Sunday, June 26, 2022

Save South London Buses (12, 45, 78, 521)

Transport for London is currently consulting on major cuts to London bus routes, including in South London scrapping the 12, 45, 78 and 521. 

A 'Save Southwark Buses' petition has been launched which argues:

'The 12, 45, 78 and 521 provide essential routes for Southwark residents without access to the tube or overground. It is vital that the most vulnerable passengers and those on the lowest incomes can get to work, school or access key services across the borough and beyond. An efficient public transport system is also vital to cleaning up the borough’s air, ensuring that residents have a viable alternative to car use.

It is disgraceful that the Government has cut TfL’s funding by £600m and has demanded that TfL makes service cuts and increase prices for the funding to survive the Covid pandemic. These cuts to services have been forced on TfL and will only serve to level London down, ensuring that those without a car will struggle to get around the capital. Hard pressed families will have to make more difficult and costly journeys...

It will have a devastating impact on areas such as Camberwell, Peckham and Dulwich on the number 12 route. The loss of the 45 route will impact on areas of Walworth with the lowest levels of car ownership in Southwark. On the 78 route it will impact and isolate areas of Nunhead, South Bermondsey and .along the Old Kent Road. For the most vulnerable living and visiting London Bridge and St George’s that rely on the 521 route, the cuts will be badly felt'.

I frequently get the 78, which goes from Nunhead to Shoreditch via Peckham and Tower Bridge and it is pretty obvious that what is being proposed as an alternative is going to be a significantly poorer service. Without the 78 you would have to get at least two buses, relying on the often overcrowded P12 to get from Nunhead to Peckham and then change. What's more the P12 is less frequent than the 78, it starts later, finishes earlier and doesn't serve the last stop of the 78 in St Mary's Road.

You can respond to the TfL consultation here until 12 July 2022, but the real power to prevent these cuts sits with the Government.

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