Transport for London pledge action on overcrowded 108 bus route

Earlier this year local Conservative campaigner Thomas Turrell launched a new campaign to increase bus capacity between North Greenwich and the Blackheath Royal Standard. Last week Thomas met with Transport for London’s (TfL) Mike Weston, Director of Buses, John Barry, Head of Network Development, and a member of John Barry’s team to raise the issue.

In the meeting TfL acknowledged there was a problem on the route at rush-hour with both capacity and frequency of the service, something they had denied late last year in an email to Blackheath Westcombe Ward Councillor Geoff Brighty.  TfL also recognised that the 422 was not a suitable alternative route for people left behind by a full 108 route.

As a short-term measure TfL are currently working out the costings of running an additional bus at rush hour which should be on the route by the autumn.  The representatives from TfL have said this additional bus at rush hour could run a section of the route (Lewisham to North Greenwich) or the whole Lewisham to Stratford route. As a more long-term approach TfL will also examine the possibility of a new Kidbrooke Village to North Greenwich route once the Kidbrooke Village Development is complete. 

Blackheath resident Thomas Turrell (pictured) has welcomed the announcement.  He said: “I’m pleased that we were able to bring this to the attention of Transport for London and get some action taken around this issue. There is not enough capacity on the 108 route and I’m pleased to see TfL committed to improving this in both the short-term and long-term. However we cannot declare job done now and must continue to press TfL on this."

Matt Hartley, newly-selected Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, has been encouraging fellow 108 users to support the campaign.  He said: "Thomas has done an absolutely fantastic job in raising this issue up TfL's agenda over the last year - and the hard work is beginning to pay off.  As a 108 user myself I know just how overcrowded the route gets, and in hot weather 108 buses can be unbearable.  Thomas, Cllr Geoff Brighty and I will continue to do whatever we can to alleviate the problem, and to make sure that TfL delivers on the commitments they have now made."