79% object to bus route changes – but TfL go ahead with cuts

Building works around the Whitgift Centre will see eight bus routes shortened to avoid  driving through Croydon town centre

Transport for London last night confirmed that they are to press ahead with cuts to most of the bus routes serving central Croydon, despite 79 per cent of people who took part in their consultation objecting to the proposals and saying that the changes were a bad idea.

The 50 is one of eight routes whose journey through central Croydon is to be shortened

The bus route cuts are expected to affect the daily journeys for 16,000 people. TfL had originally proposed cuts to 11 routes through central Croydon; following the consultation, they are to press ahead with significant changes to eight routes.

As Inside Croydon reported earlier this year, TfL was committed to shortening the bus routes – mostly getting them to terminate at West Croydon bus station or the Fairfield Halls, and avoiding anticipated construction disruption along Wellesley Road – because they had already put the revised routes out to tender.

In its consultation document, first published last November, TfL claimed that “the majority of passengers do not travel across the town centre”, which is plainly untrue, but was the premise which underpinned their proposals.

From the original proposals, the changes to the 403, 154 and 75 have been abandoned. There will now be an increase in frequency of service for the 466, while TfL’s also undertaken to look at getting the 433 to serve Old Town.

TfL ia going ahead with plans to re-route several buses, with several now terminatiing at West Croydon

But one Croydon Town Hall figure has described the cuts to the eight routes as “awful”.

Most TfL consultations take less than three months for the transport authority to implement, yet they spent six months over this – City Hall sources suggesting that the overwhelming opposition to the proposals did force them to reconsider some of the route reductions.

In total, 1,489 people responded to the TfL questionnaire, while 29 public bodies and organisations also responded.

TfL admitted last night: “We asked if respondents think our proposals will have an impact on their journey. 79 per cent of respondents said that the proposed changes would impact on their journey, while 17 per cent said it wouldn’t.

“The majority of the people who advised there would be an impact on their journey were opposed to our proposals.”

TfL last night still maintained, “These changes aim to make the bus network simpler and more efficient, and would make sure our resources are invested in the locations where passenger demand is highest.”

The route changes might be “simpler and more efficient” for bus drivers and the transport companies, but they will make it almost impossible for passengers to travel through the town centre, northwards or southwards, without having to make at least one change of bus.

The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre – for which there is still no start date – is largely to blame for the changes, which TfL says are “in response to the ongoing construction and other changes to Croydon town centre and would help to maintain the reliability of bus services”.

TfL’s amended plans will now see:

  • Divert routes 50 and 197 to stand at Fairfield Halls
  • Divert route 433 to stand in mid-Croydon at either Katherine Street or St. Georges Walk
  • Retain route N250 serving East Croydon, Dingwall Road all evenings
  • Changes to routes 109, 250, 264, 405 and 412 will progress as we originally proposed in the consultation
  • Curtail route 197 to Fairfield Halls
  • Curtail routes 250 (day route) and 264 (day and night services) to West Croydon Bus Station
  • Curtail routes 405 and 412 at Katherine Street
  • Route 109 will stand at Fell Road. There would be no change to first or last stops, live or dead mileage

These changes are to be introduced in November 2019.

TfL also said, “Following the bus network review, we will also be re-investing resources in the area to better match capacity to demand We will be increasing the frequency on routes 60, 127, 130, 154, 249, 289, 314 and 466. These changes will take place around the same time.

The changes to the 250 – effectively avoiding Wellesley Road – are typical of the changes being implemented on eight town centre bus routes

“We are considering options depending on operational issues and costs into the longer-term feasibility of using route 433 to serve Old Town.

“As a result of feedback received from the consultation and further work undertaken by us, we will now not be making changes to routes 75, 154 and 403.”

The consultation report, including route by route changes, can be viewed here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/croydon-town-centre.

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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8 Responses to 79% object to bus route changes – but TfL go ahead with cuts

  1. Dave Scott says:

    I am not sure the purpose of consultations, other than a tick box exercise. We have consulted, the majority have opposed, but nevermind we will press ahead anyway. We have consulted – and ignored the results (unless they agree with us and then we will blow our own trumpet and say we are doing what the serfs want). For TFL any organisation can be substituted. Look at Croydon Planning.

  2. Bernard Winchester says:

    I objected to the changes for the obvious reason that the Whitgift Centre stops are the most popular ones on the routes affected, so to stop these buses just short of them makes little sense. Yes, people could change on to other routes, but many users would find this difficult or might be deterred from using public transport entirely.
    It is at least a relief that routes 75, 154 and 403 will not now be curtailed.
    The changes in Croydon appear to reflect a trend: TfL has made larger scale savings already by considerable reductions in central London buses.
    The increase in frequency on eight routes is a surprise, particularly at a time of cost-cutting elsewhere, and in view of the fact that some of them are not amongst the most heavily loaded in the area.
    My guess is that most users would rather keep the town centre buses and forego the frequency improvements, but perhaps TfL know better.

  3. Lorraine Maskell says:

    I also objected to the changes as I’m not going to get on and off the bus at Fairfield and East Croydon and walk further then I’m able to get to North end/Wellesley Road and needing to use a 433, I am also not likely to get a bus for 2 stops and then have to give up my seat to wait and change to a bus with no seats left at a busy transport hub (East Croydon). I am utterly appauled as has been suggested that consultation has just become a box that has to be ticked by everybody and anybody to say they have gone through the motions. Croydon Council do it with their online surveys all the time – they often get 10 or 20 responses for something affecting thousands and then say that any objections to their plans were dismissed and they go ahead anyway – most people have better things to do than trawl sites looking for hidden surveys or things they’d like to support or object to – where’s the real consultation, and then listening, that used to be done?? They are after all running this borough and transport service etc. for us aren’t they??

  4. Adrian Cowie says:

    What is the point of having a consultation if tfl ignore the 79% of people who Objected? They’ve only done it as a tick box exercise!
    They’ve quite blatantly ignored public opinion and are clearly not interested in the least as to users views.

  5. Looks like TFL have been infected by the malevolent Croydon Council virus and motto: “Its our policies that matter, stupid, not the people we serve.”

  6. Dan Kelly says:

    They don’t care about service to passengers. They moved the Purley bound 289 stop out of the Colonades to further up Purley Way. There is no seating or shelter at the new stop and the 289 is not the most reliable service.

    • I know. We go to the Colonnades often and can see how inconvenient the new siting it….but it is better for the service providers than the service users and thus fits into the us first, paying customers second model that is the current preference of so many providers and,of course, our proud Council.

      • Dan Kelly says:

        Saw this morning that when my wife shops at West Croydon she will have to drag her shopping trolley on and off an extra bus to get to the new 412 start. This isn’t helped by some of the drivers not being capable of pulling into the kerb. The quality of driving has dropped since conductors have gone.

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