TfL Buses: Southeast Riverside Area Review

TfL Buses: Southeast Riverside Area Review

TfL have published this document, dated February 2017:

Note their statement:

This review examines how the bus network may change in response to development coming forward in the Southeast Riverside area.
The interventions considered are ideas and not proposals. They are therefore subject to change.
The area covered is Bermondsey, Canada Water,  Rotherhithe, New Bermondsey, Deptford and Greenwich.  It is restricted to the bus network.
The focus is on looking initially at the current routes and capacity,  identifying new developments which will impact usage,  and proposing new routes and changes to routes to handle the requirement for increased capacity.

Our response

We have drafted the following response.  Note that this is being sent from the Editor as the comments of an individual,  and does not purport to represent the views of the whole community. 
Please feel free to send us your comments to enable us to represent the community.
  1. Developments/Canada Water – This appears only to consider developments where “Planning application not submitted” and presumably refers to the Canada Water Masterplan.  It apparently does not consider developments already under way in the Canada Water area,  such as Sellar (1000 homes) Quebec Quarter (at an advanced stage.  Number of homes difficult to discover,  but we estimate 500ish) Kings College (750 student rooms).  WIth these and other smaller developments we estimate an increase in the population of 4500 in the Rotherhithe area over the next couple of years on the assumption of average 2.4 people per dwelling.  That is equivalent to about 3 – 4 empty tube trains (not that we have that luxury since they are already at capacity in the rush hour).  My point here is not only that the report seems to have missed these imminent new numbers but also that we are inevitably heading towards a critical transport situation and urgent and effective action is required
  2. We need to consider two  types of bus journey:  (a) getting to the overground/tube stations by bus and (b) going further afield by bus – 381 or C10 into central London and both these requirements need to be addressed
  3. Either “Additional Trips AM Peak…” is in error or I am misunderstanding it. The figures for additional boardings on C10 (104) and 381 (259) seem very modest, considering the prospective additional numbers from the Quebec Quarter stop alone.
  4.  “Route Impacts with no intervention” suggests that the C10 can reach but not exceed capacity (blue line doesn’t exceed green line.)  This is incorrect because I am aware of occasions when passengers have been left behind (and when passengers have been crammed on at the front of the bus,  impeding the drivers view)
  5. Although it may well have other merits, from the Canada Water station viewpoint,  new route A will be a disaster.  It will make Canada Water station more accessible to passengers along its route,  but the station is already at capacity. It will improve the 2 (a) aspect for Rotherhithe,  but so would increasing the frequency of C10 or introducing a circular bus route for Rotherhithe
  6.  The proposal to restructure route 381 is completely insane!  It currently provides an alternative route from Canada Water to Waterloo.  Some passengers may use it to alight at Bermondsey station as an alternative to Canada Water.  Removing the Canada Water – Waterloo leg will encourage these passengers onto the Jubilee at Canada Water which is already at capacity!!!  If anything the 2(b) capacity needs to be increased,  not reduced.
  7. There are no proposals to shorten or improve the C10 route,  which is susceptible to irregular timing.  It is not uncommon to see 3 C10’s bumper to bumper and with gaps of more than 20 minutes

I feel the document misses the point.  I remain in favour of a circular/shuttle route for the Rotherhithe Peninsula which will be a well focussed response to current and future capacity and usability challenges.