Is this the oldest bus still running in London?

There can’t be many 18 years buses old left in London can there?

As there’s one I see driving about usually on the B16 and B11 routes that’s so much older than others it’s a wonder it keeps going.

Here it is in the shadow of new Kidbrooke towers.

In the shadow of new Kidbrooke towers

When this bus was new, thousands of people were still living on the Ferrier estate.

Disability legislation killed off many older buses alongside pollution and emission rules. While replacing an engine can be done so older bus could carry on, buses that aren’t low floor have long gone – and that’s condemned many from before the Millennium to scrap.

This type is one of the oldest in south east London – and is nine years old

Which means those from around 2001 are pretty much the oldest that can run. Even then, most buses in London are 10 years old or newer. This one still soldiers on around south east London on a 2001 plate having put in 18 years of service. Those seats have seen the bums of half the planet.

In recent months more bus routes are getting USB charging points – though SE London is noticeable for its lack of those so far. It also has very few new Routemasters – which some may see as a blessing. As an aside, the company that makes them – Wright bus – could be going into administration next week.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    5 thoughts on “Is this the oldest bus still running in London?

    • I think you will find that there are still some Routemasters running in Central London that are now at least 55 years old!!

      • I meant in full time service on a proper route. Routemaster H15 only runs weekends now I think?

    • Your right Murky The heritage roiutemaster route 15H now only runs on summer weekends with a reduced hours of operation and frequency.

      I believe this could be one of the oldest buses still in daily service in London.

    • I won’t be sorry to see the new Routemaster go. If you’re upstairs you’re unable to see out of the back window – essential if you’re looking for a connecting bus but don’t want to risk the bus you have. The twin staircases cause mayhem as they’re both bidirectional for such limited space and while the seats are quite adequate, the upstairs deck has a very noisy air-conditioning system that often drives me back downstairs.

      I’m still amazed no enterprising schoolkids have popped the new Routemaster my day it was a rite of passage to get kicked off the 89 after opening the back window on the upper deck…

    • Route 225 has been overlooked in the revamp of the single deckers that run through Lewisham. The dirt is ingrained and seat cushion pile rubbed away.


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