London Buses route 24

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Metroline route 24.jpg
OperatorAbellio London
GarageBattersea (QB)
VehicleNew Routemaster
Peak vehicle requirement27
Night-time24-hour service
StartHampstead Heath
ViaCamden Town
Trafalgar Square
Length7.06 miles (11.36 km)
Frequency6-10 minutes
Journey time39-66 minutes
Operates24-hour service

London Buses route 24 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Pimlico and Hampstead Heath, it is operated by Abellio London.


Preserved Grey-Green Alexander bodied Volvo Citybus as used on route 24 from 1988

Route 24 dates back to 1910,[1] when it ran between Hampstead Heath and Victoria station. In August 1912 it was extended to Pimlico and has continued in that form until the present day, making this the oldest unchanged bus route in London.[2] Thirty-three Daimler double-decker buses with 34 seats were allocated to route 24, now running between Pimlico and Hampstead, with the fleet name "British" painted in green livery. These buses were running from Camden Town (AQ) garage until they were replaced by AEC NS-Type buses in 1927.[3] Thirty-three NS-type buses were used on route 24 until 1934.[4]

Originally, the route was operated by the London General Omnibus Company,[5] and later the British Automobile Traction Co until September 1933, when the London Passenger Transport Board, later London Transport Executive, was formed and ran under the name "London Transport".[citation needed]

During its life with London Transport, route 24 was operated mainly from Chalk Farm (CF) garage in Harmood Street.[6] It was also run at times from Victoria (Gillingham Street; GM) garage.

On 7 November 1965, the first 30 Leyland Atlantean buses entered service on route 24.[7] It was the first route to use front-entrance double-decker buses in London. Routes 67 and 271 also trialled front-entrance buses.[8][9] On 12 June 1966, the Atlanteans moved to Tottenham garage and were replaced by AEC Routemasters.[8] The route was crew operated until 25 October 1986, apart from two short periods in 1965/1966 and 1975.[citation needed]

The route was the first central London route to be awarded under the tendering process to a private company, Grey-Green, on 5 November 1988, using Alexander bodied Volvo Citybuses painted in its own grey, green and orange livery from its Stamford Hill garage.[10][11] Grey-Green were owned by Cowie Group, and became part of Arriva London following the company's acquisition of two other London operators.[12]

Upon being re-tendered, in November 2002 the route passed to Metroline's Holloway garage, and in 2006 was the first London bus route to be operated by Alexander Dennis Enviro400s[citation needed]. Upon re-tendering, on 10 November 2007 it passed to London General's Stockwell garage.[12] Alexander Dennis Enviro400H hybrids were introduced to the route in early 2009.[13]

On 11 February 2008, a bus on diversion had its roof removed after the driver drove into the side rather than under the middle of an arch bridge.[14] Transport for London said the diversion was safe if drivers followed instructions, and had been operating successfully for over 24 hours. This came three months after another 24 lost its roof in the same place while out of service.[15]

A night element to the route was introduced on 27 November 1999, in the form of route N24, to replace part of the withdrawn route N2 between Hampstead Heath and Pimlico.[citation needed] The N prefix was dropped during April 2004, thus making it a 24-hour route.[citation needed]

In February 2010 it was reported that a Muslim bus driver, new to the country, pulled his 24 bus over near Gospel Oak, locked the passengers in and prayed to Mecca.[16] The Sun newspaper had to pay out £30,000 after allegedly misrepresenting the incidents, stating that the driver was a fanatic who had forced passengers off the bus.[17]

Metroline was awarded the contract for route 24 which started on 10 November 2012.[18] Abellio London was awarded the contract for route 24 when it was re-tendered effective 9 November 2019.[19]

New Routemasters were introduced on 22 June 2013. The rear platform remained open from Monday to Friday between 05:15 and 19:50 when it was staffed by a customer assistant. In 2016, Customer Service Assistants were removed from Route 24.[20] [21]


Route 24 operates via these primary locations:[22]


  1. ^ Foulds, Hannah. "What Is London's Oldest Bus Route?". Londonist. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  2. ^ London's oldest bus routes Archived 5 May 2013 at The London Magazine
  3. ^ Graeme Bruce, J; Curtis, Colin (1977). The London Motor Bus: Its Origins and Development. London Transport. p. 22. ISBN 0853290830.
  4. ^ Graeme Bruce, J; Curtis, Colin (1977). The London Motor Bus: Its Origins and Development. London Transport. p. 43. ISBN 0853290830.
  5. ^ "This is how every London bus route got its number". Evening Standard. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016. Route 24 first started operating under The General Omnibus Company in 1911
  6. ^ Reed, John (2000). London Buses: A Brief History. Capital Transport Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 9781854142337.
  7. ^ Day, John (1973). The Story of the London Bus: London and its buses from the horse bus to the present day. London Transport. pp. 115. ISBN 9780853290377.
  8. ^ a b Graeme Bruce, J; Curtis, Colin (1977). The London Motor Bus: Its Origins and Development. London Transport. p. 109. ISBN 0853290830.
  9. ^ Day, John (1973). The Story of the London Bus. London Regional Transport. ISBN 9780853290377.
  10. ^ Wolmar, Christian (14 September 1992). "Hold tight on the Clapham omnibus: Next stop, privatisation". The Independent. London.
  11. ^ Wilks, John (2012). Pride and Passion. p. 54. The biggest change came in 1988 when Grey Green won a central London route going from Hampstead to Pimlico, the 24 route. This required new buses, a new livery and became the flagship service.
  12. ^ a b Aldridge, John (April 2007). "Third operator in 19 years to run high-profile route 24". Buses. Ian Allan Publishing (625): 20.
  13. ^ London steps up hybrid trials :: Bus and Coach Magazine Archived 5 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ BBC News - "Six hurt as roof ripped from bus" Retrieved 12 February 2008
  15. ^ BBC News - Bus roof ripped off by low bridge
  16. ^ Blake, Heidi (8 February 2010). "Muslim bus driver locks passengers aboard as he stops to pray". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  17. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (26 February 2009). "Sun pays £30,000 damages to Muslim bus driver accused of fanaticism". The Guardian. London.
  18. ^ 2012 Bus Tender Result Transport For London
  19. ^ Abellio commence operation of TfL routes 24, 27 and 267 Abellio London 9 November 2019
  20. ^ Press Release Transport For London
  21. ^ [1] BBC News
  22. ^ Route 24 Map Transport for London

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