Will Brockley's buses cope with passenger growth?

The London Assembly is asking Brockley Central readers to complete this survey. They explain:

Nearly 6.5 million passengers in London travel by bus each day on 700 different routes. Will London buses be able to cope with the additional demand triggered by the capital’s rapidly rising population? As London grows by the equivalent of two full buses each day, will failure to expand the capital’s bus network mean passengers face overcrowded and unreliable services?

The London Assembly launched an in-depth investigation – reaching out to policy makers, transport experts and millions of London bus passengers – to examine whether the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) can meet current and future demand for buses without damaging its reputation.

The London Assembly also wants to hear from passengers about how they feel about their local services. They are being are asked to fill in a short survey that will feed into the investigation.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Valerie Shawcross AM, said:

“As half of all bus journeys made in the UK each day are taken in London, it is vital we see our bus network grow from strength to strength rather than suffer damage due to neglecting the changing needs of the capital.  The growth in passengers shown over the last decade shows no signs of diminishing. TfL’s business plan does not provide for expansion of the bus network, and unless plans are secured to deal with extra passengers, London buses run the risk of entering a period of decline.

“We intend to gather the views of passengers across London for our investigation to help Assembly form strong recommendations to avoid a decline in standards across the bus network. Otherwise London’s growing reputation as a model city for buses could be under threat.”

17 comments:

Harry said...

Buses are fine, I'd be more worried about the train station. Always crap at rush our if a train is slightly delayed.

Judge Rudy said...

the 484 already needs a few extra buses at peak times especially saturday afternoons but maybe even just one or two extra per hour would make the journey from tesco (lewisham) to brockley cross with people's shopping far more pleasant, other that that i have never had an issue....

Nathan Odong said...

Like Judge Rudy mentioned, the 484 could be a lot better. I was on one yesterday, and it was quite crowded as usual. But annoyingly, an empty bus was following our one. They need to sort out the timetable, and maybe use longer buses if possible.

Monkeyboy said...

if only there were BIG busses with lots of doors that could load/unload quickly on the major routes. a fully accessible bus off the shelf and not a foolish vanity project.....oh

SPPP2 said...

How will they be able to provide more buses when the TfL budget is being cut by around 8% in the coming years. It will be hard enough keeping the service at existing levels.



The only ones who can change that are the Department for Transport in Westminster who provide the hundreds of millions (is it around £600m) in subsidy each year, and they have just had their budget cut again by over 10% up to 2016.


And to put it all in context, the UK deficit is still at £120 billion per year, one of the very highest in the developed world. The cuts have barely started to get that down to a manageable level. The UK has got by by printing its own money to keep going. How long that can continue is the question. It's uncharted territory, but I wouldn't bet any additional funding for TfL over the next few years.

Headhunter said...

Exactly!

Michael said...

By upping fares again and again. Which is what the current mayor has been doing since taking on the job.

And by cutting costs by forcing down contract deals. Which is arguably what forced First London to sell its London buses business to Tower Transit and Metroline.

And perhaps by putting reconditioned buses on new contracts, as they have with the 172, where possible.

ding-ding said...

I was rather hoping to see some of those rather nice Boris buses on the 171 and 172 routes.

Monkeyboy said...

Plenty of "deferred" upgrades to "manage the cashflow". If we're not careful we'll be back to the patch and mend LU lived with for 25years. That's one reason why there were (and are) so many closures in recent years

SPPP2 said...

Continually putting up fares has led to bus ridership levels stagnating over the past year - the first time in about 15 years. For much of that time 5% growth was occurring. It is even beginning to drop recently. It's a big worry for TfL as they have not budgeted for that happening.


Even with reconditioned buses there needs to be more drivers, and possibly depot expansion which doesn't come cheap.


They'll be a lot of plate spinning from TfL over the coming years.

Brockley Jon said...

Yeah, but they were a bit of a tramp magnet.

Guest said...

could we actually lobby for the Bakerloo line extension to New Cross? This would reduce bus users who need to go west and southwest

SPPP2 said...

That's a far better focus of energies long term. The government has been spending quite a bit more than the previous government (though no where near enough) on large infrastructure projects over the past couple of years, and just about every national and international organisation and group (on the left and right) supports large scale investment to stimulate the economy.

Headhunter said...

You just don't get people like us on those bendy buses, very down market...

David Doyle said...

Why stop at New Cross? Locally, Crofton Park station could certainly do with a more regular service asap, and should get one when the Thameslink work is done. Arguably Nunhead could also take a more frequent service too.

However, I'd also argue for extending the Overground from New Cross down to Hayes, serving Lewisham, Ladywell, etc. This would provide more integration with the DLR, etc.

There are a number of good transport links into central & east London but they are not very well connected locally. For example, a more regular service on the Thameslink line would give a quicker/easier link to the south west side of the the overground. You could get a train from Catford, Crofton Park, Nunhead & change for the overground at Peckham Rye, rather than needing to go up to Surrey Quays.

Back to the topic. I find the local bus service generally poor & slow. I would like to see the introduction of an 'express' service that goes as quickly into town or central east London asap, missing out the traffic clogged routes of the 171, etc.

brockley man said...

No one ever paid on those busses. The free bendy bus as it was called.
Thats why it was taken off the road!

Monkeyboy said...

That is complete balls. Some people didn't pay, some people don't pay on busses now. I'm about to get on the 521, you can get on the back door and not pay. Mr B could have introduced a conductor to the old bendies if that was the reason and saved the development costs. He didn't because the new bus was a brainless election trick that people fell for.

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