Post by John Williamson Post by Recliner
83 different London bus routes whose frequencies have been cut since this
time last year. Of the 543 daytime TfL bus routes, that's 15%. One in every
six London bus routes now runs less often during the day than it used to.
It's just as well nobody's noticed.
Maybe nobody's noticed because passenger numbers are well down.
Which, of course, is one of the points Mr Geezer makes in his article:
Most of these service cuts are "to match demand". If fewer people are using
buses, it makes sense not to run them as often. Cut the service from, say,
6 buses an hour to 5, and everyone still travels, just squeezed onto
slightly fewer vehicles. But there's also a potential vicious circle here.
If buses arrive less frequently, or are packed out when they arrive,
passengers may choose to divert to other means of transport, or not travel
at all… and the service may be cut again.
Indeed this seems to be what's happened on two routes cut last year, and
scheduled to be cut again this month. Route 31, which runs between White
City and Camden Town, was cut last July from "every 6 minutes" to "every 7½
minutes". In two weeks time it's going down to "every 10 minutes", which'll
be a total loss of 4 buses an hour. Likewise route 24, which runs between
Hampstead and Pimlico, was cut last November from "every 7½ minutes" to
"every 8 minutes", and will reduce to "every 10 minutes" by the end of the
month. Either passenger numbers have fallen further, or TfL have cunningly
concealed a large cut by introducing it in two smaller stages.