De Beauvoir mother and son campaign to keep the 21 bus route

Bus 21 campaigner Julie Hamwood with her children Finlay and Imogen

Bus 21 campaigner Julie Hamwood with her children Finlay and Imogen - Credit: Julie Hamwood

Mother Julie Hamwood and son Finlay, from De Beauvoir Town, have set up a campaign to retain the 21 bus route.

They are concerned it will affect those in the area with mobility issues, as well as limit young people’s journey's to school.

“We need to be a world class city, we actually need to have proper transport that moves us quickly,” said Julie. 

"And these buses are absolutely shocking”.

Currently, Transport for London are planning to remove the 21 bus route and rename the 271 route the 21.

The new route will run to Lewisham, beginning at Holloway instead of Highgate Village. TfL have said the move is due to capacity exceeding demand.

The 21 bus currently runs through De Beauvoir and Newington Green in Hackney.

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After the previous loss of the 277 bus route which provided a link to Highbury & Islington tube, Julie claims the consequences for the area could be catastrophic.

She said: “If we don’t have reliable bus routes on Southgate Road we will have to go to Kingston Road and Essex Road.

"That is a 10 minute walk for a healthy person, and much harder for people who’ve got mobility issues.”

The consultations for the proposed changes closed on January 9 2022, but Julie hopes TfL will now listen to the backlash from the public that’s been put forward.

“We were very surprised that they were in consultation over Christmas”, said Julie, “Nobody knew this was happening, and people were very shocked”.

“[Now} people are reaching out saying they want to help,” said Julie.

TfL received 1,511 responses from the public during the consultation.

Finlay, Julie’s son, has also contributed to the campaign, over concerns he will receive detentions from arriving late to school, as the 141 bus is too busy to stop through Hackney.

“Dozens of boys will be standing on Southgate Toad and watching 141s slide by”, said Julie.

In November 2021, the frequency of the bus route 21 was changed by TFL, meaning that buses ran every eight to nine minutes, instead of six to seven through daytimes in the week.

Hackney council said they are keeping the changes under review.

When asked about these judgements being made during the pandemic, Julie said using current data was "inappropriate".

Find out more at keepthe21bus.org