UCRA response to TfL bus route proposals

With reference to our previous post concerning changes Transport for London (TfL) are proposing in our area , following full analysis of the proposals, Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association (UCRA) councillors have the following observations –

TfL are undertaking a consultation process to make changes to the 346, 347 and 497 bus routes in Harold Wood, Cranham and Upminster. They propose to extend the 497 route from Upminster and Harold Wood and the removal of the 346. They have not provided any detail on the continuation of the hail and ride service with the extension of the 497 that replaces the 346.

The extended service would require the widening of Waycross Road and the installation of driver’s toilets and would be a twice an hour service rather than four.

The proposals also include the removal of the 347 service which supports North & South Ockendon and the Cathedral Estate. The suggestion is that residents on the Cathedral Estate will have access to a service 600m away. Those living in Clay Tye Road will have no service to Upminster and beyond.

The consultation can be accessed via the website at haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/bus-routes-346-347-497 .

You can also comment via:

Email – haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk

Telephone – 020 3054 6037 (leave your name and contact number for a call back, quoting ‘Havering bus changes’ when leaving your message)

The Upminster and Cranham Residents Association are pleased to hear of the proposed direct route to Harold Wood providing direct access to the Elizabeth Line, but will respond to TfL with a list of concerns with the proposals, due to the reduction in service, the impact on residents, schools and businesses, and the perverse push to get more people into cars rather than encourage greater bus usage.

We would urge residents and businesses to also give their views, as the greater the response, the more likely that it is that TfL will listen to local opinions.

The consultation ends on Sunday 16 April 2023.



  1. I have a major concern the consultation goes no where close to being fit for purpose. There ought to be somewhere to get independent arbitration on validating the contents to ensure the objectives are met by fair and relevant feedback. Can UCRA offer any experience on this?
    My response to TFL
    Dear Sir,

    Please note my completion of this survey has been done as shown below, however your questions are only vaguely related to getting my views on your proposals. If you reproduce the survey returns in a statistical way, you will not truly represent my individual view or give a representation to anybody else’s personal view. Your survey is simply enabling you to state you have done a survey.

    I note you state in your consultation document that you say in the overview ‘ …..a previous consultation about the 497 held in Autumn 2021. A key message from that consultation was a request for bus links between Harold Wood and Upminster’. That’s hardly relevant because you already have the 347 doing that.

    The ULEZ prospect will force many more people onto buses, so it is unacceptable to reduce the service which the 346 currently offers of 4 per hour, down to 2. The 346 route has both a large older age population and a large number of people who commute to London from Upminster station.

    What assurances are you able to give me that you have truly taken account of peoples views who actually use the affected bus routes. Additionally that these views are not solely on the biased tick box approach of your survey.

    How do you respond to my suggestion that TFL have already made their minds up to implement the proposed changes and that you expect this survey to give you the answers you want as back up, because the survey is not truly gathering information that reflects people’s view.

    • Alf,

      Thank you for your comments.

      There are two sides to this. Responders to the previous consultation did request better links to Harold Wood, which shows that in one way TfL have listened and responded. However, there is no reason whey they should then propose to cut a route that serves the south-eastern end of Cranham and beyond towards Ockendon.

      TfL are undertaking a set procedure with the consultation, so I don’t think there is any facility for arbitration.

      I would reiterate our call for as many people as possible to do what you have done and submit their views as part of the consultation.

      Cllr John Tyler

  2. Most people I speak to don’t understand where the proposed route will run in Cranham.
    Why on earth does Waycross Road need widening if less buses would run down it?
    Toilets in Waycross Road? Target for vandals? What do drivers use now? The turn around and resting points are Upminster Station and Cranham car park next to the train depot. Wouldn’t these be better sites?
    The passengers using hail and ride stops in Moor Lane and the Cranham Park Estate know where to wait after years of habit.
    Older people in the Moor Lane area without cars need the facility of a bus to take them down to Cranham and back up the Moor Lane hill., and into Upminster. ( A few Sunday buses to get people up to church might be welcome.)
    In between rush hour and school times the 346 trundles around empty.
    Can’t think of anything else.

  3. Sorry for sending this feedback in so late, but with the proposed loss of the 347 and therefore no remaining service on St Mary’s Lane east of Front Lane, I think a useful addition to the plan to negate that loss would be for the new 497 route to turn left onto St Mary’s Lane at the end of Front Lane to serve the Chester Avenue and Winchester Avenue bus stops, with a turning point at the Winchester Avenue bus stop to return back down St Mary’s Lane and continuing to Upminster as planned.

    There is a proposal for new homes by the Winchester Avenue bus stop (in the field to the east of Winchester Avenue), and with Lichfield Terrace just back from St Mary’s Lane there is ample space to develop a turning circle.

    This would then mean that James Oglethorpe School, the residents of the Cathedral Estate and the proposed new houses retain a bus service, which would be even better than their current 347 service.

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