(i) Update on the implementation of the New Addington Bus Review
The Chair invited Councillors Simon Hall and Louisa Woodley to give comments regarding the 64 bus route. Councillor Hall responded saying that there were a number of concerns relating to delays and traffic congestion on and around Overbury Crescent. There was no service along Vulcan Way and Goldcrest Way. The reliability of 64 bus route was poor around the estate and the introduction of traffic lights on Lodge Lane needs to be considered. The estate he stressed does in particular need a reliable service.
Councillor Louisa Woodley reported that the road from Goldcrest Way up the hill to Vulcan Way was very steep and caused a real problem for those with mobility issues and that TFL needed to address this. Other panel members agreed that this area was a real problem for the able bodied as well as those with mobility issues. Many e-mails have been sent outlining the extent of the problem. Many of her constituents have had to regularly wait a long time for the 64 bus and then when it did arrive it all too often was full. She had been late for a number of her own surgeries as a result of delays she had experienced. A number of representations had also come to her from other local ward councillors regarding the unreliability of the 64 bus route.
Charlie King suggested the 130 bus turning left instead of right at the top of the hill would help to alleviate the delay and congestion problem. He added that the bus route could terminate at Central Parade. However, he was advised that TfL had rejected this idea after this had been put forward by bus operators.
Tim Williams suggested that TfL needed to receive a formal written account of concerns endorsed by Councillors in order for TFL to undertake the necessary action. This account needed to give precise dates and times of particular problems encountered. He did say that the re-routing of the 64 service would be costly.
Tim Williams explained that a consultation process was under way on bus services between Vulcan Way and Goldcrest Way, to which he could send a link to PTLP members. The TfL view was that the gap did not represent a long distance and that there was little demand for a bus along it, although Panel Members stressed the need for it.
Councillor Hall reported that there had been representations made previously by Members of the Public and Local Councillors which had been dismissed by TFL.
Richard Simmons (Aviva) in responding directly to Councillor Woodley's comments said that there could be a number of reasons for the delays which could include Controller problems, interchanges and transfer points. They were now aware of the problems and looking at measures of improvement. The reopening of West Croydon Bus station as a containment point has greatly helped. Addington Village will no longer be used as a containment point. He stressed that his company were all about providing the best possible service but did accept that reliability was a problem.
Richard Simmons explained that the information on which the tender had been based had been inadequate. Schedulers were now compiling new routes to be paid for by Aviva. Bunching of buses is an inevitable problem, particularly at peak hours, but measures are being taken to tackle this problem. It is anticipated that a new schedule with improved running times will be available from January 2017. Data on the 64 route is regularly reviewed as a matter of course.
Councillors Woodley and Hall said that they were happy with the response given by Aviva which showed that the matter was being addressed as a priority. John Osborne welcomed the response in view of the fact that the new route had only been in place for 7 weeks. He asked that a report be submitted to the next meeting updating progress along with the new timetable. The Council he said would address the concerns directly with TFL and that he would undertake a scoping visit with regard to the 64 route.
Councillors undertook to formalise their complaints into a joint e-mail and to put forward some constructive suggestions for improvements to the route.
The Chair confirmed that a further update would be requested for the next meeting in February 2017.
(ii) The Condition of East Croydon Railway Station
Charlie King said that Southern Rail needed to improve signage on platforms as there were no visible signs that you had arrived at East Croydon station but that the general condition especially platforms 1& 2 had greatly improved.
(iii) Update on the rebuilding of West Croydon Bus Station
Several Panel members commented on how pleasing on the eye the station now looked. John Osborne asked for Countdown signs to be installed at the station. Tim Williams asked him to send him a request for these in writing. Stephen Aselford stated that there were long queues now as a result of the reduction of bus stops from 6 to 4 and asked for bus information signs to be reproduced as the font size was too small to read. Charlie King stated that the signs were sited too high and that wheel chair users could not see them. Danny Stephen (Tram Operations Ltd) said that tailbacks to get into the station were causing delays for trams and stated that he would be pressing for the entrance to be made into a yellow box junction.
John Osborne stated that he would be pressing TfLfor a crossing from the station despite the agency's reluctance to do so, to reduce the risk of accidents. This was strongly supported by Vincent Stops.
(iv) Update on TFL'S evaluation of Charlie King's proposals for bus services in South Norwood
Charlie King said he had meetings regarding this and several main roads still did not have a bus route. The TfL representative stressed that it was essential that the Council should formally support and be on board with any new scheme. Tim Williams reported that their revenue grant was being reduced to zero and that he would update the Panel on the implications of this in due course.
(v) Gaps in Bus Routes in Croydon
The Panel were informed that more focus was being given to routes to Croydon University Hospital. The Mayor of London is looking at moving more resources to outer London from the centre of the capital.Tim Williams (TfL) reported that Croydon had been one of the first authorities to have bus priority meetings and would therefore be one of the first boroughs to be called to the next round of meetings. Panel members thanked Charlie King for his expertise and suggestions for new routes to fill existing gaps in local bus services and for securing more focus in this area.
(vi) Temporary bus stops at Coulsdon bypass
The Panel were informed that routes 60, 405 and 423 had all been diverted along the Coulsdon bypass by TFL and that no temporary bus stops had been put in. Cllr Wright added that he had received numerous complaints from local residents regarding the lack of temporary bus stops and that the situation had got steadily worse over the last year, not just along the bypass but over the whole borough. He stressed that this should not happen in view of the long lead-in times for road works. John Osborne echoed these concerns and specified that the issue related to "dolly stops". He suggested that TfL might conduct a review of the use of dolly stops.Tim Williams agreed to speak to his colleagues in bus infrastructure and Operations and update to the next meeting.
(vii) Replacement Countdown sign at Croydon Flyover
John Osborne reported that this was due to be resolved as a matter of urgency.