What is it about the 469 bus route and the 23rd January? (†) For the third time in 20 years TfL are messing around with it on that date.
From a week next Saturday people who live between Gilbert Road and Lesnes Abbey in Belvedere will lose the only bus that can take them to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. That includes me and residents of the nearby old folks home. Bexley Council officially objected to it.
And why would TfL want to do it?
The only benefit, and the reason for the change first announced in 2017, is to give residents of Upper Belvedere a route to Abbey Wood’s Crossrail station. (Click here for TfL proposals.) The fact that everyone from as far away as Erith (Zone 6) will have their (cheaper!) access to the nearest Zone 4 station halved is ignored. It won’t be worth getting on a 469 which will take a big detour.
Crossrail in case anyone has forgotten is still a year or more away and the 229 which I see pass by every 12 minutes used to be packed solid at commuter times before the pandemic struck. Many is the time it has been standing room only when I’ve used it to go to Council meetings.
The rerouting won’t be any fun for those who live on or use Picardy Road or New Road which are already blighted by buses. (401/601 school service and B11/301 respectively.)
TfL will tell you that most people are in favour of longer and slower 469 journeys but I am not sure you can trust TfL consultations. According to them (below right) most people were in favour of curtailing the B11 route and reducing its frequency. Surely that has to be a lie.
† On 23rd January 1999 the 469 which used to take me direct to Woolwich was rerouted
round the back streets of Plumstead and no longer served McLeod Road and smaller buses used.
In January 2009 the 469 stopped serving Bexleyheath and on 23rd January 2016 it began running out of the Dartford garage which improved the service not one bit. It will now operate out of the Morden Wharf Garage which is near the O2.