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343 Consultation - more buses not popular with some of our Telegraph Hill neighbours...

We were recently delighted to learn that Mayor Boris Johnson had listened to our calls to improve the frequency of the 343 bus in the morning peak.

However, it seems that some of our neighbours in Telegraph Hill are less pleased with this outcome. Opinion in Brockley seems to roughly come down in favour of an improved service.

As an Ivydale Road resident without a car, I am massively dependent on the 343 to get around and I use it most mornings to get to work. However, as an Ivydale Road resident I also suffer the noise and vibrations that the double deckers cause.

On balance, given the huge overcrowding along the route, I think a double decker is the only practical option. Splitting the route in Peckham (presumably in the Rye Lane area), with just a single decker running on to New Cross Gate would mean the loss of a great 'through' bus service that many Peckham Rye ward residents rely on. It's also foolish to think that the overcrowding starts at Rye Lane - at rush hour the bus fills up very quickly along Ivydale Road, Cheltenham Road and along Rye Hill Park.

The suggestion of some Telegraph Hill residents, that some of the double deckers turn round at the roundabout at the top of Telegraph Hill, would mean that we would end up with a bus that goes nowhere, rather than a bus that is handy for New Cross Gate Sainsburys (why can't it terminate at the supermarket?), handy for catching buses on to Greenwich, Blackheath and Lewisham and very handy for pupils at Haberdashers' Aske's.

Solutions to the vibrations and noise on Jerningham Road could include resurfacing or the replacement of the current speed bumps with less noisy traffic calming measures (as per Ivydale Road's 'pinch points' though I know these are already proving unpopular with many residents....) Or I like the suggestion that this route could be one of the first to get fuel cell buses which make less vibrations.

As it is, the current proposal on the table from TfL is not about spliting the route, rather it's just whether you want two extra buses in the morning rush hour (heading into London) and possibly an improved service in the evening peak. When the route is retendered in 2011, there is a possibility that the frequency will go from the current 9bph to 10bph throughout the day.

If you feel strongly about the route I would urge you to contact TfL on with the subject ref is MH/T335/Stage2/R/0110. The deadline for comments is Friday 26 February.


  1. It's the size (air-displacement) and weight (ground vibration) of the buses that cause the problem, so fuel cell versions would not help - might actually be worse if they are heavier.

    The roads would have to be resurfaced to a much higher standard than the last couple of times if the work is to last - the damage done by such heavy vehicles is unbelievable.

    The route can't terminate at the supermarket (although the bus companies would love it to do so) because of the way the crossing is configured - and there would be quite major knock-on effects on through traffic and rat-running, and even more delay and congestion on the A2 if that configuration was changed, so it is not something to be undertaken lightly,

    Still, at least tfl now know that just a small increase in frequency does not meet the problems of overcrowding around Peckham and exacerbates the problems elsewhere, so perhaps they might actually spend a little more effort and thought on seeking a better solution.


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