please empty your brain below

Hmm. Surely you need to multiply the bus miles (or kilometres) by the number of seats to get the total passenger miles. So, if the buses run 500 million kilometres per annum (and I've not checked your figures) and there is an average of 50 seats on each bus (I'm guessing) then that gives a total of 25000 million (25 billion!) passenger kilometres. Which seems an awful lot, so I wonder if the 500 million figure is not actually a passenger kilometre figure already. Anyway, if the 25 billion figure is right, that equates to 10 kilometres per Londoner per day. Which seems rather a lot when many don't use the bus at all.

Also, a cut in subsidy does not necessarily mean a cut in services. Remember your post the other day about fare increases - that will cover some of the gap. Other savings can be made (less regular cleaning, for example) and, dare I say it, fares could go up again. Undoubtedly, some buses could be cut and your 425 sounds like a prime candidate (I'm sure that there are other similar cases).

Have you seen this article about a campaign to cut the bus routes that go through Ladbroke Grove?

I get the impression that the 452 and the 476 could happily go, too, for more or less the same reasons.

The current issue with changing buses (for the c.60\\% of bus users who have to pay) is the requirement to pay twice - surely the fares could be adjusted to not charge for a second bus journey within say 20 minutes of the first?

I couldn't agree more. We have a fantastic bus network across the capital. And, as I recently mentioned on my blog, on the 188 from Russel Square to North Greenwich, there are even drivers who keep passengers entertained by singing country and western ballads.

Having an alternative Hackney-Stratford bus to the 276 seemed like a good idea to me at the time, but the trouble is it takes too long going all the way through Mile End. And with pre-pay now in place on the North London Line it costs about the same to do that, in less than half the time. If anything it would have made more sense to have thrown the extra resources at the 276, which only ever seems to just about cope.

@Venichka: would have to disagree with you on the 476 point, as certainly at rush hours it carries very heavy loads through Islington and Stoke Newington (albeit over roads shared with the colossally busy 73), and locally within Tottenham it carries quite a lot of traffic, though probably little enough off-peak to warrant a reduction.

The 388 is another one that never really carries more than fresh air. As soon as Blackfriars tube re-opens and it's 'district line replacement' role is made redundant, it should go.

Doesn't sound good, like others say London is considered to have a good public transport system now, especially when compared to other places in England. I do however remember in 1999 and 2000 waiting for over 40 minutes on occasions for buses on routes 4,17,19, and 168. We can only hope this is not the thin end of the wedge.

Now, where is my "Don't blame me I didn't vote Boris" t shirt?


Before the 425 came along the 276 was always grossly overloaded. they put bigger single-deckers on it, they snipped the end off it, nothing worked.

I would combine more routes. Went on an E1 yesterday, a pitiful sixteen-minute journey from Greenford to Ealing. In 1990 it was longer, but the southern end is now the E8. Link them up again.

Withdrawing whole routes or sections is not a good idea, but I think the official perception is that Londoners are so stupid that they'll resort to violence if the buses they take only complete part of the route, as was perfectly normal not so long ago.

You'll appreciate this - since the 8 was cut back there is now no link whatsoever between Victoria and the East End.

New buses take a little while to kick in - the 129, a pitifully short route from one end of Greenwich to the other, then up to the Dome, carried thin air for a couple of years before it started getting bums on seats.

I'd tie myself to a 464 to protect that, if only for the fun of being on a London bus charging up and down steep rural hills.

Londoners, send your unwanted buses our way! We get four a day here...

how about using london free buses? check it out

Lorenzo: the 4 has *always* been a second rate route - late, operated to an unrealistically optimistic timetable with the oldest, tattiest buses in the garage (it was the last non-routemaster route in London to have step-entrance buses, until TfL forced the operator to borrow another company's buses), driven (quite aggressively) by drivers who look like they'd drawn the short straw that day.

It's too long with too many snarlup points. Unless they pump even more resources into trying to run it reliably, they ought to cut it at Finsbury Park and have something extended locally from Archway in it's place. A single decker would do, as that stretch isn't that busy.


It amazes me how, with modern technology, the Powers That Be can't do simple data analysis of the numbers available (ticket sales, Oyster use etc) and work routes out more scientifically so that they are economic, and so that the correct size buses are used at the correct times of day
ight. They'd have to if there were a PLC, after all...

I think this is another situation like Royal Mail - things have gone on for so long the way they are that it's hard to modernise.

Nico, the 4 itself was a part-replacement for a longer route - 19, which was curtailed at Finsbury Park.

129 may still yet serve its intended purpose of being extended to Peckham through new streets - that was planned from the outset, but didn't happen.

It is not helpful to compare loadings of competing buses when one requires payment and the other does not. Incidentally the 4 is really great for getting to Waterloo from Islington.

Why not just alter/curtail routes at weekends/bank holidays instead of insisting on TFL's 24/7 "equality" same level of service?

this is a much better idea: TFL *have* to make cuts, so they just ask the general public which buses we think should be cut, otherwise they'll cut the ones that they'll think and we'll all complain at them. if the public pick/choose/vote/decide, then they can't complain as much.

a wholesale review of the bus network is difficult as the contracts to operate are all end at different times...

routes are often shortened and supplemented with other routes do to traffic congestion along the route... shortening them helps improve reliability... the number one factor that passengers want... way ahead of frequency of service... if there is meant to be a bus every ten minutes - we want it to be there when it is meant to be...

the biggest problem is TfL Buses - nightmare to deal with... to big to be able to achieve any change...

The N119 runs from Bromley to Croydon, every half hour, all night, every night. On Fri/Sat it's quite busy, but when i've seen it at other times, it's usually been completely empty.

Definitely a candidate for the chop.

Kill off the 425 and bring back the S2. Never understand why they killed that off

No no no.. ..

IMO - all the 'endangered routes' mentioned above will stay..

This cut is just a ploy to enable the replacement the bendy buses to continue, but on a 'much cheaper' one for one basis..

So forget the proposed 70 odd D/Ds on the 38 - 'you'll get 52 and like it'..

I love the 425, and it goes past my house too. It's pretty full from Lauriston Road to Mile End of a morning. I think it is reassuring that TfL are planning ahead and putting the infrastructure in now that will be needed to cope when Stratford becomes the East End's shopping Mecca.

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