Transport for London has this week begun a consultation on streamlining two Croydon bus routes, the 289 and 455, in and around the Purley Way.
TfL wants to eliminate the loop into the Colonnades complex currently on the 289 route, and for both buses, it is proposed to abandon the loop the southbound routes take around Sainsbury’s on Purley Way.
Local councillors are considering the proposals before making any representations to City Hall. All Londoners are able to submit comments and suggestions. It is thought that there will be few objections to the Colonnades route change, which is estimated will save around one minute off journey times, but there are concerns that the loss of the bus stops near the Waddon Marsh tram stop and the supermarket could cause problems for the elderly and those with mobility issues.
TfL said this week: “The London bus network is kept under regular review, to make sure that we are providing the best service possible for passengers in the most cost-effective way.
“Route 289 operates between Elmers End station and Purley station. Route 455 runs between Purley and Wallington station. At Waddon Marsh, routes 289 and 455 currently run in a loop via Trafalgar Way and Drury Crescent in both directions. In addition, route 289 runs into Croydon Colonnades in the southbound direction only.
“To reduce journey times and improve reliability, we are proposing to remove both of these ‘double runs’ so that routes 289 and 455 would run directly along Purley Way at these locations instead.
“We estimate that the changes at Waddon Marsh would save about three minutes of journey time each for routes 289 and 455, and altering route 289 at Croydon Colonnades would save around one minute. At busy times, the time savings could be greater, as buses attempting to access Purley Way from both Waddon Marsh and Croydon Colonnades can experience long delays due to congestion.
“Avoiding Waddon Marsh would mean that routes 289 and 455 no longer serve two bus stops – Waddon Marsh Tram Stop and The Purley Way Centre – in both directions. Passengers would have to walk about 200 metres to existing stops on Purley Way.
“Removing the southbound double run for route 289 at Croydon Colonnades would mean that the route would no longer serve The Colonnades/Croydon Airport bus stop. Passengers would need to walk 90 metres to Purley Way, where a new southbound bus stop would be provided.
“There would no changes to the frequency of either route as a result of these proposals.”
Shaving three minutes off the 455’s journey time appears, in any case, to be a bit cheese-paring: the round-the-houses route looks to have been devised as a grand tour of the supermarkets and stores in the area.
From Tesco Purley, the 455 wends its slow way to Reeves Corner, to Sainsbury’s at Purley Way, popping in to Ikea, then on to Asda at Beddington before heading on to Roundshaw and the ultimate destination at Wallington. It’s not a bus journey for anyone who wants to get somewhere in a hurry.
In some respects, any review of the 455 route might be better at considering splitting it into two – with the new Hopper one-hour bus ticket available, anyone making the whole Purley to Wallington journey would not be adversely affected by having to pay a second fare – or providing another, more direct route.
“It’s very doubtful that anyone uses the 455 as a means of travelling all the way from Wallington to Purley,” one member of a local transport group said.
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