The Anonymous Widower

Levelling Up – The Marks & Spencer Way

When I first moved to Dalston, there were three convenient Marks and Spencer stores within a few bus stops.

 

  • Angel, which is a basically a food store with a floor of clothes above, where my grandmother used to shop before the First World and C and I used to shop in the 1970s, when we lived in the Barbican.
  • Moorgate, which is a small department store, with a medium-sized food department in the basement, which I use regularly.
  • Hackney, which was a very small department store with a poor food department, was convenient as on some of my journeys, I would get a bus home  from outside the store.

Over the last ten years, more Marks and Spencer stores have sprung up, Archway, Camden Town, Dalston, Eastfield, Hampstead, Liverpool Street, Old Street and West Hampstead, which I use occasionally, as they are on routes home.

This morning I went to the eye hospital in Colindale and coming home, I got a 32 bus to Brondesbury for the Overground.

As I needed some food, I had various choices of journey home.

  • Get off at West Hampstead and do my shopping there, and then get back on the train.
  • Get off at Hampstead Heath and do my shopping there, with a light lunch in le Pain Quotidien.
  • Get off at Dalston Kingsland and do my shopping there, with a bus home.
  • Get off at Hackney Central and do my shopping there, with a bus home.

Unusually, I chose the last option and got a big surprise.

I had been worried that Marks and Spencer in Hackney would close, but now it has been turned into the most upmarket Marks and Spencer food store, I’ve ever seen.

  • It’s more Knightsbridge. than Hackney
  • It’s large and spacious.
  • There are large ranges of tea and coffee, that you normally don’t see in the store.
  • The decor is localised to the store.
  • It is only about a hundred metres from Hackney Central station and fifty metres on the flat from my bus home.
  • It’s even just called Marks & Spencer Food

Now that’s what I call levelling up!

 

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Bus Robbery

Transport for London (TfL) obviously don’t like people where I live in the Northern part of De Beauvoir Town in the London Borough of Hackney.

When I moved here, ten years ago there were six bus routes that passed through the traffic lights where the Balls Pond Road (It is not a made-up-name from Round The Horne) and Southgate Road/Mildmay Park meet.

  • 21 – Newington Green and Lewisham Shopping Centre
  • 30 – Marble Arch and Hackney Wick (From the sublime to the ridiculous?)
  • 38 – Victoria station and the romantic Clapton Pond
  • 56 – Bart’s Hospital and Whipps Cross (You’d be cross, if you’d been whipped!)
  • 141 – London Bridge Station and Palmers Green North Circular Road (Surely, another romantic destination!)
  • 277 – Highbury & Islington Station and Crossharbour

Note.

  1. We had two bus routes to and from Highbury & Islington station for Dear Old Vicky!
  2. We had two bus routes to and from Moorgate, Bank and the City of London.
  3. We had four bus routes to and from Dalston Junction station and the cultural attractions of Hackney Central.
  4. We had a direct bus to Canary Wharf.

TfL looked at the name of the district and thought the posh French name, meant we were all had expensive vehicles or Hackney carriages and said we had too many buses.

So in June 2018,  the 277 bus was cut back to Dalston Junction station and TfL promised that the frequency of the 30 bus would be increased. We’re still waiting for extra services.

Now, if you want to go to Highbury & Islington station, according to TfL’s Journey Planner, it’s often quicker to take a 38 or 56 bus to Essex Road station and take a train.

To make matters worse the 30 bus route now has cheap and nasty Egyptian-built buses with more steps than Russia. All buses should have flat floors like the New Routemasters.

What is TfL’s latest crime?

The 21 and 271 buses are going to be combined into a new route between Lewisham and Highgate, which will go nowhere near the Balls Pond Road.

So we’ll just have the one bus route to the City of London.

On past form, if TfL say they will increase the frequency, I wouldn’t believe them.

I think that TfL have ignored some problems.

The Elderly And Disabled

Between Newington Green and Englefield Road, a higher proportion of the passengers getting on the 21 and 141 buses seem to be in these groups.

  • As it’s a nice place to live, I suspect many elderly people have just stayed on.
  • I believe that North of the Balls Pond Road, there are some care homes and sheltered housing.

Have TfL analysed their passengers?

Not Everybody Has Cars

There are several blocks of social housing on the Newington Green and Englefield Road stretch and you see a lot of passengers who don’t look like car owners.

The lack of parking and the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods don’t help.

Access To Waterloo

My quickest way to Waterloo, which is London’s busiest rail terminal, is to take a bus to Bank and then get the Drain.

A halved service to Bank station will probably force me to take longer routes.

Tradition

When I was a child in the 1950s, the 141 was the 641 trolley bus, which ran between Winchmore Hill and Moorgate.

People, who live in Wood Green, Turnpike Lane and Manor House still commute to the City by bus, as people have done for over a hundred years.

I suspect a lot of commuters change from the Piccadilly Line to the 141 bus at Manor House station. I certainly use that route if I’m going to Southgate or Cockfosters.

The 21 bus starts at Newington Green, which means if you want to go from Balls Pond Road to Bank, you’ll usually get on a 21 bus, as the 141 buses are full with passengers from further North.

So it looks like to get to Moorgate, we’ll need to get a bus to Angel and then get the Northern Line, after the rerouting of the 21 bus.

Crossrail

This will have a big effect.

Suppose you live in Wood Green and want to get to Crossrail.

There is no obvious connection, but tradition will mean your preferred route will be to take a 141 bus between Manor House and Moorgate.

There will also be a quick route between Moorgate and Liverpool Street station, that I wrote about in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster.

We will need the 21 bus to provide us with a route to Crossrail, as the 141 buses will be full.

Conclusion

The 21 bus is needed where it is and mustn’t be stolen.

 

 

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Is The Okehampton Effect Starting?

This article on the Tavistock Times Gazette is entitled Hop Aboard The 118 For Town And Village Connection To Rail.

These are the first three paragraphs.

County council chiefs have confirmed they have launched a new bus service to link residents in Tavistock to Okehampton’s restored railway line.

From Saturday, Service 118 will link Tavistock to Okehampton, via Mary Tavy and Lydford, to provide an integrated connection to the rail services between Okehampton and Exeter during the day. The service is part of a bigger project to improve public transport in Devon.

The move comes as Devon County Council pushes ahead with plans to get trains rolling again in Tavistock — but in the opposite direction.

Note.

  1. Tavistock has almost twice the population of Okehampton.
  2. Okehampton and Tavistock are about sixteen miles apart.
  3. Buses will take about forty minutes.
  4. The railway from Tavistock could eventually go to Plymouth via the existing Bere Alston station and the Tamar Valley Line.

This bus route will complete a circular route between Exeter and Plymouth around Dartmoor.

Devon does seem to be getting itself ready for the next phase of rail development in the county.

But does Devon as the birthplace of those great mariners, Chichester, Drake, Gilbert, Grenville and Raleigh, follow in their footsteps and plan things well and get it done?

My maternal grandmother was born in Dalston of two Devonian parents.

Just before the Second World War my mother asked her if she was prepared for the inevitable war.

My grandmother’s reply was as follows.

I got caught out in the First War, so I’ve got a hundredweight of sugar and a hundredweight of jam in the cellar.

Was that her Devonian genes shining through?

Devon is certainly planning for the future at Okehampton.

  • There are plans for an Okehampton Parkway station, where the railway crosses the A30, which I wrote about in Work Begins On Okehampton Parkway Station.
  • There is this new bus route.
  • Will there be more housing in Okehampton?
  • There will be developments linked to tourism.

I believe the Okehampton Effect is starting.

 

November 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mayor Warns TfL Services May Be Cut Due To A Funding Gap

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The Mayor of London has warned tube and bus services may be axed due to a £1.9 billion funding gap.

Sadiq Khan claims bus services could be cut by a fifth and tube services by almost 10%.

If these cuts should happen, I would seriously have to think about moving out of London.

I knew that his bribe of a Fare Freeze would end in tears for someone, but not for everyone.

November 17, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 6 Comments

Order! Order! It’s A Bus-y Time For Wrightbus

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ballymena Times.

This is the first paragraph.

The Wrightbus order book continues to be busy. The Go-Ahead Group has signed a contract to buy its first hydrogen powered buses, as part of a deal which could become the largest of its kind in Europe.

Let’s hope that this is the start of something big!

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

London Gets A New Bus Route

During the Bank Station Upgrade in the New Year, London will gain a new bus route.

It is described like this on New Civil Engineer.

A temporary new bus route, the 733 from Oval into the City (Finsbury Square), will also be introduced on weekdays. It will run every 7-8 minutes to help affected customers reach their destinations.

I use the to-be-closed section of the Northern Line regularly and not just on weekdays.

Yet again, the good citizens of East London have been ignored or short-changed by transport planners in City Hall.

We have endured no Waterloo and City Line for months. Although, that does seem to be opening, as I wrote in Waterloo & City line To Operate All Day By The End Of November.

November 8, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Go-Ahead Group Signs Contract For Its First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Intelligent Transport.

This is the first paragraph.

Brighton & Hove and Metrobus have ordered 20 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which are set to be delivered in June 2022, signalling the Go-Ahead Group’s first order of hydrogen powered buses.

The vehicles are single-decker GB Kite Hydroliner FCEV buses.

These buses can be configured to carry up to ninety passengers and they have a range of up to 640 miles.

The article says these buses are for Faraway-branded express buses, so the long range will enable buses to be garaged centrally and refuelled once a day.

It looks like this could be the first of several orders from Go-Ahead for hydrogen buses.

November 5, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Green Hydrogen Can Save Us. But Waiting For It Won’t.

I saw the title of this post on the side of a green bus.

Route 43 goes between London Bridge station and Friern Barnet via Bank, Moorgate, Old Street (Silicon Roundabout) and The Angel.

So it goes right through the centre of the City of London.

Andrew Forrest is intending to get his message across to the City.

To find out more, you could always connect to the web site on the bus.

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Finance, Hydrogen | , , , , | 3 Comments

JCB Signs Green Hydrogen Deal Worth Billions

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Construction equipment maker JCB has signed a deal to buy billions of pounds of green hydrogen, defined as hydrogen produced using renewable energy.

The deal means JCB will take 10% of the green hydrogen made by the Australian firm Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).

JCB are certainly going into hydrogen in a big way.

  • They have demonstrated hydrogen-powered construction equipment.
  • They have developed technology, so that internal combustion engines can run on hydrogen.
  • Lord Bamford’s son; Jo bought Wrightbus and company supplied London’s hydrogen buses.
  • Ryze, which is mentioned in the article was founded by Jo Bamford.
  • JCB have made a strategic investment in electrolyser company; ITM Power.

I can see JCB making more investments in hydrogen.

In terms of green hydrogen production from renewable energy, I can see three areas providing substantial amounts of green hydrogen.

  • Australia from solar and electrolysers. Australia has space and sun.
  • Africa from solar and electrolysers. Africa has space and sun.
  • Waters around the UK from wind and electrolysers.

As ITM Power have the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Sheffield and have recently raised money to build a second one, they could be the big winner in green hydrogen production.

But I can see JCB making hydrogen-powered equipment all over the world and supplying the hydrogen to run it.l

It should also be born in mind, that JCB know how to dominate a market.

October 31, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Waterloo & City line To Operate All Day By The End Of November

The title of this post, is the same as this article on City AM.

Hallelujah!

Here in Hackney, it’s our best route to Waterloo, as we have several buses to Bank. I have two; the 21 and 141.

Let’s hope the Drain continues to work during the Great Blockade in the New Year, whilst the Northern Line is connected to the new tunnel at Bank.

October 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments