129 (1939)||Becontree Heath||Claybury Broadway||7 June 1939||26 June 2004||East Thames Buses||128
|135 (1987)||Archway Station, Upper Holloway||Marble Arch||21 November 1987||2 September 2000||Metroline||88|
|137A||Crystal Palace||Clapham Common||2 February 1991||18 September 1999||Arriva London||417|
|161A||Petts Wood Station||Woolwich||6 May 1953||12 March 1994||Selkent||162|
|171A||County Hall||Northumberland Park Tesco's||1 February 1986||17 October 1998||Arriva London||341|
|184 (1951)||New Cross||Trafalgar Square||7 October 1951||12 March 1994||London Central||343
|207A||Uxbridge||Charville Lane Estate||21 July 1990||13 November 1999||First Centrewest||U7|
|228 (1934)||Chislehurst||Eltham||3 October 1934||7 September 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||19 July 1961||19 August 2000||Arriva London||243|
|272 (1974)||Woolwich||Thamesmead||30 November 1974||23 January 1999||Kentish Bus||244
|274 (1968)||Ealing Broadway||Hayes Station||30 November 1968||21 July 1990||Centrewest||E6
|306||Crystal Palace||Blackheath||20 June 1992||28 September 1996||Stagecoach Selkent||202|
|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||25 February 1989||23 November 1996||London General||80
|395 (1999)||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||9 September 1968||31 May 2002||London General (Red Arrow)||521|
|505||Waterloo||Shoreditch||4 March 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||X26|
|805||Heathrow Airport||Northolt||June 2001||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, Havering||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|
|B1||Eltham||Coney Hall||21 October 1972||14 July 1990||Selkent||138
|E4||Windmill Park||Perivale||27 March 1993||24 May 1997||Centrewest|
|ELW||Shoreditch||Wapping||23 December 2007
(mid-term temporary rail replacement service for closure of East London Line)
|15 May 2010||First London||None (re-opening of East London Line)|
|H1||Golders Green||Henrietta Barnett School||18 May 2013||Arriva Shires & Essex||631|
|H15||Harrow Weald Oxhey Lane||Northwick Park Hospital||14 November 1987||4 September 1999||Metroline||182|
|H21||Bedfont Green||Sunbury Tesco||22 January 2000||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
|P15||West Norwood||West Norwood||London Central|
|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||15 July 1995||26 June 2004||First Capital||25
|N50||Gallions Reach||Trafalgar Square||30 June 1995||30 August 2008||Stagecoach London||N550
|N52||Victoria Station||Willesden||3 December 1993||8 December 2012||Metroline||52|
|N75||Croydon||Lewisham||19 May 2007||Stagecoach London|
|N76||Waterloo||Northumberland Park Station||1 February 2003||15 November 2015||Arriva London||76|
|N77||Tolworth||Aldwych||19 August 1995||3 June 2006||London General||N87
|N81||Victoria||Bexleyheath (some journeys extended to Gravesend and the Medway Towns)||8 October 1993||28 June 2002||London Central||N89|
|N84||Trafalgar Square||New Cross Gate||8 October 1993||27 February 2001||London Central||N343|
|N159||New Addington||Marble Arch||28 August 2010||Arriva London||159
|N213||West Croydon||Kingston||4 July 2009||London General||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.
- Hackney Community Transport Retrieved 2014-02-20
- Bexley Community Transport Retrieved 2014-02-20
- MB1 Route consultation on Mecca Bingo Service, Dagenham Retrieved 2015-2-20
- London Buses, http://www.londonbuses.co.uk/_routes/night/n081-2.html
- Atkin, Michael. "THIS SCEPTRED ISLE", The Guardian
- Carr, Ken, The London Bus Guide. Boreham: Visions International Entertainment, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9570058-0-8.