Friday, 27 June 2014

S3 Green Lane Hail And Ride Reinstated


The S3 is allowed to stop at the end of Green Lane again. After a campaign led by Steve O'Connell (Sutton's London Assembly member), yours truly and with help from blog reader Michelle, we managed to get confirmation from the police that buses would not receive tickets for stopping on the double yellow lines to drop off and pick up passengers.

Bus drivers have been given their freedom again to stop along Green Lane where it is safe to do so. It has been emphasised that sometimes it isn't safe to stop too close to the junction with Central Road but this is now being left to drivers' discretion.

Steve O’Connell met with Transport for London and the the police to resolve outstanding traffic issues and to identify suitable locations to institute hail and ride. Two location on Green Lane have been identified where it was most suitable for the S3 to stop on a Hail and Ride basis. The operator confirmed they would encourage drivers to stop at these locations to minimise traffic conflict in the area. These are:
  • Towards New Malden – on the approach to the traffic lights just past the last residential property on the road
  • Towards Sutton -  just before the start of the parking section by the junction of Beverley Gardens
Huw Barrington, commercial director at Epsom Coaches who run the S3 service was very pleased with the outcome. He told the blog,
"Thanks to your campaigning we managed to get the issue moved up the agenda."
Mr Barrington also said he would prefer to see actual bus stops replace the Hail and Ride sections where possible. It was originally a hail and ride section because the S3 bus was not well used in the area but it's popularity has increased steadily since then. Transport for London has now undertaken to work with the London Borough of Sutton towards introducing additional bus stops along the route.

Steve O’Connell made the comment:
“I am delighted at the successful resolution of this issue. The decision to listen to the lobbying of myself and others will reap real benefits for local residents who use this important route. I will be keeping a watchful eye on this particular route to ensure that Transport for London follow through on their commitments to improve the S3 service.”
The story was also reported by the Sutton Guardian: http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/11288394.Campaigners_hail_Worcester_Park_bus_victory/

This should have been such a simple thing to resolve. Michelle got confirmation from Sergeant Colin Buchan of Sutton's Safer Transport Team back in April that buses could legally stop on yellow lines (single or double). It's a shame it has taken so long and has had to resort to questions from me at full council and Steve O'Connell getting involved. In the end it is local residents who have paid the price.

Perhaps it might be time to look again at running the S3 on a Sunday. What do readers think of that idea?



3 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Alex said...

Firstly, though I don't use the S3, the service clearly a godsend to some of my more mature friends in the Worcester Park Ward, so congratulations and thank you!

Secondly, why oh why does so much time and effort have to go into something as simple as explaining to Sutton Council, (a) They have thrown a spanner into the works of a public service. And (b). Then having to justify removing the spanner?

Thirdly, even in the Sutton Guardian report, I can see no trace of any involvement by any of our three Worcester Park Ward Councillors! Were they not interested? If defending public services is beneath the people we elected, then we need a by-election - PDQ!

Lastly, after more than one accident, having to campaign long and hard, and then going to the lengths of a petition, we, in the Nonsuch Ward finally secured a desperately needed crossing . . . only for the (then even to be elected) Nonsuch Ward Lib Dem Candidates photographing themselves standing at the roadside, claiming the success of Sutton Council's engagement was all down to the efforts of themselves!

. . .So what's the betting the next piece of Lib Dem bumf through the door in the Worcester Park Ward will feature a photo of Worcester Park Ward's Councillors, (all looking eager and determined), standing next to an S3 bus in Green Lane? "Green Light to S3 stopping in Green Lane, thanks EXCLUSIVELY to your Lib Dem local Councillors" [There we are, I've even written the headline for them].

shelokay said...

I would just like to point that it was me who wrote a complaint to the police which got Sargent Colin Buchan involved and finally got things moving. Rather than just the bus company, TFL and the council all blaming each other..

Dave said...

I wonder if any councillors, of whatever persuasion, will show any interest in the E16 becoming 2-hourly each way from Monday 30th.
Quality Line call this "a new quality of service from Epsom Buses, your local bus company", referring to the new Hoppa bus recently introduced, but cynically ignoring the reduced service.
Presumably for an even better "quality of service" they will be considering withdrawing the service altogether!

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