Councillor concerned by TfL’s short-notice bus consultation

A Croydon councillor has criticised Transport for London over a consultation about changes to bus routes for failing to give residents in New Addington enough notice of a couple of key meetings, both staged this week, during the school half-term holiday.

Bus 359While welcoming that there is a consultation at all, Oliver Lewis, who was elected as a Labour councillor in May, told Inside Croydon, “I am disappointed at the way the consultation has been organised by TfL.

“Two consultation meetings in New Addington are taking place just a week after residents have been notified of the consultation. Given the short notice and that these dates also fall during half-term means many could miss out.

“TfL also state that councillors will be at these sessions. While all councillors for New Addington and Fieldway will do their best to attend, there was no notice prior to the consultation document being sent out.”

The consultation was announced on Tuesday last week, October 21, with the public consultation sessions staged for three hours yesterday evening (Oct 29) and this afternoon (Oct 30). So it has all the appearance of a typical “consultation”, where lip-service is paid to the idea of engaging the public, when the local authority – in this case TfL – already has its plans determined.

In its announcement last week, TfL stated that the proposals follow a review which “identified certain aspirations for bus services which include improvements in interchange between bus routes and trams; improvements in bus access to the south end of Central Parade; and enhancing links within New Addington to Croydon University Hospital”.

The proposals include:

    • Routes 64, 130 and 464 would serve new areas in New Addington, and route 353 would be extended to Forestdale, allowing the withdrawal of routes T31 and T32;
    • This would give new direct links on route 64 to Croydon University Hospital for many New Addington residents, and a new link on route 353 from Forestdale to Hayes and Locksbottom (for Princess Royal University Hospital);

Route 359 proposal map

  • Route 359 would be extended to Purley Cross and have its hours of operation increased, including a Sunday service, giving a much better service for Monks Hill and a brand new service along Purley Downs Road;
  • Routes 64, 130 and 359 would all have their frequencies increased, with the 64 also running 24 hours a day, replacing the separate night service on N64;
  • Route 314 would be unchanged.

The consultation period is open until December 5, with TfL stating, “Subject to the outcome of the consultation…”, ha, ha!, “…the changes are expected to be implemented in summer 2015.”

When looked at, it is a wonder whether TfL is seeking some sort of sponsorship deal from Tesco for the 359 extension, delivering eager shoppers from New Addington seeking bargains at Purley Cross. This route change is also good news for Monks Hill, which at one time had no bus at all, though Purley Downs Road residents may not like the idea of a bus in their road.

Oliver Lewis: concerned about TfL's short-notice consultation

Oliver Lewis: concerned about TfL’s short-notice consultation

But nearly 15 years since the tram system opened, the changes will see the end of two of the special T bus feeder routes.

“There is significant concern about the proposals among local residents,” Lewis said.

“I urge all residents to participate in the consultation and let TfL hear their views. I hope that TfL listen to the views of residents and others and factors their views in to the final design of services. I shall also be making robust representations to TFL on behalf of residents who contact me.”

The TfL consultation can be seen online here, while Lewis can be contacted with residents’ comments or concerns at oliver.lewis@croydon.gov.uk


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  • Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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