New bus route 301 linking Abbey Wood Crossrail to Bexleyheath starts this week

A new bus route numbered 301 kicks off this coming Saturday running between Woolwich and Bexleyheath via Abbey Wood station in advance of the Elizabeth Line starting in late 2020 or early 2021.

The introduction of the new bus service was put back from the end of last year as the rail service suffered delays. While Crossrail is still a long way off, the bus route is commencing.

301 route

This new route offers a more direct link between Bexleyheath and Abbey Wood than the current meandering B11 which will eventually be cut back from much of Thamesmead (terminating at the old Boiler House) and see frequencies reduced.

10 minutes from Canary Wharf – soon, maybe

The 301 will run every 12 minutes during the day and 15 at night, and also operate using double-deckers after initial plans foresaw single-deckers. This has forced a route change near Abbey Wood. It will no longer traverse the direct route along Knee Hill but divert via New Road adding extra time. This is instead of upgrading the narrow Knee Hill for double-deckers.

Crossrail trains parked up at Abbey Wood

The alteration will add a few minutes to journeys, and coupled with traffic congestion often seen around Brampton Road roundabouts could be enough to ensure some Bexleyheath commuters stick with Southeastern rather than take a bus to Abbey Wood then change onto Crossrail. Journeys to the City and West End would be no quicker depending on start point. Canary Wharf is a different story.

New homes

The bus will head down Long Lane from Abbey Wood then arrives in the centre of Bexleyheath. The B11 which approaches from the west and Bexleyheath station. The east of the town centre will see 518 new homes with some already under construction – as covered last week on this site.

In Abbey Wood it’ll cross the station’s adjacent dual carriageway – which has lost dedicated bus lanes, to join Harrow Manorway – soon to have a new bus lanes. Give with one hand…

Then it’s on to Thamesmead to bolster links from the notoriously cut off town to Crossrail stations. An extended 472 will also one day head this way, but not yet.




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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.

13 thoughts on “New bus route 301 linking Abbey Wood Crossrail to Bexleyheath starts this week

  • Spot the error in TfL’s map: Bostall Hill has gained an extra “R”…

  • It is good to see that the new 301 bus route will be introduced from Saturday 13th July. Although Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) may not open until late 2020 or Spring 2021.

    However, Bexley residents are still set to see cuts to two other local bus routes when route 428 Erith to Bluewater is cut back to Crayford no longer serving Dartford, Darent Valley Hospital or Bluewater,

    Route B11 Bexleyheath Garage to Thamesmead Town Centre is to be cut back to Yarnton Way no longer serving Thamesmead Town Centre. The frequency on route B11 will also be reduced to every 20 minutes during the day on Monday to Saturdays and to every 30 minutes during Monday to Saturday evenings and Sundays.

  • Residents of New Road are fuming over double decker 301 traveling via New Road. We no longer enjoy our home as the bus 301 is disturbing due to noise and turbulence on this narrow road.

    • Hi Lina. Ive written to GLS Transport committee to ask why double deckers are being used. Any other suggestions as to what we could do to change the decision? Martin

  • I have just sent the following email to tfl together with the video referred to.

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing to you to complain about the new bus route 301, that uses double decker buses along New Road – where I live.

    When single decker buses were first introduced a few years back, I was a little surprised as I felt they would struggle because of the width of the roads and the fact that there are cars parked both sides of the road where houses are. I don’t think I was actually wrong. However, the introduction of Double Decker buses is nothing short of an absolute joke and I have to question who made this decision and what research was performed that suggested Double Decker buses were suitable – and desired! I would lay my bottom dollar it was a decision not made by anyone living in close proximity to the area.

    There has already been incidents occurring where it is obvious that DDecker’s are not suitable. Please see attached a video from yesterday evening around 9.00 that shows clearly the problem these buses are causing. In this example there is a single decker B11 blocked by the 301 coming up the hill – and what happens eventually is that the single decker has to go on the pavement in order to get around it. Together with the cars that are behind the B11 – because of course the DDecker cannot reverse as there is no space.

    I would also like to know why it was felt this service is necessary and in particular why DDeckers were felt to be appropriate. The reason I say this is because I am yet to see anymore than 6 people on these services at any one time! These buses run until late into the evening and I have witnessed some of them go down New Road with 1 person travelling on them it! I kid you not and if you think I am exaggerating – I would be more than happy to provide photographic evidence. Rather than DDeckers – perhaps you could provide an minibus or UBERs – particularly outside of rush hours – both more appropriate and costing less to taxpayers! What urgently needs to be done is someone with a clipboard monitoring just how many people use this service – it seems pretty obvious this was not adequately researched before this new bus route was put into effect.

    Lastly – from an environmental perspective DDeckers have much more impact. New Road is a quiet Road with a large stretch of woodland which will undoubtably be affected – if nothing else the trees will need trimming in order to allow the buses to get through. There is a good chance widelife will be effected and the roads are more likely to be impacted through use of the heavier vehicles. The DDeckers are also much more intrusive and afford less privacy to those living in the road. It is simply making it not such a nice place to live. And before you go on about those who rely on buses to get around – I am not saying ban all buses – just get the right ones for the right routes at the right frequency – there must currently be a massive overspend associated by running these big vehicles unnecessarily.

    I would very much like a response to these questions – and in particular who made this decision – particularly if it is someone I can take some measures to vote out!

    Yours sincerely.

    • Hi Peter – Ive just been in touch with Lond Assembly Transport Cttee members saying essentially the same. Some responses saying they’ll ask whats occurring. Martin

  • Hi – Yeah Double deckers at 12 minute intervals are a waste of money – theyre empty all the time even at rush hour. Efficiency is supposedly important in the London Mayor’s transport plans, apart from when its not.

    • I also live on New Road. No consultations at all with residents living this nightmare. Buses running from 05.45am until 0.45 am the next day. 18 buses hourly. When are residents supposed to sleep.New 301 has barely 5 people travelling on them mainly empty after 6pm and why run them so late and so frequently..Why is a double decker required. Both the B11 and 301 cannot get passed each other. The noise and fumes are disgusting. Our privacy has gone on such a narrow road with such closeness to the houses. This is a 3 in 1 hill , the noise of the D.D climbing and downward buses hitting higher part of trees let alone what its doing to environment. When l moved here it was for the beauty and birdsong now ruined. New Road is now a M25 busroute. I for one next March will be expecting a Rates deduction for this farce underhandly bought in with no consultation with the people it effects THE NEW ROAD RESIDENTS. I for one can no longer shop at Thamesmead Town Centre as you have terminated the end part of B11 route.

      • Has this been cancelled? It is still running to Thamesmead Town centre. I strongly recommended to TFL they do not cut short the route at Thamesmead East as it will cut off local residents from Thamesmead Town centre.

  • The 301 is very under used and it has been like this since it started. It duplicates part of B11, 472 and in some cases 401.

    I have asked TFL to look into this route as I think it’s a waste of money.

    The 472 between Woolwich and Thames mead is more than sufficient, the B11 is much more important because it stops closer to peoples homes and the 301 only interferes with patronage numbers for the B11. Most people also prefer to use the 401 and 229 to travel from Bexleyheath to Thamesmead. Double deckers are not required for the 301.

    TFL needs to focus on increasing the B11 rather than wasting money on the 301.

    • Hehehehe. Look how busy it Is now that cross rail has started!


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