|Go-Ahead London LDP259 is seen at New Addington Tram Stop on route 130 to Thornton Heath.|
The route itself is somewhat interesting, starting in the vast estate of New Addington. After taking a convoluted route through the housing, the 130 suddenly becomes quite fast as it speeds through the countryside of Shirley Hills. There's more housing in Woodside before the next major town, Norwood Junction, where the route used to terminate. However, a recent extension to Thornton Heath, Parchmore Road has been very popular with locals, who have always demanded this handy round-the-corner link, which also allows the 130 to pass Crystal Palace Football Stadium, which does result in curtailments on match days! The huge variety found on the 130 would definitely be missed for the new contract, but perhaps a better service was approaching, that would certainly be more convenient for the regular users of the route.
|Abellio London 8187 on route 130 to Thornton Heath Parchmore Road.|
|Arriva London SLS30 on route 410 to Wallington.|
|A Go-Coach Plaxton President circles Addington Village en route to East Croydon on Tram Replacement duties.|
|"Bus 2" 9739, a Trident ALX400, pauses at Addington Village Interchange before heading to West Croydon.|
My Go-Coach Plaxton President towards New Addington was extremely sluggish, with worn out seats and no power whatsoever, and the bus was struggling to keep up with the fast nature of the route. After feeling disappointed with that example, I was hoping that the Trident ALX400 vehicles would be better, especially after hearing reports on other bus websites that thrashy trips were possible with these buses. However, my particular bus was even worse than the previous vehicle, achieving a whopping 2mph on the fairly steep incline at Gravel Hill. Even though a sufficient service was provided, the vehicles themselves were in a poorly condition, emphasising the negative connotations associated with rail replacement bus services. Additionally, the frequency was inadequate, with buses only running every 10-15 minutes, resulting in some packed trips and uncomfortable buses, a stark contrast to the high capacity Trams. Although the routeing was lovely and this rail replacement service provided a unique insight into the rural parts of Croydon, some aspects could be improved, and hopefully Go-Coach and "Bus 2" can modernise their fleet before their next big rail replacement contract!
I must apologise for rushing this post, especially as the one scheduled for last week was cancelled at short notice. Unfortunately, my workload has increased massively this month and the previous weekly posts will be something of a rarity from now on, with 3-4 week intervals being a common occurence. However, I do plan to publish one more post next week, where I'll give more details on the future of the posting pattern for London Buses On The Go.
Thanks for reading and stay safe!