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Dreadful service on the P4
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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
01-03-2012 08:50 PM

Anyone else out there feel the same! I certainly hear many complaints from
Other users. If you would like to do something please post here and we can try to get something sorted? Currently waiting over an hour for a bus . So tha means no service currently from Brixton to Lewisham for over that length of time.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
01-03-2012 10:18 PM

Back home now after waiting one hour and 15 minutes for a bus and then it changed destination to Ladywell and also looked like it needed to evacuate the passengers due to faulty doors not closing setting the alarms off. And thats just a mere snapshot of the problems on this service! Its fairly usual to wait 45 minutes or more several times a week for a bus. The state of the vehicles is also another concern- I have been on several recently that have broken down en route including one whose fanbelt broke noisily and dramatically which led to people being turfed off then waiting another 30 minutes for another to come along. I would have thought that all bus companies had public SLA's to meet?

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #3
01-03-2012 10:47 PM

I don't use buses (including the P4) all that regularly any longer but do find checking the live bus tracker just as I leave for the bus stop really handy in determining what route to take or whether to delay the journey.

It's always worth complaining to TFL so that the service delay is logged against that operator - particularly if the bus maintenance is another concern. There are roadworks at Lewisham currently and in Gallery Road (not sure if the Loughborough Junction are ongoing too) which likely doesn't help the P4's timekeeping.

Traffic in Brixton seemed quite jammed when I cycled through at 7.30ish so that might not have helped either.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #4
02-03-2012 09:05 AM

A regular wait of 45 minutes? That is not a 'service' at all. I'm spluttering into my cornflakes.

At peak times there should be four buses per hour. Even at off-peak times there should be three buses an hour. You'd be better off using an alternatative route - even if it meant changing buses. Complain - vociferously - and don't stop until you get a response.

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poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #5
02-03-2012 10:27 AM

I agree.. the P4 is so unreliable.. whenever my friend and I have caught it from Lewisham there is regularly massive waits between buses - and as for the TFL realtime bus info, it doesnt seem to work when a bus is leaving the terminus..so useless for Lewisham Station..

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Poppy9560


Posts: 273
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #6
02-03-2012 12:09 PM

I have noticed a decline in the P4 recently - I have often waited at Lewisham expecting it every 15 minutes as per the timetable and it hasn't turned up

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squashst


Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #7
02-03-2012 12:53 PM

Sadly the "Paradise"4 is now renamed the "Purgatory"4

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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #8
06-03-2012 10:36 PM

It definitely used to be really bad like that in the 90s - I thought it had improved in recent years. Remember waiting for 1hr plus on Sundays back in the mists of time...

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #9
07-03-2012 12:26 AM

I regularly have to wait between 45 mins to an hour for the p4 from Brixton!

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #10
07-03-2012 09:38 PM

And then there's the infuriating habit of stopping the bus half way through the route - regularly buses showing "Brixton" when I get on are terminated at Loughborough Junction or worse, Dulwich Picture Gallery. It shows a complete inability to run a bus service.

Aaand then the driver says "the next one's right behind" which is plainly a lie (this morning it was 15 mins behind), when they could easily get on the radio and ask control where the next bus was.

Aaaaaaaand then they dump you in the remotest possible place. If they're feeling kindly, they'll stop either round the corner from Loughborough Junction or further up in Dulwich, nearer Dulwich North, where you can pick up an alternative bus. But I gather the instruction has now come down from on high that they must turf every one off at either the Picture Gallery or the last stop on Herne Hill Road, in both cases with no other choice of bus from that stop and especially at the Picture Gallery a goodly hike to any alternative transport.

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shimmysister


Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #11
15-03-2012 08:48 PM

I have waited for the p4 bus every day this week and so far it has been 40-50 mins wait each time. So what shall we do to let London Transport know our concern?

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
15-03-2012 08:58 PM

Yesterday evening was a complete nightmare. To be fair, it wasn't just the P4, but the whole of the South Circular and Lordship Lane snarled up, with knock on effects from Dulwich North through to Honor Oak Park, due to a broken down double decker near the Harvester.

However, throughout this hideous snarl up, the P4 I was on was just a few cars behind another P4 in the jam. So when they terminated one early, having just got out of the jam, to "regularise the service"Cursing, which one do you think it was? Yes, the one behind, and the one in front sailed off leaving the passengers fuming at Wood Vale in impotent fury. Why???

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #13
15-03-2012 09:02 PM

Firstly, I'd use the link I gave above to complain to TFL individually about the service and see what response you get.

Armed with that, it's then probably worth contacting local councillors and/or MP to see if they can get a better response from TFL or escalate it any way. I'm not sure if it's something that the Forest Hill Society might be able to add some weight against too. If enough people start to make a noise about it and the number of complaints increase, then something might get done.

I have been more aware of watching out for the P4 while on the bike since this thread came out - although I generally only share the route with them between Dulwich Village and the Horniman. I must say even in the last week, I've been surprised by how many times they come along in pairs or with a less than 5 minute gap which suggests that there are much longer gaps elsewhere in the service. On Tuesday and Wednesday night, the South Circular was entirely snarled up though and I'm sure that on Weds, I passed three of them!

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
15-03-2012 09:23 PM

There was someone from tfl doing a survey on Tuesday on service and passenger numbers- lots of people were filling the forms in so hopefully this will reveal useful information. I do think tfl need to know how bad the service is and how bad the buses are. Several times in the last few weeks buses Ive been on have had trouble with their doors so only the front ones could be used. The alarm kept going off on one too. I have been on so many which broke down either in very cold or very hot weather and two where the fan belts snapped.

I think the south circular would jam anything and I dont think thats the bus companys fault. In the mornings there is a snarl up around Honor Oak due to lots of traffic for the various school runs and narrow roads so buses are notoriously late around 9am and again between 5pm and 6pm. I have heard people discussing it might be better to avoid going right through the village and instead using the Court Lane route at peak times. There seem to be very few people who get on or get off between there and the other end of Dulwich Common. Maybe the route just needs a rethink if only at peak times. The other possible diversion is that the bus continues down Woodvale after Honor Oak hence diverting around Forest Hill completely. That route was used during the major gas works and burst water main works in Forest Hill- I am not sure if it inconveniences that many people as its a fairly short distance from the end of HOR to the bus stop at the Triangle.

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #15
15-03-2012 09:52 PM

The junction at the bottom of Court Lane where it joins Dulwich Village isn't great either traffic wise - although one short bad jam is probably better than getting stuck on the South Circ, stuck at the roundabout and then at two sets of lights!

On one of the threads around extending the 63, someone came up with routing the P4 along Wood Vale but feeling there was that so many people wanted to use the service along Honor Oak Road that it would be a downgrade for them.

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DeedeeVonNoodle


Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2012
Post: #16
16-03-2012 03:57 PM

Re: the tfl bus live tracker service and problems finding departure times at terminus:

Check the departure time leaving from the stop AFTER the terminus and subtract a couple of minutes. I know it's not ideal, but it's better than nothing!

I love the live tracker service, it's incredibly useful (and even better if you have a smartphone)

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HOPcat


Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #17
29-03-2015 05:57 PM

I agree - the P4 service that used to be so good is now a joke. They are all getting snarled up at Ladywell, through a combination of the "improvements" there and the huge rebuilding at Lewisham which is causing traffic havoc on other roads.
We could try getting Val Shawcross at the London Assembly on the case.
Found a further huge complication late last night. Thanks to a mess-up over one bus not being available, I took a bus from Streatham to Brixton to try to catch the P4 home from there. But could I find where it now leaves from? It used to be outside Brixton Station but the one I flagged down there gave me incomprehensible directions and wouldn't let me board at that spot. Made it to Herne Hill and luckily, a passing black cab got me home but at quite a cost.
So, if anyone knows the name of the road and other relevant details for catching a P4 home to Honor Oak from central Brixton, I'd be so grateful.
Whatever happened to the concept of transport hubs, linking buses, trains and tubes to a single pick-up spot, to make it friendly for all users and those with luggage or mobility problems in particular?

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faultythinking


Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #18
29-03-2015 10:18 PM

When heading home from Brixton on the P4, I always catch it from the Gresham Road stop, opposite Brixton Police Station. Google tells me it's "Stop H":

https://goo.gl/maps/mjFFp

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #19
30-03-2015 01:36 AM

There are roadworks near the police station in Brixton which means the P4 is on diversion until 6 April.

There's only one stop in Brixton at the moment; it's on Coldharbour Lane. Go up to KFC/Ritzy, turn left and go 30m down road. I think it's usually home to a P5. Next stop is on Shakespeare Road.

It's not well advertised. I only found out from EDF.

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HOPcat


Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #20
14-04-2015 05:07 PM

Thanks, Applespider and faultythinking. Naturally, the night I needed to take the bus home was a "diversion" night and I agree - the diversion was not well advertised. That louser of a driver might have let us board at the station when we flagged him down. He was going that way anyway and it was coming up to midnight.
I've noted the Gresham Road stop and won't be caught out again. But,
whatever happened to the "transport hub" idea where buses, trains and taxis were all supposed to converge at one location?

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