Saturday, 3 September 2016

Where You Can Go To From Ealing Broadway

Ealing Broadway is a great place for tube/rail links, but when it comes to the buses, it's not brilliant. What I'll do is run you through each route that serves Ealing Broadway and where you can go, then afterwards I'll run through every area which doesn't have a link from Ealing that is close by.

London United VH45186 on route 65 to Ham.
The 65 is one of the more useful routes in Ealing, in that it's the only one that heads further South than Brentford, which is just 20 minutes away. You can get to the Watermans Centre, Kew Gardens, Richmond and Kingston using this route, which means it gets very crowded, having no support from other routes at all throughout it's journey. TFL did increase the frequency to every 6 minutes by adding four Gemini 3's to the PVR, but what the 65 really needs is another route that ventures South of the river from Ealing. That's why I use the 65 a lot, it's pretty useful.

A Gemini 2 with the unusally large logo on route 83.
The 83 is a long route from Ealing Hospital-Golders Green. It has the potential to be useful as it acts as a support route for the 207/427 from Ealing Hospital-Ealing Broadway and it serves Alperton, Wembley, Kingsbury Green, Hendon and Golders Green, but it also uses Hanger Lane to get to those places, a road infamous for its terrible traffic. The 83 sometimes takes 2 hours end to end, meaning that most people take the 297 to Wembley instead and then change buses. However, TFL have decided to cut back the 83 to Alperton, meaning that it won't serve Ealing anymore. A brand new route numbered the 483 will take its place, running from Ealing Hospital-Harrow via the current 83 routeing to Wembley Park and then up to Harrow via North Wembley.

When I first heard that Ealing was getting a link to Harrow, my first reaction was "brilliant, I can finally head North West without having to change buses". However, the 483 is going to use Hanger Lane and take the most indirect route possible to get to Harrow, meaning that most people will use the 297 and 182 instead. What we can learn from this is that the 483 will be useful from Ealing Hospital-Ealing Broadway and for people in North Wembley (who get another bus service without losing another), but if you want to head North from Ealing just take the 297 and thank me later.

Metroline DEL2069 at Ealing Broadway
The 112 is that route that tries to be useful but fails. There are only 4 reasons you might want to use it and even then some of them are questionable. The 112 spends most of its time on the North Circular Road, which can be full of traffic, although you can get some pretty fast journeys at night. One of the main attractions on the route is the Easy Food Store, a budget store where everything costs 29p and usage on the route as increased since it opened, bearing in mind it's the only route that stops outside. You can also use the 112 if you want to visit Stonebridge Park, not that there's much there. You're better off taking the 297 to Wembley... Another place the 112 serves is IKEA in Neasden (advertised as Wembley, but geographically it's not very close to there at all), but it's no good taking the bus if you have more than a couple of bags of shopping. The last destination on the 112 is Brent Cross, a shopping centre for people who think Ealing Broadway is too small but don't fancy getting lost in Westfield. However, the A406 puts people right off this route and that's exactly why I've only used it once.

When First London still had the 207....
The 207 is one of the busiest routes in London, running from Hayes By-Pass to White City through Southall, Hanwell, Ealing and Acton. It is a trunk route that used to have bendy buses, but now it has become extremely overcrowded, being the main route out of Ealing heading East or West. It's pretty useful, which is proven by the amount of people who use the service. I use it a lot and even if this route is not your local, I'm sure you've ended up on it at least once!

A rather unusual blind display on DE1641 working route 226 at Ealing Broadway.
The 226 will now be the only route from Ealing Broadway-Golders Green, with the removal of the 83 from the area. It's a busy route, linking Ealing Broadway with Park Royal, Central Middlesex Hospital, Harlesden and Cricklewood, which desperately needs double deckers or a frequency increase. The overcrowding makes this route unattractive for me and I try to avoid it as much as I can, but it's annoyingly useful in that it's the quickest route to lots of places in North West London and it will soon be the only route from Ealing-Golders Green, making it even busier. Hooray!

Metroline VW1207 on route 297 to Ealing Broadway

The 297 is a nice route from Ealing Broadway-Willesden, Bus Garage, mainly because it has double deckers. In terms of creating new links, it really isn't that useful, going to lots of places that the 83 and 226 already serve. However, it can be useful if you need to visit Perivale CELF Centre and it can be faster than the 83 to Wembley in the rush hour, because this route goes along residential streets instead of Hanger Lane. So yeah, not that useful but handy in some ways.

Metroline VW1820 on route 427 to Uxbridge.
The 427 creates no new links whatsoever, following the 207 and 607 for the entire journey, unless of course you live in Hillingdon and you can't be bothered to walk from the 607 stop. However, the 427 is a route I have to use frequently if the 207 is overcrowded, as this route does try and support it a lot of the time, even though it's unreliable and gets packed itself!

A 607 on diversion.
The 607 is the express version of the 207 and 427 and it's well used too, especially since Westfield opened in 2008. It's the fastest way to get to Westfield, Southall and Uxbridge and Ealing really couldn't do without it, despite it following two other routes for the whole journey.

Abellio London 2444 on the ridiculously short E1.
The E1 is one of six bus routes that go from Ealing-Greenford and it's the most useful one for getting between the two, as it's the quickest and it's fairly frequent. Despite it only taking 15 minutes end to end, it gets packed at rush hour as it's the only bus that takes people from Ealing Broadway to Drayton Green. The E11 doesn't count as it runs every 30 minutes and takes the long way round.

Metroline VW1213 on route E2 to Greenford Broadway
The E2 is fairly useful, because it's the quickest route from Ealing to Brentford High Street (the 65 only takes you to the Watermans Centre), it's the only route from Ealing Broadway to Northfields and it's more frequent than the E9, which is the other route that serves Pitshanger. It's very unreliable and gets crowded if a gap more than 12 minutes is present.

An E7 passes Greenford Lidl.
The E7 isn't very useful if you want to head to Greenford, but it does take you to West Ealing Station, Yeading White Hart and Ruislip, which is as far North as you can get from Ealing. It isn't overcrowded but it's consistently busy throughout the day, one for a frequency increase I think!

An E8 overtakes a 117 at West Thames College, Isleworth.
The E8 has been made very useful recently, with the double decking of the route and the extension of the route from Brentford, Commerce Road to Hounslow, Bell Corner, finally linking Ealing and Hounslow, two town centres so close but yet so far. It is well used as it links Ealing to Boston Manor and Hounslow, but the E2 is much quicker if you feel the need to visit Brentford. It still gets crowded at rush hour though, so get on at the first stop in Ealing!

An Enviro 400 takes a rest from duties on route E9.

The E9 is more of a relief route rather than one that creates new links, assisting the E2 up from Ealing to Greenford and then following the E7 up to Yeading, White Hart before doing a loop of the Barnhill Estate, where it terminates. TFL gave the route double deckers recently, as it can get very busy in the rush hour if the E2 fails to show up, but in the daytime you'll rarely see over 10 people on board so that's definitely the best time to do it!

Arriva TGM 3427 on route E10 to Northolt.

The E10 isn't very useful unless you live in Ferrymead and Smith's Farm, or you need to get to Northolt. It follows the 297 and E2 up to Greenford and then goes round-the-houses all the way up to Islip Manor, where it terminates. It's certainly not the most direct route to Northolt, but it'll get you there, unless you have to wait 60 minutes like I did once....

London United SDE11 on route E11 to Greenford Broadway.
The E11 really isn't useful unless you live on it. It runs every half an hour and is the longest route from Ealing-Greenford, taking you on a tour of many residential streets around Drayton Green and Elthorne Heights. Unless the E11 is the only route in the area, it is the slowest route to anywhere along its line of route, including Drayton Green, Greenford Avenue and Greenford Broadway. Avoid this route at all costs unless you live on it. If you do, you have my sympathy.

So, that's all of the day routes from Ealing Broadway. You're probably thinking 'you can get to lots of places from Ealing, what's he on about' but let's breakdown where you can get to and where you can't.

  • You can get to Brentford via the E2, but there are two other routes which can take you there too.
  • You can get to Hounslow via the E8, which is very useful.
  •  You can get to Richmond and Kingston via the 65, which is useful too.
  • You can get to Acton using the 207, but the 427 will take you there too. The 607 is only useful if you want to reach the Town Hall as it doesn't stop at Morrisons...
  • You can get to Uxbridge, Westfield and Southall using the 607, but there is another route that takes you to both of those places.
  • You can get to Greenford Broadway using the E1, but there are another five bus routes which do the same.
  • You can get to Yeading, White Hart using the E9, but the E7 takes you there too.
  • You can get to Northolt by using the E10.
  • You can get to Northfields using the E2.
  • You can get to South Ealing and Kew by using the 65.
  • You can get to Park Royal, Harlesden, Cricklewood and Golders Green by using the 226.
  • You can get to Brent Cross and Neasden by using the 112.
  • You can get to Alperton and Wembley by using the 83, but the 297 will take you there too.
  • You can get to Perivale by using the 297.
  • You can get to Ruilsip by using the E7.
                         Here is a list of everywhere you can't get to from Ealing in one bus:

  • There is no bus to Greenford Station, despite it being 5 minutes up the road from Greenford Broadway, with 6 routes going there. Extension of the E1 please!
  • There is no bus to Hayes and Harlington (where the train station is and where lots of shops are) despite there being 3 buses serving the other part of Hayes. Not everyone uses GWR!
  • There is no bus to Osterley, which has a retail park and a huge Tesco.
  • There is no bus to Chiswick Business Park, an area which needs a link to Ealing Broadway  Station, bearing in mind it has three lines! Extension of the E9 please!
  • There is no bus to Chiswick itself, perhaps the E9 could go here too.
  • There is no bus to Hammersmith, a very popular destination from Ealing. Not everyone uses the tube!
  • There is no bus to West, North or East Acton, despite Ealing Broadway being a popular shopping destination for people living there. The Central Line is busy enough thanks!
  • The only bus that will serve Harrow is stupidly indirect, therefore making it unattractive and forcing more people to either change buses or pay more to use the train.
That's my rant over, thanks for reading!