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H&F urges government to prevent bus cuts by increasing TfL funding

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has called on the government to provide funding so that Transport for London doesn’t have to cut bus routes after fares plummeted during Covid. It has also called on TfL to rethink its proposals.

H&F’s Deputy Leader Cllr Ben Coleman said: “It is worrying that the government is requiring TfL to make cuts to services. Londoners shouldn’t have to pay for Covid by losing their buses. Journeys will become more difficult and some people may turn to cars, costing them more and making our streets more polluted.

“We urge the government to provide funding lost during Covid and urge TfL to think again.”

Read Cllr Coleman’s response in full:

Cllr Coleman’s response

Read H&F’s detailed, expert objection to the bus cuts:

H&F’s objection (pdf 8.2MB)

Essential bus routes

The government has told TfL to achieve “significant financial savings” as a condition of emergency funding to enable TfL to keep operating. TfL is now proposing to cut bus routes.

H&F Council has made a formal objection, showing in expert detail the impact of TfL’s proposals on borough residents. The cuts would most hit elderly, young and Disabled people and would make travelling at night less safe, a particular concern for women.

Cllr Coleman said: “Other cities from New York to Paris are being funded to maintain public transport after the pandemic and keep fares low. It is even more important that the government does this in the cost-of-living crisis.”

Impact of cuts

The proposed cuts will hit elderly and Disabled people most, with up to 20 per cent of residents affected being Freedom Pass holders. Young people travelling to school and college will also find their journeys longer and more complicated.

Patients and NHS workers travelling to and from Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals would need to allow an extra 15 minutes if the 74 and N72 routes are cut.

Safety concerns

The risks to passengers would also increase if night buses were significantly reduced, with longer waiting times and longer walks to bus stops and more interchanges.

“It is hard to see how this sits with the government and TfL’s ambitions to improve women’s safety,” Cllr Coleman said.

H&F Council recently consulted residents about women’s safety in the borough. Even before the proposed cuts, many residents said there were not enough buses during the day and at night. “It just feels less safe,” one local woman told us.

Read H&F’s detailed, expert objection to the bus cuts:

H&F’s objection (pdf 8.2MB)