Transport for London has unveiled plans to cut the number of buses running into the centre of London (Picture: Getty)

Cuts to London’s transport budget will see 22 bus routes axed under proposals published today.

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled plans to slim down the capital’s bus network after the ‘devastating’ impact of the Covid-19 on its finances.

City Hall has put the blame firmly at the government’s door, saying it had to commit to finding ‘significant financial savings’ in order to secure a bailout to get it through the pandemic. 

TfL said 78 routes out of more than 620 would be impacted by the proposed changes, including the ones set to be cut altogether.

Only routes for which similar or parallel services already exist will be changed, transport bosses insisted.

The plan amounts to a 4% reduction in the number of kilometres covered by London buses, with routes into the city centre targeted in particular.

TfL said demand for services into central London has been falling for years but has been ‘accelerated’ by the pandemic.

It admitted the number of journeys which require passengers to change bus to reach their destination would rise from 19% to 24% under the plans.

Which bus routes are TfL planning on axing?

Out of 620 bus routes in London, 78 will be impacted by proposed measures designed to save money.

Under the plans, 24 will be cut altogether. They are: 4, 11, 12*, 14*, 16, 24*, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 259, 521, C3, D7, N11, N16, N31, N72, N74, and N242 (*24 hour routes)

You can see the full plans here and respond to the consultation here.

Bus remains the most popular mode of public transport in the capital but city centre routes have sen demand fall (Picture: TfL)

TfL warned that if an agreement can’t be reached, harsher cuts amounting to almost 20% of routes would be required when the current funding deal runs out on June 24.

Deputy mayor for transport, Seb Dance, said: ‘No one wants to see reductions to our bus network, but TfL is having to consider these changes because of the savings demanded by the government as part of the emergency funding deals during the pandemic.  

‘TfL has looked carefully at the routes affected in order to reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible. 

‘Routes changed are ones where there are very similar existing services or where passengers would make use of the Mayor’s ‘Hopper’ fare to reach their destination.

‘If TfL is to avoid further cuts which would damage our city’s economic recovery from this pandemic, the government must do the right thing and come forward with a long term funding deal to support the capital’s public transport – as governments of almost all other major global cities do.’

The Department for Transport has been contacted for comment.

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