Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville is spearheading a Hackney Labour campaign to ‘Save Our Buses’ (SOS) and has launched an attack on the Tory Government for making swingeing funding cuts to Transport for London, urging them to stop using London’s transport system as a ‘political football’.
“Communities across Hackney will be cut off and worse off under these proposals,” he said.
“Transport for London is being used as a political football by this Conservative government as they continue to level down London. But this continued cutting of inner-London bus routes is disproportionately impacting Hackney.”
He added: “We have no tube stations, one in four residents use buses as their main mode of transport, and half of Hackney’s bus routes have already suffered frequency reductions. Communities across Hackney will be cut off and worse off under these proposals.
“The government need to properly fund TfL to provide affordable and sustainable public transport, and TfL needs to protect these vital services. We are asking residents to sign our petition at https://www.change.org/p/save-hackney-s-buses? , respond to TfL’s consultation at https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/busreview and help Hackney Labour save our buses.”
Mayor Glanville was speaking out, following the launch of Transport for London’s consultation on changes to bus services in Hackney.
Hackney Labour councillor Mete Coban, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Transport, said: “Buses are an affordable and sustainable way for many of our residents to get around Hackney and London. They are cheaper than the Overground and help reduce congestion across our borough.
“Without them, we risk seeing more cars, more pollution and more residents cut off. I’d urge residents in Hackney to sign our petition and respond to the consultation.
“Thanks to successful campaigning by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, TFL have so far managed to avoid having to cut one in five bus routes.”
Joe Walker, Hackney Labour candidate for De Beauvoir ward, said he was shocked at the extent of the cuts being forced on TfL by the Government. “Public transport is extremely important to residents in De Beauvoir and after all the pandemic and all the talk of how important public transport has become in tackling climate change and toxic pollution, it is quite contradictory if the bus service is going to be savaged in this way because of Government funding cuts.
“We have one of the poorest areas in the country and public transport is vital for many residents to get around for shopping, work and seeing people and lead a normal life.”
Transport for London’s consultation launched today and is live until 12 July. It proposes the following changes:
● Route 236, which currently runs from Hackney Wick to Finsbury Park via Homerton Hospital, would start at Homerton Hospital, removing a link between Hackney Wick and Homerton Hospital
● Route 476, which currently runs between Northumberland Park and King’s Cross would only run from Northumberland Park to Newington Green, removing a link between Stamford Hill and King’s Cross. There are currently 1,200 trips a day on the section of the route being withdrawn
● Route 242 from Aldgate to Homerton Hospital would be withdrawn completely, replaced by the 135 which would be extended to run from Crossharbour Asda to Aldgate East and Homerton Hospital. This would remove a direct link from Hackney to Aldgate Station
● Route 56, which currently runs from Whipps Cross to St Barts Hospital, would be amended to run from Whipps Cross to Blackfriars, removing a link from Hackney to St Barts Hospital
● Two links from Shoreditch to south London would be removed: route 47 from Catford to Shoreditch Church would end at London Bridge, and route 78 from Shoreditch to Nunhead would be withdrawn entirely. Both of these would be replaced by an extension to route 388, which would be extended to run from Stratford City to Peckham Bus Station
● Route 277 would be amended to run from Dalston Junction to Poplar, but would continue to call at Canary Wharf
● Route 254 would be amended to run from Aldgate to Finsbury Park, instead of Holloway
● Route 259, which currently runs from Edmonton Green to King’s Cross, would be amended to run from Ponders End to Holloway
● Route 279, which currently runs from Waltham Cross to Manor House, would be amended to run from Waltham Cross to Stamford Hill
● Route 349 from Ponders End to Stamford Hill would be withdrawn
● Route 26, which currently runs from Hackney Wick to Waterloo, would be amended to run from Hackney Wick to Victoria at a reduced frequency Monday to Saturday.
Transport for London’s consultation is here: https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/busreview
The Council’s Transport Strategy sets out the number of residents that rely on buses to get around the borough: Transport-Strategy-2015-25-PUBLIC_T.pdf