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London Buses route C3

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London Buses route C3 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. Running between Earls Court and Clapham Junction Station, it is operated by Abellio London.


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 In 1989, the original minibuses were withdrawn, being replaced by more stylish Optare CityPacers cascaded from route C2. In 1990, the Kensington extension was withdrawn, but the route was further extended at the south across Wandsworth Bridge to Clapham Junction station via Grant Road, including a deviation via Plantation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 (AF), 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 Tridents were transferred in to convert the route to double deck operation.

Route C3 was included in the sale of Connex to Travel London in February 2004 which in turn was sold to Abellio London in May 2009.

The route was increased in frequency in July 2008 following the introduction of the western extension to the London congestion charge.

On 5 October 2013, the route was retained by Abellio London .

In June 2014, brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro400Hs were introduced.

Current routeEdit

  • Earl's Court Tesco
  • Earl's Court Station
  • Chelsea
  • Chelsea Harbour
  • Imperial Wharf Station
  • Sands End
  • Wandsworth Bridge
  • Clapham Junction Station

External linksEdit

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