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Heathrow Central Bus Station

Author: Bob Handford
Heathrow Central Bus Station is the main public transport hub for Heathrow Airport, the Underground and Railway Station, Heathrow Central is below the bus station.
The airport authority severely restricts access to individual passenger Terminals at Heathrow, at Terminals 1 and 3 the only buses allowed are the car parking shuttles and the Heathrow Hoppa buses connecting the terminals with Heathrow’s hotels (the hotels themselves are not allowed to run their own shuttles).

The result is that if you are using a scheduled public bus service there is a good chance (especially if you use Terminals 1 and 3) that the bus you need is accessed from Heathrow Central Bus Station, not from the passenger terminals.
The Central Bus Station is located between Terminals 1 and 3.
All of the National Express long distance buses stage through the Central Bus Station, with just a subset of services also servicing Terminal 4 and 5 on the other side of the airport. Of the National Express bus services that do stop at Terminal 4 or 5 you will find that there are much higher frequencies from the Central Bus Station.
The RailAir services to Woking and Reading and the Oxford Bus company services use the Central Bus Station and also call at Terminal 5, but not Terminal 4
The local bus network has its hub at the Central Bus Station with the opportunity to reach many of Heathrow’s hotels free of charge.
There is a limited in comparison public bus service from Terminals 4 and 5

Heathrow Airport’s passenger terminals are spread out, it can take 15 minutes to drive from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4 for example.
To walk from Terminals 1 and 3 to the Central Bus Station takes 5-10 minutes with luggage. The route is well signed and you descend a ramp inside the arrivals hall of both terminals and then travel using moving walkways for much of the way underground to the Underground Station. The Central Bus Station is located above Heathrow Central Underground Station and there are lifts and escalators up to it. The route is luggage trolley friendly.
From Terminals 4 and 5 you take the Heathrow Express train to Heathrow Central Station and again follow the signs up to the surface and the bus station.
The Heathrow Express is free for this journey and runs every 15 minutes. It will take 15-25 minutes to get from Terminal 4 or 5 to the Central Bus Station.

The bus station is modern and open 24 hours a day and the travel centre is open from 06:00 to 22:30.
There is a manned ticket desk, coffee shop and waiting area.
The video clip below provides you a guided tour of the facility.

Heathrow Airport to Central London – Comparison of transport options
Heathrow Airport to Gatwick Airport – Bus Service Details
Coach Services From Central London – Comparison of transport options

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  • Gandhi Jáy

    Hey guys I will be arriving at heathrow terminal 2 and after 3 hrs I have my connecting flight from terminal 4 so can anyone tell me how to reach t4 from t2 easily and quickly??

    • Bob

      The Heathrow Airport Official Web Site has an interactive travel planner that takes you through this

      • Gandhi Jáy

        Ya i hv alrdy visited this link bt m nt satisfied wid this answer i mean its nt clrly mentioned thts y i hv asked here

  • Roya

    I will arrive at Heathrow by 12 (noon) and want to go to Brighton. Is it better to go there by national express or by tube and train?
    Thank you for answering!

    • Bob

      It depends by what you mean by better

      The National Express Coach is direct, and runs hourly taking about 2 hours 30 mins

      Getting the Underground to London Victoria then a Southern Train to Brighton could be half the price if your day/time of travel allows you to buy an advance rail ticket or it would be more expensive if you paid the full price fares on the day

      In terms of travel time I don’t think there would be much in it.

      Please use the train journey planner at the url below for schedules, fares and
      ticketing where you can check the fares from Victoria to Brighton available for when you are traveling

  • ashley

    flight lands in term 3 at 6:30 am and I want to take a national express bus (that’ll I’ll pre-pruchase a ticket to) to victoria coach station where I’m meeting a friend for 9ish
    what time should I take a national express bus for?

    • Bob

      If you have to be at Victoria by 9, then the London Underground will be a much better, if crowded (Moday to Fridays) bet

      • ashley

        But some the national expresses say it can get you to victoria coach station in about 40 minutes, the underground would take longer because I’d have to switch tubes

        • Bob

          The National Express coaches are not dedicated airport coaches, Heathrow is the last stop before London – the bus having started its journey several hours prior.
          Frequency as a result is sporadic and timetables prone to traffic delays.
          There is an Underground train ever 2-3 minutes from Heathrow Central, if you are unlucky you may have to wait an hour for a National Express bus.

  • Greta

    I will be arriving at Terminal 2 from Vienna and hope to catch the 3:10 coach to Ringwood, will I have enough time? Thank You.

    • Bob

      Normally it would take around 45 to 80 minutes from a flights actual time of landing to getting to the coach station after going through customs and luggage retrieval

    • Greta

      Thank you for yor advise and help

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