Buses could stay on diversion following Chislehurst Road bridge rebuild
BUSES on diversion in the Orpington area while the Chislehurst Road bridge is being replaced could permanently remain on their current routes.
The 61, 273 and 661 routes have been on diversion along Poverest Road and Cray Avenue since weight restrictions were put in place on the bridge in March 2009 - more than two years before it closed in November last year.
When the bridge reopens in November, it was previously thought the buses would return to their original routes.
However Transport for London says it will now review routes 61 and 273 before then, following calls to make the diversions permanent.
Bob Blitz, network planning manager for London Buses, said: "Transport for London is aware of residents’ requests to retain route 273 on its current diversion when Chislehurst Road bridge reopens.
"We will review this route, as well as route 61 before the reopening."
Households in Petts Wood have welcomed the links with the Nugent Retail Park in Orpington, resulting from the diversions.
Public transport committee member at the Petts Wood District Residents' Association Chris Harris said: "I first raised the idea with TfL in January 2008 of the provision of a bus service between the centre of Petts Wood and the Nugent Retail Park.
"I continued to request such a service periodically from then until it arrived, by default, as a result of the diversion brought about by the Chislehurst Road bridge failure.
"Since then I have been suggesting to TfL that the 273 route should remain permanently on the diversion route once the bridge reopens, hopefully later this year, as we believe that it has provided a useful service to Petts Wood residents over the last two to three years.
"As yet, TfL has not confirmed whether the route will remain on diversion in the long term, but I understand that it has not been totally rejected. Meanwhile we shall continue to press TfL for such a service."
Bus user Phyllis Hooper, aged 86, of Sheen Road, St Mary Cray, said: "A lot of people are saying the buses are better on diversion. We've not missed going across the bridge. I'd like to see at least one remain on diversion."