London Buses route 1 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Canada Water and Tottenham Court Road, it is operated by London Central.


Route 1 was one of the first motorbus routes to be introduced in London. It was in operation by November 1908. Despite subsequent route changes, it continues to serve part of its original route, between Elephant & Castle and Aldwych.

Route 1 once ran from Willesden to Lewisham, and more recently part provided a service between Lewisham and Bromley. It has since been curtailed at both ends of the route. At one point, the terminus was the now-closed County Terrace Tavern pub on the New Kent Road, until an accident in which a bus fell into the collapsed cellar of the pub. The night bus equivalent, route N1, terminated at Thamesmead.

In late 1998 the route passed to First Capital operating from their Northumberland Park (NP) and Dagenham (DM) garages using MCW Metrobuses.

The Jubilee Line Extension in 1999 saw route 199 withdrawn between Surrey Quays and Elephant & Castle, causing route 1 to become the only route to serve South Bermondsey from east to west. The route suffered severe overcrowding at peak times on this section of the route, requiring extra buses to be drafted in to cover. These vehicles were provided by a various operators, including Blue Triangle. The extra workings were later absorbed by First Capital .

In 1999, the route was converted to low floor using brand new Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents.

In 2000, a Sunday service was introduced.

In 2001, the Dagenham (DM) allocation was transferred to Hackney (H) garage.

A few years later, East Thames Buses (owned by London Buses) needed to re-locate from its Ash Grove depot to make way for new articulated buses on route 38. A suitable base was found in Southwark, but most of the Ash Grove routes were a long way from Southwark. This caused a swap of routes to occur with various other companies, with East Thames Buses taking over the 1/N1. The changes were introduced from 15 October 2005, with East Thames Buses using a new fleet of Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs.

On 3 October 2009, East Thames Buses was sold to London General, which included a five-year contract to operate route 1.

On 1 October 2016, the route was retained by London General.

On 16 October 2016, the Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs were replaced by brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LH.

In November 2016, MCV EvoSeti bodied Volvo B5LHs were introduced.

On 29 July 2017, the operation was transferred to London Central operating from their New Cross (NX) garage.

On 17 March 2018, the allocation was transferred to Morden Wharf (MG) garage.

Current Route

The current route is not the same as the route of the first omnibus service in London, started in 1829 by George Shillibeer.

Route 1 operates via these primary locations:

  • Tottenham Court Road Station
  • Holborn Station
  • Aldwych 
  • Waterloo Bridge
  • Waterloo Station
  • Elephant & Castle Station 
  • Bricklayer's Arms
  • Tower Bridge Road
  • Grange Road
  • Southwark Park Road
  • Galleywall Road
  • South Bermondsey 
  • Surrey Quays Station
  • Canada Water Bus Station

External links