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(Supposedly) replacement bus service
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oryx


Posts: 204
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
07-09-2014 12:23 AM

Anyone else had experience of the replacement service bus for journeys to London Bridge this weekend?

Ours was abysmal. 35 minute wait for an extremely overcrowded bus to come along.

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hasto


Posts: 34
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #2
07-09-2014 12:10 PM

Totally agree, had a nightmare journey back from New Cross Gate early evening yesterday.

The bus was so totally overpacked (I don't blame the driver), thought it was actually very dangerous. I have emailed Southern (not sure if its them who organise the replacements) as its an accident waiting to happen!!

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #3
07-09-2014 12:13 PM

Nope. I tend to use the Lower Sydenham line when the Overground is out (if heading for the centre).

I usually try to avoid all buses, as they travel on roads which are congested and I get tired of looking out of a window and thinking 'I could walk faster than this'.

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Jane_D


Posts: 189
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #4
07-09-2014 03:20 PM

I always avoid replacement bus services, which seem to take hours even if you can get on them. I usually get an ordinary bus to East Dulwich or Denmark Hill, or even a P4 to Brixton.

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oryx


Posts: 204
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
07-09-2014 09:48 PM

I think I will complain as well. It wasn't that there was bad traffic holding up the bus as several P4s and P12s arrived in the time we were waiting.

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Deano


Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #6
08-09-2014 07:37 PM

Those four words strike fear into the hearts of men.

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hasto


Posts: 34
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #7
08-10-2014 09:59 AM

Thought that some people would be interested in Southern's response concerning the Rail Replacement Service, here are their findings!!

--------------
We at Southern do appreciate the frustration caused by engineering works in the London Bridge area. These are part of the improvements taking place for the Thameslink Programme (http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk), which is overseen by the Department for Transport. Even without engineering works taking place such as those between London Bridge and East Croydon on the 6 and 13 September 2014, we are currently having to contend with reduced platform capacity at London Bridge (a Network Rail managed station) as part of these works. This has created an even tighter bottleneck in an inherently tight and high-demand network. Nonetheless, ensuring that there is an adequate replacement bus service to cover our routes is our responsibility, so I passed your comments to the Short Term Planner.

He advises that we had a bus running every 15 minutes on the route you travelled all day long. Along with this, we also had a standby bus, which can be used if there is overcrowding. There has not as yet been any previous feedback that buses are overcrowded and he cannot recall seeing anything from his logs on the days in question that there was an issue with overcrowding on the buses.

The bus supplier believes that the problem is not so much the number of buses in circulation but that they are running late, which causes ‘bunching’ and hence overloading at times. They are currently looking at the timings for these replacement services although in any case, they are subject to traffic delays, no matter how many buses are deployed, not to mention the difficult roads they may have to negotiate.

One solution that is being considered is to introduce some extra bus resources across the centre of the service, around the New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace area. This would not alleviate the late running issue but would give some respite across the centre section of the route in question, allowing the ‘through’ services to operate more speedily. This would involve sourcing additional staff to run the services but it is believed that this may ease the situation.

Rest assured that your feedback is much appreciated and was naturally passed on in the process of speaking to the Short Term Planner and the bus supplier. Your comments may therefore be referred to when implementing any changes to replacement services across our Metro East route, although I cannot promise an immediate fix for reasons I have explained above. I do however hope that you experience a significant improvement in the near future, whenever we have to deploy replacement buses on this route.

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Campervan Tim


Posts: 19
Joined: May 2013
Post: #8
08-10-2014 10:35 AM

The Saturday before last I was on my way back to FH from work when I discovered that there were no Southern trains running. I wasnt aware of this as I hadnt seen any posters to the effect during the week and I had gone to work via a different means. I asked staff there whether I should take the replacement bus or take the tube to Canada Water to pick up the Overground. I was advised to do the latter.

Once I got to CW I discovered that the the OG only went to Surrey Quays and from there it was a replacement bus. So I went to Surrey Quays and when I eventually found the right stop (unclear signage and no staff directing people) and waited some 20 minutes for a bus, I discovered that said buses were only running to New Cross Gate, from where I needed to take the rail replacement that was coming from London Bridge.

After 15 minutes one duly arrived and was so packed it was dangerous, and very few of the 40 or 50 people waiting with me could get on.

So I shelled out and took a cab.

To describe the communication and customer service as poor would be over complimenting TFL and Southern

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 511
Joined: May 2012
Post: #9
08-10-2014 11:45 AM

We never use the replacement bus service for just these reasons. Instead, the 185 to Catford Bridge is a better alternative for getting up to town or to Lewisham for the DLR to Canary Wharf.

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #10
08-10-2014 01:12 PM

Make sure you complain to both Southern and TfL and tell them each that you are complaining to them and the other. Compensation vouchers should be your due at teh least I would think

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hasto


Posts: 34
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #11
08-10-2014 01:17 PM

I think we just need to get as many people complaining as possible, eventually the message must get through to them.

The guy dealing with my complaint was-

Tim Fife-Schaw
VIP Complaints team
Southern & Gatwick Express

SR_VIP@postroom.com

Good luck

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Chris88


Posts: 43
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #12
08-10-2014 04:09 PM

Emailed them.


Said they should increase frequency between 10am and 2pm as that's when most people head out (and when I've experienced the over crowding)

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152047
No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #13
09-10-2014 12:31 PM

Another alternative is to hop on the bus to Ladywell and pick up a train to LB.

Unfortunately, Lewisham are currently implementing a road improvement scheme to Lewisham High Street which means that traffic stacks up Ladywell Road towards Brockely cemetery and it takes for ever to get through to the A21:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/streets...l-road.pdf

PS Ladywell works due to continue until the beginning of December.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #14
09-10-2014 12:42 PM

Or hop onto the 185 or 176 to East Dulwich station.

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ritchy


Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #15
09-10-2014 01:40 PM

However for those us who buy weekly , monthly or yearly tickets to london terminals in order to make our journeys on alternative routes is an addtional cost.
Even if you don't have a season ticket you still have to pay an extra fares travel e.g. bus to get to a nearby station as you can no longer get anywhere direct.

Also if you travel to Victoria on a weekend this would usually be included in your london terminals ticket, however when the trains are down the only way you can do it is get the bus to crystal palace and then pay and additional fare to go to Victoria.

What they should be doing is what they do when there is an incident at London Bridge is allow you to use your ticket within a reasonable route to get into london.

We are paying for a service which seems to be down every other weekend, not only do we get given a shoddy replacement sevice 1 bus to replace an 8 carrige train and its sheer luck when it turns up , if it turns up and if we can even get on!

Our only alternative is to pay out our own pocket.
Considering this is going to go on for another 4 years 2018? TFL are on to a nice little eaner while we have to pay Extra to make alternative routes!

Its not like this is a few months disruption this is years!

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nottinghillbilly


Posts: 459
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #16
09-10-2014 06:43 PM

I work in retail in the west end and therefore often work weekends,
sometimes until 9pm on Saturday.
The current situation as regards transport on Saturdays and Sundays from Forest Hill into town is just abysmal for us poor so and so's who have to be in work at a set time, and then face a long crawl home, only to go through it all over again the next day.
To add insult to injury the Jubilee line is not stopping at bond st until December so all in all its pretty grim Cursing

This post was last modified: 09-10-2014 06:43 PM by nottinghillbilly.

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rbmartin


Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
09-10-2014 10:29 PM

Quote:
Also if you travel to Victoria on a weekend this would usually be included in your london terminals ticket, however when the trains are down the only way you can do it is get the bus to crystal palace and then pay and additional fare to go to Victoria.


You shouldn't be paying for that as the ticket allows for break of journey if travelling via Crystal Palace. If the gate won't accept the ticket, ask the gateline assistant to let you through.

A London Terminals ticket allows you to travel to the following stations as well as break of journey between:

London Bridge
Victoria
Cannon Street
Blackfriars
City Thameslink
Waterloo
Waterloo East
Charing Cross
Vauxhall

However it is not valid on the ELL north of New Cross Gate to Canada Water unless Southern have arrangements with London Overground during engineering works.

This post was last modified: 09-10-2014 10:31 PM by rbmartin.

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ritchy


Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #18
10-10-2014 08:07 AM

No you can't break in your journey along Forest Hill to Victoria route ticket doesn't work in the barrier. Have tried this.

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ritchy


Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #19
10-10-2014 08:10 AM

TFL should really arrange something with stations which are nearby as a reasonable route that are valid with our tickets into london when weekend trains are cut from a 12 train per hour service to 4 buses, its so frustrating/costly now its been going on for so long now.

This post was last modified: 10-10-2014 08:12 AM by ritchy.

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ambient


Posts: 85
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
10-10-2014 12:30 PM

Ritchy, whilst the ticket may not work in the barrier, it's part of the conditions of carriage that you can do this, you just need to ask to be let out and in....that is, if there is somebody there to ask.

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