Transport for London (TfL) has published plans for major cuts to bus services in central London, affecting 33 routes and representing the largest shake-up of the network in almost a generation.
The planned changes are the first to comprehensively address the central network in 16 years and will 'adapt' underused and inefficient services in central London that contribute to congestion and air pollution, TfL said.
This is designed to enable the capital’s bus network to grow in outer London, where improvements to public transport are most needed,
TfL said its proposals, which are now open for public consultation, would affect 33 routes, which is ‘less than 6% of the more than 620 routes in London’.
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.
‘Ultimately these changes, which are predominately minor route restructures or timetable adjustments, would create an efficient modern network with buses in the right places at the right times.’
TfL said that in the last three years demand for buses in central London has dropped by 12% and that a key reason for this is the increased transport options available as a result of upgrades to the Tube and Overground network and investment in cycling and walking.
To ease pinch points where routes overlap, ‘it is intended that some routes will be shortened, providing an interchange onto other services that will continue to serve final destinations’.
TfL said it has ensured that where any route is proposed to be curtailed or withdrawn, there are parallel routes with available capacity and that the frequency of some other services is adjusted to reflect demand better, ‘while protecting journey times’.
It also pointed that passengers can now use the Hopper Fare to change buses unlimited times within an hour for just £1.50.