diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 01, 2016

It's another new dawn at what's now called Bus Stop M.

Up until yesterday the stop was served by bus route D8, indeed has been for the last 25 years. But no longer.

As of this morning we've got the 108 instead, as part of a permanent change to swap the northern ends of the two bus routes.

The D8 now breaks off from its original route at All Saints to follow the Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road to the Bow Roundabout, while the 108 emerges from the Blackwall Tunnel and takes the D8's former route through the Poplar backstreets. The two routes have also swapped their termini, with the 108 now diverting to Stratford International while the D8 continues to Stratford bus station. [map]

There is sense to this, in that the D8 no longer has to duck under the Carpenters Road railway bridge so can now be run with double deckers, and these are being introduced this morning. And it also means the D8 no longer stops at Bus Stop M, we've got the 108 instead.

What's more the tile-switchers have already been out and added the [108] while taking away the [D8], and they've done this correctly. I was impressed.

However they made the switch at least a day early, along the entire route, which left some passengers yesterday looking somewhat baffled. "I know it says the D8 stops here," said the driver of the 108 at Stratford station, "but the D8 doesn't stop here until tomorrow. If you hop on board I'll tell you when to get off and change, and don't worry, this Hopper thing means it won't cost you any extra."

Expect considerably more confusion at several stops this morning when an unfamiliar bus turns up and people start wondering why they can't go where they're expecting any more.

We don't have a 108 timetable yet, and the spider maps are out of date, because Bus Stop M never runs completely smoothly. But look at that, three nightbuses where yesterday there used to be two - who needs the Night Tube anyway?

A brief history of the buses which stopped at 'Bus Stop M', Bow Church

1946: 10 25B 25C 86A 96 208 298 661 663 695
1950: 10 25 86A 96 208 298 661 663 695
1958: 10 25 86A 208 298 661 663 695
1959: 10 25 26 32 86 169A 208 298
1960: 10 25 26 32 86 169A 208 N98
1964: 10 25 26 86 169A 208 N98
1966: 10 25 86 169A 208 N98
1968: 10 25 86 208 N98
1970: 10 25 86 S2 N98
1982: 10 25 S2 N98
1984: 8 10 25 S2 N98
1988: 8 25 S2 N8 N98
1991: 8 25 D8 S2 N8 N98
1995: 8 25 D8 S2 N8 N25
1996: 8 25 D8 S2 N25
2004: 8 25 D8 S2
2008: 8 25 276 425 488 D8
2013: 8 25 276 425 488 D8 N205
2016: 8 25 108 276 425 488 N205

One less welcome outcome of today's swap is that journeys on route 108 north of the Blackwall Tunnel will now take longer.

Travelling southbound it's only a minute or two longer, so most passengers heading from Stratford to North Greenwich won't notice.

But northbound the differences are significant, adding several minutes to the average daytime journey. Yesterday the 108 was timetabled to take about 22 minutes from North Greenwich station to Stratford bus station - a particularly speedy run. Today's it's more like 32 minutes from North Greenwich to Stratford City bus station, an increase of 10 minutes - almost a 50% longer journey time. Better take the tube?

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