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Perry Rise/Perry Hill Buses
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Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2012
Post: #1
07-01-2013 10:52 PM

We are currently looking at buying somewhere around the SE23 and nearby area and one place that we keep seeing properties is around the bottom of Perry Rise/Perry Hill, near the giant Sainsbury's. But I need to commute into London every day and am worried about the reliability of buses up to the station - either Catford or Forest Hill. I'd be travelling in rush hour and the buses up to FH look pretty infrequent. The buses up to Catford look more regular but one failed to turn up in the middle of the day by Bell Green the other day so I'm dubious.
What have other people's experiences been?
Any other thoughts about living down there? It's cheaper, but is that because the public transport doesn't work or is it for other reasons?

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Posts: 604
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #2
07-01-2013 11:29 PM

My advice would be to try and buy nearer to FH station, so that you can walk and not have to rely on often infrequent buses.

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Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #3
07-01-2013 11:30 PM

Have you looked at getting a train from Lower Sydenham? It goes into Charing Cross and is pretty close to the sainsburys.


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Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2012
Post: #4
08-01-2013 12:07 AM

Lower Sydenham would mean paying for Zone 4 and once you get a certain way north it's not much closer than Forest Hill/Catford, so you might as well walk there.
I would like to buy closer in to the station, but the nearer you are to the station, the higher the prices. We've seen several houses down there that we could never afford if they were in central FH.
Just trying to work out where we want to make compromises.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #5
08-01-2013 10:31 AM

Transport is the big compromise at this end of Forest Hill. The buses to FH station are infrequent and I would not even consider them in your calculations. It's walking or nothing.

The obvious advantage of FH station is the combination of Overground and mainline rail services. You won't get that at Catford, although there are many more mainline services there. If you can walk up to Woolstone Road, the 75 bus to Catford is frequent and reliable, although you will get help up somewhat by the traffic filtering in from the South Circular just before Catford.

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #6
08-01-2013 11:58 AM

How about buying down there and then cycling to FH station. It is about a 5 minute cycle and there are bike parking areas at the station.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #7
08-01-2013 12:05 PM

I agree with rshdunlop, don't bother factoring in the 356 bus as part of your commute. Have you checked the distance to Sydenham station? From the junction of Perry Rise and Perry Hill it looks like it's a mile to both FH and Syd stations. Sydenham is also in Zone 3; you'd avoid the steep walk up Perry Rise in the mornings; and there are more buses between Bell Green and Sydenham station. I don't know what traffic is like in the mornings but I doubt it's worse than the South Circular going into Catford.

Catford is slightly further (1.2 miles) but that gives you a choice of Catford and Catford Bridge stations. Wouldn't want to rely on getting there by bus in the morning though.

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Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #8
08-01-2013 12:06 PM

The problem with the Perry Hill buses is the traffic bottleneck on the approach to Catford. It can be all the way back to Woolstone at bad times.

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Posts: 3,243
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
08-01-2013 01:27 PM

Cycling to Catford (along the path by the Pool River) could also be a pleasant route to work if it is not raining. I'm not sure what the provision of cycle racks are like at Catford, but there are plenty at Forest Hill. However, there is a slight incline on the route to Forest Hill whereas the river route is completely flat. (Not that anybody should take advice from me on riding a bike, I haven't done it since I moved back to Forest Hill - 15 years ago).

It probably depends where you work, but a season ticket from zone 4 (Lower Sydenham) to a London terminus might be cheaper than a travelcard to enable you to travel on the buses as well as trains. It just depends if you need buses/tube beyond your London terminus (if you don't work within walking distance of London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars, Canon Street).

Also you have to weigh up the additional cost of the zone 4 ticket compared to your additional mortgage/rental payments. Chances are that the difference in housing costs more than covers the extra required for zone 4 ticket, so you are still winning by moving close to Lower Sydenham and getting a zone 4 ticket.

I think you would find that it is quicker walking to Catford rather than taking the bus, due to the traffic on Catford Hill. I agree with blushingsnail that the walk would probably be quicker to Sydenham (or to Lower Sydenham, which is the closest station to Bell Green). One day in the future we will get Lower Sydenham station moved to Bell Green, but we might all be retired/dead before that happens.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #10
08-01-2013 01:54 PM

Bus or walking to Sydenham is a good option. The traffic can be either completely free flowing or slow as molasses up Sydenham Road. It's not so far that you can't just get off the bus and walk if it is slow. Depending on where you are on Perry Rise / Perry Hill walking along one of the side roads (such as Adamsrill), through Mayow Park (in day light hours) or along Bishopsthorpe and down Silverdale is quick and pleasant way to get to Sydenham Station.

You might find more residents of that area on the Sydenham Forum, it would be worth asking around there:

This post was last modified: 08-01-2013 01:56 PM by rshdunlop.

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Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #11
08-01-2013 02:23 PM

Further to Michael's comment above, according to National Rail, Catford does have cycle storage facilities

There are far worse ways of getting to your station than the ride (or walk) alongside the river every day.

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Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2006
Post: #12
08-01-2013 04:52 PM

Perry Hill to Catford/Catford Bridge station is about a 20- to 25-minute walk. From there you've got easy routes to various termini and the Thameslink line. (I do from Perry Vale/Woolstone Road to Catford every day and it takes me just under 20 minutes - but I am a fast and impatient walker!)

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Posts: 1,394
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
08-01-2013 08:18 PM

i take the bus (75, 181 or 202) to Catford because it is usually quicker than walking.

But If I want the train I take the 185 to Forest Hill or the 171 to Honor Oak Park because thes ervice is more frequent.

If there is no dispaly board you can text to find out when the next bus is due.

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Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009
Post: #14
09-01-2013 10:40 PM

The 356 may be infrequent but it does run to a timetable - every twenty minutes in each direction meeting at The Prince of Wales in Perry Rise at around 10, 30 and 50 past each hour. Bus Checker or TFL's Live Bus departures allows you to time your walk to the bus stop.

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Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2012
Post: #15
09-01-2013 11:08 PM

Thanks for all the answers. Siegee, do you find that the bus manages to stick to the timetable in the mornings?
Does sound like I don't want to rely on buses and may end up walking down to L Sydenham. Of course it all depends exactly where we end up. Luckily, I'm a pretty fast walker.
I foresee much playing around looking at the live bus info in the mornings before work!

This post was last modified: 09-01-2013 11:09 PM by InTheForest.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #16
10-01-2013 12:01 PM

Unless the 356 service has dramatically improved recently, I wouldn't trust it at all for punctuality. It's the only service I know that usually runs late, but occasionally catches you out by turning up too early and you miss the bus. And a service with 20 minutes between buses is too long to be used as a reliable way of getting somewhere at a specific time, eg to the station to catch a particular train.

Think of it as a nice bonus if the bus happens to approach the bus stop as you're walking past and you can hop on, but don't waste your time deliberately waiting at the stop for it.

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Posts: 1,002
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
10-01-2013 07:58 PM

A quick look at TfL's bus countdown site every morning before you set off will give you a good idea if the 356 is going to turn up as timetabled or not.

If not, there are the 194, 202 and 450 buses from Bell Green to Sydenham Station if you require the Overground.

Lower Sydenham should be in Zone 3 really.

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Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #18
10-01-2013 11:10 PM

The 356 is pretty inconsistent. I used to get it but now often find that I can wait longer for it than I could walk it. The tfl site can be pretty good but I'd say it's still not 100% reliable.

It's the price you pay for a slightly affordable place really but a 10-15 walk really isn't too much of a hardship once you do it a few times. When there's engineering works it's pretty handy actually to have FHill, Catford, Sydenham and Penge East all within a 20 minute stroll.

The buses back from Catford are regular by the way. Traffic is often bad in the morning by 8:30 but fine in the evenings.

I can get to almost anywhere I need door-to-door in an hour which is a pretty standard commute I reckon.

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