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

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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 is currently holding a public consultation on the planned cuts in order to meet savings targets imposed by the government as part of an emergency funding deal.

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The consultation has been extended until August 7 to allow Londoners more time to have their say.

The proposed cuts to bus services in London will lead to savings of £35 million per year for TfL.

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

 Route 47 at Canada Water bus station Route 47 at Canada Water bus station
Route 47 at Canada Water bus station | Credit: TfL

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.”

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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.

TfL is also required to make savings of £730 million per year to achieve financial sustainability.

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

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The first routes could be axed by the end of the year, while all 16 might be removed by the end of 2023.

Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb DanceDeputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance | AFP via Getty Images

“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.

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“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.”

“The reductions are primarily focused on central London in areas where we think it will be least impactful and the least worst option, and where there are mitigating options for us in terms of increasing routes elsewhere and ensuring financial sustainability,” said TfL chief operating officer Andy Lord at a meeting of London Assembly transport committee at City Hall.

The consultation closes on August 7 at 11.59pm. You can have your say here.

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