Transport for London (TfL) is working to improve air quality in London, minimise the impact of climate change and reduce congestion on the roads. Key to this is a strong, frequent and reliable bus service.
A more efficient bus service would also help TfL make the financial savings required of it by Government as part of its emergency funding arrangement. To achieve these things, TfL is proposing to reduce the number of bus routes into central London.
How will this impact you, particularly if you have a disability or health condition and live in London or visit regularly? Will you need to change your route? Will the new routes be less accessible for you? Read on to find out how you can make your voice heard.
Take TfL’s survey on London bus routes to give your views by 7th August. There is also an Easy Read version of the survey and a British Sign Language video with audio.
We are consulting on proposals to cut the number of bus routes in central London and we want to hear your views on our proposals.
Buses are the backbone of our transport network and are critically important to reducing car use, congestion, road danger and pollution.
We have always adjusted our bus network to reflect our changing city, but the impact of the pandemic on how London busses are used and on TfL’s finances, which meant we had to get Government support, has required a more significant review.
Minimising London bus routes
To ensure TfL can keep London running, savings required by the Government include a 4% reduction in bus kilometres.
But this isn’t all about financial savings. On some roads leading into central and inner London, demand has reduced over the years due to changing travel patterns. This has been accelerated by the pandemic.
Put simply, we’re running more bus routes than there is a need for, which only adds unnecessarily to congestion problems and pollution.
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.
We 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 that truly serves its users 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, which means you can take two bus or tram journeys for the price of one, will continue to allow you to change between buses within 60 minutes of starting journeys without having to pay more.
Have your say
Online survey – www.tfl.gov.uk/busreview
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Post – Freepost TfL Have your say (CLBR)
Phone – 020 3054 6037
Read on for more details on how to have your say, including easy-read versions, BSL videos with audio and translations.
How can I find out which London bus routes are changing?
Where customer demand for buses can be covered by other services, we propose to withdraw the following bus routes:
4, 11, 12*, 14*, 16, 24*, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 349, 521, C3, D7, N11, N16, N31, N72, N74, and N242 (*24-hour routes)
You can find out more details by visiting the bus routes page on our website. All the proposed changes have been arranged into ‘neighbourhoods’ of north, east, south and west London to provide a picture of how the bus network in that area would change.
You can also visit the ‘Documents’ section on the left of our bus routes page on our website to:
- Access Easy Read versions of our proposals and our survey
- Read our initial Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA)
- Read more about why we are proposing these changes
- Download a copy of our bus stop poster
- Download a copy of our Bus Action Plan
- British Sign Language video, including audio.
Although all route details are available within the neighbourhood documents, linear and area maps, geographic neighbourhood maps will also be available soon.
Have your say on the London bus route changes
We are holding a six-week public consultation to hear what you think about these proposals.
Once you have read more about our proposals, please share your views by taking part in our online survey by 23.59 on 7th August 2022. It should take you no more than 15 minutes to complete.
We would like you to tell us how our proposals may impact you and to learn more about what we could do to make potential changes easier for you. Your views are important to us and will help us with our decision-making.
We also want this consultation to be accessible to everyone, so we have created:
- an Easy Read version of our proposals
- an Easy Read version of our survey
- British Sign Language video with audio of the proposals, which also has audio
- British Sign Language video with audio of the survey, which also has audio.
If you need to translate the TfL information into another language, please use the ‘select language’ button in the bottom left-hand corner of our bus routes page.
How these bus route proposals might change your journey
Some people may gain new journeys under these proposals, meaning taking the bus could become a better option.
We also recognise that some people may be adversely affected by these proposals and we want to minimise the impact of this as much as possible.
In particular, we want to understand any impacts on those of you who are disabled or have a health condition, so that we can ensure this is taken into account, together with our equality objectives, and mitigated where possible.
We expect our proposals may result in the following changes:
- Currently, around 19% of bus journeys made on central London bus routes involve a change of bus. Under our proposals, we expect this to increase to 24%. We expect that in many instances this would be at no extra cost to people due to the Hopper fare, but we are aware that some people (including those with disabilities) may, in some circumstances, need to pay a second time for their journey
- In some cases, you may be able to make a more direct journey. This would remove the need to change bus to complete a journey and decrease overall journey times for some people
- Some people may need to take a differently-numbered route to complete their journey, or may find their service frequency changes
- Some bus interchanges may involve moving between stops, and this may present accessibility issues for some people. These and any other issues identified by our Equality Impact Assessments (more on this below) will be carefully considered together with our equality objectives
For many people, there would be no change.
We are already working to manage and mitigate against potential impacts where journeys may change. Ongoing or planned work that aims to enhance bus services for existing and new customers includes:
- Minimising any additional waiting time where people do need to change buses (for example by ensuring connecting services operate relatively regularly or by aiming to ensure people can change at the same stop or that there is minimal walking distances between stops if they have to change)
- Reviewing bus stop and street design and layouts in locations where changing bus at the same stop is not possible (e.g. providing new or improved crossings)
- Improving the experience at bus stops and shelters – especially where we expect more people to be changing. This could include new bus shelters with improved lighting, wayfinding, and customer information (such as the new real-time digital information displays being trialled on bus route 63)
- Improving customer information on the bus, the TfL website and the TfL Go app to provide people with real-time journey planning and information about how to interchange between bus routes and other services
- New Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion training for bus drivers, which is being developed in partnership with a specialist training provider and will help drivers to provide even better assistance to customers who need it most
- Continuing to deliver a range of measures that reduce bus delays and improve journey times (known as bus priority). We are working to enhance journey times, including through creating permanent 24/7 bus lanes on the Transport for London Road Network. This is following a successful trial, using technology to give more green time to buses at traffic lights, and continuing to support and encourage boroughs to deliver bus priority measures on their roads. Reducing journey times will both attract new customers and increase the services we can run with our available resources.
Equality Impact Assessment
We have undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for each “neighbourhood” affected by the proposals.
The EqIA identifies and examines in more detail what positive and negative impacts these proposals may have on people with disabilities or health conditions, together with our equality objectives and how we propose to mitigate any negative impacts.
These impacts and mitigations will be taken into account as part of the decision-making process on the proposals. The EqIA will be kept under review and updated to reflect any relevant new information, including information that comes in as part of the consultation process.
The full version of the current EqIA for each ‘neighbourhood’ of proposals can be found in the ‘Documents’ section on our bus routes page.
We hope that, through this consultation, we can hear more of your views. Your views will help ensure we are doing all we can to identify any issues raised that we have not already thought about, and mitigate against them, to the extent that we reasonably can.
Please complete our online survey to let us know what else we need to consider.
What’s next for the bus route changes?
These proposals are subject to the outcome of our consultation. Once the consultation ends on 7th August 2022, we will spend time considering all the responses we receive and will prepare a consultation report.
This report will help us reach a decision about how bus routes into central London may change. A copy of it will be available to everyone that takes part and a copy will be published on our website.
By Transport for London
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