Please buy my new book Bus Stop M, The Complete Compendium
This fantastic stocking filler brings to life the fascinating story of one of the capital's most iconic transport icons.
Thrill to a tale of reconstruction, bureaucracy and project management. Relive the amazing period when Bus Stop M was dynamic infrastructure in motion. Then bring yourself right up to date with the current state of the most famous bus stop in the entire E3 postcode.
All this for only £12.99, plus postage and packing. It's M-agnificent!
In chapter 1 we cover the driving force behind Bus Stop M's birth - the implementation of a segregated Cycle Superhighway. The book opens when CS2 was just a blue stripe on a road and none of the subsequent tumultuous changes were afoot. But the need to drive a separate cycle lane behind a trio of bus stops on Bow Road soon set in train a domino effect which led to the entire chain of events which subsequently followed.
In chapter 2 we investigate the reshuffle that saw the original Bus Stop M disappear before Bus Stop G got dug up which meant all buses stopped at Bus Stop E instead but then bus stop E got closed when Bus Stop G reopened using the bus stop pole from the original Bus Stop M leaving just one bus stop called Bus Stop M where Bus Stop G used to be. It's simplicity itself, and all fully illustrated.
In chapter 3 we detail the cavalcade of follow-on errors which transpired because Bus Stop M's electronic systems failed to be updated in a timely and correct manner. Remember how announcements on board passing buses suddenly gave the wrong name for the stop? And how everything might have worked OK if only somebody hadn't previously diverted buses over the Bow Flyover to save time? We reminisce the entire shebang in comprehensive detail.
Chapter 4 tells a riveting tale of bus stop assets, including the timetables that never appeared and the shelter that wasn't there, until it was there, and the timetables did arrive. Who can forget the difficulties caused by not knowing when the next D8 might turn up and where it was going? Now you can read witness testimony in inordinate detail from those who were actually present.
In chapter 5 we take a break from the ongoing narrative and look back at all the bus routes which have stopped at Bus Stop M over the years. As well as the iconic 25, in its bendy and non-bendy incarnations, the full list naturally includes the classic 169A Barkingside to Mile End Gate, not forgetting the complete complement of Green Line Coaches to Bishops Stortford, Brentwood and Corbets Tey.
In chapter 6 it's back to the main story and the incredible five month period during which the bus stop bypass looked finished but somehow wasn't. Gasp as orange barriers popped up to block the emergent bypass. Laugh as cyclists knocked them over to avoid having to ride in the dangerous traffic. Sob as the barriers reappeared in an upright position every morning. You'll love the emotional rollercoaster of the ongoing saga.
Chapter 7 introduces what might have been the climax to the tale as the bus stop bypass finally opened, except that workers then inexplicably turned up and carted the bus stop away on the back of a lorry. The book's amazing cover photo will no doubt have given you the flavour of the slapstick farce which ensued during the four weeks 'M' was absent without leave! Golden days.
Chapter 8 explores the functioning of a bus stop bypass in pedantic detail. In particular we investigate why pedestrians wander into the blue lane without looking, how angry cyclists get when pedestrians blunder into the bike lane without looking, and why on earth this particular bus stop bypass has a gap in the middle which ensures there might not be a kerb in front of the middle doors when passengers alight.
Chapter 9 investigates the innumerable major tourist attractions which can be accessed from Bus Stop M. These include St Mary's, the medieval church in the middle of the road, and the vibrant Nunnery Gallery with its many artistic displays. Alight here also to enjoy the foodie streetfood hub that is the McDonalds drive-through, and to ponder on whether the Kray brothers really did bury the body of one of their long-term enemies in the concrete of the Bow Flyover.
In chapter 10 a series of minor transgressions takes centre stage. The temporary disappearance of one particular bus timetable is but one extraordinary highlight. Then there's the gripping tale of the phantom '205' tile, inexplicably showcasing a bus route that never stopped here. And how could we fail to mention the permanent reallocation of another nearby Bus Stop M to a different letter of the alphabet so as not to confuse spider map users? You'll not want to miss a word of this.
In chapter 11 we investigate the current state of Bus Stop M, now arguably the most optimal bus stop in the environs of Bow Church. Today's passengers enjoy the luxury of a Countdown display screen, borrowed from former-now-defunct Bus Stop E, so are able perch in comfort on the red bench in the secure knowledge that a bus to Stratford will be along not quite as frequently as it used to be. The adjacent litter bin is fully described.
Chapter 12 is unapologetic filler, because otherwise the book would come in under 100 pages and not be worth the cover price. In this enjoyable travelogue we visit all the other Bus Stop M's in Tower Hamlets, from the busy interchange outside Cambridge Heath station to the Blackwall Tunnel's concrete hellmouth. There's also a special surprise as we uncover the only Bus Stop MM in the borough, but you'll have to buy the book to discover where that is!
Chapter 13 invites you to take an onward journey from Bus Stop M. Those drawn to this famous location can enjoy a cavalcade of exciting destinations for forward travel, including Ilford, Oxford Circus and that grim turnaround spot behind Newham General Hospital. If a glass of champagne tempts you, the local Tesco is just one stop away. Alternatively the 108 can whisk you to Stratford International and from there on to Dover, and suddenly Europe awaits!
Finally a forward-looking Chapter 14 looks ahead to the future of Bus Stop M and considers what that future might bring. Discussions regarding a blue heritage plaque have yet to bear fruit, and the Mayor's low emission bus corridor has not yet taken flight, but an updated nightbus map is always a possibility and interactive holographic advertising may only be a few decades away. Finally we consider the potential impact of global warming on Bus Stop M and try to pinpoint the year it will be engulfed by the Lea Estuary.
This is the Christmas gift purchase you need, whether for yourself to treasure as a keepsake forever or as a unique memento for a dear friend.