Sixteen London bus routes set to be axed in TfL's biggest network cut in decades

1 June 2022, 12:39 | Updated: 1 June 2022, 17:33

A total of 16 London bus routes are set to be axed
A total of 16 London bus routes are set to be axed. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Sixteen London bus routes are under threat of being axed as Transport for London (TfL) prepares for its biggest set of cuts in decades.

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TfL has launched a consultation into the future of the bus routes.

The cuts could see 250 buses removed from service across 16 key routes.

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The six-week consultation began on Wednesday.

The first routes could be scrapped as early as the end of the year.

If approved, all 16 routes will be axed by the end of 2023.

The routes under threat are: 4, 11, 12, 14, 16, 24, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 349, 521, C3 and D7.

The 24 is one of the routes set to be cut
The 24 is one of the routes set to be cut. Picture: Alamy

Adam Hug, leader of Westminster City Council, said buses are "a transport lifeline" for many people in the capital and encouraged people to give their views in the consultation.

"I am deeply concerned that the Government’s failure to properly fund Transport for London while we recover from the pandemic may have a real impact on our vital bus network," he said.

"Buses are a transport lifeline for so many, particularly during this unprecedented squeeze on the cost of living.

"What's important now is we study the detail of what is being proposed and how it will impact journeys across Westminster.

"Local people know best how these changes may affect them.

"It's very important that as many people as possible get involved with the consultation, and as the council we will be supporting them to ensure their views are clearly heard by central Government, TfL, and the Mayor's office."

Demand for buses has fallen
Demand for buses has fallen. Picture: Alamy

The changes aim to remove route overlaps, particularly in central London.

But the cuts will leave some roads without any bus services, according to MyLondon.

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TfL has already cut the frequencies of services on a number of routes, changes that do not require a consultation.

Routes that have been reduced include the 521, which saw the number of services halved, and the number 113.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan previously blamed the cuts on a reduction in demand as a result of the pandemic.

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In order to comply with the conditions of the government's bailouts, TfL must achieve £400m in savings by the end of the 2024/25 financial year.

It involves cutting the bus network by four per cent.

City AM reports that a total of 78 of the city's 620 bus routes are set to see some sort of alteration as a result.

Sadiq Khan previously blamed the pandemic for the fall in demand
Sadiq Khan previously blamed the pandemic for the fall in demand. Picture: Alamy

Deputy mayor for transport Seb Dance said: "No one wants to see reductions to our bus network, but TfL is having to consider these changes because of the savings demanded by the government as part of the emergency funding deals during the pandemic.

"Routes changed are ones where there are very similar existing services or where passengers would make use of the Mayor’s 'Hopper' fare to reach their destination."