A new report warns that London’s transport bosses could be underestimating future demand for bus services, a potential failing that could lead to longer waiting times for passengers.
Over the past decade bus journey numbers have grown nearly four times faster than London’s population, however Transport for London is planning future services on the assumption that demand will increase only in line with population growth.
The London Assembly’s Transport Committee warns this could lead to insufficient capacity and cause higher levels of overcrowding and more frequent delays for passengers.
Today’s report calls on TfL and Mayor Boris Johnson to demonstrate that their plans are sufficient to cope with an estimated additional 167 million bus journeys by 2022.
During its investigation, the Committee heard that the needs of bus passengers aren’t being properly designed into the road network because TfL is failing to share key usage data with London’s councils.
Assembly Members say TfL should change the way it works with boroughs and NHS providers to ensure bus services meet local demands and link passengers to key destinations.
The capital’s transport authority is also being urged to publish a schedule for the roll-out of more environmentally friendly buses and to develop “more customer-focused ticketing” such as part-time season tickets.
Committee Chair Val Shawcross said: “Demand for bus travel sees no sign of dwindling, but, despite forecasting 167 million more bus journeys by 2022, the Mayor and TfL have not set out how London’s bus routes will cope with extra passengers.
“They must ensure there are adequate plans to support the capital’s growth. Bus users deserve to continue to enjoy a world-class bus network rather than endure overcrowding.
“Without steps to address this, London passengers might soon face a longer wait at bus stops while they watch full buses whiz past unable to cope with more rush-hour commuters.”