18th October 2017

Demand Outstrips Capacity: Why we need a new bus route to connect North Greenwich and Kidbrooke Village

Three years ago I successfully campaigned for extra capacity on the 108 bus route, which runs from Lewisham and Stratford through Blackheath and the Greenwich peninsula. At the time I was living on Shooters Hill Road and my wife was a daily user of the jubilee line at North Greenwich. Every morning my wife would held to 108 stop on Stratheden Road watch one, if not, two full buses go past before she could get on the bus – a seat was always out of the question. For many commuters in Blackheath, Kidbrooke and Eltham, this will be familiar story, not just with bus routes such as the 132, 108 and 422 but also on the trains. In our part of Greenwich demand outstrips capacity – I want to do something about it.

Along with my Conservative colleagues on the Blackheath Westcombe ward team, Councillor Geoff Brighty and Malcolm Reid, we have launched a petition calling on Transport for London to introduce a new bus route to run from Kidbrooke Village to North Greenwich. I am grateful to London Assembly Members Shaun Bailey and Keith Prince (Chairman of the GLA Transport Committee) for their support.

This new route would not only boost capacity in the area, reduce overcrowding on the 132, 108 and 422 bus route, but it would also take some of the strain off Southeastern at Kidbrooke station by providing residents of Kidbrooke Village with a new link to central London.

The petition was signed by over 100 people on the day we launched it and the comments left by supporters show that commuters are fed up of watching full passes go past and not being able to get on the train at Kidbrooke. The situation will only get worse as more and more of Kidbrooke Village is complete.

Quite frankly I am amazed that more planning has not gone into the impacts of Kidbrooke Village on local transport capacity – the towers are going to be taller than planned and residents are now moving in, yet we have seen no increase in capacity to accommodate this, that’s why it is so important local commuters sign this petition.

A new bus route won’t just impact those going to North Greenwich or using the 132; if you use Blackheath station chances are the train has filled up at Kidbrooke – this new route will take demand of Kidbrooke station thus freeing up space on the train.

Transport connecting the north and south of the borough is poor and those of us living in SE3 lose out being stuck in the middle. The new route we are calling for won’t solve all our transport woes, but a strong showing on this petition will highlight them. The bus route will provide extra capacity but the fight won’t end there. Signing this petition is to tell Transport for London we need extra capacity in our area and every extra signature is a reason for them to listen.

You can sign the petition online at ipetitions.com/petition/NG2KVBus

You can read about more of the work of the Blackheath Westcombe Conservative Action Team at greenwichconservatives.com/BW, or can find us on twitter and facebook

Thomas Turrell

Thomas Turrell

Thomas Turrell is a local campaigner and has been selected as a Conservative Candidate for Blackheath Westcombe ward at next year’s Greenwich Council elections, along with Councillor Geoff Brighty and Malcolm Reid. You can find Thomas on twitter @ThomasFTurrell

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Darryl says:

    Hello Thomas. Good to see some action on rubbish public transport, even if this is an idea the council has been demanding for years (what has happened to all that Berkeley Homes S106 money, eh?), but…

    “Three years ago I successfully campaigned for extra capacity on the 108 bus route, which runs from Lewisham and Stratford through Blackheath and the Greenwich peninsula.”

    – One extra bus was introduced in the morning rush hour. The 108 remains packed. This is a bit like a Crystal Palace fan claiming the season is a success because they finally won on Saturday after seven straight defeats.

    “In our part of Greenwich demand outstrips capacity – I want to do something about it.”

    – Demand already outstrips capacity at North Greenwich, and new developments are filling trains before they reach there. Crossrail may provide temporary relief, but in our part of the world the zonal system incentivises use of North Greenwich (zone 2) over Charlton (zone 3), Kidbrooke (zone 3) and Woolwich (zone 4). And passenger numbers are growing further up the line.

    The bus station can’t cope, and the rebuilding plans won’t significantly increase capacity. It’s already a nightmare each evening. Furthermore, Sadiq Khan – under pressure from his own partial fare freeze and George Osborne’s removal of TfL subsidy – has delayed upgrades to the Jubilee Line to improve capacity. How are you going to accommodate all these people getting on a another new bus service to North Greenwich? What trains are they going to get on?

    “Quite frankly I am amazed that more planning has not gone into the impacts of Kidbrooke Village on local transport capacity – the towers are going to be taller than planned and residents are now moving in, yet we have seen no increase in capacity to accommodate this, that’s why it is so important local commuters sign this petition.”

    – Mmmm. So why did Chris Grayling refuse the proposal – backed by both Boris Johnson, who approved those towers, and Sadiq Khan – for TfL to take over Southeastern’s metro services, ruining plans to coordinate development and transport? Since the Tories are so keen to direct control over Kidbrooke’s rail service above London’s own government, why is there no plan to sort out the junction at Lewisham to enhance the rail service from Kidbrooke?

    “this new route will take demand of Kidbrooke station thus freeing up space on the train.”

    – why aren’t you arguing for more trains from Kidbrooke? Your man Grayling insists on having control over them, after all.

    It’s good to see local politicians come up with ideas and all that, but bussing Kidbrooke commuters away from Kidbrooke station won’t solve Kidbrooke’s transport problems, and will make North Greenwich’s transport problems worse.

  2. Avatar CDT says:

    Hello Thomas & Daryl

    I totally agree with you both about improving the bus services in the Kidbrooke area and in particular Kidbrooke Village and along Rochester Way,

    Kidbrooke Village needs a bus service to North Greenwich Station to take pressure off the over crowded trains at Kidbrooke and Blackheath Stations.
    Suggestions have been made to TFL for a new bus route serving Kidbrooke Village but so far to no avail.

    Lets hope together we can now make TFL listen to us on this matter. Kidbrooke really does need a new bus route.

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