Monday, 18 June 2012

The Number 352 Route

Monday 18 June 2012

I was on my own today, both Mary and Linda having holidays with, I hope, lovely weather.  From Bromley North to Lower Sydenham, I had sunshine, though with lowering grey clouds.

I had had a long and rather strange journey to reach Bromley North Station, about which I shall tell you in a few weeks, and it was almost 13.00 as I waited for the 352.  The Countdown kept saying 10 minutes, for about seven minutes, so it was with relief that I hailed the bus as it arrived at pretty well the time expected, rather than 10 minutes later.

As usual with buses in Bromley, we headed out past the Civic Centre, and along the busy road that enables the High  Street to be a pedestrian haven of peace.  Then we turned right, past The Glades, and left, to reach Bromley South Station, less pretty but more useful than Bromley North.  It was possible to glimpse the building and refurbishment works which were promising 'your bigger and better station'.

Turning left, we entered residential areas, with most of the front gardens hardened.  Nevertheless, there were many cars parked in these narrow streets, built before cars were seen as essential, so we often had to wait for traffic coming the other way.  Everything was very green, unsurprisingly, given the June weather we have had. It has always seemed strange to me that people imagine June will be lovely, since it often rains, or worse.  The D-Day landings were delayed, the Coronation took place in a deluge, and so on.  

Having gone uphill out of Bromley, we headed steeply downhill, and I thought of the great views I could have taken from a double decker

Coming toward West Wickham Station, we had the golf course on both sides of the road, and were into a hail and ride section.   Judging by the size of the houses, this would not be a bus user's area.  The 352 is the only bus along much of its route.

There were more modest houses, but still lots of cars, as we came towards Beckenham, and passed Crease Park, one of the smaller green spaces in the Borough.  Along the High Street and past the war memorial, I enjoyed some silly shop names as we went first under and then over the railway.

After passing New Beckenham Station, we turned left down Worsley Bridge Road to reach a branch of Kent County Cricket Club, which must have been reeling from a recent tragedythough one could not tell from the bus.  Many people got off here, leaving me the only passenger for a while.

As we came into Lower Sydenham and passed its station, we went over the Ravensbourne, which offered a riverside walk. Then we nipped through the shopping area to get to the large Sainsbury's, where this route terminates.  It was 13.35.

Although there had been some green interludes, this area is effectively all 'London', with big houses in the leafier bits, and smaller houses and flats on the approach to each railway station in turn.  It was interesting to see how the different places on glimpses from train or motorway link to each other.


  1. The Countdown displays have been behaving a little oddly in Bromley of late.It would appear that the initial display is based on a notional timetable, which does not agree with the actual one. However, once a driver signs on to his ticket machine at the start of his journey at Bromley North the display becomes real-time. This causes the waiting time display to jump, sometimes by up to 10 minutes. This problem happens at all of the stops down as far as Bromley South and may well do in other directions as well, rendering the system less than useful.

  2. Hello Ladies who bus!

    London Councils would like to invite you for a cup of tea and to meet the Freedom Pass team when you pass by our offices on the 381 bus. It would be great to meet you and hear about your bus ventures.

    Please contact me at to arrange a day.

    All the best, Hannah at Freedom Pass