Khan 'saves' bus routes from axe


London mayor Sadiq Khan has backed down on a threat of large-scale cuts to the capital’s bus network after finding additional funding of around £25m a year.

Transport for London (TfL) said that substantial cuts to the central and inner London bus network were proposed ‘due to the government’s Covid funding deal’ but additional funding provided by the mayor allowed it to reassess its proposals for the bus network and cancel the changes Londoners were most concerned about.

Image source: TfL

It added that Mr Khan ‘has been able to identify additional funding for TfL averaging around £25m per addition to a £500m City Hall financing facility, which is still required for TfL to maintain a balanced budget'.

TfL said it will still go ahead with 22% of the service changes consulted on, which it said are all in areas with numerous alternative public transport options and in areas where following the changes there will be enough capacity on buses to meet demand. Passengers will still be able to make the same journeys, with additional interchanges in some instances, it added.

Mr Khan, who is chair of TfL, said: ‘I was furious on behalf of Londoners that TfL was having to consider reducing the bus network due to conditions attached by the Government to the funding deal. The strength of feeling across the capital was clear to me, and I was adamant that I would explore every avenue available to me to save as many buses as possible.

‘This will mean tough decisions elsewhere, but I am very pleased that the vast majority of bus routes proposed to be cut due to the Government’s funding conditions can now be saved. TfL has looked carefully at the small amount of routes still affected in order to reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible.’

London TravelWatch CEO Joanna Davidson said: 'Cuts to bus routes would have disproportionately affected lower paid and disabled Londoners – so it’s really positive news that many of these proposals have been shelved based on our recommendations.'

TfL said that while the original proposals affected more than 70 routes, its new plans will impact 18 routes out of more than 620 bus routes in London

  • Routes 507 and 521 will be withdrawn, with routes 11 and the night service N11 ‘restructured’.
  • Route 16 will run on route 332 between Brent Park and Paddington. The night route N16 will be renumbered N32.
  • Routes 4, 12, 14, 24, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 349, C3, D7, N31, N72, N74 and N242 will be kept as they currently operate.
  • proposed changes to routes 3, 6, 11, 23, 26, 59, 77, 133, 211, C10 and N26 will still go ahead ‘to minimise the impact of withdrawn routes and ensure a continued reliable bus network in central and inner London’.
  • Proposed changes to routes 15, 19, 27, 43, 47, 49, 53, 56, 88, 98, 100, 113, 135, 148, 171, 189, 205, 214, 236, 254, 259, 277, 279, 283, 328, 343, 388, 414, 430, 476, D3, N15, N19, N27, N98, N133, N205, will not be taken forward.

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