the Route 3 started operation on the 1st November 1908. It had initially run between Brixton station and South Croydon. extensions of this route saw it extended Southbound to Whyteleafe, and the Northbound end even going as far as Camden Town & Hampstead Heath. The Southbound terminus of the 3 was cut back to Brixton soon after. A new route, 3A was introduced, operating between Camden Town and Crystal Palace. The two routes eventually switched over. After the war in 1918, the 3A was withdrawn and the 3 resumed its original route.
This route stayed largely intact (Camden Town – Crystal Palace) until the 1980’s, when it was extended from Camden Town to Parliament Hill Fields, but this was to be short lived, this area then being covered by the 53, followed by the C2.
This route was associated with London Central, until is was accquired by Connex. Connex was sold to Travel London, then in turn was sold to Abellio London, meaning that this route has essentially been with the same company since 1999.
The Night equivalent of the 3, the N3, follows the same route as the 3, but is extended to Bromley North station, via Anerly, Penge, Beckenham, Park Eden and Bromley South via Westmoreland Road, adding a night link to buses such as the 162, 358 and 367.
Both the 3 & N3 have been withdrawn between Trafalgar Square and Oxford Circus. This route is being currently being considered to being extended to Russell Square via Tottenham Court Road. This change could occur in 2018.