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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, HCT Group, 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 include Arriva Shires & Essex, Arriva Southern Counties, Carousel Buses, Diamond South East, Go-Coach, First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, Metrobus, Southdown PSV, Stagecoach South and Trustybus.
Classification of route numbers
In Victorian times, passengers could recognise the owner and the route of an omnibus (Latin: "for everyone") only by its livery and its 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. For many decades, variant and short workings used letter suffixes (e.g. "77B"). 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 (rural services were operated by London Country Bus Services after 1970)|
|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||One mobility service 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.
|507||Victoria bus station||Waterloo station||London General|
|521||London Bridge station||Waterloo station||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 has declined because low-floor and wheelchair-accessible buses run on all London Buses routes except for the heritage route.
|969||Whitton, Gladstone Avenue||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. 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 villages and towns outside Greater London to destinations within (the exception being 812, which runs 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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|9H||Kensington High Street||Trafalgar Square||25 July 2014|
|10||Hammersmith||Kings Cross||24 November 2018|
|15H||Tower Hill||Trafalgar Square||14 November 2020 (last day of operation 29 September 2019)|
|48||London Bridge||Walthamstow||12 October 2019|
|82||North Finchley||Victoria||1 April 2017|
|391||Richmond||Hammersmith bus station||1 December 2020|
|RV1||Covent Garden||Tower Gateway station||14 June 2019|
|C2||Parliament Hill Fields||Regent Street||29 March 2019|
|W10||Enfield Town||Crews Hill station||12 March 2021|
- 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
- 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
- Night buses in West London 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
- Short Hops Buses issue 765 December 2018 page 23
- "New bus route to run from Purley to Thornton Heath". Croydon Advertiser. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015.
- Wallis, Philip (2013). London's Night Buses 1984-2013 (2 ed.). London: Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 978-1854143723.
- "Route 3: Orpington to Sevenoaks". Go-Coach.
- "Route Timetables". First Berkshire & The Thames Valley. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 8: Mount Vernon Hospital to Abbots Langley". Arriva Shires & Essex. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Routes 10/10A/10S: Dedworth to Heathrow Airport". Courtney Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 66: Waltham Cross to Debden". Arriva Shires & Essex. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route Timetables". Trustybus. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Country routes 84, 242 & PB1". Metroline. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Routes 101/102: Uxbridge to High Wycombe". Carousel Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Routes 104/105: Uxbridge to Chesham and High Wycombe". Carousel Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 269: Brentwood to Grays". Nibs Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 310: Hertford to Waltham Cross". Arriva Shires & Essex. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Sullivan busses 355" (PDF).
- "Route 357: Selsdon to Reigate". Southdown PSV. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Route 409: Selsdon to East Grinstead". Southdown PSV. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Route 420: Sutton to Crawley". Metrobus. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Route 429: West Kingsdown to Dartford". Go-Coach. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Route 442: Staines to Heathrow Airport". Carlone Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 458: Kingston to Staines". Hallmark Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 459: Heathrow Airport to Iver". Courtney Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 461: Kingston to St Peters Hospital". Falcon Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 477: Orpington to Bluewater". Arriva Southern Counties. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Route 513: Kingston to Downside". Repton Coaches. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 514: Kingston to Weybridge". Falcon Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 515: Kingston to Hersham". Falcon Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 555: Heathrow Airport to Whiteley Village". Hallmark Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 575: Romford to Harlow". Essex Bus. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 581: Uxbridge to Beaconsfield". Carousel Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Routes 610/611/612: Enfield to Luton". UNO. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Routes 614/644: Queensbury to Hatfield". UNO. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 668: Ashtead to North Cheam" (PDF). Surrey County Council. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 695: Oxted to Westerham". Southdown PSV. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 715: Kingston to Guildford". Stagecoach South East. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 724: Harlow to Heathrow Airport". Arriva Shires & Essex. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 812: Hoxton to Clerkenwell". HCT Group. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route 820: Sutton to Redhill". Metrobus. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Free shuttle service connect stations to Here East". Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Mayor of London). 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Route 866: Coulsdon to Banstead" (PDF). Metrobus, April 2019.
- "Route E16: Epsom to Worcester Park". Falcon Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route Timetables". Red Eagle Buses. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "School Route Timetables". Go-Coach. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Route Z2: Canning Town to Tilbury". Ensignbus. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- Axe to fall on Routemaster route Bus & Coach Professional 30 January 2014
- RMs to be withdrawn from London's route 9 Coach & Bus Week issue 1122 29 January 2014 page 19
- 10 Transport for London
- Permanent Bus Changes Transport for London
- ""TfL confirms heritage Routemasters won't return"".
- 48 Transport for London
- News in Brief Coach & Bus Week issue 1415 15 October 2019 page 10
- 82 Transport for London
- Controversial Finchley Road changes to go ahead Buses issue 745 April 2017 page 22
- RV1 Transport for London
- Permanent Bus Changes 12 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 Transport for London
- C2 Transport for London
- Two central London routes to be withdrawn Buses issue 763 October 2018 page 22
- W10 Transport for London
- New route 456 replacing route W10 - 13 March 2021 Transport for London
- Stations and buses near the carnival route Transport for London
- Atkin, Michael. "THIS SCEPTRED ISLE", The Guardian
- Carr, Ken, The London Bus Guide. Boreham: Visions International Entertainment, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9570058-0-8.