Bus changes in south east London announced including cuts

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).

Hospital plans in Woolwich

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.


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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

5 thoughts on “Bus changes in south east London announced including cuts

  • You mention the hopper fares being a good things, but people don’t realise it is because of these, the buses are being cut!!! TfL is skint because of the massive drop in revenue, caused by The mayor freezing fares and giving people free travel with the hopper fares. This is just the start of worse to come, soon there are a lot more cuts to come, some very brutal. The money to run bus services has to come from somewhere, with the government cutting TfL’s funding and the mayor giving free rides, where does the money come from? It will get to the point, where whole bus routes will be scrapped!! And judt watch, underground will be next!! And this is 2018 people, bad times.

  • They cut the bus driver pay to the min made them work longer hours without breaks not one person cared now they have no were eles to go but cut services with all the cut backs . when will people except the real people don’t matter anymore. Cut backs are eveywere

  • I like the idea of the hopper fare, but as mentioned, bus travel can be very slow and there have been occasions where I was outside the hour to take advantage of this fare structure. I have now moved into zone 2 – Lewisham town centre – and getting into the City or West End will be quicker. I now need only one bus if I am going into the City.

  • Route 53 night service will be cut to every 30 minutes (2 buses per hour) Sunday to Thursday nights and from every 12 minutes to every 20 minutes (3 buses per hour) on Friday and Saturday nights from the 20th January 2018. With most of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and neighbouring boroughs of Lewisham and Bexley having no underground service. I am really concerned about the cuts to bus services in South East London. The service on route 89 Slade Green to Lewisham Station was also recently cut from every 10 minutes to every 12 minutes Monday to Saturday day times, The night service on route N89 Erith to Trafalgar Square was also cut back to every 30 minutes (2 buses per hour) on all nights of the week. The royal Borough of Greenwich has only two day time bus services to Central London routes 53 Plumstead Station to Whitehall, 188 North Greenwich to Russell Square. Both routes are very busy bus routes.

  • I was shocked to read that route 47 Bellingham (Catford Bus Garage) to Shoreditch via Catford Lewisham Deptford Surrey Quays London Bridge, The Monument and Liverpool Street Station has been recently cut back to every 12 minutes (5 buses per hour) in peak hours and Monday to Saturday day times . In the evenings and Sundays route 47 operates every 20 minutes (3 buses every hour). This is a route local people in Catford and Lewisham including many of my colleagues were hoping would be increased in frequency has a Central London route. Again due to the lack of underground services in the area.


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