News

Mayor’s cuts to bus journeys slammed by London Lib Dem MP

New data show TfL had 685,557 fewer scheduled bus journeys in 2023 compared with 2022, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Sarah Olney MP

Sadiq Khan has been accused of “slashing public transport with one hand and pushing people out of their cars with the other”, as data reveals that almost 700,000 bus journeys were cut by Transport for London (TfL) between 2022 and 2023.

Statistics uncovered through a Freedom of Information request by Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, show that TfL had 685,557 fewer scheduled bus journeys in 2023, compared with 2022.

It represents a reduction in journeys of 1.9% between the two years.

Khan’s spokesperson said he had “done everything in his powers to protect bus services across the capital, despite punitive funding conditions from the Tory government”.

Olney said: “The mayor of London promised he would get London moving, but instead, he’s cutting infrastructure in boroughs such as Richmond, Kingston, Merton and Sutton piece by piece.

“The mayor can’t keep slashing public transport with one hand and pushing people out of their cars with the other, he needs to provide a reliable alternative to those living in the outer boroughs.

“It’s not just Sadiq Khan though – Conservative ministers have turned TfL’s funding into a political football, forcing cuts to essential services and delaying support until the last possible moment.”

Olney’s data also showed that in 2023, about 1.5 million bus services were terminated mid-journey, a 30% rise on the year before.

The figures from TfL further revealed that 428,293 planned journeys were cancelled ahead of departure – though this was a reduction of 35% from the 661,606 journeys which were cancelled the previous year. This figure includes any journeys lost to industrial action.

Responding, a spokesman for Khan said: “This election is a close two-horse race between Sadiq, and the hard-right Conservative candidate who couldn’t be more out of touch with London’s values.

“The mayor has done everything in his powers to protect bus services across the capital, despite punitive funding conditions from the Tory government.

“The Superloop is now transforming travel in outer London, adding over four million extra bus kilometres to the network alone. It will continue to offer more options for bus users all across outer London.

“Tory cuts and the requirements of the recent short-term funding deal meant that some bus routes were cut in recent years.

“Despite this, Sadiq stepped in and provided an additional £25million every year to save the majority of bus routes that were proposed to be cut in central and inner London in 2022. The mayor added over one million annual kilometres to the network in 2023 alone.”

A spokesman at the Department for Transport said: “We have provided over £6.6bn of support since 2020 so that TfL can maintain services and invest in the future of the network – this is an incredibly large amount of money.

“Transport in London is devolved, meaning it is for the mayor of London to deliver services in the capital with the considerable amount of funding he has access to, and it is for the mayor to explain how his decisions are made.”


We know times are hard

If you are struggling to make ends meet, we are keeping Enfield Dispatch free because of you. We know that many people cannot afford to pay for local news, so this website and our print paper will always be free. If you can afford to, and value what we do, a small monthly, yearly or one-off contribution can support us to keep providing quality journalism for Enfield to our community for free.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations