Proposed changes to bus routes in central London
TfL’s reliance on customer fares for the majority of its income means the effect of the pandemic on our finances has been devastating, requiring Government support to keep public transport in London operating. Customer numbers have begun to recover, but are still significantly below pre-pandemic levels.
The Government set a number of conditions before it would provide emergency funding to enable TfL to keep operating, including requiring them to produce a plan to set out how they would achieve significant financial savings. This plan included reducing the extent of their bus network.
Buses are the backbone of the transport network and are critically important in reducing car use, congestion, road danger and pollution. They have always adjusted their bus network to reflect our changing city, but the devastating impact of the pandemic on our finances has required a more significant review.
Their plan to achieve the savings required by the Government includes a 4% reduction in bus kilometres. Demand has reduced over the years on some roads leading into central and inner London due to changing travel patterns, which have been accelerated by the pandemic. In response to this and the savings we have been required to make, we are consulting on changes to some bus routes in and around central London.
They are consulting on withdrawing some individual bus routes or sections of routes where they are covered by other high-frequency services or are close to alternative stops. These proposals aim to ensure we still have a strong bus service to support London’s economic recovery while simplifying the network to ensure buses are operating frequently and reliably in the areas that need them most. The changes being consulted on are intended to cause as little disruption to passengers as possible while making the required savings. The Hopper Fare will continue to allow customers to change between buses within 60 minutes of starting journeys without having to pay more.