Planned cuts to bus services across London are being scaled back after the Mayor of London agreed to tap into some unspent funding to cover their running costs.

Out of the 620 bus routes in London, Transport for London (TfL) consulted on plans to make changes to 70 routes, but says that it will now only modify 18 routes, most of them in central London.

The changes follow a consultation that gathered over 21,500 replies, a reminder that the buses carry on average around twice as many passengers as the tube network, and the impact was more widespread.

The changes were also politically contentious as they were put forward by the Mayor and TfL as part of the cost-cutting proposals to secure a funding agreement from the government, but the government disagreed that the cuts were necessary. The cuts would have saved £35 million, at a time when TfL was being asked to make much larger cost savings, and there was concern that the cuts would have an outsized impact on Londoners for the moderately small financial saving gained.

The Mayor says that he has been able to find an additional £25 million from City Hall reserves, which is money that hasn’t yet been spent by the Greater London Authority (GLA). That does mean that the cost of keeping the buses running comes from the Mayor’s tax revenues and can’t then be spent on other GLA services.

TfL says that it will still go ahead with 22% of the service changes consulted on, which are all in areas that TfL says have alternative public transport options and in areas where following the changes there will be enough capacity on buses to meet demand.

There will still be a slight increase in the number of journeys that could have been taken with one bus that will now need changing buses along the route. Currently around 19 per cent of bus journeys in London involve an interchange. These new plans will only see 20 per cent of people having to use a different bus to complete their journey.

Also, most of the cuts will be concentrated in central London and there’s also going to be an increased focus on improving bus services around the suburbs, where public transport use has recovered faster following the pandemic.

TfL structured the consultation around 16 neighbourhood areas, in which changes were proposed. Only four of the neighbourhoods now will be implemented. These are the plans for Horseferry Road, Fleet Street, Edgware Road and Waterloo. This means that TfL will deliver 11 out of 57 day or 24-hour route changes and three route withdrawals out of the originally proposed 22. There will also be changes to four night bus routes.

These changes include some modifications, and four routes that will no longer run:

  •  North London – Edgware Road – bus routes 6 (24hr), 16, N16, and 23 (24hr) and new route N32
  • South London – Horse ferry Road – bus routes 3, 77, 507 and C10.
  • South London – Waterloo – bus routes 59, 133, and 521
  • East London area – Fleet Street – bus routes 11, N11, 26, N26, 211 and 507

The four bus routes that will no longer run are: 332 (renamed as route 16), 507, 521 and the N16 (replace by N32).

It is expected that route changes being progressed will be introduced during 2023.

The proposed changes to routes 3, 6, 11, 23, 26, 59, 77, 133, 211, C10 and N26 will still go ahead, which TfL says will minimise the impact of withdrawn routes.

  • Route 3 – Reroute at Lambeth Bridge to serve Victoria.
  • Route 6 – Run between Willesden and Victoria via Grosvenor Gardens (no longer serving stops between Hyde Park Corner and Aldwych).
  • Route 11 – Route restructure to run between Waterloo and Fulham.
  • Route 23 – Extend from Hyde Park Corner to Aldwych via Piccadilly. Would no longer serve Hammersmith bus station.
  • Route 26 – Reroute at Aldwych to serve Victoria instead of Waterloo.
  • Route 59 – Will run between Telford Avenue, Streatham and St Bartholomew’s Hospital via Holborn Station.
  • Route 77 – Terminate at Taxi Road instead of Concert Hall Approach.
  • Route 133 – Run between Streatham Station and Holborn Station via King William Street, Cheapside and High Holborn.
  • Route 211 – Reroute at Chelsea Bridge towards Battersea Power Station instead of Waterloo.
  • Route C10 – Reroute via St George’s Road, Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo Road and York Road towards Victoria, instead of Waterloo Road and York Road
  • Route N26 – Extend from Trafalgar Square to Victoria to partially replace the N11.

The proposed changes to routes 15, 19, 27, 43, 47, 49, 53, 56, 78, 88, 98, 100, 113, 135, 148, 171, 189, 205, 214, 236, 254, 259, 277, 279, 283, 328, 343, 388, 414, 430, 476, D3, N15, N19, N27, N98, N133, N205, will not be taken forward.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    A frankly absurd decision to cut the 521 and 507 routes, especially now that they’ve recovered passenger numbers.

    • ianVisits says:

      The key is that those two routes are already covered by other routes and plenty of other public transport options.

    • Jasper T. says:

      And thus goes the Red Arrow routes.

    • Julian says:

      The 507 and 521 will be replaced by double-deck routes operating seven days a week.

    • Ben says:

      Doesn’t the 507 covers the area that is just about the furthest you can be from any tube station in Zone 1? There aren’t direct alternatives for many journeys on its route, and if you have to go out of your way and connect to another route it will have a big impact due to the short nature of the journeys (most people riding the route for halfway or less, as they go to Victoria or Waterloo).
      Replacing it with a double decker also slows down the route, as these routes had special buses with rear door boarding.

    • Anonymous says:

      IanVisits, I understand, but the 68 and 133 are already heavily used. There is no direct connection from Holborn to London Bridge. All this cut does it increase pressure on other services.

  2. John B says:

    Puzzled by the loss of the 521. That always seemed of the most useful buses in central London. Perhaps Thameslink sucked customers out of the centre and it was easier to walk at the ends. It was the bus I used most.

    • Eric says:

      In my 10 years of heavily using the London bus network, I never used the 521 (or 507) and questioned the need for it… until the one time I needed a hassle-free route from London Bridge to Covent Garden. Then I was quite thankful for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Eric, just because it’s not useful to you, doesn’t make it not useful for others like me

  3. Nick Martin says:

    521?? Don’t get that, it’s always rammed and picks me up right outside my pub and gets me back to London Bridge! Gonna miss you 521 😩

  4. daniel says:

    why the got rid of 11 from liverpool st to victoria coach station

    • Eric says:

      It’s getting shortened to improve reliability and speed as it’s currently in the bottom three. But the cut section is getting directly replaced by the extended 26.

  5. Ben says:

    So after all the consultations there’s now only one gap in bus services – which in the Vincent Square ward of Westminster.

    There’s going to no direct way to get from Marsham Street bus stop (NS/NQ) to Waterloo, a real pain for commuters there. And who are these commuters? Civil servants from the Department of Transport, Home Office etc. but also a surprisingly high number of local residents.
    Westminster Council HQ gets a faster / more frequent route to Waterloo now, lucky them.

    Of course, it doesn’t seem anyone knows the new route of the C10 as it’s different to what was proposed initially. But it surely still needs to go past the Tate to Pimlico, there’s a lot of lower-cost housing that uses the route. Hopefully it will still go close to Waterloo for people from Pimlico.

  6. John says:

    Absolutely disgusted that I’ve now lost the only direct routes to guys hospital and liverpool street station as well as Euston station mainly the 133 & 59 shant be going up to london any more as their are no longer any buses from south london to central london.
    Khan has to go.

    • ianVisits says:

      There are loads of buses from south London into central London — please don’t exaggerate when commenting on here.

    • ChrisC says:

      Route 59 – Will run between Telford Avenue, Streatham and St Bartholomew’s Hospital via Holborn Station.

      Route 133 – Run between Streatham Station and Holborn Station via King William Street, Cheapside and High Holborn.

      Holborn station IS in Central London

      We can’t always have buses to take us from our door to where we want to go without changing.

    • Anonymous says:

      ChrisC, but WHY do we need to change, when a bus already runs to and from? TFL could work with councils and scrap 20 zones and save millions per year as evident by a recent study undertaken by TravelWatch.

  7. Gary says:

    I used to use the 521 daily until I realized the Thameslink between London Bridge to City Thameslink is faster; this is especially true now with the roadworks/closures around St Martins-le-grand and Cannon St.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is, but it’s also far more expensive, especially if you’re commuting in peak times, and with the cost-of-living crisis unfolding, I doubt people will want to be spending more.

  8. Anon says:

    The frequency on 170 was already cut September onwards from one every 7-8 mins during day time to one every 10 mins. And it is the only route serving West Hill in Wandsworth. So cuts are still happening but quietly.

  9. Vanessa says:

    I do not understand the change to the C10? Does this mean it is not serving the Elephant or St Thomas’s hospital anymore?

  10. M.J. says:

    Has the plan to merge the 1 and 168 routes also been cancelled?

  11. Julia says:

    Probably a minor point, but 521 currently keeps two queues of people at one end of bus stops in front of Waterloo. I predict a heaving mass at rush hour. Will really miss the streamlined feel of this service.

  12. Steven says:

    I haven’t found the what the new 133 looks like would it still be going to London bridge

  13. Laura says:

    I used to take the bus 23 from Westbourne Park to Picadilly, it was very practical to go come back home safely at night. They changed it to Hammersmith, so I stoped going out – no other buses from the very center, the metro is 15 minutes walk from my flat, in a desert area. I’m glad they put the 23 back to Aldwych, do you know when it’s giong to operate ?

  14. AK333 says:

    Interesting idea for the 10, They obviously have no clue to replace the capacity loss of King’s cross / Hammersmith. Other users know 23 reached saturation point in case and became unassigned because TFL Didn’t forget those years back when Lancaster Gate – Wembley Fulton Road are put on hold. ’48’ would be nicer if 23 divert to Aldwych replacing the 6. Same as 82 London Bridge – Walthamstow South Street via Fenchurch Street, Old Ford Road, Lauriston Road, Chatsworth Road and Argall Avenue. 84 Elephant & Castle – Penge via 136, 171, Cranston Road, Kent House Road and Green Lane is unlikely to happen after Barnet was no longer exist. 136 needs to cut from Peckham then 176 to Sydenham divert Crystal Palace. Both routes are too long. 🤔

  15. AK333 says:

    X239 might have to be slightly tweaked at Canary Wharf and Grove Park significantly, TFL wouldn’t propose the 239 which no doubt confused more easily and find it harder to have a new routes since May 12 1990 – 16 Feburary 2008 then was discontinued after 170 extension. New 239 Benefits of this route to gain a bus service with links to new areas of Greenford Westway Cross Retail Park – Ruislip via Greenford Road, Whitton Ave W, Alexandra Avenue, Eastcote Ln, Kings Road, Rayners Lane, Marsh Road, Cuckoo Hill, Field End Rd, Elm Ave and Pembroke Road left unserved. Extend 278 to Hume Way (Bus Stand). 🤔

  16. Anna Tamba says:

    For the purpose of clarification. On what date will the 507 route be discontinued? Will C10 no longer go along Marsham Street?

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