List of bus routes in London
This is a list of Transport for London (TfL) contracted bus routes in London, England, as well as commercial services that enter the Greater London area (except coaches). Bus services in London are operated by Abellio London, Arriva London, CT Plus, Go-Ahead London (Blue Triangle, Docklands Buses, London Central and London General), Metroline, RATP Group (London Sovereign, London United and Quality Line) Stagecoach London (East London, Selkent and Thameside), Sullivan Buses, Tower Transit and Uno. TfL-sponsored operators run more than 500 services.
Non TfL-sponsored operators including Abellio Surrey, Arriva Shires & Essex, Arriva Southern Counties, Carousel Buses, Go-Coach, First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, Metroline, Metrobus, Red Rose Travel, Southdown PSV and Trustybus operate 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 & Dagenham and Hackney (extending into Islington).
- 1 Classification of route numbers
- 2 List of routes
- 3 Non-TfL bus routes in Greater London
- 4 Temporary routes
- 5 Former routes
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 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.
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Bus routes run by London Transport were grouped as follows.
The London Traffic Act 1924 imposed numbering known as the Bassom Scheme named after Superintendent (later Chief Constable) Arthur Ernest 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.
The numbering was revised in 1934 after London Transport was formed:
|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||School services, normally operating only one return journey per day*|
|700–899||Regional and national coach services|
|900–999||Two 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.|
List of routes
All routes operate in both directions unless detailed.
|521||London Bridge||Waterloo||London General|
|549||Loughton||South Woodford||Stagecoach London|
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.
|969||Whitton||Roehampton Vale||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. With the introduction of the Night Tube, some day routes have been extended to run during Friday and Saturday nights to serve the stations.
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.
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This list shows some old routes that used to operate but do not exist anymore. Services withdrawn before 1994 are not listed.
- Charles Klapper (1984) The Golden Age of Buses. Page 64. Routledge, London ISBN 0-7102-0232-6, ISBN 978-0-7102-0232-1.
- Central London Night Bus Map Archived 13 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London
- Bus Service Changes 11 March to 16 April 2017 Transport for London 24 March 2017
- Night buses in West London Transport for London
- South-West London Bus Map Transport for London 9 January 2016
- South-East London Bus Map Transport for London 12 September 2015
- Changes to night buses from 12 September 2015 Transport for London
- Proposed changes to bus services in New Addington and Forestdale Transport for London
- East London Bus Map Archived 22 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London
- Bus service proposal: routes 76 and N76 Transport for London
- North London Bus Map Archived 8 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London
- Buses from Bromley North and Market Square Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London 12 September 2015
- Night buses in South West London Transport for London 9 January 2016
- Buses from Sutton Transport for London 12 September 2015
- Night buses in south London Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London 29 March 2014
- "New bus route to run from Purley to Thornton Heath". Croydon Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2015-04-28.
- Wallis, Philip (2013). London's Night Buses 1984-2013 (2 ed.). London: Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 978-1854143723.
- Buses from Mount Vernon Hospital Transport for London
- Buses from Uxbridge Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London 12 September 2015
- Buses from Heathrow Terminal 5 Transport for London
- Buses from Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3 Transport for London
- Buses from New Barnet Transport for London
- "Swallow Buses | Route 133". Swallow Buses. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
- Buses from Selsdon Transport for London
- [permanent dead link]
- Buses for Kingston Transport for London
- Buses from Orpington Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London 12 September 2015
- Buses from Chingford Transport for London
- Buses from Enfield Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for London
- Buses from Queensbury Transport for London
- Buses from Stanmore Transport for London
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015
- Hackney Community Transport Retrieved 20 February 2014
- Bexley Community Transport Retrieved 20 February 2014
- MB1 Route consultation on Mecca Bingo Service, Dagenham Retrieved 20 February 2015
- Transport for London, Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Check before you travel to Notting Hill Carnival and enjoy the event: Sunday 26 - Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2012". tfl.gov.uk.
- Permanent Bus Changes Transport for London
- Wharmby, Matthew (2008). The London Titan. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7110-3299-6.
- Improved bus services in Stratford, Clapton & Bow Transport for London 1 July 2008
- New night bus services in West London Transport for London 22 January 2010
- Night buses N550 and N551 to replace the N50 Transport for London 22 August 2008
- Major changes to routes 15, N15, 159 & N159 Transport for London 24 August 2010
- Atkin, Michael. "THIS SCEPTRED ISLE", The Guardian
- Carr, Ken, The London Bus Guide. Boreham: Visions International Entertainment, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9570058-0-8.