Bus passengers dealt triple whammy by TfL’s latest budget

Bus passengers dealt triple whammy by TfL’s latest budget

27 March 2019

London TravelWatch today voiced alarm that passengers who have been experiencing a worse service over the last few years are set to get an even poorer deal in 2019/20. This is despite the substantial additional money that will be spent by TfL on the bus network.

TfL’s new budget assumes that passengers will be hit by longer journey times, they will have to wait longer for buses and there will be a drop in the distance travelled by buses.

London TravelWatch is pressing TfL and local councils to prioritise bus travel by:

  • Extending congestion charging so that it operates for longer hours, 7 days a week
  • Extending the operational hours of bus lanes – many could operate 24/7. This would also be of great benefit to cycles
  • Extending the operational hours of the red routes
  • Reviewing parking on roads used by buses
  • Increasing the number of bus only streets like the proposed Tottenham Court Road scheme, and
  • Investigating a wider and more sophisticated roads pricing scheme.

Arthur Leathley, Chair of London TravelWatch commented: 'Millions of bus journeys across London are going to get slower in the next year according to TfL’s latest budget which is being considered by its Board today. TfL’s business plan forecasts that bus services are also going to be less reliable and there will be fewer of them. This is a triple whammy for millions of London’s bus passengers.'

Arthur continued: 'We have previously asked for buses to be prioritised on all the streets they use. TfL needs to do more to ensure that passengers are not faced with slower and less reliable buses.'

Notes to editors

  1. London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  2. London TravelWatch  knows from TfL’s performance reports and Business Plan that bus services are getting slower and that this trend will continue. In its budget 2019/20 TfL report a new measure of customer journey time showing longer journey time.
  3. TfL also measure the additional waiting time for passengers beyond that expected in the timetable. This is a measure of reliability and is set to increase next year.
  4. TfL also report the distance travelled by buses in passenger service. This is set to drop over the next year.
  5. TfL’s latest Business Plan reports the financial support for London’s bus services. In 2019/20 the figure jumps from £654 million to £714 million. In the latest budget this figure rises further to £722 million.
  6. Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  7. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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