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?