Greenwich Council reply to TfL bus changes

You may remember that TfL recently announced plans for big changes to bus services across London. In south east London a number of routes will change as a result of Crossrail arriving in just over a years time.

Greenwich Council drew up a response to the consultation which can be seen here.

A lot of it makes sense. They ask whether the planned 301 route, from Bexleyheath to Woolwich via Abbey Wood station, will be frequent enough at five an hour. It’s also a single decker so won’t shift huge numbers of Bexleyheath commuters to Crossrail away from Southeastern services.

They also enquire how people will reach Lewisham from areas such as Charlton now that the 180 is proposed to be re-directed to North Greenwich tube station. People are expected to change there for the 129 which is being extended from Greenwich to Lewisham, though sees a frequency reduction.

Despite raising many good points one big omission is not clearly questioning TfL’s assumption on numbers switching from North Greenwich tube to Woolwich Crossrail.

There’s a big difference in cost betweenusing one or the other. North Greenwich is in zone 2 whilst Woolwich Crossrail will be in zone 4 meaning an annual travelcard is £572 less per year for those who stick with the tube – £1,320 v £1892.

Given that large difference how many will switch? Will less well-off workers from Thamesmead, Woolwich and Charlton stick with the 472 to reach North Greenwich?

There is acknowledgement that any reduction in usage of North Greenwich from people now using Woolwich Crossrail will be made up for from local demand. I wrote last week about the new St Mary Magalene school now being built, to give one example.

TfL’s planned cuts to buses serving North Greenwich from much of Greenwich borough looks like a big risk – Crossrail or not.

Other issues raised include making the 469 even more meandering as it will head up New Road in Abbey Wood, using Woolwich Road instead of Abbey Road to reach Belvedere station.

The lack of an express bus from Eltham to North Greenwich also gains a mention. On a wider level, the lack of north-south links is raised as an issue in the borough.

Extending the 472 from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood is praised, though the cuts at the other terminus is raised.

Also strongly supported are proposals to convert the 178, 244 and 291 to double deck operation.

Finally, concerns are raised about crowding at bus stops in central Woolwich. This includes General Gordon Square as well as John  Wilson Street where Greenwich Council are looking into the location of bus stops.

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5 thoughts on “Greenwich Council reply to TfL bus changes

  • Not a bad response, particularly demanding that TfL monitor the effect of its changes and act rather than a Beeching style ‘cut and be damned if it’s wrong’.

    I wish it was a bit stronger on support for 180 and it mentions overcrowding at Woolwich but North Greenwich at peak, particularly evening, is horrendous. Queuing systems cannot work due to the design so it’s a free for all to the exclusion of pushchairs, less able etc.

    It is also not clear how TfL thinks all of these are due to Crossrail – how is ending the 180 to Lewisham a benefit of Crossrail when Crossrail goes nowhere near there and interchange is expected at North Greenwich? It’s almost like it’s a buzzword or stock answer for any kind of change.

    Greenwich should have the courage to ask the Mayor to find the savings from elsewhere. But expecting a Labour council to stand up to a Labour mayor on savings from things like salaries, perks (free travelcards for all household members, family or not!) or workforce is up there with other fantasies like a new road bridge across the Thames.

  • The banned left turn from Woolwich New Road towards the Ferry means the 161 will stop further away from the stations than now.

    This was a council decision. They fear too many people crossing the road to get to new station.

    I have suggested some of there large pot of TfL money could be used to install a bus only turn activated by the bus to minimise delays to other vehicles.

    Nobody seems to have noticed this banned turn will affect the terminating 386 (which needs more buses or double decking).

  • where are the buses to blackheath ?

  • Diverting the 469 to Woolwich Road while not increasing the frequency of the 229 down Abbey Road is a bad move. There are very frequent stops on Abbey Road and in the mornings there’s a crowd of people at each one – the local residents who live opposite Lesnes Abbey and further down towards Belvedere rely on these buses to get to Erith, and will see a dramatic drop in overall service if it’s reduced to just one bus.

  • Terminating the 180 at North Greenwich makes absolutely no sense and for people who would have taken this route to Lewisham and places in between, their journey is now going to take longer.


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