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Agenda item

Consultation on Changes to the Transport for London Bus Services 428 and 492

Summary:

 

To report proposed changes to bus routes 428 and 492, currently subject to public consultation, identify the impacts and a recommended response to the consultation.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.  That the concerns highlighted in paragraphs 3.7-3.12, 3.16-17 and Appendix B to the report be the basis for a formal objection to Transport for London’s consultation, in particular to not support the proposed changes to bus route 492; and

 

2.    That officers continue to liaise with Transport for London, Kent County Council and non-Transport for London bus service operators beyond the consultation closing date of 10 September 2019 to seek a resolution that will alleviate the impact of proposed changes on customers in the Dartford area, in line with the identified mitigations sought, as set out in paragraph 3.19.  

Minutes:

The Temporary Principal Transport Planning Officer presented a report detailing proposed changes to Transport for London bus services 428 and 492 from January 2020, which were currently subject to public consultation until 10 September 2019. The proposed changes would result in a reduction in connectivity between certain parts of the London Borough of Bexley, including Erith and Sidcup, and the north-west part of Dartford through to Bluewater and vice-versa. The report detailed specific impacts likely to arise as a result of the proposed changes including the likely additional pressures on remaining bus services and impacts on users, including school children, people travelling along London Road and users of Darent Valley Hospital. The report highlighted concerns which it was recommended should form the basis of a formal objection to the proposals in respect of proposed changes to the 492 bus route and detailed work being carried out with TfL and KCC to seek to alleviate and mitigate the impact on customers in the Dartford area.  It was noted that the London Borough of Bexley and Kent County Council also intended to object to TfL’s proposals. One of the major issues, should the proposals relating to the 492 route be implemented, would be the need for users to change buses to get to their final destination and the lack of availability of cross boundary ticketing between the TfL area and the County with cost implications for travellers. The proposals had generated considerable local concern and campaign groups, including ‘Save our 492’, had been set up to oppose the changes.   

 

The Chairman ascertained that a number of members of the Cabinet Advisory Panel had already responded to the TfL consultation and he encouraged the remaining members of the Panel to do so. A Member commented on whether a change to the frequency of the running of the 96 bus could help to mitigate the change to the 492 route and said that the 96 already ran every 10 minutes and suggested that frequency was not the issue but that the bus needed to stop at more locations between Dartford Town Centre and Bluewater as it currently only stopped at Darent Valley Hospital.  A Member said that a local petition against TfL’s proposals had already attracted 1,178 signatures and that there was strong opposition to the proposals from residents, despite the consultation period taking place during the holiday period. A Member also questioned whether TfL was fully aware of the effect that the proposals would have on the staff and pupils at the new secondary school opening in Stone and the safety implications for pupils having to use multiple bus journeys.  

 

The Cabinet Advisory Panel unanimously expressed strong support for the actions recommended in the report to object to TfL’s proposals relating to the 492 bus route and welcomed the ongoing activity between the Council, TfL, KCC and non-TfL bus service operators to seek solutions which would alleviate the impact of the proposed changes for users of the current services and urged the Cabinet to support the recommended action.

 

Supporting documents: