Route 108 set for bigger buses and switch to Olympic Park

108 bus

Greenwich, Blackheath and Lewisham could soon have a direct bus link to the Olympic Park under plans revealed by Transport for London today.

The 108 service through the Blackwall Tunnel would have its route altered north of the river so it runs via Stratford City bus station, beside the Westfield shopping centre, to Stratford International station. The new route would see it run alongside the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with a stop at the London Aquatics Centre.

The route would gain bigger buses – though still single-deck, due to height restrictions in the Blackwall Tunnel.

It would also be rerouted away from the Blackwall Tunnel’s northern approach to serve Chrisp Street in Poplar, passing Langdon Park and Devons Road DLR stations rather than Bromley-by-Bow tube.

The change is part of a revamp of routes serving the borough of Tower Hamlets. Another change sees the 277 rerouted through the Isle of Dogs, bringing Greenwich town centre within walking distance of a 24-hour bus from Dalston and Hackney.

Bigger buses on the 108 would certainly provide some relief on what’s a chronically overcrowded route – although without an increase in frequency the route will continue to struggle with demand.

A switch to run via Stratford City would cause some problems for people changing buses in Stratford itself – in 2013, TfL said it would break 600 trips each day – although the two bus stations are only separated by a short walk via the Westfield centre. What’s not clear is if the diverted route would be affected by West Ham United moving to the Olympic Stadium this summer.

And while rerouting the 108 via Chrisp Street would mean the service avoids the A12 traffic jams, some passengers may miss the link to Bromley-by-Bow, although the new service passes close to Bow Road station.

Tower Hamlets2

What’s the view from north of the river? Bow’s Diamond Geezer thinks this is more about getting double-deckers on another bus…

There’s a consultation now open on the scheme – if you’re a 108 user, have your say by 20 March.

PS. You read it here first, three years ago…

5 comments

  1. Great for the 108 but where do we still have a curtailed route for the 53 into central London and double fares for those who need to cross the river. Time for a bus review for the borough of Greenwich!

  2. The heavily used bit of the 108 is from Lewisham, and particularly the Standard, to North Greenwich station. They occasionally put on the odd double-decker on that bit. It would be great if they added a few more during the busiest periods — so long as someone from TfL HQ doesn’t absent-mindedly tell the driver to continue on north of the river.
    There were double-deckers through the tunnel many years ago, with special low roofs. There’s a picture here http://www.red-rf.com/single-deck_routes/centenary_run.aspx

  3. So as it stands the 108 has a bus gate on the north to south section of Blackwall approach (A12) if the changes are implemented the 108 will get stuck coming out of chrisp st and into the pipe, also sticking the D8 down the A12 will cause that problems.

    If memory serves the 108 has been described as Londons worst bus route for reliability due to the tunnel and A12, so TFL in their infinite wisdom are going to screw up two routes instead of one and call it an improvement….

  4. Routing the 108 through Chrisp Street may be logical for all sorts of reasons, but it won’t avoid the Blackwall traffic queues. The rush hour jams where Chrisp St meets the East India Dock Road are a nightmare – the D8 (which would swap route with 108 on this section if this proposal goes ahead) has terrible rush hour timekeeping because of this.

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