please empty your brain below

The route has been mismanaged for years.

Back in the 80s staff worked at least 3½-4 round trips per duty Ilford to Victoria. It was converted to One Person Operation and they did significantly less mileage.

Then privatised the route was poorly run from Ilford, (2 round trips per duty only) so any delays always resulted in curtailments away from the west to get staff back to Ilford. All buses went to Ilford regardless during delays, despite the availability of 86 from Stratford.

Then the mismanaged building of the Aldgate/Stratford bike lane 6 years ago, and twaeking 4 years ago, including rebuilding Stratford gyratory. The Stratford part contributed significantly to delays and should never have been given financial approval.

When 205 was introduced if it had gone to Stratford rather than Bow a reduction of 25 would have been prudent then, and would probably not have lead to this abomination today.
How many passengers use the 25 from locations east of Stratford to west of Holborn? Is BODS data publically available?
TfL's priority is rich people riding bicycles, no inconvenience is too much for other road users in order to accommodate them, or those who are now expected to look both ways when using the pavement, there is only limited road space, and buses are the most efficient users of it.

The 25 has linked Central London and Ilford since 20th June 1910 when the 8 and 25 swapped ends. In 1924 the Bassom system reduced the 25 to a confusing mix including 25/A/B/C/D (renumbered 25/A/B/C by London Transport in 1934). There was another renumbering on 3rd May 1950 when the 25B became the 25 and the 25 the 25A (the original 25A had been renumbered 26 in 1948).
Along with the recent changes to the 23, these cuts to the 25 continue the very disappointing trend of TfL making bus travel across the central area of the capital much more difficult and unattractive for those like myself i.e. visitors from outside of a more senior demographic.

I’m just glad I’m still reasonably physically able, as those who are mobility-limited or parents with young children are even worse served by them. Buses used to provide these types of traveller with a friendlier, more convenient and comfortable alternative, especially for journeys where the UndergrounD has limited or no Step-Free access i.e. the vast majority of Central London deep tube stations, including the Central Line stations.

I’m too old to “enjoy” the prospect of the TfL “hop-off / hop-on” proposal of using several buses to get across the capital. It is much less comfortable and safe, much less convenient, and much more time-consuming / time wasting, probably at least doubling the end-to-end journey time for any given trip.

Who do they think wants to stand around waiting at crowded bus stops for reduced frequency services to turn up (eventually), especially in poor winter weather, rather than being able to complete an intended journey in comfort and safety in one go. But as you say DG, TfL aren’t interested in bus passengers as people. All they care about is saving money, whatever it costs. Pitiful really.

Looking at these changes from a senior visitors perspective, seeing one of the iconic tourist experiences of one of the world’s great cities i.e. sight-seeing from the top deck of a Red London bus, being so diminished like this is hugely disappointing.

At a time when visitor numbers to some main galleries / museums are already falling, you’d have thought that those running London would have wanted to present a positive image to the world outside, of a city vibrant, welcoming, and prospering. Not one of penny-pinching austerity. Of cuts, cuts, and yet more cuts to key parts of its central transport system. It doesn’t look very welcoming from the outside looking in. All very sad.
Dear IanD, I'm with you but we live in a 'democracy' where people vote with their wallets. Most of the retired would seemingly rather spend their cash on cruises and holidays than infrastructure and healthcare.
When does the 25 end and the N25 start? Could make a major difference to my commute home from work around 12.30am.

The 25 hasn't been as busy as it used to for some time now though. I actually prefer getting it to the central line when the night tube is running as it's usually pretty empty by comparison and I'll probably get a seat

dg writes: New N25 timetable here. The first N25 departs Oxford Circus around 12.20am.
I guess there's no room to run the bus on to Tottenham Court Road?
ULEZ's, cuts to bus services, seems to me, Khan is determined to destroy the economic vibrancy of London and its suburbs whilst impoverishing the lives of the average citizen.
TfL say...
"Unfortunately, there is no spare stand space available at Holborn station or Tottenham Court Road to accommodate route 25. Even if there were it would incur additional costs which cannot be justified."

If it cost two fares to get from Ilford to Oxford Circus, the fact that the "Hopper" would work on the way back is academic, as you would have already hit the cap (equivalent to three fares).

For some, the smaller cost differential between the bus and the Tube will attract more people to the Central Line - which hardly seems to be a good idea, if my recent experience of it is anything to go by (had to let four trains go at St Pauls before I could even get to within touching distance of the trains)

However, if (as in the TfL information you gave) it really takes 24 minutes for a bus to travel the half mile from Centre Point to Oxford Circus, that's an average speed of 1.25 mph (Google Maps suggest it only takes 10 minutes to walk) so there seems little point in using, or indeed providing, a bus along there.
The 25 I rode only took 6 minutes from Centre Point to Oxford Circus (followed by another 5 minutes of wiggling round the backstreets to get to the final stop beside John Lewis). Still quicker than walking.
Not ideal, but you could probably get from somewhere east of Stratford (although probably not all the way from Ilford) to Oxford Circus on one Hopper fare by using the 425 and 55, changing in Clapton.
The new timetable is up at Bus Stop M.

Mon-Fri: every 6-10 minutes
Sat: every 7-11 minutes
Sun: every 9-13 minutes

(formerly London's busiest bus route)
Personally affected by this change, and sad about it. I live in Greenwich and work on Wardour Street, so I DLR to Bank, then Central Line to work. Except that the constant, CONSTANT building site that is that end of Oxford Street is too much for me to cope with of a morning, so I've taken to getting off the tube at Holborn and getting the 25 the last bit to the office. It's not fast, no, but it's nicer, for me at least. I was of course counting on Crossrail, when I could change at Canary Wharf and get off at the new TCR building round the corner from my office, and effectively pretend Oxford Street doesn't exist - but that's a pipe dream right now. I expect my new route will be to get off at Oxford Circus and walk down... but this is annoying. (Though I'm slowly but surely upping my wfh days because commuting is horrid whichever way you do it, she types from her sofa...).
"additional costs which cannot be justified" cunningly suggests some sort of objective reality - that it would be impossible to find any justification. But what it really means is "does not meet our arbitrary criteria". Or perhaps "we can't spend any more on anything" or "we don't want it".

How much are those additional costs, and what would it take to justify them?

It seems a bit odd to make cuts in the bus service now, anticipating one change (pedestrianisation) that is not happening at all, and another (Crossrail) that won't happen for at least a year.

Another case of someone making a decision and pressing doggedly ahead, whatever happens? No doubt it is very difficult to find a few dozen extra buses at short notice.
Westbound route 25 passengers will also have the new joy, to continue their trip, of trying to get on another bus that may already be full with other passengers commuting in from the east.

My westbound route 55 am peak is packed solid west of Queensbridge Road (Hackney Road); that'll be attacked if route 48 is withdrawn, regardless of extra buses on routes 26 and 55. Passenger numbers on route 48 and 55 have been under-counted, partly because TfL now only do peak hour counts on all routes, and only count boarding passengers not transits nor alighters.

Planners at desks with data and no operational experience derive 'good ideas', justified as cost-savings. Higher management (no operational experience again, or so long ago it's mis-remembered) find very attractive, and thus a bad idea becomes reality.

As long as passenger transport is measured by costs and revenue, not in broader cost-benefit, this will continue.
The truth is that London bus fares are too low and too many people qualify for free passes. Take a step outside London and see the bus service provision and fares, London buses remain a fantastic bargain.
Whenever I see such kind of injustice I have an urge of wishing there would be something like an angry mob who would "visit" whoever came up or approved these "ideas". If they really think mere consultations suffice (not to mention the very consultation might be a fake one, or they might have deliberately underadvertised it), then someone should teach them a lesson.

Meanwhile, some comments above seem suggesting the Labour Mayor is indeed very Tory in his bus-cutting policies.
I work near Red Lion Square, so you were very close!
Out in the shire counties this was how the eventual total abolition of all public transport started, a few years back now.

These days it seems that no-one, whatever their political shade, understands that it's not all about money.

And that applies to many many situations, people, things and relationships.
I’m all for having less buses in Central London, so long as they don’t get replaced by other vehicles (taxis, minicabs and vans). Less traffic means healthier and safer streets.

Even if the pedestriansation of Oxford Street looks less likely right now, by removing buses it helps build the argument that it’ll be possible to do it later, whilst improving bus speeds and the environment in the short term.
That last picture is very telling: look how much of that roadspace is now taken up by taxis.
I was reminded of how cheap London buses are this week. I had to make a journey on First West of England. The online only flat fare is £3.59 if you use their app. The same journey classified as 9 to 12 miles on their fare chart is £5.50 if bought on board. In Bristol city centre the fare is £2.07 online, £2.50 from the driver.
@ap London buses - no matter how much people complain about decreasing frequency buses are frequent compared to those in Bristol. I have a choice (direct route into the suburbs) that not only costs more (fantastic deal: £2.09 fare is only £2 if you buy 5) but two bus routes: one hourly, the other (three times slower) half hourly. On average two days a week at least one of those is cancelled in peak hours.
re: Cutting of bus services under Khan's watch. TfL are experiencing a funding squeeze. I would argue the biggest factor is Central Government removing their block revenue grant to TfL.

However, there will also be an impact of Sadiq Khan's fare freeze on the budget. I personally agree with the principle of the fares freeze but given the other squeezes on TfL funding think this should have been limited to 2 years rather than the whole mayoral term.

Of course there are other issues for declining bus usage, many of which DG has already covered. In additional to traffic disruption caused by various schemes (including cycle schemes) I also wonder whether Uber has had an impact on some journeys.
I feel that something a bit more innovative has to be done about the travel situation along this busy corridor of choking diesel fumes, from taxis and buses.

A nice electric tram/trambus between Hyde Park and, say, Bank or wherever they can turn around. A service every 2 minutes, no other traffic in the way, then the 25 terminating early isn't an issue.

But as pointed out, the real issue is pricing. Maybe making London Living Wage (the real one) mandatory in Zone 1 would help.
Meanwhile Sadiq is boasting on Twitter about the fares freeze. Funnily he didn't mention bus cuts
Looking forward to people getting stranded at Holborn and Oxford Circus tomorrow morning.

Central Line exists TFL would say. But common sense would tell them that wheelchairs and the disabled can't use it.

Regardless of finances, they shouldn't be doing this. There's no alternative to route 25, and people simply won't make bus journeys anymore.
Average revenue per bus journey is 66p - average cost of providing that journey is 97p. TfL no longer get a grant from central government so it’s not surprising bus services are being cut.
I don't normally do conspiracy theories, but looking at the current consultations, there is a constantly recurring theme of curtailing routes into the Central area so short of going anywhere useful, that it will make the routes so useless that people won't bother using them, and more drastic cuts will ensue, because not enough people use such useless routes. They even want to stop several South London routes crossing the Thames.

The previous fleets of empty buses in Oxford Street was silly, but this is too far the other way silly, and nowhere near mitigated by Crossrail. It's a complete journey killer for mobility impaired passengers. In my response to the consultations I have stated that it's disability discrimination of the most blatant order. Very much highlighted this this post's example of the difficulty of changing from the 8 to the 55 or 98.
Every Journey Matters
Posted at 0️⃣0️⃣:2️⃣5️⃣. Nice.
One never likes seeing bus services cut... but compared to the wholesale destruction of bus services and dare-hikes for those that remain in most towns and villages in the UK, this is nothing. London continues to enjoy a radically better service at ridiculously low fares.

A 5 mile bus journey in Hertfordshire, only 20 miles out of London, costs £6. A day ticket costs £9.50. For services that now often run hourly at their best.

Would Londoners care to pay more on their fares to fund the retention of route 25?
The 25 in the old days with its rooftop box RT's running between Becontree Heath and Victoria was a real London bus route. Was the way to go from our home to Oxford Street or Victoria!

Always turned up at our stop no matter what the weather could throw at it, whether it was dense fog, ice, or the very heaviest of the sixties snowfalls in East London :)
25 update

Westbound buses show 'City Thameslink' on the front, not 'Holborn Circus'.

Several passengers, who have no idea where City Thameslink is, are anxiously asking the driver "Does this bus go to Whitechapel?" before boarding.

Passengers are also surprised when westbound buses turn right off the Broadway towards Stratford bus station, which is now being served by all 25s (and 425s) (in both directions) (from today). This is making journeys
a) better for interchange
b) a few minutes longer

Bus stop E in Stratford Bus Station is not yet open, so westbound buses are stopping at bus stop AP (Alighting point only), which is also closed.

Westbound bus stops in the Stratford area have been updated to display two new tiles for the 25 and N25.

Eastbound stops, and stops in the Bow area, have not been updated so still have a single (24 hour) 25 tile.
Clearly this would be less* of a problem if, a week after the cutback, there was a shiny new railway linking the City and West End and 6 months later direct trains from Ilford to Oxford Street. Instead 9+ months has been added to the schedule on that.

And the Oxford Street pedestrianisation that is another driver of these changes has been shelved, so what we have is a change that is happening based on other changes that have since been postponed.

*Still a problem, but less of one. That the 25 is so busy when so much of it is paralleled by rail lines shows that rail isn't necessarily a substitute for buses.
Interestingly, the bus stops between Holborn Circus and Holborn Station in both directions still display bus 25 (as of 8 pm on Sat 01/12/2018) so one would be forgiven for thinking the bus 25 ran through this section. It doesn't! Like many others, I think the cut, though understandable, is ill-advised and poorly thought through.
Unbelievable from Sadiq Khan.
@Watford Mac - Same as the 10 - TfL couldnt be arsed to eradicate the route completely even though its replaced by the 23. Many stops from Marble Arch westwards still say '10'
They have now removed the "25" tiles from the bus stops between Holborn Circus and Holborn Station!

The new N25 tiles displayed at the bus stops are, unusually for night buses, white rather than blue.

I still think this decision is sheer madness.

@ Rog: Yes, I had noticed the bus 10 tiles are still displayed at Marble Arch (I walk through Marble Arch as I take the coach to get to Oxford) though bus 23 has replaced it!
@Watford Mac TfL have now switched tiles from 10 to 23 at Marble Arch & stops southwards!
There are now calls to reinstate the full length:

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