Watchdog calls for TfL to focus on outer London public transport connectivity in new budget

23 September 2020

On the day that the Mayor of London meets with the Secretary of State to negotiate a new financial deal to keep the capital moving during the pandemic, London TravelWatch has called for TfL to focus on helping people to move around the area where they live and improving connectivity, especially in inner and outer London rather than increasing capacity.

TfL’s current financing arrangement with the Government ends in early October and London’s transport watchdog has made a series of suggestions about the work that should be prioritised in a letter sent to the Mayor of London this week.

The priorities included in the letter include:

  • continuing to maintain Tube infrastructure and projects which have already started, like improving signalling and replacing old trains to make services more frequent and reliable
  • further work to prioritise the bus service and ensure reliability, with more 24/7 bus lanes
  • keeping bus fares as low as possible to protect lower income Londoners who rely on the bus to get around and extending the Hopper fare to cover journeys up to 90 minutes
  • Introducing new orbital bus routes, new outer London east to west bus routes and new outer London express bus routes – the fastest and most flexible way of improving connectivity
  • Making it easier for all to walk or cycle by widening pavements and providing clear space for cycling
  • Improving or replacing TfL journey planner and including alerts when lifts and escalators have broken down.

London TravelWatch Director, Emma Gibson commented: ‘66% of Londoners say that they expect to work at home more in future and homeworking is a trend that is clearly here to stay*. This means that TfL’s services need to reflect Londoner’s need to move around more where they live, instead of commuting into central London every day.  We think that a combination of all of these measures would help to meet Londoners’ changing transport needs as we recover from the pandemic.’ 

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. *Our omnibus survey with Transport Focus has shown that that 66% of Londoners say that they expect to work at home more in future.
  3. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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