Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tortoise About Being Lost


If you live in the Colborne Way area, please keep an eye out for Emma the tortoise who escaped from a back garden in Colborne Way on Sunday (28th July). Emma is a much loved Child’s pet and has been part of the family for a great many years.

There is a reward offered for Emma’s safe return. Please contact Tony on 07788 113 843.

My grandparents had a tortoise so this brings back memories for me. They had their address painted on its shell as it used to escape from their garden quite often and was always brought back by kindly neighbours who knew immediately where it had come from.

Update (1st August)

Emma has been found by someone in Buckland Way! I have contacted the person who contacted me with their contact information. Thanks everyone for going into 'tortoise vigil' mode. Stand down now.

Update (1st August - later in the day) - Correction

Emma has not yet been found. Two tortoises have apparently gone missing at about the same time and it was the other one which was found. Glad that one has been found but Emma is still missing.



Give And Taken


Three women have been spotted in one night helping themselves to donations left outside the British Heart Foundation charity shop in Central Road. Two women were spotted just after 3am Monday morning (Sunday night) by vigilant CCTV operators in the Control Room at Sutton Police Station rummaging through the charity bags left in the doorway of the shop. Video recordings show the women pulling up in a car, searching the bags of donated goods, and choosing a selection to load into the boot of their car.

One of the officers from the control room quickly headed out and caught them on their way back towards Sutton driving along Cheam Road. The officer arrested the women for theft and they were each issued with £90 fixed penalty notices.

The women aged 47 and 72, who both live on the Benhill Estate, were found in possession of a pink toy box, two lampshades, a black bag of toys and plastic box of various items. The officer returned the goods to the charity shop in Worcester Park whilst the control room kept the cameras trained on the shop front.

Soon after this, CCTV operators watched in astonishment as another woman turned up, pulled out a teddy bear from one of the bags and gave it to her dog before walking off. Police took no action this time.

Insp Andy Stalley commented: “It’s wonderful we live in a borough where people want to give to help charities. But it’s clear that leaving goods in doorways overnight makes them easy targets for thieves.”

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, advises:

  • Don’t leave goods outside charity shops; take them to the shop during opening hours
  • If you can’t visit a charity shop during opening hours, ask whether the shop collect items from your home
  • Consider using charity house-to-house collection sacks posted through your front door. Make sure the collection is for charity by looking out for a registered charity number and check it against the online register at www.charitycommission.gov.uk (see this website for more information too.)

I note that this particular charity offers free collection of your unwanted things by phoning 0208 330 7428. There, problem solved.



Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Doesn’t Appeal To Me

The refusal of last year’s application to convert the Old Bank Chambers in Green Lane into a Mosque is being appealed by the applicant. A letter (see below) should have been sent to everyone who wrote in supporting, opposing or just commenting on the original application. In it, the head of Sutton Council’s Development Services says that “On 15 July 2013 the Secretary of State for the Environment received an appeal by Mr H Aziz against the Council’s 4.refusal of permission.” (not sure what the 4. before 'refusal' is for though.)


We have 6 weeks from the 15th July to send in further comments to be taken into account by the appeal hearing. As it is now over two weeks since the 15th, this means we have less than 4 weeks.

Readers will be aware that the same applicant has recently submitted a second application to turn the building into a Mosque. While to most people this is a second try at the first application with a few adjustments, the blog understands that in the eyes of the law it seen as a completely new, different and unrelated application. However this appeal is not about this new second application, it is going back to the first application which was refused by the Council back in December last year and asking for this decision to be overturned. The fact they are appealing one decision while putting in another application for pretty much the same thing makes it seem a bit complicated though.

If you can remember back to the original application, which was turned down because of the traffic and parking problems it would cause (before any talk of a Green Mosque prohibiting the use of cars), this is the refused application they are appealing against.

Instructions for sending in further comments are contained in the letter. Time to get writing...


Monday, 29 July 2013

Stolen Phone Tracked To Bush in Worcester Park

A stolen mobile phone was tracked down to bushes by the tennis courts at the Athletics club in Green Lane by police using a phone locater application.

The iphone, which was stolen from a teenage girl at McDonald’s in Cheam after her prom night on the 13th July was found discarded in the undergrowth near the tennis courts, possibly thrown from one of the platforms at Worcester Park station.

The girl, a student at Cheam High School, activated the ‘find my iPhone’ application for the phone after it went missing. The officers first thought it was in a residential road on the other side of the station. But when officers  re-ran the tracking application they found that the phone was located on the opposite side of the tracks.

With the battery life on the victim’s phone fast running out, officers started to search the area at the rear of Worcester Park Sports Club on Green Lane where the phone seemed to be. Officers set the application to prompt the phone to make a sound and found it in bushes by the tennis courts.

Officers from Cheam Safer Neighbourhoods Team are leading the search for the suspect. “This was really good teamwork by officers and the victim was very pleased to get her phone back,” said PC Gill De’Voreaux, of Cheam Safer Neighbourhoods Team. “The teenager has sent us a card to say thank you.” PC De’Voreaux added: “We will find the suspect for this crime - and we urge you to give yourself up and report to a police station.”



Friday, 26 July 2013

Where Am I?

I like maps. I like to know where I am and where other things are and to have this elaborate knowledge set out in an intuitive and aesthetically pleasing way. Maps do that. I like them.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I saw this new addition to the corner of Central and Washington Roads a day or so ago. In my view it is everything a local map should be. It looks nice, it is detailed and also gives a broad overview. It shows where it is situated and as a consequence where you are while looking at it. It is oriented in the direction of the actual roads and while perhaps its one omission is a distance scale in metres or miles etc., it does show distances in minutes to walk which is a unit of distance many people think in anyway. It even has a North pointer embedded at the bottom.

For me this is a good use of Boris’s money. It is an attractive addition that is both modern and timeless, a pointer to places of interest and a point of interest in itself, of great practical usefulness and visual appeal. Central Road, I think we have arrived (or at least we are moving in the right direction.)

Am I revealing a hint of geekyness here? I also like clocks…


And yes I am bracing myself for the inevitable comment, “Its just a map!”

Update (28th July)

Several more of these have popped up up and down Central Road ('The High Street' for those requiring this clarification) and it's extension, Cheam Common Road (for those who enjoy getting the technicalities right). I have seen the one on the corner of Green Lane (also spotted by Scrapper), and one at the North Cheam crossroads near the post office (also spotted by Ian). According to readers they are also near the Lindsay Road bus stop (also thanks Ian - I missed seeing that one), in the Avenue (thanks Karen) and near the North Cheam Sainsbury's (thanks 'You are here').

Obviously the most important one is the Green Lane one, being about the position where visitors to our grand village who have just got off the train will stop and think, 'now where do I have to go?'


Conservatives Celebrate By-Election Victory in Kingston

Kingston's newest Councillor, Terry Paton
The Conservatives have won the Council seat vacated by the Ex Lib Dem Council leader Derek Osbourne when he was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children last month.

Ex-policeman and business owner Terry Paton won the Beverley ward by-election for the Conservatives, soundly beating the Liberal Democrats in what was once a safe Lib Dem seat.

The huge swing of 9.6% from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives  was only dwarfed by the even bigger swing of 15.7% from the Liberal Democrats to Labour who have gone from being out of the race to being nearly level with the Lib Dems.

The Lib Dems ran a nasty campaign which included a last minute leaflet saying the Conservatives were going to build high rise flats in the area, a completely unfounded allegation.  However local people gave Terry Paton, who had organised several community events the benefit of the doubt and elected him as their new local Councillor on Kingston Council.

The final number of votes was as follows:

  • Conservatives: 1,033
  • Liberal Democrats: 760
  • Labour: 717
  • UKIP: 223
  • Green: 207



Thursday, 25 July 2013

A Trip Down Memory Bus Route


How much do you know about the 213 bus? Amy Graham is an MA student at Kingston University and is researching that very subject.

Amy is doing a course called 'Heritage: Contemporary Practice' and also happens to work for Kingston Museum and the Heritage Service. For her MA individual project she has decided to collect information, memories and stories about the 213 bus and would like to hear from any blog readers with interesting information or good stories about the 213.

Amy also has a blog on the subject which is www.213bus.wordpress.com. She is also looking at other themed trails such as 'World War 213' and even a little celebratory exhibition if she can collect enough material.

So if you dear reader can help shine some light on the history of the 213 bus and related information please let Amy know. You can contact her directly at 213bus@gmail.com or through the blog. Or better still share your memories on here!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Broken Bus Blocks Brinkley


This evening at about half past eight, the 213 bus heading up Central Road broke down opposite Brinkley Road and was still there an hour later, and could possibly still be there now.

The driver told the blog that the catalytic converter needed replacing and although it was an easy thing to replace, they couldn’t get under the bus to do it while it was on the road. He was therefore waiting patiently for the bus tow truck to come and take the bus away to where they could get underneath and fix it.

In the meanwhile cars have had to drive around the bus in central road (nothing new there) and are also having to squeeze through the tiny gap left by the bus to get into Brinkley Road. Getting out of Brinkley Road is another matter.

The driver said that he tried to manoeuvre the bus further past Brinkley Road but it just wouldn’t go any further.



RIP WP Mini Mart

16th May 2013 – 23rd July 2013


This blog is sorry to report the sad demise of the WP Mini Mart after a brief two month struggle to survive in Central Road.

The ‘Mart as it had become fondly known closed its doors for the last time after a final day’s trading on Monday the 22nd of July just a little over two months after opening its doors as reported by this blog.

The blog understands that the owners had been given 6 months rent free to help grow the business but even that wasn’t enough to keep the doors open.

Doomed from the start?

This blog is always sad to see independent businesses go under but would like to suggest that the future tenants take into account a couple of what I think are basic principals before pouring their life savings into a new venture.

  • Don’t just offer the same stuff already available in half a dozen other shops within 100 metres. If people want to buy that stuff they will go where they have been going for years already.
  • Fill your shop. Nothing screams ‘temporary’ more than under used space in a shop. One drinks fridge, a couple of shelves and stands along the walls and a sweet counter in front of the till doesn't look or feel like a ‘complete’ shop. Nor does it make me want to come in and find out what interesting things I might discover in there.

I hope this doesn’t come across as patronizing but I am sick of seeing shops open and then close so quickly. Having once run a small business myself I know how much people have to invest personally as well as financially to try to get any business off the ground and of course they lose all of it with no compensation if the business fails.

Readers may be interested that Scola are running a program called Shine to help grow businesses in the local area. If you are running or are thinking of starting a local business you might want to find out more about what they are offering and can do so here: http://www.scola.ac.uk/shine/

Travellers Try Manor Park


The extended family of Irish Travellers who graced the Worcester Park Tavern with their presence (and their rubbish) back in April has had a go at moving to Manor Park this evening (Tuesday - now technically yesterday evening). The only thing is that the police managed to get there before they could get all their caravans in and so while four caravans have set up house at the back of the park, the others were turned away at the gate by the police.

Council officers from the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames, in whose area the park is, have now taken over guarding the entrance to the park in Malden Road but there is still a police presence within the park grounds.

The travellers told the blog that people should respect their privacy and that it was their custom to live this way and we should not object to them staying there. They were generally friendly in a slightly menacing sort of way. I couldn’t help being glad the police weren’t too far away!

Update (28th July)

You may have read it in the Kingston Guardian already but just in case you haven’t, the travellers in Manor Park were moved on. They were escorted out of the park and out of Kingston borough by police at around 11pm on Thursday evening (25th July) using section 61 powers.


The owners of the Hawthorne Woods attached to the park and who have flattened the area, apparently for allotments, are being blamed for letting them in to begin with because they apparently removed a council fence allowing the travellers to drive their caravans into a public park. The council is considering suing the owners. 


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cut Cable Update


Yesterday this blog reported the cut cables in Central Road affecting local business.

A BT engineer arrived this morning to have a look and report back on the situation so it can be assessed and the next step determined.

Jovauehn Henderson from BT told the blog that having seen what was cut, people at head office needed to determine whether the pavement needs to be dug up or not in order to replace the cables. There are cables going in three different directions. In some cases it might be just a matter of pulling new cable through existing conduits but this can’t be determined until the plans have been looked at. It also depends on if there has been any internal damage to the conduits.

Several cables were cut but it seems none were actually stolen however there is not enough protruding cable to just join them back together safely so new cables will need to be pulled through. The work will need to be done either by a secondary BT team or by a contractor.

According to Jovauehn, if it is determined that the work will be easy and they get a secondary team out quickly, it might be finished by tonight or more likely tomorrow. However if they find they need to dig up the pavement to re-lay conduit and cables it could take over a week, especially as planning permission is needed from the Council before they can start.

Cut, not stolen

It has been suggested that just cutting the cable is a strategy often used by cable thieves. Sometimes they cut the cable first and then leave quickly because it triggers off alarms and can bring police down to the site. Then they come back later once it’s all quietened down to finish the job. We probably all want to be vigilant in watching for anyone going back and stealing the cables but this gets a bit tricky because genuine BT workers and contractors will be doing very similar stuff.

Jovauehn told the blog that everyone working on it must have an ID tag but that criminals often produce their own ID and some even go to the trouble of getting vans painted up as BT vans so nobody questions them. He said only a manager who knew the actual people and knew what teams were working where would really be able tell a real engineer fixing the problem from a bogus one stealing cable. Although the number plate of the van would give it away if this was checked.

Making do

Meanwhile Pizza Express are making do with a manual system as they have no computer system. They have organised their phone to be diverted to mobiles so you can still order and book. The two banks are open but very limited in what services they can offer and the residents above the shops are without telephone or internet.

Hopefully it won’t take too long to fix.

Update (26th July)

Status: Mostly fixed. BT turned up yesterday (Thursday 25th) and managed to get services up and running again to the affected businesses. Natwest had all but their telephones restored around lunchtime yesterday. They are hoping to be connected to the telephone network again soon. Pizza Express had all their services restored around 4pm but the phones were intermittent. BT came back this morning to sort that out. Luckily it seems no digging up of the pavement was required.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Cut Cable Cuts Business


A hand full of businesses in Central Road have lost their internet and telephone services due to a cable theft on Saturday morning.
Notice at Santander

Both NatWest and Santander, lost their services at around 11:30 Saturday morning as copper cable was cut and stolen in broad daylight from busy Central Road.

As one of the ladies in a very empty NatWest told the blog, there have been so many road works around the area that people dressed as workmen and taking cable just wouldn’t be noticed.

BT have made it a priority to fix the cable and hope to start tomorrow (Tuesday) morning although they have had to apply for planning permission to do the necessary digging. It is likely to take at last half a day. It is hoped then that services will be up and running again tomorrow afternoon at best.

Thanks to blog reader Sue who first spotted this (or at least let me know!).  She asks: "Along the same line do you think Papa Johns would give me loads of pizza if I turned up outside with a moped with a box on the back?"



Press My New Buttons


Thanks to a blog reader who spotted the new Lloyds bank machine in Central Road on Friday. Apparently Lloyds are upgrading all their machines. This one was done late last week. (Just in case you wanted to know.)


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Pushing For Crossrail 2 Link at Upgraded Station


As many readers will know, Worcester Park station is at the beginning of a major upgrade at the moment and may be a station stop on the planned Crossrail 2 project.

The upgrade began with the platforms being extended down the ‘other’ end and work is set to begin tomorrow morning (Monday 21st July) on the ‘Access for All’ works which will involve building a new footbridge with lifts and ramps and should be completed next March (2014). Anyone who normally parks at Worcester Park station should note that several parking bays will be suspended during the construction works so don’t expect to find a space as easily.

Crossrail 2

Since the Mayor, Boris Johnson launched the Crossrail 2 consultation in May, Worcester Park has never made it onto the list of stations where the trains will be stopping. Instead Worcester Parkers get to stand
on the platform and wave to the Crossrail 2 passengers as they speed through the station on their way from Motspur Park to Epsom or Chessington South, however that may be about to change.

At last Wednesday’s London Assembly (Mayor’s Question Time) meeting, our London Assembly member (on the Sutton side), Steve O’Connell asked Boris Johnson, “Whether we can ensure that Crossrail 2 comes to and stops at Worcester Park.”

       Boris with Steve O'Connell AM       
The Mayor paid tribute to Mr O’Connell’s work on extending transport links in south London and said that, “We are consulting on the route now. Your point about Worcester Park is well taken.”

Mr O'Connell also pushed for the tramlink to be extended so that it connects Worcester Park and Sutton. (If you’re very interested you can read the transcript yourself here - the important bit starts on page 14).

As part of the consultation, the London TravelWatch Board will be meeting this Tuesday (23rd July) to discuss (amongst other things) the proposed Crossrail 2 scheme.  The meeting will go from 9.30am to approximately 12 noon. The agenda and papers for the meeting can be found here.
'Self' with Boris in Sutton
You can follow live tweets from the meeting using the hashtag #ltwboard.  You can also use this hashtag to send them comments on the proposal.

Pressure has been brought to bear  from other quarters too. Wearing my Local Tory campaigner hat I have been lobbying Mr O’Connell about this and took the opportunity to bend Boris's ear in Sutton a few weeks ago, telling him that "Crossrail 2 trains need to be stopping at Worcester Park." Sutton Council have also said they want Crossrail 2 trains to stop at Worcester Park.




Saturday, 20 July 2013

Sinkhole Update


For those requesting an update on the works that have been going on outside Worcester Park Station to fix the collapsed piece of roadway, this blog can report the following:

From the surface the work looks completed (as shown above). However it needs to be properly inspected before it can receive the rubber stamp of finishedness. A couple of hundred metres up the road a team from Thames Water and Metrorod are preparing to do just that. 
By now (just after midnight Friday night/Saturday morning) they will have switched on their own set of two way traffic lights more or less opposite St John’s Church Hall, and started the job of pushing a camera up the pipe to see from the inside if it really is fixed. The gentleman in charge told me that this is not a quick job, it needs to clean as it goes and will probably take all night. They were just waiting for the traffic to subside before starting so as to keep disruption to a minimum.

If they find that the pipe is indeed fixed properly then they will take away all the traffic blocking stuff and 4 way lights etc. as quickly as possible. My original fear that they hadn’t quite finished by 5pm so decided to leave it all up for the weekend to come and take it all down on Monday morning was thankfully refuted.

Of course if they find it is not fixed properly then we are going to have to grit our collective teeth for a little longer while they do it all again. Hopefully this will not be the case.

Update (20th July - later in the day)

Packing up the play equipment















Phew! Well it all seems like it was fine down there because this morning they came and packed away the automotive obstacle course and cleared the road so we can all enjoys our trips to and from Kingston, New Malden and the A3 at 3 mph again rather than 0.3 mph. Happy days!


Friday, 19 July 2013

Tomorrow In Worcester Park

There are a a couple local events going on tomorrow (Saturday 20th July) in and around Worcester Park so I thought I might mention them here.

Firstly going on up the Road in North Cheam from 9:30 until 1:30pm is the regular Farmers Market.

And from 11 until 3pm there is Craft Fayre at Worcester Park Library.

If I have left any other events out, please let me know!


Attack Of The Purple Penned Idiots

The old Worcester Park Tavern
If there’s one way to lose my respect pretty quickly it is to tell me you are a graffiti ‘tagger’. The only people who like seeing it are the taggers themselves getting their little ‘thrill’ out of seeing their own tags and hopping other taggers will notice and recognise them. For everyone else it is right in that place where immaturity, arrogance and contempt all overlap. It is right up there with fly tipping for quickly altering the character of an area in a harmful direction, possibly even worse because it is harder to get rid of, easier to do and is done with intent rather than for convenience.

I don't mind the artistic stuff when there is obvious talent, but the shabby repetitive scrawls are of no benefit to anyone.

Unfortunately both the old Worcester Park Tavern and the station have suffered from this recently. I would agree with fellow Worcester Park commentator, @WorcesterPkInfo who recently tweeted: “Someone with time on their hands! If you know who, please let us know.”

I hope this is not a sign of things to come and that this is painted over very quickly so as not to attract similar vermin. (Yes - I really don't like them.) Let's not let Worcester Park decline into one of 'those' graffiti ridden areas.
'Photoshopped' version of above

If you see anyone doing this it is a ‘crime currently being committed’ and so calling the Police on 999 is justified and advised. If you know anything about who has done this please call 101 to let the Police know or you can let them know anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Rant over.




Thursday, 18 July 2013

Finally Fixing The Hole


Well there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the large hole in the road outside Worcester Park Station is being fixed. The bad news is that it is causing traffic mayhem of an order of magnitude greater than just the usual traffic mayhem.

Work began at around 11 o’clock this morning and is scheduled to be finished tomorrow evening. A four way temporary traffic signal has been put in place and all the crossing points over Malden Road to the station have been closed.

The hole, which is the result of a collapsed sewer, opened up at the beginning of last week and it has apparently taken this long for Thames Water and Metrorod (the contractor doing the work) to get the necessary permission from the two local Councils and the other various necessary bodies to start the work of digging up the road and replacing the pipe. According to the gentleman who was supervising their lunch break today (or it might have been a tea break) it takes that long for all the paperwork to go through the system.

The resulting traffic was banked all the way up Cheam Common Road as far as Farm Road when I went past and this was at a usually benign part of the day traffic wise. This in itself has led to 'yellow box' hogging at Green Lane and incidents of shouting a swearing at other drivers (is that classed as road rage?). I don’t know if it was a coincidence or because all the cars were stuck in the traffic but Stone Place Car Park was the emptiest I have ever seen it during the day. I would encourage everyone driving to avoid the area until the work is completed.

Thanks to a blog reader for some of the photos!




Update (around 5pm - 18th July)

The traffic is so bad toiday it has made the local papers as being the 'worst ever': http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/10557699.Businesses_complain_of__worst_ever__traffic_in_Worcester_Park/


Update (19th July around 5:45pm)

Thanks to a blog reader who reported that the hole was filled in by around 4pm. I went past at about 4:20 and noticed the yellow line had been repainted on the patch. So fingers crossed it won't be long.

The weirdest thing was that this afternoon Central Road was almost deserted. It looked as if it was a bank holiday. All the traffic is stuck on the other side of the road works snaking its was down Malden Road  so very little can actually get through into Central Road, leaving it like a ghost town.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Central Road Cyclo-paths


A week ago I was a victim of what seems to be an increasing problem in Central Road - that of adult cyclists riding at speed along the pavement. While I was not hit, it was a little close for comfort, and the footpath was fairly busy, meaning anyone of the pedestrians going about their daily business could have been hurt.

Luckily I had my camera at the ready and managed to snap the above picture before it was too late.

Coincidentally I was looking through the letters page on the Sutton Guardian website earlier today and saw a letter from a concerned Worcester Park Shopper who was nearly knocked over by "6 youths aged about 18 years old, absolutely speeding down the pavement weaving in and out of pedestrians" as they rode down towards the Midas Touch pub and round the corner out of sight.

Do you think this is becoming a big problem in the area? And does anyone know who it as that I managed to snap last week?



Unexpected Honour At The Library


I was flattered to see the blog being exhibited in the library the other day as I walked in. Understandably it was the story about them trying to turn the top section of the car park into a Library Garden and was part of a display about the proposal, but it was very cool to walk past and see my work put on display at the entrance there.

Now that I have written about this on the blog, will the library put a poster of this posting in the library as well? And if they do what happens if I then blog about that... and so on? Will it eventually form an infinite time loop? Quick, back to the Tardis before all of time implodes…


Standing The Test Of Time?


























One thing I would like to hope about all this money being spent in Central Road is that the people who are being trusted to make the decisions have the relevant knowledge and experience to get the engineering stuff right.

Last week I was contacted by a blog reader who said:
"The two new crossing that they just finished building outside Rumours and by Balmoral Road already have cracks in the materials.... What’s it been, 10 days before the cracks begin to show? Shoddy isn’t the word!"
It would be understandable if only one of the new crossings was breaking up as this could be down to a specific flaw in those materials or that part of the road. But for both crossings, at about the same position and after only a month? This would suggest to me a serious lack of the understanding required by the decision makers when designing or implementing these crossings.

This begs the question, how many other aspects of these Central Road improvements will start to fall apart before long? And why hasn't this been managed properly? Is it even being managed properly now?

It’s great that it looks nice but to spend a million quid for something to look nice for a few months and then fall to pieces and be an eyesore for years until someone else fronts up another million quid doesn't strike me as being the very best value for money.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Night Bus To Croydon Update

Blog readers may recall that Steve O'Connell, our London Assembly member was looking into whether the 213 bus could once again become a night bus all the way through to Croydon.

The Blog can reveal that, having received feedback from many quarters, Mr O'Connell sent a letter last month to Sir Peter Hendy, the Commissioner for Transport asking that the N213 bus be reinstated, saying that as this was the only public transport route at night between Sutton & Croydon from Kingston, a gap in public transport at night had opened up in the area.

He argued that the feedback he has received attests to the fact that the N213 was in fact a busy bus route, offering young people a cheap, safe and quick method to get home from a night out in Croydon, Sutton or Kingston and furthermore, it clearly offered a safer means of travel for women than using an illegal mini-cab service, a taxi now being the only way to commute between these three locations at night.

Mr O'Connell also made the point that bus passengers have found the old N213 service a cost effective means of getting from Worcester Park to East Croydon station and thence on to Gatwick, in order to catch early morning flights as the cost of an Oyster card payment weighs favourably against a £35.00 taxi fare.

In the reply that Mr O'Connell received back from Leon Daniels, the Managing Director of Surface Transport for the Mayor, Mr Daniels stated that the average overnight usage of route N213 between Sutton and Croydon was approximately 60 trips per night on weekdays and 120 at the weekends which approximates to 30,000 journeys per year. By contrast, the Kingston to Sutton section was carrying around 60,000 passengers per year.

He said that if the 213 night service to Croydon was re-extended, this would require an annual subsidy of £140,000 of public funds, representing a subsidy of over £3.50 per additional passenger trip and unfortunately this cost could not be justified.

Mr Daniels did however say that they are mindful of the calls for more night-time services and are looking into whether a less-costly option is available. One possible option they are considering is to run some later journeys on the 154 route, as this also links Croydon and Sutton, and currently has its last departure from Croydon scheduled for half-past midnight.


In Conclusion

So it would appear unlikely that we will get a night bus all the way through to Croydon from Worcester Park but we may be able in the future to change at Sutton for a similar service.

What are people's thoughts on this?


Sale of Thrones


This has been known about for a while but as several readers have contacted me about it I guess we should all be privy to the fact that ‘By order of The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames’, you can now own your very own Plough Green public Lavatories.
All you need to do is front up for the bog standard auction on the 31st of July, flush with approximately 30 grand (or at least ready to make a deposit) and if no one wants to spend a penny more than you do, you will be the proud new owner of this local outhouse. You might even be able to develop at your own convenience.

For more information please see: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/29721106

Thanks to all who wrote in!