Central London buses could be reduced by fifth, TfL warns

By Harry Low
BBC News

  • Published
Number 12 bus to Oxford CircusImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
The number 12 is one of the routes threatened

Bus services in central London could be cut by up to 20%, Transport for London (TfL) has warned.

A consultation as part of TfL's bus action plan threatens to remove 250 buses and 16 routes in what would be the biggest bus cuts for decades.

TfL's fourth government bailout expires on 24 June, after which it warns of cuts on routes where travellers have been declining since 2014.

"No one wants to see reductions," said Deputy Mayor for Transport Seb Dance.

"But TfL is having to consider these changes because of the savings demanded by the government as part of the emergency funding deals during the pandemic," he said.

The Department for Transport (DfT) previously said the total support given by the government was close to £5bn.

The public's views on London's most popular mode of transport are being sought until 12 July.

One week after the Elizabeth line opened, TfL cited "improvements to rail services and walking and cycling infrastructure, providing new alternatives" to bus routes.

Image caption,
The Elizabeth line offers another alternative to buses

TfL says 19% of journeys made on central London bus routes involve a change of bus which would rise to 24% under the proposals.

Its bus action plan published in March states 96% of Londoners live within 400m (1,312ft) of a bus stop.

TfL has already announced reduced bus frequencies on routes 36, between New Cross bus garage and Queen's Park, and 52, between Victoria and Willesden bus garage, from next week.

The 36 bus will run every eight minutes instead of every six minutes and route 52 will run every 10 minutes instead of every eight to nine minutes on Monday to Saturday daytimes and during the weekday peaks.

Last week, TfL also announced cuts to the 23 bus route.

The full list of routes expected to be cut or amended under the TfL plans is as follows:

  • 4: Archway - Blackfriars
  • 11: Fulham Broadway - Liverpool Street
  • 12: Oxford Circus Station - Dulwich Library
  • 14: Russell Square - Putney Heath
  • 16: Cricklewood Bus Garage - Victoria
  • 24: Hampstead Heath - Pimlico, Grosvenor Road Road
  • 31: Camden Town - White City Bus Station
  • 45: Elephant & Castle, Newington Causeway - Clapham Park
  • 72: East Acton - Hammersmith Bridge North Side (terminus whilst Hammersmith Bridge is closed, actual terminus is Roehampton, Bessborough Road)
  • 74: Baker Street Station - Puntey High Street
  • 78: Shoreditch High Street Station - Nunhead, St Mary's Road
  • 242: Homerton University Hospital - Aldgate
  • 349: Ponders End Bus Garage - Stamford Hill, Rookwood Road
  • 521: Waterloo Station - London Bridge Bus Station
  • C3: Earl's Court, Tesco - Clapham Junction
  • D7: Poplar, All Saints Church and DLR - Mile End Station

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