The bus cuts proposed by Transport for London (TfL) will lead to personal security concerns for Londoners – especially for women, people of colour and disabled people.
According to watchdog London TravelWatch, the planned cuts will force one in five Londoners to change buses in the middle of the night, moving to an altogether different bus stop in some cases.
“Some night buses only run every 30 minutes, so if you have to change buses, in some cases at a completely different bus stop, it raises huge concerns around personal safety,” commented the watchdog’s chief executive Emma Gibson.
“Many of the bus stops that we visited didn’t have a shelter or a countdown screen telling you when your next bus will be coming. Which only increases feelings of vulnerability in the middle of the night.”
Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of public transport service planning, said the changes will minimise waiting times, “while lighting, wayfinding, and customer information at bus stops, as well on the bus will be reviewed.”
“The consultation has now closed and as with all our consultations, we will take into account all public and stakeholder responses before reaching any final decisions,” he added.
The public body launched a consultation on its decision to cut or alter 78 of the current 620 routes in early June, which was extended until Sunday night, City A.M. reported.
TfL justified its decision by saying it was forced to implement the changes as part of the conditions set in a series of government bailouts required to refill the network’s post-pandemic coffers.