The Anonymous Widower

Nightmare On The Buses

The title of this post, is not the title of a horror remake of the popular 1970s-sitcom’ On The Buses, but a description of my journeys on a 141 bus today.

Until, last Friday, I had two buses; the 21 and 141 to take between my house and Moorgate, which is an important destination for me.

  • There is a large Marks and Spencer food store there, where I regularly buy the gluten-free food, I must have as a coeliac.
  • There is a LEON there, where I regularly have my gluten-free breakfast.
  • Moorgate station is a good transport interchange from which I regularly start journeys over London.

But now there is only one bus; the 141.

In November 2021, I wrote The Great Bus Robbery, where I said this.

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.

This was my conclusion.

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

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

Note that Crossrail is now called the Elizabeth Line.

Today, I made three journeys between my house and Moorgate station and this is what happened.

Journey 1 – Southbound

I arrived at the bus stop and after five minutes a 141 bus arrived.

But it was full and didn’t open the door to let any of the waiting six passengers board.

After another three minutes, another 141 bus arrived and we squeezed on.

But there wasn’t any seats left and I stood all the way to Moorgate.

Journey 2 – Northbound

I only had my breakfast and as I had things to do at home, I returned fairly quickly after finishing my breakfast.

Partly, this was also because a 141 bus turned up with some seats available.

But it was a lot closer to capacity, than Northbound buses at about the same time last week.

Journey 3 – Northbound

My third journey started at about four in the afternoon, after I’d been out to take some pictures and buy a few food items in Marks and Spencer.

I had to wait seven minutes for a 141 bus and as there was a 76 bus a couple of minutes in front of it, I took that, with the intention of changing halfway.

I was able to get a seat.

In the end, the 76 bus got stuck in traffic and I walked to my intended change stop and waited there for the 141 bus, which was without a seat, so I stood for three stops to home.

It was one of the slowest journeys, I’d had between my house and Moorgate station.

Conclusion

On the evidence of the first day, it appears that there is not enough capacity without the 21 bus.

February 6, 2023 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Improving The Wood Green And Moorgate Public Transport Corridor

This morning I went for coffee with an old school friend from Minchenden Grammar School at Southgate station.

Southgate is not a bad place to meet someone.

  • There are a couple of good coffee shops.
  • There are plenty of buses.
  • It has a couple of the better chain restaurants including a Pizza Express.
  • The area also has a lot of memories for me.

It also has one of London’s most iconic Underground stations.

It may look familiar, as it regularly crops up in film and television dramas.

  • One station guy told me, that the ticket barriers have been designed to be easy to remove, so filming of an historic drama is possible.
  • It was used in The End Of The Affair to portray a Central London station.
  • As the escalators have the same bronze fittings as Moscow, they could be used in a story set in Russia.

As the Piccadilly Line doesn’t go anywhere near my house, to get to Southgate, I take a 141 bus to and from a convenient Piccadilly Line station.

  • Going North, I changed at Manor House station.
  • Coming South, I changed at Turnpike Lane station.
  • I could have also have changed at Wood Green station.

The journey home had four major problems.

  • The bus stop at Turnpike Lane station, is a few hundred yards from the station.
  • I waited fifteen minutes for a 141 bus.
  • When it did arrive, it was so packed, it didn’t have space for a miniature dachshund to squeeze in between the feet of the standing passengers.
  • The traffic was very heavy, so the journey was slow.

How can this bus route cope in the Peak, if it can’t cope on a Sunday morning?

Various issues and actions and will make these capacity issues worse.

The Victoria Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

In my view, this was a mistake, although not that serious, as the young or energetic can probably walk between Oxford Circus and the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station on the Elizabeth Line.

Will this connection develop with coffee and snack shops to ease passenger interchanges?

When and if Oxford Circus station is ever made step-free, I can imagine a tunnel, perhaps with a moving walkway being built between  Oxford Circus station and he Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

There is also the cross-platform interchange at Highbury & Islington station with the Northern City Line that links with Moorgate and the City of London.

The Piccadilly Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

To get between the Northern stations on the Piccadilly Line and the Elizabeth Line is either a double-change at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations or a ride on the 141 bus.

I wrote about these issues in Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line.

The Elizabeth Line Will Attract Travellers To Moorgate

I notice that my own travelling patterns have changed from using the Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines to using the Elizabeth Line since it opened and I suspect, when the Elizabeth Line is fully joined up, that more passengers will travel to Moorgate to access the Elizabeth Line.

Transport for London and the Mayor Are Rerouting The 21 Bus

The 21 bus duplicates the 141 bus between Newington Green and Moorgate station.

But it is being rerouted next year, which will increase the loading on the 141 bus.

The 141 Bus Used To Be The 641 Trolleybus

When I was a child, London’s trolleybus network was extensive and to get between Wood Green and Moorgate, you would have used the 641 trolleybus.

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Many like me, look back on trolleybuses with affection.

Does this historical connection encourage passengers to use the 141 bus, which is the 641 trolleybus’s successor on the route?

My parents certainly had lots of trolleybus stories.

So What Could Be Done?

There are a variety of actions that could be taken to strengthen public transport between Moorgate and Wood Green stations.

Improve The 141 Bus Route

In Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?, I put forward ideas for using buses to link to the Elizabeth Line.

This was my suggestion.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

I feel that a high-quality 141 bus running every ten minutes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green, would be just what the passengers would order.

  • Palmers Green bus garage is at the Northern end of the route, so could be used for refuelling or recharging.
  • London Bridge station is at the Southern end of the route and was designed with an efficient bus station.
  • The 141 route connects London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate and Old Street stations in the City of London.

With the right buses, this could be a route with real quality and usefulness.

Increase The Frequency On The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line may have new Class 717 trains, but it still has a pathetic frequency of eight trains per hour (tph)

  • I am sure it could be increased to at least 12 tph between Moorgate and Alexandra Palace stations.
  • Something like six tph would go to Welwyn Garden City, four tph to Hertford East station and two to Stevenage.
  • Large areas of the Northern suburbs would get a much better connection to the Elizabeth Line.

Once the digital signalling is installed and commissioned, no new infrastructure will be needed.

I am sure, that this would be the easiest way to improve public transport in North London.

Add Step-Free Access To As Many Stations As Possible

Moorgate, Finsbury Park, Oakwood and Cockfosters are step-free with lifts.

As many stations as budgetary constraints allow, should be made step-free.

October 9, 2022 Posted by | Food, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line

Some parts of North and North-East London, have less-than-good connections with the Elizabeth Line.

  • The Piccadilly Line has no direct connection with the Elizabeth Line.
  • The Victoria Line has no direct connection with the Elizabeth Line.
  • The Bank branch of the Northern Line has only a poor connection with the Elizabeth Line at Moorgate station.
  • The Northern City Line has only a poor connection with the Elizabeth Line at Moorgate station.
  • The Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line has a good connection with the Elizabeth Line at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • The Lea Valley Lines of the London Overground have good connections with the Elizabeth Line at Liverpool Street station.
  • Thameslink has a good connection with the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

It would appear that if you live near one of the Lea Valley Lines or Thameslink stations, you can access the Elizabeth Line fairly easily at Liverpool Street or Farringdon stations, but if you rely on a Northern, Northern City, Piccadilly or Victoria Line local station, you are not so lucky!

Could The Northern City Line Be Improved To Give Better Connections Between North London And The Elizabeth Line?

This map from cartometro.com shows the lines between Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations.

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line, which calls at M (Manor House), Finsbury Park, Arsenal, Holloway Road and Caledonian Road, before going South-West to King’s Cross St. Pancras.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line, which calls at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington, before going South-West to King’s Cross St. Pancras.
  3. The black tracks on the Western side of the map are those of the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross.
  4. The black tracks going South-East from Finsbury Park are the Northern City Line, which calls at Finsbury Park, Drayton Park, Highbury & Islington, E (Essex Road) and Old Street before terminating at Moorgate.

This second map shows the lines through Finsbury Park station.

 

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line.
  3. The black tracks going through Drayton Park station are the Northern City Line.
  4. The platforms of the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines are paired at Finsbury Park station, so that passengers can change lines with a simple walk-across.

This third map shows the lines through Highbury & Islington station.

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line.
  3. The orange tracks are the London Overground.
  4. The black tracks going through Drayton Park and Highbury & Islington stations are the Northern City Line, which terminates at Moorgate station.
  5. The platforms of the Northern City and Victoria Lines are paired at Highbury & Islington station, so that passengers can change lines with a simple walk-across.

The big problem with Highbury & Islington station is that is not step-free.

A Step-Free Route Between Wood Green And Moorgate  Stations

Currently, it is possible to go between Wood Green and Moorgate stations by using three trains.

  • Piccadilly Line – Wood Green to Finsbury Park – 6 mins
  • Victoria Line – Finsbury Park to Highbury & Islington – 6 mins
  • Northern City Line – Highbury & Islington to Moorgate – 10 mins

Note.

  1. These are actual times measured on my phone.
  2. The total time is twenty-two minutes.
  3. I had to wait a couple of minutes at both changes.
  4. Both changes are walk-across.
  5. The changes are not as perfect as they could be, although they would be easily managed with a buggy or a heavy case.

These pictures show the change at Highbury & Islington station.

These pictures show the change at Finsbury Park station.

This route works for all stations Between Manor House and Cockfosters.

  • Cockfosters – Add 15 minutes
  • Oakwood – Add 12 minutes
  • Southgate – Add 9 minutes
  • Arnos Grove – Add 6 minutes
  • Bounds Green – Add 3 minutes
  • Turnpike Lane – Subtract 2 minutes
  • Manor House – Subtract 5 minutes

But look at the frequencies of the three sections in trains per hour (tph)

The Northern City Line frequency is not high enough, as you could have a fifteen minute wait for a train.

Improvements Needed To The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line now has new Class 717 trains, a terminal platform at Stevenage and full digital signalling is being installed.

  • The major improvement needed would be to improve frequency to at least 12 tph.
  • Six tph on both branches should be possible.

I would also install step-free access at more stations.

Moorgate Station’s Northern City Line Platforms

These pictures show the platforms of the Northern City Line at Moorgate station.

Note.

Improved Connections At Moorgate Station

I talked about the connections between the Northern and Elizabeth Lines at Moorgate station in Elizabeth Line To Northern Line At Moorgate Station.

This was my conclusion.

Routes between the Northern and Elizabeth Lines at Moorgate need to be improved.

I feel that some of the improvements could be fairly minor, but adding step-free access to the Northern City Line could be more difficult.

An Improved Connection Between Bank And Moorgate Stations

Currently, there are three ways between Bank and Moorgate stations.

  • Use the Northern Line
  • Use a 21, 43 or 141 bus routes
  • Walk

I believe that it would also be possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel between the two stations and fit it out with a moving walkway.

This visualisation shows the updated Bank station.


Note.

  1. Moorgate station is to the left.
  2. The only more-or-less completed bits are the two Northern Line tunnels and platforms and parallel pedestrian tunnel.
  3. The four cross tunnels can be picked out towards the far end of the station.
  4. Three of the cross tunnels can now be used by passengers.
  5. The moving walkway can be accessed from the two cross tunnels nearest to the Central Line.
  6. The escalators from the yet-to-open Cannon Street entrance appear to lead directly into a cross tunnel and a parallel tunnel to the moving walkway.

I believe that the moving walkway to Moorgate station could connect with the Bank station complex, at the Moorgate end of the new moving walkway in Bank station.

 

September 5, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Elizabeth Line To Open On 24 May 2022

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on Crossrail.

This is the sub-title.

Trains to run every five minutes 06:30 – 23:00 Monday to Saturday between Paddington and Abbey Wood.

And these are the first two paragraphs describe what will open.

Transport for London (TfL) has today confirmed that, subject to final safety approvals, the Elizabeth line will open on Tuesday 24 May 2022. The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains. The Elizabeth line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.

In the coming weeks, Elizabeth line signage will continue to be uncovered across the network in preparation for the start of customer service. The updated Tube and Rail map will also be released later showing the new central section stations connected with the rest of the TfL network for the first time.

These are some points from the rest of the press release.

  • Work will continue in engineering hours and on Sundays to allow a series of testing and software updates in preparation for more intensive services from the autumn.
  • All services between Reading and Heathrow to Paddington and Shenfield to Liverpool Street, currently operating as TfL Rail, will be rebranded to the Elizabeth line.
  • Passengers wanting to do longer journeys may need to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street stations.
  • Services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels in autumn when frequencies will also be increased to 22 trains per hour in the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.
  • Paddington and Canary Wharf will have a journey time of only 17 minutes. It takes thirty minutes by the Underground.
  • All Elizabeth line stations will be staffed from first to the last train, with a ‘turn up and go’ service offered to anyone needing assistance.
  • Step-free access is in place from street to train across all Elizabeth line stations between Paddington and Woolwich.
  • Work is ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which means that it will not open with the other stations on 24 May. It will open later in the year.
  • Changes will be made to 14 bus routes to improve links to Elizabeth line stations in east and south-east London, where many customers will use buses to get to and from stations.
  • Full services across the entire route introduced by May 2023.

I have some thoughts.

My Routes To Crossrail

Like many in London, I will have multiple routes to and from Crossrail.

  • I could take a 21 or a 141 bus from the bus stop round the corner to the Moorgate end of Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could take a 38 bus from another bus stop round the corner to Tottenham Court Road station on Crossrail.
  • I could also take a 38 or 56 bus from this stop to Angel station and get a Northern Line train to Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could also take a 38 or 56 bus from this stop to Essex Road station and get a Northern City Line train to Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could also take a 30 bus from this stop to Highbury & Islington station and get a Northern City Line train to Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could take a 30, 38 or 56 from yet another stop round the corner to Dalston Junction station and get an Overground train to Whitechapel on Crossrail.
  • I could even walk a few hundred metres to take a 76 bus from the stop in the centre of de Beauvoir Town to the Moorgate end of Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.

One of the reasons, I bought my house, was that it would have good connections to Crossrail.

But there is a cloud on the horizon.

My easiest route will probably be to use a 21 or 141 bus direct to Moorgate.

But our South London Mayor in his wisdom is hoping to retire the 21 bus leaving us with just the 141 direct to Moorgate.

I am by training a mathematical modeller and I have lived much of my life at various points on the transport corridor from Cockfosters to Moorgate formed by the Piccadilly Line and the 141 bus. I can even remember using the predecessor of the 141 bus, which was the 641 trolley-bus to come up to London with my grandmother in the 1950s.

I’m certain that when Crossrail opens, that if you live in say Wood Green, Southgate and Oakwood, if you want to use Crossrail to get to Heathrow or Canary Wharf, you will be highly likely to take the Piccadilly Line to Manor House and then take a 141 bus to Moorgate to pick up Crossrail.

The only alternative will be to change at Finsbury Park for the Moorgate Line, which even after the improvements at Finsbury Park, would not be an easy change with a heavy bag or a baby in a buggy.

I talked about this problem before in Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?, where I said this.

I suspect that when Crossrail opens, the 141 bus will be heavily used by travellers going between the Northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line and Crossrail at Moorgate.

The 141 bus goes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green and it has a route length of about nine miles.

Currently, buses run every fifteen minutes or so, but I doubt it will be enough in future as Transport for London are rerouting the closely-related 21 bus.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

It should be noted that the 43 bus, that passes Moorgate, is already carbon-free.

I will be interested to see what action is taken by Transport for London.

I believe their current plan is lacking and will make it difficult for those where I live to get to Crossrail at Moorgate.

Feeder Bus Routes To Crossrail

I believe that there could be considerable scope for more high-capacity high-quality feeder routes to and from Crossrail.

Currently, there are four bus routes that pass Moorgate station, that come into this category.

  • 21 – Lewisham Shopping Centre and Newington Green
  • 43 – London Bridge Station and Friern Barnet
  • 76 – Waterloo Station and Stoke Newington
  • 141 – London Bridge Station and Palmers Green

How many other routes are there, that stop outside a Crossrail station?

I suspect that for many Londoners and visitors, a bus to Crossrail will be their fastest way to their ultimate destination.

For instance, my fastest way to Bond Street, Canary Wharf, Ealing, Heathrow, Paddington and Reading will start with a bus to the Crossrail entrance at Moorgate station.

And it looks like Transport for London will be reducing my bus frequency to Moorgate, when it probably needs a slight increase.

Crossrail’s North-West Essex Extension

One of the elegant parts of Crossrail’s design is its interchange with the Central Line at Stratford station.

  • The Eastbound Crossrail and Central Line platforms share an island platform.
  • The Westbound Crossrail and Central Line platforms share an island platform.

This arrangement allows step-free cross-platform interchange between the two lines.

This map, which was clipped from Wikipedia, shows the North-Eastern end of the Central Line.

I am sure, that those who live to the North-East of Stratford station will be some of the residents of London, who benefit the most from Crossrail.

The following stations are step-free.

  • Buckhurst Hill
  • Debden
  • Epping
  • Hainault
  • Newbury Park
  • Roding Valley
  • South Woodford
  • Stratford
  • Woodford

I suspect more stations will be made step-free.

Cross-Platform Interchanges

It was originally planned, that a similar cross-platform interchange would have been built at Walthamstow Central station, that would have allowed the Victoria Line to continue to Woodford.

As the Stratford interchange works so well, I’m surprised the track layout hasn’t been used at more places on London’s rail network.

The Whitechapel Reverse

In Is Whitechapel Station Going To Be A Jewel In The East?, I discussed the importance of Whitechapel station.

Whitechapel station solves the round-the-corner problem for passengers, who want to go between say Romford and Woolwich stations.

Passengers just walk the few metres between the two platforms at Whitechapel station and take the first train to their destination.

I will be interested to see if Crossrail has an effect on traffic over the Dartfood Crossing and through the tunnels. How many will use Crossrail instead, when they are visiting their team, clients or family on the other side of the river?

I call stations like Whitechapel reversal stations, as they allow passengers to easily reverse direction. There is more about reversal stations in Reversal Stations.

The New Tube Map

These pictures show the new tube map.

Note.

  1. Crossrail is shown as a double purple line.
  2. Thameslink is also shown as a double pink line.
  3. There are certainly some drawing gymnastics to fit it all in.

But Harry Beck’s design survives.

Abbey Wood Station

The more I look at the design of Abbey Wood station and compare it to the Crossrail/Central interchange at Stratford, the more I think it is a substandard station.

Would it have been better, if one island platform had been designed for Westbound services and the other had been designed for Eastbound services? Crossrail services might be on the outside with North Kent services between the two island platforms.

This would have enabled a journey between say Rochester and Bond Street to have been done with a simple cross-platform change at Abbey Wood station.

No Victoria Line Interchange

I was surprised by these omissions.

This article on London Reconnections is entitled Horrible Holborn: When Postponement Is Not An Option.

It is well worth a read.

One section is entitled The interchange that isn’t, where this is said.

Whilst modelling showed that Bond St and Tottenham Court Road would be capable of managing the expected passengers once the Elizabeth line opens, it was clear that a combined Oxford Circus/Bond St (Crossrail) east entrance could not. If you have ever wondered why the Elizabeth line has no sub-surface interchange with the Victoria line at Oxford Circus despite the eastern ends of the Bond Street platforms being tantalisingly close, this is your answer. As the Victoria line at Oxford Circus is never likely to be able to handle the expected numbers of people that would board if there were direct access from the Bond St Crossrail platforms, it appears the two stations will never be linked with publicly accessible passages below ground.

In other words, you would solve the problem of the interchange between the Elizabeth and Victoria Lines and create severe overcrowding on the Victoria Line.

When I have supper with my son at the Angel, he comes from his home in Walthamstow, via a cross-platform change at Euston.

Routes like this allow those that live on the Victoria Line to access the Elizabeth Line.

No Piccadilly Line Interchange

The article says this about an Elizabeth Line station at Holborn.

It is pertinent to note that an early plan to have a Crossrail station at Holborn was abandoned. In reality, it would have been too close to Tottenham Court Road station to be really worthwhile. It would have restricted the alignment (bearing in mind that sub-surface Crossrail stations have to be straight and level). It would also have added considerable expense and may have put the entire project at risk. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t a good business case. Whilst a station on the scale of the Elizabeth line could not be justified, however, an improvement of the existing Holborn station could.

The article also says that upgrading Holborn station would not be easy, even without the connection to the Elizabeth Line.

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Cruise To Barking – 13th May 2022

I noticed earlier in the week, that the Thames Clippers now go all the way to Barking Riverside. So I went today.

Note.

  1. I boarded the boat at the London Bridge City Pier.
  2. The easiest way to get to this pier is to get a 21, 43 or 141 bus from Moorgate or Bank station. to London Bridge and walk along the South Bank of the river for perhaps a hundred metres. Walking from London Bridge station is a bit tricky.
  3. I alighted at Barking Riverside Pier, which will be a short walk to the new Barking Riverside station.

The route is a mixture of historic and modern London and places passed include.

  • HMS Belfast
  • The Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Canary Wharf
  • Cutty Sark
  • The Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • The O2
  • The Thames Barrier
  • Wooolwich Arsenal

Many have piers for the Thames Clipper.

The Royal Iris

These pictures show what is left of the former Mersey Ferry, the MV Royal Iris, which is rusting in the River at Woolwich.

I remember the ferry, when it was resplendent in green and yellow in the 1960s. I also remember going on one evening party cruise up and down the Mersey.

It’s rather a sad end for ship that has many happy memories for many.

According to Wikipedia, there is a campaign to return the iconic ferry to Liverpool.

London’s CrossFerry

The Thames Clippers keep on going and now at many times, you can go all the way between Barking Riverside and Putney.

It’s not that slow either and in the open waters East of Tower Bridge, my phone was saying that the ferry was cruising at 40 mph.

If it has one problem, it is that the Thames Clippers don’t have an all-day timetable, that is simple.

If it is going to be a pseudo-train line across London, then there needs to be a two boat per hour service across the city. This will be needed more as more housing is built at Barking Riverside.

I know Barking Riverside will be getting the Overground in the Autumn, but unlike the Thames Clippers, that serve Canary Wharf, the City and Westminster, the Overground will serve a swathe of housing, rather than employment, across North London.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?

If Crossrail has a major problem, it is that some areas of the capital will find it difficult to access the new line.

Up to the age of sixteen, I used to live half-way between Oakwood and Cockfosters stations on the Piccadilly Line.

There are a large number of people who live along the Northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line, who might want to use Crossrail to perhaps go to Heathrow or places in East London.

But the journey will need a double change as there is no interchange between the Piccadilly Line and Crossrail.

I suspect that many will link to Crossrail by taking the Piccadilly Line to Wood Green, Turnpike Lane or Manor House and then get a 141 bus to Moorgate. It is a route, I use if I want to go to Southgate or Cockfosters from my house, which has a 141 stop opposite.

But then as a child to go to Harringay, where my father had an uncle, my mother would use a 641 trolley bus from Wood Green or Turnpike Lane.

Do people follow the public transport habits of their parents?

I know I do!

My father never went on a deep tube. As he several times mentioned the terrible Bank station bombing in the Blitz, which killed 56 people, I always thought that was his problem. But now living as I do along the Northern and Northern City Lines, I suspect it was more to do with air quality, as we were or are both bad breathers.

I suspect that when Crossrail opens, the 141 bus will be heavily used by travellers going between the Northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line and Crossrail at Moorgate.

The 141 bus goes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green and it has a route length of about nine miles.

Currently, buses run every fifteen minutes or so, but I doubt it will be enough in future as Transport for London are rerouting the closely-related 21 bus.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

Other Routes

According to me, the 141 bus route needs improvement!

But how many other routes could need similar improvement?

February 16, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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.

Conclusion

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

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

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Why Do 21 And 141 Buses Always Come Together?

To get between my house and Moorgate station, I use either a 21 or a 141 bus.

During the day, both buses run at a frequency of about one bus every ten minutes.

As the buses take exactly the same route between Bank station and Newington Green, surely it would be logical, if the buses were timed on this section, so that the buses ran every five minutes.

But inevitably, a 21 and a 141 bus always turn up together, which generally means if you miss both, you have to wait ten minutes until another pair come along.

Surely, a bus every file minutes might encourage more people to use the buses.

October 6, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Walking Between Cannon Street And Moorgate Stations

I took these pictures as I walked between Cannon Street And Moorgate stations.

Note.

  1. It was a Sunday, so there wasn’t much traffic about.
  2. The bus stop on King William Street is served by buses 21, 43 and 141. wjich all go to Moorgate and Old Street stations.

I needed to find out how long it took for this other post, called Thoughts On The Closure Of The Northern Line At Bank To Complete The Upgrade To Bank Station.

Timings were as follows.

  • Cannon Street Station to the Northbound bus stop on King William Street – 3 minutes
  • Cannon Street Station to Bank Junction – 6 minutes
  • Cannon Street Station to Moorgate Station – 15 minutes

How much faster would I be in better weather?

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Bus Stop At Moorgate Has Been Reopened

The easiest way to get to my house is to get a 21, 76 or 141 bus from outside Moorgate station. All stop within a hundred metres of my house.

For several years the stop has been a temporary affair, whilst Moorgate station is rebuilt.

But now it’s a proper stop with a next bus display and a shelter.

Much of what I need in life, is available close to this stop.

  • On the other side of the road is a Marks and Spencer store with both food and clothes.
  • Within twenty metres of the stop, there are Boots, Hotel Chocolat, Pret a Manger and Leon.
  • There’s a PC World and a Rymans around the corner.

And underneath it all is Crossrail!

I will have my own personal frequent bus route to London’s new rail line!

December 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment