diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 08, 2016

Passengers on bus route 25, I have good news and bad news.

If you live beside the Bow Flyover it's good news, because buses on route 25 won't be whizzing over the flyover any more. Instead they'll be going via the roundabout, like they used to, which means they will be stopping at your local bus stop, which means you will be able to catch a 25 again.

They started disappearing over the flyover on Monday 16th March 2015. East London was in the grip of Cycle Superhighway works at the time, which were seriously slowing down the traffic, so buses on route 25 were diverted over the flyover to save a little time. By missing out a couple of bus stops, the traffic lights and some jams, it was possible to make up a few minutes lost queuing through roadworks in Aldgate, and elsewhere. It left a half mile gap in the middle of the busiest bus route in London, but the sacrifice of the few aided the travel experience of the many.

Eastbound the Marshgate Lane bus stop was skipped, and eastbound the Bow Flyover bus stop on the opposite side of the dual carriageway. It's OK, said TfL, all other buses will continue to stop here, so you won't be without a service. It's OK, said TfL, it's only for three months. But after three months they extended the diverstion "until further notice", and after six months they proposed to make it permanent. "No!" screamed the public in the ensuing consultation, so TfL relented and said they'd return the 25 to ground level "as soon as the current major roadworks on the route are complete". But these completed in June, and nothing happened.

If you'd turned up at the Marshgate Lane bus stop during the last 18 months you'd have seen a red cross stuck over the number '25'. You'd have seen all the buses on route 25 speeding past over the flyover. And you'd have seen a particularly rubbish diversion notice telling you where the "nearest alternative stops" were. Westbound the nearest was apparently "stop K on High Street near Warton Road", and eastbound "stop A on Bow Road near Bow Church Station (DLR)". Had anybody bothered to check they'd have discovered that these weren't the nearest stops, they were the third nearest, and both were ten minutes walk away. But nobody checked, and this drivel was left up to advise passengers for 570 days.

Residents living near to the omitted bus stops became increasingly incandescent about the diversion, there being no obvious reason for its continuation. They emailed, tweeted and complained, as you do, but TfL revealed nothing. The 25 continued to sail over the flyover throughout the summer, and throughout September, and nobody official appeared to be able to say anything. And then finally this Thursday, a full 81 weeks after the diversion began, local residents were sent this email.
From Saturday 8 October, there will be changes to bus route 25, which runs between Ilford and Oxford Circus. Following the completion of roadworks, buses will no longer be diverted over Bow Flyover and will once again run via Bow Roundabout.
The sticky red crosses came down on Thursday, and the ridiculous yellow diversion notice disappeared too, so everything looked promising. Passengers turning up yesterday were very confused, of course, staring at the 25s on the flyover then double-checking the bus stop, because the timetable switch had happened a day too early. But today they'll be able to board properly, or if they're travelling home get off at the correct stop rather than having to walk for an unnecessary extra five minutes.

A new timetable really did start this morning - I've been out to check! No longer do 25s take the high road over the flyover, they take the low road round the roundabout. Passengers at Marshgate Lane are once again able to board a frequent bus to Stratford and beyond, and are already doing so. Normal service has finally been resumed.

I said there was bad news, and for everybody else there is. If you don't live near Marshgate Lane, then the last 18 months have been excellent. Your journey on the 25 has been faster by at least a minute, often more, because the bus hasn't had to queue up for the traffic lights. Also the view from the top of the flyover has been better - far across the Olympic Park and down the Lower Lea Valley - and from the upper deck much better still. Now all these bonuses have been taken away, and the 25's journey is slower, less reliable and fractionally less interesting.

Indeed buses are always faster if they don't have to stop at places you don't want to go. The ultimate bus route skips loads of stops and whizzes you to your destination much quicker as a result. The catch is that the ultimate bus route is a taxi, and a London full of taxis would be a jammed-up nightmare.

So it's excellent news that the 25 is stopping again at Marshgate Lane, because the aim of any good bus service is to serve the communities through which it passes, not to miss them out. Several hundred people have been inconvenienced for a year and a half so that TfL can run an efficient timetable, but now their needs are once again being taken into account. And with tens of thousands more people due to move in by the Bow Roundabout over the next few years, everyone'll be best served by having the busiest bus route in London stopping close by. Come on down!


When pedestrian crossings were added to the Bow Roundabout in June, TfL stuck numbers to five of the flyover's pillars to indicate 'Exits'. Due to flimsy construction and poor adhesion these numbers then mostly peeled or fell off. Yesterday contractors came back and peeled the rest off, replacing them with proper permanent plastic numbers. These won't fall off, they're solid stuff, but they probably won't persuade many more of the public to cross via the new crossings either.


Bus Stop W (Marshgate Lane): Buses on route 25 are stopping again, but the timetable is three years old so shows incorrect frequencies. There are still no maps in the bus shelter. [MAP HAS APPEARED, end of October]
Bus Stop P (Bow Flyover): Buses on route 25 are stopping again, but there's no timetable. The Countdown display shows all departures except those for route 25. [25 ON DISPLAY, end of October]
Digital Bus Stop W: Doesn't yet show buses on route 25.
Digital Bus Stop P: Doesn't yet show buses on route 25.

Routes 108/D8: Timetables at bus stops have not yet been updated (all stops, entire route) [TIMETABLES UPDATED, two weeks late]
Routes 108/D8: Spider maps at bus stops have not yet been updated (all stops, entire route) [MAPS UPDATED, end of October]
Routes 108/D8: Spider maps online have not been updated (so still show the 108 and D8 going via their old routes) [MAPS UPDATED, end of October]
Route 108: Northbound buses still say 'Stratford' on the front, not 'Stratford City' or 'Stratford International Bus Station' (confusing passengers when the bus doesn't actually go to Stratford)
Digital Bus Stop M: Doesn't yet show departures on route 108 (although the Countdown display at the stop works fine) [108 SHOWN, mid-October]

Digital Bus Stop K: Still nobody's switched the N205 nightbus from Bus Stop K to Bus Stop J.
Digital Bus Stop L: Still nobody's switched route 8 from Bus Stop L to Bus Stop J. [ROUTE 8 SWITCHED TO BUS STOP J, mid-October]
Digital Bus Stop G: Still appears on the TfL digital map, even though it hasn't existed for a year.
Digital Bus Stop E: Still appears on the TfL digital map, unlabelled, even though it hasn't existed for a year.

<< 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