The bus stops of Lewisham Gateway’s future

Following interim bus stop inconvenience and two years’ rearrangement of Lewisham Gateway’s streets, the third and final piece of information I obtained through my Freedom of Information request to Transport for London related to the plan for where the buses will all pick up and drop off passengers at the end of those two years.

Sure enough, TfL were able to provide a simple PDF showing the currently intended stopping arrangements for the foreseeable future once the Lewisham Gateway highways work is complete in 2016. By all means have a look at that by clicking the snippet below:

Post-Lewisham Gateway bus plan PDF

Post-Lewisham Gateway bus plan PDF

However, I don’t think this is very clear to follow – some of the ‘towards’ labels on the key are downright misleading, arguably wrong, and it generally looks a bit of a mess.

So, I’ve made my own interactive guide to all the buses’ routeing after Lewisham Gateway highways reconfiguration, which you can visit here:

Interactive post-Lewisham Gateway bus plan

Interactive post-Lewisham Gateway bus plan

This lets you click routes and directions and see their exact intended routeing through the area, as well as toggling the network of bus stops showing all the routes serving them on and off. All parts of routes not shown (i.e. beyond the map area) are assumed to be identical to their current running.

Stopping arrangements

So what are the arrangements like, then? In essence, the main ‘island’ of the Lewisham Gateway development and DLR station becomes a kind of bus gyratory, with buses only flowing around any side of it in one direction (clockwise).

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 2Perhaps the strangest bus stop that results is the first one on the new Station Road, located very near Maggie’s cafe. This stop will be served by routes which flow northwards from Lewisham on either side of the station area, up Brookmill Road and Lewisham Road, but in opposite directions from each other – four of the six buses at this stop are on their way south (180/199/273/380), while the other two are heading north (47/225)!

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 9Aside from this the new stops are almost entirely logical and consistent in their grouping of routes, in one case to the point of pedantry: at the stop we currently know as FF, opposite Glass Mill leisure centre, routes 21 and 436 will continue to set down passengers (but not pick up) before terminating behind the shopping centre on Molesworth Street, but they’ll be joined by route 108, which will start its journey to Stratford here. While it may seem strange to mix a first stop with an alighting point in this way, the start of the 108’s route is down Molesworth Street in order to serve the High Street (before heading up Belmont Hill to Blackheath), so these three routes do head off in exactly the same direction from here.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 1The splitting out of the northbound 47 and 225 from the other routes which head west onto Loampit Vale from the station mentioned above does give the advantage of providing a stop, also on the new stretch of Station Road, at which all four buses (21/136/321/436) share the whole of their next stretch of route, as far as New Cross Gate.

Meanwhile, the High Street (north of the clock tower – the part by Lewisham Market is not affected by Lewisham Gateway) ends up with surprisingly few bus stops: just three, all on one side of the road (the northbound side).

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 3The four buses heading up Lewisham Road (180/199/273/380) stop opposite St. Stephen’s Church (just north of the police station), while the six buses destined for Loampit Vale stop by the entrance to Lewisham Shopping Centre just north of the clock tower.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 13The six buses currently serving stop P, right next to the clock tower, are joined there by the 89, 178 and 261, which all terminate at Lewisham station and wouldn’t otherwise serve the shopping centre, having not come up the High Street.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 14The information provided to me doesn’t mention N-prefixed night buses, but I’d imagine these will mostly share stops with their daytime equivalents. The movement of the 89, and so presumably N89, to share the clock tower stop with the 180 and 199 therefore satisfies a particularly pedantic bit of my brain which has never been happy with the N89 stopping opposite the police station while the 180 and 199 serve the clock tower despite all three of these routes then heading up Lewisham Road.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 8Back up at the station, there’s a huge and clear contrast with the eleven routes terminating at Lewisham station compared to the painful interim arrangements whereby none of them get anywhere near the station itself. Once the work is finished, all these routes – 75, 89, 108, 178, 181, 185, 208, 261, 284, 484 and P4 – will terminate right alongside the DLR station, where the former stop G was – even better than before the work for DLR access, and a tiny bit nearer the railway station entrance too!

Finally, what about those same routes when they start from the station? Until the work began these were split across three stops (C, D and G). Including the movement of the 108’s starting point to the stop near CarpetRight, mentioned earlier, these routes will in fact be spread across five stops in the new plan. The rationale for most of these is very clear.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 5If you want a bus straight down to Catford, you want the second stop away from the DLR entrance, where the 47, 75, 136, 185 or 208 will whisk you directly southwards past our legendary hospital and only slightly less legendary giant fibreglass cat.

If you’re heading for Ladywell, the next stop’s down is for you: the 284, 484 and P4 will take you directly there, before snaking off around various roads to disparate destinations.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 7Or if you’re Lee Green-bound, the furthest stop from the DLR entrance, just before the corner with the newly widened Rennell Street, will sort you out with a 178, 261 or 321 bus.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 4That just leaves the 89, 181 and 225. The good news for those of us who often catch the 89 is that its stop is closest of all to the DLR station – in fact, an 89 bus picking up passengers will be doing so in almost exactly the same position it does so now, just angled slightly more southerly.

And so we come to the point where TfL’s stop logic has hit a blind spot. People destined for Hither Green have long found themselves in the difficult position of having two stops to choose between, stop G for the 181 or stop D for the 225, and these stops even being separated from each other by another stop entirely.

Lewisham Gateway bus stop 6So you’d think the news that the 225 will be joining the three buses the 181 has shared its stop with for years (284/484/P4) would be a time for rejoicing. You’d think that, but it seems TfL’s campaign of maximum trolling of Hither Green residents is set to continue post-Lewisham Gateway: no sooner does the 225 finally move to that stop, than the 181 moves away from it, instead sharing the 89’s stop outside the DLR, which is, er, separated from the 225’s stop by another stop entirely.

Still, the overall picture is quite promising, with stops mostly being more logically grouped, and terminating nearer the station. Have a play on my interactive map and see what you think. And if you don’t like what you see, let’s hope this stuff isn’t set in stone yet – for Hither Green’s sake!

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2 Responses

  1. […] The bus stops of Lewisham Gateway’s future […]

  2. […] took the opportunity to raise with him the apparent trolling of Hither Green residents in the planned final Lewisham Gateway bus stop arrangements (see end of that post), whereby the 181 and 225 buses will continue to stop at entirely separate […]

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