16 London bus routes to be axed in TfL’s biggest cuts in decades

Transport for London (TfL) has today launched a six week consultation on 78 of its 620 routes in the centre of the city.

16 London bus routes are under threat of being axed as Transport for London (TfL) prepares for its biggest set of cuts in decades.

TfL has today (Wednesday, June 1) launched a six week consultation on the future of the capital’s bus services.

Sign up to our LondonWorld Today newsletter

The proposals on reshaping the central and inner London bus network have been launched as the government requires TfL to make “significant savings.”

As many as 78 out of 620 bus routes could be affected under the new proposals.

Route 47 at Canada Water bus station

Deputy mayor for transport, Seb Dance, said: “No one wants to see reductions to our bus network, but TfL is having to consider these changes because of the savings demanded by the government as part of the emergency funding deals during the pandemic.”

As part of the deal TfL says it has been required to reduce operating expenditure and the extent of the bus network by 4% by 2024/25.

In total the government has provided £5bn of funding to TfL since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance

“TfL has looked carefully at the routes affected in order to reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible,” Seb Dance added.

“If TfL is to avoid further cuts which would damage our city’s economic recovery from this pandemic, the government must do the right thing and come forward with a long term funding deal to support the capital’s public transport – as governments of almost all other major global cities do.”

TfL is proposing to axe the following bus routes

  • 4: Archway-Blackfriars
  • 11: Fulham Broadway - Liverpool Street
  • 12: Oxford Circus Station - Dulwich Library
  • 14: Russell Square - Putney Heath
  • 16: Cricklewood Bus Garage - Victoria
  • 24: Hampstead Heath - Pimlico, Grosevnor Road
  • 31: Camden Town - White City Bus Station
  • 45: Elephant & Castle, Newington Causeway - Clapham Park
  • 72: East Acton - Hammersmith Bridge North Side (terminus whilst Hammersmith Bridge is closed, actual terminus is Roehampton, Bessborough Road)
  • 74: Baker Street Station - Puntey High Street
  • 78: Shoreditch High Street Station - Nunhead, St Mary’s Road
  • 242: Homerton University Hospital - Aldgate
  • 349: Ponders End Bus Garage - Stamford Hill, Rookwood Road
  • 521: Waterloo Station - London Bridge Bus Station
  • C3: Earl’s Court, Tesco - Clapham Junction
  • D7: Poplar, All Saints Church and DLR - Mile End Station

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the mayor of London Sadiq Khan wrote: “Two weeks ago when we joined the ceremonial opening of the Elizabeth line by Her Majesty the Queen, I was proud of the culmination of decades of collaborative work between successive London and central governments.

“Two weeks later, however, Transport for London (TfL) has been forced into launching a consultation on something that none of us should be proud of: cuts to London’s iconic bus network.”

Geoff Hobbs, director of public transport service planning at TfL, said: “Significant changes in how people use transport in central and inner London mean that – as we work to meet the requirements of our funding agreement with Government – the proposals we are consulting on have been designed to minimise the impact on customers and ensure that the majority still have a direct bus for their journey.

“Adapting the capital’s bus service – such a significant part of our transport network – is what we have always done to ensure it keeps up with changing needs of Londoners.

“The flexible nature of the bus network means 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 trying very hard to ensure that we can still have the right level of service where it is needed and can deliver our long-term positive vision for the bus network.”

The consultation closes on July 12 at 11.59pm. You can have your say here.