London Buses route 1

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London Bus route 1.jpg
Operator London General
Garage Mandela Way (MW)
Vehicle Volvo B7TL 10.6m / Wright Eclipse Gemini
Peak vehicle requirement 16
Night-time Night Bus N1
Start Canada Water station
Via South Bermondsey
Bricklayer's Arms
Elephant & Castle
End Tottenham Court Road station
Length 6 miles (9.7 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 8-12 minutes
Journey time 28-50 minutes
Operates 06:00 until 01:00

London Buses route 1 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Canada Water and Tottenham Court Road stations, it is operated by London General.


AEC Routemaster on The Strand in June 1981

Route 1 was one of the first motorbus routes to be introduced in London. It was in operation by November 1908. Despite subsequent route changes, it continues to serve part of its original route, between Elephant & Castle and Aldwych.[1]

Route 1 once ran from Willesden to Lewisham, and more recently part provided a service between Lewisham and Bromley. It has since been curtailed at both ends of the route. At one point, the terminus was the now-closed County Terrace Tavern pub on the New Kent Road, until an accident in which a bus fell into the collapsed cellar of the pub. The night bus equivalent, route N1, terminated at Thamesmead.[2]

The contract for the service was won in late 1998 by First Capital, a company based in North East London, and it was operated from distant Dagenham depot. Later, the route was re-allocted nearer to Hackney depot.[2]

The Jubilee Line Extension in 1999 saw route 199 withdrawn between Surrey Quays and Elephant & Castle, causing route 1 to become the only route to serve South Bermondsey from east to west. The route suffered severe overcrowding at peak times on this section of the route, requiring extra buses to be drafted in to cover. These vehicles were provided by a various operators, including Blue Triangle. The extra workings were later absorbed by First Capital.[2]

A few years later, East Thames Buses (owned by London Buses) needed to re-locate from its Ash Grove depot to make way for new articulated buses on route 38. A suitable base was found in Southwark, but most of the Ash Grove routes were a long way from Southwark. This caused a swap of routes to occur with various other companies, with East Thames Buses taking over the 1/N1. The changes were introduced from 15 October 2005, with East Thames Buses using a new fleet of Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs.[2]

On 3 October 2009, East Thames Buses was sold to London General, which included a five-year contract to operate route 1.[3][4][5][6]

Current route[edit]

The current route is not the same as the route of the first omnibus service in London, started in 1829 by George Shillibeer. Route 1 operates via these primary locations:[7]


  1. ^ London's oldest bus routes - The London Magazine
  2. ^ a b c d Robert Munster (2005-11-19). "Route 1". London Bus Routes. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  3. ^ Go-Ahead Acquires East Thames Buses Go-Ahead Group 30 July 2009
  4. ^ Go-Ahead buys East Thames Buses Bus & Coach Professional 3 August 2009
  5. ^ East Thames Buses Go-Ahead London
  6. ^ Bus tender results Route 1/N1 Transport for London 1 July 2009
  7. ^ Route 1 Map Transport for London

External links[edit]