Transport for London’s planned changes to important bus routes

TfL has recently held a consultation on its planned changes to important bus routes for Croydon. These include changes that will affect those of us trying to travel from the south of the borough to the towncentre, East or West Croydon stations, and vitally, Croydon University Hospital.

I have sent my opposition to the changes to TfL, and included alternatives for how TfL could proceed. I have included this text of this in full below.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing with regards to the proposed changes to bus routes 403, 405, 412 and 433. Currently routes 403, 405 and 412 terminate close to West Croydon Station, providing easy access to tram, rail and other bus services. These proposals would see these services terminate at Katherine Street. Similarly, the 433 is proposed to terminate at Fairfield Halls rather than near West Croydon Station.

This change will place an additional distance of around 200 metres between the bus terminating and West Croydon Station. For residents from my constituency, traveling from the south towards Croydon town centre, this loss of interconnectivity presents a number of difficulties, especially for those with mobility issues.

The difficulties that this creates are exacerbated by the fact that many passengers change at West Croydon Station as route to Croydon University Hospital. These proposals will create unnecessary obstacle for patients who have mobility problems or experience pain when boarding and leaving a bus. These proposals also suggest the removal of the 250 bus service from Katherine St, which will mean that those attempting to reach the hospital will experience longer waiting times, and increased crowding levels.

The reliance on Katherine St for the 403, 405, 412 and the 109 service will create a total of 22 buses per hour attempting to use the stop. This will the use of the stop difficult due to the number of buses attempting to use it simultaneously, and potentially create hazards for passengers having to step out into the road when boarding or alighting.

The upshot of these changes will be to create unnecessary difficulty for those with mobility issues, i.e. elderly, disabled or pregnant passengers, all of whom are likely to make use of the route for Croydon University Hospital.

Those passengers who are able to do so will turn to either cars or taxis, which will increase the number of vehicles on the already overcrowded roads.

For those vulnerable passengers who also cannot afford a taxi, or are unable to drive or be driven, this will create unnecessary problems and anxiety. Indeed, I have already been contacted by a number of residents stating that they feel that they will no longer be able to take the bus if these changes are implemented. These changes are therefore not in line with policy to increase public transport.

The East Surrey Transport Committee has made a series of recommendations for these routes with which I agree:

Route 433 – Should be extended to West Croydon, via the flyover to Old Town, Centrale and Tamworth Road. This would provide a direct link to Fairfield Halls from Selsdon, and improve access to Centrale. It would also create direct access to Old Town for both East and West Croydon stations, providing an important boost for an area with no public transport at all.

Route 403 – Should continue to West Croydon as there are no alternative routes from Sanderstead.

Routes 405 and 412 – Should be redirected to East Croydon, this will allow an easy change for those attempting to reach Croydon University Hospital.

I would be grateful if you would therefore please take my objections into account when considering this proposal.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Philp

Member of Parliament for Croydon South