100 Bus update

100-busThank you for the fantastic support from residents in responding to the 100 bus plan, which sees TfL chopping the route of this vital transport link for Wapping residents. I made this the main story of my recent newsletter to encourage residents to respond to TfL’s consultation and thankfully everyone has been emailing them with their concerns.

I am also pleased to say that the council has incorporated the ‘set text’ I wrote against the plan into their own consultation response and have formally objected to the plan. I paste the letter below. If you want to learn more about the plans and send your own objection, get more details here 

 

Transport for London, Palestra, Blackfriars Road, London

2nd November 2016

Response to TfL Proposed changes to the 100 bus services

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please accept this as Tower Hamlets Council’s response to your proposed changes to the 100 bus services and its effect on Borough residents particularly in the Wapping area.

Councillors and residents have expressed their concerns with TfL’s proposal to shorten the 100 bus route, terminating it on London Wall rather than the current arrangement of crossing the river towards Elephant and Castle. In particular, the loss of the strategically important direct interchange facilities with other routes and modes at St Pauls, will discourage use, make journeys by public transport to and from Wapping much more difficult, and will severely impact on service resilience when the DLR and/or Overground services are unavailable. Access to health facilities will be reduced and night-time personal security potentially worsened.

The 100 is an extremely important transport link for people in Wapping, particularly those who have mobility issues, since the Overground is unusable for them due to its steep stairs. Furthermore, at weekends the Overground is frequently closed for engineering works. The only other route serving the area, the D3, has also recently been modified such that it no longer serves the south of the Isle of Dogs and critical retail facilities at Crossharbour. Arguably, the 100 is the most important public transport route to people in Wapping since it serves two thirds of the ward, is accessible to people in wheelchairs and with prams, and takes residents to key work, shopping and leisure destinations on both sides of the river.

TfL is proposing to cut the 100 route at a time when Wapping’s population is about to expand rapidly with the addition of new homes at the London Dock, and the working population is set to grow with new businesses at Royal Mint Court, London Dock and Thomas More Square. Severing the connections this route provides to critical interchanges reduces the sustainable opportunities for these new people to access their Wapping workplace and for new London Dock residents to go to St Paul’s, Blackfriars, Southbank and Elephant & Castle, an area that is growing rapidly too. It could have a detrimental impact in terms of increased car use in the area for commuting in particular.

Some Wapping residents have described how they use the 100 to get to outpatient appointments at Barts, and believe changing at London Wall in winter will prove particularly difficult. It is proposed that passengers continue journeys to Elephant & Castle by changing to the 388 at London Wall. This is an isolated part of the City, particularly unpleasant to wait in late at night.

The current set-up allows passengers to take bus routes like the 15 and 11 from popular night time areas such as the Strand, Covent Garden, Aldwych and Trafalgar Square, or the 8 and 25 Tottenham Court Road and Holborn, and change onto the 100 route at St Paul’s which tends to be a safe and busy area late at night. This option will effectively be removed. This would be a serious risk as women and older people often choose to take the bus at night times rather than the tube because it drops people closer to their Wapping homes, removing the need to walk too far alone after dark.

The route serves Blackfriars station which links people to Gatwick Airport and up to other Thameslink routes. The 100 runs earlier than the tube so is useful for early flights to Gatwick.

Journey times for Wapping residents will be lengthened if they have to change and wait for a different bus at the Museum of London. This is a particular inconvenience for those with impaired mobility or with buggies. Wapping residents have already had services diminished this year after the D3 route was modified, making it extremely difficult to get to Asda, one of our major local low-cost supermarkets.

Wapping has no west and southbound bus options, and on this bus route disproportionately for access to the city transport network. It is short sighted to remove this interconnectivity at a time when the population, both residential and working, is expanding dramatically.

The Council therefore objects to this proposal.

Kind Regards

Margaret Cooper

Head of Engineering

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