Sadiq Khan accepted that mistakes had been made by Transport for London, when it decided to halve the RV1 bus route service. Cuts to the route, which connects Covent Garden to Tower Hill via the Southbank and Bankside, were announced suddenly last month, without any consultation with residents or passengers.
Following questions from Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat Member on the London Assembly, the Mayor conceded that there should have been more information provided in advance of the cuts and has since asked TfL to do things differently in future.
Cathedrals Ward Liberal Democrat councillors wrote to TfL setting out their concerns about the reduction in service, which TfL responded to by claiming that alternative provisions – such as the Jubilee line that runs parallel for part of the route – was sufficient.
Adele Morris, one of the Lib Dem councillors responded ‘The whole point of a bus is that you can get off at points between tube stops! Residents – especially older ones and those with limited mobility – would have to get a bus to get to those tube stations, which will be much more expensive than a single bus journey.’
Victor Chamberlain, who launched a petition against the cuts, declared ‘The RV1 has been consistently well used for a number of years. The number of passengers has only dropped recently because of temporary divisions around London Bridge, which are due to end soon. It’s clear that TfL have made this decision without factoring this in.’
David Noakes, another Lib Dem councillor for Cathedrals ward added ‘When we’re trying to cut emissions and increase public transport use, this decision to cut a zero-emission bus route is a step backwards. The RV1 is a vital link in the green infrastructure we want and need in Southwark. The campaign against the cuts goes on and I hope people will sign the petition calling for the service to be the reinstated in full.’
Southwark Liberal Democrats will be handing in a petition which has been signed by over 850 residents in Southwark and across London at the London Assembly Plenary meeting this Thursday. The petition can be signed at tinyurl.com/savetherv1
Adele, David and Victor will also be writing to Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport to provide evidence from over 400 local residents and passengers about how the cuts to the service will hurt them. They will particularly flag up the adverse impact the cuts will have on disabled, elderly and those residents that can’t use the tube.