22 December 2021

London TravelWatch has welcomed the news that TfL intends to make its trial of 24-hour bus lanes permanent, after a trial found that extending bus lane hours on London’s busiest roads cut bus journey times and improved service reliability.

The bus is used by more Londoners than any other mode of public transport including the lowest paid and key workers, who could not afford another mode of public transport. But buses in London have become less reliable over the past few years as congestion has increased on London’s roads and this has coincided with a reduction in the number of passengers using them.

Arthur Leathley, Chair of London TravelWatch 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. We’ve recently published research showing that if roads are cleared 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 potentially save between £100-200m as journey times will get shorter, and more people will use them. Making the bus lanes trial permanent is a good first step and we hope that TfL and the boroughs will be able to go even further with measures to free the bus in 2022.’

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