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Quite a few of London's dedicated school routes have a mismatch between the number of journeys in the morning and afternoon, which always begs the question whether all the children that go to school in the morning go home again afterwards and vice versa, and a few routes only run in one direction. Probably the most extreme example is the 672, which has no service in the morning, but four journeys in the afternoon! The route provides a faster alternative to the 472 from Woolwich Polytechnic School in Thamesmead to Woolwich town centre. Presumably, pupils use the 472 in the morning; a common problem with large schools is that whilst morning arrivals are spread out, depending on where pupils have come from, in the afternoon they all leave the school at the same time and would swamp regular bus services. Indeed, the 672 journeys started life as extras on route X72, which the 472 replaced.
Only two buses are used on the 472, departing simultaneously at 1505 then returning to the school for a second pair of journeys at 1530. The route is operated by Selkent from Plumstead garage using standard long wheelbase Tridents, and 17142 (V142 MEV), one of the oldest buses in the Selkent fleet but looking very smart following a repaint, is seen in Central Way soon after leaving the school on 25 April 2007 with a good load. The blind display of "not in service" is obviously not correct, and shows the sloppy standards that often prevail on school routes – perhaps drivers wish to prevent anybody else trying to board, even though these services are available to everyone.
|Photo © John King.
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