Missing in Action: reliable/fit-for-purpose No.1 bus service

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Monday 18 November 2013 2.42pm
In recent months, it feels to me like the quality of service provided on the No.1 bus route has deteriorated enormously. I wondered whether other forum readers felt the same?

In the morning rush 'hour', it is frequently impossible for people trying to travel along the Southwark Park Road/Grange Road part of the route (towards TBR) - especially from the Alscot Road and Alaska Building stops - to get onto already-packed (and, in my opinion, dangerously packed) buses. It doesn't help that the frequency of buses is nothing like that advertised - we're promised a bus every 7 or 8 minutes, but a 15-20 minute wait (or longer) is fairly standard.

In the evenings, the frequency of buses is again nothing like that advertised, and the curtailment of routes (Tottenham Court Road to Surrey Keys, to Elephant and Castle, to Bricklayers rather than Canada Water) - usually mid-journey - is increasing in frequency.

It seems to me that no consideration is being given to the impact of a huge amount of housing development along the route on what was already a pretty creaky service.

As a way of addressing this problem, I would suggest:

1. Additional buses on the No.1 route during peak times
2. An additional bus route to relieve pressure on the No.1. My personal preference would be for a route that took passengers west (towards Victoria). But even a route that constituted a shuttle between - say - Surrey Keys and E&C would free up capacity on the No.1 for passengers trying to travel on to Waterloo and points north.
(And, finally, since this is the season of miracles, perhaps the schoolkids using the No.1 to hop 2 stops from The Blue to Alscot Road could also be persuaded to walk - Harris Academy girls, you know who you are!)
Monday 18 November 2013 3.00pm
The number 1 is a poor bus service, but nowhere near as bad as the notorious 188. Such poor service on key routes into the centre of town renders the bus service worthless as it cannot be relied on.
Monday 18 November 2013 3.02pm
I think that paying the price of a ticket to travel to to the destination on the front of the bus should be interpreted as a form of contract. Except in the case of break downs or emergencies the bus should ALWAYS deliver promptly to the destination shown when you boarded. I expect the overcrowding is from the success of both the bus lanes and the introduction of free fares for young and old alike, not a bad thing, but the bus companies are failing in compensating the paying passengers with a decent service at rush hour.
Monday 18 November 2013 3.32pm
In fairness, the drivers have got better at dispensing the tickets that let you transfer onto a following bus when the route is curtailed. But then they're getting lots of practice at dispensing them!

However, there are loads of routes serving E&C and Bricklayers. If I'm bothering to catch the 1 (or the 188 for that matter), it's because I need to travel further east than Bricklayers/TBR - and only those two routes go further east. Whoever decided it was acceptable to terminate buses at Bricklayers (when your only option is the massively crowded 1 or 188 running behind) should be put in stocks!
Monday 18 November 2013 3.45pm
I think and additional bus route from Southwark park road is required, preferably not via bricklayers and E&C, there already is demand for services from there to LBG and the City, especially with the added demand from the various new housing projects planned in the area
Monday 18 November 2013 4.02pm
Must admit the C10 seems to be getting worse again as well and frequent changes where chucked off on to bus behind-I don't know if the fact that Bermondsey SPA is being populated means that there are more people trying use the buses or whether it is bus operators trying to cut costs or maybe a combination of the two?
Monday 18 November 2013 4.22pm
Dee Dee, that sounds like a common Abellio trick and one I have witnessed on the 343, 381 and 188. They literally "run short", as they call it, and dump passengers from three buses to one (as happened on the 188 the other morning).
npt
Monday 18 November 2013 8.46pm
I always found the 1 to be a bit of a perfect storm of reasons to make you late, that was only alleviated by school holidays. It was always the succession of schools from Harris Academy through to Rodney Place (4 schools in total, I think) where the main delays occured. Once you clear the E+C roundabout, you were pretty home and dry - despite the increasingly frequent terminations at Holborn. The combo of 4 different schooloads of kids, and the extra traffic of parents on the schoolrun, particular on single-lane roads like Grange Road, makes it an inteminable crawl. You do get the occasionnal gaggle of teenagers who refuse to move down the bus, or try to take up 2 seats, but teenagers will be teenagers and there's not much that can be done, unfortunately. Dedicated schoolbuses for that time of the morning could be an idea. From a school's POV, I think any transport option where kids are doing anything but being dropped right outside the schoolgate of a morning is too nervewracking. Too many things can go wrong.
Tuesday 19 November 2013 9.52am
I used to wait for a No1 or 188 with my Dad on a Sunday morning, when we were going to visit my aunt, his sister. This was in the 1960's and we would sometimes wait an hour or more - my feet would be frozen in my little wellies, in the winter! So, just to add my comments...... these two services have always been bad! The new 'text to find out when bus is coming' service helps a bit, but isn't always accurate.
Tuesday 19 November 2013 12.27pm
I've been a fan of the 1 over the past few years (as far as someone can be a fan of a bus-route), but it does seem to have got more infrequent / irregular recently. They need to get some more buses / drivers to cover the extra demand. Including demand from not using the 188, as you're shoo-ed off at Elephant, made to wait for another 188 by Mr Clip-board (not given a continuation ticket) that's 'just behind', then get on the next 188, which turns off its engine to change driver. Grr.
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