35px London Buses
Operated by First London
Garage Westbourne Park
Vehicle Routemaster
Start Kensington
Via Hyde Park Corner
Piccadilly Circus
End Aldwych
Length 3 miles (5km)
Level Daily
Frequency About every 15 minutes
Journey time 25-29 minutes
Day 9:30am until 7:00pm
Night Night Bus N9
Adult single fares
Oyster 90p
Cash £2.00
peak vehicle requirement
Transport for LondonPerformance

London Buses route 9 (Heritage) is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom operated only by Routemaster buses. The service is currently contracted to First London and is a short working of the regular route 9.


To assuage media coverage given to the withdrawal of London's classic Routemaster fleet, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone promised to introduce a "heritage" Routemaster operation. After hopes that this would be operated commercially (despite the insistence of standard fare/pass acceptance), the operation eventually materialised as tendered short workings on two existing routes, and one of those is the 9. Buses run between Royal Albert Hall (although the first pick-up is actually some distance further east) and Aldwych, where they briefly overlap with the other Routemaster operation, on route 15 between Trafalgar Square and Tower Hill.

The limited operation and minimal publicity of these routes has led to speculation that TfL or the Mayor of London do not wish these services to be successful. However, the official line is that Routemaster buses are not accessible to passengers in wheelchairs and other mobility impaired passengers. Because of this, each heritage route is operated as a short-working of a regular service route bearing the same route number, thus ensuring that passengers unable to board the heritage buses are offered equivalent alternative transport arrangements.[1]

Nonetheless the routes have now started, with a start date of Monday 14 November 2005 (not the usual Saturday start date, so as to keep clear of the Remembrance Sunday parades), in time to give a healthy overlap with the last "proper" operation on the 159. The 9 short workings having been awarded to First which runs them from Westbourne Park garage. Purists will detect a number of non-authentic features – indeed, apart from the general shape, there is very little left of the original following refurbishment five years ago. However, the buses have been turned out immaculately in red with traditional London Transport logos and cream relief, and certainly look the part.[citation needed]

Current routeEdit

Route departing KensingtonEdit

Route departing AldwychEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. Heritage routes for Routemaster. BBC. Retrieved on July 4, 2007.

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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