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Slowest bus routes in Havering revealed

07:00 18 February 2016

The number 5 bus from Canning Town to Romford

The number 5 bus from Canning Town to Romford

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Most bus users have sat aboard while stuck in traffic thinking up ways they could have got to their destination quicker.

And new figures revealing average speeds for all routes in London show there’s probably quite a few, including a hearse, donkey or skateboard.

Transport for London (TfL) has published statistics showing the average speed for every route in London between April and December last year.

In Havering, the most painstaking route was the 648 school service from Moor Lane, Cranham to Romford Market which averaged an 8.2mph crawl, with 8.3mph in the opposite direction. The 5 bus was the next slowest, travelling at an average of 9.1mph from Canning Town to Romford and 9.2mph the other way.

Both routes fall below the London average of 9.3mph, with most of the other routes slightly higher.

Former bus driver Brian Relf, 52, of Rush Green, was based at the North Street, Romford garage until retiring five years ago and believes in some cases that average is too high.

“TfL say the average is about 9mph but I’m not having that,” he told the Recorder. “I remember the 86 bus from Romford to Stratford would take an hour and 20 minutes in the day and longer at night.”

“I remember the 5 taking ages but the worst route was the 175 from the Hill Rise Estate to the Dagenham Ford Works. If there’s people causing trouble on the bus, and you used to get that on the 175, it could take all night. I used to get bricks through my window.”

Brian, who was once driving a 103 bus that took an hour and 55 minutes to travel two stops from Romford Market to the North Street garage on Christmas Eve, also revealed why buses are often late.

“You can be as late as you like,” he said. “But if you leave more than two minutes early and you get caught it’s going to be reported. That’s why you see drivers just sat in the buses.

“At my mother-in-laws funeral we went from Romford station to Upminster cemetery in 20 minutes, in a hearse. That used to take me at least half an hour on the bus.”

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