Oxford Street Buses - Concerns

Westminster has been working with other stakeholders and in particular the New West End Company to see an overall reduction of bus numbers passing through Oxford Street.

Although these buses serve the whole of London many of them pass through Oxford Street with low occupancy and what is required is a reduction and consolidation of the number of buses, and the number of routes which pass through Oxford Circus. 

TfL have committed to a 10% reduction last year and a further 10% reduction this year to the number of buses. Leaving aside the complications caused by the utilities works undertaken at the east end of Oxford Street last year and those to be undertaken at the western end of Oxford Street later this year this permanent reduction should continue.

One of the approaches by TfL is to curtail some of the routes at Tottenham Court Road, Marble Arch or more worryingly at Oxford Circus. The way in which this is done is to re-route the buses in and around Oxford Circus so that some of them are being displaced into the side streets in a way which is totally unsuitable for their construction and traffic.

You will see from the video below the trouble that this has caused for the curtailed route 15, which now passes down Conduit Street, along Savile Row and rejoins Regent Street via New Burlington Street. Because of the weight of traffic during the day it is often impossible for the bus to do so, consequently the road is blocked and cars are taking to driving on the pavement. This is unacceptable in terms of safety and clearly shows why it is not a good idea to put these buses in the side streets.

TfL are now consulting on re-routing the 25, 55, and 8 in order to improve their circulation but the clear implications are that these will be re-routed to the north of Oxford Street with possible similar consequences.

Whilst I support the reduction of buses it needs to be a genuine reduction and not just a displacement into streets which are not suitable for buses. This may allow TfL to claim that it has reduced buses, but in reality it has increased the problems in and around Oxford Street rather than reducing them.

I am maintaining a dialogue with TfL to see how to address these issues in a proper way and taking into account the needs of residents and businesses affected.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, 1 February 2011 and is filed under ,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed.