The head of London’s bus service has blamed the capital’s booming population for poor reliability on some routes.
Earlier this week passenger watchdog London TravelWatch said it was “increasingly concerned” about falling reliability which it predicts will affect “almost 1 billion passenger journeys a year”.
John Stewart, Chair of London TravelWatch’s Policy Committee, said there was some evidence to suggest “poor performance is beginning to be reflected in declining bus ridership figures, for the first time in many years.”
The watchdog has written to Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London to express its concerns and call for action to improve reliability.
Mr Daniels told MayorWatch that services were being affected by the “increase in traffic, new developments and utility work” needed to support the city’s growing population but insisted “customer satisfaction remains high” among London’s annual 2.4 billion bus passengers.
He said TfL is investing £4bn over the next decade to improve road conditions for all users, and added: “In particular, our latest business plan has dedicated around £500m to improve the bus network over the next five years. This will see 500 extra buses helping to create capacity for an extra 2.9 million customer journeys each week.
“In the medium term passengers will also see improvements as we invest a further £200m in bus priority schemes that will support the reliability of the bus network at a local level.”