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

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Monday 2 December 2013 2.02pm
Although the number 1 has never been the most marvellous of bus routes, it had been quite acceptable until recently. In fact it seems since the clocks went back the service has gone from bad to worse.

On the evening of November 5 it was almost impossible to get on one due to the 20,000 people heading to Southwark Park for the firework display - did Southwark Council and Tfl/GAG not discuss the possibility of adding relief buses during the course of the evening?

Many evenings during November I walked back along Grange Road & Southwark Park Road rather than wait for a bus as the mobile apps were stating 15mins+ before the next one would arrive - meaning that it would be an impossibility to get on one. Whilst walking, I have noticed that the majority going into town were not going the full distance to TCR but stopping at Holborn, Aldwych, E&C or Bricklayers Arms.

Also, on the few occasions that I have been lucky enough to get on a number 1, I have invariably had to get off at "Harris Academy" due to the roadworks and temporary traffic lights at John Bull Arch. [Does anyone know how long Bermondsey will be at a standstill because of this?]

I was one of the many turfed off of the bus referred to by "McQueen" and could not understand why the driver deposited us at Alscot Road, when it had to continue empty to the Bricklayers Arms in order to gain access to the depot at Mandela Way. Had we been allowed to stay on the bus until Tower Bridge Road, then the 188 would have become an alternative.

When the Jubilee Line extension opened late in 1999, the 199 was withdrawn between Surrey Docks [oops Quays] and E&C and has never been replaced - perhaps this could be diverted into Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and then as per 1 as far as E&C? Or perhaps extending 129 from Greenwich up to E&C or Waterloo or London Bridge via SPR & Grange Road?
Monday 9 December 2013 5.52pm
Not only is the area's population growing as others have said, but we also have the employment hubs around London Bridge gradually drawing more people to the area. Yet there is no direct link from Southwark Park Road / Grange Road to London Bridge / Guys. A year ago I was in crutches and had to take taxis to get to the hospital for the various appointments. I guess the only option to get to LBR would be via TBR and Tooley St. A thorough evaluation of the bus service needs of the area is needed. As individuals we wont make any impression on TFL. It has to come from elected politicians. Before leaving it to others I'll email one of the Grange Ward councillors and see what happens.....
Monday 9 December 2013 6.21pm
I agree, Mark - it seems bizarre to me that when we live in the London Bridge/Guy's catchment, there is no direct way of getting there, unless it first involves a walk down to OKR or up to Jamaica Street OR (if you get the 1 or 78) a walk at the other end.

While I'm writing, TfL has previously tried to claim that curtailment only happens when there's such heavy congestion on a route that a delay means the driver is in danger of going past the maximum they're allowed to drive without a break. Well, I could understand this happening during peak hours/peak traffic, but it happened again on Friday evening at well after 9.00pm. Having waited for a No. 1 from New Oxford Street for easily 20 minutes (i.e. the start of the route!), we were midway between E&C and Bricklayer's when our Canada Water-bound bus was taken out of service at Bricklayer's.

My sense is that the No.1 buses are - more often than not - not running the full route these days.
Thursday 12 December 2013 9.11am
Val Shawcross has tabled a formal question to the Mayor asking about the reliability of the route 1 service. Will post here when there's an answer.

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Wednesday 18 December 2013 2.13pm
On Monday at 18:15-18:20 there were two 1's only going as far as Bricklayer's Arms and the indicator on the stop at The Colleen Bawn stated that the next bus to TCR would be 24 minutes!!!!
Monday 30 December 2013 11.47am
Valerie Shawcross
I have received an increasing number of complaints about the number 1 bus and a lack of reliability in recent months. How are TfL responding to this issue?

Written response from the Mayor
TfL is aware of the complaints on route 1 and has been working with the bus operator to ensure reliability is more robust. Recently the service was affected by four-way temporary signals at the Southwark Park Road junction with Drummond Road, which has impacted on the service during the morning and afternoon peaks. This disruption finished on 10 December 2013.

TfL also revised the schedule from 16 November 2013. It is anticipated that this will help reliability over the forthcoming months.

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