London Buses route 23

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

Tower Transit route 23.jpg
OperatorTower Transit
GarageWestbourne Park (X)
VehicleAlexander Dennis Enviro400H
Night-time24-hour service
StartWestbourne Park station
ViaLadbroke Grove
Marble Arch
Level24-Hour Service


Route 23 was introduced on 18 July 1992 between Westbourne Park station and Liverpool Street bus station from First CentreWest's Westbourne Park garage. On 14 November 2003, Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2s replaced the AEC Routemasters that had operated it since its inception.[1]

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.[2] The off-peak service already operated at this frequency.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

First London had successfully retained route 23 with a new contract starting on 13 November 2010 and was included in the sale of First London's Westbourne Park garage to Tower Transit on 22 June 2013.[6][7][8][9]

Tower Transit successfully retained route 23 with a new contract starting on 14 November 2015.[10] On 30 September 2017 route 23 was withdrawn between Aldwych and Liverpool Street bus station.[11]

On 24 November 2018 as part of a programme to reduce the number of bus routes traversing Oxford Street, the section of route 23 between Marble Arch and Aldwych was diverted to Hammersmith, partly replacing route 10.[12][13]

In popular cultureEdit

Radio presenter Geoff Lloyd featured the route in the show Boring? The number 23 bus? Never! at the Boring Conference in December 2010.[14]

Current routeEdit

Route 23 operates via these primary locations:[15]


  1. ^ Blacker, Ken (2007). Routemaster: 1970–2005. 2 (2nd ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-303-7.
  2. ^ "Streets ahead: Relieving congestion on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street" (PDF). London Assembly Transport Committee. 4 February 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2010. See Appendix 1.
  3. ^ Aldridge, John (April 2009). "Yet more buses on Sundays and peaks". Buses. Ian Allan Publishing (649): 22.
  4. ^ Knapton, Sarah (5 January 2009). "Ten injured as bus hits antique shop in London suburb". Daily Telegraph.
  5. ^ "Route 23". Transport for London. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  6. ^ 2010 Bus Tender Result Transport For London
  7. ^ FirstGroup Announces Sale of Eight London Bus Depots FirstGroup 9 April 2013
  8. ^ Aberdeen firm FirstGroup sells off depots for £80m BBC News 9 April 2013
  9. ^ Date set for Aussie takeover of London bus routes Australasian Bus & Coach 14 June 2013
  10. ^ 2015 Bus Tender Result Transport for London
  11. ^ Bus service changes Transport for London 22 September 2017
  12. ^ Route 10 to go as TfL engages all-engines reverse Buses issue 764 November 2018 page 24
  13. ^ Permanent Bus Changes Transport for London
  14. ^ Mesure, Susie (12 December 2010). "Boring? The number 23 bus? Never!". The Independent.
  15. ^ Route 23 Map Transport for London

External linksEdit