Where And More Importantly, Why?

Astute readers may have worked out that the present London Buses 347 is special because it is the least frequent (non school etc.) red bus route in the capital. It runs every two hours, but TfL keeps the timetable a secret offering only departure lists of various kinds in various technologies.

Once upon a time the “Panel” for the 347 showed a proper timetable …

… but apparently they are no longer needed! As the 347 ventures, fearing neither native attack nor savaging by wild animals, bravely into the wilds of Essex, the latter county has the current timetable.

It now has a variable running time created well before First Bus started using AS (Artificial Stupidity) to confuse its passengers.

The route runs from Romford along the A12 calling at that retail delight near Gallows Corner, unnamed and unloved on TfLs toute map.

Here it is from the A12 …

… and here you see the bus stops (below, lower right) …

… about as far from the Tesco store as you can get whilst still, technically, being there!

But soon our 347 turns tight off the A12 to arrive at Harold Wood station The “Harold” is he who lost the Battle of Battle by NOT being struck in the eye with an arrow. The creators of the Bayeux Tapestry never identified the eye-ball injured knight with King H, that was a later and erroneous “gloss”. Anyway, said Harold was the Lord of the Manor of Havering-Atte-Bower and, one guesses, had a wood just outside the Elizabeth Line line station.

There are three bus stops at the station cunningly labelled A, B and C. B is on the northbound side of the gloriously named Gubbins Lane …

… A on Station Road, a turn off the aforesaid …

… and C is right outside the station entrance.

That is where our southbound 347 stops.  Of course, TfL, so admired by politicians in our northern cities, doesn’t actually tell you which route stops where. Helpful eh?

Note also, two 294s to Havering Park at 1019 and 1020

Isn’t technology wonderful?

The 347 route continues to Upminster, famous the world over for being the eastern terminus of the Underground’s District Line (GREEN).

Also there are the C2C line (PUCE dotted) and the odd disconnected bit of Overground (ORANGE).

Oddly, no other bus route links Harold Wood with Upminster.

… and there are no bus stops between housing at Harold Wood and Avon Road (Wylie Veterinary Centre) at Upminster.

Also at Upminster is a very short London Buses route …

… with just a ten minute running time from station to terminus at Upminster Park Estate.

After the 346 turns off St Marys Road, the 347 continues its lonely way …,

… to North Ockendon where the 370 comes in to join the fray.

The names of the stops on the 347’s very rural section …

… are indicative of the potential paucity of prospective passengers for the 347.

East View Kennels
Clay Tye Farm
White Post Farm
White Post Farm is where the 370 joins the 347 …

… with both routes moving slightly further south to the pulsating life enhancing community of North Ockendon.

South Ockendon is a much bigger settlement than any traversed since leaving Harold Wood, but …

… the 347 doesn’t really serve South Ockendon at all, it just grazes the northern edge by terminating at Ockendon Station.

The former Ockendon stationmaster’s house has had numerous tenants …

… the most recent of which was the barbers.

The hair snipping no longer operates; and Google Maps offers no mention of routes 11, 12 and 12 (sic!). 

Trains run every 30 minutes between Fenchurch Street and Grays via Ockendon.
So what was/is the purpose of the two hourly route 347? It does seem a strange operation for the great Transport for London. When Geoff and Rog travelled, there were very few passengers ditto the on-line route video producers.
fbb will speculate tomorrow and take a look at recent proposals for a very significant re-jig of some of the services in the area, including the 347.
No work done on the camping bus yesterday – Community Lunch at Church plus, on strong instruction from Mrs fbb, a haircut for your aged blogger.

There’s not much left up there (fbb refers to hair, not brain!) but it is now shorter and tidier. 

And there was snooker on TV; so a miserable lack of modelling effort!
 Next 347 Heaven blog : Thursday 18th January 
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