Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Planning an Evolving Bus Service to meet new Demands

London Assembly Transport Committee launches a major investigation into the capital’s bus services.

The bus continues to be the most popular form of transport for people to get around London – carrying more than 6 million passengers a day.
Accessibility features like ramps, wheelchair bays, i-bus and ‘kneeling buses’ technology has also meant more and more disabled people are also keen to exercise our ‘right to ride’.

As a result the number of bus passenger journeys is continuing to rise and the timely investigation by the Transport Committee is set to examine how Transport for London (TfL) is planning to meet this demand.
The Committee has set the following terms of reference for the investigation:

  • To identify the current and potential future usage of the bus network including crowding levels on bus routes;
  • To explore how TfL reviews, redesigns and implements changes to bus services to meet changing demand; and
  • To make recommendations to the Mayor and TfL on any actions they could take to improve the provision of bus services to meet current and future demand more effectively.

Evidence session on 6th June, 10am
Transport for All has been invited to give evidence to the Transport committee on 6th June 2013 at City Hall.
We will be seeking to raise the concerns of disabled and older Londoners; and in particular how bus services need to continue to evolve in the light of an ageing population and the specific needs of disabled passengers.
Issues relating to bus services and access to healthcare as well as the creation of new routes and bus stops will also be raised. With many disabled people unable to use buses at the busiest times and during the ‘school run’ when many pushchair users are on board, due to overcrowding, there may be a case for increasing the frequency of some bus routes at rush hour.

The Committee will be holding an ‘open mic’ session at this meeting where bus passengers can share their opinions and experiences. If you would like to attend then all you have to do is simply turn up in time for the meeting, which will being at 10am. Please do allow approx 10 mins for security checks.

The nearest step-free station to City Hall is London Bridge, and City Hall is served by buses 42, 47, 78, 381 and RV1. You can find out more on getting there here, and phone us if you’d like help planning an accessible journey. City Hall is accessible to wheelchair users, but get in touch if you will require any access arrangements such as speech-to-text interpretation.

The Committee will then hold a second meeting on 2 July 2013 to hear from Transport for London and bus service experts’ representatives of the Mayor/TfL and bus service experts.
Following its public meetings, the Committee will publish its findings and recommendations.
We want to hear your views on responding to changing demand for bus services.
The Committee is also encouraging written submissions on the main areas of the investigation up till 31st August.
Please send your submissions to ross.jardine@london.gov.uk and copy in Transport for All: Contactus@transportforall.org.uk

Kind regards,

Sarah Rochford
Communications and Project Co-ordinator

Transport for All
336 Brixton Road.
Tel: 0207 737 2339
Fax: 0207 737 2231


  1. NeighbourhoodWatcher12:47 am, June 07, 2013

    Someone I know has actually responded to this Consultation. I reproduce their words without further comment other than to say that I am surprised that there has not been more controversy over what is quite an important issue.

    "I am a disable person and my biggest bugbear on buses is the so-called "Priority Seat" that is nothing of the sort as it is unenforceable. Second worst thing is people who insist that their shopping bags are so tired or infirm that they must have a seat of their own. Less common but just as annoying is adults who plonk their kids on seats when children could sit on parent's lap.

    I could talk for ever about the appalling attitudes of mothers with buggies who point blank refuse to make way for a wheel-chair. Thankfully this is not that common but can be devastating for a disabled person.

    I am a 6ft tall male and legroom in seats is a problem.

    So called "personal" music is a well-known ASB issue on buses. (and schoolkids ringing the bell all the time)

    Drivers who wait until an elderly or disabled person has reached the doors of a bus and then close the doors and drive off are extremely annoying.

    The "system" (there actually is one) for revising routes and timings seems to be designed to deliberately fail."

  2. And here's my submission:

    1. There is no point having a kneeling bus if it cannot get to the kerb due to cars and vans parked in the bus cage. This is a particular problem in Barkingside High Street throughout the evening when traffic wardens are not around. Is there a case here for TfL to have cameras fitted to buses and to prosecute these miscreants yourselves?

    2. There has been a long standing campaign for a bus route to serve Forest Road in Barkingside. Fairlop Station is the only Tube station I know that is not served by a bus route. Over the years the facilities along Forest Road have increased dramatically – Fairlop Waters, Cemetery, Cycling Centre, Skate Park, Gym, Community Centre etc so there must surely be sufficient demand to at least try it out.

    3. Whatever happened to the 306 bus route? This had £2million funding from a Section 106 agreement and was due to run from Repton Park to Ilford. The public consultation in 2004 (I think) gave a 2:1 thumbs up to the proposal, but it was quietly dropped. Why?

    4. Much more needs to be done on making buses less polluting. Barkingside High Street and Fullwell Cross roundabout are a particular problem re Air Quality.

    1. I am sure that others will have their own opinion on your 4 points but here are mine.
      1. Have not got a clue, traffic wardens and the Smart car seem to be able to issue tickets in residential roads up to and beyond 10pm

      2. Various Cllrs, including myself have raised this with TfL at the Council's Public Transport Liaison Committee. London Buses told us that it would cost too much; when we suggested that they use 2 of the 4 buses(per hour) making this route and for that to be extended, they said there was no demand!

      3. The scheme was quietly dropped because part of the consultation was with the residents of Repton Park. The buses would have entered there to turn round (and stop to pick up passengers)and then trundle onwards, however the residents at Repton Park rejected the scheme, the buses had therefore no place to turn and the scheme was dropped.

      4. Whilst newer cars have better systems for dealing with emissions, the buses continue to spew out fumes. It does not help because of traffic conditions that vehicles including buses 'idle' and therefore release more fumes, better flows of traffic mean less pollution as there is less 'idling' time.