London Buses route 42

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East Thames Buses ELS8 2.JPG
Operator London Central
Garage Camberwell (Q)
Vehicle Scania N94UB 10.7m East Lancs Myllennium
Peak vehicle requirement 12
Night-time No night service
Start Denmark Hill
Via Camberwell Green
Bricklayers Arms
End Liverpool Street bus station
Length 5 miles (8.0 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 10-20 minutes
Journey time 30-48 minutes
Operates 05:00 until 00:30

London Buses route 42 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Denmark Hill and Liverpool Street station, it is operated by London Central.


Route 42 commenced operation on 25 July 1912 as a daily route between Finsbury Park station and Clapton Pond via Seven Sisters Road, Amhurst Park and Upper Clapton Road. On 26 August 1912, it was extended from Clapton to Tower of London via Hackney, Whitechapel Road, Aldgate and Minories. From 14 April 1913 it was extended on Mondays to Saturdays from Tower of London to Camberwell Green via Tower Bridge, Old Kent Road and Albany Road.[1] A month later the 42 was also extended on Sundays to Camberwell. The next change in spring 1923, when the route was extended on Saturdays and Sundays from Camberwell Green to Clapham Common (Old Town) via Coldharbour Lane and Acre Lane.

On 1 December 1924 a new system of route numbering on London Buses came into force under The London Traffic Act of 1924. The 42 remained unchanged, but short working had suffixes added, with the plain route number being only used for journeys for the whole length of the route. The main Monday to Friday route became the 42A, with the 42B and 42C working short journeys from Finsbury Park to Hackney and Aldgate. In June 1925 short routes 42D (Hackney Station - Aldgate) and 42E (Finsbury Park - Hackney Station) were introduced. The 42D changed in late 1925 to run Hackney Station - Camberwell Green.

This situation remained until 3 October 1934, when the newly constituted London Passenger Transport Board instituted its own numbering system, in which all workings again carried just the plain 42 route number. On 16 October 1938, Tram routes 49, 49A, 59 and 79 were replaced by trolleybuses. As part of this scheme, the 42 was withdrawn on Sundays, and axed between Stamford Hill and Finsbury Park, being re-routed to Turnpike Lane station via Seven Sisters Corner to replace route 76A. A daily route 42A was also introduced, running between Finsbury Park station and Camberwell Green with an extension to Clapham Common on Saturdays. From 5 February 1939, the 42 was re-introduced on Sundays between Tottenham garage and Camberwell Green. The 42A was withdrawn and the Saturday extension to Clapham Common added to the 42. As a wartime economy measure, route 42 was withdrawn north of Aldgate and south of Camberwell Green on 22 November 1939 to become a daily Aldgate - Camberwell Green route.

From 18 May 1952, the 42 was extended on Sundays from Camberwell Green to Norwood garage via Loughborough Junction and Herne Hill, replacing route 48. On 10 October 1954, the 42 was withdrawn Sundays between Herne Hill and Norwood garage. On 19 February 1955 extended on Saturdays between Camberwell and Norwood garage, again replacing route 48. This extension was cut back to Herne Hill from 20 October 1956. On 20 August 1958, in the service cuts brought about by the Busman's Strike of 1958, the 48 was completely withdrawn, with the 42 now running daily Aldgate - Camberwell Green with a Monday to Saturday extension to Herne Hill, albeit in peak hours only on Mondays to Fridays.[2]

On 27 January 1965, the route was withdrawn on Saturdays between Camberwell Green and Herne Hill; the Monday to Friday service to Herne Hill was withdrawn on 2 January 1967. On 24 January 1970, the 42 was converted to one-person operation. The route was reduced from a daily allocation of eight vehicles at the beginning of 1970 to only three by 1985, when the evening service was also withdrawn.[2] Upon being tendered, in 1987 the route passed to London Country South East.[3]

On 11 June 1994, the route was extended from Aldgate to terminate at Liverpool Street bus station, and the evening service was restored on 4 May 1996. Upon being re-tendered, on 19 April 1997, the route passed to Limebourne Buses and was extended from Camberwell Green to Denmark Hill (Red Post Hill).[2] Route 42 was included in the sale of Limebourne Buses to Connex in July 2001. Upon being re-tendered, it passed to London Easylink on 20 April 2002. However on 21 August 2002, London Easylink went into liquidation.[4]

Route 42 was taken over by Transport for London subsidiary East Thames Buses. On 3 October 2009, East Thames Buses was sold to London General, which included a five-year contract to operate route 42.[5][6][7]

In April 2010 it was transferred to fellow Go-Ahead London subsidiary London Central's Camberwell garage and again on 13 October 2012 to London General's Mandela Way. On 13 September 2014, the route moved back to London Central's Camberwell garage.

Current route[edit]

Route 42 operates via these primary locations:[8]


  1. ^ David A. Ruddom, Motor omnibus routes in London: November 1908 to December 1912 2 
  2. ^ a b c Route 42
  3. ^ McLachlan, Tom (1995). London Buses 1985-1995: Managing The Change. Venture Publications. pp. 98–99. ISBN 1-898432-74-0. 
  4. ^ Buses recalled as firm goes into bankruptcy BBC News 21 August 2002
  5. ^ Go-Ahead Acquires East Thames Buses Go-Ahead Group 30 July 2009
  6. ^ Go-Ahead buys East Thames Buses Bus & Coach Professional 3 August 2009
  7. ^ East Thames Buses Go-Ahead London
  8. ^ Route 42 Map Transport for London

External links[edit]