TfL's plan to cut bus services by up to a fifth will have profoundly negative impacts on the residents of Southwark.
At a time when residents are struggling with the cost of living crisis and rising petrol prices and the Climate Emergency, investment in affordable and sustainable public transport is more important than ever. Buses offer a green, affordable means of transport for all residents but particularly those struggling with the cost of living emergency.
Reductions in bus services will have a particular impact on some of our most vulnerable residents particularly those with mobility issues and key workers due to more interchanges and fewer night bus services.
Southwark is already poorly served by public transport, with much of the borough relying purely on buses for travel. Yet 25% of all the proposed bus cuts will affect routes that serve Southwark. These cuts will completely withdraw 4 routes currently serving Southwark residents: routes 12, 45, 78 and 521. These 4 routes connect residents to London Bridge Hospital, Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital, Evelina Children’s Hospital and King’s College Hospital, making it harder for people to access healthcare services. A further 17 routes serving Southwark residents will be affected by the proposed cuts, a significant reduction of service for a borough already inadequately served by public transport.
We, the undersigned, call on TfL and Labour Party London Mayor Sadiq Khan to:
- Immediately halt any plans to reduce bus services in London.
- Scrap the environmentally damaging and widely unpopular Silvertown tunnel and use that money to maintain existing public transport options including buses.
- Invest in alternative public transport options for South London including the Bakerloo Line extension.
- Hold public consultation events before reducing the frequency of any bus routes.
- Extend the length of the consultation to 12 weeks and hold public meetings to reflect the potential severity of the proposed cuts and ensure as many voices are heard as possible.
We further call on the Conservative government to:
- Provide TfL with the funding necessary to maintain the current bus routes.
- Reach a funding settlement with the TfL that ensures there can be continued investment in sustainable and affordable public transport in London.