Major south east London bus route extension to Crossrail confirmed

A few days ago I covered the emergence of signs at bus stops near Abbey Wood station featuring the 472 bus.

We knew other bus changes to routes such as the 180 and 469 were coming on 14th May but Transport for London were quiet on the 472’s extension from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood offering a link to Crossrail services.


I suspected it too would start on 14th May but TfL wouldn’t divulge until the Elizabeth Line’s opening date was revealed – and sure enough shortly after revealing a 24th May start date yesterday for rail services the press office replied to earlier requests.

New bus stop board

They stated:

The changes to route 472 will go ahead as proposed and take effect from Saturday 14 May.

In the direction of Abbey Wood, buses on route 472 will set down at bus stop D on Harrow Manorway opposite the station, and at the bus stop on Gayton Road, located close to the lifts up to the ticket office mezzanine at the station. Then in the direction of North Greenwich, buses pick up from the stop on Gayton Road, and then bus stop C on Harrow Manorway, close to the main entrance to the station.

Wilton Road will be part of the route in the direction of Abbey Wood.

The route benefits Thamesmead residents accessing Abbey Wood station – though the B11 is cut back in return and frequency reduced.

472 approaches north Greenwich station

TfL have now put up a page with details of all bus changes. For the 472 they note:

“Route 472 will be extended from Cannon Retail Park in Thamesmead to Abbey Wood Station via Central Way, Crossway, Carlyle Road and Harrow Manorway with buses starting and finishing on Gayton Road.

Bentham Road in Thamesmead will no longer be served however routes 244 and 301 will continue to provide a service along this road.

Route 472 will also be rerouted between Plumstead Bus Garage and Central Way via Western Way and Belmarsh Prison.

Nathan Way and Eastern Way will no longer be served by route 472 but route 301 will continue to serve these roads providing a link to both Thamesmead and Woolwich.

Route 472 will run every 8 minutes during the daytime on Monday to Fridays, every 10 minutes during the evenings on Monday to Fridays and all day on Saturdays, every 12 minutes throughout the day on Sundays and every 30 minutes between 0100 and 0400 on all nights of the week.”

Rebuilt Abbey Wood station flyover will see 472 stop

Abbey Wood residents will benefit from a 24 hour direct bus from north Greenwich station to connect with the night tube on weekends, as well as a direct bus home from concerts and events at the o2 and Magazine venues.

Other changes include the 180 extending to Erith in the east and redirected to north Greenwich in the west. That severs the link to Lewisham.

Southeastern do shadow much of the route though frequencies are low at two per hour along the Woolwich line towards Lewisham and fares higher than buses as trains do not use the TfL fare scale unlike other rail companies north of the Thames such as c2c.

Trains do go to Lewisham from Abbey Wood, Plumstead, Woolwich and Charlton – but more expensive and located away from shopping centre

That means higher fares south of the river. It’s £2.60 for an off-peak rail fare from Zone 4 to Zone 2 (Woolwich Arsenal to Lewisham) in south east London but £1.80 for the equivalent (Barking to Limehouse) on c2c in east London. Buses are £1.65.

One wonders if TfL saw the rail links that exist back when it was expected TfL would be operating rail services and thought it would mitigate? Of course Chris Grayling ripped up the agreement to devolve rail made by his predecessor – and then TfL’s funding cuts added to problems.

129 will head to Lewisham

Trains do not also link east Greenwich to Lewisham. The 129 is thus being extended to Lewisham.

The 472 was to be turned into the Greenwich Waterfront Transit once upon a time linking to Abbey Wood. Those plans existed for some years until watered down from ideas such as a trolley bus to little more than a normal bus route until the idea was scrapped in 2009.

GWT map from early 2000s before cancellation

All bus changes are to take effect on May 14th with Crossrail starting 24th May.

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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 “Major south east London bus route extension to Crossrail confirmed

    • Good news. Thanks for the update John.

    • It’s disappointing to see that the proposed change to route 180 has been confirmed. Those heading for Lewisham will find their journey significantly lengthened wherever they chose to change, be it Woolwich (54/122) or Bugsby Way for the 108.

    • The changes to route 180 are a major blow to the residents of Abbey Wood and lower Charlton who have lost their direct bus route to Lewisham Town Centre. Passengers do not want to keep having to change buses when they used to be able to compete the journey using one bus.

      Sadly some areas of Kidbrooke, Eltham and other parts of the Borough still do not have a direct bus route to Woolwich Town Centre and the new Woolwich Elizabeth Line Station.

    • @CDT I agree, and I honestly cannot understand how the 180 changes were allowed to go ahead when the response to the changes were overwhelmingly negative plus the fact that this now leaves the 177 at 6 buses per hour as being the only route between Abbey Wood/Woolwich to Greenwich, yet they’re over bussing North Greenwich, we don’t want another link to NG thanks


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