London Buses route 328
Wright Gemini 2 HEV on route 328
|Garage||Atlas Road (AS)|
|Vehicle||Volvo B7TL 10.1m / Wright Eclipse Gemini
Wright Gemini 2 DL 10.4m
|Peak vehicle requirement||27|
|Night-time||Night buses N28 and N31|
|Length||8 miles (13 km)|
|Frequency||About every 6-10 minutes|
|Journey time||38-83 minutes|
|Operates||04:50 until 01:21|
Route 328 was introduced in May 1999, out of the northern end of route 28 and the southern end of route 31. Those two busy routes were said to be difficult to operate reliably due to their orbital nature, which meant they crossed many heavily congested radial corridors out of London. Shortening the routes would make them more reliable. The 28 took the biggest hit, being cut almost in half as it was curtailed at Westbourne Park, with the section north to Golders Green going to the 328. The 328 only ran as far south as Kensington, providing a short overlap, though journeys between Kensington and Kilburn could still be made on the 31. The 31 was also trimmed back to Notting Hill Gate from Camden Town, making it actually quite a short route at six miles. Its traditional southern terminus of Chelsea was taken over by the new 328.
Initial operation was using new low floor Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Dart SLF single deckers. But contract renewal in 2004 presented the opportunity to convert the routes to double deck at last, and a large batch of Wright Eclipse Gemini-bodied Volvo B7TLs fulfilled the requirements, along with odd examples of other types. First CentreWest won the contract for route 328, along with routes 28/N28 and 31/N31.
Early enthusiasm for hybrid vehicle technology, in which all or part of the motive power is provided by electricity rather than directly by the engine, saw a number of small batches of experimental vehicles ordered. One of the routes selected for trials was the 328, and has gained five Wrightbus Gemini 2 HEV "integrals", a new type which also has a pure diesel version. It is understood to be based on VDL components – VDL, and their predecessors DAF, had supplied many of the early low floor double deckers, but dropped out of the market in 2005. Wrights also dropped out soon afterwards, as they did not build bodies for any chassis which was available for London use. Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 2 double deckers formed part of the official allocation to the 328, and a number are still allocated to Westbourne Park for other routes, and used to frequently appear on the 328.
On 27 February 2008, a young woman was hit by a northbound 328 near St Mary Abbots on Kensington Church Street. On 3 July 2010, route 328 was diverted via Cremorne Road, Cheyne Walk, Beaufort Street and King's Road to reach the bus stand on King's Road after 23:00 and before 06:30. On 12 July 2010, the Transport for London bus tender result for route 328 was announced, with First London retaining the contract. On 22 June 2013, the operation of route 328 was transferred to Tower Transit because it acquired the Atlas Road garage.
- Golders Green Station Forecourt
- West Hampstead West End Green
- West Hampstead Underground Station
- Kilburn High Road Station
- Kilburn Park Station
- Maida Hill
- Westbourne Park Station
- Notting Hill Gate
- High Street Kensington Station
- Earl's Court Station
- Chelsea Limerston Street
A Plaxton President on route 328
- "Route 328 - award announced 24 October 2003". TfL. 24 October 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Woman is crushed by bus in Kensington". Evening Standard. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Route 328 - award announced 12 July 2010". TfL. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Barclays supports Tower Transit's acquisition of First Group depots". Barclays. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
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