The little 244 bus offers a lifeline to Thamesmead residents heading to Abbey Wood and Woolwich stations, running through north and west Thamesmead.
Last year when widespread bus changes related to Crossrail were consulted upon, the 244 was listed as going to double decker buses.Then this summer the results came out – and it was to remain single decker. A new timetable is to be introduced tomorrow (8th December) which sees a frequency up to every 12 minutes leaving Abbey Wood station towards Thamesmead:
A bit earlier and some 10 minute intervals after school finishing time at 15:09, 15:19 and 15:29 go to 15:07, 15:18 and 15:29.
That may not seem much but with a busy route it can make a difference. One bus late and that 11 or 12 becomes 20, and resilience is reduced.
I’ve experienced this myself on other route. 10 minute frequency became 12. Not a big deal right? Except its now so much busier at times as every minute counts on some routes. And the extended gap means more crowds at some stops and slower boarding which further increases intervals.
Relief should come next year with the 472 extending to Abbey Wood – though it doesn’t duplicate the 244 exactly. And the B11 is being cut back. Crossrail’s delay means other bus changes such as those won’t be arriving for a good few months, but the 244 change happens now.