Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to axe or amend 78 of the current 620 bus routes will only lead to a £35m cost savings per year – when £730m is required from a government plan.
TfL’s operating officer Andy Lord said the savings weren’t “an insubstantial amount in the context of savings we’ve got to make,” as they fell under the conditions set in a series of government bailouts required to refill the network’s post-pandemic coffers, reports City Am.
“The reductions are primarily focused on central London in areas where we think it will be least impactful and the least worst option, and where there are mitigating options for us in terms of increasing routes elsewhere and ensuring financial sustainability,” Lord recently told a London Assembly transport committee.
The public body on Tuesday decided to extend the consultation’s deadline from 12 July to 7 August to give people more time to review, understand and provide feedback.”
Under the plan, which requires TfL to achieve £730m in savings per year, 16 routes will be axed, including the 4, 16, 72, 74 and 78, said the City Am report.
If it were to go ahead, the cuts will be the largest in more than 10 years.
Lord explained that most of the £730m of savings will not come “from service reductions,” arguing that the network was choosing the “least worst” option.
The news comes as TfL and the government have been locked in a feud over the lack of long-term funding for the network.