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Friends of the P4
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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
11-09-2009 07:27 PM

I'me currently using this for commuting to work and so far its been a good experience, with it taking around 25-40 minutes to get to Brixton even in peak rush hour, and a similar length of time to get home again. A nice change after years of painful commuting into town and often beyond on the northern line. My only gripe is that they seem to have put on more single door buses, rather than ones with exit doors to the rear which I don't really understand given the sheer volume of people who use it. I also think they would benefit from a double decker at peak times as there are also a lot of people with buggies and getting on and off a single door bus is a real nightmare for all concerned. Apart from that I Smile this bus and would like to hear from anyone else who may be trying to improve what is already a good service. As far as I know the service is not under threat so hopefully it will stay that way for future years, however with increasing numbers of school kids using it I suspect that it might be under more pressure in the next few years.

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junegapi


Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
13-09-2009 08:01 PM

At last another supporter of the P4! I have used it a lot since it was first launched, as a route that had no bus stops. One just used to hail the bus. But now with regular stops it is an efficient service, although some drivers do start before disabled passengers have had a chance to reach their seats. Times to avoid are school starting and finishing as the school children do tend to block the entrance and exit. The question of single door buses needs to be rectified as they are too small for the number of passengers who use the route. Before I retired I used to get the 0625 bus from Ewelme Road stop. At that time of the morning it was always on-time. The return journey in the early evening from Brixton it could be a problem, as buses were held up at various other parts of the route. When our local trains no longer go to/from Charing Cross, I suggest taking the P4 to Lewisham station and getting a CX train from there. Also if you want to go to Greenwich or Canary Wharf, the DLR will take you there in comfort, provided you don't travel in rush hour. With the P4 and all the other methods of transport available, Forest Hill is well served by bus and rail.

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michael


Posts: 3,216
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
13-09-2009 08:10 PM

I suspect all the double doored buses are being used on the routes of the ousted bendy buses, with two buses needing to replace one of those lovely bendy buses that are probably parked somewhere doing nothing.

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #4
13-09-2009 10:28 PM

The bendy-buses are still out there causing havoc so don't think that's the only reason for the single-doored P4s.

I <3 the P4 - especially during school holidays. During term time, I go to Denmark Hill and catch the train to Victoria since it just takes too long to get through Dulwich Village between 7.45 and 8.30.

Double-deckers would be good though - it does get ridiculously busy at times. To be fair though, the 176 and 185s are just as crowded. There are many mornings when you can't get on the P4 beyond the Horniman and the 176/185 is standing room only by the Plough.

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junegapi


Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
13-09-2009 10:56 PM

Maybe the bendy buses could ply the P4 route? Children at the front, women in the middle and men at the back.

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dipsolala


Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008
Post: #6
14-09-2009 10:04 PM

I love the P4... or the Paradise 4 as I call it.
So nice to know there are other appreciators out there. I actually (and, I have to say, rather oddly) wrote a poem about it on Sunday morning for my friends !!! ...who I go to visit on this fab bus (as it takes me to paradise - good company, good food, good wine).

However, since I've moved from HOP to Perry Vale recently, the one hate five or the one two two much are more convenient now, and no longer do I take my fave bus Sad

Slightly frivilous post perhaps, but heartfelt

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dipsolala


Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008
Post: #7
14-09-2009 10:10 PM

frivolous Blush

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junegapi


Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
14-09-2009 10:47 PM

Do you dare to publish your poem about the Paradise 4 on this forum?

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dipsolala


Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008
Post: #9
15-09-2009 08:01 PM

A little shy, I'm afraid Unsure

It was only dashed off in 15 minutes, for my friends, It took me longer to remember how many lines a sonnet has.

I still try to use the paradise 4, it's a zippy little thing

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
15-09-2009 08:34 PM

Paradise 4 indeed! It took me 20 minutes this morning to get to Brixton in the morning rush hour. Its such an unpredictable journey though timewise- either there is a lot of traffic or there is none- no specific pattern which is curious. But the longest journey has been 45 minutes even in stinking traffic. And there are so many pleasant 'sights' on that route- Dulwich Village, Dulwich College, the Casino Avenue area with all those traditional cottages, the renowned Carnegie Library, etc. It really does go through the very rich and very deprived areas so its a real mix of people on board. Worth a novel or at least a short story.

I know its a little peculiar to start loving a bus, but I would like to announce that my new relationship is making me very Thumbsup

Lets hear the poem, Dipsolala, its only us.

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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #11
16-09-2009 09:20 AM

The P4 route in its other direction (to Lewisham & DLR) is also a useful service. The P4 is a well planned route which provides services to people in residential areas who were not previously catered for, runs 7 days a week til late, & gives easy access to the Horniman Museum & Gardens.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
22-09-2009 09:18 PM

On Saturday got on what was supposed to be the P4 but which felt and looked like a minibus. CryingA real nightmareCursingwith a buggy as people had to get off to let me on and then off again to let me off. Not really practical from anyones point of view. Must contact the P4 head honchos to see whats going on.Sneaky During the week its also been terminating at Loughborough Junction.Thumbdown

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rbmartin


Posts: 796
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
23-09-2009 07:03 PM

I find the P4 pretty hit and miss. One bus I've rode on was the same type of bus that is also used on the 356 which is a lower frequency bus route, so you can imagine if you get the single door buses, they fill up much quicker.

Does anyone remember when the P4 went along Lordship Lane and Court Lane in Dulwich instead of the Common and College Road? It was better in those days, but then Southwark Council put speed humps on the road which led to the re-routing along those busier roads.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #14
23-09-2009 08:13 PM

I agree with rbmartin - when it's good, it's very, very good, but when it's bad, it's horrid!

Sometimes that's not its fault e.g. traffic jams on south circ along the Dulwich playing field, but sometimes it is e.g. terminating at Loughborough Junction (especially when the bus you got on said Brixton and it changes halfway through) and irregular gaps in service e.g. in the mornings where I catch it there's one at approx. 8:13, 8:23, 8:33 and then none till nearly nine.

And then there's the times when there's just no buses at all. I've regularly waited half an hour and even up to 50mins (and this is weekday rush hours, not late night or Sundays).

And then there's the overcrowding. I get on at the first stop in Brixton coming home in the evening and it's a right old bunfight to get on. Anyone trying to get on at the Police Station has to pray they can sqeeze on - never again for me - some thieving toegrag lifted my wallet in the scrum and got off next stop. Going in in the mornings, it's full of giggling Sydenham Girls, but fortunately they all pile off at the bottom of Forest Hill Road, so usually seats available if you wait.

Other issues are accommodating buggies and the buses with only one doorl, but I'm all ranted out....Ohmy

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reverendlionelblair


Posts: 47
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #15
23-09-2009 08:43 PM

The traffic is almost entirely dependent on people doing the school run. In the school holidays it works like a charm...

The P4 is surprisingly regular for a small bus.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
23-09-2009 09:32 PM

Shzl400, we must have had encounters on this bus as these are the times when I also board the bus and I get on a stop after you at Brixton. I'm beginning to recognise the same faces each day. Wear a red carnation please next time! Unless of course you are the bloke with the glasses who gets off at the police station in which case you've been rumbled...

I do know there is a bus around 8.38am and then another around 8.50am as I've caught both on consecutive days. Fortunately my experience has to date been good but I'm probably still in the honeymoon period. This morning there was horrendous traffic on London Road but I still managed to get to work in 25 minutes.

Just for the record, when it says terminating at Loughborough Junction, it actually goes two stops further to the end of Gresham Road/Moorland Road junction. Still another 10 mins walk along Coldharbour Lane but could be worse. You can still catch the 35 bus from North Dulwich.

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rbmartin


Posts: 796
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
23-09-2009 10:30 PM

As I live just inside the Southwark boundary, I also have the choice of the 185, but it takes way too long to get to Lewisham, which makes that route only viable if you wish to commute to Catford.

So I always try to get the P4 from Lewisham, but wait at the Police station just in case a 185 turns up. (At Lewisham Stn, both routes stop at different stops) However on Sunday afternoon the first bus only went as far as Hornimans which everyone got on. 5 mins later a Brixton bus pulls up which was fine, but then get to Horniman and those fools who got on the other bus then crowd on our tiny bus.

I'd love to see double deckers on this route, especially during shopping hours and the rush hour.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
30-09-2009 09:12 PM

Apparently Cllr John Paschoud is on the Council transport committee and is the one to approach re improvements to the P4. The only real criticism I have is that the buses often are the single door versions and during peak periods they are often packed. There also seems to be a long wait at Brixton which is odd as this is one of the starting points. Watched 3 buses terminate there last week whilst we had to wait 30 minutes for one to turn up for the return journey.

If anyone wants to take this further perhaps they could sketch out their likes.dislikes on here and I'll refer John Paschoud to this site .

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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #19
01-10-2009 07:49 AM

Yep its pretty good now, but before Ken Livingston (who i think was in part responsible for the better service and the P12) it was one of the worst bus routes known to woman or man. Ive waited an hour for it on many an occassion.

In fact, I waited for it so much that I even wrote a poem about it (quite a long one) all about how terrible it was... had a lot of time on my hands!

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michael


Posts: 3,216
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
01-10-2009 08:48 AM

I once walked to Lewisham faster than waiting for a P4 (20 years ago). All the way there I did not see the bus. It is for that reason that I can never learn to love the P4.

Roz, as well as the transport committee that John attends I ask the transport rep of the FH Society to take this issue to the Transport Liaison Committee of Lewisham council which is attended by the bus companies and civic societies.

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