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343 Bus Route

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Tuesday 15 April 2008 10.58am
I am not sure if there are any regular users of this service on this forum but if you are then you will know if is pretty bad!

Some residents on the route are collating information on personal experiences of using the service to push TfL to improve the service and you can add your own views at;

There is also an update about this bus route at;
Tuesday 15 April 2008 2.08pm
I used to try and get the 343 but it was far too erratic.

Let's hope Val Shawcross can talk to TfL about the 63, 172 and 453 as well. You can never get on them in the morning in the Old Kent Rd. Increasingly, the 168 is also full and it only starts at Tesco.

I've written to TfL on a number of occasions and they claim there is no problem.
Tuesday 15 April 2008 3.27pm
simon Hughes has already started a camapaign to improve the 381 and the c10 as they are really bad so it may be worth trying to get him on board. He has a web site where he is asking people to report their tales of woe on the above routes

it does seem that the bus service south of the river leaves a lot to be desired
Tuesday 15 April 2008 4.40pm
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.
Wednesday 14 May 2008 3.06pm
subject2change theatre company is running a drama project based around the 343 route.

Where better to find out what really matters to Londoners than aboard a red bus; the iconic framework that keeps everyday London moving? Bursting with cultural vitality and social diversity it is potentially a spectacle waiting to happen.
subject2change will be working alongside local Southwark residents and community groups towards a performance at the Unicorn Theatre, London Bridge based on bus travel and real people's stories. We are looking for more local people to be involved either performing or just to submit research material towards our process.

For more info:

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Thursday 15 May 2008 1.10am
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)...
Thursday 15 May 2008 2.45pm
Hi Ruth!

I agree with the 171 idea and our Communications Officer raised the possibility of diverting the 171 down Southampton Way and onto Albany Road to reconnect with Walworth Road. I dont think she has had a response yet but TfL dont like such changes as there tends to be loosers as well as winners, particularly in relation to increased overcrowding.

It is VERY annoying that TfL have finally admitted the problem but are continuing to do extra 'testing' of the route without trialing an interim solution. I have also resorted to walking to Central London, believe it or not there is actually little difference in the time it takes! is a great site!

There is another update due in mid July by which time we will want to have a proper plan of action from TfL to address this issue at peak travel times.


P.S: Do you know much about the history of the South City Court retail units on Southampton Way? I have been trying to get some information on the units from Galliard Homes but they are not responding to my requests. I know they want to convert the empty ground floor units on Peckham Grove to flats but I really want to improve the retail offering by finding tenants for the empty units on Southampton Way, which have not been marketed properly! Especially in light of all the new developments popping up in this area!
Thursday 15 May 2008 3.40pm
Ah, a subject close to my heart... I live directly above the retail units. And no, I have heard nothing about them.

The whole area round there seems to have a really eclectic mix of residents, and (I'm afraid I don't know how to put this without sounding like a snob!) the majority of the existing retail premises cater primarily to a single sector. It would be great to have more variety; the cafe that's just opened further up the road looks like a step in the right direction.

The South City Court units have the potential to be attractive retail premises.

This is perhaps a bit off topic for the SE1 forum, especially for a thread about transport! See you over on the SE5 board.

Back to the 343. I had a look at the campaign link, and will revisit it later and post something constructive.

A diversion to the 171 really wouldn't cause any problems to any other bus routes, and it's ludicrous that a fairly major road so close to Zone 1 should have no direct link to Waterloo and the West End. The only people who would be slightly inconvenienced would be those who need to get between Camberwell Church Street and the West End, and even then it would simply be a matter of an additional change of bus at the Elephant or a short walk to get on the 68 at Camberwell Green.

I voted Val Shawcross in again because I do believe she cares about the issue...
Thursday 15 May 2008 3.52pm
Oh - just one more moan about the 343, and one that is relevant to SE1.

The last day bus leaves London Bridge at 00:10 reaching the E&C shopping centre at 00:16, and the first night bus leaves London Bridge (having come from the West End) at 00:33 and reaches E&C at 00:39.

In the meantime - if you look at the bus timetable at the E&C - there are supposed to be two more day buses starting at the E&C to fill in the gap.

As far as I can tell from having waited there at that time of night on a number of occasions, they DO NOT EXIST.
Thursday 15 May 2008 8.30pm
There's even a wikipedia entry for the 343 route.....

se5 forum seems out of action at the moment Ruth, was delivering some flyers your way today about the tram but couldn't get to the mail boxes in your development. I was quite impressed at the security there (compared to my development) must save you getting all those pizza and takeaway menus which continue to flood through my door!
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