Seen around

Sunday 15th May 2022

I couldn’t help but notice a few other things as I wandered around south east London and south Newham on my recent travels. Here’s a few for your edification.

Liverpool Street bus station

You’d think the bus station alongside Liverpool Street station would be a prime spot to reach out to incoming tourists from overseas who’ve travelled through Stansted Airport as well as visitors arriving by train from Essex and East Anglia helping to get London’s economy back on track.

Here’s the only poster advising you where to catch a bus to your destination. It’s not very big.

It’s not very up to date either. Nine years old and woefully misleading in many respects.

Route 153 doesn’t feature in that 2013 map as it was only extended from Moorgate to Liverpool Street in December 2020. The bus stop signs show it departing from stop C. But it doesn’t.

It goes from stop B instead. You’ll know this if you poke your head out of the gap between the waiting area and where the buses pick up and spot a dolly stop with a hand written number on a piece of paper stuck to it..

Is this really the quality of information presentation we should accept from a so called ‘world class’ capital city transport organisation?

Still, on the upside, at least it’s a Bus Stop dolly stop. On the other side of the road there’s an alighting point only which is a Request Stop dolly stop.

And a bus that can’t make up its mind whether it’s on route 133 or undertaking a Rail Replacement service.

It’s no good asking at the information point for information and assistance.

It’s closed.

As is the Visitor Information Centre.

Welcome back to London everyone. We want you to use public transport again, we really do.

On display

It’s useful to see the growing use of information screens inside trains giving status updates on the Underground as shown on this TfL train, but the amalgamation of all Overground lines into one tab called Overground is pretty useless, since the part suspension could apply to any one (or more) of a number of different lines from Richmond to Chingford to Watford to Crystal Palace to Romford and many more.

Other spots included an East London Transit branded bus on route 5….

An LED departure sign on the Jubilee Line platform at Canning Town that had lost most of its display…

South of the River, in North Greenwich, another closed Information and Assistance Centre…

… which perhaps was just as well as the map of selected central London bus routes on display behind the glass is over three years out of date (route C2 shown on the map was withdrawn in March 2019)….

I saw there are still many notices instructing passengers to wear face coverings …

… perhaps bus companies are waiting until they just fade away.

But to end this brief wooden spoon award ceremony on a positive… the Information and Assistance point at Stratford bus station was open….

The toilets in Liverpool Street (as at all Network Rail run stations in London) are now greatly improved and all are free to use…

The information point on Liverpool Street station concourse was open…

And the totem sign outside Stratford station has been updated with the Elizabeth Line roundel…


Roger French

Blogging timetable: 0600 TThS.

19 thoughts on “Seen around

Add yours

  1. Your well-made points about bus information are so true. It doesn’t have to be like that: I don’t remember ever seeing out of date bus stop information in Brighton! The railways may have taken the issue a bit more seriously – they have the Chartered Institute of Railway Operators: maybe that could be persuaded to expand to include Bus Operators. After all the aims must be substantially the same – to see that passengers enjoy safe and hassle-free journeys.

    Probably the main problem is staff cuts, which appear to be the first ‘go to’ when bus managers are told to save money. Perhaps Bus Users UK, or the Bus & Coach Council, could provide some guidance and authenticated statistics about how much money you actually save (if any) from staff cuts, when the consequent loss of customers and income is taken into account, or – more positively – ways of greatly increasing your income for a relatively small number of extra well-trained staff.

    As you say, everyone wants more people to use public transport – for very good and urgent reasons (Climate Change, congestion, air quality etc.); it’s a crying shame that the transport industry from the top (DfT) down can’t act in an efficient and co-operative way to make this happen. There might even be money in it! …

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There must have been initial problems with pigeons flying into the new toilets at Liverpool Street, as a recording of a bird of prey is now played intermittently . . . quite surprising the first time you hear it!!


  3. The branding of rail in London is becoming over complex, We now have the Underground, Overground, Network Rail,. Elizabeth Line and DLR , Why is the Elizabeth line not just part of the Underground. Why have separate Network Rail and London Overground. It is just confusing even more so when stations are served by both London Overground & Network rail as now you have to go to different web sites in general to find information

    What is different say between the Met line and Elizabeth line ? Nothing really so why is one separated out ?

    What happens if the rail link from the WR mainline to Heathrow goes ahead? Where will that fit ?

    The ticketing as well is getting increasingly complex and confusing

    What happen as well when the actual change to Great British Railways happens who knows, This is supposed to simply tickets and to get more consistent fares

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find some other cities such as those in Germany are much easier to understand for passengers. U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Tram and Bus. Simple. And this is generally consistent across all German cities, with the same logos used.
      I don’t think the Elizabeth Line should be the ‘Underground’ though. It has more similarities to the London Overground or a German S-Bahn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Elizabeth line though is underground in Central London
        Equally one could argue that most of The Metropolitian line should be part of the Overground . The difference as to whether it is Underground or Overground is really just historical

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Isn’t it the then London mayor who insisted on calling Crossrail the Elizabeth line and thus created the confusion? Crossrail was conceived as a mail line railway, which just happens to pass through Central London in a tunnel. The Metropolitan line was conceived as an underground railway which was later extended above ground.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. theres a huge difference – the elizabeth line it fully integrated with the national rail network – for example I could buy a national rail ticket from Reading to Maidenhead and use it as a national rail service – so its not a tube

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Given the main function of the Elizabeth line is to link the GWR and GE lines it really fits in better as a part of the national rail network

        The Elizabeth Line is really no different to Thameslink. So we have one that is part of National Rail and one that is part of TfL. It make no real sense

        The Elizabeth line in theory could run a service say from Reading direct to Stanstead airport


    3. It is interesting/confusing, too, that London’s Freedom Passes are accepted all the way out to Reading on the Elizabeth Line, but not on ‘mainline’ (GWR) services.


  4. I used to think the bus information in London was superb, with regularly updated bus stop e-tiles, maps and timetables, with the impression of a well organised organisation! How things have changed. I’ve been to much poorer cities in Central/Eastern Europe with better and more reliable information than London.
    Liverpool Street used to be a busy bus station, with large crowds of mostly tourists queuing for the 11 and 23.


  5. “Liverpool Street bus station – Nine years old and woefully misleading in many respects.”
    How can the information possibly be correct “*from* 14December 2013”?


  6. What is the point of the TfL “Visitor Centres”? They can’t give you a bus map, London & South East railways map, or any form of printed timetable (Cheshunt and Acton Main Line services are not “turn up and go’ Metro operations. They can’t issue you any form of travel ticket – but l believe can sell admission to the likes of the Tower of London and Madame Tuassards.


  7. Well said. I am a long time London resident on a bus route straight to Liverpool Street, but even I find that bus station off-putting and hard to use.
    Have you shared your concerns with London TravelWatch?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your picture of the info board on all these new trains showing the status of the tube lines is great when your heading into London….. but is it really necessary to continually show this info on the trains as you head AWAY from London !!.

    And secondly, All this confusion about whether the Elizabeth line is an underground line, an Overground line, a TfL line or a National rail line. Talk about more confusion… Its Crossrail. It does exactly what it says on the tin 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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