diamond geezer

 Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Before I leave TfL's database of 19937 bus stops well alone, allow me to reshuffle one last field. Every bus stop has an official title, a Bus Stop Name, displayed on the flag beneath the roundel. By rearranging these into alphabetical order, it's possible to uncover the complete A-Z of London bus stops. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the first stop on the list was only a short walk from home...

The first London bus stop in alphabetical order: Abbey Lane
[bus stop ID: 54140] [routes served: 25, 108, 276, 425, D8] [borough: Newham] [postcode: E15 2SE] [map]

If you were hoping for Abbey Road, apologies. There are seven Abbey Road bus stops in London, but Abbey Lane in E15 pips the lot. You'll find it about halfway along Stratford High Street, approximately where the Greenway crosses, at what'll one day be the southern gateway to the Olympic Park. Abbey Lane heads off across the marshes to towards the site of Stratford Langthorne Abbey, once ecclesiastically huge in these parts, and the reason why this particular bus stop tops the alphabetical list. Alongside is Albert Bigg Point, one of the few tower blocks round here erected as long ago as the 20th century, while elsewhere a febrile state of developer-mania has taken hold. Stratford High Street is fast becoming a skyscraper boulevard, with one particularly lofty beast attached to the former Yardley factory fractionally up the road, and a brand new pile of flats shooting up immediately across the road on the site of a former tyre depot. Where once this bus stop served a minor council estate surrounded by light industry, it's now the departure point for thousands of professional incomers in concierge-served studios. And joy of joys, it's also slap bang on Cycle Superhighway 2. This bus stop was one of the first anywhere in London to get a bus stop bypass, indeed the design's barely changed since, with the carriageway narrowed to provide room for a bike-friendly chicane, and passengers waiting patiently on a thin island midstream. A thoroughly modern patch of pavement, every other London bus stop follows on behind.

The last London 'bus stop' in alphabetical order: Zion Road
[bus stop ID: -] [route served: 198] [borough: Croydon] [postcode: CR7 8RG] [map]

The very last entry in the TfL bus stop database, alphabetically speaking, is in Thornton Heath. But the details listed in the database are sketchy - the stop doesn't appear to have an SMS code, nor a postcode, neither does it show up as a dot on the TfL website. So I had a theory what I'd find when I reached Zion Road, and on arrival my suspicions proved correct. Zion Road is a terraced backstreet parallel to the main drag, and brief enough that no scheduled bus service would choose to pass this way. While homeowners bustle in their doorways on one side of the road, the other is taken up by Strand House, the Croydon Adult Learning and Training Centre. It's big and blocky, but has the major advantage that nobody lives here nor needs to park a car outside, so there's plenty of room to park a bus instead. When double deckers on route 198 have finished their haul from Shirley they pull in here, one way only, and stack up in the bus stand painted on the road. There's room for at least three. TfL have even provided a tiny cubicle for ablutions, locked by PIN code, on a scrappy patch of grass at the street corner ahead. And then at the appointed time drivers accelerate off to the first official stop in Nursery Road, and start the entire circuit again. So as I suspected Zion Road is a Bus Stand rather than a Bus Stop, and entirely off-limits for passengers. So it doesn't count. So let's go travelling again.

The last TfL bus stop in alphabetical order: Zig Zag Road
[bus stop ID: 51477] [routes served: 465] [district: Mole Valley] [postcode: RH5 6BY] [map]

Here's a turn-up, the bus stop at the other end of the alphabet to Abbey Lane also has an Olympic connection. It can be found at the bottom of Box Hill, specifically at the bottom of the the hairpin ascent that gave the 2012 road race some oomph. The gradient on the Zig Zag Road is approximately 5% throughout, which thoroughly tests the thigh muscles of the besaddled, and offers a stunning view in the upper reaches of the ascent to boot. I loved it as a walk, so long as I kept out of the way of puffing bikes. But in November I suspect it's less fab, so I was relieved to have already visited earlier in the year, and taken a photo of the bus stop at the bottom of the hill because that's the kind of guy I am. Not only is this a remote spot on a country lane, serving a handful of hideaway villas, but it's also a very long way away. The 465 runs further south than any London bus, beyond Leatherhead, beyond Westhumble, all the way to Dorking. Which means of course, that Zig Zag Road lies far beyond Greater London. So it doesn't count. So let's go travelling again.

The last London bus stop in alphabetical order: Zangwill Road
[bus stop ID: 76899] [routes served: 386] [borough: Greenwich] [postcode: SE3 8EL] [map]

If we can't accept a bus stand, and we mustn't accept somewhere in Surrey, then the last London bus stop in alphabetical order is that at Zangwill Road, SE3. And this is more like it, a mundane turn-off from a better known thoroughfare, very close to the top end of Woolwich Common. The street name you'll know is Shooters Hill Road, here running down to the foot of the aforementioned hill in the approximate vicinity of Hornfair Park. Also close by is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, whose out-of-town presence demands the services of at least half a dozen buses, one of which is the 386. This tortured workhorse follows a perversely convoluted route from Woolwich to Blackheath, seemingly ticking off every housing estate it passes, in this case suburban avenues to the east of Kidbrooke. Zangwill Road mixes postwar semis with even poster-war flats, and is seemingly named after the Jewish author Israel Zangwill. Somewhat appropriately for an end-of-alphabet feature he was a keen Zionist, indeed a leading light in paving the foundations for the nation which bears his name. And so now does the bus stop at the end of the road, although this wasn't always so. Until relatively recently this stop was called The Brook, after the pub on the corner, but when this closed (and was bought up by the Co-op) TfL were forced to rename it after a local road instead. So Zangwill Road is now the final valid entry in the alphabetical bus stop database... unless, bugger, does Z space S come before or after Zan?

The last London bus stop in alphabetical order? Z S L London Zoo
[bus stop ID: 49306] [routes served: 274] [borough: Westminster] [postcode: NW1 7SX] [map]

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17
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    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this month?
28 Jan – 23 Apr (10am-4.30pm)
Sussex Modernism
The sixth annual exhibition at Two Temple Place focuses on radical art/writing in Sussex, and is damned excellent.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

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

the diamond geezer index
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards