London Buses route 23

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Tower Transit route 23.jpg
Operator Tower Transit
Garage Westbourne Park (X)
Vehicle Alexander Dennis Enviro400H 10.2m
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 10.2m
Peak vehicle requirement 31
Night-time 24-hour service
Start Liverpool Street Station
Via Aldwych
Oxford Circus
Ladbroke Grove
End Westbourne Park Station
Length 8 miles (13 km)
Level 24-hour service
Frequency About every 7-10 minutes
Journey time 46-95 minutes
Operates 24-hour service

London Buses route 23 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Tower Transit.

Due to its 24-hour service and high frequency, the 23 is one of the busiest routes in London and is very popular with tourists, connecting famous sites such as St. Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Oxford Street as well as three mainline rail terminals.


The current route only dates back to 1992. The original route 23 was renumbered route 15 on 18 May 1985.[1] The route has always been operated by Centrewest, initially a subsidiary of London Buses, which became part of First Group in 1997. It mainly used Routemasters including an open top one, along with MCW Metrobuses. In 2003, Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 double deckers were used to convert the 23 to low floor with the last Routemasters running on 14 November 2003.[2] In May 2008, Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double deckers were introduced to the route and more recently Wright Gemini 2 DL double deckers were introduced in 2009.

In January 2009, Transport for London reduced the peak frequency of route 23 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 in Oxford Street by 10% in each of 2009 and 2010.[3] The off-peak service already operated at this frequency.[4]

On 5 January 2009, a bus operating route 23 crashed into a shop in Westbourne Grove after swerving to avoid a van, injuring ten people.[5]

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 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.[6]

On 13 November 2010, route 23 was retained by First London with existing double deckers.[7]

In January 2012, brand new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL double deckers were temporarily introduced.

In May 2012, brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400H double deckers were introduced.

In October 2012, brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double deckers were introduced.

On 22 June 2013, the operation of route 23 was transferred to Tower Transit.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

Radio presenter Geoff Lloyd featured the route in the show Boring? The number 23 bus? Never! at the Boring Conference in December 2010.[9]

Radio presenters Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo discussed if the number 23 bus route was in fact more interesting than the movie The Number 23 staring Jim Carrey.

Current route[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Routemasters The R.J. Waterhouse website
  2. ^ The Future of the Routemaster Icons of England
  3. ^ "Streets ahead: Relieving congestion on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street". London Assembly Transport Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-09.  See Appendix 1.
  4. ^ Aldridge, John (April 2009). "Yet more buses on Sundays and peaks". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (649): 22. 
  5. ^ Knapton, Sarah (5 January 2009). "Ten injured as bus hits antique shop in London suburb". Daily Telegraph. 
  6. ^ "Route 23". Transport for London. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  7. ^ Aldridge, John (May 2010). "First and Transdev retain four routes with new buses". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (662): 22–23. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Mesure, Susie (12 December 2010). "Boring? The number 23 bus? Never!". The Independent. 

External links[edit]