Travelling on London’s buses

London: A Visitor’s Guide

Have you seen our guidebook? We explain how to ride the buses, boats, taxis and trains, with all the fares and ticket options

Buy our London guidebook

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Blackwell’s, Waterstones…

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of the No.11 bus  You can also read about my trip on the No.15 heritage bus and my marathon bus journey

How often do the buses run?

Buses typically operate between 5 AM and 00.30 AM. Night buses kick in from midnight to 5 AM. Night buses are prefixed by the letter ‘N’.

The frequency of buses slows down between 11 PM and 6 AM. You only get 3 or 4 every hour after midnight, and after 3 AM you will probably have to wait a whole hour.

How to get on a bus

There are two types of bus stop in London. The ones with a white background are called compulsory stops, and the drivers are supposed to stop every single time without being hailed. But the ones with a red background are called request stops, and they will only stop if you make it clear that you need it.

If you want a bus to stop, then all you have to do is stick your arm out horizontally into the street. Make sure that you do it in plenty of time though, to give the driver time to stop safely.

Night buses are a bit different: they only stop if you request them, regardless of which kind of stop you’re standing at.

How to get off a bus

Just find a bell and press it. If you can’t hear the bell go ding then don’t worry—it has probably already been pressed by somebody else and become mute. Just look for a ‘Bus stopping’ sign near the front.

Most passengers will get off at the middle or the back doors, but sometimes you will see people getting off at the front. There is nothing wrong with this, but some drivers can get a bit moody about it (especially if the bus is empty, and there is no one trying to get on).

What are the fares?

Adult bus fares in London, 2016

Child bus fares in London, 2016

London bus timetables

You can print off paper timetables at tfl.gov.uk/travel-information.

You can also get paper timetables at a Travel Information Centre. There are six of them in London: Euston station, King’s Cross station, Liverpool Street station, Piccadilly Circus station, Victoria station and Heathrow airport.

Wheelchairs and buggies

Bus travel is free for wheelchair users, and all modern buses are equipped with ramps.

They are situated beneath the middle doors. The driver will usually let the existing passengers disembark first, and then close the doors again. He needs to do this in order to work the ramp. Just wait patiently and you will see the ramp descend onto the pavement.

If you have a big pram that won’t fit down the central aisle then you should start at the front doors, pay your fare, and then ask the driver to open the middle doors.

Got any questions?

> Talk about London buses 

  •  mags – “Thank you,”
  •  Guest – “Not knowing London and using the busses how will I know when my stop is coming up so I don't miss it.”
  • Admin – “They have an automated voice announce each stop on a tannoy these days. And there's also an lcd display towards the front of the bus (near the ceiling) which tells you which stop is coming up.”

> Read the rest, or ask your own question

 
 

Buy an Oyster Card  – for the easiest and cheapest fares

Save money – Get the cheapest fares on the London’s buses and trains

Special offers – Buy a ‘Visitor Oyster card’ and enjoy extra discounts

Quick and easy – Just touch your card down on the reader, and go!

Copyright © 2016 London Drum. All rights reserved · Contact London Drum · Privacy policy / Terms of use / Cookies
London City GuideSearch this site

London Pass

Save some money with London Pass Cheap entry into London attractions

London Pass

Learn more about London Pass

> Save moneyFree or discounted entry into top attractions

> Save timeJump the longest queues with Fast Track entry

Cheap tickets

Buy theatre tickets

Guide book

Have you seen our London book?

London guidebook

Learn more about our guidebook

Honest reviews of London’s landmarks and attractions

Money saving tips things to do for free and cheap days out

Useful information with opening times, prices, photos, maps

Ebook + paperback Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Blackwall’s, Waterstones +more