Weekend night buses for route 486, but cut planned for the N1

London Central VWL37 on N1
Charlton’s late-night stop-outs are set to get a weekend night service on bus route 486 when the Night Tube service starts this September, according to plans unveiled by Transport for London yesterday.

But weekend users of the existing N1 service face seeing their service cut from three buses an hour to just two, if TfL’s current scheme goes ahead.

TfL is altering the night bus network so it complements the Night Tube, which is due to begin on 12 September.

At least six trains per hour will run in the small hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings across the Jubilee Line, with night services introduced on routes 132 and 486 to serve passengers at North Greenwich alongside current 24-hour routes 108, 188 and 472.

The 486 will get a half-hourly service across its full route through Greenwich Millennium Village, Charlton, Shooters Hill and out to Bexleyheath.

But route N1, the existing night service linking Tottenham Court Road with Deptford, Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich, Plumstead and Thamesmead, will be less frequent at weekends.

It currently runs two buses an hour on weeknights and three at weekends. This will drop to two under the plan, which also sees it run via Evelyn Street in Deptford rather than serving the Pepys Estate, which gets a new N199 service.

Presumably TfL feels fewer people will use the N1 once the Night Tube begins, but the bus still picks up large numbers of people outside the West End, particularly at Elephant and Castle. The cut also penalises shift workers who will still depend on the service running in the other direction.

There are no changes planned to the area’s other night routes, the 24-hour 53 to Plumstead and the N89 to Erith.

One trick that Transport for London may have missed is in route 132, which is due to run fast via the Blackwall Tunnel approach to the Sun-in-the-Sands roundabout – as it does during the day – rather than via Westcombe Hill and Blackheath Standard, which would make it more useful to many passengers from Charlton and Blackheath.

To see the full proposals and to comment, visit Transport for London’s website.

Photo: London Central VWL37 on N1 – © John King

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One thought on “Weekend night buses for route 486, but cut planned for the N1

  1. fromthemurkydepths May 20, 2015 / 13:50

    When I used to go out in north/central London and have to get back to Abbey Wood (what painful and long journeys they were), the N1 was annoyingly timetabled at the stop pictured to arrive 3 minutes before the 53 which terminated there, so I’d miss it often. As the 53 was what was often much easier to take from central I would take that rather than a long trek to get an n1, though that meant a long wait at Plumstead or a long walk. 2-3 hour journeys home from north London were not unusual. That kind of crap put me and others off going out too much in east or north, but SE London lacked much decent nightlife at all so it was all a bit annoying.

    The reliance on night buses must hamper London nightlife quite a bit. 24hr tube will be a great thing for many. Sadly not for much of SE London though, and 24hr DLR and Crossrail can’t come soon enough. I can’t see 24hr commuter trains for years, TfL takeover or not. Places like Woolwich have very little to do in the evening so if you want a decent night out you’d often be forced to go somewhere many miles away. They will have a poor option of tube to North Greenwich then 472 bus (2 an hour only). 4 buses an hour would be better until 2018, when hopefully Crossrail opens and is 24hr straight away.

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