Monday, June 27, 2011

The Road to the Cemetery

That would be Forest Road Barkingside. The one that starts at Fullwell Cross roundabout, passes King Solomon High School, Redbridge Sports Centre and Fairlop Tube Station. Goes on past a Nursery, Forest Farm shop, Fairlop Waters and assorted industrial units. Proceeds past Power League and various playing fields before reaching the skate park. On to Elmbridge Social Club, the Hainault Industrial Estate, the Redbridge Cycling Centre and finally on the left hand side the Forest Park Cemetery.

And still Transport for London refuse to provide a bus service along Forest Road. They were quite happy to provide single decker bendy buses elsewhere but not here. Here, below, is Margaret recounting her adventures trying to cross Romford Road at Hog Hill and then finding no pavement on one side of Forest Road. For those who don’t know Margaret she is a fiercely independent 80 something.

Dear Editor,

On a recent Friday, I went to the Forest Road crematorium for a funeral. I decided to go by 247 bus from Tanner’s Lane and expected that although there is no bus along Forest Road, I would be able to reach the site easily by walking from the stop at the top of Hog Hill that is opposite the turning to Forest Road. On the near side, I could see down the road to the Hainault country park bus stop. There was no official crossing, but I was able to step over to the grassed central reservation. I had to walk on cautiously to avoid tripping for about 50 yards along the lumpy reservation before I could see over the brow of the hill to the traffic coming up from the Romford direction at considerable speed. Eventually, I managed to cross and then passed the bus stop on the opposite side. I walked to the corner of Forest Road. I needed to cross to the far side of Forest Road to reach the entrance of the cemetery. The corner is blind and quite busy as cars swing round. There is no foot path that I could follow until I reached a safer place to cross over, so I had to walk with great caution on the road. I eventually crossed with life in hand. On my return, it was too dangerous to cross back to the Hog Hill bus stop, so I walked down to the Fowler Road traffic lights where there is an official crossing. The red light seemed to stay on permanently and I wonder whether it is working properly, but at last I reached the bus stop close to the Fowler Road junction.

From the point of view of safety, I needed to leave the bus near the traffic lights at the Fowler Road junction where there is a pedestrian crossing. This would mean that I would have to toil up Hog Hill, something that I would find very challenging now and annoying in view of the fact that I expected an important site such as the cemetery to be better served. Of course, we need a bus along Forest Road. Fortunately for me, my own funeral will not be the result of death on Hog Hill. I am leaving instructions for the family to get my cremation over first and then return for a service and thank-you party at my church in Ashurst Drive that more people can reach, preferably by public transport rather than car.

Margaret Evans

Editor's Note: The reason that the red light seemed to stay on permanently is probably due to the London Mayor's initiative to inject a bit of excitement into the lives of the elderly and infirm by giving them less time to cross the road.


  1. royemmett1@yahoo.com5:00 pm, June 27, 2011

    But of course nothing will happen in a hurry. The need for a bus route accessible to the residents of north and east Hainault was acknowledged as long ago as the seventies. We got it two years ago. Similarly, underground passengers of a certain age will recall the lack of logic involved in running a separate train service between Hainault and Woodford when it was obvious forty years ago that having through trains to either Woodford or Hainault made more sense. LT caught up about three decades later. But in the meantime they closed the service down altogether after 8.00pm.

  2. Surely, there is plenty of trade for TfL in Forest Road. They do seem to have rather constipated minds.

  3. "Wait for the next post......."?

    I thought Morris was on holiday ...

    Something that Roy has overlooked is that LT had a very good reason for keeping the Roding Valley loop effectively isolated from the rest of the network - it wanted a test track and that was the best place for it.

    It was used to develop the automated systems that were first introduced on the Victoria line where the only function of the 'driver' is to open and close the doors. I believe it was said at the time that the man in the cab was retained to inspire passenger confidence in a train that drove itself. Or perhaps it was a union thing ...?

    There were certainly no such concerns when the Dinky Little Railway was built ...

    I don't know when the test use of the loop stopped - there was obviously continuing systems development long after the Victoria line was built - and, perhaps, its status of 'splendid isolation' simply became a bit of a habit ...

    As for the 8pm shut down, that stopped a while ago, the service being extended to about midnight, thus providing Morris with an escape route from the New Fairlop Oak when the last 462 runs early - 150 to Hainault, train to Grange Hill.

    It appears that even this restriction has been lifted, judging from the removal of daggers (†) and associated footnotes from the current tube map ...

  4. Some news for Roy Emmett. The withdrawal of a train service between Hainault and Woodford after 8.00 pm took place in the 1980s at the behest of the then Greater London Council led by - erm - Ken Livingstone.

    As for the "escape route" from the Fairlop Oak, Knowsie, I don't leave it to the LAST 462. I use the alternative when the PENULTIMATE journey either runs early, or fails to run at all.