Sadiq Khan has made a u-turn on controversial plans to axe numerous bus routes across London following backlash from passengers.
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that only three routes out of TfL’s 620 total network will be cut following a consultation which saw more than 20,000 replies.
In June, TfL outlined a plan that would have affected 78 bus routes as part of the transport body’s savings targets imposed by the government.
Just 18 routes will now be affected after the mayor unlocked additional funding for TfL averaging around £25m per year.
This is in addition to a £500m City Hall financing facility, which is still required for TfL to maintain a balanced budget.
Only three routes will be removed entirely - the 521 between Waterloo and London Bridge, the 507 between Victoria and Waterloo, and the 332 between Brent Park and Paddington - while alterations will be made to another 11 services.
Announcing that the majority of proposed cuts will not go ahead, Mayor Khan said: “I was furious on behalf of Londoners that TfL was having to consider reducing the bus network due to conditions attached by the Government to the funding deal.
“The strength of feeling across the capital was clear to me, and I was adamant that I would explore every avenue available to me to save as many buses as possible.
“This will mean tough decisions elsewhere, but I am very pleased that the vast majority of bus routes proposed to be cut due to the Government’s funding conditions can now be saved.
“TfL has looked carefully at the small number of routes still affected in order to reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible.
“Buses sit at the heart of the capital’s transport network and have a key role to play as we continue building a better, greener and fairer city for all Londoners.”
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of public transport service planning, said: “The proposals that we will be taking forward are those that have a minimal impact on Londoners, as they are areas with much higher provision of buses than there is demand.”
Nick Rogers, transport spokesman for the Conservatives in City Hall, said: “It was wrong for Sadiq Khan to threaten to cut vital bus routes to score political points against the Government.
“Londoners have had the threat of their services being cut dangled in front of them completely unnecessarily for months, so I am glad Sadiq Khan has finally backed down and changed course.”
Of the plans consulted on:
Routes 4, 12, 14, 24, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 349, C3, D7, N31, N72, N74 and N242 will be saved and kept as they are.
Planned tweaks to routes 15, 19, 27, 43, 47, 49, 53, 56, 88, 98, 100, 113, 135, 148, 171, 189, 205, 214, 236, 254, 259, 277, 279, 283, 328, 343, 388, 414, 430, 476, D3, D8, N15, N19, N27, N98, N133, N205, N414 and N430 will no longer happen.
Proposed changes to routes 3, 6, 11, 23, 26, 59, 77, 133, 211, C10 and N26 will still go ahead.