Arriva London starts running the route 157 service from Morden to Crystal Palace
Arriva London has been awarded the contract to run TfL route 157 from Morden, to Crystal Palace for five years, starting from the 3rd December this year.
The service is operated with eighteen Trident ADL E400 double deck vehicles, from Norwood garage with drivers based at Thornton Heath garage. Thornton Heath does not have the capacity for the buses to be parked there following the new contract award of route 64 from August this year so the operation is very much a team effort to maximise the capacity and efficiency of our garage locations in south London. Buses run for 22 hours of the day with the first bus leaving Crystal Palace at 0420 and the last one arriving there at 0217, the service runs every twelve minutes during the day, and every twenty minutes during the evening.
Route 157 started 90 years ago in 1926 as a feeder service from Wallington to the new Morden Station on the Northern Line extension. It remained a local service in the Sutton area until March 1959 when extended from Wallington through Croydon to Crystal Palace replacing Trolleybus route 654.
Thornton Heath had been involved in the operation of the route continuously from January 1973 to February 1985. It also had a short spell of operating it together with Croydon (TC) from August 1987 until November 1988 when the route moved entirely to Sutton as a result of its first competitive tender. In December 2001 the route was awarded to Connex and remained with their subsequent owners Travel London and Abellio for three tender cycles, and finally, as we mentioned earlier, coming back to us at Thornton Heath this month.
Sixty-eight drivers are required to service the route with change-overs taking place on the route at Tamworth Road, West Croydon.
To see what the drivers think about the route coming to Arriva London, we went out and spoke to a number of them about their new experience, including driver James who came with the route from the previous operator. He explained how the drivers are enjoying the new opportunity for themselves and their customers:-
“With Arriva London taking over the 157 route, they’ve managed to improve the customer experience, by regulating the service more efficiently. I really like the route, the customers are all friendly. From the Morden end there are many doctors and nurses going to the local hospital and it’s good to be able to get them their comfortably on time. The other Arriva London drivers who have joined the route have all made similar positive comments.”
If you have any comments about the new 157 service please let us know, or if you would like the opportunity of joining our driving team, please apply here.
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