TfL have today launched a consultation on altering three bus routes serving major areas of regeneration in south east London.
Routes 1, 168 and 188 serve major areas of future housebuilding including Elephant & Castle, the Old Kent Road, Surrey Quays, Rotherhithe and north Greenwich.
Route 168 would be cut with part of that route absorbed by the 1.
The 188 doesn’t see any major changes at North Greenwich with a change of northern destination.
The northern areas of the Old Kent Road does see a loss of services if the 168 is removed.
Transport for London lists these proposals:
- Merge routes 1 (between Tottenham Court Road and Canada Water) and route 168 (between Hampstead Heath and Old Kent Road) introducing a new route operating between Hampstead Heath and Canada Water (provisionally numbered route 1).This new route would operate at the same frequency as the 168 (one bus every 7.5 – 8 minutes Monday to Saturday during the day and every 10 – 12 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays)
- Maintain a night route between Tottenham Court Road and Thamesmead. This night route would operate with the same structure as the current N1.
- Cut back route 188 from Russell Square to Holborn and reroute to Tottenham Court Road. This would replace the connections route 1 currently provides between Tottenham Court Road and Kingsway. The rest of route 188 would remain the same.
TfL have gradually been cutting bus routes in recent years, and generally these reductions are focused on Zone 1.
They state that routes between “central London and Elephant and Castle have a very high frequency of buses, between 35 and 90 buses per hour, meaning a bus arrives at least every two minutes. This is contrasted by a stark decrease in bus usage and passenger demand for buses. We anticipate this reduced passenger demand will continue post-pandemic; therefore, we want to simplify the bus network, and better match bus services to passenger demand.”.
If cuts do happen, one obvious question is whether future service levels will be sufficient for changes in various areas when new developments complete and residents move in.
Elephant & Castle will see 3,000 homes at Elephant Park by 2025, and the shopping centre development sees over 1,100.
The forthcoming opening of Crossrail pays a part in these changes, though if negotiations go badly between the Department for Transport, Treasury and TfL do not go well far bigger cuts could be made.
Government have yet to start talking to TfL with just three weeks to go until the next funding deadline.
Click here to view the consultation.