London is growing, with an estimated 10 million people expected to live here by the early 2030s. Transport is an essential part of life in London and we’re investing so that as the city grows, everyone who lives, works or visits London has the transport they need. The impact of a growing London will be felt most acutely in central London and the West End, where bus and Tube services are concentrated.
The Mayor has committed to improving life in London, by tackling air quality, transforming Oxford Street and introducing the bus hopper ticket and freezing public transport fares. In addition we are encouraging growth in cycling and walking, and establishing measures to help buses get to and through central London quickly and reliably. Ensuring that we have the right level of bus provision is crucial in ensuring central London works well. This consultation sets out our proposals to change the bus network in central London, so that it can continue to support London as a world leading cultural and economic centre.
Recent investment in upgrading the Tube network has made it much more reliable and attractive for many to use. Over four million journeys are made each day on the Tube network and this number is rising. The Victoria and Northern lines are now among the highest frequency services in Europe, with a train every two minutes at the busiest times. Night Tube services are now running on the Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines with the Northern line commencing in November and the Piccadilly line later in 2016.
These improvements mean that demand for some bus routes has reduced. The 73, for example, which closely follows the route of the Victoria Line, has seen up to eleven per cent reduction in demand since 2011. By operating slightly fewer services, we will be able to operate them faster and more reliably.
The opening of the Elizabeth line from 2018 will further transform how people move about in central London. The line will provide a key east-west link across central London and beyond. Many people will choose to use this faster journey than take a bus. We need to ensure that the right number of buses serve each station on the new line, both in central London and at other stations.
The Elizabeth line is particularly significant for bus services on Oxford Street, with the two new stations at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street set to further reduce bus demand on the street. The Mayor is also working with City of Westminster to make Oxford Street more pedestrian friendly. Our proposals for changes to bus services in central London are therefore also designed to start reducing the number of buses running along Oxford Street. The proposals in this consultation would reduce the number of buses going along Oxford Street by around 40 per cent.
In this context we have carried out a review of routes to and from the West End including routes 3, 6, 8, 15, 22, 23, 25, 46, 73, 137, 172, 242, 332, 390, 425, 452, C2, N2, N3, N8, N15, N22 and N73. Our proposals range in scale depending on the route to help us better match future demand with space available on the bus. We welcome your views on any or all of the details as set out on the following pages. More information on our longer term plans to transform Oxford Street will be available in the near future, and is not in the scope of these proposals.
We’ve concentrated this round of consultation on 22 routes serving central London. The maps below show in overview where buses currently go and where we propose as alternative termini.
There are three pages to the above map which shows how buses on day routes look in November 2016, our proposed changes and the proposed bus network from 2017. You can choose to zoom in and out to see more detail or alternatively you can click on the links below to see each map individually.
There are three pages to the above map which shows how buses on night routes look in October 2016, our proposed changes and the proposed bus network from 2017. You can choose to zoom in and out to see more detail or alternatively you can click on the links below to see each map individually.
Our geographic maps have been drafted to show the proposals based on the current bus and road network. Our overview spider map illustrates the current network and future proposed network taking account of changes put forward in the other central London schemes mentioned above.
How will passengers be affected?
We know that each of our proposals will impact on some passengers. Many will gain new opportunities for direct connections not previously available, while others may have to change bus to complete their journey. The new Hopper fare means there is no longer a financial penalty for changing buses.
We measure these passenger journeys by looking at trip patterns from Oyster card information alongside other data. Our proposals mean some passenger journeys will change. The table below summaries how many people would need to change bus on a typical weekday, if the schemes were implemented.
Alongside this consultation we have also published a bus network report that sets out further detail on passenger journey patterns.
We will review and use the information received through this consultation to inform our decision making and next steps. We may decide to adapt our proposals in light of comments received or we may decide to go ahead as proposed. However, if we revise our proposals we will run a new consultation to outline them, in addition to any longer term proposals on Oxford Street.
If we proceed with the changes as proposed here, they would be introduced progressively over the next few years, up to and beyond the Elizabeth line opening.
Have your say
We would like to know what you think about our proposals.
Please give us your views by completing the online survey below by Sunday 29 January 2017.