That's Bus Stop M, formerly Bus Stop G, now amalgamated with former Bus Stop E and former Bus Stop M. This is a transformation which began as long as four months ago, at the end of July, when workmen first moved in to realign the edge of the pavement. By the end of September a bus stop bypass had almost been constructed, then at the start of October TfL made a complete balls-up of transferring services from two old bus stops to the new one, and this month almost all of the surrounding barriers have been removed.
But not yet all. Four months on this bus stop still doesn't have a functional bus stop bypass. The new segregated bike lane remains blocked by four plastic barriers weighed down by sandbags, forcing cyclists into the traffic. And the traffic is more dangerous than before, having been narrowed from three lanes to two, and with one of those two lanes being generally filled with buses. For long term gain, cyclists are having to endure short-term (and now alas medium-term) pain.
Because as yet the two stretches of segregated cycle lane to either side of the new bus stop bypass have not been constructed. One side passes in front of a Met Police garage, before linking up with another completed-but-not-open segregated lane. The other crosses what used to be bus stop E, and is currently being used as a parking space for terminating buses. Fractionally further up Bow Road, workmen are out in force carving up a considerable length of carriageway and pavement into their new cycle-friendly form, and causing considerable disruption. But for now, cycle-unfriendly single-lane traffic jams are the order of the day, as part of a 15-month series of road works that still has five months to run.
For bus passengers, a few digital updates have taken place over the last fortnight.
a) Mismatch between name displayed at stop (Bow Church) and digital name (Bow Flyover)[FIXED Tuesday 17th November]
Bus Stop M is now definitely called 'Bow Church', in TfL's database as well as in real life. It also has a brand new web address as a result, formerly tfl.gov.uk/bus/stop/490004215M/bow-flyover, now tfl.gov.uk/bus/stop/490004215M/bow-church. b) Bus Stop G still appears on the TfL website, and various apps, even though it's been erased in real life[MOSTLY FIXED Thursday 26th November]
A fortnight ago, according to the TfL database, bus route 276 still stopped at non-existent Bus Stop G. And now it doesn't, But there's still a blob for non-existent Bus Stop G on the map, unhelpfully subtitled "This stop does not serve any TfL routes", as is also the case for non-existent Bus Stop E. c) On the TfL website, and various apps, the list of routes serving Bus Stop M now includes route 25[FIXED Thursday 26th November]
It's taken almost two months, but somebody in the digital team has finally managed to add Bow's most important bus to the other five that stop here. If only they'd left the stop as G rather than renaming it M, this would never have gone wrong. d) On the TfL website, the list of departures at Bus Stop M now includes route 25[FIXED Thursday 26th November]
At last we can all see every bus that's about to turn up, not just half of them. Slow handclap.
Meanwhile here's what passengers are still avidly waiting for at new Bus Stop M. Well, I am anyway.
a) New bus shelter lacks a bus map[NOT FIXED][FIXED - 2nd week of December]
It's got a night bus map, but not a proper daytime map. Instead the TfL website continues to host the old daytime spider map on which ex-stop E and ex-stop G still appear. b) Timetables displayed at stop don't match times at new location (and route diagrams incorrectly shaded)[NOT FIXED]
Nobody really minds about this one, but it still signals the underlying carelessness here. c) Replacement lamppost not functional, so it's unexpectedly dark here in the evening[STILL AWAITING ELECTRICIAN] d) New bus shelter not plugged into electricity supply, so this provides no light either[STILL AWAITING ELECTRICIAN] e) While I'm asking, hello, it'd be nice to have a Countdown display back, thanks.[NO SIGN]
And of course cyclists still don't have a functional bus stop bypass, nor it seems any hope of these few brief metres being completed any time soon. Which means, sorry, you can expect further updates to the inaction in the weeks and months ahead.
Oh, and in other news, earlier this month workmen descended on the westbound side of Bow Church and are busy adding a bus stop bypass there. Previously there were three bus stops, labelled J, K and L, and it looks like in the near future there'll be only one. Sounds familiar? I wonder what they'll call the new stop, and whether they'll manage to install it without making a complete pig's ear both online and in real life. Fingers crossed.