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London Buses route 23

London Buses route 23 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Westbourne Park and Hammersmith, it is operated by London Transit.


History

Route 23 commenced operation on 18 July 1992 between Westbourne Park Station and Liverpool Street Station via Elkstone Road - Kensal Road - Ladbroke Grove Sainsbury's - Westbourne Grove - Paddington - Edgware Road - Marble Arch - Oxford Circus - Regent Street - Piccadily Circus - Charing Cross - Strand - Aldwych - Fleet Street - Ludgate Circus - St Paul's - Mansion House Station - Bank. The route was introduced in order to replace the withdrawn section of route 15 between Ladbroke Grove and Paddington. The route was initially operated by CentreWest from their Westbourne Park (X) garage using AEC Routemasters and MCW Metrobuses.

On 22 May 1993, the evening service was converted to one-man operation using MCW Metrobuses. At the same time, an early journey and two late journeys were projected from Ladbroke Grove to Ealing Broadway.

On 24 July 1993, the journeys to Ealing Broadway were renumbered N23.

On 26 June 1999, the evening and Sunday services were converted to low floor operation using Plaxton President bodied Dennis Tridents.

On 14 November 2003, the Monday to Saturday daytime service was converted to one person operation using low floor Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents.

On 17 April 2004, the route was converted into a 24-hour service.

In May 2008, Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s were introduced alongside the existing Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents.

In 2009, Wright Gemini 2 bodied VDL DB300s were introduced alongside Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s and Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents.

In January 2009, Transport for London reduced the peak frequency of this route from twelve buses per hour to ten, as part of its implementation of the request from the Mayor of London to reduce the bus flow on Oxford Street by 10% in each of 2009 and 2010.

Later in 2009 Transport for London decided not to proceed with a possible change of the eastbound route in the Elgin Crescent area, following a consultation with residents and local interest groups. The proposal would have routed the eastbound 23 along with Ladbroke Gardens instead of Elgin Crescent, while routes 52 and 452 would continue to run along Elgin Crescent in both directions. The most common benefit stated amongst supporters was fewer buses along the overcrowded Elgin Crescent; those opposing the change were concerned about safety at the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Ladbroke Gardens, and the suitability of Ladbroke Gardens to accommodate a bus service.

On 13 November 2010, the route was retained by First London.

In January 2012, Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs were introduced alongside existing Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s, Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs, Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents and Wright Gemini 2 bodied VDL DB300s.

In 2012, the Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs, Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents and Wright Gemini 2 bodied VDL DB300s were replaced by brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400Hs.

On 22 June 2013, the route was included in the sale of First London's Westbourne Park (X) garage to Tower Transit.

In November 2014, existing Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents were introduced.

On 30 October 2015, the Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents were withdrawn.

On 14 November 2015, the route was retained by Tower Transit.

In 2016, the Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s were replaced by existing Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs.

In May 2017, the Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs were replaced by existing Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s.

On 30 September 2017, the route was withdrawn between Aldwych and Liverpool Street.

From 31 August 2018 until 22 November 2018, an Optare MetroDecker EV demonstrator was trialed on the route

On 24 November 2018, the route was withdrawn between Aldwych and Marble Arch and was diverted to Hammersmith via withdrawn route 10.

On 25 July 2020, the route was retained by Tower Transit.

On 20 February 2021, brand new Optare MetroDecker EVs were introduced alongside the existing Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s and existing Alexander Dennis Enviro 400Hs.

On 2 May 2021, the route was converted to a full Optare Metrodecker EV and Alexander Dennis Enviro 400H allocation.

On 7 July 2021, the route was converted to a full Optare MetroDecker EV operation.

On 11 December 2021, the route was included in the sale of Tower Transit's Westbourne Park (X) Garage to London Transit.

On 23 May 2022, the Optare MetroDecker EVs were decommissioned and the route was temporarily suspended.

On 24 May 2022, the route resumed operation temporarily be using existing Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s, Alexander Dennis Enviro 400Hs and Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LHs. At the same time, the daytime service of the route is operating Westbourne Park - Paddington until further notice. The night service remains unchanged although buses are operating a minimum 8 buses a day.

On 27 May 2022, the Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LHs, Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s and Alexander Dennis Enviro 400Hs were replaced by the restotred existing Optare MetroDecker EVs. At the same time, the daytime service was restored to serving Hammersmith.

The route is proposed to be withdrawn between Hammersmith Bus Station and Marble Arch. At the same time, the route would be extended back to Aldwych.

Current Route

Route 23 operates via these primary locations:

  • Westbourne Park Station
  • Ladbroke Grove Sainsbury's
  • Ladbroke Grove Station
  • Paddington Station
  • Edgware Road Stations
  • Marble Arch Station
  • Hyde Park Corner Station
  • Knightsbridge Station
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • High Street Kensington Station
  • Kensington (Olympia) Station
  • Hammersmith Upper Bus Station

Previous route 23s in London

The route number 23 had been used at least once prior to its current use.

  • From 19?? - 18 May 1985 for a Rainham - Wormwood Scrubs route (this was re-numbered to route 15 on May 18, 1985)
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