Transport for London is currently reviewing its Central London bus services, with proposed changes to 33 bus routes, many of which will impact services to London Bridge. The review will be under consultation until 9 November.
The review has the aim of improving service reliability, making efficiency savings and improving congestion and air quality in Central London.
Proposed changes relevant to London Bridge include:
- 48 and RV1 to be withdrawn (with alternative routes proposed)
- 343 and 40 to have a ‘route restructure’
- 149 to have reductions and increases
These changes will be the biggest shake-up of the bus system since 2002's congestion charge and the emergence of the 'bendy-bus' in 2001.
Falling bus use in Central London
There has been a significant decline in bus use across Central London, including a 12% reduction in Southwark in the last 3 years. TfL is seeking to reduce the number of buses which operate above capacity across busy routes. This might lead to, for example, a reduction from 85 buses per hour to 77 buses crossing London Bridge.
A Strategic response
At Team London Bridge, we have been supportive of a review of buses in Central London, as indicated in our response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) earlier this year. For example, it is not uncommon to see a line of underused buses queuing on London Bridge, which can cause congestion, poor air quality, poor safety for cyclists, and an unreliable service for commuters.
Individuals invited to comment
However, our strategic response does not currently take the experience of individuals into account. We'd like to invite people and businesses in London Bridge to respond to the review directly here, or to send us your thoughts.
A London Bridge response
We previously responded to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, leading a joint response for 17 Central London BID’s. This will form the basis of our comments on this review.
- We support the Mayor’s focus on reducing road danger, improving air quality and increasing active travel. We agree that the future of central London must involve a steady reduction in the use of private cars (however fuelled or autonomous), and therefore that walking, cycling and public transport use must continue to increase.
- We are especially concerned about the urgent need for action on air quality, road safety and congestion in central London. We strongly support the aim of reducing traffic volumes London-wide by about 6m vehicle km per day by 2041, but would again like to see steps towards this target for central/inner/outer London.
- We call on the Mayor to set far more challenging targets for zero emission buses, building on existing proposals for Low Emissions Bus Zones