Although reduced in length from its heyday, the 27 remains a major trunk route across inner west London, and is relatively long by modern standards with an end to end timing approaching 1½ hours. Following a 5 year term with First London, the route reverted to London United operation from 12 November 2005.
The 27 has been a notoriously unreliable service in recent years, not helped by the way it skirts along the edge of the congestion charging zone. The Marylebone Road is notorious for jamming solid at the slightest problem, while Hammersmith, Paddington and Camden Town are also all prone to gridlock, although much of the route now has bus lanes. But efforts to improve matters by running a lower frequency with the same number of buses seem not to have been too successful, but a fresh effort by the new operator seems to have done the trick; the route is now operated from Stamford Brook garage, which is on the line of route.
The route will feature prominently in bus service enhancements for phase 2 of the congestion charge zone, with an increase from 6 to 8 buses per hour during the Mfonday to Saturday daytime. Most of the routes involved will get only very small increases or short extensions, but the 27 is the main exception. There are also proposals to extend the route a short distance to the new Chiswick Park development.
The traditional route of the 27 was from Hounslow to Muswell Hill, via current route 281 as far as Twickenham, then via Richmond and Kew to the current route at Turnham Green. At Camden Town buses ran to Archway and Muswell Hill. The end to end time was just over two hours.
There was also a route 27A running from Hampton Court (Vrow Walk) to Archway via Bushy Park, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham and the main 27. Indeed after the 33 was extended from Richmond to Hounslow in March 1937 the 27 became Sundays only with the service north of Archway thus lost. The numbers were swapped over in the 1950s, so that the 27 became the main route once again, and the 27A to Hounslow disappeared shortly afterwards. The route was cut back to Richmond on Mondays to Fridays in 1970, with a new localised 270 (which later became the R70) replacing the service to Teddington, although the weekend service continued to run through until 1982. The route was finally cut back to Turnham Green and Camden Town in 1992, with the new 391 indirectly taking over the Richmond service and no replacement for the Archway section. The short extension to Chalk Farm Safeway took place in 1995.
In November 2012, the 27 was extended to Chiswick, Business Park from it's Turnham Green Terminus.
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