Dozens of London bus routes are to be axed or shortened under plans published by Transport for London (TfL). These proposals are subject to a public consultation.
TfL are reviewing bus services that serve the central London area and have made proposals to restructure and change the frequency of 33 routes and to introduce an additional service. This is said to be the biggest shake-up in more than 16 years of London’s bus network.
The new proposals would see the 48, 271 night service and RV1 routes axed. Elsewhere, they are planning to shorten 13 routes (3, 11, 14, 19, 45, 53, 59, 67, 134, 171, 172, 388, 476), and decrease frequency of a further eight routes (53, 59, 149, 205, N205, 242, 388, 476).
Some routes (26, 35, 46, 149 and 242) would see frequencies increased. One new route (called 311) between Fulham Broadway and Oxford Circus will be introduced under the proposals.
The proposals are outlined on their website at: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/central-london/. If the plan goes ahead the changes will be coming in from spring 2019.
TfL explains that the plan comes after many central buses continue to run empty with some less than 70% full at peak times. TfL claims that demand for buses has dropped by 12% in the last three years. Tackling air pollution and easing congestion are some of the reasons TfL has cited for the proposals.
Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL said: “Our proposals would modernise bus travel by matching capacity with demand, reducing bus-on-bus congestion while enabling year-on-year increases in bus services in outer London”.
In a city where only a third of the Underground is accessible, Disabled and older people rely heavily on bus services. Buses are the only mode of transport in London that is fully accessible (despite some regular issues). The plans, which are subject to a public consultation, would hugely affect Disabled and Older People served by the routes, especially the routes that are axed. Reducing the frequency would have a disproportionately negative impact on Disabled people, especially wheelchair and mobility scooter users who already have to fight for their right to access the wheelchair priority space – It is the only space that can host a wheelchair user, one at a time.
TfL’s proposals are based on the fact that passengers could use other nearby routes to complete their journey, when the routes have been shortened or restructured. But it completely ignores the fact that interchanges (such as Elephant and Castle) can be a real challenge for Disabled and Older People and especially for Visually Impaired or autistic people.
Take action – Respond to the consultation
Transport for All will respond to this consultation in order to share our concerns. We are looking for as much evidence and examples as possible. If you would like to contribute to our answer, please email us your feedback by Friday 2nd November: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important that you share your own views on the proposed changed and especially the impact that it will have on your daily life. You can respond to the consultation yourself by sending your views by Friday 9th November 2018:
- Online: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/central-london/.
- By email: email@example.com
- By post: FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS
TfL explain that they would also like to hear your view on their Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) and the mitigations it suggests. The EqIA examines what impact (positive or negative) all of the proposed route changes have on customers with characteristics protected by the Equality Act.
Here is a summary of the 34 individual routes affected:
- Frequency reduction: 53*, 59*, 149**, 205*, N205*, 242*, 388*, 476*
- Frequency increase: 26, 35, 46, 149**, 242**
- Shortened routes: 3, 11, 14, 19, 45, 53*, 59*, 67, 134, 171, 172, 388*, 476*
- Route restructured: 4, 9, N9, 22, 40, 55, 76, 100, 205*, N205*, 242**, 341, 343
- Withdrawal: 48, 271 (night service), RV1
- New route: 311
Important, TfL highlight the fact that:
*: some routes appear twice in multiple categories
**: Route 149 and 242 have reductions and increases in frequency