TfL’s proposals will be unwelcome changes for bus passengers

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Local bus expert TOM BOWELL, right, casts his eye over Transport for London’s proposals, announced this week, to curtail 11 bus routes through the town centre

Inside Croydon reported this week on the latest consultation by Transport for London on changes to bus routes in the borough.

TfL’s proposed changes are as follows:

  • Routes 50, 75, 250 and 264 will terminate at West Croydon bus station instead of continuing along Wellesley Road to Fairfield Halls and Park Street.
  • Routes 197 and 433 will terminate at Fairfield Halls, instead of running to Park Street and West Croydon bus station as at present.
  • Routes 403, 405 and 412 will now terminate at Katherine Street instead of continuing along Wellesley Road to West Croydon bus station.

The main purpose of the exercise appears to be to reduce the number of bus movements along Wellesley Road, in advance of major construction projects such as Westfield and the 1 Lansdowne Road skyscraper.

Given the building works disruption, this might appear to be a logical move, but in practice, it is likely to weaken the town centre even more during the construction of Westfield. With a reduced shopping offer, coupled with these reduced bus services, this is likely to discourage people from visiting Croydon, and people from outer parts of the borough will be more likely to visit other towns such as Bromley and Sutton.

All change! TfL’s bus proposals will create widespread inconvenience for passengers

These changes will also seriously inconvenience those visiting important local facilities such as Croydon College, the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) on the High Street, and the Home Office at Lunar House.

This particularly affects those travelling from the north of the borough.

Croydon College loses two important bus links from areas such as Thornton Heath, Norbury and parts of South Norwood, Croydon CAMHS loses links from areas such as Norbury, Mitcham Road and parts of Thornton Heath, while Lunar House loses direct links from Thornton Heath, South Norwood and Mitcham Road.

Bus passengers travelling from the south of the borough will be badly affected, also. Areas such as Riddlesdown, Hamsey Green and parts of Sanderstead and Coulsdon will lose their direct links to West Croydon, as well as Lunar House. It will also make East Croydon’s rail services harder to access.

To me, this all seems a backwards move.

The humble bus is the most efficient use of road space, and a big solution in the fight against the ever-worsening congestion and pollution on our roads. It seems unfair to penalise bus users, whose choice of transport is helping to make a vital difference to the local environment, at a time when air quality in Croydon Town Centre is proven to be regularly breaking legal limits.

If we want our wonderful town to prosper and thrive, we need high-quality public transport infrastructure and services to allow people to easily access important local facilities in a quick, easy and eco-friendly way without relying on cars.

These proposed changes will make that much harder for many people, and therefore I shall be responding to the consultation, and opposing these proposed changes. I encourage readers to do the same.

The TfL consultation is open until mid-January. You can find out more, and post your own comments, by clicking here.

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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
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7 Responses to TfL’s proposals will be unwelcome changes for bus passengers

  1. farmersboy says:

    It’s probably because the population of Croydon is dwindling. I almost got a seat on the morning commute to Victoria a few weeks back.
    Another time there weren’t hundreds of school kids trying to pile into a bus in Purley at 3 in the afternoon. ok it was school holidays but still it shows we need to downsize our transport infrastructure…

  2. Oh my god! People might have to change buses or even – gulp – walk!

    • Which is fine if you are fit and able. However if you have a disability, a few kids or even a lot of shopping then none of the above are convenient options and may result in people using cars. We need a decent public transport system in place to improve our air quality and the congestion on the roads. That is what TfL should be considering .

  3. combyne says:

    I walk across from West Croydon to the High Street.
    No bus.

    When heading to East Croydon, I get the tram.
    No bus.

    Or even occasionally now staying on the train to Norwood Junction and joining the fast service to London Bridge.

    Bus is becoming an outmoded form of transport around Croydon.

    • farmersboy says:

      As pointed out above disabled people don’t need to be changing transport modes unnecessary (which can be pianful and humiliating) which tfl themselves admit. Other people can’t afford to get several forms of transport or have time for whatever reason. But it’s good that you’re doing your bit…

  4. timbartell says:

    All this nonsense in anticipation of something that might not happen.

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