Westminster leader 'deeply concerned' about bus cuts

A bus drives over Wesminster Bridge in London.

A bus drives over Wesminster Bridge - Credit: Luciana Guerra/PA

The new Labour leader of Westminster Council has said he is "deeply concerned" about proposed cuts to bus services, blaming the government for a funding shortfall.

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a consultation on widespread cuts and changes to routes.

Services affected include the 189, which would no longer serve Abbey Road to Marble Arch, instead being diverted from Kilburn to Camden Town.

The 113 would no longer pass through St John's Wood, instead diverting west to White City. The 16, running down Edgware Road would be cut entirely.

Westminster leader Cllr Adam Hug said in a statement: “I am deeply concerned that the government’s failure to properly fund TfL while we recover from the pandemic may have a real impact on our vital bus network.

"Buses are a transport lifeline for so many, particularly during this unprecedented squeeze on the cost of living.

"What’s important now is we study the detail of what is being proposed and how it will impact journeys across Westminster.

"Local people know best how these changes may affect them. It’s very important that as many people as possible get involved with the consultation, and as the council we will be supporting them to ensure their views are clearly heard by central government, TfL, and the mayor’s office.”

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A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We have repeatedly shown our commitment to supporting London's transport network throughout the pandemic, providing close to £5bn in emergency funding to Transport for London.

“We know Londoners will be disappointed to see popular routes cut, however as transport in London is devolved, it is for TfL and the Mayor make decisions on service levels."

London's deputy mayor for transport, Seb Dance, said: “No one wants to see reductions to our bus network, but TfL is having to consider these changes because of the savings demanded by the government as part of the emergency funding deals during the pandemic." 

In Camden, other routes affected include proposals to axe the 24 and 31 bus routes, and to reroute the 88 so it no longer serves Parliament Hill.

Visit haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/busreview for detail's of TfL's bus review and the consultation.