Proposed changes to our local bus routes.
13/01/2019 14:33:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
TFL is proposing changes to 11 bus routes that currently travel through Croydon town centre. A number of these bus serve Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown so residents may wish to participate in the consultation survey which can be found here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/croydon-town-centre/ or emailing direct to: firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight tonight, Sunday 13th January.
I have made a submission covering the concerns of many local residents, the text of which is below:
"I am very disappointed to see the proposed changes to the bus routes that run through or close to Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Ward. The following bus routes are of particular interest to residents in the ward:
405: Travelling along Pampisford Road into Croydon town centre
403: Travelling through Sanderstead into Croydon town centre. This is the only bus through Sanderstead and is used by some Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown residents after dropping off their children at Atwood and Gresham Schools.
412: Travelling through Riddlesdown into Croydon town centre via Selsdon. The frequency of the bus route was recently reduced significantly on September 1st 2018 and the punctuality is so poor during the morning peak that the timetable seems irrelevant.
Many people travelling from the south into town are doing so in order to reach the centre of town e.g to shop in the Whitgift Centre, work on Wellesley Road/Ruskin Square and connect with services at East Croydon tram/bus/train. The new routes drop passengers further away from these locations whilst the proposed Fell Road detour will make it a longer journey with no additional benefit for the passenger. The result of this is that:
- Those with mobility issues may find the extra walk just too far to travel and therefore they will be effectively excluded from using public transport. Not everyone with mobility issues has a blue badge or even a car.
- Parents with young children in-tow may opt to not use the bus if they have to walk a long way to the bus stop, especially where busy roads need to be crossed, they may opt to use their car, having to pay high parking fees, choose to go to another shopping centre such as Bromley or shop online.
- Those who have been shopping may find it too difficult or frankly too inconvenient to carry heavy loads back to further bus stop. Again, they may opt for the car parks or another shopping centre all together.
- People who work in the centre of town will have further to walk (in addition to sitting on the bus for the longer Fell Road detour) and therefore may have to start their journey earlier to accommodate this.
- People who travel into town to connect with West Croydon train station will have to walk almost 1 kilometre. This will add significant time to their journey.
- The Riddlesdown/Purley Oaks area has always had poor connections to East Croydon Station and the proposed route changes have extended the walk required to connect to over 600 metres.
- I believe that there will not be a bus route on the east side of Park Lane for Fairfield Halls patrons to be use to get home to Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown after a performance. Many will simply choose not to travel over to Katharine Street in the dark to catch a bus. With reduced parking options too, this may be damaging for Fairfield Halls which is due to open later this year.
I also note that the proposed stop to the east of Katharine Street is usually full of buses that are out of service. How will this be managed so that passengers do not have to sit on a queueing bus waiting to be let off due to there not being sufficient space?
It looks like TFL is aiming to reduce its costs and has lost sight of the reason that passengers are using the bus - i.e. to get to a specific location/interchange - which I would expect to be its primary purpose. Residents of Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown have few public transport options (and the 412 has had reduced frequency as of September 1st) and these are the only available bus routes, none of which will take them into town, and now further from railway stations. A more inconvenient bus service may cause a reduction in use that will then be used to justify cutting the service further.
I believe that these changes will do no favours to the prosperity of our shopping centre as the difficulties involved in getting to and from the centre will cause people to shop elsewhere. I also fear for the success of Fairfield Halls if getting back home will be so difficult.
I hope that TFL will be persuaded to, at least, maintain the current level service and if there are to be amendments that the frequency be increased rather than the routes cut."