Saturday, 15 May 2010

Gants Hill fall out goes up - and Bendies go ...

A temporary timetable for the 128 bus route has been introduced, starting today, because of the road works at Gants Hill and Green Lane. Buses will operate in two sections: Claybury to Ilford High Road and Ilford Chapel Road to Romford. Monday to Friday daytime frequency on Claybury-Ilford section reduced from every 12 minutes to every 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, Boris's campaign to exterminate the bendy-buses is moving to Ilford. From June next year, the existing 39 articulated buses on the 25 route will be replaced with 59 new double deckers, so don't expect to see any increase in available road space!

London has a complex route network and service frequency that must be the envy of many parts of the country where, even in large built-up areas, the services that do exist dry up at tea time but TfL seems to have lost the way, somewhere.

On the one hand, new routes have been introduced to cover previously bus-less areas, frequencies and hours of service increased, etc. whilst on the other, we have seen projects such as the expensive abomination of Ilford Lane which has has the effect of causing the maximum of congestion to all forms of road transport including the much vaunted East London far from Rapid Transit which doesn't even have a physical connection with the truncated 179 route in Ilford in the northbound direction!

One wonders what effect the expensive,lengthy works that TfL are undertaking at Gants Hill will have on traffic flow that couldn't have been achieved much sooner and at considerably lower cost by the simple expedient of installing correctly phased traffic lights on the existing road system.


  1. So the 128 Route has now gone back to the old 129 / 128 split before the routes were merged and the 129 route disappeared. So much for progress.

    If anyone used the 128 to get from Clayhall / Barkingside to the "side-entrance" to Queens Hospital, I have found after experimentation that the easiest route is to use the 247 from Barkingside to Collier Row. Get off the bus outside Tesco and wait for a 365 from the same stop that goes direct to the Hospital. On the return get any bus from the Hospital to Romford Station and pick up the 247.

  2. The timetables for the 128 on the TfL website are dated 16.10.05 and do not even show that it is now a 24 hour service!

  3. Not quite the "old" 128/129 split, NHW. The 129 latterly ran from Claybury Broadway to Becontree Heath, the two routes overlapping from Ilford to Becontree Heath. The southern end of the 129 was taken over by an extension of 150.

    The northern part of the "split" 128 is rather more like the original 129 from Ilford Station to Claybury Broadway. In those days not only was there less traffic there was also no Transport for London undertaking protracted and expensive "improvements" designed to bring everything to a grinding halt whilst lining the pockets of "consultants".

    Oh, happy days......

  4. Wow! The last thing I expected was to start a discussion on local public transport history!

    Weggis's problem is easily sorted: an excellent site run by Robert Munster always contains the most up to date information available - including the revised 128 timetable.

    If you want a printed version, this one will be better.

    Neither NeighbourhoodWatcher nor Morris has got the history right - it's a bit more convoluted than that!

    The 129 was introduced on New Year's Day 1950 between Claybury Broadway and Ilford Station and, in 1958, was extended to Little Heath.

    This lasted until 1965, when it was re-routed to Barking but this only lasted 8 months, after which it was cut back to Ilford - back to where it had been 15 years ealier!

    In 1977 it was extended again, this time to Becontree Heath, and in 1989 it was further extended to Romford during the day, Monday to Friday, and Saturday shopping hours.

    This arrangement persisted for 4 years until the 128 was introduced between Romford and Ilford, replacing the 129 beyond Becontree Heath.

    Finally, in June 2004, the 128 was extended to Claybury Broadway and the 129 was withdrawn!

    (I did warn you that is was convoluted!)

    If anyone wants to test their memory, this site is very useful - here are direct links to the history of the 128 and the 129.

  5. Sorry, Knowsie - the 129 ran between Ilford Station and Claybury Broadway well before 1 January 1950. I became aware of it some time during 1946, and travelled on it to school in Barkingside from September 1947. It operated, variously, out of Seven Kings and, later, Upton Park garages. The stand at the Ilford end was, originally, in Myrtle Road and Balfour Road and, later, in York Road.

  6. The only history I could find started in 1950 but I did suspect, as you've proved, that there was even more ...

  7. Knowsie,
    As one of the younger members on this site you have to accept that when it comes to History, Morris was there......

  8. For the record, Weggis, my earliest recollection is something that happened to me just a couple of weeks or so before WWII started on 3 September 1939.

  9. It's when you can't remember recent events that you need to start worrying!!!!??

  10. Further to previous info about getting to Queens Hospital without the 'direct' 128 service - the 175 bus from Collier Row Tescos goes to the Hospital, in addition to the 365.

    Having got off the 247, I have never waited more the five minutes for a connection.

  11. Visitors to Queen's Hospital from other parts of Redbridge may find this map useful for planning their journey and/or connections.

    The 175, 193, 365 & 496 all serve the hospital directly whilst the nearest that the 103, 128, 174 & 499 will drop you is in Oldchurch Road, outside the old hospital site.

    (There is also a map for the hospital itself, but it is not as useful.)

    For details of local buses, here is an index for maps of Redbridge and those living close to the borough boundaries may find maps for Barking & Dagenham or Havering useful as well.

    A final point for anybody who remembers exploring the bus network with a Red Rover many years ago, and wonders what ever happened to those large folded bus maps, well, they still exist - and at a much higher scale than before, which is helpful if your sight is showing signs of age! If it might be useful, here is the NE London map.