This is where I spent yesterday evening. The meeting was efficiently chaired by Cllr Ashley Kissin and took presentations from two members of the public. First up were residents of Coventry Road in Ilford who requested a diversion of the 364 bus away from their street. Since the council installed speed tables there have been complaints of excessive noise and vibration along the route. Second was a resident of Wanstead who told us that the help points at the Central Line station were not working. Obviously this is not the sort of high minded strategic stuff that we deal with at City Hall, but it is vital to constituents and they expect TfL to get it right.
Concerns were expressed about unruly behaviour of school children on the 275 and 167 routes - an unwelcome legacy of Ken's ill considered free travel giveaway. More police were travelling on buses now, but they could not be everywhere.
A request to extend route 247 to Queens Hospital was being considered. With services moving there from King Georges there was a growing need for a direct link between Ilford and the hospital which is not convenient for Romford Station, where the buses terminate at present.
TfL and Cllr Sue Nolan had worked together to agree a new bus route serving New Wanstead and people along the proposed route were being consulted. Hopefully the service would be running by the Summer.
The Western exit from Snaresbrook station was closed outside peak times, owing to very low demand. I suggested that London Underground consider allowing elderly or disabled people to use the help point to request access rather than having to cross over the bridge. They agreed to consider this.
Pigeon nets on the bridge at Hainault station had been removed during repainting, resulting in a subsequent flying rat infestation. Work to replace the nets was being tendered, but why were they not replaced as part of the painting contract? Indeed, why does a relatively small job require complex and time consuming tendering? Here is one way that Metronet could save our money.
At Gants Hill, there was good news for once. The steps which were demolished by a lorry last year had now been replaced, allowing easy access to the subways from Cranbrook Road.
Despite the recent hysteria about cancelled projects there is still plenty happening. Crossrail will begin tunnelling in July and work is due to start at Tottenham Court Road station. In Redbridge, Ilford Lane is soon to be reconfigured in preparation for the East London Transit scheme. Concerns about parking were expressed but Redbridge officers assured us there would be enough spaces to allow businesses to operate.
An interesting meeting, and useful to get opinions from the sharp end.