Trolleybus travels

Tuesday 13th September 2022 Many thanks to Cartographer-in-Chief Ray Stenning for this superb map. Last Friday saw the "LCBS 50th Anniversary Tour Group (and assorted other adventures)" reunite for some nostalgic bus riding around south west London with the whacky idea (thanks Andrew) of retracing London Transport’s small trolleybus network centred on Kingston which was... Continue Reading →

P is for Potters Bar

Sunday 21st August 2022 Continuing my AtoZ travels, I thought Potters Bar would make for an interesting mid-size town to look at with it being on the fringes of, but not part of, London. Although with a population of surprisingly only around 22,500 it’s more in the small-town size category, rather like O is for... Continue Reading →

Transport turmoil

Saturday 13th August 2022 Let’s take stock. The battle for TfL is ominously sliding towards a possible nuclear option of bankruptcy and Government "taking back control"…… Rail strikes are continuing with more trains in the sidings than on the tracks today with ASLEF drivers’ turn to stop work and RMT and TSSA members out again... Continue Reading →

Not another extension

Thursday 14th July 2022 There have now been 11 deadlines for Government funding support for TfL since the pandemic began in late March 2020. That’s an average of one deadline every 78 days. Or one very two and a half months. Bearing in mind the first funding settlement lasted for six and a half months... Continue Reading →

Dear Grant and Sadiq

Saturday 25th June 2022 Extract from Grant Shapps' letter of 23rd June to Sadiq Khan. Dear Grant and Sadiq I was intrigued to be quoted in Thursday’s letter (from you Grant to you Sadiq) so wondered if I could help by acting as a bit of an ‘honest broker’ between the two of you as... Continue Reading →

My verdict on TfL’s bus cuts (Part 2)

Sunday 19th June 2022 Following yesterday's blog here are some more thoughts on TfL’s proposed central London bus cuts based on my recent travels and observations on the ground. First up let's take a look at a couple more “over capacity” corridors into central London from the north. Firstly Edgware Road which will see the... Continue Reading →

My verdict on TfL’s bus cuts (Part 1)

Saturday 19th June 2022 Next week isn't going to be a good week for public transport. As well as strikes on the National Rail network on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with knock on impacts on other days there’s a strike on the London Underground on Tuesday continuing into Wednesday morning and by Friday TfL’s current... Continue Reading →

The next TfL financial crunch will be wrapped in a purple ribbon, and labelled “Crossrail”.

Saturday 11th June 2022  Guest Blog - David Leeder, Managing Partner, Transport Investments Ltd. The much-delayed opening of Crossrail / Elizabeth Line once again raises questions about the corporate culture of TfL and the medium-term financing of the transport behemoth.  The vast, clinical stations are now open, the shiny Bombardier trains are running, smiling families... Continue Reading →

Barking Riverside’s new service

Thursday 9th June 2022 Now in its seventh week after a low profile ‘soft’ launch the expanding area known as Barking Riverside in east London is enjoying a brand new direct service to the City and Westminster. No, I'm not talking the substantial new railway station. That's due to open later this autumn as the... Continue Reading →

Carnage on the buses (in central London)

Wednesday 1st June 2022 A blog post extra. Route 14 will be axed TfL’s much anticipated six week consultation about its "central London's bus review" began today. It’s going to take that long to work out what’s planned if you rely on TfL's website. TfL's consultation portal - and there's more - Equality Impact Assessments... Continue Reading →

Riding routes 11 and 24; while I can.

Tuesday 31st May 2022 TfL are set to announce further major cuts to its central London bus network today with speculation mounting they'll include the withdrawal of some iconic routes including low numbered jewels 11, 12, 14, 16 and 24. Of course these may just be scurrilous rumours as the Mayor and TfL negotiate future... Continue Reading →

It’s here

Thursday 26th May 2022 Four things struck me when riding the new Elizabeth Line alongside thousands of excited passengers on Tuesday's grand opening day. First the sheer scale of the cavernous station structures particularly underground. Liverpool Street I remember the exciting new Victoria line in the late 1960s bringing noteworthy improvements to the London Underground... Continue Reading →

New trains have a-pier-ed in Southend

Tuesday 17th May 2022 Southend-on-Sea’s famous pier has recently seen the arrival of two new eco-friendly trains for its iconic three-foot narrow gauge railway so I popped over yesterday to take a look. Sadly, neither were in service. One train has yet to be made ready for service and the second had some ‘teething troubles’... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

A long time coming

Saturday 14th May 2022 Running almost four years late and over budget by £4 billion but all the trials and tribulations of this unduly long gestation period will soon be forgotten as today's the day TfL finally launches its programme of bus service changes in south east London centred on Abbey Wood, Greenwich and Lewisham... Continue Reading →

Suggestions for TfL

Saturday 2nd April 2022 Palestra Twitter followers will know I was privileged to be asked into TfL Towers (Palestra in Southwark) on Tuesday afternoon to share ideas on how to improve revenue and grow the number of passengers using its bus network based on best practice pursued by the country’s leading bus companies in the... Continue Reading →

TfL’s “bold vision for buses”

Thursday 17th March 2022 TfL launched a"long-term plan for buses" last week. The press release headlined it "TfL sets out bold vision for buses in the capital" with the new Bus Action Plan aiming for a "modern bus network to attract more customers and help the capital become net zero by 2030". The 94-page Bus... Continue Reading →

A few updates

Thursday 3rd March 2022 Cambridgeshire Guided Busway Looking south I was in Cambridge briefly over the weekend so took the opportunity to take a look at the interim safety measures now installed between the public footpath/bridleway and the northbound guided busway on the one-and-a-quarter mile stretch between Addenbrooke's Hospital and Cambridge railway station. It had... Continue Reading →

London matters

Saturday 19th February 2022 I'd planned to use this blog to write about the fourth funding settlement agreed between DfT and TfL yesterday including the controversial stuff like Travelcards ending. But I guessed a settlement wouldn't be agreed. And instead there'd be a further extension from last night's midnight expiry of the already twice extended... Continue Reading →

Sullivan saves route 84

Saturday 12th February 2022 There's been much consternation among bus passengers living in Potters Bar and the surrounding area over the last week. Long standing route 84 between St Albans and New Barnet has been deregistered by Metroline. The 84 is one of those iconic routes with a long history stretching back over a century... Continue Reading →

More travels across Crossrail

Sunday 30th January 2022 Flashback to those innocent days in summer 2018 when all was ready for the December opening. Following yesterday's blog when I explored how Crossrail is set to change the travel landscape between Abbey Wood and Liverpool Street, it's now time to continue westwards through the new central core towards Paddington from... Continue Reading →

Travels across Crossrail

Saturday 29th January 2022 The sign says Crossrail, so it must be. With Crossrail construction finally in sight of the finishing line and the network's long awaited opening now expected within a matter of weeks I took a ride along the new stretch of line last week so I can appreciate first hand the significantly... Continue Reading →

Travelcard under threat

Saturday 22nd January 2022 One of the proposals London Mayor Sadiq Khan has put forward to help shore up TfL’s finances in ongoing funding negotiations with Government to replace the current arrangements ending on 4th February is the end of the Travelcard. If this goes ahead it will confirm without doubt the wheels have well... Continue Reading →

London’s newest bus route

Tuesday 18th January 2022 The last time I used "London's newest bus route" as a title for a blogpost was on 29th March 2021 heralding the arrival of new route 456 in north London. Almost ten months on I’ve taken another ride on the route to see how it’s getting on but before that another... Continue Reading →

Banking on an upgrade

Thursday 13th January 2022 This Saturday sees the closure of London Underground Northern Line's city branch between Moorgate and Kennington for the next four months**. This will allow the £655 million 'Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Programme' to enter its final stages. Specifically it will allow for a new southbound platform and 570 metre tunnel, which... Continue Reading →

Highgate Village terminus to terminate

Sunday 9th January 2022 Today's the last day to submit comments in response to TfL's consultation on the proposed withdrawal of routes 168 and 271. Regular readers will be aware I've been chronicling the relentless reductions in London's bus routes since August last year and uncharacteristically for TfL noted none of these have been subject... Continue Reading →

TfL’s ‘Future Bus’ project takes shape

Thursday 6th January 2022 It’s nice to see London’s regulated buses at long last catching up with standards of comfort, decor and facilities that have been commonplace on new buses in the deregulated rest of the country for many years. Yet, this being London, it’s not just a straightforward upgrade to bus specifications. Bish bosh... Continue Reading →

“London-style” bus cuts continue

Friday 12th November 2021 Tomorrow sees TfL's route 414 cut back from its current terminus at Maida Hill (that's close to Maida Vale in the Edgware Road area) meaning it will only run from its unchanged southern terminus at Putney Bridge station via Fulham, South Kensington and Knightsbridge as far north as Marble Arch. It... Continue Reading →

Another way is Essex

Saturday 6th November 2021 I’m conscious there’ve been a few blogs recently about bus routes in Essex; well, sorry folks, here’s another one. The issue is, each time I visit I spot something that attracts my attention justifying a return visit to investigate further. I did the same a year ago when I took a... Continue Reading →

Three refunds and a bouquet for TfL

Wednesday 13th October 2021 As promised last month, a further quick update on my recent experiences with customer service teams in the public transport sector. In my Sunday 19th September blogpost I explained how I’d encountered a problem at Tottenham Hale Underground Station on Friday 17th when the ticket gate ate my rail ticket and... Continue Reading →

Are TfL about to ditch new route 497?

Sunday 3rd October 2021 I wrote about TfL's new route 497 on its first day of operation back on 25th January 2020. Here's a quick recap: the 497 links Harold Wood station with new housing in Kings Park (the former Harold Wood Hospital site) passing a Polyclinic and London South Bank University's Havering Campus as... Continue Reading →

Customer service resolutions (or not).

Sunday 19th September 2021 I thought I should provide a few updates after my post a month ago about unsatisfactory experiences at the hands of various rail companies and their hard to reach customer service departments, or often, their sub-contracted outsourced companies. I explained how South Western Railway had twice declined my delay repay claim... Continue Reading →

Aldwych to Aldenham via Whitechapel

Wednesday 1st September 2021 Apologies for the London and South East centric blogposts of late. That’ll change in the next few posts, but here’s just one more featuring a quick tour I did on Monday to check out three recent transport developments in the Capital. Aldwych goes two-way On Saturday 21st August Aldwych became a... Continue Reading →

TfL’s downward spiral continues

Saturday 28th August 2021 Sooner or later the bubble had to burst. For years London's buses have been hailed as an exemplar for how bus networks should be across the country. It's a favourite bleat of MPs used to flotillas of red buses passing up and down Whitehall as they attend their Westminster offices that... Continue Reading →

Route W13. All three of them.

Sunday 22nd August 2021 Britain has three* bus networks using the prefix W. They’re a very diverse threesome. One comprises frequent routes in Wood Green and Walthamstow in north London (as well as Wanstead and Woodford). Another can be found running through the most remote spectacular scenery you’ll ever find in Britain, in the Outer... Continue Reading →

A world second from TfL

Thursday 13th May 2021 No sooner had I posted yesterday morning's blog about Aberdeen's hydrogen buses came news TfL and its contractor Metroline had chalked up a ‘world second’ by introducing one of their similar fleet of Wrightbus built hydrogen double deck buses into service in London for the first time yesterday. TfL have long... Continue Reading →

Barking up the right tree

Wednesday 28th April 2021 It's all happening in Barking. And it's looking pretty good for the potential 26,000 public transport using residents the development known as Barking Riverside is hoping to attract as the promised 10,800 new homes planned for the next few years come on stream. Rail operator c2c has just started work on... Continue Reading →

Wandsworth’s phantom bus stops

Tuesday 6th April 2021 It's not often TfL's bus stop contractors manage to install new bus stops in time for the start of extensions to bus routes. (Readers will recall my recent ride along new route 456 featuring 'dolly stops' and temporary flags despite plenty of notice before the service started.) But in Wandsworth, they've... Continue Reading →

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