Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Day 10 the 22 and 23

This day started rather later than most as I spent the morning giving my daughter driving practice before her driving test the following day. Thus I did not leave my home station for Putney until 1353. I changed at Clapham junction and only had to wait three minutes for a Hounslow train and arrived at Putney at 1434. Given the time I decided to take a brisk walk from the station across the High Street and down a side road parallel with the railway to Barnes before bending right down Dryburgh Road to Putney Common. This took 15 minutes so must have been about a mile or so and as I crossed the Common by the church I saw the starting point for the No 22.

As I approached across Putney Common the first of the two buses moved off
My mount to Oxford Circus, London General Wright bodied Volvo hybrid WHV34
I just missed one so had to wait until 1456 to depart on WHV34 operated by London General from Putney Garage. This is the third bus in sequence operated by that company but all were maintained at different garages. The initial journey once we had passed Putney Bridge station to Parsons Green and into Fulham was a new experience but soon afterward we mirrored the No 11 through Worlds End and then the 19 up Sloane Street to Green Park. The final part across Berkeley Square and along conduit street was different and having joined Regent Street

Carnaby street

Crossing Oxford Circus

opposite Carnaby Street we arrived at Margaret Street just beyond Oxford Circus at 1559. This was actually a quicker trip than booked on the timetable which says it takes 66 minutes.
The No 22 just about to turn left to do a circuit to restart its journey near Oxford Circus

To get to the starting point of the No 23 I had to once again get to the Aldwych. So I started to walk down Regent Street with its throng of pedestrians which was quite heavy going. At the bottom of Regent Street a 23 going to the Aldwych appeared so I jumped on that and alighted at Drury Lane.
Once I had crossed the road to be in front of Somerset House I could see a No 23 waiting 'for me' in the distance. Indeed, the bus stop I needed was not the nearer of the two and when I arrived at that stop at 1628 the countdown display said it would be a 10 minute wait.
The bus countdown  display showing by this time an 8 minute wait
The No 23 arriving at the Aldwych from its lay-over spot just a bit further back

The No 23 is owned by Tower Transit and this was only the second in the sequence that has been operated by that company. The other also ends in a 3, the thirteen. The bus was No 33787 an AD Enviro 400 with the fleet number originally in the Firstbus sequence but is not part of that company now. We left the Aldwych at 1633 and were surprisingly brisk along the Strand to Trafalgar Square and even Oxford Street was less choked than on previous visits. However, once the bus gets beyond Paddington into Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove it takes quite a tortuous route and it was not until 1749 that we arrived opposite the home of the bus, the Westbourne Park bus garage, where the bus terminated.

The final stop of the No 23 with Westbourne Park bus garage behind me
To return home I took a No 31 to White City and alighted at Shepherds Bush station. The next train to East Croydon, the 1819, was cancelled owing to trespassers on the line, so had to wait for the late running 1823 Overground service to Clapham Junction. I then chose to take the Caterham and Tattenham corner service to East Croydon to get the bus home but I did not get back until 2000 to the consternation of my wife. So once again 6 hours of travelling netted me two buses!

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