6. Diversion of bus services
6.1 Current bus lines on Oxford Street
Fig. 6.1: Bus lines on Oxford Street
Currently there are 25 bus lines operated via Oxford Street (according to the London Transport bus map). All these lines are listed below, giving the line number and the relevant section of their route on Oxford Street:
2 Park Lane – Baker St.Terminus 1: North of Marble Arch between Edgware Road and Portman Street
3 Regent St. – Terminus 2
6 Edgware Rd. – Regent St.
7 Edgware Rd. – Tottenham Court Rd.
8 New Bond St. – New Oxford St.
10 Park Lane – Tottenham Court Rd.
12 Bayswater Rd .– Regent St.
13 Baker St.– Regent St.
15 Edgware Rd. – Regent St.
23 Edgware Rd. – Regent St.
25 Terminus 2 – New Oxford St.
30 Terminus 1 – Baker St.
53 Terminus 2 – Regent St.
55 Terminus 2 – New Oxford St.
73 Park Lane – Tottenham Court Rd.
88 Terminus 3 – Regent St.
94 Bayswater Rd. – Regent St.
98 Edgware Rd. – New Oxford St.
113 Terminus 3 – Baker St.
135 Terminus 1 – Portland Place
137 Terminus 3 – Park Lane
139 Baker St.– Regent St.
159 Baker St.– Regent St.
176 Terminus 2 – Charing Cross Rd.
274 Terminus 1 – Baker St.
Bus lines using Oxford Street are: -
There are three possible changes to bus lines:
If buses are diverted to alternative routes it is important that the
new tram-system provides proper access to the area including interchange
facilities. Extensions of the core route out of the area are absolutely
necessary in order to reduce interchanging and enhance the catchment area.
6.3 Alternative Routes
There are two kinds of alternative routes that buses can take. The first option is a road close to Oxford Street in order to maintain access to the area by buses. Another option is a remote diversion, provided that access to Oxford Street is now by tram and all other passengers on the concerned buses are through travellers only.
South of Oxford Street there are only small streets that cannot cope with bus traffic. The closed parallel route in the north is via Seymour Street, Wigmore Street, Mortimer Street and Goodge Street. This route is used by the private traffic that is diverted from Oxford Street and therefore heavily trafficked. Only Seymour Street is less busy, that is because the parallel bit of Oxford Street is open to all traffic. The route is also used by access traffic to the shops, especially along Goodge Street, and there is residential and short-term parking along the street. Therefore it is not possible to close this road for private traffic in order to give priority to buses. The provision of bus lanes is not possible either, that is because of the narrowness of the street. Hence diversion of buses to this route would worsen the traffic situation for all traffic and in particular hold up buses.
A remote alternative route is Marylebone Road between Paddington and Euston. This road is a major through route, which the A40 feeds in from the west and is part of the priority (red) route network. The layout is a dual three-lane carriageway, which can merely cope with the amount of traffic after the introduction of the priority measures. There are already some bus lines on this route that are sometimes subject to congestion. Diversion of more bus lines via Marylebone Road might necessitate a bus lane in order to avoid delays for the buses. But it is very likely that the reduced capacity will not be able to cope with the existing traffic.
Thus diversion of buses to these alternative routes would cause increased congestion not only to other traffic but also to the buses. This delays their service and leads to unreliability. It can be concluded that alternative routes are only possible if there is a reduction in the total traffic level in the area. This calls for comprehensive traffic management schemes in order to allow diversion of bus routes. The Manchester example shows that any proposed system needs to be closely co-ordinated with associated measures such as traffic calming and traffic management (Barry). Interesting in this context are studies about reduced traffic as a consequence of reduced capacity (Appendix E). How far this can be achieved for central London must be subject of further studies.