Overhaul of London Bus Services
Buses through Chiswick to be reduced
The steady reduction in the number of buses in Chiswick looks set to continue with more local routes being truncated or seeing a reduction in frequency.
Transport for London (TfL) are planning significant cuts across the capital in a plan that was first revealed on the 853 blog. It represents one of the largest overhauls ever of the London bus network with some iconic routes disappearing. The author of the blog has been told by Transport for London that these plans are still at an early stage and will need to be discussed in more detail with local boroughs however a consultation is due to take next month.
Chiswick gets off relatively lightly compared to other areas with no services being lost entirely but the 94 route will now only go as far as Marble Arch. This is part of a general trend within the plan to reduce the number of buses operating in the centre of London. TfL say the move is part of the overall objective of reducing the number of buses on Oxford Street.
In nearby areas there are more sweeping changes with the number 10 bus route from Hammersmith set to be scrapped altogether and the number 9 rerouted from Pall Mall to Piccadilly. Route 11 from Fulham Broadway will now only serve Victoria to Liverpool Street. A new route 311 will run between Fulham Broadway and Oxford Circus via Victoria and Mayfair to retain links broken by 11, 19 and 22 cut backs. TfL will amend route 23 to run between Westbourne Park and Hammersmith as an alternative to route 10. The amended route 23 will continue to run between Westbourne Park and Marble Arch, but will then follow the existing route 10 from Marble Arch to Hammersmith. TfL plans to implement these changes in November 2018.
TfL intends to withdraw routes 113 and 159 between Oxford Circus and Marble Arch. Route 94 between Piccadilly Circus and North Row will be withdrawn during the day. These changes will be in line with the phased opening of the Elizabeth line or in response to wider bus network changes. Night bus services on route 94 will continue to operate to Piccadilly Circus.
A TfL spokesperson said, "The drive/rationale behind it all is that the usage of buses in central London has significantly dropped as there are so many alternatives (either upgraded rail or better cycling facilities) meaning there are just more buses than we need in central London, sometimes then causing bus-on-bus congestion."
In a separate announcement TfL have also confirmed that they plan to proceed with the service reduction on the E3 and the 391 routes through Chiswick which they consulted on earlier this year.
A consultation about ending the 27 service to Chiswick has also recently ended and if TfL proposals are followed through with then it is estimated that the combined impact of all the changes will lead to a 25% fall in the number of buses travelling along Chiswick High Road. Some critics of the plan have claimed that this is due to Chiswick High Road being designated a Low Emission Bus Zone and that TfL cannot afford to supply enough of the more expensive low emission buses for local routes.
TfL have also just announced that the will not be proceeding with earlier plans for the 440 in the Chiswick area although there will be changes to this route in the Park Royal and Acton area. However, there has been a subsequent proposal for this route through Chiswick which was consulted on at the same time as the changes for the 27 and TfL is still considering these plans.
Director of public transport service planning Geoff Hobbs told the 853 blog, “Buses have a crucial role to play in boosting the number of people walking, cycling and using public transport.
“As set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, we’re currently looking at how we can adjust and reorganise the bus network to ensure it reflects a rapidly changing London, including planning for year-on-year increases in bus kilometres in outer London. We need to modernise and simplify the network and ensure that bus capacity is in the right places at the right times.
“We’re currently working closely with London’s boroughs on a potential set of proposals and they are helping shape our plans. These changes will also be subject to full public consultation before they’re put in place so we can hear from customers.”
August 24, 2018