As part of Transport for London (TfL)’s preparations for the Elizabeth line, it will be restructuring parts of its bus network from this Saturday (May 14) onwards. Most of the changes are taking place along the new Elizabeth line branch between Whitechapel and Abbey Wood, where bus services are being re-routed towards Elizabeth line stations in order to speed up integrated bus-to-rail journeys, and encourage use of the new service.
These changes follow previous amendments which took place along the existing TfL Rail routes in West and East London, which will become part of the Elizabeth line on May 24. It comes at the same time that TfL is having to review all its bus routes as part of a service review ordered by the government after it imposed conditions on TfL in its emergency funding bailouts last year.
Some of the upcoming changes will break historic direct bus links – notably on route 180, where Greenwich and Lewisham will no longer be connected to Abbey Wood and Belvedere. There are also significant bus cuts to the Gallions Reach retail outlets, with two routes cut short. New links are being created, such as Custom House to Newham University Hospital and East Ham too.
READ MORE : Inside the Elizabeth line control room as final preparations for opening day are underway
(Image: Callum Marius)
Changes from this Saturday (May 14) – South East London
From this weekend, bus routes around Abbey Wood are changing. This appears to be to provide extra buses to Abbey Wood, which will become the new terminus of the Elizabeth line ten days after. Instead of passengers from around South East London making longer journeys by bus to connect to the TfL network at Woolwich Arsenal DLR or North Greenwich, Abbey Wood and Woolwich’s new Elizabeth line stations will act as key interchange points instead.
- Route 129 (currently North Greenwich-Cutty Sark) will be extended to Lewisham Shopping Centre to replace route 180 which will no longer serve stops between Charlton Station and Lewisham Shopping Centre.
- Route 180 (currently Lewisham-Belvedere) will run North Greenwich-Erith Quarry. Routes 129 and 177 will replace the section of the route between Charlton Station and Lewisham Shopping Centre. From Mulberry Way in Belvedere, buses will no longer run to the Lidl distribution centre to terminate, but instead to Erith and the new housing development at Erith Quarry instead.
- Route 244 will start from a new bus stop at Abbey Wood station on Gayton Road.
- Route 469 will run via Picardy Road, Woolwich Road and New Road instead of direct along Abbey Road between Abbey Wood and Belvedere.
- Route 472 (currently North Greenwich-Thamesmead) will run North Greenwich-Abbey Wood. It will run direct along Western Way (stopping at Belmarsh Prison) instead of via Nathan Way between Plumstead and Thamesmead. At Thamesmead, it will run through Thamesmead Town Centre and Crossway, then along Harrow Manorway to Abbey Wood. It will no longer stop along Bentham Road and buses to North Greenwich will stop on the other side of the road along Crossway than they currently do.
- Route B11 will no longer serve Thamesmead Town Centre. It will start at the roundabout next to Lidl in Abbey Wood instead. Route 401 will still link Thamesmead Town Centre and Bexleyheath.
(Image: Callum Marius)
Changes from next Saturday (May 21) – East London
The next batch of changes focus on Newham and will see extra buses going to Elizabeth line stations in the borough. Custom House is one of the biggest winners thanks to the new line, with journeys into Zone 1 taking half the time the DLR does from there.
- Route 101 (currently Wanstead-Gallions Reach) will be cut short at Beckton and no longer run to Gallions Reach. Routes 262 and 366 still link Beckton and Gallions Reach.
- Route 104 (currently Stratford-Manor Park) will be split into two routes – 104 and 304. The 104 will continue to run between Stratford and Lonsdale Avenue, but will then go to Beckton instead. The former section between Manor Park and Lonsdale Avenue will now become route 304, with buses going to Newham University Hospital and Custom House to link up with the Elizabeth line there.
- Route 241 (currently Stratford City-Canning Town, Barking Road) will still run its normal route as far as Custom House but will then go to Prince Regent instead. Once a new bus stand is created, it will then continue from Custom House to Royal Wharf (next to Pontoon Dock DLR). The section between Custom House and Canning Town will be replaced by route 474 which will be diverted that way, instead of running along Silvertown Way.
- Route 262 (currently Stratford-East Beckton Sainsbury’s) will be cut short at Gallions Reach and no longer run to Beckton Triangle and the Sainsbury’s superstore. Route 366 will still run unchanged providing a link to Beckton.
- Route 300 (Canning Town-East Ham) will take a different route around Custom House, no longer using Stansfeld Road. Along Prince Regent Lane buses will run in the opposite directions as they do now.
- Route 474 (Canning Town-Manor Park) will be diverted via Custom House to replace part of route 241 which is itself being diverted. It will no longer serve Silvertown Way or Pontoon Dock DLR, so route 330 (currently Wanstead Park-Canning Town) will be extended to Pontoon Dock, Thames Barrier. It means there is no direct bus service between Silvertown, City Airport and North Woolwich, although the DLR still provides a link.
Future changes beyond May
Beyond May, there are still some additional changes to be expected – they are all dependent on various changes to road layouts being made and the full Elizabeth line service being introduced. These include:
- Route 241 will be extended from its provisional terminus at Prince Regent to Royal Wharf (next to Pontoon Dock DLR)
- Some bus routes around Southall will be changed
- Route 497 (Harold Wood-Harold Hill) will be extended to Dagnam Park Square but have its Sunday and public holiday service withdrawn from this summer
If you have a transport-related story you think MyLondon should be covering, email [email protected]
Read all of MyLondon’s bus-related coverage including news stories, features and trivia pieces at our dedicated page here.
We’ve created a Facebook group for people who travel on London’s bus, rail, Underground, Overground and DLR services.
We will keep you informed about the latest news that affects your daily commute to work, as well as at the weekend.
We’ll also let you know in advance if there are any roadworks, railworks or closures you should know about, or if there are any problems on the city’s tube network.
Join the group here.