Final Day Of The Bendy Bus On Route 73

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 82 months ago
Final Day Of The Bendy Bus On Route 73

The end of the bendy bus is nigh, and today marks the final day that the articulated version of the 73 will wend its way through the lanes of leafy north London: from tomorrow, Saturday 3rd September, it'll be replaced by a fleet of double-decker vehicles  (hopefully they'll still be as moggy-friendly as the current buses).

London is into the final dosage of its de-bendification treatment: we've already rid ourselves of the bendy bus on routes 507, 521, 38, 18 and 149, and the final remaining buses will all be gone by the end of the year, helping Boris achieve one of his 2008 electoral promises. The 73's reversion to double decker is a significant milestone: as one of the busiest bus routes in London, it was frequently cited as an example of everything wrong about the bendy bus (mainly: fare evasion and petty crime), and in 2008 a study by the Liberal Democrats revealed that fare dodging on the route had doubled since the articulated vehicles were introduced. It didn't help that some riders christened it the "seventy-free".

The route will also use a slightly re-jigged timetable. Frequency will go up to every 3-4 minutes at peak time (some of the buses are hybrid vehicles, to counter any potential increase in emissions), but northbound the 73 will now terminate at Stoke Newington Common, instead of running up to Seven Sisters as some of the bendys currently do. TfL have been putting up a slightly patronising infographic, instructing passengers in how to use the new buses.

We'd love to hear from 73 regulars about the changes, and whether you'll be sad or glad to see the bendy bus go.

Photo courtesy of Transport for London

Last Updated 02 September 2011


Well I'll no longer be a regular now that it stops at Stoke Newington.

When they switched from the Routemasters, they shortened it to stop at Seven Sisters. I wonder what the excuse is, this time?


I'm absolutely thrilled they've done away with the bendy 73s. This will only be a good thing for the commuters and regular fare-paying passengers who take them every day.


Lucky that my last stop is the end of the route on Stokey common which buses avoid if they go to Seven Sisters.

But despite the personal benefit, why reduce a bus route when London needs more buses. Despite the headlines of no more bendies this is a fail for Londoners. Bad Boris!

Dan Wright

It's a shame we need more buses on the road to maintain the capacity - I can't understand how those who decry the bendies see having more buses blocking up the roads as a better option. Essex Road has been far more congested since the 38 was debendified - now a 73 every 3 minutes as well? On-board capacity is also an issue - the route through Islington is pram-intensive ... at least the big doors and big 'vestibules' on the bendies allowed for 4-5 prams on each bus - it's a struggle fitting 2 onto a regular double decker, and the gangways on the 38 are much narrower than other buses (e.g. the Scanias used on route 56) so it just slows down loading and unloading. The bendies were far more practical than the routemasters - although it won't be as bad as they were, we're still going backwards. More congestion with more buses and slower loading times. Not good.


Halleluyah!  No more dirty smelly bendy buses where most of the pasengers (none of them at night) did not pay.  At last today I can get a seat on the new double deckers without morons blocking the doorways on the lookout for ticket inspectors....  If the examples of the 38 and 149 routes are anything to go by we can look forward to a much more pleasant experience on the 73 from now on.

Hond Tem

ok so the companies will now get more money from revenue? will the service be any cheaper? doubt it.
Will the drivers get better pay? unlikely.... so who wins? the bosses and shareholders, No one else. Transport For London is a total rip off.


fare payers will win too.  Freeloaders travel on buses at fare payers' expense.  If more revenue is now generated on the 73 than during the bendy bus nightmare, then future increases can be kept down.  Not rocket science.


Some people avoid paying on double decker buses as well as on the bendy buses. Running the double deckers immediately increases running costs - perhaps an extra 50% if you have 50% more vehicles with 50% more drivers. Will you really get 50% more income?

L Winter

Why has the 73 stopped going to seven sisters?