London Buses route C3
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|Vehicle||Alexander Dennis Enviro400H 10.2m|
|Peak vehicle requirement||12|
|Night-time||No night service|
|End||Clapham Junction station|
|Length||5 miles (8.0 km)|
|Journey time||26-38 minutes|
|Operates||05:25 until 01:01|
Route C3 commenced on 13 April 1987 on behalf of Chelsea Harbour Limited, marketed as the Chelsea Harbour HOPPA, running between Chelsea Harbour and Earls Court. Four minibuses painted in a dark blue livery were used. The allocation moved from Battersea garage to Victoria Basement on 12 September 1987. When Victoria Basement closed the route reverted to Battersea, by then an outstation of Stockwell rather than a garage in its own right.
The route was then tendered, and initially retained by London General with extensions at both ends: at the south, to Sands End Sainsbury's, and at the north, during shopping hours only, to Kensington High Street. In 1989, the original minibuses were withdrawn, being replaced by more stylish Optare CityPacers cascaded from route C2. In 1990, the Kensington extension was withdrawn, but the route was further extended at the south across Wandsworth Bridge to Clapham Junction station via Grant Road, including a deviation via Plantation Wharf. The vehicle allocation was again changed to Optare MetroRiders.
A new contract starting in September 1996 saw various changes. The route was revised to operate direct via York Road, and then via the full length of Plough Road and St John's Hill to approach Clapham Junction from the south. An evening and Sunday service was also introduced. Operation was transferred to Putney garage, and new ML-class Marshall Minibuses were introduced. The type proved unreliable and, combined with severe staff shortages, prompted London General to surrender the contract. It was taken over by Limebourne Buses in October 1997.
In October 1998, Limebourne went into receivership, but the local bus business was sold to local management under the name of Independent Way Limited. Having had its vehicles re-possessed, replacement vehicles were sought, and a batch of ex Metroline Dennis Darts was obtained. The Limebourne business was sold to Connex on 7 July 2001. The Darts were soon replaced by new Optare Solos as part of a new contract, restoring low floor operation to the route, but these did not last long as Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2s were transferred in to convert the route to double deck operation.
Upon being re-tendered, the route was retained by Abellio London with a new contract commencing on 5 October 2013.
On 16 December 2009, a bus operating route C3 was struck by a lorry carrying metal pylons. The incident happened at around 08.30 in Battersea Plough Road at its junction with St John's Hill. The bus mounted the pavement and toppled over. Three people were taken to hospital with serious injuries, including the bus driver, and 14 more had to be treated for minor injuries.
Route C3 operates via these primary locations:
- Earl's Court Tesco
- Earl's Court station
- Chelsea Fulham Road
- Worlds End Health Centre
- Chelsea Harbour
- Imperial Wharf station
- Sands End
- Wandsworth Bridge
- Clapham Junction station
- National Express buys 200 London buses The Telegraph 27 February 2004
- National Express Group plc agreement to sell Travel London National Express Group 21 May 2009
- NedRailways acquisition reinforces long term commitment to UK transport market NedRailways 9 June 2009
- Buses increased after congestion extension BBC Travel
- Tender News Bus Talk (Go-Ahead London) issue 21 April 2013
- Passengers injured as bus topples BBC News 16 December 2009
- Passengers stable after bus crash BBC News 17 December 2009
- Route C3 Map Transport for London