Posts Tagged buses

TfL gets Michael Cliffe wrong

A few years ago I got TfL to correct the 153 bus stop which had renamed Hemingford Road as Hemmingford. Surely it’s not impossible to get placenames right when you are the main transport body for the city!

Now they’ve done it again. I was using the TfL journey planner to plot a route to the Finsbury Estate for a friend who was planning a trip to the nearby Islington Museum. The website came up with a walking map – but spoilt it all by referring to the destination as “Michael Clifton House/Patrick Coman House”. As Finsbury folk know, it’s Michael Cliffe House, not Michael Clifton.

Michael Cliffe was a Finsbury councillor, Chairman of the Housing Committee, and Mayor of Finsbury, who went on to be the MP for Shoreditch and Finsbury.

The whole point of naming estates after people is to honour their memory, so the least TfL can do is get the name right. I’ve written to them pointing out their mistake and asking them to correct it.


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Bus/bike accident at Islington Green

Popping to the local shops at lunchtime, I was surprised to see a stream of buses that normally run along Essex Road – 341, 56, 476 and even the bendies 38 and 73 – heading down Canonbury Road.

Apparently there has been an accident on Essex Road near Islington Green, involving a bike and one of the dreaded bendy buses.

I will post more information when I have it.

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Bus news – 393, 38, 30 and 205

Some good bus news from Transport for London.

The 393 bus route, which has been extended to North Road on a temporary basis for nearly 2 years, has finally been made permanent. The route links North Road to Holloway Road and Highbury Corner, and runs on to Hackney via Highbury New Park. The Camden end of the route has been controversial: residents of Leighton Road in particular wanted an alternative routing along Agar Grove to be considered, so I appreciate it’s not happy news for them. But Islington residents on the many estates around North Road are delighted that their bus service has been retained.

The 38 bus route is going to be converted – at last! – from bendy to a double-decker; it’s due to happen in autumn this year. That should help reduce the mad congestion at bus-stops at the Angel and along Essex Road.

Also two of the existing bus routes that serve Islington, the no 30 and no 205, have been retendered. The number 30 will stay unchanged for the next 2 years: same route, frequency and type of vehicle. The 205 route is changing, with new vehicles and an extension from the current route end at the Grand Union Canal near Mile End to Bow Church, connecting with the DLR; the changes come into effect from the end of August.

A bit of trivia: the 205 runs past at least seven university and college sites: from the Royal Academy of Music and the University of Westminster on Marylebone Road, on past University College London, to City & Islington College, City University, London Met, and ending up at Queen Mary & Westfield College. Can any other London bus route rival that?

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Finsbury’s Liberal hero

On Friday I was doing some daytime door-knocking around the Angel with Caroline Pidgeon. We were also getting signatures for the One Hour Bus Ticket campaign, on which more later.

Seeing Islington through a visitor’s eyes, one thing that struck me was that on quite a short stretch, we passed 3 blue plaques – as well as the homes of various contemporary celebrities.
Last month, I was honoured to be among the guests for the unveiling of a new blue plaque in Clerkenwell, organised by the Amwell Society. The plaque commemorates Finsbury MP Dadabhai Naoroji – appropriately enough in Naoroji Street, named after the great man. He was Britain’s first Asian MP and a Liberal MP, first elected in 1892.

And his political connections live on today in Clerkenwell councillor Marisha Ray.

Dadabhai is a hero for our area (he already has a plaque on Finsbury Town Hall) and for my party, but not exactly a household name. As the Amwell Society point out, people don’t know why it’s called Naoroji Street. And with more people talking up the BNP, it’s important to remember that London has always been a multi-cultural city. So the plaque is a great idea.

Emily Thornberry MP didn’t exactly unveil the plaque – it’s high up above the reach of vandals – but she did speak very positively about Naoroji’s contribution, although managing completely to avoid mentioning he was a Liberal MP! There’s a nice piece aout the event in the Tribune.

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London Region Lib Dem conference

I didn’t get to our regional conference yesterday as I had another busy day in Islington.

I hared off early for a breakfast time photo op at Highbury Corner about road safety: Boris wants to reduce the time we have to cross main roads, and we’re not happy about it. Lots of support from passers by! And a chance to talk to the folk already starting to queue at the Post Office.

Back to work, then out again for a lunchtime photo op about bus fumes with residents in Holloway. After work I dropped by the Town Hall to join the huge numbers of people saying farewell to Islington’s popular head of social services, Paul Curran, who is retiring. Then off for canvassing in Barnsbury – very positive response – ending up with a campaign team meeting. Phew!

Anyway, thanks to the joys of Twitter, by reading the #londonld hashtag, I can catch up on the highlights I missed.

Party President Ros Scott told members there was now nothing to choose between the Labour and Conservative parties.

Then Vince Cable spoke about how the Lib Dems were the only party to warn of the impending economic crisis, getting “something very big, very right”. He told the banks to start lending and stop abusive payments. And he argued that Labour could implode after selling their soul to the bankers. The financial crisis “merits a wartime mobilisation of resources” but the Government isn’t spending money allocated to social housing. He concluded that the Lib Dems are gaining real traction & other parties’ support is weakening.

All of which is pretty much what voters in Barnsbury were telling me!

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Bus protest in the Tribune

The Islington Tribune has picked up our protest about buses at Highbury Corner.

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Improving Highbury Corner


This morning I was up and out early to meet residents and local councillors at Highbury Corner.

There’s a bus stand next to Dixon Clark Court, and a long-standing beef of residents there is that some of the bus drivers using the stand keep their engines running – against all the rules – generating more noise and pollution.

There was already one bus on the stand, but as we advanced with our ‘Give us some peace & quiet’ posters, he drove off. That’s one solution to the problem… Shortly afterwards another bus rolled up and we got our protest pic before rushing off to work. Though not before one of the TMO activists had told me that as a lifelong Labour supporter, he’s planning to vote Lib Dem next time. Not a bad start to the day!

This morning’s protest is just the start. Lib Dem GLA member Caroline Pidgeon has tabled a question to Mayor Boris Johnson on the subject, and we’ll be watching keenly for the response.

Meanwhile the Council is keeping plans to improve Highbury Corner on the agenda. The changes championed by council leader James Kempton were backed by residents in last year’s consultation. They include an improved post office (hooray – at present people end up queuing out on the pavement), converting the ‘gyratory’ to a more traditional street pattern, improving crossings and giving access to the greenspace.

The Council has earmarked £5M towards the plans; and is challenging the Mayor to match it.

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