Abena Oppong-Asare at Abbey Wood station
Abena Oppong-Asare met staff at Abbey Wood station

Erith & Thamesmead’s MP Abena Oppong-Asare has called on Transport for London to improve bus services to Abbey Wood station when Crossrail services begin next year.

Abena Oppong-Asare, the Erith & Thamesmead MP, spoke after a visit to the station to meet staff and see what work is being done.

Trains were due to begin running in December 2018 but construction delays have blighted the £19bn project, which will link Abbey Wood, Heathrow and Reading via Woolwich, Canary Wharf and the West End.

Elizabeth Line services could begin in February, the Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild told MPs earlier this month. Test trains are currently running between Abbey Wood and Paddington.

A new route to serve Abbey Wood – the 301 from Woolwich to Bexleyheath – was introduced two years ago, but Oppong-Asare said more needed to be done to improve bus links to the station.

“It was great to visit Abbey Wood station and see the progress that has been made in finishing the station before Elizabeth line trains are due to start running in the first half of 2022,” Oppong-Asare said.

“When this happens, Abbey Wood will be less than half-an-hour away from Paddington.

“I am determined that as many local people as possible benefit from this new line, and therefore I am calling for better bus links from Abbey Wood to other places in the constituency. I will be working with local partners to ensure that this happens.”

Three years ago TfL announced plans to reroute several services to give Abbey Wood a better service, including running the 472 bus via Plumstead High Street and Abbey Wood station and extending the 180 to a new housing development at Erith Quarry. Another route, the 469, was also to be diverted in Belvedere to provide a service to the station.

However, it is not clear how many of these changes will now go ahead.

The change to the 180 was controversial at the other end of the route, where TfL planned to divert it to North Greenwich, leaving the 177 as the only direct bus between Greenwich and Woolwich town centres.

While electric buses will be introduced to the route in October when its operator changes to Stagecoach, there is no news on whether the route will alter once Crossrail opens.

12.15pm update: A consultation has opened on ways to improve public transport links between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet in north Kent. Proposals include extending Crossrail to Northfleet and Gravesend. More information at abbeywood2ebbsfleet.com

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