Is your jour­ney tak­ing longer? Blame it on the build­ing work

Lon­don buses per­for­mance falls as does the num­ber of pas­sen­gers

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel­tel@trin­i­tymir­

BUSES in Lon­don are get­ting slower, with trans­port chiefs blam­ing an “un­prece­dented” amount of con­struc­tion work.

The monthly mean speed recorded by Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) fell from 9.5mph in 2014/15 to 9.3mph dur­ing 2015/16.

The num­ber of pas­sen­gers has also fallen dur­ing that pe­riod, with 71 mil­lion fewer bus jour­neys made dur­ing 2015/16 than over the pre­vi­ous year –a 3% an­nual de­cline.

The fig­ures were high­lighted by Lon­don Trav­elWatch, which at­trib­uted the fall in bus pas­sen­ger num­bers to the de­cline in speed and re­li­a­bil­ity.

Stephen Locke, chair­man of the trans­port watch­dog, said: “This is a very wor­ry­ing pic­ture. Bus ser­vice per­for­mance has de­te­ri­o­rated and pas­sen­gers are aban­don­ing bus ser­vices in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers.

“This de­cline must be tack­led by TfL. In the short term a top pri­or­ity is for TfL and the Lon­don bor­oughs (which con­trol 80% of the roads our buses use) to ex­tend the op­er­a­tional times of bus lanes, and to en­force yel­low and red line con­trols so that bus lanes can be fully used.

“In the longer term, there is a press­ing need to ex­tend bus pri­or­i­ties across much larger parts of Lon­don’s road net­work.”

Mike We­ston, TfL’s di­rec­tor of buses, said: “We saw a small re­duc­tion in the num­ber of peo­ple trav­el­ling on buses last year due to con­ges­tion caused by an un­prece­dented level of com­mer­cial devel­op­ment across the city and ex­ten­sive ac­tion to im­prove road safety and lay­outs at many of Lon­don’s busiest junc­tions.

“We ex­pect to see a re­turn to growth in the num­ber of peo­ple us­ing buses fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of a num­ber of these projects.”

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