A look at TfL’s plans for south east London transport

TfL went before Greenwich councillors last week and Charlton Champion has done a great job looking at what was covered including a new bus route from Kidbrooke to North Greenwich. 853 also looked at Thamesmead’s potential DLR extension.

That’s worth a look into in a further post, but I thought I’d delve into some other points that came up.

Bus cuts

Chipping away at bus frequencies is well underway in London due to TfL’s stretched finances.

It comes  from the meetingup on notes. On the issue of bus reductions on route 486  from Bexleyheath to North Greenwich TfL stated when asked about cuts next week:

– TfL is introducing the following frequency changes on Saturday 23 February 2019:
– Introduction of two journeys during Monday to Friday morning peak hours from Bexleyheath to North Greenwich, increasing the frequency from 7.5 to 8 buses per hour during the busiest hour in the morning peak.

I’ve had a look at the current and future bus timetable and can’t see this. Am I missing something? Here’s the current timetable:

Current timetable: Nine buses an hour from 7 to 8am departing Bexleyheath. Seven buses from 8 to 9am.

Future timetable. Eight buses an hour from 7 to 8am. Six from 8 to 9am. New timetable below:

Buses departing Bexleyheath revert to every ten minutes by 8am in the new timetable. That doesn’t happen all day in the current timetable.

The Charlton to North Greenwich end may be busier but at no stage does the bus frequency on that section ever beat what currently operates – certainly over an extended period. It’s worse for much of the peak. Charlton is getting 10 minute gaps until just before 8am. Currently 10 minute intervals end just after 6am.

Over the next two to three years St Mary Magdalene school on Greenwich Peninsula will grow from 450 to 1,600+ pupils. Longer gaps after school finishing time will be felt.

The effect on patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital – particularly in the evening peak – will also be considerable.

Woolwich or Greenwich?

Another issue that cropped up is re-zoning Woolwich Arsenal which is pretty much ruled out. Despite this TfL still expect many not to travel to North Greenwich once Crossrail opens, yet a Travelcard is over £600 a year less from North Greenwich at £1404 verses £2020 from Woolwich.

In their own words when asked are they cutting the 472:

“Yes. When the Elizabeth line opens, we will reduce the 472 from around every every 6 minutes to every 8 minutes. This is because we believe that people will transfer to the Elizabeth line, rather than crossing Woolwich and using the underground at North Greenwich”.

I’m surprised they didn’t mention the 180 being diverted from Lewisham to North Greenwich.

News on cut backs to the 53 route are to be revealed soon. Click here to read all the questions and answers.

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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.

4 thoughts on “A look at TfL’s plans for south east London transport

  • The new bus route between North Greenwich Station and Kidbrooke Village is excellent news and very welcome. However, still no bus service along the Rochester Way in Kidbrooke to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Woolwich Town Centre.

    Residents living along Rochester Way and on the housing estates off of Rochester Way will still be left with out a bus service to the new Crossrail Elizabeth Station Station and Woolwich Arsenal Station DLR Station in Woolwich,

  • Dropping bus frequencies on bus routes between woolwich and n. Greenwich on the assumption people will start using crossrail from woolwich. I can’t see it going down very well

  • I agree with you Matthew. A lot of people I know have said they will still catch the bus to North Greenwich Station for the Jubilee Line as the Elizabeth Line does not go the station they need to get to. Some areas in the Borough of Greenwich still do not have a bus route to Woolwich so the Elizabeth Line is not an option for some residents. I can see more over crowding of peak hour buses to and from North Greenwich Station.These cuts are not going down well with passengers. The 486 cuts take place this Saturday 23rd February.

    The Elizabeth Line is a welcome addition to public transport in the Borough but will not serve the needs of all passengers that need to travel with a lot of passengers still going to North Greenwich for the Jubilee Line. We still do not have an opening date for the Elizabeth Line. So perhaps it is premature to make cuts to bus services to North Greenwich Station at this time.

  • I am re-visiting this site to say the cuts to bus services introduced by TFL to Central London bus routes have proven to be at least 2 years premature of the Elizabeth Line stations opening at Abbey Wood and Woolwich until at least summer 2021.

    Fingers crossed this date will not be pushed back again once signalling issues have been sorted which have to be a priority for both driver and passenger safety.

    However, there is still a need for further improvements public transport including further new bus routes to be introduced in the Borough along with improvements to the DLR Services including introducing longer trains and British Rail Services including reinstating services on the Woolwich and Greenwich Line to terminate at Charing Cross. These direct services were a great loss to both local residents and tourist visiting Greenwich when cut from Charing Cross re-routed to Cannon Street.

    The local population has grown considerably over the last few years and set to grow even more with several hundred or possibly thousands of new homes under construction or planned for the Borough in the near future.

    The public transport infra structure along with other local amenities like GP Surgeries, Hospitals and Schools are under pressure in Greenwich Borough and the as the population continues to grow year on year.


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