Bus Route 726

Meeting: 
MQT on 2004-06-24
Session date: 
June 24, 2004
Reference: 
2004/0734
Question By: 
Andrew Pelling
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The 726 bus from Heathrow to Bromley is a very important public transport link across South London. Under current proposals to change the route so that it becomes the X26 limited stopping express route, Hampton Court has been removed as a stop. Is this removal of Hampton Court going to damage tourism in South West London and what is the possibility that the stop can be retained?

Answer

Answer for Bus Route 726

Answer for Bus Route 726

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The 726 is very poorly used when compared with other services. The present service also fails to meet TfLs performance standards due to a number of factors, with the length of the route being a significant reason. Many of the parallel stopping services such as routes 213 and 285 have been significantly improved in recent years. Continuing to operate the 726 in its present form is not considered the most beneficial use of limited resources.

The current contract for route 726 expires in February 2005 and TfL has recently invited tenders for a new contract. Following a thorough review TfL are seeking bids on the basis of a number of changes to the structure of the service. TfL has sought ways of providing a structure that aims to improve reliability and journey time, and which takes on board requests for improved orbital services. TfL has initiated consultation, and is considering the comments and bids received, prior to awarding the tender.

Hampton Court is already served by routes 111, 216, 411, 416, 451, 461, 513 and R68, as well as the nearby National Rail station, so it is unlikely that the proposed changes to the 726 would have any significant effect on tourism, particularly since the 726 is so poorly used. However, there will be further consultation with Stakeholders once a tender to operate the 726 has been awarded, and this will allow TfL to consider requests such as this.