London plans bus fleet expansion
An extra 500 buses will be in service in London by 2020 to cope with the city’s expanding population, representing a 6 per cent expansion of the fleet. Over the same period £200million will be spent on bus priority schemes. And £25million will be spent on customer-focused bus driver training to improve service standards.
London mayor Boris Johnson says: “London buses carry more than 2.4 billion passengers a year – twice as many as the Tube. This major new investment in our bus services will help meet the demand of the city’s rapidly-growing population. It will also support regeneration of key growth areas – ensuring Londoners have a regular and reliable bus network to get them to jobs, schools and hospitals in every part of the capital.”
The proposals are set out in Transport for London’s business plan, which also envisages increasing capacity on the Croydon Tramlink service.
London’s transport commissioner, Peter Hendy, says: “As London’s population grows it is essential that we continue to invest in the transport network to get customers to their jobs and homes and to go about their daily lives. The number of passengers on the bus network is at its highest since 1959 and this investment will help address the growing demand, improving customers’ journeys, bus reliability and customer satisfaction.”
However the news drew a grudging welcome from Labour’s London Assembly transport spokesperson, Val Shawcross, who says: “More people travel on London’s buses than any other type of transport, yet for six years the mayor has neglected the bus service and subjected passengers to ever increasing overcrowding.
“Whilst I welcome this announcement, for many overcrowded bus users it will come as too little too late.”