Bus routes 14 and 74 have been saved!
I am delighted to announce that our campaign to save the 14 and 74 bus routes was successful. The Mayor of London announced this morning that the routes will not be cut, after months of hard campaigning with local activists.
As you know, I led two local protests, and one outside Parliament, met with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Transport to make the clear case for why we needed the routes. I raised accessibility to healthcare (the bus routes cover our local hospitals), passenger safety and the climate crisis as just a few of the reasons why we need our buses.
Thank you to those who wrote to me, wrote to Transport for London and for those who attended protests. This really helped to show the Mayor of London and Deputy Mayor for Transport how important routes 14 and 74 are. The bus route that received the most comments in the consultation was the 14 with 2,732 responses – a lot from Putney and Roehampton residents. The 14 was also one of three bus services that yielded the greatest number of comments.
Campaigning to save the 14 and 74 bus routes in Putney
I am deeply concerned by the proposals to cut the 14 and 74 bus routes.
I have already received letters from many residents expressing concern over these proposals, and I share these concerns. I have already led a public demonstration and raised this issue with the key decision makers to express my strong opposition to the loss of these routes.
These cuts are a direct result of the Government’s refusal to fund TfL adequately. The only reason TfL is being forced to look at these cuts is because Ministers are refusing to agree a long-term and sustainable funding deal to keep TfL running after TfL’s finances were decimated when Londoners did the right thing and stayed at home during lockdown. Unlike other global cities, TfL is solely reliant on fares for their funding and does not receive a comprehensive Government funding package.
I have written to the Mayor of London, the Deputy Mayor of Transport for London and the TfL Commissioner to voice my strong opposition to the loss of these routes.
How will the proposals affect me?
Withdrawing the 14 and 74 bus routes would be hugely impactful on residents. Removing the 14 would mean losing a direct service to the university quarter in Bloomsbury, the legal district around Holborn, and parts of the West End. It is also the main bus route to three major hospitals: Chelsea and Westminster, The Royal Marsden and The Royal Brompton. Whilst the 414 route will cover much of the 14 route, it is still only planning to terminate at Marble Arch. Withdrawing your nearby 74 bus route will remove a direct service to Baker Street and the Marylebone area. Whilst the route 430 and N430 will cover much of the 74 bus route, it would only terminate at South Kensington and will no longer go via Old Brompton Road. Where provision is picked up by existing bus routes, it is essential that frequency is maintained to avoid overcrowding.
What can I do?
The TfL consultation has now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted. Please continue to email me your objections at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will pass them on to TfL.
Please also join me for the next public demonstration to save the buses at 11.30am in Parliament Square on 6th September 2022.
Here are just some of the many comments from my constituents:
“I am a pensioner and I use the buses to get around. I was absolutely devastated to learn from a fellow passenger on the bus yesterday that the number 14 is to be cancelled completely and the 430 re-routed. I use the 14 to get to the Brompton and the Chelsea and Westminster hospital and indeed I have used it to go all the way to the British Museum and the Royal Academy. And the 430 goes all the way to the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as to the food shops in Putney High Street. I am impaired from climbing the steps at our local tube stations due to a serious heart condition, so these buses are so wonderful for getting around.”
“Getting rid of the 14 and 74 would be a disaster and dangerous for Putney/Roehampton residents as it totally cuts off our late-night connection to central London. We’ve already lost the connection to Hammersmith and the tube through the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, so the loss of the 14 would mean there is no way back late at night. This would make it significantly more difficult and significantly more unsafe for me to travel home at night. Please reconsider.”
“I use these buses frequently and always have. Not only would it make my travelling more difficult and expensive but I worry about my mum and step dad who are pensioners. If these buses are taken away they will not be able to travel easily, which given my step dad’s difficulty walking is crucial. He can’t afford other means and a bus is easier and cheaper for him – these bus routes allow him to live his life. Take this away and you’re hurting him, my mum, me and so many more.”
“I’m against bus 14 route termination since this is my main route to go central London and is used daily by my wife that works in Goodge Street.”
“Losing the No. 14 will be like losing a dear friend.”
My main concern is ensuring that residents can still easily access the West End, Bloomsbury and Marylebone and Old Brompton Road easily. Where provision is picked up by existing bus routes, it is essential that frequency is maintained to avoid overcrowding.
I will be urging Transport Ministers to come forward with sustainable long-term funding agreement for TfL, just like other global cities receive.
It is crucial that everyone has access to affordable public transport with direct routes to central London and I will do all I can to push for this.
Very best wishes,
Labour Member of Parliament for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields
Shadow Paymaster General
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA