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Bonkers Blog May 2017

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27 May (Part 1) - Three zero one. Go!

I’ve said before that I have pretty much given up on buses, they are just too damned slow. I might occasionally use a B11 to Bexleyheath despite its meandering loop into Welling because with luck it only takes three times as long as by car. The 229 from Bexleyheath is not much quicker than walking - in the homewards direction anyway which is down hill.

I do not find it at all surprising that bus usage across London has been falling steadily, however the brief reference to a new route 301 provoked a flurry of interest.

The 301 is, under current proposals, the only new route to complement Crossrail.

We shall have to await TfL’s final word but the plan at the moment is that it should run from the Crossrail station in Woolwich to the Harrow Manorway flyover via Thamesmead Central and then take the direct route to Bexleyheath via Knee Hill, Long Lane and Woolwich Road; terminating alongside route 401 in Bexleyheath.

Whilst that might appear to be a very good idea some of the other proposals seem to be hell bent on reducing passenger numbers still further.

The 469 which takes a silly amount of time to meander from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Abbey Wood before taking a straight line route to Erith could be further slowed by a diversion up New Road, along Woolwich Road and back down the very narrow hill which is Picardy Road.

It gives more people a direct route to Erith but they are never more than five minutes walk from one under the present arrangement. It will also provide a new route to Abbey Wood but attempting to serve every household has frequently been the downfall of bus services in Outer London. (†)

It is even possible that the B11 will be terminated before it gets to Thamesmead. The 301 looks to be a welcome addition but the revisions to existing routes look like idle doodling on a map to me.

Presumably there will be some sort of consultations before long.

† When we have driverless pods which can be summoned to one’s door by a mobile app no one will need buses or taxis for short journeys. They will be half the price of a cab because there will be no driver to pay.


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