London Buses route 48 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Walthamstow Central and London Bridge, it is operated Arriva London.


The 48 was introduced on 7 September 1968 as part of the Reshaping Scheme of London Buses, that had been proposed by London Transport in 1966 and with forty years in service, it has now become the longest surviving incarnation of the 48 route number in London.

The first section of the Victoria Line opened on 1 September 1968 and a week later a large scheme of bus route changes took place. One of the many routes introduced on that date was the 48. It was an amalgam of sections of the altered route 35 and the withdrawn route 38A. It ran as a daily service between Whipps Cross and London Bridge Station via Leyton, Lea Bridge Road, Clapton, Dalston, Shoreditch, Liverpool Street Station, Monument and London Bridge. RTs were originally used on the route but were replaced with RMLs as from May 1971.

The route was a major trunk service, so that unusually for newly introduced routes, there were seldom changes to it. The first real alteration occurred on 26 February 1983, in a scheme intended to localise sections of route 55, the 48 swapped its Whipps Cross terminus with the 55 and ran instead to Walthamstow Central Station. In another complication to the scheme, the 48 was further curtailed at Leyton Green on Mondays to Fridays except evenings when it ran through to Walthamstow in place of route 255.

As from 2 February 1985, the 48 was converted to one-person operation on Sundays. At the same time garage journeys to Walthamstow Garage were introduced. Six months later, on 3 August 1985 the Monday to Saturday service was also converted to one-person operation.

The complicated service arrangements in operation since 1983 were cleaned up as from 6 June 1987 when the route became a daily London Bridge to Walthamstow Central route, with journeys extended to Walthamstow Garage. The journeys to Walthamstow Garage survived nearly another eighteen months until the garage closed on 19 November 1988, after which they were withdrawn.

On 24 February 1990, there was a major shake-up of the routes serving Lea Bridge Road (38, 48 and 55). In this scheme, the 48 was re-routed between Clapton Pond and Shoreditch via Hackney, Mare Street and Hackney Road once again replacing a section of its parent route the 35, with the section from Clapton to Dalston also being replaced by the new route 56.

On 27 February 2010, route 48 was retained by East London with brand new Scania OmniCitys introduced.

On 25 February 2017, the route passed to Arriva London from their Ash Grove (AE) garage using Wright Gemini 2 bodied VDL DB300s.

In July 2017 the Wright Gemini 2 bodied VDL DB300s were replaced by New Routemasters

Current routeEdit

  • Walthamstow Central Bus Station
  • Leyton Baker's Arms
  • Clapton
  • Mare Street (for Hackney Downs Station)
  • Hackney Central Station
  • Cambridge Heath Station
  • Shoreditch High Street Station
  • Liverpool Street Station
  • Monument Station
  • London Bridge Bus Station

Previous route 48s in LondonEdit

The route number 48 had been used four times prior to its current use.

  • In 1913–1915 for a Wood Green*, Tottenham*, Stamford Hill* <to> Aldwych*, Merton*, Raynes Park* Route 48 *Termini varied
  • In 1919–1939 for a Charing Cross*, Paddington*, Golders Green* <to> Abbey Wood*, Blackheath* Route 48 *Termini varied
  • In 1952–1958 for a West Norwood <to> Southwark Bridge Route 48
  • In 1959–1965 for a Waterloo*, Aldgate*, <to> Poplar*, North Woolwich* Route 48 *Termini varied

There were also in London:

  • Until 1 August 1911 a Fulham Road <to> West Hampstead via Notting Hill Gate Horse Bus route 48.
  • Between 1913–1918 a Lee Green <to> Victoria Tram route 48.
  • Between 1920–1921 a Lee Green <to> Blackwall Tunnel via Lewisham, Greenwich, Blackwall Lane Tram route 48
  • Between 1931–1952 a Victoria*, West Norwood* <to> Southwark Bridge via Brixton, Walworth Road, Elephant & Castle Tram route 48 *Termini varied

External linksEdit

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