Buses from Charlton to Greenwich town centre halved from today

Route 180 bus displaying its destination as Lewisham
One for the history books: the 180 to Lewisham is no more

It’ll be more difficult to take a bus from Charlton to the centre of Greenwich from today, with the rerouting of route 180 to North Greenwich station.

The route has plied the length of Woolwich Road for the past 70 years, but is being altered as part of changes brought in to coincide with the opening of the Elizabeth Line at Woolwich and Abbey Wood later this month.

Instead of running from Lewisham to the Belvedere industrial area, it will now run from North Greenwich to a new housing development at Erith Quarry.

The change will mean more buses to North Greenwich, but route 472 is being reduced in frequency at the same time and rerouted so it runs from North Greenwich to Abbey Wood. Morning rush-hour buses from Charlton station have also been scrapped.

Map of planned TfL changes
A map of the changes (click to expand)

Route 129, which runs from North Greenwich station to the Cutty Sark, has been extended to Lewisham as a partial replacement for the 180 beyond Greenwich, but at a reduced frequency of every 12 minutes.

Whereas both the 177 and 180 provided 12 buses per hour between Woolwich Road and Greenwich town centre, only the 177, with six buses an hour, will cover this section now. In the evening, the combined service drops from nine buses per hour to five.

The change was announced five years ago – when it was still believed that Crossrail would open in 2018 – but hopes of a rethink were dashed when the new 180 route started appearing on bus stops and journey planners at the end of last month.

Back in 2017, TfL, which is chaired by London mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “The 177 has sufficient capacity for the level of demand on this corridor. We will continue to keep this under review.”

Further details of what TfL is billing as an “improvement” can be found on its website.


LIKE WHAT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION DOES? HELP US KEEP IT GOING

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. But it won’t survive without your help.

– Please tell us about your news and events – we reach people who stay away from social media groups
– Become a monthly supporter at presspatron.com/charltonchampion

Charlton to appear on the Tube map for the first time

Thameslink class 700 trains
Thameslink is back on the Tube map, bringing Charlton with it

Thameslink will be temporarily added to the Tube map to give customers more options during the pandemic – putting Charlton on the map for the first time.

Services within Zone 1 and Zone 6, as well as Dartford and Swanley, will be reintroduced to Tube maps from next month to aid social distancing on public transport and reduce the number of car journeys in the capital, Transport for London confirmed this morning.

The service will also provide alternatives during the planned closure of the Bank branch of the Northern Line during 2021 while upgrades are completed.

The two SE London Thameslink routes (to Rainham and Orpington/Sevenoaks) appear

Julie Dixon, Head of Customer Information and Partnerships at TfL, said: “In light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, and next year’s Northern line closures required to complete the Bank Upgrade works, Thameslink services have been temporarily included on the Tube map to help customers move around the city.

“This has been a complicated addition to make to the map, but one that we feel will benefit Londoners as part of our work to promote safe, clean and reliable public transport use across the city.”

The temporary change is expected to be in place until December 2021, but there are already calls to make the change permanent given the step-free access availability at many stations on the service.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said there would be “long term benefits” to showing Thameslink services on the Tube map.

Pidgeon said: “At peak times Thameslink’s frequency is set to reach 24 trains an hour, offering a similar service to most London Underground lines. The stations, with the exception of Elephant and Castle, are also fully accessible for disabled people throughout central London.”

Alison Moore, chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, echoed this sentiment, calling the change an “essential addition” to the Tube map.

Moore said: “The Transport Committee recommended that Thameslink be added to the Tube map to help Londoners with disabilities because these trains are designed for accessibility first and foremost. It is time for TfL to keep Thameslink on the map permanently for better accessibility across the city.”

Although the updated Tube map will provide more options for travelling around London, people are still being advised to only travel when necessary, given the rise in Covid-19 infections and London’s move into Tier 3 restrictions.

Both TfL and Thameslink are reminding customers to plan ahead and travel at quiet times when possible.

Central London Thameslink services appeared on the Tube map when they were introduced in 1988, but were taken off in 1999.


LDRS logoJoe Talora is the Local Democracy Reporter for City Hall. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
See more about how The Charlton Champion uses LDRS content.


Talk to TfL and council officers about Charlton’s new cycleway and other Streetspace schemes

Cycleway 4 extension end
This is where the cycleway ends…. for now

We’ve not been sent any information about this (engagement, eh?), all we’ve seen is a little-noticed tweet from Greenwich Council, but it’s worth flagging up – TfL is holding an online event on Monday 14 December to explain and discuss its plans to create a cycle route between Greenwich and Woolwich.

The first section, which begins at Old Woolwich Road and stops at Farmdale Road, right where Greenwich becomes Charlton, is due to be finished by next week after being delayed for about two months. A second section, through Charlton to Anchor & Hope Lane, is due to follow soon after. A third section, to the Woolwich Ferry roundabout, is currently being covered by wider bus lanes until funding can be found for cycle lanes – which have led to some traffic problems as drivers adjust to only having one lane rather than two.

The cycle route is part of a wider plan to create a continuous cycle route between Tower Bridge and Woolwich.

TfL analysis showed that Charlton and Woolwich would benefit most from low-traffic neighbourhoods (darker scores are higher, see the full details)

The wider Streetspace scheme also includes the blocks on through traffic in west Greenwich and new proposals for streets around Maze Hill. There is nothing for side streets in Charlton, despite rat-running problems here, and TfL advice that suggests that streets between the A102 and Woolwich town centre would benefit most from measures to to block rat-running – advice based on factors including traffic and casualty levels, cycling potential, schools, population density, deprivation and low car ownership.

Here’s chuck-out time at Fossdene school – hardly a conducive and friendly environment for walking and cycling, with pedestrians penned in and cars dominating what should be a residential road.

Plenty, then, to discuss. You can sign up using this form for the meeting, which runs from 6pm to 7.30pm.


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 presspatron.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion