London Buses route RV1

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OperatorTower Transit
GarageLea Interchange (LI)
VehicleAlexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart 10.2m
VDL SB200 11.9m / Wright Pulsar 2 Hydrogen-powered
Peak vehicle requirement8
Night-timeNo night service
StartCovent Garden
National Theatre
London Eye
Royal Festival Hall
Oxo Tower
Tate Modern
London Bridge
Tower Bridge
EndTower Gateway station
Length6 miles (9.7 km)

London Buses route RV1 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway station, it is operated by Tower Transit.


Route RV1 commenced operating on 27 April 2002 between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway station. The service carried Riverside branding and was intended to open up the South Bank, connecting visitor attractions including the National Theatre, London Eye, Royal Festival Hall and Tate Modern.[1] It serves many streets that had not been served by buses.

The service was jointly promoted by Transport for London and the South Bank Employers' Group.[1] The Daily Telegraph called the route one of the "best routes for sightseeing on a shoestring".[2]

It was one of the first routes in London to use off-bus ticketing only, leading to quicker boarding and journey times, and unusually operated at the same frequency on Sundays as on other days of the week.[3]

The route used to be operated by diesel fuelled Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaros. Between September 2004 and January 2007, three trial fuel cell powered (Mercedes-Benz Citaros) were used on this route to compare their efficiency with their diesel equivalents. The fuel cell buses only operated in the mornings and early afternoon due to a lack of fuel capacity.[4]

In November 2010, it was announced that the route would again be operated with hydrogen-powered vehicles.[5] One new bus came into service in December 2010, and seven more were in service by the end of 2011.[6]

On 22 June 2013, route RV1 was included in the sale of First London's Lea Interchange garage to Tower Transit.[7][8] In August 2014, WiFi technology was introduced on one bus on route RV1.[9][10][11] New passenger information screens were also introduced on one bus on the route.[12][13][14]

In January 2016, it was announced two Van Hool hydrogen buses would enter service on the route.[15]

Following declining usage and a frequency cut in February 2018, it is currently recommended by Transport for London that the RV1 be withdrawn in early 2019.[16] Southwark Council and local residents have been protesting against the withdrawal of the route.[17][18]

Current route[edit]

Route RV1 operates via these primary locations:[19]


  1. ^ a b "Riverside bus". Cross River Partnership. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  2. ^ Edwards, Rhiannon (29 April 2014). "Tube strike? See more of London by bus". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  3. ^ Aldridge, John (June 2002). "RV1, the honeypot route via Tate Modern". Buses. Ian Allan Publishing (567): 14.
  4. ^ "RV1 emission-free bus trial "a great success"". London SE1 Community Website. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  5. ^ "RV1 bus route to be converted to hydrogen power". London SE1 Community Website. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  6. ^ Barley, Shanta (10 December 2010). "Hydrogen bus launched on London tourist route". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  7. ^ First quits London bus business Archived 7 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 9 April 2013
  8. ^ Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
  9. ^ Curtis, Sophie (6 August 2014). "Transport for London trials free WiFi on buses". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Free WiFi trialled on London buses". BBC News. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  11. ^ De Peyer, Robin (6 August 2014). "Free WiFi trialled on two London bus routes". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  12. ^ Hopping, Clare (7 August 2014). "TfL to trial WiFi on Number 12 and RV1 London buses". Recombu. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  13. ^ Worth, Dan (6 August 2014). "TfL will trial bus WiFi and digital seat data displays". V3. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  14. ^ "WiFi trial on RV1 bus route". London SE1. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  15. ^ Van Hool: Two fuel cell buses for London Bus & Coach Buyer 7 January 2016
  16. ^ "Route RV1 Review of Usage and Service Planning September 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Route RV1 Map Transport for London

External links[edit]