Transport for London is inviting members of the public to comment on the proposed shake-up of bus routes that will see drastic cuts to services in central London.
In September TfL announced the largest change to the bus network in 16 years, saying it would expand bus routes in outer London while cutting back “underused and inefficient” services in the centre. 33 of the capital’s 620 bus routes will be affected.
The organisation says the changes will modernise the city’s bus network, reducing congestion and air pollution. It has launched a public consultation, inviting feedback about how the proposed changes will impact Londoners.
Geoff Hobbs, director of public transport service planning at TfL, said: “It is only right that we reassess the network after the significant changes in both London’s infrastructure and how Londoners choose to travel. Londoners expect their buses to be where they are needed and run in an efficient and cost-effective manner and that’s what this review is about.”
But the proposed changes sparked controversy after they were leaked in September. London Assembly Member Tony Devenish, who represents Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, criticised the move, saying it will affect his most vulnerable constituents.
Mr Devenish voiced particular concern about Route 11 and Route 19. Under the proposals Route 11, which currently runs from Fulham to Liverpool Street, would start at Victoria instead of Fulham Broadway. Route 19 would start at Holborn rather than Battersea Bridge.
Mr Devenish commented: “Many of the proposed changes would result in passengers having to change buses far more frequently, which would make the lives of my most vulnerable constituents immeasurably harder. It is those with poor mobility – such as the elderly and disabled – who rely the most on our bus network.”
Transport for London says there will be parallel routes with available capacity for any service that is altered or removed.
The consultation will run until Friday 9 November. Members of the public can submit comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by post to Freepost TfL Consultation or online at www.consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/central-london/consultation.