35px London Buses
Operated by Selkent
Garage Catford
Vehicle Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400
PVR 17
Start Catford
Via Lewisham
Surrey Quays
London Bridge
End Shoreditch
Length 9 miles (15 km)
Level Daily
Frequency About every 10 minutes
Journey time 42-75 minutes
Day 4:00am until 1:00am
Night Night Bus N47
Adult single fares
Oyster 90p
Cash £2.00
peak vehicle requirement
Transport for LondonPerformance

London Buses route 47 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Selkent.


The 47 is a very old route and has been linking Catford with the city since before the First World War. However, it used to push on beyond Catford to Bromley and Farnborough via what is now the 208 and 358, and taking around 90 minutes. The frequency from Shoreditch to Bromley was every 6 minutes, exactly matching the 208, but bettering the current 10 minute service on the 47. Alternate buses continued to Farnborough and for many years before and immediately after the Second World War buses continued at summer weekends on Knockholt Pound. These provided a cheap way for those living in the poorer areas of inner London to reach the country side.

The extension of the route to Farnborough arose as a direct result of the movement of patients from Guy's Hospital to Farnborough Hospital after the commencement of World War Two. The 47 bus was seen as an essential and convenient way of enabling patients, relatives and staff to travel between the two sites.

There have been a few minor changes in between. Apart from the introduction of one-way systems at Shoreditch and Catford — and the subsequent introduction of a contraflow bus lane at Catford and abandonment of the Shoreditch one — there has been a diversion in the Surrey Quays area, first to serve the new shopping centre, and later to serve a new station at Canada Water nearby when the Jubilee Line opened. But the most significant one is the diversion of buses away from Deptford High Street to Deptford Church Street. The latter is now the main route through Deptford, having been upgraded to dual carriageway, but the former is where all the shops are. It is also where the market is, which is where the problem lay.

As mentioned, the route used to originate from Farnborough. Introduction of route 199 in 1958 saw the 47 cut back to Bromley garage on Mondays to Saturdays, but the status quo was restored in 1964. The 4 September 1982 scheme saw trunk routes in the Bromley area revised, with route 94 withdrawn in favour of new routes 208 and 261. The latter also replaced the 47 between Bromley Common and Farnborough (and the 229 between Farnborough and Orpington).

The 47 was further curtailed to the rather silly terminus of Downham in 27 April 1985, which was a device to allow the southern part of the route, now numbered 47A and running from Bromley Common to Surrey Docks (now known as Surrey Quays), to lose its conductors, having already lost its Routemasters the previous year. The 47A interestingly had a Sunday extension to Aldgate via Tower Bridge, to serve market traffic. However, the 47A lasted just five months on Mondays to Saturdays, being replaced by a re-incarnated 199, which ran via Greenwich and continued to Trafalgar Square via route 1. The rather useless section of the 47 between Downham and Catford garage was withdrawn without replacement in November 1988.

Current routeEdit

Route departing CatfordEdit

Route departing ShoreditchEdit

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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