Bus cuts in London could extend beyond 16 routes and 250 buses, warns Sadiq Khan

Transport for London could be forced to make further bus cuts, on top of plans revealed last week if the transport body does not secure long-term funding, Sadiq Khan has warned. On June 1, TfL announced a consultation on the biggest cuts to London’s bus network in decades. It could see 250 buses taken out of service, with 16 routes scrapped and 78 altered in total.

The changes aim to remove ‘overlaps’ between routes on major trunk roads in central London, but some roads will be completely devoid of bus service, as MyLondon previously reported. Now the mayor has said more routes could be scrapped if Transport for London (TfL) does not secure a long-term government funding deal by June 24.

Addressing the London Assembly on Thursday June 9, Sadiq Khan said: “The government continues to refuse to provide the long-term funding that TfL needs.” He denounced the “punitive measures” imposed by ministers as part of the bailouts, including the recent hike in tariffs of almost 5%.

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Route 12 has grown from one of the busiest, longest and most resource intensive routes in London, from Routemaster to bendbybus to Boris bus and it now faces the chop

The mayor said: “TfL has been forced into these bus changes because the government will not provide a fair funding deal. The truth is there could be even worse to come. Buses could be cut by up to 20% and metro services by 10 percent [without a deal]… The government must stop playing politics with TfL.”

An 18% reduction in bus services – proposed under a managed decline scenario if TfL does not secure a ‘proper’ funding deal – is equivalent to cutting 100 bus routes or 200 bus routes with less frequent services.

The consultation in progress, which does not take into account a scenario of controlled decline, will last six weeks. The first routes are set to be scrapped by the end of the year, with all 16 gone by the end of 2023. TfL has already scrapped around 300 buses through frequency reductions that don’t require public consultation. It follows a review which took place under the supervision of the Department for Transport (DfT), which in June 2021 ordered TfL to review service levels on each route.

The following routes are to be cut, although 42 other routes are being modified as partial replacements:

  • 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 Coach Station
  • 45: Elephant and Castle, Newington Causeway – Clapham Park
  • 72: East Acton – Hammersmith Bridge North Side (terminus while Hammersmith Bridge is closed, current 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 Coach Station
  • C3: Earl’s Court, Tesco – Clapham Junction
  • D7: Poplar, All Saints Church and DLR – Mile End Station

Josiah joined MyLondon as the first City Hall Editor in October 2021, reporting on the Mayor, London Assembly, Met Police, Transport for London and wider London politics.

He moved from Brussels to south London in 2015, working in communications for the Electoral Reform Society and covering Westminster politics as a freelance journalist. Originally from Cornwall, he is now also a proud Londoner. Josiah has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Times Radio, LBC and other outlets to discuss the news and general political chaos.

If you have an untold story – whether it’s a housing nightmare, an unfair decision or a local scandal, reach out to us at josiah.mortimer@reachplc.com or contact Josiah at Twitter.

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