Thursday 22 February 2024

Errors And Omissions

 PS : Postponed Subjects : Particular Snippets

SL3 Bromley to Thamesmead

This section of the non-Loop not-so-Super starts on Saturday 24th February. TfL reveals all on its web site, Wowsers!

New route SL3 introduced - 24 February 2024

Route SL3 will be introduced from Saturday 24 February.

fbb does wonder when the route will start!

Route SL3 will run as an express bus service between Bromley North Station and Thamesmead Town Centre via Bromley Town Centre, Chislehurst, Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, Bexleyheath Town Centre and Abbey Wood.

Route SL3 will run every 12 minutes during the daytime on Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes during the evening and all day on Sundays.

First buses will be timed to depart Bromley North Station at 0500 on all days of the week.

First buses will be timed to depart Thamesmead Town Centre at 0500 on all days of the week.

Last buses will be timed to depart Bromley North Station at 0030 on all days of the week.

Last buses will be timed to depart Thamesmead Town Centre at 0030 on all days of the week.

Well, if there is a verbose and complicated way of saying it, TfL will use it!

There then follows a long, long and even more verbose list of stops of which he few quoted below are just a brief extract.

Bus Stop A at Thamesmead Town Centre

Bus Stop SJ named Thamesmead / Carlyle Road/ located on Carlyle Road

It is good to know that the bus stop called Carlyle Road is located on Carlyle Road!

Bus Stop D on Harrow Manorway opposite Abbey Wood Station

Bus Stop BH at Bexleyheath Station

Bus Stop BL named Bexleyheath / Lion Road located on Bexleyheath Broadway

But the bus stop called Lion Road is located, NOT on Liom Road but on Bexleyheath Broadway.

TfL gives us its usual poor quality route map ...

... and what purports to be a timetable but isn't.
Maybe your elderly blogger is a bit on the dense side, but he could not find any start date for the SL3 on the TfL site.

Contrast and compare with Reading buses' 4/X4 as featured in an earlier blog. fb gives just and extract of the whole-toute map below.
And, of course, there are detailed maps of the busy/complex areas.
Reading also provides that which is forbidden to London users of the TfL wen site, namely ...
... a proper timetable.

Robert Munster had yet to post his fill set of SL timetable in various useful formats but Roger French sent fbb a link to the site.
The timetable, as with all routes on this system, shows all journeys and all stops ...
... which is OK for a Limited Stop service but really too much for a normal route with a hundred stops! The information is also cluttered by really irritating adverts which clog and slow access to the information you want.

The map is ...
... nuff said. It does enlarge to show every bus actually running, as below in Thamesmead.
Clearly this data is being delivered by a mindless computer rather than by someone who knows where the buses run, as they do in Reading.

A reminder of fbb's two Public Transport Information mantras ...

You can be either comprehensive OR comprehensible : never both together

Never let the technology tail wag the information dog.

If only TfL could do a proper job ...

Harry's Multicoloured Dream Map

One or two of fbb's readers were mystified by his poetic pastiche in a blog about new colours and new names for Overground lines. Here is the song from the show!
The story of Joseph from the book of Genesis is a truly remarkable account of the rise of a nomadic nobody to the portion of big cheese number 2 in Egypt, then one of the world's super powers.

Matching the tale of Jacob's rag bag of family farmers is, understandably, difficult - but history does tell us that at the time of the Bible narrative Egypt was recruiting people with business and technical skills from anywhere and everywhere to help then in their economic and political expansion.

Joseph, using hid God-given skills of the interpretation of dreams, was able to counteract the unmanageably cycles of plenty and famine that dominated Egyptian life at the time.

BUT ...

Joe never has a multicoloured dreamcoat ...
... not even a striped one, let alone the excesses of a theatrical production.
Dad's gift was an embroidered coat with long sleeves as seen below in a modern and trendy near-equivalent.
Early Bible translators did not actually know what sort of garment was being described, but geology, ethnology and historic technology has identified the garment given by a father to his firstborn (oldest son).

But Joseph was Jacob's eleventh son! And that was why the story turned nasty and not at all pretty.

But God had a good outcome planned ...

Joseph (renamed Zaphenath Panea in Egypt) would have needed to hire vast quantities of camels and donkeys (Egypt's equivalent of freight public transport) to gather the grain into his store rooms.

And Talking Of Superloop

Back at the beginning of February both Roger French (in blog) and Geoff Marshall (on video) were extolling the virtues of TfL's new SL5 from Croydon to Bromley. Geoff even offered a repurposed chocolate bar by way of celebration.
Chortle chortle!

Now that esteemed member of the Fourth Estate, The Guardian, has sent its man off to try out the SL5; He was not impressed by the vehicle quality ...
... but most of the article was "vox pop" from passengers happy to be quoted. One innocently made a telling comment about TfL's usual lack of publicity.
Note, "without knowing anything about it".

Others complained about the slowness of existing services pre SL5. One comment interested fbb muchly.
It is not clear where "from here" is and the 352 and 358 do run into Bromley ...
... but the roundabout at the junction of South Eden Road and Hayes Lane seems likely; quite close to Bromley.

However, the 352 and 358 do not serve Croydon, so hardly a fair comparison with the benefits of the faster SL5. A proper comparison, as per Geoff"s summary map, is with the 119 which is the all-stops slower route.
Another interviewee made a strange statement.
But there are no direct trains between Croydon and Bromley - you need either one or even two changes. And look at the fares!
It is cheaper with 2 changes -  but one minute slower!
Even the slow and tedious 119 is quicker than the train and, of course, costs only £1.75.
The 119 continues beyond East Croydon to South Croydon station and Croydon Airport.

fbb did intend to do a full contrast and compare but the main all-modes source, viz Traveline, seems totally unaware of the SL5!

In case you wondered, the 119 to Croydon Airport terminates at the Colonnades, a Shopping Centre ...
... opposite the former terminal building.
The only plane is rather well tied down!

Tomorrow we play the numbers game ...
... with Andy Burnham at the table!

 Next Manchester blog : Friday 23td Feb 


  1. I would suggest that the person mentioning the train option wasn't meaning a train between Bromley and Croydon (there's never been one), but rather options for people who live in the middle. Eden Park, perhaps.

  2., while obviously computer generated does a pretty good job where actual bus companies fail.
    And they do have an SL£ specific map at