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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