Council calls for residents’ support in fight against bus cuts

Wheel appeal: Transport boss Feryal Demirci (front centre) with Kings Park councillors (l-r) Rebecca Rennison, Tom Rahilly and Sharon Patrick. Photograph: Hackney Council

Hackney Council is urging residents to have a say on cuts to bus services through a new online survey as it prepares for talks with Transport for London (TfL).

TfL has cut the 242 and 73 bus routes in recent years, and the Town Hall says plans are in motion to trim back the 277 journey between Dalston Junction and Highbury and Islington.

More recently, residents will have seen a reduction in the frequency of buses along at least 16 routes across the borough.

The council said it understands further cuts are to be introduced this year.

In response, the Town Hall today launched an online consultation which gives residents a chance to voice their opinions.

Feedback from the survey will “inform future campaigns and discussions with TfL”, which the council accuses of not properly consulting Londoners on bus cuts.

Mayor Philip Glanville said: “Buses are at the heart of Hackney’s transport infrastructure. Some of the most deprived areas of the borough are also the furthest away from train stations, with the lowest rates of car ownership.

“Many of our housing estates are home to thousands of people, but only served by a single bus route. While the new ‘hopper fare’ has helped to keep buses affordable, I fear that residents in these areas will be disproportionately affected by cuts to buses.

“I would urge all residents to share their experiences with us so we can work with TfL to secure the best possible bus services for our residents.”

The Town Hall’s transport chief Cllr Feryal Demirci revealed that a quarter of Hackney residents use the bus as their main way of getting around.

She said: “The opening of the London Overground means Hackney is more connected than it used to be, but there are still very few train and tube stations compared to other parts of London.”

Demirci said said she was keen to hear from residents about how to improve bus services, adding: “There are some things we could do on our roads to try and reduce delays, like getting rid of car parking to free up road space, adding bus gates that mean only buses can use certain routes, or extending bus lane hours.”

The consultation closes on 27 April.

To have your say, please visit the council’s website here