Rt Hon Greg Hands MP for Chelsea and Fulham reporting back
Greg in front of the Number 11 bus, one of the buses he is campaigning to save
A couple of months ago, Transport for London and its Chairman, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, announced a review into Central London’s bus routes. As many of you will know, his involve withdrawing SIXTEEN bus routes, including numbers: 11, N11, 14, 31, 74, N74, C3, as well as altering and reducing services on several additional routes, 19, 27, 49, 211, 328, 414, 430.
I am fighting these changes tooth and nail. From the hundreds of local people who have contacted me about the plans, I am in no doubt that they will have a significant impact on the lives of people across Chelsea & Fulham. Our buses are a crucial form of transport.
Many rely on these buses to get to work or school or to carry out their weekly shop. Some also use the bus to get to vital hospital appointments which is why I am very concerned about the loss of the number 14, which many residents use to attended appointments at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, The Royal Brompton Hospital and The Royal Marsden Hospital.
Disruption to our established routes means forcing people back into cars or massively increasing travel times on the remaining busier buses, with day-to-day commuters, disabled people and parents with pushchairs vying for limited space. I am also concerned that withdrawal of a number of night buses, such as the N11, will make it far more expensive for many night workers, including those working for the NHS as well as the hospitality industry, to get home safely after their shifts.
For all these reasons, as well as making my own submission to TfL’s review, I have been actively encouraging local people across both Chelsea & Fulham to make their own submissions to the consultation, too. TfL and Sadiq Khan, needed to hear about the problems their proposals would cause.
I want to take the opportunity to thank everybody who submitted their views to the consultation. You’ve helped hold TfL and its Chairman, Sadiq Khan to account.
If you didn’t have the time to make a submission but want to help hold them to account, you can still do so. The petition I’m running against the cuts is still open. To sign my petition, please visit the ‘Local Action’ section of my website: www.greghands.com. Please consider taking the time to do so. The greater the level of opposition to these proposals that we can show the more pressure TfL and the Mayor will come under to reconsider their plans.
It is worth noting that TfL is only having to consider cutting bus services due to the Mayor’s mismanagement of the TfL budget and excessive waste of his administration at City Hall. Londoners should not be faced with losing core services they rely upon because of the Mayor and TfL’s poor financial management.
Given the disruption it would cause, it is clear that the Mayor Khan needs to reassess his plans to cut bus services. He needs to look to resolve TfL’s financial issues another way.
The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham
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August 8, 2022