Category Archives: Transport

All change around Putney

Putney is having a facelift. Everywhere you look there are roadworks, scaffolding and plenty of new shops, bars and restaurants springing up too. The Exchange is still undergoing a transformation while the works at the station are fascinating to catch a glimpse of every once in a while to see how things are progressing.

The crossroads has been a bit of a mess for a few weeks now but it looks as if that is reaching its end, with those fancy timer crossing guides now up and running. They must have been installed after numerous crashes and near-misses at that junction.

Down at the bottom, meanwhile, there’s two new bars – the Swift (review to come) and The Toy Shop both give more options for the going out brigade beyond Fez and Citizen Smith (oh, fine Lost and Co, if we must) while Bills is now a nice established part of the high street. Flames, which always overpowered the smell of the nice little flower shop next door with its doner kebab odours, is also, mercifully, gone too.

As mentioned, it’s the station where most interest lies. For months now it’s been undergoing serious work to make it able to handle the huge numbers of people that use the station – which can be seriously busy – to meet this demand, and at present it’s in that stage where it look as if nothing is being done. Yet you know that once the new staircases go in and the ticket hall starts getting expanded and all that it’ll feel like a different place. It’s not hard to imagine people looking back at photos of it from 2011 and seeing it as utterly different and impossible to comprehend as we do in of photos from 1911.

Putney Station

Putney Station

Meanwhile over at East Putney tube the new apartment blocks are slowly taking shape and altering the skyline. The fact a small Waitrose is going in underneath for residents to shop at after leaving the tube is a huge bonus too. Can’t say the Exclusive Foods shop really entices us in very often for some essentials. Putney Hill was given some new tarmac the other day too!

All in all, then, things are looking up and it’s very welcome as Putney deserves all the improvements it can get.

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Filed under Bill's, Cafes, Citizen Smith, Lost and Co., Putney Train Station, Restaurants

Parrots photo from the number 14 bus

Man with two parrots taken from the top of the number 14 bus

Man with two parrots taken from the top of the number 14 bus

So our humble post on the number 14 bus turned into an epic piece of internet folklore – sort of – thanks to some kind social promotion by Putney Social (the clues in the name we suppose) on its Facebook page. Thanks!

Two nice things happened as a result. One, a bus driver of the legendary 14 bus turned up on the post to say hello. So, we say hello to you “david” and thanks again for your excellent driving skills!

Secondly, a nice chap named JimC, has let us use the incredible picture above that proves the man with two parrots (because one  just wasn’t enough) is a real person and has been seen by others from the top deck of the 14.

From Putney to Warren Street via birds of paradise from the Amazon – what a route!

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Filed under Buses, Fulham, Transport

In praise of…the number 14 bus

Behold! The Great Number 14 Bus

Behold! The Great Number 14 Bus

Putney high-street is a bit of a mess. As recent meetings that have taken place have shown, there is a need for a change, especially because the traffic problems could be KILLING US! Well, we exaggerate but it’s a problem.

One of the main problems must be all the buses that lurch their way down the high-street. The 93, the 85, the 430, all great double-decker beasts of red that stop-and-start down the street, causing endless hold ups for the rest of the traffic trying to make its way down the road.

However, one bus we cannot fault despite its part in these problems,  is the 14. The sight of a solid 1 and a funky 4 appearing in the distance, or pixelated on a dot-matrix display at a bus stop always lifts our spirits. The 14 rises at the Green Man pub, like a river’s source, and then flows all the way to Warren Street in the heart of London. On its way it’ll take you through Fulham, via Kensington, and then on up to Piccadilly Circus and Shaftsbury Avenue. It is an epic route.

Men have told tales of great sights and sounds they have seen on this route – we once saw a man with a parrot on his shoulder in Fulham! Of course the folk back home didn’t believe us, but we don’t care, it was a real, live parrot, on a man’s shoulder. Sadly he didn’t look like a pirate.

We digress. The 14 runs all day and all night too, so you can always get home. Get yourself to Piccadilly Circus from anywhere in the capital and wait long enough – you may to wait a long time, but patience is a virtue – and eventually that bold, stark 14 will appear like a chariot to bear you home. You can even get off opposite either the KFC or the Subway on the high-street, to end the night with a feast fit for a on-the-run-from-a-rebellious-populous king.  All thanks to the 14.

So, thank you TFL for plotting this route through the South West heartland and into the city, starting with Putney, and thank you to the drivers, who deliver us with grace and charm back to our spiritual home, south of the river.

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Filed under Buses, London, Transport

Putney air pollution hits 2013 limits – in January

The high street on a busy Saturday

The high street on a busy Saturday

Mostly this blog delights in celebrating the wonderful world of Putney and reviewing its fine establishments, but we couldn’t ignore the news that the area has already reached its air pollution limits just as January reaches double figures. Obviously this is not good news and according to The Evening Standard shopkeepers are being advised to keep doors closed to protect staff. That’s fine in the winter but what about the summer?

It’s certainly noticeable how busy the high-street can be, either at weekends or during the rush hour(s) in the morning or evening. A taxi once took about 20 minutes to get us down the high-street at 7am on the way to Heathrow.

According to The Standard residents such as Fernando Torres (never seen him) and Yasmin Le Bon (never seen her) have “summoned” local council chiefs to a meeting. We don’t think they have personally, but perhaps they will be there demanding 10-point plans be put in place to keep air pollution levels down.

The trouble is, what are we going to do about it? You can’t very well shut down the roads or ban buses. Road widening efforts may help, but surely it’s just about the amount of vehicles that cross the river; perhaps we need another bridge somewhere, although that seems even more unlikely.

It’s a shame Putney’s popularity in this instance is causing its own problems, but at least the issue is on the radar and being discussed…What do you think? Is it a problem, do you notice poor air quality when shopping, is there any solution? Answers below if so!

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Filed under Bad Putney, Putney, Transport

The perils of South West Trains

Like many Putney people (and anyone else from the south-west of London, and England) The Putney Paper was caught up in the frustration of trying to get home on Monday night when the entire South West Trains network was up the creek.

Staff at Waterloo were less than helpful, seeming to wilfully lett trains leave without informing anyone they were soon to be departing or where they were going, leaving many commuters rushing hither and thither from platform to platform to see trains leave clearly half empty beyond the first few carriages where the majority of lazy people leap (go down the platform people, there’s more room).

This no doubt left many SW15ers stuck with long journeys home on the District Line which felt all the more busy due to the amount of people forced to do a journey they normally rely on the train for – thus adding huge numbers to the always stretched District Line.

Eventually, an hour and a bit after having reached Waterloo expecting a quiet 15 minute trundle home, The Putney Paper returned to its natural place of rest and relaxation and was pleased to find everything was very much as it should be.

It’s always something of a reminder when transport goes down those trains are pretty much the best route to London we’ve got, as you ain’t walking back that’s for sure, and the tube, buses and taxis are by turns packed, slow and packed and expensive and empty. For those beyond Putney you could be faced with a night in London beyond your choice.

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Filed under Bad Putney, East Putney Underground Station, Putney Bridge Undergroudn Station, Putney Train Station, Transport

Not a pleasant start to the day

Those of you that commute from the wonderous Putney Train Station( as The Putney Paper does) will know that the billboards along the platforms are generally aimed at the city banker types telling them Artemis can offer great long-range investment portfolio rates, or that Conquistador Finances is the place to help them manage high net worth individuals’ property portfolios.

But, occasionally, there are some other adverts that appear that are obviously aimed at the proles, the masses, the ABC1 types (like The Putney Paper). Before Christmas they had one with the five giant mugs of Sky Sports’ Ashes commentary team staring across the tracks – an unappealing sight so early in the morning.

Now, they’ve gone and stuck a giant visage of one David Walliams up for all to be forced to stare at as we wait for the various one or two minute late South West Trains to turn up. It’s not exactly what you’d choose to place there is it? No doubt it’ll be gone in a few weeks though when the show disappears from the schedule after three weeks of low viewer figures and scathing reviews. A “weekly newsy quizzy gossipy show” hardly sounds that original or interesting, does it?

 

Not the best sight so early in the morning...

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Filed under Bankers, People, Putney Train Station, Transport