diamond geezer

 Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How many consecutive London bus routes can you ride?

For example, if you could ride the 3, then the 4, then the 5, then the 6, that'd be four consecutive bus routes. But you can't, because route 3 and route 4 never quite meet, and route 5 gets no closer to central London than Canning Town station. So not that.

For the avoidance of doubt, I'm allowing interchange if two routes cross or overlap - they don't have to share the same bus stop. No long walks are allowed. Oh, and numbered buses only, no letters. If I'd allowed letters then the best run would be in Orpington where all eleven 'R' buses (from R1 to R11) stop in the High Street. So not that.

With over 400 numbered London bus routes, you'd think there'd be a decently long chain of consecutive bus routes somewhere. But I couldn't find one. London's bus routes aren't laid out sequentially in convenient geographical sectors (or if they ever were, enough tweaks have been made since to wreck the pattern).

For example, out in Dagenham the 173, 174 and 175 all run down the Heathway, which looks promising. But the 172 goes to Brockley and the 176 goes to Penge, so that doesn't help. Meanwhile at Elephant & Castle the 343 links to the 344, which links to the 345 in Battersea, which looks promising. But the 346 only serves Upminster, and the 342 doesn't exist, so that's no help either.

The longest chain I've managed to find is just five buses long, and starts with the 22.
22       → Oxford Circus station
23 Oxford Circus station → Trafalgar Square
24 Trafalgar Square → Tottenham Court Road station
25 Tottenham Court Road station → Bank station
26 Bank station →
There are some very familiar changeover points there. Oxford Circus, specifically the top of Regent Street, is the only place where the two buses serve the same stop - at the other interchanges you have to take a short walk. Obviously I'm not suggesting you do this for real, it's just a thought experiment. But if you did ride these five consecutive buses it'd take about an hour, just saying.



I don't think there's a chain of 6 routes. I don't think there's another chain of 5. Unless you know better.

If you're planning to check for the longest chain, obviously what you need is a bus map. Unfortunately TfL stopped producing London bus maps in March 2016, and took them off their website last year. This saves them money, but leaves us in the dark, because why should passengers know where all the buses go? If you'd like a digital copy of the final TfL bus maps, they're all here as pdfs: [Central] [NW] [NE] [SW] [SE]. Even better, if you'd like digital copies of all the final TfL bus maps as printed, including covers and indexes and all the inserts, they're in these zip files. Alas the maps are already long out of date, especially in central London. But hurrah for Freedom of Information requests (and boo to busmapkillers).

Here's an intriguing thing.

Ten years ago, the longest chain I can find was 6 buses. 11 12 13 14 15 16
Forty years ago, it was seven. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Seventy years ago it was ten. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

The further back you go, the longer the chains get because bus routes were longer and better connected. Inexorably over time they've got shorter, or been changed, and so become harder to connect. For example, the 11 no longer quite meets the 10 (which is about to be scrapped), the 13 was sneakily renumbered (so no longer overlaps the 12) and the 15 no longer passes through Piccadilly Circus (so now just misses the 14).

As we enter the Hopper Era, expect bus routes to get shorter still. Indeed my 22 → 26 journey is about to be wrecked in 10 days time when route 23 is diverted away from central London and merged with route 10. Moreover, route 25 is about to be cut back from Oxford Circus to Holborn Circus, maybe imminently, breaking the link with the 24.

In the near future, the longest chain of consecutive bus routes is going to be only 4 buses long, down from 5, down from 7, down from 10. That's our direction of travel. I mean, I assume there must be a chain of 4 consecutive bus routes somewhere in London. Help me out, I'm still looking...


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths
exploring urban wastelands

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain
#coronavirus

read the archive
Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv