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News and Comment December 2017

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19 December - Express bus service for Crossrail. Forget it

Knee Hill Knee Hill Knee HillBuses are far too slow. Until the coming of the B11 service I could walk home from Bexleyheath (the downhill direction) quicker than the average 229 could carry me. The quickest bus route if one is lucky with the connection is the 401 to Belvedere station and change buses there.

Abbey Wood badly needs a direct bus service to Bexleyheath and the coming of Crossrail has given Transport for London the excuse it needed to provide one.

They proposed route 301 to go up Knee Hill, Brampton Road, Long Lane and Woolwich Road to the town centre and about time too.

Knee HillDoubts were expressed about the suitability of Knee Hill for large vehicles but TfL proposed only small single deckers and they would be far from being the biggest vehicles to use the hill.

When they do problems can arise. There is a kink in the road near the summit and large vehicles descending tend to wander across the white line and squeeze even very small cars like mine into the kerb. Irrespective of it becoming a bus route, Bexley Council should be doing something about it. They spend millions on wrecking perfectly good roads but a well known danger point is ignored.

It seems that Bexley Council regards Knee Hill as a historic monument which must be preserved at all costs.

TfL ran test buses up and down Knee Hill recently and at great expense discovered what any local motorist could have told them for nothing. Knee Hill is a bit awkward at the top.

New Road New RoadBecause of this Bexley Council is recommending that the new 301 route uses New Road instead. The kink at the top of Knee Hill could be easily fixed, it wouldn’t even need any trees to come down. It could be eased out by 18" on the Bexley side and maybe 2'6" on the Greenwich side. Four feet would improve matters enormously, as can be seen from the tyre tracks, the land is already used as a muddy road.

If the 301 runs up New Road it will no longer be a quick route into Bexleyheath and back. New Road introduces three new significant right hand turn junctions, five extra bus stops, a pedestrian crossing and a near impossible left hand turn compared to Knee Hill.

Four buses an hour in each direction on New Road is already a problem. Buses cannot pass the free parking spaces without waiting for a clear run. Just imagine a bus every two and a half minutes as is proposed. (The 469 is going to be rerouted via New Road too.)

Before long those free parking spaces will go and the only ‘benefit’ will be the loss of faster bus service. The diversion will put five minutes on the journey, maybe more.

When you get on the Crossrail train you may be two services behind the one you should have caught.


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