Transport for London have announced they will not proceed with plans to curtail bus routes towards Bluewater after nearly 1,800 responses to a consultation.
One proposed cut back was on the 492 – which I first covered back in August 2018 – that would have seen journeys cut between Dartford and Bluewater leaving a journey from Sidcup via Bexleyheath to Crayford. This cut will not now happen, and the full bus route will be converted to double decker.
The 428 would have only run from Erith to Crayford under plans now scrapped. It will now continue towards Dartford, serving Darent Valley Hospital before reaching Bluewater.
However, current events could overtake the consultation which was undertaken last year. If TfL do not receive immediate financial help from Government due to a collapse in fare income, they may not be operating any buses in a couple of weeks. Their routes provide lower priced competition to privatised, deregulated services through Dartford.
It’s notable how Government bailed out private bus companies far quicker than publicly owned TfL, where it is reportedly again demanding numerous conditions including congestion charge increases and cuts to Freedom Pass travel, much as it did in the spring.
TfL state operations will be kept under review: “Having considered all of the issues raised by respondents to the consultation, we have decided not to proceed with the withdrawal of the 428 between Bluewater and Crayford and not to proceed with the withdrawal of the 492 between Bluewater and Dartford at this time. We will keep both operations under review.
However, we will proceed with the conversion of route 428 to double deck and the withdrawal of the existing school day only journeys.”
A report can be seen here.