|Peak vehicle requirement||23 (January 2019)|
|Began service||4 March 1959|
|Predecessors||Trolleybus route 696|
|Former operator(s)||Kentish Bus|
London Regional Transport
London Transport Executive
|End||Bluewater Shopping Centre|
London Buses route 96 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London and Kent, England. Running between Woolwich and Bluewater Shopping Centre, it is operated by Selkent.
Route 96 was a tram line running between Woolwich and Dartford. On 10 November 1935, it was replaced by trolleybus route 696 operating out of Bexleyheath garage, along with several other tram routes. Route 696 was replacrd by motor bus route 96 on 4 March 1959. It was extended from Dartford to Bluewater Shopping Centre in March 1999. Because the latter is outside of Greater London, it runs express between these points.
On 31 July 2006, a vehicle operating route 96 bound for Bluewater caught fire in Dartford. In 2013, a report from the London Assembly found the route to be among the ten most crowded in London.
There were proposals as early as 2011 to alter the route such that it ran via Darent Valley Hospital. However, this change was delayed as it was deemed necessary to use the Fastrack Busway, and Kent County Council had refused to allow route 96 to use it. The route alteration was finally implemented in December 2017.
Having been operated by Bexleybus and Kentish Bus, it has been operated by Selkent out of Plumstead garage since January 1999.
Route 96 operates via these primary locations:
Between Dartford and Bluewater, the bus runs as an express service.
The 96 route number has also been used for a non-related route in Chelsea. This route was withdrawn in the late 1950s.