Tuesday 31 July 2018

The Trouble with TfL....

A huge line of parked up TfL buses along Grove road

You want to catch the 277 down to Cineworld so you go along to your local bus stop. There's a bus there already, but the lights are off and, oh the driver is having a snooze on the backseat (nice and warm from the engine). Oh well, there's another coming along, but it isn't a 277, it's a 25? It pulls up and then the driver stands up and rolls the indicator round so you can't see the number anymore. He switches the engine off and he too then files down the gangway onto the backseat.

It's a struggle to see the traffic coming along now with the parked buses in the way. so you stand up and find yourself running along as a third bus comes into view. No! Not another 25! He performs the same lights off/hide the number/shuffle to the back routine. And then you see it, at last, your 277! But he has nowhere to stop and besides can he see you? - he goes straight past. 

The above is a fairly common occurrence now the number 25 bus has started to terminate every other vehicle at Mile End. The lucky ones get to park up in the Grove Road bus turnaround, but that soon fills up and so they have taken to using regular bus stops as illegal bus stands. They drive all the way up to The Crown roundabout, do a U-turn and then park on the Southbound side of Grove Road. The fact the number 25 doesn't even stop in Grove Road makes it all the more irksome.

MEOTRA have discussed this phenomenon with our local councillors and they will pass it on to our local GLA member. MEOTRA have written to TfL but had no response. It has certainly added to the traffic in Grove Road, most noticeably when the number 25 pulls out of the Grove Road bus stand and holds traffic up.

Of course, TfL did a consultation into the changes to the number 25 route: 

A copy of the consultation letter from TfL regarding bus routes in Bow

It was a poor consultation. It asked for opinions on changes to TWENTY ONE bus routes dotted all over London. So if you are neutral about the 20 you don't know about, then TfL count that as support. One thing I noticed was it was being done retrospectively. The changes had already happened long before the consultation was emailed out by TfL. I have the photos to prove it! The number 25 drivers were already using Grove Road as a doss house. The consultation made no mention of buses parking up all around Grove Road. It left the consultee to work out how TfL was going to solve the puzzle of more buses west of Mile End and more east of Stratford but fewer in between.  MEOTRA objected to the changes

So that was some 18 months ago. Why go on about it now? Well in a recent meeting with councillors we discussed 11 items of concern to MEOTRA - of these, 7 are "TfL issues" mostly resulting from the CS2U cycle route. MEOTRA needs to get better at engaging with TfL. They seem to affect our lives more than the council do. 

TfL is now designing a new Cycle SuperHighway from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs via Mile End:

Surveyors with theodolites along Grove Road.

One has to hope that TfL won't just steamroller this project through ignoring the views of residents. There is some hope: construction of the Superhighway 11 in Swiss Cottage due to start yesterday has been halted pending a judicial review. Residents in that part of London have questioned TfL's traffic modelling and claim TfL has underestimated the extra traffic and congestion with Westminster's Environment chief stating: 

"We are worried that CS11 will cause traffic displacement, increase congestion and lead to poorer air quality". 

MEOTRA share similar concerns regarding TfL's numerous projects around Mile End.

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