Why are London buses red?

Dear friends, we have been with you for a long time now on your journey of building successful Bulgarians abroad. As you already know, learning English is an important step in growing up here. We strive to provide versatile learning opportunities for beginners and advanced learners alike. You can use the texts on our blog both to learn interesting facts about our host country and to learn new words through English translation. Don’t hesitate to ask us about anything!

Today we’ll reveal why London’s public buses are a deep red colour. But let’s start from the beginning!

In 1829, the first bus service, at that time provided by horse traction, started on the streets of London. The service was so successful that within a few years over 400 buses occupied London’s boulevards. The buses were owned by different companies and had no coordination between them and basically public transport began in chaos. Gradually – by about 1840 – buses serving different routes were painted in certain colors to bring some order. This worked until around 1900 when the horses were gradually replaced by growling and smoking engine buses.

In time, one of London’s bus companies began to dominate transport services. This was the London General Omnibus Company. In 1907 it decided to paint all its buses red. And not only that! It put numbers on the front of the cars to indicate their course! How revolutionary!

In 1933, public transport became a state obligation and the London Transport Company bought up all the buses in the city. Apparently, the deep red color became their favorite, because they painted all the non-red cars with it. They also kept the witty numbering of the lines.

As for the color itself? It is also very cleverly chosen. In the Pantone universal color system, it is designated as 485 C red. It’s used by award-winning companies like Kit-Kat, McDonalds, Central Line trains, and more. It is obviously highly impactful and is becoming an emblem of London’s public transport too.

Friends, with this short text we hope we have awakened your curiosity for more articles from our blog. Reading them will not only educate you but will also contribute towards raising your English level! Don’t forget to switch to our English version to learn more words.

See you soon!


Author: Iveta Radeva

Training Centre Raya London is a new and fastly developing English Language School specialized in teaching English as a second language. Founded in 2015 we are small enough to provide a personal service, but large enough to have very good facilities and resources for the students to learn English in UK.