London Buses route 12 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Dulwich Library and Oxford Circus, it is operated by London Central.


In February 1907, the first bus produced by British Automobile Development Co. and Brush Electrical Engineering Co. Ltd. went into service on this route. Tilling-Stevens petrol electric buses were used on route 12, running between Oxford Circus and Peckham. In the 1930s destinations between as South Croydon and Brent Cross station were served. By the 1950s, the route operated between South Croydon and Willesden Junction, although buses from Croydon generally ran no further than Oxford Circus and those from Harlesden no further than Dulwich.

The route has been run from a number of garages. The computer scheduling system developed by London Buses in the 1970s is designed for a maximum of four garages operating on any one route; this was derived from route 12, which had four garages operating vehicles on it at the time. During the annual Notting Hill Carnival express services operated as 12X.

Route 12 was shortened to terminate at Norwood Junction in 1972, with new route 12A (later 312 and now 197) taking over between South Croydon and Peckham. On 25 October 1986, the route was reduced to operate only between Penge and East Acton. From 14 August 1988, route 12 was curtailed south of Dulwich Library, capacity being maintained by extending route 78 from Dulwich to Forest Hill and route 176 from Forest Hill to Penge. The western terminal was cut back to Shepherds Bush on 13 July 1991 and to Notting Hill Gate on 12 March 1994.

The route was operated by AEC Regent III RTs until replaced by AEC Routemasters in 1973.

The route was restructured on 5 November 2004, with the section between Oxford Circus and Notting Hill Gate withdrawn, with route 390 extended. At the same time the Routemasters were replaced by Mercedes-Benz O530G articulated buses.

On 5 November 2011, route 12 was retained by London Central and was converted back to double deck using brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs and Volvo B5LHs as part of the Mayor of London's policy to replace the O530Gs.

From 21 August 2014 until 26 February 2015, a brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LT demonstrator was temporarily introduced.

In August 2014, WiFi technology was introduced on one bus on route 12.

From 2 March 2015 until 8 June 2015, a Wright StreetDeck demonstrator was temporarily introduced.

On 28 March 2015, the Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs and Volvo B5LHs were replaced by brand New Routemasters.

On 3 November 2018, the route was retained by London Central.

On 6 November 2018, brand new BCI Enterprise 2DH TriAxle was introduced.

Current route

  • Dulwich Library
  • Peckham Rye
  • Peckham High Street
  • Camberwell Green
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Lambeth North
  • Westminster 
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Piccadilly Circus 
  • Oxford Circus 

External links

London Buses Route 12

London Buses Route 12