diamond geezer

 Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Every bus route serving bus stop M has changed over the last 20 years.

The 8 used to go to Victoria, then was cut back to Oxford Circus in 2009, then to Tottenham Court Road in 2013.
The 25 originally came from Oxford Circus but was cut back to Holborn Viaduct in 2018.
The 108 never used to stop here but was diverted away from the Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road in 2016.
The 276 never used to stop here but was diverted away from Carpenters Road pre-Olympics in 2007.
The 425 is a new route introduced in 2008, which in 2018 was extended from Stratford to Ilford.
The 488 is a new route introduced in 2008 to partially replace route S2.
The N25 came into existence in 2018 when the daytime 25 was shortened.
The N205 is an overnight extension of the 205 introduced in 2013.
The D8 used to stop here until 2016 when it switched corridors with the 108.
The S2 used to stop here until 2008 when it morphed into the 488.

That's a lot of route-fiddling over a two-decade period.
So I wondered how many London bus routes are still the same as they were 20 years ago.
I'm ignoring minor tweaks to routes like repurposed gyratories and shifting bus stops.

This is quite a large task so I've decided to restrict myself just to routes 1 to 100.
And to help me I'm using five London bus maps from September 2003, because obviously I kept a full set.
The sheer convenience of being able to see the entire London bus network is something I greatly miss.

Let's take it one route at a time and see what's changed and what hasn't.

The listing below shows the route termini in September 2003.
Only the most recent change is given - some routes have had several.
Here's a special comments box exclusively for pedants comments

1 Canada Water → Tottenham Court Road (extending to Hampstead Heath at the end of this month)
2 West Norwood → Baker Street (extended slightly to Marylebone in 2007)
3 Crystal Palace → Oxford Circus (diverted to Victoria in 2023)
4 Archway → Waterloo (cut back to Blackfriars in 2019)
5 Canning Town → Becontree Heath (extended to Romford Market in 2006)
6 Willesden → Aldwych (diverted to Victoria in 2023)
7 East Acton → Russell Square (cut back to Oxford Circus in 2014)
8 Bow Church → Victoria (cut back to Tottenham Court Road in 2013)
9 Aldwych → Hammersmith (rerouted at Pall Mall in 2019)
10 King's Cross → Hammersmith (WITHDRAWN in 2018)
11 Fulham Broadway → Liverpool Street (severely cut back to Waterloo in 2023)
12 Dulwich Library → Notting Hill Gate (cut back to Oxford Circus in 2004)
13 Aldwych → Golders Green (WITHDRAWN in 2017 and replaced by renumbered route 82)
14 Putney Heath → Tottenham Court Road (diverted to Russell Square in 2019)
15 Blackwall → Paddington (cut back to Trafalgar Square in 2013)
16 Cricklewood → Victoria (WITHDRAWN in 2023 and replaced by renumbered route 332)
17 Archway → London Bridge (Unchanged since 1993)
18 Sudbury → Euston (Unchanged since 1995)
19 Finsbury Park → Battersea Bridge (Unchanged since 1991)
20 Walthamstow → Debden (Unchanged since 1976)
21 Lewisham → Moorgate (diverted to Holloway in 2023)
22 Putney Common → Piccadilly Circus (diverted through Mayfair in 2017)
23 Westbourne Park → Aldwych (repatriated from Hammersmith in 2023)
24 Hampstead Heath → Pimlico (Unchanged since 1912)
25 Ilford → Oxford Circus (cut back to Holborn Viaduct in 2018)
26 Hackney Wick → Waterloo (diverted to Victoria in 2023)
27 Chalk Farm → Turnham Green (cut back to Hammersmith in 2019)
28 Wandsworth → Harrow Road (extended to Kensal Rise in 2006)
29 Trafalgar Square → Palmers Green (cut back to Wood Green in 2006)
30 Marble Arch → Hackney Wick (Unchanged since 1992)
31 Camden Town → Notting Hill Gate (extended to White City in 2008)
32 Kilburn Park → Edgware (Unchanged since 1970)
33 Fulwell → Hammersmith (curtailed to Castelnau in 2019)
34 Walthamstow → Barnet (Unchanged since 1988)
35 Shoreditch → Clapham Junction (Unchanged since 1991)
36 Queens Park → New Cross (Unchanged since February 2003)
37 Peckham → Putney (extended to Putney Heath in 2007)
38 Victoria → Clapton (Unchanged since 1990)
39 Putney Bridge → Clapham Junction (Unchanged since 1990)
40 Dulwich Library → Aldgate (diverted to Clerkenwell Green in 2019)
41 Archway → Tottenham Hale (Unchanged since 1992)
42 Liverpool Street → Denmark Hill (extended to East Dulwich in 2016)
43 London Bridge → Friern Barnet (Unchanged since 1934)
44 Tooting → Vauxhall (diverted to Victoria in 2006)
45 Streatham Hill → King's Cross (cut back to Elephant & Castle in 2019)
46 Farringdon Street → Warwick Avenue (cut back to Paddington in 2021)
47 Shoreditch → Catford (Unchanged since 1999)
48 London Bridge → Walthamstow (WITHDRAWN in 2019)
49 Shepherds Bush → Clapham Junction (extended slightly to White City in 2008)
50 Croydon → Streatham Hill (extended to Stockwell in 2008)
51 Woolwich → Orpington (Unchanged since 1982)
52 Victoria → Willesden (Unchanged since 1995)
53 Plumstead → Whitehall (cut back to Lambeth North in 2019)
54 Woolwich → Elmers End (Unchanged since 2000)
55 Oxford Circus → Leyton Green (diverted to Walthamstow Central in 2019)
56 St Barts → Whipps Cross (Unchanged since 1993)
57 Clapham Park → Kingston (Unchanged since 1992)
58 East Ham → Walthamstow (Unchanged since 1993)
59 Streatham Hill → Euston (diverted to Smithfield in 2023)
60 Streatham → Old Coulsdon (Unchanged since 1998)
61 Bromley North → Chislehurst (Unchanged since 1986)
62 Barking → Marks Gate (Unchanged since 1991)
63 King's Cross → Honor Oak (Unchanged since May 2003)
64 Thornton Heath → New Addington (extended to Vulcan Way in 2016)
65 Ealing Broadway → Kingston (Unchanged since 1987)
66 Leytonstone → Romford (rerouted in Wanstead in 2009)
67 Wood Green → Aldgate (cut back to Dalston Junction in 2019)
68 Euston → West Norwood (cut back slightly to West Norwood station in 2006)
69 Walthamstow → London City Airport (cut back to Canning Town in 2005)
70 South Kensington → Acton (extended to Chiswick Business Park in 2017)
71 Kingston → Chessington (Unchanged since 1993)
72 East Acton → Roehampton (curtailed to Hammersmith Bridge in 2019)
73 Tottenham → Victoria (cut back to Oxford Circus in 2017)
74 Baker Street → Putney (Unchanged since 2002)
75 Lewisham → Croydon (Unchanged since 2002)
76 Waterloo → Tottenham (diverted in the City in 2019)
77 Waterloo → Tooting (Unchanged since 1991)
78 Shoreditch → Nunhead (Unchanged since 2000)
79 Edgware → Alperton (extended to Stonebridge Park last month)
80 Hackbridge → Belmont (Unchanged since 1996)
81 Hounslow → Slough (Unchanged since 1998)
82 Victoria → North Finchley (RENUMBERED 13 in 2017)
83 Golders Green → Ealing (cut back to Alperton in 2016)
84 St Albans → New Barnet [not a TfL route] (cut back to Potters Bar in 2022)
85 Putney Bridge → Kingston (Unchanged since 1991)
86 Stratford → Romford (Unchanged since 1991)
87 Romford → Barking (WITHDRAWN in 2006) (number reused for the 77A)
88 Clapham Common → Camden Town (extended to Parliament Hill Fields in 2019)
89 Lewisham → Slade Green (Unchanged since 1978)
90 Northolt → Feltham (Unchanged since 1997)
91 Trafalgar Square → Crouch End (Unchanged since 1992)
92 Ealing Hospital → St Raphaels (Unchanged since 1998)
93 Putney Bridge → North Cheam (Unchanged since 1970)
94 Piccadilly Circus → Acton Green (Unchanged since 1996)
95 Shepherds Bush → Southall (rerouted through Dormers Wells in 2023)
96 Woolwich → Bluewater (rerouted beyond Dartford in 2018)
97 Leyton → Chingford (rerouted through the Olympic Village in 2013)
98 Willesden → Holborn (diverted back to Red Lion Square in 2016)
99 Woolwich → Erith (extended to Bexleyheath in 2009)
100 Shadwell → Elephant & Castle ('extended' to St Paul's in 2019)

If you just skimmed down that, here's a quick summary.

Of the 100 routes...
53% have changed in the last 20 years
42% are unchanged
and 5% have been withdrawn.

Of the 100 routes...
61% haven't changed in the last 10 years
42% haven't changed in the last 20 years
27% haven't changed in the last 30 years
7% haven't changed in the last 40 years

Also the lower numbers have changed the most.
Every route from 1 to 16 has changed in the last 20 years.
Only six of the lowest 30 routes are unchanged since then.

The longest-unchanged routes are the 24 (since 1912), 43 (since 1934), 32 and 93 (both since 1970).
But that didn't stop TfL proposing to withdraw route 24 in a recent incendiary consultation.

There's nothing sentimental about London's bus routes, they evolve to fit the capital and its transport budget.
Expect a lot more changes (and a few more withdrawals) over the next 10 years.

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