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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Route Overview: Route 488

The Route 488 itself is a relatively modern route in the sense it was first introduced on 5th July 2008, however it did replace the Route S2 which dates back to 1970. Starting back in 1970, the route itself has seen many small alterations in the length of the route as well as the destinations it served although for the most part it has ran between Bromley-By-Bow and Clapton. In 2011 it was extended from Clapton to Dalston Junction via Rectory Road to terminate in the purpose built ‘bus station’ alongside the London Overground East London Line station. I use the term ‘Bus Station’ loosely as it is currently only used by the 488 but there is room for other routes if and when necessary.

DMV45107 (YY64YKS) is seen in Dalston Junction Bus Station about to depart towards Bromley By Bow (taken on 28/02/15 by Kristian Lake)
The route transferred to Tower Transit on Sat 28th Feb 2015, after being operated by Stagecoach for five years. It now works out of Lea Interchange Garage using brand new 10.8m Enviro 200’s, it runs between Bromley-By-Bow Tesco to Dalston Junction Station which is a distance of around nine kilometres or six miles, and it takes around 40 minutes on average to complete one journey. Buses run every 12 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes on Sundays. The route has a peak vehicle requirement (PVR) of ten. And it is also worth noting that the numbers of buses on this route has increased steadily over the last few years as the PVR was only seven when First started the route in 2008. I would assume this is thanks to the steady population increase in the East End.  This route is used by many as a hoppa service as it explores the back streets of Bow and Hackney very well. Not many people use the route in its entirety, but it does provide valuable links to the Bromley-By-Bow Tesco, Roman Road Market and Homerton Hospital.

DMV45101 (YY64YKL) is seen on Kingsland High Street, Dalston Junction having just arrived from Bromley By Bow. (taken on 28/02/15 by Kristian Lake)
After travelling on the route between Clapton Pond and Bow Bus Garage it does provide an interesting perspective of the area, starting on the Homerton High Street you turn to do a circuit of the front entrance to Homerton Hospital, returning back to continue along the Homerton High Street you are turning again onto Kenworthy Road which is a non-descript residential street which deposits you on the rather busier Wick Road, you then travel under the concrete structures carrying the A12 and North London Line before you arrive at the terminus of the route 30. This is as close to Hackney Wick station as you are going to get, as you then turn to run alongside the A12 for a short while. If you pay attention on the left then you may get a glimpse of the Olympic stadium between the numerous light industrial estates which litter this area. You then find yourself dropping slightly below the A12 into what is known as ‘Fish Island’ before a rather sharp right hand turn (a struggle in a 10.8m bus against oncoming traffic) is made under the A12 once more, joining Wick Lane for a short time which would take you up into Victoria Park is you wished, however we turn left to join Jodrell Road which will then feed us through the back streets of Bow, passing the bustling Roman Road Market on one side and shortly after on the other, the now derelict Bow Fire Station. Soon enough we are turning onto the double parked Fairfield Road which causes problems when two buses want to pass each other in opposite directions. Now a few doors before you get to Bow Bus Garage there is a rather imposing building on the left, now known as Bow Quarter which was a mid-19th century match making factory which has now been converted into 750 apartments, a story which is similar for many buildings in this part of London.

DMV45103 (YY64YKN) is seen on Fairfield Road outside Stagecoach London's Bow Bus Garage. (Taken on 28/02/15 by Kristian Lake)
The brand new buses Tower Transit are using on the route are 10.8m ADL Enviro 200’s, numbered DMV45101-DMV45111, they are fitted Allison gearboxes which does make them sound and ride much better than recent examples on the Route 100. Internally they do also feature Tower Transit’s new seat coverings and green grab poles. So overall they are very good buses and the larger type is certainly required on this route, to cope with the numerous pushchairs and shopping trollies that come with the route.


Jay says:
at: Sunday, March 01, 2015 10:00:00 pm said...

Great first article Kris, we are pleasured to have you as part of the team!

at: Monday, March 02, 2015 4:29:00 pm said...

I don't get why there aren't any brand new 10.2m examples of the E20D being built nowadays, the last of them were ordered back in 2012 for route H28, after that, there's just been 10.8m E20Ds

Robert Taylor says:
at: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 4:37:00 pm said...

TfL specifies in their tender contracts the largest bus possible for the route. That way they get capacity upgrades without having to increase the frequency. That's why most buses nowadays are turning up as 10.8m.

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