London Buses route 25 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Ilford and City Thameslink Station, it is operated by Tower Transit.


On 20 June 1912, routes 8 and 25 exchanged their eastern branches at Bank, with route 25 taking over what has become its traditional route from Seven Kings to Victoria. By the end of the World War I, route 25 was working daily between Seven Kings Garage and Victoria, with a Sunday 25A route from Chadwell Heath to Victoria. During the 1920s, London's bus transport expanded rapidly, and route 25 soon had gained 25B, 25C and 25D suffixed routes.

On 1 December 1924, many routes in the group were renumbered, with 25A becoming 125, 25B changing to 26, 25C to 126 and the 25D becoming route 145.

This situation remained until 3 October 1934, when the newly constituted London Passenger Transport Board instituted its own numbering system, which generally re-instated the situation previous to December 1924, apart for route 145, which by then had developed into a self-contained route, thereby keeping its route number. Each route ran every 6 minutes on Mondays to Fridays, providing 40 buses per hour on the common sections; the routes were operated from garages in Seven Kings, Forest Gate, Upton Park and Hammersmith (Riverside) on route 25.

Various parts have fallen by the wayside over the years, the 25B variant from Becontree Heath to Victoria eventually becoming the main service and losing its suffix in about 1950. By 1982 the route was running in two overlapping sections, Ilford to Victoria Becontree Heath to Aldgate; in that year the latter section was renumbered 225, albeit running to Limehouse instead of Aldgate. Both routes were AEC Routemaster operated, but route 225 was soon converted to one-person operation using Leyland Titans. Route 225 also reverted to serving Aldgate. On 16 January 1988, route 25 (now Ilford to Victoria) was also converted to one-person operation with the AEC Routemasters replaced, and consequently route 225 was renumbered back to 25 to match.

The combined 25 was operated from Bow (BW) garage. A weekend diversion via Tower Hill was also introduced at this time.

The route was allocated to the East London division of London Buses in April 1989. On 18 July 1992 the route was curtailed at Oxford Circus, with the section to Victoria becoming part of route 8.

In March 1993 route 25 was cut back at its eastern end to Ilford; new route 128 covering the section to Becontree Heath. However, this reduced the service between Ilford and Aldgate, being a precursor to recent overcrowding.

On 26 June 1999 the route passed to First Capital operating from their Dagenham (DM) garage and converted to low floor operation using brand new Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents.

On 27 April 2000, brand new Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents were introduced.

On 2 June 2000, the Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents were introduced.

On 23 March 2002, the allocation was transferred to Rainham (R) garage.

In February 2003, the route's PVR was increased to 40 buses. On 26 June 2004, the route passed to East London operating from their Waterden Road (WA) garage with brand new Mercedes-Benz O530G articulated buses introduced. The weekend diversion to Tower Hill was withdrawn.

In 2004, the route was chosen for a two-year trial of hydrogen fuel cell powered buses. Three such vehicles ran on the route in addition to the regular articulated vehicles.

On 29 December 2007, Waterden Road (WA) garage was closed for Olympic Stadium - construction and the allocation was transferred to Rainham (R) garage.

On 31 May 2005, the allocation was transferred to West Ham (WH) garage.

On 25 June 2011, the route passed to First London operating from their Lea Interchange (LI) garage using brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs.

On 22 June 2013, the route was included in the sale of First London's Lea Interchange (LI) garage to Tower Transit.

On 25 June 2016, the route was retained by Tower Transit.

On 1 December 2018, the route was withdrawn between City Thameslink Station and Oxford Circus. The night service was renumbered N25 and MCV EvoSeti bodied Volvo B5LHs were introduced alongside the existing Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs at the same time.

Brand new Wright StreetDecks will be introduced from 30 March 2019.

Current Route

Route 25 operates via these primary locations:

  • Ilford High Road Hainault Street
  • Ilford High Road for Ilford Station
  • Manor Park
  • Woodgrange Park Station
  • Forest Gate
  • Stratford Station Bus Station
  • Bow Church Station
  • Bow Road Station
  • Mile End Station
  • Stepney Green Station
  • Whitechapel Station
  • Braham Street for Aldgate East Station
  • Aldgate High Street for Aldgate Station
  • Bank Station
  • St Paul's Station
  • City Thameslink Station

External links