Redbridge’s slowest bus routes revealed

PUBLISHED: 17:54 22 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:54 22 February 2016

The number 169 bus was the second slowest on average in Redbridge  Photo: Ellie Hoskins

The number 169 bus was the second slowest on average in Redbridge Photo: Ellie Hoskins


Everybody hates it when buses go slow, but it is far worse when you discover you would be quicker riding a donkey.

The borough’s buses plod along at such a pace that passengers could actually travel faster via skateboard, hearse or even on rollerskates.

Recently released statistics show some buses in Redbridge are also slower than squirrels, goats and even mice.

In fact Usain Bolt sprints three times faster than the number 86 bus from Romford to Stratford, which goes down Ilford High Road.

Transport for London (TfL) has published the average speed for every route in London over the past two years.

The slowest bus in Redbridge is the number 147 which runs from Canning Town to Hainault Street, Ilford, at 7.5mph.

That is an improvement on 2014, when the bus would crawl along at 6.8mph – the top speed of a hoverboard or swegway.

Second on the list of shame is the number 169 which races from Barking to Clayhall on average at 9mph.

The last Redbridge bus route to try and avoid is the number 86, which trickles down High Road, from Goodmayes to Ilford, at 9.4mph.

Retired driver Brian Relf, 52, from Havering, who used to cover that route, told the Recorder: “It once took me an hour and 55 minutes to go three stops.

“I remember the 86 bus from Romford to Stratford would take an hour and 20 minutes in the day and longer at night.

“You cannot try and keep bus timetables, it just doesn’t work, people die on buses, mothers leave their babies on buses. There is too much going on.”

And Brian explained why the old saying – when you wait for one bus, two arrive – is often true.

“There is no problem with running late, that’s allowed, but if you are two and half minutes early you get reported and disciplined.

“That’s why all the buses get bunched together. Timetables are meaningless.

“You need to be sitting behind the accelerator, not behind the desk.”

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