Green light in Wood Green
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FIRST STAGE OF LTB BUS RESHAPING PLAN
by Derek Moses • The long-awaited reorganization of bus services in the Wood Green /Turnpike Lane area of North London will come into effect on Saturday, September 7, announced London Transport on Saturday. This will mark the introduction of part of phase one of London Transport's Bus Reshaping Plan, delayed by the prolonged dispute with London bus crews over a pay and productivity deal, finally resolved on July 15.
The large reorganization of local services will include the introduction of more than 40 new-type, one-man, single-deck, large capacity standee buses on six new flat-fare routes, four of which will provide highfrequency, short-distance journeys for commuters going to Wood Green, Turnpike Lane and Finsbury Park tube stations. The services will also act as feeders for the main trunk bus routes into the West End and City. In the off-peaks they will run for passengers travelling to the Wood Green High Road shops. Two of the routes will operate on Saturdays only, mainly for shoppers.
Turnpike Lane tube station will become the focal point for public transport in the area and the adjacent bus station will be the starting or finishing point for the majority of local bus services. The bus station has been remodelled and roofed over so that passengers will be able to make bus-to-bus and rail-to-bus interchange completely under cover.
The reorganization will affect 16 existing double-deck services operating over 300 buses on more than 180 miles of routes. Two services will be completely withdrawn and many sections of the remaining services will also be withdrawn or reorganized. Services 29 and 141, linking the area with the West End and the City respectively, will be improved and turned into key trunk routes, starting from Wood Green.
A marked similarity to the Red Arrow buses already operating between Victoria and Marble Arch will be evident in the new single-deckers, which will seat 25 passengers and have room for 48 standing passengers. All the seats will be provided in the rear portion of the buses, behind the central exit. Passengers will enter at the front of the vehicles and pass through twin, coin-operated gates, released on the payment of the fare6d for adults and 3d for children.
One of the fare-collection machines will have a special slot for dealing with pre-paid tickets, issued mainly by education authori
ties to scholars. These tickets will be marked in sections for 10 journeys. When inserted in the slot, the ticket will be "read" electronically and, provided it is valid, the gate will be released. At the same time, one journey section will be cut off the ticket.
A London Transport spokesman said this week that the flat-fare buses would introduce a system of fare collection quite new to most passengers. He appealed to them for their patience and co-operation during the early stages of the changeover, and to have the correct fare ready, although change would be available from the driver if necessary. I can just imagine the confusion experienced by a woman passenger with two large shopping bags and two young children, looking for sixpences and threepenny pieces, coping with the ticket-issuing machines and the turnstile entrances, only to find an absence of seats in the main part of the bus.
The new flat-fare routes will be numbered WI to W6 (-W" for Wood Green area) and will link places such as Edmonton, Muswell Hill, Alexandra Palace, Northumberland Park, Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green with Wood Green and Turnpike Lane.
It was in 1966 that London Transport announced the bold, four-point plan "Reshaping London's Bus Services" (CM September 16 1966). The plan will eventually affect the entire operation of London's central (red) buses and lead to complete
one-manning. It involves the introduction of many standee, dual-entrance singledeckers—but are these the type of vehicle to encourage the public back from the use of private cars? It will be very interesting to see how the Wood Green area scheme is received by the public.