31 October 2010

Welcome for more 343s - but they must slow down



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.

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Dear Sir/Madam

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.

Best Wishes,

Gavin Edwards

1 comment:

  1. Completely support all that has been said here, and there is clearly a real problem.

    I have only recently moved into Ivydale Road and am very troubled by the abuse my property is taking by the buses. My house is located right by one of these horrid 'pincher' ramps and the house shudders as each bus passes, causing floors to literally bounce and the sound of wall cracking to be heard, contributing to the many cracks already visible!

    I was aware of the amount of buses using this street before I moved in, but I didn't consider the effect of the speed ramps, having had no experience of the effect of buses going over speed ramps (I don't think I can recall using a bus on such a residential road using speed ramps!)

    The situation is more than just an inconvenience. It actually gets worse later in the night when the infamous night bus drivers speed down the road with little traffic to trouble them. If I am awake at night, the house shudder I feel then is truly troubling!

    I feel that the pincher speed ramps used on this road are inappropriate when considering the throughput of buses. I also believe that the use of heavy double deckers down this street is also inappropriate, but I can't imagine these will be changed any time soon.

    I agree with Gavin that the situation is improved with drivers who reduce their speed, but not entirely removed. I think the obvious solution is to improve the road conditions (am I right in thinking this happened recently, but the road is already subsiding?) and make them strong enough for the buses, and to remove the ridiculous speed ramps along this busy bus section of the road.

    I am quite troubled by the constant abuse my house receives from the speed ramp + buses and a solution will need to be addressed soon.

    I would also consider writing to the TFL to ask them to control their drivers, but I doubt this would come to much. I am looking to the council to address this situation, but I am not sure if there is a particular contact I should be approaching. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful.

    I would love to hear the opinions of other Ivydale Road residents surrounding the speed ramps as well those on Cheltenham road who seem to have similar issues caused by the atrocious road conditions and whether anyone knows of any plans to make changes to the road?

    For an idea of other sufferers, read here -
    http://www.fixmystreet.com/?pc=SE15+3ed

    Thanks,

    Alex

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