Two readers complain about 24 buses running on empty

Returning home from central London, I took a 24 bus which was terminating at Camden Town at around 9pm. No problem for me, but its short running clearly caught out many passengers, the majority of whom stayed on the bus, its engine running, while it wai

Returning home from central London, I took a 24 bus which was terminating at Camden Town at around 9pm. No problem for me, but its 'short running' clearly caught out many passengers, the majority of whom stayed on the bus, its engine running, while it waited at its final bus stop in Camden High Street for nearly five minutes.

For some reason, the driver did not flash the saloon lighting or turn off the engine to alert passengers. Watching this little bit of street theatre, I observed the driver trying to tell everyone that he was going no further.

Gradually people got off. But those in another world, their headphones presumably cutting out all ambient noise, required the most personal instructions.

Then off goes the bus into the mysteries of the one-way system. By the time I was walking past St Michael's Church I observed the same 24 bus. It had driven a full circuit of Camden Town and was heading back towards central London, and a fair part of that journey would be the 24 route.

Why didn't this 24 bus make the best use of its journey through London's streets by running as a fare-collecting bus from Camden Lock to Parliament Square, before running empty, off route, to its Stockwell garage?

Among the concerns of Londoners today are the high price of fuel, congestion, public transport costs, conservation of resources and the environment.

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Running a bus off-route, from Camden Town to Stockwell Garage, seems to pay scant attention to all these concerns. This is just one chance observation of what, no doubt, happens many times a day. Our transport planners need to read their bus maps more closely and plan their journeys more carefully.

ester May

Reachview Close, NW1

I WAS at Whitehall very early, and because of hold-ups, when the 24 bus came, only going to Camden Town, it was full. But when I got to Charing Cross it was unbelievable, it was getting very dark and dangerous so I got off the bus the best way I could and with a couple more passengers waited for another 24. It looked packed and did not stop. I understand that.

After a 20-minute wait I walked up to Tottenham Court Road. By Oxford Street, after another 15 minute wait, a 24 bus came, again only going to Camden Town.

It was so packed that babies were crying in the heat. Guess what - two 24 buses went past us, both empty. Why?

This problem was going on for over an hour and 20 minutes.

The people who are running the bus company, or even better, those people who talk about the health of the public on TfL, should take note. I do know that the 24 bus company has been taken over by another company.

Animals in the zoo are getting better care than the people who travel on London Transport.

ELLEN LUBY

Parkhill Road, NW3

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