A minister has promised to fight “tooth and nail” to save London’s slowest bus from being axed by Transport for London (TfL).
Tory MP for Chelsea and Fulham, Greg Hands, has been battling to protect 16 bus routes around London, including seven routes in west London, as TfL attempts to balance the books following the pandemic and unsuccessful negotiations with the Government over central funding.
London’s slowest bus, the number 11, is among them. The laggardly bus route can take up to 80 minutes to travel from Fulham to central London.
TfL’s bus speed figures show the average speed on the number 11 was just 6.4mph – roughly jogging pace. The bus arrives every seven to 10 minutes.
Mr Hands is also worried about the future of the similarly slow number 14 bus, which is a key route to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, the Royal Brompton Hospital and the Royal Marsden.
The numbers N11, 31, 74, N74 and C3 could also be scrapped.
In a letter published on the FulhamSW6 website on Monday, he said: “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 and 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 attend appointments at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, the Royal Brompton Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital.”
The energy minister is also worried fewer services mean more people have to cram on to other buses and commuters, disabled residents and parents with pushchairs will be left battling for space
The MP also highlighted that doctors, nurses, bartenders and waiters would face longer and more expensive journeys home from their shifts if night buses were scrapped. He added that key buses like the N11 help workers safely get home from central London.
Picture top: The number 11 bus stuck in traffic (Picture: Jacob Phillips)