LT 468 (LTZ 1468) Arriva London New Routemaster (17236751253).jpg
OperatorArriva London
GarageClapton (CT)
VehicleNew Routemaster
Night-timeNight Bus N73
StartStoke Newington
ViaNewington Green
King's Cross
EndOxford Circus

London Buses route 73 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Stoke Newington and Oxford Circus, it is operated by Arriva London.


Arriva London AEC Routemaster at Victoria bus station in March 2004
Arriva London Mercedes-Benz O530G on Oxford Street in July 2010

Route 73 commenced on 30 November 1914, and originally ran from King's Cross to Barnes via Euston Road, Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Hammersmith.[1]

By 1949, the route had been extended at both ends to operate from Stoke Newington to Richmond. It was extended further west to Hounslow on 26 November 1958, replacing route 33. This latter route was reinstated between Hammersmith and Richmond in 1966, with route 73 curtailed at Hammersmith on weekdays, continuing to Richmond on Saturdays and Hounslow on Sundays.[2]

The weekend service was cut back to Twickenham in October 1978, and back to Hammersmith in September 1982.[2] On 13 August 1988, the route was diverted at Hyde Park Corner to Victoria bus station, being replaced by route 10 west of Hyde Park Corner.[3]

In August 1994, the route—at the time operated by Leaside Buses—was used to test satellite monitoring of buses in an effort to reduce bunching.[4]

On 4 September 2004, route 73 was converted to one-man operation, with the AEC Routemasters replaced by Mercedes-Benz O530G articulated buses.[5][6][7] This change was intended to improve peak capacity and decrease boarding times; however, a Transport for London advertising campaign to this effect was prohibited by the Advertising Standards Agency as the claims were misleading.[8] Fare evasion on the route increased after the introduction of articulated vehicles, leading some passengers to nickname the route 'seventy-free'.[9] The route was used to test the iBus system in 2007.[10]

On 3 September 2011, Arriva London commenced a new contract with operation transferred to Stamford Hill garage and the route converted back to double-deck operation with 20 hybrid Wright Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B5LHs and the balance diesel Wright Gemini 2-bodied VDL DB300s.[11][12] The route was discontinued between Seven Sisters and Stoke Newington.[13] In December 2012, route 73 was converted to full hybrid operation with Wright Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B5LHs.[14] New Routemasters were introduced on 16 May 2015.[15][16]

The bus route passes many tourist attractions such as the British Library and Clissold Park.[17] The Daily Telegraph called the route one of the "best routes for sightseeing on a shoestring".[18] In August 2014, two buses on the route were fitted with equipment designed to enhance bus drivers' awareness of pedestrians and cyclists as part of a six-week trial.[19][20][21][22] The route was chosen because it was "most likely to encounter packed seas of distracted shopping people and cyclists".[23]

Route 73 was withdrawn between Oxford Circus and Victoria on 17 June 2017, with route 390 replacing the withdrawn section.[24]

Due to the closure of Stamford Hill (SF) on the 9th of November 2020 the route was passed to Clapton (CT) to join routes 38, N38, 242, N242, 253 and N253

Current route

Route 73 operates via these primary locations:[25]


  1. ^ Motor Omnibus Routes in London, Vol 3: January 1913 - February 1915 London Historical Research Group of the Omnibus Society 1991
  2. ^ a b Warren, Kenneth (1986). The Motorbus in Central London. Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing. pp. 98–100. ISBN 0-7110-1568-6.
  3. ^ Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005. Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7.
  4. ^ Gulf war satellites track the No 73 bus The Independent 18 August 1994
  5. ^ Routemaster cull on three routes BBC News 3 September 2004
  6. ^ Routemasters reach the end of the road The Independent 4 September 2004
  7. ^ Wharmby, Matthew (2016). The London Bendy Bus. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books. p. 41. ISBN 9781783831722.
  8. ^ Bendy bus ads complaints upheld BBC News 10 May 2005
  9. ^ "Final Day Of The Bendy Bus On Route 73". londonist.com. 2 September 2011.
  10. ^ One more death on London roads caused by London buses London Daily News 21 May 2008
  11. ^ Latest tender news is a boost for Arriva Arriva London 16 November 2010
  12. ^ Arriva orders 419 new buses for UK bus fleet Arriva 22 February 2011
  13. ^ Route 73 transfers from bendy buses to double deck Arriva London 8 September 2011
  14. ^ "Arriva London" Buses Magazine issue 694 January 2013 page 66
  15. ^ Route 73 to be served by New Routemaster buses Transport For London 15 May 2015
  16. ^ Arriva London gears up for more New Routemasters Arriva London 28 May 2015
  17. ^ Wittich, John (1997). London Bus-Top Tourist. Sigma Leisure. pp. 109–114. ISBN 9781850584308.
  18. ^ Edwards, Rhiannon (29 April 2014). "Tube strike? See more of London by bus". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  19. ^ Rasiah, Janine (4 August 2014). "Groundbreaking bus sensors to be piloted on Stratford route". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  20. ^ Hedges-Stocks, Zoah (6 August 2014). "London buses to get free wifi and cycle safety sensors". London 24. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  21. ^ Murphy, Margi (4 August 2014). "London buses get safety sensor technology". Computer World UK. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  22. ^ "London bus technology to detect cyclists trialled". BBC News. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  23. ^ Cutlack, Gary (1 August 2014). "Four London Buses Kitted Out With Radar and Cameras in New Safety Push". Gizmodo. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  24. ^ Bus service changes 19 May to 30 June 2017 Transport for London 2 June 2017
  25. ^ Route 73 Map Transport for London