Thursday, 14 September 2017

Day 4 buses 7,8,9 & 10

This day did not begin very auspiciously when the train I intended to catch was cancelled; well it actually shot through without stopping and the next one was 15 minutes away and also it was delayed so I decided not to trust it. Therefore I caught a train in the opposite direction and arrived at Clapham Junction in time for the 1031 to Willesden Junction. I alighted at Shepherd's Bush and took the Central line westbound two stops to East Acton. I exited the station and took the first right and eventually reached Brunel Road and the East Acton industrial estate where the No 7 starts from.

I missed the first No 7 behind the No 283 so caught the second one VWH2304

The journey began at 1105 on another almost brand new Wrightbus Gemini 3 on a Volvo B5LH chassis which passed Wormwood Scrubs prison as we headed towards Paddington and eventually Oxford Circus where I arrived at 1207. Not so long ago the bus continued past the British Museum but recently it has been curtailed at Oxford Circus.

The No 7 turns left just after the bus stop and then runs round to be ready to go back to Acton

Alighting from the No 7 at Oxford Circus

The No 8 used to start from Victoria and ran along Oxford Street, but in recent times has been curtailed to start from the eastern side of Tottenham Court Road. I started to walk along Oxford Street and saw a No 25 (a Tower Transit Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2 on a Volvo B9TL Chassis), so caught that to the starting point of the No 8.

The reflection of the No 8 bus I was on reflected in the preceding No 38 

I boarded LT253 a Wrightbus NBFL hybrid at 1224; this was for the first time in this odyssey- that I used a bus operated by Stagecoach London. I had to run for the bus so had to take a slightly unusual photo to prove I had indeed taken the No 8. The traffic was light through the west of the city owing to the road works precluding all but buses from roads around Bank. However, it was very slow around Bishopsgate and also through Bethnal Green but otherwise progress was quite steady and eventually I arrived at Bow Church at 1333.
Bow Church

My No 8 leaving Bow Church to run round
Bow is not an ideal place to catch the No 9 from, as it starts in the Aldwych. So I walked to Bow Road District line station and travelled three stations west to Whitechapel, thereby remaining outwith zone 1. I then crossed the road into the Royal London Hospital and got myself a drink and piece of flapjack before continuing to Commercial road to catch a No 15 back to Central London (another stagecoach NBFL hybrid which I will return to in due course) and this bus reached Aldwych at 1435.

Boris Bus providing the No 9 to Hammersmith
Hammersmith Broadway where the No 9 was going to languish for 11 minutes. The traffic is queuing to get onto the roundabout. The bus station is in the middle of this roundabout.

One of the early 'Boris Buses' LT83 operated by London United was my mount for the No 9 from the Aldwych to Hammersmith. We left at 1438 and moved steadily until progress became slow when we were in Pall Mall and were informed by the driver it was a demonstration in Oxford Street causing traffic to be 'backed up'. We arrived at Hammersmith at 1531. I actually alighted the bus stop before the bus station as the driver said he would have to wait 11 minutes to enter the Bus Station owing to congestion and I could see it from where I was, so felt this wasn't a cheat.
Aboard LT83 again this time on the No 10 within Hammersmith Bus Station

I visited the Halifax to get some money and returned to the bus station to get my final bus of the day- the No 10 to Kings Cross. This was actually the identical bus to that which had provided the No 9 service. We left at 1553 as evidenced by the bus information panel in the picture. The biggest issue was the length of time to get from one end of Oxford Street to the other-half an hour. The driver did do some marvellous manoeuvering around a delivery lorry and two parked buses as he headed towards the British Museum. Nevertheless we didn't arrive at King's Cross until 1721.

LT 83 Having arrived in York Way King's Cross

To get home I took the No 63 to Elephant and Castle, so as to not get a train inside zone 1, then the Thameslink service to Mitcham Junction followed by a tram and then walked home.

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