New CT Plus buses on the 26 (27635670146).jpg
OperatorHCT Group
GarageAsh Grove (HK)
VehicleAlexander Dennis Enviro400H City
Night-timeNight Bus N26
StartHackney Wick
ViaCambridge Heath
Liverpool Street

London Buses route 26 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Hackney Wick and Waterloo station, it is operated by HCT Group.


Stagecoach London Leyland Titan on the Strand in August 1997
Stagecoach London Leyland Titan on the Strand in August 1997
East London Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 in April 2007
Tower Transit Alexander Dennis Enviro400 in April 2014

On 18 July 1992, route 26 was introduced to replace the withdrawn section of route 6 between Hackney Wick and Aldwych, running between Hackney Wick and Waterloo station, from Bow garage using Leyland Titans.[1]

Upon being re-tendered, on 25 June 2011 the route passed to First London's Lea Interchange garage with Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs.[2]

On 22 June 2013, route 26 was included in the sale of First London's Lea Interchange garage to Tower Transit.[3][4] When next tendered, it was awarded to CT Plus with the new contract commencing on 27 February 2016.[5][6][7][8] It is operated out of Ash Grove garage.[9]

Bomb incident

Main article: 21 July 2005 London bombings

On 21 July 2005, would-be bomber Muktar Said Ibrahim attempted to explode a device contained in his rucksack on a number 26 bus on Hackney Road in Bethnal Green near Shoreditch. A small explosion on the top deck caused the vehicle's windows to explode, but the device did not detonate as intended and there was no significant damage. The vehicle, operated by Stagecoach London, was stopped and a 200-yard safety cordon established while the bomb was defused.[10]

Ibrahim left the bus following the failed attack, but was later caught. He and five other men were taken to court in January 2007, and his DNA was found on a battery used in the bomb.[11] He was convicted in July 2007 and sentenced to life imprisonment.[12]

Current route

Route 26 operates via these primary locations:[13]


  1. ^ Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005. Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7.
  2. ^ Bus tender results Route 26/N26 Transport for London 22 May 2010
  3. ^ First quits London bus business Archived 7 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 9 April 2013
  4. ^ Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
  5. ^ Bus tender results Route 26/N26 Transport for London 7 October 2015
  6. ^ Tender News Bus Talk issue 37 December 2015 page 11
  7. ^ HCT orders 38 ADL buses RouteOne 24 May 2016
  8. ^ HCT Group starts latest London bus route HCT Group 2 March 2016
  9. ^ Our routes CT Group
  10. ^ Windows Blown Out Of Number 26 Bus Sky News 21 July 2005
  11. ^ Bus bomb bid' CCTV shown to jury BBC News 29 January 2007
  12. ^ Four 21/7 bomb plotters get life BBC News 11 July 2007
  13. ^ Route 26 Map Transport for London