Thursday 15 May 2008 12.10am
Hi INDOMIE - I live on Southampton Way and work near Borough High Street
so am well aware of the 343 route.
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
I've been rather lucky I suppose, but I'm a big fan of the 343, which I take often to the Aylesbury Estate from Metro where I live. What trouble are you having? The C10 I do agree is miserably infrequent.
When it is working in your favour, the 343 is indeed a very handy bus, and much quicker than some of the others serving the SE1 and Peckham/Camberwell area on account of bypassing the main arterial roads. But to name but a few issues:
1) It's the classic example of the old cliche about London buses not turning up for ages then three arriving at once. The 343 habitually turns up three at a time.
2) In the mornings on the Camberwell/Aylesbury Estate section of the route (northbound), it is quite normal for two or three consecutive buses to pass by before one has room to take any new passengers. I have taken to walking to Camberwell Road (over 10 mins walk) of a morning, rather than waiting for the unreliable 343. On the Southampton Way/Wells Way stretch of the route (where I live) it is the only local bus route. Southampton Way and the surrounding streets have undergone a great deal of new housing development in recent years and this is continuing, putting more and more pressure on the only bus route.
3) From 5:30pm until late in the evening, the same occurs in the other direction, with crowds and crowds of people waiting to board at the Elephant.
One of the simplest ways of alleviating pressure on the route would be to make a minor change to the 171, taking a bite out of the current route so that it either shares the path of the 343 between Peckham Road and Elephant, or sending it all the way up Southampton Way and Bowyer Place before rejoining Camberwell Road in order to provide a service at the top of Southampton Way where there is currently no bus route at all. The 12 follows the 171's current route and is every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day. So the Camberwell Green bit of the route is well served as it is.
Another potential answer would be the addition of a "tram shuttle bus" discussed on this forum recently.
There's plenty of related discussion on the SE5 forum (as you know, INDOMIE)...