Why All The Fuss?

On the surface it seems just like any other Transport for London toute with red buses, no map and no timetable. But it seems to have attracted a whole heap of bloggers, vloggers and assorted old codgers.
Diamond Geezer wrote about it way back in 2014!
I arrive in good time. Not right at the start of the route in Romford but a mile or so up the road at Gallows Corner, round the back of Tesco’s car park. As many as seven passengers have made the journey thus far, two of whom alight to shop and two more board with bags in hand. The bloke behind the sunglasses is probably the 347’s regular driver.
My London is more recent, commenting on the TfL’s proposals and “consultation” on possible changes to the route …
… and we all know what “consultation” means for Transport for London. It means “we’re doing it anyway, whatever you say!” But maybe in this case it doesn’t hence the headline above. We shall see!
One Bus At A Time has reviewed the route …,
… for education and general interest.
London List implies that the service involves almost a personal relationship between staff and passengers.
fbb usually thanks the driver whenever he travels by bus – but perhaps such conventions of “politesse” are rare in the Metropolis?
There are several videos on line. This one begins with a lengthy session viewing the route (or maybe NOT viewing the route) from the back seats. It is the whole route in real time …

… but fbb gave up as he is nearly 79 and life is just too short for such excitement. 

Another “full route” video is speeded up to complete the trip in eleven minutes; but viewing out of the back window. fbb found this speedy ride in reverse visually disturbing.
The most recent moving picture offering is from Geoff Marshall
… very much a star of the London transport (not just London buses) video world.
In his latest offering he rides the 347 in the company of Roger French.
Incidentally, Mr French has also added a piece about his ride on the 347 to his own blog for Thursday 11th.
The two pals spend much of the time on screen in chummy chat, but you really need to know about London to follow all the discussed finer points. And, again, there isn’t too much background to help the feeble little grey cells of an fbb whose knowledge of London is above average but well below that of Geoff and Rog.
But the chatty chaps do bring up some interesting detail about the route which fbb has seen fit to examine a little more deeply.

One of the sound bites concerns the route number. “347 was a London Country bus route number” says Geoff, implying perhaps that this 347 was once a London Country (green bus) route.

It wasn’t!
Another topic of bus seat banter concern those recent proposals to change the route – indeed to remove route 347 completely.
Shock Horror!
So here  is the current 347 on the Ttl; web site …

… running from Romford via Harold Wood, Upminster and North Ockendon to South Ockendon a k a Ockendon railway station. 

The little jiggle centre top is a visit to what looks like a retail “facility” although, however much you enlarge TfL’s poor quality map, you will never find out exactly what retail thrills await you.

in addition to Romford, Upminster and Ockendon stations, the 347 also serves Harold Wood on the same line as Romford. Thus there are plenty of opportunities for bus/rail interchange.

If course, TfL no longer bothers to produce maps, so we rely, as ever, on Mike Harris.

Unfortunately for fbb’s research, the 347 and the 370 disappear off the map. They disappear into the wilds of Essex which has its “interactive” map on offer.

Hopefully, by the time it is needed, fbb will have learned how to use it!!

Thus, in tomorrow’s episode, fbb will answer Geoff and Roger’s question namely “Was 347 a London Country bus toute?”.
The answer is yes – – –  and no!

Puzzle Picture Answer (Late Again!)

Answer : It is Hammersmith station – and here it is today.

Then this is also Hammersmith Station of old …

… and this is what it looks like today.


Here is the answer.

There are TWO Hammersmith stations which are completely separate.

The first and second station pictures above are of the terminus of the Circle Line (which no longer circles) and the Hammersmith and City Line. 

In the middle of the mega road system is the District Line and Piccadilly Line through station.
There is no subway between the two, you just have to dice with death in the complex road system.
rbb jas interchanged there many years ago; and found it very difficult. His guess for the correct route wasm well, nearly right! It is a good thing that he wasn’t on a tight interchange schedule!
 Next 347 Heaven blog : Tuesday 16th January 
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