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 including Arriva Shires & Essex, Arriva Southern Counties, Cardinal Buses, Carousel Buses, Go-Coach, First Berkshire & The Thames Valley, Hallmark Bus, Metrobus, Red Rose Travel, Southdown PSV, Stagecoach South, Trustybus, and Uno operate services between parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex on the one hand and London on the other, with 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 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
Classification of route numbers
In Victorian times, passengers could only recognise the owner and route of an omnibus (Latin: "for everyone") by its livery 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. 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|
|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|
|533||Hammersmith bus station||Castelnau||Metroline|
|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||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 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.
- 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.
- 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 4 August 2018.
- [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.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved 4 August 2015
- Hackney Community Transport Retrieved 20 February 2014
- "Free shuttle service connect stations to Here East". Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Mayor of London). 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Bexley Community Transport Retrieved 20 February 2014
- MB1 Route consultation on Mecca Bingo Service, Dagenham Retrieved 20 February 2015
- [dead link]
- 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.