03 December 2021
At its online Bus Summit* this morning, London TravelWatch revealed that if London buses can travel just 1mph faster than they do today, it could potentially save Transport for London between £100-£200m a year.
More Londoners use the bus than any other mode of public transport including the lowest paid and key workers, who could not afford another mode of public transport. But over the last few years as congestion has increased on London’s roads, buses have become less reliable and journey times have increased, losing passengers and costing TfL more money.
Experiences during the height of the pandemic when there was less traffic on the roads have shown that when bus journey times fall, routes can be completed more quickly, reducing the number of buses needed – in central London TfL was able to remove 110 buses from service.
London TravelWatch Director, Emma Gibson commented: ‘No one likes sitting in a traffic jam on London’s congested roads and people travelling in the capital need a reliable bus service to get to work, school or see their families. The figures we’re releasing show that if we clear the way for buses on London’s roads, by doing things like introducing more 24 hour bus lanes and increasing parking enforcement on bus routes, TfL would be able to run fewer vehicles and save money as journey times will get shorter, and more people will use them.
And as well as saving £100-£200 million a year if buses run more efficiently, TfL will also be able to generate additional revenue of £80-£85m with more reliable services leading to an increase in passengers. Freeing the bus really is a win-win for everyone.’
Notes to editors
- 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.
- See attached briefing which shows how we arrived at the savings figures mentioned in this release.
- *You can watch back the Bus Summit back our YouTube via this link.
For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 07734 055494.