35px London Buses
Operated by Metroline
Garage Perivale East (PV)
Vehicle Scania N230UD/East Lancs Olympus
PVR 22
Start Russell Square
Via Wormwood Scrubs
Ladbroke Grove
Westbourne Grove
Marble Arch
Oxford Circus
Tottenham Court Road
End East Acton
Length 7 miles (12 km)
Level Daily
Frequency About every 7-8 minutes
Journey time 41-74 minutes
Day 5:00am until midnight
Night Night bus N7
Adult single fares
Oyster 90p
Cash £2.00
peak vehicle requirement
Transport for LondonPerformance

London Buses route 7 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Metroline.


The 7 is a very long established route. It traces its history back to 1 November 1908, when an un-numbered daily route operating between Wormwood Scrubs and Liverpool Street Station, was allocated the route number 7. On 14 August 1916 a supplementary Monday - Saturday route 7A was introduced between Wormwood Scrubs and London Bridge. This route disappeared later in 1916 due to Wartime shortages, but re-appeared again on 30 April 1917. During the 1920s, route 7 was extended to Acton and a 7B was introduced as a Waterloo to London Bridge, Monday to Friday peak hours only service via Holborn. A forerunner of the Red Arrow routes, introduced forty years later.

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. In fact, the reverse was the result, as can seen by the following list of the routes that replaced the 7, 7A and 7B buses.

7 group routes: 7 remained 7, 7A was renumbered 107, 7B was renumbered 166. This was further complicated in that the 7 had short workings from Wormwood Scrubs renumbered 7A. The plain route number being only used for journeys for the whole length of the route.

This situation remained until 3 October 1934, when the newly constituted London Transport Passenger Board instituted its own numbering system, which generally re-instated the situation previous to December 1924. The 107 had disappeared in 1929 and route 166, which by then had developed into a self-contained route, kept its route number until being withdrawn as a wartime economy after service on 22 September 1939. The 7 remained alone, albeit with an extension to Kew Green until 22 August 1946, when the 7A was revived, running Acton - London Bridge on Mondays to Fridays (a Saturday service was included later).

A serious incident occurred on June 13 1957, when a RTL-type bus (RTL780) on route 7A, whose driver had collapsed from "heat exhaustion", ran into a queue of waiting passengers on Oxford Street, killing eight people.

The "Busmans Strike of 1958" was responsible for the loss of very large numbers of passengers on London's buses. London Transport reacted to this situation and the looming financial losses by withdrawing many routes, in a three staged plan during 1958/59. The 7 was one of many long-standing routes withdrawn after service on 19 August 1958. Consequently as from 14 October 1959, the old route 7A had its suffix removed, becoming plain 7. The service ran between Acton Old Tram Depot and London Bridge (Oxford Circus on Mon-Sat evenings), via East Acton, Ladbroke Grove, Paddington, Edgware Road, Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Holborn and Bank.

On 9 October 1963 the Saturday service of route 7 was extended from Acton to Kew Green to replace the withdrawn route 265.

On 30 July 1966, a Routemaster bus (RM1768), which had been in service on route 7, but was running empty back to the depot, caught fire at Marble Arch and was totally burnt out. This led to headlines in the London evening newspapers "The day a no 7 caught fire" and "End of the road for a no 7 bus".

On 31 December 1966 the Saturday section of route 7 between Acton and Kew was replaced by route 27A.

A Red Arrow route expansion in 1970 saw the re-routing of the 501 from Aldgate to London Bridge, introducing a route that mirrored the 7B/166 route withdrawn in 1939. The re-routing of the 501 resulted in the 7 being cut back to Bloomsbury, near to Tottenham Court Road, on 24 January 1970.

On 25 April 1981, the route enjoyed a Sundays-only westward extension to reach Richmond station, via Acton Town, Gunnersbury and Kew, while the Monday to Saturday terminus moved from the Old Tram Depot in Acton, firstly to Wormwood Scrubs, near to the infamous prison, then to East Acton station.

In 1992, the decision was taken to extend the service to terminate at Russell Square, which took the route past the gates of the British Museum, while the (Sundays only) western end of the route was cut back to Kew Green.

A further cut back in 1996 saw the Sunday service revert back to the Old Tram Depot in Acton and, with the introduction of midibus route 70 four years later, the Sunday service was cut back to where the Monday to Saturday service terminated, at East Acton station. Tendering only came in 2000.

On 28 September

File:London Bus route 7.JPG

The most recent change to the route came in 2003, when the service was extended slightly to the Brunel Road stand, which meant that no bus passed outside the station building at East Acton; passengers now had a 5-minute walk before they could continue their journey by bus. July 2004 saw the withdrawal of Routemasters from the route, replaced by new TNA-class Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400s.

In June 2007 First's Westbourne Park Garage lost the contract for route 7 and night bus N7 to Metroline.

Current routeEdit

Route departing Russell SquareEdit

Route departing East ActonEdit

Previous route 7s in LondonEdit

This has been the only route to carry the number 7 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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