Chronologically, the first change in Harrow was the 340, retained by Arriva The Shires with Wright's new integral vehicle, the Streetdeck.
|Pictured during a blind change, SW7 on the 340 to "Queensbury Morrisons". Unfortunately all of my other 340 shots didn't come out too well, so this is the best I've got. Sorry.|
After a fifteen minute wait my bus was off. The interior was very clean and everything was working properly as far as I could tell. From Harrow-Wealdstone the route is quite interesting, as it's really two town centres connected by a consistent high street. It's a bit like Lewisham and Catford, with Lewisham being Harrow with a large shopping centre and many streets full of clothes shops and places to eat and Wealdstone boasting only a few shops and the Wealdstone Centre. The only difference between there and Catford is the Catford Centre has a massive cat on top of it, which I've always found mildly amusing.
After stopping at Harrow and Wealdstone Station, the terminus of the grim section of the Bakerloo Line, the 340 stops outside Harrow Weald garage, owned by Metroline, who probably aren't particularly happy that two routes run by Arriva pass by, the 258 being the other one. To save heading out of London, the 340 takes a right turn into quite a rural area, with the centre being Uxbridge Road, which isn't the one that goes to Uxbridge. The next stop is Stanmore, which has a fairly substantial broadway and a clear market for Italian cuisine, with a Pizza Express and Prezzo minutes apart. However, the 340 isn't particularly useful if you need to visit the Jubilee Line station, as it takes a right turn onto Marsh Lane, where my driver decided it was the right time to absolutely floor the vehicle, easily hitting 40mph and not stopping anywhere until Canons Park, where the SW encountered traffic. The run to Edgware was laboriously slow and it would've been much quicker to walk, but the comfortable seats allowed me to relax after the exciting thrash earlier on.
Overall, I think the 340 is a nice route, much better than I expected it to be. It also has wonderful buses, that are comfortable, cool and are capable of a very high top speed, which will be useful on routes such as the 258 from Watford to Harrow.
|Metroline VWH2214 on the 140, to Heathrow Airport.|
|VWH2217 showing the wrong blind on route 182 to Harrow Weald, Oxhey Lane.|
However, what's odd about the photo above is that the blind states Harrow Weald, which is the blind for route 140 rather than the 182. Unless this bus was curtailed, then the driver was showing the wrong blinds. To avoid confusion, I think the blinds should state Harrow Weald, Bus Garage for the 140 rather than just plain old Harrow Weald, it's more confusing than you think.
|The correct blinds are shown here, on VWH2190.|
|VWH2180 on the 114 to Ruislip.|
Even though I've now covered every thing in Harrow, this is a busageddon post after all and one major part of it was the 483 (written about in detail on a seperate post that I linked at the top), so here's a picture of one for clarity.
|Metroline VW1774 on the 483 to Ealing Hospital.|