|Peak vehicle requirement||34|
|Length||8 miles (13 km)|
|Journey time||42-81 minutes|
When introduced, the route was operated by STL-class double-deckers. In 1951, RTs and RTLs replaced the STLs. During 1960s, 1970s and beginnings of 1980s, the 159 route went between West End Green (West Hampstead) and Thornton Heath. In June 1970, the RTs were replaced by AEC Routemasters. During the 1990s, London Buses' South London Transport subsidiary operated the route with Routemasters in a unique red and cream livery which was retained after South London was privatised and acquired by the Cowie Group in January 1995.
On 9 December 2005, route 159 was the last route to be converted from Routemaster to low-floor bus operation, with new Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL double deckers taking over. Brixton Garage gained the whole service. The route was converted gradually from the start of service on the last day, with the last scheduled Routemaster journey (operated by RM2217) departing Marble Arch at 12:08, arriving at Brixton Garage at 14:03. The final service operated by RM54, terminated at Streatham at 14:07.
On 24 August 2010 TfL announced an intention to extend route 159 north from Marble Arch to Paddington Basin and for it subsequently to become a 24-hour route. On 29 March 2014, route 159 was withdrawn between Marble Arch and Paddington Basin.
Arriva London successfully retained route 159 with new contracts starting on 10 December 2005 and 11 December 2010. In June 2015 Abellio London won the contract, which commenced with the introduction of the New Routemaster buses on 12 December 2015.
Route 159 operates via these primary locations:
- Streatham station
- Streatham Hill station
- Brixton station
- Kennington for Oval station
- Lambeth North station
- Westminster Bridge
- Westminster station
- Trafalgar Square for Charing Cross station
- Piccadilly Circus station
- Regent Street
- Oxford Circus station
- Bond Street station
- Marble Arch station
- Aldridge, John (September 2000). "RMs could live till they're 46". Buses. Ian Allan Publishing (546): 12.
- Routemaster makes final journey BBC News 9 December 2005
- Millar, Alan (February 2006). "Last rites for a London icon". Buses. Ian Allan Publishing (611): 24–28.
- Major changes to routes 15, N15 & 159 Transport for London 24 August 2010
- "Proposed changes to route 159". Transport for London. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
- 2005 Bus Tender Result Transport for London
- 2010 Bus Tender Result Transport for London
- Abellio London now operates route 159 Abellio 16 December 2015
- "Abellio wins route 159 with its first New Routemasters" Buses issue 724 July 2015 page 27
- Route 159 Map Transport for London
Media related to London Buses route 159 at Wikimedia Commons