diamond geezer

 Monday, January 07, 2019

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.

RankRoute OutInAverage
1389Barnet (The Spires) - Western Way1.81.51.65 miles
2327Waltham Cross - Elsinge Estate1.702.041.87 miles
3507Waterloo - Victoria2.202.272.24 miles
4379Yardley Lane Estate - Chingford2.042.472.26 miles
515HTrafalgar Square - Tower Hill2.342.382.36 miles
6W7Muswell Hill - Finsbury Park2.502.452.48 miles
7R9Orpington - Ramsden Estate1.93.42.65 miles
8209Mortlake - Hammersmith2.72.72.70 miles
9346Upminster - Upminster Park Estate2.293.112.70 miles
10129Greenwich - North Greenwich2.82.92.85 miles

The next dozen: 399, E1, 323, 521, 330, 268, 291, 100, C2, W10, 312, RV1 (all under 4 miles)


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