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Free buses set to ferry shoppers to Docklands stores

PUBLISHED: 17:29 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 05 October 2010

FREE buses are being laid on to help Saturday shoppers in Wapping get to the big stores while the East London Underground Line is closed for two years. The weekday run to Surrey Quays, which has been operating Monday to Friday since January, is being extended to run on Saturdays as well

FREE buses are being laid on to help Saturday shoppers in Wapping get to the big stores while the East London Underground Line is closed for two years.

The weekday run to Surrey Quays, which Tower Hamlets council has been operating Monday to Friday since January, is now being extended to Saturdays.

Six Saturday runs in both directions are planned from April 5. They will leave from Wapping at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm, with return journeys leaving Surrey Quays at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

It follows a deal between Town Hall and City Hall bosses after pressure from residents that they were left isolated while the Underground line was being rebuilt and extended.

Families have to produce a gas or electric bill or similar proof of residence on their first trip to get a permit which lasts until the line reopens in 2010.

London Assembly Member John Biggs, meanwhile, has been campaigning since Christmas for better bus connections while the line is out.

He wants buses laid on from Wapping to Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street and London Bridge rather than just to Whitechapel.

But TFL insists the D3 to Canary Wharf and DLR from Shadwell are sufficient, while the new 135 from Old Street to Canary Wharf will solve commuters' problems.

Biggs hit back: "The 135 isn't due to run until May. We were promised more D3s last autumn, but they've been delayed until May.

"Passengers are left waiting in the cold for overcrowded local services."

So he wants a meeting with City Hall transport bosses to thrash out "a practical resolution" to the problem.

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