London bus

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Many buses in central London are running nearly empty at peak times, according to TfL

Plans for the biggest shake-up of London’s bus network in more than 16 years have been announced.

Transport for London (TfL) said the changes would allow the network to grow in outer London, while cutting underused services in the capital.

Following consultations, 29 of 33 proposed bus route changes will start operating from June.

The new network will see the 48 and RV1 routes axed, while routes 26, 35, 46 and 149 will see frequencies increased.

Other services will be restructured or see their routes shortened, TfL said.

The 271 night service to Whittington Hospital will continue, as the consultation – which received over 7,000 responses – highlighted how vital it was to hospital staff, TfL said.

A new 335 bus route to better connect new homes in Kidbrooke to North Greenwich is also being introduced, the transport body said.

A new route from Ruislip station to Heathrow Airport will also be introduced.

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Yevgeny Kanevsky/BBC

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TfL said it was “thankful” for the feedback on its proposals

Geoff Hobbs, from TfL, said parts of the network had become inefficient and unreliable, with too many buses in the same places causing problems with congestion.

“We will tackle these inefficient central London pinch points and free up resources to allow for the growth of outer London’s bus service with these changes, which are predominately minor route restructures or timetable adjustments”, he said.

“We’re thankful for the feedback on our proposals, which has helped to improve them and make them work better for Londoners.”

Many central London buses are less than 70% full at peak times, TfL said.

In the past three years, demand for buses in central London has dropped by 12%, it added.

TfL predicts many bus users will switch to the Elizabeth Line when it opens in the autumn..

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