As well as introducing a two-way traffic system by spring 2019, Newham also intend to introduce road calming measures, separate cycle tracks, wider pedestrian crossings and improved landscaping. They also said TfL would issue a separate consultation to look at how bus routes through Stratford would be affected, and last week TfL were finally able to do just that. The consultation closes on 21st July.
And here's what they're proposing. Simple, huh?
Here's the same map, but I've removed all the red "routes no longer served" (and all the nightbuses).
That's still complicated enough, but let me see what I can unpick for you.
With regards to bus routes...
• Routes 69 and 308 won't be changing.
• Every other bus route is being partially rerouted to follow the same roads in both directions.
• Every bus route except the 69 and 308 will serve Stratford bus station in both directions.
• TfL have made a set of pdf maps to compare all the old and new routes.
With regards to new bus stops...
• Two new bus stops are being added on the inside of the ring road to serve buses travelling anti-clockwise.
• One of these will be opposite the bus station, and will be served by the 158, 241 and 257.
• The other will be near the Picturehouse, and will only be served by the 257.
• Another new stop is being added along Tramway Avenue, so there'll now be stops on both sides.
• The bus station is going to be reconfigured, with a new central loop and fewer stops at the roadside.
With regards to dead bus stops...
• The bus stop round the back of St John's Church will be removed because that bit of Broadway is being pedestrianised. All eastbound buses will stop further back outside the entrance to the Stratford Centre.
• The bus stop on Broadway outside the Town Hall will be removed. All buses will stop further back instead, either opposite the church or just round the corner on Tramway Avenue.
• The bus stop opposite the Theatre Royal will be removed, and the three remaining bus routes will stop further down Great Eastern Road.
And because it's still not entirely obvious what all that means, let me break it down by destination.
No change - all buses will go first to the bus station.
At the moment the best place to catch a bus to Bow is outside the Town Hall, because all four bus routes stop there. In future the best place will be the bus station, for the same reason. Only the 25 and 425 will stop on the Broadway.
The same route as now, but with a detour to the bus station and back. Apparently buses won't stop anywhere in central Stratford except the bus station, which is either madness or somebody's left a dot off the map.
The same route as now, but stopping at a new stop on Tramway Avenue.
The upshot is...
• Routes will generally be simpler and more direct.
• It's going to be easier to catch a bus to/from Stratford station.
• The bus station's going to be busier, and a more important place for catching buses.
• Far fewer buses will be serving the northeast of the town centre, i.e. outside Morrisons and the library.
In conclusion, I think I understand what's going on only because I've spent the last hour trying to unpick the maps and write the above summary. I wonder how many other people are going to bother, and then submit a response? It's all pretty much a done deal anyway... Newham are changing the roads, so TfL have got to change the buses. And sure, it's a big change, but we'll all get used to it eventually.
(In case a post about bus changes in Stratford was too much for you, there's always four days of writing about Tyneside to catch up on.)