35px London Buses
Operated by London General
Garage Stockwell Garage
Vehicle Alexander Dennis Enviro 400
PVR 13
Start Norwood Junction
Via Upper Norwood
West Norwood
End Elephant and Castle
Length 9 miles (14 km)
Level Daily
Frequency About every 12 minutes
Journey time 44-66 minutes
Day 5:30 until midnight
Night No night service
Adult single fares
Oyster 90p
Cash £2.00
peak vehicle requirement
Transport for LondonPerformance

London Buses route 196 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to London General.

The route is one of the longer routes in South London, connecting the borough of Croydon to Central London, quite similar to the 468 with which it runs parallel for most of its journey (The 468 runs from South Croydon to Elephant and Castle). Since 2006, when London General won the contract back, it has been serviced by brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 and on the odd occasion Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini have been used, although some people thought that London General could have used this model on a more central route as the front window makes it perfect for sightseeing. The closest the 196 gets to the city/north of the river is on a short section next to Vauxhall Bridge. The route runs on main roads and usually in most parts uses the shortest and quickest way there, apart from a slight quirk at Stockwell where it goes straight outside the bus garage (owned by London General and the home of the 196). The garage is on a residential road, and getting a new double decker bus to go down there without wanting it to get scratched is quite a task!


The 196 used to run from Tufnell Park Hotel to Waterloo; in 1950, this service (like most at that time) was only on weekdays (Monday to Friday) and ran via places and London landmarks such as Kings Cross, Euston, Kingsway and Aldwych. The service replaced the 239 entirely and the northern section of the 68A between Kings Cross and Waterloo. The garage at the time was Chalk Farm (near Camden Town) which later closed in 1993. The route was then extended to Norwood Junction in 1951 on a daily basis (by that time the route also had been running on Saturdays). An additional Sunday service was added, running on the new section Waterloo - Norwood Junction. This had completely replaced the 68A. In 1958, the Sunday service ceased due to the partly extended 40 from Camberwell Green to Norwood Junction on that day. 1971 saw the Tufnell Park to Euston section replaced by the 239. On the 5 January 1974, the 196 saw a massive cutback to Brixton. In 1987 Cityrama was awarded the contract for the 196, although this did not last long, as it was awarded to London & Country just two years later.

However, they did not do a very good job, so London General were next to play the game in 1990. The contract was reassigned to London Central in 1997, who favoured the use of Leyland Titans. Yet another change happened in 1999 when it went back to none other than London General. But only two years passed when in 2001 the contract passed over to Connex using Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400 (who had a terrible reputation in the UK at the time with their disastrous work on the railways; in fact, Connex run their trains through Norwood Junction Station at the southern terminus). Then Travel London bought out Connex. They only kept the contract for a short period due to complaints of the oldness of the buses {despite only being 4-5 years old), even though they were passed on from Connex. So the contract was transferred again in 2006 to London General for the third time using Enviro 400's.

Current routeEdit

Route departing Norwood JunctionEdit

Route departing Elephant and CastleEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

List of bus routes in London

1-99 | 100-199 | 200-299 | 300-399 | 400-499 | 500-599 | 600-699 | Letter prefix | Night only

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