All change: 108 bus to link SE London with Olympic Park from October

108 bus
Greenwich and Lewisham’s only bus service to east London, the 108, will be re-routed to run via the Olympic Park from October.

The current service runs through the Blackwall Tunnel to Stratford bus station, via the A12, Bow Flyover and Stratford High Street.

From 1 October, it will run via Chrisp Street in Poplar and Campbell Road in Bow, before running through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to Stratford International station, with stops outside the London Aquatics Centre, Stratford station and the Westfield shopping centre. While the 108’s connection at Bromley-by-Bow tube station is lost, it gains a new one at nearby Bow Road.

But while 108 passengers will escape jams in Stratford town centre as well as on the A12 heading towards the Blackwall Tunnel, they could face new hold-ups due to traffic congestion on the East India Dock Road, which links Chrisp Street with the tunnel.

In its response to a consultation into the proposals – which sees the 108’s north-of-the-river route swapped with another service, the D8 – the agency admits that congestion could affect both routes.

TfL says: “We note this is a risk. However, in developing the scheme, regard was had to existing traffic conditions and it is considered possible for both routes to offer a good quality service to passengers. We will continue to monitor service quality on both routes to ensure a service is being provided.”

It’s also not known what will happen during West Ham home matches at the Olympic Stadium – the current D8 service is diverted during stadium events.

Larger buses, which can hold 70 people, will be used, providing some very limited relief for those caught in the 108’s notorious rush-hour overcrowding. There are no plans as yet to increase the number of buses, although details of a new contract to run the route are yet to be released.

Neither Greenwich nor Lewisham councils responded to the consultation, while Tower Hamlets objected to the changes.

This website mentioned the idea in 2013 as a partly tongue-in-cheek response to Greenwich Council’s “all out” campaign to build the Silvertown Tunnel. It was followed by a surprisingly high number of responses suggesting the switch to a TfL consultation into which routes should serve the Olympic Park.

6 comments

  1. The busses running on the 108 route also seem to have been re-configured. The bus that I got on yesterday had fewer seats and much more standing space than previously. Most of the space from the entrance to the rear door had been cleared for standing/pushchairs/wheelchairs. There was seating for only 4 people in this area, including a rearwards facing double seat behing the drivers cabin. The first rows of seats behind the exit door are identified as for people with mobility needs,

    The standing on the 108 in its old configuration was often crowded and uncomfortable, so at busy times the new configuration may bet better for many passengers, but I wonder what people think of having so few seats available ?

  2. Confirmed today that the 108 *will* get those buses (currently used on the 507 and 521) in its new contract, which also starts on 1 October.

  3. The 108 is also getting two rather nice Irizar electric buses which are becoming surplus from the 507/521

  4. This change of route negatively affects school students who travel from East London to schools in Blackheath and North Greenwich

  5. David Fielding
    OCTOBER 6, 2016 AT 12:17 AM
    Message to Tfl and FCARA

    The change of routes 108 and D8 has not proved a success
    Journey times have increased by up to 40 minutes and changes are hazardous and cumbersome, especially when travelling with luggage, children, prams buggies etc

    The approach to Stratford Westfield and Stratford international on the 108 is considerably slower than the route used by the D8 adding a further 15 minutes, or more, on to the journey time, and the outbound journey from Fawe Street to Canary Wharf, which used to take around 17 to 30 minutes on the D8, is now taking more than 40 to 50 minutes changing from the 108 to the D8 at All Saints.

    In terms of the sections of the routes described above this revision cannot be seen as an improvement. Mobility and access have been downgraded.

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