‘Dreadful’ bus service causes headache for commuters while Rye Lane is closed to traffic until 2020

Katherine Johnston (20 February, 2019) Transport

'None of the timetables match the buses that turn up at the stops'

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Long walks between stops and erratic bus arrivals are causing travel hell in Peckham, with commuters left fuming that one month after major works started on Rye Lane, there are no temporary bus stops in place.

Gas company SGN started a major pipe upgrade on Rye Lane on January 7, with the road expected to be closed to traffic for another twelve months.

Although the company first advertised the closure in October, many commuters said they had not seen the signs, and traders have voiced concerns there has not been enough support to help their businesses.

Currently, owners will only be able to claim compensation for loss of business after the works have been completed.

One frustrated traveller, Nuala Ginty, told the News: “Since the closure the bus services have been dreadful. The worst part is that none of the timetables match the buses that turn up at the stops.

“It’s a total lottery. I volunteer at various Peckham organisations so when it’s dark, cold, damp and rainy and none of the times showing to get you home are right, that’s a massive let down.”

Other residents and traders have taken to social media to voice how long gaps between bus stops makes getting around difficult, and how their routes home have increased – leading some people to feel less safe at night-time.

One twitter user, writing under the name MoneyKelly, said: “At night there is an extremely long walk to the next bus stop and last night I got hassled three times on the way to the next stop in the dark. Did no one think about safety and accessibility?”

TfL says it has been difficult to put temporary stops on Copeland Road or other nearby streets as they are not suitable for bus ramps, making it impossible for people with reduced mobility to board.

Helen Lee, TfL’s head of bus operations, said: “We have had to close a number of bus stops on Rye Lane due to SGN’s upgrade of the gas network.

“Despite looking at numerous options, we have not been able to find a location in the immediate area that would be a safe and accessible place for a temporary bus stop.

“We have introduced a temporary bus stop on Consort Road and we will continue to work with Southwark Council to identify other suitable locations as work progresses.”

 

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