Know Your Routes: Route 223

YX61 EKZ/ DM44208 on route 223 to Harrow.
(C) LondonBuses72
It is the first Know Your Routes post in a long time, and we have a few more coming up to compensate for this.

Today's KYR takes us to a relatively younger, shorter and more infrequent route in North-West London,  the route 223. It runs between Harrow Bus Station and Wembley Central Station. The route started in 1995, running between Harrow & Wembley Central via Northwick Park Hospital, Kenton Station, Woodcock Hill, South Kenton Station/ Windemere Avenue, Preston Road Station, The Avenue, Wembley Park Station, Park Lane/ Wembley Hill Road and Wembley Central Station.

The route was created to replace part of route 224 (KYR post on 224 coming soon) between Wembley Central and Preston Road, Preston Hotel. Although that wasn't the main reason for creating the route, the actual reason for this was because at the time, a large section of Woodcock Hill and South Kenton was not served by bus. This made the 223 the first bus to ever (?) serve South Kenton. 

Residents of South Kenton had to go to Wembley Central by the Bakerloo Line which is alot more expensive than the bus network. 

Throughout the life of bus route 223, it has been operated by First Centrewest from Alperton (ON) mainly using Marshall Capitals mounted on a Dennis Dart chassis. In 2011, First retained the 223 with 7 new Enviro 200's, which are 9.6m long.

Although 223 can take buses up to 10.8m in length, overall, 223 is not actually that much of a busy shorter buses can be used. The route has a Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR) of 6 buses and takes 35 minutes to complete on average.

Here is a photo of bus route 223 with the new Enviro 200's whilst with First Centrewest:

YX61 EKV/ DM44205 on route 223 to Harrow.
(C) LondonBuses72
On the 15th October 2011, route 223 was re-routed AND extended around the Wembley end of the route. 223 was re-routed to go via Wembley Stadium mainly to serve the brand new Brent Civic Centre which had opened in June this year.

It was also extended to Montrose Crescent from Wembley Central Station although original plans that were scrapped involved 223 being extended to North Wembley Station via Harrowdene Avenue although TfL did not give it the green light to go ahead.

On the 9th April 2013, First announced they were pulling out of London for what may be for good. It was announced that Metroline would take 5 garages from First, Alperton (ON) being one of them which meant 223 was shifted over to Metroline on the 22nd June 2013.
However, the DM's on 223 didn't get the Metroline logos until July 2013, and I was lucky enough to be there to get a photo of them as early as possible:

YX61 EKT/ DEM1913 on route 223 to Harrow.
(C) Lewis JN

YX61 EKW/ DEM1916 on route 223 at Harrow.
(C) Lewis JN

YX61 EKT/ DEM1913 is seen about to turn into The Avenue on a frosty morning whilst on route 223 to Wembley Central, Montrose Crescent.
(C) LondonBuses72
YX61 EKU// DEM1914 on route 223 to Harrow.
(C) LondonBuses72

However, DEM's aren't the only bus that can turn up on 223 - DE's make frequent appearances every now and then. Here are a few photos of these on 223:

YX58 DWZ/ DE1619 on route 223 to Wembley Central.
(C) LondonBuses72

YX58 DUH/ DE1599 on route 223 to Wembley Central.
(C) LondonBuses72

YX58 DUA/ DML44022 on route 223 to Wembley Central.
(C) LondonBuses72
Before we wrap up this post, we need to finish off with the fleetlist, which is very short:

YX61 EKR - Ex DM44202 - DEM1912
YX61 EKT - Ex DM44203 - DEM1913
YX61 EKU - Ex DM44204 - DEM1914
YX61 EKV - Ex DM44205 - DEM1915
YX61 EKW - Ex DM44206 - DEM1916
YX61 EKY - Ex DM44207 - DEM1917
YX61 EKZ - Ex DM44208 - DEM1918

Hope you've enjoyed this post and please do stay safe!


  1. great post. pllease do one on the u10 soon

  2. Great post, as usual. Very informative and of a good quality.

    Also noticed:
    • Hi Jacob!
    • This is the 111th post of the blog.

    1. Thanks everyone! I sure will start a post on U10 - We do have a few photos and can get decent info for the post. We will try to keep it to the top standards. Stay safe! :)

  3. If the 223 was withdrawn what routes would replace it