Westcombe Hill to get new bus to North Greenwich from October

Route 335 map
The new 335 service will follow the red route to North Greenwich

Bus users who live on the western side of Charlton will get a new service to North Greenwich from October after Transport for London confirmed its new route, the 335, will run via Westcombe Hill.

The new double-deck service will run between Kidbrooke and North Greenwich every 12 minutes during Monday to Saturday daytimes and every 15 minutes during evenings and Sundays. TfL hopes to begin the service, which will provide relief to the often-overcrowded 108 route, on 26 October.

Two options were presented in a consultation, with the possibility that the route could run straight down the A102, as the current 132 service does now. TfL – backed by Greenwich Council – opted to for a route via Kidbrooke Park Road, Shooters Hill Road, Stratheden Road and Westcombe Hill, to follow the 108 to North Greenwich.

The Westcombe Society – an amenity society for the Westcombe Park area – had led objections to the route serving Westcombe Hill, which has been a bus route for over a century. According to TfL, the society said running via Westcombe Hill was “unacceptable to residents who already suffer from frequent buses on a residential road”. It claimed the area was already “well served for buses to Greenwich Peninsula and North Greenwich”.

Another group, the Westcombe Traffic Group, complained about noise and pollution and called for buses on route 132 to be given double-decker buses to serve passengers from Kidbrooke. Double-decker buses have operated route 132 for ten years. TfL plans to use hybrids on the new 335. (Read the full consultation report.)

While the new route will be of huge use to those who have struggled to squeeze onto routes 108 or 422 to North Greenwich, it remains to be seen whether buses will already be crowded by the time they reach Westcombe Hill. The service is being funded by money from Berkeley Homes, which is developing the Kidbrooke Village development; while Transport for London – which has been cutting services in recent years due to financial problems – says it is using business rates income to bring the introduction of the bus forward.

It will also add to crowding at North Greenwich bus station, which already struggles in the evening rush hour. Plans are afoot for a new bus station, but a dramatic design with 24-storey towers has reportedly been dropped.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– NEW! Advertise your business with us from £10 per week
– Become a monthly supporter at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion
– Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com

No new bus from Charlton to North Greenwich – but Westcombe Hill could gain new service

Charlton Church Lane
The 335 won’t be joining the 380 running up Charlton Church Lane

Transport for London has dropped plans to send a new bus from Kidbrooke to North Greenwich via Charlton after deciding the new route would be “circuitous”.

TfL and Greenwich Council had proposed routing the new service from Blackheath Royal Standard via Charlton Road, Charlton Church Lane and Anchor & Hope Lane to give residents in Blackheath and Kidbrooke easy access to the Charlton supermarkets. The service would have also taken pressure off the 486 through Charlton, and TfL had called it its preferred option at a council scrutiny meeting earlier this year.

The Charlton Champion understands some residents had voiced unhappiness at the prospect of losing car parking spaces to make way for the new service.

But this proposal has now been dropped, with a consultation released today for new route 335, which could run via Westcombe Hill, providing relief to passengers who currently struggle to get on route 108. A second proposal would see it run direct via the A102. The service would run every 12 minutes during the day, and every 15 minutes in evenings and Sundays.

The announcement came as cuts to route 53 were confirmed.

Route 335 map

TfL says: “Sending the route via Charlton was considered, either via Woolwich Road, Anchor and Hope Lane and Bugsby’s Way, or via Charlton Road, Charlton Church Lane and Bugsby’s Way.

“These routeings, while serving a wider area, would be circuitous.

“An end-to-end journey via Charlton from Kidbrooke during the morning peak would take an estimated 37 minutes. This would be a slower alternative to routes 108, 132 and 422 and therefore less attractive compared to Option 1 and Option 2.”

There have long been demands for a new service between the Kidbrooke Village development and North Greenwich. With commuting via Zone 2 North Greenwich offering cheaper fare caps than Zone 3 Kidbrooke, the new service could find itself overwhelmed very quickly – and will add to pressure at North Greenwich bus station.

A consultation into the new service is open until 17 May.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion
– Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com

New bus service planned for Charlton Church Lane and North Greenwich

Charlton Church Lane
Lots of parking means buses find it a squeeze to get up Charlton Church Lane

Charlton Church Lane could gain a new bus route if TfL goes ahead with plans to create a service linking the Kidbrooke Village development with North Greenwich station.

A new route linking the development on the site of the former Ferrier Estate with the Jubilee Line has long been planned, and TfL’s preferred option is for it to run via the Charlton retail parks, according to a document released at a council scrutiny meeting last week.

A question-and-answer document from TfL claims that “councillors and many residents have lobbied” for the service to run to the Royal Standard at Blackheath, then along Charlton Road, then down Charlton Church Lane, Anchor & Hope Lane and onto North Greenwich station via the current 472 and 486 routes.

In an answer, TfL says “the route preferred by residents and councillors is also our preferred route”. It is not known what other options were on the table, which residents were consulted or how they were consulted.

TfL says the route would “link Blackheath to the new Sainsbury’s in Charlton, connect people in Kidbrooke to Blackheath, Charlton and North Greenwich [and alleviates pressure on the 132, as it is another route that goes to North Greenwich from Kidbrooke Park Road”.

While another route to North Greenwich will be welcomed, the narrow Charlton Church Lane often struggles with the existing two services – the 380 and 486 – that use it. It is not known whether any parking restrictions would be put in place to allow buses to pass on the road. It also not known if there are any plans to improve bus access outside the Sainsbury’s/M&S development, where the eastbound bus stop is some distance away from the stores.

“We will shortly have internal approval to allow consultation to happen,” TfL’s reply says. “The implementation is reliant on section 106 [developer] funding from sites at North Greenwich and Kidbrooke (and to a lesser extent, Charlton).

“We need confirmation from the borough on when Kidbrooke’s funding will be released, which will influence when consultation and implementation can occur. TfL are keen on doing this as soon as possible.”

Many long-standing residents will remember when Charlton Church Lane had no buses at all – the 380 started running up and down the hill in 1993, while the 486 started using the road when it was introduced in 2001.

TfL is cutting back frequencies on the 486 at most times of the day from Saturday, although it is increasing them slightly during weekday morning peak hours.

Documents submitted to the Silvertown Tunnel planning hearing in 2016 showed TfL planning a service between Grove Park and Canary Wharf via Charlton Church Lane and the proposed tunnel, which would run four buses per hour.

  • Either Sainsbury’s or Asda in Charlton could be placed at risk of closure this week when a competition report into the merger of the two supermarket giants is released. The Competition and Markets Authority is expected to recommend the closure of a number of stores if it allows the tie-up between the two chains to go ahead. Yesterday’s Mail on Sunday claimed the merger may not go ahead if the CMA recommends closing more than 170 stores. A provisional report is expected this week, with a full report due this April.

  • PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

    We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
    – Please tell us about your news and events
    – Become a monthly supporter at patreon.com/charltonchampion
    – Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion
    – Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com