This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 01/08/2017.
Concern for elderly and disabled passengers over decision to change Croydon bus routes
Transport for London (TfL) has been criticised by a Croydon councillor over its plans to change two Croydon bus routes in a bid to cut journey times.
The operator announced today (Tuesday) that it intends to change the 289 (between Elmers End and Purley) and 455 (between Purley and Wallington) routes, cutting out a total of four bus stops including the Waddon Marsh bus/tram interchange.
The services will skip Waddon Marsh tram stop and The Purley Way Centre once the changes come into place on Saturday, September 2.
At Waddon Marsh, the routes’ current loop via Trafalgar Way and Drury Crescent in both directions will be cut, along with the present route 289 stop into Croydon Colonnades in the southbound direction.
Councillor Stuart King, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, thinks the changes will have a big impact on elderly and disabled passengers.
In a letter to Valerie Shawcross, the Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, Cllr King wrote: “I write to express my profound disappointment at TfL’s decision to remove the 289 and 455 bus stops that serve Waddon Marsh tram stop and its neighbouring shops, businesses and residential New South Quarter.
“Council officers, the Croydon Mobility Forum and local ward councillors all responded to the consultation expressing strong concern regarding the significantly increased walking distance particularly for interchanging between the 289 and tram, especially for older and disabled people and those with buggies.
“TfL’s decision to press ahead with the proposal seems particularly perverse in light of the recently published draft transport strategy which aims for easy and accessible interchanges between different public transport services.”
The letter continues: “TfL seeks to justify requiring passengers to walk across the busy A23 on the basis that there have been no recorded pedestrian causalities at the crossing.”
Deputy Mayor Shawcross has not yet responded to the letter, which was sent today (Tuesday, August 1).
A TfL spokesman said: “In an effort to reduce journey times and improve reliability, we are proposing to remove both of these ‘double runs’ so that routes 289 and 455 would run directly along Purley Way at these locations instead.
“We estimate that the changes at Waddon Marsh would save about three minutes of journey time each for routes 289 and 455, and altering route 289 at Croydon Colonnades would save around one minute.
“Avoiding Waddon Marsh would mean that routes 289 and 455 no longer serve two bus stops – Waddon Marsh tram stop and The Purley Way Centre – in both directions. Passengers would have to walk about 200 metres to existing stops on Purley Way.
“Removing the southbound double run for route 289 at Croydon Colonnades would mean that the route would no longer serve The Colonnades/Croydon Airport bus stop.
“Passengers would need to walk 90 metres to Purley Way, where a new southbound bus stop would be provided.”
The spokesman added that there would be no change in the frequency of either service as a result of the changes.