The strange tale of the last bus from Kidbrooke Village

Ferrier Estate, 22 July 2013

Today’s your last chance to do something people have been able to do for 34 years. After 00.35 tonight, Kidbrooke’s Ferrier Estate will no longer have a bus service for the first time since 1979.

Kidbrooke Village

Mind you, there’s no longer a Ferrier Estate to serve. The last remnants of the estate came down in the past couple of weeks, and the smart new Kidbrooke Village development is taking shape. While the new homes have gone up, and new occupants have moved in, routes 178 and B16 have been among the few things to have stayed the same. Not any more.

You’d think the ability to take a bus to your door would be a huge selling point. But developer Berkeley Homes is changing the road network on the old estate – from Saturday, the link under Kidbrooke Park Road which links Tudway Road to Moorhead Way will be closed for good. Which means no more buses.

Ferrier Estate, 22 July 2013

All of which has been approved by Greenwich Council for a long time. Unfortunately, what nobody took into account was that it wasn’t just Kidbrooke Village that would lose its buses. Sandwiched awkwardly between the Ferrier and the private Blackheath Cator Estate is the Brooklands Park estate. It’s completely cut off from any public roads – there’s a short footpath to Moorhead Way to the west, and to the north, south and east it’s surrounded by the Cator Estate’s private roads, which shut their gates during rush hours. For many people on Brooklands Park, the 178 and B16 are lifelines.

Who did Greenwich Council blame for Greenwich Council’s decision to endorse shutting the roads, cutting off the Brooklands? Why, Transport for London! When Brooklands residents petitioned the council earlier this year, the response said while Berkeley Homes was willing to build a turning circle on Moorhead Way, it was putting pressure on TfL to pay for it. (See the second petition document here and the TfL consultation for more.)

Greenwich Council response to TfL consultation

Petition response from Greenwich Council, 6 March 2013

Indeed, council leader Chris Roberts used the issue to call for Greenwich Council to be given powers to run bus services, instead of TfL, even though it was a problem caused entirely by his own council and its chums at Berkeley Homes.

Greenwich Council meeting, 6 March 2013

Fast forward to July, and what’s in council propaganda weekly Greenwich Time?

Greenwich Time, 22 July 2013

That’s actually a lie. There are no new bus routes. Greenwich Time has long been used to mislead, but the porkies are starting to get bigger.

And whats this?

Greenwich Time, 22 July 2013

Yes! It’s a turning circle! From Saturday, while the 178 will run straight up Kidbrooke Park Road, the B16 will use this turning circle so Brooklands residents get some buses. The Brooklands residents will lose a bus to Lewisham and Woolwich, but keep one to Eltham. But how did that pressure on Transport for London to pay for it go?

“After further consultation and discussion, the council and Berkeley Homes agreed to fund a turning circle on Moorhead Way, close to Wingfield School.”

So, surreally, here’s two residents’ association types, cabinet member Denise “foot tunnels” Hyland and Berkeley chair John Anderson celebrating… bus service cuts not being as bad as they could be, and Greenwich Council and Berkeley Homes having to make good their own mistake. Well done everybody, well done.

This won’t be the last transport worry to affect Kidbrooke Village. Plans include a “new transport hub”, presumably replacing the horrible Henleys Cross bus stops, the very worst in crap 1990s transport design. Yet it’s not clear what transport will be serving what will soon be a ballooning population – and whether the rail service through Kidbrooke will be able to cope.


  1. I don’t know if it’s just my settings, but the pictures on your blog are all squashed up when viewed in Firefox. They look fine in Chrome. They used to look fine in Firefox too.

  2. I live in Kidbrooke Village. The rerouting of the bus routes occurred in line with the closure of Tudway Rd where the last remaining Ferrier building came down a few weeks ago. They are clearly doing construction work on that area so it would be impossible for any bus or vehicle to pass through. My understanding is that the road closure is for the work on what will be the refurbished train station and the shops/amenities planned for the “town centre.”

    I’m less concerned with the 178 and B16 re-routing than with the routes themselves. No direct buses from Kidbrooke Village to Blackheath, Greenwich, or North Greenwich. This is unsustainable especially considering the change in socioeconomic status of the new residents compared to the previous estate. Already small businesses across Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs are bombarding the concierge offices with flyers and advertisements. How are we supposed to get to these shops if there’s no bus route?

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