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48 bus to be scrapped in October as TfL stands its ground despite fierce backlash

PUBLISHED: 15:13 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:25 12 April 2019

The 48 bus in Mare Street this week. Picture: Polly Hancock

The 48 bus in Mare Street this week. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Plans to scrap the 48 bus will go ahead despite backlash from passengers and Hackney Council – and so too will changes to a number of other routes in the borough.

TfL has today published its response to the autumn consultation on changes to buses across central London.

The biggest casualty in Hackney is the 48, with TfL sticking to its guns and dumping it in October. The 55 will be extended to Walthamstow Central to cover the lost part of the route and at the other end the 388 will run additionally between Liverpool Street and London Bridge. Passengers will be able to jump off the 55 and onto the 388 in Mare Street without paying again thanks to the hopper fare. The 26 will also increase from six to eight buses an hour to maintain capacity in Hackney Road.

After the proposed changes were leaked by south London blog 853 in August, Hackney Council criticised TfL for a lack of engagement and mayor Phil Glanville said he “totally opposed” the changes.

Reacting to today’s announcement he said: “The loss of the 48 is completely unacceptable and will mean cramped remaining services and worse travel conditions for our residents. These are services that our poorest residents rely on.

“But these changes are clearly a direct result of the Tory cuts to London’s transport system ─ TfL have lost their £700 million subsidy from government.

“London is now one of the only major cities in the world with a public transport service that is not subsidised by central government. This is not good enough, and moving forward Labour will continue to call on the government to reinstate the subsidy.”

Elsewhere, the 67 will be curtailed from Aldgate to Dalston Junction and the 242 will be diverted at Dalston to Aldgate, severing the link to St Paul’s. It will also see its frequency reduced from buses every seven minutes to every eight, though the night service will be retained and renamed the N242.

Last year Cllrs Sharon Patrick and Ian Rathbone hit out over the changes to the 242, the only bus that serves the Clapton Park Estate.

There are also changes to the 476, which will have its frequency reduced from every eight minutes to every 10.

Minor changes are also proposed on the 4, 205/N205, 35 and 341.

Deputy mayor and transport chief Cllr Feryal Demirci, who helped lead the #MyRouteMatters that gathered 1,600 signatures for a petition against the cuts, said: “These changes are incredibly disappointing.

“Hackney residents will be disproportionately affected; these bus routes offer more affordable travel for some of our borough’s poorest residents in our least connected neighbourhoods.

“I am however really proud of our local Labour team for leading this vital campaign and speaking up for our residents who rely on their bus services every day. TfL could not ignore Hackney residents that said #MyRouteMatters and I am really pleased we won concessions.”

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