Bus Reliability (1)

MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In Q4 of 2014/15 bus passenger journeys were 29.8million fewer than target & bus kilometres operated was 1.5% lower than last year. TfL think the deterioration in bus reliability has been caused by increased traffic levels, TfL's Road Modernisation Plan and town centre improvements. Can you provide more details as to how these three issues have affected bus passenger numbers?


Answer for Bus Reliability (1)

Answer for Bus Reliability (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

London's population and economy continues to grow - with a consequent increase in traffic, new developments and utility work impacting London's road network. To tackle this, TfL is investing £4bn through our Roads Modernisation Plan (RMP) to improve the Capital's roads, streets and town centres over the next decade and improve conditions for all road users. Given the critical role that London's buses play in keeping the city moving we are actively managing the network throughout this period of modernisation, as we always do, looking at specific challenges in local areas and tailoring bus schedules to address these.

For 2014/15, patronage on the bus network rose very slightly compared to the previous year. Customer satisfaction with the bus service is also continuing to rise and reached an all-time high score of 85 in 2014/15, a two point improvement from 2013/14.  Since January 2015 however, a reduction in bus demand has been observed. Comprehensive route level analysis has shown a clear correlation between the shortfall in patronage compared to forecasts and a rise in mileage lost due to traffic congestion.

To mitigate this, a number of initiatives have been pursued.  These include changes to routes, schedules, additional peak vehicles and work with the bus operators to incentivise improvements in reliability.  Regular dialogue is also taking place with the operators in advance of roadworks starting to ensure that they can manage the disruption more effectively.  For the medium term, TfL have identified over 400 potential bus priority schemes and they are engaging with Boroughs to assess which are feasible and aim to implement these as soon as possible. We therefore expect the longer-term trend of underlying passenger journey growth of over 1 per cent per annum to continue, broadly mirroring the rise in London's population.