We are grateful to Mr Richard Pywell for the following letter …
“Road works (replacing a gas main) will be taking place from this Monday 27th July for a period of approximately six weeks at the junction of Wickham Road, Bridle Road, and Monks Orchard Road. The northern part of Bridle Road will be closed with bus routes 194 and 198 diverted.
“Bus route 356 which uses Monks Orchard Road will also be affected, and queues on Wickham Road resulting from the road works may also cause delays on route 119, although that bus will remain on its normal route.
“Route 194 will run direct along Wickham Road between Shirley Library and Monks Orchard Road, missing out stops in Hartland Way, West Way, Shirley Way, and Bridle Road. It will instead serve all stops along Wickham Road.
“Route 198 will be diverted at Shirley Library to serve Hartland Way, West Way, and Shirley Way, serving all stops in those roads en route to its normal terminus at Shrublands.
“Five bus stops in the northern half of Bridle Road will be closed, with passengers directed to the nearest stops at Wickham Road (for bus 194) or Shirley Way (for bus 198). Bus stops in the southern part of Bridle Road will remain open but will only be served by route 198.
“Passengers from the Shrublands area or the south side of Spring Park wishing to travel to West Wickham, Beckenham etc. will need either to walk between the Shirley Way/Bridle Road junction and Wickham Road, or will have to travel to Shirley Library on the 198, then change buses there onto the 194 or 119 back to West Wickham. Changing buses will not cost extra thanks to the “Hopper Fare” facility on Oyster Cards which allows you to change buses as many times as you need up to one hour from tapping in your card on the first bus.
“Bus 356 will not be able to use its normal terminus at the green by Monks Orchard Road. Posters at the bus stops state that it will instead finish and start its route on Wickham Road at the stop in front of the Baptist Church, returning northbound (towards Eden Park, Elmers End etc) via West Wickham High Street then Station Road and Beckenham Road. It appears that southbound journeys towards Shirley will still travel via Monks Orchard Road, but the notices do not confirm that.
“The long northbound diversion may result in route 356 buses having to depart from Shirley earlier than normal so a temporary timetable may be published. If so it will be posted on this website.
“Users of Android phones may find the “Probus London” free app useful as it gives easy to use Countdown style real-time bus departure information about each bus stop, using information direct from Transport for London’s own website. It at least confirms that a bus is on its way to you, even if it can’t predict exactly how long the bus might be delayed in the road works! Apple users can use a similar app called ‘London Live Bus Countdown’.”
We are happy to add this clarification to our earlier website post