A consultation is currently underway on proposed changes to the 343 bus route (see the letters above). For residents of the Nunhead part of Peckham Rye the good news is that the frequency of buses may be increased. However, local residents are constantly telling us that they are concerned about the speed at which many 343 buses travel through residential parts of its route. I've pasted my response to the consultation below, welcoming the increase in frequency, but asking TfL to take decisive action to deal with this issue.
What follows is my personal response to the consultation to the proposals for the 343bus route. I'm not sure if I need to "declare an interest" regarding consultations of this nature, but in the interests of clarity and openness I should say that I live at 340 Ivydale Road, which is serviced by the 343 bus.
I'd like to give my qualified support for the proposal to increase the the frequency of the service on weekdays between 7am and 7pm to one every 6 mins. The 343 bus is very well used by residents of our ward and the increase in frequency will relieve overcrowding, particularly during the busy morning and after-work periods.
The qualification that I would like to add relates to the speed at which buses travel, particularly through the largely residential part of the route taking in Cheltenham Road, Ivydale Road and Mertins Road. Many residents that I and my ward colleagues have spoken to on this part of the route have voiced their concern about the noise and vibration caused in their homes by buses travelling at excessive speeds. This area is part of a controlled 20 MPH zone. When these double decker buses pass over speed humps and potholes at high speeds they can cause houses in the area to shake. When buses slow down to the speed limit, the level of vibration is perfectly acceptable.
I understand that the issue of vibrations from the buses is not entirely related to their speed. There are ongoing issues with road resurfacing which are still to be resolved, but which are not directly related to this consultation.
Some residents are also concerned about road safety, particularly for children, because of the speed that some 343 bus drivers drive through this residential area. At times I have been shocked at the speed that some bus drivers travel, far in excess of the 20mph speed limit. I have even been told of bus drivers "chasing" one another whilst driving buses. Obviously, this increases the chances of an accident.
If the issue of 343 buses speeding remains untackled, an increase in their frequency might increase these problems. Consequently, I would support the proposal but would ask that TfL (and their contract holders) take decisive action to ensure that bus drivers drive within the speed limit.