Saturday, 20 February 2016

Proposed changes for route EL2 goes ahead

On November 25th 2015 I did an article about the proposed changes to the East London Transit services. The proposed changes have now been given a green light and will occur on 19th March 2016.

Updated 19 February 2016

Between November 2015 and January 2016 we consulted on proposed structural changes to the route EL2 and frequency increases to routes EL1 and EL2. Over 430 people responded to our consultation, and we have been carefully considering these responses since the consultation closed on 18 January. Thank you to everyone who took part.

We had a number of detailed responses, but generally most people supported both the structural changes to the route of EL2 and the proposed increase in frequency of buses for both routes.

Following the consultation, we have decided to proceed with these changes as detailed in the original proposals. The changes are planned to take effect from 19 March 2016.

In conjunction with these changes we also plan to bring the bus stops on the new section of route served by the EL2 up to East London Transit (ELT) standard by February 2017

For more detailed information on the consultation responses please download the reports below.

Route EL2 will run between Dagenham Dock station and Becontree Heath serving Barking Town Centre and Longbridge Road as they no longer serve the section from Barking to Ilford along Ilford Lane.

Also an increase of bus services for route EL1 and EL2.

So let's have a quick look at the issues raised document:

Re-routeing the EL2 will detrimentally affect existing users – e.g. passengers will no longer have a direct bus journey and be required to pay twice

The scheme would result in the loss of a direct bus route between Ilford/ Ilford Lane and locations east of Renwick Road. Currently there are around 160 such trips made between these locations on a typical weekday. This is about 1.5% of all trips made on route EL2. However, as many responses to consultation highlighted, we need to address crowding issues on route 5 along Longbridge Road. On route 5 alone, there are around 16,700 trips made per day on the section of Longbridge Road where the EL2 would be extended. For this reason, it is considered appropriate to continue with the proposal to re-route the EL2.

We understand that for those who would lose their direct bus journey, travel would be more complicated and some users would need to change buses, walk further to route EL1, and pay twice. However, the scheme does minimise the disruption to these passengers as frequency increases on routes EL1 and EL2 would mean wait times when changing buses would be reduced. In addition fares are currently capped after three bus journeys.

Since many transport services around the world have a smartcard ticketing system, TFL can implement a 1 hour transfer to enable people to transfer to another bus route without paying within an allocated time. TFL have a similar system with Tramlink which covers one transfer made between trams, or between trams and connecting bus routes 64, 130, 314, 353, 359, 433 and 464 which are made within 70 minutes of touching in to pay as you go at the start of your journey.

Another issue raised is: Concern over frequency and capacity on Ilford Lane.

Routes EL1, EL2 and 169 all serve Ilford Lane and together provide a bus every 3 minutes during the daytime. The scheme consulted on results in a reduction to a bus every 3-4 minutes on Ilford Lane. Ilford Lane would therefore continue to be a high frequency bus corridor. When initial responses received to the consultation raised these concerns, a further survey was undertaken to identify passenger demand on Ilford Lane. The survey results supported previous survey data that show the proposed frequency of a bus every 3-4 minutes on Ilford Lane would be sufficient to meet passenger demand without causing crowding.

Also, with the frequency change to the East London Transit routes we will see an increase in the Peak Vehicle Requirement for routes EL1 and EL2.

It's worth noting that the East London Transit has some parts of the route which have segregated roadways which they want to be classified as a Bus Rapid Transit system. There have been proposals to have more East London Transit routes but as it stands there are just two routes, but at least route EL2 is being extended from Barking to Becontree Heath.

I briefly mentioned the East London Transit proposals in my previous article.

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