Crossrail bus improvements and double decker plan scrapped?
Parking issues could well scupper planned bus improvements for Plumstead and Woolwich in coming months.
One such plan was to convert some single decker routes to double deckers for forthcoming Crossrail services. That now appears on hold according to bus company staff who have contacted me, at least for the 291 bus from Plumstead Common to Queen Elizabeth Hospital via Woolwich town centre.
According to some staff, initial test runs saw the route deemed inadequate due to parking.
Roads are narrow on parts of the route and though double yellows exist in places, more are needed and have yet to be installed. Unless they are, the route will struggle to run double deckers.
Area such as Raglan Road would need double yellows throughout the stretch seen below, which would not only aid buses but the adjacent Foxfield School:
Illegal parking has also been mentioned. Plumstead (like many other areas) has widespread illegal parking and minimal enforcement which has contributed to a £10 million black hole in Greenwich Council’s parking budget. Last year again saw a £1.2 million shortfall.
The entrance to Plumstead £1.2 million bus lane to Woolwich has been blocked by poor parking on an almost daily basis since construction two years ago.
First the 244
Initial consultation on Crossrail related bus improvements saw both the 291 and 244 going double decker, yet when results were announced plans for the 244 were dropped.
The 291 double decker service is due to start in less than two months time. If the 291 does not go ahead, could double decker buses transfer to 244 operation? Both are to be operated by Go Ahead’s London Central bus division. Yet the 244 requires 12 vehicles and only 6 for the 291.
Some locals have argued that the 244 is more in need than the 291 for double decker operation.
Will attempts still be made to convert the 291 or delay it with Crossrail pushed back? Or could Greenwich Council install double yellows and then step up enforcement? It appears not unless they hire many more staff.
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