TfL is proposing changes to bus routes 50, 75, 109, 154, 197, 250, 264, 403, 405, 412 & 433 serving the Town Centre, so that they terminate on the side of the town centre from which they approach, so they would no longer cross the town centre. ‘These proposed changes would help maintain reliability of services in Croydon by making the bus network simpler and more efficient, and would ensure our resources are invested in the right locations. They would also ensure the impact on bus operations, potentially arising from the construction works in the town centre, is minimised. Customers who would need to interchange to reach their destination could do so within one hour without additional charge using the Hopper fare.’
How will these changes impact on you?
For full details and to share your views, please visit:
This consultation runs until Sunday 13 January 2019.
TfL Contact: Muhammed Mashud, Community Partnerships Specialist, Public Affairs & External Relations, City Planning. 0203 054 6037 (auto 86037) 9th Floor (Red Zone), 5 Endeavour Square, Stratford, London E20 1HZ. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have received the following analysis:
Arguments against original High Street pedestrianisation
– Takes buses too far away from shops, thus contravening the London Mayor’s policy of accessibility for all. Also likely to hit the footfall at shops in what is already starting to look like a Ghost Town in places.
– Detracts from the usefulness of Katharine Street as a major bus interchange, as some terminating routes not able to serve the stops.
– Less convenient interchange with Trams.
– Complete lack of public consultation.
– The left turn for buses out of Katharine Street is particularly awkward and I am surprised that the Police agreed it. Buses have to swing over to the wrong side of the road and it seems to me that it’s only a matter of time before there is serious accident here. I have already witnessed two near misses. The situation is compounded by deliveries/ collections in this part of the High Street, particularly to the British Heart Foundation and The Ship public house.
Observations on new proposals
– Far too little regard (or none at all) has been paid to the impact on through North-South journeys, which have become progressively more difficult over the years. The large scale demolition of the Park Street area had always been expected to result in a loss of bus stand space and TfL should have prepared for this. Consideration should be given to extending certain routes rather than curtailing them to avoid the problem. For example, the 250 and 264* could be extended to the Swan & Sugar Loaf, where space could be freed up by extending route 468 to South Croydon Garage thus addressing the separate issue of inadequate provision along this section of road. As the latter route is now worked by Arriva this shouldn’t be a problem in itself and could have been implemented when the operator change took place in March 2018. Admittedly there would be a small resource implication, but there have been repeated statements by the Mayor that cuts to Central London routes would result in more buses for some suburban areas – but all we actually see is more and more cuts even though a recent study identified Croydon as still being a growth area for buses.
– The ‘Hopper’ fare is now quoted as the all-saving grace for those who have to change buses but this completely misses the point. The main issue is inconvenience and extra waiting time, particularly for the elderly and disabled who don’t have to pay anyway! Fifty years ago, studies following the implementation of Route Reshaping plans in North London identified the inconvenience of having to change as the biggest objection among several others. That appears to remain so.
– Again on the issue of social inclusion, one group of users that will be particularly hard hit will be those attending or visiting hospitals, whether it be Croydon, St George’s (Tooting) or St Helier.
– Loss of bus/rail connections, from the South to the Overground at West Croydon and from the North to East Croydon (particularly acute at night when the trams don’t run).
*In practice some 2/3rds of 264 journeys currently have to run out of service to and from South Croydon Garage for operational reasons.
Part of the wider problem is that TfL Buses are now losing money on an epic scale. This again suggests that the lessons of history (in this case the Law Lords ruling of 1981 on cheap fares) are not being heeded. It is simply not realistic to keep fares at the same level indefinitely and, when the increases do come they are likely to be substantial.