London Regional Transport
Formation29 June 1984 (London Regional Transport Act 1984)
Dissolved16 July 2003 (Greater London Authority Act 1999, The London Regional Transport (Dissolution) Order 2003)
TypePublic body
PurposeTransport authority
Headquarters55 Broadway, Westminster, London
Region served
London, England
Main organ
London Transport
Parent organisation
Government of the United Kingdom

London Regional Transport (LRT) was the organisation responsible for most of the public transport network in London, England, between 1984 and 2000. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and operational brand of the organisation was London Transport from 1989, but until then it traded as LRT. This policy was reversed after the appointment of Sir Wilfrid Newton in 1989, who also abolished the recently devised LRT logo and restored the traditional roundel.


The LRT was created by the London Regional Transport Act 1984 and was under direct state control, reporting to the Secretary of State for Transport.[1] It took over responsibility from the Greater London Council on 29 June 1984, two years before the GLC was formally abolished.[2] Because the Act only received the Royal assent three days earlier, its assets were temporarily frozen by the banks as they had not received mandates to transfer.[3] The headquarters of the new organisation remained at the former London Transport Executive building at 55 Broadway.[4]

On 1 April 1985, the company was re-organised into several companies with London Regional Transport as the holding company. London Buses Limited[5] was formed to manage the bus network and London Underground Limited[6] the London Underground network, as wholly owned subsidiaries of LRT.[7]

In 1985 the operation of some bus services was put out to tender for the first time and, for a number of years, buses bearing a variety of different colour-schemes operated alongside those still operating in the traditional red livery by operators such as Armchair Passenger Transport, Boro'line Maidstone, Capital Citybus, Grey-Green, Harris Bus, Kentish Bus, London Buslines and Metrobus. In response to the competition, LRT established low-cost business units Bexleybus and Westlink. The variety of liveries was found to be confusing to tourists and non-Londoners expecting to find red-painted buses and, after lobbying from the tourist board, in 1997 it became a requirement when contracts were retendered that bus liveries be predominantly red.

In 1987, the computer services division was sold to Cap Gemini for £1.3 million.[8] On 1 April 1989 London Buses was divided into business units, in preparation for privatisation.

Business unit Area Logo Legal entity
CentreWest West Arrow CentreWest London Buses Limited[9]
East London East Barge East London Bus & Coach Company Limited[10]
Leaside River Lea Swan Leaside Bus Company Limited[11]
London Central South central Ship London Central Bus Company Limited[12]
London Forest Waltham Forest Oak tree London Forest Travel Limited[13]
London Coaches Central London n/a London Coaches Limited[14]
London General Southwest Omnibus London General Transport Services Limited[15]
London Northern North Parliament London Northern Bus Company Limited[16]
London United Southwest Crest London United Busways Limited[17]
Metroline Northwest Stripes Metroline Travel Limited[18]
Selkent Southeast Hops South East London & Kent Bus Company Limited[19]
South London South Tower Bridge South London Transport Limited[20]
Westlink Kingston n/a Stanwell Buses Limited[21]

In November 1993, the Government deferred the proposed deregulation of buses in London, noting that the sell-off of London Buses business units would continue.[22] Between September 1994 and January 1995, these bus units were sold. Upon the privatisation of British Rail, the Waterloo & City line passed to the London Underground and LRT management on 1 April 1994.[23]

LRT remained in overall control of public transport in London until 2 July 2000 when Transport for London, an agency of the newly created Greater London Authority took over responsibility under the Greater London Authority Act 1999.[24] The transfer of responsibility was staged, with transfer of control of London Underground delayed until July 2003, when London Underground Limited became an indirect subsidiary of TfL.[24][25] LRT was subsequently dissolved on the 16 July 2003.[26]


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LRT was responsible for some modifications to the fare system, including inclusion of the separately managed British Rail services. In January 1985 the Capitalcard season ticket was launched, offering validity on British Rail as well as London Underground and London Buses. It was priced around 10-15% higher than the Travelcard.[27] In June 1986 the One Day Capitalcard was launched.[27] The Capitalcard brand ended in January 1989 when the Travelcard gained validity on British Rail. In January 1991 Zone 5 was split to create a new Zone 6.[27] The Docklands Light Railway was opened on 31 August 1987 and was included in the zonal Travelcard ticketing scheme.



LT News was London Regional Transport's inhouse journal. First published in April 1973, it was originally published fortnightly, becoming monthly in January 1988.[33][34][35] It was renamed LRT News in July 1984, before resuming its original title in September 1990.[36][37]


  1. ^ London Regional Transport Act 1984 Government of the United Kingdom
  2. ^ Warren, Kenneth (1986). The Motorbus in Central London. Shepparton: Ian Allan Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 0 7110 1568 6.
  3. ^ "LT abolition accelerated". Railway Gazette International. No. August 1984. p. 580.
  4. ^ Contact Information London Regional Transport
  5. ^ Companies House extract company no 1900906 London Buses Limited
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no 1900907 London Underground Limited
  7. ^ "In Brief". Railway Gazette International. No. May 1985. p. 313.
  8. ^ "Intelligence". Railway Gazette International. No. April 1987. p. 205.
  9. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328596 CentreWest London Buses Limited
  10. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328402 East London Bus & Coach Company Limited
  11. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328559 Arriva London North Limited ex Leaside Bus Company Limited
  12. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328565 London Central Bus Company Limited
  13. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328491 London Forest Travel Limited
  14. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328599 The Original London Sightseeing Tour Limited ex London Coaches Limited
  15. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328489 London General Transport Services Limited
  16. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328608 Metroline London Northern Limited ex MTL London Northern Limited ex London Northern Bus Company Limited
  17. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328561 London United Busways Limited
  18. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328401 Metroline Travel Limited
  19. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328595 South East London & Kent Bus Company Limited
  20. ^ Companies House extract company no 2328467 Arriva London South Limited ex South London Transport Limited
  21. ^ Companies House extract company no 1983867 Stanwell Buses Limited
  22. ^ "Delivering the best bus services for London". Department for Transport. 8 November 1993.
  23. ^ "Waterloo & City line goes over to LUL". The Railway Magazine. No. 1115. March 1994. p. 5.
  24. ^ a b c d "Sir Malcolm Bates: industrialist". The Times. 25 June 2009. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  25. ^ "Mayor takes control of Tube". BBC News. 15 July 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  26. ^ "The London Regional Transport (Dissolution) Order 2003". 15 July 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  27. ^ a b c Monopolies, Mergers Commission (1991). "London Underground Limited: A report on passenger and other services supplied by the company" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2012.
  28. ^ a b "Sir Neil Shields". The Daily Telegraph. 18 September 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  29. ^ "Sir Charles Wilfrid Newton". Who's Who. A & C Black/Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  30. ^ "London Regional Transport Bill (Hansard, 13 March 1996)". Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  31. ^ "LT chairman sacked". New Civil Engineer. 23 April 1998. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  32. ^ "Kiley hits out over sacking". BBC News. 17 July 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  33. ^ LT News Catalogue entry British Library
  34. ^ Carry on, LRT News LRT News issue 353 18 December 1987 page 1
  35. ^ 75 years of news to transport staff ''LRT News issue 375 20 October 1989 page 8
  36. ^ New LRT Takes Over LRT News issue 270 5 July 1984 page 1
  37. ^ London Transport - and the roundel - makes a comeback LT News issue 383 15 June 1990 page 1