diamond geezer

 Saturday, January 14, 2012

 Route 331: Uxbridge - New Denham

 Length of journey: ½ mile, 5 minutes

Four buses have taken me so far across London from east to west, but they haven't quite taken me all the way. There's still half a mile to go, which would be easy enough to walk, but a nagging voice tells me I really ought to ride. Only one London bus exits the capital anywhere between Watford and Heathrow, and that's the 331. This runs in a giant horseshoe from Uxbridge round to Ruislip, only three miles direct, but 14 miles on the bus. I only need to go two stops, but that means a very different trip to those I've made earlier today. The 331 is my first single-decker, and on a Saturday afternoon a damned busy one. A long queue is mustering in the bus station, and it's already obvious that I'm not going to get a seat. Our driver has stern words with a teenage girl whose Oystercard isn't valid, but lets her on anyway. She dashes to sit with her pink-clad cabal, muttering, but earns brownie points later when she's the only person to stand for a wobbly pensioner. Our final attempted passenger is a very elderly man who appears completely and utterly confused. He stumbles aboard, mumbles something to the driver, then turns to the entire bus and exclaims "I don't know what I'm doing!" He has the look of a startled deer caught in headlamps, alas probably permanently. Some kindly soul near the door lends an arm and helps him off, deducing that he really wants the U1 instead, and attempts reassurance. It's quite the saddest thing I've seen all day...and we're off.

We stop in the High Street to allow even more departing shoppers aboard. As social and ethnic mixes go, the passengers aboard this 331 are almost the direct opposite of my 53 experience down the Old Kent Road, but that's nearly-Buckinghamshire for you. A charming old lady asks if she can squeeze into the wheelchair space alongside me, because that's better than standing in the doorway with the college kids. The bus heads north out of town, past several boxy office blocks towards the bridge over the canal. The 17th century Swan and Bottle pub is London's last hurrah, before we're across the River Colne and beyond the capital's border. I'm the only person to alight at the next stop, and I get stares from the other passengers thinking "why the hell did he bother?" But I bothered because I wanted to cross London by bus to gain an appreciation of this fine city. And after five long hours I now have, and I think I deserve a tube home.

331 links
Route 331: route history
Route 331: route map
Route 331: timetable

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream