15 September 2021
London TravelWatch’s new Bus Alliance, which aims to reverse the decline in bus ridership in London held a launch event this morning which was attended by a wide range of organisations and politicians at City Hall and the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
The Alliance includes organisations like Unite, Transport for All, London First, the Campaign for Better Transport, members of the London Assembly and representatives of London boroughs. It will initially be making the case for the bus to retain the current levels of frequency, in order to help London’s economic recovery. The immediate danger is that bus frequencies could be reduced if insufficient funding is made available in this Autumn’s financial settlement between Government and TfL, a point London TravelWatch recently made in a joint letter to Grant Shapps.
London TravelWatch Director, Emma Gibson commented: ‘So many people in London rely on the bus to get them to work or school, to do their shopping or to visit friends and family. And buses have provided an essential service for the key workers who have kept London going in the pandemic. But the number of people using the bus in London had been falling even before the current pandemic. Today’s event has shown the diverse support from organisations and politicians in London to help try and stop this decline and our first challenge is to ensure bus frequencies aren’t cut before people have a chance to get back into London.’
Emma continued: ‘One fully laden bus can take up to 75 cars off the road, so improving the bus is a key way of reducing congestion, improving air quality and decarbonising transport.’