New Bus For London Coming To Routes 9 And 390

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 56 months ago
New Bus For London Coming To Routes 9 And 390


TfL has announced the next routes to run the New Bus for London: the 9 and 390.

Route 24 was the first to go all-NB4L in June with the 11 due to follow on 21 September, plus you can still see a few prototypes plying the 38 (with rear doors shut). But by the end of the year the routes from Aldwych to Hammersmith* (9), and Archway to Notting Hill (390) will also only use the Thomas Heatherwick designed vehicles.

What all these routes have in common is that they traverse high visibility tourist spots – Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Kensington museums, Oxford Street, Piccadilly, St Paul's etc – so if you're a regular on the, say, 253 we wouldn't recommend holding your breath for a shiny new bus any time soon. (Though with the recent overheating problems, perhaps you'd be happier that way?)

Photo by kenjonbro from the Londonist Flickr pool

* Rather than to Somerset House as we said earlier, which would be the shortest bus route in London.

Last Updated 06 August 2013


Aldwych to Somerset House must be about the shortest London bus route...


Aldwych to Somerset House? That's a pretty short route, shouldn't it be Aldwych to Hammersmith?

Caspar Aremi

None of the high visibility spots you mention are on the 390 route. The only high visibility aspect I can think of is it runs the length of Oxford Street through Marble Arch, along the park, then comes to a stop on Notting Hill Gate, long before hitting the Kensington museums.


Speaking as a 24 route user, the new bus is hot, cramped, dark, cheap and plasticky inside, with truly inadequate aircon and the *worst* seats for comfort on I’d wager any route in London. They are hard, unforgiving, moulded in benches rather than the more convenient pairs of properly upholstered seats found on the previous much more comfortable buses they replaced. The old bus also had windows which opened.
The combination of the poor seating and the apparent absence of decent suspension makes even the smallest pot-hole a teeth shattering experience, and as for going over speed-bumps - well, you better not suffer from back-pain!
These new thngs are nothing but a vanity project for the mayor, and an ill-judged application of unwarrented nostalgia over-riding the needs and expectations of modern travellers - a *huge* retrograde step! Far worse a blight on the London bus user than the Bendy Bus, and that’s saying a lot.
Banish them to some heritage function if you must, but don’t foist them on people looking to travel more than once a month and wanting to keep their spines intact.

Dean Nicholas

Still surprised they haven't sent one over to south London yet, for the iconic view of one crossing London or Westminster bridge. Plenty of routes terminate at London Bridge so it's not like they'd even have to send them far south.


You won't ride by a 24 bus without seeing those inside furiously fanning themselves! Why invent a bus with no windows that open? Senseless!

The Hobbit

More of Boris's Crapmasters being inflicted on a captive public with no real alternative. Noisy, dark, cramped, hot and half the seats downstairs face the wrong way. Hardly any seats on the level for the old and infirm. And that's an improvement? Go away and try and design a proper bus..........


I must disagree with people who are very critical of the new bus. I too live on the 24 route, and although there were problems with air temperature on the bus over the summer, these were rectified. I think the new bus a real pleasure to travel on. It is also beautiful and a great advert for London style.