The London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the review of bus services in outer London will take five years to complete. The review for inner London, where bus use is falling, is already done and dusted, so this news is yet another example of how City Hall is failing miserably when it comes to London’s greener boroughs.
We managed to fight an entire World War in five years, so taking half a decade to run the numbers on a bus service, which already has ample computerised documentation available, with a myriad of time tables, measured ticketing information and closely recorded employee activity, is a scandal that must be challenged.
City Hall and Transport for London will have to learn to work smart to meet the ever increasing public transport demand in boroughs like Barnet. Communal transport is the future and private taxi companies are already ahead of the game with their ‘Share & Ride’ services.
To combat the wastefulness of large buses carrying few passengers, apart from during crush-hour, we need more, smaller Hopper style buses, even mini buses that whizz about where and when people need and want them.
For those, who are happy to pay a small fare uplift, Hail & Ride services are ideal in quiet backwater neighbourhoods, where regular large scale communal transport is not viable. Such services have already been running successfully in many cities – including parts of London, for years.
Coupled with a London wide flat fare system, this would be twice as fair, and would also cause such increased uptake in passengers, that it would practically pay for itself.
Taking five years to get this going is nothing short of an admission of either incompetence or complacency. Whatever it is, we expect better for our hard earned tax money.