LONDON'S SHORTEST BUS ROUTES: The vast majority of London bus routes are somewhere between 5 and 10 miles long. Longer than that and they risk getting unreliable, shorter than that and why bother? But some bus routes are really quite short, for all sorts of reasons, and this week I'm going to tell you all about the ten shortest.
TfL don't widely advertise the lengths of their bus routes, but when they write specifications for operators they generally provide stop by stop details down to the nearest hundredth of a mile. So I've used those.
» Distances in one direction aren't usually precisely the same as distances in the other, so I've taken the inbound and outbound distances and averaged the two.
» For example route E1 is 3.20 miles from Greenford to Ealing but 3.05 miles from Ealing to Greenford, averaging out at 3.125 miles, so that's in 12th place, so I won't be riding that.
» For example route 399 is only 1.9 miles in one direction, which ought to make it one of the three shortest routes on the entire network. But it's 4.1 miles in the other direction because it's a circular route and that's how TfL have decided to split it. Average out 1.9 and 4.1 and you get 3 miles precisely, so that's in 11th place, so I won't be riding that either.
You might choose to rank the routes differently, that's fine. But this is how I'm doing it.
London's 10 shortest bus routes are a diverse bunch, geographically speaking, and none of them overlaps with another. That's good news, given that I'm going to be writing about a ride on each and attempting to keep it interesting. Let's do two a day, counting down to the shortest route of all.
Barnet (The Spires) - Western Way
Waltham Cross - Elsinge Estate
Waterloo - Victoria
Yardley Lane Estate - Chingford
Trafalgar Square - Tower Hill
Muswell Hill - Finsbury Park
Orpington - Ramsden Estate
Mortlake - Hammersmith
Upminster - Upminster Park Estate
Greenwich - North Greenwich
The next dozen: 399, E1, 323, 521, 330, 268, 291, 100, C2, W10, 312, RV1 (all under 4 miles)