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|Garage||West Ham (WH)|
|Peak vehicle requirement||5|
|Night-time||Night Bus N15|
|Length||3 miles (4.8 km)|
|Level||Summer weekends and bank holidays only|
(March to September)
|Journey time||24-25 minutes|
|Operates||09:30 until 19:00|
London Buses route 15 (Heritage) is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Tower Hill and Trafalgar Square, it is operated by Stagecoach London. It is a short working of the standard route 15 and it is the only preserved AEC Routemaster route.
This route and route 9 (Heritage) were announced initially as 'A' and 'B' as short workings on existing routes to avoid any potential complications as Government's legislation requires buses to be fully wheelchair-accessible by 22 October 2014 in the entire United Kingdom. For Transport for London, they aimed to comply earlier with the last non-wheelchair accessible buses withdrawn in June 2008 with two exemptions - the heritage routes. Only one route, the 15H remains after the withdrawal of the 9H in 2014.
One of the two routes, awarded to Stagecoach London, was for services between Trafalgar Square and Tower Hill, covering the most touristy section of route 15 taking in the Tower of London, Monument, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. An extension to the Oxford Street area was excluded due to severe congestion there. The number of the parallel route 15 was adopted for the AEC Routemasters, despite potential for confusion with the main 15.
Ten buses were allocated to the operator; 5 for the daily turnout, 3 operational spares and 2 as a "strategic reserve". Despite having only a couple of weeks to prepare the vehicles after they left normal service, Stagecoach turned out 5 immaculately presented Routemasters for the first day of service, 14 November 2005. The first journey was driven by Peter Hendy, managing director of TfL surface transport.
In April 2008, one of the buses was painted in a special Indian Red and Silver livery, to promote Bow Garage's Centenary. It was first revealed at the LBPT's Cobham bus rally, and soon after entered regular service.
In 2015, it was revealed that 10 Routemasters were to be refurbished which will include opening windows being refitted.
From 2 March 2019, the heritage service will continue to operate only on weekends and bank holidays, from the last (2019: first) Saturday in March until the last weekend in September.
Route 15 (Heritage) operates via these primary locations:
- Tower of London
- Monument station
- Cannon Street station
- Mansion House station
- St Paul's Churchyard
- City Thameslink station
- Charing Cross station
- Trafalgar Square
- "Bus tender results". Transport for London. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Touring Routemasters hit the road". BBC News. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- Webster, Ben (28 June 2005). "Tourist icon stays on the road". London: The Times. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- "Heritage route contracts awarded". Transport for London. 9 September 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- Heritage Routemasters receive their Eastleigh refits Buses Magazine August 2015 page 25
- "Permanent bus changes, Route 15 heritage". Transport for London. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
Media related to London Buses route 15 (Heritage) at Wikimedia Commons