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 Westbourne Park station
Via Ladbroke Grove
Oxford Circus
End Liverpool Street bus station
Length 8 miles (13 km)
Level Daily
Frequency 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, England. Running between Westbourne Park station and Liverpool Street bus station, it is operated by Tower Transit (London).


Route 23 was introduced on 18 July 1992 between Liverpool Street and Westbourne Park from First Centrewest's Westbourne Park garage.

In January 2009, the route's peak frequency was reduced from twelve buses per hour to ten, as part of Transport for London's policy of reducing the number of buses using Oxford Street in order to reduce congestion and pollution by 10% in 2009 and a further 10% in 2010.[1] The off-peak service already operated at this frequency.[2] On 5 January 2009, a bus operating on the route crashed into a shop in Westbourne Grove after swerving to avoid a van, injuring ten people.[3]

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.[4]

On 22 June 2013, the route was included in the sale of First London's Westbourne Park garage to Tower Transit.[5][6][7]

Vehicle History[edit]

On 18 July 1992, AEC Routemasters.[8] were introduced.

On 14 November 2003, new Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2s were introduced.[9]

In May 2008, new new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s were introduced.

In January 2012, new Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs were temporarily introduced.

In May 2012, new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Hybrids were introduced.[10]

Tender History[edit]

Route 23 was retained by First London with a new contract starting on 13 November 2010. [11]

Route 23 has been retained by Tower Transit with a new contract starting on 14 November 2015. [12]

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.[13]

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 starring Jim Carrey.

According to Google Maps this service runs between Charing Cross (Trafalgar Square) and Paddington Station in less than one minute, making it one of the fastest bus services in the world.[14]

Current route[edit]

Route 23 operates via these primary locations:[15]


  1. ^ "Streets ahead: Relieving congestion on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street" (PDF). London Assembly Transport Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-09.  See Appendix 1.
  2. ^ Aldridge, John (April 2009). "Yet more buses on Sundays and peaks". Buses (Ian Allan Publishing) (649): 22. 
  3. ^ Knapton, Sarah (5 January 2009). "Ten injured as bus hits antique shop in London suburb". Daily Telegraph. 
  4. ^ "Route 23". Transport for London. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  5. ^ FirstGroup Announces Sale of Eight London Bus Depots FirstGroup 9 April 2013
  6. ^ Aberdeen firm FirstGroup sells off depots for £80m BBC News 9 April 2013
  7. ^ Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
  8. ^ Routemasters The R.J. Waterhouse website
  9. ^ The Future of the Routemaster Icons of England
  10. ^ "Fleet News". Buses (684). March 2012. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Mesure, Susie (12 December 2010). "Boring? The number 23 bus? Never!". The Independent. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Route 23 Map Transport for London

External links[edit]