Harold Wood and Upminster - proposed changes to bus routes 346, 347 and 497

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Consultation has concluded

Update 17 January 2024

We have produced an updated map following publication on 10 January of the consultation report and outcome of the Harold Wood and Upminster proposals. The map shows the future route 346 once it is restructured in March and replaces current route 497 in its entirety. It also includes route 347 which will continue to operate.

 -update ends-


Update 10 January 2024

Today we have published the results of this consultation. We received 869 responses to the consultation and would like to thank everyone that took part.

Following careful consideration of the consultation responses and a further review of what was proposed, we have decided to modify the original proposals and to proceed with a revised scheme as follows: 

  • Route 346 – will be restructured to operate between Upminster Park Estate, Waycross Road, and Dagnam Park Square via Upminster and Harold Hill. We will not now install bus driver facilities at Waycross Road. In response to feedback, the restructured route will operate at a higher frequency than that consulted upon and a new Sunday service will be introduced. The route will therefore operate every 20 minutes Monday-Sunday daytimes and evenings 
  • Route 347 – will continue to operate 
  • Route 497 – will be replaced in its entirety by the extended route 346, as described above 

Details of the feedback we received, our response to the issues raised, and more information about next steps can be found in the consultation report

Thank you again to everyone that took part in the consultation.

-update ends-


Update 31 May 2023

The Harold Wood and Upminster bus services consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone that responded. We are now considering the feedback we received and aim to publish our consultation report and next steps during 2024. 

-update ends-


We are proposing to extend route 497 from Harold Wood to Upminster in response to requests from our customers for a direct link between these locations. If we were to extend route 497, it would replace routes 346 and 347 which would no longer run.

On this page you can find out more about these proposals, how they may impact you, and how you can have your say.

Overview

What is proposed?

How these proposals may change your bus journey

Equalities Impact Assessment

How you can find out more

Tell us your views

What happens next



Overview

London’s bus network is our most affordable, accessible and available form of public transport and offers the main sustainable alternative to cars for those journeys that can’t easily be walked or cycled. It is also London’s most flexible mode of public transport, and we continuously review and adapt the bus network to ensure that services reflect changing customer needs.

Following the Mayor’s announcement that the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded London-wide in August, we are undertaking a number of bus consultations across outer London to strengthen alternatives to private cars and maximise the benefits of expanding the ULEZ.

We have reviewed bus services in east Havering to ensure services are meeting customer needs and have taken account of feedback from 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.

What is proposed?

Bus route 497

The 497 currently runs Monday to Saturday with two buses per hour between Harold Wood Station and Dagnam Park Square. It is a short route linking residential areas to Harold Wood Station.

We propose to extend this route to run between Harold Wood Station and Upminster Station, via Upminster Park Estate. This would create new and direct north – south journey opportunities by bus in the east of Havering.

Thinking ahead

We are exploring further ideas for route 497. These are :

  1. The introduction of a Sunday service; and
  2. An alternative routeing whereby the 497 continues on Hall Lane and serves Upminster station first, before then going to Upminster Park Estate and terminating at Waycross Road. This option would mean travelling from the north to Upminster would be more direct. However, it would also mean highway changes at Waycross Road to make space for both the 497 and the 248, and the installation of driver toilets. Highway changes would be subject to agreement and would require permission from the London Borough of Havering.

Please take our Quick Poll questions on the right side of the page to let us know if you would support these ideas. 

Bus route 346

The 346 currently runs Monday to Saturday with four buses per hour between Upminster Park Estate and Upminster Station. It is a short route linking residential areas to Upminster Station. We propose to withdraw this route and replace it in its entirety with the proposed extension of route 497.

Bus route 347

The 347 currently runs Monday to Saturday operating at a limited frequency with four return trips per day, or a bus every two hours. It is a long-distance route between Ockendon Station and Romford Station. We propose to withdraw this route and replace it partially with the proposed extension of route 497.

How the local bus network may look

Our proposal intends to simplify the local bus network with a single route (497) instead of the current 346, 347, 497 arrangements. Other bus routes in the area would remain unchanged. The following diagram shows how we propose the local bus network may look if we were to extend the 497 and withdraw the 346 and the 347:

Diagram showing current and proposed routes for 346 347 and 497

We have prepared geographic maps to demonstrate the proposals. Please visit the ‘Document Library’ to view them.

How these proposals may change your bus journey

Customers of route 497

  • Current users of route 497 would benefit from new travel opportunities to areas south of Harold Hill including Upminster Station and Upminster Park Estate.
  • Currently, people travelling from Harold Hill to Upminster need to change bus. If we were to extend route 497 as proposed these journeys could be completed without the need to change bus

Customers of route 346

  • Current users of route 346 would be able to use route 497 to complete the same journey they do now, except there would be two buses per hour instead of four. Our review of the latest demand for route 346 indicates that four buses per hour are not required
  • People travelling between Upminster Park Estate and Upminster Station can also use route 248 which operates at a high frequency with a bus every eight minutes at peak times
  • Travelling on route 497 would create new north-south journey opportunities by bus to places such as the Elizabeth line and Harold Hill

Customers of route 347

  • Some current journeys on route 347 would no longer be possible on one bus
  • People travelling on route 347 between South Ockendon Station and Ockendon Road would be able to travel to Upminster Station or Romford Station via route 370. For more local destinations a change of bus would be required at these locations
  • People using stops on Clay Tye Road and St Mary’s Lane (east of Front Lane) would no longer have access to a bus service. This would impact people living in the Cathedral Estate area, however very few trips are made from this area
  • Bus access from the Cathedral Estate would be by foot, with up to a 600 metre walk via a footpath between Chester Avenue and Green Banks to bus stops at Rectory Gardens. There are also bus stops at nearby Front Lane, served by route 497, within 500 metres walking distance
  • Current users of route 347 between Harold Wood and Front Lane would be able to use route 497 to complete the same journey they do now except there would be two buses per hour for more of the day, instead of one bus every two hours. For more local destinations a change of bus would be required at Harold Wood Station and Upminster Station
  • People travelling on the 347 between Romford Station-Harold Wood would be able to complete their journey via routes 174, 294, 496 and 498. For more local destinations a change of bus would be required with other bus routes at Gallows Corner, Romford Station or Harold Wood Station
  • Travelling on route 497 would create new north-south journey opportunities by bus to places such as Harold Hill

Equalities Impact Assessment

We have undertaken an initial Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for these proposals. The EqIA identifies and examines in more detail what positive and negative impacts these proposals may have on individuals with protected characteristics together with our equality objectives and how we propose to mitigate any negative impacts.

We have identified that older people are more likely to be negatively impacted by these proposals, as they account for 70% of current passengers of route 347. We also note 2% of passenger on route 347 are ‘Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass Holders. It is noted some people may need to change bus to complete their journey as part of these proposals and in small number of cases, some journeys would require a 500-600 metre walk to access the bus network.

We have also noted there is opportunity to create new bus journeys as part of the proposals. New and direct journeys would become possible with the new link between Dagnam Park Square and Upminster Station

The impacts and mitigations described within the EqIA be considered as part of the decision-making process on the proposals. The EqIA will be kept under review and updated to reflect any relevant new information, including information which comes in as part of the consultation process.

A copy of the full initial EqIA document can be found in the ‘Document library’.

Connecting with London's deaf community on our consultations

To enhance how we engage and consult with London's deaf community we are trialling a British Sign Language (BSL) consultation conversation service for this consultation. This service will allow the TfL consultation lead to have a two-way BSL translated discussion on any aspect of this consultation with a BSL speaker.

To request a BSL consultation conversation please contact us at haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk and we will be in contact to arrange this at a convenient time. Following this trial we will evaluate the service to determine if this is something we are able to offer on other consultations in the future.

How you can find out more

We have provided more information to help you respond, and we want this consultation to be accessible to everyone. Visit the document library for:

You can use the question tool on this page during the consultation period. We will respond your questions as soon as we can.

If you need to translate this page into another language, please use the ‘Select language’ button in the bottom-left hand corner of this page.

What happens next

These proposals are subject to the outcome of our consultation. Once consultation ends on Sunday 16 April 2023, we will spend time considering all the responses we receive and will prepare a consultation report.

The consultation report will help us reach a decision about how bus routes 346, 347 and 497 may change.

The report will be available to everyone that takes part in the consultation and a copy will be published on our website.

Update 17 January 2024

We have produced an updated map following publication on 10 January of the consultation report and outcome of the Harold Wood and Upminster proposals. The map shows the future route 346 once it is restructured in March and replaces current route 497 in its entirety. It also includes route 347 which will continue to operate.

 -update ends-


Update 10 January 2024

Today we have published the results of this consultation. We received 869 responses to the consultation and would like to thank everyone that took part.

Following careful consideration of the consultation responses and a further review of what was proposed, we have decided to modify the original proposals and to proceed with a revised scheme as follows: 

  • Route 346 – will be restructured to operate between Upminster Park Estate, Waycross Road, and Dagnam Park Square via Upminster and Harold Hill. We will not now install bus driver facilities at Waycross Road. In response to feedback, the restructured route will operate at a higher frequency than that consulted upon and a new Sunday service will be introduced. The route will therefore operate every 20 minutes Monday-Sunday daytimes and evenings 
  • Route 347 – will continue to operate 
  • Route 497 – will be replaced in its entirety by the extended route 346, as described above 

Details of the feedback we received, our response to the issues raised, and more information about next steps can be found in the consultation report

Thank you again to everyone that took part in the consultation.

-update ends-


Update 31 May 2023

The Harold Wood and Upminster bus services consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone that responded. We are now considering the feedback we received and aim to publish our consultation report and next steps during 2024. 

-update ends-


We are proposing to extend route 497 from Harold Wood to Upminster in response to requests from our customers for a direct link between these locations. If we were to extend route 497, it would replace routes 346 and 347 which would no longer run.

On this page you can find out more about these proposals, how they may impact you, and how you can have your say.

Overview

What is proposed?

How these proposals may change your bus journey

Equalities Impact Assessment

How you can find out more

Tell us your views

What happens next



Overview

London’s bus network is our most affordable, accessible and available form of public transport and offers the main sustainable alternative to cars for those journeys that can’t easily be walked or cycled. It is also London’s most flexible mode of public transport, and we continuously review and adapt the bus network to ensure that services reflect changing customer needs.

Following the Mayor’s announcement that the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded London-wide in August, we are undertaking a number of bus consultations across outer London to strengthen alternatives to private cars and maximise the benefits of expanding the ULEZ.

We have reviewed bus services in east Havering to ensure services are meeting customer needs and have taken account of feedback from 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.

What is proposed?

Bus route 497

The 497 currently runs Monday to Saturday with two buses per hour between Harold Wood Station and Dagnam Park Square. It is a short route linking residential areas to Harold Wood Station.

We propose to extend this route to run between Harold Wood Station and Upminster Station, via Upminster Park Estate. This would create new and direct north – south journey opportunities by bus in the east of Havering.

Thinking ahead

We are exploring further ideas for route 497. These are :

  1. The introduction of a Sunday service; and
  2. An alternative routeing whereby the 497 continues on Hall Lane and serves Upminster station first, before then going to Upminster Park Estate and terminating at Waycross Road. This option would mean travelling from the north to Upminster would be more direct. However, it would also mean highway changes at Waycross Road to make space for both the 497 and the 248, and the installation of driver toilets. Highway changes would be subject to agreement and would require permission from the London Borough of Havering.

Please take our Quick Poll questions on the right side of the page to let us know if you would support these ideas. 

Bus route 346

The 346 currently runs Monday to Saturday with four buses per hour between Upminster Park Estate and Upminster Station. It is a short route linking residential areas to Upminster Station. We propose to withdraw this route and replace it in its entirety with the proposed extension of route 497.

Bus route 347

The 347 currently runs Monday to Saturday operating at a limited frequency with four return trips per day, or a bus every two hours. It is a long-distance route between Ockendon Station and Romford Station. We propose to withdraw this route and replace it partially with the proposed extension of route 497.

How the local bus network may look

Our proposal intends to simplify the local bus network with a single route (497) instead of the current 346, 347, 497 arrangements. Other bus routes in the area would remain unchanged. The following diagram shows how we propose the local bus network may look if we were to extend the 497 and withdraw the 346 and the 347:

Diagram showing current and proposed routes for 346 347 and 497

We have prepared geographic maps to demonstrate the proposals. Please visit the ‘Document Library’ to view them.

How these proposals may change your bus journey

Customers of route 497

  • Current users of route 497 would benefit from new travel opportunities to areas south of Harold Hill including Upminster Station and Upminster Park Estate.
  • Currently, people travelling from Harold Hill to Upminster need to change bus. If we were to extend route 497 as proposed these journeys could be completed without the need to change bus

Customers of route 346

  • Current users of route 346 would be able to use route 497 to complete the same journey they do now, except there would be two buses per hour instead of four. Our review of the latest demand for route 346 indicates that four buses per hour are not required
  • People travelling between Upminster Park Estate and Upminster Station can also use route 248 which operates at a high frequency with a bus every eight minutes at peak times
  • Travelling on route 497 would create new north-south journey opportunities by bus to places such as the Elizabeth line and Harold Hill

Customers of route 347

  • Some current journeys on route 347 would no longer be possible on one bus
  • People travelling on route 347 between South Ockendon Station and Ockendon Road would be able to travel to Upminster Station or Romford Station via route 370. For more local destinations a change of bus would be required at these locations
  • People using stops on Clay Tye Road and St Mary’s Lane (east of Front Lane) would no longer have access to a bus service. This would impact people living in the Cathedral Estate area, however very few trips are made from this area
  • Bus access from the Cathedral Estate would be by foot, with up to a 600 metre walk via a footpath between Chester Avenue and Green Banks to bus stops at Rectory Gardens. There are also bus stops at nearby Front Lane, served by route 497, within 500 metres walking distance
  • Current users of route 347 between Harold Wood and Front Lane would be able to use route 497 to complete the same journey they do now except there would be two buses per hour for more of the day, instead of one bus every two hours. For more local destinations a change of bus would be required at Harold Wood Station and Upminster Station
  • People travelling on the 347 between Romford Station-Harold Wood would be able to complete their journey via routes 174, 294, 496 and 498. For more local destinations a change of bus would be required with other bus routes at Gallows Corner, Romford Station or Harold Wood Station
  • Travelling on route 497 would create new north-south journey opportunities by bus to places such as Harold Hill

Equalities Impact Assessment

We have undertaken an initial Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for these proposals. The EqIA identifies and examines in more detail what positive and negative impacts these proposals may have on individuals with protected characteristics together with our equality objectives and how we propose to mitigate any negative impacts.

We have identified that older people are more likely to be negatively impacted by these proposals, as they account for 70% of current passengers of route 347. We also note 2% of passenger on route 347 are ‘Disabled Person’s Freedom Pass Holders. It is noted some people may need to change bus to complete their journey as part of these proposals and in small number of cases, some journeys would require a 500-600 metre walk to access the bus network.

We have also noted there is opportunity to create new bus journeys as part of the proposals. New and direct journeys would become possible with the new link between Dagnam Park Square and Upminster Station

The impacts and mitigations described within the EqIA be considered as part of the decision-making process on the proposals. The EqIA will be kept under review and updated to reflect any relevant new information, including information which comes in as part of the consultation process.

A copy of the full initial EqIA document can be found in the ‘Document library’.

Connecting with London's deaf community on our consultations

To enhance how we engage and consult with London's deaf community we are trialling a British Sign Language (BSL) consultation conversation service for this consultation. This service will allow the TfL consultation lead to have a two-way BSL translated discussion on any aspect of this consultation with a BSL speaker.

To request a BSL consultation conversation please contact us at haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk and we will be in contact to arrange this at a convenient time. Following this trial we will evaluate the service to determine if this is something we are able to offer on other consultations in the future.

How you can find out more

We have provided more information to help you respond, and we want this consultation to be accessible to everyone. Visit the document library for:

You can use the question tool on this page during the consultation period. We will respond your questions as soon as we can.

If you need to translate this page into another language, please use the ‘Select language’ button in the bottom-left hand corner of this page.

What happens next

These proposals are subject to the outcome of our consultation. Once consultation ends on Sunday 16 April 2023, we will spend time considering all the responses we receive and will prepare a consultation report.

The consultation report will help us reach a decision about how bus routes 346, 347 and 497 may change.

The report will be available to everyone that takes part in the consultation and a copy will be published on our website.

Consultation has concluded

If you have any questions about the scheme, you can ask us here. We will then aim to get back to you.

Please note that any questions you ask may be visible to others and will be subject to moderation. Any personal information will be kept confidential but your user name will be displayed. Further details on moderation are available here and privacy here.

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    Do you plan to build physical infrastructure to accommodate the driver toilets at Waycross Road? How big will they be?

    Romford121 asked about 1 year ago

    We want to help ensure route 497 is efficient and reliable and could offer a more direct service for the route in Upminster. As part of this consultation we are exploring further ideas for route 497. One idea is an alternative routeing whereby the 497 continues on Hall Lane and serves Upminster station first, before then going to Upminster Park Estate and terminating at Waycross Road. This option would mean travelling from the north to Upminster would be more direct. However, it would also mean highway changes at Waycross Road to make space for both the 497 and the 248, and the installation of driver toilets. Highway changes would be subject to agreement and would require permission from the London Borough of Havering. Therefore we are not in a position to confirm the type of driver facility we would like to introduce, or to provide details of highway changes. These key factors would require detailed discussion with Havering Council before they may or may not be progressed.

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    What exact highway changes do you purpose on Waycross Road?

    Romford121 asked about 1 year ago

    We want to help ensure route 497 is efficient and reliable and could offer a more direct service for the route in Upminster. As part of this consultation we are exploring further ideas for route 497. One idea is an alternative routeing whereby the 497 continues on Hall Lane and serves Upminster station first, before then going to Upminster Park Estate and terminating at Waycross Road. This option would mean travelling from the north to Upminster would be more direct. However, it would also mean highway changes at Waycross Road to make space for both the 497 and the 248, and the installation of driver toilets. Highway changes would be subject to agreement and would require permission from the London Borough of Havering. Therefore we are not in a position to confirm the type of driver facility we would like to introduce, or to provide details of highway changes. These key factors would require detailed discussion with Havering Council before they may or may not be progressed.

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    Hi there the 347 currently stops both Romford bound and Upminster bound at Cornsland Close on Hall Lane. It’s currently a request stop. Will this be made into two permanent stops if the 497 comes past residents on Hall Lane? Please confirm

    Shaun O'Connor asked about 1 year ago
    While Hail and Ride provides flexibility for local bus passengers, fixed stops improve accessibility and visibility of the bus service and allow for the provision of roadside information. Subject to the outcome of consultation we would consider whether to propose a conversion of the Hail and Ride sections of a proposed new route 497 to fixed stops, and welcome views on whether this would be supported. If, subject to consultation, we decided to propose to convert parts of the route to fixed stops in the future, this process would be a collaborative effort between TfL and LB Havering and details such as the location of proposed fixed bus stops would be subject to agreement.
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    1. Will there be a return service on the 497 route from Upminster Station via Moor Lane then back to Harold Wood, as now with the 346 route. 2. Will the hail and ride service continue or will that part of the route be replaced by bus stops.

    Paula7410 asked about 1 year ago

    1. The routeing between Upminster Park Estate and Upminster Station, currently served by the 346, would remain unchanged as part of the proposed 497. The main proposal would provide a return service on the 497 between Upminster Station and Harold Wood with Upminster Park Estate being served first while the alternative proposal would provide a return service between Upminster Park Estate and Harold Wood with Upminster Station being served first. In both options, the 497 would operate via Moor Lane between Upminster Park Estate and Upminster Station. 

    2.Of part of these proposals the hail and ride section of route 497 would remain in place. In other parts of London where we have proposed to convert parts of bus routes from hail and ride to fixed bus stops we have found this helps make bus routes more accessible, and safer for people getting on and off the bus. Fixed bus stops also allow us to provide real time bus route information. We welcome any feedback from respondents related to hail and ride on the 497 route when responding to the consultation.


     

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    Hi there the 347 currently stops both Romford bound and Upminster bound at Cornsland Close on Hall Lane. It’s currently a request stop. Will this be made into two permanent stops if the 497 comes past residents on Hall Lane? Please confirm

    tracey0connor asked about 1 year ago


    While Hail and Ride provides flexibility for local bus passengers, fixed stops improve accessibility and visibility of the bus service and allow for the provision of roadside information. We are considering whether to propose a conversion of the Hail and Ride sections of route 497 to fixed stops, and welcome views on whether this would be supported. If we decide to propose to convert parts of the route to fixed stops in the future, this process would be a collaborative effort between TfL and LB Havering and details such as the location of proposed fixed bus stops has not yet been decided. 
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    Will the Pages Lane section of the new 497 route still be Hail and Ride?

    ConcernedRes asked about 1 year ago

     

    While Hail and Ride provides flexibility for local bus passengers, fixed stops improve accessibility and visibility of the bus service and allow for the provision of roadside information. We are considering whether to propose a conversion of the Hail and Ride sections of route 497 to fixed stops, and welcome views on whether this would be supported. If we decide to propose to convert parts of the route to fixed stops in the future, this process would be a collaborative effort between TfL and LB Havering and details such as the location of proposed fixed bus stops has not yet been decided. 

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    The current 346 route runs between Upminster Station towards Lexington Way from Monday to Saturday with the first bus departing at 05.17 and the last bus being 00.13. So what is the starting time planned for the new route 497 from Upminster Station and what time will the last bus be from Upminster Station, Monday to Saturday?

    JeffStafford1 asked about 1 year ago

    The proposed future start and finish times for route 497 are still to be decided and are subject to the outcome of consultation. Should we decide to proceed with changes to route 497, we expect first and last bus times would be similar to what is currently provided on this route. The first departure on the 497 is around 05:30 while the last departure is around 23:59. Consultees are invited to share their thoughts on the hour of operation of the proposed route.

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    What are the proposed first and last bus times in each direction?

    WeLoveOurGarden asked about 1 year ago


    The proposed future start and finish times for route 497 are still to be decided and are subject to the outcome of consultation. Should we decide to proceed with changes to route 497, we expect first and last bus times would be similar to what is currently provided on this route. The first departure on the 497 is around 05:30 while the last departure is around 23:59. Consultees are invited to share their thoughts on the hour of operation of the proposed route. 

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    How often would the proposed new route run - two an hour?

    217forLondon asked about 1 year ago

    It is considered to operate the proposed future version of route 497 at 2 buses per hour or every 30 minutes. The feedback we receive from this consultation will help inform our final decision on the frequency of this route and we invite respondents to share any views they may have on this element of the proposals.