London Buses Route 18 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Sudbury and Euston, it is operated by London United RATP.
It is the second busiest bus route in London after the Route 25.
In 1934 there were four routes, 18, 18A, 18B and 18C. The 18 and 18A, plus 18B on weekdays, ran from London Bridge station, via Southwark Bridge, St Paul's station and Gray's Inn Road to King's Cross station. From here the 18 and 18B ran daily, the 18A on Mondays to Saturdays and the 18C on Sundays, via Paddington and the Harrow Road to Harlesden, where the 18A continued to Park Royal. The other three routes ran to Stonebridge Park; the 18B ran on via the North Circular Road to Brent Cross. The 18C peeled off here to serve Wembley (Empire Pool, near Wembley Park station), while the 18 and 18C served Wembley and Sudbury. The 18C then headed south to Greenford and Hanwell, while the 18 continued north to Harrow and Harrow Weald.
Route 18 was withdrawn between Central London and Harlesden except on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, times at which route 18A no longer ran. The 18A, having run every four minutes, was withdrawn without replacement on 17 October 1939. The 18C Sunday extension into the centre was also withdrawn; the 18 was cut back to Wembley (Empire Pool) on Mondays to Saturdays, but was diverted at Wealdstone to serve Canons Park and Edgware, with a peak hours and Sundays extension to provide a service to Aldenham Works. The 18C was renumbered to 92 on 14 June 1944, with a 92A variant running to Wembley Trading Estate at certain times of the week.
Trolleybus replacement in the 1960s saw the 18 extended back to Paddington Green to replace route 662. The 18B was withdrawn, and the 18 extended except on Monday to Saturday evenings to London Bridge. The former 18A was reintroduced at peak hours, running between Acton and Paddington Green via a slightly different route. This was extended to Baker Street in 1978, but withdrawn in September.
In 1970, the 18 was cut back to run only as far out as Sudbury, with new route 182 covering the section between Wembley and Harrow Weald (and on to Watford), and the 186 the section between Harrow and Edgware, both routes later being extended to new shopping centre at Brent Cross. In 1985 the 18 was curtailed at King's Cross, apart from a peak hours service as far as Farringdon Street. The section between King's Cross and London Bridge was covered by new route 17.
The extension from King's Cross to Farringdon Street was dropped in 1991, and the evening, Saturday and Sunday service east of Baker Street removed in 1992. A journey was operated every six minutes as far as Baker Street, with alternate buses extended during the day on weekdays to King's Cross. In the mid-1990s all workings were changed to terminate at Euston station.
In 1992, the route became the first in London to have real-time information systems fitted to stops along its route. The system, called Countdown, proved popular with passengers and has been extended to much of the city's bus network.
On 26 June 1999, the route was converted from MCW Metrobus to low floor double deck operation using Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents.
On 15 November 2003, the Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents were replaced by Mercedes-Benz O530G articulated buses and the allocation was transferred from Westbourne Park (X) to First London's new Willesden Junction (WJ) garage.
On 13 November 2010, the route was retained by First London and was converted back to double deck operation using brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs, and the frequency was increased to every 4 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and to 6-7 Sunday daytimes.
On 22 June 2013, the route was included in the sale of First London's Willesden Junction (WJ) garage to Metroline.
On 11 November 2017, the route passed to London United RATP operating from their Park Royal (RP) garage using brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LHs.
On 20 September 2018, a brand new Wright StreetDeck demonstrator was introduced.
Route 18 operates via these primary locations:
- Sudbury & Harrow Road Station
- Wembley Central Station
- Stonebridge Park
- Kensal Green Station
- Royal Oak
- Edgware Road
- Marylebone Road
- Baker Street Station
- Regents Park Station
- Great Portland Street Station
- Warren Street Station
- Euston Square Station
- Euston Bus Station