the beginning of 80 bus routes in the central and inland London This was announced on Wednesday as part of a major shock aimed at “significant savings”.
Transport to LondonThe decision to start a six-week consultation on 78 of the city’s 620 routes – including some of the capital’s most famous services – has sparked a bitter debate between the mayor’s office and Boris Johnson’s government over who is to blame for the cuts. .
Deputy Mayor for Transport Seb Dance said: “No one wants to see a reduction in our bus network, but the TFL is forced to take these changes into account because of the savings demanded by the government as part of emergency financing deals during the pandemic.”
The government’s last £ 200 million for the TFL, announced in February to help it maintain services if it tries to repair the financial damage caused by the pandemic, is due to end on June 24. In total, the government has allocated £ 5 billion in TFL funding since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
As part of the latest deal, TFL states that by 2024/2025 it is required to reduce operating costs and the size of the bus network by 4 percent.
Transport chiefs say bus services in central and inner London have become vulnerable due to falling demand as passengers have switched to the Tube and rail network or taken advantage of improved bicycle networks.
Which bus routes are drawn to the ax?
TfL proposes to cancel the following bus routes (where customer demand for buses may be covered by other services):
City Hall officials say that although the number of passengers is recovering, they are still well below pre-pandemic levels. They want long-term funding from the government so they don’t have to cut services by as much as 20 percent.
But a government source criticized the mayor, accusing him of “artificially creating” bus cuts as “political weapons in his fight for long-term capital financing.” They said the government will continue to support bus services through revenue financing, which is different from the capital financing package, which expires later this month.
“Thanks to our support, there is and will be more than enough money to maintain services,” the source added.
“Public services and their users should not be attacked in order to express political assessments. TFL staff and services are not at risk unless the mayor so desires. This is a bloody policy for which the mayor must answer to the people of London. “
Routes to be included in the consultation include No. 11, which runs between Fulham and Liverpool Street, past some of the capital’s most famous landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Number 24, which connects Pimlico and Hampstead Heath, is also included, as is 133, which connects the Stream with the City of London.
The TFL said not all routes would be completely canceled and some would be redirected or shortened.
Mr Dance added: “TfL has carefully inspected the affected routes to minimize the impact on passengers. Changed routes where there are very similar services or if passengers will use the mayor’s fare “Hopper” to get to their destination. “
The number of bus journeys made by London passengers is now around 5 million a day for a week – a significant recovery but still below the pre-pandemic level of around 6.3 million a day. But the numbers have recovered more strongly in outer London, where there is less transport than in the center.
According to TFL, the number of passengers on some routes has been declining since 2014, and by 2019 the number of passengers will decrease by 9 percent. The TFL said the introduction of the Elizabeth line would only reduce demand for buses in the center of the capital.
In a statement, TFL added that the proposed changes would “reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible and allow investment in the outer London area, where there is a clear need for more buses due to greater demand”.
Jeff Hobbs, director of public transport planning at TFL, said: “Adapting the metropolitan bus service – such a significant part of our transport network – is something we have always done to ensure it keeps pace with the changing needs of Londoners. The flexible nature of the bus network means that we can respond to changes in demand both now and in the future.
“We know that these plans will have some impact on some of our customers, but we are working hard to ensure that we can still have the right level of service where needed and can provide our long-term positive vision of the bus network.”