403 bus diversion latest - UPDATED
17/01/2019 09:43:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
The ward team and Steve O'Connell, GLA Member, have continued to work with the local residents' associations to put pressure on TfL over the diversion to the 403 bus which means two miles of its route through Sanderstead receives no service.
This is the response from TfL, which I have considerable sympathy with:
As mentioned previously, the disruption is due to emergency gas works with multiple leaks having been identified on Selsdon Road at its junction with Croham Road. Croydon Council have contacted us last week to inform that in order to facilitate the works, they would need to put a directional closure in for all traffic heading southbound. Following on from this, our Network Traffic Controllers were tasked to investigate whether Brighton Road and Upland Road could be used to get the buses back to line of route on Selsdon Road. After detailed checks and risk assessments, we were advised that it would not be possible to use these roads as the buses would not be able to make the turn safely from Upland Road onto Selsdon Road.
We then enquired with the Council whether the diversion could be reversed, ie divert buses coming northbound, as this would have allowed us to use Junction Road which is much wider and could be used by buses. However, the Council advised that due to the location of the leaks this option would not be feasible.
As a result, the only diversion possible was the one that we have already put in place. This is due to low bridges on Selsdon Road, Sanderstead Road and Croham Road.
With regards to the specific suggestion to divert the buses via Croham Manor Road and Normanton Road, we have assessed this option however this is not feasible due to low trees, issues with parking and turning manoeuvres that would be required from Normanton Road onto Hurst Way or Hurstview Road and Croham Manor Road onto Selsdon Road.
With regards to supplying single deck buses, we have spoken to both operators for the 403 and 412 buses and they have confirmed that unfortunately there are no single deck buses available that could be used on the route, particularly on such short notice given the emergency works. Had these been planned works, we would look at potentially providing a shuttle service or single deck buses but these require some lead time to plan, organise, source and finance.
We apologise again for the inconvenience this temporary disruption has caused. We have spoken with Croydon Council again this morning and reiterated the urgency and the problems that these works are causing and have asked them to ensure that the contractors are doing all they can to get these works completed as soon as possible.
Whilst it is very frustrating for passengers, I can see TfL's point of view here. I have been trying to get a response from the Council team that agrees works with the utility companies for over a week now, but they are not responding to my requests.
TfL believe that the works are now scheduled to come to an end on 20 Jan, which is better than we were first led to believe. I've driven past the site many times over the last week but regret to say I have yet to see anyone working on it. But we won't give up, we'll keep trying to get the council to take this more seriously than it seems to be at the moment.
4pm Thur 17 Jan
The officer co-ordinating the closure tells me:
Regarding the diversion, it was put in this way due to the proximity to the roundabout. If it had been a few meters back then we would have had the closure the other way and used Junction Road as the diversion for buses. We will keep this in mind if this situation is to happen again.
The extended duration of these works is due to a high number of leaks being discovered, 2 of which required specialist repair kits that had to be measured for each joint. I have spoken to SGN this morning and they have informed me they will be off the road Sunday night. I will be instructing them to liaise with Tfl buses to have the bus route / stops back to normally immediately following the road reopening.