Enfield bus routes rank among least reliable in London

The W9 between Southgate and Chase Farm fails to turn up 22.7% of the time, while the 217 has the longest average waiting time for a ‘high-frequency’ service

W9 bus (credit Hugh Llewelyn via Wikimedia Commons)
The highly unreliable W9 bus outside Southgate Station (credit Hugh Llewelyn via Wikimedia Commons)

Several Enfield bus routes have been highlighted as being among the worst performing in London.

The latest Transport for London (TfL) data for the third quarter of 2023/24 shows that the 217 bus, which links Enfield to Waltham Cross and Turnpike Lane, has the longest average wait times for a ‘high frequency’ bus across the whole of the capital, at over ten minutes.

The figures also reveal that one-in-five services (22.7%) on the W9 bus route, which runs between Chase Farm Hospital and Southgate, fail to even show up.

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On the 191 bus route, between Edmonton Green and Brimsdown, passenger waiting times are 10% higher than advertised, while only four-in-five 456 buses – which typically run every 30 minutes – arrive on time.

The data was analysed by Enfield Liberal Democrats. Guy Russo, the Lib Dem candidate for Enfield and Haringey at May’s election for the London Assembly, has called on TfL to launch an immediate review of the quality of bus service provision in outer London.

Russo said: “It is frankly unacceptable that bus performance in our borough is so bad. Thousands of people rely on these buses to get to and from work, school and local shops.

“I am particularly dismayed, and yet unsurprised, to see two of our buses rank as the worst in London. Everyone who uses the W9 knows how unreliable it has become.

“TfL must do more to hold bus operators to account, and can no longer turn a blind eye. They must launch an urgent and immediate review into the quality of service provided by TfL buses across Enfield and throughout outer London.

“Poor quality bus services are a blight on our daily lives. Whilst other political parties want to ignore this issue, I am making it my priority to get TfL to make the buses run on time.”

TfL did not respond to a request for comment.

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