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Monday, 13 January 2014

Arriva London Wood Green Garage [WN]

It's been a while since the last garage visit, if I remember correctly, the last one was London Sovereign's Edgware depot when their Hybrids for the 13 were just commencing delivery. Looking back, that was all the way back in July. Its a new year and a new start, so I've decided to do a bit of reflecting, and it occurs to me that the actual purpose of the blog was to photograph pictures of London bus garages and new stock. Something which hasn't been done lately, but I promised viewers I will live up to this again in the new year. So here we have it.

Wood Green, home of the famous 'Shopping City', The Alexandra Palace Ice Rink and also home of Arriva's London operations. The garage was transformed from a horse tram depot to a modern tram depot in the early 1900s, which then had a capacity 67, noticeably smaller than today.
In the late 1930s, the garage was totally renovated and remodelled to allow the trolleybus operations to commence which would require a much larger operating space. The capacity grew impressively to 108. 

However this was not the end of the works, the sixties represented a lot change within Great Britain, the surge of pop-rock sensation band 'The Beatles', the first televised airing of the Grand National and of course the introduction of the Routemaster (RML) bus design which was the reason for this last adaptation. 

The Routemaster was unveiled in 1960 and since its introduction over 50 years ago, it is undoubtedly the most iconic bus to ever roam the streets of modern day Britain. Over the years has became synonymous with London which gave it a symbolic status within the City.  The introduction signalled the end Trolleybus era, with Wood Green running the last of theirs in April 1961. 

In June 1984 , the government moved towards the de-regulation of London bus services which brought forth a privatisation, this saw the operation transfer from public bodies to private companies. Under the 1984 Act, London bus services were to be tendered for the first time ever. The first round of tendering took place in the Summer of 1985, thus saw the introduction of the first private operator onto the London Market, London Buslines who won the 81. 

In 1988, London Buses was separated into 13 different Units in preparation for sell-off. The companies were created along geographic lines, for example, Arriva London as we know today were devised into the Leaside area, with their operating area being in and around River Lea radius in North London. As a result Wood Green Garage was transferred to Cowie Group who were later renamed as Arriva London North and south London operations being branded as Arriva London South. 

Today the garage plays a pivotal role in the company's operations, being the headquarters. It undertakes maintenance work for many of the nearby garages such as Enfield, whose Enviro 400 buses can regularly be seen in and around the garage. 

In 2010 the garage was rewarded for its efforts in winning the prestigious London Bus Garage 2010. With one of the key points being that performance was to a very high standard. At present the garage employs over 500 people from an array of different cultures and backgrounds which ties in the multiculturalism ethics the company believes in. 

On the 26th of November 2011, the 29 was transferred in from Edmonton (AD) following its conversion from bendybus operation to conventional double-deck operation which saw it benefit from the newer buses that were to be used on the 243 contract while its new vehicles were in build. 

However as one came, one departed, on the 25th of February 2012, the 298 was lost to Sullivan Buses, which actually saw the reintroduction of Sullivan Buses into the London bus market after a 4 year absence. 

In March 2014, Lea Valley garage is set to close, which will see the Route W3 transfer to Wood Green along with its T class Enviro 400 buses. 

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading this post, which was made possible by use of our newest member Will Swain's photography. More photos are available below. 

A line of mechanical buses 

Mini Garage Fact File 
  • Opened in the 1900s
  • Headquarters of Arriva's London operations 
  • Has a capacity close to 108 vehicles 
  • Located on Watsons Road, Wood Green
  • Flagship route: 29 
  • Runs the following routes; 29, 141, 144, 184, 221, 382, 617 and Route N29


at: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:00:00 pm said...

love the organised way the buses are in their own sections i think that is how garages should be

Jay says:
at: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:51:00 pm said...

I agree, I've always admired the way things are done in this garage

Unknown says:
at: Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:11:00 pm said...

So if Lea Valley garage is closing were will the 34 ALX400 go?

Jay says:
at: Friday, January 31, 2014 10:40:00 am said...

They will be off to EC.

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