London Bus Routes – Arriva London Route W3
Route Commenced: 7 September 1968
Route Length: 8 Miles (12km)
Number of Stops: 35
Average Time Taken: 34 – 68 minutes
Monday – Saturday: 7 minutes
Sunday: 11 minutes – Evenings: 11 minutes
Following the implementation of the Bus Reshaping Plan on 7 September 1968, a number of flat fare, single-deck routes were introduced in the Wood Green area of London.
Although the majority were brand new routes, one, the existing 233 was renumbered to W3 and converted to flat fare operation using AEC Merlin single deck vehicles. The route operated from Monday to Friday then Sunday, with Saturday operation split into two sections numbered W5 and W6 which met at Wood Green Station and headed south along Wood Green High Road to Turnpike Lane Station.
Increased congestion along Wood Green High Road, saw the W5 and W6 routes withdrawn on 22 March 1969, with the W3 commencing a Saturday service in their place, omitting the High Road section to Turnpike Lane.
Due to increased patronage of the route, it was converted to double decker operation on 22 September 1974.
On 1st April 1989, London Buses was divided into 12 business units in preparation for privatisation. Wood Green Bus Garage and its routes were allocated to the Leaside business. In September 1994, Leaside was purchased by Cowie Group, who in turn rebranded to Arriva on 1st September 1997.
Conversion of the W3 to low floor operation utilising Alexander Dennis Limited ALX400 bodied DAF DB250LF vehicles occurred in July 2000. The route was transferred to Lea Valley garage on 15th October 2011, receiving new Alexander Dennis Limited Enviro400 buses in February 2012.
Following the closure of Lea Valley on 1st March 2014, the W3 returned to Wood Green. The 50th anniversary of the route commencing was reached in September 2018 and it is fairly unique in the fact that the route has not changed in half a century, operating today exactly the same as when it commenced.
Route Visual Video – Filmed in February 2018