I’ve mean meaning to write something about current bus changes in south east London recently and now Charlton Champion has pipped me to the post regarding cuts to the 53 on overnight services. You can read all about that here.
What I had originally intended to highlight was changes to the 96 bus which has altered its route between Dartford and Bluewater shopping centre to stop at Darenth Valley hospital. It now uses the Fast Track segregated bus system.
This adds to positive hospital related news including an application for Woolwich’s Queen Elizabeth hospital to be extended with 100 beds (though the net gain is probably nearer half that once changes are factored in).
Another change in SE London are cuts to the 484 from Camberwell Green to Lewisham bus station. Daytime buses have been cut from 7 an hour to 6 meaning service gaps rise from 10 to 12 minutes.
The 269 from Bexleyheath to Bromley will also see similar cuts.
The 53 cuts will mean evening reductions from every 12 minutes overnight to every 20 from Thursday to Saturday, and services every 20 minutes will rise to every 30 minutes from Sunday to Wednesday.
TfL are also looking at the route running over the Bricklayers Arms flyover by the Old Kent Road instead of around the roundabout below.
Bus use in London has continued to plateau this year. On a personal level the very slow speeds of buses mean they get little use. Most of the occasions I have taken buses in London is when I could use the new Hopper fare which allows the use of more than one bus in an hour at no extra cost. Even then, the slow speeds aren’t much of an incentive.
Bus Hopper fares will further change to allow more than two changes in a an hour. A positive step given that type of transfer has been common in many major world cities for years. Yet until they aren’t so slow issues will persist, and further cuts will not help arrest the halt in passenger growth.