Monday, February 18, 2013

Our (Redbridge) Local Bus Service

Terry draws our attention to this little ditty issued by Transport for London last August – Guidelines for planning bus services.

photo by Julian Walker 
1. The London bus service supports delivery of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. The Mayor’s vision is that “London’s transport system should excel among those of global cities, providing access to opportunities for all its people and enterprises, achieving the highest environmental standards and leading the world in its approach to tackling urban transport challenges of the 21st century.” 
2. Six goals are set out for the achievement of this vision:
Supporting economic development and population growth.
Enhancing the quality of life for all Londoners.
Improving the safety and security of all Londoners.
Improving transport opportunities for all Londoners.
Reducing transport’s contribution to climate change, and improving its resilience.
Supporting delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its legacy.

3. The bus service is central to each of these goals. The objective of the bus service planning process is to deliver the Mayor’s policies for achieving these goals, in conjunction with other initiatives and modes of transport. To do this, bus network development must be a continuous process, responsive to London’s changing transport needs and led by the priorities of passengers and potential passengers and the actual usage made of the network. Regular market research and liaison with stakeholders is vital to maintain a current understanding of these priorities.
It goes on to highlight 4 aims for local bus services:
Frequent: with adequate capacity for the peaks;
Reliable: providing even service intervals when frequencies are high and running to time when they are low.
Simple: easy for passengers to understand and remember, and well-integrated with other public transport;
Comprehensive: providing service to all areas and recognising the needs of local people from all sections of the community.
Let’s have a look at the comprehensive bit.
33. A comprehensive network should be provided ensuring that people have access to their local amenities such as shops, hospitals, schools and transport interchanges.
No mention of cemeteries, business parks, olympic cycling centres, country parks or sports fields (are you with me yet?)
35. In residential areas, it is desirable for the bus network to run within about five minutes walk of homes, if this is cost-effective and if roads are suitable. This is about 400 metres at the average walking speed.

36. The 400 metre guideline will be used alongside other indicators of accessibility to the network. These may for example be demographic, such as low car ownership, or physical, such as steep hills, parkland or severance due to main roads.
Not many homes at the Hainault end of Forest Road (yet!) but there is a steep hill and er, parklands.
37. In town centres, passengers should be taken close to the places they want to reach - shopping centres, rail stations, etc. At the same time, however, complicated or indirect service routeings should be avoided.
No mention of …. As before. I suppose it's "complicated and indirect"?

So, the stated strategy seems to be predicated on where people live (travelling from) and the places where they think we want to go (obviously we all want to go to shopping centres and railway stations) missing that we might want to visit our dearly departed at the cemetery, go to a country park, a cycling centre or just might want to get to work in a Business Park or collect our car from a service station.

This is probably why we have been banging our heads against a brick wall for, what, 30 years to get a bus service down Forest Road. And, come to that, what happened to the proposed Woodford Bridge to Ilford 306 route that had £2million worth of section 106 funding from the Repton Park development back in 2004 ish?

Can I suggest that we all write to our City Hall Representative, Roger Evans. We know he is very supportive of public transport, not owning a car, and has what is effectively a senior citizen Freedom Pass in addtion to his £53,439 remuneration for attending a few meetings at City Hall where he advocates closing Police Stations. I suppose that would cut down on bus use for those who wish to report a stolen car …


  1. I think that Barkingside has a very good bus service ( apart from some of the people that use it who talk loudly on their mobile phones or leave their rubbish and unfinished take away food on the seats and the floor).

    Redbridge Sports Centre, Fairlop Waters are whithin walking distance of the bus stops near the Library. The cycling centre is within walking distance of the 247 bus stop by Hainault Forest.

    I agree it would be nice to have a bus service up Forest Road but we can cope without it.

    Alan B

  2. What if you work for say Nora Wellingtons or the rest of Industrial Estate or the Industrial Estate in Hainault
    Road. Alan B I would remind you that Forest Road is not just the leisure facilities of Fairlop Waters or The Cycle Centre, The Industial sites provide considerably more employment than either of these facilities (both seriously underused)

  3. i pass the hainault cemetery four times a week,i can tell you that i see many people mainly the elder of our generations leaving the cemetry and walking to the nearest bus stop for the 247 which means that they not only have to walk up a rather steep hill but if they have to go in the Romford direction then they have to cross a very busy dual carrageway at the top of the hill or walk the longer way down to the lights which can add almost 500 metres to the walk.not very good if you have just had an emotional time at the cemetery,i do also understand that the old LT football ground is going to be some sort of community centre for a chosen religion of which i am not sure of,i do think that a future bus route would be a great idea,also means that getting to Hainault forest would be quiocker and easier and less noisy if you happen to want to go at the same time as the school run.....i would also love to suggest a route from hainault/chigwell to chingford ratheer a long winded journey for a car journey of sometimes as little as 7 minutes.

    1. Yes JKM, see Margaret's account published on this blog earlier - Click!
      I expect her to be giving Mr B an earful at next week's coffee morning ...

  4. sounds like a lovely lady,I wish her well,seems strange to me now that i voted for conservative to stay in power in our wonderful borough,seems a shame we cannot have local elections more often.......wonder how long it will take for the community centre to get a bus service when they request one?????????

  5. dear b-side 21,i do apologise the proposed new building on the old LT site is going to be a big sports venue,this makes it better as it will be for all to use and thus meaning good transport links would be useful...postcode is IG6 3HJ migjht be worth taking a look on the redbridge i planning.

  6. Dear All,

    I apologise I did not take into account the cemetery, but in my last line I did say that it would be nice to have a bus service up Forest Road.

    Alan B