Battersea residents demand return of vanishing 170 bus

Published: Tuesday 9th January 18

Battersea residents are up in arms after transport bosses at TfL withdrew their local bus service just before Christmas without telling anyone.

People who live in Lombard Road, Vicarage Crescent and Battersea Church Road were dismayed when the 170 bus disappeared in the run up to Christmas.

It subsequently emerged that TfL had replaced the old single decker buses on this route with new models that are deemed too big to fit underneath the railway bridge in Lombard Road.

This image from June 2008 shows the current height restriction dates back to at least then

Now the council has stepped in to try and help TfL find an urgent solution to the problem in a bid to get the buses back on the road.

Wandsworth’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “It is a farcical situation that has been exacerbated by TfL’s reluctance to come clean and admit they made a mistake.

“It seems obvious that nobody bothered to double check if their new fleet of buses would actually fit underneath the bridge.

“And instead of telling anyone they simply withdrew the 170 from this part of Battersea leaving residents there with absolutely no bus service at all.

“The only reason we found out was because local people contacted us to ask what had happened to their local buses.  And when we contacted TfL they tried to muddy the waters by suggesting the bridge must have been lowered – but it hasn’t changed since the Victorians built it. It’s as tall now as it was then and the height restriction on it has been the same since at least 2008.

“What’s really disappointing is that once they knew there was a problem, TfL didn’t do the sensible thing and reinstate the old buses until they could work something out. They just decided to abandon residents in this part of Battersea and leave them without their buses.

“Obviously this is not an acceptable situation so our engineers will be working with TfL to try and find a solution so that local people can have their buses back.”

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Recent comments

Thanks to residents and councillors of all political persuasions, this was soon sorted out. Not unsurmountable, and not the end of the world until they got it right. There are quite a few other things that could do with the same reaction and action.
susan lofthouse

8 April 2018

Let's get this into perspective. The diversion of the 170 is only in the westbound (ie to Roehampton) direction and the affected bus stops on all have the usual yellow hoods and yellow notices (dated 16:00 on 14 December) so people WERE told, if they cared to look. Anyone wanting to go west from the affected area need only walk a short distance or get an eastbound bus for a few stops, get off and cross the road to return. OK it's a minor inconvenience, and something of a b**ls up, but not the end of the world. Many parts of the UK (including some major urban areas) have no buses at all! Londoners are spoiled.

13 January 2018

This seems to be a recurring problem with TfL who don’t seem to hold their hands up when they make mistakes (think Garden Bridge) - whoever commissioned the new buses without surveying the route should - I hope - be looking for a new job.
Robin Ballance

12 January 2018

I do hope tfl realise their folly and return. To the o,d route with the old buses.
Deike Begg

11 January 2018

We need our bus back! Nursery run is a nightmare without this route :(

11 January 2018

Why not take the 19 right up to CJ day as well as night? That would pick up some of the 170 route and give us a bonus route to St Pancras and KX.
Diana Barber

11 January 2018

This shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. Use the buses on another route and go back to the old 170s which were perfectly OK.
Maryvonne Lumley

10 January 2018

sounds likegood grounds for legal action, they have sold peopletickets for a non existent service, fraud etc.. where are the good hearted solicitors?

9 January 2018

Fell out of chair laughing, "bridge must have been lowered", you can't make this up.

9 January 2018