Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Number 378 Route (Not)


This refers you to a 378 service which does not seem to exist under that number.


BRIDGES

London is a magnificent city, made more so by its river and what better way to appreciate the Thames than by crossing the bridges on a bus, preferably on the upper deck where you have a unique view both ways. This is also one of the main arguments against the Underground as – with the exception of the District Line – the river passes unnoticed unless you remember it is actually above you, which is quite scary when it suddenly dawns on you as a child! We adults are more sanguine about trusting ourselves to tunnels built over 100 years ago.

There are more opportunities than you might think to cross on a bus.
Here are the numbers (in both senses) though they can be skipped for the less number obsessive of you.

FROM EAST to WEST:

Number of Routes
BRIDGE
Bus Routes
3
TOWER
42, 78, RV1
11
LONDON
17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 521
1
SOUTHWARK
344
3
BLACKFRIARS
45, 63, 100
16
WATERLOO
1, 4, 59, 68, 76, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, RV1 X68
6
WESTMINSTER
12, 53, 148, 159, 211, 453
3
LAMBETH
3, 507, C10
7
VAUXHALL
2, 36, 87, 88, 185, 360, 436
3
CHELSEA
44, 137, 452
5
BATTERSEA
19, 49, 170, 319, 345
3
WANDSWORTH
28, 295, C3
8
PUTNEY
14, 22, 39, 85, 93, 265, 270, 424
6
HAMMERSMITH
33, 72, 209, 283, 419, 485
1
MORTLAKE
190
2
KEW
65, 391
7
RICHMOND
33, 490, 969, H22, H37, R68, R70
9
KINGSTON
111, 216, 281, 285, 411, 461, 481, 513, 515

So there are over ninety different buses that can take you across the River Thames!



Then there’s the whole question of the bridges themselves – are they memorable constructions in their own right? Tower Bridge looks better from the side than crossing it, while Hammersmith is both intimate and proud. Westminster has a lion at one end and Boudicca at the other, and Blackfriars has pulpits. Putney is plain enough not to distract from the view; Vauxhall does the job but lacks charm. Wordsworth wrote the poem about Westminster but for me it’s Waterloo that ticks all the boxes: the best of London views each way, with an ever-changing skyline and a wide open sky, never the same. 

There are of course other crossings – memorably the footbridges at Hungerford and St Paul’s to Tate (the erstwhile wobbly Millenium Bridge), the foot tunnels at Woolwich and Greenwich and road tunnels at Blackwall (all hail to the 108 bus route) and Rotherhithe, plus the ferry at Woolwich – but as far as I am concerned none of them has the romance of a good bus-on-bridge transit.















And here's one to remember (but not taken from a bus) 





 

3 comments:

  1. It's 678, and http://www.londonbusroutes.net/times/678.htm

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  2. There's one place coming south on the top of a bus over Waterloo bridge where you can see Big Ben perfectly centred in the London Eye! At one stage I was commuting on a bus that went that way, and noticed that almost everybody, every day, took their noses out of their papers to look!

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