Transport for London have confirmed that a series of cuts to the bus network are to proceed, despite opposition from local politicians, passengers and the capital’s transport watchdog, London Travelwatch.
Last September TfL and City Hall unveiled plans to reduce frequencies on eight routes with a further three axed in their entirety.
One new route would be created and five routes would see frequencies increased, but many others would either be ‘restructured’ or shortened, meaning passengers would have to switch buses mid-journey in order to reach their destination.
Travelwatch expressed “alarm” at the proposals, warning they risked making the bus a less convenient and less accessible option for thousands of passengers, while London Assembly members and local councillors have also criticised the plans, with many backing petitions to save under threat routes.
However TfL today announced that despite the widespread opposition, it would be proceeding with many of its original proposals, including shortening routes 3, 4, 40, 45, 59, 67, 134 & 172, axing routes 48 & RV1 and reducing frequencies on other routes.
A proposal to axe the 271 route night service has been shelved and the agency will not go ahead with proposed alterations to routes 11, 19, and 22.
TfL claims the changes, which will be implemented from June, will make the bus network “more efficient”.
However a summary of responses to its consultation to the plans shows the vast majority of passengers are concerned they will face increased journey times as a result of the changes.
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s Director of Public Transport Service Planning, said: “London and the way people travel is always changing, but our bus network historically hasn’t always adapted to this.
“Parts of our network have become inefficient and unreliable, with too many buses in the same places causing problems with congestion.”