Will it be ‘all change’ on the 139 bus?

TfL is consulting – for the second time recently – on changes to buses that run north from the Baker Street area (so not the C11 or 328).

The biggest change for West Hampstead is the proposal to extend the 139 route from West End Green to Golders Green.  This would have the benefit locally of removing the ‘ghost’ buses that run empty along Mill Lane as they return to the depot, and that have been such a bugbear; and it would also increase the frequency of buses between Golders Green and West Hampstead.

Proposed changes to 13, 82 , 113, 139 and 189 bus routes.  Image: TFL

Proposed changes to 13, 82 , 113, 139 and 189 bus routes. Image: TFL

The other change that would affect us less directly would be to remove route 82, but increase the frequency of the 13. In the consultation in the spring, TfL proposed removing route 13 but this caused some uproar and was dropped as a political hot potato (in the run up to the mayoral election).

Same plan, different number. Changes to route 13 would effectively make it the new 82. The 13, which currently stops at Golders Green, would go on to North Finchley (where the 82 currently ends). Going south it would head to Victoria (where the 82 currently terminates) not Aldwych. For sometime users of the buses up and down the Finchley Road, the overall loss of frequency during the morning rush hour might be the biggest issue. More regular users might notice a bigger difference.

The other (minor) proposed change is that the 189 would end at Marble Arch instead of Oxford Circus. So with both the 13 and the 189 no longer going down Oxford Street it would slightly reduce the excessive number of buses along there but also give locals coming up from Oxford Circus fewer options to get home. Perhaps changing buses would be required – but that means paying twice doesn’t it….?

Not necessarily. In September, TfL will introduce a one-hour hopper fare (or transfer) allowing anyone using an Oystercard or contactless card an extra bus journey within one hour of joining the first bus. The link to the consultation is here and it runs until the 30th September.

139 to… Golders Green? TfL plans to shake-up local buses

139 bus

Surely we all get that flush of pride when you’re in central London and a 139 heading home sails into sight? Destination West Hampstead.

All that may be about to change according to plans by TfL, which are up for consultation.

Based on analysis of passenger flows, TfL is proposing that the 139 would continue up to Golders Green, following the route of the 328 (which is out of the scope of these plans). Many locals would be delighted if this meant that the 139 no longer trundled empty along Mill Lane on its way back to the depot.

The much bigger change proposed affects buses running from town up Finchley Road. TfL wants to scrap the 13 bus. Completely. Over on the Forum, this is already being discussed. Alex Gollner has delved into the details:

Currently there are 52 scheduled bus departures between Platt’s Lane on Finchley Road between 7am and 9am made up of buses on the 13, 82 and 113 routes. That’s 26 buses an hour.

The new plan mentions the frequency of the 113 increasing to 10 buses an hour during peak hours. The information given doesn’t say that the 82 will be increased to 16 buses an hour during the peaks in order to maintain current frequencies – “no changes to the day 82 service.” The 82 runs 10 buses an hour in the morning peaks at the moment so it looks like those on waiting for buses Finchley Road south of Frognal Lane in the morning rush hour will have their service cut by 20%.

TfL Bus consultation

Other notable changes are that the 189 would stop at Marble Arch rather than going on to Oxford Circus and a nightbus N189 would replace the 24h service, and the 82 would become a 24h service.

TfL’s full webpage on the consultation explains more of the detail and hints at the rationale, while not going into quite enough detail to satisfy those really keen to understand whether the proposals make sense. If they do come into effect, one thing is very clear… those top deck front seats are going to be a whole lot harder to get for West Hampstead residents.