48 bus cut: Passengers’ dismay at news popular route could be axed under TfL plans

The 48, pictured in Lower Clapton, could be completely shelved under the plans. Picture: Sludge G/Fl

The 48, pictured in Lower Clapton, could be completely shelved under the plans. Picture: Sludge G/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 - Credit: Archant

Bus passengers have reacted with dismay to news transport chiefs could axe the 48 and scale back a host of other Hackney routes.

It’s part of a major plan to cut bus numbers in areas where passenger numbers are dwindling – but Hackney Council has urged TfL to abandon the proposal, saying it will isolate some of the most disadvantaged in the borough.

Hackney is served by no Tube stations aside from those on its borders with Islington and Haringey.

“I have used the 48 bus for many years,” one passenger told us, “every day because it is a very good bus route.

“I live in Hackney, and I come to London Bridge in less than half an hour.

“If I take the 149, I need to change. If they stop the 48, lots of people will struggle, because this is a direct bus to London Bridge. With connections, it would take over an hour and a half.”

Another passenger, a man who asked only to be identified as Aitor, told us: “I use the 48 bus every day, mornings and evenings.

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“For me, this route is amazing, straight from home to work. It’s the fastest way – it takes about 20 minutes if there is no traffic.

“Without the 48 it would be quite difficult. I would need to change a lot and it would take much longer.”

The 48 isn’t the only route under threat. TfL’s early plans, which have officially been shared only with councils, would see the 149 reduced in frequency, and the 67 and 242 rolled back to cover less of Hackney.

Commuter Aiste said: “I travel with the 48 three times a week to work from London Bridge to Shoreditch.

“There are other ways to get to work, but this is the fastest, it’s only 15 minutes.”

Another passenger, Monique, said: “The 48 is a direct and fast route when I want to come to this area, Hackney or Mare Street.

“If the 48 is removed, I’ll have to take two buses instead and it takes longer.”

But she added: “There is still the 55 left and it is about the same time as the 48.”

The 55, which runs every four to eight minutes during the day, would be extended from Leyton to Walthamstow to maintain the link broken by the axing of the 48. But no extra buses are planned for the route.

The 48 runs every eight to 11 minutes during the day, meaning the plans would see a loss of about six buses an hour between 6am and 7pm.