Some bus routes in central London could be cut and ‘moved’ to outer areas of the city when the Elizabeth Line opens.
Thanks to TfL’s cash flow issues, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said this might have to happen unless TfL is able to get more long-term funding from the Government. He explained this could be part of a ‘managed decline’, which essentially means some services would be reduced and investment projects, like the long-awaited Piccadilly line air conditioning, would be scrapped.
Khan suggested that the new Elizabeth Line would double up some of the existing routes in the city centre, making way for surplus buses to be moved to areas that are lacking in routes.
He said: ‘What we planned was for a four per cent reduction in buses because, in central London there’s some duplication [of routes], particularly with the new Elizabeth Line opening next week. We could take some buses from central to outer London where there’s a bigger need for buses, not least because there are fewer Tube lines in outer London. We’re also encouraging people in outer London to use buses rather than driving their cars.
‘There is a demand in outer London for our buses. Going into a managed decline scenario where we’re reducing our bus usage across London by 18 or 19 per cent would be catastrophic to – in particular – outer London.’
TfL is set to agree on a new emergency funding deal with the Department for Transport next month, although the mayor said the negotiations were ‘going very slowly’.
‘Managed decline’ does sound rather ominous. As long as they keep their hands off the beautiful night tube…
You’re gonna need those buses for a bit longer, because there might be a tube strike over the Jubilee weekend.