New bus route 301 linking Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood has been struggling in its opening week.
One particular pinch point is New Road – a steep hill through the woods running roughly parallel to Knee Hill which was the originally intended route of the bus.
Rather than work on Knee Hill, TfL decided to run the bus on New Road after saying buses had to frequently stop. The diversion means more stops are called at yet slows down the journey.
All cars blocking the bus were apparently legally parked. The issue led to “the 301 in opposite direction is also stuck going up the hill. A B11 has been put out of service and turned around”.
The 301 runs alongside the B11 which also used to run up Knee Hill until it was diverted to New Road. The B11 will be cut back in future, curtailed at the old Boiler House in Thamesmead and see frequency reduce.
The hill and parking isn’t the only problem. Diverting to New Road makes for a very tight turn at a junction at the top of Knee Hill.
Patronage on the bus has been slow so far which is to be expected of any new public transport route. I recall taking the new London Overground through New Cross gate when it opened and it was empty. It rapidly filled up. This route possibly will when Crossrail finally begins and large new developments in Bexleyheath complete – assuming journey speeds are consistently quick enough.