London Buses route 22 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Putney Common and Piccadilly Circus, it is operated by London General.
Route 22 commenced operation on 17 May 1909 between Clapton (Lea Bridge station) and Elephant & Castle via Clapton, Hackney, Dalston, Shoreditch, London Bridge and Borough. On 26 July 1909 it was extended to Leyton with a Sunday extension to Epping Forest via Whipps Cross and Woodford replacing route 9.
London's motor bus routes were very "fluid" in the early days of operation and often worked on a "trial and error basis", consequently on 28 October 1909 route 22 was changed again to work as a daily route between Tulse Hill and Leyton via Effra Road, Brixton Road, Kennington Park Road and Elephant & Castle with a Monday - Saturday extension to Whipps Cross. On 3 January 1910, it was cut back again to work Clapton (Lea Bridge Station) to Tulse Hill. The Sunday service to Epping Forest appeared again in March 1910 but the Monday - Saturday service was cut back to run from Hackney station to Elephant & Castle.
From 6 April 1911, route 22 was withdrawn between Bank and Elephant & Castle, being replaced by new route 35 over that section. At the same time it was extended to Putney station via Cheapside, Holborn, Piccadilly, Kings Road and Putney Bridge. The daily extension to Homerton (Clapton Park Tavern) commenced soon after on 12 June 1911, but the route was withdrawn throughout on Sundays on 8 October 1911 for just over three years until 8 November 1914, when it became daily once again.
The connection with route 35 became clear once again as from 6 August 1916, when route 22 was diverted daily at Putney Bridge to run to Putney Common (Cricketers), but withdrawn on Sundays between Lower Clapton and Homerton being extended to Chingford via Leyton and Walthamstow, replacing route 35A on that day. This change was very short lived and route 22 reverted to being a daily Putney Common to Homerton route as from 2 October 1916 and from that time onwards it became a very stable operation.
On 1 December 1924, a new system of route numbering on London Buses came into force under The London Traffic Act of 1924. This made the Metropolitan Police responsible for bus operation and route numbering in London. The new system was designed to make route numbering easier to understand for the travelling public.
For route 22, short-workings between Tottenham Court Road and Putney were numbered 22A, short-workings between Tottenham Court Road and Homerton were numbered 22B and short-workings between Piccadilly Circus and Homerton were numbered 22C. The plain 22 route number being used for journeys for the whole length of the route from Putney Common to Homerton. By 30 June 1925, these had been reduced to 22 Putney Common to Homerton and 22A Piccadilly Circus - Homerton. 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, in this case, leaving just the plain 22 to work Putney Common - Homerton. On 9 August 1939, RT1 buses were used to run the route from Homerton to Putney.
As part of the reshaping plan of London's Buses which had been proceeding since 1966, increasing numbers of routes were converted to one-person-operation. As from 28 October 1972, part of the 22 allocation was converted to one-person-operation in the form of new route 22A between Clapton Park Estate and Liverpool Street station. It had in fact been intended to number this route 128, but opposition from the 22 crews resulted in it being given the 22A number at the last minute.
On 22 July 2000, the route was retained by London General.
On 22 July 2005, the route was converted to low floor operation using Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs. Sunday services were already being operated by Merton (AL) garage with Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs.
On 20 October 2012, the route was retained by London General.
Due to the temporary closure of Putney Bridge, on 14 July 2014 the route was curtailed from Putney Common to Putney Bridge Station. The section of route 22 between Putney Pier and Putney Common was replaced by the diverted route 270 . It resumed operating to Putney Common on 28 September 2014.
In November 2016, Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5LHs and Volvo B9TLs were introduced.
The route will be retained by London General from 21 October 2017. The route will be withdrawn from Piccadilly Circus and diverted to Oxford Circus via Berkeley Square at the same time.
Route 22 operates via these primary locations:
- Putney Common Spencer Arms
- Putney Church
- Putney Bridge
- Sloane Square Station
- Knightsbridge Station
- Hyde Park Corner Station
- Green Park Station
- Piccadilly Circus Station