London Buses route 81 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Hounslow and Slough, it is operated by London United.


Route 81 is a long standing route, running between Hounslow Bus Station and Slough. It once stretched even further west, terminating at Windsor Castle on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, until 8 May 1963 when it was withdrawn west of Slough at all times. In 1963 it was extended on Sundays to Shepherd's Bush Green, via Isleworth, although this only lasted until August 1969.

On 18 April 1970, the route was converted from AEC Routemaster crew operation, to single decker one person operation with AEC Swifts. From 1976 Leyland Nationals took over.

There were three variations of route 81. These were the 81A which operated Mon-Fri peak hours from Hounslow to Langley; the 81B, a daily service from Hounslow to Heathrow Airport Central bus station; and the 81C, a short lived service between Heathrow Central and Slough.

On 13 July 1985, the route passed to the London Buslines with Daimler Fleetlines. These were replaced by Leyland Lynxes in 1987. On 29 July 1995, the route passed to Westlink using Optare Deltas from Hounslow Heath (HH) garage.

Route 81 was included in the September 1995 sale of Westlink to London United, and by 2000 the full allocation had moved back to Hounslow (AV) garage.

In 2001, the route was converted to low floor operation using Plaxton Pointer 2 bodied Dennis Dart SLFs except for a Monday to Friday am peak double deck working using a Leyland Olympian.

In 2002, the Leyland Olympian was replaced by a MCW Metrobus and the allocation was transferred to Hounslow Heath (HH) garage.

In July 2005, the route was retained by London United and the MCW Metrobus was replaced by a Alexander RH bodied Volvo Olympian.

In September 2005, additional double deck workings were introduced.

In November 2005, the Alexander RH bodied Volvo Olympians were replaced by low floor Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs and the allocation moved back to Hounslow (AV) garage.

In October 2009, the route was converted to double deck operation using Plaxton President and Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs.

On 28 July 2012, the route was retained by London United using brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s and Scania OmniCitys.

The route will pass to Metroline operating from Brentford (AH) using Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs from 27 July 2019.

Current Route

  • Hounslow High Street, School Road
  • Hounslow West Station
  • Cranford
  • Harlington Corner
  • Heathrow Airport North
  • Longford
  • Colnbrook High Street
  • Langley London Road
  • Slough Bus Station for Slough Station

External links