London Buses route 25

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Tower Transit bus route 25 (cropped).jpg
Operator Tower Transit
Peak vehicle requirement 64[1]
Night-time 24-hour service
Start Ilford
Via Manor Park
End Oxford Circus

London Buses route 25 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Ilford and Oxford Circus, it is operated by Tower Transit.


AEC Regent III RT on Bond Street in August 1955

On 16 January 1988, route 25 (now Ilford to Victoria) was converted to One-Person Operation daily. This rendered the use of route number 225 superfluous and consequently the whole service was renumbered back to 25, albeit still running in overlapping sections.[2]

The route was allocated to the East London division of London Buses in April 1989. On 18 July 1992 the route was curtailed at Oxford Circus, with the section to Victoria becoming part of route 8.[2]

When next tendered, the route returned to East London (by now part of Stagecoach London) on 26 June 2004.[3] The weekend diversion to Tower Hill was withdrawn. Route 25 was the longest route in London to use articulated buses in terms of route length.[4]

In 2004, the route was chosen for a two-year trial of hydrogen fuel cell powered buses. Three such vehicles ran on the route in addition to the regular articulated vehicles. Some of these also appeared on the RV1 (which still uses hydrogen buses, albeit a different make.[5]

Upon being re-tendered, on 25 June 2011 the route passed to First London.[6]

On 22 June 2013, route 25 was included in the sale of First London's Lea Interchange garage to Tower Transit.[7][8] In 2015/16 it was the busiest route in London with 19.40 million passengers.[9] In August 2014, two buses on the route were fitted with equipment designed to enhance bus drivers' awareness of pedestrians and cyclists as part of a six-week trial.[10][11][12][13] The route was chosen because it was "most likely to encounter packed seas of distracted shopping people and cyclists".[14]

Tower Transit retained the route when next tendered with a new contract to commence on 25 June 2016.[15][1]


In October 2007, a man was killed when he became trapped under an articulated bus on the route having got off it in Ilford High Road.[16]

In a three-day period in February 2010, 31 homeless people were discovered to be using route 25 overnight when a taskforce noticed a large number of call-outs by drivers on the route.[4][17]

Current route[edit]

Route 25 operates via these primary locations:[18]


  1. ^ a b Tender News Bus Talk (Go-Ahead London) issue 37 December 2015 page 11
  2. ^ a b Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. pp. 93, 118. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7. 
  3. ^ Bus tender results Route 25/N26 Transport for London 18 December 2003
  4. ^ a b "Homeless people take refuge on London's longest bendy bus route | Mail Online". 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  5. ^ "England | London | Full steam ahead for new gas bus". BBC News. 2004-01-14. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  6. ^ Bus tender results Route25/N25 Transport for London 14 May 2010
  7. ^ First quits London bus business Bus & Coach Professional 9 April 2013
  8. ^ Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
  9. ^ Bus service usage: passengers and kilometres operated by route 2010-16 Transport for London
  10. ^ Rasiah, Janine (4 August 2014). "Groundbreaking bus sensors to be piloted on Stratford route". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Hedges-Stocks, Zoah (6 August 2014). "London buses to get free wifi and cycle safety sensors". London 24. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Murphy, Margi (4 August 2014). "London buses get safety sensor technology". Computer World UK. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "London bus technology to detect cyclists trialled". BBC News. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Cutlack, Gary (1 August 2014). "Four London Buses Kitted Out With Radar and Cameras in New Safety Push". Gizmodo. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Bus tender results Route 25/N25 Transport for London 7 October 2015
  16. ^ "England | London | Man dragged under bus for a mile". BBC News. 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  17. ^ "Homeless bed down on London's longest bendy bus route | Evening Standard". Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  18. ^ Route 25 Map Transport for London

External links[edit]