Some long-delayed bus route changes linked to Crossrail are set to happen as final preparations for the Elizabeth Line opening are met.
One such change is diverting the 180 from Lewisham to North Greenwich which is due to occur on 14th May.
Instead of heading through west Greenwich and onto Lewisham it will now turn north at the Blackwall Tunnel approach flyover towards Greenwich Millennium Village then North Greenwich station and the o2.
Changes to the 180 route in the east include extending from Belvedere onto Erith Quarry via Erith town centre. Last year this site covered plans to increase overall homes at Erith Quarry to 850.
The 180 now has some electric buses in service – but not all.
Severing the direct bus link between areas such as Abbey Wood and lower Charlton to Lewisham has raised opposition.
The alternative (without changing buses onto the 129 which is to be extended from Greenwich to Lewisham) is the more expensive Southeastern rail service that runs through Woolwich and Charlton then heads to Blackheath and Lewisham which runs every 30 minutes.
If SE London had similar rail fares as those over the river on c2c and London Overground, it would cost no more to use the train than the bus, but it doesn’t so higher fares apply. That also applies when changing from rail to the DLR.
Serving Greenwich Millennium Village and other nearby areas will increase services for thousands of new homes being built and approved, including 431 last week.
Other route changes due to be introduced are alterations to the 469 and 472 which is due to be extended from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood and connect with the Elizabeth Line.
The 469 was always a bus to avoid living in Abbey Wood given its slow and meandering nature, which looks likely to increase with planned changes.
It’s still unknown where the 472 will layover in Abbey Wood. There isn’t that much space to terminate a high frequency bus route. One possibility is heading down Wilton Road then under the flyover. I’ve only ever seen single-deckers down there such as the old B11 terminus.
The B11 now runs to Thamesmead but is planned to be cut back to the old Boiler House.
The 301 is another Crossrail-related bus change. The service was introduced in recent years to link Bexleyheath to Crossrail with a direct link to Abbey Wood and then via Thamesmead and Woolwich. That route is also due to extend to Charlton, with the first 1,200 homes in the Charlton Riverside masterplan area was recently approved.
Crossrail’s opening is imminent with numerous tests conducted using thousands of volunteers. In effect the service is now operating as it would – just with no paying passengers. Final sign off is due soon along with further software upgrades for rolling stock.