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Will Crossrail bus improvements ever happen?

Back in 2017 TfL begun consultations on a wide ranging change to various bus services across south east London as the opening of Crossrail drew near.

Well, we all know what happened to that 2018 start date. Many of the improvements, approved in early 2018, mostly never happened. But the idea is they would at some point. Is that now the case?

Well, a new document outlining the future of Abbey Wood and Thamesmead offers a worrying sign as bus improvements are listed as “unfunded”, and we know TfL’s finances are now in deep, deep trouble.



UF means unfunded

Plans were to see the B11 cut back, the 472 extended from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood alongside diverting 469. A new route numbered 301 did make it off plans and is now operating between Bexleyheath and Woolwich. There are plans to extend to Charlton Riverside with 8,000 homes planned. So far that’s the only planned improvement for Charlton.

2018 bus contract document

The biggest change will be the 472 extending to Abbey Wood. If/when it does it should improve links to Crossrail in 2022. However the B11 would be curtained at the old Boiler House in Thamesmead.

Bus changes in 2018. Not all have occurred

The 472 route would then mostly replicate future plans for a Bus Rapid Transit. as mentioned yesterday when DLR preliminary funding was announced. Plans for the BRT to run through Charlton riverside (8,000 homes coming) and Greenwich Peninsula (20,000 homes) are now on the back burner.

DLR and Bus Rapid Transit (aka a bus with fancy branding)

The 180 was diverted from Lewisham to North Greenwich in plans, though as covered earlier this may well not be happening either. On the plus side it will see electric buses.

As for other changes, if Crossrail does commence in 2022 will there be anything in the pot to extend bus routes? If they do happen to save face, will frequencies be cut? Much to watch for.

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