Dear Mr Dickie
Our ref: FOI-0708-1718/GH
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 19 June 2017 asking for information about Sandy Hill Road.
Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold some of the information you require.
Has an impact assessment (light, noise, structural, pollution) on buildings and residents ever been carried out on running double decker bus services through the narrow street of Sandy Hill Rd, Woolwich, London?
We do not specifically carry out the kind of impact assessments that you have requested. The closest documents that we hold are the Route Test documents that are for the routes that use this road.
Bus route tests are carried out prior to sending a particular bus along a route, as it is a check by us, the bus operator and representatives from the local council and police, to ensure the suitability of the route chosen.
All bus route tests would look at potential issues like obstructive street furniture, junction design, and issues with line of sight. Double deck route tests would also look at the specific issues that might impact a double deck bus, i.e. low hanging trees, tight bends, etc.
I have attached the route tests of the bus routes which travel along Sandy Hill Rd, Woolwich, London SE18 7AZ
51 – double deck bus (run by Stagecoach)
53 – double deck bus (run by Stagecoach)
386 – single deck bus (run by Stagecoach)
There is also a double deck school trip (route 658) but this is a very limited run.
The routes tests were carried out on:
51 – Route tested 11/9/2009
53 – Route tested 14/11/2016
386 – Route tested on 12/3/2014
Please note that in accordance with TfL’s obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the names of non-TfL people have been removed from the Route Test documents, as required by section 40(2) of the FOI Act. This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the DPA, specifically the first principle of the DPA which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act which would make the processing ‘fair’.
These documents show that no issues were raised with the use of Sandy Hill Road, and it was considered safe and appropriate to route these buses there. While we appreciate that you may be concerned about noise and emissions, we have invested heavily into the network to make the London fleet one of the cleanest in the world. As a part of our retro-fit campaign, we had all buses (regardless of vehicle age) upgraded to Euro 4/5 standard as of 2016, and aside from our commitment to only purchasing hybrid or zero-emissions buses from 2018 onwards, we will also be carrying out a further retro-fit of the fleet to upgrade them to Euro 6 standard by the end of 2020.
We expect all vehicles to be appropriately maintained by the respective bus operators, and they are subject to regular inspections, both as a part of their annual MOT, and as a part of the operator’s maintenance cycle. If you believe any particular vehicle is too noisy/polluting, we would ask you to provide us with the specific vehicle information (route, registration number, time and date of incident) so that we could raise this with the operator directly and have them inspect the bus.
Has a feasibility ever study been conducted on moving the double decker bus services away from the narrow Sandy Hill and Bloomfield Rd routes and diverting them to the wider and and more substantial Burrage Rd where they may have less impact on residents?
No study exploring the option to re-route any of the double deck services away from Sandy Hill Road has been carried out – as mentioned above in the route tests no issues were found with using this route, and as such there is no immediate need to look at alternatives.
I would add that if we were to re-route any of these buses, this would impact the running times/costs of these trips, even if only slightly. Additionally avoiding Sandy Hill Road would mean the routes would no longer serve existing stops on Sandy Hill Road and Crescent Road (see map image below – the blue line shows what would happen if buses used Burrage Road). That said, we have passed your comments on to our Network Planner, however at this stage there is no reason to relocate these routes, although we’ll keep this request in mind when we next review the services in the area.
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London