New bus route in south east London for Crossrail gets start date

A new  and direct bus route linking Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood and Woolwich Crossrail stations will begin on December 8th 2018.

It’s the 301 bus and is one of a number of changes proposed by TfL in a recent consultation.

Here’s the planned start date showing 8th December.

The consultation covered changes designed to coincide with Crossrail (or Elizabeth Line if you like) services commencing in December this year. December 9th has been mentioned as the official Crossrail start date.

The B11 bus from Bexleyheath to Thamesmead via Abbey Wood will be curtailed at the same time and see frequency reduced.

Bexley is Bonkers has covered the planned route of the 301 and isn’t impressed at calls from Bexley Council to send it via New Road in Abbey Wood instead of Knee Hill which will slow journeys.

Given one reason for stagnant bus passenger numbers across London is slower journeys it doesn’t seem a wise move.

The 301 will run every 12 minutes using single-deckers so it won’t bring huge numbers of commuters from Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood for Crossrail.

I can see a need to adjust those plans quite quickly.

Bexley Council have also called for a direct bus from Welling to Abbey Wood.

Other changes planned for December are the 244 going double-decker.

The 472 bus will also be extended from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood, though this still shows Thamesmead.

Has it been cut back or will it loop around at Abbey Wood given the lack of places to sit-over near the station?


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    26 thoughts on “New bus route in south east London for Crossrail gets start date

    • Not all changes made on the network are started at new contract commencement. Obviously a new route will have to be – but the consultation stated route changes would be just before Liz line trains start.

      That’s why you only see some of the routes affected. Others, like the 472 will change in time for the new train service – which is before the new contract starts.

      New contract or variants are still subject to the outcome of the consultation, which hasn’t been published yet. So things are by no means set in stone yet.

      • Cheers. Any idea where layover for 472 would be? I can’t think of anywhere suitable. Perhaps outside community centre but often busy there

        • That’s one of the ‘discussion points’ arising from the consultation. Things like that take time to sort especially when more than one borough involved.

    • Would you know how I can submit a comment about proposal for 244 to become a double decker. Unfort I didn’t find out about the consultation until after closed. Living near Shrewsbury Lane/Eglinton Hill I have grave concerns about a double decker. Driving around this area is difficult at the best of times and very noisy, adding a double decker will just enhance this. Even the single decker struggles getting up the hill and dodging parked cars. I get the 244 in the day and weekends and it’s usually only ever half full, often empty by the time it’s up the hill. I’m sure it’s very busy at commuting time, surely a more frequent service would be better than another big noisy polluting bus running all day. The council is currently consulting on more speed bunps/measures on Shrewsbury Lane, which may or may not affect the traffic flow.
      Thanks murkeydepths for excellent coverage of all things local.

      • The consultation is closed. It had widespread coverage locally while open from July to September. Search for TfL consultations for an email address to pass on your views, though I suspect the reports will be published soon.

        Double deck buses used to run on route 244 and it’s predecessors – up and down the same roads now used by the 244. In terms of footprint on the road, double deck buses wouldn’t necessarily be bigger than the buses currently used. When converted to double deck, as per the new contract listed above, it’s highly likely to have new diesel-electric hybrid buses which are quieter and less impactful on the environment.

        • Good to hear people’s comments, knowing the double deckers may be hybrids, shorter and less noisy eases my concerns a bit. I’d totally not thought about extra peak time buses causing issues on the roads! of course! I’ll be mentioning about the parking issues and whether they can consider some sort of structured parking sections to help create better flow along the roads. When there is a gap in traffic on Shrewsbury Lane people put their foot down going way too fast in the 20 zone.

      • Shrewsbury Lane and Eglinton Hill were used by double deckers for many years, right up until the 178 was diverted to a more direct route. Double deckers are often actually shorter than the equivalent single decker, so can be more manoeuvrable rather than less. And surely running more single deck buses rather than fewer or similar double deck ones is actually adding traffic movements?

      • Before the 244 was running. The route 178 was a double decker route I used to drive that route and it wasn’t bad back then. Now I can’t see this happening to be honest the road has to many cars parked on each side of the road

      • Totally agree carol it’s ridiculous. Buses frequently have to mount the pavement to pass illegally parked cars on Herbert rd- can’t see double decker doing that. The smaller single decker barely passes cars on Brent Rd and traffic chaos often happens on Eglinton hill when car drivers refuse to give way or the bus pulls out. The bus is often empty during the day. A more frequent peak he service would solve any issues and a better bus services in Thamesmead. They will be noisier.

      • Totally agree carol it’s ridiculous. Buses frequently have to mount the pavement to pass illegally parked cars on Herbert rd- can’t see double decker doing that. The smaller single decker barely passes cars on Brent Rd and traffic chaos often happens on Eglinton hill when car drivers refuse to give way or the bus pulls out. The bus is often empty during the day. A more frequent peak he service would solve any issues and a better bus services in Thamesmead.

    • I used to rely on the 244 from Thamesmead to Woolwich and back for my commute, and a double decker is by far the most sensible approach. The 244 (and the 380) are horrendously overcrowded during the morning and evening commutes. I don’t believe increasing the frequency of the single decker buses is a good approach; it will just mean more buses stuck in the awful traffic along the Western Way and Plumstead Road. Admittedly the double deckers won’t improve the traffic situation on these roads, but at least they won’t make it worse. More space on the buses might also save some time by reducing the shuffling and faffing caused by squeezing everyone onto the tiny wee buses!

    • Any know on the 180’s extension to Erith?

    • Any word on the 469 reroute too? I’ve revisited the consultation page but can’t seem to find the results.

      • The responses are still being analyised. The consultation report will be published along with what is or isn’t changing in due course.

      • I’m interested in this too, as a resident of Abbey Road the proposed changes will directly affect me.

    • Carolyn. The double deckers should be fine on the roads you were concerned about. The 192 and then the 291 used to use these roads when operating between Plumstead Woodlands Estate and Lewisham. As Dan said so did the 178 use these roads with double deckers before being re-routed.

      I did hear from a friend who works on the buses that the 129 and 180 route changes may be introduced earlier in the year possibly late Spring/earlier Summer to allow the 180 to serve the new Erith Quarry housing development. But have not heard anything since and both routes have now moved garages from New Cross and Belvedere Garages respectively to the new Go Ahead London Central Modern Wharf Garage on the Greenwich Peninsula.

    • We need a bus route from Plumstead Common to O2 without having to walk to or change at Woolwich. Unless there is one i dont know about? I drive mostly but for concerts and nights out theres no direct bus?

    • Jayne, there is no direct bus route between Plumstead Common and North Greenwich Station for the 02 Arena at present. However this would be a good bus route link for their area. I did once suggest to TFL that route 422 could be re-routed via Plumstead Common and Kings Highway, This suggestion could still work when route 180 is re-routed to North Greenwich Station has route 180 would provide the bus link along Plumstead High Street and Plumstead Road to North Greenwich Station (02 Arena) currently served by route 422. Just a thought,

    • The details for the B11 are bad and the reason for the 301 to go via Woolwich Road and New Road is so we get a service to Thamesmead Town Centre It has been badly planned by TFL I would never use Knee Hill for any route the B11 did use it for a while and it was a problem New Road would help it serve stops by the community centre at Abbey Wood and I do not see where it would delay the service there is no way of having a stop at Knee hill for it why should we miss out

    • Adrian, personally I think TFL should have left Route B11 Thamesmead Town Centre to Bexleyheath has it is now. or extended it to Abbey Wood Station as well. Route 301 could be an additional bus route in the area providing extra capacity for passengers. between Bexleyheath- Abbey Wood – Thamesmead – Woolwich.

      When you look at bus service proposals for other areas of London under the Elizabeth Line bus service consultation which closed in September 2017 other areas like West London for example they get a few new bus routes introduced. South East London only gets one new route which is the 301.

    • Does anyone know when the official date for thr enrolment of the 301 will be? Considering the delay to the Elizabeth line

    • The introduction of route 301 was put back to September 2019 but this could be further delayed until 2020 due to the delay in the Elizabeth Line opening.

    • Living for 50 years in New Road what a disturbing unpleasant surprise to have all these buses, either single or double deckers, new routes or diversions there extremely noisy and disturb this wooded residential road.

      Will Bexley Council/TFL just get on and widen Knee Hill before New Road is turned into a race track !!??!!

    • Yo route 472 meant to be extended to Abbey wood on Saturday 7th December 2019 and they just remove the date and I think it’s gonna be extended to Abbey wood on The next year’s day do you agree with me.


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