Bus route consultation
07/01/2019 11:53:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
Transport for London (TfL) is currently consulting on a number of changes to Croydon's bus routes and some of these particularly impct on Sanderstead. Should you have views on this, the consultation website is at the following address: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/croydon-town-centre/
The email address for comments is - firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also a survey that can be completed but this is more useful if you are a regular user of a route as it does ask how often you use each individual service.
I have quite a lot of concerns about the proposals, so have pasted below a summary of the feedback I have given TfL as a ward councillor:
Below are my comments as a ward councillor for an affected area and as the leader of the Conservative group on Croydon Council.
I have concerns over many of these proposals and will itemise some specific worries below. I would also make the general comment that many of the changes relating to the overall connection strategy for Croydon, and in particular the changes to connections in the town centre, seem likely to reduce the appeal of using buses for cross-borough journeys and are potentially discriminatory against people with any mobility limitation. Across public bodies we are being urged to incentivise the reduction in car usage and a well designed bus network with quick and easy transfers where no through route can be sustained are an important contributor to taking people out of their cars. I am most likely to take a bus where it takes me directly from where I am to where I want to go. I am less likely to do so if it involves a change and a second wait, but where the incoming and outgoing buses are at the same transfer point. i am least likely to take a bus where I have to walk a significant distance between arrival and departure points. That’s more of a problem in the winter when it is cold and wet, and even more so for people for whom walking is more difficult.
The consultation document says that accessing West Croydon or Croydon University Hospital can easily be achieved on routes such as the 60, 64, 109 and 198 by changing at mid-Croydon along Wellesley Road, but the incoming buses from the south of the borough terminate at Katharine Street (154, 403, 405 and 412) which is at least 100m away. For many residents this is not a show-stopper, but for some residents it may well be: and for all residents it is a chilly inconvenience which makes using the bus less attractive.
Further, the termination of these southern routes at Katharine Street limits the appeal of using these buses to access the Whitgift Centre. It is a reasonably significant walk (750m) to get to Marks & Spencer (say) from Katharine Street, probably too much for many older or less mobile residents.
Sanderstead residents are most likely to use the 403 and 412 routes and this part of the borough is already low on bus provision. The 412 was reduced as a service on 1st September yet is the only route through the Riddlesdown area and the Elmfield Way area of South Croydon. The 403 runs from Warlingham and through Sanderstead where it intersects with the 412. The proposed changes, coupled with the reduction in service already suffered, can only result in reducing usage further and this might be used to justify a further reduction in the services in the future.
I know that colleagues with knowledge of the bus routes operating in other areas have similar concerns, so I would urge TfL to rethink the entire strategy focusing on Croydon to ensure that transitions are made easier, not harder, and that routes finish at the place residents are most likely to be trying to get to, rather than places which are most administratively convenient.