diamond geezer

 Saturday, December 23, 2017

Since June TfL have been quietly chipping away at London's bus network without almost anybody noticing. Rather than cutting routes they've been reducing the frequency of the buses, affecting almost 10% of daytime routes and more than 15% of overnighters. I've been keeping track here and here.

This table summarises which bus routes have had their daytime frequencies cut, month by month, and how many buses per hour they've lost.

 Number of buses cut per hour
½ a bus1 bus1½ buses2 buses3
Jun   48, 176E3 
Jul22, C1253, 38414, 7431 63
Aug 5    
Sep20547, 209, 225, 269, 345, 391, 488156, 210, 222, H9811, 29, C3  
Oct 42, 187, 276, E6, P12321, C11, U4   
Nov24, 36889, 105, 119, W11106, 349483100 
Dec 200, W1228   

That's 48 bus routes cut, by a total of 60 buses per hour.

Here's a similar table for weekend nightbuses.

 Number of nightbuses cut per hour
1 bus2 buses3 buses4 buses8 buses
Jun-AugN41, N73N15   
Sep43, 88, N166, 24, 94, N8, N91, N98, N207134, N9N5, N20N29
Oct-DecN89N26, N55 N97 

That's 22 nightbus routes cut, by a total of 50 buses per hour. 30% of "nightbuses beginning with N" have been cut. September was particularly savage. The N29 was the biggest casualty.

One reason for the cuts is that fewer people are travelling by bus, so fare revenue is lower and it's become uneconomic to run too many buses. The outcome of the cuts is that passengers will have to wait a bit longer for each bus, so might drift off to other modes of transport, which'd mean fewer people travelling by bus. A potentially vicious circle.

Meanwhile these are the 21 bus cuts TfL already have lined up for January.

Daytime bus frequency cuts in January 2018

RouteFrequency beforeFrequency afterCut in frequency
39every 7-8 minsevery 8 mins½ bus an hour
93every 6 minsevery 6-7 mins1 bus an hour
163every 8 minsevery 10 mins1½ buses an hour
230every 12 minsevery 15 mins1 bus an hour
269every 10 minsevery 12 mins1 bus an hour
279every 4-5 minsevery 5-7 mins3 buses an hour
285every 10 minsevery 12 mins1 bus an hour
329every 6-7 minsevery 7-8 mins1 bus an hour
430every 8 minsevery 10 mins1½ buses an hour
452every 7-8 minsevery 8-9 mins1 bus an hour
484every 10 minsevery 12 mins1 bus an hour

Weekend nightbus frequency cuts in January 2018

RouteFrequency beforeFrequency afterCut in frequency
14every 12 minsevery 20 mins2 buses an hour
25every 6 minsevery 12 mins5 buses an hour
53every 12 minsevery 15 mins1 bus an hour
242every 20 minsevery 30 mins1 bus an hour
N22every 20 minsevery 30 mins1 bus an hour
N86every 15 minsevery 20 mins1 bus an hour
N87every 10 minsevery 15 mins2 buses an hour
N109every 20 minsevery 30 mins1 bus an hour
N155every 8 minsevery 15 mins3½ buses an hour
N279every 12 minsevery 20 mins2 buses an hour

More cuts will be announced later, I'm sure. I'll report back as the new year progresses. I wonder when Londoners will finally notice.


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