Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Redbridge Transport Liaison Committee

The committee met last night at Ilford Town Hall. Cllr Ashley Kissin was elected chairman and ran an efficient meeting, helped on this occasion by a lack of public contributions.

Forest Road

Aldborough Cllrs Loraine Sladden and Vanessa Cole turned up to make the case for a new bus route along Forest Road. The Central Line bridge precludes the use of double deckers so the choice of services that could be diverted or extended is limited. Representatives from London Buses doubt that there is sufficient demand on the basis of the low number of residents in Forest Road, but this is not the full story.

Forest Road has seen an increase in the number and quality of attractions along its length. Most notably, Boris Johnson recently opened the new cycling track at Hog Hill. Obviously most users will be able to cycle to this venue but the track is quite demanding - I can attest to this personally - with steep gradients, so visitors need to conserve their energy. The Mayor also allocated £400,000 to improve Fairlop Waters earlier this year and the facilities at Hainault Forest have also been upgraded. Add to those the desire to reduce car use by workers at the Hainault industrial estate and there might well be sufficient demand for a low frequency service.

King Georges Hospital

Concerns were expressed about the adequacy of bus services to Redbridge's main hospital. In particular the 365 which runs from Ilford via Gants Hill is often overcrowded in the morning, a situation made worse by demand for travel to Redbridge College. Councillors were very worried that the NHS proposal to focus GP services on just four polyclinics would increase the load on the hospital yet further. London Buses assured us that they are now talking to the NHS about the routes they will need to introduce - better late than never...

462 Bus

I raised concerns about this route running early. London Buses state that their services may run up to two minutes early and up to five minutes late and still be considered on time. The vehicles are tracked using ibus technology and held at stops to regulate the service. They can't wait too long because a bus occupying a stop for more than three minutes is deemed to have parked and can be issues with a ticket - you learn something new at every meeting. Early running had exceeded two minutes on several occasions and Arrive had disciplined two drivers for this.

Gants Hill

The good news is that following an agreement enabling the water companies to work alongside TfL's contractors, the project is back on target and due to complete according to the original timetable in late 2010. In November 2009 the work on the island will be complete and two lanes will be reinstated on the roundabout. Restrictions will then apply at each exit in turn as the contractors work their way clockwise, installing crossings and signals.

I met with local businesses on Wednesday night and it is clear that the disruption is threatening the existence of some shops. TfL undertook to do everything they could to minimise the impact.


Barkingside 21 said...

Any news on the 306 bus route?

Roger Evans said...

I don't recall the 306 being mentioned at the meeting.

morris hickey said...

The 306 was abandoned by TfL some time ago - probably 2006 or earlier. Considering that it was intended to fund it initially from a Section 106 agreement with Crest Nicholson one wonders where the money has gone.

Barkingside 21 said...

I expect part of it was spent on the bus terminus within the grounds of the development. Unfortunately the new occupiers weren't too keen on that idea and it is now a gated community. Presumably "the staff" arrive by Taxi?

Would you believe it? Word verification - ampitaxi

morris hickey said...

What has happened to the post I submitted prior to the one at 14.55? Too critical was it?

Roger Evans said...

Morris, I presume I didn't receive it, as I haven't censored you. Can't imagine you being too critical...

morris hickey said...

Well I'll try a second time, to the extent that I can recall my previous comments.

".....an efficient meeting, helped on this occasion by a lack of public contributions". Knowing the Chairman I have no doubt that it was conducted efficiently, but resent the part of your comment that follows. You are elected to represent the public, and to listen to what they have to say. If you do not like that then I suggest you quit and make room for somebody who will. It is not compulsory for you to have to spend your time raking in money from two public authorities if you are so bored with the customers, although I am sure that it must be much less fatiguing than doing a real job.

With regard to Forest Road the ability of TfL to ignore fact is paramount here. They take no responsibility for the potential dangers from their bridge at Fairlop Station. As to a bus service, they continue to chant, parrot fashion, that there is no demand without even researching it. In addition to the facilities mentioned, there are the cemetery and crematorium that opened some 5 years ago, several sports grounds, and a large number of businesses.

As to King George Hospital bus route 365 runs from Mardyke Estate to Havering Park via Romford - where you live. The bus from Ilford to King George via Gants Hill is the 396 - as a member of the public could have told you.

The operation of the 462 is a disgrace and neither TfL nor Arriva can take any pride in it. TfL's definition of "on time" is a crackpot one that not only defies any reasonable logic, it also fails to recognise the public's perception. TfL needs to understand that a bus leaving before its scheduled time is early, and one leaving after that time is late. When the Transport Commissioner understands that, then he might begin to earn about half of the obscene £488,484 that he was paid last year. Another one who could be doing real work for about a quarter of the money.

Roger Evans said...

Thank you Morris, I hadn't censored you. And the phrase "helped on this occasion by a lack of public contributions" merely refers to the speed of the meeting - it's not intended as a slight against contributors whose input I value, of course.

Rog T said...


Whilst I don't agree with too many of Roger's fave policies, I can't see any evidence that he censors comments such as yours. I think that his blog is an example of what a GLA members blog should be like, regardless of whether you agree with him.

I just wish he'd nip up to Barnet and explain to a few of our local Tories (no names mentioned) the benefits of having a blog and the benefits of trying to be a bit courteous in it, if you are an elected representative.

His blog is one of the best sources of information about the various meetings at the GLA and for that I for one am rather grateful

David said...

Dear Hickey: it was and is clear to anyone with a reasonable command of the language what Roger meant. Must you be so gratuitously insulting in almost every post? It can't be good for anyone to be so bilious.

morris hickey said...

Point taken, Rog T. It's simply that my comments were sent by me some time well before the items about the 306 bus appeared. I accept Roger's explanation, and he has published in full my second submission.

Good luck with the Barnet lot - you'll need it!

morris hickey said...

I suggest that "David" (whoever he might be) should read the offending words again to see just how ambiguous they are. If he cannot, then I suggest that it is he who needs the language lessons.