TfL confirms changes to 13 routes across Croydon and Sutton

Transport for London is going ahead with three new bus routes to serve Croydon and Sutton, with significant changes lined up for 13 existing south London routes.

All change: TfL’s re-routeing will affect 13 existing routes, see others axed and bring in three new routes

With no prospect of the long-requested tram extension to the Royal Marsden Hospital at Belmont, TfL is seeking to deliver public transport for the “Cancer Hub” with new and re-routed bus services around Belmont, Sutton, Purley, Addiscombe and Waddon.

TfL consulted on the changes last year, as they seek to rationalise and reduce some services due to the reduced fares income they have suffered since the first covid lockdown.

TfL says that fewer than a thousand members of the public participated in its consultation, of which 35 per cent supported and 22 per cent opposed the proposals.

“After carefully considering all responses and feedback received, we have decided to go ahead with our proposals with some amendments.”

No date has yet been set for the route changes, which are “subject to confirmation of future funding arrangements”, TfL says, acknowledging the continuing need for support from central government because of the financial impact of covid-19.

The original proposals for bus routes S1, 164, 312, 405, 407, 434, 455 and 645 will go ahead as outlined last year, with the introduction of new routes, numbered S2, 439 and 443.

TfL has done a lot of detailed work to streamline some of the bus routes across the two south London boroughs. There are maps available for all the route changes on the TfL website

TfL says that they have “revised our proposals for bus routes 80, 166, 413, 470, S3, and S4”, though a briefing document to City Hall failed to explain what those revisions might be.

The changes as originally proposed were as follows:

  • Re-route the S1 between Wrythe Lane and Middleton Road via Bishopsford Road and Green Wrythe Lane. This re-routeing would be necessary to enable the right turn to be undertaken by longer buses which would be used to operate on route S1. In Belmont, it would be re-routed via Cotswold Road rather than Belmont Station
  • Introduce a new route S2 which would run between Belmont, High Down and Downview, St Helier Station via Belmont Station and the western part of the S4. Both routes S2 and S4 would operate at a frequency of every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes. Both routes would continue to operate every 30 minutes at evenings, and Sunday services with a frequency of every 30 minutes would be introduced
  • Withdraw route S3 between Sutton Station and Belmont Station, and swap its routeing with the 470 between Sutton High Street and Sutton Common Station to provide a more direct routeing
  • Re-structure route S4 which would now run between Waddon Marsh and Belmont Station via route 455 to Mollison Drive and then via current route S4
  • Withdraw route 80 between Belmont, High Down and Downview, and Sutton Hospital. It would be converted to double-decker buses to provide sufficient capacity for growing demand, particularly at its southern end. The S2 would serve High Down and Downview
  • Extend route 164 from Sutton Station to Sutton Hospital when development in that area requires additional bus capacity
  • Re-number the school-day only journeys on route 405 to 645 running from Waddon Road, Purley Way to Purley in the morning and in the opposite direction in the afternoon. Between Waddon and mid-Croydon, it would run via route 407 and between mid-Croydon and Purley via route 405
  • Re-structure route 407 so that it terminates at Sutton and Croydon town centres. It would continue to operate at the same frequency
  • Withdraw route 413 between Sutton Garage and Sutton town centre and extend it from there via Benhill Avenue and route S3 to Belmont Station
  • Re-structure route 434 so that it is extended to Caterham and diverted away from Northwood Avenue to serve new developments on Higher Drive in Kenley. Its frequency would remain unchanged
  • Introduce a new route 439 which would operate between Whyteleafe and Waddon Marsh at a frequency of every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday daytimes. It would serve Kenley, Northwood Avenue as the 434 does now. The route would use single decker buses
  • Introduce a new route 443 from Caterham to West Croydon Bus Station. This would replace the existing route 407 between Caterham and South Croydon but would serve Old Town instead of the town centre. This would operate Monday to Saturday daytimes at a frequency of every 15 minutes, and on Sundays and all evenings at a frequency of every 20 minutes. The route would use double decker buses
  • Withdraw route 455. The southern section of the route would be replaced by changes to routes 166 and 312. Route 312 would be extended from South Croydon to Purley Old Lodge Lane via Brighton Road. Route 166 would be re-routed between Purley and Croydon town centre via route 455. The western section would be partially replaced by changes to routes S4 and the school day only journeys on route 405
  • Re-route the 470 to run two-way via Stayton Road and Oldfields Road, which are judged more suitable for bus operation than Dibden and Marlborough Roads. This would require changes to the junction of Oldfields Road and Stayton Road.

To view the TfL proposals and maps in full, click here

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12 Responses to TfL confirms changes to 13 routes across Croydon and Sutton

  1. Something pro-active happening in Croydon.

  2. Richard says:

    As usual, a deterioration in service dressed up as an improvement based on a consultation which was probably pointless because they’d already decided.

    • miapawz says:

      The changes to the 434 are welcome but not the changes to 407…. as a Kenley/Caterham located person. they could just have staged or mananged the 407 better: e.g. 407A Cat to West Croydon, 407B West croydon to Sutton. so the service flowed better peak times.

  3. Peter A says:

    I have to agree with the above comment. TfL consultations are biased – they weight responses with crafted questions so if you are not overtly opposed then it’s counted as being in favour of change. That doesn’t accurately reflect the fact that being happy with the status quo, i.e. neutral, is in fact being opposed to the change. This gerrymandering of responses towards their favoured outcome in unfair on the 65% of respondents who felt these changes shouldnt happen.

    • We were involved in getting a new route to a poorly served part of our borough borders about ten years ago. Most of the opposition in the consultation was from toothy toffs with in-out driveways and four cars who didn’t want to see buses on their roads. The true face of public consultation in the UK.

      Better if TFL just got on with it.

      • miapawz says:

        As a Kenley resident for the first time ever we have a bus route. No idea if it will go anywhere useful, but Its a bus…

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    The process used to determine usage and service requirements are proven and have usually worked to a larger extent. There have been some hiccups at times of change but generally they are a competent bunch doing this work.

    I know I have been a bit out of it over the last year or so but I must have missed this consultation.

    I wonder though given the process and the pandemic if the results were weighted to reflect the abnormal usage and environmental conditions?
    If not there may be a bit of a passenger block when services do not meet demand as a level of normality returns.
    as an aside was the move of the maternity unit from St Hellier and other changes upcoming taken into account moving forward? This would play havoc with Hospital DNA not to mention pressure on the ambulance system further disadvantaging BAME pregnant ladies.

    Having been victim of poor information when doing risk analysis one does try to test the decisions in advance, I am not sure of this still happens. But I am sure that all this was considered and those concerns are groundless.

  5. Daniel says:

    Can I still take 405 from Park street and go to Redhill?

  6. Peter A says:

    I agree the TfL planners are very competent and I’m massively pro bus, especially in outer London. Being opposed to “streamlining” doesn’t mean you are anti-bus or anti-changes.

    The planners are following their strategic lead, which is to fracture bus routes – this is to avoid needing to go through areas which needed bus priority to stay on timetable, as capacity has been allocated to active modes like cycling (like the diversions in Croydon town centre which divert buses through four signals for zero benefit to active travel).

    I just think that approach doesn’t work for outer London.

    At the moment, buses are too regularly being curtailed, especially at the end of routes, by the operators who fall behind schedule. Their quick solution is to break the route so buses hit these pinch points earlier in their route and can recover faster, but that means passengers need to get out and wait – it doesn’t cost extra due to the Hopper – but it’s not going to help people who rely on buses to wait in the cold (especially with Croydon’s shelters having been removed), not know if they’ll get a seat again, etc.

    Look at the impact the timetable changes are having on rail branch lines out of East Croydon. Even a small change makes the service unfeasible – one off-peak cancellation and people are waiting for an hour, sometimes more.

    I worry that taking three buses instead of one will put people off using buses, as it adds so much extra time. This appears to be the beginning of a “managed decline”, as post-covid, TfL can’t afford the hundreds of millions it costs to subsidise the bus operator contracts.

    The more practical solution would be to recognise that London’s bus service is the envy of the world – literally!

    The red bus is iconic because it’s so good.

    A real programme of orbital bus priority is needed for outer London alongside a proper study of the impact of LTN, etc on reliability for passengers, not operators’ bottom line, service intervals, connectivity, etc.

  7. Bus User says:

    No wonder they had so few participants, I live on three of the routes and had no idea of the changes being proposed. Speaking to others who live on the routes no one else seems to know anything. TfL never advertised the consultation at bus stops or by leaflets through the door. They clearly hid the changes from users so they could push them through.

  8. Hazel swain says:

    are you SERIOUSLY planning to send Double decker buses down Southbridge Road in Croydon?. it already heavily congested .. its narrow.. the pavements are narrow and traffic already mounts the pavements to get past cars and lorries parked at the shops .The road is the main route for many parents walking children to school. Only a matter of time before someone is killed if this goes ahead .There has been ZERO consultation with residents affected by this .. extra noise, pollution and risk to life and limb. When the road is blocked , Tanfield Road and Brafferton Road will become rat runs and these are even narrower …death awaits pavement users !

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