Nine out of London's ten most overcrowded bus routes serve Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham

This Is Local London: Nine out of London's ten most overcrowded bus routes serve Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham Nine out of London's ten most overcrowded bus routes serve Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham

AN ASTONISHING nine of the capital’s ten most congested bus routes serve south east London, according to a passenger survey.

Long-suffering commuters, already poorly served by public transport compared to the rest of London, have painted a damning picture of bus travel in the area.

The survey, published by the London Assembly’s transport committee, showed that, according to passengers, the 185 from Lewisham to Victoria was particularly overcrowded.

But buses serving Woolwich, Brockley, Catford and Eltham have also been slammed by the people forced to squeeze on each day.

One passenger of the 162 connecting Beckenham to Eltham told the survey: "I have seen elderly people falling over on this bus because there is nowhere to sit."

The committee has warned that, with a rising population, action needs to be taken to address the problems and listen to passengers concerns.

London Assembly Member Darren Johnson, who is on the committee, said: "News that nine out of the 10 most crowded bus routes in London run along a corridor through Camberwell, Peckham, Forest Hill and Catford will come as no surprise to residents of south east London.

"Unlike other parts of London this is an area poorly served by the tube and this route is is exactly where the Bakerloo line should be extended beneath London’s packed streets. I will continue to lobby hard for the Mayor to get moving on plans for this desperately-needed extension.

"Given that this would take at least 30 years to complete, TfL need to invest right now in bus services in the south east of the capital so that the discomfort and difficulty is reduced for passengers travelling today.”

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander said: "This is a really important piece of work and highlights the huge pressure that the public transport system is under.

"We know that the population in south east London is growing rapidly and proper planning must take place to ensure we have enough capacity on buses to deal with rising demand.

"Anyone who has seen a crowded bus sail past when they are rushing to work in the morning will welcome the recommendations in this report.

"We need to understand in detail what journeys people want to make – this might mean extra buses on popular routes or the introduction of new routes all together."

Transport for London’s managing director of surface transport Leon Daniels said: "We are committed to maintaining and further improving this network and ensuring it continues to expand to meet the needs of London’s growing population.

"To achieve this we need the government to continue to support our investment whilst we work hard to get the most out of the existing network and match capacity to passenger demand."

This Is Local London: Nine out of London's ten most overcrowded bus routes serve Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham

Reporter Robert Fisk on his regular 208 woes

Overcrowding on the buses seems to be caused by the fact Transport for London cannot tell the time.

The 208 supposedly comes every 12 minutes on weekdays but this is rarely the case.

Instead passengers are left waiting for 25 minutes in the cold and wet until a packed bus turns up.

Because the bus takes so long to arrive it is full to bursting with double the amount of passengers which would be on it if it arrived when it is supposed to.

This means it is usually standing room only when schools finish for the day – and not just downstairs.

Children are often seen standing on the stairs or on the top deck as they don’ t want to wait for another bus which will be just as packed 25 minutes later.


The routes most frequently cited as busy or overcrowded

185 from Lewisham to Victoria station  via Catford and Forest Hill

208 from Orpington to Lewisham via Downham and Catford

96 from Bluewater to Woolwich via Plumstead

38 from Clapton to Victoria

176 from Penge to Tottenham Court Road via Sydenham and Honor Oak

172 from Brockley Rise to St Paul’s via Crofton Park and New Cross

484 from Camberwell Green to Lewisham via Brockley

336 from Locksbottom to Catford via Downham

162 from Eltham station to Beckenham Junction

358 from Orpington to Crystal Palace

Comments (14)

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12:10pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Rob1962 says...

No surprise is it, as we do not have a tube line in this part of the world.
No surprise is it, as we do not have a tube line in this part of the world. Rob1962

12:30pm Tue 12 Nov 13

DinoFish says...

Rob1962 wrote:
No surprise is it, as we do not have a tube line in this part of the world.
Absolutely correct, didn't need a Survey to tell us that.

Can't see anyone doing anything about it though, they'll just bang on about '.... the Government needs to do someting' etc.
[quote][p][bold]Rob1962[/bold] wrote: No surprise is it, as we do not have a tube line in this part of the world.[/p][/quote]Absolutely correct, didn't need a Survey to tell us that. Can't see anyone doing anything about it though, they'll just bang on about '.... the Government needs to do someting' etc. DinoFish

1:15pm Tue 12 Nov 13

dee2009 says...

N./s please add bexleyheath to that list thanks.
N./s please add bexleyheath to that list thanks. dee2009

1:26pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Gypo.Joe says...

Rob1962 wrote:
No surprise is it, as we do not have a tube line in this part of the world.
Rob you should be promoted to Minister for Transport.
[quote][p][bold]Rob1962[/bold] wrote: No surprise is it, as we do not have a tube line in this part of the world.[/p][/quote]Rob you should be promoted to Minister for Transport. Gypo.Joe

2:34pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Hk says...

If these reported buses are anything like the bus I have to get to my station every morning then I can totally understand it. Alot of the problem on my bus is that for some reason adults these days seem to think their little children have a god given right to a seat and would rather they have a seat than the elderly that are also getting on the bus.

When I was a child my mum would never have let me sit down rather than letting an adult have a seat. If anything she would rather that I sat on her lap instead. Also, not many people seem to want to be bothered to go upstairs on a bus which means that the downstairs is always crammed.
If these reported buses are anything like the bus I have to get to my station every morning then I can totally understand it. Alot of the problem on my bus is that for some reason adults these days seem to think their little children have a god given right to a seat and would rather they have a seat than the elderly that are also getting on the bus. When I was a child my mum would never have let me sit down rather than letting an adult have a seat. If anything she would rather that I sat on her lap instead. Also, not many people seem to want to be bothered to go upstairs on a bus which means that the downstairs is always crammed. Hk

2:48pm Tue 12 Nov 13

blueskies7 says...

agree with you Hk, and if we were lucky enough to have a seat it was sit and behave yourself dont go climbing all over the seat or bother other passengers.

Some of us would love to travel upstairs but unsteady legs and health issuesmeans we no longer have that pleasure
agree with you Hk, and if we were lucky enough to have a seat it was sit and behave yourself dont go climbing all over the seat or bother other passengers. Some of us would love to travel upstairs but unsteady legs and health issuesmeans we no longer have that pleasure blueskies7

5:58pm Tue 12 Nov 13

jay2180 says...

buses are not the only places overcrowded....!!..
buses are not the only places overcrowded....!!.. jay2180

6:21pm Tue 12 Nov 13

goldenbroomboy says...

Thankfully Darren is standing down soon. I am not alone when I write that I do not want years of roadworks simply to be able to get to Harrow & Wealdstone without changing trains.
Thankfully Darren is standing down soon. I am not alone when I write that I do not want years of roadworks simply to be able to get to Harrow & Wealdstone without changing trains. goldenbroomboy

8:14pm Tue 12 Nov 13

white rabbit9 says...

More shelters at bus stops, especially at rural bus stops.
More shelters at bus stops, especially at rural bus stops. white rabbit9

11:30am Wed 13 Nov 13

sarfflondonbird says...

Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out.
Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!!
Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!! sarfflondonbird

12:44pm Wed 13 Nov 13

DinoFish says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!!
You are joking?
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!![/p][/quote]You are joking? DinoFish

3:01pm Wed 13 Nov 13

white rabbit9 says...

DinoFish wrote:
sarfflondonbird wrote:
Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!!
You are joking?
No joke, the crap I have seen on buses is just disgusting. Animals heading to be slaughtered behave more better.
[quote][p][bold]DinoFish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!![/p][/quote]You are joking?[/p][/quote]No joke, the crap I have seen on buses is just disgusting. Animals heading to be slaughtered behave more better. white rabbit9

11:14am Thu 14 Nov 13

DinoFish says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
DinoFish wrote:
sarfflondonbird wrote: Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!!
You are joking?
No joke, the crap I have seen on buses is just disgusting. Animals heading to be slaughtered behave more better.
Punishing the majority for the minority.

The free Bus Pass/Oyster Card for under-16's should be tied to the School/College they attend. A failure to produce Bus Pass/Oyster Card when requested, or non-attendance at School/College and it gets suspended.

Personally I'd have special 'School Bus Inspectors' at the appropriate times which should help to discourage the mob/group mentality sometimes seen on Public Transport.
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DinoFish[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Keep school kids off the buses. They don't pay fares, why should they hog all the seats. The screeching and shuffling alone gets you p115ed off, and that's without the fights that ensue nine times out of ten, and the stopping the bus until all hell broken lose has been sorted out. Let them go back to walking to and from school, like we used to have to, and like they do in other countries!!!![/p][/quote]You are joking?[/p][/quote]No joke, the crap I have seen on buses is just disgusting. Animals heading to be slaughtered behave more better.[/p][/quote]Punishing the majority for the minority. The free Bus Pass/Oyster Card for under-16's should be tied to the School/College they attend. A failure to produce Bus Pass/Oyster Card when requested, or non-attendance at School/College and it gets suspended. Personally I'd have special 'School Bus Inspectors' at the appropriate times which should help to discourage the mob/group mentality sometimes seen on Public Transport. DinoFish

7:41pm Thu 5 Dec 13

danm5577 says...

The 208 from pettswood into Bromley is supposed to be every 10-12 minutes.
I have NEVER seen one going to Bromley that is!
They then take forever when changing over at crown lane only for two to turn up!
Going from Bromley to pettswood seems ok.
Suprisingly between pettswood and crown lane there are no electric time displays at the bus stops!
The 208 from pettswood into Bromley is supposed to be every 10-12 minutes. I have NEVER seen one going to Bromley that is! They then take forever when changing over at crown lane only for two to turn up! Going from Bromley to pettswood seems ok. Suprisingly between pettswood and crown lane there are no electric time displays at the bus stops! danm5577

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