Says proposals would hit low-income and disabled passengers hardest
Transport for London (TfL) has been urged to reconsider proposals to cut bus services in London as they would be “counterproductive”.
A public consultation on the proposals – which includes plans to axe bus 16 routes entirely – came to an end last week having received an “exceptionally high” number of responses.
But the London Assembly transport committee has called on TfL to reconsider its strategy with Assembly Members left “unconvinced” over the potential savings that could result from cuts to services.
TfL has estimated that changes to 78 bus routes would result in savings of around £35 million per year.
Sian Berry, chair of the transport committee, said that an investigation into TfL’s plans revealed that cuts to bus services would have a “disproportionate impact” on low-income and disabled Londoners.
Ms Berry said, “The committee is concerned about the disproportionate impact of these proposals on the poorest Londoners. One third of all bus journeys are made by people in households earning less than £20,000 per year. We are also concerned about the disproportionate impact of the proposals on disabled Londoners, considering that 10 per cent of daytime bus passengers are disabled.
“Another longstanding concern is the extent to which a diverse range of transport users and user groups have been engaged during TfL consultations. It is clear that change in itself can be a barrier to using public transport for some disabled people if they have built up their confidence around using a particular journey.”
In its full response to the consultation, the transport committee called on TfL to carry out further work to find “alternative, less damaging ways” to save money.
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of public transport service planning, said TfL would “take into account all public and stakeholder responses” as well as “the latest ridership data” before coming to a decision on the proposals.
He said, “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on TfL’s finances, requiring Government support to keep public transport in London operating. The Government set a number of conditions before it would provide emergency funding, including reducing the extent of our bus network.
“This is why a long-term, sustainable funding deal for TfL is so important, and we are in active discussion with the Government about the draft funding proposal. Every other major transport system around the world receives central Government funding, and London needs the same if it is to have a transport network that can continue to support homes, jobs, opportunities and economic growth.”
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
August 16, 2022