35px London Buses
31This route has the ibus AVL system installed.
Operated by First London
Garage Westbourne Park
Vehicle Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini
PVR 23
Start Shepherd's Bush Green
Via Notting Hill Gate
Westbourne Park
Maida Hill
Swiss Cottage
End Camden Town
Length 6 miles (10 km)
Level Daily
Frequency About every 6 minutes
Journey time 35-64 minutes
Day 5:00am until 1:00am
Night Night Bus N28 and N31
Adult single fares
Oyster 90p
Cash £2.00
peak vehicle requirement
Transport for LondonPerformance

London Buses route 31 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to First London.


Today's 31 route commenced operation on 7 September 1911 as a daily route between Chelsea (Stanley Arms) and South Hampstead (North Star) via Edith Grove, Earls Court Road, Kensington High Street, Notting Hill Gate, Great Western Road, Walterton Road and Belsize Road, replacing Horse Bus service 36 which also ran between Chelsea and Finchley Road. Three months later, on 7 December 1911 it was further extended to Finchley Road Station. As from 31 October 1912, it was re-routed at Belsize Road to run to Gospel Oak (Mansfield Hotel) via Eton Avenue, Englands Lane and Parkhill Avenue instead of to FInchley Road. This extension did not last long and in December 1912 the 31 was curtailed to run daily Chelsea - South Hampstead (Swiss Cottage). Even at this early stage, the 31 had become a very stable route, and up to May 1916 no changes occurred apart from the South Hampstead terminus being re-named St John's Wood (Swiss Cottage).

On 15 May 1916 as a wartime economy measure, the 31 received an extension which took it right away from its traditional home. It was extended daily from Swiss Cottage to Tulse Hill (Tulse Hill Tavern) via Adelaide Road, Camden Town, Eversholt Street, Russell Square, Southampton Row, Kingsway, Aldwych, Waterloo Bridge, Elephant & Castle, Camberwell Green, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill replacing route 68 which was withdrawn on the same day. The operation of this long "Horsehoe" shaped route between Chelsea - Camden Town - Tulse Hill lasted for one year, the 31 being withdrawn between Camden Town (which has been the route's eastern terminus ever since) and Tulse Hill after service on 29 April 1917, with the 68 re-introduced on 30 April 1917.

On 1 December 1924, a new system of route numbering on London Buses came into force under The London Traffic Act of 1924. This made the Metropolitan Police responsible for bus operation and route numbering in London. The new system was designed to make route numbering easier to understand for the travelling public.

31 group routes:- 31 remained 31, Chelsea (Stanley Arms) to Camden Town, with buses short working between Harrow Road (Prince of Wales) to Camden Town using the 31A number, although this had disappeared again by 30 June 1925. This situation remained until 3 October 1934, when the newly constituted London Passenger Transport Board instituted its own numbering system, which generally re-instated the situation previous to December 1924, The 31 staying as it was, plain 31.

Sunday service on the 31 was converted to one-person operation from 21 November 1987, with the route being converted daily from 15 April 1989 when it was also converted to Minibus operation.

There were no changes to the routing of the 31 for 82 years, from 30 April 1917 until 29 May 1999, when it was withdrawn between Notting Hill Gate and Chelsea, being replaced by new route 328. Such a long period of operation without route changes must hold the record as being London's second most stable bus route after the 24. On 2 December 2006 the route was extended to Shepherd's Bush Green in preparation for the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge. In conjunction with this extension, the Notting Hill Gate stop was moved from the south end of Pembridge Road into Notting Hill Gate itself, which relieved congestion at the bus stop previously shared with routes 27, 28 and 328.

Current routeEdit

Route departing Shepherd's Bush Green Edit

Route departing Camden Town Edit

Previous route 31s in LondonEdit

This has been the only route to carry the number 31 on a motor-bus route in London.

There were also in London :-

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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