TfL consultation: Curtailment of bus routes 171 & 172


As previously picked up by the MP for Lewisham Deptford, TfL propose to curtail routes 171 and 172 in Central London among many other changes. This shouldn’t affect our area too much, but I will take the opportunity to kindly ask for an extension of route 172 to Bell Green in return.

Any views can be submitted until 9 November 2018.

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As was pointed out last night at the Forest Hill society AGM, the one issue that might arise is if it costs more to change bus at Elephant. This would only happen if the journey took more than 1 hour. Looking at the bus timetable it is unlikely that this journey should take more than 1 hour, but in peak times TfL journey planner estimates just over 50 minutes journey time from Honor Oak. If there were serious traffic disruption in New Cross or diversions then it isn’t impossible for the journey time to be more than one hour - but it would be rare.

On the 171 that might not be too bad as you would be able to get off earlier than E&C and change to other buses into Central London (i.e. 176) but the 172 doesn’t really follow the route of many other buses into Central London.

Extending the 172 to Bell Green would probably make this problem more likely as it may well take 1 hour to travel from Bell Green to Elephant and Castle during a heavy rush hour.


I’m really concerned about these changes. I rely on these two buses to get me as close to central London as possible as it’s the cheapest way of travelling. As Michael pointed out though, that due to traffic, sometimes the journey can be very long, and having to then having to change at E&C would make the journey even more of a pain. I also rely on the route for night buses, as I often have to get to work for a 5.30am start for Central London filming locations. We have copious buses locally going ‘out of London’ but these two routes were the only one’s from Stondon Park that go anywhere near Central London. I often take them to the Strand in order to walk up to Covent Garden etc.

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I just need to add a note to this. So am I to understand that yet again, a transport link in South London that takes us over and ‘across the river’ to the north side is yet again being terminated ‘south of the river’? Years ago, from Honor Oak Park, we could get a train direct all the way to Charing Cross - after rush hour every day of the week and all weekend. That then got scrapped - our line got pushed out and relegated to terminate at all times ‘south of the river…i.e. London Bridge’. Are our buses getting the same treatment?


is this going to effect the N171 too?


it’s taken me an hour to get to elephant roundabout from forest hill, it’s not inconceivable. It was just a normal Saturday night too.


TfL have published their consultation report and next steps:

The proposed changes to bus routes 171 and 172 will go ahead from 15 June. They are going to move the location of the 171 terminating bus stop at Elephant & Castle to make changing to other routes easier. They’re also going to introduce a Hopper Fare refund for specific journeys that could exceed 60 minutes, including some for 171 and 172.


I’m rather pleased by their new Hopper Fare refund policy - it feels like it was designed to address the specific concern I had with the reduced routes.

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