Operated by Stagecoach London
Garage Barking (BK)
Bow (BW)
Vehicle Dennis Trident 10.5m / Alexander ALX400
Alexander Dennis Enviro 400H 10.2m
PVR 33
Start Romford
Via Becontree Heath
East Ham
Upton Park
End Canning Town
Length 10 miles (16 km)
Level Daily
Journey time 43-82 minutes
Frequency About every 6-10 minutes
Day 05:30 until 01:00
Night Night Bus N15
Adult single fares
Oyster 90p
Cash £2.00

London Buses route 5 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to East London. The route runs on the A124 road for most of its length.


The 5 commenced operation on 11 November 1959 in stage 4 of London Transport's "buses for trolleybuses" conversion scheme. It was a direct replacement for trolleybus routes 567 and 665 and ran between Bloomsbury (Red Lion Square) and Barking Garage via Clerkenwell, Aldgate and Canning Town. There was also a supplementary Monday to Friday route 5A between Clerkenwell Green and West India Dock. London's Docks were still in use at this time, making routes along the Commercial Road very busy. The combined allocation of buses to the 5 and 5A on Mondays to Fridays was 36 buses.

This was the ninth incarnation of the route number 5 as a motorbus route in London. It was, along with Routes 5A, 48 and 238, also the first trolleybus replacement route, on which brand new production Routemaster buses were used.

The 1960s was a very turbulent period for London buses, and by 1966 the 5 group of routes had grown to encompass routes 5, 5A, 5B and 5C. Serving an area from Bloomsbury in the west, West India Dock, Canning Town to Becontree Heath in the east. In 1968 in connection with the opening of the Victoria Line, a large scale re-organisation of London's buses was implemented, the first stage of which occurred on 7 September 1968. The 5A, 5B and 5C all disappeared at this time, leaving only route 5 surviving, although severely reduced, now only running between Bloomsbury and East Ham. On 17 April 1971, the 5 was converted to one person operation. This event foreshadowed a decade of decline for the route, which at its nadir only needed 14 vehicles to cover the much shortened route.

1981 saw a beginning of the revival of the 5. On 31 January 1981, It was extended to Waterloo in replacement for the 55. From 25 April of the same year, it was converted back to Routemaster crew operation, as well as being extended eastwards again to Becontree Heath. Routemaster operation only lasted for four years, and in 1985 one person operated vehicles were back on the 5.

From 1989, the retreat away from the western end of the route began. As a partial replacement, a Red Arrow route 505 was introduced.

However, as from 21 April 1990, the section west of Canning Town was later deemed redundant, except on Sunday mornings when it continued to run as far as Old Street in order to serve the famous Shoreditch Market. A partial replacement for the link to the north of the city was maintained by new Docklands route D3 (East Ham - Old Street), but only on Mondays to Saturdays except evenings. The Sunday 5 extension no longer exists now, and the D3 runs between Crossharbour and London Chest Hospital.

On 25 March 2006, the 5 was further extended eastwards to Romford Market over the withdrawn 87, itself a very long standing route.

Recently there has been an appeal in a local newspaper[specify] in east London campaigning for more buses on the 5 route. Eastbound buses from Barking station are usually too full up to accept new passengers after Barking Bus Garage between 08:00am and 08:45. Transport for London have announced that 4 more buses will be provided along this section in the AM peak.[citation needed]

The Canning Town terminus of the 5 is now in the Jubilee Line interchange. Today, the 5 is the only route with a number lower than 20 not entering central London.

Current routeEdit

Route departing Romford MarketEdit

Route departing Canning TownEdit

Previous route 5s in LondonEdit

The route number 5 had been used eight times prior to its current use.

There were also in London:

Of note, is the fact that in the period 1934/5, there were four Route 5's operating at the same time in London, albeit by different modes of transport.

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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