Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Number 241 Route

Hermit Road (Canning Town) to Stratford Bus Station
Monday February 21st 2011

This was something of an initiation rite for a new lady who buses – Sue D who joined Linda for the day while other Bus ladies were being exemplary half-term grandmothers.

As TfL promised, Hermit Road is only a short walk from the mighty Canning Town station and the huge road interchange; we had no trouble finding the start of the route and the driver seemed quite chuffed to be photographed. Canning Town itself, which had grown rapidly and not altogether healthily around tallow and soap factories, not to mention the docks (Victoria Docks) and railways, was 85 % destroyed by the blitz, as the post war housing stock of today indicates. Little sign of the nearby Rathbone Road today.

London currently seems to have reached a further phase of massive redevelopment, particularly in east London, and this website indicates the long-term plans for Rathbone Market – traffic was also being diverted off the Barking Road and there was a big hole in the middle of roundabout.

We thought the route 241 was less diverted than most, as it takes a fairly back route to start with, serving Star Park and the community round there whose members boarded the bus enthusiastically. The ride hereabouts between the multiple turns, the speed humps and the potholes was a real roller coaster making both note-taking and photography something of a lottery – I know, I’ve always got an excuse: if it’s not the weather it’s the bus!

Having served the Silvertown Community the bus ranges alongside the Dockland Light Railway with the small planes overhead heading for City Airport (visibility was poor today but they seemed still to be flying) and we noted the number of hotels  that had sprung up around here, built for capacity rather than attractiveness?

It was difficult to discover whether Goswells Bakery, long time hereabouts and the manufacturer of several healthy and seedy loaves (my computer even now has a wealth of Vogels seeds and crumbs in it and carries on quite happily), is still operational having been taken over by a more rural bakery in 2009 and several staff made redundant?

Whatever, by Custom House station we had taken on substantial numbers of passengers, as we headed towards the A13, and very skilfully (would he make the dip) under this major trunk route.        

Shortly after that we were in Plaistow, which sadly has few stand-out features, and we took even more passengers on board along Balaam Street passing the Leisure Centre of that name.  The biblical Balaam was given to prophecy and poems (or possibly poetic prophecies) in Hebrew and castigated his donkey for stopping because of an angel en route – the donkey (Eddie Murphy style) then explained what was going on. No angels and no donkeys in Plaistow today.
Just as the bus chooses the left turn to head for Stratford we passed a Clegg Street and wondered whether, by the time we come to post this route, will the country still have a deputy premier named Clegg?

Stratford is of course all things Olympic and therefore until 2012 presents as a work in progress – whenever we have been through Stratford it has been in some kind of flux. Unfortunately approaching from this direction there is a negligible view of the Olympic site but a substantial view of the now extended station plus Westfield Shopping Centre. 

This was always billed as a short route and even with diversion only took ½ an hour.

PS This route now seems to have a different starting point - at Prince Regent DLR Station so the Rules committee may need to meet.


  1. The Rules Committee may not need to meet. As far as I'm aware, Route 241 has merely been temporarily curtailed to Prince Regent DLR Station due to roadworks in the Keir Hardie Estate area. I believe there is a temporary route covering the section onwards to Hermit Road

    Hope this helps!


  2. Indeed. 241 (and 147) is 'temporarily' terminating at Prince Regent DLR Station, and is due to return to Hermit Road shortly. The Hermit Road to Kier Hardie Estate section is being covered by route 541. However, 241 was extended from Stratford Bus Station to Stratford City Bus Station when Westfield opened.

  3. If the precedent of the 159 is followed, then you should have ridden the section from Stratford to Stratford International before posting this journey - I'm not on the Rules Committee though!

  4. Yes but Stratford Regional Bus station is closed for refurbishment, so i would wait until that opens (as with all the buses at start at Stratford) when you do the journey as all buses start 1 stop after their official starting point.