TfL wants to axe bus service

Transport for London (TfL) launches consultation on closure of one of borough’s most popular bus routes, reports James Cracknell

48 bus

There are often queues to board the 48 bus to London Bridge from Walthamstow Central (credit James Cracknell)

The 48 bus route between Walthamstow and London Bridge is set to be axed.

The service, on which nearly six million journeys were made last year, is one of three routes that TfL is looking to axe as part of cost-cutting plans to buses across the capital.

To help mitigate the loss of the 48, the 55 route would be extended from Leyton to Walthamstow. However, its frequency would not increase.

Bus passengers now have until 9th November to comment on the plans.

Paul Dogan, of local campaign group Save Our Buses, says the loss of the 48 would leave just two routes, the 55 and 56, running along Lea Bridge Road between Leyton Bakers Arms and Clapton; cut the level of service along Lea Bridge Road by 27 percent during morning peaks; reduce Sunday frequencies by almost a third on Lea Bridge Road; end direct daytime bus links from the borough to Liverpool Street Station and the City; and terminate all direct public transport links between Waltham Forest and London Bridge.

Paul said: “Buses on route 48 are busy, often leaving the first stop at Walthamstow Central packed during peak times. The same is true along the Lea Bridge Road. Axing this important service would drive people away from public transport and encourage more people into cars.”

The number of people using the 48 has fallen by around 22 percent over the past five years, but it still remains one of the borough’s most popular bus services. Overall in Waltham Forest, the number of journeys made on buses has fallen by seven percent since 2014.

Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of public transport service planning, had previously denied there were plans to ditch the 48 route. But last week, of the plans to modify dozens of bus routes in London, including to axe the 48, he said: “Ultimately these changes, which are predominately minor route restructures or timetable adjustments, would create an efficient modern network with buses in the right places at the right times.”

Take part in the consultation to modify 33 bus routes across London: