London Buses route 56 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Whipps Cross and St Bartholomew's Hospital, it is operated by Stagecoach London.


The 56 commenced operation on 24 February 1990 as a daily route between Whipps Cros and West Smithfield Barts Hospital via Leyton, Lea Bridge Road, Clapton, Dalston, Islington and Goswell Road. It was in principle, a conversion to one-person operation of the outer end of route 38, it also replaced sections of route 48 between Dalston and Clapton, route 55 between Bakers Arms and Whipps Cross as well as route 277 between Dalston, Angel and Smithfield. This was the fourth time, the route number 56 had been used on motor bus route in London. The 56 commenced operation amid some controversy, as passengers of the 38 to Leyton, which the 56 replaced, were not happy with the curtailment at Clapton Pond of the 38, which had served Lea Bridge Road since 1912. The route was initially operated by the London Forest operating division, but was taken over by East London when Forest was wound up in 1991. As from 25 September 1993, there was a slight diversion of the 56 to serve the Barbican, at the same time, the late evening and Sunday services were curtailed at Angel, Islington.

On 20 February 1999, the route was converted to low floor using Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents.

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

On 28 February 2015, the route was retained by Stagecoach London with Alexander Dennis Enviro 400Hs introduced.

Current routeEdit

  • Whipps Cross Roundabout
  • Lea Bridge Road
  • Lower Clapton
  • Clapton Pond
  • Lower Clapton Road
  • Downs Road
  • Cricketfield Road
  • Pembury Road
  • Hackney Downs Station
  • Dalston Lane
  • Dalston
  • Balls Pond Road
  • Essex Road
  • Essex Road Station
  • Islington Green
  • Upper Street
  • Islington High Street
  • Angel Station
  • City Road
  • Wakley Street
  • Goswell Road
  • Aldersgate Street
  • Barbican Station
  • St. Martins-le-Grand
  • St Pauls Station
  • Newgate Street
  • Giltspur Street
  • St Bartholomew's Hospital

Previous route 56s in LondonEdit

The route number 56 had been used three times prior to its current use.

  • In 1911 - 1913 for an Elephant & Castle <to> Chingford**(Warren Wood House) (Sundays Only) via London Bridge, Shoreditch, Dalston, Clapton, Leyton, Whipps Cross, Woodford Green Route 56     **1911 Terminology
  • In 1913 - 1969 for a Tottenham Hale*, Finsbury Park*, Mile End* <to> Millwall Docks via Stamford Hill, Clapton, Hackney  Route 56  *Termini varied
  • In 1980 - 1987 for an Isle of Dogs <to> Aldgate  Route 56

There were also in London:

  • Between 1913 - 1923 a Willesden Green <to> Canons Park*,  Tram route 56
  • Between 1913 - 1951 a Peckham Rye <to> Waterloo Bridge*, Embankment* Tram route 56  *Termini varied

External linksEdit