diamond geezer

 Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stratford bus update: When Westfield opened, TfL tweaked four bus routes to terminate outside. Now the Olympics are over they're planning to tweak those four routes again, and three more, to improve connectivity hereabouts. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is about to open up, with increasing amounts of housing, leisure facilities and other infrastructure, so best be prepared to meet the extra demand.

A consultation is underway, with a webpage here, a summary map here, and a full 22 page document here. Here's the map.

Below is a summary of the proposed changes, which are scheduled to be introduced from next spring onwards. Every bus will serve Stratford City, and five of them will stop at Stratford International, which is far more than this empty station deserves. Three buses will run through the heart of the Olympic Park - two along a restored Waterden Road and one along Carpenters Road. And three will stop outside the Aquatic Centre, should you fancy a swim in Newham's latest pool or a trip up the Orbit.

BusCurrent routeFuture route S City S IntOl PkAq C
97Chingford - Stratford Cityvia East Village  
241Canning Town - Stratford CityCanning Town - East Wick  
308Clapton Park - WansteadClapton - Wanstead  
339Shadwell - Stratford CityShadwell - Whipps Cross
388Blackfriars - Hackney WickBlackfriars - Stratford City  
D8Crossharbour - Stratford CityCrossharbour - Stratford Int 
N205Paddington - Bow ChurchPaddington - Leyton 

The 97 continues much as before, but with a diversion through the East Village to save its new residents a walk. The 241 won't be extended until the Olympic Media Centre is reopened, so that's merely an aspirational change at this stage. The 308 returns to its original route down Temple Mills Lane, then nudges away from Leyton to serve the East Village. The 339 cuts through the heart of the park and is then extended an extra three miles to Whipps Cross, becoming a much more important route than it is now. The 388 becomes Hackney's link to the Westfield shopping centre, a long awaited change. The D8 abandons Warton Road for Carpenters Road, with a wiggle back to serve the Aquatic Centre. And the N205 is a night-time-only extension of the 205, from Bow through Stratford City to Leyton.

I'm surprised not to see the 276 revert to its original route along Carpenters Road - presumably somebody thinks it's best to maintain its connection through Bow. Indeed quite a number of TfL's original plans for this area (blogged here) no longer appear on the drawing board. It had been mooted that the 8, 30, 145, 262 and W14 might extend to Stratford City, but they'll be staying put for now. One other peculiarity is that only two services will be terminating at Stratford City bus station, down from four today, which means its vast windswept parking facilities will be increasingly wasted.

The consultation runs until Friday 22nd February, so there's plenty of time to make your views heard. Residents along Leyton Road might not appreciate losing two-thirds of their buses to an upstart development, but there'll still be plenty of other untweaked buses nearby. Other than this it's hard to see too much dissent, given that these are additional services along extra route miles employing more drivers.

If all goes to plan then services on the 97 and 308 will change from May, the D8 and 205 from the autumn, the 388 next December, the 339 by 2014 and the 241 on some unconfirmed date. And one day you might be riding one of these buses to the former Olympic Park for a picnic... just not any time soon.

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